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Umar, Falana, Others On How To Make Emergency Apostle Madubuko Rule Work

Succession In Church Is Not Family Business,

Aviation: A Sector With Its Many – Aregbesola Challenges

APC Is Mass Movement, No One Can Stop Us

TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Vol. 29, No. 12,561

State Of Emergency:

Blast In Maiduguri Forces 24-hr Curfew From Madu Onuora (Abuja), Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna) and Njadvara Musa (Maiduguri) Less than 24 hours after its camps were bombarded by the military, the Boko Haram Islamic sect yesterday staged a desperate, but weak, fightback, detonating a bomb that killed two Maiduguri residents and injured two others. Also, the Joint Task Force (JTF), yesterday, imposed a 24hour curfew on 12 wards and other areas of the metropolis with immediate effect.

• Troops Capture 65 Insurgents, Kill 10 • Soldiers Intensify Search For Wounded Insurgents Near Emir Of Daura’s Palace Areas affected include North, Northeast and Southeast flanks of Maiduguri metropolis, including three housing estates on Bama and Gambouru/Ngala roads. JTF spokesman, Lt. Col Sagir Musa, announced the indefinite curfew. In Katsina State, where the insurgents raided three police

stations, banks and a prison in Daura, the home town of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) chieftain and Former Military head of State, Gen, Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), security operatives combed houses near the emir’s palace in search of wounded insurgents. This came on the heels of yesterday’s announcement by

the Nigerian troops that they had arrested 65 Boko haram terrorists attempting to infiltrate Maiduguri, while fleeing from various camps now under attack by Special Forces. The troops also combated another batch of suspected Boko haram insurgents and in ensuing crossfire, a total of 10 insurgents were killed while weapons, including Rocket Propelled Grenade launchers, assorted ammunition and rifle magazines were recovered. eleven vehicles, four tricycles

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and 24 handsets found with the infiltrating terrorists have been confiscated in Maiduguri. Director of Defence Information, Brig Gen Chris Olukolade also announced that government troops have occupied the camps and bases abandoned by the insurgents. Following the attack on Daura, armed soldiers intensified search in several houses close to the emir”s Palace, where those who sustained bullet wounds were said to

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FG Earmarks N158bn For Projects In Southeast • Commissions Enugu Airport From Lawrence Njoku (Enugu) and Wole Sadare (Lagos) he Federal Government T has announced plans to spend N158 billion on projects that will address the infrastructural imbalance in the Southeast geopolitical zone. The projects include the second Niger Bridge in Onitsha, Anambra State, for which a total of N30 billion has been earmarked from the Sure-P funds, and N60-billion comprehensive solution to ecological and erosion problems in the zone. The other N68 billion will be expended on other infrastructural projects in the zone including roads, electricity among others, just as December 2014 has been set for the completion of some of the projects. Speaking at a town hall meeting with stakeholders in the Southeast, shortly after the foundation laying of the new international terminal and commissioning of the remodeled terminal of the Akanu-Ibiam International Airport, enugu, President Goodluck Jonathan stated that the ethiopian airline, would land in enugu airport next month, even as he announced approval of a free trade zone for the southeast to compliment services at the International airport. The President who stated that his administration was committed to the overall development of the country, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

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World Leaders Set For Achebe’s Burial NEWS 3

HANDSHAKE WITHIN THE NIGER... President Goodluck Jonathan shakes hands with former Vice President, Alex Ekwueme (second left), during the foundation laying of the new international terminal and commissioning of the remodeled terminal of Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu. Also present were; Gov. Sullivan Chime of Enugu State; Deputy Senate President, Ike PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA Ekwueremadu and Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah…yesterday.

Chief Judge Urges Collaboration Between Bar, Bench


TheGuardian

2 | Sunday, May 19, 2013

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

National Chairman, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Bisi Akande (sitting); Wife of Oyo State Governor, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi (left); Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; and Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), during the installation of Senator Abiola Ajimobi as the Aare Atunluse of Ibadanland and his wife as Yeye Atunluse of Ibadanland, at Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Ibadan…yesterday.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina; and Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Professor Adebiyi Daramola, admiring a loaf of FUTA bread, after the 2013 Foundation Day lecture delivered by the Minister at the university…at the weekend.

Kinsmen, World Leaders Set For Achebe’s Burial From Chuks Collins (Awka) and Chijioke Iremeka (Ogidi) INSMEN and residents of K Ogidi, Idemili North Local Council, Anambra State, hometown of Prof. Chinualumogu Achebe, the late internationally acclaimed writer, hometown, have said they were prepared to give a befitting burial to their illustrious son. The community also wants Anambra State University, Uli, with its Igbariam Campus named after the late icon. The late literary icon, novelist and essayist passed on in a Boston, Massachusetts’s hospital, United States of America on March 23 at the age of 82. Chairman of the Media/Publicity committee set

up by the Ogidi community for the burial, who holds similar committee position in the planning committee set up by the Anambra State government, Chief Bob-Manuel Udokwu, disclosed yesterday in Awka that what matters to the community was for their son to be given a befitting burial worthy of a man of his social stature. Also, against the misconception that filtered through that Achebe would be laid-in-state and buried at night, the elite of Ogidi community dismissed such report as misleading, saying that Achebe was a Christian and will be buried by the Bishop of Anglican Communion in the Christian way.

• Hanging Grave Erected For His Final Resting Place • Achebe Will Not Be Buried At Night • Wants University Named After Him The community noted that the late Achebe was not a cultist or a pagan, who would be buried in such a manner as in the case of a chief or priest in the African traditional religious setting. The community, through its highest governing body, Ogidi Community Stakeholders’ Forum, headed by the Chairman, Obi Anoliefo of Ogidi Union Nigeria, has also appealed to the government to name the Anambra State University, Uli, with its Igbariam Campus

after the late icon as a way of encouraging hardwork and integrity in the society This decision was ultimately, the outcome of Ogidi Union’s Meeting, which was held on Friday at its Town Hall. The community also agreed that an appeal should be made to the Federal Government to name certain streets in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) after him. Though, these prayers have not been officially made public, The Guardian gathered that Anoliefo, has prepared a paper

Government Commissions Enugu Airport The president said that the new airport would tranhowever, appealed for peace to sit 500,000 passengers yearly, enable government deliver on and operate within world its promises. standard in terms of capacity He said: “Nigeria will surely and security. change but we request for He added that the Cargo airpeace, you cannot work where port in Imo state and other there is no peace and we have airports in the country being pledged to ensure peace in all handled by the aviation minparts of the country. Boko istry would be ready in the Haram crisis is not Islam, next 15 months. because no religion condones Jonathan called on Nigerians crisis. We must talk to our boys to continue to support his and friends to ensure we live in administration to make the peace in Nigeria. But where peo- needed change, explaining ple will continue to cause crisis, that areas of need already government will enforce law identified would continue to and order”. receive attention from his Jonathan, who was grateful administration. to the people of the Southeast Earlier, Minister of Aviation, for the support shown his Stella Oduah, said the new administration, said the zone international terminal would appropriately deserved an inter- cost N3 billion. The terminal national airport to redress the covers a space of 25,000 infrastructural imbalance as square meters, same as the well as mitigate the impact of Murtala Mohammed the lack of sea port facilities in International Airport and the zone. would be ready as scheduled.

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Oduah lamented that the infrastructural decay at the airport had constituted a drawback to economic development of the Southeast and noted that the upgrade of the facilities to international status was part of the actualisation of the Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government. In an address by Governor

Peter Obi on behalf of the Southeast, the people called for “federal attention” on infrastructure in the zone. Apart from ecological problems, bad federal roads, and the delay in bringing about the second Niger Bridge and Free Trade Zone, Obi described the Southeast as the only zone without a free trade zone.

to be delivered on Wednesday as the remains of Achebe arrives Chief Alex Ekwueme Stadium, Awka, where he would make this known to the state. The Guardian also gathered that the community is appealing to the Federal Government to build a research centre, after the icon, which has to be sited in Ogidi community to enable the younger generations develop both in their cognitive and affective domain, as it was done for some great men in the country. It was also, gathered that the same appeal will be made on Achebe’s burial when President Goodluck Jonathan with his Ghanaian and Kenyan counterparts, as well as other renowned international figures would be in attendance. According to the burial committee, the funeral rites will commence today with prayers and religious worship at the National Christian Centre, Abuja, which will be done simultaneously in other centres within and outside the country. There will also be a symposium tomorrow organised by the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) at the International Conference

Centre, Abuja with a number of tributes and cultural troupes drawn from different parts of the country at the same venue. He said that though the body would not be taken to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, there would be a procession and other events in his memory in the University where he held sway for years in the Faculty of Arts Department before relocating to the United States of America, where he lived till he passed on last March. The body is expected in Awka on May 22 preceded by a border reception at Amansea by a cross section of Anambra people. It would be followed by a short service for him at the Alex Ekwueme Square in Awka. Then, the following day the body would arrive Ogidi for a funeral service at St Phillip’s Anglican Church, Akpakaogwe, Ogidi. His remains would be interred at his Ikenga Ogidi country home, where a hanging mausoleum is built for his final resting. Most of the axial access roads in and around Ikenga and Nkwelle villages in Ogidi have been given facelift and made motorable in order to enable visitors have easy and smooth ride.

Troops Capture 65 Insurgents, Kill 10 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 have taken refuge. Sources told journalists that armed soldiers were seen combing the community where the gunmen engaged soldiers in gun battle. The troops carried out house-tohouse search within the vicinity of the Emir’s Palace to fish out fleeing but wounded criminals. Addressing journalists yesterday, the Katsina State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Magaji, said that the incident in Daura was the handiwork of armed robbers, who invaded police stations and banks. He added that some of the criminals have been arrested face the full weight of the law. The Police Chief confirmed

that two soldiers and two policemen died after the gun battle. Sources told The Guardian that the Commanding Officer of the 31st Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Lt. Colonel Ayodele, who led troops in the shoot out had a surgery, yesterday, at the Federal Medical Centre, where two bullets were removed from his body. He is said to be recuperating at the hospital. Meanwhile, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) One Mechanized Division of the Nigerian Army Headquarters, Kaduna, Major General Garba Ayodeji Wahab, who also addressed journalists on the Daura battle, said the Military would not watch criminals unleash terror on Nigerians, stressing “80 percent of those insur-

gents are not Nigerians.” He said the criminals adopted the tactics of invading police stations, banks and other public places to divert attention. “The criminals, while attacking police stations, and banks always want Nigerians to believe their actions stop at that, diverting attention and killing the ordinary citizens. As far as we are concerned, they have declared war against the state and we shall not fold our arms; we must ensure law and order in Nigeria”. Residents of Maiduguri metropolis in Borno State were, yesterday, jolted by a bomb blast, which went off at the Kasuwan Shanu areas at about 6.45am, killing two persons, and injuring two others.

According to a witness, an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was planted in a roadside gutter, at the expiration of the 9pm-6am curfew in the Kasuwan Shanu areas; and it exploded while some traders and butchers were going to their shops and abattoirs for the distribution of the day’s meat for sale. At about 8am, the Major Ibrahim Kashim Way and all other roads leading to the affected areas of Gambouru ward of Kasuwan Shanu were cordoned off by men of the JTF to prevent further attacks and killings. Motorists and pedestrians in Gambouru, Lawan Bukar and Customs wards of the metropolis were also asked to “go back” to their respective homes, as the affected roads remained unsafe.


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THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

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Chief Judge Urges Collaboration Between Bar, Bench • As Stakeholders React To Proposed Alternative Dispute Resolution Bill By Victor Olushola O strengthen the administration of justice in the country, the Bar and the Bench need to collaborate in many ways, Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Abuja, Justice Ibrahim N. Auta has said. Justice Auta expressed this view when he hosted the Nigerian Bar AssociationSection on Business Law (NBA-SBL) in his Abuja office. The lawyers were in his office to intimate him with its upcoming conference slated to hold from June 17 to 19, 2013 in Lagos. He said, “it is good for the bar and the bench to collaborate for better understanding of the law, sometimes mistakes are made because of inadequate understanding of the law. This interaction will be better for the

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ABUJA justice system, because it will enable two to understand each other.” He promised that the Federal High Court would participate in the conference because it is relevant in the scheme of the collaboration. According to Dr. Gbolahan Elias, Chairman, Conference, Organising Committee, the conference requires the participation of the Federal High Court judges because most of the business cases handled by lawyers in this section end up at the Federal High Court. The General Secretary of NBA – SBL, Mr. Olu Akpata informed that the association visited the National Judicial Institute (NJI), Abuja because of its roles in legal education.

In a related development legal luminaries and other stakeholders in arbitration have reacted to the attempted incursion into private rights and reported attempt to deplete the resources of the public treasury by the National Assembly. Speaking at stakeholders’ meeting organised to discuss the proposed National Alternative Dispute Resolution Regulatory Commission Bill at City Hall, Onikan, Lagos, Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association on Business Law, Olasupo Shasore, described the purposed bill as wasteful and inappropriate. He revealed that it would establish a Federal Commission and State Commissions in 36 States of the Federation, stating that the cost of the new agencies is estimated be about N22 billion,

which falls at a time when Nigerians are experiencing the dire economic strains. “It is most insensitive and unwarranted to charge the public revenue with a needless regulator for a practice that needs no regulation. This bill if passed will compel the executive to undesired policy and unplanned expenditure,” Shasore added. The former Attorney General also informed that party autonomy remains an essential and distinctive feature of all Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process, noting that when parties choose any form of ADR, they are confident that they would be submitting their dispute to a fair and an impartial person or body of their choice. He, however, informed that regulations and requirements for certain qualifica-

tions are antithetical to this concept and that the establishment of an agency such as the proposed Commission would drastically erode the rights of the parties to choose the persons whom they feel would be most suited to resolved their dispute. Other legal luminaries, which included President, Maritime Arbitrators Association of Nigeria, Gbola Akinola; Director, Lagos Multidoor Courthouse, Mrs. Caroline Etuk; representative of Institute of Arbitrators (UK) Abuja, Mr. Yanta Yusaf Ali; Vice Chairman, NBA-SBL Committee on Arbitration and ADR at the meeting said the National Assembly does not posses the legislative competence to enact the bill, especially as ADR is not a professional occupation within the meaning of item 49 of the constitution.

ACN Group Tasks Govt On Good Governance By Babatunde Oso

INTERNATIONAL ROGRESSIVES Merger ComP mittee of the Action Congress (ACN), UK has urged the Federal Government to arrest the country’s gradual slide into anarchy. Co-ordinator of the committee, Dr. Ibrahim Emokpaire, in a statement said, “the current state of affairs in Nigeria is unacceptable. It will be foolhardy to believe that Nigerians are docile or incapable of asserting their rights when pushed beyond human endurance, adding that his group is ready to discuss with other progressive groups within and outside the country to make the emerging new merger party a reality.

Aturu, Labour Leaders Task Govt On Security By Gbenga Akinfenwa

LAGOS O ensure that security of T lives are guaranteed in Nigeria, human rights activist, Bamidele Aturu, has called on governments at all levels to take drastic steps to invest in the security sector as a way of protecting its citizenry. Aturu said this at the maiden edition of a lecture held at the Textile Labour House, Agidingbi, Ikeja in honour of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde, a Special Adviser on Special Duties and Principal Private Secretary to Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, who was assassinated last year by unknown gunmen.

Corps Members Donate Blood To Save Children, Pregnant Mothers From John Akubo, Dutse Mrs. Unoma Ekaette Godswill AKpabio (left); Gov. Godswill Akpabio; and former governor of Akwa Ibom State Chief Obong Victor Attah during the funeral of the late Chief Fidelis Etim in Akwa Ibom State during the Weekend.

NEMA Solicits Support On Disaster Reduction From Joke Falaju, Abuja GAINST the backdrop of increasing man-made and natural disaster in the country, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is soliciting support from relevant ministries, departments and agencies to curb the menace. Its Director General, Mohammad Sani-Sidi, also harp on the need for establishing a virile Emergency Management Agency at state and local gov-

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ernment levels. Sani-Sidi, who spoke, yesterday, in Abuja during a study and strategic visit by the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), to the agency stressed the need for a sustained inter-agency cooperation and exchange of ideas between NEMA and its stakeholders including specialised institutions. He said, “you are aware that our country is faced with wide ranging natural and human

NATIONAL induced hazards, which require continuous support and collaboration on emergency preparedness, mitigation and response. “It is the collaboration between ties of governments, institutions, individuals and all critical stakeholders that will safeguard lives, properties and vital infrastructure and ensure sustainable development of the country” he main-

tained. The DG pointed out that disasters, as experienced in the recent past, could impede growth including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He called on the NIPSS to work to incorporate in its curriculum disaster risk reduction, so as to bridge the humanitarian development gaps. Also, in an effort to provide permanent accommodation

for victims who were displaced by the 2012 flooding in Borno State, NEMA has delivered building materials to the Borno State Government for the construction of 250 houses in the affected communities. Sani Sidi, who delivered the items in Maiduguri, said the gesture was in response to request from the Borno State government and in line with the mandates of the agency to provide necessary assistance

JIGAWA IqUED by high level of maternal mortality in Dutse, Jigawa State, Chioma Ugochukwu, a Batch C Corps member, assigned to the Dutse General Hospital has mobilised 68 of her colleagues to freely donate blood to save lives of pregnant mothers and their babies. The Corps members embarked on the project to provide enough blood for the hospital’s blood bank, which often lack blood to meet its many emergency cases. Ugochukwu said, “I will someday be a mother and it is what I wish others, irrespective of tribe and religion, that would come to me.

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Imo Offers To Assist Families Of ‘Fallen Tree’ Victims

From Charles Ogugbuaja, Owerri OVERNOR Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has directed the Mayor of Owerri, Dr. Kachi Nwoga, to compile list and necessary information on the 50 victims of the fallen tree believed to have existed for

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300 years before it fell on Thursday. Okorocha, who gave the directive during his visit to the scene in the outskirts of Owerri metropolis, disclosed that financial and material assistance would be given to relatives of the

IMO deceased. The governor, who was shocked by the level of devastation caused by the calamity, urged other communities in areas where similar trees are to cut them, regretting that infor-

mation he gathered indicated that several demands and warning had been made by persons in the area to cut the tree. He commended efforts of his deputy, Prince Eze Madumere, Nwoga, security agencies and rescue team

for their quick intervention. The Guardian gathered that the stem of the tree known as Uko had decayed for long time, which was a reason the storm easily uprooted it. When the incident hap-

pened, market men and women still trading. They were mostly affected. The tree buried many while a woman had lower part of her leg cut off. The woman is said to be in the hospital recuperating as at press time.


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THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

NEWS

Citizenship And Leadership Centre Graduates 62 EFCC Cadets From: Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi, Jos HE Unit Coordinator of the Leadership and Training Centre in Jos, Dr. Waheed Ademola Adedeji, has pointed out that the institution has contributed immensely to the manpower development of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the military and other security agencies across the country. He stated this at the closing ceremony of Course SH. 834 Exclusive Leadership Training for EFCC Cadets, which took place at Mountain School, Shere Hills, Jos. According to Adedeji the centre has conducted profes-

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sional leadership training for cadets of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna; State Security Service (SSS); personnel of the Nigeria Police Academy, Wudil-Kano and Police Staff College, Jos; officers from the Defence Intelligence School, Karu-Abuja; the Nigerian Army School of Physical Training, Zaria; the Nigerian Air Force, Kaduna; the Nigerian Prisons Service; the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and other security operatives. In the area of peacekeeping, he said, the centre is among the first organisation to rehabilitate the Niger Delta exmilitants by collaborating

NATIONAL with the Rivers State Government Social Development Institute (RSGSDI). Adedeji added that at the peak of the crises in the Plateau State, the centre also collaborated with organisations such as the Centre for Peace Advancement in Nigeria (CEPAN), the Institute of Governance and Social Research (IGSR) and others to bring peace to the State. The Acting Director-General, Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre, Mr. Michael Fawole, advised the newly graduated Cadets to be patriotic, uncompromising and should never allow them-

selves to be used to settle scores, adding that as ambassadors of EFCC, they should stand out as agents of change. Out of the 62 officers, 61received certificates while an officer was denied his for flouting the rules and regulations of the centre. Dr. Tunji Olaopa, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth Development, said “his familiarity with the discourse and management of anti-corruption policy has helped him to appreciate the level economic and financial crime has assumed, adding that the crime is growing in tandem with innovations in information and communication.” According to him, how far

the tide of corruption is stemmed is invariably related to the skills and competence of personnel of anti-corruption agency like the EFCC, hoping that the graduated cadets will return to their station to energetically deploy their newly acquired skills for greater effectiveness and productivity of the commission. He implored the cadets to see themselves as the new face of the EFCC and the hope of Nigeria’s collective victory over financial crimes. “You must portray yourselves as disciplined, effective and efficient officers, who are worthy ambassadors of this organization and its noble cause.”

Court Frees Alleged Drug Suspects LAGOS By Joseph Onyekwere LAGOS Federal High Court on Friday discharged and acquitted three people alleged to have involved in production of methamphetamine, a drug similar to cocaine and heroine. The freed suspects were Bernard Umezurike, Francis Nwafor and Emeka Ofor. The court discharged and acquitted them for want of diligent prosecution. The three men were arraigned before the court on February 14, 2012, on a five count-charge of conspiracy, production of the sustance, engaging in production of the drug, and being in possession of three kilogram (kg) of the drug.

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University Of Ilorin Inducts 104 Medical Students KWARA From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin HE University of Ilorin, Kwara State, has inducted 104 students of the institution into the medical profession. Speaking during the 29th induction and oath-taking ceremony of the students on Friday, the guest lecturer and Chief Medical Director of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Abeokuta, Dr. Sunday Oladapo Sotiloye, charged the new medical doctors not to see patients as beggars or prisoners. “In the health sector today, attitudinal issue is a major problem. So, develop positive client-friendly attitude. Patients are no beggars or prisoners. They have rights, which must be respected and treated with consideration. It is erroneous to believe that the most important person in the hospital is the doctor; for without the patients, the doctors and other health workers are irrelevant.

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Housing Deficit: US Investors Examine Funding Opportunities Executive Chairman, Amuwo Odofin Local Government, Comrade Ayodele Adewale (left); MD, UPDC Plc, Hakeem Ogunniran; GMD, UACN Plc, Larry Ettah; Honourable Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning, Mr. Toyin Ayinde (middle): Executive Director, UAC of Nigeria, Mr. Joseph Dada; and Finance Director, UPDC, Mrs. Shade Ogunde at the founding laying ceremony of a Festival Mall in Festac Lagos, yesterday. Photo by CHARLES OKOLO

Lagos Opposes Autonomy, Tenure Elongation For LGAs By Kamal Tayo Oropo

agos State government has reiterated its opposition against planned local government just as it protested plans to hand over the grassroots elections to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The State’s Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Ademorin Kuye, gave the position during the ongoing ministerial briefing to commemorate the sixth anniversary of Babatunde Fashola’s administration. He said the clamour for autonomy for local governments was informed by a selfish agenda, noting that those behind the agitation are not sincere. “The position of the gov-

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…Wants INEC To Stay Away From Local Elections ernment is that the clamour is not with sincere intention because it will not benefit local governments. I have challenged people to go out and find out if that is what the people want. Those clamouring for it are doing

LAGOS so for political gains, to use the local government to get elected into positions,” Kuye said. He argued that since the

state government has been in charge of finances of local governments, the era of unpaid salaries has stopped. “We have tried financial autonomy for local government before. And it did not work. I wonder why some people are now clamouring

for a failed arrangement”, Kuye said. He, however, declared that the state government is fully in support of tenure elongation of local government officials, saying such that would give them more time to carry out their constitutional responsibilities.

Govt, Agencies Tasked On Libraries Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin. HE federal government and other relevant agencies have been urged to encourage establishment of more public libraries, especially in local government areas, revive reading culture among Nigerians. Delivering the 132th inau-

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gural lecture of the University of Ilorin yesterday, a professor of the department of Library and Information Science, Lenrie Olatokunbo Aina, said proper management of the library science remains critical for quality education in any developing country.

NATIONAL He said: “Universities are to concentrate on other performance indicators that will enhance their rankings, such as availability of standards libraries, rather than concentrating on bibliomet-

ric ranking. “Schools in Africa are strongly encouraged to incorporate agricultural information modules in their curricula. This will adequately prepare librarians to serve agricultural stakeholders better and more effectively.”

NATIONAL By Geoff Iyatse ORTGAGE tops the fourth series of the Nigerian Development and Finance Forum conference holding in Washington DC, United States, from June 4 to 5. The previous edition of the event, which was targeted at Nigerians in the Diaspora and foreign investors, was held in London, United Kingdom. According to Jide Akintunde, Director, NDFF, this year’s series will focus on opportunities in the Nigerian mortgage sector. He noted that the choice is justified by the enormous funding opportunities in the housing sector. “There is a rising effective demand for housing in Nigeria, following the nearly a decade of annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of above 5 per cent. In the latter part of the period, the housing sector has been revamped, though personal finance and informal credit substantially account for funding of new residential development.

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THe GUARDIAN, Sunday May 19, 2013

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NeWS el Rufai, ADC, Adeboye’s Aide Differ on emergency By Seye Olumide, Issac Taiwo and Tunde Akinola oRMeR Federal Capital Minister (FCT), Mallam Nasir el Rufai, said the decision to declare state of emergency on the states is “too little, too late.” To him, the President should have declared this a long time ago when he limited it to the local governments at the initial stage. “As a concerned Nigerian I am interested in any approach the can bring an end to this bloodletting because too many Nigerians have died. At the same time I do not see how this declaration can work because I cannot see the impact of the little declaration, but I pray it does,” el Rufai stated. National Chairman, the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Ralph Nwosu, said the decision was appropriate and it has demonstrated the maturity and passion of President Jonathan to peace and de-

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Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi (second right), his wife, Florence (second left), Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State (right), the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwanu Babatunde Akiolu (centre); and wife of Osun State Governor, Alhaja Sherifat Aregbesola (left) shortly after Ajumobi’s and his wife’s installation as the Aare Atunluse and Yeye Aare Atunluse of Ibadanland by the monarch in Ibadan... yesterday.

There Is Fraud In FCT education Secretariat, Minister Admits • Order Staff Audit

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From Terhemba Daka, Abuja oRRIeD by the size of its payroll, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Bala Mohammed, has directed a thorough staff audit of all teaching and nonteaching staff of the education Secretariat. Mohammed, who said the audit should be carried out through “direct table pay-

ment” of pending monthly salaries, said there could be ghost workers in the sector. He said the directive has become necessary following observation of rising rate of redundancy, duplication, complacency and truancy in the education sector. The minister said FCT spends about N1.6 billion monthly (45 per cent of its salary bills) to pay only staff of the secre-

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tariat, a situation he said cannot be tolerated. He described the wage bill of the FCT as the highest in the federation, noting that the staff structure of the education Secretariat, due to its strategic position, should be based on need. “The total staff strength of the education Secretariat is currently 14,000. That excludes primary school teachers and it is over-bloated,” he said.

emergency Rule Not Panacea For Peace, Says Afenifere By Kamal Tayo Oropo He Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) has warned President Goodluck Jonathan that the state of emergency recently declared in three northern states may not bring sustainable peace in the area. In a statement, the group, however, noted that the move is a sign that the Federal Government has eventually decided to address the state of insecurity in the country. “We are convinced that this is merely a temporary solution that once again falls short of the determined course of action that should finally put this country on the part of

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LAGOS progress. “There is no doubt that every part of this country is seething in anger for one reason or the other. The Yoruba people, for instance, do not only feel insecure within Nigeria but also feel that the country can allow the component nationalities and groups to express their different aspirations. “We, the Yoruba are concerned and miffed that the present structure of the country is a pernicious hindrance to our developmental destination. We are constantly

being constrained to move at the developmental pace envisioned since the advent of selfrule in the 1950s,” it noted. Meanwhile, the Yoruba Unity Forum (YUF), an umbrella body for all Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, commences the Southern Nigerian People Assembly Conference today at the eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos. The two-day conference being hosted by the Southwest is the third series. Bishop Bolanle Gbonigi is the chief host while Dr Alex ekwueme and Chief edwin Clark lead South east and South South delegates respectively.

A study of the statistics of the staff structure shows that there are 252 deputy directors in the secretariat, which the Minister equally described as too high. He said promotion should not just be done based on vacancies and need. According to the minister, it has been observed that recent recruitment of teachers in the education sector re-

sulted in a situation where teachers whose fields of specialisation were not needed got employed at the expense of the needed ones. Corroborating the minister’s statement, Secretary of education, Alhaji Kabir Usman, said it was also discovered that the ratio of students to teachers in the FCT remains the lowest in the federation.

North-west Govs Shun Security Meeting From Isah Ibrahim, Gusau oveRNoRS of the Northwest geopolitical zone, yesterday, shunned a oneday workshop on policing through intelligence and community partnership organised for security stakeholders in the zone. The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, who was expected to be the special guest at the occasion, was also absent. He was, however, represented by his deputy (northwest), Suleman Dauda, who delivered his speech. The workshop, which was organised by the Nigeria Police Force, received much publicity but participants said it was poorly coordi-

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ZAMFARA nated. Secretary to Zamfara State Government, Hassan Atto Bungudu, declared the workshop open on behalf of the governor whose deputy joined later. The state’s deputy governor, Ibrahim Wakkala Muhammad, who Bungudu said whould join soon, arrived the venue shortly after a vote of thanks by Assistant Inspector General of Police, Intelligence Bureau, Mr. S. Arase. Muhammad, who was invited to give a goodwill message, charged the Police to be law-abiding, noting that they are at the forefront of breaking the laws of the land.

NATIONAL velopment in the country. According to him, “I have always said that Jonathan leadership model is already being defined in a different way and he has demonstrated total passion for the country. For instance the type of action he took does not really impinge on the powers of the governors but he also sort for their cooperation in finding solution to the problems in their various states.” He added that there are no better democratic principles that can be displayed than what the president has done. “Some people may say why now but President Jonathan has taken enough time to dialogue and pleaded with the people before taking the action. I think he is helping Nigeria to define a veritable demo-

‘Nigeria Faced With Complex Security Issues’ By Chris Irekamba He founder of Revival Assembly Ministries International and President of New Anointing World outreach (NAWo), Apostle Anselm Madubuko, has described the insecurity situation in the country, particularly the menace of Boko Haram, as complex. The cleric, who spoke to The Guardian in an exclusive interview, said unless the Federal Government and security operatives step up intelligence information gathering and use of surveillance gadgets, it would be difficult to unveil the group. According to him, the United States government was able to know where osama Bin Laden was hiding through intelligence gathering and use of surveillance gadgets. He said that modern warfare entails the use of technology and there is no limit to its use. In his word: “I understand how President Jonathan feels about the insurgency. The situation is complex because members of the group are faceless. Nobody knows them; so, it’s very difficult to handle. I don’t know what people who are blaming the President want him to do. “My advice, however, is that we should step up our intelligence information gathering. You can’t fight people you do not know. Warfare has gone beyond shooting people; it’s only through intelligence that you can unveil them.

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Anti-smoking Bill: Stakeholders Caution Lawmakers By Wole Oyebade Ro-ToBACCo campaigners and labour groups have urged the Lagos State House of Assembly to exercise caution in its debate on a bill banning cigarette smoking in schools, hotels, bars, nightclubs and other public places The group, comprising manufacturers, tobacco-product distributors, hotels and bar

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owners, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Manufacturer Association of Nigeria (MAN), are worried that a blanket-ban on smoking would lead to huge loss of revenue and worsen the unemployment situation in Lagos State. Their plea was in reaction to argument by group seeking stiff provisions that outlaw to-

LAGOS bacco-related products and declare the state smoke-free environment. Representative of tobaccoproduct distributors in the state, Mrs. Mojisola Awo, commended the lawmakers for the move to ban smoking in schools and crèches. She, however, said the ban would have negative multiplier effect on

the economy if extended beyond schools. According to Awo, the government will lose about $1million yearly revenue the tobacco industry generates while many people will be threw into the labour market. Assistant Secretary General of TUC, Mr. Anthony Ibafor, said the congress was against the bill as it would, on the long

run, lead to unemployment. Also, representatives of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), restaurants, bars and café owners all argued that the law would, if not amended, have a negative impact on their businesses and lead to mass unemployment. They tasked the legislators to include designated smoking

areas in the bill while giving them ample time to design ‘no-smoking’ signs. Head of Regulatory Affairs, British American Tobacco Nigeria (BATN), Mr Sola Dosunmu said the company, as usual, supports appropriate regulation of tobacco smoking and that it would cooperate with government agencies towards in ensuring that relevant laws are enforced.


TheGuardian

Sunday, May 19, 2013

6

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Cityfile

Oke-Koto: Abandoned Drainage Project Exposes Residents To Danger, Flooding By Gbenga Akinfenwa HEN the idea of constructing a drainage system on the Capitol/OkeW Koto area of Agege, a suburb of Lagos was initially conceived in 2008, it was applauded as a good plan in the right direction, considering the topography of the area as a flood prone region. Before then, houses, churches, mosques and even the main road, considered an alternative route around the Agege axis was always submerged in water whenever it rained. It was usually tales of woe from residents who always counted their losses after heavy downpour. The commencement of the drainage system was, therefore, meant to be a soothing balm to the distressed residents, as it raised their hope of averting incessant flooding. But five years down the line, the drainage is yet to be completed. It the story of another abandoned project, which has further aggravated the suffering of the residents. Investigations revealed that the project, which at the initial stage was funded by the World Bank, took off from the Capitol area in 2008, but was abruptly stopped at the Oniwaya junction when the sponsors withdrew due to paucity of funds.

The Lagos State government, however, came to the rescue and took over the project only to start foot-dragging afterwards. This has brought untold pain and hardship to residents and motorists alike. The Guardian gathered that the project, presently being handled by the sixth contractor, has become a serious nightmare to residents. Since the rainy season began and due to the nature of the area, the drainage, which is about eight feets wide, and ten feets deep is always submerged with the water flowing into nearby houses, shops and worship centres, destroying goods, properties and valuable materials in the process. Residents are finding it particularly heartbreaking that three people have died in the drainage in the last few months, when they tripped and were stabbed to death by the iron rods inserted at the bottom of the drainage. Lots of vehicles have also been destroyed and free-flow of traffic along the axis has been hindered due to partial closure of one side of the road caused by the accumulation of rubbles. An Executive member of the Alfa-Nla Community Development Association (CDA), Mr. Musibau Bello who spoke to The Guardian last week said after the project was stopped at Oniwaya junction, it was abandoned for two years before a new contractor showed up in 2012 to start fresh digging.

“Four months ago, they left and there was silt in the drainage. We met with the contractors recently and workers resumed two weeks ago to start dislodging the silt and rubbles from the drainage. They promised to also install streetlights and construct a canal for easy passage of water. “This project should not be turned into an extortion channel. They need to complete it for us to benefit from the dividends of democracy. They have also abandoned the projects at Mulero, Kasumu and Elere streets,” he said. He appealed to Lagos State government to save the residents from incessant flooding since the commencement of the rainy season, adding that the number of casualties already claimed by the abandoned project should not be allowed to increase or go in vain. On his part, Alhaji Noah Babatunde, another landlord said that lots of politics are surrounding the project. He disclosed that the quality of job done so far is inferior compared to what was done at the Capitol end. He claimed that the CDA has taken serious step to ensure completion of the project because life is gradually becoming unbearable for them due to the danger the abandoned project poses to them. “Whenever it rains, it’s always impossible for residents to get access to their houses because the road is always muddy and impassable. Mosquitoes are breeding in the stagnant water and things are becoming harder for us. Car owners can’t access their houses; we have to provide makeshift planks to pass. “The areas the contractors are claiming to have been completed are already blocked with dirt, which shows that the quality of job done is inferior. The blockage is due to the fact that the planks used for the concrete work were not removed, making it difficult to absorb water,” he said. When The Guardian visited the yard of the contractor handling the project at Hamani Street, Agege, the officials refused to comment on the issue. They directed the reporter to the Lagos State Ministry of Works, Alausa, Ikeja. For two days, the reporter was tossed around from the Works Ministry to the Ministry of Environment and from there to the Ministry of Information but none of the officials was willing to assist. At the end of the day, they informed that a questionnaire would be drafted and submitted to the Ministry of Information and after being vetted would be forwarded to the Ministry of Environment. As at the time of filing this report, the contractors are yet to return to the project site.

Mowe Demolition Victims Seek Compensation By Oluwakemi Ajani HE residents whose homes and shops were demolished in Mowe, Ofada in Obafemi Owode Local government area of Ogun State have appealed to Governor Ibikunle Amosun to compensate them. Some of the victims who spoke to The Guardian said the demolition caught them unawares as a result of the neglect of the government towards the road over the years. Mrs. Modupe Adejare, a resident in the community explains that many people have become homeless as a result of demolition and many shops owners have becomes jobless as a result of the rehabilitation of the road. “We are not saying government should not develop the area but they are supposed to give us at least three months notice so that people can find other alternatives. We are not in a dictatorship era but a democracy; government should at all times carry citizens along concerning their programmes and policies. Another victim, Mrs. Sherifat Adebayo says that it has been difficult sustaining her family since the demolition of her shop. “ I had three shops along the road and all the three were demol-

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ished. To cater for my family has been very tough because recently my husband also lost his job. It was the proceeds from the shops that were used to cater for my family. And now that government has demolished the shops without any compensation, how do they want us to survive? Mrs. Lateefat Haruna, a provision seller had both her whose shops and houses. She had had to relocate from Lagos to Mowe due to increase in house rent. “I moved to this area not quite long and all that I have laboured for was just pulled down without prior notice. It is not as if we are unhappy or unsupportive of government’s efforts at developing and rehabilitating the road but there is need for sufficient notice before demolishing the structures. Many people have become jobless and homeless as a result of the exercise,” she says. A visit by The Guardian revealed that many houses were very close to the road while many houses have been marked for demolition in the area. Residents said that it is close to a month since the government commenced rehabilitation of the road and they have no idea when the exercise will end. “As the rainy season is here now, the road is getting worse daily and Okada

riders are cashing in on the situation to hike their fares,” a resident laments. But a commercial motorcycle rider attributes the increase in fares to the difficulty experienced on the road whenever it rains. “Whenever it rains it is very difficult to ply the road,” he says. Mr. Suleiman a landlord in the community

says this is not the first time a government tries to grade and expand the road but that later they usually abandon I afterwards, as it becomes another abandoned project. “We witnessed the same thing during Gbenga Daniel’s tenure. They graded the road and later left it without completion. I pray that this present administration won’t be like that.”


THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19 2013

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CITYFILE Abia Commences New Youth Empowerment Scheme From Gordi Udeajah - Umuahia NEw way of addressing criminalities resultA ing from youth idleness and joblessness and boosting youths empowerment to enable them become profitably and legitimately engaged is now in operation in Abia State. It is called Abia Youth Empowerment Scheme with the acronym “A-YES”. The scheme, which was formally launched last week with fanfare at Umuahia Stadium, featured the presentation of many money generating items to the youths such as buses, cars, tricycles, hairdressing/barbing tools, computers and sewing machines among others. with this, the youths are expected to engage in commercial and revenue generating activities. It is the expectation of the government that this gesture will not only propel the beneficiaries to become self- employers and self-reliant but that not long after, they should become employers of labour thereby helping to reduce criminalities and unemployment. Before the state launching, there was already in operation a similar project that started in 2012 by a non- governmental organisation called Ochendo Youth Foundation (OYF), which has the state governor’s son Ikuku Chinedu Orji, an engineer business man, as founder and facilitator. Similarly, the First Lady, Mercy Odochi Orji was also extending similar gestures to widows and youths through the state’s skills acquisition centre and her personal NGO called Hannay May Foundation. The Foundation has built, equipped and donated houses to six widows across the state as well as assists indigent and disabled persons. Last week, a family whose house was destroyed in Umuahia South LGA during a communal clash, had the house rebuilt and equipped by the Foundation. The Ochendo Youth Foundation while empowering youths across the state with buses, tricycles etc stated that the gesture was not empowerment but a reward to the beneficiaries for not engaging or disengaging in criminalities and supporting the government. At the launch of A-YES, which was preceded by a public lecture delivered by the Central Bank Governor Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the state governor Dr. Theodore Orji said: “Con-

scious of the positive and negative roles the youths can play in a society like ours, we decided to support the positive role by empowering them through this project started in 2012 in Aba South LGA, then to Ohafia LGA and Osisioma LGA. “This time around, it is the turn of Umuahia North LGA where we have also added the annual Ochendo Youth Empowerment Lecture, which maiden edition was had the topic, “Youth Empowerment as a Panacea to Insecurity in Nigeria” and was delivered by the CBN Governor Mallam Sanusi as a prelude to the distribution of the empowerment items.” At the ceremony, the governor distributed 200 vehicles to the youths to be used for commercial transportation and as township Yellow Cabs. They were added to the previous 50 other Vehicles and 700 Tricycles, hairdressing equipment, sewing machines and laptops that had been given out earlier. Governor Orji said the move was informed by the youths’ support to government in fighting kidnapping, which has made Abia one of the safest states as well as their unparalleled support in the rebuilding of the state and the pursuit of the new face of the state that has empowered his legacy projects and increased his resolve to make a difference in the people’s lives. “That is why the concept of youth empowerment through enlightenment and the provision of resources that support the good living of our youths have come to take special spaces in our development agenda”. He listed these as disbursement of one billion naira CBN agricultural loan to farmers with focus on youth-farmers, commencement of the development of Liberation farms in the 17 LGAs of the state, privatisation of the state Rubber and Palm plantations at Ozu Abam and Ohambele which already employed 1,500 youths including development of Cocoa farms and Cassava cultivation, which are giving the youths ample opportunities. According to him, by focusing development agenda on the youths, government aims at achieving a sustainable economy, the security and the preservation of a stable environment for the development of commerce, trading and agriculture, which form the tripod that drives and supports the Abia economy.

Governor Orji making presentation to the beneficiaries

BRIEF: NCC Raids Market, Confiscates Pirated MateriBy Gbenga Salau

N line with its mandate, the Ision, Nigerian Copyright Commis(NCC) confiscated pirated

materials worth five million naira (N5,000,000) after raiding the Mosafejo Market in Oshodi, and inspected a printing factory in Gbagada, where it arrested about five film hawkers and their wares. At the printing factory in Gbagada, it was discovered that the printer was printing books of popular publishers in Nigeria. Although a senior staff of the company claimed that it got authorization from the

publishers to print the books, this was however denied by one of the publishing firms, HEBN, whose book was found in the printer’s factory. The Assistant Sales Manager, HEBN, thanked the NCC for the raid, saying pirates had been ripping them off and eating from where they did not sow. He also pointed out the difference between the pirated copies and the original, as the pirated copies did not have title page. Director Enforcement, Nigerian Copyright Commission, (NCC), Mr. Augustine

Amodu, disclosed that NCC carried out the raid and inspected the printing factory based on intelligence information. He warned those engaging in pirating of creative works to desist, as the agency was bent on flushing them out. He maintained that all those arrested would be brought to book while the copyright body would continue to fight pirates. Amodu urged Nigerians to desist from patronising pirates and their products.


THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

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CITYFILE

Charles Maijankai Rekindles Karim-Lamido Hope By Charles Akpeji, Jalingo HE tears on the faces of the teeming masses of KarimT Lamido, a constituency in Karim-Lamido Local Government Council of Taraba State, have started to give way to smiles, as the much-needed social amenities, which were not available in the past, are now being installed in the community. The deliberate refusal of the government at both state and federal levels’ to provide such amenities had resulted in pains for the peace-loving people of the community, who had no hope of this being alleviated in the nearest future. The Guardian learnt that the people have always voted massively for the PDP at the state and federal levels in all elections. And as such, they could not fathom why the government of a political party they have been supporting for so long never for once deem it fit to reciprocate in like manner and make life better for the various communities that made up the constituency. But for the timely intervention of Charles Maijankai, a member of the state House of Assembly representing the constituency, the people were already on the verge of transferring their loyalty, The Guardian gathered. Maijankai’s generous gesture was recently extended to one of the oldest secondary schools in the area. “ But for the timely intervention of Charles Maijankai, we don’t really know what would have been our fate eventually,” said the principal. The school management, which had been going cap in hand to the government and other individuals to seek for funds to reconstruct some of its dilapidated structures, was becoming hopeless, as no support was forthcoming. To compound the problem, some of the students and teachers have started fleeing the school in search of greener pastures and more conducive learning environment elsewhere. “I must confess to you that the population of both the teachers and students has being diminishing so fast but since he (Maijankai) came to our aid by erecting an examination hall in the school, the story has totally changed,” It is the same good news being narrated by village heads and religion leaders, as regards the hand of friendship extended to the people of the community by the former Minority Leader of the state House of Assembly. Women and youths were also not left out of Maijankai’s empowerment scheme, as many of them are recipients of grinding and sewing machines. A widow in her early 70s is ever so grateful for the kindness shown her, as she said: “If not for him, my grandchildren would not have been able to write their SSCE talk less of applying for the Joint Matriculation Examination (JAMB). Speaking through an interpreter, the widow who gave her name as Asabe said, “apart from the grinding machine,

A Bully, A Bishop In God’s Own State ORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo does not suffer fools gladly. He punches them hard on the nose. But as rugged and bullish as he seems, even OBJ, yes, the man himself has confessed that there are only two situations in life he would not dare confront, no matter his level of provocation –a reverend gentlemen on the pulpit and the referee on a playing field. Well, there is a man who is ready to violate that rule. He is the deputy Governor of God’s Own State. In the Southeast, the relationship between the Church and the State is quite close and if not well managed, a poor image of a politician among the clergy could ruin a career. The relationship between the Anglican Church and God’s Own State used to be good until the deputy Governor threw decorum to the wind, interrupted a church Service where the Anglican bishop was ministering to the congregation and generally tongue-lashed him as if he were his houseboy. The deputy Governor, more or less a bully was close to physically manhandling the man of God who was an invited guest from another state in the Southeast. The bullying deputy Governor accused God’s minister of going to Abuja to peddle some influence, which did not take into account the deputy

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People watch with admiration as a project was commissioned

which I benefited from him, he still went ahead to give scholarship to two of my grandchildren.” Even though the former deputy governor of the state, Alhaji Sani Abubakar Danladi is said to have hailed from the Council, the people lamented the fact that apart from Maijankai, ‘no other politician from the area, the state and the federal government, has remembered us.” Projects executed by him in the various wards and villages of the community, which the people described as the first of its kinds, include examination halls in some of the secondary schools, blocks of

classrooms and boreholes among others. In a telephone conversation with The Guardian Maijankai said: “With the myriads of problems confronting the people, I have no option than to act positively. Even when constituency allowances are not made available to the members of the House of Assembly by the relevant authority, I decided to take out of my meager resources to wipe away the tears on the faces of my people. “I have to give back to them because if not for these people, there is no way I could have been where I am today. So, I appreciate God and the great people of my constituency.”

Foundation Fetes Indigent Students, Less Privileged O fewer than 25 indigent unN dergraduates in various higher institutions of learning in the country, have benefited from the Wilson Badejo Foundation (WBF), a non-governmental organisation dedicated to giving assistance to the less privileged. Aside this, the foundation has also sponsored people to study at

the LIFE Theological Seminary, Ikorodu, Lagos and West African Seminary, Ipaja, Lagos. The Chairman of WBF, Rev. (Dr.) Wilson Badejo, who spoke on the level of preparedness of the foundation’s sixth annual lecture slated for Tuesday, May 21,

2013 at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos, said school fees of 40 students in tertiary and theological institutions across the country, would be paid this year. He noted that the foundation has also extended its

service to the sick that were either offered free medical check-ups or assisted to pay their medical bills, adding that it has provided succor to hundreds of residents, who, otherwise have no access to hygienic water source in its neighbourhood.

No Vacancy In NAFDAC MPATIENT staff members at Ispeak NAFDAC don’t gossip, they only in hushed tones, about Dr.

Governor’s interest. The minister of God and the entire congregation was shell-shocked and embarrassed at the lack of respect for God, the possessor of heaven and earth and of all souls, including politicians’ hearts of stone. The deputy Governor disregarded members of the Church, visitors and all other eminent personalities that were present, sitting both inside and outside of the Cathedral, including the host Bishop. There were Judges of High Court, a Judge of the Supreme Court and other members of the bench present. It took the honourable Justice of the Supreme Court some effort to cool the temper of the enraged deputy Governor, who did not only mind disdaining the House of God, but was ready to draw blood, were the clergy man to come down from the rostrum. The Bishop who was terribly embarrassed, after which he spent time to convince Mr. Deputy Governor that he did not go to Abuja. Some in the congregation chorused, “why did he not wait for the man of God to finish his message and if he had any grudge, he would then confront him?” A bully and a Bishop! So goes the tale of friendship gone sour? Next time, let Bishop respect himself and let Bully restrict his lawlessness to Government House. Shikena!

Paul Orhii, their Director-General, who, according to them, now lives on borrowed times. Orhii, himself, appears not so keen on discussing anything related to succession plan at the agency: those who would want the DG leave in a hurry say if the statutory books were followed to the letter, he (Orhii) should have been long gone by now, having  ‘served out’ his tenure. In what appears a response to avalanche of petitions against Orhii’s continued stay in office, the Presidency, early this year, allegedly directed the Health Ministry to investigate the tenure matter. Some of the “petitioners” had insisted that “the law does not permit him to hang around” like beer palour patrons for anything longer than a few months but the “young man” still calls the shot at NAFDAC. The Ministry officially wrote the agency to furnish it with “name, State of origin, qualification, date of appointment, age,” of its DG.  But Orhii’s tenure has not really ended. Appointed on January 9, 2009, he should be bowing out in January next year if not reappointed. Yet, “disillusioned politicians” in NAFDAC, who are already in campaign mood, prefer December exit for Orhii. In a subtle manner, the DG has already started his own campaign for a possible second term

and his May 9, 2013 birthday bash in Ikeja provided the needed platform. A leading drug manufacturer, who organised the event for him, hinted that his group was already lobbying the Presidency for Orhii’s reappointment and threatened to lead another “one million march” to Abuja if Orhii attempts rejecting it. But there are other issues, which the gladiators will have to grapple with: the PDP machinery and the ‘powers-thatbe’ in Aso Rock may have long settled the matter, even before Orhii took over the reins of power. CC gathers that the juicy position, which was popularised by the indefatigable Prof. Dora Akunyili, is the exclusive preserve of the daughter of Baba. Except for any last-ditch ‘politricking’ that could throw out the Senator Emeritus when it will matter most — either before or during the all-important Senate Screening — she will surely take the bow at the Senate (as it is often the case with all arrangee appointments). Those troublemakers, who will always find something wrong with Baba and Omo Baba, will have to lick their wounds once again. In fact, the deal for the NAFDAC job is said to have been struck even before Orhii took the mantle; high-powered intrigues at the time had

stopped the farmer’s daughter in her tracks, paving the way for “ Lucky” Orhii. The gist is that Auntie would have taken over from Dora, but for the last-minute ‘upheaval’ arising from the controversies around father and daughter at the time. Besides, she was said to have been advised, rightly or wrongly, that the statutory minimum requirement for the post of NAFDAC DG is a degree in Pharmacy, Medicine or any other closely related Discipline. For this reason, Omo Baba has had to go school to shore up her credentials and is currently undergoing a course abroad in community health or something in that description (she may actually be rounding off by now) to meet basic requirement for the job which some have described as her birthright. DG Orhii may just be holding forte for Omo Baba and until she is through with this crucial adult education programme, Nigerians may not hear anything from the Presidency regarding the appointment of a new DG for NAFDAC; It doesn’t really matter if the wait contravenes the law (call it the Act) setting up the Agency; does it? The inquiry by the Ministry of Health may just be another smokescreen after all. For the current DG, the victorious hunter has nothing to worry about the antelope, whose scrotal sac is afflicted by bulging hernia. Enough to say that, until all of these are sorted out one way or the other, there is no vacancy in NAFDAC. So, Congrats DG and congrats (in advance) Auntie.


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THE GUARDIAN, Sunday May 19, 2013

Backlash Abraham Ogbodo

08055328079 (Sms only) abogbodo@yahoo.com

This Democracy Can Do Without Governors HIS piece of memorandum is coming rather the local government, which is at the bottom. T too late. It is my fault. I was locked up in the am- My anger with them is that it is only when they bivalence of whether or not the proposition deal with the upper end that they remember to rewould make good sense and be included in the proposed amendment of the 1999 Constitution. I could not resolve this indecision early enough to meet the legislative deadline set for the submission of all memoranda towards the amendment. I am pleading therefore for the National Assembly to bend a little backward to accommodate it. I am of the opinion that our democracy and federation do not need the governors. We shall run smoother and more efficiently if the 36 governors are struck out of the equation. Wait a minute! It does not call for my crucifixion because I can visualise all 36 governors and their deputies charging at me with cudgels. It is my candid opinion and until it is debated and approved by the relevant institutions including the national and state houses of assemblies and then made part of the constitution, it will remain my wish and nothing more. What I can do more, is to make the argument for the annihilation of the governors tight and compelling, so that the governors themselves will see the point and accept the sacrifice for the sake of all of us. We need democrats to operate this democracy and not necessarily politicians. The latter’s interpretation of democracy as a platform for power acquisition and influence peddling is dangerously shallow. It leaves out the real content of democracy, which is the systematic engagement of the great issues of the day to make life better. This is called leadership by another name. The governors do not play by the rules. They do not engage; they dictate and are always seeking to be masters in a process that recognises only servants. Yet, by their special position as middlemen in the democratic value chain, they have a responsibility to constitute the balancing strings in the tightrope walking exercise called the Nigerian democracy. The governors are like the door, which sees both the inside and outside of the house. They relate with the federal government, which is at the upper end of the vertical axis and AY 29 is drawing close and it will be time to M celebrate democracy and do an assessment of how far Nigeria has fared with this system of governance. Of recent, there have been talks about the depth of the democratic experiment, whether there have been conscious efforts to enhance the space that is available for citizens’ participation, and how much benefits have accrued from the process so far. Generally, enlightened Nigerians, I mean politically, have become extremely cautious when they discuss how much of deepening has taken place in the democratic space. Somehow, a good number of them have become shy to hit the nail on the head, because they remember how costly this democracy was won in 1998/99. They are careful not to give an assessment that could be interpreted to mean that democracy has failed. Recently, scholarly Father Matthew Hassan Kukah, Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, expressed pleasant surprise that in spite of the gross deficit in governance, nobody has yet advocated for a return of the military. That to him is a democratic dividend. It is true nobody has, because it is better to allow things fall in place by themselves, so that the consequences could be better appreciated when it is full moon. It is true that Nigerians who witnessed military rule would recoil in fits and nostalgia, because those long years of military rule were an ill-wind that blew no one no good. Be that as it may, this is not the democracy citizens yearned for. This is not the inclusivity they were promised of democracy in elementary government textbooks. So far, the political class has monopolised the democratic space and took away the ladder, so that majority of citizens are locked downstairs. If you must join them, you simply have to force your way. Unfortunately, majority of the people do not yet understand the concept of power and how to relate it to real life. That’s another day’s discourse. When democracy was fought and won in 1999, some people expressed reservations. They wanted to see if the military could be trusted with their decision to leave the stage permanently. They applied the sidon look approach because they had burnt their fingers in previous transition programmes, particularly under Gen. Ibrahim Babangida. After the first set of elections and the inauguration of the first set of elected office holders, it was expected that the democratic wheel will become well oiled and regularly too, so that areas needing more depth would experience depth, while

cite all the beautiful principles of democratic practice in a federal structure. At such times, all 36 governors will become very learned men, quoting with magisterial ease what the constitution says or does not say about revenue sharing. Arguments usually arise when the international crude prices rise sharply above budgetary benchmarks and there is something extra to share. Sermons by the finance minister on a Sovereign Trust Fund to guard against rough weather or more precisely, to stabilise the ever-anaemic naira, will never sink. They simply want their share of the extra, Q.E.D. And there is big trouble if madam minister refuses to disburse the money in accordance with the agreed sharing formula. The governors will literally mount the podium and shout the whole day for the whole world to hear. They will take the Federal Government to court, hold press conferences and make very loud statements about an overbearing central government in an imperfect federal system. Civil and human rights activists will be contracted to talk anyhow on radio and television and sometimes, stage demonstrations to protest the Federal Government’s handling of the matter. Generally, an impression will be foisted that Abuja wants to pocket money that belongs to the 36 states and 774 local governments. The ensuing staccato will be too unsettling for President Goodluck Jonathan to gain concentration to preside over his Federal Executive Council (FEC) meetings on Wednesdays. He will be forced to quickly summon a council of state meeting, where the accruing money or substantial part of it will be shared in principle among the three tiers of government—federal, state and local. Local government chairmen are not permitted (I cannot say for sure if that is constitutional) to sit at or even hang around the sharing table; the councils’ share is received on their behalf by the state governors. Thereafter, every governor is cool and smiles back home with deep pockets. Some may not immediately return home because there is need to use

part of the money just shared to comb Europe and America in search of investors in solid minerals, tourism, agriculture, etc in their states. Back in the states, the tone is so much different. The governors do not engage the local government chairmen on the same terms they engage the Federal Government. They say the councils do not have a separate life outside the states and that Section 7 of the 1999 Constitution, which recognises the local governments as a level of government in Nigeria is an unnecessary overstatement. By that, they mean the money from Abuja is for the state and not the council areas. Section 162 (3) is quite explicit. It says “any amount standing to the credit of the federation account shall be distributed among the Federal and State Governments and the local government councils in each state on such terms and in such manner as may be prescribed by the National Assembly.” A little down in Subsection 6, there is contradiction. It says “each state shall maintain a special account to be called ‘State Joint Local Government Account’ into which shall be paid all allocations to the local government councils of the state from the Federation Account and from the Government of the State.” This is why everybody is complaining about the 1999 constitution. There are too many headaches in the document and for which no definite cure is provided. The drafters ought to have known that even between husband and wife, the operation of a joint account is not usually a sweet experience. The constitution created a joint account between governors and council chairmen without defining the modalities for operating the account like, for instance, spelling out who between the two holders, is the approving signatory for withdrawals, and who should take custody of the cheque book to institute a balance and check system. The governors have a point in insisting on the sanctity of the 1999 Constitution. The constitution is to blame for creating the joint account. The constitution is a supreme law and whatever it has joined together should not be put asunder by trouble markers. The local governments are the property of the governors and that appears constitutional and under the Nigerian law, a man has almost infinite right to do whatever he likes with his property. It is for this reason that the governors can decide to hand pick individuals into care-taker committee to manage the affairs of the councils instead of conducting proper elections to constitute government at that level. The council areas do not have electoral timetable as other tiers of government. A Peter Obi for instance, can decide not to have a council election forever in Anambra State and nothing will happen. And a Rochas Okorocha can decide to use the State House of Assembly to abruptly terminate the

SUNDAY NARRATIVE Alabi Williams williams.alabi@ngrguardiannews.com 08116759790 (Sms only)

Shrinking The Democratic Space (1) areas needing expansion would experience expansion. Taking the institution of INEC for instance, depth and expansion required that reasonable amount of money would be available at the right time, so that electoral umpires at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will have sufficient allowance to do what they have to do, without begging anybody. It was expected that the political class, through the legislature would be pragmatic enough to evolve newer ways and means to lubricate the wheels of democracy, through appropriate laws. For instance, the constitution that was put together by the military government under Gen. Abdulsalami Abaubakar was not a perfect document. The new government was supposed to look at it and determine where to make amendments, so that democracy will continue to improve. In this same manner, they were supposed to look at the electoral laws and make necessary adjustments to consolidate democracy and make the system better dispensation after dispensation. In 13 years, how much of growth can we say INEC has experienced, for us to go to sleep with two eyes closed, rest assured that at any point the body is called upon it would not disappoint Nigerians? Under Ephraim Akpata, respectable jurist and first chairman of INEC in the transition years of 98/99, there was relative sanity and the elections were good. The electoral process was generally fair, perhaps because the military supervised the exercise. Under Abel Guobadia, respectable scholar and administrator, INEC suffered the misfortune of gross underfunding. Guobadia had to go begging for INEC to be funded. The political class will not fund you if you were going to disgrace them at the election. Under Maurice Iwu, a professor, INEC did magic and made promises it could not keep. INEC promised biometrics, but ended up using analogue voter

register to conduct elections, a register was largely, fake. INEC promised it would transmit election results from collation centres, but ended up announcing dubious results in Abuja, voting was still ongoing in some states. Now, 2015 is gathering storm and INEC is yet to announce a roadmap. The roadmap has to do with regular update of voter register and mapping out of electoral constituencies, to admit new ones in view of growing population and new settlements. We are talking about the democratic space and how much access is available to citizens to participate and decide the leadership they want. This is the time for INEC to update the voter register. Many eligible voters could not vote in 2011 because the system of voter registration in Nigeria is designed to be very difficult, as difficult as queuing to obtain a driver’s licence or having the misfortune of an appointment with the Immigration Service, for the purpose of obtaining an international passport. That is the nature of service delivery in the public sector. You are first punished mercilessly, after which you are heavily taxed. In the last registration exercise, a lot of communities were outside INEC’s delineated areas. The community where I live, which consists of not less than 2000 adults of voting age had no registration centre as at 2011. To be able to register, I had to drive several kilometres outside where I live. On Election Day, which is more like a day of emergency rule, movement is restricted and it is impossible for one to leave one’s area of domicile to exercise one’s voting right. Now, because of the kind of work I do, I am permitted to go out under the category of persons on essential duty, for the purposes of reporting and monitoring election. That still does not permit me to vote, because I do not have the luxury

tenure of elected council officials in Imo State and the move will be applauded across board as a political masterstroke. The kind of masterstroke that embattled Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi invoked to sack from office the chairmen of Okrika and Obio-Akpor local government areas. Yet the picture is not complete if I do not go back to the relationship between the governors and the president. They are 36 men against one man who is too unwilling to be president. In the event of verbal altercation, it is almost impossible for the discerning public to hear something else outside the combined decibel of the 36-mega phones. Just make a governor taste a little of the raw deal that he so gladly forces down the throat of council chairmen and the entire landscape and skyline of Nigeria will come alive with an unusual noise. They throw blows that they themselves do not have capacity to absorb. They seek the purity of others at the equity table but do so little to attend the dinner with clean hands. The governors want state police, which in any case is a sine qua non in a true federal structure. But nothing is true in the Nigerian situation and so the governors should bear with us. We do not want a parallel police force that will be used to completely annihilate the local government structure and chase political opponents out of town into caves. The guys are already drunk with power without the official instruments of coercion, which include the police. Why should we then, with our eyes wide open, add to the degree of their drunkenness? Most things about the governors are in breach of the constitution. For instance, the 13 per cent derivation fund paid the South-South governors is constitutionally not part of the state’s statutory allocation and cannot be strictly applied as such. The money is specifically meant for the oil producing communities and same should be used to address the many socio-economic and ecologically challenges occasioned by oil exploration and exploitation in those areas. But much of the derivation money is usually locked up in the state headquarters for purposes outside the actual specifications. Little or nothing is getting down to the real people creating reason for a fresh proposal of a 10 per cent Host Community fund as contained in the slow moving Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). This is one of the reasons for the North’s resistant to the bill. The sins of the governors are many and they cannot be easily forgiven even if they become born again. My suggestion therefore is that they should be uprooted so that the flow between the shoot and the grassroots will be unhindered. The governors are middlemen and in all cases, middle men add more burden than they add value to the distribution chain.

of time to go and queue endlessly, waiting for INEC to deploy men and material at one miserable polling centre, under the sun. In addition to this predicament, on most elections, I go on duty outside Lagos, to do reporting and monitoring, which automatically disenfranchises me, because INEC’s analogue system does not make provision for itinerant voters. Big shame. It is a shame, that voter registration and actual voting in Nigeria’s 21st century is made so difficult, that many people are unable to register and vote without being severely punished. Nigeria is severe punishment in many respects. Whereas, smaller and very poor African countries are able to sort out such little challenges, thereby gaining experience year after year and growing their democracies. In 2011, November, I was a shortterm election observer (STO) to Liberia, for the presidential rerun. I was on the bill of Carter Foundation. My location of observation was Upper Lofa County, far outside Monrovia the capital, which is comparable to the distance between Lagos and somewhere in Niger State. Guess what! The driver who took me on my observation was able to walk in and out of any polling station to vote, seamlessly without inhibition. A Nigerian version of that would have been for an itinerant driver who lives in Lagos to be able to cast his vote in Minna or Kontagora, where he is on a temporary business trip. This is no fiction, because Attahiru Jega, our INEC chairman was also in Liberia, as a celebrated international observer from Africa’s largest (population) and about richest country. That’s not all. Our respectable Gowon was there too, but you see, we love to celebrate our mediocrity abroad. Don’t even think of Diaspora voters here, because INEC says it is not permitted by law to accommodate Nigerians of voting age who are everywhere on the globe; never mind that a good number of them are in foreign jails. If the laws were to permit INEC, does INEC have the infrastructure to capture Diaspora votes when thousands here at home cannot vote? Do we have the integrity to deliver Diaspora votes, without same ending up in the kitchen cabinet of ambassadors, who are card-carrying members of the ruling party? Lest I forget, let me use this opportunity to ask INEC to issue my permanent voter card, because the ink on the temporary card they gave me in 2011 has vanished. If I were to present it at the next election, in case I have the luxury of time to go and queue, I can be arrested for being in possession of a fake voter card. I cannot even recognise the card myself. This is height of mediocrity.


10

THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

THE ACHEBE COUNTDOWN From Chijioke Iremeka (In Ogidi, Anambra State) EALITy is beginning to dawn on the people, especially friends, professional contemporaries and the Ogidi age-grade leaders and the rest of the community, that in truth, the mighty had fallen. The country home of the late literary icon, novelist and essayist, Prof. Chinualumogu Achebe, who died at 82 in one of the Boston State’s hospitals, United States of America, is buzzing with activities and the pleasant din in town is building up as the countdown to the burial, Thursday, races in the minds of the people. Preparation of the burial is in place at various levels but the sure sign is the finishing touches being given to the final resting place located in the late writer’s compound. But while many say the world at large and Ogidi community are fully prepared to receive the remains of late literary giant in Nigeria, others believe the preparation, especially that orchestrated by the both state and federal government is not good enough for a man in the calibre of Achebe. The third set of people, mainly Ogidi indigenes are excited and in high spirit that Achebe has brought fame to Ogidi and positioned it in the world, as they, likewise, recall prominent men in Ogidi, who are making the town proud such as Nollywood stars, Bob Manuel Udokwu, face of Ultimate Search and Obi Madubuogwu, the face of ‘The King of Mosanga.’ Also, against the misconception that filtered through that Achebe will be laid-in-state and buried at night, the elite of Ogidi community dismissed such report as misleading, saying that Achebe was a Christian and will be buried by the Bishop of Anglican Communion in the Christian way. Meanwhile, during The Guardian’s visit to Achebe’s country home, it was discovered that work was in progress in the compound, all in readiness to receive the body. One of the labourers said the pace of work has been the same since they started to ensure that the place is ready before the arrival of Achebe’s remains.   Painting and rehabilitation continued at St. Philip’s Anglican Church, Ogidi, the first ever Anglican church within the local government and its environs, where the funeral service would be conducted in honour of late Achebe. The church is now wearing a new look as the government has deployed a number of workers to ensure the neatness of the Church. At SMC Central School, now known as, Akpakaogwe Central School, where the late icon had his primary school education, similar thing is happening, including grading of a feeder road (IloNgwodo-Akpaogwe), connecting Achebe’s compound to the church. This is the road the President and his Ghanaian and Kenyan counterparts are expected to pass enroute the church. But the major and the most important feature in this preparation is the Achebe’s mausoleum, where his remains will be lowered, for ultimate rest. Though the mausoleum, which houses his grave, is still under construction, the contractors assured that it would be ready for use on or before May 22, a day before his burial. Situated on the left side of the compound, immediately after the entrance gate, the mausoleum will be as high as a conventional storey building upon completion; and serves both as a tomb as well as a chamber (Obi). But it’s not clear if the body would be open for public view and as tourist interest thereafter. According to the Secretary General of Government Age Grade, which Achebe belonged, Mr. Goddy Agbogu, the Age grade is fully ready and prepared to receive the remains of Achebe, which had made the community, Anambra and Nigeria proud. “Though we are not strong enough to do the things we would have done for him, but we will get gong beaters, who will play the kind of music that we can dance with three legs, not the type the younger generation is good at. On that day, we will move into the circle of people (Ogbo) and proceed to his bed where he is laid-in-state,” he added. Moreover, Ogidi community, after yesterday meeting, held that they would give support to everything that would ensure that the burial went in the original plan of action of giving him a befitting burial. They will also be deploying vigilante groups to beef of security to ensure orderliness during and after the event. The immediate past National President of Ikenga Ogidi Union Nigeria, Dr. Emma Obianagha said the community had concluded arrangements to receive Achebe’s remains and accord him all the necessary respect befitting a man of his calibre.

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Achebe’s final resting place in his country home under construction... at the weekend

Diverse Feelings As Nigeria Awaits Achebe’s Remains, Burial Preparation • Achebe Will Not Be Laid To Rest At Night Also, there was a major rehabilitation at the Ogidi Town Hall, Umuru, Ogidi, where the body of late Professor would lie-in-state on stepping into Ogidi soil. Being one time President General, Ogidi Union Nigeria, all necessary privileges and respect would be accorded him. N the other hand, despite these laudable O preparations, it was discovered that some part of the environs have not been given desired attention. For instance, the heaps of garbage deposited nearly opposite Achebe’s compound have not been given cleared as at Friday by the government agency in charge. It was also observed that the drainage system within that axis is filled with sand and other rubbish, which will make nonsense of that environment, in an event it rains before or during burial. Also, a broken concrete slab, which covers a particular canal at Ilongwodo market square, was sighted by The Guardian being filled up with red sand by RCC, a popular construction instead building another slab.   “As community members, we have done ours and let the government do theirs. The government may have tried in one way or the other but let the ANSEPA, or the contracted firm, LAGA come and clear the refuse as we prepare to receive the remains of Achebe,” said Ifeanyi Mbeledeogu.    Also, the road, which is expected that the three African Presidents and other dignitaries would pass through, is being graded with laterite, which many fear will make that route impassable by motorists and even pedestrians on event of rain. The appeal is to the governor to pour white sand over the red soil on the road if he would not tar it. According Paul Okoye, an engineer, red sand is not the best for road construction in the rainy

season, and not suitable at all for a road that experiences foot traffic. “Let’s pray it does not rain, if not, there will be serious trouble conveying Achebe’s body to the Church. The road is not long. This will cost the State government fortune to tar. We appeal to Obi, to tar this road in memory of Achebe,” He said. The Headmistress of CMS Central School, where Achebe attended his primary school, Mrs. Ngozi Oraka said the school has prepared a song for the late hero, at least, having been raised in her school, though nobody factored them into the burial programme. Following the size of the compound and presence of presidents, the overflow from his compound might lead to mounting of roadblock at the roundabout by the police to prevent motorists and other road-users from making use of Ugwu Nwasike-Abatete road, which runs in front of Achebe’s house. Also, at the Achebe’s library situated at the Idemili North Local Government, headquarters, Ogidi, there is no preparation made in that area, although Association of Nigerian Authors once donated books to the library but the state of the library does not depict the style and status of the late Ivory tower stalwart. OWEVER, the National Transition CommitH tee in charge of Achebe’s burial said the event would be a week-long event. Burial Coordinator, Professor Uzodinma Nwala noted that the funeral rites will commence today with prayers and religious worship at the National Christian Centre, Abuja, which will be done simultaneously in other centres within and outside the country. Nwala noted that there will also be a symposium on tomorrow organised by ANA, at the In-

ternational Conference Centre, Abuja with a number of tributes and cultural troupes drawn from different parts of the country at the same venue. On Tuesday, May 21, the body leaves USA for Nigeria, where there would be an airport reception as his body arrives Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. The body is expected to be taken to the National Assembly for a reception and thereafter, departs for Enugu, where Obi-led southeast governors will receive it. His body is also expected to proceed to the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), for academic procession and ceremony, followed by ‘Ohanaeze Night of Mourning and Ikoro Salute’ in honour of late Achebe at Ohanaeze secretariat in Enugu. On Wednesday, May 22, 2013, the remains of the fallen hero will leave Enugu for Awka in Anambra State, for commencement of a ‘Celebration of Life’ ceremony in which all state governors and federal ministers are expected to participate at the Alex Ekwueme Stadium. From the stadium, the body will leave for Ogidi, his hometown and observe a stopover at Ogidi Town Hall before proceeding to his compound. The funeral continues with interment on May 23, after a church service at St. Philip’s Anglican Church, Ogidi, where President Jonathan, state governors, diplomats and international literary dignitaries among others will grace the occasion. Friday, May 24 Ikwa-Ozu continues. In-laws, friends and associates are expected to come and show their last respect for this illustrious son of Ogidi. At the same time, a Jumat service will be held at the Abuja Central Mosque for the Muslim faithful, who join Nigerians to pray for the repose of the soul of late Achebe. Ikwa-Ozu continues on Saturday, May 25 with an outing service at St. Philip’s Anglican Church, on Sunday, May 26, which marks the end of the ceremony. There will also be several artistic and cultural displays to show that Achebe is not only an international figure but also, a man in love with the culture and tradition of his people.


TheGuardian

Sunday, May 19, 2013 | 11

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Outlook A Debt That Must Be Paid lower rungs of the lists that matter while ruling on those that don’t. AY 30, 1967, civil war broke out in the While many reasons have been listed as culcountry we all know today as Nigeria; prits for the administrative malaise that has by January 15, 1970, 30 and some troubled post-war Nigeria persistently, one reamonths of gory violence later, the war came to son has lain low, careful to stay out of the way an end. The Nigerian Civil war, also acclaimed of ongoing discourse while harbouring peras the Biafran war, was fuelled by the attempt haps the greatest secret to the solution of the of the majorly Igbo Easterners to secede from Nigerian problem. That one reason is a crime the country Nigeria. The Igbos gave as their jus- committed by key-players of the 1960s and tifications, several malicious acts targeted 1970s against the progeny of the Nigerian naagainst them as an ethnic group such as the tion – their failure to preserve memories and pogrom that claimed over 30,000 lives, the lessons of the Biafran war.  then federal government’s refusal to protect Many people today, urged on by contempothe Easterners as well as convincing evidence rary schools of thought, will preach a total anof the government’s assent to the murder of nihilation of past experiences in favour of the her eastern citizens. The Nigerian government present and hence, future; ditto “throw away condemned the secession as illegal and un- the burdens of the past so that you may herald constitutional; they argued that Nigeria was the treasures of the now and future!” But the one and the attempt of the Igbos to secede was wisdom in that approach is yet to be seen. The not only injurious to that oneness but would past influences the present just as much, if not also be, if allowed, a catalyst for the secession more, than the future does. Albert Einstein of other ethnic groups thereby creating an ex- noted, “The distinction between the past, prestensive disintegration of the nascent republic. ent and future is only a stubbornly persistent ilAnd war broke out between the Easterners who lusion”. With every passing second, the future called themselves the People’s Republic of Bi- becomes the present and the present, the past afra and the Nigerian government. Casualties all within such short intervals of time that at the end numbered well over two million on George Calin further posited that “There’s no the Biafran side and over 200,000 on the Niger- present. There’s only the immediate future and ian government’s side.  the recent past”.  In the year 1861, civil war broke out in the counTherein lies the secret of the richness of the try we all know today as the United States of American culture today. In the United States, America; by the year 1865, forty and some children are taught about the civil war as early months of gory violence later, the war came to as the third grade, the Nigerian equivalent of an end. The American Civil war originated from Primary three. These children are taught to unthe attempted secession of the Southern states derstand the institution of slavery prior to the from the Union called the United States of Civil war and its principal role in the breakout America. The Southern states, which were of the war, explain the reason(s) for the states’ largely pro-slavery, felt threatened by the dom- secession, and outline the course of the war ination of the anti-slavery Northerners in the among many other requirements. In an article 1860 elections leading to the overwhelming published by Education news, “(teachers) uses victory of a Northerner, Abraham Lincoln in props like milk-cartons for boats and blue marthe presidential polls. They argued that based bles for cannonballs to illustrate battles…” and on the compact theory, they were bound to the field trips are taken to any of the Civil war sites, Union only as a confederacy of sorts which re- which have all been preserved. In Yale univertained its sovereignty and therefore was legally sity, History 119 – The Civil war and Reconstrucright to exit the union. The Northerners of tion Era, 1845 – 1877 is a course taught to course refused; they argued that the constitu- freshmen twice a week for 50 minutes; it is also tion had stipulated the union of the states as a made available as an ‘Open Yale course’ on the perpetual one so secession was not only illegal internet for downloads by whoever is interbut a violation of the essence of the American ested. It would be needless recounting the serepublic. And war broke out between the ries of books, movies, documentaries, etc that Southern states, which had formed themselves are available with war accounts from both into the Confederate States of America and the sides of the conflict. The US government went a Northern states which were called the Union. step further by taking pains to preserve sites Casualties at the end numbered about 360,000 where some of the most eventful battles were on the Union’s side and about 260,000 on the fought and today, those sites are unique walkside of the rebel Confederacy.  through museums, which also earn the counFor the two scenarios compared above, the try revenue.  similarities end there. From  1865  to  1900 This publication is not an effusive idolization (thirty-five years after the end of the Civil of the US; if at this point you think it is then unwar), the United States became the world’s fore- fortunately but not for the first time, you have most industrial nation. It emerged as the missed the point. Late Prof. Chinua Achebe’s leader in meatpacking, in production of tim- There was a country is a book that was trailed by ber and steel, and in the mining of coal, iron, perhaps just as many harsh criticisms as it was gold, and silver. Overall, the nation experi- by acclamations. One subject of one too many enced a stunning explosion in the scale of in- heated debates is the role played by the late dustry and in the pace of production. On the Obafemi Awolowo in the starving of Biafrans, other hand, from 1970 to 2013 (43 years after the as alleged by Achebe. In arguing either side of end of the Civil war), Nigeria remains at the this issue, Nigerians missed the point again.

By Chisom Ojukwu

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CONversation

Ojukwu Achebe understood the relevance of written history in the building of any nation. As he noted in his introduction to the novel, “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”. Over time since the end of the war, the same has been done by others who played parts in this momentous conflict. Nigerians like Olusegun Obasanjo, Joe Achuzia, Wole Soyinka, Alexander Madiebo, David Ejoor, Chukwuemeka OdumegwuOjukwu and even foreigners such as Frederick Forsyth, Holger Ehling, Laurie Wiseberg among others belong to this class. Unfortunately though, these men and women will have wasted their energies if the Nigerians for whom these books have been written continue to approach them with the sole aim of finding ammunition for inter-ethnic attacks. The point right now should not be who was most wronged or which group of people must apologize to the other. The point right now should be about learning the truth exactly as it happened because with the objective learning of this truth comes acceptance, then reconciliation and eventually, a reconstruction agenda. Regrettably, the possibility of acquiring this undiluted truth has progressively dimmed as the currents of time have swept away many artefacts, landmarks and symbols. But late is not the end and nearly is a word that is yet to kill a bird.  The government needs to stop banning movies and books about the war just because they ‘threaten national unity and integration’. We must realize that the real threat to national unity and integration is a student writing his West African Secondary School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) whose response to a question regarding the extent of his knowledge of the Nigerian Civil war is

“ummm…I don’t really know much shaa but it was a very bad war”. The real threat to national unity and integration is the absence of any landmark in honour of the brave soldiers (Biafran and Nigerian) who fought gallantly and died in Uzuakoli, Calabar, Abagana and Owerri. The war museum that was barely scrapped together at Umuahia deteriorates everyday fibber by fibber and the ‘Old soldiers’ day’ celebrated yearly on the 15th of January has about as much influence on the Nigerian populace as does the ant on the hide of the elephant. These are the real threats to national unity and integration. This reconstruction project is an all-encompassing one, which must either be taken on wholeheartedly or not at all. The pervading bugs of white-elephant projects and ghost organizations must not be allowed near this sacred task. Historians worth their salt need to be engaged by the government in a fact-finding mission; every document or artefact belonging to those thirty months of conflict must be collected and preserved. The ‘Biafran pound’ frames, Nigerian army uniforms and Ogbunigwe at the National war museum in Umuahia need to be dusted off, shined and showcased in glass with renewed pride. Gen. Yakubu Gowon continuously appears in recent news pleading for the attainment of a peaceful Nigeria but he is yet to publish a documentation of his personal memories of the war, as principal an actor as he was in the affair. Well here’s a way he can start. Every day, so many neglected old men and women die, enriching the soil of the graveyard with the precious stories that are our history. The documentation of such memories is not a nicety to be engaged in at one’s leisure, we must understand; such a task is a mandatory assignment placed upon the actor by the gnarled hands of history. It is a task of so much importance that I envisage the Creator stopping whoever fails at it from proceeding beyond heaven’s gates. Because separated from their history, a people cease to exist.  The climax of this reconstruction agenda would be attained when all of this knowledge and wealth of experiences have been collected together and are then fed to every Nigerian child. From as early as primary education, the Nigerian child should be fed information and facts about the war that played no less than a crucial role in the molding of the country he or she has been born into. The NYSC (which was indeed created as a healing balm for post-war Nigeria in 1973) could be employed as the culmination of these lessons. The information taught would include the facts of events leading up to the war starting with pre-colonial Nigeria to the coup and pogroms of 1966; the reason(s) for the breakout of the war; the primary and secondary actors of the conflict, the various roles they played and the significances thereof; a timeline chronicling all significant events that occurred during the war; post-war attempts at reconstruction, why and how such attempts failed and the relevance thereof to the country’s present situation. 

By Obe Ess


TheGuardian

12 | Sunday, May 19, 2013

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Editorial LETTER

On Marginal Oil Fields Emergency Rule And Roots Of Fundamentalism FTER gushing crude oil for some 50 years, the oil wells in the Delta State communities in Itsekiri, Ijaw, Urhobo, Isoko and Ndokwa areas are fast approaching their sunset. They have become marginal oil producers from which the international oil joint venture partners are expected to divest their stake. With little to show for 50 years of oil exploitation, associated gas that has been largely flared over the years and untapped non-associated gas, the affected communities recently rose in protest and petitioned the National Assembly over the on-going divestment processes that ignored their rights to be full participants in an open and competitive bidding for the affected oil mining leases (OMLs) as stipulated by existing laws. The petition has elicited an advertorial by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Ltd (NPDC) which has somewhat lifted the shroud over happenings regarding the four OMLs since 2011. However, NPDC’s stout defence of what has transpired so far failed to address a central issue. Considering NPDC’s touted intention to expand operations by seeking additional asset base in order to secure production capacity of 250,000 barrels per day by 2015, why did Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC (which owns 55 per cent equity interest in the subsisting joint venture) not absorb, for assignment to NPDC, the minority 45 per cent stake in the four OMLs from which the international oil companies (IOCs) are divesting? The advertorial revealed that the four IOCs, which teamed up under Shell in order to operate the NNPC/Shell joint venture arrangement, have sold their respective interests to four separate firms. Thus NPDC like its parent NNPC before it intends to remain a sleeping majority equity interest partner in four joint-venture marginal operations where the tail would continue to wag the dog. This is unacceptable. It is high time the NNPC or its subsidiary NPDC became active for the sake of Nigeria. The long-awaited Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) should therefore provide for NNPC to acquire fully the four joint-venture operations improperly carved out of the existing single joint operating agreement. That would enable the national oil company to select its production partners transparently under the 2010 Nigerian content law and the Public Procurement Act, 2007 (PPA). With regard to indigenous oil sector contractors, it should be pointed out that Nigeria is a federation that recognises the principle of derivation. Youth militancy in the Niger Delta arose because of inequity and scant regard for the principle of derivation. Given the serious environmental degradation of oil producing communities, it is provocative and insensitive to assert as was done in the advertorial that “NPDC is as indigenous as any community can claim to be and represents a much wider scope of indigenous rights than the Delta State Oil Producing Communities.” Therefore, the coming Petroleum Industry Act should reinforce, subject to demonstrable capacity or capability, the Nigerian content law by making compensatory provisions for differentiated providers of various services from host communities and catchment or neighbouring areas. Instead of conniving with IOCs to hoodwink the public, as things seem now, the NNPC along with its subsidiary NPDC should take full advantage of the laws of the land, including expected PIA provisions to build a strong, truly national oil company.

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Still On Kidnapping HE recent abduction of 92 year-old elder statesman, Shettima Ali Munguno from a mosque was one episode in the catalogue of kidnappings in Nigeria, that not only shocked all sensibilities, violated the humanity of all as all kidnappings, but also, in particular, mocked the agelong reverence for old age. And the questions is: how did Nigeria arrive at this sorry, pass? Not surprisingly given this level of debasement in the country, now foreign insurers are exploring the business of special insurance to cover potential victims of “kidnap for ransom” in Nigeria. At the immediate past Meeting of the African Reinsurance Forum held in Balaclava, Mauritius, the, African Insurance Organisation reported that the number of kidnap for ransom cases in the world increased in the preceding year. While Africa’s share rose from 23 per cent to 34 per cent, Nigeria accounts for more than twenty-five percent of such cases worldwide. As a result, Nigerians now has an additional inglorious accolade of “the global capital of kidnap for ransom.” Of course, this is bad not only for the image but also the economy of the country as the cost of doing business sky-rockets beyond comprehensible levels. Too bad for the future of a nation.

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IR: May I suggest that we fulSincreasing ly undersand the root of the radicalisation of Muslim youths (Islamically). The root cause is the frustration of the indigenous tribes of the North with the Fulani settlers on the one hand and the resolution by the Fulani ruling clan to retain their minority rule, not only in Northern Nigeria, but throughout the country. It must be understood that the population of Christians has increased among Northern youths while that of the Muslims is declining largely because of the proselytising successes of the Pentecostal Christian Churches. When we say Ahlul Sunna, it does not only mean mainstream Islam. In its political context, it means the Sokoto caliphate. Ironically though, when we say the “radical muslims or fundamentalist,” we are talking about the opponents of the Sokoto calphate! Consequently, Boko Haram, Izala and the brotherhood of Islam are unhappy with the Emirs (the caliphate) that have not delivered progress to all Northerners, through their hand-picked politicians over the years. They attribute their faulure to deliver progress to the North to their “ungodliness.” The Boko Haram for example provides food, clothings, start-up capital of their youths aged between 16 and 22. In addition, they are providing military training for selfdefence. The Izala is protesting the dilution of Islamic worship by the “Ahlul Sunna (i.e. the caliphate). For example, they reject festivals which are

expensive, and do not benefit the poor. They object to the expensive celebrations that follow Eid El Maulud. They object also to expensive weddings, naming ceremonies, burials etc. they also object to prostratign to elders because man should prostrating ONLY TO ALLAH. In my years of research I have not found where these radical sects have actively canvassed the break-up of Nigeria the way the Sokoto caliphate and their supporters have done. In this war among the Muslim faithful, Christians and Jews have always fallen victim and suffered collateral damage. (Because), the Ahlul Sunna blames the Pentecostal Christian Churches for “opening the eyes of the youths to (modernity) while the Muslim radicals blame them too for making the Ahlul Sunna become too much veered from the path of true Islam by Islam with look-alike Christian festivals like Christmas. While the Izala sect has some political sympathy for the caliphate, they doctrinally are opposed to “innovations” to Islam. They, politically, do encourage “the caliphate’s expansionist agenda” for the Plateau which includes Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau states. The Boko Haram, the Tijaniyya and the Qadriyya in that order oppose the caliphate domination. They do not oppose the supremacist agenda of the Fulani nation. Same goes for ANSARU. What is playing out, therefore, is a declining Fulani authority that is trying to remain relevant in a world in which

majority of its youths are violently and continuously rejecting their power to rule over them. The caliphate is, however, undaunted. It has collaborated with the Federal Government (sic: infidels) to get them to abandon their hidden political agenda for caliphate change. Furthermore, in order to provide opportunities to Fulani youths to remain rulers over the aborigenes of the North, emirate cells have been opened all over Nigeria. These cells have “traditional rulers” drawn exclusively from the Fulani stock to manage the affairs of the Arewa in various “Hausa settlements” around Nigeria. Wealthy Hausa/Fulani men and women have bought huge acres of land in towns and villages around the country and “donated” same to the Hausa community members who wish to settle in them. In return they pay their allegiance to these (“serikis”) traditional rulers in such settlements. These people (serikis) are very wealthy and one of them in Ibafo was found to have a wellarmed security guard. This way the caliphate hopes to always be a step or two ahead of their radical youths who seek change. Unfortunately, the ordinary Muslims and Christians in the street around Nigeria are caught in the middle because of poor intelligence gathering. I, therefore, appeal to the governemnt to carefully seek out these power-hungry Fulanis, neutralise them, and leave other innocent ones alone. Sheikh Alisufyan Gumel, Kashim Ibrahim Way, Maiduguri.


THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

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THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

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Finally, GEJ Keeps Insurgency At BAY! By Adidi Uyo

ELLO, members of ALAN: finally, GEJ has done it! In the evening of Tuesday, May 14, 2013, in a derring-do defiance of calls to the contrary by some opposition parties, our President, instead of digging himself deeper and deeper into a hole called Amnesty for Boko Haram, took the bull by the horn by deciding to keep insurgency at BAY. As a regular rider on the language train and, ipso facto, a member of ALAN, you must have discerned the linguistic creature that is on parade, today. You’re damn right: It is idioms, with special regard to the one that graces our title today. In a sense, idioms are like their first cousin, proverbs, which Chinua Achebe aptly describes as “the palm oil with which words are eaten.” Just what will language be without proverbs and idioms! Already, you we have been served three idiomatic expressions, the third of which is a special one that is custom-made for this occasion. I am referring to the idiom, “keeping insurgency at BAY.” It is special because what we have as the conventional idiomatic expression is keep at bay, in which the letters of the last word, “bay,” are not capitalised, as they are in keeping insurgency at BAY. The language aficionado that you are, if you listened to the national broadcast in which President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan declared a state of emergency in three northern states last Tuesday, you would readily know that BAY is the acronym for Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe, seemingly the hotbed of Boko Haram: the sect that has wreaked untold havoc on innocent Nigerians for God knows how long, now, bestriding those three states and more like a callous colossus, and behaving as if it held our poor

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president, allow me to say, by the balls. Before BAY, the first acronym that came to my mind, as I heard the president mention the three states in his broadcast, was YAB. But I quickly jettisoned it for two reasons. First, my snappy search of the two dictionaries that were at my disposal made me discover that “yab” is not a conventional or common English word. Second, methinks that the “King of Yabbies” himself, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti of living memory, would loath to “yab” our President for his decision to keep insurgency at bay, even though, like many Nigerians, he might query the president for taking such a

LANGUAGE ON PARADE long time to bite the bullet. Jettisoning YAB turned out to be the work of providence, so to say, for it instantly drove me to further juggle the three letters to come up with the anagram, BAY. It was that act that made the telling idiom — keep at bay — rush into my mind! The mind, I then mused, is indeed a rendezvous for serendipity of this sort, but only if it is well-nurtured by the juice of language. And that should be a regular pastime, if not a passionate duty, of any aficionado of language. For, after all, you cannot claim to be a devotee of language, if you do not make delving into its nature in order to nurture your mind with its nutrients a constant preoccupation. That, I dare proclaim, is just what is expected of members of ALAN. Since I hailed you at the outset of today’s excursion with the salutation, “Hello, members of ALAN,” you must have been wondering, “What the hell is that?” Well, by virtue of taking a seat

The wedding anniversary celebration of Chief and Chief (Mrs) Owolabi Salis: Head of Department, Mass Communication, Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Ogba Lagos, Mr Jide Johnson (left), Senior Lecturer, (NIJ), Mrs Clara Obazele, Chief Owolabi Salis and his wife, Olabisi at the event in Lagos.

on the language train regularly or occasionally, deliberately or accidentally, you are an automatic member of ALAN, acronym for Association of Language Aficionados of Nigeria. Any member of ALAN must see himself or herself as somebody whose passion for language makes him or her eager to learn more and more about this mystical phenomenon all the time, if not for edification, then for pleasure. Before you finish saying, “Preachy, preachy, how is all that the business of LOP?” Let me quickly return to my safe haven. The idiom, keep at bay, simply means “to prevent something or someone unpleasant from coming too near you or harming you.” But its origin is seemingly rather fascinating. As one authoritative source puts it, “Baying is a continuous barking by hounds. To keep something at bay means to prevent its escape by surrounding it with barking dogs, or by extension, to prevent a problem from getting out of control by maintaining constant vigilance.” The origin of the idiom raises quite a number of interesting questions, but we shall leave you with only one, here, with the assumption that barking dogs are also biting dogs. The question is: Is surrounding BAY with barking dogs equal to surrounding the insurgents in the region, sufficiently? In plainer words, what is the certainty that the cancer has not spread to other parts of the region, especially, the states adjacent to BAY? Hmm, let it not be said that the president tried to keep the insurgency at BAY, but could not keep Boko Haram at bay! Surely, all members of ALAN can tell the difference between BAY and bay. To evoke the lyrics of that popular hit by the late R&B maestro, Otis Redding, we are sitting at the dock of the bay, watching how GEJ’s cookie will crumble. Qui sera, sera!

Company Secretary, Custodian & Allied Insurance Plc, Mrs Adenike Obisan (left), MD/CEO, Wole Oshin, Executive Director, Marketing Operations Technology, Nigerian Stock Exchange(NSE), Ade Bajomo and Director, Business Development (NSE), Haruna Jalo- Waziri, during Custodian & Allied Insurance’s listing of its shares on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange in Lagos.


THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

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THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013


Sunday, May 19, 2013

NEWSFEATURE P/22 Our Meat, Our Health

ODDFILE

P/25

When GodsBecome Beggars

ART P/35 Emulate Achebe’s Virtues Of Integrity...

SPECIALREPORT P/4O Private Jets: Walking The Talk, Talking The Walk

OBIOHA


THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

18 SUNDAY MAGAZINE

LIVINGWOMAN

‘We Should Be Our Sisters’ Keepers To Beat Marginalisation’ Losing her mum at an early age made Daba Obioha feel seeking refuge in a nunnery could shield her from the harsh realities of life but fate had other plans for her. With a strict father who moulded her through hard work, discipline and perseverance, she was able to weather the storm. She discovered along the line innate talents, which she brought forth to enhance her life. The one-time journalist and former General Manager of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is currently the President of River Bayelsa Women Association and a member, Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Peoples Democratic Party South South Forum in Lagos State. She told OLUWAKEMI AJANI recently that women need to close ranks to attain leadership positions in various spheres of life. Background AM from Rivers State. I had my tertiary education at Howard University Washington D.C where I studied mass communication. I conducted series of interviews when I was young. I travelled for a while and when I returned, I worked with Punch Newspapers briefly. I was the then Editor of Happy Home in the Punch Newspapers. I did my Youth Service in Jos and there were a lot of robbery incidents then. My house was attacked and so I applied for a transfer to finish in Lagos at NTA Lagos. It was after that I worked with the Punch Newspapers. I left and then worked with NNPC, the Public Relations department precisely. I joined NNPC in 1990 and left in 2011. In between, I used to produce television programmes. With time, I branched out into film production. Legacy was the name of the series I was running then. I had people like Richard Mofe Damijo working with me. As a matter of fact, I introduced him to the industry and he was my lead character. There were also Fred Amata and Kanayo O. Kanayo. They all featured in the series and some of them are still keeping in touch Basically, I worked with NNPC as a Public Relations Officer and then moved on to administration before I retired. Upbringing My father is a very strict man in Abonima where we hail from. Though he was not a poor but he was very strict and this had done a lot of good in my life in terms of my being able to keep a home and being disciplined. I am extremely disciplined although I am trying to relax now because you cannot judge the world by your standards alone. People have different kinds of standards and may not like the idea of others imposing on them their own standards. For instance, by the time I was 10 years old, I had learned how to set the table, I mean the English way. I had also learned how to make bed because my father ran a polygamous family and you just had to know all these things. We were like stewards at home and the older children cooked. You would think that we were not his children. I remember that my immediate elder sister is very militant; she would fight but I used to shy away and my father would say ‘I am training you’ and we would ask him why he wouldn’t train his wife; why we had to be the ones doing such chores as making his bed and cleaning the house generally. In those days, people used wooden chairs and furniture. If my father came home then and saw a speck of dust, he would use my finger to mop it. So, it was a bit rigid and sometimes I used to wonder if he really loved me as his child. But I see the benefits of such upbringing now and if you ask me whether I treat my kids that way, I’ll tell you today’s children won’t take it. But that was the kind of upbringing I had and though it might seem a little bit tough it has numerous advantages. Childhood dreams I don’t really know because I lost my mum when I was nine years old. That was very traumatic for me and maybe that affected me a lot. I know I never wanted to be a doctor or nurse or some such thing. The only thing I desired to be was a nun because the world seemed tough. So I needed a shelter, a place where I could be protected. That was the only thing that occurred to me then. But I am what I am today through focus and uprightness. Women and politics Women are lagging behind when it comes to holding political offices. We need to get women involved to motivate others. To me, politics is not dirty; it is people that make it dirty. You can’t

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fight a disease from outside; you have to get in there and uproot it. If all the good people run away from politics then politics will be left for the bad people. I don’t like people complaining and not doing anything about the situation. What are we doing, those of us who think we can get in there and do something better? What are we saying if we cannot bring sanity to what we think is sick? I am not a second-class citizen. Women generally are not second-class citizens. However, in any situation people should not expect things to be given to them on a platter of gold. I have never done that in my life, as I have always fought for what I believe in. I have never got anything on a platter of gold. Even in the industry where I served for so many years, it was a battle for women working with NNPC to attain certain level but I don’t want to go into that. There was a time women thought they couldn’t go beyond certain level but we are breaking bounds not just because we are women. In the public affairs department where I served, women did so much better and had to do double of what was required not because we are women but because we are doing what we are supposed to do. If men feel that in the work place they are supposed to be paid better I can understand where they are coming from because we are women and the traditional belief is that a woman stays at home caring for the children while the man brings home the money. But the trend is changing and I don’t want a situation where women expect people to give them any extra respect or privileges just because they are women. No, I don’t think so because the perception is changing fast.

On women attaining top political posts such as governorship Women should struggle for power but the problem is economy. The husband may not empower a woman because she wants to go into politics. Women are backward financially because we have been homemakers in the past. If women don’t have money it might be difficult to achieve desired goals in politics. Women are intelligent but because politics has to do with capacity and economy empowerment, they might not go far. Nobody is ready to empower women because men want the offices so they are not going to empower women. It will take time for women to gain the time and amount of wealth the men have because they have been at the forefront in the work place. This is one of the many factors militating against women attaining high position more so when men don’t want women in those areas. If you want to take an office from somebody, you need to what it takes to get to such. The solution lies in women going into mainstream politics. Women achieving desired goals They can do this by getting together. We have brain washed to think that women cannot get along in such positions but it is a lie. All the battles in the different political parties in Nigeria, are they caused by women? No, but you and I have been brain washed that we don’t like one another and even in the work place, women don’t like working with other women. I think though that some women who are lazy and who don’t want to work

believe they can use their feminine guiles to blindfold men. Of course, hard working, focused women won’t buy such idea. Women need to get together. Men sponsor men but women don’t sponsor women. If you read the pages of the dailies, you will see elder statesmen who have sponsored other people and have thereby become godfathers. Have you ever seen a woman sponsoring another woman? So, women need to give other people room and appreciate the qualities and skills of other women who have something to offer. Present activities I am trying to see if I can get back to film production and I am also looking at politics because a lot of people have said to me there are not enough women in Rivers State’s politics. Politics is an activity meant to achieve some administrative goals and on its own, it is not dirty. Many people say Nigeria is a corrupt country but Nigeria as it stands is not corrupt, it is people within Nigeria that have made corruption the order of the day. Nigeria is a very versatile and beautiful country and if people do things rightly politics wont be a dirty but peaceful game. If only people are open-minded and are not greedy and corrupt, it would have been a different thing. If a party is working on an ideology but the members are working to steal money or grab something then politics become dirty. Future plans I want to mobilise more people. Presently, I am the President of River Bayelsa Association and I think that is a platform. The association has been on for the past 25 years. Sometimes ago, I organised a workshop for the association bringing people together to talk about our issues. The challenges before the state and the region as a whole, is lack of economic, social, traditional and political leadership. I think we are still facing that problem. Another problem that the region is facing is that we are basically republican. We don’t have a hierarchical structure and respect so everybody is a chief in his own house. Nobody calls anybody to order; nobody sponsors anybody. But when we begin to recognise that we need some level of organised structures to survive in the polity of Nigeria, we’ll make much progress. Women should empower themselves economically. We must learn to earn our own money. My personal opinion is that some women are afraid of making money. Women should learn to make money and invest their resources in an area that will give them dignity. For instance, the women in Balogun Market make so much money but they are the first to tell other women not to go into politics because it is a dirty game. But then they sit and complain that we don’t have good hospitals; that the children are dying because there is no food. But who is going to make these changes for them? When men want to campaign, they make use of the women and give them as little as N1000. Men continuously make use of women to liberate themselves. Women too should look out for one another to fight the marginalisation. Combining home and career That is simple because if a woman has succeeded in managing a home for many years, she can manage it even with eyes closed. My children have all grown now so, I don’t have that problem. Right now I live alone. I am not living with Mr. Obioha. Advice for women They should rise up to challenges. Nigeria is not doing well presently. We don’t have good hospitals, good schools and so on. It is not that we can’t be better it is just that bad people have been there for too long and we seem unable to harness our resources to move the country forward. But it shouldn’t be so because we have all it takes to build a good country. People may be trying but when you look around, there is really nothing positive we can point at right now. For instance, people go into politics just to grab money and nobody asks questions because we are afraid to do so. But if women don’t ask questions, then what happens to our children? What do we leave for them? Women should not be afraid to ask questions concerning our nation’s resources. Fashion I don’t follow trend. I wear what is comfortable for me at any point in time. Of course, I usually dress as the occasion demands. Leisure I love watching films and I sing a lot.


TheGuardian

THe gUardiaN,Sunday, may 19, 2013 19

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Junior Guardian Cambridge graduates Class Of 2012-13 ambridge College, ikeja gra, Lagos recently held a valedictory service to send forth the graduating class of 2012-2013. according to the international Coordinator, degree Foundation Programme, akinbulu adetunji, he urged the graduands to work hard, strive to be the best in their endeavours and keep the flag flying in any institution they might find themselves in future. “They should bear in mind that it is not over until it is over and when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. i wish them the best in their academic future endeavours,” he said. akinbulu said though the sojourn of the outgoing students was short but it was eventful, memorable and delightful, as the sound academic and moral training they were privileged to acquire in the school will surely prepare them for future challenges. He, however, bemoaned the deplorable state of the country’s education system, calling on the leaders to work towards reviving it. He also used the medium to call on the leaders to be selfless in their service to the nation. Some of the highlights of the programme include award presentation to outstanding students, song renditions and valedictory speech by one of the outgoing students. adewoju grace Oluwapelumi, a science student bagged the overall best student award for the Class of 2012/2013 session. an elated Oluwapelumi said the secret behind her success is god and hard work. She urged younger pupils to embrace hard work and also be prayerful.

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—Olushola Victor Cross section of students at the event

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SaY iT iN FreNCH! by asuquo dennis French gender (2) till talking gender. in the last episode of Say it in French!, you were introduced to the issue of gender – what it means as it concerns language learning and how it is correctly used in modern-day French. You were also given some rules together with some illustrative words and sentences to ease your comprehension of the lesson. The question of which gender (masculine or feminine) should be used with certain words really poses a lot of difficulty to Nigerians who are learning French at one linguistic level or the other since this is strange to them. remember you cannot speak or write good French without having an excellent grasp of correct gender usage in French. Have a nice reading!

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masculine words ending in –f usually change to –ve in the feminine. Here’re some examples. masculine                    Feminine Un sportif                    une sportive     (sportsman/sportswoman) Un juif                        une juive          (Jew) Un veuf                       une veuve         (widower/widow) Un captif                     une captive       (captive) Kindly study these sentences. Lionel Messi est un sportif.      Lionel Messi is a sportsman.

bobo Unveils Super Kids and Schools Support Promo O commend its loyal customers, who are mainly school children including resonating its brand among its target audience, bobo Food and beverages Ltd. has stepped up with its annual Super Kids and Schools Support Promo. The promo, which was initiated three years ago, is now about pupils writing essay competition with the best among them and their schools at the state and regional level smiling home with cash and other handsome gift prizes. in all, 612 schools in nine states will participate in the programme, seven states in the South West region and Lagos and Ogun in the Lagos region, which starts this month and ends in december. according to the marketing manager, eric birhiray, the essay, which would be a take-home assignment at the first stage of seCOMPILED BY KIKELOLA OYEBOLA

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lecting the candidates for the state contest will be on the topic, ‘Why do Nigerian kids drink bobo than other fruit milk drinks?’ birhiray disclosed that apart from the prizes at the state and regional levels, there will also be a lot of consolation prizes at the school stage of the competition and at the state and regional levels. He said that at the state level, the first prize is a N50, 000 scholarship prize while the second and third winners get N35, 000 and N25, 000 prizes respectively. at the regional level, the star prize is a school bus while the first runner-up gets a set of computer and the second runner-up will smile home with a drum set. He said that the competition is open to both the public and private schools. according to him, to enter for the competition, pupils are to

submit their essay assignment with five wrappers of the bobo pack. He promised that the competition has been put together in a way that will be fun-filled for the children. The managing director of bottomline Promotions Ltd., Churchil iwuru, said the experiential marketing company driving the activation revealed that the programme will involve free sampling of bobo fruit milk drink, submission of five wrappers of bobo 200ml and essay writing competition among school kids. iwuru stated that apart from the prizes on offer, there will be consolation prizes such as school bags, T- shirts, exercise books, free bobo milk drinks, pencil packs, key rings, school wall charts of human body parts and alphabet and copies of super Strikas young teenager comic magazine.

Serena Williams est une sportive   Serena Williams is a sportswoman. Usain Bolt est un sportif.           Usain Bolt is a sportsman. Il est un sportif.                                               He is a sportsman. EIle est une sportive.                                      She is a sportswoman Il est juif.                                                         He’s a Jew. Elle est juive.                                                   She’s a Jew. Il est un veuf.                                                  He is a widower. Elle est une veuve.                                          She is a widow. most words with –eux ending have their feminine in –euse. Here’re some more examples. masculine                    Feminine Ambitieux                   ambitieuse                   (ambitious) Orgueilleux                 orgueillieuse               (proud) Officieux                     officieuse                     (unofficial) Outrageux                  outrageuse                  (outrageous) See you next week!

(You can contact us on events for this page through: e-mail: jideoojo@yahoo.com


20 SUNDAY MAGAZINE

THE GUArDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

CAMPUS

UNILORIN Hosts Conference For Campus Journalists By Oluwafemi Ogunjobi

OUrNALISTS from across the nation’s tertiary institutions converged at the university auditorium of the University of Ilorin (UNILOrIN), Kwara State, last week for a national writing conference, which was organised by the host institution’s Union of Campus Journalists (UCJ), with the theme Nigerian Campus Journalism: Renaissance and Reformation. Speakers at the three-day conference included the Director, African Liberty Organisation, Thomas Adedayo; Benjamin ‘Dairo Oyinloye; Dr Mahfouz Adedimeji of the Department of English, UNILOrIN; Chairman, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kwara State chapter, Mr. Abiodun Abdulkareem; Campus Page Editor of The Guardian newspaper, Tope Templer Olaiya; and editor of CAMPUSLIFE, The Nation newspaper, Wale Ajetunmobi. Thomas provoked the thoughts of participants on the role of the pen in creating a prosperous future. “As  journalists, you should be an advocate of fairness, justice, integrity and industry, which are the tenets that hold the fabric of the profession,” he said. In his presentation on The Ideal Leader: His lifestyle and Traits, Oyinloye explained that journalists are the only few privileged persons with the ability to break away from the cycle of ignorance into truth. Lecturing on Positioning Campus Journalism for Change, Adedimeji, quoted late Pini Jason, a former columnist with The Vanguard newspaper: “Our society has lost its manners and now it is about to lose its mind. Your responsibility as a fine writer is to help this society retrieve those values that made us great in the past, which this generation does not care about anymore! If you must be part of that recovery, then, you must not lose your head.” Mahfouz explained that journalism thrives on words, which are the building blocks of language. “A journalist, either campus-based or society-based, deals with words and makes words work. We are living in a world of words. Everywhere you go, words keep on dazzling your eyes on the pages of newspapers, magazines, books and the computer. “Words keep on blasting your eardrums from speakers, radio and television sets. On many occasions, what we read, what we hear, what we watch, determine to a large extent who we are. Words are powerful. Words are wonderful. Words are awesome. Words are breathtaking, as

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Career Talk Exposes Students To Canadian Education By Kenechukwu Ezeonyejiaku

confirmed in the Holy books that ‘In the beginning was the word; and the word was with God; and the word was God.’” He, therefore, urged the budding writers to wake up to their civic responsibilities, which is built on truth, objectivity, balance and fairness; which are ingredients that can change any society for the better. Delegates at the conference included campus journalists from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU); Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo;

University of Ibadan (UI); Ibrahim Babangida University (IBB), Lapai; Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED); University of Calabar (UNICAL); Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH); Delta State University (DELSU); Federal School of Statistics (FSS), Oyo; among others. During the interactive session, it was time to engage the editors of notable newspapers and magazines how campus journalists can report for media houses. Templer Olaiya from The

Guardian encouraged delegates to strive to be abreast of issues surround them and endeavour to verify all stories from credible sources before sending reports to the mainstream media. President of the UCJ, UNILOrIN, Wale Bakare, thanked the participants for being part of the move to channel a new course in campus journalism. Ogunjobi is a 400-Level student of Obafemi Awolowo University, IleIfe.

Meet Veritas University’s Best Graduating Pioneer Student From Leo Sobechi, Abakaliki

ErITAS University, Abuja (VUNA), owned by the Catholic Church, recently held its first convocation ceremony at its take-off campus in Obehie, Ukwa West local government area of Abia State. The event turned out to be a toast to the females after it kicked off with the opening procession. And the big moment came when Miss Fakorede Bisola Esther was announced as the best graduating student with a Gross Cumulative Point Average of 4.83. Esther, like her forebear in the Bible, showed the diligence in her by clinching two additional academic prizes to knock off all competition from her male peers. Of the 11 prizes up for grabs, Esther and her

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ELEGATES from Niagara Christian Community of Schools, Ontario, Canada visited the country recently to introduce an offering of qualitative education to intending students from Nigeria. The independent, non-denominational Christian school, sited by the beautiful Niagara river, near Niagara Falls, has been a centre of first-rate education for students since 1932. In a chat with The Guardian during a career talk at Morgan Consultancy Services in Lekki, Lagos, president of the school, Mr. Scott Herron, said there are several Nigerian students who have done exceptionally well in the school and his mission in the country is to expose Canadian education to Nigerian students. According to him, “NCC is a Christian school and we prepare students for life success by shaping character, building intellect, developing leadership skills and instilling in them selfdiscipline. It’s our hope that each student from NCC will go on to higher education and return to their home countries to affect the world positively.” He added that because of the international status of the school, students get the opportunity to interact with other students from across the world, build relationships and later in life, utilize those connections for career Esther and life after school.

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Delegates at the national writing conference held by the Union of Campus Journalists (UCJ), University of Ilorin... last week.

‘sisters’ hauled eight, leaving just three for the males. Esther was followed by Ndukauba Chiamaka Jane, who finished with a GCPA of 4.75; Ndukwu Vivian Chika (4.66) and Onwunali Chinonso Emmanuella (4.41). Anyanwu Christiantus Izuchukwu, who scored a GCPA of 4.18, was the best male student and he received the Political Science and Diplomacy Head of Department’s award. Esther, who read Applied Microbiology in the department of Biological Sciences, told The Guardian that she chose the course to equip her achieve her ultimate dream of becoming a medical doctor. According to her, she has always wanted to assist the sick and comfort the ailing. With her feat, Esther has become a poster child of the success story of VUNA, whose pioneer graduating class recorded an outstanding result. Of the 59 graduands, six had First Class, 38 finished with Second Class Upper, while 15 had Second Class Lower degrees. The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Michael Kwanashie, said: “As Nigeria tries to transform itself and build peace, it needs men and women of courage who will speak out and act in the light of truth. Veritas recognizes this challenge and tries to inspire her students to become agents of change in a troubled world. We have witnessed how unguarded our youth have embraced modern technology and have been connected to an unrestricted global community that is so free and preaches every type of lifestyle. “Today, the internet has become

more powerful than parents and institutions in molding the lifestyle of our youth and in directing their moral and social temperaments, which is posing serious challenges to those charged with education in the country.”

AAUA Don Gets 2013 Woman Of The Year Award LECTUrEr at Adekunle Ajasin U n i v e r s i t y , Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), Dr. (Mrs.) Nireti Duyilemi, has been honoured with the Woman of the Year 2013 Award by the Embassy of republic of Cuba, in collaboration with Free the Cuban-5 Solidarity Organisation, Nigeria (FC-5SON). The ceremony took place in the Conference Hall of the Cuba Embassy in Abuja last week. While conferring the award, the Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. ramos Milanes and the Director General of FC-5SON, Chief James Balogun-Arogunjo, said Nireti was honoured because of her commitment to women development.

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On his part, the Chancellor of VUNA, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, said the Catholic University of Nigeria is on course. “The modest achievements so far made since inception in 2008 is a clear indication that the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has

WISECrACKS Any person who selects a goal in life, which can be fully achieved, has already defined his own limitations. Cavett Robert Flexibility in a time of great change is a vital quality of leadership. Brian Tracy The quality of our expectations determines the quality of our actions. Andres Godin Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently. Henry Ford

LET US KNOW Every week, LIFE CAMPUS reports on events in students’ communities across the country. You can contribute by sending stories, gossips, reports on events and your pictures for Campus Faces to us at: templer2k2@yahoo.com or guardianlife2005@yahoo.com


THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

SUNDAYMAGAZINE 21

HEALTH

What Causes Sickness? By Moji Solanke

UMAN experience would insist that certain factors, or a combination of a number of factors are responsible for sickness. These include heredity, inexplicable mutation of the genes, exposure to harmful material substances, age, accident, lifestyle, and even certain foods. Some have also argued that sickness is caused by God, usually as a result of punishment for sin. But does God cause sickness? The need to address this belief about God and the state of man’s health, is vitally important for two reasons. First, it is widely, if not universally agreed, that the human nature has an innate propensity to sin, and therefore it is predisposed to sin. This would imply that no human being is free from the threat of being struck by some ailment from the divine hand. Secondly, getting to the root of this belief about God, impacts significantly on the other factors which human experience indi-

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cates are the harbingers of disease. In 1866, a woman of the Christian faith, made an interesting discovery. Mary Baker Eddy found out that, just as God does not cause man to sin, neither does He cause man to be sick. What is more, she proved incontrovertibly over a span of almost 45 years after her discovery, that, gaining an intelligent and spiritual understanding of this remarkable truth, actually brings about healing of every kind of ailment, regardless of which human factor enumerated above, seemed to have caused the disease. She spent the rest of her life healing medically diagnosed diseases such as tumours, cancers, tuberculosis, blindness, tooth decay, paralysis, and so on, most of which had been given up by the medical faculty as hopeless and incurable. Proper documentation of these duly attested healings abound in medical records in her native America, as well as in other parts of the world.

In presenting her discovery to the world, which is based on the understanding that God does not cause disease, Eddy invites the reader to reason with her thus, in her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ‘If God causes man to be sick, sickness must be good, and its opposite, health, must be evil, for all that He makes is good and will stand forever.’ She goes further in this line of reasoning ‘If the transgression of God’s law produces sickness, it is right to be sick.’ She then asks why we should attempt either with or without drugs to destroy a quality or condition of truth. Then she concludes, that God being entirely good, is neither the author of sin, nor the producer of disease. Indeed, she insists that instead of God causing sickness, He wipes it out in the most effectual manner. And this conclusion is the crux of the matter, because this is the basis of consistent and reliable spiritual healing. Many around the world who have been diag-

nosed with hopeless or incurable diseases, are finding, through this system of spiritual healthcare outlined in Eddy’s book, a reversal of the diagnoses, and the incontrovertible proof, often attested by the medical faculty, albeit as inexplicable medically, but definitely a case of healing. Regardless of where an individual may be with their state of health, recognising, acknowledging and then gradually or instantaneously gaining the spiritual understanding that God does not cause sickness, brings about a spiritual revolution that enables man to experience the kind of healing established by Christ Jesus, practiced consistently by Eddy for almost half a century, and which many continue to witness and experience in Nigeria as well as all around the world, today. m_asolanke@hotmail.com

Practical Psychology

The Scourge Of Paedophilia By Passy Amaraegbu

VELYN is a mother of three. Jude 9, Julia 4 and Jerry 2. As a career couple, both husband and wife leave very early and return very late to the house. During the critical periods both are outside the house pursuing their career as lawyers, their children are in the custody of their dutiful maid, Angel. Eighteen years old Angel attends a neighbourhood private secondary school. Angel spends much of her time reading romantic literature and watching pornography on her phone. Consequently, she has initiated Jude into her immoral lifestyle. She uses the boy to practice what she learns from those avenues. Consequently, Jude is already sexually active. When she newly arrived Evelyn’s home, two years back, it was difficult to arouse the boy’s interest but by using food and sweet as rewards, she was able to capture the boy. She would begin by luring Jude to her room and then request him to follow her footsteps. Gradually she would remove her dresses and request Jude to do same. Next, she would begin to touch and caress his genitals and request him to follow her example. What is paedophilia? It is a psychological disorder whereby adults sexually abuse children or minors. It can occur as a heterosexual or homosexual abuse. Most times, it goes on undictated and unnoticed because normally, most of us don’t suspect such a degrading phenomenon to be in practice. The typical Paedophile is an opportunist. She squanders the wealth and weight of confidence reposed on her. Like we noted in Angel’s case, she is trusted with the lives of three young children but, she like Judas is a traitor. She was brought into a decent and middle class home, a far cry from her humble one, yet she abuses the opportunity. The Paedophile thrives in secrecy. Due to the innocence and ignorance of most children, paedophiles easily abuse them right under the roof of their parents. They may use the weapon of reward or punishment to influence the victim, (a minor) to keep mute about the abuse. Of course, neither will the perpetrators confess the evil they are engaged in until something drastic happens. In some cases, they will neither accept responsibility nor confess their evil deeds. Another characteristic of paedophiles is that they suffer inferiority complex. Their inability to approach fellow adults for sexual expression is transfigured into the sexual abuse of minors. They have a dysfunctional personality. Paedophiles are solicitous and in offering help, they are manipulative. They use their seemingly helpful tendency as a veneer to manipulate people so that they can engage in their nefarious act of sexual child abuse. In a very remarkable way, paedophiles have some form of significant advantage over their victims. In the absence of Evelyn, Angel was in charge of the home and could use different rewards to entice the boy, Jude. Immoral and wicked teachers

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Prof. Dayo Alao, (right), deliverying a lecture while Chief Emmanuel Adisa and Chief (Mrs) Betty Ubeku, Special Guest listen during the Nigeria-Israel Friendship and Economic Forum held at Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.

Health And Your Mind

Issue Of Faith And The Kingdom Of Heaven (8) By Babatunde Ayo-Vaughan

N the last article, I directed attention to a particular statement of Jesus to drive home the practical import of the kingdom of heaven in the life of man in which He said man ought not to worry about his mundane needs but that he should seek first the kingdom of heaven and everything that he needs will be added unto him. This arguably has meaning in the practical functions of the mind of man and this is where the issue of faith comes into it to make our explanation convincing and we will still rely on the statement of Jesus to help further. He said ‘consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they toil not neither do they spin and yet I say to you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God do clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little FAITH’. This is a statement that emphasises the critical importance of faith in the whole existence of man. He went on from that point to say that you should seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you’. This statement shows us clearly that there is an intrinsic link between the concept of faith and the notion of the kingdom of heaven. If the lilies of the field grow and they toil not and as Jesus also said, the birds of the air also eat and they have no barn to store any food, why as Jesus noted must man be having problem in these matters? When He said it is because man is of little faith, that is why he is having the problems other creatures are not having, then you will appreciate what it could mean when it is said that there is an intrinsic link between the concept of faith and the notion of the kingdom of heaven. If a quality of faith is not there between the aforementioned creatures and the source that supplies their needs, Jesus might not have referred to man as of little faith. When Jesus said man should seek first the kingdom of heaven and everything that he needs will be added unto him, it must be a reference to the source

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where all the other creatures of nature are getting the supplies to their needs. What this clearly suggests is that these creatures in their relationship with the source of supply to their needs are operating so to speak in the kingdom of heaven. Instinctively, these creatures are not waiting to die so that they can go into the kingdom of heaven. Right here on earth, they are already partaking in its benefits because of an intelligent linkage that they have with it. This is like a rule of operation that intelligently links them with nature and with that rule of operation, they instinctively know that in the God of heaven, they move and have their being. This is how this statement in Act 17:28 in the bible should apply to man in his relationship to heaven. The biblical statement says that in God ‘we live and move and have our being’. If man has effectively linked up in faith to the statement, he would have come to know that his mission is to replicate heaven. That is the tragedy of religious ignorance. It was Jesus in his Lord’s Prayer who said ‘thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven’. The implication of this statement is that man should petition the seat of God within him to give him the knowledge to transform this world into what can be called Heaven on earth. The potential for heaven according to Jesus is within man (LK 17:21). What is expected of man is to make that potential dynamic to open his eyes to the fact that he is already potentially in heaven and his duty is to make the potential heaven a dynamic heaven on earth. It has to do with the understanding of faith; the method of the rule of intelligence and man will just be like what the bible said of a righteous man. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that bringeth forth fruit in his season. Its leaf also shall not wither and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper (Ps 1:3). Ayo-Vaughan, a psychologist, lives in Lagos.

could perpetrate a similar evil among their pupils, religious leaders among their impressionable young flock, family members and friends among children in the home. Paedophilia isn’t a recent abuse. It has existed since mortals began to inhabit our globe. What type of relationship exist between a middle aged suitor and an eight year old bride? What is child marriage? Why wouldn’t an adult marry an adult? The age difference may be as high as anybody can imagine but, let it be that both partners are adults. Engaging a minor in sexual relationship is consequential. Due to the incomplete development of the child, the result is a harvest of damages – physical, psychological social and spiritual. Such a dastard act will create medical problems for the minor. Pains, unnecessary blessing, infection and lacerations may likely occur. Psychologically, that child may grow up becoming promiscuous or develop hatred for sexual relationship. For a female child, rigidity and vaginismus may be the result of paedophilia. Moreover, the victim will likely correlate sexual relationship with fear and material reward. Again, sexual abuse of minors can result to phobia and hatred for the opposite sex. Carried into adulthood, this can pose problem in marriage. Some of us are familiar with comments like, ‘men are terrible; men are beasts; all men are selfish; all they want is sex. On the other side, we hear such comments like, women are manipulative; they are only interested in a man’s pocket. All these are signs of gender rivalry and phobia which may be rooted in childhood abuse. How can we protect our children from paedophiles? Parents should be careful in their choice of maids and house helps. Before you decide on whom to trust the care of your children to, make inquiries about them. Get necessary pieces of information like their strengths and weaknesses, appetites, habits, hobby and bio data. Also ask them direct question on their level of sexual exposure. Let them undergo basic medical examination like weights, height, urine, blood, and eyes tests. They can also undergo tests for sexually transmitted diseases (STD). Equally regard them as your own children and treat them as such. Truly, love covers a multitude of sins. The children should be taught to respect their bodies and to report any form of abuse to their parents. On their own side, parents especially mothers should be available to supervise the children as well as ask questions about their well-being. Furthermore, parents should keep watchful eyes over other family members and friends who visit their home as well as interact with their children. Avoid leaving your children with people in closed rooms. Educate the children on the sanctity of the body and teach them to report any abuse promptly. Endeavour to meet their needs so that they will neither fall prey to material nor financial enticements.


THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

22 SUNDAY MAGAZINE

NEWSFEATURE ders the abattoir, Mr. Yusuf Muhammed, said living there is a two-fold punishment. He said that in the afternoon, when the slaughter slab is washed, the water that is a mixture of blood and dung flows through the drainage in from of the estate to the canal. This water, according to him, stinks and emits foul odour. He revealed that at night, when the carcass of the cow is being burnt, the smoke flows into the rooms of the about 138 flats in the estate, choking occupants. Muhammed also revealed that the dung from the cow, which has become a heap of refuse oozes out foul smells at night compounding the problems of the resident as breathing in fresh air becomes more difficult. For Mrs. Deborah Oladele, though she is not happy about the unkempt state of the abattoir she had continued to patronise the abattoir because the location is close to her house and there is no viable option. She felt that government is not performing its supervisory role, which is why the occupants and workers had thrown caution to the wind. She complained about the waste management of the place noting that the smell that comes out of the place is too bad and when driving through the place especially at the canal point anytime of the day, the foul odour is nothing to write home off. Oladele stated that the unperturbed attitude of the government makes the citizens feel helpless about the situation. Mr. Adedayo Ogundare owns a shop opposite the abattoir. He also complained about the disgusting odour coming out from the abattoir disclosing that when he goes to supply gas to his customers at the estate by the abattoir, the stench and the weed he often perceives are often terrifying and wonders how residents cope. Attempts to speak to the Lagos State Butchers’ Association, Abattoir Branch were not successful. The By Gbenga Salau Guardian was asked to check back on The slaughtering of cows does not take any ordumped some 50 metres from the slaughter slab, the first visit because the chairman which is now a big heap of stinking refuse. The HO Let the Dogs Out? is a song written and orig- ganised format, as the whole place is usually of the association was not on sit. rowdy with everybody doing his things carelessly, blood that is packed is usually taken out to dry inally recorded by Anslem Douglas (titled On the second visit, the Vice-ChairDoggie) for the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival sea- not bothering about the next person. The butcher within the vicinity of the abattoir or by the border man of the association claimed that who cuts the meat into parts does the breaking of the abattoir. son of 1998. Watching the slaughtering of two he wanted to pray and would be back down in a hurry in order to move to the next availdead cows sent a wrong signal concerning the in 10 or 20 minutes, he did not return able one. The man who lifts it into a tri-cycle carHE washing of the slaughter slab is done in the almost an hour when the reporter state of health of the cows killed daily at the Okories it with cellophane wrapped around his body, afternoon. Two people do it. One of them sprays left. Also, the managers of the abatOba Abattoir, Agege. Perhaps, it is best to ask, who though wearing a cloth underneath that has water on the floor to soften the blood, which is al- toir, Harmony Services Limited, were let these cows out? tasted different kinds of cow blood over the years, ready getting hard and the other person, uses a The compound called the Oko-Oba abattoir, not willing to comment when The brush to scrub the floor. Agege, is big and compartmentalised. The slaugh- and the cloth, probably not washed for days. Guardian sought to speak with them. Everybody is allowed to walk on the raised conThe water used ends up locked in the crack secter slab is a raised concrete floor, located on the crete floor, putting on all kinds of shoes, rain tions of the floor, which retains the water till the North West of the abattoir. The slaughter slab is POINTER to the economic activity boots and slippers. With many of these people next day. Also, after the washing, once the floor is one of the raised floors. It is where the slaughterand the high transaction going dried, the slab becomes a football pitch. ing and slicing into major parts are done. As they having walked through the roads, from the gate on within the abattoir is the presor the village to the slaughter slab, filled with deSome residents living around Oko-Oba protested ence of four commercial and two miare killed, their blood, most times, flows to the composed cow faeces and other dirts, which litter recently over the filthy condition of the abattoir. floor, though about 40 per cent go into the crofinance banks. The Guardian also the whole compound. Speaking on why they protested, Mr. James Idowu, noticed a good number of refrigerdrainage, which flows out through the interconIt was also observed that there is little attention who resides on Agric Road, said that the stinking nected channels within the abattoir to the canal ated Eko Meat Vans either getting paid to cleanliness and so there are sections with odour oozing out of the abattoir is felt more at close by. Also, faeces from the cows, about 30 per loaded with butchered meats or stagnant murky dirty water and marshy ground. night and it is usually suffocating. cent or more end up in the drainage, which is waiting to be loaded, usually in the A resident of the Millennium Estate, which borwashed into the canal at the end of the day’s work. The dung from the cows is taken away and

The Good, The Ugly Of Oko-Oba Abattoir W

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Our Slaughter House, Our Meat, Our Environment By Fabian Odum EARS back and even until recently, beef and some other Y meat carcasses eaten by our diplomatic community had to be imported from their home countries; some still may be doing that. Incidentally, the upper class of our own Nigerian people living in the highbrow areas of Nigeria’s first rate cities like Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt patronise specialised meat shops for fear of what may happen to their health in the event of buying from the common open markets that dot the cities and towns. The apprehension is justified given the unhygienic state of our abattoirs and slaughter slabs where entrails (inner organs of the animal’s abdominal cavity) especially the guts are not carefully separated from the muscles. This, microbiologist say, have extremely high bacterial load of pathogenic microorganisms that is detrimental to health. Aside, the filthiness of the environment of our abattoirs, including Lagos, where the government is showing and should

act fast, flies as vectors of diseases are not lacking in their presence. Faecal matter on slabs, floor and open drains has become sources of picking up pathogens by these flies that do not spare the raw meat on display in the stalls. Meat slaughter technicians and veterinary experts agree that the normal practice, which is lacking in the abattoir, is that during dressing, the gut of cattle (and sheep’s, etc) should be sealed to prevent leakage of animal content. Three academics, A. Adesemoye, B. O. Opere and S. C. Makinde, microbiologists, are concerned environmentalists and researchers from Adekunle Ajasin University, Lagos State University and its Centre for Environment and Science Education respectively. Working in concert on the microbiology of abattoir wastewater and contaminated soil in Lagos, they found that not only humans are at risk but the environment and biodiversity. At the Oko-Oba Agege abattoir, the locally popular ponmo (hides and skin), hooves and parts of the carcass are unwitting receptacles for the content of the alimentary tract dislodged during the disemboweling of the animal.

Unintentional as that may appear and largely due to the ignorance and unacceptable practice but the vets should take responsibility, too. These factors play no small role in being agents of disease either latently or expressly. Beyond the negative impact on public health, these researchers raise the point that consequences of man-made pollution as seen even in the discharge of untreated effluents from the slaughter house are far-reaching. They list ‘transmission of disease by water borne pathogens, entrophication (excessive discharge of nutriuent rich in materials that support dense plant growth resulting in heavy oxygen usage to the dealth of animal life) of natural water bodies, accumulation of toxic chemicals in the soil and destabilization of ecological balance.’ By international standard and best practice, effluent like this need not be discharged directly to the environment. Clearly the state’s environment protection agency, LASEPA should ensure that effluent is properly handled. Unfortunately, it is more on paper than in the field.


THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

SUNDAYMAGAZINE 23

Life At The Abattoir Community By Chijioke Iremeka

HE lairage is the enclosure housing T cattle and other hoofed ruminants. But sharing the same environment with these grass-chewing legal inhabitants is a fast-growing dwelling place with people from different parts of the country. Another slum is breathing with life. The situation at the abattoir community is nothing different from what obtains at the abattoir itself. Selling of meat and rearing of cattle and other domestic animals, are still part of economic mainstay of the community. The Guardian’s visit to the Oko-Oba abattoir slum shows a flurry of sundry activities, which ranges from animal husbandry, due to the need to get more animal for commercial purposes to cobbling and hair dressing. Some have specialised in making livestock feed. They produce ice block for chilling of unsold meat and for vending of soft drinks within the community. Firewood stocking and selling; food vending, tailoring, local stove making, axe and knife filing and selling are other activities that characterise the business style of the dwellers. Other activities include, commercial motorcycle (okada) repair and battery charging among others are what the community is known for. Apart from few areas within the abattoir community, such as Sina Ogunbambo Street, where neat bungalows were sighted, other aspects of the community is in serious environmental dislocation. The environment is in a deplorable condition, squalid. There is absence of infrastructural development of any kind. The roads are not tarred. People live in huts and all kinds of awkward contraptions especially those of cattle rearing nomads mostly from the northern part of the country. Most of huts are made in form of a big sitting room, where a number of them converge and sleep after the day’s work. Swarms of houseflies are seen everywhere within and without the living areas. The dwellers depend largely on Suya and meat selling, while their wives undertake food vending for a living. They make special Hausa cakes for their husbands and children. In the community, cattle are seen as co-residents as they are so friendly with the people, both the strangers and non-strangers, unlike those coming from the wild of some sort. Those selling animal feed are there, too, with most of their plank-made houses covered with black nylon bags to prevent rainwater from destroying their belongings. In its entirety, the region has a serious environmental challenge; and because there is heavy truck movement, in and out of the

community, to offload cattle from north and Niger Republic, the roads are badly affected. However, due to the fact that the residents of the community are low-income earners, the area seem not to have attracted any form of development except few streets that have security here and there. The community also plays host to many young people and some elderly ones. According to one of the residents, Rasheed Lawal, who hails from Ondo State, he enjoys the place, amidst absence of infrastructure. “At least, I live in this community of my people. We do not have problems here. If the government decides to take us away, let them povide us another place that we can settle and adapt easily.” He noted that he has been living in Oko-Oba with his family for the past 10 years, saying that by right, he is supposed to have become a citizen of Lagos State. “I have my five children, born in this community. What the government is doing is good but let them provide us with an alternative community, so that we will not be like others displaced people like Maroko.” For Mr. Johnson Adeola, government should provide the dwellers with some good sense of infrastructure and ensure sanity in the community, including the abattoir itself. “The community might not be at its best but we like it and believe that the government will make it a better place to be. I’m happy, living here.” Meanwhile, there were quite a number of camels at the scene, during the visit to this festering sore of a slum. It was gathered that camels are killed and sold for meat, while live ones are sold to people who want them for transportation of their goods. Apart from selling camels for transportation, a number of transporters are located there for movement of goods and services as well as domestic animals from the northern part of the country. Transport companies like, Kebbi State Transport Ltd, those from Sokoto and others have good presence here. According Jubril Garba, a cattle feed seller, “We slaughter at least, 20 camels a day and over 500 cattle. As early as 5am, we start our job. Then, there are meat vans provided by the state government, which take the meat to Badagry and other parts of the state, where they are sold.” He noted that some vehicles are dedicated to conveying of camel meat, which is called Thilib geyl in Saudi Arabia, while more vans are dedicated to carrying of cow meat (beef) “Not everybody likes eating camel so, they have to be separated from normal beef. Some people place orders for meat from camel and others go for beef.”

Abattoir Complex: Open Sore Of A State By Paul Adunwoke LEANLINESS, they say, is next to godliness. For the meat sellers at Lagos State Abattoir Complex, Okooba, Agege, maybe this saying will have to be rung like bells for these people, who seemed to have turned the market to their garbage ground. Cleanliness is not next to godliness, but deathliness. A customer in the market, Mr. Jide Omoniyi, however, said the dirty environment is as a result of rainfall. “During dry season, the market used to be very clean. Dirt affects the business because no body wants to be in a dirty place. The traders have to do

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something because as more rains come, the more it would get worse and it is not good for our health. Any thing that is for public needs to be handled with care.” Apart from the people who skin meat and turn them to pomo, the activities that go on in the market would make a visitor wonder whether the movement of meat from the slab to the trucks, tricycles and carts are really healthy for consumption. On a recent visit, The Guardian discovered the ‘unhealthy’ process, as some men carried the slaughtered meat on their heads without putting them inside basin or bag.

NEWSFEATURE Oko-Oba Abattoir : To Undergo Immediate Reforms, More Slaughter Houses Underway Following the torrent of public comments on the poor and unhygienic state of the stateowned but privately managed abattoir at Oko Oba, Agege, Lagos, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, Commissioner of Agriculture and Cooperatives spoke to GBENGA AKINFENWA on the positive reforms that will visit the slaughter complex before the end of this year. Excerpts. What has your ministry done since the stench report emanated? O far the ministry has commenced the stakeholders meeting with all the major stakeholders at the abattoir, the butchers association, the animal market merchants and the management of the abattoir. The ministry is also working in collaboration with Ministry of Environment and two other agencies of the Environment ministry such as Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA). The issues we have there has to do with sanitation, public health is also involved because of the hygiene situation of the abattoir and as a ministry, we have commenced a lot of workshops for our veterinary doctors and superintendent veterinary officers to enlighten them on what they should watch out for and how they can continue to regulate and even enforce the rules and regulations that we put in place there. In the 2013 budget, we already have provision for government intervention at the Oko-Oba Abattoir. I would not want to be specific but there is going to be a facelift on the infrastructure, even the way and manner animal is being slaughtered, and the transportation issue. What is government’s next plan in the operations of the slaughterhouse and how soon? Be assured that before the end of this fiscal year 2013, we are going to fence the abattoir to address security issues; we would reform the slaughter slab. Because of the water problem there, the Water Corporation is moving in and we are in serious dialogue with the other stakeholders, which I would not want to let out because I believe in action. By the time you see the reforms going on there, you would have another story to tell Lagosians. Looking at the population of Lagos, is one Abattoir enough for the state? It is not as if we have one abattoir, we have one main abattoir. We want to also reconstruct four, starting with two in this budget year but it is going to be on a Public-Private Partnership like build, operate and transfer. It will be advertised in the papers in the next couple of days, for Itire and Matori Abattoirs. We already have the semi-mechanised abattoir at Asako in Ajeromi/Ifelodun Local Government. We have illegal slaughter slabs, and let me use this opportunity to inform the general public that they should desist from going to patronise them. There are no veterinary officers at these abattoirs and we don’t know the health status of the animals that are being slaughtered there; also the hygiene level of the carcass and beef coming out of there, there is no disease control in those illegal slaughter slabs. There are some animals that have diseases, for example tuberculosis. We don’t want people to risk their lives because as government, we need to ensure protection of lives and property and as the ministry; we are to ensure the food security agenda of the state. And those operators should know that their time is up, we are coming. Operators claim that they incur losses when

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vets at the abattoir do not pass their animals. Don’t you think this is the cause of the illegal slaughter slabs that endanger pubic health? The more reason why I told you that if you patronise the illegal abattoir and no veterinary doctor to check the health of the animal, you wont be able to ascertain the diseases that can be transferred from animal to man. If you have a market that people don’t patronise, definitely it would close down. So, it’s left for Lagosians to not patronise them. We have an abattoir that is government regulated and approved, why do you want to patronise illegal slaughter slabs? Any animal that is found not to be worthy of consumption would be condemned. We now have to talk about the compensation, that is what the butchers association and the abattoir management would have to work out and if there is any need for the government to intervene to provide incentives for them, we are ready. We have already began the stakeholders meeting and in no time, you are going to see the change for the better because we strive to make Lagosians can get better beef or carcass. It is unacceptable for people to be importing beef from some other countries. You don’t know the health regime of such countries and that is part of the reform. Where is the animal coming from? All the animal merchants would have to go through screening. If an animal is pregnant then it is not fit for consumption and through scanning, it will always be detected. We are going to do it. Transport vans operating at the abattoir appears insufficient. What are you doing about this to check moving meat with Keke, taxi or other unauthorised means? Did I hear you say insufficient vehicles? We have sufficient vehicles. The use of unauthorised way of moving meats are gone, you can’t see them on our major roads. They only use tricycle within the abattoir, and its not for animals. Why isn’t all the processes of animal slaughter mechanised and supervised by Harmony Abattoir Management? Well, we have a mechanised section that can process 2000 animals in a day, but because of culture and this part of the engagement that we have commenced, we want to migrate. We know where we started from; we started from using shoulder to carry carcass, from human shoulders to carts, from carts to taxi before we got to the air-cooled and from the air-cooled system, we graduated to the refrigerated Eko Meat Van regime. We are going to improve on the infrastructure there; the complaints from the neighbouring estate are being attended to. It is an inter-ministerial approach - Lagos State Waste Water is looking at that, LASEPA is also working, it’s not only Agric ministry. Before the end of this budget year, you are going to see improvement. The 2000 animal slaughter capacity, is the abattoir not handling too much? There are two machines and each can do 1000. If the two were put into optimal use, then it would be 2000. What we presently slaughter on the slab now is 1000, mostly on weekends. Our people are always in a rush to go to the market and once we are more efficient, we would do more. Operators claim that the charge on each cow slaughtered is higher than outside, what is your position on this? What do you mean by outside? It is illegal and when you go to an illegal or black market, you are going to get what is operational in the open market. It will be cheaper because they cut corners. Are you going to patronise those people that don’t have vet doctors to check the state of health of animals. I advise people not to patronise them.


24 SUNDAYMAGAZINE

THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

ODDFILE

When Gods Become Beggars By Gbenga Salau CT one. Scene one.

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They are dressed in white. From their clothes, beads and slippers to the staff in their hands, it is all white. They are representatives of ifa olokun asoro dayo. While some of them are transfixed somewhere, praying for those who needed a change in their situation, others harass passers-by with their begging… Act one. Scene two. His name is Pastor Phillip. He does not preach, he prays. Though he does not collect money from people for the prayer he offers, the people who want answers to their prayer make a commitment and pledge of N100 each… On this trip from Mile two to Oshodi, which is the second time The Guardian came across ‘Pastor’ Phillip in a bus, he started talking about the wonders of God. Thereafter, he went to vein glorification of how he travelled to London, US and South Africa to evangelise. Yet, in this bus, he did not preach. All he did was to criticise pastors who drive sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and have local churches. His popular phrase was: “Jesus went about preaching, he never owned a church or rode in expensive cars. Yet today, many pastors drive in SUVs, have big churches and they see themselves as being superior to those who do no ride in big cars or do not have a big church building.” After saying this, he went on to ask, “what is the difference if I preach in a molue or in a church?” Perhaps, out of pride, he went on to tell everybody in the vehicle that he did need their money to preach the gospel, as God will provide for him. But he soon reached moment of anagnorisis, when after his prayer, he could not get 14 people to contribute N100 each to finance his transportation to Iseyin for ministration. Unlike our first encounter when he got more people above the 14 he wanted, this time around, there were just seven who gave out N100 each. Not reaching the 14 he wanted, he changed tactics When masquerades leave the spirtual for the physical, begging for alms and said that he would want more people to benefit from the date is to move from bus to bus evangelising, preaching and win grace. He kept lowering his ‘cut-off point’ until he got to N20. souls for Christ. BEGGING is the calling in the country today, so to say. People have Most of these people preach in buses when they are either going adopted begging as the Holy Grail. And it is a thriving business! In to or coming from work or on work free days. a bid to survive, everybody adopts different strategy to make a liv- After preaching, they give out tracts and books to help build the ing. Nigerians now think up new ideas and means to make spiritual life of those who have received the message. They do not money. You doubt? Go to the streets and major bus stops and ask for contribution to keep the ministry moving as the local you’ll get the corporate, ‘mama’ and young beggars. Creativity is churches that they represent cater for their expenses. But today, many now move from bus to bus preaching the deployed. And like Obey Boderin’ noted, they are all fine bara. In the past, beggars move from one place to another in twos or gospel with no church affiliation. They claim to be commissioned threes, with bowls in their hands, soliciting for alms. People with bus evangelists, so, they have no specific congregation and one form of challenge or the other — visually and hearing church building. The passengers in the buses they join are their congregation. impaired, physically challenged and those with speech impediment — were involved. Then, it was mainly people from a section After sharing the word of God, they call for offering to keep the ministry moving. of the country. In those days, beggars went on strike like Aminata Sow Fall When the idea of collecting money after preaching in buses was noted. Reverse is the case these days. It is not restricted to any sec- condemned, they changed tactics. They started giving out tracks tion of the country, neither is it the prerogative of physically chal- or small booklets that were usually received free from bible societies abroad. They then ask people to donate towards the book lenged nor visually impaired. And like law, journalism, banking and accounting, some project. They claim that in order to get more, they need financial supNigerians have made begging a profession, but with no professional certification. These are people who claim to be representa- port. The books usually have no fixed rate and there are times tives of God and gods. They are clerics, pastors, evangelists and they tell people to give generously so that they can get more money to buy more for others. priests of local deities. They claim to have been called by God to preach the gospel in the bus. These people move from bus to bus evangelising. Though OTHERS who beg in the name of gods, but do not move from bus they have not chosen the seaside or bar beach as venue of their to bus are traditionalists. There are usually two categories, the evangelism, like the prophets in Wole Soyinka’s The Trial of Brother masquerades and those who are usually dressed in all white or red. Jero, they are prophets by birth and by inclination. For the masquerades, they move in groups requesting for Bus evangelism came about when churches, in their bid to ‘depopulate’ hell, created different ministries, especially evangel- money from passers-by. In local parlance, masquerades are heavenly bodies (ara orun) that have or should have limited interacism, with the bus section emerging from such arm. As a result, churches send out people on evangelism. The man- tion with mere earthly mortals, but today, they walk the streets begging for money and even giving balance to people who needed to collect them. Some of these masquerades are very violent in their approach. They move around with long canes and sticks, compeling everybody to give money. On a daily basis, you can find them at Mushin Busstop and its environ. For those women dressed in white, the pedestrian linking Oshodi and Ilupeju is usually their base. Another group are those who claim to be Islamic scholars. They usually go to mosques to say they are on spiritual journey, but stranded, and thus, they need financial support. According to Femi Ige, he does not give out money to any of the groups because he would be encouraging laziness. Ige said, “many who claim to be bus evangelists do not believe what they preach.” He added that he was surprised to see the man who preached in a bus he once rode days after in a drinking shark. “God, I couldn’t believe my ‘bus pastor’ was in an ogogoro joint.” For Ige, “many of those who claim to be bus evangelists are doing so because they do not have a living or lost their jobs or business, and so, only use the bus evangelism to survive.” Deborah Akide, however, does not see anything wrong in that. She said, “if you believe what they preach, then give them. They are not forcing out money from anybody’s pocket. It is a free will giving.” Pastor Amadi Iheanacho also shares Ige’s opinion. According to him, he does not give money to bus evangelists let alone those who claim to be representatives of deities. He said that most times, he does not listen to the messages from these bus evangelists because he does not believe them. According to him, preaching in buses should be a calling and a Another art of soliciting charity

step towards fulfilling the commandment of God that all saved souls should evangelise. “If any chooses to go out to preach, he should not ask for offering or any support because it is not a church,” he said. Narrating an incident he witnessed recently, Iheanacho said, “after preaching, the evangelist gave out a leaflet with an envelope inserted to passengers in the bus. One of the passengers took the leaflet, but returned the envelope without putting money in it. This made the bus evangelist to be annoyed, wondering and querying why the man returned the envelope empty after picking the leaflet. “If you chose to be a bus evangelist, then you must have a source of finance that will help you promote the calling. But if somebody preaches in the bus and you are touched and decides to voluntarily give the person money as sowing a seed is a different scenario.” The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Management Services, University of Lagos, Prof. Duro Oni, commenting on those who claim to be representatives of gods and go about begging for money, said that it is a bastardisation of what the culture stands for. “People should get creative at what they do and not use culture as tool for begging because it gives outsiders the wrong signal about our culture whereas our culture is a much richer tool in terms of material and non-material.” On steps to check these activities, the theatre arts teacher said that it requires enlightenment especially from the grassroot. The former DG of CBAAC said that traditional rulers and community leaders should discourage people from engaging in such acts. Mr. Segun Adedeji, a born-again Christian, said that every true Christian is an evangelist because that is the commandment from God. He further said that anybody who goes about preaching outside the church is only fulfilling why he is called a Christian. This to him is why nobody should claim to be a full time evangelist but when a person is, such should be sent by a church to engage in full time evangelism, which should also cater for all the logistics. According to him, the church should rise up and check the activities of people who are painting the church in bad light in the face of other religious bodies. To him, many who are not Christians would wonder what the religion has turned to. Adedeji said that though such practices are in other religions but the one that is perpetrated by those who claimed to be Christians are worse off and ridicule the faith that should be the guiding light. He called on the Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN) to partner with government to stop the act. On her part, the President of International Congress of Orisa Congress, Lagos State Chapter, Ebun Osunnike, condemned those who claim to be traditionalists and go around town begging because it is against the tenet of the religion. “True, there are some people that go about parading themselves as Orisa worshipers. They are dressed in white and they sit in public places begging for money. These people are not part of us. It is not Yoruba Culture to beg for money. It is not even in the tenets of Orisa worship. It is completely unacceptable. “You don’t beg for money. You work with you hands. This is what the Orisas instruct us to do, though there is a certain deity that instructs his followers to go and ask for money and pray for those who give. However, this comes up at a particular season and when that season is past, you cannot continue to do it as if you are a beggar.


THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

SUNDAYMAGAZINE 25

NEWSPEOPLE By Prof. Wale Omole

Guest Speaker, 2013 National Convention Of The Lions Clubs International. Osogbo, May 10, 2013 HE world we live in today, is not only global, it is interdependent. We therefore cannot escape each others’ challenges and concerns. We are all vulnerable to effects of spread of diseases, the effects of poverty all around us, the effects of climate change in our planet and the effects of pervasive economic depression in our various continents. The modern world, for all its blessings is unequal, it is unstable and it is unsustainable. The great mission for all of us is to positively impact our neighbours, our communities of shared opportunities, of indeed, shared responsibilities and a shared sense of genuine belonging that we are all the same. This is the only way to demonstrate that our common humanity is more important than our over-exaggerated differences. These, I believe is the charge the Lions Clubs International, has taken up for years. You give the three Ts of Time, Talent and Things in a determined effort to impact mankind. This is commendable. I heartily congratulate you once again as you hold your Annual Convention. Numerous factors beyond your control, including, but not limited to incidence of perennial poverty, poor maintenance culture, inflation that won’t go away, new diseases that have no immediate cure, amongst several other reasons, make an irony of your efforts. The more you give each time, the more the problems seem to multiply the next time around. In essence, not much is changing. We may at this point in time, need to examine more effective ways to supplement and complement the current strategies. We need to take some time off the madding crowd, as individuals and as organizations to look inside each and everyone of us, to look around us, to identify all that we have and may not know, as well as all we are missing and are ignorant about. If we are aware of ourselves, we will be better prepared to help people, who also will become more aware of themselves and most likely discover that they are indeed better than they perceived of themselves, richer than they think they are, feel and be more useful to themselves, more useful to their neighbours and more useful to mankind. Eckhart Tolle in 1999 recorded the story of a beggar who had been sitting by the side of a road for over thirty years. One day, a stranger walked by. “Spare me some change?’ mumbled the beggar, mechanically holding out his time beaten plastic plate. “I have nothing to give you”, said the stranger. Then he asked; “What’s that you are sitting on?” “Nothing” replied the beggar. “Just an old box. I have been sitting on it for as long as I can remember.” “Ever looked inside?” asked the stranger. “No” said the beggar. “What’s the point? There is nothing in there.” “Have a look inside”, insisted the stranger. The beggar managed to pry open the lid. With astonishment, disbelief and elation, he saw that the box was filled with gold. Today, I play the role of that stranger who has nothing to give and who is insisting that everyone of us must look inside. Not inside any box as in the story, but somewhere even closer. Inside yourself and inside myself. Most of us, if not all, are beggars because we are all disadvantaged, in more than many ways, even regardless of our material wealth. We are still looking out and begging for happiness, for courage, for boldness, for mercy, for kindness, for passion, for humility, for modesty, for purity, for confidence, for diligence, for honour, for endurance, for ingenuity, for faith, for decency, for affection, for understanding, for temperance, for wisdom, for optimism, for tolerance; searching for scraps of pleasures and fulfillment, for validation, for security, for love and above all for peace. The treasures we have within us include all of the above and beyond what we can imagine; they are infinitely greater than the world can offer. But we are internally blind to them all, because of the willful blindness of our minds. It is possible to free ourselves from our mindsets. Some of them are family values, cultural values, places we grew up, places we worked, places we visited, the teachers we had in school, the books we read, our religious beliefs, social status, the positions we hold and have held. For example, the mind considers it acceptable for first cousins to get married and start a family in some parts of our country, while some others see the practice as abominable. Some male adults inherit the widows of late

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Unlocking The Innate Individual Treasures brothers and produce new sets of children, while others will disinherit the widow of the property of her husband and allow her and her children to move out. The mind just judges the varying situations as right or wrong depending on which environment you belong and what upbringing you experience. The problem of humanity is deeply rooted in the mind itself or rather, in our misidentification of the mind. The urgent task is the transformation of human consciousness to transcend the mind. This requires cutting through the layers of mental resistance to free oneself from the enslavement of the mind. One simple method is to take some time off, all alone, without any disturbances. No music, no phones, no sounds, no assignments, no work, nobody around you, but just you. Get close to nature, to greenry, with natural landscape, with bloom and quietness, natural topography, somewhere far away. Let your mind be still, be present in the moment. Let your attention concentrate fully and intensely in the moment. It is possible that some negativity may set in at a point. Look on it as a failure, but as a helpful signal telling you to wake up, get beyond your mind to be present in your life. Your very essence is immediately available to you. The feeling of your own presence envelopes you. It is not about “I am this” or “I am that.” It is your own being. It is about your real self. This is one established method to cure the mind disease. The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly however, it becomes very destructive. It is a disease. If you don’t take over your mind, it takes you over with fears and agonies of life situations. Everyone needs a switch-off button to the mind. It is then we can begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought. Thought is only a tiny part of intelligence. It is when we know that all the things that truly matter; truth, integrity, beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace arise from beyond the mind. This is when we begin to open the door to our inner self. The moment we liberate ourselves from the mindsets, we are on the path to the discovery of our hidden self, our treasure. This is when we know the difference between I and self. Ego is the most difficult of our mindsets. It is the conduit through which we transmit our mindsets. Ego is the false self. It sees the truth from a different lens and makes the mind very dysfunctional. It is the unobserved mind that runs your affairs when you are not present in the consciousness of your life. Ego perceives itself as a separate fragment in a hostile universe, with no real inner connection to any other being, but surrounded by other egos which it sees as a potential threat or a tool to be used for its own end. The basic ego patterns are designed to combat its own deep seated fear and sense of lack. Ego

strategies are very clever. It arrogates and assumes all it lacks, yet it never truly solves any of the problems, because, ego itself is the problem. It is just a survival machine, not always creative, but always on the attack building up energy in the body called anger. Never truly happy. Research has shown that strong emotions cause changes in the biochemistry of the body. People who carry a lot of anger without being aware of it and without expressing it are always attacked verbally, contradicted in their positions by other angry people and often for no apparent reasons. They have a strong emanation of anger that certain people pick up sublimally and that triggers their own latent anger. It is much better to focus our energy from within. This will put us in touch with the self, rather than I. Rather than what are they thinking about me? Where are they placing me? Who and who are not recognizing me? Be close to yourself rather than be close to I. I am this and I am that and all the rest, is about I. Please permit me to share a limited personal experience between I and myself. Myself has a distinct name different from my public domain name, Professor Wale Omole, which belongs to the I, rather than myself. Prof. Wale Omole, is so formal and sounds like a distant drum, so official and far away, particularly when OFR is added as suffix. It makes me feel am at work or on duty, moreso on a few occasions that I have to append my signature above the name. Even, my first name Wale is just generic and common. Wale Omole is more specific and this is the only way I address me without the prefixture “Professor”. The name Professor does not belong to me. It is non-specific and just a title. I hardly answer Prof. but only nod so as not to appear to ignore the caller. Myself has a name I closely communicate with. When alone, it is the name of my silent moments. It is the name that resonates when making decisions. It is the name that thanks the Almighty God. It is the name to blame and admonish. It is the name to engage in deep conversation to stop me from what I may be doing wrongly. Debowale is not just a name. it is not I, it is me, the self that gives me peace. Debowale gladly learns from my errors and failures. Debowale does not lament or complain; neither celebrates nor jubilates. Debowale is absolutely free from encumbrances; has no possessions, has no university degrees, has no specializations, has no position, Debowale represents nothing, Debowale represents everything. It is my all. Debowale is the self and the key to my own modest and very thankful treasure, it has taken me a moderate and thankful distance in a journey of infinity, without knowing how far into the treasure it will take me before it is time. It is important to reach out to yourself to be able to help others. Each of us should try it. You will feel this great sense of self, something

in conscious experience that transcends all elements. A deep phenomenon that is sometimes hard to pin down, just feeling a glimpse of reality within yourself that is nearly out of this world. You conquer ego, anger, bitterness, fear without any room for malice. You are so bold, never feeling bigger or better than anyone. Never feeling richer, poorer, smarter than anyone. Just allowing and enjoying a sense of being and thanking God every moment. When you reach yourself, you attain psychological consciousness that includes, but not limited to the following: (a) Awakeness, which in functional terms, is the ability to process information about the world around you and deal with it in a rational fashion all the time. (b) Introspection, a process by which you become aware of your internal state. This access to one’s mental state is an important component of the everyday concept of existence. It gives you the ability to think about yourself and see yourself as an individual of distinctiveness from others; not necessarily better, but different. Singularity. (c) Attention, which is a significant portion of cognitive resources devoted to dealing with relevant information and situations. Paying attention prevents being aware of a situation and doing nothing about it. (d) Voluntary Control, an act performed deliberately to respond appropriately to circumstances by an element of prior thought. (e) Awareness. Indeed, wherever there is phenomenal consciousness, there is awareness. (f) Supervenience. The notion that crystallizes intuition and intuitive ideas, that one set of facts can fully determine another set of facts. If physical facts about the world are fixed, then biological facts cannot vary. From intuition, you know the next step to take in most situations. (g) Cognitive software for most issues. In Cognitive Science, this is the internal capacity that deals with learning, memory, attention, categorization, linguistic behavior and competencies. It makes it possible for one to predict imminent and latent consequential actions and prepare appropriate responses to them. There is a neurobiological theory to bind various kinds of information into a unified whole to deal with many problems of mindset. (h) Materialism. The self is not acquisitive. It is the I that is wanting everything and is very greedy. The self is conscious of the emptiness of materialism. (i) Coherence. This is required for good judgment of situations. Intrinsic beliefs from understanding, coherence, awareness and consciousness prepare you to make good judgment. (j) Immune System. There is a relationship between presence and the inner body. Presence is pure consciousness reclaimed from your mind and connected to your inner body. Connectedness with yourself straightens your immune system because you actually inhabit your own body. The more consciousness you bring to your body, the stronger the immune system becomes. It is as if every cell awakens and rejoices. The body loves your attention, it is also a potent form of self healing. Most illnesses that creep into you will not survive in your body. (k) Retardation of Aging. The awareness of the inner body is beneficial in the physical realm. One such benefit is the significant slowing down of the aging of the physical body. The inner body changes very slowly and remains strong even at older age. Your body remains vibrant, lighter, clean and lively if you are present in your life. (l) Peace. Through the inner body, you are inseparably connected to your creator and you have peace. In conclusion, connecting with oneself guarantees awakeness, awareness, internal humility, introspection, voluntary control of situations, cognition, internal weapons against ego, greed, corruption and materialism and coherence of thought to make good judgments. Our health enjoys pronounced immunity against infection and diseases; there is also retardation of aging processes enabling one to look younger in old age. Above all, our body becomes inseparably connected to our creator to give us permanent peace. The Lions Club International may start a new paradigm, by getting the members who are already in tandem with self, to train others within and outside the group to access their innate individual treasures. This will be a sustainable assistance, value and worthwhile addition to the current processes you discharge to the best of your abilities. Please know yourself beyond your I. Thanks for listening.


THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

26 SUNDAYMAGAZINE

SOCIETY Birthdays ONOSODE, Gamaliel Offorritsenere, politician, technocrat, administrator and former presidential candidate of the All Nigeria People’s Party of Nigeria (ANPP) will be 79 on Tuesday, May 22, 2012. Born in Sapele, Delta State on May 22, 1933, he attended Baptist School, Oginibo, Delta State between 1940 and 1946, and Government College, Ughelli between 1947 and 1952. He graduated with a B.A (Hons) in Classics in 1957 from University College (now University of Ibadan), between 1957 and 1960. He worked with the Commonwealth Development Corporation as a Management trainee, he emerged in the 1970s, as one of the Nigeria’s leading educated chief executive, when he was at the helm of NAL Merchant Bank of Nigeria. Over the years, he has risen to become a leading boardroom player in Nigeria’s corporate environment. He was also a former presidential adviser to President Shagari and a former president of the Nigerian Institute of Management. Throughout his career, he has chaired several private and public sector businesses and initiatives. He was the Chairman of Dunlop Plc, 1984-07, a former chairman of Cadbury Nigeria Plc, 1977-93, the Presidential Commission on Parastatals, 1981, Nigeria LNG Working Committee and Nigeria LNG Limited, 1985-90 and the Niger

Delta Environmental Survey (since 1995). He is also the Chairman of Zain Nigeria (now Airtel), a GSM telecommunications company. BADMUS, Abdulfatah Ajadi Adekilekun, administrator, teacher, publisher and educationist will be 71 on Monday, May 28, 2012. He was born on May 28, 1941, he had his B.A (Hons) from University of Lagos, 1967-70; PGDE 1976 from University of Ibadan. He was the Oyo State special adviser on Education, 1990-93, Executive Chairman, Post Primary Schools Teaching Service Commission, 1993-98. He was a member of Osogbo Local Government Caretaker Committee, 1980-82; Cofounder and secretary, Osogbo Cultural Heritage Council, 1985-88, National President, Osogbo Progressive Union, 2000-07; Principal of many schools and retiring at Osogbo Grammar School, Osogbo. He also participated in various Social, Cultural and Community Development prorammes. BADEJO, Rev. Dr. Wilson Adebogun, immediate past General Overseer of Foursquare Gospel Church of Nigeria will be 65 today. He was born on May 19, 1947 at Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State to Prince William Adele and Mrs Ebun Badejo. He had his Higher School Certificate in 1967 from Government College, Ibadan, Oyo State. He graduated in 1973 with Doctor of Veterinary

ing into full time ministry. He became the General Overseer of Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria in 1999 and continued in that capacity till 2009. He was appointed by the Global Pastors Network under the Chairmanship of Dr. John C. Maxwell, as one of the 100 leading church planters charged with the responsibility of executing “The Bill Bright Initiative: Five Million New Churches for a Billion Soul Harvest”. He is the Founder of Wilson Badejo Foundation (WBF), focusing on the lessprivileged. Onosode

Badejo

Medicine (DVM) Degree from University of Ibadan and thus belonged to the first set of graduates that served in the National Youth Service Corps

(NYSC). He worked at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Ibru Organisation and rose to the position of Deputy General Manager before retir-

Mr. Olusegun Adigun and his wife, former Princess Adebola Alakija during their wedding in Ikija, Ijebu, Ogun State.

Lecturer, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, Pastor Mike Sokunbi (left); Professor of Political Economy and Founder of Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL), Pat Okedinachi Utomi; his wife, Dr. Ifeoma; Mother of the new baby, Mrs. Blessing Mbamalu, Mrs. Sokunbi (carrying baby in front); Father of the new-born baby and News Editor of The Guardian on Sunday, Mr. Marcel Mbamalu; and Pastor Balogun, during the naming ceremony of baby Esther Ebubechukwu Mbamalu in Lagos…on Sunday, May 12, 2013.

WAIVE, Rev. Francis Ejiroghene, clergyman, accountant, development planner, author, publisher, social researcher and scientist, rural demography expert, newspaper columnist and radio/TV

evangelist will be 46 on Monday, May 21, 2012. He was born in Lagos on May 21, 1966. He attended Bendel State University (now Ambrose Alli University), Ekpoma where he studied Accounting. He was elected and served as the President of the Students’ Union Government (SUG), while in the University. He is the Senior Pastor of the Church of the Anointing in Warri, Delta State. He is the Publisher & Editor of FRESHOIL, a Christian newsletter since 1998. He is also the editor of RIVCHONEWS since 2006. He has held several leadership positions, including: National Treasurer, Nigeria Evangelical Mission Association (NEMA), 2005-2007, member, Delta State TB, HIV/AIDS & Malaria Collaboration Committee from 2007 to date, among others.

Mr and Mrs Emuoboh Gbagi at their traditional wedding at Ekpan in Uuwie Local Government Area, Delta State.

Mrs Alice Banwo celebrates her 70th birthday with her children and grand children in Lagos.

When Royal Fathers Fete Governor Son In Edo From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu,Benin City

T was an unusual gathering coming from unusual quarters as royal fathers in Afenmai land the appellation for Edo North Senatorial District comprising of six local government councils and over 50 towns, villages and communities in the state organised a “royal reception” for Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. At the event, the governor was bequeathed with the title; Osho-osimua (meaning he who saves from shame). For the unusual nature of the occasion, the crown prince of Benin Kingdom, Eheneden Erediauwa, Edaiken N’Uselu who chaired the gathering described the governor as the “messiah” of Edo State politics. He said the gathering of monarchs to celebrate their son was a testimony to how the governor is loved by his people. He commended the governor for championing the cause of one man, one vote approach to election, which he said has given the possibility that a free and fair election could be held in the country “without the usual attendant violence.” He said the governor had demon-

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strated his administration’s infrastructural development by turning things around in the state. Also speaking at the occasion, the Otaru of Auchi, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Haliru Momoh on behalf of traditional rulers said the reception was in recognition of the outstanding performance of a son of the soil and Edo State at large. “We are here today to celebrate a young man who has served his nation. God says you look at the past to determine the future and the present. Now, what is the past of this young man? He was the foremost pioneer of a detribalised Nigerian Labour Congress and was the famous pioneer of the fight to finish of the rights of man. “He has delivered this most successively before ever he thought about going into politics. This occasion is grounded in the spirit of Edo State, that is why we invited the Crown Prince to be the chairman,” he noted. “The man we are celebrating today is not Oshiomhole, is not Adams, not the comrade but

Almighty God who has made him what he is and given him the soul to do what he did in the NLC and his first term in office, which everybody in the state has bought into,” he added. In his response, Oshiomhole called on Nigerians to revive the Nigerian spirit that would collectively take Nigeria from where it is. He said if Edo State could be taken from its poor state to where it is, then the same thing could happen to Nigeria as a country. “My message today to all our people is that at this point in time, there are lot of things happening that are giving people course to worry including very serious security challenges but I ask us never to give up on our country, there is still no better country than Nigeria because you are never going to have another country that you are truly going to call your own. You may exchange your passport for another country’s passport, you might change your nationality, but you can’t change your DNA, you are a Nigerian. “This is the only country that your tenancy can never expire,

Governor Oshiomhole during the honour by traditional rulers

this is the only country you can come in and stay without resident permit and I ask us to recognise that even those countries that we rush to, they have their own challenges. In the streets of New York, statistics show that you have more than 50,000 Americans who are homeless; some living on the dustbins even in the midst of plenty. “We have seen crisis in Europe,

You can send your pictures, birthday events and reports to: jideoojo@yahoo.com

rich countries struggling to balance their budget, European Union packaging bailouts to support countries that are in trouble. The media may have succeeded in chasing away Gadaffi; they haven’t chased away the entire crisis in that country. I ask Nigerians to recognise that what we see on CNN about those other countries, doesn’t reveal the imperfections in those countries, in

any event only Nigeria and Nigerians alone can build this country. “So the failure of the past cannot be a reason to dismiss our future, the lessons are clear, once we resolve to rebuild Nigeria, Nigeria will be rebuilt. When we wallow in self-pity, nothing can be changed. I promise that by the time we are done with our mandate, Edo State would have attained


THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

SUNDAYMAGAZINE 27

MOVIEDOM

BY SHAIBU HUSSEINI

shaibu70@yahoo.com

Around and about Nollywood... Last Flight to Abuja: Bank pledges support for crash victims

Patrick Ellis comes to PEFTI for music video training

S the first anniversary of the 2012 plane A crash, which claimed so many lives in Iju, outskirts of Lagos draws nearer,

EFTI Film Institute is partnering with P multi award-winning music video director, Patrick Elis, to present a one-

Diamond Bank, the sponsors of Nigeria’s first film on air safety, Last Flight to Abuja, has concluded plans to give a part of the proceeds from box office takings to the victims of the disaster. This is coming on the heels of the official release of the film on DVD format across the continenttomorrow. The film, which has received critical acclaim, was written and directed by Obi Emelonye. Only last month, Emelonye’s film emerged as the ‘Best Film by an African Abroad’ at the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA 2013). The film was reportedly a box office hit when it premiered at local cinemas, becoming the most successful movie screened in West African cinemas in 2012, raking in an unprecedented N8.5m in one week, beating hordes of imports in the cinemas from Hollywood. Set in Nigeria and mostly shot inside an aircraft, the flick features Omotola Jolade Ekeinde , Jim Iyke, Hakeem Kae Kazim, Uche Odoputa, Jide Kosoko and Uru Eke.

week practical training session in music video directing for a fee. Elis is well known in the music industry as a creative genius that has brought several cost-saving innovations. He has also lent his talents to directing outstanding music videos for several top stars including Wiz Kid, Rugged Man, Olamide, Samklef, 2Shotz and Brymo. According to Biola Adenuga, Managing Director of PEFTI Film Institute, “the training holds June 10 to June 15 at the PEFTI Campus in Ajao Estate and it is a great opportunity to get practical training from one of the most talented music video directors in Africa.” Since its inception in 2004, the Institute has produced many well-known performers including Victor Oyebode (Alinco), Deji Bakare (Mr. Nigeria), Bhaira McWizu, Kalu Ezeawa (wapTV’s Omo Nla), Kelechi Udegbe, Mercy Effiong, Paul Udoka (wapTV’s Mazi Ukpaka); as well as several award-winning Directors, Editors, Cinematographers, Make-up Artistes and many more.

Jos to host International Student Film Festival OS will come alive for four days from June 18 as the International Students Film Festival (ISFF) berths in the Plateau State capital. Themed, Moving Images: Talking Peace, the festiva, which holds at the National Film Institute, Jos, is aimed at discovering talents and exposing students to international standards in film production. It is also aimed at fostering interaction with industry professionals, reward excellence, raise the awareness of young talents and refine skills through competition on an international level. Powered by the National Film Institute (NFI), Jos; University of Jos (UJ); University of Lagos (Unilag) and sponsored by the World Bank, under the STEP –B project for Centre of Excellence in Multimedia Technology and Cinematography, the festival is expected to draw participants from over 50 institutions of higher learning from Africa and Asia. Over 2000 students are expected to attend. Submission of entries will end on June 12. Entries will be accepted from students currently in schools, and must be 16 years old and above. Post (2 years) graduates of film studies are also qualified to participate. All entries must be in the DVD format, accompanied by a completed International Student Film Festival (ISFF) entry form, press materials, film and filmmakers’ stills or digital images on tiff, gif or jpeg formats not larger than 1 MB. Additional information on the festival can be sourced from www.isffjos2013.com or via e-mail, info@isffjos2013.com. 

Entries open for 4TH EKO International Film Festival

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Grand opening for Cannes filmfest, lean participation from Nigeria HE opening ceremony of the 66th T Festival de Cannes held on Wednesday night in the Grand Théâtre Lumière, Cannes, South of France. A well rendered song by Emeli Sandé, from the film The Color Purple by Steven Spielberg preceeded the introduction of members of the feature film jury led by Jury President Steven Speilberg. Other members of the jury are Vidya Balan, Naomi Kawase, Nicole Kidman, Lynne Ramsay, Daniel Auteuil, Ang Lee, Cristian Mungiu, and Christoph Waltz. The Festival was declared open by Leonardo DiCaprio and Amitabh Bachchan and the Ceremony continued with the screening Out of Competition of Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, with the key members of the movie crew in attendance. An advance party, mostly officials of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) are already in Cannes for the festival. They arrived early enough to set up the Nigerian pavilion situated on the grounds of cinema of all nations. The officials came with a few literatures to share and some films, mostly short films, made by students of the National Film Institute (NFI) to show on a small television screen in the pavilion.

HE fourth edition of Eko International T Film Festival will hold in Lagos from November 18 to 23. As with other edi-

Jim Iyke on set of Last Flight The pavilion will, as in the past, serve as melting point for Nigerian motion picture practitioners attending the feast.

Benita to headline Nnenna and Friends’ children’s day show ORMER child star, Benita Okojie, will FChildren headline this years Nnenna and Friends’ show. Benita, an English major of the Reedemer’s University, ruled the airwaves in the late 90 with her chart-bursting album, Child of God. Her motivational song Osamudiamen, was not only a hit but it was on rotation in most radio stations. She also toured extensively and performed before audiences comprising several highly placed government officials. Benita is

staging a return to the music scene with a historic performance at this year’s Nnenna and Friends’ Children’s Day Show. Also billed to perform at the upcoming event that will be hosted by wapTV’s Omo Nla and Mazi Ukpaka are Papa Ajasco & Company; Akpororo; Linda and the dance groups, Trace and The Commissioners. The show, which is supported by corporate bodies such asIndomie Noodles, Ribena, Promise PE Gold, Toasties Bread Chips, Panda Paracetamol, McVities Happy Faces, holds on May 27 at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos. There will be two shows (12noon – 3pm and 3pm – 6pm) for a paying audience while the event will be recorded and broadcast on wapTV (on StarTimes) across Nigeria and Africa.

tions, this edition will present work in nine sections including feature, short, documentaries and student films. This edition will also include a one-minute short designed to encourage people to use their handheld devices to make films on any subject. There will also be a key focus on workshops and industry meetings and lectures to be facilitated by regional and international film experts. The workshop is designed to help shape future generations of Nigerian filmmakers. According to Hope Opara, publisher of Supple Magazine and honcho of Supple Communications Limited, promoters of the festival: “Last year, it opened with a film, Operation Libertad, which was premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, and directed by the Swiss, Nicolas Wadimoff. We will also focus on Nigerian filmmakers this year as we look to strengthening the industry. We expect that Nigerian films will make 60 per cent film of what would be screened this year.”: More information on the festival can be sourced at www.ekoiff.org

Ultimate Arrival’s 240 seconds’ seduction ATIONAL premium beer brand from N the stable of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Gulder Lager recently broke fresh ground in advertising by unveiling a new television commercial tagged, The Ultimate Arrival. While the average timeline for conventional television commercials ranges from 45 seconds to a minute, the new Ultimate Arrival TVC spanned over four minutes. Gulder’s new TVC was unveiled to a selected pool of journalists. Later that evening, it was screened on selected television stations for the first and only time. A 360 degree teaser campaign — involving social media, radio and print adverts — preceded the formal unveil of the TVC; and it kept Nigerians guessing for several weeks as to what the The Ultimate Arrival entailed. Mr Yusuf Ageni, Corporate Affairs Adviser, Nigerian Breweries Plc., represented by Mr Edem Vindah, Corporate Media and Brand PR Manager, lauded the novelty of The Ultimate Arrival TVC. He described the commercial as: “The-first-of-its-kind television commercial, a different kind of advertising which highlights a different way of doing beer advertising in Nigeria.” Ageni said: “This is not rebranding, but a continuation of a brand story built on the

values of Gulder as reflected in our current Out-Of-Home advertising. The new campaign has the theme – The Ultimate Arrival – which reinforces the brand’s proposition. The advertising is designed to reflect the brand positioning while pinpointing the credential attributes of the brand.” The campaign script of the TVC was written by Insight Communications and produced by RedDot while the music sound track “Fever” was performed by Elvis Presley. Landmark shots such as the National Arts Theatre and the Sea Port, both in Lagos, were showcased; while the Lagos traffic also depicted that the Gulder Man is an inhabitant of the earth. The Corporate Affairs Adviser also highlighted the aspiration of the Gulder brand. He noted: “Let me re-emphasise that the ambition of the Gulder brand is to remain the number one national premium beer, driving top line growth through innovation and playing a significant role in the life of its consumers. We constantly conduct research on the Gulder brand, consumer perception and the expectation of our current and potential consumers and we are delighted that we have done and are always doing the right things.”

Fielding the question on whether there was a deviation from the brand values of Gulder – adventure, confidence, valour and bravery – in the new TVC, Mr Emmanuel Agu, Marketing Manager - Gulder, Legend and Life, Nigerian Breweries Plc. asserted that the view was incorrect. He explained that The Ultimate Arrival TVC showcase of the Gulder Man’s lifestyle and relationship does not take away the brand essence and values of Gulder. Mr Agu added that Gulder is being repositioned as a national premium brand to meet the needs of male and female consumers that yearn and aspire for success and achievements. Mr. Onyeka Okoli – the Senior Brand Manager - Gulder Nigerian Breweries Plc., also shed more light on the assertion that the commercial was both elitist and lengthy, given its 4-minute length. He explained that The Ultimate Arrival would still be broken into minute-long commercials with different themes; but the full length would be aired only once. The Senior Brand Manager also added: “The Ultimate Arrival commercial showcases achievement and success, and our goal as brand handlers is to position Gulder as a national premium brand that can be enjoyed by all that aspire to attain great feats and record accomplishments.”


THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

28 SUNDAYMAGAZINE

LAFETE

Some families ‘ave them BY BISI ALABI WILLIAMS KECHI Abii strikes you as a typical artist and clothier. Her art is her voice, a medium of expression. She has a lot to say. So her artwork takes a critical view of socio - political and cultural issues that shape the lives of people. She uses these two platforms to express her creativity because she sees the world through the eyes of art and enjoys putting things down on canvass and conveying the right message to her audience. She discovered this art very early. So much that everything she has done in life has been through the periscope of the arts. She grew up in an era when a lot of parents’ desire was for their children to study Medicine, Law, Pharmacy or Engineering. But Nkechi’s father allowed her to follow her dream of being an artist simply because he wanted his kids to be happy following their dreams. He wanted her to study the arts so she studied Arts in the university. “In those early years, for you to say you want to study arts during that era, you must have a lot of guts. But because I was sure of what I really wanted out of life, I went all to get it. My parents allowed us because they were enlightened. They magnanimously allowed us to follow our dreams. I found, true happiness in the arts!” Nkechi is also a clothier. Clothing women comes to her as a calling and a passion. At first, she just wanted to cloth women. But this desire soon grew into a passion that led to the emergence of a brand. This brand is called nlecha. Nlecha simply means ‘sakara’ in Igbo language. “Nlecha is my brand, my creation. It’s fully mine. The inspiration was for me to have something that a woman can just throw on, something comfortable that a woman can wear with thinking about it. I wear it all the time. People like it on me. Nlecha is good, something very comfortable. For me, it is art forms through clothes,‘’ she says. The nlecha is truly Pan African, not just African. One thing you can’t miss is Nkechi in that beautiful nlecha look even in a crowd. It strikes you as an African clothing. In it this hilarious Pan African lady was no doubt a sight to behold as reflected during the first meeting with the writer. The meeting was truly magical. Appearing elegantly but simply dressed in the unique attire specially made from chiffon and Ankara and accessorized with beads, earrings and bangles to match. Most of the women who love nlecha are women who love the unique African look.

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NLECHA has sold very well in many countries of the world and it’s been a good business piece. With it she has explored the arts. Once people see it on her or any of her clients, they are eager to add it to their collection. No wonder that it has marketed itself so well. Now, Nkechi wants to go back fully to the world, that is, arts the business aspect of art. She is determined more than ever before to make more money from her paintings. “That is why my son and I are launching into the Art scene and inviting art enthusiasts corporate organisations to support the exhibition as a CSR involvement with huge sponsorship advantages. Recently, she had a joint showwith her son, Nduka, who is into speed painting. That exhibition was like putting icing on the cake. “The most interesting thing about having a mother and son exhibition is not only to have a joint show but to experience the rare combination of talent and genes. Why would I not have a joint exhibition with him when he is a great artist. He is back in Nigeria and available. Above all, it is fun, and we are doing it together as mother as son.” The time is just right for mother and son to come together in a joint exhibition because they believe it is a reflection of good things to come. A lot of her paintings are on women because women are unique beings, a complete work of art. In some of her works, her spirituality also comes to bear. She easily affected by things that happen around her and feel deeply about people, situations and opportunities. However, she has discovered that her best way of dealing

with the frustrating experiences that get thrown at her on a daily basis is not by speaking about them but by painting about them! Painting is a catharsis in many ways for Nkechi. For instance, when she sees the video of four young students who got burnt at Alu, words fail her but her painting help her grieve. “When I despair at the sorry state of things in the country that gave me life, my despair lifts when I assault the canvass with the brush… letting out the steam, the anger,” she says. Sometimes, when sleep eludes her because she is passing another hot and humid night without power from the Power Holding Company… she paints.” This is Nkechi’s story. Variety is her spice. Sometimes it is not necessarily a socio-political burden that keeps her awake, but a new idea for a work of art that will not go away until it has been birthed.

His Story DUKA Abii is fondly called Duks on N Youtube, facebook and other Internet platforms. His arts: Duks Arts attracts thousands of hits daily by numerous admirers and arts enthusiast who love his brand of arts. He specialises in speed paintings. Some of his images are Big Scoob painting, Helghast etc that are digital paintings. He has also taken a liking to music, which is another way of expressing his feelings and thoughts. Now that he is home in Nigeria he’s been making waves and also making money with it. “This is my very first time of full business experience in Nigeria, and it’s been very rewarding. Despite the fact that I haven’t finished school, so business has also been very good for me. But you need to wait because you aren’t seen nothing yet. I know I will gain a lot of respect and money.” Although he makes money, he sees himself as being lazy and not doing enough to make money out of what he does. Like his mum, he tried his childish hands on paintings as a little boy. Quietly, he would sit in a corner watching his mum paint. That adventure stirred up in him the love for painting and drawing. His painting took root from his mum’s genes; he says he Mother and child was actually inspired by the vendor who sells comics near the house where they resided then. Like a good mum, Nkechi silently watched and encouraged her son. She would smile and proudly watch him run off with money in hand to the vendor’s place. Minutes later, Duks is back with his favourite comics and mimic the drawings inside. Little by little, his would sketch out spider man, batman and the like. Smiling, dad would look at the paintings and muse to himself wondering what his little lad was all about. However, this adventure continued and his feeble hands became stronger on the brush. Today, Duks has evolved. His own brand of painting is exciting, fun and entertaining because he has added adventurous and dynamic aspect to his works. On the whole, one thing that has helped the duo is their ability to bring their ideas to life! That has pushed them into various Scavengers by Nkechi Abii media of expression in her present collection. Nkechi has experimented with art forms and media that have pushed my every limit. “Although there may not always be material similarities between the different projects they are linked by recurring formal concerns and through the subject matter. The subject matter of each body of work determines the materials and the forms of the work.” On canvass, Duks is a more meticulous and thorough artist than his mum. His quest for perfection motivates and challenges her. She owes the final expressions and perfect finish of most of her pieces to his discerning and ruthless critique. On the whole, it has been an exhilarating ride for the duo but when she looks at each of the many-framed pieces of their works produced for the exhibition, she is no Atrocities by Nkechi Abii

Red Harrow by Nduka Abii


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LAFETE Elumelu fetes UNILAG’s brightest BY DANIEL ANAZIA S part of its contribution to the transformational change and human capital development in Africa, The Tony Elumelu Foundation honoured three of the most intelligent graduates of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) — Isiaq Adijat Olubukunola, Dr. Ojikutu Moninuola Seliat, and Abdulhakeem Buhari — for their exceptional academic performance in their respective fields of study.  In his speech, the Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos, Prof. Abdul-Rahamon Bello, said, “the prize is unique in all circumstance. We have been having awards, but this is mouth watering. Awards like this help to ensure we breed and focus on meritocracy in our society. It is good for human capital development and we are sure that our award winners will be good ambassadors for the University of Lagos as well as The Tony Elumelu Foundation.” he enjoined other well-meaning Nigerians to emulate the foundation by instituting endowment facilities for the development of the society and the society. “This could be in the form of lecture theatres, research centres and others,” he said. Recalling his days at the university as a post-graduate student in a humorous manner, the donor of the awards and founder of the Foundation, Mr. Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu (CON) said, “we need to bring meritocracy back into our system and this I call excellence. We must emphasise excellence in our society.” According to Elumelu, the awards are given yearly to the best undergraduate and graduate students in the fields of Economics, Business Administration and

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Medicine; programmes related to the academic and career paths of Tony Elumelu, Chairman hEIRS holdings and his wife, Dr. Awele V. Elumelu, who is one of the trustees of the foundation. “We decided to focus on disciplines, which are related to us and what we are doing. Also we want to help others to come up and show appreciation to the society by giving back. We have a long way to go; we need people who are academically sound and well brought up in character. We are creating a platform for tomorrow’s leaders,” Elumelu said. he added, “we are privileged to be able to publicly recognise and support these

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AGGED Sketchamania Challenge, the comT petition is designed to discover and celebrate the creativity of the Nigerian youth, especially undergraduates of tertiary institutions in the country. It is a break from the norm and an unequivocal statement by Sterling Bank in its effort to seek and identify new opportunities, and make a difference in a distinct manner by impacting the society through deliberate interventions aimed at encouraging and celebrating unique talents that abound in Nigeria. According to the bank’s Group head, Strategy & Communications, Shina Atilola, the competition is part of the bank’s corporate social responsibility and sustainability efforts in the education sector, with the aim of transforming the perception of artistically inclined undergraduates in relation to corporate organisations, their acceptability and the difference they can make given the opportunity and a suitable platform. he said, “What we are trying to do through the Sketchmania is to marry our vision of being sterling, excellence and standing out with our future leaders to position them so that they can be the TM Lewins and Thomas Pink of tomorrow. We realize that most Nigeria undergraduates

several merit scholarships. he is also, a master orator, holding the title of UNILAG debating champion. For his brilliance, McKinsey & Company Inc, a global financial consulting firm, offered him an appointment. Dr. Ojikutu, who won laurels from all the departments in her programme, including the Vice Chancellor’s prize, is currently an intern at the Lagos University Teaching hospital (LUTh). The Elumelu Legacy Prize is awarded every year to students from Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma; University of Benin; Delta State University, Abraka; University of Jos; University of Lagos; the University of Maiduguri; the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; the University of Port harcourt and Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto State.

Professor Rahamon A. Bello, Vice Chancellor, UNILAG; Mr. Tony O. Elumelu, Chairman, Heirs Holdings; and Dr. Wiebe Boer, CEO, The Tony Elumelu Foundation, at the award ceremony of the Elumelu Legacy Prize for top students of the University of Lagos... recently

SketchaMania gig at Unilag auditorium BY DANIEL ANAZIA FTER months of search in campuses across the country for budding creative designers, a winner has finally emerged in the Sterling Bank Plc fashion competition. The grand final, which held at the University of Lagos main auditorium, Akoka, saw Steven Wayne and Sipe Olanrewaju both undergraduates of University of Lagos (UNILAG) as winner and first-runner up, while Stavely Temidayo (Yabatech) was second-runner up. The top three went home with N1 million, N500, 000, and N250, 000, respectively. Other contestants were Ayodeji Balogun (Yabatech), Kayode Arigbede (UNILAG), Amina Odey (Cradford University), Anyogu Ene Felicia (UNN), Aimanoshi Dania (UNILAG), Kayode Durosimi-Etti, Seyi Adegoke (UNILAG) as well as Stavely Temidayo (Yabatech).

admirable men and women. Their stellar performance affirms our belief in Nigeria’s talent — an asset that we would like to nurture. These scholars have demonstrated excellence in education and leadership within their fields, and we commend them. My wife and I believe young leaders such as these have the aptitude and resolve to change not just Nigeria, but Africa.” Isiaq was awarded the prize for excellence in Economics and Management as the best graduating MBA student, while Ojikutu Moninuolareceived the Awele V. Elumelu prize for excellence in Medicine and Surgery as the best graduating student. Buhari Abdul-hakeem was rewarded for his excellence in Economics and Management, coming top of his department with a first class and a CGPA of 5.0. Buhari’s list of accomplishments includes

are talented but there are not enough platforms and people to project them and as a result, we are putting a foundation that would help project them, so that they can be celebrated.” Asked how the participants were sourced, Atilola said, “We opened facebook page, where the students could upload their sketched designs. The ten finalists were selected by our esteemed judges made up of professional and known designers both within and outside Nigeria like Uche Nnaji (Ouch), Yetunde Alaba (Sasha P). They were given some amount of money to produce their designs, taking into consideration our brand and colour.” On the continuity of the creative challenge, he says, “It is going be annual event. We have developed a five-year programme for Sketchamania. Next year, we will be looking at casual dresses for Fridays. Participants will come up with designs of we can be wearing for Fridays. And in the succeeding year, we will be looking at designs for Monday wear. We have our black suit, white shirt, and custom-made tie for the men and scarf for the women but we want to change this. We are adopting the ten designs as way of encouraging the designers. Basically, our drivers and security personnel should not be using one uniform; they should have varieties.”

Digital Marketing Conference holds in Lagos hE ever-changing digital landscape T means organisations need to be prepared to provide context and relevance to their consumers. Simon Page Business School, a leading provider of professional business education in Nigeria, for the second year, is organising the Digital Marketing Conference and Exhibition, with the theme: Deploying Digital Marketing for Competitive Advantage. According to Princewill Omorogiuwa, CEO of the business school, “the conference last year was very impactful as we got very good feedback from delegates and from companies who had sent their staff to attend the conference and the learning were directly transferable to work and that is what we want it to be, because digital skills are very transferrable.” The Conference and Exhibition is a gathering of marketing and technology leaders who will provide thought leadership for the Digital Marketing industry and will hold on May 23 and 24 at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. “The conference is aimed at attracting a cross section of delegates from West Africa. Among these are social media mavens and

online experts, young digital natives and digital enthusiasts. It has become the focal point in discussing the place of digital marketing and share strategies for improving customer engagement. It is also expected to drive conversions and develop campaigns that are positive, authentic, relevant and significant,”Omorogiuwa said . Explaining why this conference is important for organisations, Omorogiuwa says “one of the reasons why digital is poorly practiced is a lack of understanding of how it works and this is what we are seeking to address through our training programmes as well as the digital marketing conferences. They are designed to ensure that we bridge the knowledge gaps and ensure that our professionals are able to compete globally” On what delegates should expect at the conference, respected global trainer on digital marketing Mike Berry who is the lead facilitator says “People will learn how to use different digital marketing tools for helping their companies achieve their various business objectives, because that is what it is about,” he concluded.

ITh comedian Akpororo and Deza as W comperees, and the Go Down Low crooner, Olamide as guest artiste; the auditorium was ecstatic as it was filled to capacity by students and some staff of Sterling Bank. And it was obvious that many of the students, who had come to cheer the colleagues, had come to see the rapper. While Akpororo lived to his billing with his rib-cracking jokes, Olamide sent the audience into party mood with some hits and club bangers. For ultimate winner of the challenge, Wayne, it was a blissful experience and he loved every bit of it. “I made new friends, got the spotlight and most importantly, I got inspired everyone including those who voted, cheered, those who carelessly left their A4 papers lying about for me to steal so I could sketch.”

L-R, Idy Enang MD, Corporate Shepherds, Jeremy Spiller, Digital Marketing Consultant, Econsultancy UK & Princewill Omorogiuwa, CEO Simon Page Business School, organizers of the Digital Marketing Conference and Exhibition


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Percussionist Badal Roy… Updating Indian Music ENOWNED for her abundant rhythms and the legion of R percussion instruments, the continent of Africa was responsible for introducing these musical elements to America as vehicles for the expression of jazz in the 40s, through West African percussion icons: Guy Warren of Ghana who later became Kofi Ghanaba recorded two jazz albums — Emergent drums and Africa Speaks, America Answers on his own for Columbia Records even as he worked with Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker and Max Roach; Nigeria’s Babatunde Olatunji’s cultural center in New york was the site of John Coltrane’s last public performance in May, 1967 even as he also recorded a number of albums; By 1960, Nigeria’s Solomon ilori had recorded a couple of albums on the American Blue Note label. Apparently because the likes of Lekan Babalola who has had stints with the singer, Cassandra Wilson and Aleke Kalonu who recorded an album with Wynton Marsalis in the 80s are not sustaining the tempo with professional consistency, india has since taken over with names like Badal Roy, Trilok Gurtu and Zakir Hassain actively dominating the American jazz scene. On the face of it, the world of jazz and classical indian music might be viewed as strange bedfellows. One is a 20th century bastard child of American culture, turned genius, and tolerant of rebellion. The other, centuries — old tradition with strict codes of conduct and respect for its own venerable heritage. And yet, indian music has left its mark on the development of jazz, through the specific assimilation work of jazz musicians like John McLaughlin, Pharaoh Sanders, Henry Threadgill, Don Cherry, Charlie Mariano, and, by inspiration, John Coltrane among others. There is a basis of mutual admiration between the two cultures, which is based not only on the different specific musical elements of tonal and rhythm ideas, but on a deeper, more profound aspect: these are two of the most prominent music traditions in the world today which are grounded in improvisation. it is true that indian music has had less of a dialogue with jazz than the traditions of Africa, Cuba and Brazil. Over the years, jazz has met up with indian music- especially percussionists – in the oddest places. Take, for instance, the Taste of india Restaurant in Greenwich Village, where Mc Laughlin used to sit in with a waiter/tabla player named Badal Roy. The young British guitarist, flown over by ex- Miles Davis drummer Tony Williams, asked Roy to play on his seminal album My Goals Beyond, and the rest is more or less history. Roy has

since played with Miles Davis, Pharaoh Sanders and, on a more consistent basis, Ornette Coleman. These days, Roy is branching out on his own as well, releasing albums under his own established name. Although not as virtuosic as Zakir Hussain or Trilok Gurtu, and without the same classical lineage, tabla player Badal Roy has been a prominent member of the tabla community. He has been appearing in the periphery of jazz, percolating from below, so to speak, for more than a quarter century now. Open the package of the Miles Davis album Dark Magus – one of the reissues of the electric era Miles albums – and there, a photograph of Roy, long, dark hair flowing in time with the band’s plugged in voodoo swing! Or maybe you’ve heard him in the linear thicket of Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time; the extra Western answer to Denardo Coleman’s drumming. And now, Roy has released his own albums. The release of his first album One in the Pocket is a compilation of tracks from various other sessions in addition to new tracks recorded for this project with accomplished flutist Steve Gorn, bassist Mike Richmond, percussionist Glen Velez and Bob Haddad; one of the most impressive tracks is Banjoist Jim Bowie. Roy also has a duet project with guitarist Amit Chetterjee and another album with the Brazilian guitar duo Duofel. With plans to collaborate with Steve Turre and others, Roy is into a new chapter of self expression and actualization Born in Bangladesh, Roy arrived the U.S. in 1968, with the intention of doing graduate work in statistics, not with becoming the first tabla player to make a name in jazz. An avid tabla player, he waited tables in one New york indian restaurant by day and played tabla by night at another. A nimble guitarist whose name he did not know for six months, would show up and sit in and finally asked Roy to play on his album. Then the guitarist being John Mc Laughlin recorded My Goals beyond. “Later on,” Roy said, with a note of incredulity, “when the album came out, people were saying ‘Oh you did something with John McLaughlin?’ Then i realized that hey, this guy is a superstar.’ Right after that, he sat in with the Mahavishnu Orchestra. When he was touring with that band, i was with Miles Davis.” Telling his own story in a nutshell, Roy said: “i came here to do my Ph.D in statistics, specialising in demographics, and my hobby turned into a profession. i was never really trained as a tabla player. i got the basic instruction, about how to produce a sound, and the syllables, but i’m mostly selftaught. i got some lessons from Zakir Hussain’s father, Alla

Rakha. At that time, he was touring with Ravi Shankar all the time.” in a sense, Roy’s instinctual route to education may have helped to free his mind, and keep him open to new ideas. “As i was self – taught and was not bookish in learning, i was free to make mistakes – as i do all the time, i still do. Ornette tells me, get those drums and play some bad notes. Then when you come back to good notes, you’ll really appreciate them.” Roy has been a musical compatriot in Coleman’s resurgence of the last few years, which has put him in some unusual situations. Apart from giving him the necessary exposure he needs to develop and forge ahead as a jazz man, Roy continues to enjoy the rare opportunity of being mentored by one of jazz’s musical giants.

For the less privilege, Anne journeys to motherland BY FLORENCE UTOR HARiTy, they say, begin at home. Though C Anne Phillips began hers in the United Kingdom, she has come back home from the UK to share her love with the under-privileged African woman, child and youth. A mother and widow, Anne feels same pains of the African woman that has the ability to feed her family and train her child to survive and develop to full potential, yet, cannot because she is deprived in her environment. The amiable lady, who hails from Kogi State, believes that there is no one, who doesn’t have someone in need of some basic supplies that could make life easier for their existence. According to her, “even if you are in the town, you have people in your village who are in dare need, and it is only by sharing their pain that we can show them love and have a happier community.” The mother of three has availed herself to the service of reaching as many of such less privileged women, children and youth in Nigeria and Africa in general, that are living off the beaten tracks, in abject poverty on less than a $1 a day, with no access to medical facilities, or credit and little chance of support from the large NGOs, through her Nongovernmental organization, BME Concern, also known as Ripples in Africa. The NGO is registered in England and Wales and works with partner organisations to support women in distress, promote inclusion and community cohesion, and work to raise levels of tolerance through education, art, sports and culture. The NGO runs women empowerment initiatives, village enterprise programmes, computer training, medical MOTs and AiDs initiatives. Anne, who retired as the Regional Director, Sheraton, in UK, has already planted the NGO in several states across the country, including Kogi and Niger. According to her, the shear butter made by women in Niger State is taken back to the U.K. refined and repackaged and sold at better prices and the money paid back to them.

Anne Phillips and Andrew Enahoro “This helps them to earn moremoney and have improved lifestyles,” she quips. Anne who is calling on more corporate organisations and well meaning individuals in Nigeria and other parts of Africa to lend support to the project in a bid to reach out to more less privileged women and youths in rural communities in the continent, is currently supported by Promasidor Nigeria Limited, makers of Cowbell Milk, and other products. She says that under the partnership, Promasidor has seen the donation and supply of relief materials for education, health

care and other relevant equipment collected from donors in the UK and delivered to communities in Nigeria. “Promasidor handles the entire logistics and assists with the distribution of items and goods shipped into the country, which has been a major challenge that has deprived communities of benefitting from the Ripples relief stock. There is so much that is piled up in the warehouse in UK, but we have the challenge of bringing it in. Customs are constantly in doubt if the goods are truly for NGO’s. The last time they allowed us to bring in hospital matrasses without beds.”

According to Head, Legal and Public Relations, Promasidor Nigeria, Andrew Enahoro, “BME Concern/Ripples’ vision is in line with our corporate social responsibility, which is focused under four major areas, Education, Health Care & Nutrition, Sports. This is because consistent focus on these categories will in the long run make major contributions towards sustainable value creation for all stakeholders. The thing about MBE Concern/ Ripples is, you can trace every penny or anything at all to where it is credited.”


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Emulate Achebe’s Virtues Of Integrity, Humility, Courage, By Aka Ikenga By Anote Ajeluorou and Odita Sunday ARLY preparations for the burial rites for late legendary literary icon began last Tuesday when by Igbo socio-political Thinktank, Aka Ikenga held a day of tributes for the late man of letters, Prof. Chinua Achebe at Nigeria Institute for International Affairs, Victoria Island, Lagos. Friends, colleagues and admirers of the literary icon extolled the virtues of Achebe as a man of courage, a man who lived life to the full. Also, Nigerians, especially the young ones, were urged to emulate his exemplary life, a man with whom humility, integrity, courage sat well. Among prominent Igbo sons that paid tribute to Achebe included Amb. Arthur Mbanefo, Profs. Anya O. Anya, George Obiozor and Uzodinma Nwuala, Anthony Merenini and Nnabuife. Others were President, Government College, Umuahia Old Students Association, Mr. C.N.C. Nweke and many other old boys and dignitaries. Also, it was an event that was spiced with music and poetry in Igbo and English. At the forefront of the musical performance was the post-graduate class of Performing Arts Department, University of Lagos, which rendered several Igbo choral songs. Prof. Nnabuife’s rendition of elegiac poem in Igbo was a moving, superb and effortless in the classic manner of ancient griots, which even the late Achebe would have applauded in its edification of the Igbo language as a fitting language for poetry. Punctuated by the accompaniment of the local Igbo flute dexterously weaving in and out among the stanzas, the performance could best be described as a fitting funeral for the wordsmith it was composed for as it mourned the man and played up the havoc death wreaks on mankind both great and small. And as the performance progress, the unmistakable ekwe sound, not unlike how Achebe played it up chapter two of his now famous Things Fall Apart joined the poetic rendition to further heighten the mournful cadence of the performance. In his tribute, Mbanefo commended Achebe for his iconic status in letters that transcended Nigeria and Africa to the wider world. He said it was a thing of pride that Achebe as an Igbo son was acclaimed world-wide, and added that Nigerians should not lose sight of the values of integrity, humility and excellence that Achebe represented and transmit-

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ted in his works. He noted, “He was the elephant not only of Nigeria and Africa but of the entire world. Anybody who had Achebe knew that he had somebody. His death is a thing of tears and sorrow but it also causes a lot of reflection on our part. What he depicted was not a myth; he tried to practice what he wrote, which is very hard in this country. He played honest politics; he stood out. He was one that didn’t give in; he believed in himself and was truthful. He stood straight to the end. In a country where people beg for national honours, Achebe rejected them because the hands that wanted to give him such honours were not clean. We have lost a gem”. Prof. Anya said Achebe, his neighbour at University of Nigeria, Nsukka, was the greatest literary artist of the 20th century Africa produced, adding, “Achebe does not belong to the dead but the living. This is a day of reflection, for us to see what lessons we can take away from his life.” The economist wondered why Igbo did not honour their own when they were still alive, starting from foremost historian and first Nigerian Vice Chancellor of University College, Ibadan, Prof. Kenneth Dike and another foremost academics, Prof. Eni Njoku. He said these legendary men of letters deserved to be laureates in their fields but that world politics played them out of such considerations. Anya said Achebe’s burial date of May 23 was just six days away from May 29, a symbolic date in Igbo’s history, when the 1966 progrom started in the North of Nigeria, which eventually ushered in the bitter civil war that decimated the lives of Nd’Igbo. He also linked the passing of Odumegwu Ojukwu and Achebe in close proximity at this time as not mere happenstance, but some sort of closure for Nd’Igbo, as the past draw- A cross section of guests at the Achebe’s Day of Tributes held at the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs, ing the curtain against the past for a new chapter Lagos.. on Tuesday. PHOTO: CHARLES OKOLO and renaissance of Igbo people. Prof. Obiozor, hilariously explosive, stated that as a younger research fellow. flesh and blood; it’s the footprints. A man goes the greatness of any nation was determined by “Achebe was a spiritual person,” Nwuala beyond the body. What we’re here to do the quality of the sons and daughters she prosaid. “One of the brightest stars God gave shouldn’t be tributes but gratitude. So, instead duced. He commended Achebe’s greatness as an of titling this event, ‘Chinua Achebe: There Was mankind. Instead of allowing our children exceptional one that trailed him from the beginA man’, it should be, ‘Chinua Achebe: There Is A to follow wrong values, let’s make a book of ning to the end, which started at Government these heroes for our children to follow.” Man!’” College, Umuahia as a first class student. Earlier, President of Aka Ikenga, Chief Also, Prof. Uzodinma Nwuala said a moment He harped on the injustice that has continued Goddy Uwazurike extolled the virtues of like the held to pay tributes to Achebe called to be the hallmark of Nigeria and stressed that Achebe as a man whose fame far preceded for reflections and that like the man, the until the injustice was addressed in the land, him. He pointed out the celebration his moment called for storytelling. He recalled peace would continue to elude Nigeria. death came to represent all over the world how he and Achebe’s time as research fellows Admiral (rtd) Ndubuisi Kanu added a philoand said Igbo was lucky to give such a rare at Institute of African Studies at Nsukka and sophical angle to the event when he asked gift to the world. the quality of mind Achebe brought to bear on rhetorically, “What is a man? A man is beyond his work, which served as inspiration for him

Requiem To The Village Bard... A Library Set Ablaze ByKoko Kalango BELIEVE it was Amadou Hampete Ba, the Malien writer, who said, “En Afrique, chaque vieillard qui mort, c’est une bibliotheque qui brule.” I would translate this to mean, “Every African elder that passes on is a library set ablaze.” While the Rainbow Book Club members and friends were gathered at Le Meridien, Ogeyi Place, Port Harcourt, on March 20 to mark World Poetry Day by turning the light on a genre of literature that does not always get the attention it deserves, unknown to us, in faraway Boston Massachusetts, the light was dimming for our honorary member, the revered author, Professor Chinua Achebe. Achebe passed away on March 21. Chinua Achebe signified different things to different people. To the Rainbow Book Club he was an invaluable ‘member’, his keynote address at our 2011 Garden City Literary Festival was his last public address in Nigeria. He is also the first author to have more than one book chosen as the Rainbow Book Club Bookof-the-Month within a space of four months. If I may get a bit personal, I would describe Chinua Achebe as my favourite storyteller. He has also encouraged my humble foray into poetry writing. In the late 90s, I sent in a series of some poems to be considered for publication in Okike – An African Journal of New Writing, which Prof Achebe had founded to encourage aspiring writers. I felt validated when my poem, La Lumiere, was accepted and published in the March 1997 edition. Like countless others, I was first introduced to Chinua Achebe as a student. It was while I was at the Federal Government Girls College Abuloma, Port Harcourt, in the 80s that I read Things Fall Apart. This powerful novel remains one of the few books I read over and over again.

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This book drew me to the other works of this great wordsmith whom God endowed with a rare ability to communicate serious issues in a simple but profound way. I never imagined I would have the privilege of meeting Prof Achebe in person, but life has a way of springing surprises on us every now and then. The opportunity to presented itself in 1999 when my husband and I had just completed our post graduate studies at the University of Lancaster and were working in London. One day I got wind of the fact that Achebe was going to be a guest at the London Festival of Literature. I also learnt that on the same evening Wole Soyinka and Derek Walcott would be featured. Not even the caustic winter winds of that cold January evening could keep me away from the venue – a hall somewhere in East London. I left my office in South Kensington immediately I closed so I could get a good seat at the programme. Soyinka delivered a lecture, Walcott recited his poetry and Alastair Niven – then Director of Literature at the British Council, London, interviewed Achebe. It was on that fateful day I would meet my favourite storyteller in person. The copy of Things Fall Apart, which Achebe autographed for me on that occasion, remains a ‘collector’s’ item in my library. I even got to take a photograph with him! The Rainbow Book Club’s story would be incomplete without mentioning Professor Achebe, for several reasons. For instance, when, in 2005 we were set to launch our ‘Get Nigeria Reading again!’ campaign, I sent word to Prof. Achebe through his childhood friend and Rainbow Book Club (RBC) patron, the late Senator Francis Ellah. Although I got encouraging feedback from the Prof, he was unable to come to Port Harcourt for our programme, mainly because of ill health. He would later pen these priceless words of endorsement to us from New York: ‘The Rainbow Book Club stands to contribute

immensely to Nigeria’s intellectual development and burgeoning democracy’. In 2008, when the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of the publication of Things Fall Apart, reputed to be Africa’s most popular novel, we tried once again to get Professor Achebe to be guest author at our ‘Get Nigeria Reading again!’ campaign but that was not to be . We however got the Prof’s blessing to feature him as our writer in focus, even if he would not be physically present. That year was special to our work as we kicked off our practice of getting role models to read to children by having the highly esteemed former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, read to over 100 children at the UN House in Abuja, from Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. Three years down the line, as we prepared for the Garden City Literary Festival 2011 with the theme Literature and Politics, we thought Achebe was the ideal person to deliver the keynote address so once again we went knocking at his door. One would think that by this time he would be fed up of our insistent calling on him and even be irritated at our persistence, but not Prof Achebe. Unable to make it to Port Harcourt, he sent his son Dr. Chidi Achebe all the way from the US, to deliver his keynote address. He even went further by sending a personal video greeting to the festival, which was played just before Dr. Achebe delivered the address. That year, our drama in focus was a stage adaptation of his book A Man of the People. When Prof Achebe released his latest and what has turned out to be his last work, the Rainbow Book Club followed with keen interest the debate it stirred up. There Was a Country was our natural choice for book- ofthe- month for January 2013. Our January reading was one of the liveliest we have ever had. There Was a Country remains a bestseller in Nigeria. How do we know when a book is a bestseller in Nigeria? Simple - when pirated copies are being sold by hawkers in the

streets! Referring to the proverb I quoted at the beginning, we can say that with Achebe’s demise a library has been set ablaze, but we must not let it burn to ashes. What we must do is aspire to catch the fire that burned in Achebe’s heart that caused him to relentlessly and continually speak out on issues that affected our country and our common humanity. On our path for instance, the Rainbow Book Club continues to call for the establishment of library centres in at least every Local Government Area in Nigeria, in order to help restore the Nigeria that produced the likes of Chinua Achebe. We can all light our candles from the embers of the flames coming from the burning library of this great man’s demise and shine from our various communities by standing up for the things Achebe fought for – dignity for the ‘black’ man, justice, good governance, exemplary leadership, etc. Finally, we can still benefit from the library that Achebe represents through the many legacies that he has left behind. These include the Heinemann African Writer’s series of which he was pioneer editor, the Association of Nigerian Authors which he founded, Okike , the aforementioned journal which he established, the Achebe Colloquium for Africa, set up to strengthen peace and democracy in Africa and above all, the library of books he has bequeathed to the world. Night has come for our beloved storyteller, teacher, intellectual and fighter. A library has been set ablaze. Against the dark skies, let the light of this library glow till it is Morning Yet on Creation Day. Kalango, founder, Rainbow Book Club , delivered this at a tribute evening organised by the Club at the British Council office, Port Harcourt, in honour of Chinua Achebe on Friday, April 26.


TheGuardian

36 Sunday, May 19, 2013

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Business Aviation ... A Sector And Its Many Woes

By Wole Shadare march towards attaining the Vision 20:2020. According to him, “Archaic policies were disMost of these airport terminals are over 35 carded, technical staff were turned around; years old. The facilities have become a there were elimination and substitution and metaphor for the decay of infrastructure in the the horse race course in Kano, the nation has training and re-retraining of manpower. Civil country. witnessed growth in the sector. Aviation Regulations and other Operational Analysts unanimously agreed that this critical The earliest known commercial aviation activi- Manuals were promulgated and there is zero sector of the economy must be handled with ty in Nigeria is credited to a gentle man, “Bud” tolerance for failure in all fields.” Carpenter, who owned the earliest type of the To many industry experts, Nigeria witnessed deft insight because the industry is a contributor to the growth of the economy. Light aircraft, de Havilland Moth. remarkable achievements in aviation, culmiThe renovation of airports by the Ministry of Records show that he frequently undertook nating in the award of the United States Aviation has attracted its share of controversy high-risk flights between Kano and Lagos, using Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) the rail tracks as his guide and piling up extra Category One in 2010 which put Nigeria in the with allegations of opaque procurement and poor design by aviation experts. They noted distance in the process. Unfortunately, all this big league of countries with serious aviation humble gains have been eroded away by years reforms despite so many other infrastructural, that the rationale of spending millions to of mismanagement. manpower challenges bedeviling the country. upgrade financially unviable airports all over Nigeria was also suspect. It would be recalled that in the early 1930s, an It was not as if the country got it all right, The private sector they opined is better skilled enterprising pilot carried a few fare-paying pas- many years of decaying facilities at virtually all at undertaking the ministry’s proposed plan to sengers in a seaplane between Lagos and Warri. Nigerian airports further highlighted the incorporate revenue-generating facilities such With the continuation of the yearly RPLF flights, enormous work at hand. Pilots and air traffic as shopping malls at the airports as a means of aviation activities in Nigeria became quite con- controllers complained about the absence of enhancing their financial viability. siderable, creating the need for aerodromes. air field lightings that are lacking at many of With the creation of aerodromes in the coun- the airports, including the Lagos, lack of effitry, air transportation business started making cient terminal radar coverage of Nigeria, othAbsence of airfield lightings it one of the sectors of the country’s economy erwise known as TRACON, croaking conveyor OMESTIC airlines in the country have conthat has helped to stimulate businesses. belts, depleting man power, absence of nationtinued to lament the huge revenue loss For more than 70 years, much has happened al carrier many months after the Ministry of occasioned by absence of airfield lights on the to the industry. To many, the sector has not Aviation promised to give Nigerians one that domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed done much. To others, the sector has achieved everybody would be proud of. Airport, Lagos and many other airports across so much. the country. Previous decades of decadence in the various Investigations by The Guardian revealed that Infrastructure Nigerian socio-economic activities particularly the domestic operators lose a total of N4 bilEFORE the Minister of Aviation, Stella in aviation business were climaxed in 2005 by lion yearly due to extra fuel burn in landing at Oduah-Ogiewonyi, took the bull by the the turbulence of air mishaps, which involved the international runway 18R and then taxi to horn to commence what is now known as the otherwise fledgling domestic carriers such as the local wing. refurbishment, Nigerian airports were in Bellview, ADC, Sosoliso that claimed many lives decrepit state. It is not yet uhuru as only few of Lack of airfield lighting is also another major and property. Nigeria’s image plummeted in cause of airport under-utilisation of the them have been commissioned with many the aviation world. It was a serious scandal. others still under repairs. Airports are visitor’s nation’s airports. In fact, it is estimated that The consequent reforms embarked upon by domestic airlines lose about N4 billion yearly first contact with any country. In many counthe Federal Government gave birth to a new because they cannot operate into many airtries, such a connection is refreshing. regime of strict aviation professionalism and ports in the country after 6pm, forcing them to Before now, they were the perfect advertiseadherence to international air safety standards ment for the rot of Nigeria’s public utilities. retire their aircraft after daylight operations. as prescribed by the International Civil Aviation That was the story of Nigeria’s international Airlines can operate till 10pm to Enugu, Owerri, Organisation and International Air Transport Yola, Benin and other airports in the country if airports. Association. Some airport facilities in the country are still there is airfield lighting in these airports. Aviation consultant and former spokesman A pilot and aviation activist, Capt Dung Pam, in a serious state of degradation, further highfor the defunct Nigeria Airways, Oba Femi has, however, urged government to fix airfield lighting how unprepared the country is in its Ogunleye, said worried by the frequencies of lights and other infrastructural challenges in plane crashes in 2005, the government gave its Lack of proper facilities at airports has led to serious losses by airlines. An airline claimed teeth by signing the Civil Aviation Act in 2006, making it compliant with the ICAO’s requireto have lost about N6 billion as a result of poor infrastructure across the country. Some ment of independence devoid of political and reports indicate that the combined losses to airlines are in excess of N4 billion as a result of bureaucratic control. He noted that the Federal Government looked runway 18left at Lagos being unusuable at night. Another aspect that is being neglected is for a professional to drive its aviation policy the impact of uneven wear on both runways and the cost manipulation. It is regrettable reforms by settling for Dr. Harold Olusegun that agencies like the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, NIMET and Nigeria Airspace Demuren, an emeritus air safety expert, withdrawn from private entrepreneurship to direct Management Agency (NAMA) that are expected to enhance safe flight service operations the affairs of the new initiative of safety overare now actively jeopardising safety by not providing adequate infrastructure and facilities. sight business for aviation in Nigeria. the humble beginnings of first recorded FpilotROM aviation activity in Kano in 1925 when a RAF made a breathtaking but safe landing on

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the airports so that airlines and airport users can have a new experience. He lamented the non-installation of airfield lighting in many airport runways in the country, saying this has drastically affected airline operations; threatened safety and constituted a huge loss to domestic carriers in addition to inconveniences to passengers. Lack of proper facilities at airports has led to serious losses by airlines. An airline claimed to have lost about N6 billion as a result of poor infrastructure across the country. Some reports indicate that the combined losses to airlines are in excess of N4 billion as a result of runway 18left at Lagos being unusuable at night. According to him, “another aspect that is being neglected is the impact of uneven wear on both runways and the cost manipulation. It is regrettable that agencies like the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, NIMET and Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) that are expected to enhance safe flight service operations are now actively jeopardising safety by not providing adequate infrastructure and facilities.” Capt Pam also noted that lack of commercial simulator facility in the West African region has cost the airlines a fortune. Early this year, the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency announced that it had provided the country with emergency airfield lighting after the runway had been without the critical safety facility for many years. According to a statement from NAMA’s spokesman, “what looks like a Christmas gift to the airlines, travellers and Nigerians in general, was made possible by the full co-operation of the Federal Government in ensuring speedy customs clearance and the foresight of the aviation minister, who has not relented in ensuring quality service delivery at the nation’s airports. “In all, 66 CALKIT brand of emergency airfield and additional two approach lights were deployed by six NAMA engineers working through Monday night and rounded off early Tuesday morning,” the statement said. In a country not lacking in resources, the provision of ‘emergency’ lightings, experts say should not call for celebration, stressing that it was embarrassing for Nigeria to celebrate mediocrity when in actual fact the country can acquire standard airfield lightings to avoid catastrophe for passengers, aircraft and airport users during flight operations. For five years, FAAN could not fix the problem. Just last year, Oduah-Ogiewonyi transferred airfield lighting functions, navigational


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BUSINESS

... A Sector And Its Challenges aid calibrating aircraft and wildlife control to NAMA. The agency only inherited these additional functions from the FAAN and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Agency (NCAA) early last year and has found it extremely cumbersome to tackle these other additional job apart from its statutory function of air traffic management and communication. An airline operator, who spoke under a strict condition of anonymity, said other Nigerian airports also lack adequate lighting, which he noted posed a huge threat to safety, as aircraft could no longer land or take off on them especially, when there are emergencies.

Controversy over TRACON

ILOTS and air traffic controllers have P appealed to the Federal Government to come to the aid of NAMA to assist it to take few challenges associated with the country’s terminal radar coverage of Nigeria (TRACON). They argued that doing so would make the country’s airspace to be totally covered and to enhance air safety. But NAMA had insisted that the equipment was working perfectly well with no challenges to the N10.8 billion aviation safety tool. TRACON, with its surveillance component, is a fundamental enabler of air traffic safety, as aircraft position can be determined accurately. The partial or complete lack of adequate radar surveillance is a major safety and capacity issue in Nigeria. An expert who spoke to The Guardian said that what pilots are experiencing in the airspace are issues that have to do with the inability of the radio to be effectively accessed by pilots because of high demand in signals due to increase in traffic in the airspace. He explained that each radio has frequency of transmission and the Lagos radio which is 127.3 frequencies was established when traffic at the Lagos centre was less than half of what is obtained now. “Traffic has increased over time and the frequency is now heavy that the pilots find it a bit difficult to get the signals in some areas of the airspace. So the capacity is under pressure,” he said. To cope with this challenge, he disclosed that the NAMA had embarked on the sectorialisation of the frequency by dividing it into two frequencies so that one frequency would handle the western part of the Lagos centre while the other part would handle the eastern part, meaning that each sector would have a frequency of its own. This, they believe, would reduce congestion. The source said that because of the limitations of radio communication, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is encouraging states to switch over to Controller; Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC), which has to do with data, as well as radio communication, which NAMA has keyed into.

Concessioning

day one, Oduah-Ogiewonyi made it clear that all concession pacts in the aviaFtionROM sector that she considered not done in the interest of the nation would be revoked. Like a raging bulldozer, she dismantled Maevis’s concession deal over allegations that the firm was shortchanging government. Maevis on the other hand alleged that FAAN took the action because of certain interests who were eyeing the business. The firm was said to have assisted the agency to boost its revenue by over 70 per cent from what it was generating before it came on board. The case like many other cases is still in court. Also, FAAN is embroiled in a legal tussle with AIC, a firm that was awarded a concession to build a first star Hilton Hotel and a world class shopping mall that would have helped the agency in the pursuit of aerotropolis dream. Bi-Courtney is also in court to wade off FAAN from taking over its four star hotel still under construction after the authority announced the revocation of the project some weeks ago. Bi-Courtney, brandishing copies of a Lagos High Court judgment, the agency was restrained from going ahead with its action. Some of the private partnerships with the government in the sub-sector are in form of concessions, privatisation and commerciali-

sation. While the players in the industries have continually argued that most of the agreements are lopsided in favour of the private investors and called for review, the private investors on the other hand, claimed that the continual review of the agreements would paint the country in a bad light and prevent serious investors including foreigners from coming to invest in the country. The recent remodelling and commissioning of the terminal by the Minister of Aviation triggered the crisis. BASL management, before and immediately after the commissioning, said the terminal (GAT) belonged to it while the minister insisted it belonged to the Federal Government. At the commissioning of the terminal, Oduah said the terminal was not part of the agreement the concessionaire had with the government and said no one could hold the country to ransom. She said that information at her disposal indicated that BASL was threatened by the imminent opening of the newly reconstructed and remodelled GAT. While stressing that the area where GAT is located has never been part of the area concessioned to BASL, the minister said that the agreement with Bi-Courtney had a Survey Plan clearly marked in square metres and the area of the GAT was never contemplated to be part of the area leased to the company. But documents made available to the media by the spokesman of BASL, Mr. Steve OmolaleAjulo, indicated that GAT was actually ceded to BASL by FAAN in 2007. Omolale-Ajulo, in the documents, revealed that FAAN and the former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-kayode had on May 17, 2007 through a letter signed by Garba Mamman, of the Federal Ministry of Transportation (air transport), ceded the GAT to the concessionaire. Also, the recent court ruling on the matter at the Federal Court of Nigeria in Abuja once again brought to the fore the right ownership of the terminal. While FAAN and the Ministry of Aviation’s suit number FHC/ABJ/ CS/698/2012 under the Hon. A.R Mohammed (judge) was struck out and described as a gross abuse of the process of the court by the plaintiffs (FAAN and the Ministry of Aviation), which has been finally litigated and decided upon by Chikere J of the Federal High Court sitting at Abuja in suit FHC/ ABJ/CS/50/2009 on the 3rd of March, 2009, the agency insisted that the judgment was deceptive. FAAN emphasised that the High Court judgment given in Abuja was to mislead the public and stressed that the contentious GAT remains the property of the Federal Government.

Despite the controversies generated by the various concession agreements in the aviation industry, an expert in the aviation sector has advocated that the private sector should continue to participate in airport development under transparent concession agreements by aviation agency and Ministry of Aviation. President of Aviation Round Table (ART), Dele Ore, while speaking to The Guardian on the solution to the crisis often generated by concession agreements signed between government agencies and concessionaires, stated that the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) Act provides for the participation of private sector in financing the construction, development, operation or maintenance of infrastructure or development of aviation infrastructure through concession or contractual agreements. The establishment of the ICRC Act, he added, also empowers it to regulate, monitor and supervise the contract on infrastructure or development projects. He contended that global demand for basic infrastructure services has grown over the years, outstripping the supply capacity of existing assets, adding that many years of underinvestment and poor maintenance have left Nigeria with a significant infrastructure deficit, which is holding back the country’s development and economic growth. Nigeria, he pointed out, should invest massively in the aviation sector so as to bridge the infrastructure gap created over the years, which have led to huge infrastructural decay in the industry for over 30 years. According to him, “Nigeria needs to close its yawning infrastructure gap .The Aviation Round Table (ART) believes that private sector can play an important role in providing this new investment through Public Private Partnership (PPP)” On the allegation that the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Aviation, often interferes with agencies in the sector, the ART boss argued that any time there is a new minister, there are policy somersaults and everything comes back to square one, adding that this will bring a about growth in the industry. To buttress his point, he cited the removal of the former Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr Harold Demuren, describing the action of the Federal Government as uncalled for and not in line with the regulatory body’s act. The former Nigeria Airways Limited (NAL) pilot stated that anytime a new minister is brought in, the new minister embarks on reforming the industry, adding that the sector has been over reformed. He added with the frequent policy somer-

saults in the aviation industry, there was no way Nigeria could grow at the same pace with other aviation countries in the world. According to him, “The laws setting up other agencies in the aviation sector are very loose. The loopholes in these laws allow the Minister of Aviation to meddle in the affairs of other agencies.”

Navigational service

POKESMAN for NAMA, Supo Atobatele, said the S2000, agency, since its establishment in January has been consistent in fulfilling its statutory obligation vis-a-vis the provision of air navigation services to airlines. He noted that operational facilities like navaids had been upgraded to international standard, as a result of massive capital investment by the federal government since the inception of civilian administration in the country. The Federal Government had on April 8, 2003, awarded a multi- billion naira new radar project to Thales ATM of France to replace the old and analogue Alenia radar installed since 1979. He added that the turnkey project had since been completed and delivered by the contractor, according to the specifications of the project. “The project has nine radar locations across the country. Specifically, there are four control radar locations in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano with each having both primary and secondary co-fixed radar head. There are five other stand alone stations in Ilorin, Maiduguri, Talata Mafara, Numan and Obubura. “The primary has the range of 65 nautical miles while the secondary covers 250.The overlapping range enables the controllers to see flights beyond the shores of the country. This fact is practical and verifiable.” On absence of airfield lightings at most of the airports, Atobatele said his agency took responsibility of the provision of airfield lighting last year. “We wasted no time in deploying 66 CALKIT brand of emergency airfield and two approach lights on runway Lagos runway 18 Left. The equipment is ICAO, FAA and UKCAA certified”. This he said has brought great relief to the airlines, especially the domestic airlines that have to taxi for 15 minutes, burning fuel after sunset from the international wing to the domestic terminal to disembark passengers. This has been on for five years. He listed power supply to its equipment as NAMA’s biggest challenges, which he said has forced the agency to run some sites on generators. “NAMA spends an average of N200 million yearly to keep them running for 24 hours to provide seamless service. The good news, however, is the installation of high breed solar power at airports in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, Enugu and Bida being an enroute station.”


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For Nigerian Airlines... It’s Lonely Sky By Gregory Austin Nwakunor HE Nigerian airspace is becoming lonelier by the day. No thanks to the myriads of problems T confronting the sector. In the last few years, doing air business in the country has turned to a journey to Golgotha. Captain Dele Ore, president of Aviation Round Table, described Nigeria as a graveyard for airlines, considering that the country’s aviation history is replete with stories of airlines that started, but could not celebrate their 10th birthday before they went under. Besides the Nigeria Airways, the country is yet to celebrate an airline that operated efficiently for two decades. The number of airlines that have gone under include Okada, Triax, Oriental, Sosoliso, Nigeria Airways, Aviation Development Company (ADC), Afrijet, Bellview, Capital, Harco, Harka, Al Barka, Spaceworld, Dasab, Chrome, Flash, Hamza Air, Slok, EAS, Wings Aviation and a number of charter operators. The Guardian checks reveal that the industry is bedeviled by many problems ranging from infrastructural decay evidence in airports across the country to high cost of aviation fuel, huge expenditure on aircraft acquisition and maintenance, congestions at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, absence of navigational aids (airfield lighting) at runway 18 left of the Lagos airport and other airports, which does not allow for night flights and bad state of cooling system at the same airport. Regardless of these intimidating problems, the aviation sector contributes N119 billion (0.4 per cent) to Nigerian GDP. The breakdown works to this: N59 billion directly contributed through the output of the aviation sector (airlines, airports and ground services); N34 billion indirectly contributed through the aviation sector’s supply chain; and N27 billion contributed through the spending by the employees of the aviation sector and its supply chain. In addition, there is N78 billion in ‘catalytic’ benefits through tourism, which raises the overall contribution to N198 billion or 0.6 per cent of GDP. According to Oxford Economics, a report on economic benefits from air transport in Nigeria, published in 2012, which took into details, activities in the sector upto 2010, “the aviation sector also supports 159,000 jobs in Nigeria. This total comprises: 44,000 jobs directly supported by the aviation sector; 64,000 jobs indirectly supported through the aviation sector’s supply chain; and 51,000 jobs supported through the spending by the employees of aviation sector and its supply chain. In addition, there are 130,000 people employed through the catalytic (tourism) effects of aviation.” The statistics, which was arrived at from a survey conducted by International Aviation Transport Authority (IATA) and Airports Council International (ACI) noted: “Average air transport services employee generates N3.5 million in Gross Value Added (GVA) yearly, which is nearly seven times more productive than the average in Nigeria.” The aviation sector pays over N8.5 billion in tax including income tax receipts from employees, social security contributions and corporation tax levied on profits, with a further N17.0 billion of revenue coming from VAT on domestic and international flights originating in Nigeria. It is estimated that an additional N8.9 billion of government revenue is raised via the aviation sector’s supply chain and another N7.1 billion through taxation of the activities supported by the spending of employees of both the aviation sector and its supply chain. The report notes, “from visiting family and friends to shipping high value products, 8.3 million passengers and 181,000 tonnes of freight travelled to, from and within Nigeria. More than 15,200 scheduled international flights depart Nigeria yearly, destined for 32 airports in 30 countries. Domestically, more than 66,800 flights make over 7.5 million seats available to passengers, destined to 18 airports.” It continues, “air passengers resident in Nigeria comprise approximately 4.2 million of the passenger total. For the 8.3 million passenger flights in total, passengers pay N866 billion (inclusive of tax), with Nigerian residents paying around N438 billion. This expenditure is likely to significantly understate the value passengers actually attach to the flights they use.” Calculations by Oxford Economics suggest the value of the benefit to travellers from flying, in excess of their expenditure, is worth N785 billion a year (N397 billion for Nigerian residents).

Air transport is crucial for the distribution of high value to weight products. Air freight may only account for 0.5 per cent of the tonnage of global trade with the rest of the world, but in value terms, it makes up around 34.6 per cent of the total. Shippers pay airlines N89 billion yearly to carry 181,000 tonnes of freight to, from and within Nigeria. The benefit to shippers, in excess of this expenditure, is estimated at N37 billion. Based on the share of exports in total merchandise trade, Nigerian shippers receive nearly 60 per cent of this benefit (N22 billion). In 2010, there were 48 routes connecting Nigeria to urban agglomerations around the world. On average, there were three outbound flights per day along these routes. A total of 11 of these routes were connecting Nigeria to cities of more than 10 million inhabitants, with 4.8 outbound flights per day available to passengers. Frequencies are higher to the most economically important destinations. For example, passengers benefited from 30 outbound flights per day from Abuja to Lagos Airport, and from 13 flights per day from Port Harcourt to Lagos Airport, providing high speed access for business and leisure purposes throughout the day. Many of these city-pair connections are only possible because of the traffic density provided by hub airports. The report says Nigeria air transport net-

work transforms the possibilities for the Nigerian economy by: • Opening up foreign markets to Nigerian exports; • Lowering transport costs, particularly over long distances, helping to increase competition because suppliers can service a wider area and potentially reduce average costs, through increased economies of scale; • Increasing the flexibility of labour supply, which should enhance allocative efficiency and bring down the natural rate of unemployment; • Encouraging Nigerian businesses to invest and specialise in areas that play to the economy’s strengths; • Speeding the adoption of new business practices, such as just-in-time-inventory management that relies on quick and reliable delivery of essential supplies; and • Raising productivity and hence the economy’s long run supply capacity. It is estimated that a 10 per cent improvement in connectivity relative to GDP would see a N20 billion per annum increase in long- run GDP for the Nigerian economy. With barely four airlines operating domestic flights, the result has manifested in frequent cancellation, inflated fares, airport congestion and passenger frustration. Only recently, the Assistant General Secretary, Airlines Operators of Nigeria, Alhaji

Tukur, had said the demise of some domestic airlines brought untold hardship to the flying public, as intending air travellers passed through hell to buy flight tickets. Tukur, who was reacting to the hardship passengers faced during the Easter rush, said such situation would have been averted if a number of airlines had not closed shop. He pointed out that some airlines took the government intervention funds for the aviation sector and subsequently stopped flying, thereby making the flying public to experience hardship before buying flight tickets. The AON scribe said it was imperative for government to probe such airlines as failure to do so would amount to the misappropriation of tax payers money. Government’s intention in giving the bailout, Tukur said, had been frustrated by the developments, as jobs had been lost due to the demise of some airlines. He said, “some airlines benefited from bailout but they are not flying today. I mean, some airlines got bailout funds and closed shop. These are issues the government needs to look into because jobs have been lost.” The generous restructure of aviation sector loans has not yielded optimal results. The airline operating companies have used shortterm monies to shore up endemic capital defiCONTINUED ON PAGE 39

National Airline For Nigeria? By Wole Shadare IGERIANS have, for several months, been awaiting a national carrier that was promised by the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah-Ogiewonyi. The interest that greeted the promise was based on the people’s positive disposition towards having a national airline they would be proud of. They wanted a virile and functional carrier that would again put Nigeria on the global aviation map, a carrier that would be efficiently run, and one that would be able to compete with big, European and American airlines. That has been the dream of every Nigerian. For 10 years, Nigerians waited, albeit patiently to know how and why the liquidated Nigeria Airways was killed. Although, some knew the intrigues that trailed the liquidation of the once flourishing carrier, but they never knew the extent of damage the deliberate demise of the airline has caused the country. Yes, Nigeria Airways died because all the people saddled with the responsibility of resuscitating the airline have been adjudged not to have helped matters sim-

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ply because of alleged corruption. While many airlines have masqueraded as replacement for the airline, none had made such impact that the carrier made all over the world, the joy and pride it brought to millions of people. In fact, the performance of these other flag carriers has been less than satisfactory. They lack the will and financial muscle to compete with the likes of British Airways, Emirates, Qatar, Delta, United, Air FranceKLM, Virgin Atlantic and Lufthansa; the more reason these airlines are having a field day, running the show with some of the best equipment and in-flight services. Some of Nigeria’s flag carriers are not doing enough to earn Nigerians’ respect because of the poor services they offer on the international routes. It is usually a pride to have airlines that is truly Nigerian. But the expectations are fast turning into a mirage. Not that the government does not know what to do; a clear-cut direction of what it exactly wants is glaringly lacking. In one breath, the Ministry said it would look for strategic partner(s) to give it the technical assistance it requires. In another breath, the government talks about entering into a Public Private Partnership (PPP)

without giving Nigerians the clear direction of what exactly it wants to do. Recently, the call for a truly national airline has been deafening. Nigeria, probably would not have found itself in this precarious situation had the government followed the recommendations of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) on the best possible way to privatise the airline. The zeal on the part of Oduah-Ogiewonyi to bequeath the nation a national airline is fast waning. At least, the Ministry even scratched the surface or tinkered with the idea. But stakeholders are of the opinion that her agenda lacks clear-cut direction of exactly what she wants to do. The PPP is an alien contraption when it comes to setting up an airline. Is the process going to be transparent? Won’t people who are very close to the corridors of power hijack it? Is it not going to be another big exercise in futility? Will a government after the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration not frustrate the PPP setup the way Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited, operators of the ultra modern MMA2 reportedly being


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THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

BUSINESS

‘Minister Is Committed To A Strong Aviation Sector’, By Obi Finally, plans have reached advanced stage to assist domestic operators acquire the brandnew, more fuel efficient and safer aircraft that Nigerians are clamouring for. This will be done through a direct purchase of these aircraft from major manufacturers at highly competitive and discounted rates for domestic operators who will meet the stringent conditions to benefit from the scheme. This way, we are not going to be confronted with scenarios of misapplied, diverted or misused intervention fund.

Joe Obi is Special Adviser (Media) to the Minister of Aviation. He fields questions from The Guardian on some issues in the industry. What is the ministry’s overall policy for the aviation sector and what is the timeline for execution? HE overall policy for the aviation sector captures the vision of creating and sustaining a sector that guarantees safety, security and comfort of passengers and all those who have one business or the other to do in our airports. It is also geared towards the creation of a sector that will ultimately be self-sustaining and a major contributor to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with the private sector as the main driver and engine of growth. Executing the policy is a process, not a destination. The National Civil Aviation Policy 2013 unveiled two weeks ago is already being implemented.

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What is the financial implication of this? The financial implication is huge given that the sector had been neglected for decades. Putting in place relevant policies, infrastructure and amenities that will help deliver the aviation sector of our dreams has huge financial implications. Already, several billions of naira has been spent on the terminal upgrade/remodelling, as well as the acquisition and installation of various safety-critical equipment for NAMA, NIMET, AIPB and the NCAA.

Odua Minister does not want to be dragged into questions of how monies given as bailouts were spent that is why she is intervening directly in the areas of need of the domestic operators. A few instances will suffice: The Minister, after wide consultations with domestic operators realised that the payment of Customs duties on imported aircraft and spare parts posed a serious challenge to domestic There have been interventions in the past, by operators. To address this issue very fundamenway of bailouts by government for the sector, tally, she championed the cause of removal of but not much was seen in terms of capitalisaCustoms duties on importation of aircraft as tion. What has happened to all of that, seeing well as spare parts. This policy has been that the upstream of the sector is seriously approved by the Federal government and today; challenged? there is zero taxation on those two items. Yes, there have been various bailouts/interventions in the past to help stabilise the sector. Furthermore, access to facilities with long-term, Obviously, those interventions did not yield the single digit interest rates was also a major chaldesired results. It is this dissatisfaction with the lenge to domestic operators in a capital-intensive business like aviation. To address this chalresults that led the present Minister, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah to intervene in a different lenge, the Minister is working with the CBN, the form. Remember for instance that in the past, Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Industry (BOI) to make long-term, single digit interest intervention schemes from government had facilities available to domestic operators. The come mainly in the form of financial grants framework has been completed and in no diswhere cash was doled out to operators. The tant time, the policy will take off. This will be a jury is still out on whether or not those funds were used for the purposes for which they were huge relief for domestic operators who are presently suffering from serious cash squeeze. meant. The point to note is that the present CONTINUED FROM PAGE 38 ciencies. This double disadvantage directly impinges on efficiency and perhaps on the honest application of rules and adherence to universal standards. Resort to shortcuts has brought trauma and misery to hundreds of families. It is noteworthy that the N370 billion Aviation Intervention Fund provided by the government was insufficient for spares or capital expenditure, and indiscreetly spent by the airline operators, many of whom are now near insolvent. According to aviation experts, the domestic

travel scene needs at least two or three more airlines for effective competition and  to guarantee flight tickets with better fares. They also noted that it is important the problems of aviation are properly identified and a holistic solution proffered. A panel set-up to investigate the sector, recently called for a major overhaul. The Federal Government was asked to declare a state of emergency in the sector in order to tackle its deficiencies. The retired Group Captain John Obakpolorled panel told the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah-Ogiewonyi, that a state of emer-

hounded and frustrated over its multi billion naira investment at the Lagos airport? Will the Ministry of Aviation after this administration not wake up to say the deal was signed in error, or say they were not carried along before the deal was sealed? Why is it becoming so difficult to go the way of Kenya Airways, which has become one of the most successful airlines in Africa? Kenya Airways had a far worse problems and challenges than the liquidated Nigeria Airways and has risen from the ashes to become one of the biggest players in the continent. In fact, the carrier was two years ago rated as the second most profitable airline after Ethiopian Airways. The airline is a case study in privatisation. In Africa, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian, Egypt Air and South African Airways are some of the most formidable airlines that have brought pride to their nations. They have helped to reduce huge capital flight, occasioned by the dominance of mega carriers like British Airways, Lufthansa, Air FranceKLM, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Delta, United, among others. The privatisation of Kenya Airways was the first-ever privatisation of an African airline. The sale of a major state-owned asset is usually a highly charged political event, and the two-year process by which 77 per cent of the shares of Kenya Airways were sold to a broad array of private investors

was no exception. From the outset, the press and public of Kenya speculated as to how and when the process would fail, and which interests would profit from that failure. Yet the privatisation was carried out successfully. Nigerian flag carrier airlines have not done too well owing to lack of good business model, crippling debt, lack of war chest to develop routes that are viable, coupled with lack of government’s assistance. It is a fact that most of the carriers designated on foreign routes died few months after they commenced operations. The one(s) that is/are still in service are struggling to break even, as they are weakened by poor or lack of connections out of Europe, United States or even from some African countries. Some of the interline agreements have collapsed while the ones that are still active are just hanging there. Nigeria airlines are not just there in terms of reciprocating Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) between her and other foreign nations. Former Commandant, Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, Group Captain John Ojikutu (rtd) said the move was that of senior partner (government) whom he said had never made a success of any business. He stated that a new national airline is a return to the corrupt practices of the past. Ojikutu advocated that government should establish two strong flag carriers through the

from the skies!

There are allegations that the minster favours South-easterners in recent appointments and those relieved of their jobs. Can you specifically address this with facts and figures? There is no truth to the allegation that the Minister favours the South East, or any other geo-political zone for that matter in appointments or termination of appointments. It is not for me to provide you with details of these alleged appointments or terminations. He who alleges must prove, so if you or any Some say what the country needs is another government funded airline, but given our expe- other person has facts to the contrary position I just stated, bring them out to the public rience of public waste and mismanagement, don’t you think the sector is buoyant enough to domain.  attract foreign investors on its own; what are There are allegations too that the minster has the challenges stalling foreign investment in personal issues to settle with Bi-Courtney that sector (upstream)? What has been stalling foreign investment in because of some outstanding family matters the sector in the past was lack of dedicated and brought forward from the Obasanjo era. That focused leadership, weak aviation institutions is why there is this witch-hunt. True or false? Totally, completely false. Bi-Courtney is a and structures as well as policy inconsistency. major beneficiary of a system that was obviThis scenario has changed dramatically today and as we speak, foreign investors from China, ously warped and the company took advanCanada, the USA, Europe, Asia and from within tage of that to defraud the government and the African continent are already staking their people of Nigeria through a Concession investments in the aviation sector. The aerotro- Agreement that is questionable at best, and horrible at worst. The company may have gotplis project is one of the major areas already attracting interest and investment in the sector, ten away with it in the past but this Aviation Minister insists that the people and governamongst others. ment of Nigeria cannot be handed the short end of the stick in any Concession or Lease At the downstream, there are activities going on, which at best look cosmetic. Is this what will Agreement in the sector. We do not want to stop planes from crashing or the need to have comment further on this as cases relating to this issue are still pending in the law courts. solid infrastructure on ground? There is no question of witch-hunt whatever. I do not know what you mean by cosmetic activities going on in the sector. However, we need to stress that the transformation (or what The minister is accused of plotting to take over airport toll gates, for instance, that of you refer to as activities) going on in the aviation sector today are very fundamental, holistic Lagos from present concessionaires because is now realised how lucrative airport tolling and have a lot of substance and they have plazas are; true or false? enhanced safety, security and passenger comFalse. There is no truth to this allegation. fort as the guiding principle. Whether it is the Those peddling the rumour that the Minister infrastructure upgrade by way of terminal wants to take over the management of the remodelling, or provision of safety-critical automated tollgates from the present concesequipment like NAMA’s TRACON, Airfield sionaire are major beneficiaries of the old Lighting and other Instrument Landing Systems; or NIMET’s Doppler Weather Radars, or manual system that was fraught with heartNCAT’s Manpower Development programmes rending leakages and corruption. The quesup to the New Aviation Policy, everything dove- tion people should be bothered about is the integrity of the present system and not basetails to the question of enhancing safety in less accusations against the person and office Nigeria’s airspace. So yes, everything we are of the Honourable Minister. doing is to ensure that planes no longer fall

gency was required and the need for it to commence implementation of the Aviation Safety Emergency Programme. The panel also said that N500billion was required by airlines to address some of the deficiencies in their operations. At the end of its deliberations, the committee came up with 59 findings and 41 recommendations, in line with the terms of reference. The panel recommended that “Federal Government should immediately declare an emergency in the aviation sector . The panel also said, “The Federal Government should intensify efforts to complete the ongoing reconstruction capital market to enable the public to buy into them. “Is the country thinking with the rest of the aviation world where the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is planning for only 12 world airlines?” he asked. His words: “Moreover, government cannot be trusted to play by the rules. Nigerian government, being what it is, would like to throw its weight around like it’s been doing for some private airlines who are owing public and private aviation service providers and encouraging them sometimes to circumvent established regulations, especially commercial and BASA agreements”. “We witnessed how government officials ruined the fortunes of the defunct Nigeria Airways. These officials who are mainly appointed not career officers would hide behind the veil of official duty and would collect concession or free tickets for trips for themselves, friends and members of their families”. Managing Director of Touch Down Travels, Mr. Dayo Adeola, had attributed the problem of Nigerian airlines to lack of clear-cut aviation policy. His words: “It is one policy today, another policy tomorrow; multiple airport operators. In the past, when you arrive Lagos from foreign country, you either board Okada Airlines or other local carriers to other parts of the country. The local airlines are dying today because people are not flying them”.

and remodelling of the terminal buildings and structures, as well as construct new ones across the country. The panel recommended that greater emphasis should be placed on proper and adequate maintenance of aircraft, rather than age restriction. The current crisis has persisted because the diagnostics of the aviation sector are still shrouded. This crisis is a call to desist from cavalier response to the fundamentals of an industry with basic prescriptions for effectiveness. Standards of operation are basically of universal application: the machines, airplanes, and their stringent maintenance rules are specified to conform to the manufacturer’s directives and there are regulatory agencies to enforce rules over airplanes and the pilots who operate them worldwide. A predilection to craft a Nigerian pattern of doing business in this industry is misleading and fraught with danger, the manifestation of which the country sadly witnessed in recent time. The welter of questions on the competence and professional integrity of both the operators and the regulators all point to the overwhelming importance that the current situation requires more than town hall meetings at the aviation ministry. In the words of Ore, “we still don’t believe we are doing things in our Nigerian way; there is no Nigerian style of aviation but one international standard of doing things. If we continue to do things in our Nigerian way, we sweep aside the international standards.” For Captain Dayo Odufuwa of former Nigeria Airways, “government is part of the problem in the sector. We are tired of talking. Whatever people say, what government wants to do, it does. The problem of the sector is from the top, not where people are looking at.” According to Ore, this is the time “to take our destiny in our hands. Until we have airlines that run comfortably and effectively with nothing less than 50 aircraft this industry cannot make progress.”


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THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

BUSINESS

Private Jets... Walking The Talk, Talking The Walk By Gregory Austin Nwakunor VIATION policies are rarely cheerful, especially now that the sector teeters at the edge of economic abyss. The troubles in the industry have already killed so many airlines and made the former ‘national carrier, financial carrion’. More than at any point in recent history, this is one time when good policy initiatives are desired. But this new policy by Ministry of Aviation, industry watchers say, has gone a little further to bring ‘dead’ frowns. To them the National Civil Aviation Policy 2013 is the ghost at the feast of ‘aviation Lupercalia’ in the country. For a start, the policy picks the most thriving and growing arm of the sector — private jets. The growing penchant for private jets acquisition has cost wealthy Nigerians a sum of $6.5bn (N1.02tn) in the last five years. Aviation sources reveal that the luxury trend, which rose by 650 per cent between 2007 and 2012, is encouraged among the rich by the need for privacy, fear of insecurity and the urgency required by modern business. Private jet ownership in Nigeria has grown by 650 per cent, from 20 jets in 2007 to over a hundred in 2012. This put the private jets aviation market in Nigeria (the monetary value of all private jets in the country) at N1.18tn ($7.5bn), using $50m as the average cost of each brand new private jet. A private jet goes for between $40m and $65m, according to the websites of major private jets manufacturers, like Bombardier of Canada; GulfStream and Hawker Siddley of United States; and Embraer of Brazil. According to findings, the common brands of private jets in Nigeria are Gulfstream 450, 550 and 650; Bombardier Challenger 604, 605; Global Express; Embraer Legacy and Falcons; and Hawker Siddley 125-800 and 900XP. According to aviation sources Nigeria currently rivalled China as one of the two fastest growing private jet markets in the world. The growth in the purchase of private jets in Nigeria has also led to the development of multimillion dollars private jets hangars, where repairs and maintenance could be done in the country. Some of these include Execujets Nigeria Hangar, Caverton Hangar and EverGreen Hangar, all located at the Lagos airport. Reactions following the release of the policy, however, suggest there are flaws, which cast serious doubts about its potency and efficacy to sustain the sector. The Policy, which took the Federal Government over one year to prepare, was unveiled recently with severe rules that threaten operation of private jets in the country. The policy bars individuals with private jets from carrying their friends and business associates on board the aircraft, stating that only members of their families are allowed aboard. It also states that companies with private jets are permitted to carry only their employees or members of the Boards of Directors. Moreover, the policy directs that the identities of all passengers onboard any private jet must be made known through a manifest before air traffic control clearance will be sought. It states, “Approval or clearance from the Director-General, NCAA, will not be required from Nigerians operating non-revenue flights with appropriate insurance policies in the following cases: • For private aircraft owned or leased by individuals, only the family members of the owner/lessee of the aircraft will be permitted on board as passengers; • For private aircraft owned or leased by companies or corporate entities, only the employees and members of the Board of Directors of the company will be permitted on board as passengers; • For aircraft belonging to non-scheduled or scheduled operators, only the employees and members of the Board of Directors of the company or the corporation may be permitted on board as passengers; all operators will declare the identities of all passengers on non-revenue charter flights in the appropriate general declaration forms prior to obtaining ATC clearance. • Nigerian carriers operating revenue passenger charter flights will be required to have a current non-scheduled or scheduled operator permit with operations manual that con-

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tains flight duty time limitations, which will be strictly monitored on regular basis. • Part VII of the NCAP 2013, which deals with general aviation (private jets), read in part, “Retention of foreign registered aircraft in Nigeria will not be permitted beyond a period of 15 days from date of entry. However, the Minister of Aviation may, in certain circumstances, grant the extension of this period for up to 60 days.” Industry watchers, however, have accused the government of creating a policy that could not be backed by law and sanctions couldn’t be given to offenders. They say the new policy might force most of the business moguls, politicians and pastors, whose private jets are currently carrying foreign registration to fly their jets outside the country to countries such as the US, United Kingdom and South Africa and others every 15 days in order to comply with the policy. The other option for owners of private jets with foreign registration is to de-register them and subsequently register them in Nigeria, some industry experts have said. They also say the economy is expanding, with increasing investments within the country and the region. This, invariably, necessitates instantaneous travel that scheduled airlines cannot provide. The Guardian gathered that Federal Government, through the policy, has decided to put a check on the abuse emerging from the use of private jets in Nigeria and also, for security reasons. Coordinating Manager of Information and Communications for Aviation parastatals, Yakubu Dati, noted that security operatives had disclosed that many wanted persons in Nigeria were smuggled out of the country with private jets and others sneaked into the country without check as many private jets take off from private facilities at the airports. He said what government wants to do is to monitor the operations of unscheduled flights and the manifests of these flights because of the security situation in the country. Dati also said charter services by private jets have become a lucrative business in the country because 80 per cent of these private jets have private licence, but carry out commercial operation, remarking that they constitute safety challenges because aircraft with private licence are not subjected to compulsory maintenance checks as

those with commercial licence are made to do by the regulatory body, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). He also lamented the situation, where about 80 per cent of the 150 private jets operating in the country, are registered overseas, which means that they are exempted from paying taxes and five per cent charges to NCAA and although they are owned by Nigerians they are still designated as leased so they are brought into the country without paying Customs duty. “So, when you collate what government agencies lose by the illegal operations of these aircraft, it amounts to over N25 billion in a year. And I can authoritatively tell you that it is now lucrative for businessmen to bring in aircraft to operate as private jets and converting same for commercial purposes. It makes nonsense of those charter operators who follow the laid down process, whose business has now been taken away by the illegal private operators,” Dati said. He also disclosed that these illegal charter operators have taken away substantial business from scheduled airlines because those that would have filled the business class cabin are now airlifted by illegal private charter services. “This explains why our airlines are not growing. Instead of marked growth of our airlines, it is the number of private jets that are growing. This is an aberration so government cannot fold its hands and watch this unfavourable situation which has already started affecting the nation’s economy, knowing the crucial role scheduled airline operation play in any country,” he noted. Dati also regretted that much of the money used to buy these aircraft is made locally but taken away from the country to maintain foreign licence, foreign pilots and engineers and foreign maintenance services. During an interactive meeting with owners of foreign and Nigeria registered business aircraft organised by the Federal Ministry of Aviation recently in Abuja after the new policy was unveiled, the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Secretary-General, Captain Mohammed Joji, described the policy as subservient to that designed by the military in 1988. Joji said the global trend is to reduce functions of aviation ministries but the new policy had enlarged responsibilities of the Federal Ministry of Aviation. According to him, creating the general aviation under the mandate of the Nigeria Civil

Aviation Authority NCAA is wrong adding that importation of aircraft into the country should be among duties of the NCAA. They also said that policies should focus on tangibles. To them, it should have been desirable that given the growing number of private jets in the country, appropriate policy framework should have been put in place to help this growing sector with associated benefits. The Chief Executive Officer of Jedidah Air, Mr. Nogie Meggison pointed out that there were over 150 fully registered unemployed pilots walking the street. He said, “it is disheartening to know that Nigeria currently has about 150 fully registered pilot without reasonable job, and at the end of the year, there will be about 400 pilot without job, Nigerian air operators and foreign airlines will prefer the services of foreign licensed pilot, while Nigerian pilot are turned down on the basis that they don’t have enough experience.” On the declaration of the identities of all passengers on board a private jet flight, aviation commentators noted there was nowhere in the world where such a rule was obtainable. They said the filing of manifest for private aircraft was not known in international aviation circle. They said no single country required filing of manifest for local travel in a private aircraft. An aviation expert said the demand for passengers’ manifest on private aircraft could only be the responsibility of the State Security Services. “The need for passengers’ manifest on private aircraft, if required, can only be the responsibility of the State Security Services, and in the case of private aircraft on international flight, the Nigerian Immigration Service.” An aviation source said, “this new policy means that pastors and business moguls who own private jets cannot carry business associates or friends on board their aircraft. Also, if the jets belong to their churches or companies, it means they cannot carry on board their family members. “Contrary to this policy, the acceptable standard all over the world is that private aircraft owners are given opportunity by law and regulation to put the aircraft to use for the purpose for which they are being bought.” Captain Odufuwa noted, “it is not workable. As a government policy, people would tend to abide by it, but really, is it workable?” He said, “private jets emerged because there are things that have to be done privately. It is for convenience sake. It is not every business that you transact in commercial flights, you want privacy,” adding, “it is not done anywhere. It is not like that in Europe.” Another speaker at the interactive session, Mr. Roland Iyayi, President, Topbrass Aviation, said the new policy was void of inclusive approach in design. Identifying the need to review the policy, he said many things were wrong such as process of getting license to import aircraft, which the Federal Government should have considered. He added that he spent 13 months before he could get the license to import aircraft into the country with further intervention of highly placed individuals. The Aviation Minister, who was represented by the Special Adviser to the President on Aviation reform, Ms Anne Ene-Ita, pointed out that the federal government is not resting on its oars in ensuring that the guiding principles of the nation’s aviation is in line with the guidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organisation. She mentioned that the essence of the interactive session with players in the industry is to factor in their opinion into the new Aviation policy. Ene-Ita noted that the development in the industry now rank Nigeria after China and Japan in terms of passenger volume which is expected to keep growing at the rate of 9-10 percent yearly reaching the level of 1520million by 2020. She said, “new frameworks are being developed for growing our domestic airlines and plans are almost concluded for the effective take-off of the national carrier, which would be driven by the private sector.”


THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

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BUSINESS ‘Government’s Undue Interference Is A Major Problem In Aviation Sector’ The Nigeria aviation industry, no doubts, is bedeviled by myriads problems ranging from unqualified personnel, shortage of aircrafts, congestions at the airports, lackadaisical attitudes of airline operators, government undue interference and silence of the stakeholders in the industry. Captain Dele Ore, Chairman of Aviation Round Table, (ART), a non-governmental organisation, speaks with DANIEL ANAZIA on how to save the sector. Excerpts.

where without Abuja and people must go there. How do people go and come back in swift; is it by camel, bicycle or okada. The only way we can measure where we are and what is happening is for you to travel by these means and see how difficult it is. A bailout fund was offered by the government some two years ago, what happened to the fund and how was it disbursed? Who did they bailout? They didn’t bail any airline out, rather they paid the banks the airlines were owing money, which was not to the benefit of airline operators. The money was disbursed into individual pockets and the banks were happy to open new lines of credit for them. There is no airline that I can tell got anything from the said fund. So, the bailout is not for the airlines, but for the banks. It may sound crooked, but that is the way I understand it and that is exactly what happened.

The Nigeria aviation industry is experiencing rots, what do you think is a probable solution from the viewpoint of a stakeholder? DON’T think that the solutions are the types that are palatable to the government. It is the truth and we are talking about the truth; nobody wants to hear it.

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Why do you say the solutions being offered by stakeholders are not palatable to government? Who are the stakeholders? The government does not recognise anybody as a stakeholder now. They have factionalised everything to the extent that they now deal with individuals and not institutions. The trusts are broken down, and there is no valid voice in the industry today. Government has succeeded in silencing every valid voice in the industry. So, the question is, what voice do we have in the industry today? Is it that the industry has been compromised or we are afraid of the institutional big axe to fall on our head? These are questions we need to ask ourselves. Some five or more years ago, were there no voices in the industry? If yes, where are they now? What has happened to them? The only voice or voices that you hear now are those praising the government, minister and institutions to the highest in one corner. We don’t see anything wrong in the industry anymore because there is nothing wrong. Even at the expense of their own life and that of people that make use of the industry? What life? Do we have a life? Aren’t we all happy with what is happening in the industry now? I think everybody is happy with the state of things. The year 2005, 2006, 2007 were the dark period of the Nigerian aviation sector, but we went past them. We came from the valley and we were heading to the top until the Beecroft Helicopter crashed in Obudu. We could have gone five or six years without any blemish, but for that crash. What happened when June 3 came knocking? People are probing without facing the realities. How did the aircraft crash? We are still probing and yet to find out what happened, but if I say what happened, people will say I’m waking up the sleeping dog. The industry is not devoid of crashes, but if we recognise there would be crashes once in a while, we should put institutions in place rather than changing everyday, every time what we already have existing. Anytime a new minister is appointed, he or she comes up with new body or institution and while they are doing that, another accident is being invited to happen. It takes a while before an old discipline that has been part of the system is gradually wound away. The question is have we learnt anything from the accidents that have happened. The answer is no, we have not learned anything. When you don’t learn from accidents and the past, it means there will be a repeat of the same problem. Yes, they have remodeled the airports and the runways, everything is perfect, but I’m not bothered about all that. I’m particularly concerned about the regulatory reforms. The least of our problems is where we are tackling vigorously now. When something works, don’t fix it that is what I hear. Are these issues what we should worry about now? As a voice and authority in the industry, what can be done to salvage the situation? What makes me a voice or authority? I’m an authority and people are insulting me everywhere. There was a discussion held recently at Western Town Hotel, Ikeja Lagos, I was convinced with the paper I delivered, and it is all about my concern for the industry in line with the international standard and how we do things here. We still don’t believe we are doing things in our Nigerian way; there is no Nigerian style of aviation but one international standard. If we don’t believe we are doing things in our Nigerian way, then we sweep aside the international standards. Though the whole world may not see or be looking at it, I’m concerned and worried about it. It starts with the little international standards we must conform with in every aspect, whether we are drinking water or buying new aircraft and repairing the runway; it has to be inline with international standard. Once we depart from that, it becomes a major concern for me. In Nigeria, it is not being recognised that we are departing from these acceptable international standards. What is the current template that Nigeria operates? Template! I’m confused and don’t know. What template? What we have on ground is that anytime a minister is appointed, the policy somersaults and a new one is developed. I have no idea where to put the template the industry operates and I’m confused, which way we are heading. Right now, I’m not sure we have any template that we are operating. Those who have should put it on the ground for me to see.  Do we need a new template? The question is, when last did we have a template. Did we ever have any template? So, that is why I don’t think about

In your opinion, how do you think the fund should have been disbursed and is there need for new bailout as being canvassed by the Central Bank? There should have been no funds at all; what funds do the airlines need. In the industry, we have people who are very bad eggs and they are being applauded for doing things the wrong way. How did these bad eggs come into the industry? It is either you are reckless in financial management or you don’t have the capacity to manage an airline; you are not flying at all and if you are flying and making money, where is the money going? These are the questions we should be asking. So, whosoever that is not fit and proper to run an airline should not be given bail out.

Ore a new template. If you have a template, you will follow it religiously and make it work. What in your view should be done towards creating a functional template for the industry? It still centres on what I have been advocating in the industry for the past 10 years. When we figure and say it out, some people say we are mad; while some others believe that we are being sponsored to fight government. I don’t say anything to endear myself to people, but I have said it over and over that in the West African region, people should point out to me one airline that is doing well. Don’t go to the East or Central Africa. The problem in this region is common because what obtains in Nigeria, obtains in other neighbouring states such as Ghana, Liberia, Togo and all West African countries. The ECOWAS Parliament meets in Abuja regularly; and here, they make resolutions, but do member countries ever implement any of these? The reason for this is that Nigeria is too influential in the subregion and member states expect that Nigeria should take the lead and spearhead the implementation of their decisions. In 2000, ECOWAS Parliament recognised the problems in West Africa. The aviation industry is too complex and driven by technology. It is not one sector where you take people who have no knowledge about the industry and charged them with its management. It is pathetic to know that aviation ministers are appointed in the subregion on political basis. And being a political appointment, persons appointed are likely not going to be technocrats, who are versed with operations of the aviation industry. We must do things the way it should be done, and for this reason, member states are called upon never to have a separate ministry for the aviation. Rather, there should be a ministry of transport that will accommodate the aviation sector, road transport, rail and inland waterways; all manned by technocrats. When qualified personnel manage the parastatals and they are functioning effectively, what job then would be left for the minister to perform? I make bold to say that no Africa state has implemented this. There was attempt by Nigeria to implement it, when we had a minister of transport, junior minister for aviation, junior minister for railway. When we mention this to President Obasanjo then, he said that if we adopt that, one state would not have a ministerial appointment. If a state doesn’t have a minister, they can be compensated with ambassadorial slots, permanent secretary, director general and other appointments. But the problem is that we don’t have the political will to do aviation in this country because we don’t believe that aviation is important. It is the engine room of the economy; it has grown past the heydays when people say, any country that wants to industrialise must invest in the railway. Modern economy is driven by aviation. Take aviation away from Nigeria for just one week and see what will happen. Nothing happens any-

Modern economy is driven by aviation. Take aviation away from Nigeria for just one week and see what will happen. Nothing happens anywhere without Abuja and people must go there. How do people go and come back in swift; is it by camel, bicycle or okada. The only way we can measure where we are and what is happening is for you travel by these means and see how difficult it is.

Investors are refusing to go into business in the Nigerian airspace, what do you think is responsible? I don’t think that is possible; what we have always been told by the government is that Nigeria is open for business and investors are coming in to invest in the economy. If the investors refuse to come from outside, Nigeria money abroad is limitless. What about the investor within the country? We have to take our destiny in our hands. The belief is that once an individual has N200 million, the person can start an airline. If I may ask, is that for engine or spare parts. When they put the money down, they want to be chairman, managing director, general manager, operations and so on. Would that amount be enough to sustain an aircraft needless to say an airline? Until we have airlines that run comfortably and effectively with nothing less than 50 aircrafts, this industry cannot make progress. Even if they are only three airlines, with these numbers of aircrafts, you will see the tremendous change that will occur. The manpower in the industry will not be enough and there will be need to double it. What are the processes of appointing contractors in the industry, do you think the process is inline with what the Public Procurement law says? I have a copy of the Public Procurement Act and I know it in and out. But in the aviation industry, I’m yet to see any parastatal that is following it. In this industry, you have the Procurement Act side by side with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) Act. They both came out at the same time. The government in power, at the time of its promulgation, meant well for the industry and they believe things should and must be done the proper way. The Act is just in a paper nobody is following. If we follow the act, it means there is no concessioning projects on ground now that will not have any litigation. There is no project on ground now that is not a subject of litigation. Reasons are that the acts have been thrown over board. The objective of the act is that government needs money for other infrastructures such as hospitals, roads, education, and rail among others. How many Nigerians fly in a year? Just a fraction of the elite. Though it is important to the economy, the public private partnership (PPP) must be in line with the procurement act. So, if anything is to be built at the airports, these acts should be followed to the later. We have so much and to spend it is our problem now. Government says there is no money but suddenly the money comes out from nowhere.     Our safety regulation is considered loose, what can be done to strengthen them? When you over regulate a system, everything will crash down. Safety regulations are put place and audited by ICAO, and if they were to be awarded marks, Nigeria will be awarded 97.7 per cent. We are so good that other developing and third world countries are advised to come and adopt Nigeria’s safety regulations, and anywhere Nigeria is mentioned, they can remove it and put their own name. It is not loose, but when they are being implemented by the appropriate parastatals and agencies, there is unnecessary government interference. That is where it is loose. The regulatory authorities know if they regulate all the airlines out of existence there will be nothing else to regulate. When they sense or notice something is dangerously wrong, they stay on the neck of the airlines involved and ask them to make amendments. The only thing left is that we have failed and allowed an autonomous regulatory system as dictated by the civil aviation acts because of the undue interference of the government. If government can allow the system to operate with the regulations, we will have a perfect system.


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BUSINESS

how To Be Successful In Entrepreneurship, By Makun Stories by Onyewuchi Ikechukwu ERMANE as entrepreneurship is to wealth creation and national development, it is not a place to venture into with one’s eyes not widely opened. Chief Executive Officer of Purpose, Power and Lifestyle Design (PPLD), a firm that is into remodeling of lifestyles of African business owners, Tunde Makun, in an interview with The Guardian, said Nigerian entrepreneurs have to be scriptwriters of their lives as a project. Stressing this, he said we are taught from childhood to live other people’s lives by default. This misguided training, he said, is responsible for our level of unemployment. he said: “You know when you are born, go to school, make money, and raise a family, if you are lucky, you grow old enough to do this things. But at a point you begin to ask yourself what you have really done with your life. It’s at that point that people begin to ask themselves what they should have done differently.” Painting an even clearer picture, Makun said: “Most of the problems we have in Africa today has to do with the fact that we are not in control of the variables that define our existence and what you are not taught at any point in your life, you cannot use. But there are phases that define why we do what we do. For example, we used to know that what you don’t know would not hurt you, but now what you don’t know will kill you; that’s the typical phrase. Well, seeing is believing, but if you want to be a success believing is seeing. Many things that are learnt become counter intuitive, which is why you must be an inquirer.” Citing the example of Steve Jobs, Mark Zukerberg and Bill Gates, he said Nigerian entrepreneurs need to discover the essential things that matter in life and channel their energies to addressing them. According to him, “Not many people have been lucky enough to be exposed to this idea. That tells you that when you hear the stories of school drop-outs that became megastars, its not because they were dumb. It’s because they were really able to get the roadmap that most of us don’t have the good fortune of having. This purpose is like a guiding spirit most of us have never really found or neither have we realized the relevance of its purpose. “The purpose is like the beacon that fuels

G

he said there is need to build a process where we can go back to define where you will be in the next five or 10 years. That, to him, is the starting point. In progressing from this point the major questions entrepreneurs need to ask themselves are: what are your strengths and your interest? What do you enjoy doing? how do you want your life to be in the next five, 10 years? Stressing the need to take charge of ones life affairs and business, he said: “until you see yourself as the scriptwriter of your life, you will never be a person of substance. When you want to build a masterpiece, you start with the drawing, the model. It incorporates all the senses, the taste, the sound, the telling, the touch; everything must be in it. You cannot create anything without first thinking about it. So the first thing is to change the thinking process. “Ninety-five per cent of our decisions including buying decisions take an average of seven times of seeing an advert before you make a buying decision. That average is a global average. These point to the fact that we are largely emotional beings. There is a screen that defines the world. how do you rearrange that screen?” he also said: “there is a personal growth that everyone has to go through. The Princes’ of England have a trend to their lives. They are not actually chasing after wealth. There is a spirit that governs the making of money. If I put a million dollars in your account, it does not make you a Makun millionaire. A millionaire is what you become your life. If you don’t have a big picture, you these things are defined by the way you are tu- on your route to making a million. That is the will be managing trivial things on a day-totored. This brings me to the classification of hu- only way to reproduce the wealth even if you day basis and a target that you don’t set you man systems: the super conscious, the loose it. That is why 80 per cent of lottery wincan’t hit. So all these things tend to define that conscious and the sub conscious. We are used ners go broke within 2 years. one of the initial things that we need to find is to a bit of the super conscious and operate “Most of us go to our graves with our dreams what is our purpose? The power is the capaclargely on the conscious. The two of them com- because we think of the funds. Then truth is ity to translate your intention into reality.” bined would not fetch you more than 50 per funding doesn’t come first, second or third, he said this purpose makes them do things cent capacity. you must care about what you want to achieve effortlessly and get massive results. harping “That is what people of significance know and how you want to achieve it because money that it has now defined some of the thinking that we do not know. The conscious is about processes that necessarily must change if you logical, straightforward thinking. The subcon- pursues ideas. I would say I am on my road to be a success. don’t want to be a failure, he argued that noscious is not a logical thing. Ninety-five per cent You cannot be a success if you do not have a body has defined what success means to us as of our existence is locked to subconscious livlegacy.” a people. ing but we don’t know about it. Most of our deOf his view of the present of crop of leaders in he continued: “Even in wealth creation we cisions are emotional decisions.” Nigeria, he said: “We have very intelligent techwere taught about money. We are used to Stressing that what you are today is a product nocrats who are failures. You know why? We defining money in very cruel terms, in the lit- of what you were taught and fed in the past put people in charge of position to manage our erature that we studied. Plenty of riches is de- years, he maintained that if entrepreneurs commonwealth and they don’t know how to scribed as filthy riches. Why is wealth filthy? don’t change the variables in their lives, their manage their little wealth.” People are beginning to question that most of results would not change.

Business Group, Skye Bank, Wole Aderinkomi, harped on the need for small businesses to develop bankable and attractive business plans. he urged them to make able business plans and imbibe good sure they have an impressive demand for strategies in managing their businesses. their products or services before they apThis charge was made recently by facilitaproach banks for loans. tors at the 9th series of MSME seminar orhe bemoaned the poor cash flow practices ganised by the Foundation for Skills and by entrepreneurs who combine their perDevelopment (FSD), a non-governmental sonal with business accounts and charged organisation (NGO) that is engaged in ensmall business owners to be more prudent trepreneurship mentoring. with spending. he also urged entrepreneurs Executive Director of FSD, Mrs Omowale to have a reasonable control of the market Ogunrinde, who said she was impressed by before embarking on risks, as anything participation, revealed that the training other than this would run them into bad was an enlightenment drive to connect debts, among other business risks. MSME owners with information that rehe said: “sometimes if credit facilities are quired to grow their businesses. given out, entrepreneurs don’t pay back. If She said: “We bring training consultants they do pay back, banks are willing to lend to to teach them basic business skills; and govthem. Also, if they pay back, it will enable the ernment agencies to give them informabanks to repose confidence in them and will tion about what public agencies have in subsequently enable the banks to extend store for them. We also bring people to tell more financial services to them.” them their life stories and give them some he also harped on the need for entrepreencouragement. And these help either peo- Seyi Fasanya of United Parcel Service; Executive Director, Foundation for Skills Development (FSD), Omowale Ogunrinde; ple who are about to give up in business to Rob Folley of the United States Embassy; and Head of Human Resources, United Parcel Service, Anu Ajayi, at the seminar or- neurs to seek for non-financial services from banks other than capital for businesses, move forward or inspire others who have ganised by FSD. stressing that, due to the double-digit interdoubts about their visions.” est rate, most entrepreneurs are handiShe said the major reason small busicapped when their loans mature, thus nesses are not growing in the country is bekilling more businesses. cause their proprietors lack information. A participant and CEO of Duchies Farms EnStressing this point, she said: “People don’t terprises, Kayode Ladeinde, who benefitted just know how to approach their major from FSD’s recent training on entrepreneurbusiness challenges. how do I grow it? how ship, was full of praises. he said, though, he do I manage it? how do I do marketing? leveraged on the opportunities of the prorying much about funding. has had quality experience in farming, the how do I get to the next level? People don’t gramme. She, however, decried that due to enlightentrainings made him a better entrepreneur. just know how to do it and this is comSpeaking to the participants, head, Small ment, small business owners have not really pounded by the absence of business schools in the country. We are just trying to bridge that gap. “We have people here today who are early NOThER step towards aligning financial reecutive of the FRC, Mr. Jim Obazee, disclosed the Nigerian Accounting Association, the Nigerretirees; we have managing directors of ian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Inporting and corporate governance with that the Institute of Chartered Accountants companies that are struggling to stand. global standards will be taken in Abuja on May 27 of Nigeria (ICAN) and ANAN are represented dustries, Mines and Agriculture and the Their hopes to start small business are beNigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation. as the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr by two members each. ing renewed. So we are basically giving Olusegun Aganga, inaugurates the governing Also included are one representatives of the The Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and them the information they need to run board of the Financial Reporting Council of Nige- Office of the Accountant General of the Feder- Valuers; the Securities and Exchange Commistheir businesses. If this were to be multision (SEC), the National Insurance Commission ria (FRC).  ation, the Office of the Auditor General for plied across the country, we would see (NAICOM), the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) A statement issued by Media/Communications the Federation, the Central Bank of Nigeria more business spring up.” and the Nigerian Pension Commission are also (CBN); the Chartered Institute of StockbroAsked to review the YOUWIN, an initiate of Consultant to FRC, Mack Ogbamosa, disclosed that the board would be headed by the immedikers of NIgeria (CISN), the Chartered Institute represented in the proposed board. the federal government, she commended FRC is the body charged with mandate to reguate past President of the Association of National of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) and the Corpogovernment, noting that the programme late accounting, auditing, valuation and actuarAccountants of Nigeria (ANAN), Mariam Ladi rate Affairs Commission (CAC). has given young entrepreneurs opportuOthers are the Federal Inland Revenue Serv- ial standards. It is also charged with the nity to actualise their dreams without wor- Ibrahim. The statement said Executive Secretary/Chief Ex- ice, ministries of Trade/Investment, Finance, responsibility of harmonising corporate goverO ensure a robust micro, small and T medium enterprise (MSME) sector, entrepreneurs have been urged to draw bank-

‘Why Small Business Owners Cannot Secure Funding’

Financial Reporting Council Gets Governing Board A


THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

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BUSINESSAGRO

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development delivering the 2013 Foundation Day lecture titled, ‘Unlocking Nigeria’s Agricultural Potential To Create Wealth,’ at the CCE Hiltop auditorium of the Federal University of Technology, Akure at the weekend. PHOTO: FABIAN ODUM

Investors To Increase Stakes In Nigeria’s Agricultural Transformation By Fabian Odum IGERIA’S Agricultural Transformation Agenda N (ATA) took another turn for the better when it became an area of interest to foreign investors at the recently concluded World Economic Forum (WEF) in Cape Town. This was contained in a release from the ministry at the weekend. The Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, who attended the forum with President Jonathan, spoke to a high level audience of global policy makers and private sector representatives about Nigeria’s ATA. He spoke on government’s efforts to change the face of agriculture in Nigeria and restore the lost glory in global food production. In the past 18 months, Dr. Adesina observed, “we have unleashed an agricultural transformation by looking at agriculture as a business and not a development programme, with growth driven by private sector-led investments. We need to create wealth, not manage poverty.” He assured that Nigeria is set to become a major contributor to global food and nutrition security and poverty eradication through the creation of the right business. Adesina was was emphatic on a recent development, which has faulted the clamour of some people for imported rice. According to him, dry season rice production in the north increased by more than a million met-

ric tons, over one-third of the total needed to replace amount Nigeria currently imports. This is the first time dry season rice production support has been done and it has triggered massive job creation all across rural areas in 10 states of northern Nigeria. On the rice intervention, the minister disclosed that over 1.5 million farmers received their seeds and fertilisers through the electronic wallet system using their mobile phones. He noted that Nigeria was the first country in Africa, and possibly in the world, to develop such a system for reaching farmers. On the need to diversify the economy away from dependence on oil, Adesina observed that, since 2012, the federal government has attracted nearly $8 billion USD in investment commitments into agriculture. He emphasised the commitment to transform Nigeria’s financial landscape through innovative financing approaches to solve agricultural value chain breakdowns and give small agribusinesses and farmers access to credit. “We are expanding farmers’ access to financial services to allow them to build their productive assets, diversify income sources and enhance their resilience,” he added. Adesina announced the creation of 14 Staple Crop Processing Zones, high potential agricultural production areas, where dedicated infrastructure support – including roads, power, water and other benefits will be provided to pri-

Vitamin-A Cassava Stems Distribution To Oyo Farmers Gets Applaud By Fabian Odum HE Gospel of cassava growT ing and production to boost food security and create jobs is fast catching on as an Oyobased NGO, Entrepreneurial Action By Us (ENACTUS), has distributed stems of vitamin-A fortified cassava to farmers in Oyo. This time, the organisation aims at putting the more nutritiously engineered cassava tuber on the family menu to affect the country positively; first as food and for sale. The NGO spokesman, Mr. Joseph Ibikunle said the primary goal is to eat a more nutritional cassava before aiming for the commercial advantage. He made the plea when some student members of the group from Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo distributed 55,000 Vitamin A cassava stems to 220 local farmers. Ibikunle said for rural farmers

to reap the health benefits, they should first consume the crop also known as yellow cassava. He said ENACTUS made the identification of needy local farmers a major focus of one of its projects known as “The Profit in Cassava, “ adding that this led to the free stem distribution exercise. Ibikunle said the organisation, made up of 100 students in different disciplines, had nine other projects, which were ongoing for the benefit of local people. He said members of the organisation got in touch with the Nigerian office of HarvestPlus, the global alliance that introduced Vitamin A bio-fortified cassava into the country about two years ago. He added that the international organisation  provided farmers  with free stems. Oyo State Chairman, Nigeria Cassava Growers Association

(NCGA), Mr Muideen Adekunle, who spoke on behalf of the beneficiaries, said with the advantages of the new Vitamin A cassava, farmers were now assured of ready market. He said the distribution of free yellow cassava stems to NCGA members for multiplication would ensure the availability of the produce in the country. Mr. Paul Ilona, Country Manager, HarvestPlus advised the farmers to adopt a modern system of agriculture if they were to make agriculture a profitable business. Ilona, who delivered a lecture on Vitamin A cassava, said the two varieties of stems given each farmer in two different bags contained a total of 250 cuttings. He said they were expected to produce enough stems after one year to be used in planting 0.5 acres of cassava. “A study by HarvestPlus shows

vate sector investors who will help improve the local agricultural landscape for small- and largescale farmers. These are expected to link produc-

tion, processing, and end markets to improve Nigeria’s contribution to the agricultural value chain.

FG Flags Off GES Scheme, Gives Free Agric Inputs By Gbenga Akinfenwa HE Federal Ministry of T Agriculture officially flagged off the 2013 Growth Enhancement Support (GES) Scheme on Wednesday at the Fish Farm Estate, Odogunyan, Ikorodu, Lagos with the provision of agricultural inputs to farmers to enhance agricultural productivity in the state. The farmers benefited from agricultural inputs like cassava cuttings, cotton and maize seeds given free of charge and fertilizers sold at 50 per cent subsidised rate, evenly shared by both Federal and the state government, (Federal Government, 25 per cent and 25 per cent Lagos State Government). The State Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Lagos, Prince Adegbola Olusi, who represented the

Minister of Agriculture, noted that GES is a very good tool to improve agriculture in Nigeria, saying the essence of the scheme is to ensure accessibility of the agricultural inputs by farmers because most of them are difficult to get and at the same time expensive. He noted that GES, an initiative of the Minister is a device to ameliorate the suffering of farmers with the 50 per cent reduction in price of fertilizer. Olusi revealed that the 2013 enumeration exercise for farmers is meant for those who had not registered, in order to benefit from the largesse of the government. In his opening address, the State Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Prince Gbolahan Lawal said before now, one of the common problems of agriculture is lack of agricultural inputs, but the administration has

embarked on some projects and programmes that will ensure that inputs are made available to farmers at the right time and affordable price. “To ensure that only genuine farmers got the subsidised inputs, we commenced the first ever farmers database in the history of Nigeria in 2012, over 30,000 farmers were registered in year 2012 across the state with additional 60,000 farmers in year 2013. “To remind you again, farmers will receive 50 percent subsidy for fertilizers and 100 per cent subsidy for improved seeds through the e-wallet. To ensure that all farmers benefit from the scheme, the farmers’ registration exercise has been improved upon using Optical Mark Reading (OMR) Forms. This is to enable the information to be quickly scanned and processed,” he stated.


TheGuardian

44 Sunday, May 19, 2013

Apostle Anselm Madubuko is the founder of Revival Assembly Ministries International and President of New Anointing World Outreach (NAWO). In this interview with CHRIS IREKAMBA, the Apostle speaks on pastors owning private jet, the Igbo Osu caste system, his rumoured marriage, Boko Haram insurgency, and other issues. Excerpts.

can’t turn them because you don’t like Russia. Were it to be America or Europe you will be happy this is what I said within me. So, I ran after them. When they came back, they said, ‘we saw your ministry and that is what we need, we need an apostolic breakthrough anointing because we are just coming out of Communism, we need this power of God to help us in our nation,’ that was how I went to the country in 1999. I didn’t know that movement was going to shift my entire life. When I got to Latvia, I saw other ministries in Ukraine, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, then Russia. Russia is huge and they are saying ‘come, come’ so, I didn’t choose to go there, but I still do our local apostolic work. Recently, I held a crusade in Umuahia and Aba; and every January I, I organise crusade in my village, Ihiala, Anambra State. What were your experiences in Russia like? There is a great difference over there; they are very hungry. They are excited about God; so, it’s much more interesting there. If people are hungry, it becomes easier to teach them. Nigerians are over fed; we have all kinds of teachers. How did you come about Azusa? In 1904, a one-eyed black man called William Seymour was used by God to usher in the first major revival in the world in a place called Azusa Street in California. And my passion is to see revival not just in churches but to ensure that people feel God, people feel Jesus, it’s not a religion; it’s something that is real. When there is a revival in Lagos, for instance, kidnappers won’t be able to carry anybody because the atmosphere will make it impossible for anybody to do any harm. We need the fear of God in our streets, in Aso Rock, in the Senate and in the people. That is my dream, I just believe that one day, God will show us mercy, visit us and that is what we are praying for. What are your views on Boko Haram insurgency and how best could government curtail them? I understand how President Jonathan feels about the insurgency. The situation is complex because members of the group are faceless. Nobody knows them; so, it’s very difficult to handle. I don’t know what people who are blaming the President want him to do. My advice, however, is that we should step up in our intelligence information gathering. You can’t fight people you do not know. Warfare has gone beyond shooting people; it’s only through intelligence that you can unveil them. Our intelligence system is very poor; in fact, we can’t say we have any in the country. It was through intelligence gathering and use of surveillance gadgets that the US was able to know where Osama Bin Laden was hiding. Modern warfare entails the use of technology and there is no limit to its use. I don’t know if the amnesty talk is true. But really, if it is, who is government going to give the money? You discover that as government is discussing with representatives of the group, different places are being bombed; so, who are you giving amnesty to? If the people are not unveiled, a group of people may claim to be members of the sect and take all the money while the mayhem continues. Could our sins be the cause of the spate of insecurity, in the country? It’s not limited to Nigeria; it’s a worldwide thing. There is terror everywhere, as evil is daily on the increase across the globe. So, it’s only God that can stop it. What should religious leaders like you be doing? Nothing. But to pray and intercede for nations. But Nigerians have been praying? We have to do more; we’ve not done enough that is what that means. We can’t just stop praying until we see something happen. With all the churches and mosques around, are you saying we haven’t done enough? It’s not about churches. Most churches are not just there for God, but for the people who

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

IbruCentre HAT are religious leaders doing about W the Osu caste system practised among the Igbo? We have been preaching against it. This Osu thing is evil, the practise is demonic, but then, you can’t force anybody to change his or her views about it. We have said it over and over that the practise is wrong because we are all one in the Lord. The blood of Jesus Christ has washed us and there is no more Osu. You cannot do anything, but to pray for the people to fear the Lord. It doesn’t take a programme to do anything; it’s a personal thing. There is no religious leader that is in support of the system. What I’m saying is that after preaching against it, it’s left for the people involved to stop the practise. I cannot come and say you must marry this person or that person; so, it boils down to people’s decision. Even after organising crusades, holding programmes and bringing traditional rulers together to talk about it, the people’s decision, at the end of the day, will be upheld. I think if the traditional rulers are saved, then it will be different. There’s nothing like Osu or Ohu and all that in Christ. Osu or Ohu thing is Satan’s wickedness against the people; it is another way of manifesting his wickedness. All the belief about Osu is rubbish and will have no effect on anyone who marries them. How true is the saying that ‘we don’t have prophets, but prayer contractors in the country’? That is true. And the only way to reverse the trend is through revival. When the fear of God is not in your heart, you can do anything for money; you can even take money from people for prayers and prophecy. Religious leaders have failed the nation; we’ve romanced iniquity; we’ve romanced lawlessness; we’ve lost our voice. And as such can no longer rebuke the people who need to be rebuked. What’s your take on Pastors acquiring private jets? If you give me a private jet, I will sell it. Maybe, those Pastors that have them are in need of them, but if you give me one, I will sell it; that is the truth, it’s not my priority. What’s your idea of succession in the church? Have you given it a thought? You don’t sit down to plan these things. I didn’t start this church. God just said start and we started, so, the day He tells me handover to this person, I will do just that. It wasn’t Adeboye that started the Redeemed Christian Church of God. Church is a spiritual thing, but we try to make it look as if it’s a family thing. It’s not a family business. Most times, it appears so because the wife is always the closest to the founder or head. These days, it’s had to find faithful people, but thank God, He has given us some faithful ones. There was a time it was hard to trust people around you. So, how can you give something to somebody you don’t even trust? It’s a spiritual movement and you don’t just decide, who to give it to. I’m telling you, if tomorrow, God tells me, ‘son give this thing to this person,’ I will gladly do it. I love my apostolic work more than pastoring. In the past 12 or 13 years, I have imparted on people in Eastern Europe, I’m excited doing that. I love the evangelistic thing more than pastoring that is what I’m trying to say. Why take the title Apostle and not Pastor, Reverend, Bishop or Archbishop? I started as a Pastor. God called me to be a

Madubuko

Succession In Church Is Not Family Business, Apostle Madubuko pastor and having done that for about nine to 10 years, He made me an Apostle. God told me to go to Russia, Eastern Europe, and to other nations. I went there to help the church because the five folds ministry in the Bible. We were told about the pastor, the evangelist, the apostle, the prophet and the teacher; these are the five folds ministries that God has given us to build and edify the church. I’m just fulfilling it; so, it’s not about the title or what I’m doing at this time. I did-

n’t go there by myself; God took me from here to those places. I didn’t know anybody in Russia, I went to preach in Ethiopia in October 1999 and after doing that, I went back to my room in the hotel, when four people came to see me. Only one of them could speak English language, and they invited me to their country. They said ‘they are from Latvia former Soviet,’ I said I’m not interested. I just turned down the request and they left. But, I felt within me that God sent them. You

The Ibru Centre is under the trusteeship of the Trinity Foundation Charity trust founded for the promotion of spiritual growth

CONTINUED ON PAGE 48


THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

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IBRUCENTRE

Sunday School Victorious Christian Living (3) Memory Verse: “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” I John 4:4. Bible Passage: Luke 8:26-30. Introduction EMONIC activity is one of the greatest obstacles to the attainment and maintenance of victory over the flesh. Since the great rebellion and expulsion of Satan and his cohorts from God’s presence, mankind became their prime target, Isa. 14:13-14; Rev.12:4. Demons

D

...With Pastor Enoch Adeboye

Demons are disembodied invisible beings. They are evil, wicked, corrupt and pervert. They are deceptive and destructive agents of darkness. They do not die. Lk. 24: 39, Acts 19:15-16, Matt. 9:32-33, Mk. 5:4, 9, Ezek. 28:1, Jn. 10:10. They teach false doctrines and possess the flesh in a desperate bid to separate man from God. Some of them have miraculous powers and could hold people in bondage. Judg. 9:23, I Sam. 18:9-10, I Tim. 4:1-2, Matt. 4:23-24, 9:32-33, Rev. 16:13-14, Rm. 8:15. They wage war on saints continuously, Eph. 6:10-18. Our victory All power is subject to Christ and true Christians by the power in the name of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Every believer has Christ’s authority to cast out demons Mk. 16:17, Lk. 10:17.

However, we can only do this if we walk in holiness. We should resist the devil by the blood of the Lamb. We must also be prayerful and put on the whole armour of Christ, Eph. 6:10-18, I Thes. 5:17. It is dangerous for anyone in sin to attempt casting out demons. Such a person will be defeated or even be possessed. We must be holy and obey the word of God and constantly recognise our power under the blood of Jesus, Rev. 12:11, I Jn. 5:4, I Pt. 5:4, 1 Pet. 5:9, Mk. 16:17. Conclusion God wants us to have victory now and every day. Victory is not a once and for all achievement, but rather, is ours each day as we walk with God in holiness. Go and establish your authority from now on. Amen!

Biblical Perspective Into The Boko Haram Imbroglio By Gabriel Osu For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the lord shall inherit the land. (Psalm 37:9) HE nature of bloodbath we are now experiencing in our naT tion today is very similar to the experience narrated in the Old Testament. Each day, as we hear of the orgy of killing in Maiduguri, Nassarawa and the other parts of northern Nigeria, we become transfixed with fear and trepidation and wonder why God have permitted so much evil in Nigeria. The callous manner human lives are being snuffed reminds one of the days of old, when humanity was still at its darkest ebb. The, war was almost a way of life. The number of enemies one was able to terminate at war fronts depicted one’s prowess and status in the society. At that time, outlaws reigned supreme and only the very powerful in terms of military strength and sheer

brute were feared and respected. But of all the tales of war narrated in the Old Testament, the one that seemed most prominent was the contest between the Israelites and Philistines. While the Israelites symbolised light and godliness, the Philistines on the other hand represented the forces of darkness. For many years unending, the two nations were at each other’s throat and hardly saw eye-to-eye. The battle we are facing, today, could be likened to the feud between the Israelites and Philistines. The two fought for a record of 30 times. But the good thing about it is that the Israelites prevailed most of the time. Now, let us examine some of these battles and the resultant effect. At the first battle, which took place between Aphek to Ebenezer, the Philistines killed about 34,000 Israelites and captured the Ark of the Covenant. The second battle was at Mizpah. Following Samuel’s intervention through the offering of a lamb, God confused the Philistines and gave victory to Israel.

At the third battle at Geba, Jonathan, Saul’s son, secured victory over the Philistines with just 1,000 soldiers. The fourth battle at Gilgal was a draw. At the fifth battle, through the gallant effort of Jonathan and his armour bearer, the Israelites again emerged victorious. Aside from the ninth battle at Mount Gilboah during, which the Philistines killed most Saul’s men and three of his sons, including Jonathan, and which saw Saul falling on his own sword, the remainder of the battles saw Israelites emerging victorious. We can read more about this in the following Bible passages: 1 Samuel 4:1-11, 1 Samuel 7:7-14, 1 Samuel 13:3, 4, 1 Samuel 12:6-17, 1 Samuel 13:24 – 14:23, 1 Samuel 17:1-58, 1 Samuel 18:17-30, 1 Samuel 23:15, 1 Samuel 29:1, 31:1-13, 2 Samuel 5:17-25, 2 Samuel 8:1, 2 Samuel 21:151, 2 Samuel 21:18-22. Beloved in Christ, what we are going through, today, did not just happen yesterday. They are accumulation of evil seeds that had been planted, even, before we gained independence from the colonial masters.

By This Time Tomorrow By Gabriel Agbo Elisha replied, ‘Hear this message from the Lord! This is what the LORD says: By this time tomorrow in the markets of Samaria, five quarts of fine flour will cost only half and ounce of silver, and ten quarts of barley grain will cost only half an ounce of silver.” 2 kings 7: 1 HERE is an imminent solution coming your way. As you diT gest this timely message, expect the power of God to bring about a new dawn in your life. You will agree with me that these

Wale Dada (left), Regional Co-ordinator Congress WBN, W/Africa, Paul Ogedengbe, Faith Praiz and Yinka Olugbodi, during a press conference to announce the Nigeria Apostolic Reformation Conference slated for May 23 to 25.

By Prophet S.K. Abiara ESUS Christ is a great healer; Jspiritual he heals both physical and sicknesses. He clearly demonstrated that there is no sin or problem too great or too small for Him to handle. Some of the healing miracles Jesus performed in the Bible are as follows: cured man with unclean spirit in the synagogue (Capernaum) Luke 4:33-35, Mark 1:23-26); Peter’s mother-in-law healed of fever (Capernaum) Mark 1:29-31, Matt. 8:14-17; leper cleansed (Capernaum) Mark 1:40-45, Luke 5:12-15; withered hand restored (Galilee) Mark 3:1-5, Luke 6:6-11; Centurion’s servant cured of palsy (Capernaum) Matt 8:5-13, Luke 7:1-10; widow’s son raised from the dead (Nain) Luke 7:11-17; two demon possessed men cured

God Will Do It Again (Gadara) Mark 5:1-20, Matt 8:2834; raised Jairus’ daughter (Capernaum) Mark 5:23, Luke 8:41. Others are woman with the issue of blood healed (Capernaum) Matt. 9:20-22, Luke 8:4348; blind men cured (Capernaum) Matt. 9:27-31; dumb spirit cast out (Capernaum) Matt. 9:32,33; deaf and dumb man cured (Lower Galilee) Mark 7:31-37; man born blind, healed (Jerusalem) John 9:1-7; Lazarus raised from dead (Bethany) John 11:38-44; man with dropsy cured (Peraea) Luke 14:1-6; two blind men cured (Jericho) Matt. 20:29-34, Mark 10:46-52; and Malchus’ ear

healed (Gethsemane) Luke 22:50, 51. Dear reader, I took time to bring out some of these miracles by Jesus Christ — for you to understand that He dealt with different issues in people’s life. Not only that after He had departed the Apostles used the authority He gave them to perform miracle, sign and wonders. This statement came to manifestation on the day Peter and John were going to the Temple for afternoon worship. A lame man from birth beside the Beautiful Gate, who usually beg from the people going into the Temple, saw Peter and John about to

enter and asked them for some money. Peter immediately remember how his master would have handled such situation and the Holy Spirit also brought to Peter’s remembrance the words of Jesus Christ ...“go into the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere. Anyone who believes and is baptised will be saved. God bless. skabiaraofciem@yahoo.co.uk

are very trying times. Individuals, groups, corporations and nations are really struggling, among other problems, to get out of economic, political and security challenges. Some of these problems have also proved unsolvable and protracted, defying all known human solutions. Today, our economic and political lexicons have been over-stretched to accommodate jargon and coinages that have been used to explain, interpret and proffer solutions to these global problems. Every situation we go through in this generation surely has a corresponding account in the scriptures. When we have difficulties in life, we must endeavour to look into this book for solutions. There is no situation that cannot be solved through the word of God. And that is why the Bible says there is nothing new under the sun.   Israel was in a very precarious situation. They were invaded and plundered by the Syrians (Aramians). The result of this invasion was so severe that it triggered off famine and anarchy in the land. They were humiliated, defeated, disgraced and disrobed. Israel has been good to them. But the Syrians, especially their king, have been making every effort to destroy them. Yes, sometimes it happens that way. The people you did well to turning back to pay you with evil, treachery and others. Do the above words describe what you are going through? Do they describe the situation in your family, nation? Look into your life again; are there arrows of the enemy that you cannot fully explain why and how they got into your life? The struggle is so much that you have already started backsliding. The waiting is so long that your faith has become weak, and you have started sliding to your former sinful life. You are disgraced, disenchanted, dispirited? Have you not even gradually started doubting the love and the existence of God? The people of Israel were also in the same situation. It seemed like there was no hope for them. Even their king openly expressed that, “it is the Lord, who has brought this trouble on us! Why should I wait any longer for the Lord?” Did you hear that? But suddenly, the word of the Lord came through Prophet Elisha and that is where we got our main text above. You can go back and read it again. It announced that things were going to be normal again; that the economy of Israel was going to be turned around in 24 hours - tomorrow! God always has His plans (sometimes unknown to us) to deliver His people. Rev. Agbo is of the Assemblies of God Nigeria. gabrielagbo@yahoo.com


THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

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IBRUCENTRE

‘Seek God For Good Governance’ By Bisi Alabi Williams ISHOP Peter Adeyinka has B called on President Goodluck Jonathan to seek the face of God in his desire to lead the country and bring the much-needed progress. Speaking on the president’s transformational agenda, Adeyinka commended Goodluck Jonathan for holding the nation together as one indi-

visible entity, despite Boko Haram insurgency and the spate of insecurity across the nation. He said, “the President has only tried to put various committees and projects together, as a way of restructuring and transforming the ailing system he inherited from his predecessors, adding that God brought him to ease the

suffering of Nigerians.” The cleric stressed that the task of over hauling the nation is not a day’s job and that Nigerians should not blame the president for all the nation’s woes. He said, “now that Goodluck Jonathan has gained his footing and understood the system, he has to show the political will to bring positive changes in the country as

Martins Tasks Security Operatives On Intelligence By Onyewuchi Ikechukwu HE Catholic Archbishop of T Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins, last Sunday, in a press briefing organised by the Directorate of Social Communications to commemorate 2013 World Communication Day, enjoined security operatives in the country to put in more effort in intelligence gathering to ensure that killings and other acts of violence are detected and nipped in the buds. Lamenting the recent killing of security operatives in renewed attacks in northern Nigeria, the Archbishop decried the spate of violence across the country, saying the nation is descending into a

state of anarchy. He said: “with all the bombing, kidnapping and killing of security personnel, it is a very disturbing situation and as it is, it seems the war has been taken to the security personnel’s backyard. He, therefore, urged the security operatives to come up with more intelligence gathering tactics that would enable them nip the violence in the buds, before they go out of hand. He noted that as part of remedy to the violence, the amnesty committee set up by the president should come up with a workable plan to settle the parties involved in the violence. According to him: “the amnesty committee should

first make those engaged in the violence to recognise that they have not only hurt individuals, but the nation as a whole, before thinking of granting them amnesty.” Speaking on the theme Social Networks: Portals Of Truth And Faith: New Spaces For Evangelisation, Martins commended media practitioners in the country, stressing that with their commitment, they kept government on its toes. On the controversy between the national body of Catholic Church and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), he revealed that the national body has withdrawn from the activities of CAN until some internal procedures are resolved.

Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Archbishop Alfred Martins (third left), Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas, Monsignor Gabriel Osu, Vice Councilor Consulate General of France in Lagos, Mr. Serge Kuhn, his family and others at the 47th World Communication Day at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos…last Sunday

promised during his campaign. “Nigerians can no longer be patient because they are tired of failed promises and as such want solutions to the numerous challenges facing the people.” Adeyinka advised the President to find time to wait on the Lord for strength and direction rather than sorely depending on advisers. He also called on Nigerians not to lose faith in the system, but to preserve in their prayers.

Desire God’s Kingdom, Imade Enjoins Christians By Bisi Alabi Williams HE Pastor of Amazing Grace T Church, Orile Agege, Rev. Yinka Imade, has enjoined Christians to desire the kingdom of God, while still on earth. Speaking at the yearly leadership conference organised by his church, Imade, said, “it is difficult for believers to understand the Kingdom mandate of Christ without a clear understanding of God’s Kingdom. “The concept of a kingdom has to do with a domain that has a king. In other words, it has to do with a sphere of influence and a person who wields the influence. As Christians, we believe God’s Kingdom is not limited by space or time. Therefore, we hold the view that it is both in time and in space.” According to Imade, God’s Kingdom exists today in our world irrespective of where that is, and most importantly, it exists through time and rules in the hearts and affairs of individuals or group of people throughout the world. On security, the cleric said, “the rate of insecurity is alarming, we are still lacking behind in the areas of infrastructure, electricity power supply, job creation, fighting corruption and others, but as Christians, we just have to continue in our prayers for the peace of God to reign in the nation.”

Beyond The Threats Of Your Enemies (1) By Seyi Ogunorunyinka NDEED, no child of God has Ithreats any business fearing the of the enemy or being intimidated by any power or person. The literary meaning of intimidation is to “Persuade or dissuade a person by frightening him/her by means of violence or blackmail.” This means that as a child of the Most High God, you are beyond the persuasion or dissuasion of the enemy and that you do not obey the command of the enemy. You cannot be intimidated to the point that you will begin to feel intimidated. In this world, people want to oppress one another, all in the name of survival. This feeling of inadequacy will leave you with the impression that the other person is better

than you. You need to realise this important fact; in the sight of God, you are the best. The word ‘Threat’ in the Oxford Dictionary means the declaration of the intent to cause harm. Threat is a sign of something that is bad. It is an indication that something unpleasant or dangerous is going to happen. In 1 Kings 19:1-4, the Bible says, “now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So, Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, ‘may the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.’ Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he, himself, went on a

day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Jezebel sent a message of threat to Elijah to the point that he ran away. This is the story of two prophets of God, Elijah and Elisha. The latter learnt at the feet of Elijah. Elijah, just like many of us, chickened out at the threat of Jezebel. Most of the time we run before seeing what is chasing us. Nowadays, the truth is scarce on the pulpit for fear of either being arrested or losing the congregation or the man of God is being intimidated by the presence of some people in the congregation. What happened to Elijah

happens to a lot of the children of God today. Unlike Elijah, his successor, Elisha, refused to panic when he woke up and discovered that he was surrounded by enemies. In 2 Kings 6:8-20, the Bible tells us of how Elisha waited for his enemies to approach them before he commanded blindness on them, only to open their eyes when it was too late for them to escape as they were completely surrounded in Samaria. Pastor Seyi Ogunorunyinka, General Overseer The Promisedland Restoration Ministries, Surulere, Lagos.pastorseyiogunorunyinka@gmail.c om

Springs Of Wisdom By PASTOR W.F KUMUYI

There’s Nothing God Can’t Do HERE may be so much suffering and pain in the world, but T we must never lose sight of God’s capacity to help us, especially if we put our implicit and explicit faith in the Lord. One man in the Bible who did just that was Job. He suffered many setbacks in life. He lost his children, his health and wealth within a short period. Yet as devastating as these experiences were, they did not affect his faith in the omnipotent God. In the wake of all his losses, he declared: “I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.” And when the pressure got to near breaking point, he quickly turned to God and reaffirmed his confidence in the Almighty and said: “I know that thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.” In the first case, he was responding to his friends, while in the second instance addressing God. Not surprisingly, “the LORD turned the captivity of Job when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.” What a sobering lesson! Until you acknowledge what God can do for you, like Job, you may not experience His omnipotent power. “Is any thing too hard for the LORD?” This was the question that an angel asked Abraham and his wife, Sarah. Although Sarah was at that time long past childbearing age (she was 89 years old), the angel insisted that God had determined that she would still conceive and bear a child. Humanly speaking, it was impossible for Sarah to bear a child at the age of 90, “Therefore, Sarah laughed within herself, saying, after I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” It was this expression of doubt that prompted the angel to ask whether there was anything too hard for God to do. The answer to a similar question would later be resounded by Prophet Jeremiah. He said: “Ah Lord God! Behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee.” Most certainly, no man, past, present and future, can be compared with God. Many things may be impossible with men, “but with God all things are possible.” If doctors have given up on you, the Lord is more knowledgeable than all physicians put together. Some sicknesses and diseases may defy medical prognosis but certainly not the omnipotent power of God. If you are morally bankrupt and helplessly captive to sinful habits, He “is able to save them to the uttermost that come to God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” The scriptures are full of references that show the might and power of God, and constant reading and meditation of them will surely lift up your faith. The Lord Jesus Christ, the physical manifestation of God in the flesh, showed that there was indeed nothing God cannot do. Once, He met a boy that had a problem, which had defied all solutions. His father brought the boy to the Lord’s disciples. But they too were helpless. Eventually, the Lord stepped into the situation and, at in the end, the longstanding problem was resolved to the amazement of the boy’s father, bystanders and even the disciples. Perplexed, the disciples wanted to know why they could not cast the evil spirit out of the stricken boy. “Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place: and it shall remove: and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” We can draw a parallel between a physical mountain and the problems people face in life. One, a mountain is a great obstacle that defies human efforts to remove. Any sickness or problem that is too difficult for man or too enormous for the combined efforts of people to remove is a mountain. Two, a mountain is usually higher than the tallest man. Similarly, any problem that defies our intelligence, education and financial resources is a mountain. Three, a mountain is older than the oldest man in a community. Any disease, demonic oppression or affliction that had been there before you were born, any congenital disease that you have lived with from birth is a mountain. Four, a mountain is a veritable hindrance to progress. Any longstanding, demon-induced problem that comes to hinder your progress in life is a mountain. Five, a mountain is irresolutely irremovable by natural strength or ability. Any temptation, problem or sickness that is seemingly insurmountable no matter the resources you have thrown at it, is a mountain. How will the mountain be removed? The Lord said it is by faith. “If ye have faith as a mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place: and it shall remove: and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” Whenever you are in trouble or passing through a problem, before you pray, ask yourself: Is my faith up to a mustard seed? If somebody has to pray for you, find out if his faith is up to the size of a mustard seed. If you don’t have doubts in your heart when you talk to your mountain, it will vanish away. This is because your mountain, compared to the power of the Almighty God, is nothing. He can, and is willing to remove any mountain in your life if only you can believe. Sarah eventually had a baby boy at the age of 90, something that was altogether impossible by human reckoning! So, just how mighty is God? The truth is, if He created everything, visible and invisible, that means His power can recreate what might have been spoilt in your life. They look at themselves and ask: do I merit this miracle? Do I really deserve to have this prayer answered for me? And, the devil-inspired answer would be, of course, no! But the truth is that God’s miracles are not of merit but of mercy. Your miracle begins the moment you come depending on His mercy. References: John 42:2; Job 19: 25; 42:10; Genesis 18:14, 12; Jeremiah 32:17; Matthew 19:26; Hebrews 7:25; Matthew 17:20; 8:6,8; Acts 16:25,26; (All scriptures are from Kings James Version).


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IBRUCENTRE Nigerians Must Collectively Rise Against Living Waters Boko Haram, Says Babarinde By Pastor Lazarus Muoka Rev. KEHINDE BABARINDE, Conference President, Lagos Central Baptist Conference and Minister Ire Akari Baptist Church, Lagos, is a teacher and a passionate preacher of the Word. Babarinde has through his ministerial work transformed lives and reached out to needy. In a chat with BISI ALABI WILLIAMS the cleric spoke on state of security, the role of the Church in these trying times and what the church and government can do to bring a lasting peace in the country. Excerpts:

What’s Your Gain? Mark 8:36 “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” HE Lord is asking what it shall profit you, after getting all T you are looking for, you lose your soul. I want to let you know that if you put the whole world together, all the things

ITH the spate of bomb blast across the country and the inW surgence Boko Haram, how best can government instill in the country? Boko Haram is like a mighty tree with strong roots. To destroy it, one must start from its roots. Nigerians must collectively rise against Boko Haram before it destroys the nation. Though, the situation is not peculiar to Nigeria, it is not just a national issue because insecurity has taken a global dimension and as such needs collective efforts to curb it. However, if government could use all the state apparatuses and agencies against them, peace will surely return to the country. The security agents should do their work quietly without announcing or televising all they are doing or what they want to achieve; this will further help curb the spate violence going on. What is happening now is a challenge, which should lead us to God, our creator. We should see it as a distraction and an attempt by the devil to plunge our nation into chaos. The President and the security agencies are trying, but the ultimate solution lies with God. What should the President then do? Government should wake up; the president should be bold to confront this group with all the State apparatuses at his disposal. Giving them amnesty or negotiating with them will not help matters. Nigerians are tired of talks and little action, what they need is result. Above all, let us look up to God for solutions. Let us trust him to deal with these evil men and Nigerians should be more prayerful, now than ever. What is the role of the church in this? There are three major roles the church can play. The first is to continually pray and uphold government and the nation at large. The second is to tell government the truth by giving them good advice. The third is to complement government’s policies and activities.

Babarinde

What exactly is God looking for in men? The army may be looking for a few good men, but God is looking for a few faithful people. In today’s world, commitment, dependability and trustworthiness are hard to come by. God wants His children to be faithful to His call. II Chronicles 16:9 says, “for the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.” God is eager to bless those who are committed to His plans for their lives. In Proverbs 28:20, Solomon wrote, “A faithful man will be richly blessed.” That same theme is re-echoed in times like this; we should be faithful to serve God and to uphold Him in every area of our lives. Are there any Biblical examples to point to? The Bible is full of examples of men and women whose unfaithfulness to the Lord cost them their lives. Saul, the first king of Israel was once a powerful and wealthy leader, but he caved in to his selfishness and his desire to exalt himself and later committed suicide. It was a tragic end to a life brimming with so much potential at the beginning. As children of God, we should walk in God’s will to have a lasting reward. Being faithful in a faithless world is not easy, but on the long run it is always better.

Catholic Faithful Protest Alleged Imposition Of Bishop From Charles Ogugbuaja, Owerri CONOMIC and social activE ities were grounded in Ahiara, Ahiazu Local Council in Imo State, last Thursday, following a wide protest embarked upon by some Catholic faithful in the area over the appointment of

Monsignor Peter Opkaleke as the Bishop-elect of the Ahiara Mbaise Diocese. Included in the protest were some priests who insisted that the consecration scheduled to hold on May 24 should be cancelled and called for an indigene of the area to be appointed bishop.

Some of the placards carried read: “No ordination of Opkaleke. Awka has five bishops. Mbaise has no bishop. Mbaise unequivocally rejects Opkaleke. We reject injustice. We want Mbaise bishop.” President of the Ahiara Diocesan Priests Association

(ADPA), Rev. Fr. Austin Benedine Ekechukwu and Rev. Fr. Dominic N. Ekweariri, as well as top priests in the body, said the appointment was unique in pastoral realities, adding that the people had right to reject anyone imposed on them.

Church Links Absence Of Religious Studies To Unrest In Nigeria By Gbenga Akinfenwa HE cause of insecurity, corT ruption and other degenerative behaviours found among the people have been linked to the non-inclusion of religious studies in the nation’s educational system. This was the view of the President of North Western Nigeria Union of Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Nigeria, Pastor Oyeleke Owolabi, who said the absence of God from the classrooms has resulted in the steady decadence that is currently taking the nation into the abyss of indiscipline and underdevelopment. Owolabi, who was speaking on state of the nation, said, “early missionaries introduced the concept of God and the dignity of man into the classroom, which gave birth

to great names like Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Ahmadu Bello and Tafawa Balewa, whose legacies are indelible in the history of Nigeria, saying no sooner their generation

passed away than the new leadership forcefully removed religion out of the nation’s educational system.” He said: “the void thus created by the removal of morning devotional and prayer

Church Holds 15th Anniversary By Isaac Taiwo th

HE 15 anniversary of T Christ Crusaders’ Deliverance Ministries, Akute-Odo, holds on Sunday, May 26, in the Church premises located at River Bank Estate, Akute. With Divine Acceleration as theme, the General Overseer, Pastor Festus Adewole, said, “God has promised to review the situation in Nigeria and

that peace will reign again.” While stressing importance of the anniversary and the need for Christians to pray for the nation, Adewole, said, “the Lord mandated us to embark on a 21-day fasting and praying for the nation to move forward, adding that great men of God including gospel artiste, Yinka Ayefele, will feature at the grand finale.

sessions from school schedules is subsequently filled by violence, corruption and wanton indiscipline that has resulted to a total loss of honesty, integrity and insecurity.” The cleric observed that since this has gone from one generation to another, unless Nigerians turn around from their evil ways, nothing good will come out of the nation.

you see today, you can never buy a single soul. If that is the case, why are you pursuing them; something that cannot save your soul? The devil can make you pursue those things from morning to night without giving you room to examine your life, or to find out if there is anything standing between you and God. Thus, you do not care where your soul will be at the end of this life. The Lord is asking through this message, what shall it profit you to do all that? That spouse you want to marry, that position you are looking for, that your certificate or title that have taken the place of God in your life, are they worth taking the place of godliness from you? Everyday you are looking for what to eat and wear, how to enjoy yourself, how to build a house or buy a car without thinking or preparing for where your soul will be when you die. Maybe devil has positioned everything before you and, everyday, you are busy with them, the Lord is asking you today, what shall it profit you? Matt. 24:1 says “And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.” It took 70 years to complete the magnificent edifice they came to show Jesus; the temple, which was built by man. It was a beautiful structure, one of the wonders of the world; no cost was spared, no art left untried to make it sumptuous, but what was the response of the Lord. Matt. 24: 2 says, “And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” They were showing Him great temples, but Jesus told them not to look at these things, because the time shall come when you will not see a stone on it. Christ foretells the utter ruin and destruction that will come upon the temple. And in not too distance time after the resurrection of our Lord, the temple was destroyed by the Roman Empire. The temple was indeed glorious, but it has a beginning and therefore must have an end. The building that attracted much attention was later destroyed. A believing foresight of the defacing of all worldly glory will help to keep us from admiring it, and overvaluing it. The most beautiful body will soon be food for worms, and the most magnificent building a ruinous heap. What about beautiful women of the 60s? Are they still as beautiful as they used to be today? What about those handsome men of 40 years ago, are they still that handsome today? This shows that the things of this world will one day pass away, and as such, we must not allow them to take the place of God in our lives because they will not profit us.

International Restoration Crusade Launches Students Writers’ Series S part of its yearly crusade and activities to mark the World A Book Day, the International Restoration Crusade, an arm of the Ransomed Christian Centre, has produced Students Writers Series. At a workshop on how to write, publish and sell books, organised by IRC in Ikenne Town Hall, Ikenne, Ogun State, the convener of the workshop and Crusade, Pastor Tosin Onayiga, noted that it is important for people to read and write books as a way of sharing their experiences. Addressing students drawn from public and private schools in the State, Onayiga urged the students to send their stories, plays and poems to the Education Support Services at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Abeokuta and Zonal Education Officers in the State, for compilation into books, which he titled: Crusaders Students Writers Series. The Ogun State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Segun Odubela, represented by Mrs. Taiwo, the ZEO for Ikenne, commended the Centre for joining the world to make the 2013 World Book Day more meaningful and interesting event in Ogun State.

KSM Isolo Elects Officers HE Isolo Sub-council of the T Knights of Saint Mulumba on, Saturday, April 11 elected new officers to run its affairs for the next three years. The election, which saw the exit of Stephen Eigbe, the immediate past grand knight

and his executives was peaceful. The election produced Augustine O. Omaghomi as the grand knight; Lawrence Ojemen, deputy grand knight, while Emeka Ezediunor, was returned as secretary. Other

candidates were also elected into the 11-man executive committee of the sub-council. The new grand knight urged members to be more committed and dedicated to the affairs of the Sub-council.


THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

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IBRUCENTRE

From The Rector

By Ernest Onuoha

When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you.’ (Lk. 10:5-6)

Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor

EACE is an essential ingredient, Jesus was aware of this and He said to His disciples as mentioned above, that by this attitude you make people receptive of the gospel message. The Bible spoke severally about peace – Mark 4: 35-39 where Jesus calmed the storm, in the beatitudes Matt. 5:9, ‘blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called sons of God,’ in His farewell address to His disciples “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you…” (Jn.14:27).  His peace is much more profound, healing, strengthening, and lasting than anything the world can offer, when He was raised, Luke 24:36, ‘peace be with you’ He said. St Paul also added his own voice by saying this peace is the shalom of God, it “passes all understanding” and “will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7).  Therefore, it is a supernatural peace, a spiritual completeness, an abundance of grace, an interior rest. In any work of mission, we need peace for growth, development and soul-winning. We also need men and women of peace in the church of God. It is true, Tella, Awoyele and Alali (1991) said: ‘where two or more persons interact for a longer time, conflict is inevitable’. But as people of God, we need to ensure that peace reigns in our Stations, Parishes, and Archdeaconries, even in our Dioceses too.

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A Worker As Agent Of Peace It is possible that the devil may be using some people in the language of the ‘politicians’ to heat up the polity, cause confusion in different locations but this should not be so. Jesus was conscious about those who promote peace and not those who cause confusion. When you enter a house (a parish or a church station) and you meet a man of peace, say peace be to him and his household and then settle down to do the work of evangelisation. Jesus is the Prince of Peace and those who follow Him in the work of mission should also emulate Him in their preaching and teaching ministry. It is always a thing of joy travelling to Jerusalem as a pilgrim to hear the word shalom – peace to remind us that nations of the world need peace for any meaningful development to be recorded. Pilgrims are usually called upon to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the peace of their nations. Remember, when there are crises, the work of mission is greatly slowed down. In Nigeria, we are seeing the implication, bombing here

and there, violence, and dislodging of communities by people who are instruments in the hands of the devil. May God deliver this nation from enemies of progress in Jesus name. Amen! We have been chosen as instrument of peace in the world today. However, it is said ‘in a work you never did, God will give you the strength you never had’. But what does the Bible say to the child of God: Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it-Psalm 34:14; 1 Pet. 3:11. During Holy Communion services in the Anglican Church, believers are called upon to share peace together: ‘let us offer one another a sign of peace’. Although, shameful at a particular communion service, at the time of sharing of peace, one brother avoided another because according to him their matter on land disputation was still in court. People should be made to understand, according to Timothy, ‘Afterall, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it’, 1 Tim. 6:7. Even the statement of King Solomon should teach us a lesson: ‘Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity’,

Osu Caste System Is Satan’s Wickedness Against Some People CONTINUED FROM PAGE 44 found them. They are not in God’s agenda because they are carrying out their pastors’ agenda. So, it’s not about churches, it’s about God showing us mercy. Your church has been on ground for 22 years; what are the challenges? We are dealing with people with their different ideas, but God has been faithful. We’ve seen people leave and others come; we’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly; and we thank God that we are still here. How many branches do you have? I don’t know about branches, I don’t count those things and I don’t feel comfortable counting members. What could be the reasons of some pastors being skeptical having branches? There is no problem having branches; for some people, it’s very easy. But for me, it’s not very easy to have branches. I have only three —in Lekki, Abuja and Aba. Are you comfortable with that? That is not my calling; I have an apostolic calling. I go out to help people, who have already established churches. I have a base here and that is what God has told me, ‘to go out there’ and not to plant churches, but to help churches; work with them. For example, we have great ministry in Russia, where pastors work with me. All the pastors come together and we hold very strong apostolic meetings, they know I’ve not come to pick their members. You have passion for music, are you a singer or something? I like gospel music, l like good music. But now because of who I am, I find myself more into gospel music. I have an ear for good music though I tried to sing. Are you fulfilled as a man of God or would you have wished something else? I think I’m doing what I should do; I’m doing what I was born for? I thought I was born to design houses and build houses, but now I know I was born for this. Why did you disregard your parent’s advice not to join cults in school? I didn’t know God then, and we felt it was fun. We never had the guts to kill or shot people. We were a brunch of young boys having fun; at night, we would go into the bush make bonfire, drink and dance. We just had that fraternity thing. We would drive to Ibadan, UNIBEN, UNIPORT and others to have fun. Now that you are a Pastor, have you gone

I understand how President Jonathan feels about the insurgency. The situation is complex because members of the group are faceless. Nobody knows them; so, it’s very difficult to handle. I don’t know what people who are blaming the President want him to do. My advice, however, is that we should step up in our intelligence information gathering. You can’t fight people you do not know

to campuses to speak against cultism? When I received Christ, the first place I went to preach the word was my school. Three months later, I held a crusade there and many received Christ. I thank God many got saved and they are still Christians as we speak. You mean you didn’t bother to establish a campus fellowship there? No, that is not my assignment. I know my assignment. Could you share your relationship with your late wife of 28 years? I miss everything about her, our friendship and gossip. We normally talk about what really happened in the church, what people say or do, who’s engaged to this or who is trying to divorce. We talked about things you cannot share with any other person. We had that kind of relation; it was very powerful. I was always eager to go home to find out what happened in the church, who called you and who didn’t call. It’s a different ball game now. Is there any plan to remarry? You know the press got me married many months ago. I saw it in the papers that I was getting married. I’m still on. Was it not the truth? There was nothing like that, I just saw in the papers that Apostle is set to remarry. That was about two months after my wife died and all the blogs carried it. Definitely, I will remarry, but the story making the rounds is not true. And your children I have three kids, a boy and two girls. They are all doing well. My kids are not perfect, but they love God and I thank

God for them. You once said you have some challenges; what were they? They were human problems; disappointments, discouraging moments, fearful moments, bad news, gossips, break of fellowship, lack of commitments and others. They have come and gone. The Bible says, ‘all things work together for good’ so, all things work for our good; though all things may not be good things all the time, if the bad comes we still see it as good, because at the end it would result to something good. What did you do after giving your life to Christ? I got saved in my office in 1983; I used to work with Architect Tom Ikimi. There was a young boy, who was on fire at that time; he converted me. After he left, I began to look for a church to attend because there was a deep hunger in my spirit for the word of God, for fellowship and all that. I used to go from church to church; Pentecostal Church fellowships were not many at that time, but I ended up at Christ Chapel. I was there for three years and six months before moving to Household of God founded by my friend, Pastor Chris Okotie, who had just returned from the US. So, from Christ Chapel, I moved to Household of God, where I headed the Deliverance Ministry until I left to start my own ministry. You mean you just left without any problem? Well, there was, but we’ve forgotten all about that. What really was the issue? No problem. Maybe, I didn’t want to start a church and God wanted me to… so He had to create a situation, where I was forced to leave. What exact was it? It’s gone… it’s something that happened many years ago. It’s been overtaken by events. How is your relationship with Pastor Chris Okotie now? Excellent. What is NAWO all about? It stands for New Anointing World Outreach (NAWO), which is my International Evangelistic/Apostolic Ministry. I go out on outreach, hold crusades and revivals all over the world. It’s different from Revival Assembly and it’s not a church.

Eccl. 1:2. Let me ask, do we gain anything from crisis? Therefore, any genuine child of God, ordained or un-ordained should seek peace and pursue it. People of God should do all within their powers to leave at peace with one another in different church congregations. A song says ‘if Jesus the Prince of peace is in a family, happy, happy home. But when Satan the author of confusion is in the family or a church, trouble, trouble all the way.’ Truly, we need Jesus today to help us achieve peace in our work and ministry. Revelation 3:20 says to us: ‘Here, I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me’. Let us give Jesus the Prince of Peace a chance to come into our lives. Ven. Ernest Onuoha Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State. www.ibrucentre.org

Congress WBN Holds Conference HE Nigeria Reformation Conference 2013, with the theme: T “Come To The Table”, organised by the Congress WBN will hold between May 23 and 25, at the Event Centre, Hakeen Balogun Street, off Lateef Jakande Road, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos at 5.30pm daily. The three-day programme, which is sponsored by the Kingdom Community Network Nigeria, is to be graced by the President of Congress WBN, Dr. Noel Woodroffe, as Guest Speaker.

Lawmakers Urged To Fear God, As CLFI Clocks 5 From Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja

God will bring the needed transformation to pass in Nigeria if there will be people to grieve for the many iniquities committed on the land. HE Christian Legislators’ Fellowship International (CLFI), T recently, celebrated its fifth anniversary with a call to the lawmakers to legislate in the fear of God in order to transform the country. At the breakfast fellowship to mark CLFI anniversary, Steve Olumuyiwa, the guest speaker, said, “the socio-political upheavals being experienced in the country are as a result of the iniquities perpetuated in the land, adding that God is angry with the nations of the world because their leaders have abandoned righteousness.” With the theme: Rebuilding The Old Waste Place, Olumuyiwa tasked lawmakers to establish law and order through their legislation, noting that it is time to rebuild the nation and that the current challenges confronting the nation will not destroy it. According to him, “God will bring the needed transformation to pass in Nigeria if there will be people to grieve for the many iniquities committed on the land. Earlier, President of the Fellowship, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, disclosed that the association plans to build a befitting chapel at the National Assembly in Abuja. Chukwumerije said the anniversary celebration was organised to do more exploit within the National Assembly and beyond. He noted that the fellowship was already reaching out to more states and local government legislators across the country. Also speaking, National Coordinator, CLFI, Pastor Ganiat A.E. Okorie, said the vision was borne out of the burden to pray for the election of God-fearing legislators into the National Assembly. At the end of the sermon prayers were offered for all lawmakers at the Federal and State levels, as well as for the country.


TheGuardian

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Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

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E-M-E-R-G-E-N-C-Y R-U-L-E

Jonathan Finally Bells The Cat By Alabi Williams, Deputy Editor

T had been in the works for many months, IThere but it was not an easy decision to take. are many angles to it and if not well managed, a declaration of emergency rule could be counter- productive. That had been President Jonathan’s lot - carrying the frustrations of a supposedly shared enterprise upon his shoulders. But Nigerians hardly gave him one chance of a breathing space. Members of political opposition daily lampooned him for failing to live up to the pronouncements of the constitution, that of protecting lives and property of citizens. All the while, Boko Haram insurgents continued to pound their way all round Borno, Yobe, and Admawa on their way to taking over the Federal Capital. The audacity of the insurgency was exemplified by the hosting of their insignia of lawlessness, a flag, which indicated they had conquered segments of Borno State’s vast terrain, a property of the government of the Federal Republic. That jolted Jonathan step up action. Since he had the luck to step in as acting president, after the demise of Umar Yar’Adua in May 2010, the Jonathan administration has had more than a fair share of insecurity challenges in the history of Nigeria. His first baptism was the October 1, 2010 bombing at the Eagle Square, Abuja, venue of the independent day anniversary activities. Since then, terrorists have bombed their way to the Police headquarters, Abuja, the United Nations building, Abuja, and made a mincemeat of persons who were relaxing at a spot in Mogadishu Cantonment, Abuja. On

Christmas Day, 2011, terrorists went to Saint Theresa’s Catholic Church Madala, Niger State, where they killed over 40 worshippers. It became an unending assault on the sovereignty of the country. When they are not driving vehicles loaded with explosives into public places, insurgents carry out routine raids on defenseless communities, killing scores and hundreds in southern Kaduna, Plateau, Adamawa, Gombe and other vulnerable places in the North. They carried out many deadly attacks in Kano before they returned to lay permanent siege to the entire Northeast, where life has become brutish and short for the citizens. The recent killings in Baga and Bama towns of Borno State remain the most audacious affront to the sovereignty of Nigeria. The situation challenges Jonathan’s position as the Commander in Chief of Nigeria’s Armed Forces. Even at that, the situation on ground does not require the swash-buckle of a mindless leader, but the thorough balancing of thoughts in order to produce good overall effect on the polity. In a clime where criticism has become the regular pastime of the opposition, Jonathan needed to be careful, so that a misread of his actions does not produce negative backlash. In the exercise of the powers conferred on him by section 305 of the Constitution, Jonathan proclaimed emergency rule in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states. The question now is whether the President acted with tact, in allowing the political structures in the states to remain, while approving more military deployments in the affected states. In an emergency situation, there is no guarantee that any particular strategy could do the magic. Analysts have suggested that a blend of

large-scale political engagement and a bit of military highhandedness could be more useful than total emergency, whereby political structures in the three states are dismantled. Femi Falana, SAN, said emergency rule in a democracy requires tact and not the kind of ostentatious bravado that was applied in the case of Ekiti and Plateau states during the reign of former President Obasanjo. Others think Jonathan was being economical with the truth and reality by allowing politics to take the better side of him. They say what he has done amounts to partial amnesty, which does not express the full intent of the constitution in Section 305. Another way to look at it is the recurring faceoff between the President and the Governors’ Forum, which has now translated into a personal battle between him and the Rivers’ Governor, Rotimi Amaechi. Early last week, the Governors Forum, sensing that an emergency in some states appeared imminent went to town to denounce the impending proclamation, with a view to scoring an advantage against Jonathan. In the fluid nature of the party system, it is difficult to know who is a real party man, apart from using the ticket of a political party to win elections. To that extent, Amaechi now enjoys support from opposition governors, who are beginning to see him as a possible convert, should the PDP continue to mismanage itself in Rivers. But Jonathan was smarter, by not calling for a dismantling of the political structures in the states, a pronouncement that could have produced very angry reactions from the camp of opposition politicians. Borno and Yobe have

remained two states that have been under the firm control of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). Adamawa is a PDP state, but highly divided and any slip by the President could cause a major upset in a state where Bamangar Tukur, national chairman of the PDP hails from. It is a dicey situation, but the president must be seen to have done something, no matter how feeble. Anthony Sani, chieftain and spokesperson of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) thinks it was tactful of Jonathan not to have sent home political office holders in the three states. But he wonders what emergency rule will do where the use of force had failed. To him, emergency rule is the same thing as the rule of force, even though now expanded, which has not produced tangible results all this while. Will partial emergency enjoy the administrative latitude required to deal with the tide of terrorists’ insurrection in the Northeast? Will politics at state’s level not interfere in the suaveness, speed and dexterity required to drive home emergency rule? Time will tell how the President will manage the two without one interfering and injuring the other. That time will mature by 2015, when general elections will be ripe. This is one area Jonathan and the intelligence community should manage very skillfully. If Boko Haram is not subdued before that time, the environment may not be good enough for elections to hold in the Northeast, if not the entire North. If elections were to manageably take place, Nigerians have to worry about post-election outcome. It was not this bad in 2011, when youth corpers, who acted as ad hoc staff for INEC were brutally murdered in the Northeast. It will also not be out of place for politicians to plot how they can make capital out of the present strife, although that has to be done with utmost concern for the peace of all. Should politicians overvalue personal gains over the sovereign wellbeing of the country, then, it will be their funeral when the bubble bursts. Another area to look at is the outcome of the previous emergency rule declared by this government in 15 local government areas in four states, including Yobe and Borno. The other two were Plateau and Niger. That proclamation was loosely defined because they affected councils shared common borders with others that were not affected. The mercurial nature of movements and relationships hampered the effectiveness of the emergency rule. In the Plateau, crisis did not abate, as there were more killings. Matters got to a head when citizens in affected councils, particularly women, went on civil protests, asking members of the Special Task Force (STF) to go because they seemed to be of no use. They were even accused of colluding with insurgents to kill and maim. In Yobe and Borno, the deployment of more forces to the affected councils yielded no positive result, except that Boko Haram members were more brazen. In Niger, it could be said to have recorded partial success as dastardly incidents surpassing the Madala assault have not been recorded so far. All together, emergency rule in isolated manner could be difficult to enforce, particularly for a guerrilla or mobile group like the Boko Haram. The Boko Haram infrastructure could be transferred anywhere, particularly along the border communities in the Northeast and Northwest. But given the costly nature of combating insecurity, government could not have declared emergency rule all over the North. Even where the resources are available, the political climate in the country does not permit such grandiose proclamation. That leaves the President and Nigerians with only one option: Luck. If good luck shines on the polity, this latest adventure could weaken the capacity of the insurgents to mobilise and regroup in other parts of the North. Perhaps, that is when calls for amnesty would make real sense. Right now, it doesn’t, because you cannot expect to summon Boko Haram members for meaningful talks, when you are at the same time smoking them out. This time of emergency can be used by the amnesty committee to do its ground-works and secretarial duties, pending when normalcy returns.


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UMAR: Forces Should Discriminate Between Insurgents And Law-abiding Citizens Colonel Abubakar Umar (rtd) former military governor of Kaduna State and rights crusader spoke in an exclusive interview on the decision of President Goodluck Jonathan to declare a state of emergency in three states, Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. Umar, who is also the chairman of Movement for Unity and Progress (MUP), spoke with SAXONE AKHAINE, northern Bureau Chief of the Guardian. The Federal Government has declared a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states. Do you think will solve the insurgency problem in the north and other parts of the country? T is our hope that the declaration of a state of emergency would have impact on peace and stability of those areas and the country in general. It may be a solution, but you see, the fear is how the security forces operate in that area. The danger of this type of decision is that since the state of emergency has been declared and the governors were not removed, the danger is to increase the security forces to those states. Now, if they don’t behave responsibly, the tendency is to alienate the people of the areas. In other words, the security forces generally may alienate the people because there would be serious security forces activities in the areas to the extent that they would cause so much inconvenience to the people. Of course, granted that already, much inconvenience had been caused by the activities of the insurgents, but one hopes that the security forces will understand the feelings of the people in the areas, so that they do no get alienated. That was exactly what happened in Iraq initially, when the Americans went in there. There should be a serious effort to discriminate between the insurgents and the law-abiding citizens of those three states. Beyond declaration of state of emergency, what do you think should be the solution to the menace? Well, the solution to the problem is to run a good government in the most democratic way. There have been reasons given for the emergence of this unprecedented state of insecurity. People talk about the poor economic state,

I

particularly unemployment among the youths, the resentment that is building between the haves and the have nots, and the gap between the rich and poor widening. The fight against corruption has been handled without seriousness, dividends of democracy that they talk about have not trickled down to the common man and it looks like it is only the political elite and those in public offices that have benefited from our democracy. If those issues are addressed in general terms, the present insurgency will reduce. Secondly, there is this fear also that as you move troops to the areas where you declare state of emergency, other hot spots will fester and need focus; and the attention of government will be more on the three states that emergency rule has been declared and you leave those other areas that are already becoming problematic unattended to. Places like Nasarawa, Benue and even Niger Delta. With the present level of insecurity in the country and coupled with the recent comment of Asari Dokubo, what is your opinion on the 2015 general elections? You know, my only surprise is that people are taking what Dokubo said so seriously. People should understand where he is coming from. I think there is no need to over-heat the polity. I don’t think Asari Dokubo’s comments should actually pose any security problem to this country, provided people understand where he is coming from and his pedigree. The problem is that when you begin to pay attention to this kind of characters and you react, it has the tendency to overheat the polity. So, I think what we, particularly politicians and the general public should do is to disregard people like Asari Dokubo. My only concern is the kind of statements responsible people also make about what would happen in the event things don’t go their ways. There is need for all sides, not only the PDP, but all other political parties to understand that comments coming from responsible people may also over-heat the polity, to raise expectations from both sides and when those expectations are not met, we may find ourselves in a serious backlash after the 2015 elections. So, responsible people should guide against their utterances so that we do not raise expectations and lead this country to a bad situation, to the extent that when 2015 comes and all those expectations are not met, we pray that what happened during the post election violence in 2011 will not repeat itself.

Umar

SANI: Emergency Rule Means Use Of Force, It Doesn’t Work Mr. Anthony Sani, chieftain and national publicity secretary of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) told SAXONE AKHAINE, the Guardian Northern Bureau Chief that emergency rule might not solve the problem. o you think imposition of emerD gency rule would address insecurity situation in affected areas? I am not sure whether emergency rule can work, since force has never worked anywhere in the world, including Nigeria, as experience has shown since 2009, and in Baga and Bama. What is more, emergency rule, which implies use of force and not rule of law, has failed to bring about peace in Plateau State and later in some local government areas in Northeast. That may explain why I have no confidence in emergency rule in the circumstance. The ACF has always doubted the efficacy of the use of force to bring the problem of insurgency to an end. Force has been used all along. There is no difference between the declaration of a state of emergency and the use of force, which has been deplored by government in the past. The question we should be asking ourselves is, when they introduced state of emergency in Plateau State by Obasanjo, did it work? What is the difference between Plateau, Borno, Yobe and Adamawa? I doubt the wisdom of that action and also doubt the efficacy of a state of emergency in those three states.

I will not condemn Jonathan for not removing the Governors in the states where state of emergency were declared and replacing them military commanders, because we are in a democracy and more so, it will lead to more problems because some people will say he has removed their governors because he is from a different political party and so on. In view of the unmitigated bloodletting and killings by insurgents, despite the olive branch of dialogue and amnesty extended by government, don’t you think something urgent needed to be done? The recent hype in security challenges in Baga, Bama, in Yobe, in Taraba, in Nasarawa and Benue states, are unrelated. For example, only those of Borno and Yobe states are traceable to Boko Haram. Others are violence due to either to communal clashes or actions of cultists. As for Boko Haram, I have never believed the introduction of amnesty would bring about an automatic end to their activities. It will take some time. Amnesty is the beginning of the process that can hopefully solve the security problems. Book Haram may be hyping their acts in

As the Irish Ambassador told us when he met ACF recently, amnesty and dialogue should expect sand bags along the way because there are hardliners on both sides of the divide who would not accept amnesty.

order to negotiate from position of strength and secure the best of terms. That should not deter the committee. As the Irish Ambassador told us when he met ACF recently, amnesty and dialogue should expect sand bags along the way because there are hardliners on both sides of the divide who would not accept amnesty. He said from the experience of his country with IRA, Nigeria’s situation demands the highest of imagination, determination, political will, perseverance and purposeful leadership that can take the risk. So let all groups give the government and amnesty committee a chance, and not to hanker on the defeatist attitude that amnesty would not work. So all we need do is to work hard and overcome those differences in favour of core value of humanity that bind us. To this end, the president should inspire Nigerians, prepare them and lead them against the insurgents. It is a collective responsibility under the watch of Mr. President, on whose table the buck stops. I believe that our intelligence community and security agencies need to brace up for the task ahead despite the effort at amnesty and dialogue. This is because if amnesty leads to dialogue and bringing the insurgent activities under control, there will still be need for long term counter terrorism strategy to monitor our borders and check inflows of arms, ammunition, explosive chemicals, immigrants, sources of funding, radicalization and recruitments.

Sani


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THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

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FALANA: Implement Galtimari And Lemu’s Report On Terrorism And Political Violence Femi Falana (SAN), lawyer and rights activist gives perspective to the emergency rule declared by President Jonathan. According to him Implications HERE is massive violation of the rights of the people in those states in the hands of the terrorists and the armed forces or the Joint Task Force. Right now thousands of residents of Baga who attempted to leave the town two days ago were prevented by the JTF. This was sequel to the sealing off of the town for nine days whereby the people became short of supply of food and other essential items. The terrorists are likely to shift base to some other border states with a view to stretching the JTF beyond its capacity. That was what happened in Katsina State barely 48 hours after the imposition of emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. I am referring to the bomb attacks in Daura, a border town in Katsina State. The other challenge is that the increased militarization of the Northeast zone and the intensification of the war on terror have made a mockery of the work of the Boko Haram amnesty committee recently inaugurated by the federal government. In any case the federal government is under a serious pressure to contain terrorism attacks and prevent it from spreading to other states in the country. Possible outcome Emergency rule cannot end the activities of insurgents as we have seen in Algeria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries prone to terrorism. I continue to insist that the federal government has to implement the recommendations of the Ambassador Usman Galtimari Committee on insurgency in the Northeast. Since a White Paper was issued on the report of the committee in June 2012 the federal government is under an obligation to faithfully implement the recommendations. The issues covered in the report pertain to the genesis of the Boko Haram sect, the crisis of lack of education and unemployment,

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which drive young and innocent people to the sect. The solutions suggested by the committee, which the government accepted includes the prosecutions of the politicians who set up the groups for the purpose of terrorizing their political opponents urging elections. The report of the Sheikh Ahmed Lemu Presidential Panel on the post election violence in the North in 2011 is by far more profound in terms of suggestions and farreaching solutions to the crisis of corruption, abuse of office, illegal dissolution of local government structures, illegal salaries paid to legislators, security votes and the prosecution of the 626 persons apprehended by the police during the riots and compensation for the dependants of the 943 persons who lost their lives. The panel tasked the gov-

ernment to create jobs, regulate religious rallies and preaching, rebuild churches that were burnt, give certificates of occupancy to religious bodies who have been denied in some Northern states. The government has to add a stick and carrot approach to win the war on terror. While intensifying the activities of the JTF, the federal government has to implement the reports of both Galtimari and Lemu committees on terrorism and political violence in the North. The reports are also applicable and relevant to the resolution of the crisis of political violence, kidnapping and other violent crimes in other parts of the country. The issue of job creation, mass education for every kid of school age and mass education for all citizens are of general application. To end the culture of

impunity the government has directed the Attorney General and minister of justice to set the engine in motion for the establishment of an electoral Offences tribunal to try all those who commit electoral Offenses from time to time. Regrettably, the directives to end impunity have been ignored to the detriment of law and order in the society. Armed Forces Our armed forces and the police force have not been trained in guerilla warfare and counter terrorism. That has prolonged the war on terror up till now. With the budget crisis, which has not been resolved it is doubtful if the huge budget for national security has been disbursed for the training and acquisition of vital equipment to prosecute the war.

Emergency Rule: The Plateau Experience Where Nothing Has Changed Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi, Jos

and suspicion by the people for the soldiers of the Special Task Force N December 2011, the Federal (STF) who were drafted to the state Government declared a state of to maintain law and order. emergency in 15 local governments The relationship between the solin four states - Borno, Yobe, Plateau diers and the natives was very and Niger - because of the unrelent- frosty, to the extent that the women ing orgy of violence in those areas. took up arms (sticks) in protest Those areas affected councils in the against the soldiers. The women Plateau were; Jos North, Jos South, were angry because they felt the solRiyom and Barkin Ladi. diers did not adequately protect Taking a look back at those counthem, as they were still being cils, how did they fare under emerattacked despite their presence. gency rule? Rather than solving the They, together with the restive problem then, the declaration creat- youths, at times, went and set ed fear, tension and more antagoablaze the tents of the STF. nism among the persons of different Another setback suffered by the religions and ethnic nationalities. It councils during the declaration of also created a lot of setback for gov- emergency was the withdrawal of ernance, leading to more money their monthly subventions by the being spent. Security votes were federal government. Salaries of the increased because government had affected staff were not paid; unemto sustain the tempo of activities. ployment increased and the rate of The councils affected became stagcrime became unimaginable. But nated, just wallowing in the murky due to protest, hue and cry by pubwaters of confusion, as no defined lic-spirited people, stakeholders, duties were assigned to the chairNational Assembly members, state men of the councils involved. legislators, concerned citizens Conversely, the level of attacks and against the withdrawal of the subkillings heightened, especially in ventions, the federal government those four local governments, more kowtowed and released the funds than before. Sporadic attacks to them. What was most visible became the order of the day among then was the heavy presence of milithe warring factions. There were tary personnel in the four councils attacks and counter-attacks almost affected by the emergency rule. on a daily basis. The violence even The situation on ground now is spread to other local governments that additional troops have not that were hitherto not affected by been deployed to the state by the the emergency. Defence Headquarters. Spokesman Then there developed animosity of the STF Captain Charles Ekeocha

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told The Guardian that they were still maintaining the status quo as they had not formally received any directive from the Defence Headquarters. Mr. Emmanuel Dipo Ayeni, who used to be the commissioner of Police, who also said that there had been no special directive from Abuja since the proclamation. There were varied reactions by the people to that declaration. While some welcomed the idea, others denounced it. The state government had taken a measured stance on the situation. The State commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Yiljap Abraham had said; “The Plateau State Government acknowledges the broadcast by the President on the state of the nation’s security, wherein, he declared a state of emergency in some local government areas in the northern part of the country including four councils in Plateau State.” He assured the President of Plateau State government’s cooperation in that regard. “The state government will continue to be interested in measures aimed at containing threats to security in the state. While commending the President for imposing partial state of emergency in some local government councils, the executive chairman of the Christian Foundation for Social Justice and Equity, Mr. Joseph Sangosanya, said he would have preferred a total state of emergency in

the affected states to nip in the bud any further spate of violence. According to Sangosanya, “It is a step in the right direction. But total state of emergency is required urgently in the affected states, as this will address the ugly events that are threatening the corporate existence of the country in a holistic manner. Mr. President should immediately initiate a bill to make aiding and abetting terrorism a capital offence with capital punishment.” But a member representing Jos East/Jos South in the House of Representatives, Hon Bitrus Kaze, was not happy with the declaration, accusing the President of partiality. Kaze, who was fuming as he wondered what yardsticks the President used in arriving at those local governments, considering the severe insecurity in some states not touched at all. “What is the yardstick? What about Kaduna, where there had been several bombings, and where a factory for manufacturing bomb was discovered? Talk of Bauchi, where Boko Haram was bred and talk about Gombe and FCT. I don’t know the yardstick but I know he dealt with the issue partially,” he said. The 10 Federal Legislators in Plateau State described it as unwarranted, urging the federal government to rescind the decision in the interest of justice, equity and fair play. The text of that briefing was read on their behalf by the late Senator representing Jos North senatorial District,

Dr. Gyang Dantong. He was murdered at a funeral service for members of his constituency who had been killed in a previous raid by marauders. The legislators tried to explain that external forces carried out incidents of attacks in the affected councils and that the aggressors were not domiciled in the areas. The lawmakers recalled that while President Goodluck Jonathan was Acting President, he directed the police to hands-off the management and control of the security situation in the state, directing the army to take over, wherein a Special Task Force (STF) was constituted. Later when the violence continued on a larger proportion the President directed the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) to take over again. Their thoughts were that the whole situation amounted to running in circles, while Plateau was a victim at the receiving end of orchestrated terrorism attacks. They called for the full implementation of all white papers on the Jos crises, particularly the Justice Niki Tobi Report of the 2001 crises and the Justice Bola Ajibola Report of 2008, none of which has been taken up by government. Today, Plateau is still unsafe, with daily reports of killings, leading to the argument that that emergency declaration in four local government areas did not achieve anything positive.


THE GUArDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

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Boko Haram: Amnesty And The Military Option Could Apply To Nigeria’s Case – Brister As Nigeria continues the search for effective means of stamping out terrorism within its domain, political scientist, Dr. Thomas Brister, expert in terrorism and counter-terrorism at the Wake Forest University, WinstonSalem, North Carolina, United States gave this insight on the distinction between amnesty, military option and legal approaches to tackling the insurgency. He is worried over the absence of international legal framework to deal with the menace. He spoke to KABIR ALABI GARBA. What is the position of ‘International Law’ on combating Terrorism? NFOrTUNATELY, although we use the term ‘international law’, the reality is that there’s really no such thing if we are trying to equate it with ‘domestic law’. It’s really more a bundle of treaties, customs, and legal norms that most states comply with, even though there is no way of enforcing these rules. For example, there is no world government, no world police or military, and no world court with binding decisions and enforcement power.  The second difficulty is that there is thus no universally accepted definition of terrorism in the world. The United Nations in fact had to give up the effort to achieve a consensus definition in 2005. The reason for this can be seen in the wellknown phrase “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”. Because terrorism is a political crime, based on political motives, many states - especially those in the developing and

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post-colonial world - have problems with a very general definition, since it would turn many of their national liberation movements into ‘terrorist campaigns’. There is no consensus on what defines a ‘non-combatant’, for example. Furthermore, many states will not extradite someone accused of a ‘political crime’. In the end, therefore, it’s almost impossible to talk about any kind of coherent ‘international law’ regarding terrorism. It remains very much something that is subjective and interpreted differently state by state.  Is there any approach recommended by international law to counter terrorism? Because there are so many kinds of terrorist campaigns, motives, and actors, there is no oneway to ‘fight terrorism’, the distinction you are looking at here is the military versus legal approach. For some, police work, surveillance, infiltration, and the use of legal measures is the best means of finding terrorists and preventing terrorist acts. The more coercive approach which we see with the drone campaign against Al Qaeda - sometimes results in a militarization of the campaign. We saw this in Northern Ireland, for example, in the 1970s, in Sri Lanka recently in the fight against the LTTE, in Israel, etc. Many people criticize the militarization of counter-terrorism as a tactic that will, in the longer-term, create more blowback and thus be counterproductive. In the case of Northern Ireland, militarization in my opinion made the problem worse. In the case of Sri Lanka, the military campaign was effective - at least for now - in almost completely eliminating a group that had been committing terrorist acts since the 1980s. In the case of Nigeria, I really don’t know enough about the situation there to comment much more, but in general, I’ve found that most counterterrorist experts advise resisting the military option as long as possible.  Is Amnesty an option? Specifically, what does International law on terrorism says on it?

This is another difficult policy choice, as it seems to reward terrorist violence. It has been tried in Saudi Arabia for former Al Qaeda militants, and has had a fair degree of success there (though not perfect). I think this depends on the types of fighters in question. Many who join these groups are actually not particularly ideological and do it for a variety of reasons. Generally, it is only a small hard core of fanatics who are probably incapable of any kind of rehabilitation or reintegration into society.  In Nigeria’s case, I think that the recent military approaches are relevant in understanding the difficulties - because there are two very distinct, almost opposing approaches to counterterrorism. The problem with militarization of counterterrorism is that - as we’ve seen recently - it can lead to charges of human rights abuses, the killing of innocent bystanders, etc. This is almost inevitable, unfortunately, we’ve seen it in just about every case where governments have escalated to this level. For example, the russian campaign against the Chechens over the past decade. I note that Boko Haram has rejected the amnesty offer in any case.  Counterterrorism is one of the most difficult of all security operations, and I think that Nigeria is probably just at the beginning of dealing with this growing threat. I’d say taking a look at the experiences of Britain in Northern Ireland, russia in Chechnya, and Sri Lanka against the LTTE, and the Indian government fighting Sikh separatist terrorists in Punjab in the 1980s could be useful to see if there are any lessons we have

learned from these cases. It’s hard for me to say more now since I haven’t spent time in Nigeria and don’t have enough information to see which case or cases it most resembles. Giving the carnage (human and material) the Boko Haram has unleashed, don’t you think U.S. should have tagged them a ‘terrorist organisation’? As I understand it, the US Administration is not yet clear whether Boko Haram is really an established, coherent group - or more loosely organised and local. There are also concerns about possible human rights abuses committed by Nigerian security forces.  There is no doubt that the acts in question are ‘terrorist’. I think that some US officials fear that labeling Boko Haram a FTO (Foreign Terrorist Organization) might inflate its real power and organisation and bring it into conflict with the United States more directly. One stipulation for getting on the list is that the group must represent a direct threat to the United States. So that probably explains some of the hesitation. However, some suspect that the group may have begun collaborating with AQIM and other groups in Mali - if this is the case, then I think that the United States should seriously reconsider the present official status of the group.  

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ONOJA: Jonathan Got It right This Time Ambassador Onoja, President of Next Generation Youth Initiative International (NEGYII) and Principal Partner, FUDAC Consultancy International Ltd, told KAMAL TAYO OROPO that President Goodluck Jonathan is correct in his declaration of emergency rule. What is your impression of this declaration of state of emergency? rESIDENT Jonathan’s declaration of state of emergency in the three key operational bases of Boko Haram to me is a welcome development, an action over due. Thank God he did not tamper with the structures of governance. Now that he has taken that step, he must show courage and stop at nothing to carry out a clinical military operation in these places to check the enemies of our nation. We must take a cue from the Boston bombing and what the United State of America, the father of democracy, did. Democracy is not and never a license to kill. People kill willfully in Nigeria because there is no deterrence and sufficient sanction; rather the state is rewarding criminality. Jonathan’s inaction towards this monster over time was what led to the outburst of the late National Security Adviser, General Andrew Azazi, and his subsequent removal. But in spite of that, his theory on the Boko Haram remains very strong and valid. Therefore, let Mr. President also go for the Boko Haram sponsors now. Their names are there in the security and intelligence books of the nation. A situation where we have people who are above the Law

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He Should Now Go After Sponsors and are untouchable in Nigeria is a big incentive for the mischief that goes on in our country. Some have argued that not touching the political structure is untidy. Can you explain why you align with the President’s decision in this regard? I support Jonathan for not touching the political structures and it is not an untidy development because the present political structures are needed not to overheat the polity and add to the socio-economic and political tension on ground already. Secondly, the political structures on ground are cooperative and merely inherited the Boko Haram phenomenon. Thirdly, it may amount to going too far and provoke some constitutional argument that will distract government and throw up the problem of its credibility and take some steam out of the policy. Mark you the constitution is not explicit on the power of the President to sack the political structures and note that the people elected these individuals. How do you also respond to feelings that the nature of the declaration is such that will only encourage excesses by the security agents? I do not agree that it will encourage excess by the military. However, if people think it can, how about the excesses displayed by Boko Haram over time? I like to submit here that the military are not mad men who will go to the streets and shoot anybody anyhow. They are not culprits of accidental discharge in

our history. Men who fight to save the lives of others and their lives must be very intelligent people who cannot most probably behave anyhow, but always at the height of their rationality. Military men are very sensible and our military has displayed that much in our history. For too long the Boko Haram had rode on the weakness or lack of courage on the part of the president to take hard decisions. I want to clearly state that insurgency is a symptom of a weak government and society. In political and development theory and history all over the world, insurgency cannot be associated with a strong government. It is the weakness of the government that they are capitalizing on and putting on a p s e u d o image of being too strong or invincible. Similar declaration had in the past b e e n imposed in Plateau a n d

some other parts of the country, but with limited success. What gives you the confidence that this recent step will ultimately stop the insurgency? The circumstances of the past emergency declared in Plateau and Ekiti States are completely different and not of the dimension of such criminality as terrorism, which is not only a capital crime nationally, but globally and threat to international peace. The threat of terrorism is a threat to Nigeria’s sovereignty and international peace. So, it is an infraction on both national and international law. The dimension and circumstances of the two are very different. Insurgents hardly survive serious and sustainable fire power/resistance. The modus of operation and rule of engagement in this exercise is different and will give us positive result. This is criminology and not market economics that every Dick and Harry can easily analyse or understand. After the expiration of the declaration, what should be the next step? After the expiration, government and the state should consolidate on this effort and sustain their operational steam, build sufficient structures and professionalize our military to contain insurgency and terrorism. They should also intensify cooperation with other nations, build capacity of our military as well pick from the experiences of countries like Israel, USA and UK among others who have been on Onoja top of insurgency man-

agement, handling and control. The state should also develop its military intelligence arsenal to match global standards. Government must always prove its mettle to ensure that nobody takes the law into his hand no matter how highly placed in the society. Government must make sure there is nobody above the law and matters of national security should be treated decisively and with dispatch. Would a tidier political solution to the crisis of insurgency be more enduring for a better stability of the country? Political solution, yes but it goes beyond that. A holistic approach and package of political, social, economic and legal solution is most appropriate. The root causes of this problem lie in bad leadership, poor governance, corruption, lawlessness and impunity. Others are poor legal framework and judicial criminal system, ethnicity or ethnic politics and religion as key factors. We must allow and develop an open and transparent political process short of the manipulation, deceit, fraud and abuse of the processes that will encourage the building of strong institutions. Key to the socio-economic dimension is the phenomenal unemployment consistently faced by our teeming youths, especially graduates. There is great need to shore up investment in education and social capital because when you educate the citizens, the task of nation building is half done. Education cultures and refines a man but if left to himself, he is crude and vulnerable to irrationality beyond the dimension of an animal. And very importantly, the state must ensure that through legislation and incentive building, every citizen is engaged in the task of national security, tacitly or implicitly.


TheGuardian

Sunday, May 19, 2013 53

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Opinion Why I Love Kagame By Tunji Lardner Y way of a necessary background to this ode to Paul Kagame, I was recently in Kigali, Rwanda’s neat, orderly and impeccably clean capital city of this country of a thousand hills. For most readers, especially the incurious Nigerian reader the mention of Rwanda, immediately conjures musty memories of some sort of a tragedy that happened some twenty years ago. That would be the nightmarish horror of the wholesale slaughter over three months in early 1994 of close to a million Tutsis and moderate Hutus by Hutu extremists determined to establish a Hutu imperium, ostensibly to redress the historical primacy of Tutsis in Rwandan society. This genocide against the Tutsis holds its own execrable place in the damned roster of man’s inhumanity to man, and even more, thanks to the globalized networked society, the whole world, Africa included, knew what was happening in real time, and did little to stop it. But that was then, this is today. The forceful forward looking vision of Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has led Rwanda from the genocidal graveyard of near state extinction unto unprecedented growth and development that continues to confound the pundits, silence the ‘nay sayers’ and showcase especially to Africans what a tough, honest, visionary and administratively capable leader can do, and to put it in Churchillian terms, Paul Kagame ‘snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.’ Admittedly given the present morass that this country is in, it will be difficult not to make asymmetric comparisons between Nigeria and Rwanda, and our own historical leadership failures, especially since we have so deftly and repeatedly strove to snatched defeat from the

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jaws of victory, but I leave those comparisons to the reader’s own judgement. But even so, some comparative economic indicators are worth considering. Between 2006 and 2011, Rwanda reduced its poverty rates respectively from 57 per cent to 44.9 per cent and in roughly the same time in Nigeria, the poverty rates in Nigeria doubled to now directly affect the overall well being of 112 million Nigerians, who are chronically without food, shelter, water, sanitation healthcare and education. It must be understood that most State Governments in Nigeria have a larger annual budget than this small country of 10 million people with one of the highest population densities in the world. Poverty, specifically the structured and planned reduction of the poverty index is really the only true measurement of a country’s development, and in Nigeria, never mind what the apologists will tell you about the economy growing at 7.4 per cent, the bottom line of all bottom lines is if it directly and positively lifts its citizens out of poverty in a sustainable way for at least 20 years. By this singular measure, Nigeria leaders past and present have collectively been a catastrophic man-made disaster. The converse is true of this remarkable landlocked country whose astute, patriotic, visionary and eminently capable soldier-statesman is the closest thing that we have to that durable African leadership archetype ‘the benevolent dictator.’ The post independence history of Africa is littered with the bones of the archetypal ‘African Big Man,’ that one indispensible leader solely capable of uniting and welding fractious tribes into one glorious nation, and as is typically the case, acquiring great wealth and many wives along the way. Paul Kagame is nothing of the sort. He is a thoroughly modern, tweeting and practical philosopher-king, wise to the ways of the world and a lover of wisdom in

the Platonic sense, who must be credited with re-founding the new Rwandan republic that, (Ok admittedly a little bit effusive here)mirrors Plato’s own utopian city-state, the ‘beautiful city’ Kallipolis. So why do I love Paul Kagame? Let me count the ways... I did meet Paul Kagame about seven years ago when he was being honoured by the AfricaAmerica Institute, during the crowded week of the UN General Assembly. Up close, he was an extremely polite and yet serious minded conversationalist, who listened intently, before making his often pointed rebuttal, politely of course. His tall slender frame belied the intensity of his direct in your face gaze, and you could feel the steely resolve and implacable will of this soldier turned statesman. I came away with the impression that this man was not to be trifled with, he was a battle hardened warrior, equally at ease in waging war or making peace. And why not, Kagame’s life has always been mission oriented; as a young soldier fighting the Ugandan army of Milton Obote alongside his mentor Yoweri Museveni, Uganda’s President since 1986, through the various failed peace efforts to stop the killings in Rwanda and on to final military victory in 1994, Paul Kagame has been through the crucible of life that forges and tempers many a man, however oftentimes with varying results. He learnt the right lessons from his life’s experiences and he has put it to good use in his mission to save and rebuild a new Rwanda, actually ‘welding and uniting fractious tribes into one glorious nation.’ The man is a ‘man’s man,’ and we love him for that. I also love that in the post conflict battle for the realignment of power and international influence, he gave a long slender ‘le finger,’ to the French and Belgian colonialists mostly responsible for the dark social engineering that pitted the Hutus against the Tutsis and directly caused

the multiple genocides that nearly destroyed the social cohesion of the country. By switching the official language from French to English, he batted away over a century of French and Belgian cultural influence and created a young modern bi-lingual work force of young people who now benefit from twelve years of compulsory education, all covered by the state. I also love Paul Kagame because he has from a historical perspective finally exorcised the malevolent ghost of Belgium’s King Leopold, whose dark and sinister legacy can be felt in present day Democratic Republic of Congo. In overcoming the Belgian colonial legacy in Rwanda, Kagame also subliminally re-wrote the Conradian narrative of central Africa being the heart of darkness. “The horror, the horror,” depicted in The Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad’s racist trope (comprehensively dismantled by the ever living Chinua Achebe) about the clash of savagery and civilization, no longer exists in this new ‘pearl of Africa.’ In Rwanda, Kagame has created a new heart of lightness, whose illumination will hopefully over time enlighten the entire continent. All right, enough of the adulation, is there a chance that I might one day eat my words? Perhaps, but personally, I don’t thinks so. The key thing for Kagame is to sustain this development for another decade or so, which brings into question the issues of succession and transition when his present term ends in 2017. I don’ think he will outlive his welcome as so many other once promising African leaders have done. This is a man clearly aligned with his own sense of destiny and history, and a thoroughly self possessed African leader cut from a different bale of cloth. Bill Clinton is on record to have referred to Kagame as “one of the greatest leaders of our time.” I think he is right.

Comments can be sent to: me.tlardner@gmail.com

Nigeria In Crises By Felix Femi Ajakaye N Sunday, May 12, 2013, the Catholic Church celebrated the 47th World Communications, with the theme of the Pope’s message, Social Networks: Portals of Truth and Faith; New Spaces for Evangelisation. Pope Paul VI introduced the World Communications Day in 1966 to celebrate the media practitioners and artistes all over the world. Usually, annually, the Vatican releases the message to the public on January 24, the Memorial of St Francis De Sales, regarded as the Patron of Journalists. Here is my reflection to the congregation, including the media people and government officials at St Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State. As you read this, please let me remark here that it was the second day, Monday, May 13, 2013, that the President declared emergency rule in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States. Yes, the President who had always been saying that he was on top of the situation, opted to be on top of the situation so that the insurgents would not overrun our cherished country, Nigeria. In his message this year, the Pope considers the development or emergence of ‘digital social networks as helping to create an ‘agora’ (‘marketplace in ancient Greece, an open space in a town where people gathered, especially a marketplace), an open public place in which people share ideas, information and opinions, and in which new relationships and forms of community can come into being’. The Pope urges people to make use of ‘these spaces in a wise and balanced way’ in fostering forms of dialogue and healthy and critical debate as we share both ideas and our very selves. The Pope states that ‘in social networks, believers show their authenticity by sharing the profound source of their hope and joy: faith in the merciful and loving God revealed in Christ Jesus’. Believers are to be consistent witnesses in communicating and sharing the Gospel - the Truth. We are to touch hearts sincerely in our journey of faith with hope and love. ‘If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal’ (1Cor. 13:1). In our celebration too this year, I would like us to reflect on our beloved country, Nigeria. In the words of Edmund Burke. ‘Evil triumphs where good people keep silent in the midst of moral crises’. Without mincing words, Nigeria is indeed in crises. They are really a legion, and generally, man-made. Unfortunately, we tend not to be addressing these crises practically. We continue to chase the shadows, instead of facing realities. Our security agencies are being overstretched. Both the armed security agents and harmless civilians are being killed and attacked by the sophisticatedly armed assailants. These

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assailants seem to be having their way, ruling with their networks, while Nigeria tends to be in ruins. Unfortunately, what we normally hear from the Jonathan-led Government is: ‘We are on top of the situation.’ Realistically, they are below the action. Must we continue in this madness? To put a stop to the continued bloodlettings and other crises such as corruption, kidnapping, indiscipline, nepotism, abuse of power and deceit in our country, President Goodluck Jonathan, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and his lieutenants must learn to be on top of the action rather than the situation. Action speaks louder than words. “Power without control is nothing” (Pirelli Tyre Advertisement). In this light, I also state here that press freedom without responsibility is meaningless and dangerous. The role of the media is of great importance in the society. This is why the Press is regarded as the Fourth Realm of the Estate. Though coming after the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary, the Press is the hinge. It is the bastion. Once the Press derails in its role, it then becomes a subject of derision. Journalism is described as ‘reporting news for the media’. It is ‘the profession of gathering, editing, and publishing news reports and related articles for newspapers, magazines, television, or radio’. Responsible Journalism is being accountable and reliable in news-gathering. Therefore, I affirm that, social networks too should be used responsibly for the good all. I appreciate the media practitioners for their efforts in committing themselves to the struggle in the sanitisation of our society. However, I challenge them to focus more on developmental journalism and uphold press freedom with responsibility so that they can be a force to reckon with. Enough of sensational journalism! Strive to make research and operate objectively. In this way, with your integrity intact, you will also be portals of truth and faith to the people. Indeed, information is power. A well-informed mind is a living and healthy person. He/she is an asset to the society. Thus, a journalist who gives. I expect the media practitioners to start working together and have a formidable team to save this country from those who do not mean well for Nigeria. For instance, it is sad and criminal that while our country is faced with serious security challenges, certain people are still overstretching the security agents with limited number to fight their personal and selfish wars of attrition in the name of political power. With this, there is more tension in the land. For instance, the ugly political drama in Rivers State purpose-

ly orchestrated against Sir Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the Rivers State Governor, whether being masterminded by the combination of both the ‘oga and the madam at the top’, their cohorts, or other people, portends a great danger to our society. This is politics of rascality, politics of recklessness, politics of deceit, politics of intimidation, politics of terrorism. This is not acceptable and we must not allow these political rascals and terrorists and their clannish supporters to have their way. I remind these people that nothing lasts forever and no condition is permanent. Today’s president, president’s wife, or governor, or bishop may be nobody tomorrow. This is food for thought. I assure these political opportunists and their agents of do-or-die and turn-by-turn politics that, with or without them, Nigeria, our beloved country, will continue to exist. Recently, there had been alleged inflammatory statements by Presidential Adviser on Niger Delta Amnesty Programme, Mr Kingsley Kuku, and a former self-acclaimed militant leader, Mujahid Asari-Dokubo, that there would be a crisis in Nigeria if President Goodluck Jonathan was denied re-election in 2015. What a lazy and illogical statement! In a country faced with many crises such as Nigeria, even the uninformed will want to be relevant and recognised. By God’s grace, our cherished country will not fail. Nigeria will not fall. With unity and faith and our individual and collective willpower as a people, we shall overcome. Agents of the light will always overcome agents of the dark. We must learn to do things right so that things will be right with us and for us. May I state here too that politics of turn-by-turn is politics of mediocrity. It is politics of a lazy person’s idea and it is negative, destructive and retrogressive. In these trying times in our country, the media practitioners must never join the crowd. They must never lose their heads, even when other people are losing theirs. In fact, those who join the crowd lose their focus and identity. Such people are daydreamers. Daydreamers believe in fantasy or hope that is unlikely to be fulfilled. On the other hand, focused people are visionaries. Visionaries have foresight and they are never afraid to take decision. We need to keep identifying visionaries to serve in the local, state and federal governments. We do not need gatecrashers, thugs, gangsters, looters, riffraffs and pretenders anymore. We must maintain to wage a total war against this group of people, using all the legitimate available means, including the social networks. May we not be found wanting in promoting justice, peace and development through our God-given talents. Amen. Happy and blessed 47th World Communications Day. With confidence in God, Christ is our strength. *Most Rev. Felix Femi Ajakaye, Bishop of Ekiti.


TheGuardian

54 | Sunday, May 19, 2013

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Opinion Will This Emergency Rule Work? By Adewale Kupoluyi RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan shocked Nigerians when he declared emergency rule in three northern states of Borno, Nasarawa and Yobe in a national broadcast. Perhaps, they were caught napping not because it is an entirely new phenomenon to them or because the troubled states did not deserve such a drastic measure to curb the growing insecurity in the land. The people were surprised that President Jonathan could muster the courage to take such a courageous decision at this crucial time that his administration has been labeled as non-performing, slow and directionless. This is coupled with the rebuttal by both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Presidency against the speculation. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati had earlier said, “No such decision has been taken and people should stop speculating. The Federal Government is studying the situations in the affected states and would take a decision that would be in the best interest of the security of not just the people of the states affected but the country”. But this is not to be! Albeit, the President in a no-nonsense-like voice said; “Following recent developments in the affected states, it has become necessary for Government to take extraordinary measures to restore normalcy. After wide consultations, and in exercise of the powers conferred on me by the provisions of Section 305, sub-section 1 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, I hereby declare a State of Emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.” Before the broadcast, members of the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North had allegedly met behind closed doors with President Jonathan in continuation of their consultation with vital stakeholders on the violence in parts of the country. Until now, the nation’s perilous security situation has been a source of concern which the President had acknowledged as “reprehensible, causing fear among our citizens and a near-breakdown of law and order in parts of the country, especially the North”. No doubt, the affected states have been heavily militarized with the massive deployment of troops to battle the Boko Haram insurgency, following the brutal murder of some police and State Security Service personnel by a militant group, Ombatse, in Nasarawa State and well as the Baga and Bama killings. Perpetrators of the carnage were said to have attacked public buildings and facilities, murdered innocent citizens and state officials, set houses ablaze, taken women and children as hostages and embark on other atrocities the President said amounted “to a declaration of war and a deliberate attempt to undermine the authority of the Nigerian state and threaten her territorial integrity.” Any civilised society should do all legitimate things to denounce and condemn such lawlessness and wickedness as attacks by Boko Haram and other splinter groups had led to

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JAW JAW By Didi Onu

Jonathan clashes with government security forces, resulting into extrajudicial killings said to have claimed almost 4,000 people since 2009. As the debate on whether a state of emergency was on, there were serious criticisms against the moves. For instance, the spokesman of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Lai Mohammed said, “Perhaps President Jonathan should emulate late US President Harry Truman by putting a sign on his desk at Aso Rock that reads ‘The buck stops here’ to remind him that he bears the ultimate responsibility for the security situation in the country today, instead of any attempt to blame some state governors in the affected states.” Similarly, the 36 state governors, under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) had asked President Jonathan not to yield to the agitation. In a statement, its chairman and Rivers State governor Rotimi Amaechi, said we “call on the Federal Government to ignore the ongoing agitation for a state of emergency in some parts of the country. These requests are being made by people who do not wish our country well and who are bent on plunging the country into a deeper crisis. The Federal Government should not allow itself to be distracted from our collective goal of curbing the insurgency in some parts of our country once and for all.” Declaring states of emergency may not be a bad idea provided the action will bring about

gency in Ekiti State to ensure that peace and orderliness returned to the state and Major-General Adetunji Olurin was appointed as its Administrator. What next? Now that a state of emergency has been declared, there few steps that should be taken so that the desired effects could be achieved and the exercise will not be in futility. To begin with, the security agencies should be prevented from abusing the enormous power bestowed upon them as Mr. President had disclosed that “the troops and other security agencies involved in these operations have orders to take all necessary action, within the ambit of their rules of engagement, to put an end to the impunity of insurgents and terrorists. This will include the authority to arrest and detain suspects, the taking of possession and control of any building or structure used for terrorist purposes, the lock-down of any area of terrorist operation, the conduct of searches, and the apprehension of persons in illegal possession of weapons.” Despite government’s denial of allegations of security force abuses, labeling those who report such abuses as “Boko Haram sympathizers”, Human Rights Watch, in a report “Nigeria: Massive Destruction, Deaths From Military Raid Satellite Images, Witness Accounts Raise Concerns Of Cover-Up-HRW” noted that “Satellite images reveal massive destruction of civilian property from a military raid on April 16 and 17, 2013, in the northern Nigerian town of Baga, undermining the military’s claim that only 30 houses were destroyed”, calling on the government to thoroughly and impartially investigate allegations that soldiers carried out sanity and peace in the polity. Hence, it is a widespread destruction and killings. decision borne out of necessity. Secondly, the activities of politicians in the As such, the nation had witnessed some emer- three states should be checked such that gency rule in its 53 years of political independ- this anomaly of the declared state of emerence beginning in 1962, when Dr. gency will not be used to hunt and perseMoses Majekodunmi was appointed the Sole cute their perceived enemies. Administrator of the defunct Western Region It is curious that state governors are not as a strategy at resolving the impasse that removed from office in the new dispensathreatened the troubled Action Group govern- tion as against the usual practice in the ment in the western region. past; following this strange clause when What led to the crisis was removal of the then the President announced that “the Premier of Western Region, Chief Samuel Governors and other political office holders Akintola and his replacement by Chief in the affected states will continue to disDauda Adegbenro, which led to confusion as charge their constitutional responsibilithe two made claims to the Premiership of the ties.” region at the same time. Efforts should be made by the government In line with the provisions of the 1960 to control the influx of suspected criminals Constitution, the federal parliament declared into the country through our porous bora state of emergency in the Western Nigeria ders. This will largely help to stop the prolifand hereby approved the appointment of Dr. eration of arms and availability of vulneraMajekodunmi, to administer of the region. ble volunteers for insurgents. Both Plateau and Ekiti States were the only That is where the promise by the President states that had experienced emergency rule that diplomatic channels will be deployed since 1999, when the nation commenced an at apprehending terrorist elements that uninterrupted democratic rule. may escape across the border, is apt. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, in What now becomes the fate of the Boko 2004 declared an emergency rule in Plateau Haram Committee? Is it a way to ‘shutState, following a protected sectarian crisis them-up from doing a good job? Will this that destroyed hundreds of lives and property emergency rule work with all the political and Major-General Chris Alli was appointed to appointees in those states intact? Are we take-over the affairs of the state for a period of playing politics with this controversial decsix months. laration? These and many other questions Again, on Thursday, October 19, 2006, will certainly be running in the minds of President Obasanjo declared a state of emerthe people. *Kupoluyi writes from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.


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POLITICS

BAKARE: I Am Neither CPC Nor ACN, I Only Discharge My Duties To Buhari Pastor Tunde Bakare of the Latter Rain Assembly and former running mate to the presidential candidate of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Muhammadu Buhari, was the one who moved for the dissolution of the CPC to pave way for its merger into the All Progressives Congress (APC). Before last week’s convention of the CPC, Bakare was not known to have endorsed the merger plans. As a matter of fact, he said he did not know those with whom Buhari was planning a merger. So, has he changed his mind? No! Instead, he told Nigerians to watch the ongoing merger with cautious optimisms. He spoke with SEYE OLUMIDE. Do you think that the ongoing merger plan among the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and a section of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to form the All Progressives Congress (APC) would bring solution to the nation’s challenges if the merger eventually succeeds?  Ay be it will work or not; it is something we are all waiting to see. But at present, there is no merger, there is no APC, so we cannot start counting the eggs that are not hatched.  But it is an ongoing process. ACN, CPC and ANPP have all dissolved The dissolution meaning what? They have dissolved into a non-existing APC. That doesn’t make any sense to me. I am aware that a merger process is on, the parties involved are still talking and they have not dissolved into anything.  But you moved the motion for CPC to dissolve and the subsequent ratification of the merger? Let them finish the process for the merger first. We should allow the baby to be born first before we start giving name. If you listen to my closing remarks at the CPC convention, I said let all men of goodwill watch, this time calls for sober reflection and optimistic vigilance because the enemy – Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is not going to fold its arms and allow the entire process succeed unchallenged. Look, PDP is not ready for any healthy competition, therefore those who are discussing merger must know they are doing it for the sake of the nation and not just for pocket sharing or personal gains. Nigeria is one of the terrible nations where you see politicians seeking power for self. I did not move the motion for the dissolution of CPC, the party is alive and intact and likewise ACN and ANPP. They all moved the motion to empower the various members of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of their parties to meet and ratify the process of merger. When they eventually merge, we will see the colour, manifestoes, constitution, and logo of the new party. At the convention of CPC, I said that the last time we hoped was in 1993 and I hope that in 2013, 20 years after we would have a brighter hope. But the issue of the key players in the merger must be critically considered because not all men are sincere. Do you foresee a situation where the merger will not succeed?  you are asking me that question so that you can use it against me in future. Give them a chance. They are looking for solution to a problem, but you have to know the problem before you can profer solution. Let us look at what those that are involved in the merger process were doing in the various states. Are the people happy there? Are they performing? Look at the bulk of money in some states, compared with what some of the governors are doing. I hope the media is digging deep into this matter. We need to beware of a naked man who promises us a shirt.  What is your true position in the merger, are you for it or not?  I am not the issue. I am not CPC, I’m not ACN or ANPP or APGA? I agreed to run with the CPC Presidential Candidate, Maj. Gen. Muham-

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madu Buhari in 2011 because of his track record, discipline, integrity, incorruptibility and so on. I worked with him in the party based on this and I believe I discharged my responsibility to Buhari. If the principle behind the merger is to ensure democratic governance in the country, if the people behind it have the goodwill and want the best for the nation, if it is not just to take away from PDP to handle it like PDP, then I will advocate caution with optimism. The country is going through series of challenges, insecurity, poor leadership, bad economy; how do you see all these? It is inconceivable by rational mind that a government that claimed to have been elected by popular majority cannot say that what is happening in the country in terms of security is part of the transformation agenda it promised the people. How we got to where we are in the country today does not require any rigorous research work. The fact is that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop; when the rate of unemployment, poverty, youth restiveness and where there is no justice and equity in a system is as high as we have it in the country, what do you expect? All that you see are the consequences of what we did wrong in the past. To stem the tide government has to do more. There is the need to look at the root causes of the entire situation and not just the piece meal approach we are doing now. The fact is, Nigerians are aggrieved, their lives have been brutalised as a result of bad governance and if certain things are not addressed, I mean those issues that will have direct and positive impact on the lives of people, I wonder what we are going to be saying in the next couples of years. It was not as bad as we are witnessing it now in the past and I wonder what the situation will be if we should continue like this. It is something that calls for a sober reflection. How do you see the recent pass mark giving to President Goodluck Jonathan’s government by the South- South and the Southeast governors’ caucus meting in Asaba recently? I don’t like to discuss such issues and moreover, what do you expect the governors to say? Do you think they will say anything contrary? If they endorse or applauded Jonathan’s style of governance, do their own people, I mean the citizens in the states of the various governors endorse or appreciate their style of governance?  It is not possible for anybody to give what they don’t have and that is what I feel those governors were trying to do. In the first instance, how happy are their citizens in their states for them to drum support for another person? Let us ask ourselves whether there is wisdom in governance in Nigeria today. I don’t see any. I don’t know if you see it in anywhere. Look at the drama going on here and there, I seize your jet and you seize mine. Consider the figure we hear on daily basis about corruption, I wonder the type of government we are running in the country. All our politicians are all there because of what they can get and not for the purpose to serve Nigerians. What the governors said was part of the problems drawing the nation backward. I do not believe sectional or ethnic sentiment; if something is not good we should

say it for the purpose of correction. They can go ahead and pass all the vote of confidence or commend whatever they wanted to commend in the government, but I hope they will not continue until the rage from Nigerians catches them. What do you think about the statement made by Asari Dokubo, that it is either Jonathan in 2015 or no Nigeria; you have always said there may not be 2015? There is no agreement between my position and what Asari Dokubo said. If not for the necessity to clear some areas, I don’t see the need to respond on that issue. He must have spoken out of frustration or limited knowledge. He forgot the fact that Nigeria is higher than one person. He also did not ask himself what Jonathan is doing to develop the nation and the feeling of the people to his administration. Another fact is that Jonathan is not the first president and he would not be the last president of Nigeria. There is no need to join issues

Nigeria is one of the terrible nations where you see politicians seeking power for self. I did not move the motion for the dissolution of CPC, the party is alive and intact and likewise ACN and ANPP. They all moved the motion to empower the various members of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of their parties to meet and ratify the process of merger. When they eventually merge, we will see the colour, manifestoes, constitution, and logo of the new party. At the convention of CPC, I said that the last time we hoped was in 1993 and I hope that in 2013, 20 years after we would have a brighter hope. But the issue of the key players in the merger must be critically considered because not all men are sincere

with him because he is one of those who have made cheap money out of the amnesty programme. Otherwise what intellectual contributions has he done towards the development of Nigeria, even the Niger Delta he came from? He is free to support his godfather Jonathan, so that he can continue to make money. Nigeria needs a revolution and God can make it happen. What type of revolution? Whatever type of revolution; let those who can pray continue to pray. There is a revolution going on already, where it will end is what we do not know, but certainly something will happen very soon. But if we continue this way, no destructive means can bring about a constructive end. During the Ojota protest against oil subsidy, I saw a placard in Lagos State and at the same time a similar placard was raised in Abuja with a message “A day is coming when the poor will have nothing to eat but the rich.” Right now kidnapping is the business of the day. Our youths are now thugs, murderers, can you imagine the numbers of police killed in Nasarawa State by cultist group? Everyday what we read on the pages of the paper is one sad story and the other. There is the need to wake up or else we are playing with something we are going to regret. Now we are talking amnesty to Boko Haram. Unfortunately, we have come to a situation where every criminal who carries arms against the government must be granted amnesty. The cheapest means to get money from Federal Government is to take up arms against the nation. The militants in the Niger Delta were granted amnesty and now people were saying grant amnesty to Boko Haram sect members. Very soon armed robbers and kidnappers will ask for amnesty. There is the need to look into the root cause of the entire crisis in the country.  I want you to be specific whether amnesty is good or not?  For those who are agitating for one thing or the other in the country, the best means possible to achieve their aim is to resort to activities that would lead into violence, so that government can pay attention to them. What I am saying is that government needs to find the root cause of the crisis. Are you saying that all the killings, bombings and violence going on in the North is limited to that zone? They are gradually spreading to other parts of the country. Rather than throwing money in the name of amnesty, why not address the root cause. For instance, has the amnesty granted to the Niger Delta militants addressed in totality the environmental challenges in the region? So how long are we going to continue to waste money?  Do not misunderstand me, I am not preaching the kind of approach the former President Olusegun Obasanjo used in Odi, because that also did not solve the problem, but my argument is that we should look beyond throwing money. I do not know of any religion that permits anybody to take the life of another person without going through the necessary judicial

Bakare


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POLITICS

AREGBESOLA: APC Is A Peoples’ Movement No State Power Or Illegitimate Means Can Stop Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State does not shy from confronting issues. For a man so passionate about democracy, who was part of those who made sacrifices to ensure that democratic rule returned in 1999, how does he feel with general state of things in the country - the insecurity, rising poverty level and shrinking democratic space? The man assures that this democracy is not a failure yet. He spoke to ABIODUN FANORO. Huge sacrifices were made to restore democracy in 1999. But Nigerians are now asking questions whether this is the democracy they fought for, because the dividends are not really following… HE part of the country where I come from, modesty dictates that one should be very circumspect in blowing one’s trumpet, so as not to be labeled as engaging in self-praise, but to allow one’s achievements and the people do the praising. It is also not appropriate to jump into a blanket conclusion that it is in all parts of the country that democracy has not delivered. Certainly, we cannot have a blanket judgment on democracy, its depth in Nigeria, benefits to the people and its prospects. Why? From my own angle, it is impossible for anybody to dismiss the gains of democracy in Lagos State and in most parts of the Southwest, and today’s Edo state, where my colleague, Adams Oshiomole is performing un-relentlessly. Not even the blind and dumb would say this area has been stagnated from 1999 till date. To that extent, I will not subscribe to the view that democracy has been a pain and per adventure, a futility for the people. Yes, on a national scale there could be ground for disappointment and despair, but in some sections of Nigeria, certainly, there are some visible exceptions. But the situation is so bad now that our hospitals have declined from being consulting centres as they were referred to in 1983, to something else that now makes medical tourism the order of the day for the rich. What you are saying is that the lives of Nigerians have been devalued, I agree with you. But even as gloomy as it is nationally, we must not fail to recognise some pockets of genuine efforts at giving democracy meaning in the lives of our people. How would you want to situate Lagos, is it in healthcare, is it in infrastructure, is it in security, is it in waste management; in every aspect of life, the progressive administration in Lagos State since 1999 has made considerable impacts on the people and the environment. The other states in the Southwest equally made substantial efforts at improving the lives of the people, especially in the first four years of the civilian dispensation. I don’t call it democratic governance. We have to be very

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• It Is Time For Us To Save This Country And Secure Its Future careful, as much as I want to believe that we are operating a democracy, it is however more appropriate to describe the setting as a civilian administration. In the first four years of the civilian administration, starting from 1999, all the governments in the Southwest made strenuous efforts at translating into action, in the lives of the people, the credo of the Action Congress, which was freedom for all, life more abundant. As these efforts were on, then there was a hiccup, a personality desperate for his position in history, scuttled the process by crash manipulation and malfeasance, which denied the people of the region their true democratic expression. But it was reported that the Southwest governors submitted to the agreement between them and the then President Olusegun Obasanjo, who needed the zone’s support for his re-election bid? Well let’s wait for what actually transpired, whether there was a willing submission of the reigns of governance or a capture that took place under duress. Capture comes by force, no capture is voluntary. The point I am making is that the eight years of reactionary takeover of a section of the West (of Nigeria) adversely affected the psyche of the people and the pace of the development in the region. We have just again begun the process of recovering from the losses of the locust years in the region. The performance of the various administrations in the region today, have clearly shown that it is not impossible to impact on the lives of the people and the environment. There is no doubt that on the national scale, there exist evidence of failure of governance, as you have in unprecedented insecurity, embarrassing power and energy failure, col-

lapsed road and health infrastructure, abject poverty, mass unemployment unbridled corruption, and so on and so forth. On all these I agree, but so as not to throw away the child with the bath water, we must endeavor to separate the wheat from the chaff. After all, the governors and the administration in this part of the country, including Edo State are working to make this era meaningful to our people. What I am there-

The PDP, by my own estimation has done more harm to Nigeria and the people, more than any group or situation. The PDP, rather than securing a viable place for the country, where Nigeria would be the first country of destination in every noble thing, has regrettably secured an un-enviable place for us as a pariah nation. Probably more than any other known country, Nigeria remains the country where lives and property are not safe, yet we are not in war, no thanks to the PDP, which contemptuously say, our suffering is not enough and is not over, and that it would extend it till the next 60 years, which it has vowed to force itself on the people

fore driving at is that, as disturbing as those trends of vicissitude that were the lots of the region between the era of 2003 to as far as 2010, we should break away from it and move on, using it as a challenge to enter into a covenant with our people through enduring performance, that never in the history of this region must these charlatans be allowed to mount the reign of power. Is that why your party is forming a merger, to have more strength and reach? We are forming the political party to solidify, and strengthen the platform so as to be sufficiently capable of taking PDP (People’s Democratic Party) out of its unmerited position of piloting Nigerian Affairs. The PDP, by my own estimation has done more harm to Nigeria and the people, more than any group or situation. The PDP, rather than securing a viable place for the country, where Nigeria would be the first country of destination in every noble thing, has regrettably secured an un-enviable place for us as a pariah nation. Probably more than any other known country, Nigeria remains the country where lives and property are not safe, yet we are not in war, no thanks to the PDP, which contemptuously say, our suffering is not enough and is not over, and that it would extend it till the next 60 years, which it has vowed to force itself on the people. I am not satisfied with that arrangement. My dissatisfaction is part of why we are working towards a more robust, stronger and capable platform to displace PDP at the centre. The Southwest has attempted a model in governance, could this not be rubbished by this plan to reach out in the merger arrangement? We told the world at the Progressive Parties’ Governors’ Forum and at the general party level, that our desire is not just to get power for the sake of it, but to use the power to harness the vast resources of

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POLITICS

MKPUBRE: Akpabio’s Government Yet To Affect Eket Chief Edet Mkpubre is the immediate past national vice chairman of PDP South-south. He is from Oron Nation in Eket Senatorial District of Akwa Ibom State. In this interview with AYOYINKA OLAGOKE, he lamented the uneven allocation of resources by the state government. He maintained that the people of Eket senatorial district have not seen the impact of uncommon transformation. Is there fairness in distribution of projects in the state? YO was a rural city many years ago, but today, Uyo is a goodlooking city, I hope what is happening in Uyo and Ikot Ekpene senatorial districts could be extended to Eket senatorial district. The government still has few two years and some months to go. I guess he could remedy whatever short- comings, in terms of lopsidedness in the distributions of infrastructure, at least to reflect equity among the three senatorial districts. You journalists have been to Eket, Uyo and Ikot Ekpene districts; can you drive in your car to Oron beach? The road is cut off; there is no communication anywhere. If you go to Ibeno, it is the same thing. You talk of Ibaka, it is a project on paper, in Ibaka, even the land acquired by the government for the deep seaport compensations have not been paid on those lands. Governor Akpabio is said to be very generous. Is your district benefiting from the government’s ‘uncommon transformation’? THAT has always been the style of the governor, trying to touch lives in his own way. I know he donates handsomely to churches, organisations, particularly NGOs that had taken upon themselves the task to tackle problems which government on their own cannot do. He has always been a generous governor, but people become a bit critical when he sponsored people to attend somebody’s wedding ceremony in Dubai. I can’t understand why he would do that. Doesn’t that show how wealthy the state is? It doesn’t show the wealth of the state, I am sure 60percent of Akwa Ibom people don’t ride Prado jeeps. We are not that wealthy to give that out to an individual. Uyo had been built; there are so many other places that needed to be built. Eket is the headquarters of Eket senatorial district; it has been an old city with economic activities that can sustain a city. It needed to be built. The Governor needs to replicate what is in Uyo and Ikot Ekpene senatorial districts in Eket, so that people in Eket can stay and develop the city; that would create employment. Today, you see very prominent Anang people who don’t come

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to live in Uyo, they live in Ikot Ekpene because that place is now comfortable for people to live; very prominent politicians, some of them live in Ikot Ekpene and come to work in Uyo. I’m sure if Eket could be made as comfortable as Ikot Epkene and Uyo, people would want to live there. How about job creation; will you say this government is doing enough? Unemployment is there everywhere in Nigeria. But the governor promised during that he was going to build an industry in every local government, and the Akwa Ibom people were very hopeful that it will bring solution to the problem of unemployment, but that has not happened. What we hear now is that government is creating an environment for private sector to come in and that is a difficult one. My personal view is that if you wait in Akwa Ibom with the present level of poverty for people to come and invest in every local government, that could be a tall dream, it might never happen. I think government should invest in critical industries, the government should forget about creating environment because that is happening at the Federal. It is not the government responsibility to get into management of concept. In a situation of drastic unemployment the government must take decisions to intervene and build critical industries, which are useful to the people; create employment, manage it well. If those industries become profitable then you could privatize. Akwa Ibom is right for a flourmill if you manage it well, and because it would be profitable, you privatize it in future. Look at the enormous development going on; let the government build aluminum roofing Sheet Company and make sure every building in the state get their roofing sheets from there. If you are waiting for people to come and invest, they would not, because they have their own states to go and invest. There must be drastic decision on this unemployment issue; everybody is now playing politics because there is no employment. What is the position of Eket people concerning 2015? Our position is mainly on zoning and rotation. We stand on zoning and rotation because that is the only way power will move to every senatorial district. During the second term campaign of governor Akpabio, when Udoedeghe came in with ACN, I said, no, let governor Akpabio finish his second term so this governorship position will move orderly to Eket district that has not produced a governor since the creation of this state. I keep on emphasizing that Uyo has gotten their turn. Ikot Ekpene senatorial district is having a second term. It is the turn of Eket senatorial district. All I know is that people took decisions to allow the first turn to go to Uyo senatorial district; people took the decision to announce that it will go to Ikot Ekpene in 2007. Somebody should take a decision now to announce that the 2015 governorship position should go to Eket senatorial district. We are looking up to the governor to take that decision being the leader of the party in the state. The greatest

legacy Akpabio will leave in Akwa Ibom is to bequeath peace and harmony. The Governor will do that by being just and fair to the people of Eket senatorial district. But Akpabio has not really supported zoning? I disagree, because on many occasion the governor said he supported zoning. People misinterpreted the governor when he said he is not a product of zoning; my interpretation is, that he meant he is not a governor of a zone; he is a governor of everybody. Governor Akpabio did not say he didn’t believe in zoning. The last time he said he believed in zoning was when Ibibio people met him; he said he believed in zoning and rotation. What if the Governor does not support power shift to Eket senatorial district? My governor will do what is right. He is guiding his legacy and image after his administration jealously. He knows what to do so that history will judge him fairly. Nobody likes to be reported as one who destroyed certain principles designed to favour everybody. He is the leader of the party in the state, at the appropriate time he will say that which is right. Who is Eket’s candidate for 2015? For now, it is not the issue of who is the candidate. Immediately the party takes the decision, I assure you thousands of people will come out. What we are doing now is advocacy. We have been telling the governor the right thing to do. We are pleading our case with the leadership of the state that it is our turn to produce the next governor of Akwa Ibom State, so that everybody will have a sense of belonging. The wealth of this state comes from Eket senatorial district.

Mkpubre

It Is Time For Us To Save This Country And Secure Its Future, Says Aregbesola CONTINUED FROM PAGE 56 this country for the overall good and benefit of everybody; without exception regardless of status, age, religion, political party, level of education etc. The people we are engaging from other political parties and individuals that would join the merger on their own, from all indices are progressive elements who had for long been separated by one minor differences or the other, but who are now being wedged together by the common challenges facing our country, which have reduced our people to lesser beings. I sincerely appreciate the sentiment you expressed about the Southwest model. We too are equally conscious, that those flowing with us are genuine progressives whose traits and records have proven that, so also are some new comers that have been baptized by the progressive ideology as modeled by the Southwest. We are very sure that the people, women, youths, children, the jobless graduates, the pensioners and the traumatized workers are with us and would lend their hand in efforts to wipe sorrow and suffering from the land, which the PDP stands for. Our youths are daily undergoing excruciating pains and agony. How does this pain come, it comes by government’s abnegation of its responsibilities to the citizens. Looking at real efforts to frustrate the merger, what gives you stakeholders the belief that government cannot use state powers, like phantom corruption charges to frustrate it? Where have those strategies or tactics worked? They don’t work. Intimidation, harassment and assault have not been successful as tools to managing or suppressing opposition. Before the situation of any country boils to the level where workers would on their own demand regime fall, definitely

that leader is no longer fit to be there. I am of the opinion and I expect those in powerful position of authority to see it that way, that the situation where major parties voluntarily dropped their logos, names, all elements of their various identities for a common platform and by extension, a common superior goal, it is not a joke, it is a serious matter that any responsible leader ought to take either as a call to sit up or to abdicate. What is happening in All Progressive Congress (APC) is a mass movement of the people, which state power or any other illegitimate means cannot stop. Any attempt to do so will spell doom for whoever the perpetrator may be. Nigerians may be eager for change, but sometimes they are timid to take action. In order not to fail, how would those behind APC confront the docility of Nigerians? It won’t be fair on the Nigerian people to say that are docile. Few of them could be, but majority of Nigerians are bold and courageous people. Nigerians were the people that heralded the struggle for independence at Ivah Valley; Nigerians were the women of Aba riot that demonstrated against colonial oppression. Nigerians have shown the world that given the favourable condition, there isn’t anything they cannot do for their independence, for their liberty etc. I want to believe that majority of the Nigerian people can no longer tolerate mis-governance at the unprecedented level it is to today in the country. Nigerians know that this not the time for any one to be docile, slumber or sleep, doing so they equally know would be at a cost no one could quantify. Don’t forget that it is the same Nigerians that fought for the sanctity of the June 12, 1993 presidential vic-

tory of late Chief M.K.O Abiola. It is this same Nigerians that sacrificed their comfort to get democracy that is in operation today in the country, whose dividend they are regrettably being denied. Those Nigerians that you say are docile, and of course I totally disagree, do they like power failure, do they like unemployment, are they happy with the level of insecurity in the country, do they enjoy traveling on dilapidated roads? This is not time for blame game, rather, it is time for all of us to swim together, save the country together and secure its future together. The cost of governance in this democracy is simply too high and getting intolerable; how do we reduce this huge cost? I am not a lawyer, not to talk of being a constitutional lawyer, but even at that, I know that the present Constitution has too many loopholes, it is highly deficient; it is not meeting our needs and aspiration as a country and as people. It is a fact that could not be denied, the architecture of governance in Nigeria is too expensive; no country does what we are doing. Nigerians would greatly appreciate whatever could be done to reduce the cost of governance to the barest level, the earlier we do this the better for the country, so that the roof would not collapse on all of us. It appears that the governors have abandoned the issue of security to the federal government. Is there an issue in this? The Federal government has appropriated the issue of security in the country. Can any state run its own Police? If the answer is no, then the federal government carries the can. We can only try, but we cannot do much. What we do is that we support the Police, which is not in any way

subservient to the governors. We must tell the Federal Government to take squarely its responsibilities to the people. The federal government must address frontally the issue of Boko Haram and kidnapping, which are features of mis- rule in the center. Why does it appear that the ACN governors are not interested in the politics of Nigerian Governors’ Forum? How could you say we are not interested or that we are indifferent to what is happening there? Have you not been reading our communiqué on the platform of the Progressive Governors’ Forum? I want to believe nobody can say we are indifferent, what maybe probably said is that our action is still not radical enough. But let me quickly add that when you occupy a position like this you cannot afford to be as radical as you were before. You rarely visit Abuja as opposed to what some of your colleagues do. Why? (laughter), I will start going. You have some labour-related matters on your hand, how are you coping with them? We have resolved the major face-off between the union, and us, which is the union under the ministries. But there is the resolved one, which involves staffers of tertiary institutions outside the university. We are still negotiating with them and I am hopeful that reasons would prevail at the end of the day. The opposition in the state says you have not performed and therefore you don’t deserve to come back. I will be careful in answering that question because I am not God and they too are not God. It is totally irresponsible of anybody to want to play God. I am happy you are in Osogbo (state capital) yourself, you and other visitors to the state could best answer that question. Move around other towns and villages in the state, then, answer the question yourself.


THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

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Govt Should Be Decisive In Anti-corruption Policies, Says Amusan Mr. Kayode Amusan, two-term Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member of the House of Representatives from Ogun State in the last dispensation, spoke to NIYI OLAJIDE on national issues, particularly the political situation in the country, and in Ogun. OU have been very silent on national issues since you finished your two terms at the National Assembly; how has life been and what are your present preoccupations? I have since returned to the business community from where I left temporarily to serve and represent the interest of my people in Abuja for eight years. I was a successful businessman before going to the House of Representatives and while there, I lived a life of moderation and I was not in any circumstances controversial, so coming back to do what I knew best has not changed anything in me. The only change is that I have to devote more time to ensure that the business outfits are in good shape under good management. However, those who held fort for me while I was away did wonderfully well. The only challenge I had on my return was that of expansion and consolidation. I found out that every business needs adequate attention and supervision for it to grow and stabilise. Could this mean you have left the political terrain for good? No, I am still very much active in politics; it is a constituency in which I have actively belonged to for eight years and in which I am still very relevant. The only significant difference is that if the eight years I spent in Abuja had been spent overseeing my business, the pressure I have on me now would have been lesser. As a representative for Abeokuta North/Obafemi Owode/Odeda Federal Constituency, I am already entrenched in the grassroots, local and federal politics. Having seen the beauty and fulfillment in serving people, I am still very much ready to serve when the need arises. I still want to do more than the economic empowerment programmes and community projects that God gave me the opportunity to do for the period I spent in the National Assembly. Presently, except I am out of the country, there is hardly a weekend that I don’t join my people in Ogun State to consult and hold several community and political meetings on how the state, the various local governments, communities and individuals can move forward. I personally participate in programmes and activities that are in the interest of the people. PDP is not in control of Ogun State; have you observed any changes in the system of governance? A very vigilant observer will note that the state is presently very rough, as a result of wild and outrageous projects that are ironically anti-

Y

Amusan

• PDP Not Dead In Ogun people. I mean projects that have destroyed the people’s cultural heritage and ancestral values. While I am not against physical developments, I will not subscribe to those, which costs are at the expense of people’s welfare and social needs. Any project that has been commissioned in the state today, no matter its smallness, costs billions of naira. Like a movie, helpless citizens of the state on a daily basis watch their properties, shops, monuments and legacies leveled by bulldozers. People are angry, disappointed and disillusioned. The question is that the costs of contracts and projects are so big, enough to build a new town and even business districts. The state is naturally blessed with materials like quarries and sand and yet, contract for a six-kilometre road costs billions of naira. I see this as capital flight and financial recklessness. At the time the PDP government transformed Lalubu Street in Oke-Ilewo area of the state capital, only house fences were affected and they were compensated. The standard roads and drainages are still there, to the glory of God. Does the PDP have the strength to regain control in the 2015 general elections? I want you to appreciate the fact that the same populace that supported and saw us to victory before are still very much on the ground. Politics and elections are not static; a lot of changes take place in political time frames and tenures. You will remember that only two political parties dominate American politics. It could be Republicans today or Democrats tomorrow. The electorate is the determinant of a political party’s victory at the polls. People have always had the impression that the PDP is dead in Ogun. While I’m not surprised is that the same was said of the ruling party while we were in government. How can a political party that ruled a state and controlled its resources for eight years suddenly go into extinction? Ogun State PDP is re-organising its house, mending fences and blocking all the cracks in its wall to make itself bigger, stronger and formidable for the next elections. I can assure you that very soon, all the wrangling in the party, both at the national and state levels, will be a thing of the past, as the party is busy doing a lot of reconciliations. As an association of human beings, there are bound to be angers, disagreements and inordinate ambitions on the part of some members. I remain a bona fide member of the PDP, the largest political party in black Africa. S an opinion leader, what are your worA ries over the socio-economic situation in the country? We are almost overwhelmed by numerous societal and economic problems and the most saddening is the fact that rather than getting solutions to them, they seem larger than what the government and the relevant agencies can control. I, therefore, see this as a challenge for every patriotic Nigerian to join hands with the government to bring the situation to normalcy. It is more worrisome that our youths feature prominently in all these crimes and vices and the reason for this should be hanged on unemployment. I am greatly disturbed by the state of insecurity in the country. Except for the indiscriminate killings and use of explosives in the northern section of the country, which are strange to Nigerians, every nook and cranny of the country is

under the siege of criminals. There is lawlessness, militancy, abductions and kidnappings for ransoms; vandalism and economic sabotage; and robberies, murders and assassinations. Just name it; they are everywhere! Corruption has assumed the endemic status of the dreaded HIV disease; corrupt practices in high places have almost destroyed the economic psyche of the country. The rate at which public money in government coffers are stolen, misappropriated and laundered is alarming and ridiculous. If the government does not act fast and take hard measures against those involved in these sharp practices, the country will be sitting at the edge of a crevasse. Imagine what some individuals did with the proceeds from oil subsidy removal and the Police pensions; it is highly disappointing that these individuals are yet to be convicted and penalised. A country in this situation can hardly progress; its citizens will lack education, social amenities, adequate healthcare and feeding while its huge resources will be in the hands of few greedy individuals. What can the government do to save the situation? The Federal Government has to be decisive in its anti-corruption policies. The issue of plea-bargaining for politicians and leaders, who misused public money, should be reviewed. It takes stricter and harder steps to combat corruption because it has become hydra-headed. This is also a test case for the National Assembly. To make Nigerians have confidence in the legislative arm of government, they should make concerted legislation to review the laws of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) so that they can be strong enough to nail and punish culprits. I remember that while I was in the House of Representatives, I tried to amend the EFCC laws to accommodate death penalty for offenders but it did not go far because the effort met stiff opposition from my colleagues and I was a lone voice among 360 members. My suggestion then was borne out of the encounter I had in the Republic of China when I was part of a delegation to understudy the country’s legislature. It was there I found out that China achieved rapid economic growth because its revenue and resources do not go into wrong hands. Anyone caught for corrupt practices faces the death penalty. OW does the government tackle youth unemployment? H The federal, state and local administrations should address the issue of unemployment with commitment, passion and sincerity. The devil finds work for the idle hand is a common adage. Unemployed youths are more into criminal activities. We understand that it is a universal problem but some countries affected have designed programmes and economic activities to ameliorate it. Vocational and skill acquisition centres should be created to give practical training to youths, even graduates, on skills that can make them earn a living. A society that does not train its youths is investing in restiveness. What about insecurity, particularly insurgency, in the country? In the area of insecurity, the Federal Government should apply diplomacy and intelligence in dealing with the Boko Haram saga. I personally don’t see amnesty as a solution to the problem; you cannot give amnesty to a group that is still faceless. Who are we discussing with in the first place? The case of the Niger Delta militants could be appreciated. Asari-Dokubo, Tompolo, Boyloaf and their likes sat with the government representatives to discuss. I will suggest that government mounts pressure on those behind the group to show up without masks and discuss with government. No one is happy about the carnage that is going on in the country; it is a total dimension from a war. As we look towards 2015, what is your advice to the Nigerian electorate? We should learn from the mistakes of the past. The electorate should take time to investigate and ask questions about candidates. They should be curious about their backgrounds and achievements. They should find out what such a candidate has been able to do for his or herself in life before coming into politics to make money they want to use for the rest of their lives. This is why they see it as a ‘do-or-die affair.’ Politics should not be a full-time business; politicians should still be relevant in their chosen areas of human endeavour so that by the time they are out of it, they can be relevant in the society. What would you want to be remembered for? I want to be remembered as an apostle of politics without bitterness and a protagonist of socio-economic development of a dear nation, while my role in human capacity development of my people should not be forgotten easily.


THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

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Re: Ogboru, Ewherido Plunge Delta DPP Into Crisis By Justice Iyasere E write to correct certain wrong assertions W made by Mr. Hendrix Oliomogbe in his feature titled: ‘Ogboru, Ewherido plunge Delta DPP into crisis’ (The Guardian, May10, 2013). Let me start by quickly stating that the crisis, as you referred to it, rocking the Democratic Peoples Party, did not originate from Delta State. The crisis is a fallout of the National Executive Committee meeting of February 14, 2013, where a decision was reached for DPP to be part of the emerging All Progressives Congress. Present at that meeting were all the people that matter in DPP: Gen. Magashi (Rtd.), then chairman; Gen. Jeremiah Useni, former chairman; Sir Olisaemeka Akamukale, then deputy national chairman and present chairman of the party; Senator Pius Ewherido, only DPP senator in Nigeria; Chief Great Ogboru, DPP governorship candidate in the 2007 and 2011 elections; Hon. Austin Ogbaburhon, only DPP member of the House of Representative; Chief Tony Ezeagu, former Chairman, Delta State DPP; Comrade Frank Kokori, Hon. Julius Okpoko of Delta State House of Assembly, among many others. Incidentally, Ogboru and Ned Nwoko delivered the DPP NEC resolution to the APC secretariat. Subsequently, a committee of 12, including Ogboru and Ewherido, was set up and given 21 days to report back to NEC. It was at this stage that some prominent members, for personal reasons, became lukewarm towards the merger. But Senator Ewherido and others continued with the task the party’s NEC had given to the 12-man committee. After 43 days, rather than the 21 days within which the committee was to report back, with Gen. Magashi, the then national chairman, still incommunicado, then Deputy national chairman, Olisaemeka Akamukali, called the party NEC meeting where the report of the committee was adopted. At that meeting, too, a resolution was passed for Akamukali to become acting national chairman, since the chairman, Magashi was nowhere to be found to perform his duties. Thereafter, a Special Convention of DPP was called and it was held on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 in Abuja. The statutory notice was given to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and an INEC team, led by a National Commissioner, came as observers and monitors. For a convention to hold, there must be proper delegates from 22 states of the country. Delegates from 33 states attended the Convention. Among others, the Convention’s resolutions were: 1. That the DPP be dissolved and merged with other political parties to form the APC. 2. That the Acting National Chairman, Sir Olisaemeka Akamukali, become the National Chairman for the remaining period of the party’s existence, to oversee the proper and effective entrance of the party into the APC. A few days after the special convention, Delta State DPP met and curiously suspended Senator Ewherido and Akamukali, the new national chairman. That is what basically led to the current situation at hand. So, Oliomogbe’s assertion that control of DPP in Delta State is at the heart of the current crisis is not correct. It is public knowledge that Ogboru brought DPP to Delta State and the party structure is firmly in his grips. Ewherido has never tried and is not interested in taking over the control of Delta state executive of DPP. Even in the Ughelli South Local Government where Ewherido hails from, he is not in control of the party structure. DPP did not consult him before effecting the numerous changes in the party executive. We find shocking the use of the term “interloper” to describe the senator’s presence in DPP. Ewherido did not decamp “to DPP during the 2011 when political scheming was too hot to handle in PDP. And a magnanimous DPP gave him the platform to have a shot at the Senate

and he won,” as alleged by the writer. Ewherido joined DPP in 2010 (not 2011 as Oliomogbe wrote) shortly after the Appeal Court in Benin, Edo State, annulled the Delta State 2007 governorship election. Five minutes after the judgment, Ogboru called Ewherido to inform him of the new development and asked for his support to win the rerun, a request Ewherido obliged. To avoid the 2007 situation where Ewherido supported Ogboru even though he was still in PDP, he decided to join DPP with his supporters under the Delta Coalition for Change. Until 2010, Ewherido was playing siddon look politics. He was one of the contestants in the 2006 PDP governorship primaries. He was dissatisfied with the conduct of the primaries and withdrew from active politics after his tenure in the Delta State House of Assembly ended in 2007. Nobody or situation chased Ewherido out of PDP. He left on his freewill. All the key characters in PDP are still alive to corroborate this. Second, there was no magnanimity in Ewherido getting the Senate ticket on the DPP platform. When Ewherido joined DPP, his interest was mainly to help Ogboru win the governorship rerun. After the rerun, preparations started for the 2011 polls. Along the line, Lagosbased lawyer, Moses Odirri, implored Ewherido to contest the Delta Central Senate seat on the platform of DPP. Ewherido told Odirri he was not interested for reasons I do not want to delve into here, but Odirri persisted. After much pressure, Ewherido caved in to Odirri’s demand. Odirri thereafter discussed with Ogboru, who told Odirri that nobody else had indicated interest in the Senate seat and Ewherido would get the party’s Senate ticket unopposed. Olorogun Otega Emerhor later corroborated Odirri, before Ewherido again asked Ogboru and he confirmed what Odirri and Emerhor said. With no worries of primaries, Ewherido plunged himself headlong into Ogboru’s governorship campaign, following him everywhere. During this time, another aspirant’s campaign materials started surfacing all over Delta Central for the Senate seat. Ewherido drew Ogboru’s attention to it, but he told him not to worry. Ewherido, therefore, got the shock of his life when Ogboru informed him that there would be Senate primaries in two days. Ewherido was very angry and wanted to withdraw from the race, but refrained because he did not want to be seen as being afraid of his opponent. For the two days before the primaries, Ewherido traversed the length and breadth of Delta Central reaching out to delegates. To the glory of God, he won the primaries, but there were so many incidents on that day that made the Ewherido supporters feel that the primary was tailored to make their candidate fail. Therefore, where is the magnanimity in an unfulfilled promise and not informing a contestant of the decision to engage him in a contest of that magnitude until only 48 hours to the contest? I leave that to the reading public. Ewherido’s contest of the Senate seat on the platform of DPP was only incidental to his

being in DPP then to help Ogboru win the governorship. If Ogboru had not invited Ewherido to join him in the rerun project, Ewherido would not have switched to DPP. Ewherido is not a political opportunist. While he is not a pioneer member, he joined DPP when the party had no single elected member; not even a local government councilor. He participated in building the party to its current height. Even if you deny him any credit, you cannot deny the fact that it was only after Ewherido joined DPP that the party produced a senator, a House of Representatives member, who incidentally is from Ewherido’s federal constituency and a third of the Delta State House of Assembly members before the courts and defections depleted the number. Whatever disagreement Ewherido has with Ogboru has nothing to do with the 2015 governorship, or so we feel. It is basically on the way for-

ward. Having come close to winning the governorship election in Delta State twice, Ewherido feels the way forward is to team up with other political parties to have a formidable platform in Delta State for the 2015 elections. That is why he is in the forefront of the merger arrangement. But we do not really know what the other group wants. This minute, they claim APC, which DPP has successfully joined, rejected DPP’s application; the next minute, they claim ideological differences. Then at their last meeting, they now want to join APC and have set up a new committee to do that. At another time, they said they could not be talking about merger for 2015 when DPP is still in court over the 2011governorship election in Delta State. The question is: is it only the governorship election that is at stake in 2015? What about the elections to the state and federal legislatures? Is DPP all about Delta State only? Ewherido is too politically sophisticated to be part of such confusion. This man has won elections three times in two different political parties since 1999. This is not an easy feat in the Nigerian political terrain. He will not allow people (some have never contested an election, some cannot deliver their polling unit to their party in an election, some have never won an election, etc.) to lead him to political nowhere. Our chairman Akamukali was very (to use Oliomogbe’s word) magnanimous, during the special convention to say that those who do not want APC can choose their political direction without fear of suspension. But what did Delta DPP do? They went on to suspend the national chairman, Ewherido and others a few days later. That is the genesis of the current crisis. Finally, the photograph you used is not Ewherido’s. We shall be glad if the right photograph is used subsequently. • Mr. Iyasere is the Special Assistant to Senator Ewherido on Media.

Ewherido


THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

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Eight Die In Fresh Attacks IRAQ RESH outbreaks of violence in FpleIraq have left at least eight peodead, according to the police. In one attack, gunmen broke into a house in Baghdad and killed five people including a police officer, his wife and their two children. In another incident, gunmen kidnapped eight policemen at a checkpoint near Ramadi, west of Baghdad, officials say. The attacks came despite appeals for calm after the worst

day of sectarian violence in the country for months. At least 60 people died in three bombings in Sunni Muslim areas in and around Baghdad on Friday. The bombings followed deadly attacks on Shia targets across Iraq. Police said attackers stormed a house in the al-Rasheed district of Baghdad early on Saturday and shot dead anti-terrorism police Captain Adnan Ibrahim, his wife and two children, aged eight and 10. The gunmen then killed another policeman as they fled the area. In Basra, Sunni cleric Assad Nassir

was shot dead as he left his house, police said. Meanwhile, in the northern city of Mosul two Iraqi soldiers were killed and two others wounded

by a roadside bomb, officials said. On Friday, at least 41 people died when two bombs detonated outside a Sunni mosque in Baquba, about 50km (30 miles) north of

Baghdad. Another eight people were killed at a Sunni funeral in Madain and 14 more in two blasts in western Baghdad.

Woman Makes History By Reaching Everest Summit SAUDI ARABIA SAUDI woman has made history A by reaching the summit of the world’s highest mountain. Raha Moharrak, 25, not only became the first Saudi woman to attempt the climb but also the youngest Arab to make it to the top of Everest. She is part of a four-person expedition that also includes the first Qatari man and the first Palestinian man attempting to reach the summit. They are trying to raise $1m (£660,000) for education projects in

Nepal. Originally from Jeddah, Ms Moharrak is a university graduate currently based in Dubai. Coming from Saudi Arabia –– a conservative Muslim country where women’s rights are very restricted –– she had to break a lot of barriers to achieve her goal, her climb team said. A biography on the expedition website said convincing Ms Moharrak’s family to agree to her climb “was as great a challenge as the mountain itself”, though they fully support her now. “I really don’t care about being the first,” she was quoted as saying.

‘Pyongyang Fires Three Short-Range Missiles’ ORTH Korea has fired three N short-range missiles from its east coast, South Korea’s defence ministry said. Two missiles were fired yesterday morning and one in the afternoon, the ministry said in a statement. Officials at the ministry said they were “monitoring the situation and remain on alert”. The launches come at a time of stalemate between the two neighbours following weeks of high tension earlier this year. Yesterday’s missiles were fired in a north-east direction, and did not pose the same threat as the intermediate-range missiles Pyongyang was believed to have deployed along its coastline last month. It removed them from the launch site early in May, indicating a lowering of tension on the peninsula, a US official said. Such launches are routinely car-

SOUTH KOREA ried out by the Communist nation, the BBC’s Lucy Williamson reports from Seoul. Tensions were high last month amid threats from North Korea to attack Japanese, South Korean and US military targets in the region and restart a mothballed nuclear reactor that produced plutonium for its weapons programme. Pyongyang also shut down an emergency military hotline with South Korea, and withdrew some 53,000 workers from the Kaesong factory zone on its border with South Korea. The threats followed tough new UN sanctions imposed on North Korea in March after its third nuclear test, as well as annual USSouth Korea military drills that saw nuclear-capable B2 and B52 bombers flown over the Korean peninsula.

Pope Francis speaks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a private audience at the Vatican… yesterday.

Parliament Halts Debate On Women’s Rights Law AFGHANISTAN DEBATE by Afghan MPs about A beefing up a law to prevent violence against women has been halted amid angry scenes. Parliament’s speaker ended the

Hollande Signs Gay Marriage Bill Into Law RANCE’S president has signed Finginto law a controversial bill makthe country the ninth in Europe, and 14th globally, to legalise gay marriage. On Friday, the Constitutional Council rejected a challenge by the right-wing opposition, clearing the way for Francois Hollande to sign the bill. He said: “I have taken [the decision]; now it is time to respect the law of the Republic.” The first gay wedding could be held 10 days after the bill’s signing. But Parliamentary Relations Minister Alain Vidalies told French TV he expected the first ceremonies to take place “before July 1”. Hollande and his ruling Socialist Party have made the legislation their flagship social reform since being elected a year ago. After a tortured debate, the samesex marriage and adoption bill was adopted by France’s Senate and National Assembly last month. The bill was quickly challenged on constitutional grounds by the main right-wing opposition UMP party of former president Nicolas Sarkozy. But the Constitutional Council ruled on Friday that same-sex mar-

FRANCE riage “did not run contrary to any constitutional principles,” and that it did not infringe on “basic rights or liberties or national sovereignty”. It said the interest of the child would be paramount in adoption cases, cautioning that legalising same-sex adoption would not automatically mean the “right to a child”. Comedian Frigide Barjot, who has become a leading mouthpiece for the anti-gay marriage movement, denounced the ruling as “a provocation” and called for the campaign to continue. Scores of protesters took to the streets of Paris to voice their opposition to the ruling on Friday: previous, occasionally violent, demonstrations against the bill have drawn hundreds of thousands onto the streets. UMP President Jean-Francois Cope said he regretted the Constitutional Council’s decision but would respect it. Another senior UMP figure, Herve Mariton, said the party would come up with alternative proposals in 2017 that were “more respectful of the rights of children”. The anti-gay marriage lobby, backed

PHOTO: AFP

by the Catholic Church and conservative opposition, argues the bill will undermine an essential building block of society. Opinion polls have suggested that around 55-60 percent of French people support gay marriage, but only about 50 percent approve of gay adoption. France is now the 14th country to legalise gay marriage after New Zealand last month.

debate after 15 minutes after traditionalists called for the law to be scrapped. A law banning violence against women, child marriages and forced marriages was passed by presidential decree in 2009, but did not gain MPs’ approval. Hundreds of people have been jailed under the current law, introduced by President Hamid Karzai. The decision to seek parliamentary approval for the law had split women activists. Some had said opening it up for debate in parliament could pave the way for conservatives to amend it and weaken protection for women - or even throw it out altogether. One of those against the move was prominent MP Farkhunda Zahra Naderi. She told the BBC after yes-

terday’s events in parliament that her fears had been proved right. During the debate, mullahs and other traditionalist MPs accused President Karzai of acting against Islamic Sharia law by signing the decree in the first place. In particular, they demanded a change to the law so that men cannot be prosecuted for rape within marriage. One of those who had sought to enshrine the decree with parliamentary approval is leading MP Fawzia Koofi, who survived a Taliban ambush two years ago. She had worried that if the law did not have parliamentary backing it could be weakened as Afghan leaders attempt to pacify the Islamist Taliban movement.

Dozens Injured In Head-On Train Crash In Connecticut ORE than 60 people were M injured, at least two critically, after a head-on, rush-hour collision between two commuter trains near New York City. Hundreds of people were on the trains involved in Friday evening’s crash just outside Bridgeport, Connecticut. Officials said a train that left New York City’s Grand Central en route to New Haven, Connecticut, derailed then was hit by another train. Amtrak has suspended its service between New York and Boston.

UNITED STATES Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy said on Friday night that the front of one of the trains had been extensively damaged and its wheels were “sticking into the other train”. He said five people had received serious injuries, describing one person as being in a “very critical” condition. The two hospitals in Bridgeport that received the wounded said they were each treating one person in a critical condition. By yesterday morning, many of injured passengers had been released from hospi-

tal. Investigators are trying to find out what caused the crash, which happened shortly after 18:00 local time (22:00 GMT). Governor Malloy said he had no reason to believe it was anything other than an accident. Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph Gaudett said most of those hurt were walking wounded. “Everybody seemed pretty calm,” he told the Associated Press. “Everybody was thankful they didn’t get seriously hurt. They were anxious to get home to their families.”


THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, May 19, 2013

61

INTERNATIONAL POLITICS By Oghogho Obayuwana Foreign Affairs Editor

HIS week, Nigeria is taking the basket of its T age-long, newly reinvigorated, investment and economic cooperation drive to the corridors of the European Union (EU) in Brussels, Belgium. It is the 19th EU- Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Political dialogue which is being flagged off now by a much awaited ministerial meeting. Coming barely a week to the African Union (AU) summit and on the wings of the 4th Nigerian EU political dialogue, the convergence in the EU’s administrative hub is no doubt another timely crated sculpture meant among other regular matters, to remind the EU of what it should be doing with Nigeria and the entire West African sub-region. Granted that among other things, the NigeriaEU meeting will review the political dialogue and cooperation as contained in the “NigeriaEU Joint Way Forward”, the talks should also cover bilateral issues of peace and security, democracy, good government and human rights; migration and mobility; trade and investments; energy as well as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). But the ECOWASEU consultation meeting will, on another stroke, cover international issues, regional peace and security. The biennial ECOWAS-EU meeting will also review the community’s political and institutional developments and at the same time, the EU regional peace and security programme in West Africa and the Sahel including the effectiveness of the evolving ECOWAS architecture in this sphere; good governance, the rule of law and consolidation of democracy and emerging regional. What is Nigeria bringing to the table? Would the current effort bring back memories of the Luxemburg experience of 2010 where Nigeria merely made appeals in the area of support for its political process as well as security assistance to enable ECOWAS deal with the yawning flashpoints, which had then opened up in Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, Guinea Bissau and Guinea? Diplomatic watchers are of the conviction that the time has now come to settle once and for all, the lingering Economic Partnership Agreement between West Africa and the EU. The successful completion of the EPA agreement would define trade relations between the two Communities for the next 25 years. The EPA in the main is meant to bring about free trade between Europe and West Africa. The sub-regional community wants a counterpart Development Programme (DP) envisaging a $16 billion Euros to enable the sub-region protect its economies. The DP carries a 60-40-percentage protection; effectively protecting West African market from dumping while 40 percent is left for European goods import. But even the pressure currently mounted on some key leaders of West Africa to sign an instrument that is yet to assuage the fears of the unequalled and disadvantaged partner has reached feverish pitch. And if this happens, Nigeria and much of West African countries would practically be sleepwalking into the future and kiss goodbye to industrialisation. Returning to what Nigeria would bring unto the table, the minister of foreign affairs ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru who is leading this basket-bearing delegation, is expected to lay this bare in his presentation at the meeting where the EU’s current developments in Nigeria would be appraised including the efforts of government at tackling the challenges of terrorism and the implementation of the transformation agenda, which the federal government keeps saying would promote rapid economic development as the bedrock for Nigeria’s continued leadership role in west Africa. Nigeria is also billed to present the country’s perspective on regional peace and security, especially the situation in Mali, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry and Togo as well as other regional initiatives such as the post-2015 MDG agenda. It has to be recalled though, that the Nigeria-EU and the EU-ECOWAS negotiation processes have become a multilateral fora between all parties for the review and promotion of strategic partnership and constructive engagement between Nigeria, ECOWAS and the EU. But even countries which are not in the EU monetary zone but strategically related to Nigeria like the United Kingdom (UK) is already through its recent exertion in Nigeria setting what looks like a realistic agenda of cooperation with Nigeria using any multilateral plat-

Nigeria Takes Its Basket To The EU In Brussels form such as what the meeting in Brussels presents. Looking at the paradigm of its support for new development initiatives in Kano, the British Government Minister for International Development, Lynne Featherstone said last week that the challenges in Northern Nigeria for instance, needed a review of the current progress on already established development projects supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Swearing that the UK is committed to supporting Nigeria as it works to reduce poverty, he pointed particularly to northern Nigeria, (home to some 42 million people) which he said now faces “enormous development challenges. People are living under the national poverty line – 65% of the total across Nigeria. This is why the UK is tripling its assistance to Nigeria - 60% of which is now focused on northern Nigeria” Shockingly, he posited: “The economies of the Northern states are around half the size of those in the South. The UK is working with the Kano state government to promote inclusive growth, job creation and increased incomes. The investor handbook, produced by the Kano state government with technical assistance from the UK, will serve investors, exporters and businesses as a comprehensive and authoritative source of information on Kano State” The foreign Affairs minister would do well to take that Investor handbook to Brussels! As the Nigerian delegation steps foot on Brussels, the EU would be reminded that it had said last year that the spectre of terror bombings, threats and perceived general insecurity in Nigeria will not in any way halt the execution of economic development and community projects being embarked in Nigeria by the European Union. If anything, EU head of delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS Dr. David MacRae, had actually said, they may well act as a spur for the European block to “go into more states and do more”.

Mcrae

His statement was necessary then as speculations were rife then that the EU was considering pulling out of states made unsafe by the cavalier bombings currently going on in Nigeria. Last November, the EU revealed that it mapped out a strategy for security and development in the Sahel because if the increasing security threats in the area gets out of hand, most states in the area would be prone to high calibre terrorism. McRae in this regard, said,“...Yes, there is a problem and people have to be more vigilant. It will be cowardly for us to pullout of states that are suffering. In fact we should go into more states and do more. We are not going to be intimidated. We will do our best to protect ourselves but we will not allow terrorism to have the upper hand. ... there is a dialogue in process in this regard and we will continue talking with authorities here. As you know, terrorism is a global phenomenon and we are not going to allow it to defeat us so we will discuss and share experience, expertise to support the efforts of the government. And what we do are not the sort of things we want to talk openly about” Speaking on the protracted nature of the EPA and the growing misconception about the EU’s role and intention, he told The Guardian “The reports do not properly represent what we are trying to do. We are interested in promoting regional integration and we do recognise political borders in the efforts to develop single markets of goods and services. We want to offer the best trade advantage that we have. Now, we are concerned about reports that we want to free up the West African market for goods to come in without any restrictions. We recognise that there are certain areas that needs to be protected, need time to establish themselves. We are not moving in the direction of a free for all. That is not the way it happened in Europe. We do not want to destroy the nascent industries in West

Africa because we want more employment and diversification of the economies which is what the transformation agenda is all about” “Let me reaffirm that EPA provides for a number of protections aimed at reducing its potential negative impact to the very minimum while opening huge opportunity for the development and economic growth (including the creation of jobs) from which Nigeria, being the biggest player in the region, stands to gain more than any other ECOWAS country” He added. Maintaining that the development of the Country Strategic Paper (CSP) and the National Indicative Programme in the 10th Economic Development Fund (EDF) remains an ambitious step forward on development with the three focal areas of peace and security, governance and human rights as well as trade and regional integration, (for which 677 million Euros have been allocated for the period 2009-2013) he further disclosed that the EU is committing 98 million (about N20 billion) to support the justice, anticorruption and drug sectors in Nigeria with the overall objective of promoting good governance, enhancing transparency and accountability and combating corruption” Further on the Nigerian agenda, by the close of last year, Nigeria said it wants the EU to look beyond oil and gas and increase its investments in other critical sectors such as agriculture and mining while building on the 10th EU fund to diversify the Nigerian economy. When then visiting EU president and foreign affairs minister of Denmark Villy Soevndal came calling minister Ashiru stressed: “We need to work harder for better results on the issue of investments with the hope that all these would lead to mutually beneficial engagements in Nigeria” Following that particular parley, both sides harped on the big issue of trade and investment, agreeing in the end that the crucial importance of job creation, especially for youth necessitates economic diversification of exports and further development of the agricultural sector foreseen in the transformation agenda is an important component in ensuring sustained growth of the Nigerian economy and in fighting unemployment. Both sides also celebrated the fact then that the Danish shipping line Damask had opened shop in Nigeria since 1953.


TheGuardian

62 |Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sports Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Beckham:

Golden Boy Of World Football Bows Out In Style Never in the history of world football has one player had a lasting impression on fans like David Beckham did. Wherever he went, he had a strong followership and for 20 years, he thrilled fans with immense skill and dexterity. The former England captain made 115 appearances for his country and 394 for Manchester United, winning six Premier League titles and the Champions League before winning titles in Spain, U.S and France with Real Madrid, LA Galaxy and Paris St-Germain. Using agency report, ADEYINKA ADEDIPE profiles the iconic player who was not only popular on the football pitch but outside it. ORN May 2, 1975, David Robert Joseph Beckham (OBE) B played for Manchester United, Preston North End, Real Madrid, Milan, Los Angeles Galaxy, French Ligue 1 club, Paris Saint-Germain, and the England national team for which he holds the appearance record for an outfield player. He is also the first English player to win league titles in four countries. He announced his intention to retire at the end of the 2012/13 Ligue 1 season on May 16, 2013. Beckham’s professional career began with Manchester United, making his first-team debut in 1992 aged 17. With United, Beckham won six Premier League titles, the FA Cup twice, and the UEFA Champions League in 1999. He then played four seasons with Real Madrid, winning the La Liga championship in his final season with the club. In July 2007, Beckham signed a five-year contract with Major League Soccer club, Los Angeles Galaxy. While a Galaxy player, he spent two loan spells in Italy with AC Milan in 2009 and 2010. In international football, Beckham made his England debut on September 1, 1996 at the age of 21. He was captain for six years during which he played 58 times. He has 115 career appearances. Beckham has twice been runner-up for FIFA World Player of the Year and in 2004 was the world’s highest-paid footballer when taking into account salary and advertising deals. Beckham was the first British footballer to play 100 Champions League matches. When he joined the MLS in 2007, he was given the highest player salary in the league’s history of US$6.5m per year. He is married to Victoria Beckham and they have four children. In 2009, the couple’s joint wealth was estimated at

£125 million. Club career Manchester United ECKHAM was part of a group of young players who guided the club to win the FA Youth Cup in May 1992, with Beckham scoring in the second leg of the final against Crystal Palace. He made his first appearance for United’s first-team that year, as a substitute in a League Cup match against Brighton & Hove Albion, and signed his first professional contract shortly afterwards. On December 7, 1994, Beckham made his UEFA Champions League debut, scoring a goal in a 4–0 victory at home to Galatasaray in the final game of the group stage. However, this victory was of little use as they finished third out of four in their group behind FC Barcelona on goal difference. He then went to Preston North End on loan for part of the 1994/95 season to get some first team experience. He impressed, scoring two goals in five appearances, notably scoring directly from a corner kick. Beckham returned to Manchester and finally made his Premier League debut for Manchester United on April 2, 1995, in a goalless draw against Leeds United. He played four times for United in the league that season, as they finished second behind Blackburn Rovers and missed a third successive Premier League title by a single point. He was not in the squad for United’s FA Cup final clash with Everton on May 20, which they lost 1–0 and were left without a major trophy for the first time since 1989. In the 1998/99 season, he was part of the United team that won The Treble of the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions

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League, a unique feat in English football.     To ensure they would win the Premier League title, United needed to win their final league match of the season, at home to Tottenham Hotspur (with reports suggesting that the opposition would allow themselves to be easily beaten to prevent their deadly local rivals Arsenal from retaining the title), but Tottenham took an early lead in the match. Beckham scored the equaliser and United went on to win the match and the league. Beckham played in the centre of midfield in United’s win over Bayern Munich in the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final, since United’s first string centre-midfielders Paul Scholes and Roy Keane were suspended for the match. United were losing the match 1–0 at the end of normal time, but won the trophy by scoring two goals in injury time. Both of the goals came from corners taken by Beckham. Those crucial performances, coupled with great performances over the rest of the season, led to him finishing runner up to Rivaldo for 1999’s European Footballer of the Year and FIFA World Player of the Year awards. Beckham helped United retain the Premier League title in 1999/2000 by an 18-point margin – after being pushed by Arsenal and Leeds United for much of the season; United won their final 11 league games of the season, with Beckham scoring five goals during this fantastic run of form. He managed six league goals that season, and scored eight goals in all competitions. By the early 2000s, the relationship between Ferguson and Beckham had begun to deteriorate, possibly as a result of Beckham’s fame and commitments away from football. In 2000, Beckham was given permission to miss training to look after his son, Brooklyn, who had gastroenteritis, but Ferguson was furious when Victoria Beckham was photographed at a London Fashion Week event on the same night, claiming that Beckham would have been able to train if Victoria had looked after Brooklyn that day. He responded by fining Beckham the maximum amount that was permitted (two weeks’ wages – then £50,000) and dropping him for a crucial match against United’s rivals, Leeds United. He was a key player in United’s third successive league title in 2000/01 – only the fourth time that any club had achieved three league titles in a row. He scored nine goals that season, all in the Premier League. Following an injury early in the 2002/03 season, Beckham was unable to regain his place on the Manchester United team, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replacing him on the right side of midfield. His relationship with his manager deteriorated further on February 15, 2003 when, in the changing room following an FA Cup defeat to Arsenal, a furious Alex Ferguson kicked a boot that struck Beckham over the eye, causing a cut that required stitches.


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THe GUARDIAn Sunday, May 19, 2013

The incident led to a great deal of transfer speculation involving Beckham, with bookmakers offering odds on whether he or Ferguson would be first to leave the club. Although the team started the season badly, their results improved greatly from December onwards and they won the league, with Beckham managing a total of 11 goals in 52 games in all competitions. He was still a first-choice player for england, however, and was appointed an Officer of the Most excellent Order of the British empire (OBe) for services to football on June 13, 2003. At this point, Beckham had made 265 Premier league appearances for United and scored 61 goals. He also made 81 champions league appearances, scoring 15 goals. Beckham won six Premier League titles, two FA cups, one european cup, one Intercontinental cup, and one FA Youth cup in the space of 12 years. He was their joint second longest serving player behind Ryan Giggs (having joined them at the same time as nicky Butt, Gary neville and Paul Scholes). Real Madrid S the summer 2003 transfer window approached, Manchester United appeared keen to sell Beckham to Barcelona and the two clubs even announced that they reached a deal for Beckham’s transfer, but instead he joined reigning Spanish champions Real Madrid for €35 million on a four-year contract as the latest of the galáctico signings by club president Florentino Pérez. In the week before Beckham presentation, Real named carlos Queiroz as their new head coach, meaning that Beckham got reunited with a familiar face upon arriving Madrid, since Queiroz spent the previous season as Alex Ferguson’s assistant at Manchester United. Shortly after his Real switch, Beckham also ended his relationship with agent Tony Stephens of SFX europe, who had guided him through his career up until this point, including helping to engineer Beckham’s move from Manchester to Madrid. Beckham signed on with Simon Fuller and his company, 19 entertainment that already managed the career of David’s wife Victoria. Beckham also appointed close friend, Terry Byrne to be his personal manager In late August 2003, Real Madrid won the Spanish Super cup over two legs versus RcD Mallorca, with Beckham scoring the final goal in a 3–0 return leg win at home, thus setting the stage for the start of the league season. Real Madrid were runners-up in the copa del Rey, were knocked out of the UeFA champions League at the quarter-final stage and finished the league season in fourth place, meaning the team, whose president, Pérez expected to win either the Spanish league or the champions League each season, did not meet expectations. In July 2004, the league season began with new head coach José Antonio camacho behind the bench, but he ended up lasting only three matches, handing in his resignation as Real dropped to eighth spot in the La Liga standings. camacho’s assistant Mariano

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García Remón took over on temporary basis as Real leadership scrambled to find a permanent replacement. Beckham made more headlines on October 9, 2004 when he admitted intentionally fouling Ben Thatcher in an england match against Wales in order to get himself booked.   Beckham was due to receive a one-match suspension for his next caution, and had picked up an injury, which he knew would keep him out of england’s next match, so he deliberately fouled Thatcher in order to serve his suspension in a match that he would have had to miss anyway. The Football Association asked Beckham for an explanation for his actions and he admitted that he had “made a mistake” and apologised. By christmas of 2004, with the team sitting in second league spot, García Remón was gone, as Vanderlei Luxemburgo became the new head coach. However, the well-travelled Brazilian failed to inspire the team to the title, as Real again finished the season in the runner-up spot. On December 3, 2005, Beckham was sent off for the third time that season in a league match against Getafe cF. A day later, Luxemburgo got the axe and was replaced with Juan Ramón López caro. By the end of that season, Beckham led La Liga in number of assists. On 10 January 2007, after prolonged contract negotiations, Real Madrid’s sporting director, Predrag Mijatovi announced that Beckham would not remain at Real Madrid after the end of the season. However, he later claimed that he was misquoted and that he actually said that Beckham’s contract had not yet been renewed. On January 11, 2007, Beckham announced that he had signed a five-year deal to play for Los Angeles Galaxy, beginning 1 July 2007. A month after the conclusion of Beckham’s Real career, Forbes magazine reported that he had been the party primarily responsible for the team’s huge increase in merchandise sales, a total reported to top US$600 million during Beckham’s four years at the club.

total or $6.5 million per year. The high-profile acquisition paid immediate financial dividends for Galaxy long before Beckham joined the team. On the strength of the signing and the media frenzy it created, the club was able to pull off a new 5-year shirt sponsorship deal with Herbalife nutrition company worth US$20 million. The gate revenue peaked as well with 11,000 new season tickets holders and sold-out luxury suites (each one of the 42 inside the team’s home ground, the Home Depot center). even the LA Galaxy owners, Anschutz entertainment Group (AeG) saw an immediate spike in business. On July 12, despite still nursing the injured left ankle that he picked up a month earlier during the final match of La Liga’s season, Beckham made his Galaxy debut, coming on for Alan Gordon in the 78th minute of a 0–1 friendly loss to chelsea as part of the World Series of Soccer. The match’s added time featured a scare for already injured Beckham when he got tackled by Steve Sidwell, whose cleats struck Beckham’s right foot, sending him airborne before he crumpled hard to the ground. Though the existing injury was not aggravated, Beckham’s recovery process was set back by about a week. ESPN’s presentation of Beckham’s debut earned a 1.0 TV rating, meaning it was seen in an average of 947,000 television homes in the US – a disappointing figure given the national media buzz and two weeks of constant promotion by ESPN. For comparison, ESPN2’s weekly MLS broadcasts on Thursdays drew a consistent 0.2 rating on virtually no promotion, while Freddy Adu’s MLS debut televised on ABc back in 2004 earned a 1.3 rating. Beckham trained with Arsenal from January 4, 2008 for three weeks, until he returned to the Galaxy for pre-season training. Beckham scored his first league goal with the Galaxy on April 3 against the San Jose earthquakes in the ninth minute. On May 24, 2008, the Galaxy defeated the Kansas city Wizards 3–1, giving the Galaxy their first winning record in two years and moving the club into first place in the Western conference. In the match, Beckham scored an empty-net goal from 70 yards out. The goal marked the second time in Beckham’s career that he had scored from his own half, the other being a 1996 goal from the half-way line against Wimbledon at Selhurst Park. Overall, however, the Galaxy had a disappointing year, failing to qualify for the end-of-season play-offs. While stlll a Galaxy player, Beckham went on loan twice to Ac Milan in 2009 and 2010.

against Houston Dynamo, winning 1–0 on a goal by captain Landon Donovan, with support from Beckham and fellow designated player, Robbie Keane. Had it been Beckham’s final match for the Galaxy, it would have been the third time he has won a league championship in his final match for a club, repeating the feat he accomplished with Manchester United in 2003 and Real Madrid in 2007. Following the 2011 season, in which the Galaxy won their second consecutive Supporters’ Shield, having the second most points in MLS history, Beckham’s five-year contract with the Galaxy expired on December 31, 2011. Despite being 36, he stated that he did not intend to retire. Beckham was heavily linked with Paris Saint-Germain, but on January 28, 2012, Galaxy announced Beckham had signed a new twoyear contract to remain in Los Angeles. However, Beckham quit Galaxy despite having another year remaining on his contract. Paris Saint-Germain And Retirement n January 31, 2013, ahead of the transfer deadline, it was announced that Beckham would be undergoing a medical with Paris Saint-Germain, ahead of a potential move to the Ligue 1 side. He signed a five-month deal with the club later that afternoon and confirmed that his entire salary during his time in Paris would be donated to a local children’s charity. His Paris Saint Germain debut came on February 24, 2013, when he came off the bench in the 76th minute in a Ligue 1 home match against Olympique Marseille. This made him the 400th player in the history of the club. On May 12, 2013, Beckham won a fourth different top flight winners’ medal after PSG beat Lyon 1– 0 to claim the Ligue 1 title. On May 16, 2013, Beckham announced that he would retire from professional football at the end of that year’s French football season.

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International career ecKHAM made his first appearance for the Los Angeles Galaxy england national football team on ecKHAM’S involvement with Major League September 1, 1996 in a World cup qualifying Soccer began while he was still a Real match against Moldova. Madrid player, when it was confirmed on He had played in all of england’s qualifying January 11, 2007 that the world’s most famous matches for the 1998 World cup and was part footballer would be leaving Madrid in six of the england squad at the World cup finals months to join MLS’ Los Angeles Galaxy. The in France. He scored from a long-range free speculation about his new contract in Madrid kick in a 2–0 victory, which was his first goal was thus put to an end and the following day for england against columbia in the final Beckham’s official press conference took place group game. in conjunction with the 2007 MLS Super Draft. In the second round (last 16) of that competiPredictably, the announcement made top tion, he received a red card in england’s match news all across the globe. Though, many worldagainst Argentina. wide media outlets reported the deal to be Beckham, after having been fouled by Diego worth US$250 million, the astronomical figure MLS cup champion Simeone, kicked Simeone while lying on the ecKHAM finished his fifth MLS season on a floor, striking him on the calf muscle. He also was soon revealed to be something of a PR stunt high. On november 20, 2011, he joined an scored in the 2002 and 2006 World cup but engineered by Beckham’s media handlers, 19 entertainment. In order to maximise the media elite group of players to have won three missed the 2010 due to injury. league titles in three different countries, effect, in the press release, they decided to list Beckham was named in the provisional squad when Los Angeles won their third MLS cup the potential sum that Beckham could make to represent the Great Britain Olympic over the 5-year period from all his revenue football team at the 2012 Olympics. He sources, which in addition to his Galaxy was not included in the final selection by pay also include his personal manager Stuart Pearce. Hs final game for endorsements. Beckham’s actual england was against Belarus on October deal with the Galaxy was a 5-year 14, 2009 in a World cup qualifier. contract worth US$32.5 million in

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TheGuardian

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Atletico Madrid’s coach, Diego Simeone is tossed by his players as they celebrate after winning the Spanish King’s Cup (Copa del Rey) final match against Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid on Friday. Atletico Madrid won 2-1.

Kalu To Remain With Rizespor CHE Kalu has confirmed U that he will remain with Rizespor of Turkey for next season in spite of offers coming from other clubs in Europe. Kalu who scored nine goals from 12 matches before he got injured in January year has concluded all arrangements to rejoin the team who gained promotion to the elite division at the end of this season. The former Enyimba attacker was dropped from the Super Eagles camp in Portugal because of groin injury, but has fully recovered and has started training ahead of next season. Kalu’s lawyer, Chike Onyeacho told Goal that everything is working out right for the striker to return to the club after he could not finish the season because of injury. “Uche has decided that he will remain with the team for next season. A lot of clubs are coming for him but he opined that he likes Rizespor and they treated him very well while he was with them,” Onyeacho said. “He is presently in the country and came back with the contract they have prepared for him. I am studying what they have been able to offer him and I should get back to the team in the next one week. “Uche should know what is good for him. And since he has chosen to remain with Rizespor, we are going to support him.

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Bundesliga: Fortuna Go Down In Dramatic finale ORTUNA Dusseldorf were FBundesliga relegated from the yesterday afternoon as Hoffenheim and Augsburg staged final-day escape acts. Dusseldorf went down 3-0 at Hannover to finish the season second bottom of the table, with their two relegation rivals both ending their campaigns with victories. Mame Diouf put Hannover ahead in the 36th minute and Didier Ya Konan put the result beyond doubt with a

second-half double. The visitors could not muster any sort of response as their fifth straight defeat, and eighth in 10 league games, condemned them to an immediate return to the second tier. Hoffenheim, who started the day two points behind Dusseldorf, scored two late goals to win 2-1 at Champions League finalists, Borussia Dortmund and make the relegation play-offs. Things looked bleak for the

visitors when Robert Lewandowski put them behind after six minutes, but Sejad Salihovic equalised with a penalty in the 77th minute. Three minutes later Dortmund goalkeeper, Roman Weidenfeller saw red for bringing down Sven Schipplock when he was through on goal and, with no more substitutions left, winger Kevin Grosskreutz went in goal for the resulting penalty. Salihovic took it and

scored again, to complete the comeback. Hoffenheim now face Kaiserslautern, who came third in the second tier, in a two-legged play-off for the right to stay in the Bundesliga. Augsburg guaranteed their top-flight status with a 3-1 win at home to relegated Greuther Furth, a result which lifted them out of the bottom three for the first time all season. Tobias Werner put the hosts

This Is My Worst Season Ever, Mourinho Admits EAL Madrid coach, Jose R Mourinho remained noncommittal about where he will be next term after his side lost 2-1 in the Copa del Rey final against local rivals Atletico Madrid to round off the “worst season” of his life. Diego Costa’s first-half equaliser cancelled out Cristiano Ronaldo’s early

header at the Bernabeu, before Miranda’s extra-time goal delivered Atletico’s first victory over Real in 14 years. Madrid’s frustration told and, with Mourinho having been sent from the technical area during normal time, Ronaldo saw red in the 114th minute for kicking out at Atletico captain Gabi - who was himself dis-

missed in the frantic final minutes for a second bookable offence. The defeat rounded off a trophyless campaign for Real and Mourinho, disregarding the Spanish Supercopa, prompting the Portuguese to declare: “This is the worst season of my life.” Mourinho has been widely

tipped to return to Chelsea but reiterated that he would not make any announcement about his future until he has a meeting with the club president Florentino Perez at the end of the season. He said: “I have a contract here for three more years. I still haven’t sat down with the president to talk about the future.”

Published by Guardian Newspapers Limited, Rutam House, Isolo, Lagos Tel: 4489600, 2798269, 2798270, 07098147948, 07098147951 Fax: 4489712; Advert Hotline Lagos: 7736351, Abuja: 07098513445 All correspondence to Guardian Newspapers Limited, P.M.B. 1217, Oshodi, Lagos, Nigeria. (ISSN NO 0189-5125) Editor: E-mail letters@ngrguardiannews.com ABRAHAM OBOMEYOMA OGBODO • A member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation •ABC

ahead after 30 minutes after Edgar Prib had seen a penalty saved at the other end, and Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker made it two 10 minutes after the break. Florian Trinks made things nervous for Augsburg by halving the deficit just after the hour mark, but Ji Dongwon allowed them to breathe easy with a third 15 minutes from time. Schalke took the fourth and final Champions League place by winning what was effectively a play-off with Freiburg 2-1. Julian Draxler put the Royal Blues ahead after 20 minutes and, even though Jonathan Schmid levelled in the 54th minute, Julian Schuster’s own goal three minutes later handed victory to Schalke.

Results Augsburg 3 - 1 Greuther Furth Borussia Dortmund 1 - 2 Hoffenheim Eintracht Frankfurt 2 - 2 Wolfsburg Freiburg 1 - 2 Schalke Hamburg 0 - 1 Leverkusen Hannover 3 - 0 Fortuna Dusseldorf Monchengladbach 3 - 4 Bayern Munich Nurnberg 3 - 2 Werder Bremen Stuttgart 2 - 2 Mainz

Sun 19 May 2013 The Guardian Nigeria  

The Guardian Nigeria

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