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Ekiti ACN chair moved to Abuja over murder probe •Ruling party alleges intimidation
Protest in Akure over murder NEWS
•Constable shoots expectant mum
VOL. 8, NO. 2448 THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH
2015: No automatic tickets for Jonathan, governors Ogunlewe, Ogbemudia, Okiro chair varsity boards
Party set for NEC this month
•Na’Abba, Salisu Buhari, Adedoja, Etiebet, Muazu, others also listed
From Yusuf Alli and Yomi Odunuga, Abuja
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan and governors will not have the right of first refusal to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket for the 2015 election, the party said yesterday. There have been speculations that the party plans to amend its constitution for the President and governors to be offered the ticket first before throwing the race open - if they refuse to run. “The truth is that NEC (the National executive Committee) cannot seek such amendment. It is above the powers of NEC,” party spokesman Olisa Metuh said in Abuja. For such an issue, it must come to the National Convention. There is no proposal on the table. “Nobody in the Executive, nobody in the party has ever told me about the amendment on the Right of First Refusal. I have also not heard it from anybody. So, I have never heard, it has never been discussed. “As far as PDP constitution is concerned, there will be primaries for all those who want to contest for elective offices in 2015.” Metuh spoke also on the NEC meeting, saying party chairman Bamanga Tukur and members of the National Working Committee (NWC) have agreed to have a NEC meeting. The NEC meeting may hold this month. Likely to be on the agenda are issues affecting the party, including the crisis in Adamawa State, governors’ grouses, management of PDP, cases in court, removal of the National Secretary and two other NWC members and problems facing PDP in the Southwest. Continued on page 2
•A DEADL Y PR OTEST DEADLY PRO TEST:: An Indian protester self immolates at the Rajkot Municipal Corporation premises in Rajkot, some 210 kms from Ahmedabad...yesterday PHOTO: AFP
Private investors to take over Abuja, Lagos stadia
HE National Stadia in Abuja and Lagos are to be concessioned, the Federal Government said yesterday. Sports Minister Bolaji Abdullahi broke the news to State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan. Minister of Information Labaran Maku co-ordinated the briefing after Abdullahi and Minister of National Planning Dr. Shamsudeen Usman
From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
had briefed FEC on the performances and challenges of their ministries last year. Besides, the stadia in Abuja and Lagos, others to be concessioned include Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Oyo State, Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi State, Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna State and Akanu Ibiam Stadium, Enugu State. Abdullahi urged other state governments that have not applied to Continued on page 2
OME prominent citizens were named yesterday as chairmen and members of governing councils of the 21 Federal Government-owned universities. Among the chairmen are former Bauchi State Governor Adamu Muazu for Bayero University, Kano, Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia (University of Abuja), former Works Minister Sen. Adeseye Ogunlewe (Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta) and Chief Don Etiebet (University of Jos). Also listed are former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Prof. Ahmed Rufai Alkali for Federal University of Technology, Minna, former Inspector General of Police Mike Okiro, Champion publisher Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, former Speakers of the House of Representatives Salisu Buhari and Ghali Na’abba, Tunde Akogun, Taoheed Adedoja and John Nwodo. The appointments were announced in a statement signed by Secretary to the Government of the Federation Anyim Pius Anyim. The board, as constituted, are: Yahaya Mahamood
From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
(Chairman), Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi. Members are: Hajia Hauwa Bukar, Alhaji Isa Tafida Mafindi, Chief Mark Odua and Dr. Chinweokwu Anyamene-Okeke. Former Minister of Works Sen. Ade Ogunlewe is the Chairman of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. Members include Chief Kayode Akindele, Na’abba, Prof. Femi Otubanjo and Abba Dasuki. The Chairman of the Federal University of Agric, Makurdi, is Chief Chike Cletus Udenze. Members are Pivlumon Aminde, Princess Ethel Eweka, Rear Admiral Peter Ebheleme (rtd) and Abdul-Mujib Adetokunbo Mumuni. The chairman of theFederal University of Technology, Akure, is Alhaji Yarima Abdullahi. Members are Chief Joel Madaki, Lukman Erogbogbo, Hon. Jelani Mohammed Yauri and Benjamin Chijioke Nnaji. Mohammed Dewu is Continued on page 61 •The Special Guest of Honour, Prof. Wole Soyinka, cutting the tape, to open the Odu’a Hall of Fame and Museum at the Penthouse, 24th Floor, Cocoa House, Dugbe, Ibadan…yesterday. With him are the Managing Director, Odua Investment Company Limited, Jimoh Adebayo (right) and the company’s Chairman Mr. Sarafadeen Ali (left). PHOTO: FEMI ILESANMI
•SPORTS P23 •EDUCATION P25 •POLITICS P43 •N/HEALTH P45 •E-BUSINESS P47
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
NEWS 18 killed, nine injured in Abuja bus crash
T least 18 passengers died yesterday when two buses collided head-on in Abuja. Nine others sustained serious injuries, an official of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), whose name was not given, confirmed to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). According to the official, the accident occured along the Kwali-Gwagwalada road early yesterday when the driver of a public bus lost control and rammed into on-coming bus. All but one of the 18 passen-
gers of the first bus, including the driver, died on the spot. In all, 96 people, including 10 children, were involved in the crash, the FRSC said, urging motorists to avoid unnecessary night trips. The Kwali-GwagawaldaLokoja route linking the North to other parts of the country has become a death trap to travellers. Though the road is being expanded to make it safer, construction has dragged on for years.
Protest in Akure as police kill expectant mother •Former Head of State Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), signing a condolence register in honour of the late Prof. Chinua Achebe at the Nigerian High Commission in London…yesterday
2015: No automatic tickets for Jonathan, governors Continued from page 1
Metuh said neither Tukur nor any of its members would quit, despite the call on them to step aside by some aggrieved governors and party leaders. The party chief spoke at an interactive session with reporters in Abuja on the crisis rocking the party. Metuh said: “As the longest serving member of the NWC, I am a bit embarrassed as to be explaining this issue of nonconvening of NEC meeting. I agree, it is a constitutional issue that we should hold NEC meeting. But the embarrassment is to start explaining the breach of this constitution. We could not hold the NEC meeting because of what I may call force majure. “There was no way we could convene NEC meeting before now because we have had issues with the reconstitution of the BoT. Normally, before we can hold a NEC meeting, we must have BoT and National Caucus meetings. “But once the Easter break is over, I can authoritatively tell you that there will be NEC meeting. Definitely, not holding NEC meeting is not something we can be proud of.” Regarding plans to remove Tukur and NWC members, Metuh said “such a plot is imaginary.”
He added: “We are not embattled with the President; we are not embattled with the governors we are not embattled with the legislature; we are not embattled with the BoT. “This NWC has come to stay; it will conduct elections (primaries) for the 2015 polls; we will be in charge till our tenure ends in 2016. We understand all these issues because one or two decisions had been taken in the party. “Definitely, we are united in being together to project the ideals and vision of our founding fathers. “The NWC is under attack by non-party members, by people who are not at the helm of affairs of the party. “We have full confidence in the executive arm, we installed, the legislature, we enjoy the confidence of the governors of the PDP. We are in direct touch with them. We are, therefore, at a loss that there is an imaginary war against PDP. “These reports are orchestrated and calculated attempts to distract us. We want to appeal to the media and all Nigerians for more understanding and more objectivity in reporting and handling our affairs. “If no wrong decision has been taken by the party and
we read it in newspapers, it will affect the psyche of our members.” Responding to a question, Metuh said the court would determine the fate of the sacked National Secretary of the party, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, deposed National Vice-Chairman (Southwest) Segun Oni and a former National Auditor, Chief Bode Mustapha. He said: “I would have particularly wanted to speak on this but this is subjudice. As a lawyer, I am wary of making statements that might be contemptuous. “As NWC, we have no interest in who occupies a position. We were elected by PDP members; nobody can remove any member of the NWC. There are constitutionally laid down procedures for removing NWC members. “What has happened is causing serious concern to the NWC, BoT and the PDP Governors Forum. We all want to solve this crisis with whatever decision the court might talk out.” On the duplication of reconciliation plans by the NWC and the BoT, Metuh simply said: “The more, the merrier. We are happy with the reconciliation tours being done by the BoT headed by Chief Tony Anenih. It is different from the
one taken by the NWC. “The idea of reconciliation is to ensure that every single section is visited and every person is reconciled. The BoT members are trying on their own and the PDP Governors Forum will soon embark on something similar too.” In spite of the issues raised by Tukur and some NWC members, the PDP BoT chair continued his reconciliation tours with a visit to Sokoto State yesterday. He met with Governor Aliyu Wamakko and power brokers in the party. Anenih and his team have been targeting the Northwest because it is the stronghold of a former presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. A source said: “The target in the North is the Northwest where the opposition seems to have it stronghold. That is why Anenih and his team are putting in their best to reconcile the aggrieved governors and members in the zone. “I won’t tell you what was discussed behind closed doors but the governors in the zone are certainly cooperating.” There are fresh facts on why President Jonathan is in favour of reconciliation shuttles by Anenih and other BoT. Continued on page 61
N expectant mother, Mrs Seki Olajiga, was allegedly shot dead on Tuesday night by Mr. Abudu Longe, a police constable attached to Ijapo Police Station in Akure, the Ondo State capital. The development sparked violent protest in some parts of the state capital. They include: Ijapo, Oke-Ijebu and Plaza areas of the town. Longe and his colleagues were at the Ijapo/Oke -Ijebu junction, where they had been drafted for a traffic control duty. An eye-witness claimed that Longe’s A7 47 fell off his shoulder and started discharging bullets as he ran after a vehicle for an alleged tip. Mrs. Olajiga, one of the passengers in a commercial bus, was reportedly hit by stray bullets.
From Damisi Ojo,Akure
The police officers allegedly abandoned their duty post for safety. Mrs Olajiga, who was said to be eight-month-old pregnant. She reportedly died on the spot. The killer-cop was said to have carried her to a private hospital, where she was confirmed dead. Enraged by development, youths in the area mobilised and attacked Alonge when he returned to fetch his gun. The irate youths vandalised the police station at Ijapo and destroyed the gate, leading into the Estate. They sacked the officers on duty. Motorists passing through the Ijapo/Oke-Ijebu axis were forced to re-route their trips as the youths made bonfire to barContinued on page 61
Private investors to take over Abuja, Lagos stadia Continued from page 1
take over the management of the national stadia in their states to do so. To excel in future sporting activities, he said that the Sports Ministry is, apart from football, focusing on six of the 42 Sporting Federations, including Athletics, Taekwondo, Wrestling, Boxing, Shooting and Weightlifting. Abdullahi said: “The Enugu Stadium has been approved by the President for release to the Enugu State government. The Bauchi State government has applied to Mr President for us to release the Bauchi
Stadium to the Bauchi State government.” “So, we hope that other state governments will also take on other stadia because it is no longer possible for the Federal Government to continue to maintain these facilities.” “We will now be left with Lagos and Abuja. You will recall that last year, Mr President set up an inter-ministerial committee to come up with a sustainable plan for managing these two mega sporting structures.” He went on: “Since then, we Continued on page 61
Henry Okah: MEND threatens to relaunch attacks tomorrow
ILL the peace in oilrich Niger Delta be disrupted again? The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) threatened yesterday to launch what it called “a plague of sustained attacks, codenamed: Hurricane Exodus, as from tomorrow. But the Joint Task Force (JTF) warned the group against engaging in any form of confrontation with security operatives. The outlawed militants’ plan is to protest the sentencing of one of its leaders – Henry Okahto a 24-year jail term in a South African court over the October 1, 2010 twin-bomb blasts at the Eagle Square, Abuja. Twelve persons died in the blasts that disrupted the country’s golden independence anniversary. Okah, who hails from Amassoma in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, President Goodluck Jonathan’s home state, claimed responsibility for the attacks.
JTF to MEND: Don’t try it
HE Joint Task Force (JTF), in the Niger Delta codenamed Operation Pulo (oil) Shield, has a piece of advice for the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) on its latest threat. It urged members of the group yesterday to have a rethink on their plan to resume hostilities in the oil-rich Niger Delta over the 24-year jail term slammed on their leader, Mr Henry Okah, in South Africa. Okah was convicted on a three-count charge bothering on terrorism, including his involvement in the 2010 Independent Day twin-bomb explosions that rocked the Eagle Square, Abuja. The JTF warned the “threatening gang” that its men had been adequately mobilFrom Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
His claim countered the President’s statement that MEND was not the master-mind and that the Federal Government knew the promoters of the act. MEND, in an online statement issued by Jomo Gbomo,
From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
ised to tackle any upheaval. JTF spokesman Lt.-Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, who reacted to the MEND’s threat to resume an indefinite hostility tomorrow, said there was no justification for arms struggle in a free environment. MEND had in an online statement by its spokesman, Jomo Gbomo, announced a plan to begin attacks, codenamed: “Hurricane Exodus”, beginning from tomorrow. Lt.-Col. Nwachukwu, in a statement yesterday said: “Operation Pulo Shield has got wind of the threat, prior to the issuance of the statement today (yesterday) by some persons parading themselves as MEND. “Niger Deltans are not in any bondage and, therefore, do not require armed struggle or
declared that the attacks to be launched by “00.00 hrs” (midnight) tomorrow, would be sustained until the Federal Government an apologies and shows willingness for talks with the Boko Haram sect. The statement reads: “After a careful deliberation and other
emancipation, as claimed by this threatening gang. “What Niger Deltans are in a dire need of now is peace for sustainable development, having emerged from the dark days of turbulence in the region. Informed by this development, we have effected some redeployment, to tackle any upheaval. “This set of people is advised to toe the path of law and order in addressing whatever grievance they have and to desist from any action that will upset the peace and development of the Niger Delta.” The JTF urged the “good and peace-loving” people of Niger Delta to dissociate themselves, their communities and leadership from the “unwholesome” portrayed by MEND.
considerations, with effect from 00:00 hrs, Friday, 05 April, 2013, the MEND will commence with a plague of sustained attacks codenamed Hurricane Exodus. “Hurricane Exodus is a direct repercussion of a forged threat letter, contrived by the Nigerian and South African govern-
ments, purporting to have originated from MEND. The fake letter was used as evidence against Henry Okah, for which a thirteen-year sentence was passed. “To make matters worse, the prosecution’s second witness, Continued on page 61
ADVERT HOTLINES: 08023006969, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678
THE NATION THURSDAY APRIL 4, 2013
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
NEWS NATIONAL ARTS THEATRE
A National •Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi (left),Mrs. HID Awolowo (middle) and eldest surviving daughter of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Mrs. Tola Oyediran (right), when the governor visited the family house in Ikenne over the death of Chief Oluwole Awolowo...yesterday.
Stakeholders are suspicious of the new plan for the National Arts Theatre, Lagos. But, its management says an hotel and other facilities are being bulit in addition to the theatre.It, however, remains to be seen how this will transform the fortune of the monument, reports OZOLUA UHAKHEME
•The National Arts Theatre: Many of the tenants in its annex have been given quit notice in order to make way for a fivestar hotel to complement the theatre, which also needs serious facelift. PHOTOS: DAVID ADEJO
I • Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda cutting the tape to commission vehicles in Bauchi...yesterday. With them are Emir of Dass, Alhaji Usman Othman (left), Commissioner for Religion Affairs, Alhaji Salisu Barau (second right) and Chief Imam of Bauchi State, Alhaji Ahmed Baban-ina (right).
•From left: Secretary to the Government of Ekiti State (SSG) and National Vice-President, Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Alhaji (Dr) Ganiyu Owolabi, Chief of Staff to the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Yemi Adaramodu, his wife, Toyin, wife of the SSG, Dupe and National President, Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Alhaji Lateef Okunnu, during a presentation of National Merit Award to Owolabi, at the 7th triennial conference of the Society in Osogbo... yesterday.
•From left: Managing Director , Nigeria Medicinal Product Development Company (NMPD), Zainab. U. Sheriff , DirectorGeneral , NAFDAC, Dr. Pual Orhil and President Association of Nigeria Traditional Medicine Praticional (NANTMP) , H.R.H Prof. Thomas Omon Oleagbhiele, during the stakeholders’ meeting on ‘Regulation of Herbal Medicines in Nigferia’ organied by NAFDAC in Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS
TS opening 37 years ago was glorious. Its exterior is shaped like a military hat, perhaps because it was built by the military administration of the then Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, with a 5000-seater main hall, with a collapsible stage and two 700-800 capacity cinema halls, equipped with facilities for simultaneous translation of eight languages. Neglect and poor management by successive governments turned the elegant edifice into a symbol of ruin and decadence. The air conditioning system failed long ago. The toilets are disgusting and the halls, some with wobbly seats, are almost permanently dark, no thanks to epileptic power supply. The lawns have seen better years. Welcome to the National Arts Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, which, over the year, has sunk into dilapidation. In its heydays, it was the primary centre for the performing arts in the country. Despite a couple of interventions, the huge main bowl of the theatre is not what it was envisaged to be. Although ranked the largest in Africa, bigger than that of Durban and Cape Town in South Africa, the theatre has not been fully utilised since it was completed in 1976 in preparation for the Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) in 1977. The first attempt to rewrite the story of the theatre was in 2001. The then President Obasanjo announced plans to privatise it. This sparked off controversy in the arts community. Notable voices, including Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka were against the move. Actors and actresses staged a series of protests against the sell-off plans. There were arguments that buyers of the theatre would use it to enrich and not promote arts and culture. The plan was dumped. Now, it is resurfacing in another format. It all began when Edem Duke became the Minister of Culture and toured its facilities. During the tour, he was told by the theatre’s General Manager and CEO, Kabir Yusuf, that about N500 million would be needed to acquire a chiller for the humid main bowl, which was last used in 1994 for the screening of the late Hubert Ogunde’s famous film, Ayanmo. Perhaps sure that the Federal Government would not put such money into the edifice, the minster proposed
•To be demolished
that corporate Nigeria should step in to assist in restoring the glory of the theatre. Now, the plan is taking shape and it is trailed by controversy. On paper, the plan is to add a five-star hotel, a water restaurant and so on to the theatre. But some fear the whole edifice may be turned to an hotel, as reported yesterday by this paper. Yusuf yesterday said the Federal Government has no plan to turn the nation’s former number one event centre into a five-star hotel. He said, instead, government is implementing the business segment of the master-plan of the 37-yearold edifice. He said the National Arts Theatre would not be touched and would still remain and function as the nation’s foremost cultural and event venue. He said: “There is no issue of touching the National Theatre. What government is doing is to lease the landed properties surrounding the edifice to investors to develop. This is a way to save the theatre instead of outright sale. The facilities earmarked for the business phase of the complex, which is in tandem with the master-plan of the theatre include a five-star hotel, shopping mall, multi-level car park, land and water restaurants as well as offices. “Serious businessmen are showing strong interest in the land and we can’t leave it to miscreants. The current facilities on ground around the theatre cannot support the growth of the theatre. And we are sitting on gold.” Yusuf explained that on September 20, last year, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation inaugurated a committee comprising of representatives of the Ministry of Housing, the Infrastructure Regulation Commission
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
NEWS NATIONAL ARTS THEATRE
Arts Theatre in transition
•Marked for demolition
•This gallery may be spared
and the Surveyor-General to examine the viability of the master-plan of the National Arts Theatre. According to him, the committee recommended that the master-plan is viable only under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement. This, he said, necessitated a memo to the Presidency for approval, which was granted. “Based on the approval, the management sought a consortium that will lead with an outline briefcase,” he noted, adding that next week the consortium would roll out its outline briefcase after which the various projects would be made public for investors to bid. He added: “All the preliminary works would be wrapped up in three months.” He stated that following the approval from the Presidency, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation issued a quit notice to all parastatals and agencies under the ministry whose liaison offices and stations are within the affected land of the National Theatre. He said all the affected agencies, such as National Gallery of Art, National Council for Arts and Culture, have their headquarters in Abuja. “What they have here are stations that are built as temporary office accommodation. But the National Gallery of Art outlet within the theatre will not be affected because it will be useful to tourists to the theatre,” he added. Continuing, he said: “In the whole world, there is no country where a theatre stands alone, for example, that of Cairo in Egypt. There should be associated facilities around the theatre to complement its services. Unfortunately, the facilities around our theatre are nothing but shanties and they diminish the status of the theatre. The only facility we al-
•A relaxation spot to be demolished
‘ There is no issue of touching the National Theatre. What government is doing is to lease the landed properties surrounding the edifice to investors to develop. This is a way to save the theatre instead of outright sale
lowed is the Metro Station of the Lagos State government, which is approved by Federal Government.” The minster’s letter on the development reads: “The President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, has approved the development of the National Theatre Land in accordance with the original Masterplan with infrastructures (sic) which include, but not limited to a Five-Star Hotel, Shopping Mall, Multi-Level Car Park, Land and Water Restaurant, offices. “Consequently, a Transaction Advisor was engaged, to, among others give Transaction Advisory Services for the application of Public-Private Partnership option for the delivery of the necessary services on the land. “Please recall that the inevitability of relocating your office was discussed at the
meeting I had with you on this development on 5th of March, 2013 in Lagos . “To this effect, you are hereby advised to relocate your office within two (2) weeks to an alternative location as suggested at the meeting, so as to pave (sic) way for the development that is to be situated where your office is currently located. “Please note that this relocation is temporary as the structures that will eventually provide accommodation for your operations are being envisaged under the new arraignment. “As we solicit for your understanding and cooperation, we assure you that the efforts of the government in providing these infrastructural facilities as complementary to the National Theatre, as it is with other theatres in other parts of the world will be a thing of pride when completed. Please accept the assurances of my best regards.”
On Monday, a source told The Nation: "They are talking of expansion under PPP arrangement, but we are suspecting that they want to convert the National Theatre Complex into a hotel. If their plan is to expand infrastructure in the complex, why will they ask vital agencies to relocate from the place within two weeks. "Nigerians should ask the Minister to tell them when the PPP arrangement was mooted, the recommendations of Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC), and how a transaction advisor was appointed. “As we are talking now, there are no records to show that the matter was tabled for approval by the Federal Executive Council. “Some people are just trying to create a crisis for the administration of Jonathan. We are suspecting foul play because an investor from the Niger Delta has been linked with the project." Another source added: "Again, they are trying to shortchange the SouthWest which is already protesting against marginalisation. They are acting a script to do away with the National Arts Theatre, which was built by Obasanjo. "Even if Obasanjo is no longer a good man in their books, the national heritage he constructed should not be wasted." On how the development of the landed property would impact on the theatre, Yusuf said: “Whatever will be realised from the lease would be ploughed into renovating the main bowl, which has a 6,500 sitting capacity. The repair of the main bowl, which is the biggest in Africa and Middle East
will cost billions of naira.” There was, however, uneasy calm at the National Gallery of Art, the National Council for Arts and Culture, National Institute for Cultural Orientation, the Artists Village, Universal Studio of Artists (USA) and the popular Abe Igi (cluster of bars) as workers were seen reading The Nation and discussing the quit order. In a telephone interview, one of the affected CEOs described the twomonth notice as unrealistic because government has not provided the affected agencies with any alternative office accommodation. “We are civil servants and Nigerians. For me, it is the most draconian of any law in recent time. We are in a democracy and am sure the National Assembly may be unaware of this development,” she said. The artists at the USA, who claimed they have not been served the notice, said they had paid for this year. A sculptor Fidelis Odogwu, said: “We hope the notice will not affect our studio because the management of the theatre has not discussed such with us. In fact, we pay our rent as tenant of the National Theatre. And we have paid for this year.” At the NGA and NCAC, the joint Art Craft and Décor Fair which opened on March 28 at the National Gallery of Crafts and Design, and Aina Onabolu Building is still running. It is believed that the demolition of the buildings will be carried out as soon as the preferred investors are chosen. Time will tell, however, if the theatre will be the better for the new deal.
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
CITYBEATS LINE: 07059022999
Our exploits, by bank robbers
HREE suspected robbery kingpins arrested by the police in Lagos have been singing like birds in custody. The suspects said to be leaders of three different gangs that specialise in robbing banks in Lagos and other Southwest states. They were caught by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) last Friday. Christian Joshua, 30, Fasasi Jamiu, 42, and Ifeanyi Douglas, 27, are being interrogated by detectives. Joshua claims that he sells second-hand clothing at Misabo market, Cotonou, Benin Republic. Jamiu, an indigene of Igbaja in Kwara State, says he is into haulage business, adding that some of his trucks convey containers from Apapa Wharf to Abuja. He said he also owns a shop at Mandilas, Garba Square in Victoria Island. Douglas, who says he is an indigene of Ohaukwu in Ebonyi State, told investigators that he is an apprentice trader in a provision store at Ijebu Igbo in Ogun State. Two others, Sunday Felix and 'Asiwaju' , referred to as directors in the line of business, are still at large. Joshua said: "My role is to conceal the gang's weapons in our operational vehicle and bring them out and supply gang members at the scene of crime. Though I am the gang's armourer, I used to follow them to rob because gang members are liars. They lie a lot. If you are not there, they may not give you a dime. They can realise millions of naira and come back to tell you that they did not get a kobo, or that the operation was not successful. They are very greedy people. I don't trust them. It was one Rasheed who brought the two AK47 rifles and put them in a hole in a Toyota bus. "I participated in five bank robberies in Southwest state. I made millions
By Ebele Boniface
of naira, but believe me, I did not invest or save a kobo. I spent the money on drugs, drinks, women and hotel accommodation or lodging. There was a time we gave the two AK47 rifles to one Pastor Ibikunle who prays for gangs for their operations to be successful, but he converted the rifles and gave them out to another gang that operated at Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja on March 13. He was paid millions of naira but he did not give any money to our gang." He said: "I belong to the gang that specialised in attacking bank bullion vehicles. The one we blocked at Dopola Junction, Lagos, off Shagamu, were executed by eight of us. I got N150, 000 only. I am still with the money. I have not spent a kobo out of it. If the police assure me of my release, I will tell them where I kept the money, but they must first release me and see what I can do. "I have never killed any policeman in all the operations I participated in. The worst we have done is to collect rifles from them, tie their hands and feet or lock them up inside a room for as long as the operation lasted. We don't like killing policemen because it makes the government and police authorities to take armed robbery case seriously. Moreover, policemen on bank duties panic a lot and any slightest sign of bank robbers makes them to run into hiding. Only SARS operatives have the courage to confront robbers." Jamiu said he went into armed robbery because he lost everything he had worked for in life when his shop got burnt. He sai: "I got frustrated and started thinking of what to do to survive since nobody was ready to assist me. That
•The three suspects
‘I have never killed any policeman. The worst we have done is to collect rifles from them, tie their hands and feet or lock them up inside a room for as long as the operation lasted. We don't like killing policemen because it makes the government and police authorities to take armed robbery case seriously’ was how I met a friend, Paul. After narrating my problems to him, he said he would teach me how to fish. He told me that they had a plan to rob a bank and if they succeeded, it would take them to a higher level in life. He asked me to follow him if I wanted and I did because I needed money badly. Luckily, the operation was successful and the gang got over
N10million from the bank, that day. "We were 13; they gave me N150, 000 and I was happy. The operation was smooth and successful. No policeman was killed. The operation was carried out around 5.00pm in First Bank and Union Bank on the same Street in Oro, Kwara State that same day, January this year. Only two of the bank workers were inside when we entered. My role that day was to help pack the money into our vehicle". Douglas said: "We robbed a bank in Osun State last year. I did not know the actual amount we got, but I was given N380, 000. We were about 13 of us in the First Bank robbery. It was our first operation. I used my own share of the money to pay the hospital bill of my sister, Chinyere Douglas. The hospital bill was about N120, 000. She had an operation for appendicitis which later developed complications, hence the huge bill that I paid. "We also robbed Wema Bank and I nearly died in that operation because they alerted SARS operatives who engaged us in a shoot-out. I still have N80, 000 in my Diamond Bank account. I used the balance to help myself in feeding well." On how he was arrested, he said:
•Lagos State Police Commissioner Umar Manko "When Jamiu called me on phone that there was another job that would fetch me at least N5million, I was so excited that I continued to worry him to know when we would go on the operation. I was so impatient that the following day, I was the one who called to ask him how far with the planned operation and he asked me where I was and I told him that I was in Ijebu Ode. He said he was coming to meet me and take me to where others were. When I saw him, I was so happy, but before I knew it, I was arrested by SARS operatives led by SP Abba Kyari."
Foundation offers free medical services
non-governmental organisation, Genotype Foundation, has offered free medical services to Lagos people. Besides, it gave people the opportunity for voluntary blood donation. Beneficiaries enjoyed free eye test with eye glasses. They were tested for HIV, genotype and blood group, blood pressure, weight and height, among others. It was during a free medical screening/ blood donation drive and counselling for sickle cell patients organised by the organisation in collaboration with Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service (LSBTS). Its executive director, Mrs Doris Gbemiloye, who lamented on the inability of Nigerians to observe regular medical checks, noted that the gesture to safeguard people's health. "Our aim in this foundation is to help people to stay healthy, most especially sickle cell patients. We want
By Olatunde Odebiyi
to contribute our quota to making life better for sickle cell patients and ensuring reduction to new births of sickle cell," she explained. She said that the assists sickle cell patients whenever they need help, adding: "We encourage people to donate blood regularly in a spate of three to four months. This is because sickle cell patients sometimes fall into crisis when they need blood to remain alive. Such instances, she said, include, accident, bleeding during delivery and blood Mrs Olatunde Olubunmi, a member of the group, who donated blood, urged Nigerians to cultivate the habit of voluntary blood donation to reduce death rate in the country, Jimoh Ayo Ade, another blood donor, said blood donation would help doctors to render quick and quality service to victims.
•Blood donors during the exercise
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Two arrested for N1.5m theft at Lagos airport
WO passengers on an Abujabound MedView Airline flight were yesterday arrested for allegedly attempting to steal N1.5million from the aircraft's hand luggage compartment. They were arrested by security officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), following an alarm raised by the owner of the money whose luggage was tempered with. FAAN's General Manager, Corporate Communications, Mr Yakubu Dati, said the flight was scheduled to leave the Murtala Mohammed
By Kelvin Osa Okunbor
Airport Ikeja (MMA 2) for Abuja at 9.00am, but was delayed because of the incident. Dati said FAAN's security personnel's attention was drawn to the aircraft by the airline's crew. The passengers who were suspected by the owner of the luggage were searched and the money was found on them. The suspects, Dati said, were taken away and were undergoing interrogation at FAAN's Crime Investigation Bureau. They will be
handed over to the police after investigation. Dati said: "FAAN wishes to assure the public, especially passengers, that people engaged in nefarious activities at our airports, will no longer find life comfortable at our airports, as adequate security measures have been put in place to make our airports safer." Sources at the airport said the suspects trailed the owner of the money from the bank where he collected the cash, to the airport. On arrival at the airport, the suspects were said to have monitored
him to Medview Airlines’ counter, where they bought tickets and asked the counter staff to give them seats close to the unsuspecting passenger. A source said when the suspects stood up to steal the money from the overhead cabin compartment, the owner observed that his bag was open and his money had disappeared. He quickly raised an alarm. In the ensuing melee, the pilot directed that the aircraft could not take off, until some security checks were carried out, which led to the discovery of the money on the suspects' seats.
PHOTO: OLATUNDE ODEBIYI
Monarch warns subjects over ceremony THE traditional leader of the Ilaje community in Bariga area of Lagos State, Chief Kayode Aiyetiwa, has urged members of the public to ignore a purported invitation by some "unscrupulous agents" to an Ilaje Day celebration at Bariga fixed for April 7. In a statement yesterday, Baale Aiyetiwa urged the public to disregard such invitation because it never emanated from him and that that celebration may be used by hoodlums to destabilise the community.
THE NATION THURSDAY APRIL 4, 2013
NEWS Jonathan, Akume congratulate Oshiomhole at 60 From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan and Senate Minority Leader George Akume are among those who congratulated Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole yesterday on his birthday. The ‘Comrade Governor’ turns 60 today. Jonathan and Senator Akume acknowledged Oshiomhole’s contributions to democracy and activism. Their birthday messages were contained in statements signed by their spokesmen Dr Reuben Abati and Mrs Beckie Orpi. The President’s message, in a letter to Oshiomhole reads: “The governor has ‘lived a remarkable and eventful life’ in trade unionism, politics and governance at the highest levels, ‘with the common thread of the ideals of unyielding rectitude, selfless service and unwavering commitment to the welfare and well-being of the common man’. “The President said Nigeria needs ‘the recommitment of men and women of goodwill and committed patriots like you in our quest for national transformation and entrenchment of peace and stability. “President Jonathan said he was confident that Oshiomhole, can always be counted upon to continue to give yourself in the national interest’, and wished him ‘many more years of God’s abundance and personal fulfillment. Akume recommended Edo helmsman as a model for good governance. Senator Akume acknowledged the landmarks of Oshiomhole’s administration. Mrs Orpi quoted her boss as saying: “He (Oshiomhole) has endeared himself to the people of Edo State with his sterling performamnce. He is a pride to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the progressive movement and the Nigerian workers. “Like other ACN governors, Oshiomhole has shown to Nigerians what good governance is all about.”
Alleged directive on Tinubu, APC fictitious, says Presidency T
HE Presidency yesterday denied the report that it directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to register the opposition’s new party - the All Progressives Congress (APC). A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, entitled: Concerning the Fake Bromide of an Alleged Presidential Directive, the Presidency said it did not issue such directive and was not thinking of doing so. It stressed that the publication was put together at a roadside business centre. Abati urged Nigerians to be wary of such tactic, which might undermine the administration by “creatively espousing imaginary fault lines, with the aid of fake documents to create doubt, fear and disbelief in the minds of citizens and true patriots”. The statement reads: “It is worth pointing out, again, that what is being bandied around by a section of the media as a ‘Presidential Directive’ on Tinubu, APC and other matters, is fictitious; it is designed
From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja and Eric Ikhilae
to mislead the public, discredit the person and office of President Goodluck Jonathan and cause disaffection within the polity.” “Careful examination reveals a mishmash of deliberately arranged and concocted lies, presented to the public as evidence of a document emanating from the Presidency. This is not only dubious but raises concerns as to the length certain persons will go to perpetuate falsehood for the sake of their selfish ambitions.” “Several interpretations of the purported Presidential directive appear to have been granted prominence by an alltoo-negative segment of the media, supported by partisan political jobbers all on the premise of a suspicious-looking “bromide”. “The Presidency affirms that no such directive was ever conceived nor was any such direc-
tive put forth by President Goodluck Jonathan or his aides. It is ironic that this is coming at a time, when the President is actively engaged in serious discussions with various interest groups on how to further deepen the democratic experience as well as the key issue of how to build an economically viable federation.” “Nigerians should be wary of such tactic of old, one that seeks to undermine a current administration by creatively espousing imaginary fault lines, with the aid of fake documents to create doubt, fear and disbelief in the minds of citizens and true patriots. We unequivocally state that in this case, as in others that may follow the same path, the Goodluck Jonathan administration has no desire to create any inhibitions to the expression of democratic ideas in the country.” It added. The went on: “With regards to the imaginary ‘Presidential directive’ released to hoodwink the general public, the
government is confident that the discerning public is well aware that this purported document is alien to how things are done within this Presidency.” “The physical quality of the unsigned document published today with jagged and irregular edges (which make a mockery of both presidential correspondences and the quality of attention paid to sensitive issues and development-oriented policies of government) should signpost the level of desperation by those who seek to mislead the enlightened electorate of the Federal Republic.” “The publication of this spurious document (which was to all intents and purposes hurriedly put together in a roadside business centre!) and the passing-off of same by some media entities should serve as an index on their credibility and sovereign interest. This government believes that the media – print and electronic – has a
•Members of the Nigerian Army School of Public Relations and Information (NASPRI), Bonny Camp Cantonment, Lagos, when they visited the Corporate headquarters of Vintage Press Limited, publishers of The Nation in Lagos...yesterday. With them are The Nation’s General Manager, Public Affairs and Training, Mr Soji Omotunde (eighth left) and Online Editor, Mr Lekan Otufodunrin (10th left). PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS
Mixed reactions trail ‘scrapping’ of NECO
ARENTS and secondary school pupils yesterday expressed mixed feelings on the alleged scrapping of the National Examination Council (NECO). The Federal Government had resolved to scrap some of its agencies in line with recommendations of the Stephen Oronsaye-led Presidential Committee on Rationalisation and Restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies. Mr Akin Amugiri, a parent, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the plan to scrap NECO would hamper the smooth foundation already laid down in the education sector. “Instead of having the monopoly of West Africa Examination Council (WAEC), the coming of NECO has helped to bring about a new reign. “It helped to expand the
significant role to play in educating, enlightening and empowering the populace and will continue to support all organizations to do this even as it retains the discretion and responsibility to expose specific institutions that perpetuate falsehood on the sovereign.” “The President remains committed to providing good governance to the nation, even in the face of the most uncharitable criticism by people desirous of a chaotic environment for them to thrive. This, we accept as part of a civil engagement between elected officials and the citizenry.” “The public and our esteemed crop of journalists are humbly requested to be wary of lurking mischief makers who parade themselves under different garbs and push forth information that should best be ignored, or clarified in the best tradition of the journalism profession.” “We reaffirm that the so-called “Bromide of the presidential directive” is false and inconsistent with the governance ethos of the present administration,” it said.
•Fear grips NECO officials over proposed plan From Jide Orintunsin, Minna
space for candidates who wish to write examination at that level to have an alternative. “It has provided an alternative rather than just one single examination body and it has created that multiplicity, inclusion and hope to candidates who want to gain admission into university,’’ he said. Amugiri said the scrapping of NECO would be like returning to status quo, where people would wait for a long time before results would be released. According to him, I think the best way is to fashion out ways of making NECO work better than an outright scrapping.’’ He noted that before the scrapping of NECO, other plans should be put in place to give hope to candidates at that level.
He said: “WAEC as the name implies belongs to the entire West African region and Nigeria’s education system cannot be the same in every country. He said that Nigeria had not got its education sector right, adding that “until the country gets there, NECO should not be scrapped. “We still need organisations like NECO to help us reflect the peculiarity of our situation as a nation.’’ Mrs Edith Okafor, however, said the scrapping of NECO was a good initiative. According to her, NECO is a duplication of WAEC efforts. I see WAEC as a wide sphere than NECO and more authentic. “Pupils seem to pass NECO more than WAEC which is an indication that it is not well regulated,’’ Okafor said. A pupil, Miss Adelewa Adeniyi, said the scrapping
of NECO would affect the majority of pupils who relied on the organisation’s certificates. She said: “most pupils who fail the WAEC always rely on NECO as an alternative to move forward in their quest to acquire education.’’ Another pupil, Miss Anthonia Okon, urged government to recede the decision to scrap NECO. She said the scrapping of NECO would frustrate youths who depend on the body. Mr Ezenwa Nwagwu, the Chairman of Save Education, a non-governmental organisation, said that government’s decision to scrap NECO was aimed at saving cost. Nwagwu, however, said the decision did not consider the plight of the millions of pupils who depend on the body to move for-
ward. “Scrapping NECO is not necessary as it will allow WAEC to have a monopoly of examinations in West Africa, and Nigeria, in particular,’’ she said. Officials of the Minna, Niger State office of NECO now live in fear following the government’s plan to axe the examination body. Majority of them were seen yesterday discussing in groups what may become of their fate should the Federal Government make good its plan. The Registrar and the Chief Executive Officer of the Council, Prof Promise Okpala, could not be reached. Other officers declined comments. But a senior staff, who spoke in confidence, said the workers had not received a copy of the report or a formal directive from the Federal Government. ‘’As you can see, people reported for work today and we all attended to our schedules. It is true the report came to us as a surprise,” he said.
NBA backs amnesty for Boko Haram By Eric Ikhilae
HE Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) yesterday supported the call for amnesty for the extremist group, Boko Haram. Its president Mr. Okey Wali (SAN) spoke in a telephone interview yesterday. He said his association’s call for amnesty was informed by the Federal Government’s inability to initiate an effective measure of halting the group’s activities. Wali said there must be an end to the killings of innocent citizens. He added that the government needed to heed the call for amnesty by prominent Nigerians, including the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar. He said: “The NBA feels that government needs to listen to some responsible and reasonable citizens who have called for amnesty for the Boko Haram members.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
Soyinka inaugurates Odu’a Hall of Fame and Museum
OBEL Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka yesterday inaugurated the Odu’a Hall of Fame and Museum, a historical and artistic centre established by the Odu’a Investments Limited. The centre is located on the 24th floor of the Cocoa House in Dugbe, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. Soyinka was given the first Obafemi Awolowo Leadership Award by the Odu’a Investments Limited at the event. Also celebrated were the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo; the late Chief Samuel Akintola; the late Chief Moshood Abiola; the late Rashidi Yekini, Chief Folake Solanke (SAN), the late Madam Olufunlayo Ransome-Kuti and the late Nojim Mayegun, among others. His arrival at the historical Cocoa House caused a stir, as passers-by and people inside the tall building milled around to catch a glimpse of him. Soyinka; the Group Managing Director of the Odu’a Investments Limited, Mr. Adebayo Jimoh and a former Chairman of the conglomerate, Chief Julius Adelusi-
•Nobel Laureate receives first Obafemi Awolowo Leadership Award From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
Adeluyi, urged the Yoruba to promote and preserve their culture, language and artefacts for the younger generation. At the ceremony were: the Chairman of the conglomerate Alhaji Sarafadeen Alli; renowned writer of Yoruba drama and prose Prof. Akinwumi Isola; Prof. Oladipo Akinkugbe; Prof. Bimpe Aboyade; Mr. Tunde Kelani; Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan (UI) Prof. Isaac Adewole; UI’s Registrar Mr. Jimi Olukoya; Prof. Oladapo Afolabi; Chief Yemi Elebuibon; Chief Folake Solanke (SAN) and Yoruba actors, among others. Soyinka described the museum as an indication of the revival of fading Yoruba values, rich history and artefacts. Recalling the deteriorating condition of the Cocoa House in the 1980s and 90s, the Nobel Laureate praised the company’s GMD for renovating the building. He said: “Cocoa House is one of the first achievements of the Yoruba in Nigeria.
This area used to be the centre of arts and Yoruba culture. But when Nigeria went into a downward spin, the Cocoa House and UI also did. The deterioration was much. Everything decayed and the famous Cocoa House could not save itself. But what we are seeing now impresses me. This Cocoa House is the contemporary Oranmiyan staff for the Yoruba.” Soyinka poured encomiums on Jimoh and expressed confidence in his ability to turn things around for the better, having known him for several years for excellent service. He said: “Thank you for resurrecting what is important to us as Yoruba.” Explaining the reason for establishing the centre, the GMD said: “The Odu’a Museum and Hall of Fame was conceptualised by the Odu’a Investment Limited to reflect a classical gild of history, technology, people, culture, arts and crafts as they relate to occupation and the ingenuity of the past. “The idea of putting up the centre has been on the mind
of the Board and Management of Odu’a, as we believe many people have lost touch with the past, most especially as it relates to our culture and the contribution of our forefathers to our nation’s growth. “Odua put this museum in place to showcase objects of historical and artistic values to the Yoruba. The exhibition of artifacts in the Museum will be an eye-opener to researchers, visitors, pupils and tourists. “The Museum exhibits ethnographic collections on Yoruba pottery, royalty, traditional musical instruments, Yoruba warfare instruments, indigenous weaving materials, arts and crafts. “The centre is equipped with audiovisual displays and documentaries of distinguished individuals, who have contributed immensely to the growth of the nation and those who stand out in their chosen fields. “The personalities who find their names in the Odu’a Hall of Fame have scaled through the conditions set out for making them eligible. These conditions include the
following: an inductee must be Yoruba; must be first in his/her areas of endeavour; his/her achievements must have uplifted the Yoruba nation and Nigeria; and the Omoluabi concept must be evident in his/her dealings.” Adelusi-Adeluyi called for an increase of the budgetary allocation to museums, saying they can boost the economy. He said: “Some notable museums in the world attract up to 12 million people yearly and they started small like this. We need a separate building for this museum so that we can explore more about the Yoruba people and their artefacts. “The Yoruba nation can put itself together to be an exception in the era of decadence and show itself as a leading light to others.” Isola lauded the initiative and poured encomiums on Soyinka. He said despite his mastery of the English language, Soyinka loves the Yoruba language, “which showed in his translation of many D. O. Fagunwa’s books to English”. He said the Yoruba have
Show your faces before amnesty, cleric urges Boko Haram
HE Bishop of Akure Anglican Diocese, Rev. Simeon Borokini, has urged members of the Boko Haram sect to identify themselves before asking for amnesty.
From Damisi Ojo, Akure
He said it would be difficult for the Federal Government to grant amnesty to faceless individuals. Rev. Borokini, who was in-
augurated as the bishop of the diocese last week, decried the killings by the group and urged the government to take a decisive step to stop the violence. He said: “The country’s priority has been wrongly set
because God has been neglected for crude oil, materialism and worldliness, which has resulted in insecurity.” Rev. Borokini said the church would revamp its prison and hospital ministries
to give hope to the people. Urging members of the diocese to be united, he said: “We have an enormous task ahead of us to build our broken walls. We must come together as one.”
distinguished themselves in several areas of endeavour, adding that they are more honoured abroad than at home. The retired don said the Omoluabi concept should be spread to stand Yoruba people out. Alli urged senior citizens to donate artefacts to the museum. Items on display at the museum include drums, calabashes, traditional dresses, old communication gadgets, building materials and the Yoruba Peace Treaty of 1886, which was reached at the Kiriji-Mesin battlefield.
PUBLIC NOTICE SOWHO I formerly known and addressed as Miss Otesiri Oghenetega Sowho now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Otesiri Oghenetega Mukoro. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.
THE NATION THURSDAY APRIL 4, 2013
Erijiyan-Ekiti killing: Police move ACN chairman to Abuja T HE Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ekiti State, Chief Jide Awe, has been taken to the Police Headquarters in Abuja, it was learnt yesterday. He was invited by the police and questioned at the Ekiti Command Headquarters in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, following the killing of Mr. Ayo Jeje on Saturday in Erijiyan-Ekiti. Hoodlums reportedly stormed the venue of a PDP meeting and shot at those in attendance. The PDP alleged that the ACN was responsible for the killing. It was gathered that Awe was taken to Abuja around 5am on the orders of the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar. ACN’s Publicity Secretary Prince Tunde Adeleke condemned Awe’s detention. In a statement, Adeleke said: “Awe is not a criminal and no case has been established against him, so why is he being detained by the police? This is a manipulation of police investigation against our chairman and ACN. “The Erijiyan shooting is not different from the violent antecedents of the PDP. One of its factions was trying to
•Party alleges intimidation •Group urges CP to probe murder From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti and Eric Ikhilae
prevent another from taking part in a defection ceremony. “We find it awkward that the ACN state chairman, who is a respected high chief in the town, has come under molestation from the federal authorities in a show of brazen federal might. “Awe was interrogated at the state police headquarters and his statement was taken. However, the police have refused to interrogate any PDP chieftain. “The investigation has been manipulated against Awe and other ACN members with the support of a top government official in Abuja, who is a factional leader of the state PDP and governorship aspirant.” Adeleke urged ACN supporters to remain calm and law-abiding, adding that the truth will prevail. Police spokesman Victor OluBabayemi declined to confirm whether Awe had been taken to the Force Headquarters or not. He said: “Awe was invited
on Tuesday and was allowed to go after interrogation. He is a Nigerian and if those in Abuja have something to confirm from him, he can be invited.” The Chairman of the House of Representatives’s Committee on Communications, Mr. Oyetunde Ojo, accused the PDP of “moves to muzzle opposition figures in Ekiti”. Ojo alleged that the party was using “federal might” to harass and oppress ACN members. Speaking with reporters in Ado-Ekiti yesterday, he condemned Awe’s arrest. Ojo said: “The killing and crisis in Erijiyan-Ekiti on Saturday was an intra-party crisis in the PDP. The ACN knows nothing about it. It is disheartening that our chairman was arrested by the police and no PDP member has been quizzed. “Chief Awe was invited by the police on Tuesday and whisked away to an unknown destination this morning (yesterday). We have been phoning him, but his number is not going
through. We do not know where they have taken him to. “The PDP is doing this because it has the federal might. Members of its factions, who perpetrated the attack, must be invited and quizzed by the police to get to the root of the matter.” A group, the Ekiti Democratic Coalition Alliance (EDCA), urged the Commissioner of Police to probe the killing. In a statement by its National Coordinator, Mr. Morakinyo Ogele, EDCA said the killing could be political since politicians are preparing for next year’s governorship election. EDCA said such killings were common in the state some years ago, until some well-meaning personalities, including rights activist Femi Falana, prevailed on security agencies to checkmate it. It said: “Our politicians must learn to play the game of politics with tolerance and decency. We warn those going about with thugs and guns to have a rethink, as we shall report their activities to security agents, if they do not. “We are not going to allow any politician to win election via bloodshed. Political killings must stop in Ekiti and those planning to kill, harass and intimidate people to win elections should thread cautiously.”
Lagos holds workshop on blood transfusion By Olatunde Odebiyi
HE Lagos State Government yesterday began a threeday workshop on its five-year strategic plan for its blood transfusion service. At the opening of the workshop, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, said the aim of establishing the service is to ensure adequate supply of safe blood at all times. Idris, who was represented by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr. Femi Olugbile, said before June, 2004, blood transfusion service was uncoordinated and the safety of blood was jeopardised. He said since the centralised service was established nine years ago, blood transfusion has been progressively safer. Idris said the number of voluntary blood donors is low and urged healthy people between 18 and 65 years to rise up to the challenge. The commissioner said the five-year plan was prepared by stakeholders in the public and private sectors to identifying the gaps in the existing structure and making recommendations on the way forward.
Ghanaian President to deliver Ekiti varsity lecture
HANAIAN President John Dramani Mahama will today deliver the 18th Convocation Lecture of the Ekiti State University (EKSU). The lecture, titled: University governance and reclaiming the lost glory: The challenges and possibilities of world-class university in Africa, would hold at the university’s main audito-
Ekiti lawmakers begin N70m free health mission
KITI State lawmakers have earmarked N70 million for the seventh free health mission (FHM), which starts today in 13 of the 26 constituencies in the state. House of Assembly Speaker Adewale Omirin told reporters in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, that the lawmakers pooled a fraction of their constituencies’ funds for the project. Omirin said: “Free health mission remains a viable means of reaching the people and making useful impact on
From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
their lives. The health mission is part of the constituency projects of the Assembly members, but is being executed by the state government. “We decided not to take the constituency fund in cash from the state government because it is illegal for legislators to execute projects. “Project execution is a function of the executive arm. Apart from that, we do not want to be embarrassed like some lawmakers, who
were being chased around by anti-graft agencies in the past for alleged poor execution of projects. Hence our resolve to allow the government execute the project.” Commissioner for Health Prof. Sola Fasubaa decried the low patronage of the 35 primary health centres by rural dwellers and urged the people to visit them whenever they are ill. He said: “The government has invested huge cash in the health sector, especially pri-
mary health care centres, and patronage of the health centres would ensure that the investment is not wasted.” Urging residents to take advantage of the free health mission, Fasubaa advised expectant mothers to register for antenatal and post natal care to reduce maternal and infant mortality. He said the FHM is a cost effective means of providing quality health care services at the grassroots, which can increase life expectancy.
Lawyer: Kaadi Igbeayo is unconstitutional
CTIVIST lawyer Charles Titiloye yesterday described the residency card, tagged: ‘Kaadi Igbeayo’, which was recently inaugurated by the Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko’s administration, as “a constitutional illegality and waste of public funds”. He said matters pertaining to census are on the exclusive list of the Federal Government and it is unconstitutional for a state government to carry out
From Damisi Ojo, Akure
the legislative function of the Federal Government. Titiloye said: “Census, as defined in the exclusive legislative list under the second schedule of the constitution, includes the establishment and maintenance of machinery for continuous and universal registration of births and deaths in Nigeria.” He said Kaadi Igbeayo contains records and information
that monitor the birth, health and death of residents. Titiloye said: “It is shameful that the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, abandoned his constitutional responsibilities to participate in the illegal ceremony of an unconstitutional project called Kaadi Igbeayo. “The minister knows that the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who he compared Mimiko with, never violated the Nigerian Constitution.
“More worrisome is the silent complicity and collaboration of the Federal Government in this illegality. One would have expected the Attorney-General of the Federation to declare a legal dispute at the Supreme Court against the Ondo State Government. “It is unfortunate that Mimiko spent million of precious tax payers’ money on Kaadi Igbeayo, which is not backed up by any law in the state or the constitution.”
rium. Other activities marking the ceremony include the laying of the foundation stone of the building of the Institute of Governance by Governor Kayode Fayemi and the Vice-Chancellor’s Dinner at the Archbishop Abiodun Adetiloye Hall of the Trade Fair Complex.
APC: Amosun mobilises Ogun ACN members for merger
•Amosun (middle); Bello (right); Olabode (left) and a chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ogun, Mrs. Iyabode Anisulowo...on Tuesday.
From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
GUN State Governor Ibikunle Amosun has urged members of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the state to work towards the successful integration of the ACN into the All Progressives Congress (APC). He spoke on Tuesday after re-validating his membership of the ACN in Ward 11, Abeokuta North Local Government Area. The centre for the revalidation was the Gateway Secondary School, Ita Iyalode. Amosun was issued a membership card numbered 264810 by the ACN Ward Chairman, Prince Adetunji Adebowale. The exercise was conducted simultaneously in the 236 wards and 20 local government areas in compliance with the directive of the party’s national leadership, which has concluded plans to merge with the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and
the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA). Amosun said after the merger talks is completed, all parties involved will hold a congress to approve the arrangement before seeking registration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He said the exercise will enable the party have a database and reveal the numerical strength of the ACN. ACN’s State Chairman Alhaji Tajudeen Bello said the exercise was in fulfillment of INEC guidelines. On the governor’s entourage were: Abeokuta North Local Government Chairman Agbaakin Taofeeq Olabode; Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Affairs Tunji Egbetokun; Deputy Chief of Staff Shuaib Salisu; Commissioner for Information and Strategy Yusuph Olaniyonu and his Works and Infrastructure counterpart, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite.
Church begins synod By Nneka Nwaneri
HE Bishop of the Anglican Communion, Lagos West Diocese, Rev. Peter Adebiyi will preside over the second session of the Fifth Synod of the diocese, which begins today and ends on Sunday. The synod, tagged: “Occupy till I come”, holds at Archbishop Vining Memorial Cathedral Church, Oba Akinjobi Way, Ikeja GRA, Lagos. It will start with a service by 4pm.
Cleric urges Nigerians to be tolerant
HE National President of the Apostolic Church International, Dr. Gabriel Olutola, has said tolerance is the panacea to the country’s problems. He urged Nigerians to be tolerant, regardless of their ethnic and religious background, adding that none of the two major religions in Nigeria supports violence. The cleric, who spoke with reporters in Lagos on the activities marking his 80 birthday, said despite the nation’s abundant resources,
By Jeremiah Oke
it is lagging behind. He said: “Nigerians need to wake up and work for the rebirth of this nation. Our country is endowed with abundant resources, such as intellectuals, solid, liquid and gas, as well as leaders who can use them to transform the nation, but the reverse is the case. “If we tolerate ourselves, this country will be peaceful and foreigners will love to live here.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
BUSINESS THE NATION
Access Bank doubles 2012 profit
CCESS Bank Plc said full-year profit more than doubled as customer deposits increased. Net income advanced to N38.6 billion ($244 million) in 2012 from N14.5 billion a year earlier, the lender said in a statement on the website of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Revenue rose 54 per cent to N208.3 billion as loans and advances to customers climbed five per cent to N604 billion. Deposits grew nine per cent to N1.2 trillion. Access restrained its loan book following it’s purchase of Intercontinental Bank Plc in 2011, Chief Executive Officer Aigboje AigImoukhuede said in October. An increased levy this year on banks by the state-owned Asset Management Corp. of Nigeria, created in 2010 to buy bad debts from lenders, may erode earnings this year, said Olubunmi Asaolu, an analyst at FBN Capital Ltd. The bank’s shares were up 0.1 per cent to N10.50 at the close of business yesterday, the highest since March 14. Access has advanced 16 per cent this year compared with the 25 percent gain of the Bloomberg NSE Banking Index.
DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$107/barrel Cocoa-$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE
-N10.6 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion
RATES Inflation -9% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending -22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $48b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472
Risk management could entail avoiding the risk completely, reducing the negative impact of the risk through risk mitigation actions, transfering or sharing the risks with other parties and retaining the risk; ie, accepting some or all the consequences of the risk and budgeting for it. - Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, CBN Governor
Power supply to drop by 800MW
OWER supply will drop by 800megawatts for 72 hours due to disruption of gas supply, the Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP) Dagogo Jack has said. Jack said the PTFT is coordinating with Chevron, Nigerian Gas Company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to ensure that the scheduled gas outage, from tomorrow through Sunday at the Chevron Escravos Gas plant, would be executed with minimal disruption to the supply of electricity. The outage, he explained yesterday in a statement, “ is scheduled for the tie in of additional gas supply from the plant. As part of the mitigating plan, transmission line maintenance in the Lagos area will also be conducted in tandem to avoid sequential outages.” The PTFT said the outage is also inclusive of the Shell Afam VI scheduled maintenance which contributes about 200 megawatts to the power shortfall. He said : “The PTFP is coordinating with the relevant project owners to further mitigate the effect of the expected power shortfall,” adding that the scheduled maintenance operations of this nature are normal in ensuring that power supply is sustained in the long term”. The Chairman also stated that the benefits of this culture of disciplined maintenance far outweigh the cost of a two to three day inconvenience in reduced supply, promising that with increased generation, future planned maintenance would have minimal impact on supply. Meanwhile, electricity customers in Oyo and Ogun states are now enjoying improved power supply with the addition of a new 150MVA, 330/132/33kV power transformer in Ayede Transmission Station, Ibadan, Oyo State. The successful installation and commissioning into
•Oyo, Ogun get more power From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
service of the power transformer by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), last week, has further increased the nations’ grid capacity by 150Maga Volt Amphere (MVA). In a statement, the the Assistant General Manager (Public Affairs),TCN, Dave Ifabiyi, said that the brand
new 150MVA power transformer was provided by the World Bank, through the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN)’s Project Monitoring Unit (PMU). The newly commissioned transformer replaced a previously failed 150MVA, 330/132/ 33kV power transformer in the same transmission station. According to the state-
ment, the installation of the new 150MVA 330/132/ 33kV power transformer was successfully carried out by Areva Alston Engineering, in conjunction with TCN engineers, thereby increasing the wheeling capacity of the Ayede Transmission Station from 300MVA to 450MVA. TCN also said that with the increased capacity of the Ayede Transmission Substation, it can now wheel more electricity to Ibadan Metropolis, as well as the Shagamu and Ijebu Ode 132/ 33kV Transmission Substations.
From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
HAIRMAN, Solid Minerals Develop ment Fund (SMDF), Linus Adie, yesterday urged the Presidency to fund the SMDF. He said the development of the mining industry in some economies transcends mere production of geological data. It incorporates preliminary drilling to ascertain what is in the ground, he added. He said the process requires funding, since mining is an industry that is funded based on anticipated returns. Adie said: “ I want to state here very clearly that funding is required. This means that it is what you are putting that you will get back. If you fund it properly, you get better profit. At the moment, it is competitive, Niger for example, is better-off than Nigeria today in mining. This is because the government has invested heavily in exploration to an extent that data is sufficiently generated to attract investors. “These days, government does not depend only on mapping and using just data, it goes to the extent of doing preliminary drilling to show that what is inside the ground is the mineral they are looking for. So unless we take this diversification process seriously we may be in trouble”.
ALSCON workers protest unpaid benefits From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo
W • From left: Jan Schoombee, Chief Financial Officer, Fundamo (PTY) South Africa, receiving the for Best Mobile Payment Product of the Year from Goredema Charlton, Vice President& Area Business Head, Southern Africa & Indian Ocean Islands of MasterCard Worldwide at the just concluded Card and ePayment Africa Awards organised by Intermarc Consulting Nigeria in Johannesburg.
PHCN gets transitional committees RANSITIONAL com mittees for the 15 Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) successor companies whose preferred bidders have paid 25 per cent of the bid value were yesterday constituted. The committees were inaugurated yesterday by the Chairman, Technical Committee of NCP, Mr. Atedo Peterside. A statement by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), quoted the Director General, Benjamin Ezra Dikki, as saying that each successor company has a three-member committee. The members were drawn each from the BPE, the management of the suc-
Minerals Devt Fund seeks govt’s support
• Fed Govt reviews Mambilla power project design From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
cessor company and the preferred bidder. The BPE;s nominee is the chairman of each committee. Dikki, said both BPE and the new owners have a mutual interest in ensuring the companies operate in a way that will maintain the value of the company during the transition period. He added that the transition period could be within a month, or a maximum of six months depending on full payment. The terms of reference for the transition commit-
tees, include facilitating the smooth transition and eventual handover of the management and operational control of the successor companies to the purchasers, as wellas allow purchasers access to the companies in order to prepare for the implementation of their business plans laid out in the proposals submitted to the BPE, amongst others. Meanwhile, the Federal Government yesterday acknowledged that there has been an extensive review in the engineering design of the Zungeru and
Mambilla Hydropower projects. The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali, said this at the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Advisor Team Workshop in Abuja, adding that very useful recommendations were given in the reviewed design. He urged the JICA team to provide technical advice on the formulation of power development plans. He challenged the team to promote capacity development of the ministry’s staff on power sector policy development and project management.
ORKERS at Alu minium Smelter Company, UC RUSAL, yesterday protested the non-payment of terminal benefits to disengaged workers. The workers flayed the decision of the management to pay casual/contract workers who have been in their employ for six years and above N2,000 as terminal benefits. The protesters displayed placards with various inscriptions, such as: “Our land, our ALSCON, we can’t stay at home while strangers are working; RUSAL: Retain all indigenes or quit! “No indigene, no Russian, no ALSCON. Close down and go; RUSAL activities are strange, and No more land for farming in Ikpa Ibekwe clan. We must work in ALSCON.” Speaking on behalf of the workers, ALSCON’s branch Chairman of the Steel and Engineering Workers Union of Nigeria (SEWUN), Linus Usen, said that the union was not pleased with the company’s management in downsising without paying workers their terminal benefits.
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
THE NATION TTHURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
THE NATION TTHURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
INDUSTRY FIRST QUARTER REVIEW
Despite the government's effort to improve the economy with the re-organisation of some major sectors, stakeholders believe that much still needs to be done, reports, TOBA AGBOOLA.
‘Nothing to cheer about, say players
NDUSTRY operators have scored the nation’s economy low in the first quarter , saying that the business environment remains challenging due to the harsh economic climate. They argued that for the manufacturing sector to be vibrant, the constraints militating against productivity, such as poor electricity and roads, must be tackled with better commitment and sincerity. It is only then that the frightening level of unemployment and poverty can be mitigated. Although, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said Nigeria’s economy grew from 6.28 per cent to seven per cent in the review period, the OPS said, there is no significant improvement in the productive capacity of the Nigerian economy, most especially, the manufacturing sector.
Investment Climate Speaking with The Nation, the Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, Mr Muda Yusuf, said there are two major angles to the evaluation of the first quarter economic performance. He said the first is the macroeconomic fundamentals, while the second, is the investment climate. “ The macroeconomic fundamentals looked good during the quarter. The exchange rate was generally stable; inflation rate was in single digit and foreign reserves improved to over $49 billion. However, the major challenge of investment climate persisted. Cost of fund remained very high, the power situation is yet to improve and remained epileptic; the security situation was a major concern and the productivity of firms remained a challenge because of persistent structural problems . The business environment remained largely constrained by rising socio-economic uncertainties ,” Muda said. The Chairman, Infrastructure Committee of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mr Reginald Odiah, said the country’s slow economic growth in the first quarter has been linked to lack of infrastructure, adding that the infrastructural gaps, particularly in the power sector was responsible for holding Nigeria back from its full growth potentials. He said Nigeria’s electricity generation capacity, for example, is just 10 per cent that of South Africa’s, while Nigeria’s population is more than thrice greater. He said manufacturers are faced with energy problems and spending much on alternative energy which has made it difficult to compete favourably with other companies operating outside the country. He stressed the need for the three tiers of government to fund lasting solution to the
• Experts score economy low in Q1 problem, pointing out that MAN is working assiduously with the federal government on issues of multiple taxation. The Director-General, Nigeria Chamber of Commerce, Industry , Mines and Agriculture, NACCIMA , Mr Joseph Isemede, agreed with the duo. His words: “There has not been any significant improvement in the nation’s productive base. Capacity utilisation has not risen significantly beyond what it used to be. The real sector actually is yet to wake-up and contribute significantly to the GDP, even though government’s statistics indicate that we’ve posted a reasonable GDP growth rate of 6.5 per cent - 7 per cent. “The manufacturing sector is still grappling with basic problems of insufficient infrastructure and high cost of funds. So, to a large extent, one cannot really say that the first quarter was significantly better than the previous ones.”
Insecurity Isemede said the state of insecurity, as regards the Boko Haram menace, is a national problem which must be address. “We conducted a survey on how the Boko Haram has impacted on the businesses of our members, to the extent that some of them have had to close down their outlets and relocated to safer destinations in order to still access the market. The truth is that the market is still there for those products, but it’s no longer safe for owners of businesses to continue to do businesses in some parts of the country. Quite a number of businesses had to close shop,” Isemede said.
Budget delay The President, Nigeria Chamber of Commerce, Industry , Mines and Agriculture, (NAACIMA), Dr. Ademola Ajayi, said the disagreement between the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and the lawmakers which led to the delay in the passage of the 2013 is a major concern for the OPS. He said the delay is already having its effect on the private sector because some of them take their cue from the budget. “The delay is already having its toll on our members. Some of them tied there planning to the budget. There are some that deal with government directly. So, the first quarter has been good to these companies,” he said, adding that the delay has created problem of uncertainty, and planning in the private sec-
tor. “We can’t continue like this. The delay could have implications with regards to capital budget implementation, because the more time we have to implement the budget, the better. If we have a delay of close to two months, definitely it will affect the implementation,” Muda said.
New structure The Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment was renamed Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (MITI), with effect from March 9, 2013. The new identity was informed by the need to highlight moves to reposition the nation’s manufacturing sector. The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga disclosed this development at a meeting with the OPS. MAN has been the leading voice in the call for name change when government named the former Ministry of Commerce and Industry in 2011 as Ministry of Trade and Investment. At the meeting with MAN’s national council, Aganga reiterated the position of the administration, saying the new National Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) would be the driver of the new vision of government for the manufacturing sector. Besides, at the inauguration of the board of the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN) on March 4, President Goodluck Jonathan said that the 2014 budget and beyond, would be designed to encourage the manufacturing sector for employment generation. The 18-member board is chaired by Aganga, with Chief Kola Jamodu as member. In support of government’s new resolve, the Minister explained that no major nation has managed to transform itself from a poor nation to rich one by relying solely on exports of raw materials without a vibrant industrial and services sector. He said it was therefore critical for the country to address industrial development of Nigeria. Aganga added that Nigeria currently underperforms its regional and global peers on industrial development, but that the mission of government was to increase the manufacturing sector’s contributions from four per cent to eight to 10 per cent of Gross Domestic Product over the next five years.
Expectation in Q2 Going by the data provided by the Lagos
Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in its Business Confidence Index (BCI) for the second quarter, made avilable to The Nation, except the Federal Government addresses some of the unfriendly business policies in the country, the nation’s goal of reviving its industrial sector may soon become a mirage. The report also stated that the nation’s trade with other countries may suffer, with stunted potential for local business’ growth. Although, the report showed a modest improvement of 16.5 per cent from the 10.5 per cent it achieved in the first quarter of 2013, the BCI scores for the two period continued to trail far below the 50 per cent global confidence threshold. According to the LCCI, some of the factors for the slow-paced growth were attributed to the fact that investors and business leaders are still wary about the state of the economy and the unfriendly business environment in the country. Specifically, the BCI, which assessed the peculiar factors that impact domestic business outcomes in Nigeria in 14 sectors, 37 sub-sectors, showed a gloomy outlook for 2013, noting that stating that real sector’s growth is largely constrained by rising socio-economic uncertainties. According to the research findings, the factors that weakened the index score include poor access to credit; inhibitive tendencies of monitoring and regulatory agencies; sustained insecurity situation across the country; dwindling public power supply; and budget approval/implementation crisis. The report further showed that macroeconomic factors such as the exchange rate and inflation rate exerted neutral influence on the second quarter 2013 BCI score. The reports says: “The neutral impact of macroeconomic prices on businesses at this time is informed by the relative stability achieved over the last few months. However, the downside remains that the current stabilisation of prices through monetary tightening has been achieved at the expense of investment, employment, output and growth. “The business environment remains largely constrained by rising socioeconomic uncertainties. This has kept the BCI scores trailing far below the global optimum levels. “However, with the progress made so far on the privatization of the Nation’s power sector, the commencement of the implementation of the 2013 budgets across the states and the federal capital, as well as the new momentum given to the consideration of the Petroleum Industry Bill by the National Assembly, we look to see how far this will reflect in the outcome of our Q2-2013 BCI survey and outcome.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
NEXIM, OPS to establish $60m sealink firm
O facilitate trade in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Central Africa States, the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), in partnership with the Organised Private Sector (OPS), is set to establish a $60 million transnational shipping company. The sealink project, which is billed for inauguration in the fourth quarter, will be funded through a $36 million equity and $24 million borrowing. Speaking at the sensitisation forum on the Regional Sealink Project, the Managing Director, NEXIM Bank, Mr Roberts Orya, said NEXIM was taking this step in partnership with the OPS to encourage trade. He said this would break trade barriers, such as delay in clearing of goods, high transportation costs, high logistics costs, excessive tax and high cost of freight among others. He said $36 million would be used to procure vessels, equipment, office space and other infrastructure; $24 million will be working capital. “ The project will address the high transportation costs and excessive transit time making intra-regional trade non-competitive. It will also address the growth of intra-
•To be ready in fourth quarter Stories by Toba Agboola
ECOWAS trade in the past decade from 4.7 million tonnes to 13.2 million tonnes without corresponding increase in transport infrastructure. “The project is expected to enable NEXIM to achieve credit growth towards improving intra-regional trade from current intra-regional trade levels to a minimum of 15 per cent annually,” Orya said. He said the ECOWAS Commis-
sion has endorsed the project with a commitment to fund the Investors’ Forum on it. “Also, the Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA) has endorsed the project and is committed to providing technical support for its take-off. “ The African Development Bank (AFDB) is concluding arrangements toward a technical assistance to the project, while the World Bank has also requested for an update on the study with a view to
providing technical assistance to the realisation of the project. “Institutional funding supports are also being pursued with multilateral financial institutions like the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), African Export- Import Bank and West African Development Bank (BOAD). The National President, Nigeria Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dr Ademola Ajayi, said the success of the project would
Cashew production hits 20,000 tonnes
AIAE now AfriHeritage
HE African Institute for Applied Economics (AIAE) has changed its name to African Heritage Institution (AfriHeritage). The Communication Manager of the institute, Mr. Sola Oluwadare, said the new structure is in line with the institute’s desire to go beyond applied economics and accommodate politics, good governance, foreign relations and other sectors to promote rapid and broad-based socio-political and economic development in Nigeria, and particularly with focus on Africa. Oluwadare said with an expanded structure, the new AfriHeritage will champion renascent Africa that is democratic, prosperous and a major player in the global economy. He said: “The Institution with the aim of becoming unarguably a leading pan African think tank, is to provide intellectual leadership in helping Nigeria and African countries through the emerging economic renaissance.” He added that the institute has contributed significantly through its researches and policy dialogue to different problems that affect the economy.
increase intra-regional trade flow. He said it would also create jobs and investment opportunities, thereby meeting the Federal Government’s economic objectives and transformation agenda. “As you may be aware, travelling by road or connecting flights among West African states has always been a nightmare to private sector operators, considering the challenges of roadblocks by security agencies and other law enforcement agencies. “I want to encourage the OPS to be part of this project. The likes of Dangote can support the project because it will solve the problem of trade barriers within the region,” Ajayi said.
From left: Marketing Manager, Sweet Sensation, Yemi Yusuf; Communication and Engagement Manager, GSK, Bolaji Sanyaolu; AGM, Front Operation, Sweet Sensation, Kemi Adewole-Ojo; Rep, Lagos Old Peoples Home, Yaba, Jibril Idris; Financial, Sweet Sensation; Yemi Opedemowo; Account Manager, GSK Damilola Ajayi and Human Resource Manager, Sweet Sensation, Sam Omojola, during Sweet Sensation’s and GSK’s charity visit to the Home.
Textile workers seek more funds from Fed Govt
HE National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) has called on the Federal Government to increase the bailout funds for the revival of textile industries. Only 38 companies could be revived with the initial N100 billion given to resuscitate ailing textile industries, according to the union. The National President of the union, Comrade Dele Hunsu, stated this at the union’s secretariat in Lagos while briefing reporters on the N100 billion bail out. He said: “We call on the Federal Government to increase the bailout fund for the textile industry because the current economic conditions in the country does not
favour the industry. “Our concern now is on what is needed for the effective means of implementing government policies on the revival of textile industries in the country. “We call on President Goodluck Jonathan, to review the transformation agenda of his administration so as to fast- track the revival processes of the textile sector.” The General Secretary of the union, Comrade Isa Aremu, calling on the government to consider the issue, revealed that the bailout plan initiated by former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration and implemented by the Umaru Yar’adua’s administration, should be reviewed for more funds to be injected into the sec-
tor to jump- start the economy. He argued that the textile bailout had been misconstrued by some individuals in government as a charity to the benefiting industries. Aremu said: “We want to make it clear to some people in government that the bailout fund for the textile sector is not a jamboree, rather a long-term loan managed by the Bank of Industry(BoI) at a single-digit interest rate as against what is obtainable in the commercial banks for the revivial of the textile industry that have been taken over by churches in the country.”
Knorr gives out cash, products
•Chairman/CEO,Pentagon Real Estate Investments Ltd, Kennedy Okoruwa (right), presenting the plot allocation papers to Mr. Simeon Awodumila,a subscriber, during the handing over of allocation papers to another batch of allotees of Mainland Park at Mowe, Ogun State.
N the past 11 weeks, the Knorr Taste Quest cooking competition has been searching for Nigeria’s best in culinary matters. The competition, sponsored by Knorr seasoning from the stables of Unilever Nig Plc, decided to reward viewers who watch the show on television with cash and prizes worth N10,000. To participate, at the end of each episode, viewers at home are to watch out for one simple question from the last week’s episode, and send the correct answer to the short code given on the screen. The first 20 correct answers are then declared the winners for that week. So far, hundreds of winners have emerged nationwide. The winner of the Knorr Taste Quest, however, would go home with a brand new Hyundai Elantra , N1 million, kitchen equipment worth N300,000.
HE National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) has said the yearly production of cashew in the country has hit 120,000 tonnes. The group also reiterated the need to properly fund the cashew industry to ensure value addition and increased exportation. In a statement signed by the National Secretary of the association, Mr Sotonye Anga, it said: “Cashew in Nigeria provides livelihood for over 300,000 families in the country, with annual production put at 120,000 tonnes. “Unlocking financing to the cashew sector means creating more jobs for our people, reducing poverty and ensuring increased exports of cashew and will encourage value addition to raw cashew. “NCAN cashew financing forum is leveraging on the Nigerian cashew cluster finance scheme which was signed during the 2012 annual National cashew season flag off in Ilorin, Kwara State.” Anga, who is also the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the event, noted that more funds were required to grow the sector. He stressed that cashew traders, exporters, farmers, processors and others across the value chain, needed access to financing to be able to grow their businesses. “With this, traders, exporters, farmers, cashew processors and other stakeholders across the value chain will be able to access financing at a pocket friendly rate to improve their cashew businesses,” he said.
Firm to hold conference
FIRM Integrity International will hold its Sixth Leadership Conference on April 27 at 6pm at Golden Tulip Hotel, Accra, Ghana. According to a statement by its Head of Africa Operations, Dr. Richard Ikpada, the theme of this year’s event is: Regional integration in Africa and challenge of infrastructural development, way forward for ECOWAS. A lecture will be delivered by the Executive Director, NEPAD Business Group West Africa, Dr. A. A. Roberts. Others billed to speak at the event include Dr. Foliki Ebibotei, Senior Lecturer, School of Graduates Studies University of Winneba, Ghana. At the event, Ikpada said, some African leaders, who have distinguished themselves, would be conferred with awards. Expected to grace the occasion are Ghana’s President, John Dramani Mahama; his Benin Republic counterpart Boni Yayi and President Goodluck JonathaN, among others.
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
FROM OTHER LANDS
Robbery against workers MDA heads should be held accountable for trading with workers’ salaries
HE depraved chasm creeping into the nation’s public service is awfully disturbing. The situation reportedly moved to a level where accounting officers in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) notoriously collude with bank officials in the infamous criminal practice of withholding civil servants’ salaries in fixed deposit accounts to yield interests, before belatedly releasing the money to the workers. The ill-gotten proceeds are wantonly shared among beneficiaries believed to be top notch of such branches of government that included some permanent secretaries and heads of parastatals. This scenario that has become a malignant tumour came to the fore when some incensed civil servants stormed the venue of the monthly Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting to protest and ascertain whether indeed the delay in the release of their monthly pay emanated from the FAAC. The workers’ protest has exposed another festering sore in the unfortunate chapter of endemic corruption that has widely become the hallmark in public institutions across the country. The regrettable thing is that there is no ray of hope in sight for workers whose salaries top government functionaries have been illegally trading with. We say so because even the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF), reportedly admitted to having heard of delays in workers’ salaries without taking any necessary action to unfurl the rational behind the delays, or to penalise those involved, in accordance with the rules. Of what essence then is
OAGF’s laughable claim of remitting workers’ salaries within two days of getting FAAC’s Authority to Incur Expenditure (AIE) to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for onward remittance to the various accounts, to the system? Unbelievably too, the CBN reportedly treated such payments with alacrity by transferring them to designated banks that will in turn credit the accounts of accredited workers. Of equal significance here is the reported order purportedly given by Olusegun Aganga, erstwhile Minister of Finance, that workers’ salaries should be paid latest by the 20th of every month. Why has nobody been queried by the OAGF for flouting this ministerial order? This act has become a recurring decimal despite the official introduction of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) that were designed to tackle the problem. The ineffectiveness of these antidotes might be due mainly to the fact that those that are meant to ensure they work well have been compromised or are neck deep in the practice. We call for an absolute stoppage of this immorally criminal act that has serious implication on the wellbeing of workers in the public service. Unfortunately, the cankerworm is having contagious effect on the society. It is reportedly spreading among governors, ministers and local government chairmen, most of whom are ingrained in the act of reaping illegal profits on workers’ remunerations. To us, salaries and wages are a consequence of contractual agreement between the government and civil servants. On no account should such contractual
obligations be breached. Governments and their representatives must comply by promptly paying salaries/wages when due. The advice civil servants give to government is suspect because they probably mislead governments so as to enrich their pockets. We are cocksure that keeping billions of naira of public workers’ salaries in periodic fixed deposit accounts would have been impossible without the connivance of top civil servants that act against their own. The fact that this illicit act has been on for years without it being noticed, stopped or leading to the apprehension of those involved underscores the degree of rot in the public service. This robbery in public service must be treated with utmost concern by the necessary authorities.
‘This act has become a . recurring decimal despite the official introduction of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) that were designed to tackle the problem. The ineffectiveness of these antidotes might be due mainly to the fact that those that are meant to ensure they work well have been compromised or are neck deep in the practice’
Adieu, ‘Motor Park Economist’ Ashikiwe Adione-Egom was a brilliant public intellectual worthy of national accolade
N March 22, another bright star who exited Nigeria’s literary and academic firmament on March 3 was buried. Even if his departure did not elicit the kind of attention devoted in this country to the death of political heavy weights, wealthy moguls or social celebrities, the late Mr Peter Alexander AshikiweAdione-Egom, was a truly great and remarkable Nigerian. Born in 1943, Mr. Peter Adione-Egom had a solid education at various institutions, including King’s College, Lagos and later Cambridge College in the United Kingdom, where he studied Social Anthropology and Economics. Not only did he distinguish himself in academics, this indigene of UkalaOkpumor in Oshimili North Local
‘Adione-Egom’s brilliance, humanity, originality, sense of humour, innocent capacity for mischief and large- heartedness made a deep impression on all those who came across him. He was highly regarded by his peers, even if he did not get the kind of recognition he deserved from the Nigerian state and wider society. We commiserate with his loved ones and pray that his soul rest in eternal peace’
Government Area of Delta State was also an outstanding athlete in his youth. A restless and uncommon spirit as well as widely travelled man, Adione-Egom lived for some time in Denmark before moving to Tanzania in the early 1970s. In Tanzania, he not only taught economics at the University of Dar-es-Salam, his intellect was recognised at the highest level when he was appointed Financial Adviser to the government of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere. It was no doubt in the fields of journalism, book publishing and public intellectual advocacy that Peter Adione-Egom made his most memorable and enduring contributions to the country’s development. He forcefully registered his presence in the public consciousness of Nigerians when he became one of the leading columnists of The Guardian newspaper in the early 1980s as a member of the publication’s Editorial Board. Writing under the rubric of the ‘Motor Park Economist’, Adione-Egom had a unique and unconventional approach to economic analysis that sought to break down complex issues for the illumination and enlightenment of the ordinary reader. Despite his attempts to demystify economic issues in line with his ‘Motor Park’ sobriquet, Adione–Egom’s writings could sometimes be obscure and impenetrable, even to the most erudite experts in the field. In 1985, he was moved to The African Guardian as Economic Editor. In 1987, Adione-Egom joined the founder of Business in ECOWAS magazine, the late Fred Brume, as a partner, with responsibility for the editorial aspects of the business. He continued his adventures in journalism when he founded and ran his own publications – the Financial Post and Commodity Post –
between 1988 and 1992. Between 2003 and 2005, he was a member of the Editorial Board of the Daily Trust newspaper. Ever restless to explore new frontiers, Adione-Egom began to investigate a new area of specialisation known as Economic Theology. He carried out, in this regard, extensive research at the Ibru Ecumenical Centre, Delta State, between 1999 and 2000, and at the Pope John Paul 1 Catholic Social Centre, Abuja, from 2001 to 2003. Adione-Egom served as Consultant/Publisher at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Lagos, between 2004 and 2011. It was obvious with time that AdioneEgom’s mind had begun to acquire a more religious orientation when he established the Foundation for Christian Economic Evangelism (FORCEE). His intellectual fecundity and ingenuity was underscored by his adoption of a unique economic model, which he called the Joseph Economics for Social Reconciliation (JESOR). This foundation articulated the view that all can genuinely become citizens and non-subjects in any nation that adopts interest-free and debt-free equity money. In a bid to familiarise the public with these rather abstract and abstruse ideas, he authored about 10 books in his life time. Adione-Egom’s brilliance, humanity, originality, sense of humour, innocent capacity for mischief and largeheartedness made a deep impression on all those who came across him. He was highly regarded by his peers, even if he did not get the kind of recognition he deserved from the Nigerian state and wider society. We commiserate with his loved ones and pray that his soul rest in eternal peace.
Pyongyang must be kept talking • Lines of communication have to be left open to avert war
ORTH Korea has a long tradition of bellicose rhetoric. The threats of nuclear attacks emanating from Pyongyang in recent weeks fit into a pattern of sabre-rattling that is usually aimed at pushing its demands up the US political agenda. The difference this time is that the drums have been beating louder and longer than usual. This heightens the chances of a deadly miscalculation, whether by Pyongyang, Seoul or their allies. A number of unrelated events are exacerbating tensions. A new generation has taken power in North and South Korea. In normal circumstances this might offer a chance to pursue new avenues for dialogue. Yet there is a danger that communications could break down as new leaders flex their muscles for the home audience. Kim Jong-eun succeeded his father, Kim Jong-il, just over a year ago. He still has much to prove in a country where the military takes precedence over a starving population. To the south, Park Geun-hye, the newly elected president, has authorised the military to respond to North Korean aggression without recourse to “political considerations”. If Pyongyang’s attacks have not led to full-scale war in the past, this is in part because Seoul has restrained a military itching for retribution. North Korea’s increasingly strident proclamations come as the US and South Korean military conduct annual drills around the peninsula. This is where accidental clashes could indeed spark grave regional conflict. The exercises are necessary to guarantee South Korea’s security. But there are certain parts of the Yellow Sea where they could become acts of dangerous brinkmanship. There is an urgent need to decrease the tension on all sides. The young Mr Kim may believe that he is sticking to the traditional rule book by threatening US cities and military bases. But he is setting a dangerous tempo. China, as Pyongyang’s main ally, has finally backed stronger sanctions. But Beijing also has to implement them. In return, Washington has to reassure Beijing that, should it withdraw support and the Kims fall, the peninsula would not become a long-term base for US forces in the region. The most important step towards defusing the current tensions, however, would be to promote dialogue with Pyongyang. Of course, it should be made clear that any attacks will be met with a firm response. But talks, even on minor issues, will lessen the threat of conflict. This may mean that the US and South Korea have to drop the precondition that Pyongyang denuclearise. Though this should still be the aim, few experts believe that this will be forthcoming. Distasteful though it may be to build a relationship with this rogue state, the only hope for peace is to keep lines of communication open. – Financial Times
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THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
CARTOON & LETTERS
IR: Somewhere in Udi Local Government Area in Enugu State during the last Easter, the 13 th Apostle was unveiled. Ladies and Gentlemen meet the 13th Apostle, His Excellency, Deputy Senate President Distinguished Senator (Apostle) Ike Ekweremadu. It is the stated calling of apostles to plant churches and last week, our man fulfilled that call by building a church in his state. This was an epoch event and to show its importance, the presiding bishop of the republic, His Excellency Goodluck Jonathan was present. He had to come. Apostles have no purse, they depend on the provisions of the Lord to plant churches, they depend on the goodwill of the mission areas and to a large extent on the hospitality of the bishop of the province in which they plant the church, and to succeed they have to enlist in the good books of the bishop. Hence, Bishop Goodluck had to be present to bless the apostle’s work. In a nation without proper centres for skills acquisition for the youth, in a nation where health centres are death rooms, in a country where you shed tears at the penury of people living in slums, we have leaders who weekly pander to religious sentiments by going from one mosque or church to the other making donations for more and more churches and mosques. It shows they understand the effect
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Hail Ekweremadu, the 13th Apostle religious sentiments have on people especially Nigerians. It is important that there is a change in the way religious issues are championed by political leaders. It is either one governor donates a mosque or the president is sourcing funds for a church or one senator is donating another church. Gentlemen, just for a reminder, we
do not need more churches and mosques in Nigeria. We need hungry people to have access to food, youth need access to jobs, children need access to a decent life in their fatherland, pregnant women in the remotest villages from Yobe to Akwa Ibom to Osun to Ebonyi needs access to prompt and quality healthcare.
Some have opined that there exists a conspiracy between the religious groups and the state. Politicians make reckless decisions as regards the future of the country and then call on their religious counterparts to help prepare the sick to die and meet the Lord, to offer hope where there is none; hope that paralyzes faith that
Achebe: A life well spent
IR: It was the illustrious Benjamin Franklin who once wrote that ‘if you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing’. Professor Albert Chinualumogu Achebe wrote things worth reading; he equally did things worth writing. He will not be forgotten in a hurry. Achebe announced his arrival on the literary scene in 1958 with the publication of ‘Things Fall Apart’. There, he told the African story as
opposed to the distorted and dehumanized representation of the continent and its people in European fictions. That classic has sold more than 10 million copies and counting, and been translated into over 30 languages. Besides Things Fall Apart widely considered his magnum opus, Achebe published other great works including ‘No Longer at Ease’, ‘Arrow of God’, ‘A Man of the People’, ‘Anthills of the Savannah’, ‘There Was a Country: A personal history of Biafra’, essays,
short stories and poems. For long he has maintained a commanding presence in our schools and libraries educating and enlightening generations. It is indeed a rare Nigerian student who has not at least read ‘Chike and the river’. Achebe believed that art must not always be seen in the abstract, that the artist remains part of the society and as such has a duty to deploy his abilities in its advancement. In other words, the artist should also be an active member of his society. In line with this con-
How realistic is Minna’s motorcycle ban?
IR: On February 26, the selfstyled the Chief Servant of Niger State, Dr Babangida Aliyu Muazu announced the ban on commercial motorcycle and gave three weeks ultimatum for its enforcement in Minna metropolis and its environs. As a result, residents of Minna were thrown into confusion, dazed, agitated, and helpless. Indeed, tricycles were introduced as replacements for commercial motorcycles, but at what cost? How many a commercial motorcycle operator can afford N400, 000 for a tricycle to pay in installment for 18 months? By design, the tricycle requires
numbs, to convince the helpless population that gather in multimillion naira mosques and churches that all will be well even when the hospital behind the church records several deaths per week. This is the calamity that has befallen us and indeed we need more apostles to show us the way to heaven. The problem is that we have apostles who bring the message of salvation and also apostles who prepare us to meet God faster by not providing security and healthcare to us but donating religious structures so that at least you can die in peace! Sincere congratulations to the 13th apostle. • Ojinnaka, Kelechi C. Port Harcourt.
smooth terrain to operate efficiently. However, most areas in the Minna metropolis lack adequate road network. Except for the streets off the major ‘Chanchaga-Maikunkele’ expressway (that passes through the heart of Minna town), which had their roads constructed, most adjoining areas and new settlements along both western bypass and eastern bypass have no good access road, and the terrain is too rough for tricycle to have a smooth ride. Ironically, these areas are inhabited by many residents who have no cars of their own to serve their transportation need. It is a known fact that majority of the unemployed youth in Niger
State take to motorcycle business to earn a leaving and cater for their families. Personally, I don’t see how snatching bread from a hungry man could solve any problems in the society. Of course such ban was enforced in a few conflict-torn states in North-west and North-east Nigeria as a measure to curtail insecurity and brutal murder of innocent lives, many of which were perpetrated using motorcycles. For crying out loud, Minna town is relatively peaceful. If commercial motorcycles still operate in states facing more serious security challenges, the ban in Niger State is simply uncalled for. Frankly speaking, running from
a problem is no way to solving it. Transportation is a great necessity in every modern society. It is a driving force as well as linking machinery that propels a nation’s economy forward. Just a few hour of the expiration of the three weeks ultimatum, business activities and movements were nearly disrupted in the state capital but for the suspension on the ban. Although commercial motorcycles still operate in Minna metropolis for the time being, this has not allayed the fears of Nigerlites of imminent enforcement. • Fatima Abdulkadir Gana IBBU, Lapai, Niger State.
viction, he never shied away from making his voice heard on issues affecting his country. He said things exactly as he saw it, caring little for whose ox is gored. However controversial some of his views may be, there is denying that he yearned for positive change in the country. He rejected two national honours simply to press home the need for this change. He was indeed one of the few individuals that could be rightly regarded as the conscience of the nation. He was the indefatigable voice of the oppressed. He dreamed of a better Nigeria. But unfortunately, he left without seeing that dream actualized. Achebe was controversial while he lived; in death, he still inspires controversy. A debate rages about his merits and legacies. While some people declare him the father of modern African literature and the best to have come out of the continent, some others think otherwise. For instance, while Mohammed Haruna thinks him Africa’s greatest literary figure, Sam Omatseye, considers him only a great writer but not a great artist. How anyone sees Achebe’s works and their merits, to large extent, is a matter of personal opinion. Above the varied opinions, however, is the reality that he was a man of integrity, a good man. His was indeed a life well-spent, a life worth emulating. • Nnoli Chidiebere Aba, Abia State.
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
Chief Ilemobayo Akinnola (1934-2013)
HE news of the death of Chief Bayo Akinnola came to me as a rude shock. His demise is not only a national loss but a huge personal loss to me because all my adult life I have always known him as Brother Bayo. The reason for this is the fact that he and my late Brother Kayode were like twins right from their time at the University of Ibadan. Chief Akinnola studied Arts while my brother studied Medicine but they had so much in common in their worldviews and particularly in the game of tennis which both of them played with ferocity. They were each other’s best man when they got married. Chief Bayo Akinnola was born in Ondo town in 1934. He lost his mother at a very tender age but his father doted on the young Bayo to the extent that he and his father were inseparable. He attended Primary School in Ondo before going to Ibadan Grammar School for his secondary education. His father and Venerable Emmanuel Alayande were friends and Venerable Alayande was given the mandate to shape and mould the young boy anyway the old teacher deemed fit. This included caning when and if it was necessary. I bet it may have been necessary sometimes. Chief Bayo Akinnola grew up to as a strappling young man, tall, athletic and very well spoken. He eventually became the Head boy of Ibadan Grammar School and from there he went first to the Nigerian College of Arts and Science in Ibadan and then to the University of Ibadan where he earned a degree in History and English. During his time in the University of Ibadan, liberal arts graduates were not only taught good English but also they were taught how to speak it. Throughout his life, Akinnola spoke Queen’s English with relish and panache. After his graduation from the University of Ibadan, he went to England on a British scholarship to do a Postgraduate course in Education before returning to Ibadan Grammar School, his alma mater. He taught me History in Higher School Certificate Class (HSC) in 1961 before he left and joined the Nigerian Tobacco Company first as a Salesman and later as an Executive. He was a very good teacher and because of his spoken English, highly admired by all students but it was clear to us that teaching was not his calling because instead of teaching us history, he spent most of the time talking about the Nigerian Youth Movement which was at that time a thorn in the flesh of the Nigerian government. Many of the leaders of this movement had socialist or communist inclination and they wore huge beards in the fashion of Fidel Castro or Che Guevarra the famous Cuban revolutionaries. Bayo Akinnola however was clean shaven. Chief Okotie Eboh the then Min-
HE job of the attorney-general and minister of justice is defined by the Constitution. Of all ministers of the Federal Republic, the attorney-general’s office stands out. It is the only ministry mentioned in the Constitution and the duties thereto spelt out. The attorney-general of the federation personifies the government. It is the mirror through which the government is viewed at home and abroad. What this means is that the attorney-general must not only be so in name but also in character. Unfortunately, in recent times we have not been lucky with the calibre of people picked as our attorney-general. These people may have the requisite qualification, but they seem to fail in the area that matters most - integrity and character. The office is not all about law. It must reflect the wishes of the people at all times by marrying law with public expectations. The public good; nothing more and nothing less should be the desire of the chief law officer. In many cases, some of our attorney-generals have failed this litmus test. Their desire is not to serve the people and use the law judiciously in public defence, but to serve their masters and endorse infringement of rights. Yet, the attorney-general is expected to promote and protect the people’s rights not to preside over their infractions. Save for two or three attorney-generals, who have held office since the advent of democracy in 1999, others have been mere tools in the hands of the government they serve. At times, they misadvise the president or sit on appeal over court judgments. They, as lawyers normally say, ‘’pick and choose’’ which verdicts to obey. This is how powerful some of our attorney-generals have become. Because of their new found power, some forgot where they were coming from all in the bid to satisfy the president who appointed them. Ironically, of all our ministers, the attorney-general ought to be the
ister of Finance who was allegedly corrupt feared this young revolutionaries so also did the then Prime Minister Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. In a one hour lecture period, the then young Akinnola usually spent half of his time talking on politics and revolution while the remaining half was spent on what he was being paid to teach. But as young people we all enjoyed his class until he left apparently for greener pastures. Baba Alayande was sorry to see him go because even as one of his teachers, he treated him as a son. He sometimes loudly asked for where Bayo was during assembly if he did not see him in time. Chief Akinnola lived with his young wife Fumbi in a small bungalow at Ibadan Grammar School until he left. He bloomed in the business environment and it was from there that the Military Governor of the then Western Nigeria, Brigadier Oluwole Rotimi a classmate of his appointed him as Commissioner for Industries during the military regime that spanned the years 1966-1979. Chief Akinnola after leaving government set up his own industry in Ibadan and had plantation of citrus and other crops in Ondo and also fisheries business in Lagos. He was hugely successful in all his ventures and he travelled far and wide all over the world looking for business. The climax of his business enterprise was his appointment as Chairman of West African Portland Cement Company the maker of Cement at Ewekoro and Sagamu. This is one of the largest industrial enterprises in Nigeria. His contribution to that company’s growth was substantial. He held the traditional title of “Lotin of Ondo”. This was apparently in deference to his social standing and his embrace of a philosophy of Joie de Vivre that earned him the sobriquet in Yoruba of “Ojo gbogbo bi odun” (Everyday like Christmas). He loved life and lived it. He used every occasion to throw huge parties both in Ondo and Ibadan to which he invited his friends both young and old. He was never really in politics until in recent times when he apparently had political tendencies towards the ruling PDP. At a time he was chairman of a committee that chose President Yar’adua as a candidate of the ruling party in 2007. His role within the PDP was rather marginal. He was not the typical party man as he was very truthful and blunt but he felt he had to support the PDP especially when Obasanjo was the President because according to him, that was the highest position any Yoruba man had earned. He was also committed to Yoruba unity and he tried very much to help nurture an umbrella organisation that would have brought all Yorubas together. Some years ago, he became the “Lisa of Ondo” (Prime Minis-
ter) and spent his fortunes and the contribution of his friends to virtually rebuild the Palace of the Lisa in Ondo. He was a great churchman and he liked to sing and had a wonderful voice and with his size, he could bring a house down. Chief Akinnola was a Jide good father to his Osuntokun children one of who is Mobola Johnson the current Federal Minister for Communication Technology. He gave his children the best education money could buy at home and abroad. Yewande is a lawyer; Akinyinka and Mobola are engineers and Arinola a banker. He was also a great grandfather and he used to take his grandchildren round the world at one time or the other. I once met him in an airport in Frankfurt in one of these great occasions. He will be greatly missed by all those who knew him and by his beloved wife Fumbi and children Yewande, Akinyinka, Mobola and Arinola and by us his brothers and many loved ones and the Nigerian public as a whole. His death brings one to the Yoruba saying “Erin wo ajanaku sun bi oke” which in his case is very appropriate being a huge man. When he is buried in Ondo, the town will feel his impact by the crowd that would come to say goodbye to the great man. Adieu Brother Bayo.
‘He was a very good teacher and because of his spoken English, highly admired by all students but it was clear to us that teaching was not his calling because instead of teaching us history, he spent most of the time talking about the Nigerian Youth Movement which was at that time a thorn in the flesh of the Nigerian government.’
The Minister of in(Justice)! one who should not be beholden to the president. But, alas, what do we get? A subservient attorney- general, who is ready to bootlick in order to keep his job. Even those with solid background before coming to office, turned jelly after becoming a minister. Nigerians will not forget in a hurry these two attorney-generals, Bayo Ojo (SAN) and Michael Aondoakaa (SAN), because of the way they ran the Ministry of Justice in their own time. Ojo, a former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), virtually turned himself into a one-man appeal court, telling the president and his party the verdicts to obey and not to obey. Aondoakaa was something else. He became a tin-god under the late President Umaru Yar’ Adua. He too ‘’picked and chose’’ which verdicts to obey. But he would best be remembered for his role in the long absence of the late President Yar’ Adua from home before the Godfearing and unassuming man died in Aso Rock in May 2010. Aondoakaa led the ‘’cabal’’, apologies to former Information Minister Prof Dora Akunyili, , who did everything to conceal the true state of the late President Yar’ Adua’s health. At the height of the crisis, he propounded the theory that the president could rule from anywhere in the world. It was a way of carrying too far the joke that ‘’wherever the president is, the presidency must be’’. It is expected that others who come after them will learn from their mistakes and do everything to avoid the same pitfalls. But the present Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), seems to have learnt nothing from his predecessors. Adoke appears to be in a hurry to beat the unenviable records of Ojo and Aondoakaa. Sometime last year in the heat of the preparations for the Edo State governorship
election in July something terrible happened. Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s private secretary Laitan Oyerinde was killed in his Benin home. One year after the dastardly act, the security agencies have not been able to get the killers. The police and the State Security Service (SSS) have come up with two sets of suspects who they believe killed Oyerinde. In this confusion, the public does not know who to believe between the police and SSS. Which of the agencies is holding the real suspects? We cannot say for now, but the police release of rights activist David Ugolor, who they initially described as the principal suspect, shows that the outfit did not do its homework well before parading him and others for the alleged crime. With this development, is the police claim that they have the real suspects still tenable? Worried by what is happening, Oshiomhole has repeatedly accused the police of bias in their investigation. The police, he alleges, have not been up and doing in getting to the root of the case because they have a hand in it. In a situation like this, the police and SSS are expected to collaborate and not dissipate energy quarrelling over who has the right to investigate murder. My people have a saying that ‘’it does not matter who sees a snake between a man and a woman, the important thing is for the serpent to be killed’’ . Going by the wisdom in this altruism, does it really matter who has the power to investigate a crime as long as the perpetrators are caught?
At the public hearing of the case by the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions on February 27, Mr Thompson Olatigbe, who represented Adoke, said the attorney-general’s office is ‘’confused’’ over the matter. Olatigbe, the Deputy Director of Public Prosecution before his curious transfer two weeks ago, said : ‘’The police and SSS forwarded two ‘believable’ reports to the attorneygeneral’s office. We don’t know which one to act upon. We are confused. We need further investigation. We have two reports and both are convincing but we don’t know which to believe’’. The next day, Adoke denied that his office is ‘’confused’’, vouching for the police report. His position led to the faceoff between him and Oshiomhole at the Council of State’s meeting some days later. The matter took a dramatic turn with the purported transfer of Olatigbe from the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) to Planning, Research and Statistics. didn’t believe this report when I read it in The Punch of March 20, so I was waiting for Adoke to deny it. Two weeks after the publication, that denial has not come. So, it is safe to assume that the report is true. It does not take a seer to tell us why Olatigbe was suddenly transferred after his testimony before the House panel. He was moved because he spoke the truth and Adoke is not comfortable with that. When did it become an offence for people to testify in parliament? Can somebody be punished for testifying before a legis-
‘The House should not keep quiet over this issue because it borders on its powers to summon witnesses over any matter. But if witnesses are given the Olatigbe treatment, nobody will come forward in future to testify’
Lawal Ogienagbon firstname.lastname@example.org SMS ONLY: 08099400204
lative body? What happened to legislative immunity under which those who appeared before the parliament or any of its committees are covered? As the country’s chief law officer, Adoke should know better. It is an offence for somebody to be punished for testifying in parliament or in court, except he wants to rewrite the law. The House should not keep quiet over this issue because it borders on its powers to summon witnesses over any matter. But if witnesses are given the Olatigbe treatment, nobody will come forward in future to testify. The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) should also take Adoke up over this matter. Nobody is saying that Olatigbe should not be transferred if his employers so decide, but the redeployment should not be made to look like punishment for his certain actions, as in this case. Why did Adoke transfer Olatigbe? I know that he will have a story to tell, but he will find it difficult to convince the public, who knows that people like him cannot stand the truth as spoken by Olatigbe before the lawmakers last February 27. Adoke, remember Bayo Ojo; remember Aondoakaa. Where are they today?
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
COMMENTS HE elite of Niger Delta (those described as vultures by Saro Wiwa) and those of the north are traditional allies. They know each other intimately. And what defines this intimate relationship is greed. Everything is therefore politics of mutual interest. And this explains why what appeared a patriotic call by the respected Sultan of Sokoto, for amnesty for Islamic insurgency that has defied solution for three years has turned into war over oil revenue sharing, or ownership of oil blocks all of which have no direct relevance to the lives of the poor in the scorched land of the Sahel north or those on polluted waters of the Delta creeks. We must not lose focus. President Jonathan who secured a landslide victory in the 2011 presidential election was soon to be confronted with crisis of legitimacy. Some states became no go area for the president. Literarily restricted to a fortified presidential palace for most official functions, the president appealed to the northern leaders including the traditional rulers for help. We the cynics also supported the president by insisting the northern leaders must be made to confront their nemesis- their angry hungry uneducated jobless youths using religion as a subterfuge to fight their oppressors. Thereafter, a committee on Reconciliation, Healing and Security, chaired by Ambassador Zakari Ibrahim, was set up by the Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF). The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, by canvassing for total amnesty for members of Boko Haram, to end their four-year reign of terror merely echoed the recommendation of that committee. The NSGF committee among other recommendations also requested the president to visit Borno, Yobe and Kano states, the epicenter of Boko Haram insurgency. It also urged the president to “order the immediate release of all detainees against whom there is no established case of criminal involvement, and the immediate prosecution of those against whom there is evidence of criminal involvement, before courts of competent jurisdictions.” The Sultan, who has admitted during the re-
‘The beauty of democracy is dialogue even when other option like coercion is available. And in a federal arrangement, compromise which comes only through dialogue without preconditions is a celebrated virtue’
Amnesty dialogue and compromise cent annual meeting of the Central Council of the Jama’atul Nasril Islam, JNI, in Kaduna that ‘We northerners have put ourselves in a quagmire, because whatever that is happening in the North is our own doing’ has as a demonstration of his commitment to finding solution to the problem within his Muslim fold, recommended that the Federal Government commence the process of licensing preachers in the country to reduce the incidence of wrong indoctrination of youths. But rejecting the Sultan’s recommendation at a Town Hall meeting in Damaturu, during his first visit to Yobe State, the president declared “We cannot declare amnesty for Boko Haram because we cannot declare amnesty for ghosts”. He has remained resolute even after it was pointed out that in 2012, we spent N1 trillion fighting the insurgency that has already led to the death of about 4,000 Nigerians and that some of those he described as ghosts are still in detention. Not even the Sultan’s logic that “even if it is only one that is identified, that one would provide a lead” impressed the president. But as if to make the government’s work easy, Muhammed Abdulaziz the Second-in-Command (southern and northern Borno) of Boko Haram, publicly declared a ceasefire which he said was the result of a dialogue with the Borno State government. “We are going to comply with the cease- fire order and by the time we are done with that, then government security agencies can go ahead to arrest whoever they find carrying arms or killing under our name,” If one thought that was all the lead a responsive government needed to act, one was wrong. Last Sunday several days after this press statement, the president’s spokesman issued a state-
ODAY April 4, the two-term globally acclaimed former President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Comrade Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole marks his 60th birthday anniversary. At its maiden merit award edition recently in Lagos, the Labour Writers Association of Nigeria (LAWAN), among others honoured the Comrade Governor for being a Pride of modern Trade Unionism. It was instructive that Labour writers singled out the governor for the merit award. Indeed the significant part of the citation was devoted to his almost four decades-long trade union career (1971-2007). Undoubtedly the essential and perhaps most critical attributes of Adams Oshiomhole is trade unionism. LAWAN certainly got it right; the life and times of Adams show that his main strenuous preoccupations have been with the improvement in the working and living conditions of working men and women. Not surprising that Adams the unionist, advocate, negotiator, the striker and mass organizer any day captures public imagination rather than Oshiomhole, twice democratically elected governor, (the latest in which he won in all the 18 local governments, being the land-mark 18/18), the statesman, the humorist, peace-maker, pace-setter, the dancer, friend, father and grandfather. A decade well before Comrade Adams started his working career in Arewa Textile Mill in Kaduna in 1971, Nelson Mandela (precisely in 1961) had said ‘Struggle is my life’. Looking at the well documented activities of the labour leader in the last four decades one can conveniently conclude that ‘Struggle is his (Adams’) life’. As his assistant as well as deputy for years and eventual successor as the General Secretary of the National Union of Textile and Garment Workers’ Union of Nigeria (NUTGWN), I bear witness that thousands of national and local collective agreements on wages, allowances, gratuities, hours of work, etc bear the bold signature imprint of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole in the textile industry. The union years of Adams were in a developmental, industrialising Nigeria. In the 70s and 80s, in Kaduna town alone, there were over 10 large integrated textile mills that employed on the average 2,500 workers. United Textile Nigeria alone employed about 5000 workers. The latter group that extended as far as Funtua and Guzau in Katsina and Zamfara states respectively had combined 10,000 workforce. Indeed nationally, there were as many as 200 textile mills with as many as 150,000 workers. Textile industry was the largest employer of labour followed by government. The labour market challenge was not unemployment but ensuring that work was decent in terms of pay, hours of work and security of work. This was where Comrade Adams and his colleagues audaciously made a difference. They courageously and selflessly checked the authoritarian labour regimes of mainly Asian employers from
ment tasking the northern leaders canvassing for amnesty to identify Boko Haram members And now lined up behind the president are the Delta warlords, militants turned contractors, intellectuals and other opinion leaders from the zone who now claim Boko Haram is sponsored by their traditional allies from the north to discredit Jonathan presidency and also for a greater portion of oil revenue. We have in the group Prof Kimse Okoko, President of Conference of Ethnic Nationalities of the Niger Delta, Ms. Ann Kio Briggs of the Ijaw Republican Assembly, former MEND leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, the Izon-Ebe Oil Producing Communities Forum (IOPCF) and pioneer Chairman of Traditional Rulers of Oil Mineral Producing Communities of Nigeria, (TROMPCON) Pere Charles Ayemi Botu. Not left out is HRM, King Dodo II, Pere of Bilabiri Mien Kingdom, Bayelsa state”. Support is also coming for the president’s stand from unusual quarters – Femi Fani-Kayode who hitherto was a critic of Jonathan’s administration Understandably, the president’s hard line position is supported by Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) whose members have suffered more in the almost three years of mindless killing and burning of churches. Its National Secretary General Reverend Musa Asake, stated categorically that “the association rejects any offer of amnesty for members of the Boko Haram sect ‘“because the Sultan used the word injustice to the sect and not to the Christians” But in this unfolding war between Niger Delta oil owners and their traditional allies, my sympathy lies with the later. Unlike the president who controls an awesome apparatus of state power which he displayed during his visit to
Yola and who also has a fortified Aso rock as shield, the northern leaders and the poor under daily assault by Boko Haram have nowhere to hide. There had been attempts on the lives of the Shehu of Borno, the Emir of Kano and the Emir of Fika. The emirs are safe neither in their palaces nor in the hallowed mosques. The governors operate from adjacent states. And those who failed to make a difference when they were in power like the celebrated oil block owners and the fuel subsidy fraudsters have migrated to Lagos or abroad. I take side with them because their individual members alone can tell where the shoe pinches. And this perhaps explains why Abdulsalami Abubakar, former military Head of state whose Niger State witnessed brutal murder of youth corpers not too long ago, chose far away New York to lend his voice to the call for amnesty for Boko Haram: “People are made homeless, people are made orphans, they are made widows, so if amnesty to this people will bring peace and bring succour to our country, why not?”, he had said in an answer to a reporter. Alhaji Abubakar Tsav former Commissioner of Police, Lagos State; Nuru Ribadu, Nasir El Rufai andnd Hafiz Rigim, the former IG who escaped death by the whiskers and who is now seeking asylum in Britain, are voices from outside the troubled area supporting amnesty for Boko Haram. National Assembly members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, from the North-east have also appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan. The Deputy Senate Leader, Abdul Ningi, made the appeal saying “We want the president to make a u-turn, grant them amnesty, protect our lives and address the security challenges in the region”. Besides, the voiceless poor in the embattled north eastern Nigeria are also caught in between two deep seas. The Amnesty International Report entitled, “Nigeria: Trapped in the Cycle of Violence’’, was recently released. It documented the atrocities carried out by Boko Haram as well as the alleged human rights violations carried out by security forces in response. The report spoke of ‘disappearance, torture, extrajudicial executions, the torching of homes and detention without trial’. This column has canvassed for dialogue for two years. That is because the beauty of democracy is dialogue even when other option like coercion is available. And in a federal arrangement, compromise which comes only through dialogue without preconditions is a celebrated virtue. Those who committed crime deserve punishment. The president must however know that Boko Haram like any group in our multi ethnic society owes no one an apology for wanting to be different.
Essential Oshiomhole @ 60 By Issa Aremu China and India. Instead, textile union under the stewardship of Adams and scores of organisers that included late Muhammed Bello, Alhaji L A Shittu, Alhaji Umoru Muhammed, late Emmanuel Amadi, Andrew Asagbohi enthroned what the Swedish political economists, professors Bjorn Beckman and Gunilla Andrae called Union Power in Nigerian Textile industry(1999) ( the only sector to be so studied). This singular all-time record achievement in textile union eminently qualified Adams, deputy President of NLC to become the fourth President of NLC where his impact was even more globally felt in areas of improved minimum wage, serial resistance against persistent fuel price increases and bold engagement with private sector employers against casualisation of labour force. A look at the issues that preoccupied Adams and his comrades show that what labour unions do are as all-inclusive as they are diverse; wage increase, decent jobs (anticasualisation), petroleum pricing and deregulation, privatisation, education (ASUU/Government conflicts), democracy (electoral bill, probity among politicians), anticorruption, nationalism (Bakassi) national unity, organizational and capacity building. Significantly, the forms of struggle employed by Adams were knowledge-driven. Indeed it was the quality of knowledge that Adams brought into the struggle that marked him out among other NLC leaders after Hassan Sunmonu and Ali Chiroma, (the first and second Presidents of NLC respectively). Interestingly, Adams the unionist was not as politically partisan. Indeed compared to unionists like Frank Kokori of NUPENG and Pascal Bafyau, the late former President of NLC, (the most partisan unionist) Adams was political party-shy even as he ideologically insisted that unionists cannot be apolitical. Today it is a great paradox that Comrade Adams remains the most successful politically-exposed trade unionist, winning two keenly contested elections including landmark judgement that validated his first victory. The spontaneity, passion and mass enthusiasm that trailed Adams’ political datelines from his dramatic declaration of gubernatorial interest in Edo on the platform of Labour Party (LP) in 2007, to the court verdict electoral victory in 2008 as well as electoral triumph in 2012 has commendably rekindled the nostalgia of the wonderful political tradition of popular
leaders like Zik, Aminu Kano, Abubakar Rimi, Balarabe Musa as well Awo at their respective political rallies. Late Chief Gani Fawehinmi SAN did a “friendly fire” when he raised a fraternal objection to Oshiomhole’s governorship aspiration on the account that his pan-Nigerian credentials eminently qualified him for the presidency. As Edo State governor, even his political opponents bear witness to his unprecedented transformation in primary healthcare facilities and the building of new hospitals across the three senatorial districts and the 18 local governments. His administration witnessed unprecedented improvement in education infrastructure, mass renovation of public schools, provision of learning aids and instruction materials, adequate deployment of teachers and model schools. He also provided jobs through public works with thousands of youths employed and secondly through industrial development as witnessed by the recent monumental investment of over $2billion by Alhaji Aliko Dangote in the fertilizer plant at Agenebode. Adams has shown that comrades could be effective state actors just as well as they are effective non-state actors. His greatest strength is even on the soft issue; he has demonstrated that being in public office does not necessarily change one’s loud advocacy for good governance. On the contrary, Adams has been as loud in demanding for accountability and transparency in governance just as when he was a labour leader. As regular interventionist in national discourse, he is never on the fence. He had at several times interrogated the assumptions of neo- liberalism ,insisting that contrary to the received wisdom, government has business in business and that governance cannot and should not be left to market forces. Some of his interventions made a positive difference such as his decisive mediation in ASSU/ Federal government protracted industrial crisis of 2010! Some interventions were understandably controversial such as his moderated position on fuel subsidy issue in 2011. In all, his voice was loudly counted! The Essential Oshiomhole is commitment to what you believe in. A participant of Course 9 in 1988, he is a member of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS). Happy birthday comrade governor! • Aremu, mni, is Secretary General of Alumni Association of the National Institute (AANI)
EDUCATION Website:- http://www.thenationonlineng.com
THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
Some students of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD) are on their way to making first class, following their outstanding performances so far. Eleven of them made 5.0 Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA), a rare feat; others’ scores are between 4.5 and 4.9 CGPA, reports ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA.
•Some of the students (front row) in a group photograph with (second row from left) Prof Akunyili, Aare Babalola, his wife, Yeye Modupe; Dr Ajayi, Prof Osho and ABUAD Registrar Mrs Christie Oluborode
HEY were simply in a class of their own. They were the cynosure of all eyes at the event. In the eyes of their parents, colleagues, guests and the management of the Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), they are geniuses in the making. Or how would you describe these 11 students who made the maximum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 5.0 after an academic session? Their parents were full of joy at their rare feat. The students stood tall at the third Founder's Day of ABUAD last Thursday, where they were honoured. The university, established by legal icon Chief Afe Babalola gave out N28.5 million worth of scholarships to them and others. The 11 students are: Ogunbusola Oluwatosin (Economics), Orji Ernestina Chinwe (Medicine), Azom Esther Adaobi (Medicine), Otu Chichetaram Ruth (Medicine), Adefolaju Boluwatife Aderemi (Medicine), Ojelabi Modupe Victoria (Medicine), Igbokwe Chisom Elsie (Medicine), Apata Modupe Victoria (Medicine), Afolabi Oluwateniola Ajoke
The making of geniuses •11 students hit 5.0 CGPA at ABUAD THE WHIZZ KIDS
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
OGUNBUSOLA Oluwatosin ORJI Ernestina Chinwe AZOM Esther Adaobi OTU Chichetaram Ruth ADEFOLAJU Boluwatife Aderemi OJELABI Modupe Victoria IGBOKWE Chisom Elsie APATA Modupe Victoria AFOLABI Oluwateniola Ajoke IKEGWURU Chioma AKINSEYE Ayo Clinton
(Medicine), Ikegwuru Chioma (Medicine) and Akinseye Ayo Clinton (Petroleum Engineering). The students got N500,000 cheque each in scholarship. Mr Martin Akinseye told The Nation that his 18-year-old son, Ayo
Clinton, was winning the award for the second time, adding that he would likely win it again at the end of the current session. “He is winning it for the second time now,” said Akinseye, an ICT expert. “They have just completed
Nigeria spends $45.5m on stationery -Page 27
ECONOMICS MEDICINE MEDICINE MEDICINE MEDICINE MEDICINE MEDICINE MEDICINE MEDICINE MEDICINE PET. ENG.
ASUP gives Fed Govt 21-day ultimatum -Page 38
CUMULATIVE GPA 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 their 300-Level first semester and my son scored 5.0. So, I am hopeful that he is most likely to win it again in his third year.” He has every reason to be happy. To afford Ayo’s fees, Mr Akinseye said he has sold two cars. But he is
not missing them because of Ayo’s performance which won him the scholarship. “I had to sell my RAV4 Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) worth over a N1 million then for N600,000 to complete his school fees. Again, very recently, I sold my Honda Bulldog to make up his fees. But, with his scholarship award today, let me say categorically that I have no regret for my actions. If I’d sold the two vehicles for less than a • Continued on page 26
•An eight-page section on campus news, people etc
Varsity clears ‘illegal’ structures at campuses
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
EDUCATION UNIJOS to honour Afe Babalola, others at 26th convocation From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos
NIVERSITY of Jos (UNIJOS) has concluded arrangement to send off about 8, 000 students that have undergone academic training in the institution. The graduates comprising of nine first class students will be sent off during the university's 26th convocation on Saturday. Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof Hayward Babale Mafuyai said at a pre-convocation briefing on Tuesday that 5, 709 of the graduands will be awarded first degree, 1, 598 will receive diploma certificates while 491 will graduate with masters degrees. Fifty others will be awarded doctorate degree and 67 will be awarded post graduate diplomas. Mafuyai also said that the university will also honour three distinguished Nigerian during the programme. He said Aare Afe Babalola will receive Doctor of Law Degree for his immense contribution to educational development and exemplary leadership, Alhaji Ahmed Joda will receive Doctor of Letters, while Da Bitrus Pam Kim will be awarded Doctor of Humanity. The award will be given during the convocation ceremony slated for April 6.
Educationist: NCE has aided teacher supply
N educationist, Abdul Ganiu Olasunkanmi Ajao, has praised the National Policy on Education for initiating the Nigerian Certificate of Education (NCE) many years ago. Delivering a goodwill message at the ninth matriculation of the AnsarUd-Deen College of Education, Isolo, Lagos last Wednesday, Ajao said but for the NCE, the nation would have suffered a shortfall in teacher supply to public and privates schools, especially at the basic level. He said: "NCE certificate is a timely intervention to our educational problems. It has been performing the function of solving the inadequacy in the manpower sector. But for the quick intervention of the NCE certificate holders so many schools in Nigeria both private and public would have suffered from scarcity of qualified teachers. "The NCE programme has provided
By Sampson Unamka
teachers with the intellectual and professional background. No wonder the Federal Government of Nigeria has taken a bold step in pronouncing that the minimum qualification for primary school teachers should be NCE in line with the establishment of the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) in 1989 with Decree No 3." Earlier in his address, Provost of the college, Prof Tajudeen Gbadamosi implored the 137 matriculating students drawn from the Schools of Arts and Social Sciences, Science, and Languages, to take their oath seriously while also abiding by the rules and regulation of the institution. He urged them to hold their heads high. "I see no reason for inferiority complex because you are in a college of education. It is the same with being in the university or polytechnic," Gbadamosi said.
From left: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Sanitation, Osun State, Segun Olorunsogo, Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment and Sanitation, Bola Ilori, Osun State Deputy Governor, Titi LaoyeTomori, Commissioner for Environment and Sanitation, Olubukola Oyawoye at a one-day seminar on Schools Forestry programme at the Local Government Service Commission Hall, Osogbo
Govt should rationalise varsity courses
ITH the high unemployment rate in Nigeria, the Federal Government has been advised to rationalise university courses to include more entrepreneurial training. Director, Masters in Business Administration (MBA), Lagos Business School (LBS), Dr. Nubi Achebo, made the call at the 10th career fair of the institution. Achebo said: "In Nigeria generally, there is the inability for the industries as well as governments to absorb graduates coming from the universities. I also think there is disconnect between the various courses taught in the universities and the graduates. "As such, we have people graduating from the universities without having the necessary skills to push them up. They have the cer-
By Precious Igbonwelundu
tificates but no skills to sell. This is a problem because companies are looking for people with skills to enhance them. "However, some universities have introduced entrepreneurial activities such that even arts students can partake in to initiate their thoughts towards self-employment." On how useful the fair has been, Achebo said: "We have been largely successful in terms of placing our students in jobs. We have a target of 70 per cent placement on graduation and we have continually met the commitment to our students to ensure they are not just thrown into the job market. "The partnership enables companies and LBS to develop a long range goal of involvement. Companies get to
know our students even before internship and full time employment. "As the talent war heats up globally, companies are looking for good talent anywhere. Multinational companies are expanding into the country while Nigerian companies are expanding into other parts of the world. "Recent reports from African Management Initiative (AMI) indicate there is a dearth of competent managers in Africa and one million managers will be needed by 2023. Many of these managers will come from LBS." Some of the participating students who spoke with The Nation praised the institute as well as the companies for availing them such rare opportunities, just as they urged the government to replicate similar efforts in the universities.
The making of geniuses • Continued from page 25
million, and he has gotten scholarships worth more than that in value, where is the regret then?” Mr Akinseye asked. Ayo attribute his achievements to his parents enrolling him in a good university like ABUAD and he is doing all he can to make them happy. “When I considered the amount my parents paid as my school fees and other things every year, I decided I was going to pay them back to make them smile and that is exactly what I’m doing,” he said. The parents of Ernestina Chinwe Orji were not surprised at her performance. She is a chip off the old block. Her father is a professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Obafemi Awolowo University, IleIfe, Osun State and her mother, Victoria, is a Chief Nurse at the OAU Teaching Hospital. “Ernestine is our first child . She is a hardworking, dutiful and God-fearing girl. On our part, we try as much as we can to provide all that she needs in school so that she doesn’t suffer,” she said. Her father, Prof Ernest Orji, added: “We are so happy today, we inculcated discipline into all our children, and this is to show that our efforts are not in vain.” For the recipient, the scholarship which she is clinching for the first time will spur her to greater heights. “For me I have come a long way; sleepless nights, burning night candles and all that. It’s a moment of joy for me and I hope to work harder to win it again,” she said. Some winners, in the previous editions, who got N500,000 for making a 5.0 CGPA were not that lucky this year. They went away with N85,000 for making between 4.5 and 4.9 CGPA.
Two law students, Opasina Eniola and Ade-Ojo Olayombo, who are in their 100 and 200 levels, did not make up to the 5.0 CGPA benchmark. Eniola said she did her best but couldn’t hit the 5.0 mark, Ade-Ojo promised to improve on his performance in future. Many other brilliant students won scholarships. The trio of Adefolaju Boluwatife, Igbokwe Chisom Eisie and Ikegwuru Chioma, studying Medicine and Surgery, won between N85,000 and N100,000. But, in ABUAD, scholarships are not only for the brilliant. The pair of Oluwafunmilola Waleola, 20, and Adeola Crystal Adewuyi, 18, who won in the university’s inter-faculty sports competition were among several sportsmen and women rewarded with trophies. Oluwafunmilola from Electrical/ Electronic Engineering won in football, Adeola shone in volleyball. Rev Chris Tamuola, a lawyer, who spoke on behalf of the parents, thanked the university, especially Aare Babalola, for establishing what he described as a healthy intellectual challenge” among their children. “Of all public and private universities, it is only ABUAD that has instituted this magnitude of scholarship. After each event, every parent wants to prompt his child to win because when they win the burden of tuition is reduced. Parents will continue to support the university on this initiative,” he said. A lecturer of Macro/Micro and Energy Economics, Mr Akomolafe John, emerged the best teacher of the year with N100,000 reward. The hall shook when Akomolafe’s name was called. “I want to dedicate this award to the students,” Akomolafe said.
“The students made me. There is joy you cannot quantify when you are in the midst of students who accept, cherish and appreciate your work. There is no doubt you will be willing to do more. One thing I appreciate is that the students are always around me and they make me feel at home.” Earlier, Prof Akunyili who was the special guest of honour, described Are Babalola as a rare gem, philanthropist and a man who believes in justice. She praised the legal luminary for establishing the university and investing in education while others similarly endowed misuse their wealth. “The difference between Aare Afe and others is because he nurtures his dreams into reality and ABUAD is a shining example. Before, I used to hear about this university, but with the huge investment I have seen here, let me say that the media has not done justice to this university. This is a world-class university set up by a concerned individual in the face of decaying education in Nigeria when people who are even richer than him are spending their money on private jets,” she said. She said the awards would motivate students to achieve more, adding: “My respect for you has increased, today, with what I’ve seen. When people are rewarded, they tend to do more; but when the reverse is the case, it breeds corruption. These awards, I am sure, will have a ripple effect, because it will encourage others to do more.” Aare Babalola said he invited Prof Akunyili based on her exploits in the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) which the students could learn from. He said he established
• Ayo (right) with his father, Mr Akinseye
ABUAD to demonstrate to Nigeria how education should be run to achieve the best. Prof Osho said ABUAD, which is 38 months old, is adjudged the second best university in Nigeria and 16th among universities worldwide, according to Webometrics online ranking of universities. This, she said, followed an earlier endorsement of ABUAD by the NUC as “a model, benchmark and reference point for other universities.” She said the university has realised that motivating staff and students are vital to realising the founder’s vision. “In ABUAD, we have realised that recognition and motivation, are areas vital to encouraging and challenging students and staff not to rest on their oars but strive harder so that the vision of the founder can be achieved. “This cash reward is a trademark of our Founder, Aare Afe Babalola, a philanthropist par excellence. His life is to encourage others to build communities and be a main agent of
education reform and change. ABUAD is a vision in motion,” she said. Prof Osho said 256 students, comprising 156 women and 96 men and 20 members of staff (three women and 17 men) received awards in various categories. She gave the breakdown of the awards to include: Academic Award for students having 5.0 CGPA (N500,000); Academic Award for students having 4.5-4.9 CGPA (N75,000-N100,000); students with satisfactory proof of being an indigent and inability to continue their university education in ABUAD (N400,000). Other awards included those for the most disciplined student, neatest student, best dressed student, most outstanding student leader, most outstanding student of integrity, most industrious student, most responsible student, most preserving indigent student and sportsman of the year, among others, with cash rewards ranging between N50,000 and N100, 000.
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
Nigeria spends $45.5m yearly on stationery
LECTURER, Prof Goddy Nkem Onuoha, has disclosed that Nigeria spends between $54.5million and $91million annually on importation of education materials for school-age children. Delivering the 23rd inaugural lecture of the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) at the weekend, Onuoha said it was
From Ndidi Okodili, Owerri
regrettable that the pencils imported from China could be produced locally. "All the basic raw materials (graphite, clay and wood) required for the production of pencils have been identified to exist in sufficient quantities in Nigeria", he said.
The professor of Chemistry lamented that the country suffers economically because of its inability to transform natural resources to good that satisfy human needs. "Our inability to key into the new and emerging technologies and therefore commercialise our low hanging fruits has forced us to remain a consumer nation. It
UNIABUJA crisis deepens
HE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Abuja Zone has said that failure by the Federal Government to urgently release the White Paper of the Special Visitation Panel to the University of Abuja may further deepen the crisis in the institution. ASUU also advised government to take decisive actions against the Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Prof. Sunday Adelabu. Abuja Zone of ASUU comprising University of Abuja, Federal University of Technology (FUTM), Minna, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University Lapai (IBBUL), Nasarawa State University (NSUK), Keffi, Federal University of Agriculture (FUAM), Makurdi, Benue State University, Makurdi (BSU) and Kogi State University, Anyigba
From Grace Obike, Abuja
met and resolved that: "The White Paper issue which no doubt was time and resources-consuming should be taken to completion in order that the University of Abuja may move forward. "This University has been in the news for the wrong reasons for too long. The Zone therefore appeals to all well-meaning Nigerians and parents to prevail on the Federal Government to release the White Paper which was submitted six months ago, as a matter of urgency." According to the communiqué issue after the meeting and signed by the ASUU chairmen in the zone, the group also resolved that government should ensure that the carrying capacity of the universities that the UNIABUJA Engineering students are
transferred to are not exceeded in order not to jeopardize quality. The group also seek access to it national secretariat and protection for the UNIABUJA ASUU Chairman. The communiqué reads: "The Zone condemned in strongest terms, the hostility of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja towards our Union in denying us access to our National Secretariat and locking out our UniAbuja branch chairman from his office for one week. "The zone appeals to the relevant security agencies in the Federal Capital Territory to please secure right of access to our National Secretariat and protect the branch Chairman of ASUU UniAbuja in particular and all our members in the branch from the Vice Chancellor's unwarranted acts of aggression.
is regrettable that Nigeria with its abundant human and natural resources was considered one of the 20 poorest countries of the world," he said. Onuoha, therefore, recommended that government at all levels should develop the political will and create the enabling environment for the sustenance of research and development activi-
ties. He underscored the need for government to ensure that basic sciences are adequately taught in schools. The don also urged financial institutions to support entrepreneurs with proven capabilities to translate research results and create employment.
‘Lagos committed to teachers' welfare’
MEMBER of the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Ifako-Ijaiye 2 Constituency, Ipoola Omisore, has assured teachers of the state government's commitment to their welfare at all times. Omisore, who is the Chairman, Committee on Special Duties and House Services, gave this assurance at the seventh annual merit award of the Lagos State Education District 1, held at the Government Senior College Hall in Agege. Assuring that there is hope for Lagos State teachers, the lawmaker said Governor Babatunde Fashola is more interested in teachers' progress. "We know that teachers are very important to our society and they are entitled to better life. Teachers in Lagos State are entitled to 13th month salary and they should not beg for it, but we all know that Lagos has a lot of challenges confronting it. "But I am assuring you that when I get back to the House, this issue of 13th month salary will be addressed. By the grace of God, if it comes in
By Oziegbe Okoeki
next year's budget, we as lawmakers will support it," he assured. Responding after he was presented with the award of Philanthropist and Lover of Education by the district, Omisore said: "I feel fulfilled. I never knew people were watching me when I became dedicated to the course of education in my constituency, Lagos and Nigeria at large. "Over the period of time, I have been running and sponsoring free WAEC lectures ensuring that students in my constituency pass vital subjects in their WAEC and in the last four years, their results have continued to get better. "So calling me today to come and receive an award is so special to me because in Nigeria of today, there are many phony awards, but this is real and I am very glad."
UTME: JAMB trains 166 coordinators
• Secretary-General, OSAN, Adeolu Ayana (second right) and some Exco members, presenting Odubela with the award.
Commissioner counsels students on good conduct
NDIGENES of Ogun State in higher institutions of learning have been admonished to let the spirit of 'omoluabi' be their guiding principle wherever they find themselves. In addition, they were enjoined to refrain from all acts that could tarnish the image of both their families and the state in general. Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Barrister Segun Odubela gave the charge while receiving an award of "OSAN icon of nation building" from Oduduwa Student's Association of Nigeria 'OSAN' in his office in Abeokuta. The Commissioner, who noted that most vices now ravaging the country are usually perpetrated by the youths, advised the students to always remember the homes they left behind and be mindful of the company they keep. He added that
the state government will continue to support students of the state in institutions of higher learning. "Your welfare will remain sacrosanct in the life of the present administration. Governor Amosun holds education in high esteem. He will continue to do all that are necessary to make life worth while for you," Odubela said. Earlier in his address, the secretary general of OSAN, comrade Ayano Adeola described the commissioner as a distinguished leader whose contribution to the educational development in Ogun State cannot be over emphasised. "It is gratifying to note that the sincere and nationalistic disposition of our amiable recipient in delivering his mandate
to improve qualitative education, service delivery in the education sector, enlightenment, commitment, effectiveness, dedication, leadership and genuine service delivery for all has further endeared you to us," he said Meanwhile, Odubela has commended authorities of public secondary schools in the state for contributing to the smooth conduct of the second term unified examination ended recently. The commissioner gave the commendation while performing symbolic presentation of results sheets to pupils attending public secondary schools in Abeokuta. The commissioner, who noted that the unified examination has come to stay, urged parents and guardians to always monitor their wards, especially during the holidays.
S part of its efforts to conduct a hitch-free Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) had a brain-storming meeting with over 166 coordinators for Computer Based Test (CBT) and Paper Pencil Test (PPT) scheduled for April 27 across the nation. The coordinators are senior and experienced staff drawn from 190 coordinating institutions of tertiary institutions across the country. The meeting was designed to keep the coordinators abreast of 2013 UTME features, its expectation and their roles towards ensuring the success of the examination. Declaring the training open, the JAMB Registrar Prof 'Dibu Ojerinde said it would equip the coordinators with skills to reduce shortcomings in the conduct of the examination and familiarise them with the roles of the coordinators, supervisors, centre coordinators, assistant coordinators, invigilators, technical staff and attendants. "The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) experience has shown that result blackout, incomplete results and other seemingly problem occur as a result of certain shortcomings often discovered either on the part of the candidate or on the part of other stakeholders right from the stage of registration of candidates to the conduct of the examination. It is against this backdrop that the Board deems it necessary to conduct this training for her examination officials." In his address, the Acting Director, Test Administration Department, Dr Yusuf Lawal commended the Registrar, whom he described as Mr. Innovation, for the various initiatives and achievements recorded since he came on Board as the helmsman. "Between 2007 when Prof 'Dibu Ojerinde was appointed as the Registrar of JAMB and now, we have recorded a number of achievements too numerous to mention but it will not be out of
place, because of its direct relevance to our activity of today to recall with some sense of satisfaction that Professor 'Dibu Ojerinde introduced the UTME in 2010, on the heel of this we are here in 2013 celebrating the introduction of Computer Based Test (CBT)." He said the Computer Based Test (CBT) mode will be conducted alongside two other modes, that is, Dual Based Test (DBT) and the traditional Paper and Pencil Test (PPT). In the CBT mode, the deployment of question and responses would be on the computer while in the DBT the question will be deployed on the computer while responses would be on Optical Mark Readable (OMR) answer sheets; and the traditional PPT would be presented on paper and the responses will be on (OMR) answer sheets. However, from 2015, he said only the CBT mode would be used for the examination. "It would be most appropriate to re-emphasize that the transition period from PPT to CBT is three years lasting till 2015 when it is expected that all candidates for the Board's Matriculation Examination will sit for the test electronically."
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
Reforming the reforms
HE education reforms in Rivers State that transformed public primary schools into beautiful environments conducive for teaching and learning have been applauded by many within and outside the state. However, the reforms have also thrown up challenges about sustainability beyond the present administration and drawn attention to other areas of need. After five years of reforms targeted at overhauling the education sector of the state, the chief reformer, Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and his Commissioner for Education, Dame Alice Lawrence-Nemi gathered eggheads for an education summit in Port Harcourt Monday and Tuesday last week to discuss ways to consolidate gains, correct errors and evolve policies that would meet the state's development aspirations. Thirteen papers were delivered and debated during the two-day summit which had in attendance the likes of Prof. Wole Soyinka, who chaired the opening ceremony, Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Hon Tele Ikuru, Mrs Sarah Sosan, former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Emeritus Prof. Ayo Banjo, who delivered the keynote address, Emeritus Prof Tekena Nitonye Tamuno, who chaired the plenary sessions, Commissioners of Education from other States of the Federation, Prof Nimi Briggs, and Prof. Otonti Nduka, and Hon. Odein Ajumogobia, among others. There were 824 participants from within and outside the state who actively participated in discussing issues of improving learning outcomes, addressing poor teacher quality, supply, and training needs, effective management of schools, and repositioning tertiary institutions to focus on areas of strength, among others. In line with the theme of the summit tagged: "Enhancing Sustainable Development in Education", the paper presenters argued for changes in the way education is currently being administered. The journey so far During the summit, Amaechi said his intervention in the education sector was hinged on the level of involvement of young people in Rivers State in militancy and cultrelated activities. He noted he was particularly concerned that many were from underprivileged homes, without access to quality education, which had become the preserve of the rich. "When I became governor, 90 per cent of young people were militants. I wanted to achieve an education that makes children have skills for employment. I was concerned that why the poor can't have access the quality education? Why can't the rich and poor learn together? There was need for reform," he said. Following his government's investment running into billions of naira, more than 270 model primary and secondary schools have been constructed; textbooks, uniforms, sandals and sports wears have been distributed under the free education initiative; while he took over the payment of salaries of primary school teachers from local governments among others. However, despite the progress made, the governor said people
By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
should not think much has been achieved. Beyond beautiful looking schools, he said he is seeking policies that would institutionalise effective school management, check sharp practices by head teachers and teachers, enhance teaching quality and delivery of the curriculum among others. "If you ask me, not much has happened since the retreat in Calabar. If you see the impact assessment report, it is a bit appalling. We shouldn't be deceived by the facade of infrastructural development. We should not politicise education at all to get votes. You go to our primary schools, they look beautiful outside. When you visit they put on the generator for you when you leave they put it off. The head teacher will tell you there is no diesel. This is no longer government because we have provided funds but a management problem," he said. The governor's pessimism about achievements in the sector following his personal inspection of schools and the unflattering report of an impact and needs assessment of education service delivery by Helen Fadipe, the picture is not so gloomy. A paper by Prof Olaseni AkintolaBello also showed gaps in learning outcomes in numeracy skills. But literacy skills were more impressive. He however noted that performance gaps between urban and rural schools were narrowing. In his paper titled: "Access, Quality and Equity in Primary and Secondary Education in Rivers State 2008-2013", Akintola-Bello said an assessment of Primary Five and JSS2 pupils in two schools each in the 23 local government areas of the state revealed that pupils scored an average of 51 per cent in the literacy tests, 31 in numeracy which was poor generally, and 41 in life skills. Despite there being no baseline statistics to compare the result with, he said the assessment showed that rural schools were catching up with their urban counterparts or even overtaking them in some areas. He however urged the state to address the poor numeracy skills and re-train mathematics teachers to teach better. He also urged the government to sustain its funding of education which would yield fruit in the long run He said: "Continue with current level of expenditure in education. Sustained under-financing is unequivocally bad for efficiency, equity and education quality," he said. In her speech, the Education Commissioner, Mrs LawrenceNemi, said the summit was the third in five years organised to reposition the education sector and ensure sustainability of progressive policies. She added that the ministry, under her watch had drafted an education policy that would guide how the education sector is managed. The document was presented before stakeholders who critiqued it at a forum held mid-March. When completed, she said it would sustain the efforts started by the present administration to revamp the sector. Teacher quality, development and supply Several papers touched on the
• Amaechi flanked by the Deputy Governor, Ikuru (left) and Prof Soyinka at the summit
‘When I became governor, 90 per cent of young people were militants. I wanted to achieve an education that makes children have skills for employment. I was concerned that why the poor can't have access the quality education? Why can't the rich and poor learn together? There was need for reform’ •Mrs Lawrence-Nemi
problems of teacher education, quality and supply. Speaking on the topic, "Agenda for Educational Development," Keynote speaker, Prof Ayo Banjo pointed out the need to revamp teacher training education, because of the lack of depth of trained teachers in their teaching subjects. "If the standard of secondary schools are to be raised teachers should be graduates in their teaching subjects before they train as teachers as was done before," he said. In his paper on "Implementing The New Basic and Secondary School Education Curricula: Strategies and Challenges" the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), Prof Godswill Obioma, also urged the government to intervene in the training of teachers at the colleges of education as they lacked requisite skills to deliver the new curricula, especially in the trade subjects. "Colleges of Education should revise their teacher training curriculum because their teachers lack the competencies and skills to teach the new curriculum. The current textbooks are also a mismatch with the curriculum," he said. Following a study that showed the state needed 91,000 teachers, Amaechi said he directed that 13,000 passionate teachers be recruited, who would implement the new policies of the state.
In fulfilling the government's request for 13,000 teachers, Mr Charles Magbe of Price Water House Coopers said only 47 per cent (three per cent outstanding, 44 per cent good and very good) of the 18,000 candidates that applied to be teachers were qualified. He underscored the need for proper induction and continuous training for the new recruits. On his part, Emeritus Professor Joshua said it is possible to improve the quality of the new recruits through proper induction, training, monitoring and mentoring. To this end in his paper on "Quality Professional Development in Rivers State", he counseled the government to establish a resource centre which would provide adequately for the inservice training of new teachers. He also advocated for a re-certification programme for teachers every three years to keep them update the knowledge of their subject matter and sharpen their pedagogical skills. He said: "We need teacher-training system based on competence. We should focus on how to teach teachers to teach well and equip them with pedagogical skills. Before they enter the classroom, the new teachers should be given a quick induction. This should be followed by monitoring, further training and mentoring. The state should put in place a comprehensive programme for training teachers."
Communiqué After extensive deliberations, the communiqué signed by the Education Commissioner adopted many of the recommendations made by the speakers.
Part of the recommendations reads:
•Curriculum implementation for the revised Basic Education Curriculum will be in phases as prescribed by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Commission (NERDC). •There is need to review the programmes of Rivers State University Science and Technology/ University of Education to be in tandem with demands of the new curriculum. •Textbooks should also be restructured in line with the revised Basic Education Curriculum •Science and Technology education should receive a boost. •Management and teacher capacity should be built through refresher courses and re-certification programmes, i.e Countinous Teacher Development. •All new teachers soon to be injected into the school system will be inducted to be able to grapple with demands of classroom teaching. •Quality Assurance shall be given the expected impetus through the activities of the Quality assurance Agency of the State.
‘We need right facilities to compete with people on horses’
UPILS of Daniel Akintonde Model School for the handicapped Children, Adigbe, have appealed to the Ogun State government to provide them with hostel, transport facility, security and specialised educational materials to make their learning easier. The pupils - 229 in number, comprising of the deaf, dumb and mentally challenged, said though per-
Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
forming well in their studies, they were competing with "people on horses," apparently referring to the normal children in conventional schools. The handicapped children communicated their needs to the state government through their Assistant Head Teacher, Mrs Babatunde Grace, when the Chairman of the
State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Hon. Mufutau Ajibola visited the school to monitor the conduct of the Unified Examinations for public primary schools in the state. They said: "We are trying to improvise. It is too tough for us. We are competing with people on horses but we are performing more than expectations, our teachers are
making efforts to ensure that we perform better." If the government could make facilities available to them, the pupils said it would enhance their intellectual output, and boost their morale and ability to interact with others. Responding, Ajibola who commended the school management and pupils for their cleanliness, ex-
pressed satisfaction with their conduct during examinations. On the pupils' request, the SUBEB boss urged them to document their needs and submit to the government through his office. He assured the pupils that the Senator Ibikunle Amosun-led administration in the state would look into their matter with urgency.
‘What God has joined together...’
Kicking out polio
*NEWS *PEOPLE *KUDOS& KNOCKS *GRANTS
CAMPUS LIFE 0805-450-3104 email: email@example.com THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
Ayomide Atitebi, 400-Level Law, has just handed over as the Face of Law Faculty at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife. The student, who also established Strong room of Dreams International (SDI) to help students fulfil their destinies, held a seminar tagged: These ones must not die. He told CALEB ADEBAYO (300Level Law) what motivates him. •Bulldozer pulling down the business centres... last week
The demolition of illegal structures at the Owerri and Orlu campuses of the Imo State University (IMSU) has left many traders stranded. Students were also affected. EKENE AHANEKU (200-Level Optometry) and CHIDIEBERE ENYIA (300-Level English and Literary Studies) report.
‘Beauty is a measure of character’
‘Illegal’ structures go as varsity clears twin-campus F
OR one week, bulldozers rumbled through the Owerri and Orlu campuses of the Imo State University (IMSU), demolishing structures which the authorities described as illegal. Many business centres were affected. Traders and shop owners watched helplessly as their structures were demolished during the exercise supervised by officials of the university’s Works Department. Students also had a taste of the demolition. The cafeterias where they get cheap food were pulled down. On the Owerri campus, Indomie Spot, a students’ restaurant close to the school’s indoor games centre, was flattened. The students’ cafeteria at the back of the Faculty of Engineering was not spared. IMSU’s Mr. Bigg’s, a regular joint for medical students in Orlu, suffered the
same fate. Desolate buildings and abandoned lecture rooms were also pulled down. CAMPUSLIFE learnt that the demolition order came from the government. It is to create spaces for new structures. Before the exercise, the management gave the shop owners two weeks to leave. Our correspondents learnt that the traders complained that the notice was “too short”. When the Works Department officials embarked on the exercise, it was learnt that students prevented them from pulling down a row of computer centres, complaining that their demolition would hurt them. The students also prevented the demolition of the cafeterias.
The officials reported to the management and returned the following week with some security men to demolish the cafeterias. The exercise was carried out when customers were having their meals and many students rushed out in order not to be trapped inside. A female trader, who was in tears as her shop was being pulled down, said she paid about N350,000 to the management to open her computer centre three months ago. “Since they knew that they are coming to demolish the building, why did they ask me to pay that huge money? Now, they have ruined my business in a day,” she said. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that the Act-
ing Vice-Chancellor, Prof Ukachukwu Awuzie, ordered the demolition after consulting the Senate. The demolition was followed by the clearing of sites for the erection of structures for new departments and existing ones. Faculties that will get new buildings include Law, which lost its accreditation because of the old facilities in which students were being taught. An official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “The demolition is a directive from the school management, acting on the order of the state government that wants space for more structures to be erected for lecture halls and classrooms. So, I can tell you that the VC or any member of the management does not hate the •Ayomide •Continued on page 31
•See page 30
•No hike in fees, VC assures students-P32•Liberty group inaugurates exco-P33
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
CAMPUS LIFE When the new generation spoke
Pushing Out with
ATTENDED the fifth edition of “The Bola Tinubu Colloquium” held as part of activities marking the former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu 61st birthday of last Thursday. What a time it was! For once I was in an event where the guests were not in a hurry to leave because of the issue at stake: How does Nigeria move forward?. It was also an opportunity to see that we have youths that are ready to take the bull by the horn and cause a change in this country. The theme of the colloquium “Beyond mergers: A national movement for change. A new generation speaks” was quite apt and did they speak! Five of Nigeria’s highly-talented youths spoke that night. Mrs. Hafsat Abiola-Costello, a civil rights and democracy activist; Femi Edun runs an investment banking firm; Kolawole Oyeneyin is a business strategist; Myani Bukar is a lawyer while Olubankole Wellington, popularly known by his stage name Banky W is a rhythm and blues singer. Edun took the podium first to address the audience made up of governors, ex-governors, senators, members of the House of Representatives and Houses of Assembly and other distinguished ladies and gentlemen. I looked around before the colloquium kicked off to see if members of my target community – undergraduates – were present but I seem not to notice any. So I quickly did a mental check and the reporter in me said I should start taking notes so that I can “address” them today on the critical issues raised. Femi Edun, who was the lead speaker, spoke eloquently on the growing gulf between the rich and poor and the growing poverty rate in the country and the need for equity, justice and fairness. Quoting statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics and other sources and doing a comparative analysis of Nigeria and countries like Brazil which we were
‘Beauty is a measure of character’ •Continued from page 29
OW did it feel being the Face of Law for a session? It was not the easy task that people believed it to be. It actually came with a big responsibility than the honour attached to it. But then, it was an exciting experience. How did you handle the fame? I am used to getting attention, especially when I am in the midst of other youths. Being the face of law, all the attention I got did not really pose a challenge or affected my activities. I had learnt how to handle that. It only requires a high degree of responsibility, humility and preparedness. What is Strong room of Dreams International (SDI)? It is a formidable, well-organised body of young individuals, who are being equipped to achieve realistic objectives by redefining excellence in the human society through capacity building. We strongly believe that every youth is an embodiment of great dreams. Thus, we seek to assist the youths in fulfilling their destinies by celebrating their excellence to impact the society. We envision a society where every youth is actively engaged in the march to greatness through the promotion of diligence and leadership capabilities. As a leader, what would you say have been your challenges in leadership and how have you tackled them? I must admit that it has not been a hitch-free ride. My greatest challenge has always been how to bring many people from different socio-cultural and religious backgrounds together to achieve multi-dimensional goals. I
08052959489 (SMS only)
•firstname.lastname@example.org benchmarked with at independence, Edun stressed that we failed and proved the bookmakers who had placed their bet on us wrong. He called for a new era of change where the youths would play a role. In an emotion-laden and passionate voice that actually moved the crowd, Oyeneyin, who spoke on the topic, “Beyond Merger- Responsibility of Older generation to the younger generation said many youths were angry with the country our leaders left for us. To him, the situation is like a time bomb waiting to explode – if nothing is done to address it. “We are a generation that have never witness a good Nigeria and I speak for myself and people within my age bracket. We have kept so much in our heart as young people and I think time has come for us to speak out”. And speak out he did. With a youth population of 67 million, he said it is sad that the present political structure in the country is built in such a way that the youth have been cut off from governance. But he noted that change would come if young people are brought on board, considering that they have the intellectual and human capacity to understand the time we are in and they can make politics to look “sexy” which drew laughter from the audience and every speaker after him used the word one way or another. He charged the leaders to kill the mentality that youth are leaders of tomorrow. “Tomorrow is already here”. He said the youth must be part of the ideology, stressing that they must not be left out in decision making. Mrs. Abiola-Costello, who spoke on “Millennium Development Goals- where is Nigeria?” said the country was lagging behind in the implementation of the eight goals, but, in her view,
used to have the challenge of understanding people and their nature and how to make everyone work perfectly together without having to bark. Whenever I am faced with such a challenge, I always seek God’s guidance and also consult people that can give me advice. Is it because you are handsome that you were elected the Face of Law? Of course, the saying that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder is a fact. On my election as the Face of Law last year, I will say that the opinion of the students that voted for me will suffice to decide if I deserved it or not. To me, there is more to beauty than a person’s physical appearance. Beauty is a measure of character and ability to accomplish what seems to be unachievable. What are your hobbies? I love to catch fun a lot and I am an extreme explorer. I love playing games, engaging in creative writing. I love chatting and could be a great actor when I argue with my friends. Who are your mentors? I have mentors. In creative writing, my mentor is Prof Wole Soyinka. In comparative leadership, no one catches my fancy like John C. Maxwell. However, when it comes to public speaking, I revere Larry King, and in business, I respect Warren Buffet. What motivates you to do what you do? God is my motivation. Then, I am moved by the great passion to leave this world a better place than I met it. Moreover, when I see young individuals like me doing great things for their societies, I am always moved and it gives me pleasure to serve and be served. What is your advise for the youths? The youths must know that they have just one life to live. Admitting this fact, they must unleash their potentials, making impact and achieving greatness. There is no joy in settling for a life that is lower than what one is capable of. They must live up to the billing and allow their abilities to speak for them.
the Southwestern states have done so well compared to their counterparts from other geo-political zones. Bukar argued that most internal conflicts, where citizens kill one another, often arise from countries’ inability to effectively define who a citizen is. Buttressing his point, he recounted personal experience in the conflict flashpoint of Jos. He praised the effort of the National Assembly to replace state of origin with residency in the Constitution. “Indigineship should be replaced with residency; Federal Character principle should be done away with. Land ownership should be revisited,” Bukar said. He urged the youths to be interested in, and involved in the task of nation building. He praised the attempt by the opposition to form a formidable party, but warned that they should be interested in the country’s growth, failing which the youths will cease to collaborate with them. Wellington urged the youth to be involved in the political process, by first, registering to vote, and actually voting for the right candidates. It is either they do that, he said, or they sit back and let someone else “steal your voice”. He said the youth should continue to protest peacefully against misrule, using social media as a tool. “Become fully involved in the political process. Use whatever voice or platform you have constructively,” Wellington said. It wasn’t an entirely youth show as Nobel laureate Prof Wole Soyinka, who was chairman of the occasion is faulted the way President Goodluck Jonathan treating the threat posed by the Boko Haram insurgency. “Let’s face it. This nation is on the brink. There are those who don’t understand this, who won’t accept this. I feel very sorry that they will wake up and find out that we have fallen over the brink. It is not what we envisaged during our struggle for independence. “It is not what we envisaged when we struggled to overthrow dictatorship and install the rights and dignity of human beings and citizens in the society. But, whether we like it or not, it has come upon us. My problem with the government right now, especially the President of this nation, is that he doesn’t seem to realise it. He has not taken the people of this nation into confidence. By now, it is my belief that the President should be addressing the nation – and in great details – explaining why, if he agrees, that this nation is at war and that certain things
have to be done to ensure that we pull back from this second round of what is moving towards a civil war. That, of course, is if he and his government accept this,” the eminent scholar said. There was a softer side to the colloquium as well, especially when Tinubu mounted the rostrum. In his view, Nigeria is drifting apart because “we have leadership that is dividing us more and more every day”. He called for value reorientation among the leadership and suggested a reversal to the old national anthem that de-emphasises differences. “We must question ourselves in Nigeria. I disagree with my brother and friend Sanusi Lamido Sanusi who says youth may form your own party. Politics is not economic policy where you can change a bank note. “If only to merge, some people are already forging names, and trying to prevent the creation of APC. You can imagine what you will go through”, he said. Being the master political strategist that he is, he invited the youth to “come and join us. You see, with a wife like this (pulling Senator Oluremi his wife closer), is politics not sexy? Join us, its sexy here on our side”. This drew a prolonged laughter from the audience. He hammered on the point that the issue is not so much about age as having the capacity to perform. “On your side, it is a challenge that you have to face. It’s not a question about age. We have seen example of age. The present President is a young man, but he has been appointing an 83-year-old man to be chairman, not just of board of trustees, but of Ports Authority where high decisions, articulated, modern, 21st century information technology are needed. How do you modernise? So, youth belong here. “We can see the live tweets of this event (the event was being tweeted live and beamed on the screens). So, it’s not about age. There are a lot of educated relics. I have not seen anything higher than Ph.D. in the academic curriculum of universities. So, we have a Ph.D. man (holder) there now. What will do it for you are strong determination, perseverance, courage and boldness. If we fail to join the movement, we’ll fail to continue to interrogate our leaders, and fail to do what you did during the oil subsidy removal.” And what is the conclusion? The youth have the numbers and the strength, but not the deft political strategy needed in a clime like ours; that is where a synergy of the old and new becomes imperative. And with what I saw that night I think it is more “sexy” on this side.
‘Illegal’ structures go as varsity clears twin-campus •Continued from page 29
people affected. It is for the progress of the school.” Students, who spoke with our correspondents, complained that the exercise would bring difficulties to them because the demolished businesses offered cheap services. Okechukwu Nwaigwe, 300-Level Religion, said: “I am not happy because of this demolition. It will affect students badly because those were the places we get food cheap.” Clara Ezeagu, 100-Level Optom-
•Debris left after the demolition exercise
etry, said: “It is sad. What is making me angry with the school is that the demolition of IMSU Mr Bigg’s was carried out when students were still
eating in the building. Here, in Orlu campus, before one can buy anything, one must go out of the school. It is very painful.”
ESSAY CONTEST FOR UNDERGRADS The Nation CAMPUSLIFE in collaboration with Blantyre newspaper, Malawi, AfricanLiberty.org and Network for a Free Society, is calling for entries into an essay competition. Details are as follows: Topics: Nations which are economically free out-perform nonfree nations in all indicators of well-being. Discuss. Eligibility: All students in any tertiary institutions (university, polytechnic, college of education and vocational school) in Africa. Note: Applicants are expected to choose one of the topics above. The format of the text should be in MS word and not more than 1,500 words. Interested student should please request for the background mate-
rial from Adedayo Thomas at email@example.com, Wale at firstname.lastname@example.org and Brian Ligomeka at email@example.com. On the first page of the completed essay, please write your full name, department, year of study and name of institution. Also include your email address and GSM line. Send your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries will be received between March 28 and June 11, 2013. Entry sent after the deadline will not be accepted. Announcement of winners: July 18, 2013. All participants will get a free CD of “Ideas for a free society”, which contains 100 textbooks on various field of studies. Prizes: 1st - $1,000 and scholarship
to 2013 Student and Young Professional African Liberty Academy (SYPALA) in Kenya from August 8- 11, 2013 2nd - $700 and scholarship to 2013 Student and Young Professional African Liberty Academy (SYPALA) in Kenya from August 8- 11, 2013 3rd - $500 and scholarship to 2013 Student and Young Professional African Liberty Academy (SYPALA) in Kenya from August 8- 11, 2013 4th - $300 and scholarship to 2013 Student and Young Professional African Liberty Academy (SYPALA) in Kenya from August 8- 11, 2013 5th - $100 We have eight consolidation prizes of $50 each.
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
CAMPUS LIFE They fought for three months. Now they have reconciled. In the spirit of this new friendship, the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra and its host-community have played a friendly football match. FUNKE AYOOLA writes.
‘What God has joined together...’ FTER a three-month clash, students of the Federal Polytechnic, Oko (Oko Poly), Anambra State and their host-community have reconciled on the footbal pitch. Though the host community defeated the polytechnic by 2-1, the match restored their relationship. Last year, students clashed with residents of the community during Oko’s masquerade festival. The incident led to the closure of the polytechnic for about three months. Speaking before the friendly match, the Rector, Prof Godwin Onu, said the community and the institution were brought together by divine will, adding that nothing could separate what God has joined together. While congratulating the Oko youths for winning the match, Onu said: “This is the type of spirit and unity we want in this community.” Apart from engendering peace, the Rector said, the match was imperative to the polytechnic to prepare students for the upcoming All Polytechnics Games. He said: “I want to thank the youths of Oko community for organising this football match and I assure them that the spirit of unity will continue. We shall continue to work together until we make the polytechnic the best in Africa. “The polytechnic is one of the higher institutions in the country where students move around without intimidation and molestation. We have been declared cult-free. Our matriculation was joyful and no bad story. Internal mechanism has been put in place to track down all forms of crime. Again, I thank the Oko commu-
nity for accommodating our students.” In demonstration of the management’s resolution to secure offcampus students and their property, the Rector donated a vehicle to the security outfit in the community to patrol the area. He said: “As an institution, we have a great sense of responsibility. We plead for co-operation among the security operatives and that of the polytechnic. The security outfits should work hand in hand to achieve maximum security especially with our students living around the community. “To the students, we urge you to be of good behaviour. Don’t provoke any crisis no matter the level of provocation. The masquerade festival is around the corner, so comport yourselves to avoid violence and realise that you are living with people that have culture, which they will not throw away because you are living with them. Our mission here is to make the polytechnic the first in Africa.” The President-General of Oko Progressive Union, Mr Cyprian Nwamuo, in a short speech after the match, praised the youths of the community for the innovation, which he said would foster peace and restore lasting peace in the community. “Today, we have gathered here to witness a friendly football match between the students of the Federal Polytechnic, Oko and the youths of Oko community. This event is very special and important at this time we are on the reconciliatory path after the sad event of last year,” he said. He urged any member of the polytechnic community, who had
•Ezeonwuka thanking the polytechnic’s management during the presentation of the vehicle
•Prof Onu (second right) accompanied by body of principal officers to declare the match open
issues with any member of the community not to hesitate to report at the town’s civic centre or to the polytechnic security outfit, promising that such reports would be addressed. Nwamuo praised Onu for transforming the polytechnic, which he said had improved the rating of the community and urged him never to relent in his efforts to make the institution best among its peers.
The youth leader of the community, Barrister Duke Ezeonwuka, described the match as historic, praising the management for being supportive to youth associations in the community. He reassured the polytechnic’s staff and students of their security in the community and pledged the support of the youths to Onu’s administration. He said students had been part and parcel of the community, adding that the commu-
nity could not exist without the polytechnic. Presenting the vehicle to the community, Onu said the gesture would encourage unity among the community and the institution. Nwamuo, who received the vehicle on behalf of the community, thanked management for the gift, describing Onu as a Rector with a difference. He pledged the support of the host community to the progress of the polytechnic.
Students from 32 universities in Africa participated in the maiden Africa Regional Inter-Collegiate and Inter-University Debate on Human Security to mark the 76th birthday of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA spoke with Emillia Uupindi, a Namibian student, who won the debate.
MILLIA Uupindi, a Namibian undergraduate, won the maiden Africa Regional InterCollegiate and Inter-University Debate on Human Security held at the Obasanjo Presidential Library at Oke-Mosan in Abeokuta, Ogun State. The event was held to mark former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s 76th birthday. It drew participants from 32 universities in Africa. To Emillia, a Computer Science student of the University of Science and Technology, Namibia, the topic of the debate: Threats to human security in Africa are self inflicted and not induced by the West, which she argued against was in a way connected to the situation in her country. Perhaps, this explains why she spoke with a tinge of vehemence while making her points drawing endless applause from the guests and participants. “The first argument is propaganda,” said Emillia as she argued against the motion. “I refer to the propaganda the Western media is using on Africa. Basically, everything affecting Africa, including our problems and the solutions are defined by the West. But the question is: Is it for our own benefit or theirs? The other is that Africa’s economy has a good potential in terms of resources, but we don’t have the skills
A student’s rage against the West and infrastructure. We don’t have the machines to process the minerals that will give us those products that will boost our economy. So, we are actually dependent on the West and through that, they control us and control our leaders.” Emillia continued: “Now in Africa, the grants are being given to our universities by European Union without stringent process. That on the surface is deemed to be help, but on closer look, it is another colonisation. Then, we are also looking at the issue of foreign aids which are not given to us on a platter of gold. There are a lot of laws of contracts in Africa, including Namibia guiding these aids. Sadly, many of our leaders didn’t read or understand some of the clauses inserted in the contracts when negotiations were being made. Unfortunately, our leaders realised this rather too late and now, they cannot get out of the trap, which will make their people subservient to the imperial moneybags.” She said if the West had not induced African leaders with the con-
ditional aids, the continent would not have been embroiled in the security and economic quagmire it found itself presently. Insisting that African leaders are gullible, Emillia said: “Like in Namibia, chunk of the country’s land mass does not belong to native people. We are a people struggling; we don’t have a little land to live, not even a farm. Owning a small residential land is even a risk. We have a lot of white people owning the land. Secondly, if you look at the economy of Namibia, all businesses belong to the white. The white people own the firms; not even the government owns up to 50 per cent. If you look at the agricultural sector, Namibia is very rich in fish which used to be the preserve of the natives. But then, the white are now penetrating into the market. We are not only competing against the whites, we are also competing against the Chinese because they also now own land owners more than the Namibians. “The construction industry in Na-
mibia is powered by the Chinese. They are the ones that get government tenders. And because China gives loans to the government to carry out its programmes, Chinese people are able to control our leaders. So how do I, as a native, survive in my continent of birth when contracts are given to outsiders? In all these, the West cannot be exonerated. They have seen that everything is in Africa, but in their countries, they don’t really have many resources.” Emillia became more agitated when she said the West cornered Africa’s natural resources and converted them into finished products
and sold to Africans at unaffordable prices. “They are selling jewelry to us; where did they get the gold? They are bringing cell phones to Africa, where did they get the materials? We are buying their processed fishes and beefs, where did all those come from? Africa has it all. Uranium is a material that is vital in the manufacturing of weapons. Africa does not make weapons, the West does. But the 97 per cent of uranium deposit is in Africa. So the West has realised that in order for them to stay in control, they have to get our key resources,” she argued. Emillia described Africans as sheep, who hardly resisted oppression. She said from time to time, concerned Namibians team up and hold conferences to brainstorm on the nation’s challenges. She quickly added that such forums usually ended up in fiasco. “Namibians are people who take things as they are. For them, life continues. We still have that colonial mindset when you have to take whatever is given to you by your rulers,” she lamented. Though it’s her first visit to Nigeria, but Emillia said she learned a lot from the programme, including her renewed passion for African unity. “One lesson I am taking back home is to promote unity in Africa,” she said excitedly.
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
League holds convention
GROUP of students under the banner of The Undergraduate League (TUL) has held a symposium for secondary school pupils in Benin City, Edo State. The event with the theme Be Inspired, be challenged young leaders summit took place at the parliamentary hall of the University of Benin (UNIBEN). Ninety students and administrative representatives from various schools were in attendance. In his address, President of the group, Daniel Opiti, said the forum was aimed at inspiring young people to recognise their latent potentials. He said: “As a nation, we are confronted with a leadership cri-
Club trains officers
•Speakers at the conference
CHOLARS gathered, last week, for the maiden conference of the Department of Foreign Languages, University of Benin (UNIBEN). The opening ceremony took place in the Banquette Hall on the Ugbowo campus of the institution. The conference with the theme: French studies in the 21st century was attended by the Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who was represented by Mr S.K. Momodu; former Deputy Director of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Prof Noureini Tijani-Serpos; UNIBEN Vice-Chancellor, Prof Osayuki Oshodin, who was represented by his deputy, Prof Hilda Okojie; Dean of Students’ Affairs, Prof Victor Omozuwa and Dean of Faculty of Arts, Prof O. A. Ofuani. Others were the convener, Prof Kester Echenim, Prof Cyril Mokwenye, Prof Raymond Elaho and Dr Ngozi Iloh, all lecturers. Prof Echenim said the conference was informed by the uniqueness of French studies to the human his-
Dept holds maiden conference From Gilbert Alasa UNIBEN
tory. He said: “What you know some years ago may be relevant in the nearest feature. So, through our deliberations in the course of the conference, we want to ensure that participants understand what their options are, especially our areas of specialisation.” In his address, Prof Oshodin praised the efforts of the department over the years in promoting academic excellence in French language. He enjoined students to tap from the knowledge of highly skilled and erudite professors in the department. Prof Ofuani noted that French was becoming an added advantage in many organisational circles, adding that the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies had introduced French in its curriculum to create more opportunities for students.
The conference which lasted for a week had discussants talking on French and the labour market, French translation and interpretation in the global world, French and cultural dialogue, Literature in French and literary criticism and the Various faces of the French language. In his remark, the host and Head of Foreign Languages Department, Dr A.S. Moye, appreciated the team of scholarly tutors, who impacted knowledge on the students during the conference. He said: “Our efforts have continued to yield fruits. Last year, our student beat students from other African countries to win the poetry contest in Lome, Togo during the mandatory language immersion programme. We also hold the record as our students equally emerged overall best in African literature in French expression the same year.”
HE Junior Chamber International (JCI), Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye chapter, has held training for its officers with the theme The 360 degrees leader. The resource person, Mr Kayode Ayedogbin, Executive Vice President (Project) of Lagos chapter of JCI, spoke on leadership and how to be a successful entrepreneur. The OOU chapter President, Odunayo Adeneye, said the essence of the training was to show members ways to discover their
From Gilbert Alasa UNIBEN
sis. Young people are forced to follow the footsteps of depraved public figures and this poses great danger to their future aspirations.” While the event lasted, different facilitators were on hand to lecture the pupils on contemporary issues. President of the Students’ Union Government (SUG), Osifo Osasere, Joshua Egbujuo, Commandant of the Nigeria Red Cross Society, UNIBEN chapter, and Kennedy Odia were among the facilitators. Pupils, who spoke to CAMPUSLIFE, expressed gratitude to the organisers of the event. From Modestus Diko OOU
talents and succeed as managing directors and owners of small and middle enterprises. He added that the club believed in training and re-training of its members to engender productivity. The Director of Publicity of the club, Oladimeji Odusi, said JCI was created by 30 young leaders with a mission to contribute to the advancement of the global community by providing opportunities for young people to develop their leadership skills and entrepreneurial ability to create a positive exchange. Participants in the seminar promised to use the knowledge acquired positively.
No hike in fees, VC assures students
HE Vice-Chancellor of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), Prof Femi Mimiko, has said the management does not have plan to increase the school fees as being speculated. He said there was no iota of truth in the rumour. Speaking at the Information Unit of the university, Prof Mimiko said the management would not deviate from the policy of the Ondo State government, which said it could afford any student to drop out of school for the reason of tuition. The VC said there would not be any increment in the present session, explaining that the government had a policy in place that was being directed at ensuring the weakest in the society would not be disadvantaged. With the assurance, students and
From Michael Oluwaniyi AAUA
their parents praised the management for maintaining the status quo. Mr. Gbenga Arajulu said: “As a parent, I am deeply impressed with this development and I congratulate the university management for not reneging on its promises.” Mr Ayodeji Adejuwon, another parent, who described the development as a relief on parents, said: “I am elated that the university is maintaining the old school fees.” Gbenga Akinbolade, 400-Level Mass Communication, said the rumour made many students to be panic, adding that with the clarification by the VC, “we are grateful to the authorities and I believe this good trend will continue to project the image of the university”.
Mass Comm. gets woman president
T •Dr Ehigiamusoe (bending middle) being assisted by the university officials to lay foundation for the centre.
Pro-Chancellor lays centre’s foundation stone
HE Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, University of Calabar (UNICAL) Governing Council, Dr Rowland Ehigiamusoe, has laid the foundation stone for the permanent office of the Centre for Educational Services (CES). Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Ehigiamusoe praised the management of the centre for the initiative of proposing and undertaking the construction of an ultra modern lecture and office block building. Ehigiamuse particularly praised the Director of the centre, Prof
From Sam Ibok UNICAL
Bassey Bassey, who he described as a super intelligent and upright man, adding that the director had over the years displayed uncommon qualities to the admiration of the school authorities. He appreciated Prof Bassey for making the members of the Council, whose tenure would expire soon the opportunity to witness the foundation of the building, which he said was a fruit of their labour. Dr Ehigiamusoe was optimistic
that the contractor handling the project would display expertise, which it used to construct the new Senate Chambers and hoped the edifice would be completed on time. The Pro-chancellor showered encomiums on the Director of Physical Planning, Mr Eyo Itam, for “his knack for high level professionalism in guiding the Council in matters of projects”. The Pro-Chancellor was accompanied to the site by the ViceChancellor, Prof James Epoke and other principal officers of the institution.
HE National Association of Mass Communication Students (NAMACOS), Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA) chapter, has elected Omodunni Alero as the first woman president of the department. She is in 400-Level Public Relations and Advertising. During the election, Omodunni polled 47 votes to defeat her two male opponents, James Olupona and Sunday Owoeye, who got 32 and 14 votes respectively. The election was held at the Mass Communication Relaxation Centre. Announcing the results of the election, the chairman of the electoral commission, Oluwadare Salami, stated it was only the presidential seat that was contested for, adding that other positions were filled unopposed. Other officers elected are Ebenezer Ogundahunsi, General Secretary, Damilola Ogbeye, Welfare Director, Joseph Obi, Director of Sports, Damilola Olisa, Public Relations Officer (PRO), Julius Omokhunu, Financial Secretary, Segun Adegboyega, Treasurer and Julie Arobieke, Social
•Omodunni From Richard Adura-Ilesanmi AAUA
Director. Poll was also held for Students’ Union Government seat and it was won by John Ehimero. Although, low turnout marred the exercise but students said it was transparent and credible. However, 100Level and Direct Entry students were not allowed to participate because they had no means of identification as members. The outgoing president, Adeniyi Adekolurejo, advised the incoming executive members to work as a team for the progress of the association. Omodunni promised to work for the development of the association.
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
CAMPUS LIFE Rector clarifies hike rumour
•Prof Egboka (middle) with another official being shown a facility by Prof Ezechukwu (right)
VC inspects medical college
HE Vice Chancellor of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, Prof Boniface Egboka has inspected the ongoing projects and construction embarked upon by his administration in the varsity and its College of Medical Sciences located in Nnewi. Accompanied by top members of the management, the VC was conducted round the medical school by the Provost, Prof
From Ngozi Emmanuel UNIZIK
Clement Ezechukwu. Prof Ezechukwu said: “We are happy to show that the campus is getting a facelift as against the near dungeon it was known for in the past. Although, we still have a long way to go, but the authorities have fully assured us that they are behind us.” Speaking while inaugurating the new laboratory complex for the
college, Prof Egboka said he was proud of the college’s achievement in a space of few months. He urged staff and heads of faculties to emulate Ezechukwu. In his address, the ViceChancellor (Academics), Prof. Joe Ahaneku, disclosed that some faculties of the college had received full accreditation from the National Universities Commission (NUC). These are Pharmacy, Radiography and Medical Rehabilitation departments.
HERE is no fees hike at the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo (RUGIPO), the Rector, Prof Igbekele Ajibefun, has said. He said the management only increased the cost of some services for freshers. Ajibefun cleared the air on the fees hike controversy while responding to our correspondent’s question in an online interview. He said: “The fee for all categories of students remains the same, but costs of some services for fresh students have gone up.” He said students would have to pay for identity cards, internet band for e-registration, among others, adding that nobody should expect the costs of the service to remain the same. Ajibefun said the increment affected only freshers, confirming that the action was not unilateral, but was duly deliberated on and approved by the Governing Council of the institution in one of its sittings. The management announced the new fee last December. With the new fee regime, ND students of Ondo State origin studying Social Sciences courses will pay N48,500. Science students pay N51,500 as against less than N30,000, which
HEY all clutched brown envelops and transparent file folders, an indication that they are new students. Motorists had hectic time trying to access Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, as freshers moved in and out of the campus for registration. Some parents and guardians were seen helping their wards to move personal effects into the dormitories. Students, who did not have the luxury, created traffic logjam at the university entrance while trying to move their properties into the hostels. Following a circular released by management of the institution’s Computer Centre on the beginning of sales of scratch cards to pay the school fees, students thronged the office to purchase the cards. For ease of movement, the univer-
Freshers begin registration From Oluwafemi Ogunjobi OAU
sity commissioned some buses to convey the freshers into the school for registration. It is the business period for cyber cafés on the campus. The operators are making profit as students besieged the centres for online registration. Also, computer business centres and photocopy merchants are not left out in the profit harvest. An attendant in one of the cafés, Eldorado, who simply identified himself as Kunle, said: “It is so normal to have this high turnout. It is what we have been used to over the years. In our own capacity, we
welcome them into the system by assisting them with registrations.” As they moved into their hostels, hall potters were available to receive them. The students were welcomed as the officials signed and stamped their hall placement slips. In Awolowo hall, it was gathered that the returning students welcomed the freshers into the hall with Aro (mockery) songs. A fresher, Gabriel Ayodeji, told CAMPUS LIFE: “After three years of seeking admission into OAU, I am happy that I am finally offered Social Studies to study for my Bachelor’s degree.” He hoped to graduate with excellence.
Lagos Corps members donate blood
EMBERS of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Lagos have donated blood in a voluntary blood donation programme organised by the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Committee (LSBTC) in the Orientation Camp, Ipaja, Lagos. During the two-day exercise, the Corps members were told how they could contribute their quotas to national development and be responsible citizens during their service year. The blood donation drive was to
From Olatunde Odebiyi LAGOS
get the youths involved in saving patients, who may be in need of blood at any point in time, thus make blood readily available in the blood bank of hospitals. The donors used the opportunity to undergo medical test such as HIV, Hepatitis and Syphilis. Their blood pressure, sugar level and height were also tested. Ayo Onalapo, one of the donors, said the government should make
blood donation lively, saying many volunteers were unable to donate blood because they could not stand the stress of going to the hospital to queue for hours. Henry Ugezene, another donor, said he felt good parting with a pint, adding that people should not be afraid but rather make it a culture. Imo Uzoma, Corps member, said the exercise should be voluntary because “it is to save the lives of others”. He urged government not to sell donated blood to patients in need of it.
they were initially paying. Nonindigene students taking Science courses will pay N61,500 while their Social Science counterparts will pay N58,500. HND students of Ondo State origin studying Science courses will pay N63,500. Their Social Science counterparts pay N55,500. Non-indigene HND students pay N75,500 to study Science courses. Their colleagues in Social Science pay N68,500. The acceptance fee, which was initially fixed at N7,500, is now N15,000. Part-time students are not exempted from the hike. Students of the institution have berated the management for the hike. Some returning students, who spoke to CAMPUSLIFE, described the hike as a new height of insensitivity by the management. They said the hike was a deliberate attempt to make life unbearable for them, adding that it may force many students to drop out of school. Freshers, who are directly affected by the hike, said, though they were happy to have been offered admission, the hike in fee was giving them worries.
Liberty group inaugurates exco •Donates books to library
•Some of the freshers in cyber cafe registering online
From Richard Adura-Ilesanmi RUGIPO
HE African Liberty Students Organisation (ALSO), a students’ body that seeks to promote capitalism and free trade, has been established at the University of Benin (UNIBEN). The organisation also inducted its pioneer executive members during the event. The programme took place at Blue Meadows in Ugbowo campus of the institution. The event was graced by the university librarian, who was represented by Mr David Ofili and students. The new executive is led by Gilbert Alasa. Others members include Emmanuel Otega, VicePresident (Planning and Execution), Ikeme Saidu, VicePresident (Strategy and Outreach), Valor Iduh, Secretary-General, Elizabeth Annam, Assistant Secretary-General, Brenda Okonkwo, Financial Secretary, Phatai Shittu, Director of Welfare, Daniel Opiti, Director of Publicity and Verra Alozie, Provost. In his address, Gilbert said the guiding principle of the association centered on the promotion of free enterprise and the necessity to achieve prosperity through free markets. “As libertarians, we believe Africa needs an economic system that is based on private ownership that owns the means of
Fellowship gets leaders
HE Joint Christian Campus Fellowship (JCCF), University of Calabar (UNICAL), has held its hand-over service to usher in a new set of leaders that will pilot its affairs for a year. The programme, which was held at the International Conference Centre, UNICAL, was graced by members of the fellowship from various faculties. During the programme, Daniel’s Generation, an arm of the fellowship, held a leadership training with the theme: The change of academy. This was followed by drama presentations by The Reconciliation Theatre, and song ministration among others.
From Tomiwa Bello UNIBEN
production and distribution of goods characterised by a free competitive market motivated by profit,” he said. Delivering a lecture entitled: Building today for a prosperous Africa, the Director of Outreach and Coordinator of the organisation in Nigeria, Mr Adedayo Thomas, noted that statism (centralised control of economy) had been a clog in the wheel of Nigeria’s economic progress, adding that free enterprise remained the best economic system to engender human empowerment, prosperity and liberation. He posited that Africa’s economic system was historically linked to free enterprise where traders travelled long distances for exchange of goods without restriction. Also, there was an interactive session where answers were provided to participants’ questions. While the ceremony lasted, books on various aspects of human endeavors were donated to the university library. Ofili praised the gesture of the organisation and urged members to continue to be leading lights of economic and social freedom. From Frank Ejeagbasi UNICAL
The guest minister, Pastor Kelechi Chibuzor, in his sermon taken from Psalm 48 tagged The city of our God, said many Christians were travelling on terrible road, an indication that they had deviated from the word of God. He said some of the evidence of human sins against their creator included the Bill on same-sex marriage, which he said was gradually being adopted by some churches. He further advised members of the fellowship to follow Christianity with holiness, saying the “city of God is not for anyone without holiness.” Highpoint of the event was the presentation and inauguration of the new leaders. The JCCF is the apex and regulatory body of all Christian fellowships on campus.
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
CAMPUS LIFE At the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Foreign Languages is regarded as a unique department. What necessitated this uniqueness? GILBERT ALASA (400-Level Foreign Languages) writes.
Their course, their pride
HEN Emeka Monyei was filling his Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) form in 2009, he opted to study Law at the University of Benin (UNIBEN). By the time the admission list was released, he was offered Foreign Languages. Seemingly disappointed with what he called “a strange discipline”, he struggled to effect a change of course. Unluckily, all his efforts were abortive. “When it became obvious that there was nothing I could do to salvage the situation, I allowed fate to take its course,” he told CAMPUSLIFE. But the story is different today. Burning with passion for translation and interpretation, Emeka is poised to make a statement with his knowledge of French. Like Emeka, many students of the department are of the opinion that a sound knowledge of French is an added advantage in the ever competitive labour market of today. As French becomes the second official language of the world, opportunities are opening up in commerce, translation, e-learning, tourism, interpretation and diplomacy. Unlike most academic disciplines, Phatai Shittu said the language provided ample opportunity for French students to generate income. “I recall some of us made some money last year at the Nigeria French Village through translation. We had the rare privilege of translating documents for a fee. Some people travel to Benin Republic for cross-border transaction; we make good money interpreting French. I think the oppor-
tunities are boundless, especially when you know your onions,” he said. A number of students told CAMPUSLIFE that they had always believed that French graduates only end up in teaching a profession some of them dread. But in an interview with our correspondent, the head of UNIBEN’s French Department, Dr Austin Moye, said it is a grave error to believe that French graduates would be jobless after graduation. He said: “It is sad that some persons ignorantly underestimate the capability of a French graduate. In reality, vast opportunities abound for graduates of this discipline. We have graduates of this department who have distinguished themselves in various sectors of the economy.” CAMPUSLIFE gathered that the department boasts of the highest number of seasoned French professors than any other institution in Nigeria. This feat probably explains why many of the students outshine their counterparts, especially during their one-year language immersion programme in Togo and Badagry. For instance, a student of the department emerged the overall best in Francophone Literature in 2012 at the Nigeria French Language Village, Badagry. In the same year, another student of the department won the poetry prize in Togo, defeating contenders from various African countries. Dr Moye described the feat as a reflection of the excellent tutelage to which the students were exposed. He said: “You cannot divorce the
The Rotaract Club of the University of Calabar has held a seminar and fundraising to fight polio. ISAAC MENSAH reports.
•Some students of the department
quality of our professors from the excellence of our students. They are two sides of the same coin. The dynamism and proficiency of our lecturers affirm our prime place in the comity of French education in Nigeria.” The immediate past president of the department, George Emorkidi, told CAMPUSLIFE that the warm relationship among students and lecturers should be praised. “I have
observed over the years that in most departments, students practically walk in fear. But here, the bond is quite strong. The ease with which lecturers relate with the students is akin to that of a family. That, in my estimation, makes the department unique.” In an attempt to key into the vision of the department’s leadership, the Foreign Languages Students’ Association (FOLSA), led by
Kicking out polio
OLIO, a childhood-killer disease, has been eradicated in every other part of the world except Africa. The Rotary International World Health Organisation (WHO), United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) are not relenting in their efforts to ensure that the disease is eradicated in the region. Towards this end, the Rotaract Club, the youth wing of Rotary International, Calabar (UNICAL) has held a programme at the University of Calabar (UNICAL) to create more awareness to stop the spread of the disease. Polio mainly affects children under five. According to WHO, polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus that invades the nervous system, and can cause total paralysis in a short time. The polio-causing virus enters the body through the mouth and multiplies in the intestines with symptoms like fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness around the neck region and pain in the limbs. With the theme End polio now charity night, the humanitarian club held a seminar to educate the students about the crippling disease and to raise funds towards its eradication. The programme was held in the conference room of the Ixora Suite, Calabar. In his remarks, the president of the club, Solomon Obio, said: “In order for more than 10 million children
•Dr Akpaso (right) and a guest at the programme
under the ages of five not to be paralysed in the next 40 years, everyone must hearken to the clarion call to support the fight against polio.” The final year Human Anatomy student said the battle to end polio would remain a mirage if the trend of underfunding of different initiatives by individuals and organisations in affected countries continue. He said everyone must contribute towards the eradication of the crippling disease. Presenting Polio: A challenge to the Nigerian child, the guest speaker, Dr Mfon Akpaso, noted that WHO rated Nigeria as a country with highest
number of the poliomyelitis cases in the world but added other countries in this position included Pakistan and Afghanistan. She said: “Indeed, Nigeria is now the largest contributor of global polio burden; nearly 60 per cent of the total cases. Nigeria is also the only country in the world to have all three types of polio virus, Type 1, Type 3 and circulating vaccine-derived Type 2 viruses.” Akpaso, a senior lecturer in the Department of Human Anatomy, UNICAL, posited that in spite of declining figures of poliomyelitis cases in the world, the fight against the
disease must continue until zero-incidence was achieved. “In spite of these figures, total eradication is actually the ultimate goal because one case of the human polio virus in a community can spread through the state immediately,” she said. The programme featured a question and answer session, which was followed by a fundraising to assist in the fight to end the disease. Mr Kehinde Bello, member of the Rotary Club of Lagos, praised the initiative, saying the fight to end poliomyelitis remained a collective responsibility of the Rotary members.
Bobbipetreus Nkejika, has instituted a weekly debate session for students aimed at developing their oral communication skills. A 200Level student said: “So far, the debates have been intellectually stimulating. It prepares us to sharpen our communication skills and develop confidence in public speaking. The initiative has brought a lot of idea out of our minds.”
NYSC farms to be reopened From Damilola Olayemi JOS
THE Federal Government will re-open the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) farms in the 36 states, the Minister for Youth Development, Mallam Inuwa Abdulkadir, has said. In an interview with reporters in Jos, Plateau State, Abdulkadir said the farms’ reopening would go a long way to complement the existing NYSC Loan Revolving Scheme aimed at engaging Corps members in agricultural activities. “Year in year out, every batch of the NYSC has been participating. But you know, it’s still a pilot programme but we intend to expand and re-open NSYC farms across the country and utilise them. This is going to be in partnership with the state governments and the Bank of Agriculture and the Small and Medium Scale Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN),” he said. The idea, he said, was to expose the youths to agro-business enterprise to promote self-employment and make them employers after graduation. According to the minister, once the youth were involved in agriculture, it would be of immense benefit to the nation as it would create employment opportunities and boost the economy. “The nation stands to benefit because we will have more people involved in agriculture and that will boost the economy. The most concrete thing we are thinking of doing and we will start soon, is this partnership with the Development Bank to boost agriculture and to encourage young ones to go into agro-business from production, to processing and marketing,” he said. The minister said he was optimistic that the drive at making agriculture lucrative to the youths would cut the unemployment rate in Nigeria.
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
IGERIA is at war. The war is between the forces of light and darkness; the intellect and the retrogressive. The force of hatred against humanism. - Prof Wole Soyinka, Nobel laureate and foremost human rights activist. I have had cause to ponder on the value placed on human life in Nigeria and I find it hard to come to terms with all the inhuman activities that are unblushingly perpetrated in a nation, which is, undoubtedly, religious, given the places of worship in every nook and cranny. Crimes being committed against humanity include kidnapping, sexual molestation, child theft, human trafficking, torture, terrorism and armed robbery to mention a few. In recent times, all these vices have flourished even as the nation continues to display helplessness. However, there were times when Nigeria knew peace. Recalling such days with nostalgia; era, which the late writer, Prof Chinua Achebe, termed the “lucky generation”. Achebe wrote in his last work There was a country that “we were standing figuratively and literally at the dawn of a new era…things were simpler and safer in those days, and there was never a story of child abductions or any unsavory incidents that I recall.” So much has been said about insecurity and mass murder in Nigeria, particularly in the Northern region, and so little has been done to combat
Will there ever be justice? it. Our worst fears and nightmares are now with us. The authorities in whose hands powers lies to take preemptive measures have ostensibly taken an oath of silence; an oath to do nothing in the face of clear danger; while the plunderers loot our barns disturbing impunity. Just recently, after a lull in security breaches and inaction on the part of government, the murderous group struck again; this time, in Sabon Gari, Kano. Twin bomb explosions in a garage ripped the intestines of travellers apart as they prepared to leave Kaduna State to their southern destination. Innocent people were dispatched to the great beyond. Accusing fingers have been pointed in the direction of Boko Haram sect. The reasons behind their despicable act remained unclear but one thing is sure: members of the group forces of darkness, who have lost all vestige of humanity in them. In a nation like Nigeria, which is famous for mass amnesia, given our legendary resolve to always consign such unforgivable crime to oblivion, after the public outrage, nothing will be done to apprehend the perpetrators of this heinous crime. Of course, it is needless to say justice will never be done to pacify the souls of the innocent victims.
Not long ago, a gory incident, which attracted public outcry and sent shivers down the spine of the nation, happened a few kilometers away from my university. Residents of the Amansea community woke up to a disturbing sight: dozens of decomposing bodies were floating on their river. Who killed the people? Who are their families? How did they die? All these and more are questions have not been answered. However, we are all dead sure that those bodies did not fall from the skies. Nothing was done to unravel the killers of the victims. What is shocking is that accusing fingers were pointed at security agencies – Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and Anambra State’s anti-kidnap squad, which ironically are agencies saddled with the task of protecting and preserving human lives and property. What happened to the perpetrators of the dastard Mubi massacre of 40 students? After long years of investigation, what happened to the murderous gang behind the infamous Apo-six incident? What about the devils behind the barbaric Aluufour killing? And the most recent, gruesome murder of Damilola Olaniyan, an upcoming music artiste butchered at Lagos State University gate?
Truth be told, we recover from the shock easily. We have learnt to weep, to lament, and to forget with haste. However fast we forget and discard such scandalous events to the bin of history, however hard we pretend that all is well, one thing is certain: there is fire on the mountain to use the phrase of the soul singer Asa. Justice, in the words of a Roman philosopher, Alpine, is “a constant and perpetual will to render to everyone, that which he is entitled”. Justice in a case of murder among other things includes bringing the perpetrators to book, and preventing future occurrence. If justice exists, must we tarry until the vengeful dead come and obtain it themselves? Or are they not entitled to justice? Injustice anywhere, said Martin Luther King Jr., is a threat to justice everywhere. Life is precious; it is sacred. Yet, past events have shown the kind of value government and criminals place on human life. Enough is enough! This is time for government and citizens to stop marauding criminals that mock the sacredness of life. If justice exists, then we must stand up against extrajudicial killing, security breaches, mass murder and other atrocities. If justice
By Uche Anichebe exists, then we must insist that the evil hands and minds behind these atrocities, whether lowly or mighty, are urgently investigated, and, if found guilty, are subjected to the heavy hands of the law. Truly, Nigeria is at war; but this war can only be won if the people and government stand and maintain that justice be done regardless of status of the culprits, time and cost. Uche, 500-Level Law, UNIZIK
Governors’ handling of security vote
By Yinka Olatunbosun
F there ever be a time the security of West Africa is threatened to its foundation, it is this period when activities of kidnappers and extremist sect are not being checked adequately by governments in the region. Nigeria is not left. In the northern and southern parts of the country, criminals operate freely, making the regions ungovernable to constituted authorities. This, to many Nigeri-
THOUGHT deeply about it and concluded that everything the human race seeks to achieve with love is after all vanity. I believe love is a curse that runs through all human generation without discrimination. Love is truly a curse. In the scripture, 1 Corinthians 13: 47 says: “Love suffers long, and is kind; love envies not; love vaunts not itself, is not puffed up. It does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, it thinks no evil; it rejoices not in iniquity, but in the truth; it bears all things, believes all things, hopes all thing, endures all thing.” The above-quoted expression from the Holy Writ is pleasant to the ear but it will be hypocritical to think about love in that sense when it comes to relationship. Readers should not be in haste to judge my piece by first paragraph; let me state here, that I am not against love but averse to its application. Love, as typified in the Biblical passage aforementioned, is seen as a virtue. But, today, it is a vicious weapon in the hands of the inexperienced, overzealous and unscrupulous. I am forced to wonder why everybody must fall in love. Even celibates cannot pretend that they do not have the thought. Love, as virtuous as it seems, is not the exclusive preserve
ans, has been a headache largely borne by the Federal Government. However, the question that rarely comes to mind is what states do with the security vote being released to the troubled states by the Federal Government is meant to prevent criminals from carrying out their nefarious activities. Each state takes its own share of the funds. But what are they using the money for when crimes still persist? Are the funds being siphoned and diverted to private accounts or are they being used for the security of our leaders’ personal houses? These questions need to be answered by those concerned. A few months ago, Kano State Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso said security vote had become a conduit through which many governors steal money from their states.
In the Southsouth and the Southeast, armed robbery and kidnapping are the order of the day. Vaults of banks and other financial institutions in the areas have been bombed by armed bandits camouflaging as militants. Other atrocities being committed by these armed groups is pipeline vandalism, especially in the oil-producing communities. According to reports, Edo State politicians now live in fear as most of them now move around in convoy of armed police men for fear of being kidnapped. Where is the security vote being given to the state? There is no doubt that governors in the South-south and the Southeast need to do more in terms of security. In the northern states, Boko Haram activity is taking its toll on most of the state, especially Yobe and Borno. These two state
have been the epicenter of unbridle terrorism being perpetrated by men, who believed western education is sinful. They used locally-made Improvise Explosive Device (IED) to kill innocent people in their numbers. In Niger State, the government has put measures in place to forestall breakdown of law and order. The Hausa/Fulani governors should come together in assisting one another in the area of security. The Northeast states where Boko Haram activities have ravaged should be helped out by Northern Governors’ Forum by ensuring that their security votes are voted to maintain peace and stability in the region. In the Southwest, armed robbery is the order of the day. There is no doubt that from Ondo to Ekiti, Ogun to Lagos and Oyo, dynamite-welding bandits terrorise banks and residents. While security operatives seem helpless,
there is a ray of hope from Oyo State where government has frustrated the activities of the men of the underworld with the creation of joint security patrol codenamed “Operation Burst”. I should be stated that the Federal Government has a very important role to play in maintaining peace in the country to attract foreign investors, let it do all takes to ensure that all states of the federation account for the security vote released to them by also complementing its efforts. Also, the citizens have their own role to play to ensure that public office holders are accountable for misappropriation of public funds. We must ensure that anyone caught should face the wrath of the law of the federal republic. Yinka, 300-Level Chemistry, IBBU Lapai
The flipside of love of the wise, humble and good but a shared heritage with the fools, arrogant and wicked. Love is a raging disease – an incurable pandemic. How more can I describe it? An evil spirit that cannot be exorcised. Love has conveyed irrationality rather than reason; it promotes divorce rather than marriage; it encourages homosexuality and other forms of immorality; it has watered the flower of deceit, distrust and violence. That which has been commanded by God is now being fully utilised by the devil and its impish agents. If love is not irrational, how did words such as infatuation, incest, Oedipus complex, lesbianism, heartbreak, divorce, gay marriage, obsession, promiscuity, bestiality and suchlike come into existence? Many say love is blind. What a delusional expression! Love personified is never blind. If we take love as a human being, then the term “blind” is hypothetical to describe her state. Love only shuts her eyes so as to overlook certain mishaps but to address them at a later time where no fault is spared. If love is truly blind, what miracle restored her sight? Aaron Neville is certainly right when he says: “Everybody plays the fool when it comes to the game of love.”
“Money cannot buy love” is popular expression commonly say by people. Nowadays, money dictates the footpath of this helpless love, which people in which people entangle themselves. This means that love will soon be a monopoly of the wealthy class. What an imbalance of life! If a damsel is falling head over heels for a guy and tells him she wants to spend the rest of her life with him, one will not be wrong to say she is a victim of inexperience and her words are mere products of immaturity. Wishes are not horses. If she suffers heartbreak, then she will fully understand that love hurts. Still in my wonders, I try to figure out why some will advertise in the media that they are seeking for a relationship or spouse. They will even specify their choice. Does it mean that they are obsessed with strangers? Or maybe they look inferior to those they see around? Is it that they prefer love created virtually than the real? Love seems dynamic and incomprehensible. But I consider that most people are just seeking for adventure. Really, the menace that emanates from love will not be easily resolved through it. If anybody feels I am not making a point here, let us ask a guy that keeps
over 50 girlfriends, a lady that people called aristo and let us ask guys or girls, who do not want to fall in love again. Maybe we will understand that love devours victims every second. Should I blame a friend who told me she would only believe that she is in love on the day she gives birth to her first child? I wonder why one should fall in love when it really hurts. Through love, women no more see dignity in virginity but those who keep theirs are scorned and mock as inexperienced. Do not mistaken my message, love is good and I have nothing against it. I am only irritated the way people treat themselves in the name of love. Love is no more used to the benefit of others. Love has been abused. Why? This is because everybody falls in love. It grips the heart and controls the emotions. It comes naturally without requesting for it. But when unscrupulous ones insult and usurp it, one is forced to think that he is being cursed by such affection. Never mind! Never relinquish. Continue searching and keep on searching until you find true love. Let your brain, and not your heart do the work. True
By Michael Adebayo love takes time. It demands courage, perseverance, maturity and experience. True love can be worked out. Just take your time. I believe in love. I want to be loved. I am in love. My love is beyond the ordinary. It is divine. Even if love is a curse, I key myself into her blessings. There is nothing like it. I mean there is nothing like love. Michael, 400-Level Computer Science, UNILORIN
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
Training for PTI students
HE Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) chapter, has held a free technical, self-development and potential maximisation training for students. A senior staff in the Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) Department of Chevron Nigeria Limited, Mr Andy Adesuwa, took the participants through the techniques of exploration. The president of the association, Jones Umoh, said the training was organised for students to discover their potential. He said
From Princewill Jacob PTI
the training would help participants to know and appreciate other people’s temperament, and thus enhance job performance when they leave the school system. Jones added that the seminar was the first of its kind in the institute. A participant told CAMPUSLIFE the seminar has taught how best to engage a colleague to achieve productivity in his discipline.
•Participants in practical work session
On and Off Campus By Solomon Izekor 08061522600
•The union leaders taking the oath.
Varsity swears in union leaders
HE University of Ibadan (UI) has sworn in leaders of the Students’ Union Government (SUG), who were elected in February. The Registrar, Prof O.I. Olukoya, administered the oath on them at a ceremony witnessed by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Isaac Adewole; Dean of Students’ Afairs, Prof R.A. Alade and some principal officers. In his address, Prof Adewole praised the candidates that lost at the poll, praising the electoral body for the peaceful conduct of the election. He promised to work with the incoming leaders and advised them to be effective in delivering their promises to the students. The outgoing president, Ekator Edosa, advised the incoming executive to fight for what they believe in and ensure it employed truth to administer the affairs of students. Responding, the SUG president, Babatunde Badmus, 300-Level Theatre Arts, promised to improve on the achievements of his pred-
Abia students hold press conference
BIA State students under the banner of National Association of Abia State Students (NAASS) have briefed reporters on issues affecting them and the security of the state. The briefing was held at the press centre of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Umuahia, the state capital. The NUJ chairman in the state, Mr Hyacinth Okoli, thanked the students for identifying with the press. Okoli challenged students to restore the glory of education in the state, urging them to shun violence and embrace negotiation as the best tool for agitation. At the press briefing, the NAASS national president, Jude Ezeibe, noted that the essence of the conference was to redeem the image of students following the rumours
From Adebisi Adeniji UI
ecessor. Members of the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) were also inaugurated during the ceremony. They were advised not to allow their personal interest override interest of students, who they represent in the parliament. Deputy Registrar, Dr Stella Soola gave the vote of thanks at the end of the ceremony. Other members of the union’s executive council include Oluwaseun Adebiyi, Vice President, Olaoluwa Adaramodu, Treasurer, Ugo Nwaoike, Public Relations Officer, Ayomide Adeboye, Assistant General Secretary, Ayokanmi Akinbuluma, General Secretary, Anitie Williams, Parliament Secretary and Opeyemi Akindele, Sport Secretary.
From Emmanuel Shebbs UMUAHIA
that politicians were using students to disrupt peace in the state. Jude said: “It has come to our notice that students are being used by some politicians to cause mayhem in some parts of the state. We want to state it categorically that we are students with dignity and character. We cannot be bought over by any proponent of chaos or their agents. We are not political but we are a pro-development group. “Our goal is to make sure that the interests of Abia students are protected. We encourage the performing government and suggest ways the performance can be sustained.” The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Theodore Orji on Students’ Matter, Mr Christian Afulike, stated that the governor would continue to partner with students to ensure peace. Former president of National Association of South East Nigerian Students (NASENS), Kingsley Lawrence, urged the students to support the governor to develop the state.
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
EDUCATION 10 years after, union inaugurates executives
• From left: Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Prof Bamitale Omole, inaugurating Mr Isaac Orolugbagbe, Mr. Kola Awodein (SAN), and Mr. Victor Osibodu as members of the OAU Advancement Board Members in Lagos.
Mobil institutes prize at UNN
HREE gifted writers among students of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) would earn a residency internship in Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited. The company would annually select the lucky students from those who have shown the spirit of entrepreneurship by constantly writing articles, opinions and blogs concerning the development and economy of Nigeria. For a particular student to qualify for selection, a national daily, blog or internet site must consistently publish or post his or her works for the year in review, with effect from 2013, the MPNU stated. It noted that the residency internship would not encroach on the school's academic calendar, and stated that it is aside the mandatory industrial attachment programme for Mass Communication students. Mobil's General Manager, Public and Government Affairs, Mr Paul
From Chris Oji, Enugu
Arinze, made this disclosure last Friday, at the 2013 Jackson Annual Lecture, usually hosted by UNN's Department of Mass Communication. "We will pick up the bills and place you in a very nice place to work in Mobil where you would further improve yourself and imbibe an entrepreneur spirit that would in future enable you to be selfemployed. We are making this commitment because we believe in what the faculty is doing and we would like to see it blossom," Arinze told the students. Away from instituting an annual prize for Mass Communication students, Arinze said Mobil would sponsor the lecture for the next five years, "as a way to enhance communication studies in the country." Head of Department, Mass Communication, UNN, Dr Nnanyelugo Okoro, praised the move and urged Mobil to help the
department acquire modern communication equipment and facilities to sustain its full accreditation by 2015. He said the department was in need of multi-media equipment to facilitate lectures, a standard radio/ television studio, and photojournalism laboratory, with modern digital cameras, among other equipment. "The idea is to initiate an instrument for the achievement of synergy between the academia and practitioners of communication," Okoro pointed out. He also said the department is proposing the establishment of a School of Mass Communication, which, he said, is the trend in modern universities. "Under such arrangement, we will now have a Department of Advertising and Public Relations, Department of Print Journalism and Book Publishing, and Department of Electronic Journalism and ICTs," Okoro added.
Bowen varsity seeks N6.75b for infrastructure HE Bowen University, Iwo, has gone to town in search of N6.75 billion to develop infrastructural facilities in its campus. The university hosted potential donors to a fund raising dinner held at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, where representatives of churches under the Nigeria Baptist Convention, banks announced donations and pledges towards supporting the institution to achieve its objectives. Underscoring the need to support the institution, Visitor to the university and the President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, Rev Dr Supo Ayokunle said the university is already subsidising each student to the tune of over N1 million. He said the subvention the Convention provides the university with is insufficient for its needs, praising the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Timothy Olagbemiro for judicious use of scarce resources to develop the institution. "We thank God for the ingenuity of the Bowen VC to use scarce resources to establish a university. For those of you that are angry with us that the university charges so high, know that every month staff salaries is about N180 million. But where will I get that from? It takes N1.5 million to put a medical student in the classroom. We are already subsidizing. If you don't want Bowen to go down you wont ask us to subsidise further," he said. In an interview afterwards, the Vice-Chancellor said in actual fact training of undergraduates is up to N2.5 million, adding that the
By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
university was not seeking profit but to develop quality manpower for the country. "The faith based universities are not established for profit. We are an NGO trying to fulfil ministry. The school fees we charge is low. We charge N485,000 per student. If you want to really train a student you need N2.5 million per student to provide the best facilities and staff. You spend that much on equipment, ICT, water and the like," he said. Faulting the claims that private universities do not need government support, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council of Bowen University, Deacon Gamaliel Onosode, said government is duty bound to support private providers of education because it is a social service. "The assumption that a private university is for profit making is not correct. There are a number of nonprofits that operate in a manner to cover their cost but are rendering social service. It is part of the duty of any government to include education in its programmes. That a private organisation is rendering social service means government should see them as partners. That basis for not being sympathetic to the call for assistance for private universities is false," he said. Urging guests to give towards the course, Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Emmanuel Olayiwola Adeyemi said their donations would be evidence of their faith in the university. He said: "This fund raising is our chance of strengthening the capacity
of Bowen University, not only to realize her vision, but to give future generations the gift that other universities have given many of us. "Our donation shall be a testament of our connection to the dreams of the founders. The support that so many inside and outside this hall will so generously provide, and the support we are seeking is one of hope and unlocking the boundless potential of the next generation to make Nigeria and the world a better place."
FTER 10 years of long suffering and agitation, the Senior Staff Association of Universities Teaching Hospitals Research Institutes and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAI) have inaugurated its executive members in the Nigeria Institute of Science Laboratory Technology (NISLT) in Ibadan last week. Speaking at inauguration ceremony held at the NISLT hall, Samonda, Ibadan, the Chairman, Research Institute sector of SSAUTHRIAI, Mr Felix Uwadiae said the essence of the inauguration is to protect the right and yearnings of its members in the institute. He noted that the union has been fighting for the inauguration of the union in the institute since 2003 but the management turned them down due to fear of causing industrial disharmony between them and the workers. “Today we are inaugurating a nine-member executive committee in NISLT and we have 84 members here already but only 25 of them are present here today due to fear of intimidation from the management
From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan
of this institute. I learnt the director warned his junior members of staff not to join our union and that only the senior staffs are allowed, but we have settled all our differences with the management and we are allowed to operate now,” Uwadiae said He appealed to the DirectorGeneral of the institute, Dr Ighodalo Ijagbone and his management team to assist the branch morally and financially towards ensuring that the yearnings and aspirations of its members are taken care of. The newly-inaugurated executives include, Mr Eddy Hyacinth (Chairman), Owoyemi Alalade (Public Relation Officer), Oyewole Joseph (Trustee), Musa Ibrahim (Secretary), Teller Adegbite (Financial (Secretary), Atolaiye Femi (Vice Chairman), and Mr M. Olarewaju (Treasurer). Uwadiae urged the new leaders to play according to the rules of the union by ensuring that they carry all their members along in decision making and dissemination of information.
Don seeks support for indigent students
O mitigate the impact of indigence on the education of the girl child, a professor of ophthalmology, Prof Ajesola Majekodunmi has urged publicspirited Nigerians to support her foundation to sponsor more female students. Speaking last Thursday when the Ajesola Solarin Majekodunmi Foundation (ASMAF) presented scholarships to three female undergraduates at the Julius Berger Auditorium, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof Majekodunmi was worried that those too poor to afford education tend would go astray. She said from her interactions with young females over the years, she had noticed that the indigent ones amongst them have complex and lack confidence in themselves - with many doing unethical things to survive and improve themselves. Making a case for financial support for such category of students, Prof Majekodunmi said: "In developing countries such as Nigeria, economic dependence is one of the road blocks to success. It is worse with women. Education is one of the medicines for the treatment of poverty and economic dependence. "Those of us who had parents that trained us through our professional courses or had government scholarships, often take things for granted and may not understand
By Sampson Unamka
what the indigent students undergo." She said having benefited from scholarship at all levels of education on merit, she decided to give back to the society. "My thinking changed from what can my country do for me to what I can do for my country? The answer to my question is the birth of ASMAF in 2009. She said after screening online applications from students from universities across Nigeria, each year, three of them are offered the scholarship. Each awardee gets direct N150, 000 for academics and additional N50, 000 for training in leadership programmes. Scholarship awardees are also attached to notable female professionals in their various fields of studies as mentors. The award winners were Rukayat Odubanjo 500-Level Mechanical Engineering, University of Lagos; Aderiola Adebanke Opemipo, 400Level Medicine, Lagos State University; and Nwojiji Blessing Ogechi 200-Level Chemical Engineering, Federal University of Technology Minna, Niger State. In an interview, beneficiary of the 2010/2011 edition of the scholarship, Agnes Usolor, a 400-Level Law student of UNILAG, praised ASMAF for intervening in her life and others, urging them to give back in future.
• Mrs Ajoke Ogunsan, MD, Executive Trainers Limited, Mrs Betty DaSilva,Manager, Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT), and Dr Ayo Ogunsan, Chairman, ETL at the signing of a training agreement in Boston, United States
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
‘OGITECH remains hqtrs of Ogun ICT poly’
HE decision of the Ogun State government to make the Ogun State Institute of Technology (OGITECH), Igbesa, Ogun State the main campus of the four ICT (information and Communication Technology) polytechnics in the state remains sacrosanct; therefore, the budget of the other three polytechnics should go through OGITECH before being finally presented to the state for approval, the government has announced. This was reaffirmed by the Ogun State Commissioner for Education Segun Odubela, at the matriculation of the new intakes held at the institution last Tuesday. A panel setup by the Governor Ibikunle Amosun-led Ogun State government to review tertiary education in Ogun two years ago, had recommended that OGITECH be the headquarters since it was far ahead of the other three polytechnics in the development of ICT. Odubela said: "Today, we have no regret over that decision. We visited the four ICT polytechnics and in all fairness, OGITECH
• The matriculating student
•The matriculating students By Adegunle Olugbamila
dwarfed the others with its ICT development. Besides, it also had more of its programmes accredited by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE). The government holds the institution dear, and with its pace of development, we see it as
the polytechnic of the future." In his speech, the OGITECH Rector, Prof Godwin Ejodame, noted that the institute has recorded remarkable achievements in the last few years, including the accreditation of 17 courses by the NBTE and recognition by professional bodies.
He also said seven students of OGITECH received Ogun State slots for the Federal Government scholarship in the 2011\2012 academic session. He added that with the recent accreditation of additional courses, the school now runs six Higher National Diploma (HND) courses, while hoping for
ASUP gives Fed Govt 21-day ultimatum
HE Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government over unresolved national issues that border on education and security of the nation. The union said: "The 21- day notice will begin from March 25 within which period the Federal Government is to address the issues raised by the union years ago. The unresolved issues border on continued delay in the re-
PROFESSOR of Exercise Physiology and Provost, Postgraduate School, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Prof Olatunji O. Odedeyi has recommended that Physical Education as a subject be made compulsory from basic to secondary levels. He made the recommendation while delivering the 62nd inaugural lecture titled: Towards optimising the invaluable trio delivered at the OOU main campus, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State. According to Odedeyi, the inclusion of Physical Education in the educational system will give room for optimisation of values and benefits in the lives of many people.
From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos
negotiation of FGN/ASUP agreement In a communiqué issued at the end of the 73rd National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held at Ilaro, Ogun State, and signed by the union's National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Clement; the union also decried the delay in the review of the Polytechnic Act and the non-release of government White Paper on the Visitation Panel to the polytechnics. ASUP also faults the non-implementation of the 65-years retirement age in some polytechnics
Odedeyi who described Physical Education, Sports and Sports Sciences as the 'trio of immeasurable value', also spoke extensively on its usefulness in the services to humanity. To ensure their maximisation, however, Odedeyi called on governments to make importation of sports equipment duty free. He also implored governments to provide state-of- the art facilities for sports with adequate maintenance. Also seeks regular working, training and
NIPR inaugurates Education Board
and monotechnics, adding that the implementation of the reviewed Scheme of Service and CONTISS 15 which to them, currently affects the lower cadre, were among the demands of the union. The union also frowned at the rising state of insecurity in the nation, the Presidential pardon for exconvicts, the planned removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government, and the appointment of unqualified rectors in some state-owned institutions.
Don seeks compulsory Physical Education in schools evaluation of athletes' status to meet up with the challenges of competition. He advocated the use of experts in the promotion of sports development for the country to meet the 21st Century standard of sports development. Odedeyi said the government should motivate and support sport practitioners. He enjoined all fitness clinics and physical education and sport sciences related organisation to be duly registered among others recommendations.
more courses before the year ends. Ejodame said the proposed collaboration between OGITECH and Greenwich University, UK has reached advanced stage saying "it will soon commence." About 1,462 of National Diploma (ND) and HND took oaths of matriculation.
By Sampson Unamka
HE Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) has inaugurated its Education Advisory Board. It is chaired by the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Megavons West Africa Limited, Dr Rotimi Oladele. Inaugurating the Board at the National Secretariat, Abuja, the institute's President and Chairman, Governing Council, Alhaji Mohammed Abdullahi gave the board's mandate as including harmonisation of training programmes of the NIPR National
• From left: Mrs. Ekua Abudu, PresidentAssociation of International School Educators of Nigeria (AISEN),Yetunde Allen, Managing Director, Lateral Links, Mrs. Bukky George, CEO Healthplus, Dr. George Hickman, Mr. Jeff Bradley, Mrs. Olufunto Igun, Executive Director, Corona Schools and Mrs. Bosun Bello-Olushoga, Founder City of Knowledge School at the AISEN 2013 Conference on Succession Planning. PHOTO: MEDINAT KANABE
Secretariat and the various state chapters, building professional standards in terms of quality individual membership; credible practice and licensing standards; reliable internally-generated revenue (IGR) to prosecute infrastructural, operational and vital projects expenses. Others include extensive and symbiotic networks with education stakeholders by putting in place a powerful team for accrediting public relations courses in tertiary institutions and partnership for mass membership through streamlined curriculum strategy among the NIPR School, NIPR Certificate/Diploma Examination and other educational institutions with public relations sequences. Abdullahi said: "By the Council's resolution as endorsed by the last annual general meeting in Akure, no state chapter is authorised to hold any training programme outside its area of jurisdiction or enter into any partnership for training programmes outside Nigeria without due recourse to the NIPR Education Advisory Board." The Board members at the event included: Dr Mustapha Malam, Bayero University Kano; Dr Tyotom Keghku, Benue State University, Makurdi; Dr Andee Iheme, Abubarkar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi; Dr Alfred Edema, Western Delta University, Oghara; Hajia Lantana Ahmed, Nasarawa State University, Keffi; and Dr Stephen Adebayo, NIPR Registrar/ Secretary. Other co-opted members include Prof Lai Osho, Lagos State University, Ojo; Prof Obiajulu Emejulu, Federal University of Technology, Owerri; Prof Emmanuel Dandaura, Nasarawa State University, Keffi; Sir Joseph Ari, Industrial Training Fund, Jos; Willy Ogbidi, NIPR School, Lagos; Mr Mukhtar Sirajo, NIPR Council Member, Kaduna; Mallam Sule Tau Sule, Kano State Chapter, and Mrs Comfort Ukwela, NTA, Makurdi, among others.
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
KC pupil wins scholarship for selling ticket
OST scholarships are awarded on the basis of brilliance or indigence. However neither was at play when Mohammed Kehinde Badmus got a scholarship to complete his junior secondary education during the Cultural Day programme of King's College, Lagos last Friday. All he did was to sell the ticket that won the star prize for the PTA hostel project raffle draw to Mr Rasheed Olalekan Anifowose, his neighbour. But Principal of the college, Otunba Dele Olapeju said Kehinde was deserving of reward because of his obedience. "The boy faithfully carried out his assignment in King's College. For the rest of his JSS he will come in and go without paying anything. His tuition, laundry, PTA levy will be on the school," Olapeju said. This was delightful news for the boy and his father, Mr Olamilekan Badmus, a retired police officer. The JSS2 pupil said: "I feel happy. At least I will not give my daddy stress to work for money for fees." Indeed, it will reduce the financial burden on Mr Badmus, who said
By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
apart from Kehinde and his twin sister, who attends the Federal Government College, Ijanikin, he still caters for another set of twins. "I am very happy about this because we have another set of twins," he said. Thanking the King's College PTA for organising the raffle draw that won him a brand new Hyundai Accent car, Mr Anifowose said he would have lost out if he threw away the stubs. "As at last weekend I actually stumbled upon the stubs for the ticket and I was going to throw them away. Something told me not to. On Sunday I checked my phone to discover that someone had called me 13 times. When I returned the call I was told I won the star prize. Just last week my friend won a car," he said. There would have been no car or raffle draw if not for the five-storey hostel building project of the PTA, which its chairman, Mr Emmanuel Oriakhi said has already reached the third floor. He described the hostel
• From left: Otunba Olapeju presenting the car keys to Anifowose as Oriakhi, Badmus and Kehinde applaud
project as the biggest of such in Nigeria. "We are about to complete three floors of the five-storey hostel. The Minister of State for Education said this is the biggest PTA project in Nigeria. From the raffle, we set our
target to raise about N20 million. We did not reach that target but we made close to it," he said. When completed, Oriakhi said the hostel would end the school's acute accommodation problem. "Right now, the students are
School clinches top three trophies
HREE pupils of the Ansa-UdDeen Girls’ High School, Itire, have won the top three prizes of the Alhaja Nusiratu Amope Sonibare Quranic and Islamic Quiz competition organised by the DuroEmanuel Education Foundation Board. The three girls - Akinsanmi Zeenatullah, KosokoYeqeenah, and Ahmed Faidat - won the best three prizes leaving nothing for pupils from the Ansa-Ud-Deen College, Isolo, and the Ansa-Ud-Deen Girls High Schoo, Surulere where the competition was held. Zeenatullahi, 16 and a Senior Secondary School 3 student went home with a computer set and
By Medinat Kanabe
N100,000 paid into her school account; Yeqeenah also got a computer set and N50,000 paid into her school account, while Faidat got a computer. Speaking at the event, the President, Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Alhaji Abdul-lateef Okunnu, said the competition is useful to the students, as it will help increase their knowledge of Islam. Okunnu, who also spoke on security challenges in the country, urged those in attendance especially the participants that Islam which they profess is a peaceful religion. He told the participants not to be
deceived by the Boko Haram sect adding that they are not Muslims and are going against the teachings of Islam. He said: "Nigerian has been facing security challenges, the latest being engineered by those that call themselves Boko Haram. Don't follow their footsteps, don't allow them deceive you. Islam is knowledge and knowledge is embedded in Islam. Anyone who says knowledge is not Islam is not a true Muslim. “Islam does not say we should kill ourselves. Those who are committing suicide are not following the induction of Islam."
He thanked the members of the Duro-emanuel family for giving the pupils the opportunity. In his own remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture Dr OlajideBasorun, who also donated a complete public address system to the school, enjoined everyone to support Islamic education in Lagos State. "Build the future of the children in the right way and donate to the course of Islam. Whatever you donate is an investment in your tomorrow," he said. The Chairman of the Foundation, Dr Abdulwaheed Smith called for support and donations from individuals and corporate bodies, to keep the foundation running. He said the aim of the competition is to honour their late mother whom he described as 'very religious' adding that if she were still alive, she would love to impart the knowledge of Islam to as many children as possible. All 30 previous participants that were later reduced to 10 finalists got scholarships.
sleeping two on a narrow bed. Some even have to sleep on the floor. But when the hostel is complete, it will solve the accommodation problem in the main campus. Who says we cannot replicate the project in the annex as well," he said.
Osun Deputy Governor clears air on uniform
SUN State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Titi Laoye- Tomori has enjoined Christians to emulate Jesus Christ in their daily endeavours. She made this statement in Osogbo after the Easter thanksgiving service at St. Benedict's Catholic Cathedral Church. In her speech titled "I want to be like Jesus", she took advantage of the opportunity to clarify a rumour making the rounds that the abbreviation "Ella" on the Osun Free School Uniforms an acronym from the manufacturer means: "Education", "Learning", "Living" and "Advancement" and not "Ela" as represented by "Ifa" in the African traditional religion. She said: "Uniforms were given in good faith in the bid to rebrand the daily turn out of our children. The "Ella" on the school uniforms has no bearing on "Ifa" as insinuated by many people.”
Bayelsa school pupils embark on UK trip WENTY one students and staff of Divine International Schools in Yenizue-Gene, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, penultimate week departed the country through Murtsla Muhammed International have embarked on a trip to London, the United Kingdom for an excursion trip. The students and staff boarded a British Airways aircraft for the two week's tour, with the theme: "Globalisation, oneness and culture." The trip, which will see the students and staff visit many places of interest for the two-week excursion, will also provide them opportunity to explore cultural exchange in the United Kingdom, even as they are billed to visit Nigerian House in London, with a courtesy visit to the office of the High Commissioner to the UK, Amb. Tafida Dahaltu. Speaking at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, the school's administrator, Mrs Nneka Latunde - Dada, explained that the trip would afford the school and its students to have first hand experience of the education system in the UK, with a view to bringing back home experience that will improve the teaching and learning skills of the
• A cross section of the pupils departing the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos for the UK trip.
Commissioner praises college for Cultural Day
HE Rivers State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Dr. Imegwu Nnabuihe Nabbs, has praised the staff and management of Holly Rosary College Port Harcourt for showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Nigeria. Dr Imegwu stated this during the Holy Rosary annual Cultural Day celebration held recently in Port Harcourt. Giving his remark as the guest of honour, the Commissioner said Nigeria has a rich culture and it is left in the hands of parents and teachers to educate students who are the future leaders on the importance
From Precious Dikewoha, Port Harcourt
of culture. He noted that a school like Holy Rosary Collage where almost all the ethnic groups in Nigeria were represented will always add colour and entertain its guests through the display of different cultures among students The commissioner, however, thanked the management and staff of the collage for initiating such a laudable idea that could bring unity and make future leaders understand the culture of others. Responding, the school head
teacher Mrs Veronica Efika, spoke on the essence of the event. She said: "The college decided to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the ethnic groups in Nigeria as it is presented in the community. It is an annual event that brings our children close to their origin. "Food, clothing and shelter are three of our most important needs but all of us do not eat the same kinds of food; we do not wear the same kinds of cloths nor do we live in the same kinds of houses in our different cultural setting. But by this event, the children will understand themselves better and live as one."
students and teachers. She explained that the excursion will also serve as a window for the students to see for themselves things they have read about the former colonial masters of Nigeria, adding that such historical and cultural relationship will broaden the understanding of the students. Mrs Latunde-Dada said, the excursion will also serve as a window for the managers of the school to network for partner schools in the United Kingdom, who are interested in setting up study centres in Bayelsa State, especially in the preparation of students and candidates for international examinations. The administrator explained that with a vast knowledge of the historical and tourism sites in Nigeria, which the students have visited during excursion, it is imperative to step up the game by widening the horizon of the students as future leaders of the nation, who need international exposure. She said the theme was carefully selected to align the student's understanding with cultural exchange across the globe and the need to appreciate the benefits derivable by visiting other countries, as members of the global community.
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
EDUCATION EDUTALK with ESUT launches N10b infrastructure fund My own I
N its bid to reposition as one of the best on the African continent, the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) is to launch a N10 billion Infrastructural Development Trust Fund under the distinguished chairmanship of Senator Ike Ekwerenmadu, the Deputy Senate President. The launch, which would have the Governor of Enugu State, Sullivan Chime, as chief host and Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State as guest speaker is scheduled for May 10 at the Auditorium Agbani. Chairman of the seven-man ESUT Trust Fund Committee, Prof Ike Ndolo, said the fund would help the institution provide facilities for the institution. "The idea of the Trust Fund is
primarily to reposition and reengineer ESUT to be one of the best in Africa. These funds will help in many critical sectors of the university needing services and infrastructural development and intervention," he said. The infrastructural development intervention areas include critical teaching and research facilities, post graduate studies building, completion of two new faculty buildings/main university library and the fencing of the entire university landscape. Others are provision of recreational facilities, the senate building endowment of chairs in departments, completion of
professors/staff quarters and student hostels and a school of communication building. ESUT was established in 1991 with a philosophy of a unique university that must be closely related to society, its industry and above all, serve as a catalyst in the technological advancement of the people. Since its establishment, ESUT has grown into an ivory tower with nine faculties which include Agriculture, Applied Natural Sciences, Engineering, Education, Environmental Sciences, Law, Management Sciences, Medicine and Social Sciences. In addition, it also has School of Postgraduate studies, Matured Students' programme, General Studies division and a business school.
• Mr Asiwaju and Mrs Joshua cutting the cake with some of the fan club members
Indomie fetes pupils for Easter
N the spirit of the Easter season, Dufil Prima Foods, makers of indomie noodles hosted a party for pupils across Lagos State. The party was attended by thousands of pupils from different schools in Lagos. The pupils, who were mostly members of the Indomie fan club in schools nationwide, went home with lots of gifts. Speaking to journalists, the Public Relations Officer of the organisation, Mr Temitope Asiwaju said the event
By Medinat Kanabe
was for children born between January and March to double as birthday and Easter celebration. He said their aim was to bring children together to have fun, adding that too much restriction hinders their development. "Parents don't have time to take their kids out. It is a way of relaxation for them. This is an opportunity for them to see what other kids are doing," he said. Mrs Faith Joshua, Indomie Fan
Club coordinator, who also spoke with journalists, said the programme helped to bring members of the club together. She said some parents have the time to take their children out but they don't have the money while others have the money but no time. "So we are doing this free of charge and at the same time making sure they catch fun without their prents around." She said there are over 100, 000 indomie fan club members in 4,000 schools.
Heritage School holds family funfair
T was let-your-hair-down day at the family funfair programme of the Heritage House Montessori School, Yaba organised to usher in the second term holidays. The school was transformed to an amusement park of sorts with various games ensemble that kept the pupils excited and occupied for hours. There was no dull moment and parents were delighted to find that their wards were neither tired nor interested in eating as they moved from stand to stand to participate in whatever game they fancied. There were boat rides, go-cart, bouncing castle, body jump, water cross in an air-field balloon, train
By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
ride, swings, obstacle course and the like. All the pupils had to do to take part in each activity was to present tickets equivalent in value to the cost of the game. Head Teacher of the school, Mrs Yvonne Osunde said the programme was organised to help teachers, parents and their wards relax. She added that the cost of setting up the equipment in the school was worth it. "We just felt this should be a time to set aside for parents, children and members of staff to just relax. It cost a lot of money, and involved a lot of time and planning but going
round and seeing the children laughing and having fun makes it worth all the trouble," she said. Chairman of the school's PTA, Mr Muyiwa Adeboye, lauded the school management for initiating the programme which he said also gave opportunity for parents to network. "The school played a major role in bringing the day to pass. The planning was done by the school. The PTA only contributed but the director of the school put down a substantial amount for the programme. It has been a good opportunity for parents to get to know themselves, and also to open up the school to outsiders because it is a good school," he said.
Lawyer faults child abuse levels
LAWYER, Mr Kamilu Adegbenro has faulted the continued abuse of children in various parts of the country despite "copious provisions in our laws and international instruments on the rights of the child." Mr Adegbenro, who delivered a lecture entitled: The legal rights of the child in Nigeria to commemorate the 47th Founder's Day of St Peter's College, Abeokuta, drew attention
to the "gap between law and practice resulting in gross inability of the child to realise these rights." He said: "Child labour and child abuses are still rampant with the presence of street children and children beggars. Domestic violence, child witch craft, street hawking persist on daily in Nigeria. Corruption in government has robbed children of the finance necessary for the implementation of the rights of the child
as per their education and the health care delivery system. "Children are still deprived from enjoying the full benefit of their basic rights and suffered untold hardship in the exercise or demand of their rights. The enactment of the Child Right Act 2003 is a direct response to the concern and abuse that Nigerian children are exposed to in virtually every state of the federation."
experience with Achebe
IKE millions of others, my only contact with the late Kofoworola Prof Chinua Achebe was through his books. I cannot tell Belo-Osagie whether I read Things Fall Apart as a junior or senior secondary Kofosagie@yahoo.com pupil, but I know for sure I read 08054503077 (SMS only) a portion of the book on Ikemefuna, the captured boy he adopted, that was published in my Intensive English textbooks for JSS1 or 2. I can also vividly reading a portion of another of his novels, Arrow of God, published in one of the textbooks. What I really enjoyed about reading his books was the way it explained the Igbo culture, their food, proverbs and way of life. For me, it was like stepping into a world far removed from the Yoruba background I had growing up. I have read some of the tributes written by both Nigerians and foreigners about this great man and I am immensely proud that such a man is from the same country as myself. Despite the negative publicity Nigeria has in international circles because of underachievement, fraud, and lately, insecurity, we are currently enjoying a glow because Chinua Achebe fulfilled his purpose in life. He is popular today not because he is known as a man of means with houses, cars and oil wells in his estate - but because he used his pen to tell the African story the African way. Through his effort, he inspired a new generation of African writers. I have not written any novel so far, but I can also say I was influenced by the great writer. He was one of the many authors I read who moulded my writing skills. Like Achebe, I hope many of us will develop our talents and help our nation develop. Like the great man, I also hope our influence will extend beyond the shores of Nigeria and even the continent of Africa so the world knows we are not inferior.
‘I have read some of the tributes written by both Nigerians and foreigners about this great man and I am immensely proud that such a man is from the same country as myself. Despite the negative publicity Nigeria has in international circles because of underachievement, fraud, and lately, insecurity, we are currently enjoying a glow because Chinua Achebe fulfilled his purpose in life’
From My Inbox Re: In light of Ghana's dominance (Thursday, March 28, 2013) There is no gainsaying that education in Nigeria has gone bellow standard. This is as a result of poor or non-implementation of education-oriented programmes to propel the level of seriousness among pupils and students. Last time the federal government introduced home grown feeding system in our primary schools, where is the programme today? Poor plans and implementation has killed the programme. The issue of WAEC is not an exception of poor governmental intervention. Sequel to the recent incident that none of the best three candidates that participated in the 2012 examination came from Nigeria, what then is the assessment of the education sector? There is nothing to say rather than to say that we have a bad education system in Nigeria. National Association of Nigerian Student (NANS) Zone 'C' which comprises of Borno, Yobe, Taraba, Adamawa, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kwara, Benue, Kogi and FCT Abuja is asking the Federal Government to be serious about education reform before its total collapse. Yes, the Federal Government should please coordinate a national roadmap to the promise Land of good performance. We plead that the well performed students be published and be rewarded accordingly to encourage learning. From Comrade Odoma Arome, Coordinator, NANS Zone 'C', 08064468335.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
POLITICS THE NATION
KADUNA POLITICS Kaduna State is a strategic state in the North. It is the political capital of the region. In this report, TONY AKOWE examines the actors and factors that will shape the 2015 governorship election in the state.
2015: New political calculations in Kaduna
ANY g o v e r n o r s h i p aspirants are warm ing up for the 2015 election in Kaduna State. But, according to observers, Governor Mukthar Yero is the candidate to beat. The death of his predecessor, Governor Patrick Yakowa, on December 16, last, paved the way for his ascension. The incident also changed the political equation in the Northcentral state. When Yero was catapulted to the front seat, the former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nuhu Bajoga, became the deputy governor. Since last year, political actors in the state have been strategising and repositioning themselves for 2015. The state is strategic to the ruling party and its leaders cannot afford to toil with it. Two factors are responsible for the intense preparations for the next elections in the state. The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) is waxing stronger and merger arrangement among the major opposition parties in the country is a threat to the ruling PDP. Observers believe that 2015 is a litmus test for the parties competing for power in Kaduna State. The PDP, under Yero’s leadership, is threatened by the antagonistic activities of camps and caucuses scrambling for political control. The onus is on the governor to offer effective leadership. It is believed that this can only be possible, if he acts like a father figure and symbol of unity. The governor’s ability to bring the various camps together will determine how far the party can go in future elections. These camps revolve around the Vice President, Nnamadi Sambo, the former governor, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, and Suleiman Hukunyi, who was an associate of Makarfi. These camps are grassroots groups, which have a lot of influence in their areas. on what happens within their various areas. For Yero, the governorship primaries may not be a walk over. One of his challengers is
the former Managing Director of Dangote Group, Idris Mikati, who has been nursing the governorship ambition for long. Mikati had contested the governorship election on two occasions. The Central Senatorial Zone, which is agitating for power shift, is banking on his candidature. However, in death, many believe that Yakowa is still a factor. The former governor had a formidable structure that cannot be ignored. He had rallied his supporters in 2011 to withstand the threats posed by Makarfi and Hunkuyi. However, he reserved a measure of respect for Makarfi, his former boss. His bid for the governorship did not totally cancel his avowed loyalty. It was said that that also nearly pitched him against the Vice President. The opposition parties in Kaduna State are now working together. According to close watchers, they may capitalise on the in-fighting in the PDP to spring a surprise. Yero, it is believed, belongs to the Sambo camp and owes his position today to the Vice President who brought him to political limelight by appointing him as the Commissioner for Finance when he (Sambo) was the governor. The Vice President is trying to fortify his home support and he relies on the governor to consolidate his base. But, according to sources, Yero is threading softly. He is aware that, for him to get the governorship ticket, he would need the backing of other groups. But he has the Makarfi group to contend with, considering the belief that the group has a large followership in the Southern part of the state. Southern Kaduna has always
• Gov Yero
voted enmasse for the PDP since 1999, owing to Makarfi’s popularity. Makarfi, who was governor between 1999 and 2007, is one of the most popular politicians in the state with grassroots appeal. Now, Makarfi’s associates are said to be rooting for a House of Representatives member, who is planning to challenge Yero at the primaries. Another aspirant to watch is Suleiman Hunkuyi, former Commissioner for Finance in Makarfi Administration. He is a grassroots politician and mobilise. He has contested the governorship elections in the past, but without success. However, his major hurdle is that he has not been able to attract the supports of the various camps, although his zone of birth is an added advantage. Hunkuyi hails from the North Senatorial District. The mood of the key players in the state supports power shift to the zone. Hunkuyi has experience. He had served as the Director of Campaigns for Makarfi in 1999 before opting to contest the governorship election on the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in 2003. He was also the Director of Campaigns for Sambo in 2007. He took up the assignment after losing the
ticket to Sambo. Makarfi’s last minute support for Yakowa at the PDP shadow poll, sealed Hunkuyi’s hope. Political insiders confided that Makarfi may back him for the next election, if Yero is unable to bring the Sambo and Makarfi camps together. If the two politicians can team up, the race will be too hot for the governor, despite the Vice President’s support. Another contender is the former Secretary to Government, Samaila Yakawada.He is the adopted son of the former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Prof. Ango Abdullahi. Yakawada is a grassroot politician who is closely asociated with the people of Southern Kaduna. When Yakowa was alive, he was the defacto deputy governor. He commanded respect in the administration. There were speculations that he was oiling his political machinery to contest the 2015 governorship election, if Yakowa would not run. With the death of Yakowa, the coast may be clear. The onus is on him to effectively mobilise the people of Southern Kaduna for his cause. There are speculations that Yakawada may defect to the
‘The North/South dichotomy will definitely affect the politics of the state in 2015. How Yero and his party, the PDP, are able to manage the dichotomy will determine how far the ruling party can go in Kaduna State in the next elections’
All Progressives Congress (APC). However, he will have to slug it out with other aspirants, if he defects to the party. The disadvantage is that he may be branded a late comer. APC has a bright future in Kaduna State. The mega party is a potential threat to the PDP in the state. Currently, only the CPC has a strong presence in the state. It has produced one local government chairman and nine members of the House of Assembly, a Senator and few members of the House of Representatives. The opposition party is popular in the Northern District. The same cannot be said of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). But, if the three parties-ACN, CPC and ANPP- come together, they will shake the PDP. Observers contend that the mega party will make a headway in the state, if it can penete the southern part and capitalise on the sentiment that a politician from the zone should be elected as governor to complete Yakowa’s term. Kaduna is politically divided into the northern and southern zones, but constitutionally, it is made up of three senatorial zones. The South has not relented in its agitation for liberation. The politicians from the zone have always complained about marginalisation. The North/South dichotomy will definitely affect the politics of the state in 2015. How Yero and his party, the PDP, are able to manage the dichotomy will determine how far the ruling party can go in Kaduna State in the next elections.
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
POLITICS The Executive Secretary of the National Summit Group, Mr Tony Uranta, spoke with with EMMANUEL OLADESU on the recent controversial state pardon, national security and other issues.
Can power shift to Ekiti South? By Emmanuel Oladesu, Group Political Editor
‘Jonathan should reshuffle cabinet’ W
HAT is your reaction to the recent jailing of Henry Okah by a South African
court? Considering the antecedents and struggles of MEND and other Niger Delta activists and agitators, it is reasonable to say he is a factor in MEND. It’s on record that he was the first person to receive amnesty from the government. I find this interesting because I now hear recurring statements that he never accepted amnesty. I know that his acceptance of amnesty was a precondition to his being released. However, as an individual, he may have decided to rescind his decision at that time. It is undisputable that Henry Okah was playing a major role, whether intellectual, arms or otherwise in the struggle of the Niger Delta for emancipation, justice and resource control. There was any bombing on October 1, 2010. Up till this moment, I don’t know who carried out the bombing. If Tompolo, Boyloaf, Chief Ateke Tom, Farah Dagogo, Egberipapa, General Africa and all of the grand commanders of MEND came out to declare they were not involved, we know that truly, for a fact, that was not a MEND action. However, a court in Nigeria has proclaimed guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment a nice young man called Ebiware and Charles Okah is still waiting his days in court and they are being charged as accomplices to Henry Okah. Many have asked why was Henry Okah tried in South Africa? I would like us to cast our mind back to when the son of Mrs. Margret Thatcher was accused of plotting coup against Equitorial Guinea from South Africa. He was tried and convicted in South Africa. In fact, at the end of the day, he was pardoned in South Africa. It therefore, showed that there have been precedents for South Africa as a sovereign state to decide whom it will try, over what issues and how it will go about it. I am happy that Thatcher’s son was pardoned and released in the end. Maybe Henry Okah would be pardoned and released by South Africa in the end. Did you say he was not the leader of MEND? He so claimed. He claimd he was not involved with MEND. I am not therefore, going to say he was or not with MEND. But we all know the facts. What is your reaction to the presidential pardon granted to former Bayelsa State Governor Diepreye Alaimeyesigha? I am a human being who has fought for justice all my life. I do not believe that what is good for the goose is not good for the gander. If President Obasanjo, for example, could pardon Salisu Buhari, the first Speaker of the House of Representatives in this Fourth Republic, hours after he was
convicted of a crime of forgery, altering and deception, even without recourse to the National Council of State, I find it difficult to understand why President Jonathan, in concert with the National Council of State, considered it wise in their opinion to grant pardon to that vast gamut of people, it should not generate the level of criticisms it has. I agreed that we must show ourselves and the world that we are fighting against corruption. But how come we forgot about Halliburton and Siemens? What gives America the moral platform to condemn Nigeria? Alamiesighega served his term; he is virtually financially destitute at the moment and yet, he has been so keenly involved in maintaining peace and stability in the Niger Delta, right from the day he was released. People don’t appreciate that anymore, Like Prof. Wole Soyinka said, we have selective amnesia. Would you encourage President Goodluck Jonathan to reshuffle his cabinet? Good governance comes with a resolve to be transparent, accountable and to be responsive to the wishes of the people. To that extent, the government of this country has set in place a system of anti-corruption trying to bolster the ICPC and the EFCC. although I do not know what Lamorde is doing there. But Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has tried to create a level of transparency with NEITI and other instruments available to her office as the Coordinating Minister of the Economy. However, there are many too many deadwoods in the government of President Jonathan. I don’t know what Prof. Gbenga Ashiru is doing in that government. I do not see anything new about our foreign policy. I do not see it as being dynamic or in anyways representative of the interest of Nigerians. For example, we are in Mali, we would lose people and spend billions.
At the end of the day, I do not see how he has tied this thing with postconflict economic gains. I do not see how he has pushed for Nigeria to have economic gains in Liberia, Sierra Leone and other frontline states we have supported in the past. You don’t know who the Special Adviser MDG is. When Amina Ibrahim was in that office, we saw her, held her and felt her. Everybody knew that she was President’s adviser on MDG, one of the most important agencies this country has. I have been told she is an Ijaw sister. Who is she and what was her background? Even, if she was the most brilliant person in the past, what has she done so far to justify her being put in the position? Mrs Ama Pepple is overdue for retirement. You don’t put her there to fulfill a quota. She is not representing anybody; not Rivers State, not Ijaws or Niger Delta. So, why leave her there? The Minister of Niger Delta, you will notice that I am concentrating mainly on my brethren in the region. I have call for his removal, but let us say to his favor that sometimes, when you place fire under a man, he leaps up. He is making moves to redeem himself now. The East-West road seems to be progressing faster in the last past four months than it has progressed in the last four years. Even though many of us have warned, especially with the flood that is coming again to Nigeria, that the East-West road is not well designed. You cannot say that it will not be washed away by the flood. It should be a bridge like the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos. So, there can be a lot of motion without movement, but I still say it is to his credit that Godsday Orubebe is beginning to react positively to criticism. I had asked for the removal of Allison Madueke because her ministry seems to be involved in the imbroligio of corruption, accusations and controversies at different levels. She did not seem to care what we think and that cannot represent the administration of Goodluck Jonathan, which is for transformation. We must remember that when you are the President, you are in Aso Villa. You are cocooned from the world, except through what your ministers and advisers tell you. Remember on the death of Sani Abacha, his wife, Maryam, cried inconsolably because she said she did not believe that Nigerians hated her husband to that extent because it was contrary to the information herself and her husband had been receiving constantly from their adviser’s feedback. It is so easy to mislead a man at the top, if you don’t do your work properly or you don’t make sure that you stick to truth and facts when reporting back the dynamics and realities of the nation to him. For Goodluck Jonathan, whether he is going to run in 2015 is not my issue, but let us survise 2013.
From left: Minister of Aviation Mrs. Stella Oduah-Ogiemwinyi, Minister of Agric and Natural Resources Dr. Akinwumi Ayodeji and Minister of Culture & Tourism Mr. Edem Duke during the Federal Executive Council PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN meeting at the Presidential Villa... yesterday.
HEN Ekiti State was created in 1996, the people of the 120 towns and villages believed that it was one political zone. In 1999, zoning was not at play when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Alliance for Democracy (AD) selected their governorship candidates; Prof. Tunde Adeniran and Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo. The idea of zoning came when the state was divided into three senatorial districts for the purpose of senatorial elections. It was a product of political expediency. Adeniran, a retired university don, is from Ekiti North District. Adebayo, who won the poll, hails from Ekiti Central. In 2003, AD was dislodged from power by the PDP. But Ayo Fayose, who succeeded Adebayo, is also from Ekiti Central. In the Third Republic, when Evangelist Bamidele Olumilua of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) defeated Chief Ayo Ogunlade of the National Republican Convention (NRC) during the governorship election, where the two candidates came from in Ekitiland was a non-issue. Olumilua is from Ekiti South and Ogunlade hails from Ekiti North. In 2007, there was a controversial governorship election won by PDP’s Segun Oni, an engineer from Ekiti North. When the stolen mandate was restored, the legitimate winner, Dr. Kayode Fayemi from Ekiti North, assumed the reins in 2010. Remarkably, those who competed with Fayemi at the Action Congress (AC) primaries were from the three districts. They included Otunba Ayo Arise (Ekiti North), Prince Dayo Adeyeye (Ekiti South), Hon. Adeyanju (Ekiti Central), Basorun Joseph Odetola (Ekiti North), and Dare Babarinsa (Ekiti Central). Why is zoning gradually gaining prominence in Ekiti State? Party insiders described the clamour for power shift based on zoning as one of the political gimmicks by certain politicians to gain advantage at the primaries. It is only peculiar to the PDP actors from Ekiti South, who are rationalising their agitations with the explanation that, since the restoration of the civil rile in 1999, Ekiti South has not produced the governor. In the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), it is evident that the governor, who has performed well, is qualified for a second term. In fact, the party has endorsed him. But the crisis-ridden PDP has over 15 governorship aspirants across the three districts. They include former Governor Ayo Fayose (Ekiti Central), Senator Ayo Arise (North), Senator Gbenga Aluko (South), Adeyeye (South), Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade (Central), Sikiru Lawal (Central), Mrs. Abiodun Olujimi (North), Yinka Akerele (North), Bisi Omoyeni (South), Abiodun Aluko (South), Aribisala (North), and Owolabi (South). The aspirants outside the South do not see any merit in the zoning argument. The leading aspirants from the South, Adeyeye and Aluko, are at the vanguard of the power shift to the zone. To analysts, zoning has become a manipulative weapon in Ekiti. A group, the South Agenda, has been posting educative materials on the internet sensitising the people to the need for governorship zoning in the state. The latest statement by the spin doctors reads: “Ekiti Should learn from Ondo State, our neighbour, where no senatorial district is marginalised. Since 1999, the following have been governors there; Adefarati (North), Agagu (South) and Mimiko (Central). The South must produce the next governor of Ekiti for equity, fairness and justice”. However, observers point out that, while Akoko/Owo, Ilaje/ ikale, Akure and Ondo people are different sub-ethnic Yoruba groups in Ondo State, the people of Ekiti State speak Ekiti and there is no traditional or cultural difference hindering effective cohabitation and harmony. Shortly before the departure of the military, Ekiti leaders only pressed for a civilian leadership based on merit, standard and excellence. Differences among the people of Efon, Ado, Ikere, Ise, Ikole and Oye were imaginary. While there was a gulf between Ekiti and non-Ekiti in old Ondo State, Ekiti became one indivisible zone when it was created by the military. In his congratulatory letter to the Ekiti Obas and leaders, following the creation of the state, former Ondo State Governor Adekunle Ajasin, charged them to ensure that only a rational and progressive leadership capable of providing free education, free health services, employment and rural development should be installed in the interest of the state. Leadership based on zoning was never contemplated. Has the Ekiti South been marginalised in the scheme of things in Ekitiland because it has not produced another governor, since Olumilua left power? The distribution of appointments since 1999 shows the district has been given a sense of belonging. The Southwest PDP caretaker chairman, Chief Ishola Filani, noted the clamour by the PDP aspirants from the South. He said the agitation for power shift is natural. He also said that it is legal and legitimate. But the party leader quickly added that it is up to the party to make the final decision on how the governorship candidate will emerge. Other chieftains have cautioned against direct pronouncement that may give backing to zoning, pointing out that it may lay a dangerous precedent in the state. “This is elimination by manipulation and I doubt if it can work in Ekiti PDP”, said a PDP chieftain from the central, who added: “Party members feel that zoning is strange in Ekiti, especially when it is about the governorship. It is better to allow the best and most popular candidate to emerge in the PDP and that candidate can come from anywhere. He or she can even come from the South”. Currently, the state executive committee of the party is from the camp of Fayose, one of the governorship aspirants from the Central District. Recently, when the critics of the former governor raised an eyebrow over his ambition, his supporters cried foul, saying that they did not subscribe to zoning. If PDP adopts zoning, two aspirants, Adeyeye and Aluko, will become the beneficiaries. But can either of • Adeyeye them defeat the governor?
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
NATURAL HEALTH E-mail:- email@example.com
CLINIC DAY Tips on use of herbs The Director, Paxherbal Laboratory, Ewu-Esan, Edo State, Father Anselm Adodo, answers the first question; a traditional medicine practitioner, Mr Segun Fahuwa, a.k.a, Mister Guarantee, handles the other.
ERBS should always be gathered fresh, early in the morning when their natural oils are at the maximum. Herbal natural oils are highly volatile, and the steadily increasing heat of the ascending sun depletes them. How to take herbs Rule 1 Take herbs before meals, except when they cause irritation. Why? Taking herbs before meals is often convenient and the practice usually assures that herbs and foods are not mixed. However, taking herbs after meals may be necessary, if the before meal dosing yields adverse gastric reactions. The primary difference (as recognised by modern research) between before-meal dosing and after-meal dosing is the higher activity of the digestive system for an hour or more after meals, compared to that before meals. The ingestion of food stimulates the release of digestive juices (including many enzymes and bile acids) and activates the intestinal absorption mechanisms and peristalsis. • Right dosage The herb decoction or pills ingested on an empty stomach, especially if the dosage is small, may produce a limited stimulation of this system and hence result in a slower action during the assimila-
tion of herb materials. The herb decoction or pills ingested on an empty stomach, especially if the dosage is small, may produce a limited stimulation of this system and hence result in a slower action during the assimilation of herb materials. RULE 2 Separate foods, drugs, and herbs, unless there is good reason to do otherwise. Why Modern experience with drugs shows that simultaneous ingestion of a drug with a food or beverage can sometimes cause changes in absorption and effects. For example, ingestion of tetracycline with milk results in reduced absorption of the drug. People relying on protease inhibitor drugs (for HIV treatment) are well aware of the significant restrictions placed on the relationship of meals and drug dose timing because of lowered absorption when food is present. • Vitamins By contrast, ingestion of vitamin C (or other vitamins) along with foods can enhance absorption and utilization of both the vitamins and any minerals that are present. Ingestion of certain pharmaceutical products with alcohol can cause adverse reactions because both produce a pharmacologic effect on the liver.
women It accounts for about half of all cancer diagnoses. The good news is that skin cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer. The first step in preventing skin cancer is to avoid ultraviolet (UV) ray exposure. We can do this by wearing sunscreen, avoiding mid-day sun, wearing protective clothing when outdoors, and by staying away from tanning beds. • Eat your fruits and veggies A well-balanced diet is advantageous for many reasons. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables greatly reduces your risk of developing cancer and many other conditions. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, which help repair our damaged cells. Green, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are your best bet to help prevent cancer. Studies also show that dark fruits, like blueberries and grapes, may also have anti-cancer properties. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower appear to pack a powerful punch at preventing cancer, according to numerous studies. Other cruciferous veg-
1 Is there a course of action on herbal use, going by the way people ingest concoctions? Rukayat Obadeko, 29 years old, Graduate. -Ajah, Lagos. 2 What are the basic steps in preventing cancer formation? Idowu Ijaodola, teacher, 45 years old, Ikorodu, Lagos.
• Food-herbs interaction It is possible that food components bind-up and therefore inhibit the absorption of various herb ingredients. The relatively low volume of herb materials consumed at one time (especially when not taking a high-dosage decoction) compared to the amount of food materials consumed suggests that it is possible for foods to inhibit the absorption of some herb components.
RULE 4 Encourage getting a full daily dose of herbs even if timing is ignored.
RULE 3 Use stimulants in the morning, insomnia remedies at night. • Sedatives Many formulas that treat insomnia will have an immediate effect if taken about one-half hour before going to sleep as well as potentially providing a long-term solution with regular ingestion over a period of several weeks or months. Other formulas will release body energy and will cause insomnia at night; in sensitive individuals, it may be necessary to take no herbs for four hours prior to bedtime. Similarly, energy stimulating formulas might be best taken in the early morning; much like one consumes coffee at that time.
• Timing With regard to time of administration, tonic drugs should be taken before meals, those irritant to the stomach and intestine after meals. Anthelmintics should be taken when the stomach is empty, and drugs for calming the mind should be taken before sleep. Antimalarial drugs should be taken two hours before the attack. For acute diseases, there is no restriction as to the time of administration. • Herb-drug interactions While there have been very few reported incidents of adverse interactions between herbs and prescription medicines (drugs), such potential exists and caution is urged when combining medicines. Interactions are unlikely to create toxic compounds, but they may affect the way your medication is utilized by the body and can either potentiate (increase) the effect of the drug or block its absorption. If the safety or efficacy of the drug is highly dose dependent then serious problems can occur.
How to prevent cancer ANCER prevention is easier than you think. With a few simple lifestyle changes, you can drastically reduce your risk of many types of cancer. Many factors play a role in cancer development, but the good news is that most can be avoided. •Avoid smoking and exposure to smoke Smoking is the most significant cancer risk factor that we can reduce. It is responsible for not only lung cancer, but many other types of cancer. One of the best ways to prevent cancer is to quit smoking or never start. As soon as you quit, and it’s never too late, your body reaps the benefits of being tobacco-free. Avoid second hand smoking also a way to prevent cancer. Secondhand smoke is the smoke exhaled from a smoker or a lit cigarette, pipe or cigar. This smoke contains more than 60 known carcinogens.” These carcinogens interrupt normal cell development. This interference is what ignites cancer development. • Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer among men and
etables include bok choy, Brussel sprouts, and cabbage. • Limit red meat and animal fat Numerous studies show that a diet high in animal fat increases the risk for several types of cancer, particularly colon cancer. Red meat contains much more fat than poultry and fish, so reducing the amount of red meat in your diet may help to prevent cancer. A diet high in fat also is major cause of obesity, which is a risk factor for many
types of cancer. • Limit your alcohol intake Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol regularly increases your risk factor for many types of cancer. Studies suggest that men who consume two alcoholic drinks per day and women who have one alcoholic drink per day significantly increase their risk factors for certain types of cancer. • Exercise for cancer prevention Did you know that when you are
• Pregnancy and breastfeeding While there are a number of herbs that can be very helpful for problems which arise during pregnancy, there are many more herbs which are NOT suitable for use during this time. We strongly advise that pregnant mothers do NOT take herbal remedies unless under the guidance of a qualified herbal practitioner. Herbs are absorbed into the bloodstream and are therefore likely to be present in breast milk. If you are breastfeeding, please seek advice before using any herbal product. • Taking tinctures Tinctures are a very handy way of taking herbs as they can be easily carried around in pockets or a handbag and taken in a small amount of water or fruit juice. The herbs are usually absorbed in about 15 minutes. The best time to take tinctures is between meals or up to 15 minutes before meals, unless otherwise advised. • Infusion Infusion simply means “tea”. Just like when you make tea, you pour boiling water over some leaves or flowers. That’s what you do to make an infusion. A therapeutic dose will be one teaspoon per cup, and let it stay for 10 to 15 minutes. Then you can add sweetener, juice or whatever you need to do to make it a happy part of your routine. exercise, you are reducing your risk for many types of cancer? The American Cancer Society recommends exercising 30 or minutes, at least five days a week for cancer prevention. Exercising doesn’t have to mean going to the gym to lift weights. There are plenty of ways to get exercise into your day. • Know your personal and family medical history Knowing your family history of cancer is important to properly assess your risk factor for certain types of cancer. We know that cancers like breast, colon, ovarian, and possibly other types can be hereditary. • Know what you’re being exposed to in your work environment Chemicals in the workplace may increase your risk of developing many types of cancer, including kidney cancer and bladder cancer. If you are exposed to fumes, dust, chemicals, etc. in the workplace, you have a legal right to know what you are being exposed to. Gasoline, diesel exhaust, arsenic, beryllium, vinyl chloride, nickel chromates, coal products, mustard gas, and chloromethyl ethers are all carcinogens and can be found in some work environments. Talk to your employer about limiting exposure.
THE NATION TTHURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
How to overcome embarrassing, bleeding piles T
ODAY is an Open Day of sort or, if you like, a Clinic Day, to answer one or two specific questions often asked by readers of this column. One reader asked in a text message: "Please help me. Any time I eat rice, I have severe pile. But if I stop eating it, it will cease. But rice is my best food. Please any solution" Another reader asked: "I've been with pile for over 15 years. Because I was afraid of losing blood on treating it. Now, the protrusion after toilet is as large as my folded palm and it takes up to an hour to go in. How can I get a cure? Piles Hemorrhoids or piles, as this condition is also called, can be an enormous source of embarrassment, especially when it comes with bleeding and a Lord of the Manor has to change pads as though he were a menstruating woman. When I see a man or a woman at a gathering who cannot sit straight, balancing on one buttock or slouching, I suspect he or she has a serious problem with his or her anus, not just with the lower back. Many men suffer from piles. Even the great French Emperor, Napoleon Bornaparte, suffered from hemorrhoids which caused him such pain as distracted him from the crucial Battle of Waterloo. The emperor who, through battle conquests, wished to rule the whole of Europe, lost the war, disgracefully, to English general Lord Chamberlain.
ILE is a digestive system disorder caused by food less foods, poor digestion, and constipation, pres sure in the intestines, straining to stool, engorgement and inflammation of veins in the anus, among other causes. Anyone who has seen varicose veins on the arms and legs of a sufferer should have a faint idea about what is going on in the anus of a sufferer of piles. For piles are another name for varicose veins in the anus. The role of foodless foods in the formation of piles is shown in the first enquiry. Any time she eats white rice, her hemorrhoids flare or come up, or worsen. I can imagine about four reasons for this, namely… (1) White rice is foodless food. Rice is brown in its natural state. The white part is all starch, carbohydrate. The outer parts contain the nutrients which help the body to digest the white part for energy. Among these nutrients are Vitamin B complex, particularly thiamine (Vitamin B1). It is like the outer part of wheat which is refined to foodless food. The outer wheat contains wheat germ and wheat germ oil, cholesterol and lecithin. The lecithin helps to keep cholesterol soluble in the blood while the B - Complex vitamins help to burn the carbonhydrate. In Europe, hypertensive people soak brown rice in water to extract these nutrients and drink this infusion to lower their blood pressure. If you wonder why we should not eat white rice and should eat not brown rice, and you get the right answer, you'd most likely change over to brown rice pretty soon, to the joy of such people as Mrs Veronica Momoh of Benin who, on becoming well informed in these matters, not only eats brown rice now but produces and sells it nationwide. The answer is this: when brown rice is shipped from Thailland to Nigeria, for example, the exporters lose a lot of money because weevils find their ways into the sacks of rice and eat up the brown portion. This shows that these small animals are more sensible than many men. They know the brown of the rice is a power house in terms of nutrients. Soon, the exporters learned their lessons and beat the ravenous weevils in their game. The rice exporters put the brown rice in machines which neatly scraped the brown parts, leaving the white. To make assurance doubly sure that all traces of nutrients are removed from the white chaff, the rice is sent to giant boilers which boil more life out of it. Next, it is sent to dryers which make it crisp again. This is the parboiled rice consumed with relish in Nigeria and many parts of the world. Where it is a major staple food, Vitamin B deficiency known as beriberi occur. This is a muscle and nerve wasting disease. For food to be well digested and the waste moved out of the intestines within 18 hours of its consumption so that it does not begin to decay there and cause a poisonous nuisance which may result in, say, piles, Vitamin B complex, for nerves of the intestines, and Vitamin E, for intestinal and other muscles, is provided in food by Mother Nature. Processing, as in the milling of rice, removes them. So is lecithin removed while cholesterol factors are left, creating the possibility, as observed in population studies, of high levels of cholesterol building up in the blood after long exposures to lecithindeficient diets. When foodless foods are not well digested as explained, sledges of them occur in the intestines, producing gas, congestion and a heaven for overpopulated unfriendly bacteria, thereby creating grounds for damage of the system. White rice is not the only foodless food we consume with relish in Nigeria. By the way,
of the herb sprinkled on the stool, the healing process should be by way of radiation. As humans, waves of power leave us by way of radiations. As a matter of fact, everything in existence radiates. Bible reports the Lord Christ perceiving power go out of Him when the woman with the issue of bloo@d touches His garment in the faith that she would be healed by so doing. The Bible also reports the Prophet Elisha ethereally (not physically) taking the garment of his master, Prophet Elijah, as the latter departed the earth in the faith that he would, this, be imbued with Elijah's spiritual powers. Our belongings are imbued with our radiations. So are our urine and our stool. The stool communicates with us through a process of radiation after, after it is voided. Like an electromagnetic wave carrying radio signals to our radios or television sets. The radiation connection with our stool enables healing factors in the herbs to the communicated to those areas of the body which need it.
foodless food means food without nutrients to help its digestion and to supply the body materials for its maintenance and immune defiance. To this unenviable club of foods belongs white flour bread, pastenristed or tumed milk, margarine, white sugar, friend foods, including biscuits, pastries and all processed and overstored foods. I always advice in public speeches that, if white rice must be eaten, it has to be with intelligence. If you observe, with food intelligence, how white rice is eaten in Nigeria, you would laugh at the ignorance of many people. They serve a mound or mountain of it in a plate and add stew or sauce and beef. A more intelligence way to eat it, in my view, is to restrict the white rice to no more than a quarter of the plate and make vegetables, raw or lightly cooked, three quarters. The vegetables may include letterce, parboiled or raw tomato, onion, cabbage, carrot, beet root, garden egg. A sprinkling of fiber such as from the proprietary FORTIFLAX. While the white rice is nothing but a load of empty carbohydrate, the vegetables supply vitamins minerals, hormones, trace elements, co-factions. The Fortiflax is fiber from flax seed with some flax oil, a rice source of Omega - 3 essential fatty acid, hynins, which are anti-carcinogenic, and other nutrients. There is no doubt that this type of meal will be well digested and the wastes promptly evacuated. NOTHER problem I suspect in the first case is the "Swallow food" syndrome. Many people do not chew many carbonhydrated foods, believing they are meant to be swallowed. Starchy foods are complex carbohydrate foods or polysaccharides. Ptyalin, an enzyme in saliva, converts polysaccharides to simpler carbohydrates called disaccharides which, in the intestine, are converted to simpler forms named monosaccharides. It is monosaccharides that are absorbed into the bloodstream for use of the cells. If complex carbohydrate foods are swallowed, without saliva being allowed to do its work, polysaccharides arrive in the intestines where there are no enzymes to break them down. This is a cause of constipation. Bacteria go to work feeding on them and, thus, have a source of nurture to grow their population. A lot of gas is produced in the sluggy fecal matter which may congeal and narrow intestinal passage. Naturally, blood circulation becomes sluggish, a breach of the law of motion, and engorgements occurs in the anal veins, of the arms and legs. When the blood-engorged veins of the anus reach their elastic limits under this pressure, they may break, leaking blood. That may be a reason fresh blood is often found in the stool or on the toilet tissue paper after clean-up. There may be other reasons for a bloody stool, such as polyps, ulcers, cancers, injuries inflicted by parasites. When the bleeding occurs from damaged, anal veins, the condition is internal piles or hemorrhoids. It may be a cause of anemia and weakness which often goes undetected. Germs feed on the weak, damaged veins, further damaging it. And the damage to tissue in this region may progress to colon cancer, if care is not taken. That is why it is not enough to get back into the body piles that have protruded outwards as external hemorrhoids, bleeding or otherwise. The damage must be healed and the system cleansed of opportunistic germs, Candida in particular. I know of a gentleman who overcame his protruded piles and, literally, went to sleep. The bleeding must have persisted internally. He was always tired, perhaps from blood loss. One day, he slumped and died.
Traditional treatment There are many cures amazing to the uninitiated. In some Nigerian cultures, protruded bleeding piles are cured. When the sufferer sprinkles a herb on his or her stool. Many, many years ago, I would have been a Doubting Thomas of His therapy. It is as amazing as a therapy I learned from Dr V.C. Vogal in his book, THE NATURE DOCTOR. When bleeding becomes life-threatening, he says, get a live chicken, kill it and get some flesh, warm flesh which is placed over the bleeding zone. In the case
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As stated above, prevention is better than cure. And when the harm has been done, it is better to retrace one's steps dietarily. The first step is the achievement of soft and easy bowel movements. The habit has to be enctivated of drinking two to three glasses of warm water on rising and before bedtime, one or two glasses 30 minutes before a meal and two to three glasses two or three hours after Not the emphasis on warm water. Life is warmth. Death is cold. Cold water shrinks or congeals, slows down all process Each organ of the non digestive systems needs attention. The stomach can be aided with Apple Cider Vinegar, the Liver with Carquega, Chanka Piedra, Milk, and thistle, Dandelion, Maria Treben Bitters and Dynatonic. The Pancoeas does well with Amazon Pancreas Support, Swanson's Pancreas Essentials, All-Zyme et.c. I have already mentioned Fortiflax as a source of fiber. Other sources are Psyllum Powder, and green or red or blue powder drinks. Another important support in hemorrhoids, as in all cases of intestinal health, is probiotic. Probiotic comes in various power strengths measured in terms of how many billions of cells are in a capsuleal the time of manufacture. Some have one billion cells, others as many as 30 billion. Spicy foods are to be avoided, to prevent or reduce itching. Abrasive toilet papers should be avoided.
Stopping the bleeding
HIS is the province of astringent herbs. Long ago, I witnessed the wonders of Chanka Predra which the Yoruba call Ehinbisono or ehin olube. When I gave an Igbo Chief resident in Badagry a local preparation, he took it with disbelief. About three days later, he telephoned, shouting "It's a miracle, it's a miracle." I may return to this herb, if space permits. Ice cube wrapped in an handkerchief and placed over the pile causes the nerves to shrink and, thereby, pull in the protrusion. In English folklore, raw, bruised onion is applied to inflamed hemorrhoids. But this remedy is not advisable where the tissue is sore. Another useful herb is pilewort, an acrid tasting but fast acting herbs, taken as tea or used as an ointment, just like Marigold.
Healing the veins First, intestinal pressure has to stopped to avoid pressure on the veins. Therapies which help varicose veins also help piles. In this regard, proprietary supplements such as Healthy Veins and the Witch hazel. Professor of medicine Marvin Schuser, M.D., head of the department of digestive diseases at Frascus Scct KEY Medical Centre in BALTIMORE, Maryland, United States, is reported by editors of THE DOCTOR'S BOOK OF HOME REMEDIES as saying "Barbers use Witch Hazel when they cut you…because it causes the blood vessels to shrink down and contract" The same book asks: Stoneroot, the herbal solution? Stoneroot is NOT another name for Chanka Predra, an Asian name which means "Stone breaker" or "Stone crusher" because, traditionally, it is used by herbalists to expel kidney stones. It isn't surprising, therefore, that it is a lead ingredient in Amazon KDY-CL, which has helped in some cases of kidney failure warranting dialysis. Says Dr. Grady Deal, D.C, Ph.D., in the book: "I have one patient who has found that collinsonia is the only flung that will control his hemorrhoids" . Richard Marbey corroborates this view in his NEW AGEHERBALIST when he says the "main use is to strengthen the structure and function of the Veins" and that "it is particularly food for the treatment of hemorrhoids. Chanka Predra, the stone crusher, has been extensively studied as an antimalerial, diuretic, stone expeller from kidneys and the gall bladder, astringent, pain killer, hypertension, diabetes, liver ailments, antiviral properties, hepatitis, bronchitis, urinary tract injections, hiccups, digestive disorders and lots more. I have no doubt that, with all this help from Nature, hemorrhoids should never strike anyone and, if they have, their revisal should be speedy, even in cases such as the seemed enquery, where the protrusion is as large as a folded palm, bleeding and taking time to recoil the battle of waterlow would have taken a different course if French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte knew what to do with his hemorrhoids. We appear to know better. Aren't we luckier? • This page is being rerun on popular demand
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THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
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FIRST QUARTER REVIEW The information technology sector (ICT) witnessed inertia in the first quarter of the year, writes LUCAS AJANAKU
N the Information Communications Technology (ICT) sector, analysts say its arrowheads are yet to wake up from their slumber as activities remained at their lowest ever. Head, Media, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Reuben Muoka, had raised the hope that the industry would witness an upbeat in the first quarter of this year. He had told reporters last year at the Lagos Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ikeja that many major events were being expected. According to him, the first thing will be the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP), which experts say, will usher in a new wave of healthy competition. Another milestone expected in the first quarter, he added, would be the completion of the ongoing subscriber identity module (SIM) registration, which got more than N6billion from the National Assembly and more cash from the operators. He claimed that the quarter would witness another round of issuance of licenses to operators in different segments of the industry. But at the end of the quarter, all these promises have remained wishes. President, Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Lanre Ajayi, agrees. According to him, expectations were not met. He added: "We should wait and see what happens in the second quarter." Mobile Number Portability Speaking at a forum organised by the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) in Lagos late last year, the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the NCC, Eugene Juwah, accused the operators of delaying the implementation of MNP by not putting the requisite infrastructure in place. According to him, the fact that the operators were foot-dragging on the implementation of the project would not make NCC to shift its goal post. However, the Communications Technology Minister, Mrs Omobola Johnson, said the Federal Government was committed to the execution of MNP in spite of the problems associated with quality of service in the industry. "We are going ahead with Mobile Number Portability because it is going to give subscribers lots of choice and freedom. MNP will bring new dimension to the competition in the industry. All network operators will have to work harder to earn the trust of subscribers because they will now have choices," she said. Though MNP was scheduled to take off at the close of last month, it never did. SIM registration Adjudged by experts to have fallen short of internationally acceptable levels because of many lapses, the NCC has still not stopped the registration of SIM cards. The commencement of the exercise about three years ago came after long delays. While the exercise has been marred by fraud, the ad hoc workers employed by the operators and those hired by the NCC have not been helping matters. Since payment of the ad hoc workers is hinged on meeting certain targets, they (agents) adopt some tricks to line their pockets. "The target is that you register 20 people every day. So, if you don't meet this target, you are on your own. What we are paid is too meagre to take care of costs," an Internet SIM card registration agent lamented. Another problem with the SIM registration is capturing the demographic and biometric data of the subscribers. Instead of capturing the 10 fingers prescribed by the consultants to the project, NCC settled for three six fingers (three from each hand). Besides, instead of capturing the two ear
Motion without movement lobes of the subscriber, the barely computer literate take different photograph to 'fulfill all righteousness'. It was alleged that some of the operators got different sizes of palm kernel seeds to capture the finger prints of potential subscribers to outdo one another in their quest for get more subscribers. SMS rate pegging However, in a move commended by stakeholders, except operators, the regulator pegged domestic off-net short message services (SMS) at N4. The operators lamented that it was an overkill because traffic and revenue originating from SMS had shrunk tremendously due to the emergence of instant messaging platforms, such as Blackberry and Whatapps, yet subscribers say it has brought an end to fleecing, arguing that in some countries, SMS are free. Interconnection rates The NCC announced a reduction in interconnection rates for voice calls. The rate was reduced from N8.20 to N6.40; N5.20 and N3.90. The regulator explained that the decision to reduce the interconnection rate was taken after consultations with stakeholders. "After comprehensive consultations with various stakeholders, the NCC released a new set of interconnection rates determination for voice services for the country's telecommunications industry, starting April 1, 2013. The new determination rates, which significantly reviewed prices downwards, are informed by the depth of competition in the industry while taking into consideration the position of new entrants and small operators," Tony Ojobo, Director, Public Affairs, NCC explained. He also said the termination rates for voice services provided by new entrants (defined as newly licensed operator entering old or new market within zero to three years) and
small operators (defined as an existing operator with a market share of 0 - 7.5 per cent in terms of subscriber base in Nigeria irrespective of the originating network shall be: N6.40 from April 1, this year; N5.20 from April 1, 2014; and N3. 90 from April 1, 2015. The rates remain valid and binding on licensees for the next three years until further reviewed by the NCC. Subscribers hailed the new interconnection rate, but want the regulator to also put a price cap on how much operators can charge for voice calls as this cannot be left to the whims and caprices of the operators. President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS), Deolu Ogunbanjo, said it is good the NCC heeded the call of the subscribers. "We welcome the development. But the NCC should put a cap of N15 on per minute call across the networks. Like it did with the SMS when it imposed a N4 price cap on all off-net SMS, it should do same with voice calls as it should not be left to the operators who will say it should be left to market forces," he said. Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, said the motive of the NCC was suspicious. "Well, the objective of the NCC in carrying out that review wasn't particularly clear, since it is within their legal responsibility to do so, one will not raise any objection to it. But the (secret) behind appears that they are not in touch with the reality of the industry and the market as it is today. That is how it looks like and I don't think that rate will allow for competition, which is not healthy for the industry. "Considering that there are so many areas of losses for the operators, it will be difficult for us to continue the way things are going. I cannot promise any review in end user tariff because tariff is a commercial issue all the time. It is better left to market forces," he said.
‘For most part of the quarter under review, there was silence from the supervising ministry which is supposed to galvanise investment into the sector. All the promises made by the ministry last year were never kept. First, the minister's promise that the software incubation centres (pilot) to be sited at the E-Learning Centre, Lagos and Knowledge City, Tinapa, Cross River State were never kept’
Quality of Services During the period under review, like the proverbial leopard that never changes its spot, the quality of telecoms services continued to drop. Call drops, unsuccessful call rates, crosstalking, unauthorised call diversion and other problems continued to be the daily experience of subscribers across all the networks in the country. Ajayi attributes this development to surge in subscriber base. He acknowledged the fact that there has been a continuous investment in capacity expansion, lamenting that this has not appreciably translated to quality service delivery. In data services, the subscribers experienced untold hardship. If the problem is not downtime from the service providers, it is the speed and bandwidth promised that are not being made available to the subscribers. Communications Technology Ministry For most part of the quarter under review, there was silence from the supervising ministry which is supposed to galvanise investment into the sector. All the promises made by the ministry last year were never kept. First, the minister's promise that the software incubation centres (pilot) to be sited at the E-Learning Centre, Lagos and Knowledge City, Tinapa, Cross River State were never kept. Under the plan, unveiled late last year, the pilot phase was for between October last year and March, this year.Within this time, steps to be taken include initiation of selection process for incubatees; induct first batch of incubatees; organise services for members; develop curriculum; complete and launch of Tinapa Centre. National Single Window Portal The Ministry of Communication Technology in collaboration with the Ministry of Information launched the National Single Window Portal to create an entry for Nigerians to access government information and services online. It will showcase the Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government on a window portal that will enable Nigerians at the click of a button to view and engage any government’s agency. Microwork for job creation The Ministry of Communication Technology also unveiled a job creation scheme called Microwork for Job Creation-Naijacloud' that seeks to reduce unemployment and create wealth for youths. With support from the STEP-B project, in the Ministry of Education, the ministry launched the scheme to address employability and job creation using IT.
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
'Nigeria loses N47.5b yearly to intellectual property theft'
IGERIA loses N47.5 billion ($300 million) yearly to intellectual property theft, Country Manager, Microsoft Nigeria, Emmanuel Onyeje, has said. Although he did not explain how he arrived at this figure, he said if this problem was not checked, it could threaten creativity and en-
By Lucas Ajanaku
courage criminality. He said criminals could easily get cheap funding through the patronage of the intellectual properties they sell to people. Such funds, he said, would have been used to develop the economy through the provision of infrastruc-
ture. According to him, intellectual property theft is a disincentive to investment in the creative industry. He urged to arest the situation. "Intellectual property theft discourages investment into the country. It is one big disincentive to investment to the economy. If there
are no laws that protect investment, investors will always lose out. Therefore, if economic development is the fundamental goal of the government, then it must do something about piracy. The government must empower the appropriate agencies to do its works," he said. According to a report by the Busi-
ness Software Alliance (BSA), the global body responsible for the advancement of the goals of the software industry, Nigeria is said to be losing $513 million yearly. This, according to the report, harms local resellers and service firms; lowers government revenues and heightens the risk of cyber crime and security problems in the country. BSA added that reducing intellectual property theft (software piracy) by just 10 per cent over four years could deliver billions of naira in economic growth and create thousands of new jobs to occupy the growing army of the youthful unemployed.
Sony tackles theft with new mobile phone Mobile phone marks 40th anniversary
ESPITE may have come the way of mobile phone users. This is because Sony MobileRCommunications has developed a mobile phone that will be unattractive to thieves and it could easily give them away to security agencies. This is coming after the failure of the anti-mobile theft (Anti-Mophti) initiative of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). The Commission had registered Messrs NetVisa Nigeria Limited to disable stolen phones through the Central Equipment Identity Registry (CEIR) used in detecting the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI)/ Serial Number, by dialing the code *#06# on GSM Mobile Phones." Like a pack of cards, the programme crashed because the country is haven to counterfeit mobile phones, the NCC said. Speaking with The Nation in Lagos, Izzat Kittaneh, the Director, Business Management and Pricing, Customer Unit, Middle East and Africa,
Sony, said nearly a million mobile phones are sold in the country every month. He lamented that most of these mobile phones were either lost to thieves or damaged easily at the slightest contact with water. "Nigera is a huge market, a market that sells almost a half million mobile phones a month. With a population of about 170 million, economic development of Nigeria is a single point percentage, so this is why it is called an emerging market," he said. According to Kittaneh, the software will allow the person that stole the phone to be detected and the phone, subsequently disabled. "It is third party software integrated into the phone to save people's money. In case your phone gets stolen, you would have set up a software to send a predefined SMS to a predetermined number so, as soon as the SIM card removed and another inserted, because the person that stole the phone will have to use it at
some point, as soon as he inserts the new SIM card, an automatic SMS will be sent without thief's knowledge to that predefined number that you have set up. This number will let you know who is using the phone because the number will be there. It will also let you know if it is being used or you left it somewhere or not because sometimes, your phone could get stolen or you could misplace it somewhere. For us it is very important that we guide against that," he said. He added that the mobile phone, Xperia TM Z could also stay at a certain depth of water for at least 30 minutes without compromising its functionalilties. The phone, according to him, boasts of a range of unparalleled features, including a 5" full high definition (HD) 1080p reality display, Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor, the mobile Bravia Engine 2 and a 13-megapixel fast-capture camera.
YESTERDAY marked the 40th anniversary of the first mobile phone call. The first call was made 3 April 1973. That day, Martin Cooper, a senior engineer at Motorola, called a rival colleague at another telecoms company and announced he was speaking from "a 'real' cellular telephone.â€? Nigeria joined this super-highway in 2001 when operators were issued licences that ushered in the era of global system for mobile (GSM) communication. Currently, the nation has a subscriber base of 113 million, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). In 2012, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) did a report which showed that while global population stood at seven billion, there were six billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide. Cooper, now aged 85, is renowned as the "father" of the mobile phone, said his vision for a mobile phone was first conceived in the late 1960s when the car telephone was invented by AT&T. He wanted to create "something that would represent an individual so you could assign a number not to a place, not to a desk, not to a home but to a person," he said. "It pleases me no end to have had some small impact on people's lives because these phones do make people's lives better. We envision that some day, the phone would be so small that you could hang it on your ear or even have it embedded under your skin, " Cooper was quoted as saying.
Airtel introduces special package AIRTEL Nigeria has introduced a special data offer that will enable its customers to surf the Internet at a modest rate. According to a statement from the telco, the special data package tagged Airtel Magic Box Offer - empowers Airtel customers to enjoy Internet services at a discounted rate from as low as 0.1 kobo per mega byte (MB), depending on customer's allocated Pay As You Go (PAYU) data band. The offer, designed for prepaid customers, has nine different PAYU bands, the highest of which provides customers with up to 1GB data bundle. To enjoy the latest data product from Airtel, customers are to dial *758*2# to confirm their respective band and start browsing with ease. Speaking on the offer, the Chief Marketing Officer, Olu Akanmu, said the launch of Airtel Magic Box further demonstrates the brand's assurance to Nigerians in its recent brand promise captured in the on-going advertising campaign of all media platforms that says - Nigeria, we've got you covered. According to Mr Akanmu, "Airtel's broadband superiority draws from its 3.75G service widest coverage in Nigeria. Nigerians are assured of the enormous benefits of joining the nation's network of choice.Airtel by its Magic Box offer of 0.1k per MB access to the internet is saying to Nigerians, we have got you covered to surf and play abundantly on the Internet."
Ambion, others partner on Super WiFi
â€˘ Head, Corporate Sales, Mr Kamal Shonibare (2nd right) and Head, Gloworld, Mrs. Titi Ebinisi (second left) receiving the Most Innovative Company Award from Director-General, Nigerian Tourism Corporation, Otunba Segun Runsewe (right) and actress Iyabo Ojo.
Power supply threatens e-transaction, says IBM
RREGULAR power supply has been identified as the major threat to the success of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN's) efforts at encouraging the use of electronic platform as alternative way of paying for goods and services. Taiwo Otiti, General Manager, IBM West Africa, who spoke in Lagos, said if the Federal Government concentrates its efforts on fixing the nation's power debacle, so many other things will fall in line. According to him, stability in the services offered by telecoms operators on whose network services like e-transaction, mobile money and other forms of electronic transaction would ride may not be guaranteed untill the power issue if fixed.
He said the operators were running their cell cites on generators. He argued that there would always be glitches in services as the generators will need to be refuelled at some point in time, arguing that there will be huge economic transformation if the power sector is fixed. "I think the main issue in telecoms is not just stability, majority of the cell sites are running on generators. So if the Federal Government can fix the power (sector), you will see a big transformation because if a generator goes down, the cell site also goes down and therefore, the nearest cell site which might be congested at that particular moment, your PoS (Point of Sale) is diverted to that one. So there are
many issues. The major issue around it is power. If you fix power (the success of the initiative would be assured). It (power) has a big role to play in ensuring the success of the initiative," he said in an interview. Worried by the high cost of managing cash and determined to deepen financial inclusion in the country, the apex bank had introduced cashless project and also licensed some mobile money operators in the country assist in bringing the rural unbanked into the banking sector. But these initiatives have been fraught with myriad of challenges. While the uptake of mobile money services has been adjudged sluggsih, the cashless policy which pilot project was done in Lagos last year did not record impressive success rate.
AN indigenous technology firm Ambion Wireless, is partnering submarine cable company, MainOne, Phase 3 Telecoms and Altai, to launch a new Internet service, Super WiFi, in the country. Speaking in Lagos, Olumide Oladimeji, the Executive Director of the firm, said with such established brands as its technical partners, the launch of the services in the Alausa, Ikeja, Central Business District (CBD) of the state marks the coomencement of the offer of services in the country. He added that a pan-Nigeria roll-out would be achieved in phases. According to him, one of the unique selling points of the services is that it is the latest technology in the world. He said accessing Internet services will no longer be through the purchase of dongles/modems and that the installation of the customer premises equipment (CPE), fast and seamless internet connection will be accessed by the subscriber. "We have put in place a robust infrastructure that is 99.9 per cent secure against downtime and hacking. We are also collaborating with the relevant law enforcement agencies in the country to ensure that unscrupulous elements do not latch on to our facility to commit cybercrimes," he said.
Samsung showcases Galaxy Note 8.0, HomeSync SAMSUNG Electronics has unveiled a new tablet designed to add value to its consumers whether at work or at play. The new tablet, Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0, is a compact device offering convenient, multi-tasking capabilities and sophisticated S Pen features for the busy, modern and creative person. Speaking at the media presentation of the device, Managing Director, Samsung Electronics West Africa (SEWA), Mr Brovo Kim, described the latest product as a slim and compact on-the-go work and play companion, which brings powerful performance and functionality support even to the most demanding of lifestyles. The firm also unveiled the HomeSync, a solution that is a shared storage fit for family entertainment experience on a big screen TV with high definition (HD) HDTV through smarter Android user experience. The HomeSync's 1TB drive can synchronise multiple devices, support eight separate accounts to cover a whole family, allows each user to upload and download content from multiple devices and instantly share with other family members. Users can enjoy the full and familiar Android experience with HomeSync's Jelly Bean media player and access to Play Store and all of their apps.
THE NATION TTHURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
THE NATION TTHURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
THE NATION TTHURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
Two die as ghost scare causes panic
WO students died yesterday at the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Rumuolumeni, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, during a stampede. A student raised the alarm that she saw a ghost in the reading hall. Four other students were injured and are being treated at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH). It was gathered that the incident occurred at about 3am when a student, who was on a “reading vigil”, raised the alarm that she saw a ghost in the three-storey hall.
From Clarice Azuatalam and Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
It was learnt that most of the students who were studying on the third floor started jumping through the windows, causing the death of the male and female students, whose identities were yet to be ascertained. Some of the students were asleep when they heard the cries of their colleagues. A student said one of the students in the hall raised the alarm that the building was shaking. “But I was standing in front of the building, noth-
•Four injured ing happened to it. “Some of the students, who were there last night, said the building was shaking and wanted to collapse but I was standing in front of the building, nothing happened. “To them, the vibration meant that an evil spirit was around and they started running and that was how they were injured and some died.” The university’s spokesman, Ms Ngozi Okiridu, said only a male student died.
She said four students were injured and are receiving treatment at the UPTH. Ms Okiridu said no building collapsed. “The students were reading when someone shouted ‘see a ghost’ and all of them started running. “A male student, who jumped from the three-storey building, died instantly. “Four others were injured and are receiving treatment at the UPTH “The fact is that none of the buildings in the school collapsed and the students who were injured are in a stable condition.”
N9b rural electrification for communities
From Precious Dikewoha, Port Harcourt
HE Rivers State Government has banned the operation of tricycles, popularly called Keke Napep, in Port Harcourt metropolis and in four local governments. The Controller-General of the State Road Traffic Management Authority (TIMA-RIV), Nelson Jaja, announced the ban yesterday at a traffic sensitisation programme in Port Harcourt, the state capital. The traffic controller said the state banned tricycle operators in Port Harcourt metropolis due to the traffic laws they disobey. Jaja said: “We have banned the keke operators from Port Harcourt metropolis and four other local governments. The local governments are Obio/Akpor, Eleme, Oyigbo and Port Harcourt. “Our intention is to checkmate the criminal activities of keke operators and reduce the traffic challenges posed by their activities. We don’t want to see them in the above mentioned areas.” He said the agency has warned traders to stop trading on major streets in Port Harcourt. “We will start arresting traders who have converted major roads to shops; we are saying they should move out of the major roads because apart from being a traffic offence, it is also very risky and dangerous.”
Why we must win council polls, by Oshiomhole
IVERS State Governor Rotimi Amaechi has said his administration will soon begin a N9 billion rural electrification project in all communities. Amaechi spoke yesterday at a Town Hall meeting in Ahoada West Local Government. “Government will begin the rural electrification project in all communities across the state. “But what we are doing now is to ensure we provide stable power supply in Port Harcourt first. “So we urge you to be patient with us; we have you on our mind, and we are ready to serve you better,” he said. The governor assured the people that as soon as the survey plan is provided, the contractor will begin the building of the model secondary school in the area. Amaechi reiterated his administration’s commit-
Tricycles banned in Port Harcourt
From Osagie Otabor, Benin
•Amaechi (right) and the member representing Ahoada-West and Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni federal constituency in the House of Representatives Asita Honourable at the meeting ...yesterday.
ment to complete all ongoing model primary schools, including furnishing, equipping, installation of ICT facilities, fencing of the premises and landscaping. He urged contractors to show more commitment to their work to enable the government deliver more
projects to the people. “The contractors are from Ahoada-West Local Government; they are your brothers. “Please, help government monitor these people so they can complete the projects on time.” The governor directed the Ministry of Health to sack the
doctor attached to the Ikodi-Engene Primary Health Centre for absenteeism. He promised to build a primary health centre and a model primary school for Mbiama community to tackle the health and educational challenges in the area.
DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole yesterday said the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) must win the April 20 local government elections so that local government resources could be used to develop the grassroots. Oshiomhole said the party needs men and women at the grassroots, who must imbibe the ACN philosophy, which is service to the people. He noted that the ACN weapon against the PDP is excellent service for the development of the people. The governor spoke at Ehor and Igueben in his continued campaign tour for the local government elections. He said the ACN wants a government at the local level that would complement what the government is doing. The governor reiterated that nobody elected under the ACN platform would be allowed to govern in absentia or be a visiting chairman. “Our weapon against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is service to the people; we work for the people because PDP has a history of working against the people; elevate the people because PDP philosophy is to bring the people down. “We would invest in education because PDP believes in privatising education, invest in the building of roads because PDP believes in under-developing the people. Everything that they are opposed to that is good, we will do. “We want to change the character of politics and refocus it on the primary purpose about the welfare of Nigerians. You all see how our country is going down and it can still get worse if we do not arrest it.”
Your Sexual Health & You: Novelty Tips, Questions & Answers
ello, Zee. I have a girl whom we’ve agreed 2 marry, but, I’m worried now because I have seen her about 4 times in my dreams in a luv affair with somebody else. Then, one day she gave me her phone 2 use & a number which was stored in her phone started calling her but, I didn’t take d call. Later d person sent a text saying” I am disappointed in u. I can’t marry a girl who is not straight forward”. I was shocked. But, when I confronted her, she was crying & begging for days that she has nothing to do with d person. Please I need to know what to do – Sam Dear Sam, the text message you saw has told you everything you need to know. The girl you want to marry is in a relationship with another man and she is making it worse by lying about it. This is an easy decision. You cannot marry a playgirl. Marriage is hard enough when you find the right girl not to talk about marrying the wrong girl. So do yourself a favour and find another girl that wants to be in a relationship with only you – Uche What causes this disease of premature ejaculation and how can it be cured? I cannot go more than two minutes before ejaculating and even to get another erection after that takes a long time plus the tiredness. My wife is not satisfied and could start cheating – Geoffrey Dear Geoffry, premature ejaculation can be caused by a variety of factors such as anxiety, hereditary, masturbation and penile sensitivity amongst other things. It is not a disease. Doing your PC Muscle exercises can help you with ejaculatory control in the long term. But to start lasting longer instantly, you will need to use certain ointments and penis sleeves during intercourse. Delay Creams such as Keep it UP Delay Cream will help you last longer. The use of Penile Sleeves like Mega Stretch Extension will also help reduce penile sensitivity and enable you last longer. If you want to shorten the time it
takes to get a second erection and get stamina as well, then you will need an erection enhancing supplement. Exploding Thunder supplement is very good for this – Uche Hello sir. Is there anything a woman can do after child birth to make her womb tighter during love making? Thanks. Mrs Abigail Yes Mrs Abigail, a combination of a vagina tightening cream like the Tight Stuff Oriental Oil and First Time Orgasm Balls for pelvic exercises will do it – Uche I have been using the Max Width penis enlargement cream and it is okay for instant enlargement. But now I want to a more permanent enlarger – Casmir Then go for Max Size or Big Bam Boo. They are both very good– Uche I had an orgasm by accident many years ago and it was the best sexual experience of my life. I was very relaxed afterwards and happy. How can I experience this again for my own happiness - Mrs Ejike Dear Mrs Ejike, the shortest cut to orgasms involves the use of a vibrator and an orgasm gel. The Rabbit Vibrator gives the most satisfaction so you can get one of that and the Encounter Orgasm Gel for women. Also get the movie Incredible Orgasms to learn even more ways to become orgasmic. Use these products together while watching the above movie patiently and practise what you learn until you become good at it. Any woman can have an orgasm with the right tools – Uche Thank you sir for the Tight Stuff Oriental Vagina Tightener. My husband says it is working – Mary You are welcome. That’s it for today. The names of the people featured here have been changed for their privacy. Adults in need of these treatments can call us on 08191978308, 08027901621 or any other number here to order or they can order online at www.zeevirtualmedia.com. We deliver to you wherever you are in Nigeria. For enquiries email us at email@example.com - Uche Edochie, MD, Zee Virtual Media.
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 3-4-13
Sterling Bank doubles profit, dividend S TERLING Bank Plc recorded a well-rounded performance in 2012 as the bank rode on the back of increased market share and robust credit risk management to double its profit from core operations. The impressive bottom-line performance underpinned 100 per cent increase in cash payouts, giving the bank the highest current dividend yield among banks that have so far released their reports. With a net profit after tax of N6.95 billion in 2012, the board of directors has recommended a 100 per cent increase in cash dividends to shareholders from 10 kobo paid for the 2011 business year to 20 kobo in 2012. In spite of the doubling in cash payouts, the strong growth in net earnings will still see the bank ploughing about 55 per cent of net earnings into reserves for business growth. At current market price, the recommended dividend represents a dividend yield of 7.3 per cent, the highest by any bank so far. Audited report and accounts of the bank for the year ended December 31, 2012, prepared in line with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and approved by all financial services regulatory agencies, was presented to the investing public at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday. The report showed that the bank consolidated its growth and seamlessly harnessed the synergies from its recent acquisition with both outward and underlying performance indicators indicating marked improvements. While gross earnings grew by 51 per cent, profit from core operations (excluding the effect of one-off disposal of subsidiaries in 2011) increased by 108 per cent; the proportion of non-performing loans to total loans portfolio improved considerably to 3.8 per cent as against 4.8 per cent in the previous year. Net interest margin improved from 5.0 per cent to 5.2 per cent underlying increasing profitability of the
•Equities sustain bullish run By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire
bank’s core banking operations in spite of the tough operating environment. Gross earnings stood at N68.9 billion in 2012 as against N45.7 billion in 2011. The top-line was driven substantially by improving core banking operations and larger market share as net interest income rose by 43 per cent from N16.7 billion to N23.9 billion. Non-interest income also increased to N15.3 billion as against N13.4 billion in the previous year. Net operating income after impairment loss rose by 51 per cent to N39.5 billion as against N26.1 billion. Adjusted for income from discontinued operations, profit before tax grew by 108 per cent to N7.5 billion in 2012 as against N3.6 billion in 2011. Besides, the bank’s balance sheet size and structure improved remarkably during the year. Total assets increased from N504 billion to N580.2 billion. Customer deposits increased by 18 per cent to N463.7 billion as against N392.0 billion while net loans and advances grew by 42 per cent from N162.1 billion to N229.4 billion. Shareholders’ funds increased by 14 per cent to N46.6 billion compared with N41.1 billion in the previous year. Managing director, Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Yemi Adeola said the 2012 report reflects the enhanced capacity of the bank following the business combination with Equitorial Trust Bank (ETB). He described the report as a delight, noting that the growth was driven by a marked improvement in core banking operations whilst the bank maintained a tight grip on asset quality, with non-performing loans dropping to its lowest rate of 3.8 per cent de-
spite a 42 per cent growth in loans to N229.4 billion. According to him, the bank has been implementing several key initiatives to broaden its customer base and enhance customer satisfaction. “Going into 2013, our goal is to reduce our cost of funds, enhance our brand presence in our target markets and improve operating efficiency. We have also revamped our retail strategy through a number of initiatives. Our physical infrastructure is being upgraded to capture a high-street retail look and feel; and restructured along the lines of hub and spoke delivery platforms,” Adeola said. He reassured that ongoing initiatives would make the bank more efficient and profitable, reiterating the commitments of the board and management to continuously deliver better and competitive returns to shareholders. The earnings report triggered massive bullish rally on Sterling Bank’s shares at the NSE yesterday. Sterling Bank’s market consideration rose by 9.45 per cent, adding 26 kobo to close at N3.01 per share. Sterling Bank was the second most active stock with a turnover of 54.93 million shares worth N159.44 million in 243 deals. Equities generally sustained positive market sentiments with 38 advancers against 26 decliners. Okomu Oil Palm led the advancers with a gain of N7.97 to close at N87.72. Nigerian Breweries followed with addition of N3 to close at N169. Seven-Up Bottling Company rose by N1 to close at N50. Guinness Nigeria added 98 kobo to close at N266 while Beta Glass gathered 94 kobo to close at N10.43 per share. However, Presco topped the losers’ list with a drop of N2.50 to close at N22.50. MRS Oil and Gas trailed with a drop of N2.48 to close at N22.40. Guaranty Trust Bank lost N1.77 to close at N25.68 while PZ Cussons Nigeria fell by 71 kobo to N36 per share. Investors staked N6.45 billion on 516.34 million shares through 7,897 deals. Banking stocks accounted for 365.70 million shares worth N3.68 billion in 3,893 deals.
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 3-4-13
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
MONEY LINK CIBN seeks speedy revision of AMCON Act
NDIC develops framework for MfBs’, PMBs’ rescue •Corporation begins liquidation of seven firms
IGERIA Deposit Insurance Corporation is fine-tuning a framework that will enable it advance financial support to ailing Microfinance Banks (MfBs) and Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs). In a statement issued yesterday, the Corporation said it was ready to grant financial assistance to deserving PMBs and MFBs as part of its efforts at repositioning the subsector for greater performance of the financial services system. The NDIC Managing Director,
Stories by Collins Nweze
Umaru Ibrahim disclosed this in Abuja when the Board of Directors and Management of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) paid him a courtesy visit. He said the stringent conditions would be applied for deserving MFBs and PMBs to comply with warning that MFBs and PMBs that were deliberately mismanaged by their owners would not be eligible for such support. He said the Federal Ministry of
S&P predicts more loan losses for banks
ANKS may report increased loan losses from next year amid growth in lending, Standard & Poor’s has said in a report obtained from Bloomberg. A Johannesburg-based analyst at S&P, Matthew Pirnie, predicted that lenders are expected to see loans and deposits rise 20 per cent to 30 per cent this year helped by foreign exchange and non-oil industry lending. Lenders had “muted” credit growth last year of about 12 per cent as they pushed down ratios of non-performing loans, he said. “We expect increased losses in 2014 to 2015. We tend to see quite short credit cycles in Nigeria.” Loan book diversification is happening “slowly” as there are unknown risks to lending in areas such as agriculture, said Pirnie.
“Lending is still to a narrow group of large corporates with banks holding many of the same names in their portfolios,” he added.
Finance, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the corporation are committed to reviving the sub-sector to achieve affordable housing for all. He added that the CBN’s revised supervisory guidelines for PMBs, refinancing scheme in the mortgage sector and the proposed review of the land use act. The NDIC boss said the corporation has begun liquidation of seven out of the 25 PMBs recently closed by the CBN with payment of compensation to their depositors. He lamented the difficulties being encountered by the corporation in the liquidation process, saying many of them merely existed as paper institutions. Ibrahim said the seven were those the corporation could identify after frantic search at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to determine the management, board,
shareholders and other details of the closed PMBs. He said that it was difficult for the corporation to determine the PMBs’ deposit liabilities due to their failure to render statutory returns to the CBN and pay mandatory premium to the NDIC. He said the corporation will reimburse depositors of the seven identified PMBs based on its commitment to the protection of depositors of all licenced insured institutions. Chairman, Board of Directors FMBN, Bisi Ogunjobi said there is need for partnership and information sharing between both parties as such would enhance service delivery.
Naira rises to four-week high on petrodollars
AIRA rose to the highest in almost four weeks as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold the dollars at an auction and oil companies were also said to sell dollars. Bloomberg said the naira rose 0.3 per cent to N158.10 per dollar in Lagos, the highest since March 8, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The apex bank sold $237 million at an auction yesterday, compared with $300 million at the previous sale on March 27, it said in an e-
mailed statement. The banking watchdog offers foreign currency at auctions on Mondays and Wednesdays to maintain exchange-rate stability. It didn’t hold a sale on April 1 because of a public holiday. Oil companies, which sell dollars to meet domestic expenses, are the secondbiggest source of the currency after the CBN. The “central bank’s sale complemented about $100 million supplied by two oil companies to support the naira,” Tunde Ladipo, chief executive of-
ficer of Lagos-based Valuechain Investment Ltd., said by phone. Yields on the government’s local-currency bonds due June 2019 declined 31 basis points to 10.65 per cent, according to yesterday’s prices compiled on the Financial Markets Dealers Association website. Borrowing costs on Nigeria’s $500 million of Eurobonds due January 2021 slipped seven basis points to 4.31 percent yesterday. Ghana’s cedi declined 0.1 per cent to 1.9410 per dollar in Accra.
3-Year 5-Year 5-Year
35m 35m 35m
11.039 12.23 13.19
19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016
WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount
Price Loss 2754.67 447.80
INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%
PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year
Amount 30m 46.7m 50m
Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34
Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012
GAINERS AS AT 3-4-13
SYMBOL OKOMUOIL BETAGLAS AFRIPRUD STERLNBANK ABCTRANS LIVESTOCK JAPAULOIL FCMB CILEASING SKYEBANK
O/PRICE 79.75 9.49 1.78 2.75 0.67 2.41 0.71 4.82 0.59 6.65
C/PRICE 87.72 10.43 1.95 3.01 0.73 2.62 0.76 5.15 0.63 7.05
CHANGE 7.97 0.94 0.17 0.26 0.06 0.21 0.05 0.33 0.04 0.40
PRESCO MRS PRESTIGE UNITYBNK PAINTCOM MAYBAKER NPFMCRFBK ROYALEX NEM GUARANTY
O/PRICE 25.00 24.88 0.71 0.82 1.55 2.39 0.99 0.69 0.78 27.45
C/PRICE 22.50 22.40 0.64 0.74 1.40 2.16 0.90 0.63 0.72 25.68
CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Year Start Offer
C u r r e n t CUV Start After %
Bureau de Change 152.0000
(S/N) Parallel Market
NSE CAP Index
27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37
28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16
% Change -1.44% -1.44%
NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N)
MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name
DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11
Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%
9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%
ARM AGGRESSIVE GROWTH KAKAWA GUARANTEED STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL BGL SAPPHIRE FUND BGL NUBIAN FUND FBN MONEY MARKET FUND FBN FIXED INCOME FUND NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY • ARM AGGRESSIVE
9.17 1.00 138.34 147.76 0.80 1.14 1.10 100.00 1,000.00 1,783.73 15.58 1.39 1.87 10,855.53
9.08 1.00 137.92 147.18 0.78 1.14 1.09 100.00 1,000.00 1,779.06 14.82 1.33 1.80 10,528.92
• KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE
CHANGE 2.50 2.48 0.07 0.08 0.15 0.23 0.09 0.06 0.06 1.77
LOSERS AS AT 3-4-13
EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency
OBB Rate Call Rate
Offered ($) Demanded ($)
MANAGED FUNDS Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20
HARTERED Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) President, Segun Aina has advised the National Assembly to quicken the amendment of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) Act. Aina, who led the Institute’s delegation to the National Assembly, said there is need to fast-track the consideration and passage of the Nigerian Financial Ombudsman Bill; Nigerian International Financial Centre Bill; Consumer Credit & Regulatory Commission Bill; Banks and Other Financial Institutions Bill (Amended); the Electronic Transactions Bill among others. In a statement made available to The Nation, he emphasized the need for the National Assembly to collaborate with the Institute to organize a seminar for legislators on Banking & Finance Matters, similar to the Annual Seminar on Banking and Allied Matters for Judges. The institute organizes this colloquium in collaboration with the National Judicial Institute under the auspices of the Bankers Committee. Mr. Aina said that the House should strengthen the Land use Act (to liberalise Land Tenure system in the country and make for easy mortgage & securitization of landed property). He stressed the need for the House Committees to give adequate notice to the Institute and other relevant bodies to enable them to make meaningful input to Bills and also attend public hearings. He expressed the readiness by the CIBN to intervene on issues or misunderstandings between the National Assembly and any of its corporate members.
• AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND
NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days
Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250
Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%
OPEN BUY BACK Previous
04 July, 2012
07, Aug, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
Customs: Encouraging compliance with Trade Hub Portal
NYONE who is familiar with the import and export business in Nigeria can testify to how tedious the process used to be. It could take days or even weeks to complete the process due to the various documentations importers, exporters and their agents have to do with the various regulatory agencies. The trading community had been faced with the frustration of going from one agency to the other, repeating the submission of relevant import/export documents, thereby taking longer than necessary to complete importation or exportation process in Nigeria and at higher cost. This very challenge has often been cited as a major factor encouraging smuggling in the country. Over time, Nigeria-bound cargo has been found to be diverted to neighbouring ports from where they are smuggled into the country. But this has now ceased to be the case as the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has developed a web-based application known as the Nigeria Trade Hub Portal, simplifying the entire process and providing information and guidance for international trade business processors in the areas of import, export and transit trade. This is part of the Services’ continuous efforts of the NCS to consolidate on its modernisation process preparatory for eventual take-over from the service providers come June, 2013. Recall that the service providers’ contract was extended by the Federal Government in December, 2012, by six months, which will end by June this year. The new portal, www. nigeriatradehub.gov.ng, a non-restrictive online medium, is an intuitive and interactive platform for classifying goods. Through this portal, trade processors are enabled to find exact Harmonised System Codes (HS Codes) required for related tariffs and duties. This latest technology by the NCS, industry analysts say, will enhance compliance by traders and avail them the required information on tariff in areas like the prohibited items and taxes/levies due for payment upon importation. The application is also designed to touch on the aspect of trade facilitation such that trade processors can access information from all related government agencies. Guidelines and procedures for obtaining permits, licences and certificates of specified commodity and country of origin that a trader will require for business processing are also available on the portal. The Nigeria Trade Hub portal further allows traders to convert currencies to exchange rates set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on a monthly basis, make payments, simulate tax and access the Customs Processing Code (CPC). The development of the portal was achieved through dedication of the NCS’s technical partners, nominated officers of the Service as well as contributions from its other stakeholders and partners. Although led by the NCS to provide efficient services to the trading community, the Nigeria Trade Hub is a collaboration of agencies such as National Agency for Food, Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC), National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the National Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS). The most interesting feature of the portal is that from the comfort of their homes or offices, would-be, or existing importers and exporters, both within and outside of Nigeria can access relevant information from a central point – the Nigeria Trade Hub. Items on the portal include news about the Service and the industry in general, regulating agencies, guidelines and procedures, currency conversion, CPC and HS Codes amongst others. Another interesting feature is that this easy to use online application can be accessed via smart phones, PC’s tablets etc., whilst on the move. Furthermore, information entered on the portal by importers or exporters can be simultaneously accessed by other regulatory agencies such as NAFDAC, NESREA, SON, NAQS, as the platform is shared by all relevant regulatory agencies.
• Abdullahi Dikko Inde, Comptroller-General, NCS By Suleiman Uba
The application will no doubt ease the frustration of traders by intuitively guiding them via the classification tool, which presents a series of questions to the user until the right HS code for the product is found, thereby aiding compliance. This, help to eliminate the era of going from one agency to another to submit the same document, which is usually time consuming, frustrating and tedious. The user-friendly portal is designed in such a way that once an HS Code is selected, the application automatically presents the user with the control measures of that product. For instance, if the product is regulated by NAFDAC, the application will inform the user that the particular item is a “Red Lane” item which will be subject to inspection by the particular agency. It goes further to also highlight if the product is on the prohibition list or not. With the debut of this application, importers are now well informed about what are allowed or not allowed into the country. Instances where some of them feign ignorance of items on prohibition list when caught with such items and their goods seized would no longer occur. Going forward, any importer who still engages in importation of prohibited items into the country does so in outright violation of the law and would face the full weight of the law. There would be no more excuses. Apart from these significant uses, the application goes further to provide the tax and duties payable on any particular item, whilst presenting the user with the documents, i.e., the named permits or certificates required for the product, the issuing agency, the processing cost as well as the duration (no of days) for processing. This empowers the trader and provides them with sound information to assist them in competing on the international market. The benefits inherent in this portal are numerous; they include non-stop online access even as it simplifies processes whilst reducing the cost and time required for compliance. Within hours, import/export documentation process which usually took traders days or even weeks to complete, can be completed on the portal. No doubt, the simplification of the process is expected to result in improved compliance level by the trading community, and with improved compliance level comes improved revenue collection for the country. Conclusively, the Nigeria Trade Hub Portal goes a long way in serving Nigeria’s international trading community who are key to the nation’s economic growth. Transparent and predictable information are readily made available to them through the portal. The application further eliminates direct human contact in the import/export chain, thereby leaving no room for engagement in corrupt practices. • Uba wrote from Abuja.
‘This latest technology by the NCS, industry analysts say, will enhance compliance by traders and avail them the required information on tariff in areas like the prohibited items and taxes/levies due for payment upon importation’
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
Two die, seven injured Three drown in Bauchi dam in Bauchi road crash T
O fewer than two persons were feared dead in a road accident at a military check point in Narabi village on the Bauchi/Jos Road in Toro Local Government Area of Bauchi State. Seven others were injured. The Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Henry Sunday Olatunji, addressed reporters yesterday in Bauchi on the incident. The Narabi Check Point, which is about 20 kilometres from Jos, the Plateau State capital, has become a notorious accident spot. Over 260 lives and 50 ve-
From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi
hicles are said to have been lost at the junction between 2011 till date. Last month, eight people died in an accident at the same spot. It prompted Bauchi State lawmakers to set up a committee to investigate the causes of accidents at the junction and report to the Committee of the Whole House for appropriate action. The committee has not submitted its report, it was learnt yesterday. Explaining the cause of the accident, Olatunji said: “The
accident occurred yesterday in the night. It involved 13 people who were in a truck belonging to a foremost Nigerian company. The driver of the truck was said to have lost control at the Military Road Block and veered off. The truck fell on its side. Two persons died on the spot while seven others sustained various injuries. But four others escaped unhurt.” The FRSC chief said the sector’s personnel at Toro conveyed the dead and the injured to Toro General Hospital for treatment. He urged motorists to obey traffic regulations to minimise accidents.
HREE men, including two unidentified students of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, have drowned in Gubi Dam, Ganjuwa Local Government of Bauchi State. They were celebrating the Easter Monday near the dam and decided to swim in the dam. The picnickers were apparently swept away by the tides of the dam water. A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “Some students of the university came to the dam for a picnic to mark the Easter festival. One of the students decided to swim in the dam and got drowned.
From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi
“Then, the second student jumped into the water to rescue his friend. Unfortunately, he also drowned.” The third student jumped inside, hoping to save his colleagues. But he also drowned. Some residents told The Nation that many people have died in the dam. They wondered why other people still liked swimming in the dam. The residents urged the state government to ban people from carrying out any activity near the dam to avoid further casualties. The General Manager of Bauchi State Water Board
Kwara ACN passes vote of confidence in Olawepo
HE Kwara State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday said the “removal” of its Chairman, Kayode Olawepo, was based on “framed-up allegations by a few members of the Caretaker Committee”. It passed a vote of confidence in the chairman. In a statement in Ilorin, the state capital, by members of the state Caretaker Committee and Chairmen of Local Government Caretaker Committees, Alhaji Raimi Idera and Chief Ayanda Fajenyo, the party said the purported removal existed only in the imagination of the movers of the motion and a former gov-
ernorship candidate of the party, the alleged sole sponsor of the sack. The statement reads: “The desire to remove our party chairman in Kwara State is being nursed by a former governorship candidate of the party and his cronies using the media to achieve what they could not achieve in the real sense of it. “For the avoidance of doubt, the same feckless people announced the dissolution of the party structure at a ramshackle rally on March 28, 2013, only to use the same structure to remove a legally appointed official of the party. “There was no meeting of the
state or Joint Meeting of the Local Government Executive Committee where an arrangement was made for the removal of the chairman. Therefore, we remain loyal to the leadership of Mr. Kayode Olawepo and stand firmly by his leadership. “We are particularly piqued by one of the signatories to the obnoxious document, Alhaji Amosa Okolo, who claimed to be representing the 16 local government caretaker committee chairmen. His claim fell flat because the local government caretaker committee chairmen met last sometime in 2012 and since then no meeting has been held to discuss the
suspension/removal of our able chairman, Gabriel Kayode Olawepo.” The party, following a meeting in Ilorin yesterday, passed a vote of confidence in Olawepo and urged necessary sanctions against those who allegedly sacked him to serve as a deterrent. “Again, we want to state unequivocally that after our meeting today (yesterday), we passed a vote of confidence in Mr. Olawepo, who we have found to be cerebral, dedicated and loyal to the party. “We hope, therefore, the national secretariat of the party will initiate necessary disciplinary measures against the
Yuguda to Fed Govt: refund our money spent on your projects From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi
AUCHI State Governor Isa Yuguda yesterday urged the Federal Government to refund the money the state spent on some federal projects in the state. The governor spoke in Bauchi when he hosted the Commissioner, Finance and Administration, of Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Mallam Ismailia Mu’azu Hassan, at the Government House. The federal commissioner was on an inspection tour of Federal Government projects in the state. Yuguda said efforts by his administration to recover the refund the state spent on federal projects have failed. The governor said it is disappointing that the Federal Government has not paid for some federal projects his administration executed five years ago for the Federal Government. He urged the Federal Government not to embark on new projects until the old ones are completed. Yuguda noted that the attitude of the central government towards the projects executed in the state amounted to a
breach of the Fiscal Responsibility Act. The governor said the development was discouraging because Bauchi was among the few states that have passed the Fiscal Responsibility Bill. He said: “We were the first state to pass the law in 2007, immediately we came on board. We also have the Due Process Office, which we also established immediately we came on board. “All these are to ensure a strict management of funds and provide the enabling environment for everyone to play the game according to the rules. “The Federal Government should also play its own part by practising what it preaches. This is because my administration has committed resources of the state in executing some of these people-oriented projects.” Hassan, who led the project monitoring team to inspect the Bauchi-Dass-Tafawa road rehabilitation, expressed disappointment that the contractor did not meet the completion date. He said the Chiba-DassTafawa Balewa Road rehabilitation was awarded for N4.5 billion to popular construction firm, which has covered 43 of the 75 kilometre road. Saying the contractor would be summoned soon to explain why he was six months behind schedule; Hassan said the implication of not completed projects is that it would delay budget implementation. The team also inspected the Urban Renewal and Slum Up-
grading Reactivation of Water Basin and Reticulation at Lariski and Gigyra as well as the Bauchi International airport. The commissioner then commended Bauchi State for signing the Fiscal Responsibility law saying the gesture showed commitment and seriousness on the part of the
PUBLIC NOTICE OLUWAWUNMI I formerly known and addressed as Oluwakunbi Oluwatayo Oluwawunmi now wish to be known and addressed as Oluwawunmi Oluwakunbi Oluwatayo Felix. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.
PUBLIC NOTICE ABIYOU I, formerly known and addressed MRS. WINIFRED NYEMACHI ABIYOU now wish to be known and addressed as MISS. WINIFRED NYEMACHI WELI. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
state government to promote prudence and transparency. “Along this line of seriousness and commitment by the state government, we urge for a closer cooperation between pour commission and the state government, to work together for the maintenance of fiscal disincline in our polity,” he said.
CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP I Nnenna Usman of 71A Lafiaji way Dolphin estate ikoyi.Lagos hereby notify the general public that I have applied to the LSDPC for its consent to change ownership of a property at Block 52 flat 1 kosofe road dolphin estate ikeja, which was originally allocated to Mr Joseph Sunday Ekwere . I have made series of efforts to contact Mr Nick Onyebuchi Omoeye the assignor from whom I brought the property, but all efforts have proved abortive. I hereby indemnify the corporation against any future claims that may arise if my application is granted, and undertake to pay cost of any dispute that may arise on same. LSDPC, Mr Nick Onyebuchi Omoeye and The General public, please take note.
PUBLIC NOTICE GIVING INSPIRATION FOR TOMORROW FOUNDATION This is to inform the general public that the above named Foundation has applied to the CORPORATE AFFAIRS COMMISSION, Abuja, for registration under PART C, of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Mr. Olamide Ademola Ladenegan Mrs. Deborah Oluwayomi Ladenegan Mr. Abiodun Dada Doherty Mr. Ayodele Iyiola Mr. Samuel Olakunle Aina
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 1. To supplement government efforts in the provision of functional and world class education towards skills enhancement and man-power development, provision of educational support and incentives, and to organise seminars for students, and teachers. 2.
To provide for and give to qualified students scholarship and educational aids that will enable them to complete their educational programmes.
ANY objection to this registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent, Off Aguyi Ironsi Street, P.M.B 194, Maitama, Abuja, within 28 days from the date of publication. SIGNED:
meddlesome four, especially Aslhaji Oklo, for taking the Committee of the Kwara State Local Government Chairmen of the ACN for granted,” the party added.
Aminu Aliyu Gital said three bodies, including those of two unidentified students of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, were recovered from the dam’s water treatment plant. Aminu, who said he was shocked by the incident, urged parents and guardians to monitor the activities of their children and wards to avoid a recurrence. He said: “We want to warn the people against going to the dam to celebrate any festival. There are many ways and places people can celebrate or enjoy themselves during festive periods, instead of exposing themselves to danger.” CHANGE OF NAME ABIYOU I, formerly known and addressed MRS. WINIFRED NYEMACHI ABIYOU now wish to be known and addressed as MISS. WINIFRED NYEMACHI WELI. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
PUBLIC NOTICE NAME OF ORGANISATION: GOOD AMBASSADORS OF HELP INITIATIVE. This is to inform the general Public that the above named organization has applied for registration to Corporate Affairs Commission under part C of the Companies and Allied matters Act No 1 of 1990. TRUSTEES: 1. Bob Uwadiegwu Kingsley Umunna - Chairman 2.Ogadinma Umunna - Programme Director 3. Engr. Henry Uzoma - Secretary 4. Kenneth Ekeh - Member 5. Faustina Ekeh - Member AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: For the upliftment of the youth. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General Corporate Affairs Commission Plot 565,NDOLA SQUARE WUSE, ZONE 5, ABUJA. Within 28days from the date of this publication. Signed: BOB UWADIEGWU KINGSLEY UMUNNA (08033226679)
CORRIGENDUM This is to correct a mistake in the advert published on page 44 of The Nation of wednesday april 3 2013. The figure on item 3 Qualification of Contractors/service providers no V should read Sort Code 033233174 and N5,000 and not 145,000. The error is regretted.
THE NATION THURSDAY APRIL 4, 2013
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4 , 2013
•A mud house razed down in Aguleri-Otu
•A victim, Ndidiamaka Michael Muokwe
JTF takes over Kogi, Anambra boundary
HE Joint Task Force (JTF) has taken over the boundary between Enugu-Otu-Aguleri community in Anambra East Local Government of Anambra State and Echonwa /Odeke community in Abaji Local Government of Kogi State, following the renewed crisis in the communities. The crisis, it was gathered, had claimed seven lives. Eyewitnesses said there is tension in the two communities as youths from both sides have threatened a showdown. It was gathered that it took the intervention of the former senator representing Anambra North, Emmanuel Anosike, to avert a bloodbath. The youths have allegedly threatened to attack oil installations belonging to Orient Petroleum Resources in Aguleri-Otu. Work at Orient Petroleum Resources had stopped.
From Nwanosike Onu, Awka
Workers and staff of servicing firms are being evacuated. The Commissioner of Police, Bala Nassarawa, dismissed reports about the killings. He said what happened in the area was mere apprehension. Nassarawa confirmed that a joint police and army patrol team had taken over the area with special routine patrol at major flash points . “There is nothing like killing and burning of houses but what is going on in that area is mere apprehension. “As I speak to you now we have a joint police and patrol officers who have taken over major flash points where hoodlums would always want to strike. “And I must tell you that the area is calm and our men are living up to their responsibilities.”
Anosike, who visited the area yesterday, told reporters that it was still the same crisis over oil and gas deposit. “The youths I met received me warmly and I told them to lay down their arms. “I told them to consider the socio-economic benefits of the oil and gas. “They had planned to attack some homes of community leaders and clan heads, both in Kogi and Anambra states and the reprisal attacks would have been bloody. “We thank God that they listened to us and I promised that the government would see to it that whatever that is lost is compensated.” The former senator said he and other community leaders from Anambra and Kogi states were working with security operatives to protect oil installations in the area and to ensure that work resumes at the site immediately.
•Another victim, Mrs Nzealo Chinemelu
The Senior Special Assistant to Anambra State Governor Peter Obi on Special Duties, Tony Nwabunwanne, described the incident as unfortunate. He said the government has appealed to the communities to remain law-abiding,
adding that security operatives had been deployed to the area to ensure safety of life and property. Nwabunwanne urged officials of Orient Petroleum Resources not to worry about the incident as government was working to
ensure the success of the project. The Transition Committee Chairman of Anambra East Local Government, Chinedu Obidigwe, could not be reached for comments.
Pentascope: Ex-MDs, union, others blame El-Rufai for NITEL collapse F ORMER chief executives, union and retirees of the defunct Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) yesterday faulted the attempt by former Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Mallam Nasir El-Rufa’i, to absolve himself of blame for the destruction of the national telecommunications company. They urged the Federal Government to hold the former Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) responsible for the loss arising from his handling of the Pentascope deal. But El-Rufai insisted that ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar approved the management contract with Pentascope for NITEL. He said Pentascope was not foised on NITEL as being alleged in some quarters. A former Managing Directors of MTel, the GSM arm of NITEL, Mr Kunle Bello, said he foresaw the collapse of NITEL/MTel because of the alleged insincere and inconsistent implementation of policies by the El-Rufa’i-led BPE. He described Pentascope management as an “irredeemable misfortune” on the telecommunications industry and a disaster on NITEL/MTel workers “who have been dy-
By Olamilekan Andu
ing one after another” following the non-payment of their pensions. Bello, who is an International Telecommunications Union (ITU) expert, alleged that Pentascope squandered over N100 billion of NITEL money, besides the loss of revenue without, adding a line to the nation’s telephone network. He urged the nation’s authorities to go after the perpetrators of the fraud. In a statement yesterday in Abuja, retirees of the telecommunications firms disagreed with El-Rufai’s claim that former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar approved the appointment of Pentascope to manage NITEL in 2003. The former workers said they held El-Rufa’i responsible not only for the collapse of NITEL but also for the destruction of their careers. “The issue is who issued or originated the memorandum to the National Council on Privatisation (NCP)? How did El-Rufa’i, as BPE’s DirectorGeneral, pick Pentascope to manage NITEL?” they said. The retirees accused ElRufa’i of misleading the National Council on Privatisation
and the Federal Government by presenting Pentascope as a capable management company with ability to turn NITEL’s fortunes around. Michael Awos, who served the defunct Post and Telecommunications (P & T) for 30 years as a technical staff, told reporters that Pentascope was brought purposely to “siphon money and kill this organisation (NITEL) we spent all our lives to build”. He added: “He (El-Rufa’i) broke and twisted all the rules to make Pentascope win. Penstascope was one and the same with El-Rufa’i. The face of Pentascope was represented by ElRufai’s two closest friend… Pentascope in Holland was a one-man office. It had a single room at its office. Its Rolling Mast was on top of a church building. The retirees said the destruction of NITEL had been revealed in two reports by the House of Representatives and the Senate. Quoting one of the reports, the former workers said: “…Rather than using Atiku as scapegoat for the collapse of NITEL to serve his hidden
agenda, the concerned group of former NITEL workers advised El-Rufa’i to be honourable enough to accept the responsibility for railroading and blackmailing the former NITEL board and the Privatisation Council into approving a contract that had shortchanged Nigerians and children yet unborn”. They decried the “human debris of the destruction wrought on NITEL by El-Rufai’s selfish and callous agenda to short-change Nigerians”. The former NITEL workers urged the former BPE chief should apologise to Nigerians for his misdeeds. They recalled that in May 2003, the House of Representatives accused El-Rufai of misleading the Federal Government about the Pentascope management contract. The committee, they said, found that the evaluation of the bids was “suspect” and that Pentascope lied on its true legal status and origin. The former NITEL workers said the House discovered that Pentascope was supposedly registered on January 1, 2002, a public holiday in European
countries. The group accused ElRufa’i of imposing the Dutch company on a hostile NITEL board, its workers and Nigerians. According to the group, the Pentascope misadventure led to NITEL profits nose-diving from N15 billion in 2002 and turned it into a loss of N19 billion in 2003. The group, quoting the House Communications Committee report, also said that NITEL’s turnover dropped from N53 billion to N41 billion. Despite the dramatic drop in NITEL’s turnover under Pentascope management, the group alleged that direct costs and overhead costs increased from N21.3 billion to N26.3 billion and from N19.4 billion to N30 billion. Comrade Elias Kazzah, the National Adviser of Senior Staff Association of Communications, Transport and Corporations (SSACTC) and President of the NITEL unit of the association, advised El-Rufa’i to keep his peace because of his mismanagement of the Pentascope transaction, which led to the demise of the company. Kazzah, who spoke on behalf of the NITEL union, insisted that El-Rufa’i’s imposition of Penta-
scope on NITEL and Nigeria led to huge economic loss. According to him, the huge remittances of the national carrier to the nation’s economy destroyed careers of a vibrant workforce and also posed security risks. Also, a former Managing Director of NITEL, Prof Buba Bajoga, decried the destruction of NITEL as “very painful”. He said by the time he left the organisation as its head in 2000, NITEL was a viable commercial organisation. “We approved the payment of dividends to government and I remember that I left N15 billion and U.S. Dollar 200 million in the coffers of the organisation,” he said.
THE NATION THURSDAY APRIL 4, 2013
FOREIGN NEWS Taliban attack Afghan courthouse, 53 dead, 90 wounded
Mandela update: He is ‘much better’, says govt
ORMER South African President Nelson Mandela is making “steady improvement” under treatment for pneumonia and doctors say he is much better now than when he was admitted to a hospital a week ago, the government said Wednesday. The three-sentence statement from President Jacob Zuma’s office was the most upbeat since the 94-year-old was admitted to a hospital with a recurrence of a lung infection. “His doctors say he continues to respond satisfactorily to treatment and is much better now than when he was admitted to hospital on the 27th of March 2013,” the statement said. Doctors had drained excess fluid from Mandela’s lungs and he was breathing without difficulty, the government said in an earlier bulletin Saturday. It is the third health scare in four months for Mandela, who became South Africa’s first black president in 1994 and was hailed as a global symbol of tolerance and harmony. He was in a hospital briefly in early March for a checkup and was hospitalized in December for nearly three weeks with a lung infection as well as after surgery to remove gallstones. Global figures such as U.S. President Barack Obama have sent get-well messages, and South Africans included him in Easter prayers over the weekend.
US warns North Korea on reckless provocations
HE Obama administration on Tuesday warned North Korea to halt a recent spate of “unacceptable” rhetoric and actions that Secretary of State John Kerry called “provocative, dangerous and reckless.” Kerry also vowed that the United States would defend itself and its allies South Korea and Japan from North Korean threats. “We have heard an extraordinary amount of unacceptable rhetoric from the North Korean government in the last few days,” Kerry told reporters at a joint news conference with visiting South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se. “The bottom line very simply is that what Kim Jong-Un has been choosing to do is provocative, it is dangerous, reckless, and the United States will not accept the DPRK as a nuclear state,” Kerry said, referring to North Korea’s young new leader and the country’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “The United States will do what is necessary to defend us and ourselves and our allies,” he said. “We are fully prepared and capable of doing so and the DPRK understands that.” His comments came as North Korea ratcheted up an almost daily string of threats toward the U.S., South Korea and Japan with an announcement earlier Tuesday that it would revive a longdormant nuclear reactor and ramp up production of atomic weapons material.
•Venezuela's opposition leader and presidential candidate Henrique Capriles (C) greets supporters during a campaign rally in Caracas April 1, 2013. Venezuelans will vote in the presidential elections on April 14. REUTERS/CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS
Rebels capture military base in southern Syria S YRIAN rebels captured a military base in the country’s south yesterday after days of heavy fighting, activists said, in the latest advance by opposition fighters near the strategic border area with Jordan. Opposition fighters battling President Bashar Assad’s troops have been chipping away at the regime’s hold on the southern part of the country in recent weeks with the help of an influx of foreignfunded weapons. Their aim is to secure a corridor from the Jordanian border to Damascus in preparation for an eventual assault on the capital. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rebels seized the air defense base, home to the Syrian army’s 49th battal-
ion, on the outskirts of the city of Daraa, the birthplace of the country’s uprising, on Wednesday after battling Assad’s troops in the area for several days. The capture follows a string of other rebel victories in the southern province of Daraa, a largely agricultural region predominantly populated by Sunnis. Last month, opposition fighters seized Dael, one of the province’s bigger towns, and overran another air defense base in the region. An amateur video posted online Wednesday showed what appeared to be rebels from the Suqour Houran, or Eagles of Houran brigade, driving an armored personnel carrier inside the base of
the 49th battalion. Another video, posted by the Fajr al-Islam brigade, showed the rebels walking around the base as the heavy thud of incoming artillery rounds fired by nearby regime forces is heard in the background. A destroyed rocket, army trucks and radars are seen on the ground inside the base. The videos appeared consistent with AP reporting from the area. The fighting has escalated across Syria in recent weeks, as the rebels and the Assad regime try to gain the upper hand in the 2-year-old conflict that the U.N. says has killed more than 70,000 people.
Kerry heads back to Mideast
ECRETARY of State John Kerry is traveling to Turkey and Israel this weekend to build on the two nations’ efforts to repair ties and look for a possible way to restart long-stalled Mideast peace talks, U.S. and Turkish officials said Wednesday. Kerry had planned to leave Monday for meetings in London and then South Korea, China and Japan. But he moved up his departure to Saturday to solidify the rapprochement that President Barack Obama brokered between Turkey and Israel during his visit to the region two weeks ago, the officials said. Kerry also will discuss regional concerns such as Syr-
ia’s civil war and the frozen Middle East peace process, making his third trip to the Jewish state in the last two weeks, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the trip had not been announced. The succession of visits, which evokes the U.S. shuttle diplomacy to the region of times past, represents the latest American attempt to end a four-and-a-half year stalemate between the two sides, during which talks have hardly taken place at all. Kerry will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the latter possibly in neighboring Jordan.
Hoping to prod negotiators back to the table, U.S. officials said the Obama administration is exploring security guarantees for the Jordan Valley, a section of the West Bank that stretches along the border with Jordan. Israel has long demanded the guarantees as part of any treaty establishing an independent Palestine, though the issue has been overshadowed by more sensitive debates over the final boundary line between the two states and the final status of Jerusalem, which both sides claim as their capitals. Although Palestinians have a measure of self-rule in other areas, the Jordan Valley is
The rebels control vast portions of northern Syria that border Turkey. They’ve also captured areas in the east along the border with Iraq recently, but the strategic region between the southern outskirts of Damascus and Jordan - known as the Houran plains - is seen as a crucial gateway to the capital. Both sides consider Damascus, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the Jordanian border, the ultimate prize. Rebels have established footholds in a number of Damascus suburbs but have only been able to push into limited areas in the southern and northeastern parts of the capital. Their only major foray into the capital took place last July was brought to a swift end by a punishing regime counteroffensive that swept rebels from the city.
part of the 60 percent of the West Bank still under full Israeli control nearly two decades after interim peace accords granted the Palestinians autonomy elsewhere.
UICIDE bombers disguised as Afghan soldiers stormed a courthouse Wednesday in a failed bid to free more than a dozen Taliban prisoners in western Afghanistan, officials said. At least 53 people, including the nine attackers were reported killed in the fighting. The assault in Farah province was the latest example of the Taliban’s ability to strike official institutions despite tight security measures. The persistent violence has undermined confidence in President Hamid Karzai’s government as it tries to take over its own security ahead of the withdrawal of international combat forces by the end of 2014. Nine men wearing suicide vests drove into the center of the provincial capital, which has the same name, in Afghan national army vehicles that allowed them to bypass checkpoints, provincial police chief Agha Noor Kemtoz said. Two of the attackers blew themselves up inside one of the vehicles while the others jumped out of the second and ran toward the courthouse and prosecutor’s office, he said. Guards opened fire, killing one of the attackers, while the others engaged in a fierce gunbattle that left civil servants and government officials holed up in their offices. Kemtoz said the attack aimed to free 15 Taliban prisoners who were being transferred to the courthouse for trial, which had not yet started. “Definitely the plan was to free the prisoners with this attack, but thank God, they did not succeed,” he said. “All the prisoners are accounted for.” Provincial Gov. Akram Akhpewak said those killed included 34 civilians, 10 security forces and nine attackers. Dr. Abdul Hakim Rasouli, chief of the Farah hospital, said 80 people also were wounded. Deputy provincial governor Yonus Rasouli said the explosion damaged many government buildings in the area. Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi claimed responsibility for the attack in a text message sent to reporters. Farah province, which is bordered by Iran to the west and Afghanistan’s volatile Helmand province to the east, has seen an uptick in attacks against the local government in recent months as militants seek to disrupt efforts to stabilize the area.
Hostilities flare along Israeli-Gaza border
SRAEL pressed Hamas yesterday to rein in rocket-firing militants in the Gaza Strip after the most serious outbreak of cross-border hostilities since the ceasefire that ended an eight-day war in November. The flare-up, sparked by anger in Gaza over Tuesday’s death from cancer of a Palestinian prisoner held by Israel, included the first Israeli air strike in the Hamas-run enclave since the truce. By afternoon, the frontier had fallen quiet, an indication that Israel and Hamas were weighing their moves carefully after four months of relative calm that has enabled Gaza residents to rebuild and
Israelis near the border to live without the familiar blaring of sirens warning of incoming rockets. The Israeli military said two rockets fired from Gaza had struck southern Israel in a morning attack on Wednesday, causing no casualties, hours after its planes targeted “two extensive terror sites” in the north of the territory. Israel launched the air strike after three rockets hit its south on Tuesday. An al Qaeda-linked group, Magles Shoura al-Mujahadeen, claimed responsibility for that attack and Wednesday’s salvo, saying it was responding to the death of the 64-
year-old prisoner, Maysara Abu Hamdeya. Tuesday was the third time since the November truce that rockets from Gaza had struck Israel. But with a new government and defense minister now in place after weeks of coalitionbuilding since a January election, Israel seemed keen to show resolve, putting the onus on Hamas to prevent any rocket fire. “(Israel’s armed forces) decided to attack overnight in order to signal to Hamas that we will not suffer any strike on the south. And any shooting will meet a response, in order to restore quiet for the
south soon,” Brigadier-General Yoav Mordechai, the chief military spokesman, said on Army Radio. Spillover from the civil war in Syria - mortar and machinegun fire toward Israeli troops in the occupied Golan Heights - has also heightened Israeli concern. Israeli tanks fired at a Syrian post on Tuesday after one such incident in the Golan Heights, which Israel captured in a 1967 Middle East war. Israel’s military said it was unclear whether rebels or forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were manning the position. In Gaza, Hamas has at times cracked down on hardline Is-
lamist Salafi groups, seeing them as a threat to the stability of the impoverished, Israeli-blockaded territory. But Hamdeya’s death touched a nerve among Palestinians, who regard their brethren in Israeli jails as heroes in the fight for statehood. Palestinian officials accused Israel of failing to provide timely medical care for Hamdeya, who died in an Israeli hospital before a procedure for his early release on medical grounds was completed. Israel denied negligence in treating Hamdeya, who was serving a life term over an attempt to blow up an Israeli cafe in Jerusalem in 2002 during a Palestinian uprising.
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
NEWS CPC inaugurates merger committee
HE National Chairman of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Prince Tony Momoh, has inaugurated a 33-member committee to plan the party’s convention, which is expected to endorse the merger with other progressive parties. A statement issued yesterday in Abuja by the National Publicity Secretary, Mr Rotimi Fashakin, said: “The committee is headed by Dr. Hassan Muhammadu Lawal (CON), with other notable members, including Senators Sani Saleh, Abubakar Sadiq Yar’adua, Hadi Sirika, Solomon Ewuga, Saleh
Policeman, terror suspect killed in Kano gun battle
From Grace Obike, Abuja
Damboyio, Ibrahim Musa and Abu Ibrahim. “Others are: Abdullahi Idris Garba, Garba Datti, Gen. India Garba (Rtd), Chief Alex Hart, Mr Eddy Ogunbor, Sharon Ikeazor, Chief Jerry Johnson, Otunba Basirat Noibi, Mr Chris Hassan, Dr Louis Ogbuefi, Alhaji Munir Yakubu, Alhaji Suleiman Hassan, Owelle Oscar Udoji, Dr Idika Ochaa, Dr Marliyya Zayyan. “These eminent Nigerians are expected to come up, in less than a week, with the expected day of the National Convention and
‘Manufacturers of unlisted herbal products risk jail term’ By Wale Adepoju
HE National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) yesterday warned that herbal medicine manufacturers who fail to prove the efficacy of their products before making them available to the public for consumption risk going to jail. Its Director-General, Dr Paul Orhii called for the standardisation of herbal medicine to protect lives. Orhii spoke in Lagos at a stakeholders’ meeting on regulation of herbal medicines in Nigeria. He noted that herbal drugs and supplements must be tested for efficacy and toxicity before they can be listed by the agency. According to him, there is an increase in the number of inactive herbal products being circulated in the land. This, Orhii noted, is of serious concern to the agency because of the ridiculous claims of cure for ailments, including the Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)/ Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The NAFDAC chief said 1,372 traditional medicines, such as process and packaged powders, syrups/suspensions, ointment and cream, were listed by the agency after checking for toxicity and safety, but not on efficacy, in the last 18 years. A few, which he said have potentials, have been formulated into pharmaceutical dosage forms. To improve on the listed products, Orhii said they should be fully registered like drugs, adding that their efficacy and safety would be evaluated. “This would ensure that there are reliable, safer and good quality herbal supplements generally accepted across the world,” he said.
assiduously plan and implement the convention Project for the Party.”
POLICE officer and a suspected terrorist were reportedly killed yesterday during a raid by the Joint Task Force (JTF) at a suspected hideout of Boko Haram gunmen in Kano. The JTF operatives, it was learnt, raided Gwamaj, Yandabai and Yankaba early yesterday.
chairman, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Members are former Inspector General of Police Mike Okiro, the Managing Director, Sun Publishing Ltd, Tony Onyima, Mrs. Moremi Soyinka-Onijala and Suleiman Lawal Kauru. For Bayero University, Kano, former governor of Bauchi State Adamu Muazu is Chairman. Members are Mrs Fatima Rasaki, Prof Josephine Okpoko, Dr.Yakubu Kwari and Alh. Ahmad Abubakar. The Chairman of the University of Abuja, Abuja is Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia. Members are Alhaji Mahe Dange, Prof. O. Adegbulugbe, Aisha S. Mamuda, and Prof. Ediga Agbo. The Chairman of the University of Calabar, Calabar, is Iwuanyanwu. Members are Dr. Phillips Salawu, Sulieman Nakowa, Bassey Ebir Asuquo and Otunba Mohammed Iluoeju. The Chairman, University of Ibadan, Ibadan is Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo. Members are Amb. Lawrence Ekpebu, Sen. Jubril ElMas’ud Doguwa, Mr. Samuel Iheoma Nwatu, and Dr. Anthony Uche Mba
Former PDP National Publicity Secretary Prof. Ahmed Rufai Alkali is Chairman, Federal University of Technology, Minna. Members are Dr. Godfrey Imoagene, Ahmed Tahir, Alhaji Abubakar Ibrahim Umar and former Minister of Sports Prof. Taoheed Adedoja The Chairman of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, is Dr. Emmanuel M. I. Enemuo. Members are Pastor Godwin Akpovie, Bright Nebedun, Gen. T. Hananiya, and Amb. C. C. Agubuzo. The Chairman of the Federal University of Technology, Yola, is Sanusi Munguno. Members are Dr. Adewunmi Williams, Dr.Kaleel Ibrahim Ahamad, Senator Abubakar Danso Sodangi (former chairman, committee on FCT in the Senate) and Princess Taibat Adeyemi-Agaba. The Chairman of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, is Air Vice Mashal Larry Koiyan (rtd). Members include former PDP Chairman John Nwodo, Chief J. M. Aseh, Buhari Bala and Senator Fidelis Okoro. The Chairman of the University of Jos, Jos Etiebet. Members
are Hon. Akogun (former House Leader), Anthony Sani, Alh. Adamu Jamfala, and Mrs. Uju Uzoka. The Chairman of the University of Maiduguri is Kashim Imam, former governorship candidate Borno State. Members are Mr. Paul Attah, Princess Gloria Frazer, Adamu A. Waziri (former Commerce minister) and Chief Innocent Okparadike. The Chairman of the University of Port Harcourt, Mr. Gesi Asamowei. Members are Mrs. Joyce Bozimo, Mohammed Iyimoga, Dr. Nelson Olaniyi and Mr. Okey Ajunwa. The Chairman of the University of Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State, Prof. Kimse Okoko. Members are Gen. John W. Gbor, Alh. Aliyu Kaulaha, Isiah Adegbemiga Abiola and Rev. Grace Ekanem. The Chairman of the Fed University of Petroleum Res, Effurun is Sen. Barigha Amange. Members are, Dr. (Mrs) Ngozi Iheduru, Adamu Yusuf Dari, Sen. Victor Kassim Isa-Oyofo, and Dr. Anthony U.Eze. The Chairman of Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto is HRH George Oshiaphaghor. Members are Hon. Patience Onah Ogodo,
Private investors to take over Abuja, Lagos stadia Continued from page 2
have been working with the Infrastructure Concessioning and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) to come up with the frame work for concessioning the facilities to the private sector.” “The ICRC has started advertising projects that could come up under concessioning and they told me that the two stadia, Lagos and Abuja, are among the next round of advertising they will do for concessioning.” “So, the direction we are heading on these two facilities is concessioning to the private
sector people that can operate them.” According to him, unlike in the past, the Government has been able to provide clear guidelines for the running of sports in Nigeria. There were 29 court cases in the sports sector when he resumed office, he said, but the various crises have been resolved as there is no court case on sports now. While maintaining that there is no infighting in the Super Eagles team, Abdulahi said that the Nigeria Football Federation is billed to brief him today on the negotiations in the Super Eagles and the report of the last
Suspected Boko Haram insurgents had killed three policemen in Yankaba. JTF sources said the incident informed yesterday’s raid in the area. The slain police officer was attached to the JTF. Sporadic gunshots were heard in Yankaba for most
parts of yesterday. JTF spokesman Capt Iwedichi Iweha said one suspected terrorist was killed while another was arrested. He was, however, silent on the slain police officer. Police authorities confirmed the death of a policeman in the JTF but did not disclose his name.
Falana vows to sue Lagos over councils’ eral of Abia State & 35 Ors V tenure elongation bill Attorney-General of the Federation (2001), 17 WRN 1,
AGOS lawyer and activist, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), has said the planned tenure elongation for chairmen and councillors in Lagos State, as contained in the Local Government Amendment Bill 2013 being debated by the House of Assembly, is illegal and immoral. The bill seeks to elongate the tenure of the current chairmen and councillors from three to six years. In a statement in Lagos yesterday, Falana warned that he would challenge the bill’s legal validity in court without any further notice, if it is passed by the Assembly and signed into law by Governor Babatunde Fashola. The frontline lawyer recalled that the chairmen and councillors were elected in October 2010 for a fixed period of three years, adding that their term would expire this October by effluxion of time. “Therefore, an amendment of the Lagos State Local Government Law, 2001, under which they were elected, cannot extend their tenure from
By Adebisi Onanuga
three to six years under any disguise,” he said. Falana averred that if the law is amended to provide for a four-year tenure for the chairmen and councillors, the amendment cannot be to the benefit of the current chairmen and councillors whose term of office is three years certain. He added: “Since the proposed amendment takes effect, if and when it is passed into law, it cannot retrospectively extinguish vested rights and obligations of the outgoing chairmen and councilors. “In other words, the proposed amendment to the Lagos State Local Government Law cannot take a retrospective effect and thereby elongate the tenure of the chairmen and councillors from three to six years. “With respect, the proposal is illegal in every material particular. It has to be withdrawn or struck down in the overall
Ogunlewe, Ogbemudia, Muazu, others chair varsity boards Continued from page 1
From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
qualifier match against Kenya. On the commencement of open heart surgery in Nigeria, the Information Minister said: “Minister of Health Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu announced to the Council that we now have in the country Open Heart Surgery at the University Teaching Hospital at Nsukka, Enugu State.” “It is costing about N500,000. Nigerians who have heart conditions need not travel abroad anymore,” he stated Abdulahi also maintained that there had been great achievements in the Sports Ministry and National Planning Commission in 2012.
Alhaji Yusuf Yabo, Kashim Muktar Mahmud and Alh. Bello Abdullahi Sokoto. The Chairman of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka is Prof. Emeka Enejere. Members are Hon. Salisu Buhari (former Speaker of House of Representatives), Chador Labar, Barr. Harison Onwu and Chief Akin Taiwo. The Chairman of the University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Prof. Chukwuma Okonjo. Members are Prince Felix Akande, Dr. Abdulrasheed Salam, Dr. S. Ogbere, and Dr. Bayo Aluko-Olokun. Anyim also said that each University Governing Council shall include the Vice-Chancellor; the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and one person from the Federal Ministry of Education. Others are four persons appointed by the Senate from among its members; two persons appointed by the Congregation from among its members; and one person appointed by Convocation from among its members. The dates for the inauguration of the Boards will be announced in due course by the Minister of Education.
interests of the people of Lagos State who are due to participate in fresh local government election in October 2013.” The Senior Advocate acknowledged that the House of Assembly of each state is vested with the powers to make laws for the local governments by virtue of Section 7 of the Constitution. He, however, explained that in exercise of such legislative powers, the Assembly cannot enact laws with retrospective effect in a way that accrued rights of the people are abrogated. Falana said: “In this regard, the constitutional rights of the people of Lagos State to take part in periodic elections of not more than three years to elect chairmen and councillors cannot be extinguished by the House of Assembly. “In the circumstances, we are compelled to draw the attention of the members of the Lagos State House of Assembly to the case of Attorney-Gen-
2015: No automatic tickets for Jonathan, governors Continued from page 2
It was gathered that Jonathan is highly-disposed to Anenih’s team because Tukur is rated as “an interested party” in the PDP crisis. A top source in the presidency, who spoke in confidence, said: “Whichever way you look at it, Tukur is an interested party in the PDP crisis . For instance, Tukur’s involvement in the crisis rocking the Adamawa State chapter of the party is not different from what a former National Chairman, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo,
ricade the road. Soldiers attached to the Fast Track Squad from the 35 Artillery Brigade Akure, who came to rescue the embattled police officers, had hectic time before they stopped the youths from razing the police station. Members of the Akure chapter of the Federation of Women Lawyers protested the killing of the Mrs Olajiga. The lawyers described the killing as callous and warned the police to desist from wasting innocent souls. The suspected killer-cop has been arrested and detained at the state Criminal Investigation Department (SCID).
did in Enugu State. “There is no way a leader, who is part of a crisis, can coordinate reconciliation in the party. How can those aggrieved in Adamawa State listen to him? Tukur needs reconciliation than any stalwart of the party. “The whole objective of Anenih and other BoT members’ tours is to resolve nagging issues in the party and strengthen the party for 2015 poll. I think it is in the interest of Tukur and the NWC to manage a healthy party.”
MEND threatens fresh attacks over Okah Continued from page 2
Mr. Sele Victor-Ben (aka Boyloaf, ex-militant leader from Bayelsa State) exclaimed in court that the letter was fake, after failing to catch the prosecutor’s eye, who wanted him to lie under oath. “We are now determined to
Constable kills expectant mum Continued from page 2
wherein the Supreme Court held that even though the chairmen and councillors of local governments throughout the country were elected under Decree Number 38 of 1998, which had been repealed, their three-year tenure could not be extended or prolonged by any law enacted by the National Assembly. “In the same vein, the threeyear tenure of chairmen and councillors fixed by the Lagos State Local Government Law, 2001, cannot be elongated by any amendment whatsoever and howsoever. “It is pertinent to remind the members of the Lagos State House of Assembly that their predecessors unanimously kicked against the tenure elongation of President Olusegun Obasanjo through a fraudulent constitutional amendment. “They are, therefore, morally stopped from manipulating the law to elongate the tenure of elected chairmen and councillors in Lagos State.”
Police spokesman Wole Ogodo confirmed the incident and informed that the culprit officer had faced an orderly trial and consequently dismissed from the service. He said the killer-cop will be charged to court today for murder. The spokesman assured that the police will not tolerate any act of indiscipline that could dent their image. He warned that any officer found wanting in the discharge of his/her duty will be summarily dismissed. Ogodo commisserated with the family members of the deceased on behalf of the State Police Command.
conjure this imaginary trumped-up threat into a painful reality.” Jomo Gbomo had, immediately after the March 26 sentencing of Okah issued an online statement, saying MEND was not surprised but disappointed with the South African court’s verdict. It said that the court allowed itself to be compromised by the “highly-corrupt Nigerian government”. It said: “MEND received with incredulity, the 24-year sentence planned on Henry Okah, after a sham trial in a South African kangaroo court. “We are disappointed, but not surprised that the South African judiciary has allowed itself to be compromised by the highlycorrupt Nigerian government. “The governments of South Africa and Nigeria should realise that this planned sentencing of Henry Okah would not in any way, shape or form, change our struggle, as we will remain dedicated to our cause, until we achieve full justice and emancipation for the Niger Delta and its people.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
THE NATION THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
TODAY IN THE NATION ‘The House should not keep quiet over this issue because it borders on its powers to summon witnesses over any matter. But if witnesses are given the Olatigbe treatment, nobody will come forward in future to testify’
THURSDAY, APRIL 4 2013
TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA
PRIL Fool got shoved off the calendar here a long time ago. A Londoner called me on Monday to confirm a story he had heard. I reminded him that it was the All Fools’ Day. He burst into laughter. But I remained impassive to the hysteria of that moment. He lives in a society where spoofery is an exciting art in which even the most serious of newspapers indulge at least once in a year – on April 1. Here, the line between fiction and reality is so thin there is no point trying to find the point of departure between the two. Nothing is new. In equal measures, the bizarre mixes with the blissful, the mad contests with the mardy and all is upside down. We have seen a generation of brilliant military officers perish in a strange air crash. We have seen illiterate vote grabbers and flagrant impostors occupy government houses. We have seen confirmed thieves get a slap on the wrist. We have seen members of a family, including babies, murdered in cold blood. We have seen innocent bus passengers bombed. A governor was kidnapped by those who insisted that to them he must surrender the treasury key. What can shock Nigerians? Nothing. The April Fool fell on Easter Monday. But the sobriety – and revelry, for some - of our Lord’s victory over death was no bulwark against the absurdities of our often scorned life. Consider this: The President was speaking on Sunday at a church service – his first in Lagos, Nigeria’s business and financial engine-room, since coming to office in 2011. He was talking about fixing the roads and the terrible power supply. All of a sudden, there was a power outage . His voice was muffled. Thankfully, the public address system came alive again. Dr Goodluck Jonathan resumed his sanctimonious talk about keeping the country united amid the deadly security situation. His face wreathed in sardonic smiles, he said: “I believe they (those behind power supply) know that I am here. That is why they took light, at least to remind me that I must not sleep, until we stabilise power. God willing, next year, they will not take light again.” Can you beat that? On Monday, at the dedication of a church in Aninnri Local Government, Enugu State, the Anglican Primate, the Most Revd. Nicholas Okoh, was praying for the President. He said: “He came to this position through your grace; may he not be disgraced out. There may be people who are not happy with him; may you protect him from their powers. Give him the grace as the man who transformed this country. May he not go home empty handed.” Honestly, this is our prayer for the President – that his may not go down in history as an ever pugnacious presidency overwhelmed by its many battles, some of them its own creation, such as the January 1, last year fuel price increase and the fatuous attempt to wreck the Governors Forum. There are oth-
RIPPLES JONATHAN MUST TACKLE CORRUPTION, INSECURITY-Ribadu
...and everybody shout a LOUD AMEN
VOL. 8, NO. 2,448
firstname.lastname@example.org •Winner, DAME Award for Informed Commentary
April Fool amid Easter blues
• Arms seized in Kano ers, the origin of which may not have been the government’s making. Boko Haram. Kidnappings – remember the seven foreigners who the President believes may still be alive? Pipeline vandalism. Communal clashes and the savagery of mass murders in villages. As for people who may not be happy with President Jonathan, they are many – for obvious reasons. Unfortunately, they do not seem to have the powers to deal with him. The only power they have is their vote. But, do votes count here? Among the army of the aggrieved are old pensioners who worked all their lives to have a restful old age. Now they go hungry, their pensions stolen by wicked civil servants. There are university graduates who have been duped in desperate attempts to buy jobs that are actually not available. There are those who have lost loved ones to robbers. They feel the government has betrayed their trust. It was a bloody Easter Day in Kano. Security agents raided a Boko Haram hideout and engaged the sect’s fighters in a gun duel. A soldier and 14 others died in the encounter. The building housing the sect’s fighters was
‘A few days after, the invaders came, vengeance on their minds and anger on their faces, burning and shooting. The body count – 20 dead, including women and children. Now, consider the price of two dead cows in Nigeria – 20 persons. What can be more ridiculous?’ razed and 14 AK 47 assault rifles were recovered. Besides, many explosives were seized. The Kano clash followed the motor park bombing in which scores died and many were injured. Who would have thought a few years ago that some demented youths would kit themselves up with explosives and then head for a motor park to ignite the place with a deadly fire that left so much blood, broken heads and battered limbs? Who? In those days, it would have been another April Fool spoof. Not anymore. On Easter Day in Festac Town, on the outskirts of Lagos, some suspected vandals were arrested by the police. They were said to be carrying fuel stolen from a pipeline in 270 bags – ever heard of fuel in bags? The ingenuity of the thieves here is clearly beyond the comprehension of many in the advanced world - each containing 120 litres of petrol. The chief suspect confessed to the crime, saying he was shocked that security operatives were at work during the Easter break. Komuko Ayekede said: “We thought that on a day like Easter, security operatives would go and rest with their families. Please, forgive us, at least, for the sake of Christ that
T used to be thought that newspapers were the main feral beasts tearing reputations apart and destroying careers. But compared with the immeasurable capacity of social media to pulverise and annihilate, newspapers are tame, friendly and adorable communication organs. In the few years since it became probably the most popular means for the creation, exchange and sharing of information and ideas between communities and individuals, social media has trumped everyone, in part because, like terrorism, it is not limited by borders. On social media, news and contents can be created and shared instantly. If the news is positive, and it goes viral, it can help an individual or community reap humungous benefits. But if the news and other contents are negative, the consequences to reputations and careers can be equally swift and destructive. Shema Obafaiye, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Lagos Commandant, is the latest to feel the merciless sting of social media. Mr Obafaiye had on a recent television programme performed poorly in projecting the image of his organisation. Though he answered most of the questions posed to him very well and showed mastery of issues pertaining to Civil Defence, he flunked the rather simple question of what his organisation’s web address was. And as he hemmed and hawed, he blurted out a reference to My oga at the top, a pithy part of his
rose from death because of you and me.” He had initially lied that he was a palm wine tapper who only saw the sacks of petrol while atop a palm tree, but he confessed when an accomplice decided to spill the beans. As far as Ayekede is concerned, he should be allowed to go home – in the spirit of Easter. Is there a more shocking absurdity? Four Kaduna State communities are yet to recover from the hangover of the two-day killing spree unleashed on them by some unknown gunmen on Saturday and Sunday. The police said 19 people were killed. The villagers said 20 died. Among the victims were women and children. They were asleep in the dead of the night when they were woken up by gunshots. They rushed out to find out that their homes had been set on fire by the invaders, who shot them as they rushed out. The cause of the bloodletting was not immediately clear. The local government chairman, Kumai L.J. Badun, said the invasion was a reprisal for the poisoning of two cows, allegedly by a 21-year-old man, Aboi Stephen, who was complaining that grazing cows destroyed part of his drying season farm. Days after his complaint, two cows were found dead. The owner, said to be a Fulani, warned that Aboi would pay dearly for the death of the cows. One day, Aboi was declared missing. His body was later found by a search party. His throat was slit. An army of villagers stormed the palace of the chief of Atakar in protest. They accused him of inviting the Fulani into the community. A few days after, the invaders came, vengeance on their minds and anger on their faces, burning and shooting. The body count – 20 dead, including women and children. Now, consider the price of two dead cows in Nigeria – 20 persons. What can be more ridiculous? We thought terrorists had been sent packing from Abuja. They sent a warning during the Easter break when an explosive went off at an eatery. Thankfully, there was no casualty. In Warri, Delta State, three kids were detained by the police for allegedly stealing a bicycle. The children, aged between six and nine, were detained because their parents could not raise the N10,000 per head allegedly demanded by the investigating officer. One was released; his mother paid N6,000. The father of another was said to be on his way to the police station, armed with N6,000 and prayers. Another was wondering why the police would detain the minors with hardened criminals for yet an unproven allegation. Is April Fool still here? •For comments, send SMS to 08111813080
•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above
Social media and My oga at the top wrong answer that would haunt him in the hours and days after. Indeed, because it has now cost him his position as Lagos commandant of the Civil Defence, it seems the reference to My oga at the top will haunt him for the rest of his life, and perhaps in the end cost him his job. The gaffe was of course shocking, but not unpardonable. Web addresses are generally pesky little irritations on the memory, especially when they are not the simple dot com or dot co dot uk type. In the pre-social media days, a little gaffe now and again would not kill anyone, let alone bring a person to universal opprobrium. But Obafaiye has chosen to blunder in an age when all communication barriers have fallen, and when nothing is beyond the reach of the web or of the waspish pens and tongues of pernicious fellows. Moments after the Civil Defence officer made the gaffe and gave the public the memorable line of My oga at the top, social media took up the refrain and relentlessly lampooned him. The unsparing ridicule was followed by yet more merciless parodies, caricatures, clerihews, musical compositions, emblazoned tee shirts, and one-act drama pieces. A deeply mortified Civil Defence had to withdraw Obafaiye from his visible office and con-
sign him to obscurity, perhaps to push files, run errands and clean the archives. With social media becoming the leading activity on the web, it is now clear that no private or public person can even afford to tell a little, innocuous lie. Once he is found out, ubiquitous and pretentious Mozarts and Beethovens will produce instantaneous compositions to celebrate the lie. Nor, from all indications, can anyone even commit indiscretion bordering on spousal unfaithfulness. Imagine social media to have been very active in 2007 when Robert Mugabe allegedly videoed the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo and critic, Pius Ncube, romping with a married parishioner, Rosemary Sibanda. All borders have fallen, so never rule out what item will next go viral on the web. Today’s safe man may be tomorrow’s endangered man. Today, it is Obafaiye’s gentle gaffe; tomorrow, it could be something much more poisonous and salacious. Many governments have spent incredible amount of time and resources trying to regulate conventional media; let us see how far they can go with social media, where there is little adherence to ethics, and where regulations even by the most vicious governments have proved utterly inadequate.
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