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Newspaper of the Year

Governors reject emergency rule’s extension

News ‘Probe Obanikoro’s role in Ondo poll’ P8 Sports Argentina: we‘ll intimidate Eagles P24 Business Fisheries Dept battles allegations P5

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•Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

VOL. 9, NO. 2813 THURSDAY, APRIL 10, 2014


EKITI 2014

Gunmen kill eight in attacks on police, bank, court

Senate passes N4.69tr 2014 budget



CORES of gunmen riding motorcycles and cars invaded Gwaram, a Jigawa State community yesterday, shooting. The hoodlums operated for at least two and half hours without let, killing seven policemen and a security guard. They broke into a bank. Using guns and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), they also attacked a Sharia Court and the Gwaram Local Government Secretariat. •Mark


•Expect more jobs, says Fayemi •Elder advises electorate •LP, APC disagree •Kalu: Fayemi has performed well AND MORE •PDP governors, Muazu: we’ll take Ekiti, Osun •ON PAGE 9 HE Senate passed yesterday the N4.69 trillion budget estimates for this

From Ahmed Rufa’I, Dutse and Jide Orintunsin, Minna

Continued on page 4


year. It increased by N53 billion the financial plan presented to the joint sitting of the National Assembly on December 19, last year by Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on behalf of President Goodluck Jonathan. The House of Representa-

From Sanni Onogu and Victor Oluwasegun, Abuja

tives is expected to take its turn to pass the estimate today. Thereafter, the differences, if any, will be harmonised before the bill is presented to the President for assent. The report of the Joint Committee on Appropriation and Finance titled: “A Bill for an Act to authorise the issue from the Consolidated Revenue

Fund of the Federation, the total sum of N4,695,190,000,000 only, of which, N408,687,801,891 only is for statutory transfers, N712,000,000,000 only is for debt service and N2,454,887,566,702 only is for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure while the balance of N1,119,614,631,407 only is for contribution to the deContinued on page 4

•Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun (fourth right) with (from left) former Lagos State Deputy Governor Sarah Sosan; Ekiti State Governor’s wife Bisi Fayemi; Lagos State Governor’s wife Abimbola Fashola; Senator Oluremi Tinubu; Mrs Funsho Amosun; wife of Oyo State Governor Florence Ajimobi and wife of Ogun State Deputy Governor Olufunmilayo Adesegun during the opening ceremony of the First Ogun State National Women Conference at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta...yesterday.

Boko Haram: Security stops IBB, Buhari, Sultan, others

Ex-leaders, governors, ministers, ex-governors on travel advisory list


•Gen. Buhari

OR safety, security agencies have restricted the movement of some dignitaries. On the list of the Very Important Personalities (VIPs) are the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, formerPresident Shehu Shagari, former military President Ibrahim Babangida,

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

former Head of State Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar and others. Also affected by the “protective” restriction are prominent emirs, governors, former-governors, ministers, former-ministers and some highlyplaced Nigerians.

Those concerned are to depend on travel advisory from security agencies before visiting any part of the Northeast – the heart of the Boko Haram insurgency, which has claimed thousands of lives. It was learnt that where visits are inevitable, security will be strength-

ened to guarantee the passage of such personalities. The travel advisory followed threats by Boko Haram to attack Gen. Babangida and a former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari. Others targeted by the sect are Kano Continued on page 4






Delegates seek D • Executive Secretary, Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission, Mrs Tanwa Koya (right) unveiling the commission’s website toll-free lines and complaints boxes for public access in Lagos. With her are a board member, Prof. Lanre Fagbohun; Chairman, Mr Taiwo Shebioba; member, Mr Doyin Owolabi and President of the Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria, Ms. Sola Salako (left).

•Former British Ambassador to Uganda and Chairman of Orient Bank, Mr Michael Cook (left); Governor, Bank of Uganda Mr Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile; Group Managing Director, Orient Bank, Mr Philip Ikeazor and Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Uganda, Ambassador Cornelius Omolade-Oluwateru, at the Orient Bank’s Customer Forum in Uganda.

•Director, EMTS (Etisalat), Junaid Dikko (left); Chief Executive Officer, MainOne Funke Opeke; Director Network Engineering, EMTS, Temi Ogunbambi and Company Secretary, MainOne, Kazeem Oladepo, when EMTS and Etisalat’s team visited MainOne’s Tier III Data Centre site. PHOTO: ADEOLA SOLOMON

ELEGATES at the National Conference shifted deliberations on the inauguration speech delivered by President Goodluck Jonathan, dwelling on hair-raising issues that are of national significance. A delegate on the platform of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (SCIA), Alhaji Nurudeen Lemu, pulled the hall to its feet in a standing ovation, which was a breach of the Conference Standing Rules, when he combined sound logic and eloquence to deliver a message that touched on the need for religious harmony in Nigeria. Lemu told the delegates that God is neither a religious nor ethnic bigot and that the problem with Nigerians is that both Muslims and Christians always over-estimate their virtues while downplaying the goodness in others. He almost drew tears in the hall when he condemned both the murdering and the murderers of Christians and Muslims in the country under the cover of religion. He said, “as a delegate and as a people representing people of faith in God from Islamic perspective, one thing we believe is that God will protect the community that stands for justice even if they are not Muslims and God will not protect the community that goes contrary to justice even if they call themselves Muslims. ”God is not a religious bigot. He is not a male chauvinist. He is not an ethno-centric tribalist. God is not the oppressor of anyone. God is with those who care, those who want for others those things they want for themselves. One tendency for people who claim to follow a religion is to slide into the position of believing that they are better than the others. We over-estimate our virtues and under-estimate the goodness in others. The tendency is for us to be spiritually arrogant and forget that others are people like us. And if you are in other person’s position, you probably will be like someone else. “As delegates from the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, we condemn the murder and the murderers of all Christians; we condemn the murder and the murderers of all Muslims; not because they are Christians or Muslims but because they are all human beings— creatures of God. There is no compulsion in religion. We all own Nigeria. We all belong here. And we all have rights to self-determination. We should respect that right and do onto others what we will do onto ourselves. “Every ethnic group is an oppressed minority somewhere. Every majority

By Emmanuel Oladesu, Group Political Editor or settlers is an indigene somewhere. In one way or the other, we are all settlers. We just don’t remember where we came from and why we came. But ultimately, we are all visitors to this planet; from God we came and to Him we will return. As Muslim delegates, we come against the exploitation of religion and religious sentiments; we come against stereotyping, stigmatizing and dehumanization of each other. We come against the use of religion as a political decoy and distraction from the critical things that bedevil our nation. I pray that at the end of this conference, we will all grow in our humanity and respect for each other.” Mrs. Yemi Mahmoud-Fasominu touched on a seemingly controversial issue, calling for the establishment of a special court where issues of rape and other criminal acts against women would be addressed. She went further to demand that a law setting up such a court should specify that rape convicts be castrated, ostensibly to serve as a deterrence to others. At this point, the hall exploded in both cheers and jeers, depending on which side of the divides delegates found themselves. Zamani Lekwot, a retired general, did a quick analysis of the security situation in the country, especially regard-

Oyebode wants Nigeria to change name


•Regional Operations Director, Lagos, Airtel Nigeria Mr Adebayo Oshinowo speaking at the Refresh and Recharge media launch in Lagos... yesterday. With him are Financial Controller, Sweet Sensation, Mr Yemi Opedamowo (left) and Managing Director, Olatunji Kamson

•Former Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada (left) with Senator Jubril Aminu... yestesrday

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor, and Dele Anofi, Abuja

ROF. Akin Oyebode yesterday caused a stir at the National Conference when he proposed that Nigeria should change its name to United States of Songhai (USS). The professor, who is representing Ekiti State in the Conference, said that Nigeria should be changed to United States of Songhai just like Kwame Nkruma changed the former Gold Coast to Ghana. He said that it was obvious that Nigeria as the name of the country has outlived its usefulness. He said, “I propose that we change the name of Nigeria to United States of Songhai just like Nkruma changed Gold Coast to Ghana,” adding that the country is operating caricature federation. Oyebode noted that the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, aptly said the country is running ‘feeding bottle’ federalism. The conference, he added, should consider the issue of fiscal federalism, true federalism, resource control or self determination. Ralph Osanaiye, a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, said that problem of the country started when some leaders decided to run down security agencies by starving them of funds and denying them arms and ammunitions. He said that the policy to run down security agencies was deliberate in order to weaken them and incapacitate them from carrying out their primary responsibilities. Michael Olukoya, president of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), traced the challenges facing the country to faulty foundation, saying primary schools have been systematically destroyed by people who benefited from public school system. The NUT boss, who represents the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the Conference, said that in Benue State teachers had been on strike for over six months without anybody talking.




solution to religious crisis, insecurity

•Mike Ahamba (SAN), former President General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dozie Ikedife, Umeh Verondun, Chairman, Board of Directors, Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), Gabe Okoye ...yesterday.



ing the murderous insurgency in Northern Nigeria, and concluded that the creation needed what he called a standing frontier force to protect the Nigerian borders. Recommending functions to the proposed force, he said the force should be saddled with the task of curbing illegal movements in and out of the country, and most importantly halting with military precision any infiltration by insurgents and other criminals. Ambassador Yusuf Mamman said the violence in the North that has led to several deaths and loss of property presents an ideological challenge that has defied the use of military force, urging the conference to find a way out of the logjam. On education, he said beautiful as the issue of the Almajari school concept may be, government should de-secularise education by bringing the Almajari education in the mainstream curriculum instead of giving it a special treatment. Ambasador

Hassan Adamu, in his comments, said the Conference presents a good opportunity to talk rather than to fight and declared his belief that something positive will emerge from the Conference. He said the Conference should focus on job creation, peace and security, elimination of corruption at all levels, justice, patriotism, qualitative education; and security of residents in every part of the country, adding that “Nigeria is waiting for us to offer solutions.” Another delegate, Adeniyi Akintola, said it was pathetic that whenever the issue of corruption was being discussed, those who should be in jail for corrupt practices are the most vocal. He disclosed that if government were to compare the assets of public office holders between when they entered public service and at the time of departure, all of public office holders, including former state governors, would be in jail. Akintola said sometimes, public officers declared in their assets form what they do not have

and on entering public office would begin stealing desperately to meet the target earlier declared, adding that there should be a way where assets and tax payments should be put side by side as a way of checking fraudulent declarations. A motion by Dr Bello Mohammed asked the Federal Government to take drastic action against people engaged in the act of kidnapping and other violence. He drew the attention of the Conference to last week’s abduction of Chief Edwin Clark’s son and prayed that the Conference should send a letter of felicitation to the 86 year-old delegate after the release of the son last weekend. Engineer Adefemi Kila, who seconded the motion, said the ineffectiveness of the local government administration in the country is to be blamed for the high rise in crime rate nationwide. He said, “These kidnappers, these Boko Haram members, are not spirits; they live with us. They can be identified.” He called on the federal government to do more

in the area of security, adding that “our lives also are not safe.” On the issue of local government status, Nasiru Ibrahim Jinju said it was high time government ensured, in practical terms, the autonomy of local governments. So far, he said, state governors have held council areas by the neck by not allowing them to function independently. He explained that most of the security problems faced by the nation could be traced to non-functionality of local government councils. Ibrahim Khaleel was of similar opinion, saying that insurgency is a product of the bastardisation of the local government structure which has made it impossible for people at the grassroots to feel the impact of governance. While Professor Sambo Junaido from Sokoto appealed for speedy implementation of the resolutions that would be arrived at in the course of the Conference, Is’haq Modibbo Kawu of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) said the poor economic management

is the main cause of Nigeria’s problems; he described a situation where a state governor is richer than the state based on his ability to steal. Remi Kuku called on every Nigerian to repent, saying if Nigerians were to love one another as their religions teach them, there would be no room for bickering and religious enmity. Mohammed Kumalia reminded the delegates that the spirit of the speech made by Jonathan was for everyone to put aside their prejudices and parochial feelings and talk Nigeria instead of their ethnic groups. He added that if representations at the Conference were through election, it would have been impossible for most of the delegates to have been there to discuss issues of national importance as they affect their different groups. Ledum Mitee from Rivers State reminded the Conference of the need to attach practical solutions to all the issues raised and for government to act in accordance with the wishes of the people. He told a story of how he met some Niger Delta youths during an awareness campaign and confronted them on why they were breaking pipelines only to be told that since all government plans are always in the pipeline, they were breaking the pipelines to bring them out. Bello Mohammed, in his contribution, said there was nobody in the North who does not know about the environmental problems being faced by the Niger Delta people; and that no Southerner could claim ignorance of existing poverty and illiteracy in the North. According to him, what is required is for both groups to agree on solutions to existing problems both in the North and in the South instead of behaving as though only one part of the country has problems. A 24-year old girl, Yadomah Bukar Mandara, who said her father died exactly one year ago, moved the hall with her presentation when she spoke concerning the rise of insurgency in the North. She said, “So many children have turned orphans. So many women have turned widows. We must unite to fight our common enemies. Our common enemies know no Christian. Our common enemies know no Muslim. Let us unite against them.”

Osoba mulls regionalism, devolution of powers


From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor, and Dele Anofi, Abuja

ORMER Ogun State Governor, Chief Olusegun Osoba, yesterday said that the country should go back to regionalism and take steps to devolve more powers to the federating units. He drew applause from his fellow delegates when he

•Chief Osoba

prayed Christian and Muslim prayers to preface his comment, noting that he is at the Conference to preach return to regionalism and devolution of powers. The former governor said a return to regionalism would enable the regions to decide their fate, including creation of local governments the way they deemed necessary. Chief Osoba said that it is unfair that Lagos State with over 20 million people would continue to have only 20 local governments while Jigawa State that was carved out of Kano State has 27. The former governor, who came to the conference on the platform of former governors, also said that it is unfair that Ijebu in Ogun State is the only province that is still not a State. He said, “I am here to preach devolution of power and I am happy that the Emir of Gumi has spoken about it; we are making progress. I am here to preach that we should consider regionalism. Lagos State with over 20 million people with only 20 local governments and Kano State used to have the same number of local governments with Lagos, but now, there is Jigawa State with 27 local governments.

Lagos state still has 20 Local Governments. “Today, people are talking about corruption, governors are corrupt; where are the contractors? How many of the contractors who had been conducting these businesses all over Nigeria without due delivery have been sent to jail. We talk of corruption. What about those officers in pension office, pensioners are suffering; they are the ones stealing the money. We talk of coups, I disagree, only two coups are related to civilian government, 1966 and 1983. All the others were military coups against the military, sponsored by their own contractors, who are civilians. “I correct the position of some military officers here who said civilians are responsible for all the coups. We are today to decide whether we want to go the Yugoslavia way. Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Montenegro discovered themselves and separated. If we want to go the Czechoslovakia way, they went their separate ways peacefully or the USSR way in 1991; they went their ways. I pray that Nigeria will not be like that and that is why this conference is important for all of us. I want to beg Mama Market, please don’t castrate us, I beg you ...those who commit rape should be banned from holding public office. Some of us are already castrated by nature. If you castrate more, you will be losing more men. “Mama Market (retired general Felicia Sani), don’t castrate us. Giving a ban from public office is right because anybody who rapes is not fit to rule in this country. Our problem started after 1900 when the British government created provinces in the North. Today, I come from Ogun State where Ijebu is the only province that is still not a State. It is unfair. Some States have gone up to three, four States. But I am happy that my brother Junaid Mohammed is now more matured. He spoke very well. We were together in 1988 when Dalhatu was firing, today he is more matured.” General Paul Omu (rtd) had, in his comment, lamented that the military had been battered by many speakers. He said that it is known that all military coups in the country were instigated by politicians, adding, “All wars that are fought by soldiers were caused by civilians. Military administrations in this country, civilians were over 90 percent.” Omu also said that there was no doubt that the federal, especially the centre, needed to be unbundled. He asked delegates to assist the federal government to unbundle the centre for the good of the country. Professor Akin Oyebode, in his comment, said that the country is operating caricature federation. He drew the attention of delegates to the fact that the National Conference has no legal backing, adding “we have embarked on a voyage without a compass.”



NEWS Boko Haram: Security stops IBB, Buhari, Sultan, others Continued from page 1

State Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and his Borno State

counterpart, Kashim Shettima, a former Governor of Kano State, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero and the Shehu of Borno. Although the security walls around some of those on the wanted list of the sect seem impenetrable, it was learnt that the agencies have decided to take pre-emptive measures to avoid any problem. The agencies do not want the politically-exposed persons to be either victims of the insurgents or be caught in a crossfire. A security source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The restriction is in form of travel advisory. It is part of our new proactive steps to check these insur-

•GRIDL OCK: Scene of an accident involving two trailers at Airport Bus Stop along Lagos/Abeokuta Expressway, which caused massive •GRIDLOCK: traffic jam...yesterday. PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE

Zamfara killings: Community accuses police of complicity


HE people of Dansadau in Maru Local Government Area of Zamafara State are accusing the police of complicity in last weekend’s murder of over 100 residents. They claimed to have obtained incontrovertible evidence that the police allegedly supplied arms and ammunition to the killers. Senator Saidu Mohammed Dansadau, who spoke on behalf of the community at the National Conference, described what happened on April 5 - massacre of over 100 people, burning of over 300 motorcycles and carting away of about 150 herds of cattle - as systematic genocide against Dansadau. Dansadau said the people had been living with the agony of unwarranted killings in his community for over three years, adding that the “premeditated” killings took place on a market day. He noted that it was equally scary that the police who had foreknowledge of the attack did nothing to prevent it. Dansadau said in July 2012, “the Zamfara State Police Command armourer, along with eight other members of the arms supply ring within

Gunmen kill eight in attacks on police, bank, court Continued from page 1

The attack took place while Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors were meeting in Dutse, the state capital. Recounting the incident, the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone One, Mr. Tambari Yabo Muhammad, said: “There was indeed an unfortunate attack at around 1:30 am that lasted till 4 am, when about 200 terrorists came in droves, using Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). They attacked a Sharia court, Gwaram local government secretariat and a bank”. The AIG said “four riot policemen, three conventional policemen and a security guard were killed in the attack”. He said: “Though no arrests were made, the police were able to put up a fierce fight that repelled the attacks and from the blood stains all over, I am sure that they too must have recorded casualties who they probably took away From Onyedi Ojiabor and Dele Anofi, Abuja

the police, were caught supplying arms to bandits and handed over to the police.” The police, he said, “failed or ignored to prosecute the culprits.” “The leader of the armed bandits who killed our people on Saturday 5th April, 2014, who

with them”. He confirmed that the gunmen were about 200 who came on motorcycles and cars. In another incident, two persons were killed by gunmen in Shadna village, Bosso local government area of Niger state. Three other persons sustained injuries in the invasion of the village by the gunmen at about 11pm on Tuesday. According to an eye witness who survived the invasion, the unidentified gunmen stormed the village on a motorcycle during a monthly traditional dance event. The witness said the three-man gang started shooting sporadically killing two villagers. The injured were rushed to the hospital while the dead have been buried. Niger State police spokesman Richard Adamu Oguche, confirmed the attack and said the police had started its patrol in the community to forestall further attacks.

threatened to continue to kill people was arrested at the instance of the state governor, A.A. Yari, but was within a few days, released by the police,” Dansadau said. According to him, for over three years, the Dansadau Emirate and neighbouring communities, whose major means of sustenance is subsistence farm-

ing, have lived under the shadow of the menace and naked intimidation by a band of daredevil and heavily armed gunmen made up of mostly Fulani herdsmen. The herdsmen, he said, have terrorised the people at every opportunity, stolen most, if not all, of their cattle and are hellContinued on page 67

gents who can hit any target. “The killing of Gen. Muhammadu Shuwa, the attacks on the Emir of Kano and Shehu of Borno and others have made this restriction necessary. If they want to travel to any part of the Northeast, intelligence report will determine clearance by security agencies. “And as for those whose visits are unavoidable, like governors, adequate security measures will be put in place for easier passage.” The aim, The Nation learnt is not to curtail their fundamental human rights to freedom of movement. Security agencies are usually updated with their movement schedules by their security detail and where it is challenging to be in a place or Continued on page 67

Senate passes N4.69tr 2014 budget Continued from page 1

velopment fund for capital expenditure for the year ending 31st December, 2014” was moved by Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Ahmad Maccido (Sokoto North). The passage of the Bill followed a clause-by-clause consideration of its provisions by the Senate in the Committee of the whole. Maccido in his lead debate, noted that the Appropriation Bill contained the estimates of revenue and expenditure of the Federation for the 2014 fiscal year. He said a Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) component of the budget, N268,370,000,000.00 for 2014, did not form part of the aggregate budget figure of N4,642,960,000,000.00 contained in the Bill laid before the National Assembly. “This has, however, been captured in the final compilation of the Bill,” Maccido said. In preparing the details of the 2014 Bill, according to Maccido, “the Committee adopted a

benchmark price of $77.50 per barrel of crude oil”. “The Committee also adopted the Executive proposal of crude oil production of 2.3883 million barrels per day (mbpd) and an exchange rate of N160 to US$1.” The Appropriation Committee chief observed that the 20142016 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, upon which the 2014 budget was based, just like the previous editions, would require refinement and re-tooling both in procedure and process. He added: “A major issue here is in the planning required and the engagement processes with all stakeholders which will have added effective value to the budget process, with obvious multiplier effect on the economy. “The drop in oil production volume as reflected in the budget estimates of the past two years remains a disturbing phenomenon. The obvious reason has been traced to the obstruction to oil production as a result of pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft. “The appalling state of budget implementation in the country is Continued on page 67

CORRECTION Dr. O. B. Manaka signed the advertorial on page 18, titled Anambra State Concerned Professionals in the April 9 th 2014 edition. His name was erroneously omitted in the publication.

Nyako, Gaidam, Shettima reject extension of emergency rule


OVERNORS of the three states under emergency rule in the Northeast opposed yesterday the attempt to extend the controversial measure. The second strand of the emergency rule is expected to end on April 19. The Presidency is weighing its options on the “sensitive” matter. Besides rejecting the extension of emergency rule, the governors are also asking the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to learn from last week’s general elections in Afghanistan and conduct polls in their states next year. The Boko Haram insurgency, has led to thousands of deaths and great hardship in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. To the governors, shelving elections in the three states would amount to succumbing to or conceding victory to the deadly sect. They asked INEC to work with the Federal Government to provide adequate security for a free and fair poll in the affected states. The governors - Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Ibrahim Gaidam (Yobe) and Kashim Shettima (Borno) - gave the advice in

•‘Elections must hold in Adamawa, Borno, Yobe’ From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

a joint statement. The statement was released through their spokesmen, including Ahmad Sajoh for Nyako, Abdullahi Bego for Gaidam and Isa Gusau for Shettima. The governors said: “On the issue of extension of State of Emergency, it is our considered view that there is absolutely no reason to even contemplate an extension of the State of Emergency in any of the three states. “It must be noted that a counter insurgency strategy that lasted one year without achieving the desired result requires a redefinition rather than extension. “The Federal Government should always remember that it has the obligation of protecting the lives and property of all Nigerians in all parts of the country without necessarily putting them under any special condition. “It has the option of putting a security structure in place that can continue and intensify ongoing counter insurgency operations without an extension of emergency rule.” They said there had been insurgency in Niger Delta with Joint Military Task Force (JTF) deployed in the region without a state of emergency in place.

They added: “After all, we had the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) in place in some of States with full military activities prior to the declaration of emergency. “We have for many years, also have in place similar JTF in the Niger Delta to combat militancy and kidnapping, we have had same in the southeast to fight armed robbery, we have a Special Task Force in Plateau State combating the crisis in parts of the State without necessarily putting them under emergency rule. “Besides, the Nigerian Army has in 2013 created new divisions and brigades in Borno State as permanent military establishments.” They expressed confidence that if the military sustained its present level of engagement against Boko Haram, the insurgency will be overcome. The statement said: “We hold that with continued motivation, continued and intensified deployment of military resources, the crisis will be overcome.” The governors, however, pledged to assist security agencies to restore lasting peace to the three states. They said: “We call on citizens

in our respective states and other Nigerians to continue to intensify prayers for the return of peace. “We call on our security agencies to remain resolute and patriotic. We salute the sacrifices of fallen heroes among them and among our civilians who died in the crisis. “We are all very committed and determined to continue to work with security agencies and all other stakeholders in our committed search for lasting peace in our three states.” The governors warned INEC against hiding under the guise of insurgency to shelve elections in 2015. They said the commission should take a cue from Afghanistan which conducted a successful poll in spite of threats from the Taliban. They said: “Afghanistan and its good people were celebrated worldwide for liberating themselves from the scourge of fear and thereby sending a strong signal that no amount of threat would deny them from choosing their leaders through democratic processes. This is the kind of courage expected of genuine patriots. “Our Independent National

Electoral Commission, INEC, should please learn from the landmark election that took place in Afghanistan at the weekend during which election officials took the bold step of going on to conduct election in spite of threats by the Taliban to send the country into extinction if the elections were held. “The Central Government in Afghanistan provided adequate security for the conduct of the poles. It was also reported that there was a 53 percent voter turnout during the elections and it went on peacefully in most places. “We all know that the unfortunate insurgency affecting this country has a similar attribute to the Taliban doctrine in Afghanistan even though ours is now assuming a very complicated character. “The INEC should, as a matter of counter insurgency approach, ensure that no part of Nigeria is excluded from the 2015 elections on account threats. “Suspending elections on account of threats by insurgents and other sundry social miscreants would amount to succumbing to their doctrine and conceding victory on the part of Nigeria.” The governors said if INEC opted to shelve or postpone the 2015 poll in the three states, the


Boko Haram insurgents will be emboldened to infiltrate other 33 states to scuttle the next general elections. The statement said: “Should INEC go ahead with its initially considered exclusion of Adamawa, Yobe and Borno States from the 2015 elections, all criminal gangs need to do, is to extend the attacks to other parts of Nigeria and have more places excluded from future elections. “This will then imply that crime and criminality will be victorious in suspending constitutional democracy in Nigeria.”

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NEWS Smokers risk six-month jail for lighting up in public

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja


ESIDENTS who smoke in non-smoking designated areas will pay N50,000 fine, get six months’ imprisonment or both punishment, if the new Tobacco Control Bill 2014 gets the nod of the National Assembly. The Minister of Heath, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu, spoke yesterday on the Bill when he addressed State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, which was presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan. The minister said the FEC approved the Draft Tobacco Control Bill, 2014, which would be forwarded to the National Assembly for consideration and passage. Companies that infringe on the Bill when passed into law, he said, would pay between N1 million and N5 million fine and their chief executives could additionally be imprisoned for one or two years. Chukwu said: “The major ingredients of the Bill is that there are stiff penalties for individuals. For instance, individuals who run foul of what will eventually become the National Tobacco Control Act 2014, may pay a fine of N50,000. That is, for someone who goes to a place clearly designated non-smoking area. The judge could either give you an option of fine or combine it with imprisonment of up to six months.”

2015 polls ‘ll test Nigeria’s democracy, says U.S From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

THE United States of America (U.S.) has said the 2015 elections will be a big test for Nigeria’s democracy. It said the U.S. was waiting to see clean, free and fair elections next year. U.S Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James F. Entwistle, spoke on Tuesday during his visit to Makurdi, the Benue State capital. He assured Nigeria of his country’s support, saying the U.S. would not dictate to Nigeria. The visit was part of the envoy’s tour of the North, to interact with the people, learn more about the security issues in the region and share the U.S. wishes for peaceful elections, good governance, development opportunities and a better future for Nigeria. A statement in Abuja by the U.S. Embassy Information Office, said the ambassador is also expected to visit Nasarawa and Plateau states as part of his tours of the Middle Belt. The statement quoted Entwistle as saying next year’s election would be an important test for Nigeria.

Minister: Nigeria in danger of Ebola virus


HE Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, yesterday warned that Nigeria is not safe from the Ebola virus ravaging some other West African countries. The minister addressed State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting. He said the deadly disease had been moving eastward, towards Nigeria, from other West African countries and from Central African countries. Chukwu stressed that there was no vaccine or treatment for the disease, adding that his ministry was embarking on a campaign to prevent Nigeria from recording a case.

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

The minister said personal hygiene was important in keeping the disease away from Nigeria. He said: “Like you pointed out, Ebola has been moving eastward towards Nigeria as well. We are already facing danger from Central African Republic, even with what is happening in Congo. People are also migrating to Chad. Both Chad and Cameroon are also in our borders. “So, Nigeria is in danger. But we recently said that in addition to the leaflets that we are producing for Lassa and other haemorrhagic fever, we will now emphasis Ebola fever. As I speak to you, we have approved jingles to be produced in various languages for the Nigerian Cen-

tre for Disease Control to be aired on radio, TV and newspaper adverts. “Then, we are working with all groups - just like we are doing for polio - religious bodies, communities, traditional rulers and the media - which is most important in this venture. You will help us to play your role by educating Nigerians.” On treatment for the disease, he said: “There are no vaccines. So, it is not a question of government has not produced vaccines for Ebola or Lassa fever. If there were vaccines, the government would certainly buy a stock and keep, but there is no specific treatment. “We know what spreads infection for Lassa is a special type of rat in Nigeria; the ones for Ebola are bats, which

some Nigerians see as bush meat. Bats eat fruits. Sometimes, if you go and pluck fruits that they have contaminated with the virus, someone can get infected. “So, all the things we said still apply: personal hygiene is important. Make sure that you wash your hands after every ceremony. The second thing is that before you eat, wash your hands again. Fruits must be washed; those things we eat from must also be washed. “We will soon review our adverts for things like antimalaria because they still say if you have fever, take this for three days; if you don’t improve, go and see your doctor. But we are changing all that because now, if you wait three days for Ebola, you are dead.”

From left: Former President of Georgia, Mr Mikheil Saakashvili; Senior Energy Specialist, World Bank, Mr Erik Fernstrom; Vice President, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Issa Aremu and Commissioner, Rates and Market Competition, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Mr Eyo Ekpo, at the Lagos Economic Summit, tagged: Ehingbeti 2014, in Lagos...yesterday. Story on Page 12 PHOTO: NAN

‘President won’t initiate new Constitution’ From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

THE Senate yesterday withdrew its proposed amendment to Section 9 of the Constitution to enable the President initiate the making a new Constitution. Although most lawmakers kicked against the proposal during the debate last week, the Senate said it would vote on the amendments yesterday. Members of the public also condemned the move, saying the Senate was about to cede its most sacred responsibility to the Executive. The Bill, titled: “Additional Report of the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution on a Bill for an Act to further Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and for Other Matters Connected Therewith, 2013” was sponsored by the Chairman of the Constitution Review Committee, Senator Ike Ekweremadu. Ekweremadu, who is also the Deputy Senate President noted that the major highlight of the new proposal was to amend Section 3 (b) of Clause 2 of the Constitution dealing with how a new constitution could be processed. He had said: “You will recall that Section 9 of the first Alteration Bill provided for how a new constitution can come into being through the National Assembly. The aim of this insertion is to make provision for the President, in addition to the National Assembly, to initiate the process of a new constitution.”

Anti-graft agencies urged to probe Fisheries Dept


HE Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development yesterday is fighting off allegations of corrupt practices at the Department of Fisheries. In a petition to President Goodluck Jonathan, a group of “concerned professionals” listed several alleged fraudulent activities by the department’s leadership. The petitioners urged anti-corruption agencies to investigate the department. They queried the competence of the acting director, Ms Foluke Areola saying her tenure is “illegal”. The petitioners also alleged that “anarchy is the order of the day” at the department. “With profound respects, may we draw the attention of the President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan - and the public - to the unsavoury and putrid situation at the Federal Department of Fisheries, a department under the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development,” the petition said. The allegations levelled against the department include the arrest of fishing trawlers, allegedly for having no fishing licence. The petition reads: “A very recent case is a letter written by Areola that fishing trawlers, which had been fishing in Nigerian waters for over eight years – with duly issued fishing licences till December 2013

•Ministry denies allegations From Yusuf Alli, Abuja and Seun Akioye

- were illegal foreign trawlers. The truth, however, is that they applied for renewal of the licences in December 2013 and their applications were confirmed to have been received. “Rather than communicate to the owners of the vessels not to go to sea until the licences were issued, she branded the vessels as illegal…” The petitioners alleged that there was fraud in the manner N1.5 billion was said to have been expended on the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) for fish farmers in Nigeria. They said the “real” amount spent on the GES was a far cry from the minister’s claim. In a speech at the second stakeholders’ interactive forum on: Repositioning the Fishery Sector on February 25, 2014, the minister claimed that the ministry spent N1.5 billion on the GES. “It’s our wish that the President investigate this. When that is done, it would be discovered that only five fish farmers from 10 states of the federation were each given 500 fingerlings and five bags of fish feeds each,” the petitioners alleged. According to them, the beneficiaries paid N12,500, which is 50 per cent of the cost of each bag of fish feed.

They alleged that the N300 million said to have been paid for fish nets was far above the N2 million expended on the items. Among other allegations, the “concerned professionals” said 42 cold rooms of fish importers, which employed at least 500,000 Nigerians, were locked up over allegations that the fish were bad. They said the minister, during a visit, confirmed that the “fish were in fact of good quality” and asked for the justification for shutting down the cold rooms. But the ministry said the allegations in the petition amounted to “blackmail, a campaign of calumny and a calculated attempt to discredit the lofty goals of the Transformation Agenda in the Fishery sector”. It denied that N1.5 billion was spent on the GES, saying only N156 million was expended on the project. The ministry said the “incorrect” figure in the minister’s speech was a “typographical error”. “The Group of Professionals contradicted themselves in the figures quoted under GES. Simple calculation was muddled up in the desperate bid to confuse readers. The N1.5 billion stated in the minister’s speech was indeed a typographical error. The

real amount is N0.156 billion, which is N156 million,” the ministry said. It explained why two senior officers in the Fisheries Department were prevented from participating in the oral interview for the post of director of the department. The “concerned professionals” had said Mr. Akintunde Atanda and Ms. Abiodun Cheke – two senior officers were prevented from taking part in the oral interview to prevent them from contesting for the position of director to keep Ms. Areola as the acting director. But the ministry said the officers were under disciplinary action. It said: “The Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) is the only organ of government that can explain why these officers were denied participation in the oral interview. These officers are under disciplinary action.” The ministry also said only 24 cold rooms were locked up by its officials, an action it justified. “The minister personally visited Bexolac Food Limited on Monday, March 24 and found cartons of spoilt fish in the cold rooms of the company in the full glare of journalists. “The minister also visited Premium Sea Food on Friday, March 28, 2014, where the company brought out mack-


erel in replacement of the spoilt herrings in their cold room. They forgot that they had signed in the sampling sheet used to remove some of the samples to the Nigerian Fisheries Laboratory for analysis.” Other companies found guilty, according to the ministry, also include Bharat Ventures. Several stocks of fish were reportedly found to have been spoilt at the company. On the arrest and designation of fish trawlers as illegal, the ministry said the petitioners’ claim was baseless. It said: “The question to ask is: why did all the other fishing trawlers in Nigeria obtain their licences before December 31, 2013 and these eight other trawlers were still fishing at sea into the New Year?” The ministry asked the “concerned professionals” to prove that the trawlers were illegal foreign trawlers. “The allegations in the petition are essentially mistaken; they cannot stand up to scrutiny,” the ministry added.



NEWS PRESSID: Covenant Varsity’s first class graduates top again National Service Manager, Toyota Nigeria, Mr Victor Comaway (right) speaking at the launch of Body Repair and Print Centre, Oregun, Lagos...on Tuesday. With him are managing Director/ CEO of Toyota Nigeria, Mr Chrndrashekar Thampy (middle) and Executive Director, Mr Kunle Ade-Ojo. PHOTO: JOHN EBHOTA

Iyayi: Falana urges FRSC to prosecute ‘killer driver’ L AGOS lawyer Mr Femi Falana (SAN) has urged the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) to prosecute Mr Dalandi Baba, the driver of the Toyota Hilux pick-up van in the convoy of Kogi State Governor Idris Wada, which allegedly caused the accident that killed former Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) President, Prof Festus Iyayi, last year. He said the widow of the deceased, Mrs Grace Iyayi, and ASUU leaders had instructed him to immediately demand the prosecution of the suspect(s) indicted by the report of the FRSC in the accident. Falana made the demand in his April 9, 2014 letter to the FRSC Corp Marshal Chukwuma Njoku. He explained that the demand of Iyayi’s widow and ASUU leadership followed the

By Adebisi Onanuga

report of the investigation on the accident by official of the commission. The report allegedly indicted the driver of the Toyota Hilux pick-up in the convoy of the governor in the death of the former ASUU president. Falana said: “In the report of the investigation attached to the letter, the FRSC found, inter alia: “The FRSC Investigation Team (FIT) determines that the probable cause of the crash was the deliberate failure of V#2’s (Toyota Hilux) driver to return fully or stick to his lane of travel. Contributing to the injury severity was speed, the direction of impact and one of V#1’s(ASUU bus) body reinforcement materials,

which pierced through the heart area of the fatally injured. The root cause was failure of the construction companies handling the Abuja-Lokoja highway project to provide adequate traffic guidance and channelisation. The lawyer disagreed with the commission on how to bring the driver in the governor’s convoy to justice. He said: “With respect, we disagree with your request for ‘more legal powers to bring convoy drivers to justice when involved in traffic infractions that may lead to crashes’. “Unlike state governors, convoy drivers attached to them are not entitled to immunity, under Section 308 of the Constitution. “It is submitted that the FRSC has adequate and enormous legal powers to

bring drivers to book, (especially those) who engage in the contraventions of the law. Specifically, Section 11(4) of the FRSC Act provides as follows: · ‘In the exercise of the functions conferred by this section, members of the Corps shall have the power to arrest and prosecute offenders reasonably suspected of having committed any of the following offences and serve same with a court summons or notices of offence sheet…’ “In view of your findings on the crash involving the convoy of Governor Idris Wada, which led to tragic death of Prof Iyayi on November 12, 2013, we have the instructions of the widow of the deceased, Mrs Grace Iyayi, and the ASUU to demand the prosecution of the suspects indicted by the FRSC without further delay.”

Rivers CJ’s suspension is judicial lawlessness, says Aturu •Ex-CJN: all manner of judges in Judiciary From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin



AGOS lawyer Mr Bamidele Aturu has said the suspension of the Rivers State Chief Judge (CJ), Justice Peter Agumagu, by the National Judicial Council (NJC) amounts to judicial lawlessness. Aturu said spoke yesterday in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, at a public lecture organised by the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) Law Students Society. He said: “I still call on the NJC to withdraw that query that it issued to Agumagu because that query was offensive, uncalled and an attempt to intimidate. I think a body of eminent jurists should not be behaving like that. “My position is that although the High Court judge was wrong to have said the State Judicial Service Commission could recommend a person for appointment as the CJ of Rivers State, the NJC, which is a body of eminent lawyers

and jurist aught to have appealed that decision because the NJC was party to that case. “If the NJC does not appeal and it is now using its weight to suspend Agumagu, issuing him query, the NJC is abusing its office. That is trampling on the rule of law. I think that is wrong, because if the NJC does that, it is going to create a reign of judicial anarchy and lawlessness. I think it was very disappointing. “My position is clear: the decision of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt suggesting that the State Judiciary Service Commission has the constitutional power to make recommendations on who becomes the Chief Judge of River State is wrong in law. This is because the law is clear that the State Judicial Service Commission can only advise the National Judicial Council on who can be appointed. “So, that aspect of the decision is wrong. But the aspect of the decision that says all you require to become a Chief Judge is just to be a practicing lawyer for ten years is correct. But there is a problem between the NJC

and the state governor on the question whether the NJC can recommend or the state judicial service commission.” Also, a retired Chief Justice of Nigerian (CJN) Justice Dahiru Musdapher said different characters have been finding their way into the Nigerian Judiciary. On Tuesday, a former President of Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, accused judges of aiding corruption. He said corruption had destroyed the nation’s judicial system. Salami said: “The problem of corruption in the Judiciary is real and has eaten deep into the system. It must, however, be noted that it is not every judicial officer that is corruption and dishonourable. There are some who are clearly identifiable as corrupt but they are protected by the system. There are those who lack courage and their timidity is exploited to pervert the course of justice.” Justice Musdapher, who was the chairman of yesterday’s occasion, said: “In those days, people did not even ask to be appointed judges. The mere fact

that you asked to be appointed a judge disqualified you. “That was the situation that was going on then, and that was even in the military regime. But things have changed so bad. All kinds of people find their way into becoming judges. “Like I said, the legal practice itself - either on the Bench or outside - must be done with the sense of decency and justice. That is what is done everywhere. “It is not every matter that a lawyer must win a case. It is not. You were not there when the methods were taking place, when A or B did this or that. You were not there. All you have to do is put in the method before the judge and put the judge to do it honestly and properly so that anybody who is sitting in the court will know that justice is being done. “But things are different now. Let us start making progress in this matter. Let us start thinking inwards, doing what is decent and good about us and promote it all the time. Let us not always think of what is obtained in Europe. Let us start thinking inwards.”


OR the second time, first class graduates of Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, led the Presidential Special Scholarship Scheme for Innovation and Development (PRESSID) with 19 of its graduates winning the scholarship among 200 candidates from various universities in the land. The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Julius Okojie, spoke on the feat, contained in the commission’s memorandum of January 13. The memorandum quoted Prof Okojie as commenting on the outcome of the aptitude test for first class graduates of Nigerian universities for sponsorship to 25 top universities in the world, under the Presidential Special Scholarship Scheme for Innovation and Development (PRESSID). The scheme, in its second phase, showed that Covenant University emerged the overall best with 19 of the 200 graduates who would benefit from the scheme this year. The NUC chief noted that the feat, which Covenant University also achieved in the maiden edition of the scheme, meant it was moving on the fast lane in the production of quality graduates in the Nigerian University System (NUS).

He attributed the achievement to Covenant University’s programmes being targetdriven and the extensive use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in its teaching and learning processes. Prof Okojie urged the Federal Government to consider giving corresponding conditions and expectations to derive from the universities any time funds were released to them, as done in other climes. Covenant University’s first class graduates producing 10 of the 101 candidates who were selected in the final aptitude test for PRESSID. Responding to the development, the vice chancellor Prof Charles Ayo said the feat was a validation of the university’s efforts at producing brilliant graduates for the global community. He restated the university’s confidence in the quality of its first class graduates, saying they were worthy of their pedigree. Prof Ayo thanked God for always confirming His vision with infallible proofs of the institution’s academic strength. He was optimism that Covenant University would soon be ranked among the top 10 in the world, in fulfilment of the prophesy that has gone before it.

I haven’t left APC, says Fani-Kayode


FORMER Aviation Minister, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, said yesterday he has not left the All Progressives Congress (APC). The former minister visited President Goodluck Jonathan at the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja on Tuesday, fuelling speculations that he was planning to return to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a party he has berated for sundry misdeeds against Nigerians. He was minister in the PDP-led Olusegun Obasanjo administration for a year. In a statement yesterday, Fani-Kayode denied leaving the progressives’ fold, though expressed his misgivings about the alleged Muslim-Muslim ticket of the party, which has been speculative since APC has not announced such. The statement reads: “I have not left the APC. If I ever choose to leave the party, I will let the Nigerian public know, and I will give my reasons. This has not happened. I was at the Villa the other day and what transpired there has been the subject of much online speculation. “What I said to the media

By Olamilekan Andu

whilst there was very clear and I chose my words very carefully. Let those that are interested read those words in the newspapers rather than speculate. Other than that, I will say no more on this matter until I am ready to do so. “A few days ago, all the APC governors from the Southwest were in the State House where they held a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan. What they discussed has not been made public until now. Does that make them PDP governors? The Presidency belongs to every Nigerian, irrespective of religious and political persuasions. “Again, General (Muhammadu) Buhari was recently honoured by the same President Jonathan during the centenary celebration, which the APC did not support. Does that mean he has joined the PDP? “Again, the ongoing Federal Government confab has some APC chieftains participating in it, despite the fact that the party is against it. Does that mean they have left the APC? People should get real and stop speculating.

INEC to begin voter registration in May


From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

HE Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has said the commission will conduct a voter registration in May. The INEC chairman assured Nigerians that the 2015 general elections will be the most successful in the nation’s history because of the commission’s preparedness for them. He said the commission had created more polling units to decongest existing large units to ensure free, fair and credible elections. Speaking at a meeting between INEC and State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs), organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Prof Jega said: “The continuous registration exercise is to ensure that those who turned 18 years between 2011 and now are registered before the 2015 general elections. Also, those who were 18 and above but were unable to register - for one reason or the other - will be given opportunity to register.” He call for a synergy between INEC and SIEC, adding that the conference which was organised by the United Nations Development Programme was timely towards ensuring free, fair, peaceful and credible elections in the future.



NEWS Apo killings: Adoke not indicted by report, says NHRC From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation


THE Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mohammed Adoke (SAN) was not indicted by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) report on the killings in Apo, Abuja, the body said yesterday. The NHRC report indicted security agencies – the State Secucity Service (SSS) and the Army for the killing of eight people during an invasion of an uncompleted building in the Federal Capital. Those killed and arrested were alleged to be security risks and members of Boko Haram. The commission ordered the government to pay compensation to families of those killed. In a statement yesterday, the NHRC Executive Secretary, Pro Ben Angwe, said Adoke was not indicted. Angwe made the clarification in an April 8 letter (NHRC/ ADM/030/XV) to the AGF against the backdrop of ripples generated by the report. The letter read: “May I humbly bring to the attention of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice that the commission delivered its decision on the above complaint on the 7th day of April, 2014 and following which I personally certified a copy of the final decision of the Commission and caused same to be forwarded to your honourable chambers. “I wish to state here clearly that at no point was the conduct of the Attorney-General of the Federation in question or even mentioned in the proceedings before the commission and in fact, the office of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation acted as Judge Advocate to the commission in the proceedings. “Consequently any publication that the commission indicted the Attorney-General of the Federation is not only untrue but also a clear departure from the decision of the commission which was pronounced publicly.”


Anambra emerges best in 2013 WASSCE


NAMBRA State has emerged the best in the 2013 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). The result showed that the state came first, followed by Abia, Rivers and Lagos. Ghana came first among West African countries. The breakdown showed that 12 states surpassed the national average: Anambra (67.85 per cent), Abia (65.17 per cent), Rivers (58.56 per cent), Lagos (56.03 per cent), Cross River (53.34

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

per cent), Bayelsa (51.66 per cent), Enugu (50.22 per cent), Delta (46.49 per cent), Imo (46,03 per cent), Abuja (43.9 per cent), Ogun (39.92 per cent), and Kadunna (39.47 per cent). The Nation reports that the percentage of candidates with five credits, including English language and General Mathematics, was 36.57 per cent as against 30.90 per cent and 37.66 per cent for 2011 and 2012.

This, WAEC said, implied that the average performance in May/June 2013 was slightly lower than 2012. Commissioner for Education Dr. Uju Okeke attributed the success to former Governor Peter Obi’s revolution in the education sector. She said: “Peter Obi did everything to return education to its former glory. He returned schools to their missionary owners and until he left, he gave them over N6 billion . He also committed funds to the rebuilding of govern-


Stolen car

N automatic Silver Toyota Camry, 2000 model was stolen last weekend at 25,Isaac Ogunlolu Street, Puposola, new Oko-Oba, Abule- Egba, Lagos around 6:30pm. The car which belongs to a staff of The Nation Mr and Mrs Ademoyegun Adewale Samuel has the number plate KTU 125 BG, Chassis number JT2BG22K5Y0475520 and engine number 551002719. If found please report to the nearest police station or to The Nation headquarters in Lagos.

Vehicle owners


HE Lagos State Police Command has warned owners of abandoned vehicles parked at Dolphin Estate Police Station to remove them or lose them to members of the public through auction two weeks after this publication. The vehicles are Mack head XS743,Vanagon bus YE653KJA, Jetta BF59-APP, Premira GN354AAA, MazdaOF503AAA, Ford GX410KJA, Nissan Almera LSD 68AV, Nissan Truck Cabster EJ46LND, Nissan Almera UF741AAA, Honda Civic YB381JJJ, Nissan Sunny FQ97EKY, Honda Accord MX115APP, Honda Accord unregistered, Mercedes Benx DB@(#ABJ, Four Bajaj unregistered and 13 other motorcycles


Woman for burial

BURIAL ceremony for late Mrs Juliana Adeyimika Famutimi will hold tomorrow at St Patrick’s Catholic Church Ondo State. The late Mrs Famutimi was age 114 years. A Christian wake keep holds today at her residence in Ondo State. Mrs Famutimi is survived by children and grand children. Among them is Mrs Muibat Sanusi wife of The Nation newspaper Photojournalist Rahman Sanusi. Others are Mr Paul Olu Famutimi; Engr Fredrick Famutimi and Owoseni Olarewaju among others.

Obiano names Ojukwu’s son Sole Administrator


NAMBRA State Governor Willie Obiano appointed yesterday the son of the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Emeka Ojukwu Jnr Sole Administrator of Nnewi North Local Govern-

ment. Speaking with reporters at J Jumac Hotel last night, Obiano said the House of Assembly, led by Speaker Chinwe Nwebili has approved the 19 nominees for commissioners and 10 Special Advisers. He said members of his team are tested and trusted in their various fields of endeavour.

Bane of democracy by ex-minister


From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

AD structure system of political parties in the country has been said to be strangulating Nigeria’s democratic system of governance from giving the masses the dividends of a true democracy. The former Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Chief Sarafa Tunji Isola stated this yesterday while delivering the annual distinguished personality lecture of the graduate students of political science, University of Ibadan (UI), held at Trenchard Hall. Ishola who delivered a lecture entitled:” Party Politics and the survival of democratic governance in Nigeria’s fourth republic” noted that political parties have ignore their real functions to the people, and nation, adding that they stand as a serious threat to Nigeria’s democratic governance. “We do not need soothsayers, astrologers or herbalist to tell us that Nigeria is yet to qualify to be called a real democracy. We do not also need to be told that our political parties are not performing majority of the functions expected og them, because they are not watering, fertilizing and growing our democracy, but are rather stunting it” the former minister lamented.

ment-owned schools. Besides, he provided over 750 buses as well as generators, sickbays, laboratory equipment, Internet facilities, over 25,000 computers to schools, among others.” The commissioner, who hailed the performance, said Obi’s revolution in education brought in World Bank experts, led by the renowned Prof. Paul Collier, to study what Obi was doing. She said she was happy Governor Willie Obiano had assured that the same policy would continue.

•Chairman, Ikosi-Ejinrin Local Council Development Area, Olusegun Adetola, representing Senator 'Gbenga Ashafa (right), presenting a cash gift to one of the beneficiaries, Mrs Yemisi Bashorun, during Senator Ashafa's weekly empowerment programme at his constituency office, Ketu, Lagos ....yesterday

INEC used untrained officials, says witness


HE three-man Anambra State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, led by Hon. Justice Ishaq Bello, yesterday heard that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) used untrained and unaccredited officials to conduct the election in Oraukwu, Idemili North Local Government Area, during the November 16, 2013 election. Principal Witness 23 (PW 23) Tochukwu Onyedibe testified before the tribunal as the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Senator Chris Ngige, was making his closing presentation. Onyedibe said Funmi

Oguntuwase, an official of the electoral body, mandated the town’s union of Oraukwu to recruit people to conduct the election. “The people recruited did not undergo any training, neither did they swear to the ‘Oath of Neutrality’ provided by law before any INEC official can attend to any duty,” he said. The tribunal rejected the video evidence presented by Channels Television because the certificate attached to it was not listed in the documents to be relied upon in the matter. The tribunal, on April 1, had rejected another video evidence tendered by Africa

Independent Television (AIT) on the grounds that it was neither certified nor tendered by the maker of the document. But counsel to the APC candidate, Emeka Ngige (SAN) said it would amount to “crass technicality above substance justice” if the tribunal failed to admit the evidence tendered by the media organisations. On the objection raised by the INEC that the certification attached to the DVD was not listed, Ngige argued that it was ridiculous to expect that a certification attached to another document could satisfy the provisions of Section 84 (4) of the Evidence Act.

He said a witness who has tendered a video camera would not be expected to also list the manual of the video camera separately since he has listed the camera. The tribunal ruled to reject the evidence. Justice Bello said Ngige did not address the important issues of listing the certification. But Ngige said: “My lord, I not only addressed the tribunal on this subject, I gave an analogy. But if I am not recorded, it would not be my fault.” Also, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday opened its defence with the first witness, Mr Tony Ngamji, in the witness box.

PDP’s NEC, BoT may meet over Jonathan’s 2015 re-election bid


ARRING last minute change in plans, the National Executive Committee (NEC) and the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may hold an emergency meeting to fine tune arrangements for President Goodluck Jonathan’s 2015 re-election bid. Going by the plan, the party’s BoT and the NEC are to convene separate emergency meetings to prepare the grounds for the adopting of Dr Jonathan as the party’s presidential candidate in next year’s election. Although details of the meeting remained sketchy last night, a highly placed source at the party’s secretariat confirmed the decision of the party’s key stakeholders to unveil Dr Jonathan as PDP’s candidate. PDP’s National Publicity Secretary Chief Olisa Metuh said he was not aware of the planned meetings. In a telephone chat with our

From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

correspondent last night, Metuh said the party had no plan to hold a NEC meeting before the Easter break. On the emergency meeting of the BoT, Metuh said: “I am not a member of the BoT. So, I would not know if the BoT is planning to hold any emergency meeting. But I can tell you authoritatively that there will not be any NEC meeting before the Easter break.” But it was learnt that the planned emergency meetings of the two high-ranking bodies of the party had tentatively been slated to hold on different dates soon, after the party’s ongoing zonal rallies would have been concluded. President Jonathan has been leading the rallies across selected cities in the six geopolitical zones, accompanied by members of the Adamu Mu’azu-led National Working Committee

(NWC). Metuh said the Southeast chapter of the rally would hold in Enugu tomorrow, to be followed by that of the Northwest in Kano next Tuesday. The only visible hint of the planned meetings of the NEC and BoT was the presentation of a position paper to the National Secretary of the PDP, Prof Wale Oladipo, at the party’s presidential campaign office (Legacy House) yesterday. The group, under the platform of the Coalition for Jonathan/Sambo 2015 Presidency, said the President had recorded appreciable achievements to warrant a re-election. The National Secretary of the group, Benjamin Irikefe, told Oladipo that it would be in the interest of the PDP and the nation for President Jonathan to fly the party’s presidential ticket again in 2015. Irikefe said: “After a meticulous x-ray of the monumental works and achievements, the dexterity with which President Jonathan has piloted the

affairs of our country, there is no doubt that he deserved a second term. “We want to unequivocally call on you to convene an emergency meeting of the NEC and the BoT of the PDP and take a unanimous decision to grant President Jonathan a waiver or an automatic ticket to contest the presidential election in 2015, whenever he declares his intention to contest the 2015 presidential election. “We see the conduct of any presidential primaries by the PDP as a total waste of time and distraction, as the President is bound to win such primaries because of his intimidating credentials and sterling performance despite all the obstacles being put on his way.” Oladipo who said he was standing in for the national chairman of the PDP, assured the group that the party national leadership would convey the message to all the statutory organs of the party.



NEWS Olofa stool: Panel rules on notice today From Adekunle Jimoh,



HE newly constituted Appeal Court panel on the Olofa chieftaincy tussle in Offa, Kwara State, will rule today on the stay of proceedings notice before it. One of the ruling houses in Offa, Olugbense, is praying the court to stay proceedings in an appeal before it and other applications connected to the appeal. Another ruling house, Annilelerin, and Offa kingmakers applied for a stay of execution of a judgment delivered by a sister appeal panel, which dethroned Oba Muftau Gbadamosi of the house and ordered that the Olugbense Ruling House should produce the next monarch. The Olugbense Ruling House applied at the Supreme Court for a stay of proceedings, but the Annilelerin Ruling House and the kingmakers applied for a stay of execution. It is on the premise of the motion at the Supreme Court that the Olugbense Ruling House is seeking a stay of proceedings at the appeal court. The new Appeal Court panel is headed by Justice A.G. Mshelia. Members are Justices A. Jauro and R.N. Pemu.

Call for probe of Obanikoro’s role in Ondo poll A SOCIO-political group, Restoration Alliance, has called for the probe of Minister of State for Defence Musiliu Obanikoro’s role in the byelection in Ilaje/Ese-odo Federal Constituency, Ondo State. In a statement yesterday by its General Secretary, Akin Ulenuse, the group said the Minister had questions to answer about his activities in Ilaje about a week before the election and the role he played on the by-election day. The group also wants the Minister to explain “why he led soldiers to intimidate voters in an election that does not directly affect him or the

•PDC, PPA, DPP want LP declared winner people of Lagos Island.” The statement reads: “We have it on good authority that the Minister arrived the area days before the election and supervised the harassment and intimidation of voters by the soldiers he led to the area. It should be ascertained if the minister acted alone or he was by his action, doing somebody or some person’s bidding.” Reactions have continued to trail the declaration of the election as inconclusive by the

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). In a joint statement, the Chairman of People for Democratic Change (PDC), Lawrence Oyebamiji; his Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) counterpart Lawrence Kehinde and Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) Chairman Chief Alamuren Ogunbodede urged INEC to declare the Labour Party’s (LP’s) standard bearer, Mr. Kolade Akinjo, winner of the poll.

They based their decision on the fact that the result in 21 of the 22 wards had been collated and Akinjo had the highest votes of over 23,000. Praising INEC for a “job well done during the election”, they urged the candidates of other parties to accept defeat in good faith and cooperate with the winner. The party chairmen said: “The people of Ondo State should not be made to go through the rigour they passed through in last Saturday’s poll because of a ward election, both in terms of money and energy. We agree that the LP candidate be declared winner so that the existing peace in the state can be maintained.”

Osun TUC leaders protest judge’s ‘highhandedness’ From Adesoji Adeniyi,



RADE Union Congress (TUC) leaders in Osun State protested yesterday the “high handedness” of a judge handling a case involving the union. They marched from the State Secretariat at Fakunle in Osogbo to the secretariat on Gbongan road. Addressing reporters, TUC Chairman Akinyemi Olatunji said: “The former chairman, Comrade Francis Adetunji, approached the court through two affiliates of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to stop the new leadership from taking over after spending five years in office, instead of the statutory three years tenure. “Four times, the court refused to hear the case and lifted the injunction on the suit to make the new leadership function. Now, the same court that refused to sit wrote and accused us of disobeying it by addressing a press conference three days ago. We think we should let the world know what is going on in Osun State.” The TUC leaders hailed the Head of Service, Mr. Sunday Owoeye, for his neutral stand on the crisis rocking the union. Olatunji said the TUC’s National Executive Council (NEC), led by Comrade Bala Kaigama, recognises the present leadership and had declared the Adetunji-led executive illegal. Reacting to the protest, Adetunji said the case was already before an Osun State High Court sitting in Osogbo.

•Lagos State Deputy Governor Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and the state’s Solicitor-General, Mr. Lawal Pedro, at the Pro Bono Stakeholders meeting at the Muson Centre in Lagos...yesterday.

Call minister to order, Osun Speaker urges


SUN State House of Assembly Speaker Najeem Salaam has urged the National Assembly to call the Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan, to order. Salaam alleged that Adesiyan perpetrated illegalities during the voter registration, adding that the

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

minister “was on a mission to destroy the peace in the state”. In a statement by his media aide, Mr. Goke Butika, Salaam said: “Public office is meant for public service and public good, not brigandage and brutalisation of defenseless citizens.

Adesiyan’s misconduct suggests a hidden agenda that cannot be divorced from violence for rigging. It is imperative for the National Assembly to call the power drunk minister to order.” He condemned the alleged assault on the first democratically elected governor of the state, Alhaji Isiaka Adeleke, by the minister,

describing it as “a bad signal for the August 9 governorship poll”. The Speaker said he got reports of how Adesiyan allegedly moved from one constituency to the other, using policemen and thugs to scare away registered voters from some polling booths in Ila, Ipetu-Ijesa, Ife, Ayedaade and Ifedayo.

Aregbesola: PDP has nothing to offer Southwest


SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has said the tenure of conservative politicians has never favoured the Yoruba. He said the various conservative political platforms that preceded the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have always been associated with agony, oppression, corruption and under-development. Aregbesola spoke on Tuesday at the Nelson Mandela Freedom Park in Osogbo, the state capital, during his investiture as the Life Patron of the Nigeria Union of Tailors (NUT), where the union endorsed him for a second term. When the state government set up the Omoluabi Garment Factory in Osogbo, over 3,000 tailors were engaged to sew uniforms for members of the Osun Youths Empowerment Scheme (OYES) and about 750,000 pupils in public schools. Aregbesola said: “I thank

•Tailors back governor for second term From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

God that our people recognise the bold steps we are taking as a government. It is beyond human wisdom. I always laugh at them (the PDP) whenever they say their seven-and-a-half-year in office was a mistake and that they want to correct it. It was no mistake and what they did is in their character. “Should they be in power for just five months, there will be crises, corruption and insecurity. That was our experience during their sevenand-a-half years in Osun. In our three-and-a-half years, there is no community or family that has not benefited from our programmes; that is the difference. Our government is the government of the people. Our priority is to make life more abundant for the people.” He urged the union not to

‘In our three-anda-half years, there is no community or family that has not benefited from our programmes; that is the difference.’ stop at the endorsement, but to sensitise people on the need to protect their voter cards and vote for him on August 9. NUT State Secretary Alhaji Adejumo Olaiya said Aregbesola created wealth for professional tailors through the OYES uniform in less than 100 days in office. He said the union would join the governor’s campaign team and work for his victory in the poll. Olaiya said tailors converged on Freedom Park to

appreciate the governor’s “excellent performance” and his support to artisans, adding: “When the governor reclaimed his mandate, he called on us and pledged to give us the uniform contract. Only 12 local governments were participating in NUT then, but when the promise of the sewing of the OYES uniform came to reality, all councils joined the union so that they could benefit. “The opportunity assisted the union to have a permanent Tailors’ Hall, named Ola Aregbesola Tailors’ Hall. The opportunity affected the lives of our members positively. Those whose workshops had folded up bounced back through the uniform contract.” The governor urged the union to change the name of the hall to Ola Olohun Tailors’ Hall (meaning God’s Favour Tailors’ Hall), adding that favour comes from God.

Ajimobi warns against violence From Oseheye Okwuofu,



YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has urged residents to be wary of “enemies of progress”, who are bent on returning the state to its inglorious violent past. He urged them to support his administration and security agencies in sustaining the peace in the state. In a statement yesterday by his media aide, Dr. Festus Adedayo, Ajimobi described the security of life and property as a collective responsibility and a requirement for progress. He said: “Peace is the greatest achievement of our administration and it has served as the foundation upon which the various successes recorded by the government are built. “We should not lose sight of what Oyo State used to be before the advent of our administration. Oyo State, then, was like a state of nature, where life was brutish, nasty and short. Our people could not sleep with their two eyes closed and those walking on the street could not boast of getting home without skirmish. “Hoodlums were on the prowl, daily inflicting violence on the innocent public. However, now that such development has been successfully nipped in the bud, we should all take the issue of security as our collective responsibility. “We should say no to agents of darkness and enemies of the people, who are bent on taking Oyo back to those dark days when our state was synonymous with violence, brigandage and thuggery.” Ajimobi urged politicians to stop heating up the polity, but to engage in the politics of development.

Ogun promotes 2,141 workers


GUN State Governor Ibikunle Amosun has approved the promotion of 2,141 civil servants. Chairman of the State Civil Service Commission Mrs. Susan Folarin, in a statement, said those promoted include 1,249 senior officers on Grade Levels 07 to 17 and 717 junior officers on Grade Levels 01 to 06. The remaining 75 officers were either upgraded or involved in inter-cadre transfer. Mrs. Folarin said since inception, the Amosun administration had been paying salaries and leave bonuses promptly and promoting workers as at when due. She urged workers to reciprocate the government’s gesture by contributing to the “Mission to Rebuild” agenda.




EKITI 2014

PDP governors, Mua’zu: we’ll takeover Ekiti, Osun


•Fayemi (second left); Kalu (right); Ekiti State Deputy Governor Prof. Modupe Adelabu (second right) and Senator Emmanuel Owen...yesterday.

HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum said yesterday that its party will win Ekiti and Osun states at the June 21 and August 9 governorship polls. PDP National Chairman Adamu Mu’azu also spoke in the same vein. In a statement after the governors’ meeting in Dutse, Jigawa State, read by the forum’s Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio, the governors congratulated the party’s candidates, former Governor Ayo Fayose (Ekiti) and Senator Iyiola Omisore (Osun). The governors said the party would do everything

Expect more jobs, tells Fayemi electorate


KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi has said the creation of more jobs will top his agenda, if re-elected on June 21. He spoke yesterday at Ipere, Ijaro, Eda-Oniyo, Iludun, Obada, Iye, Ijesamodu and Ewu in Ilejemeje Local Government Area during his reelection campaign. Fayemi said: “Although my administration has employed over 30,000 people in threeand-a-half years, more people need to be gainfully employed. This is why job creation and direct empowerment/employment would be key to every move we make when I return as governor.” He urged the people to use their votes to ensure the continuity of good governance in the state. At the rallies were other ethnic communities, including Tivs and Ebiras resident in the towns. They pledged their support for Fayemi, describing his as “sincere and performing”. At Iludun, Fayemi said: “The first thing we hope to do is to create more jobs for our youths because job creation is importance to us. I have discussed with many investors who are willing to establish


Kalu: governor has performed


ORMER Abia State Governor Orji Uzo Kalu has scored Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi high in performance. He expressed optimism that Fayemi would be re-elected on June 21. Speaking with reporters after visiting Fayemi at the Government House in Ado-Ekiti, Kalu said: “I am sure the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would battle Fayemi in the election, but I am convinced he will win.” Praising Fayemi’s “exemplary performance”, he urged the people to re-elect him. Kalu, who is on a tour of the country to preach national unity, said Fayemi has provided good roads, quality education and access to quality health care, among others, for the people. He said he was impressed by the diligence and commitment with which Fayemi executed projects across the state, adding that he got reports from the people that the governor was “performing well”. Kalu said: “Ekiti people should rally round the governor. According to what the people said, the governor has done well. He has put in the mechanism and software for the job. From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

businesses in Ekiti and we have assured them of many incentives. “We will employ more civil servants, teachers and others, who will contribute positively to our economy. We are going to deploy more resources to job creation and economic empowerment, if I am re-elected.

“I urge you to vote for a party that cares for you. Stay with this administration, which has positively touched your lives and utilised the available resources to take care of you. “Be wary of the looting party, whose stock in trade is to engage in electoral robbery. Traditional rulers,

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

Everything will not come in one day. You will start from somewhere and operate it. He is giving them access to good roads, education and health care. I have been going round the Southwest and I am impressed by what is on ground.” He urged parties to shun violence and play politics with decency and honour. On national unity, Kalu said all hands must be on deck to ensure the country’s survival. He advocated a two-party system for the country, saying it would strengthen democracy. Fayemi hailed Orji for the “patriotic step” he took towards sustaining Nigeria’s unity, adding: “This transcends political and religious affiliations.” He said Kalu’s gesture would help Nigerian leaders see beyond the present challenges and hope for a better future. The governor said he would never engage in the politics of bitterness. He said even though people often take sides during elections, his administration would “never mix politics and governance”, adding: “My mission is to banish poverty from the state.” elders, women, men, youths and children have spoken with one voice that Ekiti will not go backward again. “We are moving forward on the path of development already being witnessed. We are not going back to the era of violence, brigandage and rascality where chickens do not excrete; where Obas are humiliated and kept in the booths of cars.

“I heard that some people want to buy your voter cards; please tell them that you are not for sale. Keep your voter cards and, on June 21, something big will happen because your votes will speak for our party.” The governor’s campaign train will be in Ise/Orun Local Government Area today.

LP, APC disagree on borrowing to finance projects

HE Labour Party (LP) in Ekiti State has berated Governor Kayode Fayemi for borrowing money to finance projects. Speaking yesterday at a forum, Mrs. Bola Bruce, who is the spokesperson for the campaign organisation of the LP’s governorship candidate, Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele, said “borrowing is a setback for Ekiti”. Mrs. Bruce said it was possible for Fayemi to execute projects without obtaining loans from the capital market. She said: “Ekiti is not as poor as this administration has made people believe. When Fayemi leaves office, the debt burden would be on the incoming administration. “Another fact is that despite that borrowing, Fayemi has not made 70 per cent of the achievements of Chief Segun Oni and Oni did

•Bamidele plans to exploit mineral deposits From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

not borrow a dime. All that Fayemi has done could be achieved with funds from the Federation Account.” All Progressives Congress (APC) spokesman Mr. Segun Dipe said: “Fayemi has maintained his transparency and accountability without blemish on every financial transaction of his administration.” Dipe said the governor took only N25 billion and has completed over 1,300 projects across the state. He said the governor pioneered the e-governance system, in which every project executed by the government and its cost is accessible to the public on the internet. Dipe said Fayemi fol-

lowed every regulation of the Fiscal Responsibility Act before taking the loan and remained true to the conditions of the grant that the sum would be committed to only capital projects. He said while some of the projects had started yielding fruits, nearly half the amount borrowed had been defrayed, adding that evidence abound across Ekiti that the governor took some money to finance certain capital projects. Dipe said: “Comparing Fayemi with Oni is like comparing light and darkness. Oni could not have approached any financial institution for a loan because it was an illegitimate government. The credibility deficit in his credential could not have allowed him to approach any finan-

cial institution. “People should realise that Fayemi’s achievements, including projects, were not financed by only the N25 billion. What we today see and point at as the governor’s achievements go beyond the projects upon which the borrowing was committed. “Can we deny that even before the fund was obtained, many projects, some of which were abandoned by past administrations, had been completed across the state? It is bad politics to give your political enemy a bad name because you want to defeat him.” Meanwhile, Bamidele’s campaign train was at Ijero Local Government Area yesterday, where the LP candidate pledged to ex-

ploit solid mineral deposits in the state, if elected. Speaking at the Palace of the Ajero of Ijero Ekiti, Oba Joseph Adewole, Bamidele said the town had a high deposit of Kaolin and Gypsum minerals, which he said could change the state’s economic fortunes, if harnessed. He said he would diversify the economy from its “present civil service structure”, through heavy investment in industrial development, agriculture, healthcare system and job creation. Bamidele said: “I am not going to be a governor that would under-employ the youth. I will give them permanent and well paid jobs, where they can have career progression and build their future, rather than mere ‘volunteering’ that cannot guarantee prospect for our future leaders.”

From Ahmed Rufa’i, Dutse

within the law to reclaim both states and others in next year’s general elections. They said: “We urge the candidates to embrace the aspirants that contested with them for the success of the party. We felicitate with the PDP on the victory at the High Court on the defection of 37 law makers, which is a victory for the rule of law.” The forum condemned killings and the destruction of properties by insurgents in the north. It urged Northern governors to meet with leaders of the Fulani and other affected communities to find a lasting solution to the problem. The PDP governors hailed security agencies on the fight against insurgency, urging them to ignore criticisms from the opposition. Fifteen governors and three deputy governors attended the meeting. Muazu, who also attended the meeting, reaffirmed his party’s commitment to retrieve the five states, whose governors dumped the party for the All Progressives Congress (APC). Speaking with reporters, he said: “PDP will recapture Kano, Rivers, Sokoto, Adamawa and Kwara without serious challenge.” He said the party was confident of winning Ekiti and Osun states, adding that the PDP has performed well in the states it controls.

Octogenarian counsels electorate


N octogenarian in Ekiti State, Pa Rufus Olakanmi, has urged the electorate to vote for a candidate who will rapidly transform the state. Olakanmi gave the advice yesterday during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ikole-Ekiti. He urged residents to vote for a candidate with a demonstrable record of impacting positively on the people’s life. The octogenarian advised the people not to be carried away by the false promises of politicians, who would not remember them after the election. He said: “It is time politicians to stop making promises they cannot fulfill. The level of poverty and other social-economic problems in most states has made it impossible for any governor to solve them overnight. But our politicians will not say the truth. Instead, they boast that they would solve all problems within 100 days in office. “When they finally get the mandate of the people on the strength of such promises, the masses would be waiting for the wonders to be performed and failure to do the magic will result in disappointment.” Olakanmi urged politicians to stop using vulgar languages at rallies and focus on issues. Urging the people to look beyond partisan interests in the election, he said: “Our people should remain resolute, shun deceit and gifts and vote for the best candidate, who will take the state to a greater height.”



CITYBEATS Senator, DabiriErewa for award “I

Missing person SINCE March 10 when Mr Abidemi Chika Adesanya, 30, left Ile-Ife, Osun State for Lagos, his whereabouts have remained unknown. From his family’s Olaniyan Close, off Road 7, Ile-Ife home, a source said: “Whoever locates him should please contact the nearest police station or the family on: 08033381566 or 08028849870.”



‘My husband prefers his dogs to me’ By Basirat Braimah

and does not care about their upkeep. He is fond of keeping his dogs in my room. All these are why I want the marriage dissolved,” she pleaded. Mrs Asagidigbi relived how her husband sent her away for three months while expecting their first child, adding that she was dealt with when she protested the keeping of dogs in her room.. “He strangled me despite his awareness of the surgery I had few months ago due to

‘He strangled me despite his awareness of the surgery I had few months ago ... He pressed my stomach with his knees, threatening to kill me’ thyroid cancer. He pressed my stomach with his knees, threatening to kill me. He

‘Baby boy’ tears family apart

OR eight years, he lived a lie - without knowing it. He was led to believe by his wife that she had a male child for him when the baby is actually a girl. The bubble burst when Chief Sunday Awobotu, a Lagos landlord, realised that he had been fooled. Awobotu of Bale Street in Ojodu, a Lagos suburb, is praying the Agege Customary Court to dissolve his marriage to Lola. Recounting his experience, he said apart from staying out late, his first wife is lazy and has been lying to him that she had a male child for him. Awobotu, who has seven female children from his first wife, married Lola when she told him she was expecting a male child. Lola was then one of his tenants


DE VOICE, a Badagry-based community newspaper, will on May 29 honour Senator Ganiyu Solomon (Lagos West) Chairman, House of Representatives’ Committee on the Diaspora Abike Dabiri-Erewa and Lagos State House of Assembly, Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji, among others. Others include: Otunba Gani Adams, national coordinator of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) and Lagos Commissioner for the Environment Tunji Bello. Its publisher, Ovi Manuel-Kuponu, said they would be honoured for their commitment to development.

T is true that the last beating I gave her landed her in the hospital, but I don’t want her to leave me,”a remorseful husband, Ayotunde Asagidigbi, 48, has told a customary court where he is battling to save his eight-year marriage. His 42-year-old teacherwife, Kemi, is praying the Alakuko Customary Court in Lagos to dissolve their marriage. Her husband, a dog trainer, she claimed, loves his animals more than her and their children. “He is not appreciative and he beats me frequently. He has no affection for his children

CITYBEATS LINE: 08023247888

The child is eight-year-old now. I just realised he is not a boy ... because she had always dressed her up in male wears ... I owe my late wife and children an apology


By Basirat Braimah

and also his mistress. Awobotu threw out his wife (now late) and children after Lola told him she was expecting a baby boy which

he had been praying for. He said: “My wife (Lola) told me she had a boy for me. I was overwhelmed with joy because I had been in desperate need of a boy that would inherit my property when I am gone; seeing the child every day was like a mission fulfilled. “The child is eight-yearold now. I just realised he is not a boy, but a girl because she had always dressed her up in male wears. She forced herself on me from the beginning. She is a shame to womanhood. I owe my late wife and children an apology.” The court president, Mr Adekunle Philips Williams, adjourned the case till May 8. He ordered the parties to appear before him to enable him look into the case.

even said nobody would hold him for murder. My father once disowned me when I left him for two years when he nearly killed me. Following passionate pleas by my parents, I returned to him; still he would beat me as if we were not married legally,” the woman said. Asagidigbi said it was their last argument that led to the dislocation of is wife’s right arm. He said: “I train dogs worth thousands of naira. It is what I do for a living. I decided to put them in her room since one of

my dogs gave birth, but she frowned at it. She is too temperamental, and she shows no regard to my folks, siblings.” The court President, Chief Godwin Awosola, punctured Asagidigbi’s claim that he loves his wife. According to Chief Awosola, such love does not translate to affection, attention, commitment and concern for his wife. He advised the wife’s father who was in court to ensure amicable settlement of the matter and adjourned the hearing till May 6.

Court hears case April 14


FEDERAL High Court yesterday directed the Lagos State Attorney-General, Mr Ade Ipaye, to serve the Federal Government with his application seeking a stay of the execution of its March judgment on the Lekki-Ikoyi bridge. In the verdict, Justice Saliu Saidu, who sits in Ikoyi, Lagos, held that there was no law backing toll collection on the bridge. A human rights lawyer, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, challenged toll collection on the bridge. The government’s application seeking to stay execution of the verdict was fixed for hearing yesterday, but Justice Saidu said there was no proof that two other defendants in the case had been served. He said the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation

By Joseph Jibueze

should be served with the motion papers before the hearing could go on. Ipaye undertook to serve them before the next hearing date. Adegboruwa, in a counteraffidavit, is alleging that the government refused to comply with the judgment by continuing to collect toll on the bridge. The government is also urging the Court of Appeal to reverse the judgment because “the judge erred”. It argued that the Lagos State Public Private Partnership Law No. 2 of 2011 clearly empowers the government to specify the service charges, user fees or tolls which are payable in respect of designated public infrastructure. Justice Saidu adjourned till April 14 for hearing of the government’s application.


Nigerian Idol: Again, judges frown at voters’ choice


•As second set of 3 proceeds to Top 12

ANY had waited eagerly for last Saturday night, when the second set of three contestants to enter the Top 12 stage of the competition was to be announced. The tension stemmed from what many perceived as an ugly experience, the previous week, when the judges and a section of the audience felt bad that some talented singers were evicted through public votes. Asked what his reaction will be, should the experience repeat itself, Dede Mabiaku had replied show host IllRymz, saying he had developed a thick skin and would accept the result in good fate. But did he? His mouth parted in surprise for a few seconds, looking dazed as Nex2, Miss Oge, and

•Stories by Victor Akande

Xolani were announced as the second set of contestants to make it to the Top 12 in the Etisalat-sponsored Nigerian Idol season 4. “Ha!” he lamented. “EyeD... EyeD was the best we had here. All of them know this. But she is not there! If you know you watch this programme, please do vote... vote sincerely about what value should be. That’s all we are asking for. I am shocked,” he said dismissingly. Darey Art-Alade too could not hide his disappointment. “I am in shock right now. I don’t know what they are watching, I don’t know what they are hearing, Nigerian Idol is about the music, it is about the performance, but sadly it’s also about the voting public,” he lamented. Apparently, it was a mix feeling for the trio, as they hugged


FTER resting Star Quest, a band-inclined music talent show two years ago, Nigerian Breweries’ plan to replace the show, which lasted for 10 years, came to fruition yesterday, when the beverage company announced the birth of Star The Winner Is. This is perhaps the first time the organisers would be acquiring a franchise for a reality show. Their flagship, Gulder Ultimate Search, like several others, is a local content show, manned by professionals in Nigeria. The Winner Is is an American vocal game show which premiered on June 10, 2013, airing on NBC. Hosted by Nick Lachey, the seven-episode se-

EyeD and other contestants who did not make it to the next stage. Expressing his excitement, Xolani, who was the first to proceed to the Top 12 stage said “being in the Top 12 is like a new level of grace. I’m so happy. I feel like jumping. This is a brand new opportunity for me to show myself and I am really grateful for the turnout and the votes.” For Miss Oge, “The journey so far has taught me a lot,” she said. “I have grown in confidence because I never had the chance to perform on such a big stage before, so initially, I was shy and didn’t know how to work my stage act but now I’m gaining more confidence and I’m learning a lot.” When asked how glad he was to be in the show, Nex2 said “I want to say a big thank you to

•From left: Nex2, Miss Oge, IllRymz and Xolani

Etisalat for making such a show and giving people like me a chance to showcase my innate talent” The results of the second voting stage, again, hit Nneka Egbuna, the only female judge with the reality that Nigerian public are the ones who make the final decision. With 10 more contestants

from the Top 30 group gunning for the third set of 3, there may still be surprises for the judges. As usual, viewers are expected to dial the number of their favourite contestant on an Etisalat line, or send the contestant’s number to 33680 via SMS. The last group of 10 have all sang for the world to see, and

the votes may have started pouring in from their Sunday night show. The lucky 3 will be announced next Saturday, to make nine, the number of contestants in the Top 12 category to enter through public votes. The remaining three will be decided by the judges through the Wild Card.

Nigerian Breweries makes debut with new talent show •Stakes N10m, car on winner ries features singers of all ages who compete for a chance to win $1,000,000. The show airs currently across the world including the UAE, China, Germany, Italy Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. In Nigeria, the show which seeks superstars out of talented Nigerians, is being bankrolled by Star beer, staking N10 million and a brand new car on the would-be winner. The Star brand is noted for major music shows in Nigeria such as Star Quest, Star Mega Jam and the ongoing nation-

wide music road-show, Star Music Trek. Promoters of the show say Star The Winner Is is totally different from other popular music reality shows, because it combines elements of music and game. According to Tokunbo Adodo, Marketing Manager Star, Goldberg and Export, NB Plc., “Nigeria is filled with incredible singers and Star is proud to be associated with a global platform such as The Winner Is to bring the dreams of talented Nigerians to being, making them outstand-

ing winners”. Adodo noted that, “apart from being a music talent show, Star The Winner Is, will have an unusual twist to it, where contestants can negotiate with opponents whether to get out of the contest by walking away with a smaller sum of money or await the result of the jury to see if they proceed in the competition with a chance to win the grand prize of 10 million naira and a car.” The show is billed to kick off this April, with auditions in five Nigerian cities, including Benin, Enugu, Port Harcourt, Abuja and Lagos. Adodo said contestants will be

judged by 101 in- studio panel of music enthusiasts and specialists and will have the chance to negotiate a deal before hearing their fate. Although details of audition dates and venues are yet to be announced, they will be made available on the Star brand website and other communication materials, say organisers. The rested Star Quest, has produced notable Nigerian entertainment stars like KCEE, Klint D’Drunk, Mr Raw, and has helped to kick start the careers of the likes of Presh, Psquare, Asa, and DJ Switch.






“Until recently, the Nigerian banking industry had not given much attention to sustainability beyond ticking off environmental impact assessment on checklist for credit risk assessment for evaluation of loan applications, other jurisdictions have for decades been engraving sustainability ethos in their financial system,” –CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

Rice production adds N320b to GDP, says Adesina


INISTER of Agricul ture and Rural De velopment, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina yesterday said local rice production added N320 billion to the Gross Domestic Production (GDP) of the country. Adesina also said it created 760, 000 jobs across the country. The minister made this

From Frank Ikpefan, Abuja

known during a visit to Olam Farm in Rukubi, Doma Local Government of Nasarawa State, adding that the farm would be involved in massive production of local rice. Adesina said: “If you look at how much rice we produced in the last two years

in terms of gross values of the rice to the country, we have added N320 billion to our own GDP just from that. “If you look at how much go into the pocket of farmers from this massive rice production, it is well over N170 billion. That means we are making our farmers richer. “In the rural areas, the only way to get a job is through

agriculture. From the rice work, we have helped to stimulate 760, 000 jobs.” He said with the production of 1.9 million metric tonnes of milled rice, the country was close to becoming self sufficient in rice production. Adesina added that Nigeria was on course to break from rice importation by next year.


• From left: Chief Financial Officer, Mr Banji Adeniyi; Head, Investor Relations Group, Mr Muyiwa Teriba, Managing Director, Mr Segun Agbaje, and General Manager, Communication and External Affairs, Mrs Lola Odedina, during the ‘GTBank 2014 Business Editors Forum with the MD in Lagos... yesterday.

GDP rebasing meaningless, says LCCI T HE Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has said rebasing Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a fruitless exercise that has failed to translate to economic prosperity to the people. Its President, Alhaji Remi Bello, said yesterday that rebasing has not done any good to the common man on the streets, adding that it is not likely to going to do so in the future. Rather, he said the exercise has thrown up issues of inequality, weak tax

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$117.4/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,396.9/troy Sugar -$163/lb MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE -N11.4 trillion JSE -Z5.112trillion NYSE -$10.84 trillion LSE -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -8% Treasury Bills -10.58%(91d) Maximum lending -30% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -1% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $45b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie

base, inadequate social spending, inadequate infrastructure spending, low private sector credit and low market capitalisation. He recalled that the last rebasing was done in 1990, warning that the latest effort should not be seen as an evidence of growth because the character of the economy has changed from what it was in 1990 in sectors such as communications technology, agriculture, and the manufacturing. He said: “Nigeria with the rebased GDP is now ranked number 26 with regard to the size of the economy in 2013 but ranked 147 in its ease of Doing Business report of the World Bank out of the 189 countries profiled. Even Sierra Leon and Liberia had better ranking. In the same vein, our


ranking in the UNDP Human Development Index is 153, out of 210 countries. This is a graphic illustration of the disconnect between the growth and development; between the growth and quality of investment climate.” Bello took a swipe on the debt profile of the country which stood at $48 billion in December last year out of which domestic debt was $40 billion. He said: “The use of the global benchmark of Debt to GDP ratio may not be applicable to the Nigerian economy because a major component of the GDP, which is agriculture, is not a major revenue generating activity. If we discount the agriculture component of the GDP in the ratio analysis, the ration will be much higher than the threshold. The rebased GDP should not be an excuse to increase borrowing.”

Drilling firms evading charges, NPA tells court

HE Nigerian Ports Au thority (NPA) has ac cused three oil firms of evading charges by the Federal Government for drilling in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The firms, Sedco Forex, Noble Drilling and Pacific International Drilling, sued the NPA at the Federal High Court, Lagos, challenging the charges. They claimed that four oil firms - Shell, Mobil, Chevron and Total - engaged them to prospect for oil in the zone. The plaintiffs argued that

By Joseph Jibueze

since the Minister of Transport did not declare the EEZ as a compulsory pilotage districts, they were not obliged to pay any dues. However, NPA told the court that the plaintiffs took their rigs to the EEZ without permit. It said such rigs are usually brought in from abroad, but before they are moved to the EEZ, the drilling firms ought to obtain temporary import permits to bring in the rigs as cargos.

“We produced last year as a country in the wet and dry season a total of 2.94 million metric tonnes of additional paddy. If you mill that, it comes about of 1.9 million metric tonnes of milled rice. “The total amount of rice we import is 2.3 million metric tonnes of rice. So we are this close to been self sufficient in rice production. By 2015, Nigeria will become self-suffi-

cient in rice production. “I strongly believe that Nigeria will be a net exporter of rice. We should be the Thailand for rice in Africa. We are going to put everything at it. “What we are working on right now is to have a lot more mill that can mill this rice and sell it to the market and I think we are getting there,” he added.

$1tr moved out of Africa illegally in 40 years, says ECA chief

HE Executive Secre tary, Economic Com mission for Africa, Mr Carlos Lopez, yesterday in Addis Ababa, Uganda, said over over $1 trillion was siphoned out of Africa in the last 40 years. Lopez said this at the opening of a two-day Senior Policy Seminar on Capital Flight and Tax Havens in subSaharan Africa. The seminar, which has “Capital Flight from Africa”, as its theme was organised in collaboration with African Economic Research Consortium. Lopez called for measures

to reverse the trendof illegal financial flows. He said Africa’s fiscal policy space had been compromised by the shortage of resources as capital flight was hidden from authorities, limiting Africa’s growth. He said researchers had indicated that the siphoned capital would have expanded the continent’s growth by 60 per cent with a per capita growth of 15 per cent higher than what is obtained at the moment. According to him, capital flight has impacted negatively on Africa’s saving ra-

tios by denying local investors access to financial resources that could otherwise have been used be used to generate employment. “It is, therefore, critical that Africa addresses the issues of capital flight, not only to ensure that money made in Africa stays on the continent, but contributes to financing Africa’s transformation agenda. “Africa must ensure an enabling business environment and attractive investment climate through proper sector management, policy coordination and effective service delivery, to attract more investments,” Lopez added.



BUSINESS NEWS ‘How Lagos can improve power supply’


• From left: Chairman, Lead Capital Plc, Mr. Ayo Ajayi; CEO, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema; Chairman, Lead Securities & Investment Plc, Mr. Abimbola Olashore; Director, Lead Capital Plc, Mr. Dan Ngerem; and National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunny Nwosu, at the media Launch of Leadtrader at the NSE in Lagos.

Monetisation Policy: Coal retirees sue BPE, NCP D ISENGAGED work ers and pensioners of defunct Nigerian Coal Corporation (NCC) have sued the Bureau of Public Enterprise(BPE), Vice Chairman of National Council on Privatisation (NCP) and the NCC itself before an Industrial Court in Enugu for breach of the 2003 Monetisation Policy agreement of the Federal Government. The retirees in a complaint suit No: NICN/EN/07/2014 filed through their counsel, Sir O.A.U. Onyema, argued that it was wrong for the BPE to sell their residential quarters against the Federal Government’s policy on sales of government quarters, which stipulates that genuine workers/occupiers should have first choice of refusal. They noted that the nonoffer of the third defendant’s

From Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki

houses to the disengaged workers and retirees of the third defendant (NCC) at monetised prices, since monetisation policy of 2003, up till this moment; and as earlier directed by the defendants in 2007 and subsequently 2009, is a perversion of justice. The retirees are, therefore, asking the court for : “a declaration that the claimants are entitled to the conveyance of title ownership of residential quarters which they legitimately occupy in accordance with the monetisation policy and privatisation labour policy with regards to disposal of government residential quar-

ters”. “A declaration that continuous carving-out and delineating of some portions of the NCC properties and disposing same to the public, without concurrently allocating the residential quarters to the claimants (disengaged staffs and retirees) who occupy them for them to pay and own in line with monetisation, commercialisation and privatisation policy, amounts to double standard and portends an action in bad faith.” They also prayed the court to declare that any direct or indirect action, occasioned to encourage displacement of any of the claimants from his or her residential quarters, and renting or allocating same to the public, as to occasion denying him or her the

Otudeko’s $48m suit against Dangote stalled T HE absence of a witness for the plaintiff yester day stalled proceedings in a $48million land suit instituted by Oba Otudeko’s Honeywell Group against billionaire businessman, Alhaji Aliko Dangote. Trial could not go on as Honeywell’s lawyer Dr. Joseph Nwobike (SAN), informed the court that his witness, Mr. Kunle Fasogbon, Honeywell’s Property Manager, was ill. The suit is before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Lagos. Otudeko, through his firm, Honeywell, sued the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Dangote Industries Ltd, Dangote and Greenview Development Ltd. He is urging the court to declare him the valid owner of a land measuring over 10.841 square metres at the Lagos Ports Complex, known as the Fifth Apapa Wharf Extension. Otudeko is claiming ownership by virtue of a lease agreement between his company and NPA. However, Dangote is insisting that the agreement was neither turned into a deed nor was it registered. Fasogbon, who had adopted his statement on oath when the case last came up, was to be cross-examined by the defendant’s lawyers. Counsel for BPE and NPA, Prof. Taiwo Osipitan (SAN), and that of Dangote and his

By Joseph Jibueze

companies, Mr. Seyi Sowemimo (SAN), were present in court. The plaintiff claimed that NPA leased the land to it for five years for a bulk food handling facility at N2.168 million per year. It said it paid the sum, as well as N290, 000 for land survey. Honeywell said it took possession of the land to the defendants’ knowledge and conducted technical studies on the facility, spending millions of dollars in the process. The plaintiff said despite being aware of its massive development plans on the land, the BPE suddenly suspended the pre-existing rights by concessioning NPA’s Apapa Ports Complex, including the Fifth Apapa Wharf Extension to Greenview, said to be owned by Dangote. Honeywell added that NPA and BPE latter asked it to vacate the facility to ensure a smooth transfer to a new operator. It alleged that Dangote and his company made NPA to break the initial agreements and legal relations. The plaintiff alleged that Dangote, through his agents harassed, threatened and ordered Honeywell officials to vacate the land.

Besides, the plaintiff argued that BPE lacked the power under the Port reforms to take over and alienate NPA’s assets when the NPA Act has neither been amended. By the eventual forceful eviction from the land, the plaintiff claimed it lost money and was greatly injured in its business. The plaintiff said by virtue of the defendants action, the cost of putting up the contemplated structure had risen from $100 million to $148 million. The plaintiff is, therefore, urging the court to declare it as the exclusive legal occupier of the land and to restrain the defendants from treating it as stranger or trespasser on the land. It also wants $48 million damages, being the additional expenses required to build the bulk food handling facility. But Dangote said the suit is frivolous, vexatious and constitutes an abuse of court process. He added that the suit was aimed at truncating the approved policy of the concessionaire of seaports of the Federal Government and to deter the progress of work by Greenview Development on the land. The defendant argued that no Presidential consent was sought nor obtained before the lease agreement was granted to Honeywell Group on the land.

benefit of the monetisation policy is illegal and of no effect. Other prayers include: “An order of the court directing the defendants to restore the accommodation of any claimant ejected forcefully, while he/she was awaiting severance benefit, gratuity etc; and monetise same to him/her. “An order of the court directing the defendant to forthwith, delineate the residential quarters as they are, Survey, allocate to the claimants and perfect their title documents in line with monetization policy at government rate, as earlier formulated by the defendants.

XPERTS and stakeholders in power, gas and related sectors have canvassed for significant improvement in the gas supply across the country. They spoke at the ongoing Seventh Lagos Economic Summit, at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. The stakeholders also tasked government at all levels to increase efforts at eliminating vandals who burst gas pipelines and other power transmission equipment, saying the unchecked menace of those behind the act was a major stumbling block to the availability of power in the country. The experts spoke on the topic, ‘‘How can electricity delivery to Lagos be accelerated?’’, in one of the plenary sessions The speakers included a former Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji; Commissioner, Rates and Market Competition, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Mr. Eyo Ekpo; and Group Executive Director, Gas and Power, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. David Ige. Others were Chairman, Falcon Petroleum Ltd., Mr. Chima Ibeneche; Managing Director, Sahara Power, Mr. Kola Adesina; Chairman, West Power and Gas, Mr. Charles Momoh; and General Manager, Lagos State Electricity Board (LSEB),

Mrs. Damilola Ogunbiyi. Nnaji, who was the lead speaker at the session, said to achieve efficient electricity supply in Nigeria, there was a need to audit its power demand, just as Lagos had done. “We cannot know the amount of power we need unless we do an audit. So, Lagos was right when it said it requires 10,000MW. If Lagos with a population of 20 million needs 10,000MW, you can imagine what Nigeria with about 170 million people needs. So, that means something has to be done,’’ he said. The former minister noted that the country would not be able to accelerate its socio-economic growth unless the power challenge was overcome, stressing that the top 20 countries, such as China, which is the world’s largest producer of power, South Africa and Mexico, among others, generate power in excess of their demand. Nnaji suggested further that proper alignment of the value chain of power generation, transmission and distribution, the development of emergency power system, increased partnership with Independent Power Plant (IPP) producers, the creation of institutional frameworks and facilitation of an enabling environment would help to accelerate power delivery to the state.












•Lagos State Governor, Fashola (second left), Deputy Governor, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, (left) some of the recepients of Lagos State Resident Registration Agency (LASRRA) award and Ms Yinka Fashola (right).

‘Why economy is not growing’


NDERDEVELOPMENT and poor energy supply are some of the problems threatening the economy, the Director-General, Nigeria Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dr John Isemede, has said. He told The Nation in an interview that inadequate electricity supply has left many industries dead while others moved to neighbouring African countries. He cited Michelin and Dunlop Tyres that relocated to neighbouring countries, saying they left because of the non-availability of infrastructure, including electricity. He stressed the need for collaboration among government, organised private sector, research centres and universities to fashion out appropriate policy to grow the economy. He said inappropriate policies had deprived the nation the needed income from raw materials export while also encouraging importation of finished goods, adding that “we lack the political will and expertise to develop the economy”. Calling for strong infrastructure development to grow the agricultural sector, he recounted how cocoa seedlings, which came into the country 104 years ago, built the infrastructure

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst. Editor

in the Southwest, including the Cocoa House and Odua Investments Limited, but declined as an income earner because value was not added to it. He regretted that it was also the case with palm produce that was introduced to the Malaysian government in the 1960s, noting that while the country earned over $21 billion last year from palm produce, Nigeria is the highest importer of oil. Isemede questioned the increasing number of universities and research institutes that have refused to add value to the country’s raw materials, which gave rise to the current position where Nigeria export raw materials and import finished goods. The NACCIMA director- general argued that there is need to tap alternative sources of energy if Nigeria must be competitive as a nation and urged government to exploit atomic energy and other green energy to run the economy. He decried the touted 4,000 mega watts electricity supply in the country and said that if the nation is actually serious about industrial revolution the current electricity supply, which is barely enough enough to serve Lagos Island alone

must be improved upon. He further said that no nation is known to have developed without adequate energy supply. According to him, South Africa with a population of 45 million people generate over 50 mega watts, while Belgium with population of about half of Lagos is generating 60,000 mega watts. On why the nation is import driven, he responded that the paucity of infrastructure especially electricity has made manufacturing unattractive as importation is more profitable for businessmen. He said: “ In international business, energy plays a major role, there is no home advantage for any business, its only the unit cost of the products that determine advantage. The nation should therefore, encourage clean and other alternative sources of energy. It is only by doing so that the cost of production will come down and locally manufactured goods become competitive. Energy accounts for 40 per cent of production cost.” Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer(CEO) Tricontinental Oil Services Limited, Prof. Toyin Ashiru, also urged entrepreneurs to key into renewable energy. He said it remained the only way for businesses to remain competitive. He canvassed greater private sector participation as the government cannot do it alone.

Expert seeks passage of safety bill


ESPITE being adjudged one of the fastest growing economies in the world, Nigeria is yet to key into the best practices in health and safety standard, President, American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), Nigerian chapter, Mr. Jeff ‘Vwede Obahor, has said. Obahor told The Nation that Nigeria with about 37.2 billion barrels of oil reserves and daily production of 2.3 million barrels has no legislation on safety policy to guide not only the oil and gas industry, but also the construction sector. He said the Safety and Health Bill, which has gone through first reading, was yet to move from that position, signifying the lack of importance attached to the bill by the legislators.

He said the bill when passed and operational would be all-encompassing and multi-faceted, covering Workmen Compensation Right, which will cover all categories of workers in manufacturing sector at any given point in time. Obahor said it would also force firms not only to be safety conscious, but also liable whenever there is an accident involving any of their workers while carrying out their duties. He regretted cases of some workers who sustained injuries while at work and can never be gainfully employed again without adequate compensation. While calling for the passage of the bill, he mainatained that the nation would be better for it, as workers would have their rights protected

and adequately compensated in case of permanent disability or outright sack. A health and safety consultant, Mr. Victor Alabi, also harped on the need to pass the bill, saying that workers would have the right to refuse job offers if they feel they would not be adequately protected in a work environment as done in other climes. He called on the legislature to work hard to ensure the bill is passed into law this year to make the operating environment attractive to genuine investors and also offer a window to punish investors who treat workers badly. He said the new safety measure was not to have security men all over the country, rather it is to have less security presence but maximum security.

‘LASRRA data bank vital to industrialists’

HE Lagos State Government has said that the recently established Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA), is positioned to be a tool for planning and development of the megacity. General Manager, LASRRA, Ms. Yinka Fashola, said the days were gone when manufacturers site industries in localities or produce products that are not targeted at a particular audience or age group because of insufficient data on demography of the state. She said with the coming on stream of LASRRA to document the data of Lagos residents , it would be easier for manufacturers to ascertain the age brackets of those their products are made for. She said the full implementation of the aims of LASRRA would not only aid manufacturers in the choice of products, but also the population segment they are catering for. She said the demographic capture of relevant data would enhance development in all areas of the state, as government would now be guided by data resources that are realistic and verifiable and can be deployed in the best interest of the public. She pledged that the agency would continuously update its

Stories by Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst. Editor

data in conjuction with not only the National Population Commission (NPC), but with other relevant agencies to remain up to date in data storage. On the challenges of the exercise, Ms Fashola said the agency has observed apathy in certain quarters, especially among the elite who treat the exercise with levity. Furthermore, she regretted that the exercise has exposed the fact that a larger share of documents carried around by people are fake. According to her, the predominance of fake documents in the guise of national identity card, voters card and utility bills is alarming. She urged the government and other relevant agencies to do something urgently to curb the menace. On the benefits of the registration, the LASRRA boss said the excercise would ensure efficiency in the allocation of resources by government to meet the needs of the people. Members of the private sector would also take advantage of the credible data capture to ascertain the viability of any business before embarking on such, especially in manufacturing of products.

Fed Govt to foster stronger economic ties with China


ICE President Namadi Sambo has said the NigeriaChina Joint Commission is to be upgraded to enhance greater economic ties with China. Sambo stated this when a Chinese delegation led by the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China, Zhang Ming, visited him at the State House, Abuja. The delegation is in Nigeria to lay the groundwork for the forthcoming visit of the Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, to Nigeria and to consolidate the ties between the two countries. Welcoming the delegation, Sambo noted that Nigeria and the Republic of China established a relationship as far back as 1971. “Nigeria stands as the third place trading partner with China in Africa and is aspiring to be the number one trading partner,’’ he said. He appreciated ongoing relationship with the Chinese firm


partnering with the Defence Industry Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) in the installation of new ammunition protection lines, mass production of military hardware and other armored personnel carriers and clothing. He said government is in support of the reforms of the Chinese Prime Minister. “Nigeria fully associates itself with the attainment of the goal of the Beijing Declaration, an action plan for the 2013-2015 programme as it solicits for more intervention of the Chinese Government through focus on Africa’s development in the interests of both countries and humanity in general,’’ he added. Sambo called for further support and cooperation of the Chinese authority, and urged Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and China’s Ambassador to Nigeria to meet and seek ways to improve on visa relationship between both countries.

Nigeria’s economic growth rate excites South Africa

OUTH Africa welcomed Mon day new growth figures show ing that Nigeria has overtaken it as the continent’s biggest economy, saying the figures indicate that Africa is rising. The recalculation of output by Nigeria showed that the economy of Africa’s most populous nation, grew to $453 billion in 2012, compared with South Africa’s $384 billion, according to the World Bank. “The announcement gives concrete expression to the fact that Africa is indeed rising,” said the Ministry of Finance. The new data was boosted by the contribution of new industries such as mobile telephones, music and the film industry.

According to Pretoria, South African firms played a “big role in the growth and development” of some of Nigeria’s growing industries like retail and telecoms. Shoprite, South Africa’s largest grocer and Vodacom are some of the companies with a presence in Nigeria. It said the South African government and the private sector “continue to play major part in the growth and development of the continent”. Nigeria last updated its gross domestic product figures in 1990. While South Africa’s economy continues to attract modest growth, with a 2.7 per cent expansion forecast for this year, Nigeria’s estimates for last year’s indicated further expansion to $510 billion, according to statistics.





DSS jailbreak


• There are serious unanswered questions

OTWITHSTANDING the fact that there are conflicting accounts of what happened at the Department of State Services (DSS) headquarters on March 30, one thread that runs through all is the breach of security as a result of institutional lapses in the facility. The official account, as given by Marilyn Ogar, DSS’s spokeswoman, was that there was an attempted jailbreak when one of the suspects in the facility attempted to disarm one of the DSS officers who had gone to give the suspects food. According to Ogar, “One of the suspects attempted to disarm him by hitting him at the back of his head with his handcuff”. His attempt to escape drew the attention of other guards at the facility that fired some shots to warn and deter others.” By the time the dust settled, 21 of the inmates were killed with others, including security personnel, injured. There are other versions, though. But even if we accept the official account as the gospel truth, there are still questions that have to be answered. What is the normal procedure for serving the suspects food? Did the officer who took food to them before he was allegedly attacked enter the room where the suspects were kept? How convenient would it have been for the suspect who hit him with handcuff to have done that if the normal procedure had been followed? What camaraderie could have existed between an officer overseeing inmates and the inmates that would have warranted opening the

prison door to give the detainees food? These and many more questions are begging for answers. While we await the result of the investigation that the DSS authorities said they had instituted into the sad incident, it is important to say that the official story does not add up. We cannot accept that as the authentic account of what happened, especially as the place is supposed to be highly secured given its proximity to the seat of power. As a matter of fact, that was said to be the basis for keeping the suspects there in the first place. We cannot treat with levity a matter that roused Reuben Abati, the presidential spokesman, to deny reports that President Goodluck Jonathan was whisked away during the attempted jailbreak and shootout. According to Abati, “It was an attempted jailbreak. Those arrested tried to make an attempt to escape, but the situation was immediately and effectively brought under control. We will want to reassure everyone that really there is no cause for alarm.” Definitely, the last has not been heard of the matter. Could there have been internal collusion? If intelligence is this problematic even at the DSS Headquarters, how do we trust the intelligence from other areas of its operations, in the area of the enemy and in Borno State, for examples? If Boko Haram or other insurgents could so easily threaten our DSS headquarters, it is a dangerous signal to the terrorists that with a little more effort, there is nowhere they cannot penetrate.

Already, Britain has advised its nationals in Abuja to be mindful of their movements in the federal capital. We will not be surprised if other countries follow suit. Without prejudice to whatever the outcome of the DSS probe will be, the security breach at the facility is a big minus for confidence in government’s security arrangements. A sect that had killed more than 1,000 persons and displaced no fewer than 250,000 others in the first three months of this year alone is capable of doing anything and nothing should be left to chances concerning its members. Nonetheless, we await the outcome of that investigation.

‘While we await the result of the investigation that the DSS authorities said they had instituted into the sad incident, it is important to say that the official story does not add up. We cannot accept that as the authentic account of what happened, especially as the place is supposed to be highly secured given its proximity to the seat of power. As a matter of fact, that was said to be the basis for keeping the suspects there in the first place’

Unexploited blessing


• A university don’s feat reminds us of our potential as a nation

EWS of Dr. Bayonle Ademodi’s feat demonstrated that the country’s academics, despite their ivory-tower detachment, may not be insensitive to the society’s problems after all. The associate professor of Chemical Engineering at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, who is also a consultant on Bitumen and Heavy Crude Oil, has reportedly succeeded in converting untapped crude bitumen into Cold Mix Asphalt (CMA), which is being used to repair roads in Ondo State, specifically, Ondo West Local Government Area. He hails from Ondo town and the material is sourced from Agbabu Irele Local Government Area of the state. Beyond his social service at the state level, commendable as it is, the import of his achievement is far greater and cannot

‘It is both perplexing and inexcusably disappointing that the country is rich in this resource but has failed to effectively take advantage of the situation for developmental purposes. Despite the fact that Nigeria has the third largest deposit of bitumen in the world, successive governments have made a ritual of importing it for road repair and road building, which is certainly not a wise way to develop’

be lost on Nigerians across the country who daily face nightmarish experiences on roads that are, at best, extremely rough and, at worst, deathtraps. It is instructive that Ademodi, during a demonstration of the conversion process, told reporters that motorists and motorcyclists enjoyed smooth rides in the areas where the material had been applied in particular to fill potholes. Interestingly, he also shed light on the availability of the resource as well as the result of the experiment, saying, “Nigeria’s bitumen exists in the two forms of solid tar sands and liquid deposits. Considerable success has been achieved in the utilisation of these two types of bitumen for the manufacture of road asphalt. In this regard, there are two possibilities: Hot Mix Asphalt and Cold Mix Asphalt.” Cheery information, but what is the value of unexploited blessing? It is both perplexing and inexcusably disappointing that the country is rich in this resource but has failed to effectively take advantage of the situation for developmental purposes. Despite the fact that Nigeria has the third largest deposit of bitumen in the world, successive governments have made a ritual of importing it for road repair and road building, which is certainly not a wise way to develop. It is significant, for instance, that Ademodi elaborated on the utility of the resource in perhaps more critical areas such as power generation. According to him, “Nigeria’s heavy/extra heavy oil can also be used as power plant fuel and progress has been made in this regard. Nigeria’s heavy oil has been used to raise steam in a mini-steam boiler, a precursor

stage to electricity generation.” Furthermore, he said, “The resource is a potential substitute for natural gas, Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO) and coal as process fuel in industries and thermal power plants. Our work has shown that it can replace substantial quantities of LPFO, otherwise known as black oil, the cost of which has skyrocketed and which, in turn, is responsible for the high cost of goods, ranging from cement to sundry consumer products in Nigeria.” This picture shows that the socio-economic gains of reasonable exploitation of the resource will likely enhance the standard of living of the people, which is an important reason why the government should pay serious attention to the bitumen-to-asphalt development. The need for urgent follow-up by the relevant authorities cannot be overemphasised, and also the necessity for an enabling environment to motivate local scientists and technologists. In this connection, there may be wisdom in Ademodi’s suggestion that the government should establish a Ministry of Bitumen and Heavy Oil Resources to manage exploitation for domestic and foreign markets outside the regulatory ring of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). In the age of advanced science and rapid technological advancements, which the 21st century represents, it is indeed heartwarming that there are still minds like Ademodi in the country’s tertiary education system, in spite of discouraging and counter-productive state policies in the all-important education sector.

A Familiar Script in Ukraine


HE events taking place in Donetsk and elsewhere in eastern Ukraine are very similar to those that led up to the Russian annexation of Crimea. In fact, the pro-Russian secessionists who seized the local administration building in Donetsk, the center of the industrial Donets Basin, are following the script laid down in Crimea to the letter. They have declared the region’s independence from Ukraine and called for a referendum by May 11 on joining Russia. President Vladimir Putin of Russia may not have the same designs on eastern Ukraine as he had on Crimea, but it is no longer possible to preclude any such moves. The United States and Europe have said time and again that further Russian aggression would prompt a stern and painful response. Now is the time to prepare it. Mr. Putin and his jingoistic supporters in the Kremlin purport to scorn Western sanctions — at least the little they’ve felt so far. He knows that the tens of thousands of well-equipped troops he has massed within striking distance of eastern Ukraine would not be seriously opposed. Yet he must understand that the cost of invading eastern Ukraine would be much greater than the putsch in Crimea, both in damage to Russia’s already sagging economy and in the new Cold War that would surely arise. Ukrainians would not forgive the theft of an economically critical region; NATO would be re-energized; and opposition within Russia would also grow as isolation and potential recession shut off the freedoms and prosperity Russians were The annexation of Crimea was a blatant transgression of international law. Mr. Putin himself, in his speech in the Kremlin on March 18 justifying the annexation, drew a distinction between Crimea, an autonomous province that he and most Russians perceive as rightfully Russian, and the rest of Ukraine. So far, Mr. Putin has indicated that his goal for Ukraine is a federal structure in which the provinces would have considerable autonomy from Kiev, plus some constitutional guarantees that Ukraine would not join NATO. The secessionist turmoil in Donetsk and elsewhere may be intended to pressure Kiev into an arrangement suitable for Moscow. There is a danger, of course, that Russia would seek to dominate the eastern and southern provinces that were the industrial core of the Soviet Union, but Ukrainian leaders have agreed that some degree of constitutional decentralization is needed, and it is for Ukraine to decide its organization. Mr. Putin has awakened passions that even he may not be able to control. It is easy to imagine how secessionist demands in Donetsk, Kharkiv or Luhansk could turn violent, compelling Mr. Putin (or giving him a pretext) to make good on his pledge to “defend” Russians in Ukraine. The next Western response must be ready and credible, and that means, above all, that the Europeans have to look beyond their internal problems and join Washington in agreeing to a package of extensive and strong sanctions that can be put in place immediately should that be necessary, including restricting the access of Russian banks and corporations to Western financial markets. – New York Times

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh

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IR: The Lagos State University (LASU) fee hike is the greatest challenge we have been faced with in the last decade. Calling for superior arguments and proposals for the reduction is a testament to the fact that the government of Lagos State is not inflexible to change. Following the seemingly endless crisis in LASU in 2011, the Lagos State House of Assembly had passed a resolution subsequent to which Governor Babatunde Fashola set-up a visitation panel to look into all the issues that nearly tore LASU apart. In the report of the visitation panel, recommendations were made to the government on the way forward. Unfortunately, government was selective on those that favoured her alone. A classical example is in Section 4.0, Term of Reference (iii), particularly at Section 4.0.2 paragraph (g) where the panel recommended “increase in the budgetary allocation to the university using the UNESCO

Omatseye and “uncommon” Asiwaju


IR: You always make an interesting and exciting read. Your piece on B.A.T is the most convincing advocacy yet that I have come across on a man many choose to hate and misunderstand. He is in truth a gift to these times and the generations to come will be glad that at this time, a man who could at once “descend from the sky and erupt from the earth” trudged these land and made bold to be different; for which the nation and themselves are the better. If they read your piece they may in fact ascribe him a deity status of some sort. I hope to meet with him someday. •Austin Edoja-Peters Communications Adviser Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, Abuja.


LASU: Open letter to Fashola benchmark of a minimum of 25% of annual budget on education”. In the law establishing LASU, Section 3 sets out the objectives thus: (f) “To provide ready access for citizens of the state in particular to higher education regardless of social origin or income”. In other words, LASU is meant for the people of the state without prejudice to their socio-economic status. Thirty years ago, the Lagos State government under Chief Lateef Jakande established LASU. The party in government then was the Unity Party Nigeria (UPN). This was a party whose linear ideologi-


cal ancestor was Action Group led by late Obafemi Awolowo. By the time of the Second Republic, the idea of the free education was no longer restricted to primary education, but also to secondary and tertiary education. In a state where the per capita income of an average Lagosian is around $100 per month (approximately N16,700), how do we expect the wards of poor people to access tertiary education, when in reality, a degree is not nearly enough to earn good livelihood? I will want to quickly digress a little to consider some of the items that were summed up in the fee of

N193,750, N223,750, N248,750 and N348,750 for Arts/Education, Social and Management sciences, Law and College of Medicine respectively to show why the fees, going by the breakdown, cannot be justified. For instance in Faculty of Education, Teaching Practice is N15,000. You may wish to know that teaching practice is a service rendered by students to public secondary schools in Lagos. Like Housemanship by medical students, we are meant to be paid for rendering these services and not pay for rendering it. We make bold to aver that there is no correlation between price and

reflect the nation’s changing economic configuration over the last 24 years. To be sure, the last time this rebasing took place was in 1990. What the newly rebased GDP figures simply do is to present the truest picture of the size of the Nigerian economy by including sectors like the film and video industries, telecoms, as well as information technology, hitherto not considered in the last rebasing exercise. Given some of the knee-jerk and overly jaundiced criticism of the rebasing coming from some quarters, one is tempted to ask: Was rebasing the GDP figures necessary? Is the outcome correct and dependable? Are there benefits derivable from the rebasing? From different accounts of experts and economy watchers the world over, there is nothing controversial about the rebasing of the GDP figures, which the government has just

done. If anything, the exercise ought to have been carried out many years ago and even on a more regular basis. Rebasing the GDP figures is a global best practice that affords countries the opportunity to update their templates for measuring growth in the economy more accurately. It is interesting to note that cynics are not quarrelling with the newly rebased GDP figures for Nigeria. Instead, they are raising the issue of its utility. Yet, there are many who still believe that the size of Nigerian economy is larger than the picture painted by the new figures. And this group points to the fact that the value of the volume of trade and transactions that goes on daily in the effervescent informal sector is never tracked and consequently not captured by the rebased GDP figures. The daily activities of that seemingly poor food vendor

quality of education. The University of Helsinki, Finland is first in Finland and 76th in the world and it is tuition free. In any case, if a private university can charge N 450,000 to include feeding and accommodation for a year, then LASU is costly compared to private schools for charging N350, 000 without accommodation and feeding. We must constantly bear at the back of our minds that LASU is not a private university. It is a public entity meant to serve the people and not for profit making. Therefore, the fee hike is unjust for the reason that LASU was created to bridge the gaps between all classes in society. Harvard is a private institution; let us stop comparing LASU with Harvard. •Nurudeen, Yusuf Temilola President-Elect, LASU Students’ Union.

Big country, big economy, big cynics

IR: “How does this affect the price of fish?”, was the cynical rider to a newspaper report early in the week that Nigeria has overtaken South Africa as Africa’s leading economy. This followed the cheery news coming from the National Bureau of Statistics, which confirmed, of course, what many had long believed- that the Nigerian economy has been understated. From the rebased Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures, our country’s GDP has catapulted from $262 billion to $510 billion representing an increase of 94.6%. The new figures firmly put Nigeria ahead of South Africa with a GDP of $370.3, as the king of African economy. Not only that, the newly rebased figures confirm Nigeria as the 26th largest economy in the world. By rebasing the country’s GDP figures, what NBS has just done is to recalculate our GDP to more accurately

at every motor park, street corners and even beside public buildings are never taken into considerations. The value of goods in the spare parts markets at Ladipo and other markets in Lagos did not contribute to the rebased figures. What about the roadside mechanics, carpenters and other artisans? There is no doubt that if an accurate tab is kept on the value of the volume of goods and services in the informal sector, the newly rebased Nigerian GDP will outstrip that of South Africa by miles. Yes, the rebasing does not automatically translate to increased purchasing power for citizens yet it carries the potential of attracting more investments into the country, which will eventually improve living standards. And this is the challenge that rebasing poses to the government. •Hamisu Abubakar, Abuja.





Is Boko Haram an Islamic insurgency?


HE answer to this question depends on the aspect of Boko Haram one is dealing with. It seems that there are three types of movement coalescing into what is now called Boko Haram. One is a religious movement, another is a political movement and the third is a criminal component and it seems each is feeding on the other. Unfortunately there is now evidence that some army personnel who are not loyal to Nigeria are beginning to surface in the ranks of Boko Haram. In order to put these movements in perspective, it will be clearer if one looks at religious movements in the Sudan broadly defined as a whole. In the modern history of the western and eastern Sudan stretching from the Senegal valley across to the upper valleys of the Nile, Islamic fundamentalism has played a very important role. The most well known of Islamic revolutions in the western Sudan is that of Usman Dan Fodio, whose son Muhammad Bello and brother Abdullahi founded the Sokoto caliphate. Usman Dan Fodio was an itinerant preacher against syncretism, corruption and misrule among apparently Muslim rulers in Hausaland. Islam had been well planted in Hausaland since about the eighth century BC particularly in Kano and Katsina with many clerics from North Africa visiting Kano and Katsina to lecture at mosques there. But over time, the Muslim rulers of these areas became more materialistic, corrupt and dictatorial in the conduct of state affairs. Taxes were arbitrarily levied and collected on the peasants and the nomads. It was these grievances that Usman Dan Fodio exploited to lead a rebellion against the Habe rulers between 1804 and 1808. This movement succeeded beyond his wildest dreams and drove away from their throne Hausa, Nupe and the Yoruba rulers. There is no doubt that Usman Dan Fodio was a pious man but one needs more than piety to found an empire. The political and military prowess of his son Muhammad Bello and Abdullahi his brother facilitated the emergence of the Sokoto caliphate. By the time the British overthrew the caliphate, almost all the evils of the Habe rulers had resurfaced in the caliphate and had undermined the moral fabric of the state. This point was proved by the Satiru revolt of 1905/1906 led by the blind cleric Saybu Dan Makafo who was able to mobilise people against the corrupt practices of the caliphate leadership and its English and French successors both in Sokoto and Dosso. The example of the Fulani-led revolt and the creation of the Sokoto caliphate were followed by fellow Fulanis in Massina now part of Mali and led by Sheikh Amadu Bakr Lobbo El-amin in 1810 and between that time and 1845, an ascetic type of Islam was imposed on the community and the sharia and Islamic jurisprudence were strictly followed. A much wider movement in the western Sudan was led by Al-hajj Umar Tall a tukolor, a group closely linked with the Fulani who also established along the upper Nile valleys, a

Are you Daniel, one of the exiles my father the king brought from Judah? I have heard that the spirit of the gods is in you and that you have insight, intelligence and outstanding wisdom. –Daniel 5:13,14.


HERE was nothing they did not do to paint them as villains after slaughtering them like rams in an uncompleted building in Apo, Abuja last September. According to the State Security Service (SSS) and the Army, the deceased were Boko Haram elements. This, they explained, was why these menial job workers were killed in cold blood. In their characteristic manner, they alleged (or is it lied?) that the deceased were harmed. Were they? According to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), they were not. The SSS and the Army came up with that lie to justify their extra judicial killing of the eight men, who were said to be squatters in the uncompleted building. The SSS, in particular, was vehement in its claim that the deceased were armed. Its spokesperson, Marilyn Ogar, was always on air and in the papers, vilifying those slain. There was nothing she did not say about them. With such a mindset, it was obvious why they had to kill those tricycle operators (Keke NAPEP) without giving them a chance for fair trial.

so called Segu-Tukolor empire in which he imposed himself on the largely Malinke ethnic groups in those areas. Al-hajj Umar is well known in West African history as the man who was responsible for spreading the Tijanniya brotherhood, a revolutionary form of Islamic tariqa that preached equality of all peoples. These three Islamic revolutions by and large purified the society and brought new regimes based on the sharia that were more favourable to the ordinary people. Although over time their decline and eventual fall became inevitable. A much bigger and militant movement employing modern methods of warfare as well as sophisticated arms took place in what was then known as the Egyptian Sudan in 1881. This has gone down into history as the Mahdia or the Mahdist state which lasted between 1881 and 1898. The Sudan was for several decades under Turko-Egyptian control and oppression in the form of arbitrary taxation, corruption and inept rule was characteristic of the regime. It was not too difficult for a millenarian movement led by Mohammed Ahmad who proclaimed himself Al mahdi in the tradition of Islamic thought prevailing in that area. This was based on a doctrine that in difficult times, an “Imam of the age” would come and take over rulership of the state, purify the society and bring the society nearer to God. Sheikh Mohammed Ahmad declared himself this “Imam of the age” and the messiah the people were waiting for. He was able to found a state between 1881 and 1898 before the combined forces of the Egyptians and the British defeated him under a Bible-waving General Charles Gordon, whose death aroused national sentiment in England. The man who later became British Prime Minister and Second World War hero Winston Churchill took part in the fighting against the Mahdist leadership. The Mahdia has left an indelible imprint on Sudan even up till today and the Umma, a political party led by the grandson of the Mahdi, the Oxford educated Sadek el-Mhadi has been in and out of power several times. It is quite clear that any movement claiming to be an Islamic movement should aim at purifying society and since Islam generally does not separate politics from religion, such a movement must have a plan of creating a state in which the sharia would be the law and some kind of theocracy would be the mode of governance. The closest thing we have to Boko Haram therefore was the Maitasine uprising in Kano in 1980 and its blind fury and murderous campaign against the society generally did not conform to any reformist paradigm of Jihad. It did not appear to have had a programme of creating a state or replacing the then political status quo. It was also secretive and syncretist in nature. It mixed Islam and traditional African religion. The Maitasine revolt however was on such a scale that a division of the Nigerian army had to be de-

ployed against it. Muhammad Marwa its leader was apparently killed in the campaign against them. This Maitasine revolt later reared up its ugly head in 1982 in Yola and Bulunkutu at the outskirts of Maiduguri. It was also on the same level of violence as the one in Kano and thousands of people perished in Yola and Maiduguri. This latter offshoot of the Maitasine was apparently led by Musa Jide Makaniki who after Osuntokun the violence in Yola escaped to Gombe and from there to the Cameroons before he was caught in 2004. The Boko Haram at its inception was more of a religious movement founded by Muhammad Yusuf apparently of Kanuri extraction and with some level of western education. Because of the grinding poverty and unemployment of the youth, he attracted some followership to himself and it seems in the competition for power by politicians, his services were sought but after electoral victory, he and his movement were discarded and security forces were unleashed on him before he was killed in police custody. His death was a signal for widespread revolt which is now led by certain Abubakar Shekau who may be in the pay of AlQaeda in the Maghreb and with possible link with the Somali Al-shabab. What is significant now is the apparent foreign involvement in what is going on. Compared with the Islamic revolutions of the western and eastern Sudan, Boko Haram and Maitasine movement can hardly be said to be Islamic movements. Boko Haram seems now to be rooted in local grievances against constituted authority and its followership is the army of the unemployed and uneducated and those with smattering knowledge of the Holy Quran and with the possible sponsorship of aggrieved politicians and the enemies of Nigeria both inside and outside the country. What is common to all these ‘Sudanese’ Islamic movements is their roots in economic grievances and political oppression by the rulers. They seem to begin during the dry season when food and water are in short supply and when the hard times then prevailing lead people to expect the coming of the Mahdi sent divinely to bring liberation and succour to the oppressed. Boko Haram with its murderous campaign killing women, children and fellow Muslims can hardly qualify as an Islamic movement.

A Daniel has come to judgement The SSS was the mastermind of the mission to flush out the socalled Boko Haram element from the uncompleted building following what it described as intelligence report. It brought the army into the matter in line with the agreement among security agencies to work together when the need arises. What is this intelligence that the SSS was referring to? It claimed to have received a report that Boko Haram members were hiding in the uncompleted building. From what later transpired, it seemed it did not bother to verify the claim before swinging into action. The SSS, it seemed, was carried away by the claim that it had Boko Haram so close to it and yet it did not know all this while. The way out, it thought was to storm the 'sect's hideout', wipe out the dissidents and be applauded for doing a good job. But, it did not go that way because it acted on a faulty premise. The SSS did not distil the information it got. It took it at its face value because it chose to believe its informant, who perhaps, might have sold it a dummy in order to get himself off the hook. That is the problem of our security agencies. They tend to believe

‘Some of the flaws in the SSS/Army operation as highlighted in NHRC's report should not be discountenanced by our security operatives to avoid making the same mistakes in future. Thank you, NHRC for affirming the innocence of these innocent souls. May they get justice no matter how long it takes’

the first person, who brings a report to them without digging into that person's motive. From all that we now know, the informant may not have told the SSS the entire truth. He may have given the agency wrong information in order to save his own neck. In the process, he did not care a hoot if innocent people were put in trouble. This is why the SSS should have been circumspect in using his information. As a security outfit, the SSS should know better. It is a well known fact that some people can go to any length in getting others into trouble. But security men are expected to check and cross check information that comes to them to avoid the kind of thing that happened in Apo last year. It is good, we are told, for 99 criminals to go scot free than for an innocent man to be convicted. In this case, the SSS turned this altruism upside down. We are not writing this because we hate our security agencies. No, not at all. How can we hate them when without them we are not safe. All what we are saying is that they should be more careful in the discharge of their duties to avoid the shedding of innocent blood. For sure, nobody is happy with the way Boko Haram is terrorising the country, but that is not to say that our security operatives should be given the latitude to kill anybody under the guise that he is a member of the sect. If they do that they won't be different from the Boko Haram that we are all condemning. Although the Senate cleared the SSS and the Army of any wrong doing in the killing of Apo 8, it was obvious that it did not do a good job of investigating the incident.

The ''Distinguished Senators'' were more concerned with ensuring that Apo, where they live, does not become a theatre of Boko Haram's operation. So, it had to come up with a report endorsing the SSS and the Army action. They were not bothered that people were killed for no just cause. And these were some of the people that voted them into power. The Senate was not thorough and painstaking in its investigation. You cannot compare what it did with that of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). Some of the flaws in the SSS/Army operation as highlighted in NHRC's report should not be discountenanced by our security operatives to avoid making the same mistakes in future. The SSS and the Army need to study this report to see where they went wrong and make amends. It is in our collective interest that they do not treat the report with levity. ONTRARY to the claims that weapons were hidden in the uncompleted building, no arms and ammunition were shown to have been recovered from those killed, the report said. It also indicted the SSS and the Army for forcefully moving some of those arrested in the building to their states of origin, with a warning that they should never return to Abuja. By so doing, they were exercising the power that they do not have. Neither the SSS nor the Army has the power to bar any Nigerian from any part of the country. They did that with those who do not know their rights and because they also had something to hide. They were afraid that those arrested will talk and what they will say will


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not be palatable. Most importantly, NHRC held that the Apo 8 were not Boko Haram members, adding that they were killed in cold blood. ''There is no credible evidence to show that the victims were members of Jama'atu ahlus sunnah lid da'awati wal jihad (JALISWA) also known as Boko Haram or involved in direct participation in hostilities. They were, therefore, protected, civilian non-combatants. ''The defence of self defence asserted by the the respondents (Federal Government, SSS, Chief of Army Staff and Attorney-General of the Federation) is not supported by the facts...the application of lethal force was disproportionate and the killing of the eight deceased persons as well as the injuries to the 11 survivors were unlawful'', NHRC said. Sadly, those we voted into office did not see it this way. It is unfortunate that our lives do not matter to them. Our votes do and after getting those votes, they dump us just as they dumped the Apo 8. Thank you, NHRC for affirming the innocence of these innocent souls. May they get justice no matter how long it takes.





HAT came to mind as I read the front page story of The Punch last Sunday about the threat of prominent Christians in the All Progressives Congress, (APC) to quit the party over an alleged plan to field a Muslim/Muslim presidential ticket was St. Paul’s admonition to the Romans “Anyone who does not have the spirit of Christ does not belong to him, but if Christ is in you, your spirit are alive because of righteousness”. (Romans 8: 8-11) In the story, Femi Fani-Kayode, a former PDP stalwart and Obasanjo’s Man Friday, was quoted as saying the biggest mistake that the APC can make is to field a Muslim/Muslim ticket in the 2015 presidential election. Doing that, according to him, would lead to the loss of the election. For him, “Any party that present a Muslim/Muslim ticket ceases to be a political party and can be better described as a religious cult”. I am sure Fani-Kayode, if he is not speaking as a PDP mole in APC, knows most Nigerians now know there is no disagreement between Muslims and Christians in the sharing and looting of our national patrimony and the attendant creation of an army of unthinking miracle seekers. Obasanjo-Atiku Christian/ Muslim ticket marked an era when politicians irrespective of their religion fought each other over who stole more from the commonwealth. Yar’Adua’s Muslim/Christian ticket witnessed an era when politicians irrespective of religion justified massive stealing claiming they sold properties to contest election. The current Jonathan Christian/Muslim administration has been described by many observers as the most corrupt in our nation’s history. Nigerians know it is Christian and Muslim politicians that have elevated religion to a divisive issue of Nigerian politics in the forth republic in order to exploit the vulnerable poor and ignorant among our people. I hope APC which has become a haven for all manners of disgruntled and sometimes discredited politicians will have the courage to remind Fani-Kayode that besides the indiscretion and hypocrisy of Muslim politicians in

‘It is no more news that President Jonathan has nothing but disdain for the Yoruba. During the fuel subsidy protest which later led to the discovery of the theft of about N1. 7 trillion, his aides accused Lagos and West who they claimed were the greatest beneficiaries of fuel subsidy, of fuelling the crisis’


APC and Christians without spirit of Christ Zamfara and other parts of the north which gave rise to the current insurrection by Boko Haram, it is those Christians who are deficit in the spirit of Christ who have by their utterances, actions and misrule created an army of unthinking miracle seekers. Beyond their open demonstration of piety by legitimizing the exploitation of poor people by prosperity prophets through their regular presence in their unending crusades, they equally engage in waste of taxpayers’ money that could have gone in to other developmental purposes on pilgrimage to Mecca and Jerusalem. I am not sure Nigerians are in a position to make a distinction between Nigeria’s greedy Christian and Muslim politicians. What Nigerians expect as Nasir El Rufai has said are leaders “with integrity, capacity and competence to create jobs, fight corruption and rebuild our nation without discrimination” and who would choose to worship their God privately”. But denunciation of Christians without the spirit of Christ must not be misconstrued as an endorsement of Muhammadu Buhari, and Bola Tinubu, Muslim /Muslim ticket for the 2015 race. If you ask me, I will say both are too old to face today’s challenges. We must not forget that the average age of the major actors like Obafemi Awolowo, Bode Thomas, Anthony Enahoro, Rotimi Williams, SLA Akintola, Ahmadu Bello, Tafawa Balewa etc during Nigeria golden age 1949-1959 was about 34. But I also think both leaders are a blessing to Nigeria. Since political parties world over often need major stakeholders, they can be the pillars behind the power, delegating without abdicating. While APC party strategists may be right to see Buhari’s popularity in the North-west

HE comment by the Omisore Campaign organization, to the effect, that the first executive governor of Osun State, Senator Isiaka Adeleke instigated unprovoked assault on Police Affairs Minister, Alhaji Jelili Adesiyan and Senator Iyiola Omisore, is a blantant lie without foundation. It was just an attempt to drag the good name of Adeleke unjustly in the mud. The reported incident at Ideal Nest Hotel, Osogbo on April 2, was to say the least, a demonstration of desperation on the part of Omisore Campaign Organization to create unnecessary political tension within the PDP and particularly, create unjust harassment of a particular gubernatorial aspirant and his supporters for the party primary held on Saturday, April 5. Throughout his political career, Senator Adeleke has always preached politics without bitterness. He canvasses at all times for peace, concord, amity and tolerance among politicians and their supporters. He came into the present race to salvage the badly dented image of PDP in Osun, occasioned by lack of transparency and maturity on the part of present PDP Executice Committee in Osun, to carry everybody along as stakeholders without bias. What therefore, is the active involvement of a serving minister like Alhaji Jelili Adesiyan, with a particular aspirant of PDP in governorship primary race, when actually Adesiyan should be seen, superintending over the security of Nigerians and non-Nigerian alike, across the 36 states? Why did the Minister of Police Affairs become a biased chief security officer and allowed himself to be openly identified with a particular aspirant against his oath of office to be fair to all? He subjected Senator Adeleke, to unwarranted intimidation and harassment at Ideal Nest Hotel on April 2. Glory be to God, that the Osun State Commissioner of Police, through a signed refuttal by the command PPRO, DSP Folashade Odoro, has denied ever telling any newspaper reporter, that Senator Adeleke brought thugs to Ideal Nest Hotel on April 2, to cause trouble. This reassuring message from the Commissioner of Police, has put a big lie, to the ungodly impression created by Omisore Campaign Organization, that Adeleke is a “trouble maker”. Where therefore did the Omisore Campaign Organization get their fact “that the ex-governor stormed the hotel with thugs armed to the teeth”? Let us play politics with absolute candour, love and tolerance for each other and everybody, because at the end of the day, politicians will still pat themselves at the back. Senator Isiaka Adeleke after losing out to Senator Mudashir Hussen in the 2011 Osun West Senatorial election,

and North-east as great asset because most of his supporters are poor, underprivileged pauperized victims of the feudal system who are not democrats but miracle seekers, I think any candidate he adopts and openly campaigns for can secure for APC the benefits of his goodwill. But as for the South-west, APC does not need Tinubu on the ticket to sweep the area. Tinubu as a leader has already paid his dues. Yorubas know their true leaders. They are also discriminatory voters. Awo asserted as far back as 1952 that the Yoruba will not vote for you because you are Yoruba if you don’t have programmes that can impact positively on their lives. And here lies the strength of Tinubu. Even his detractors acknowledge his great achievement in retrieving the South-west from Obasanjo and those the Yoruba call ‘akotiletas’ who sold the common patrimony bequeathed onto us by Awo and his fellow South-west patriots, replacing legacies of excellence and meritocracy with mediocrity with the likes of Fayose and Akala at the helm of affairs in the region. I am sure Tinubu will see his liberation of his Yoruba people from the tyranny of Nigeria as a noble endeavour. And this has its rewards. It was as a Yoruba leader, that he single-handedly restored honour to a Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar who was turned an orphan by Obasanjo and PDP. The vice presidency in Nigeria cannot be a major attraction. In any case, he can look back with pride that at 62, he has groomed enough young Turks out of which anyone can be deployed to serve as vice president if one is needed from the zone. Otherwise, the only responsibility the Yoruba want of their leader is installing a good structure and electing credible people

at the centre which would guarantee good governance as now obtains in the west. This is the only way to stop the influx of refugees from besieged North-east where PDP party chairman comes from, unskilled labour from North-central states of Benue and Plateau where the Senate President hails from and those who are trying to escape the anarchy unleashed on their land by militants and kidnappers in the South-south and South-east geo political zones where the President and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation hail from. The South-west can only remain haven of peace when peace reigns in other geo-political zones. Price of liberty as they say is eternal vigilance. There are more reasons Tinubu is needed more in the South-west than in Abuja. It is no more news that President Jonathan has nothing but disdain for the Yoruba. During the fuel subsidy protest which later led to the discovery of the theft of about N1. 7 trillion, his aides accused Lagos and West who they claimed were the greatest beneficiaries of fuel subsidy of fuelling the crisis. It is on record the President tried to instigate the other Nigerian nationalities living in Lagos against their chief host during the 2011 elections. Obasanjo, his godfather recently accused him of sponsoring disgruntled PDP members to recruit people into the Labour Party to derail the giant strides made by governments of the South-west in the last three years. Analysts of the President’s politics of subterfuge have even averred that his appointment of Musiliu Obanikoro as minister of state for defence whose first official assignment was illegal drafting of soldiers to stop construction of public housing projects in Lagos based on a claim that the land belongs to Federal government, and Jelil Adesiyan who was at a time linked with the murder of Bola Ige, an unrepentant Yoruba irredentist, as new minister for police affairs, are seen as part of his silent war against the Yoruba. The president and his aides can play the ostrich, but the Yoruba who read meanings to mere greetings know that the imposition of Buruji Kashamu, a man described by Obasanjo as ‘drug baron’ who has cases to answer in the United States of America’ as chairman of the South West PDP Mobilisation and Organisation Committee; the manipulation of PDP primaries to guarantee the emergence Fayose as Ekiti governorship candidate in spite of his ongoing trial for murder and corruption; and Omisore as PDP candidate for Osun State in spite of his antecedents can only be evil machinations of those who hold them in contempt. Tinubu as de facto leader of his people must not allow himself to be distracted just as the late Bola Ige did.

Adeleke abhors political violence By Olumide Lawal promptly wrote a congratulatory letter to the Senator and placed same on radio, television and print media. To Adeleke, seeking for a political office should not be a matter of life and death, if truly one wants to serve the people. What is the big deal in Senator Adeleke exchanging pleasantries with fellow party members, particularly the Honourable Minister of Police Affairs, Adesiyan, whom Adeleke appointed a Director-General in a ministry, when he (Adeleke) was governor in 1992? Is that the way, Adesiyan would pay back Senator Adeleke by being unduly rude to the latter on April 2, at the Ideal Nest Hotel? It was maturity on the part of Adeleke that made for peace as against what Omisore camp painted out. Adesiyan should not have compromised himself so heavily as evidenced in his support for Omisore, having become a federal minister. He should be called to order by the President, so as to enable Nigerians have confidence in a sensitive post such as Ministry of Police Affairs. Nigerians, particularly the presidency, should be alerted, that the current Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan should apply caution in the discharge of his duties as a minister of federal republic, whose duty it is, to protect all Nigerians and non- Nigerians alike. Elections and indeed politicking, should be an avenue to serve the people. We call for decorum on the part of Adesiyan in the discharge of his duty as Police Affairs Minister. Somebody was there before him and somebody will come after him. Posterity will judge the matter. It is out of place to tag Adeleke an APC agent working to destabilize PDP. As a founding father of PDP, Senator Adeleke can never abandon the ship of the party. He is not a deserter or a quitter like some PDP big wigs did recently and left for other parties. Where is the proof that some of Adeleke’s siblings registered for APC? What are their card numbers? Why should politics be all this dirty. If Senator Adeleke decides, if at all, to move to any other political party, he won’t do it in the dark but openly. But that is not the case and will not be. Adeleke is a loyal member of PDP and will stay with it through thick and thin.

Adeleke, as an apostle of politics without bitterness, will not create enmity with anybody because of difference in the political parties they belong to. He has a large heart, which accommodates diversity of persons and opinions, not minding creed, colour, tribe or religion. He is not a sentimental politician, who keeps people at bay. The innuendoes and blantant lies being peddled by Omisore’s agents will soon collapse like a pack of cards. Truth is constant. Adeleke will stay with and in PDP and work for its progress. He was not scared away from the April 5, PDP governorship primaries, but only took a patriotic decision, because no life is worth losing over transient political post. He is at peace with himself taking that wise decision. The Senator towers above being used by anybody or political party to bring PDP into disrepute. He will however, not allow himself to be dictated to by some political contractors, whose stock is to trade away their integrity for a pot of porridge and their future. The Presidency and indeed the national headquarters of PDP, should do the right thing fast, by investigating the reported Ideal Nest April 2, incident, to know who the real culprits are. Again, Senator Adeleke will never shy away from associating with the good name of President Jonathan before, now and in the future. In God Almighty, Senator Adeleke places his hope. To come back as Osun governor is not a do or die matter for him. Being the first governor of Osun is a record forever, when those now clamouring to emerge as PDP candidate were after all nowhere near active politics in 1992. • Lawal is is media adviser to Senator Adeleke.

‘The Senator towers above being used by anybody or political party to bring PDP into disrepute. He will however, not allow himself to be dictated to by some political contractors, whose stock is to trade away their integrity for a pot of porridge and their future’





N human history, the ongoing National Conference in Abuja is the kind of event that confers immortality on some persons. Its story could end up being as follows: The greatest modern country of modern Africa and of the Black race stood on the verge of collapse. But it occurred to one leader to put a National Conference together to save the situation. Some men answered the call of duty at the conference, pulled delegates from disparate directions together, and saved the tottering country and set it on the path to stability, prosperity and greatness in the world. Were this the outcome of this National Conference, President Goodluck Jonathan, of course, and his posterity forever, would earn the most precious laurel of all. But there would be many others who would earn laurels almost as precious as his. For every one of the nearly 500 delegates at the conference, a successful conference that changed the destiny of Nigeria would be, certainly, the most important historic event in their lives – a proud record for themselves and their families forever. And then there are some who are already eminent citizens, and who are now leading various delegations at the conference. In the souls of such men and women, given the moral mess that Nigeria has become, a titanic battle must now be raging – either to strive hard and sacrifice all in the quest for a great Nigeria, or merely to surrender to base desires like seeking to enrich themselves in Abuja, Throne of Corruption. If they choose the noble path and save Nigeria, the rewards are likely to be dizzyingly mighty. I know virtually all of these leading citizens. Most of them belong to my generation,

National Conference could immortalize Nigerians should join to constitute federating units. Another important idea is that the federating units should be strong constitutionally and materially, so as to be competent centres of development. In recent years, the latter has meant that the excessive powers and resources perversely loaded onto the federal government by the military regimes should be returned to the federating units. This whole package is now called “Regionalism” – because it proposes six strong ‘Regions’. All these ideas have now been condensed into the Yoruba Agenda for the National Conference which is therefore the MANDATE for all Yoruba persons at the National Conference. In fact, the decision was taken at the Ibadan Conferences that anyYoruba delegate who betrays the Yoruba Agenda at the National Conference should not return home to Yorubaland. It is that binding. At the National Conference, then, we have a Yoruba leadership and a Yoruba Agenda, both broadly backed by the Yoruba nation. Furthermore, back home in Yorubaland, and among the millions of Yoruba people in the Diaspora, there has solidified a consensus that we Yoruba will contribute our very best to the reviving of Nigeria (and therefore to the success of this National Conference), but that, if resistance to change and improvement in Nigeria should continue to be impossible to overcome, then we would not continue to be part of a chaotic, corruption-ridden, poverty-generating, and blood-drenched Nigeria. So, the Yoruba delegates at the National Conference are fully aware of their duty – and of their enormous support from home. Therefore, we all have the right to expect that they will do their duty to Nigeria, and thereby, to their Yoruba nation. And if they do that diligently and help Nigeria to make a resounding success of the National Conference, they would become some of the immortal heroes from the successful National Conference. Similar stories are true of most of the nationalities of Nigeria. The hope, therefore, is high that Nigeria will begin to experience very important changes soon – and begin to

‘I can see the probability that some men and women of my Yoruba nation could soon count among the frontline immortals who saved Nigeria. For the rest of us Yoruba people, our duty is clear – support and encourage our delegates, and never leave them alone until victory is won’

and some are my friends. I am excited for all of them from all corners of Nigeria. But, because of the limitation of space, I will pinpoint only the few who belong to my Yoruba nation. After President Jonathan set up an Advisory Committee for the National Conference and called for memos, countless meetings followed all over Nigeria – some by leaders of nationalities, some by civil society organizations, some by professional groups, etc. Among my own people, the Yoruba nation, all these finally climaxed in many Yoruba national conferences – in the Palace of Oduduwa at Ife, in Ishara, and then in Ibadan. The final conferences in Ibadan were particularly widely publicized, and large crowds came without restriction from all over Yorubaland. Two major things resulted from these conferences. The first is a small leadership team, consisting of Chief Olu Falae as chairman, Gen. Alani Akinrinade as vice-chairman, and Dr. Kunle Olajide as secretary, charged with the task of guiding the whole exercise. Successive conferences accepted, endorsed and validated this little working committee for the Yoruba nation. Around it there also coalesced other prominent leaders – among those who finally made it to the National Conference, old warriors like Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Sir Olaniwun Ajayi and Dr. Tunji Braitwaite, and younger warriors like Hon. Wale Oshun, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Otunba Gani Adams, and others. The second thing from the many Yoruba conferences is what we call the Yoruba Agenda for the National Conference. We Yoruba, of all political persuasions, have, since 1949, been proposing clear ideas about how to organize Nigeria, a country of multiple nationalities, into a harmonious and workable federation. Central to these views has always been the idea that our various nationalities should be respected, and be made the basis for structuring the Nigerian Federation – that the large and sizeable nationalities should each constitute a federating unit, and that smaller and contiguous nationalities in various parts of Nigeria


Boko Haram: Seeking for global support

HE African way of explaining the recent decision by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) to assemble governors from the northern part of Nigeria at a roundtable to discuss the contemporary threat to the peace of the region and by extension the stability of Nigeria would be to say the Americans have a clear understanding that when there is pepper in your throat, both the eyes and the nose suffer for it. Without doubt, the current spate of insurgency in the North of Nigeria is a spoonful of pepper in the throat of the nation and expectedly, wisdom dictates that even though it is the nose that is currently dripping with mucus, the eyes will soon gather its own tears, if there is no water to quickly douse the fire in the throat. Nigeria is the nose. Insurgency is the pepper we have eaten. And the Big Brother, the United States of America clearly understands that whatever affects the largest single collection of blacks in the world, the largest economy in Africa, may soon migrate to trouble its shores. Apart from the governors who currently wear the shoes and know where it pinches, the faculty assembled by UISP to diagnose and recommend measures for the troubling development posed by the Boko Haram group and other forms of insurgencies, was arguably African in mind even if they are Americans by birth and orientation. They were men and women who have had contacts with Nigeria since the early days of the country’s independence. They were also experts in the field of dealing with insurgency and the political challenges common to evolving democracies. Take for instance, Ambassador Jonnie Carson, currently Assistant Secretary of State for Bureau of African Affairs. Carson’s 37year Foreign Service career includes a twoyear posting to Nigeria, 1969-1971. Kristin Lord, acting President of USIP was from 20092013 Executive Vice President and Director of Studies at the Centre for a New American Security where she oversaw the centre’s research during which the centre published more than 110 reports and policy papers on

By Abdulwahaab Oba technology and national security and the military, among others. There was also Ambassador Linda ThomasGreenfield, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs who like Carson, had served in Nigeria. There was also Dr. Johan Paden; without doubt a versatile authority on the politics, culture and religion of the north of Nigeria. Although currently a professor of Public Administration at George Mason University, Paden had held the same position at Ahmadu Bello University and Bayero University, Kano before relocating home. Paden served as international monitor with the U.S delegation during the Nigerian presidential elections in Kaduna (1999), Kano (2003) and Katsina (2007). His latest work is titled “Postelection Conflict Management in Nigeria: The Challenge of National Unity.” Jennifer Cooke, Director of CSIS Africa Programme has authored many CSIS Reports, and most recently led a study commissioned by the US-African Command that examined potential sources of instability in a range of African countries. There was also Georgia Holmer who since 1996 has been working on programes to understand and prevent violent extremism, radicalisation and conflict through the Women Preventing Extreme Violence (WPEV). Holmer had worked 10 years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as a terrorism analyst in some countries. Governor of Niger State and chairman of the Northern Governor’s Forum, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, led 11 other governors to the roundtable discussion. Initially threatened by snow, the discussion commenced a day behind schedule. Glued to the grime of security challenge, extreme poverty, illiteracy, deprivation and uncertainty, the governors waited to cross fertilize ideas on combating terrorism and poverty.

The Niger State governor’s submission was that tackling the economic, social and political challenges facing the North is a task that must be accomplished if leaders must get Nigeria and indeed Africa on the right pedestal of development; elites in the political, religious and traditional class in the north must take up the challenge of finding realistic and sustainable solutions to the myriad of problems and politicians must be ready to embrace meaningful change in the cultural practices that shape the economic and political development of the region. Kwara State Governor, Alhaji AbdulFattah Ahmed highlighted the lamentable reality that the indices of social and economic conditions indicate an increasing democratisation of poverty in the face of growth. “ Today, the North has highest proportion of Nigerians living in poverty, the highest number of school age girls not attending school and the largest component of Nigeria’s unemployed youth. As of 2012, the average poverty rate of the states in the North-west geopolitical zone remained the highest at 71.4 per cent followed by North-east 69.1 per cent and North-central, 60.7 per cent, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The North also lags behind in gender development and empowerment,” Governor Ahmed lamented. Ahmed told the panelists that the ‘pervasive residual superstition’ ‘stops our people from demanding better service from the leadership and certainly from taking more proactive steps towards their own material well-being.’ Like others, the governor argued against the direction of poverty as the causative factor of the crisis in the north, but accepted that poverty clearly aids the violent conflicts in the region. He also provided a well-thought out pragmatic solution to the challenges of the north. His words: “From the conflict between cattle-rearers and farmers to the Boko Haram insurgency, the struggle for or lack of access

Gbogun gboro grow and prosper. Happily, the news from Abuja is that the Yoruba delegation is working hard towards its destiny. They have been meeting regularly and building cohesion. Not surprisingly, there are some of them who were inclined initially to promote partisan or sectional objectives, and who were cool initially towards some features of the Yoruba Agenda – such as regionalism, or the replacement of the presidential system with a parliamentary system. For various reasons, they would have wanted significant parts of the status quo in Nigeria to remain. But, fortunately, they are few, and they have gradually yielded to the logic of the Yoruba Agenda. Even more importantly, the Yoruba delegation is stretching out its hands towards other delegations. Days before the National Conference opened, the Yoruba leaders, and leaders of the South-south and South-east, had met for two days in Asaba and agreed to a common agenda very similar to the Yoruba Agenda. The delegates of these three zones continue to meet in Abuja, and making contacts with delegates from the Middle Belt and the far North, and the chances look good now that the Asaba accord could serve as the instrument for restructuring our federation and setting our country on the path to stability and progress. In summary, then, I can see the probability that some men and women of my Yoruba nation could soon count among the frontline immortals who saved Nigeria. For the rest of us Yoruba people, our duty is clear – support and encourage our delegates, and never leave them alone until victory is won

to economic resources contribute to these crises. If we create conditions for the prosperity of a greater percentage of our people, therefore, we will at least reduce the number of people available or amenable for conscription into violent activities”. Governor Ahmed argued that the North’s agricultural resources can provide an antidote to the socio-economic stagnation and crises that have brought the region to its knees. We must explore and promote investment along key agriculture values to reclaim the agroallied prosperity this region once knew. “The solution lies in going back to the basics, sustaining good governance, implementing agribusiness, and promoting human capital development, especially functional education and access to quality healthcare.” In the end, Governor Kwankwaso summarised the expectations of the Nigerian team from their American interventionists: apart from the usual diplomatic support for the country, the US should consider instituting a peace and security programme that will ensure a holistic and comprehensive approach to addressing current and future conflicts in Nigeria. This could also involve activities that will reduce poverty through job creation, education, infrastructure and institutional development. On his part Governor Ahmed invited international donors to support his efforts at transforming agriculture, especially by promoting all seasons farming using advanced irrigation systems and making the state an international investors’ destination. Responding on behalf of other international agencies, administrator of United States Agency for International Development, USAID, 41 year old Rajiv Shah, who sits atop more than $22 billion intervention fund, promised the preparedness to intervene in the areas of agriculture, health, education and power. • Oba, writes from Ilorin



NEWS •From left: Vice President Namadi Sambo; Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar 111 and Governor Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State, during a condolence visit by the Vice President on the death of the Sultan’s brother In Sokoto...on Tuesday.

•Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi speaking during a cancer awareness rally and distribution of breast self examination kit organised by the state government in memory of the late Deputy Governor Mrs Funmi Olayinka in Ado-Ekiti... on Tuesday. With him are his Deputy Prof Modupe Adelabu (second right); his wife Bisi (left) and Assembly Speaker Adewale Omirin.

•Former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Mr Mike Aondoakaa welcoming United States Ambassador to Nigeria James Entwistle to his multi-million naira MIVA Rice milling factory in Makurdi, Benue State... on Tuesday.

•Front row: Deputy Managing Director, Moni Pulo (MPL), Mrs Solate Ovundah-Akarolo (left); Executive Vice-Chairman, Mrs. Seinye Lulu-Briggs; Mayor of Port Harcourt, Chimbiko Akarolo and Divisional Police Officer, old GRA Police Station, Evelyn Osilonye and others during a fitness Walk-For-Life in Port Harcourt.

Manager, Maraba branch of Winabet Ltd, Onwuatu Ifeoma (left); winner of N9.178.430 sports betting Mr Ilo Eric Ugo and Assistant Manager of Winabet Ltd, Bose Baiyekusi at the presentation of the prize money at the Winabet Golden Gate Free viewing centre, Abuja.

•L-R: Winner of the 2014 Vlisco Women’s Month Award (VWMA), Adesuwa Onyenokwe, a nominee, Olamide Orekunrin, Brand Ambassador for the 2014 VWMA, Stephanie Okereke and another nominee, Esther Agbarakwe at the 2014 VWMA in Lagos.

• Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello (second right); Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Service, Mr. Muyideen Akinsanya, an engineer (right); Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Hakeem Ogunbambi (left); Chairman, Lagos State House Committee on the Environment Tobun Abiodun and Special Adviser to the Governor on the Environment, Dr Taofeek Folami at a three-day Environment Family Retreat at Orchid Hotels Limited, Lekki, Lagos.

•Group Managing Director/CEO, Skye Bank, Mr Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti (right); Executive Director, Investment and Corporate Banking Timothy Oguntayo (left); Partner, Constant Capital, Barbara Iyayi and Head, Developing Markets, Atlas Merchant Capital, Jyrki Koskelo, when the Atlas Merchants Capital Partners visited Skye Bank, Lagos.

•Head of Sales Seasoning,Mr Frank Oludare, representatives of the Chairman, DOYIN Investment and Finance Controller Mr Stephen Daramolu and Maketing manager Mr Abiodun Awoyomi at the launch of DOYIN Instant Noodles at Victoria Island, Lagos. PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE.

•Hon Adebayo Ariyoh with pupils in Nursery, Primary and Junior secondary schools in Oriade Local Council Development Area after donating free exercise books and uniforms to 21 primary schools and 13 secondary schools in the council.






The Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) in Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State and its medical students are squabbling over “extra tuition fees”. The students are claiming that it is a ploy to extort them, but the university denies the allegation. The controversy, which is stalling the students’ induction into the medical profession, may not be resolved if the government does not intervene, reports ERNEST NWOKOLO (Abeokuta).

•Prof Saburi

Varsity, medical students tango over fees


ROUBLE is brewing at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH) in Sagamu, Ogun State. Medical students of the university are on collision course with the management over what they call “extra tuition fees”. The hospital is the medical training of the university, which is in Ago Iwoye. The students are accusing the authority of forcing them to pay higher tuition fees without apparent reason. Each student is to pay N150,000 (for indigenes of Ogun State) and N230,000 (non-indigenes), as tuition fees for two years extended stay in school. But the students will have none of it. The university has denied this of extortion claim. On February 25, the students stormed the House of Assembly to urge the lawmakers to prevail on the university to desist from extorting them via nebulous tuition fee. At the lawmakers’ instance, the university management convened a meeting of the students and their parents on March 3 to resolve the issue. At the meeting chaired by the Vice-Chancellor (VC), Prof Saburi Adesanya, it was resolved that no student should pay any extra

•Entrance to OOUTH.

tuition fee aside the mandatory fees for six sessions and a one-off developmental levy of N40,000 to assist the university. At the meeting were the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof Adewale Sule-Odu, Provost of Obafemi Awolowo College of Health Science, Prof Yomi Ogun and Chairman of the Parents’ Forum Rev Canon Remi Onajole. The VC was said to have accepted the agreement reached at the meeting, but the management later reneged on its implementation and pasted a notice after two weeks, directing the students to pay the additional tuition fees. The students have vowed not to pay what would amount to 10 years tuition for a sixyear programme. According to them, they should not be made to suffer further financial pains for an irregular academic calendar that foisted two additional years upon them for no fault of theirs. The President of the Students Union Government (SUG), Comrade Ifade Olusegun said the problem had been on for long, adding that despite their protest, the authority appears unrelenting. Olusegun said: "It is unfair to charge the medical students extra fee for the extra years they are to spend for disruption of their aca-


Lincoln varsity woos employers -Page 28

NHIS targets 24 million pupils for healthcare -Page 48

demic calendar brought about by lecturers strike, doctors' strike and crisis between management and non-academic staff. "The students are not the cause. Medical programme is six sessions and they have already paid for it. Now, the university wants them to pay for the additional years imposed upon them. This is not fair," he said. It was gathered that following last year's strike by the academic staff of public universities that spanned over five months, coupled with the internal crisis within OOU brought about the by the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) OOU chapter and other non - teaching staff who at different time disrupted university calendar while agitating for better remuneration and other benefits. In all these, the medical students were worst affected. The strike disrupted their programme and they have been asked by the university to stay extra two years than necessary to enable them complete the theoretical and clinical (practical) work for the award of M.B.B.S (General Medicine and Dental Surgery). Not done, the management said they would also pay tuition fee for the extra years to be spent and this is already taking a toll on them


as the final year medicals have been prevented from doing the required induction. It was gathered that following the intervention of some government officials, the management asked indigenes to pay N45,000 while non - indigenes are expected to pay more which the students accepted. However, Yemi Adegbesan, President of the OOU Medical Students Association, claims the VC, made a volte -face and directed them to pay N150,000 or N230,000. He said neither him nor his peers understood how the university management arrived at the new figure of N75,000 (indigenes) or N115,000 (non-indigenes) per student yearly for the two extra sessions. Describing the fees as illegal, Adegbesan said the medical school curriculum runs for six years, which requires them to pay for six sessions, with or without strikes by academic or non-academic staff of the institution. Adegbesan said: "Prof Saburi Adesanya is not being fair, here. He has refused to allow final year medical students from OOU do their induction just because he wants them to pay extra school fees for two sessions. The stu• Continued on Page 26

•A 10-page section on campus news, people etc

Students agonise over banks’ closure -Page 29




Don counsels African leaders AFRICAN leaders must be ready to take the responsibility to drive growth and development in a way that meets the collective desires of the people, Prof Adebayo Olukoshi has said. Olukoshi spoke while delivering the convocation lecture of the Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti titled: Africa: Meeting The Challenges of Leadership. The Director, United Nations Institute for Development and Planning, Dakar, Senegal who was represented by Prof Akinyemi Atere of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, said Africa has paid a high price for leadership failures. He underscored the need for leadership in Africa to be visionary and challenged the present and upcoming generations to make the necessary corrections and overturn the table of underdevelopment, indiginity and pain that have bedeviled the African history. Olukoshi finally urged the African continent to embrace the process of change that is unfolding globally and trade corrupt tendencies and selfish agenda for the love of the citizens and their welfare.

Advancement Centre pledges to deliver THE Chairman of the newlyestablished board of the EKSU Advancement Centre, Prince Julius Adelusi Adeluyi, has promised that the board would help the university gain international recognition. He made the pledge during the inauguration of the board at the council chamber of the university. The board is constituted of eminent persons from various walks of life including renowned academics, politicians, business persons, industrialists. Adeluyi said they would mobilise their personal resources and those of their allies to attract significant support for the university. He said that the Centre would invite and ensure participation of influential donors and philanthropists to help realize the new vision of the university. Other members of the Board include: Prof. Patrick Oladipo Aina, EKSU Vice Chancellor; Prof. J.O. Aribisala,- Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic); Prof. E.Y. Aderibigbe, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development), Dr. Kole Shettima, Prof. Pat Utomi, Sir, Remi Omotoso, Dr. Pius Oshunyinkanmi, Otunba Bola Adeyeye (Rep. of Alumni), Mr. Gbenga Oyebode and Mr A.T. Taiwo.

Varsity, medical students tango over fees • Continued from Page 25

dents have extra time in school because of ASUU, SSANU, NASU and other unions' strikes. We had last December 17 written a petition to the House on the issue. But, up till now, nothing has been done." He pleaded with the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Prince Suraj Adekunbi, to urgently wade into the matter as "time is running out on the side of the final year students". In line with Adekunbi's promise that the lawmakers would look into the matter, the House of Assembly has scheduled a meeting with the warring parties next Monday. The university's management, students Senate and the Governing Council have been summoned to appear before the House's Committee on Education, Ethics and Petition on Monday next week. Assuring the students of resolution of the problem, Adekunbi said: "I also have a brother in your school that is in his tenth year, so I understand your plight but I want you to have confidence in us that we'll do the right thing and everything will be done in accordance with the provision of the law". Denying the students' claims of extortion and malpractice, the OOU management said the final year medical students were not asked to pay extra tuition due to strike in the university. The Head, Corporate Affairs Division, Mr Niyi Oduwole, said the extension of period of medical students in the clinical school was due to strike by workers' unions at the teaching hospital, which have necessitated the payment. "To set the records straight, we want to make it abundantly clear that no student, including our medical students, was directed to pay extra tuition due to any strike in the university. It would be recalled that the recent national industrial action


The students are not the cause. Medical programme is six sessions and they have already paid for it. Now, the university wants them to pay for the additional years imposed upon them

embarked by staff unions that lasted for over six months did not attract any additional fees for the students. Our students resumed for the continuation of their academic activities without paying extra fees including the medical students. "However, extension of period of study of medical students in the clinical school due to strike in the teaching hospital by doctors and other ancillary medical personnel may occur. This did happen to the current final year medical students where there was a prolonged academic year due to the 2010/2011 strike by the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital staff that lasted for about nine months. This strike cannot be reflected on normal university calendar like other unions strike. "The university had to make adhoc arrangement to accommodate the backlog of students from the pre-medical school, thereby resulting in about six sets of students in

the clinical programme instead of normal three sets. The stress imposed by overcrowding led to further extension. In totality, the students affected have to spend extra sessions above the normal academic sessions." However, the students fault the claim of extra fees on this basis. They argue that the university incurred no loss in revenue from their prolonged stay in school as six sets of medical students are expected to pay tuition every session. They said even the Part three students who have been asked by the university to go on "Leave of Absence" have paid for the current session and would also pay for the next session when it resumes in three months time. A final year (500 level) medical student, who desired anonymity, explained why the 300 Level medical students are on leave of absence. He said: "The medical curriculum is structured in such a way that after Part 3, you write your first professional exam (Part I MBBS exam) in Anatomy, Physiology & Biochemistry. "Then the students go on a month break and resume in Sagamu for 400L (Pathology and Pharmacology). The thing is, right now, the people in 400L haven't moved on to 500L, so there's no vacancy in that class. They will move three months from now (June), considering the pace of their ongoing programme. "The truth is that this situation, although not normal, is not new. The best solution would have been to allow the class to resume after their one month break. Unlike in the past, individual classes are much smaller now (about 50 per class, though fees have sky-rocketed), so it would not really be much burden for the lecturers to cope. "In the past, there were single classes with populations above 200. But the Vice Chancellor is playing

up the "Leave of Absence" phenomenon as a form of threat to parents so they will accept to pay extra fees/ additional tuition. " He claims that when students go on "Leave of Absence", they don't have to pay school fees, but that 300L class have paid for the current session (2012/2013) already and the next session 2013/2014 starts in June, which is when they will resume, so they will have to pay again. "The medical programme isn't structured according to semesters. The programme is continuous and postings are counted in weeks, so there are hardly any breaks or holidays until after major exams. But the entire programme is structured to fit into six sessions. "The second major exam takes place in 400L (Part II MBBS exam). The third major exam takes place in 500L (Part III MBBS exam) while the fourth and final major exam takes place in 600L (Part IV MBBS exam).There are many smaller exams interspersed all through the programme of course, they are called in-course examinations. "Medical students pay school fees whenever their counterparts on the main campus are paying because the university management insists on it since the university operates a central payment portal. The portal opens for payment at the beginning of a session and closes after a time interval allowed for registration. "But everyone understands that the medical students' final tuition is the sixth one. There is no controversy about this. It was the desperation to generate funds that made this new Vice Chancellor to consider exploring the possibility of asking medical students to pay school fees ad infinitum." The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr Segun Odubela, said the government was meeting with the students, lecturers and management with a view to finding solutions to matter.

VC advises varsities to set ambitious targets

NY institution that is serious about meeting world standards should set ambitious targets, says Prof Adekunle Okesina, Vice Chancellor, Osun State University. Okesina spoke during an interview that followed a dinner to celebrate his first year as vice-chancellor of the multi-campus university in Osogbo last Thursday. The Professor of Chemical Pa-

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

thology said such targets must exceed benchmarks set by the National Universities Commission (NUC) for programmes and institutional accreditations. He said setting goals in the manner has enabled UNIOSUN to scale through any hurdle because the focus is not on just meeting the minimum standard but producing qual-

•Governor Godswill Akpabio presenting a certificate of merit to Kingsley Dogo, a 2014 Batch 'A' during the formal closing of the Orientation programme in Akwa Ibom State.

Corps Member

ity students who can hold their own in any field of endeavour. “We do not plan for minimum standard. I tell my workers not to think of NUC benchmark but what kind of products you want your students to become. If you are looking at the minimum standard, you may fail,” he said. Okesina however said that the university faces substantial challenges funding its six campuses located in Ikire, Ifetedo, Owu, IpetuIjesa, Okuku, and Osogbo as it has to replicate similar facilities on all the campuses. “As a multi-campus institution, what can easily be shared – like the library, laboratories, health facilities, even workers, have to be duplicated in each campus. It means that you have to spend six times what you would have spent if it were one campus. Even to hold meetings, you have to provide transportation for the workers,” he said. Nevertheless, Okesina said the university is prepared to be innovative in generating extra funds by partnering with local and international organisations as well as individuals that desire to contribute to education. He said: “We are making various efforts to overcome the challenges. We are using the corporate body approach, both local and international, to intervene. We are not alone in this. At the Commonwealth Conference I attended few months ago, it was said that by 2015 every institution must have relationship with the town. We want to start a guest house; we discov-

•Prof Okesina

ered that Jatropha is a very good source of bio-fuel and that there is a company in Ibadan that can absorb all we can produce, so I have commissioned that all campuses must plant Jatropha. We also plan to reach out to alumni, and our Parents’ Forum have promised to support us with N5,000 per student.” Speaking of future plans, Okesina hopes that UNIOSUN will be among the best in Africa and is poised to add 12 more programmes to the 19 it presently runs, which he said are all fully accredited. He also said the university is planning to provide accommodation for workers and students on all the campuses. He said despite the challenges of providing power, water and other necessities, having hostels on campus would help students develop a culture that can only grow from sharing the same values. Despite initial setback with funding, Okesina said the university still plans to run a medical programme. He said the plans stalled because the university does not have a teaching hospital and its plan to share facilities with the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology did not fall through because of lack of funds.





Lincoln varsity woos employers with work-based courses

OR employers seeking to boost productivity and loyalty of workers, the University of Lincoln, United Kingdom, has designed a flexible distance learning programme they can undertake while working full-time. The institution claims that its Work Based Distance Learning degree programme is intensive yet flexible and tailored to improve productivity in line with management objective. “It retains key knowledge within your workforce and develop staff in line with organisational strategy,” said Shane Moses, the university’s Student Enrolment Advisor who spoke at an interactive session with potential clients at Southern Hotel Ikoyi on Wednesday last week. Moses said the flexibility of the programme, and the fact that workers can learn at individual pace and acquire skills while on full employment, improves their efficiency and, contributes to the organisational goal. He said: “We want to help management improve in values. We want to help management appreciate real life situations and scenario. We want to be flexible so that their workers won’t have to be away from work while running the programme. “It will improve organisational workforce with better management


It will improve organisational workforce with better management skills. On individual basis, they can apply the theory to their career while on the work By Adegunle Olugbamila

skills. On individual basis, they can apply the theory to their career while on the work. The programme can be done under two years. You are not paying for the whole degree but the third and final year only and on completion you receive a degree. Overall, it engenders more confidence, capacity and more benefit for the country.” Moses explained that organisations enjoy the advantage of programmes being customised to address their specific needs, with relevant experts that offer valid advice on managerial gaps. He said the courses are available online and students can reach their tutors and submit assignments and work-based projects, by phone or e-mails. The students are also required to work on a 10.000 word dissertation agreed by both parties. “Since it is flexible, we do it with the pace that suits individual stu-

dent. There is instant help to the students by their tutor anytime they need it. The use of online virtual learning enables every student work at his pace. Every individual is treated differently. Our students don’t have to stress or worry,” he added. With a flexible payment method, Moses said upon completion of programmes within 24 months, successful students will be presented with a degree certificate which does not state the method of study but is “identical to certificates awarded for all our undergraduate programmes.” Mrs Yemisi Akinrinade, Managing Partner, Concinnity, a management consulting firm that is partnering with Lincoln’s WBDL said applicants only need a minimum of HND and five-year working experience to be eligible. The merit, according to her, is that with such kind gesture by employers, employees are want to stay with


them, aligning with the organisational dream with a view to advancing into managerial roles. On the choice of Work-Based learning, Mrs Akirinade is convinced it is one platform that would dominate education in future. “We have adopted Work-Based Distance learning because it is one platform that will dominate the future. We have realised that learning is moving beyond the classrooms. With internet access and the new knowledge that we have, Work-Based Learning is certainly the future of education and we have brought it to Nigeria and are now calling on individuals and corporate bodies to buy into it,” she said.

New name for department THE Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) has changed the nomenclature of its Department of Food Service and Tourism to the Hospitality and Tourism. Speaking at an enlightenment programme organised for members of staff and students of the new department, the Dean, College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC), Prof Folake Henshaw, said the department’s vision remains the same and they would make efforts to broaden the scope of the course to give students an edge. The head of the department, Dr Mobolaji Omemu, told the students they should count themselves privileged to be the first set of professionals that would emerge in the department. She added that the duration of the course would increase from four to five years.


Don counsels scientists on grant THE Director, Institute of Food Security, Environmental Resources and Agricultural Research (IFSERAR) at FUNAAB, Prof Akin Omotayo, has charged scientists and researchers to participate more in competitive research grants in order to increase their chances of winning good international grants. Omotayo, who is also the winner West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAP) grant, gave this charge during the presentation of the WAAP project vehicle to him, to facilitate the implementation of the project. The professor said a lot of grant opportunities were available across the globe and when explored, could bring development to the university and country at large. He disclosed that scientists could partner with the university’s Directorate of Grants Management, to identify available grant opportunities, and offered to mentor willing participants. Speaking on the WAAP grant, Omotayo said the project is aimed at increasing productivity across West African nations and is already actively running in Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Cote d’ivoire and Burkina Faso, for the next two years in the area of aquaculture. “We are multiplying fingerlings for WAAP, to be distributed to farmers across the country. We are to produce eight million fingerlings and we are also partnering with WAAP, to multiply yellow-flesh cassava for distribution to farmers not just in South West alone but throughout the country,” he said.

Scientists Win IFS Grant

• Abraham Laah (right) giving the Director, MTN Foundation, Mrs Aishatu Sadauki (left), Deputy Governor, Kaduna State, Ambassador Audu Bajoga (middle) and General Manager, Sales, MTN, Adekunle Adebiyi (right) a tour of the facilities donated by MTN Foundation to Government Technical College, Malali, Kaduna.

Rivers to spend N400m on WBC activities

CTIVITIES for the Port Harcourt World Book Capital (PH WBC) 2014 are billed to begin in Port Harcourt the Rivers State capital on April 23, with the initiative expected to cost the state more than N400 million to host. The United Nations, Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) named Port Harcourt the World Book Capital in 2012 after a keenly contested bid with three other cities of the World including those of Europe and America. It will hold the position for one year, between April 23, 2014 and April 22, 2015 when it will hand over to Incheon, a city in South Korea. Speaking at a briefing in Port Harcourt (PH), the Project Director, Mrs Koko Kalango, said the programme may cost more than the estimated amount. “It is a bit difficult to place a cost on the event now, but when we


From Rosemary Nwisi, Port Harcourt

started we expected that N400 million will do it, but we are no longer sure of that, when the events will properly kick off. This is because of our partnership with different spheres and organisations that would do so many other things for us free of charge, especially in the area of publicity. “We cannot place money value on all that our partners, Nigerians have agreed to do for us to ensure that this dream is delivered.” She noted that despite the ‘Port Harcourt’ nomenclature attached to it, it is a project Nigerians and Africans ought to be proud of. Speaking on the activities for the year, Mrs Kalango, who runs the Rainbow Book Club, said programmes would include reading time with dignitaries, including President Goodluck Jonathan, at the

book clubs in various schools. “Members of the PH WBC 2014 Celebration committee, made up of mostly members of the state cabinet, and headed by the state Deputy Governor Tele Ikuru, would work with 100 primary and secondary schools in Port Harcourt and a total of 200 book clubs set up across schools to revive the reading culture among pupils within the one year period. “President GoodLuck Jonathan and other Nigerian celebrities, including Nollywood actors have been scheduled to come at different days to read to Port Harcourt children,” Mrs. Kalango said. She said 300 teachers from urban and rural schools have already been trained for this project, which will also feature a ‘reading tree’ – a graded reading series for primary school pupils which ensures children read one book a week, and book club meetings to instil proper values in

the children. She expressed optimism that the events would assist in curbing insecurity, maternal deaths and teenage pregnancy among others. She added that reading would be proven as a tool to redirect the minds of youths from delinquent activities. Mrs Kalango is excited that Port Harcourt is the first city in Africa to win the WBC through competitive bidding. She explained that Alexandria (Egypt), had earlier held the position, but emerged by selection. “This is an incredible opportunity for this city (Port Harcourt), to make history, considering that that the honour comes soon after Port Harcourt celebrated its 100 years and Nigeria is celebrating hers. She maintained that the glory of the victory was not just for Port Harcourt alone but Nigeria and Africa in general.

DR Kolawole Adebayo of the Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development and Mrs Kofoworola Olatunde of the Department of Environmental Management and Toxicology have won the prestigious International Foundation for Science (IFS) grant, which will be used to investigate ways of combating food insecurity through optimal cultivation and utilisation of cocoyam in SubSaharan Africa, using a multidisciplinary approach. Adebayo, who is also the university’s Director of Grants Management, will explore farmers decisions on the potential adoption of recommended practices in ruralbased cocoyam value chains, while Mrs. Olatunde is to coordinate the research, which will be carried out alongside Mr. JohnBosco Muhumuza of the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), Kampala, Uganda. The research covers the variability in proximate/antinutritive composition of cocoyam as well as the potential of different soil fertility amendments in reducing oxalic acid accumulation in cocoyam and would evaluate the agronomic performance of cocoyam accessions under upland conditions using a farmer-led participatory approach. The grant, worth $43,660, is expected to cover 26 months.




Shun nepotism, VC urges THE Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUTMINNA), Prof Musbau Akanji, has urged workers of the university to shun ethnic and religious sentiments in the discharge of their official duties. The VC gave this advice while declaring open a workshop on Student Advising & Registration organised by the university’s Quality Assurance and Productivity Unit at the ETF Lecture Theatre, School of Environmental Technology. Akanji said ethnic and religious sentiments should not arise based on the fact that a university is universal and urged the workers to carry out their assigned duties fairly without selfish consideration. Underscoring the importance of Level Advisers, Akanji said 70 per cent of students’ problems could be traced to bad advice. He therefore urged them to put value in all they do while advising students on course registration. The Director, Quality Assurance and Productivity Unit, Prof Adai Ibrahim, said the workshop was to equip newly-appointed deans, HODs, level advisers, examination officers with the necessary skills needed for their jobs and also to reduce the amount of time used to register students.

School re-designs software THE FUTMINNA School of Natural and Applied Sciences (SNAS) has re-designed a software for compilating students’ academic records. Dr. Adamu Mohammed of the Mathematics/Statistics Department said the review, coming 10 years after the software was first designed, has addressed challenges faced by examination officers of the university in compiling the records in the past. At the presentation of the Bosso Campus of the university, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Musbau Akanji, praised SNAS for the feat and its former dean, Prof Hadi Suberu, for initiating the programme. “This feat is not for SNAS alone but for the entire University,” he said.

VC seeks pact with FMC FUTMINNA Vice Chancellor, Prof Musbau Akanji, believes that collaboration between and the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Bida would facilitate the establishment of the university’s proposed College of Health Sciences. Akanji, who spoke when he received the Chief Medical Director of FMC, Bida, Dr. Mohammed Aminu, said the partnership would help the university to cushion the high cost of medical equipment. “We are happy to receive you in our midst; we are ready to partner with you not only in terms of College of Health Sciences but also for the sake of our personal health needs,” he said. Aminu, who was recently appointed the Chief Medical Director of the centre, said the health institution has about 35 consultants in different specialties that are ready to render their expertise in medical teaching and research to the University.

Lagos holds maiden induction for new teachers


EW teachers employed by the Lagos State government have been urged to take responsibility for their own learning by sponsoring themselves to conferences, workshops and consulting the internet. Special Adviser on Eko Project, Ms Ronke Azeez, gave the advice at the opening of a five-day induction for 1,775 teachers at the Public Service Staff Development Centre, Magodo. It was the first time the government would conduct an induction for new teachers.

By Adeyinka Aderibigbe

Ms Azeez said being proactive about their training needs would boost their exposure to great opportunities available even outside the state. She urged the new teachers to be passionate about their jobs, especially as their competence would continually be measured in line with the Teachers Competency Framework, and also advised them to make friends with teachers’ mentors in their schools. The Permanent Secretary, Teachers Establishment and Pensions Office

(TEPO) Mr Nurudeen Ojora-Adejiyan while welcoming the new entrants into the noble profession noted that the exercise “reinforces the government’s resolve to build competent teachers who will help to move the state forward in its bid to attain excellence.” PSSDC’s Director-General, Mrs Olubunmi Fabamwo, said the teachers were exposed to teaching skills, personal branding, history, structure and function of the state civil service, vision and mission; presentation skills and classroom management, Public Service Rules etc.

•Some of the matriculating students


College matriculates 140

HE Topmost College of Education (TOPCOED), Ipaja/ Agbado, Lagos has matriculated the fourth set of students admitted for the National Certificate in Education (NCE). Its Provost, Dr Oluwafunmilayo Odunayo, said the institution has approval of the National Council for Colleges of Education, its regulatory body, to run 14 full-time programmes. Addressing the fresh students, she urged them to be responsible, live by exemple, and avoid social vices as the management will not tolerate such. She said the institution was set up to produce well-grounded and ICTcompliant teachers and administrators, as well as provide vocational training, which would earn them


By Adegunle Olugbamila

additional certificate of entrepreneurship at the completion of their programmes. Chairman of the college, Mr Wale Odunayo, said the institution’s journey started in 1990 when it acquired five acres of land in the Ipaja/ Agbado neinbourhood. He said the management’s next plan is the establishment of a university of education and urged the host community to cooperate with the management to ensure its sustenance. “The college belongs to everybody; it is not a personal property. Everyone is entitled to formal education. Many children are roaming the streets waiting to pass UTME and secure admission into university; but this is a great opportunity

we are presenting to them. Within three years, they would have completed their NCE programme and proceeded to the university without having to sit for UTME every other year,” he said. He also urged school owners to take advantage of the institution by sending their teachers to obtain Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE), which automatically qualifies them as professional teachers following a licence granted TOPCOED by the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) to offer the programme. “There is a new law by TRCN to school owners that any teacher found in the classroom without having NCE or PGDE should be prohibited while the school owners may also be prosecuted.

She enjoined the new teachers to be ready to add value on their schools. “Bricks, mortars and classrooms don’t teach, competent, discipline and dedicated teachers are the brains behind successful story in education development,” she said. The All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS) and the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) praised the event, promising to partner with the state to achieve effective performance of the teachers.

Achievers appoints VC ACHIEVERS University, Owo, Ondo State has appointed Prof Tunji Samuel Ibiyemi, as its new Vice-Chancellor. He succeeds Prof Johnson Adebayo Odebiyi, who has completed a six-year term as the pioneer Vice-Chancellor of the university. Before this appointment, Ibiyemi, 60, who hails from Ayetoro-Gbedde, Kogi State, was a professor of Information Technology and Automation in the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, University of Ilorin (UNILORIN). Ibeyemi, who became a professor of Electrical Engineering (Computer and Control) in 1997, has about 31 years of post-doctoral university teaching and research experience with 16 years as professor. Ibiyemi, who obtained his masters and doctorate from the University of Bradford, England, was Head of Department of Electrical Engineering at UNILORIN for more than 12 years and pioneer Dean of College of Science and Technology at Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State. Last year, Ibiyemi led a team of engineer researchers of UNILORIN to produce a prototype biometric machine that adequately recognises physical features of black people, which imported biometric machines had been unable to do. The research, a breakthrough was sponsored by the World Bank-assisted Science and Technology Education Post-Basic (Step-B) Project.

Establish labs, graduands urged

RADUATES of Science Laboratory Technology (SLT) need not stay without jobs after (DG) graduation, says Director-General/ Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology (NISLT), Dr Ighodalo Ijagbone. Ijagbone spoke while inducting 65 SLT graduands of the University of Port Harcourt, advising them to make a foray into the unsaturated private practice market of the profession. The DG said opportunities abound for SLT professionals to set up private laboratories to offer services needed by various sector of the society.’ The laboratories could help students carry out researches, analysis for people plants, water, soil and food (poisoning), research work for PhD students, investigation concerning pollution in the environment, forensic investigation and the like. Ijagbone, who trained as science laboratory technologist at the University of Ibadan and Paddington College, London, however, urged the graduands to pay attention to NISLT’s rules and regulations. He said: “As a professional equipped with diverse knowledge and skills in the field of science and technology, I wish to advise and encourage you to be entrepreneur-

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

ial in your approach in efforts to engage yourselves professionally. One area that members of the profession have not keyed into fully is private practice. Private practice is the work of a professional practitioner like you who is self-employed. With particular reference to our profession, you can engage yourself profitably by setting up a

laboratory with appropriate facilities and equipment to perform standard tests and investigations. “Let me, however, advise that any professional venture you embark on, you must get it registered and obtain appropriate licence to operate. You can get further details from the National Secretariat of the Institute in Ibadan. As laboratory scientists/technologists, it is necessary that you align your skills as well as

core scientific and technical competences and training with the requirements and standards that are associated with Science and Technology delivery.” Ijagbone and the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof Joseph Aijenka were honoured on the occasion by the School of Science Laboratory Technology (SSLT) of the university.

•The VC, UNIPORT, Prof. Joseph A. Ajienka reads the award to be presented to Registrar, NISLT, Dr. Ighodalo F. Ijagbone.


From grass to grace

Promoting unity on the pitch

Page 31


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0805-450-3104 email: THURSDAY, APRIL 10, 2014



Four months after some banks in the polytechnic town of Offa, Kwara State, were shut for fear of robbers, they are yet to reopen. The development is causing hardship for the Federal Polytechnic, Offa (OFFA POLY) students, who have been travelling outside the campus to transact business. AFEEZ ADEYEMO (NDII Mass Communication) reports.


T is almost four months since the disruption of banking services in Offa, Kwara State. Some banks, which residents described as “standard”, were shut, following incessant robbery attacks. Last December, no fewer than five people, including policemen, were killed by a 30man gang during an attack on the three “standard” banks in the town. The robbers stormed the banks with sophisticated weapons, including rocket launchers and AK-47 rifles. They carted away an undisclosed amount of money. The robbers also attacked the Offa Divisional Police Station and reportedly freed some suspects. The attack forced all the banks to close down their operations during the Yuletide. Customers expected the banks to re-open in January. But, at the time of this report, the affected banks were still shut. Customers are groaning because of their continued closure. Only a bank is operating in the whole town. Their closure is biting hard on students of the Federal Polytechnic, Offa (OFFA POLY), who returned to school, following the management’s decision to back out of the ongoing nationwide Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) strike. Since their return, life has been unbearable for them because of the stress they go through to get cash. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that only one of the six Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) of banks on campus is dispensing cash. Even then, the bank that operates the ATM is still closed but its officials dutifully it with cash. At 6am daily, a crowd of students besiege the ATM to withdraw cash. Those who cannot withstand stress travel to neighbouring communities, such as Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, Ikirun, Osogbo and Okuku all in Osun State to get cash. Students are wondering why they have to go through pains before withdrawing their money. The banks’ closure, they said, was an indictment on the police. They urged the police to ensure security of banks in the city. Mariam Eniola, an ND 1 Mass Communi-

•A crowd of students waiting to withdraw money from the functioning ATM on the campus

Students agonise over banks’ closure cation student, urged the police to “return to work and ensure the banks re-open for operations.” She pleaded with the banks’ managements to consider customers’ pain and re-open their outfits. Rasheedat Adeleke, an ND II student of Quantity Surveying, said the development was affecting her academic pursuit. “I leave my academics when I am not supposed to and travel around to get money. It is sickening. My experience in the course of getting cash is harrowing. At times, I miss class to queue at the ATM port; and, sometimes,

the machine runs out of cash before it gets to my turn. Something needs to be done to bring the banks back. I am fed up,” she lamented. According to Adeola Badiora, an ND II Food Technology Science student, the banks’ closure is not good for the socio-economic development of the town. “It affects everybody and business activities,” she said, imploring the banks to re-open in the interest of the town and students. Solomon Ayorinde, an HND II Mass Communication student, said students could not

quantify the pains they have been going through since the banks were closed. He said: “The pain is too much for us to bear.” When our correspondent visited some of the banks, they were being renovated, indicating that they could be re-opened soon. One of the banks’ security personnel, who did not want his name in print, told our correspondent that every measure was being taken to start operations. He said the bank’s management was considering reopening as the continued closure could result in lose its customers.

•Students escape death as truck loses control-P32•Students lament congested classrooms-P41




The Pushing exploitation Out of our fault with Agbo Agbo lines (2) 08116759750


CONCLUDED last week’s article with series of questions raised by Borno elders two weeks ago about the security challenges being faced in the north east. As a student of history - and inasmuch as I desire not to - I cannot but draw a parallel with what is happening presently in the middle belt to what happened in the Darfur region of Sudan from February 2003 prior to the referendum that split the country into two. The Sudan Liberation Movement/Army and the Justice and Equity Movement took up arms against the Sudanese government which they accused of oppressing Darfur’s non-Arab population. Following this armed struggle for selfdetermination the government - as its strategy to counter the insurgency - armed nomadic Arab pastoralists known as the Janjaweed, which in Arabic, I am made to understand mean “spirits on horseback” to attack and terrorise villages owned by farmers. The farmers and pastoralists had been historically locked in tussles over land down the ages. The Janjaweed is composed of mostly Arabised indigenous Africans and a small number of Bedouins. It is instructive that majority of other Arab groups in Darfur did not support the Janjaweed, even the Sudanese government, at a point, publicly denies its support for the group. This notwithstanding, international organisations strongly believe it provide financial assistance, weapons and assisted in coordinating attacks and operations. Though the case in the middle belt

Suswam and others have echoed is this: what manner of “Fulani herdsmen” are these that carry sophisticated weapons, ford the savannahs of the Middle Belt, attack villages in the same typical S u d a n Janjaweed style and vanish into thin air? What

(SMS only)

• is totally different from that of Darfur because there is no armed insurrection, but one cannot run away from the fact that none of these so called “Fulani herdsmen” or “Unknown gunmen” have been caught so that they can tell us what their grievances are. Even beyond the middle belt, this same scorched earth campaign is being carried out. Ten days ago, a former commissioner in Kaduna State, Dr. Isuwa Dogo appeared on Channels Television and cried out that the people of Southern Kaduna are on the verge of being wiped out by armed militias from yet to be identified locations. According to Dogo, they creep up on sleeping villagers at night and set houses on fire. They wait for the terrified, screaming occupants – defenceless men, women and children – to come running out for safety. Then, they systematically shoot, slash and machete them to death and melt into the bush like shadows. The following morning, they are either described as “unknown gunmen” or more fancifully as “Fulani herdsmen” in the media. This is the dilemma we are presently facing as a nation and the dilemma will get intense as we march toward 2015. Since I was given a kind of “on the spot analysis” of what is happening in Benue and other surrounding states by the undergraduates, the question on the lips of one of them, which Governor Gabriel

ESSAY CONTEST FOR UNDERGRADS THE Nation CAMPUSLIFE, in collaboration with and Network for a Free Society, is calling for entries into an essay competition. Details are as follows: Question: Freedom creates prosperity. It unleashes human talent, invention and innovation, creating wealth where none existed before. Discuss. Eligibility: All African Students in any tertiary institutions (university, polytechnic, college of education and technical schools) in Africa. The format of the text should be in Microsoft word and not more than 1,500 words. Interested students can visit for background materials. Note that plagiarism is not allowed; any text or sentences copied from other people works must be indicated in quotation marks and credit must be given at the bottom of the paper to the author. Any entry that contains plagiarised work will be disqualified. On the first page of the completed essay, please write your full names, department, level of study and name of institution. Also include your email address and mobile phone number. Send your entries to Entries will be received between March 6 and June 6, 2014. Late entries will not be accepted. Winners will be announced on July 3 , 2014. All entries will get a free book titled Why Liberty by Tom G. Palmer OR Foundation of a Free Society by Eamonn Butler. Please be sure you include your postal address if different from your school address. Prizes: 1st - George Ayittey (Platinum Prize): $1,000 and scholarship to 2014 Students and Young Professional African Liberty Academy (SYPALA)/ASFL at the University of Cape Town Business School, South Africa, from August 14-17, 2014 2nd - Anthony Fisher (Gold Prize): $700 and scholarship to 2014 Students and Young Professional African Liberty Academy (SYPALA)/ASFL at the University of Cape Town Business School, South Africa, from August 14- 17, 2014 3rd - Derenle Edun (Silver Prize): $500 and scholarship to 2014 Students and Young Professional African Liberty Academy (SYPALA)/ASFL at University of Cape Town Business School. South Africa, from August 14- 17, 2014 4th – The Nation CAMPUSLIFE Media Prize (Bronze): $300 and scholarship to 2014 Students and Young Professional African Liberty Academy (SYPALA)/ASFL at the University of Cape Town Business School, South Africa, from August 14- 17, 2014. We also have eight consolation prizes of $50 each.

manners of “Fulani herdsmen” are supplied with food, arms and ammunition (as Borno elders allege) with helicopters? Who are these people? Until we try to answer these questions we may be groping in the dark or be looking for a needle in a haystack. To me, I believe what we are dealing with requires more of our brains than our brawn. Come to think of it, the attackers are using more of their brains than brawn. Have we ever thought of the fact that these people know the landscape, the setting and the routines of their target victims? How would they attack a village without carrying out reconnaissance in the daytime to ascertain the strength of that village? Why is it always women and children that are slaughtered? Agreed, the “Fulani herdsmen,” by virtue of their nomadic lifestyles may be involved; but most people in these areas do not believe it is the same Fulani herdsmen of the past that are perpetuating the present carnage. They believe there are specialised military and security knowhow, powerful financial muscle and sinister political motive behind all this. I think so too. If our intelligence agencies can fish them out, the rest of the work will be easy as our armed forces will simply move in and complete the mop up operation. What are some of the lesson I think we should learn? I believe if a stranger enters any village for the

first time people should be able to identify such a stranger, even in a locality strangers can be easily identified. Recall that at a point during the ongoing carnage in Maiduguri, the people formed the “Civilian JTF.” Benue and surrounding states should replicate this against the so called “Fulani herdsmen” or “unknown gunmen” ravaging their villages. Local young people in the various communities should be organised to help in reconnaissance and vigilante backup of military efforts. This is not going to be easy for one strong reason: most of the virile young people are now out of the villages and wasting their lives in the urban centres in search of nonexistent jobs or quick wealth. This is the main reason why women, children and old men are often the casualties in these attacks. This is a challenge the government should look into. What can I deduce from all these? Beyond our hating each other, our country has a lot of enemies waiting eagerly for it to disintegrate. Some of them are foreigners, but most of them are Nigerians. There are many evil-minded Nigerians who during the day grandstand about Nigeria being an indivisible and indissoluble nation, but during the night they conspire to make the country a difficult place for those who do not belong to their group. These groups do not care the number of innocent lives lost if their perceived ambitions are achieved. These are the internal enemies the nation must rise up against. But we cannot comfortably confront this leviathan in whatever guise if there is injustice, deprivation, corruption and other vices in our midst. It is left for the government to create economic policies that will put young men and women back into our local communities. This is very critical. In a state like Benue where agriculture is the mainstay for now, what effort is being made to make it attractive to the youths? Has anyone thought of introducing youthfriendly large-scale commercial farming and its attendant value chains to reverse the urban drift? The

enemy will not dare to attack a community that is well defended by its own virile youths because our enemy is a big coward and a predator that stalks its prey in the night. Cowards are what they are; cowards. This nation has tremendous resources, both material and human that has not been harnessed which cheap and easy crude oil money has blinded us from seeing. Bringing the youths back to rural communities will remain a daunting challenge if our profligate and ostentatious lifestyles are not checked. Nigerians in their late 30s and beyond living in Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and Aba should look around and ask themselves where are the factories that used to dot their cities before now? They are mostly gone with their warehouses not centres of worship by our religious groups. Some of these factories were supplied raw materials from our rural communities which help to keep our youths engaged and focused. Some of them need not come to the cities before they can live peaceful and comfortable lives. If this is the case, it would be difficult for “Fulani herdsmen” or “Unknown gunmen” to ravage their communities. Those concocting these evil plots know we have series of fault lines in this country which is being fuelled by the high rate of poverty in the society. This is the reason why I refused to join the bandwagon in praising our re-based GDP. Just like a former minister said: “GDP is good, but you can’t eat it.” It’s as simple as that. We’ve had a jobless growth for years now, with the level of poverty increasing. If nothing should open our eyes to the challenge we face as a nation, the fatal Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) recruitment exercise should. We should strive to prevent these youths - who are getting angrier by the day – from joining the ranks of “Fulani herdsmen” or “Unknown gunmen.” Anyway, some have already taking kidnapping as a profession. How do we get them back to live normal rewarding lives?

‘Youths must shape their future’ Emmanuel Ogar, a 500-Level Electronics and Computer Technology student of the University of Calabar (UNICAL), is the co-ordinator of the Youth Alliance for Northern Cross River Dreams (YANCRID). He tells SAM IBOK (400Level Curriculum and Teaching) the group’s objectives.


HAT is the Youths Alliance for Northern Cross River Dreams about? The objectives of the group include creating platforms for discussion of issues affecting youths; preparing them for the political, economic and social movements to actualise the ideals of the people of northern Cross River State. We also want to nurture the youths and reorientate them on the evils of discrimination, exploitation and injustice in the society. What are the challenges you think are facing the youths? A typical youth is faced by a myriad of challenges, including lack of economic opportunity. This is due to marginalisation and exclusion of youths from the affairs of the society. I will not say poverty is challenge because it is of individual mindset. And youths face these challenges not because of lack of education, since there are many graduates on the streets without jobs. An average Nigerian youth is not given equal opportunities like his counterpart in saner climes. I think unemployment is the last straw that broke the camel’s bone. What are the solutions to the challenges? First, the youths must foster unity

among themselves, irrespective of ethnicity, political leaning or religious belief. Also, they must join forces and elect one of their own as the leader in any organisation or society they find themselves. They must also acquire skills that will empower them to be self-reliant. If all these can be done, the youths would have been truly empowered. Do you believe that youths do not have role to play in shaping their tomorrow? Yes, youths have the responsibility to shape their own future but the elders have not given them the chance to do that. It has been said that the youths are the leaders of tomorrow. I have been hearing this since I was a toddler. This is an agelong deceitful dictum used by the elite to hypnotise the youths and render them hopeless. I have not seen youths leading in any capacity. To be future leaders, the youths must take their destinies in their hands. What is your motivation? The passion is to serve. The zeal to achieve freedom for the youths and liberate their minds. What are your achievements since you assumed leadership of the group? Our activities are beginning to be


appreciated and they are engendering a new level of thinking, new attitude and behaviour. In the last local government election in Cross River State, we held a sensitisation campaign aimed at educating the youths on their responsibility in the election. We are enlightening the youths against child prostitution, child labour and other social vices such as cultism and drug abuse. With this, the mind is renewed for a new level of thinking and mental emancipation. What is your advice to the youths? We should return to our Creator and seek the knowledge of our being. By so doing, we shall realise that we are meant to be the head and not the tail. We are meant to be responsible citizens and not to be used by politicians as thugs and ballot-box snatchers. The youth should equip themselves with entrepreneurship skills to make them deliver a good future to the coming generation.




From grass to grace He is from a humble background, Alexander Ezenagu overcame poverty to become a First Class Law graduate. He experienced a positive turnaround in life, following his encounter with New Era Foundation, a non-governmental organisation founded by the former First Lady of Lagos, Senator Oluremi Tinubu. Alexander gave a testimony last weekend in London, writes WALE AJETUNMOBI.


E held the audience spellbound as he gave testimony of the trajectory of his life. It was at a special gala dinner organised by the Association of Nigerian Academic UK (ANAUK) in honour of Senator Oluremi Tinubu at the Hilton London Metropole Hotel, in West London, last weekend. The narrator, Alexander Ezenagu, is a Master’s student of Law at the prestigious University of Cambridge. For him, it was not an easy journey to the top. He lived with 13 siblings and his parents in a one-room Boys’ Quarter in a backwater neighbourhood in Oshodi, a Lagos suburb. It was challenging for his parents feeding and keeping him and his siblings in school. “I attended a public school, where the school fee per term was a little under 60 pence, depending on the exchange rate. Sadly, my parents could not afford to send me and my siblings to school. Four of my siblings dropped out of secondary school in rapid succession. To keep myself in school and buy books to read, I had to hawk petty goods, wash cars and clothes, carry goods for people and run many errands,” Alexander, whose father is a cobbler, said. Despite the challenges, he trudged on with a determination to succeed.

The turning point came for Alexander when he was in final year in high school. He was adjudged the best pupil and was selected to represent the school in the regional qualifiers of the Spelling Bee Competition organised by New Era Foundation, a pet project of the former Lagos State First Lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu. Alexander won. This made him to represent Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Area at the state challenge, where he contested against 56 others. “I came third in that contest but prizes were extended to the first and second runners-up by Mrs Tinubu. That motherly gesture is the reason I am standing before you all today,” he said. In 2005, Alexander was admitted into the University of Ibadan (UI) to study Law. He graduated with a First Class honours in 2010. Feeling proud of Alexander’s academic achievement, Senator Tinubu led a high-profile delegation to the campus to share in Alexander’s joy. The senator footed Alexander’s Law School bill. “I never had the dream of going to the Law School because of tuition fee, which was at the time about £1,500. It didn’t come cheap. But my Law School bill was offset completely by Senator Tinubu and maintenance was covered by a scholarship scheme established by former

•Alexander (right) with Senator Tinubu (left) and Councillor Adedamola Aminu, Deputy Mayor, London Borough of Lambeth at the occasion.

chairman of Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Area, Hon. Afeez IpesaBalogun,” he said. Alexander graduated with a First Class at the Lagos Law School and was called to the Nigerian Bar. Through scholarship, he was admitted into the University of Cambridge for a Master’s degree. In June, Alexander told the audience, the Master’s of Law degree certificate will be presented to him by the president of the University of Cambridge. This was greeted with applause by the audience, among whom were scholars, businessmen, professionals, politicians and students. Alexander described Senator Tinubu as a “detribalised Nigerian and a rare gift to humanity.” He said: “I chose this narrative path to put things in perspective and help

everyone here to understand the beautiful heart Senator Oluremi Tinubu possesses. She is Yoruba, I am not. I was not born with a silver spoon and quite honestly, we probably do not share a lot of things in common. Despite this, I and several other people, through the New Era Foundation, have benefited from her act of selflessness, with a keen interest in upholding merit, despite all seeming dividing lines.” Alexander promised to spread the legacy of the former First Lady, hinting that he is partnering with some of his colleagues in the United Kingdom (UK) to establish an organisation called “The Excellence Movement”, to spread the gospel of excellence in Nigerian universities. The primary areas of focus of the organisation include research, writing, read-

ing, scholarship and mentoring. He asked rhetorically: “What could possibly go wrong if we all decided to train a child today? What could possibly go wrong if we decided to donate books to that library today? What could possibly go wrong if we decided to take out time to mentor the younger ones?” Alexander said beyond giving out palliative handouts to the poor, privileged people could help to take humanity out of poverty and educational backwardness if they could float simulations of the New Era Foundation projects in all communities. He said: “I promise to live your legacy; to expand the good works you have started and to give hope to people of all backgrounds, just as you gave me.”

Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Niger Delta Affairs Mr Kingsley Kuku has built a magnificent Students’ Union Building for his alma mater, the Ekiti State University (EKSU). The building was inaugurated last week, reports TUNJI AWE (300-Level Political Science).

A worthy alumnus


T began with the question: “What can I do for my university?” In response, the Vice-Chancellor said: “I want you to build a worldclass centre for the students.” “Okay,” he responded. This conversation took place in February, last year. Last week, over 1,000 students clad in customised T-shirts with the inscription: “Thank you Kuku” gathered at the university roundabout at 11:30pm to receive a worthy alumnus. Amid cheers and heroic songs, the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Kingsley Kuku, was welcomed to his almamater, the Ekiti State University (EKSU). The excited students were full of praises to the alumnus, who built a multi-million naira Students’ Union Building (SUB) for them. The crowd of students swarmed around Kuku, as he stepped out of his Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV). He was clad in immaculate white native attire. His security aides had an hectic controlling the crowd. The ViceChancellor (VC), Prof. Oladipo Aina, gave him a warm hug and walked him through the guard of honour by the school Cadet Corps. Afterwards, the VC, accompanied by his deputies, Prof Olugbenga Aribisala and Prof Esther Aderibigbe, Registrar, Dr Omojola Awosusi and Kuku’s friend, Allen Onyema, led the presidential adviser

•Continued on page 29

•Onyema (fourth from right) cutting ribbon to open the Students’ Union centre. With him are Prof Aina (third right), Kuku (second right) and other guests.

to his office for a brief meeting. Prof Aina praised Kuku for fulfilling his promise, saying the alumnus, through the gesture, has supported the management’s drive to make the school world-class. Kuku said the institution made him what he is today, praising his friends for contributing to the successful delivery of the Students’ Union house. He said Onyema donated the largest sum towards the completion of the building. After the brief meeting, all roads led to the new building for its inauguration. Before it was opened, Kuku addressed students, saying: “I am the happiest person, today, because a little over a year ago, I asked the Vice-Chancellor what I could do for my alma mater. Prof Aina said he

wanted me to build a befitting Students’ Union centre. In response, I asked him to allow the conduct of a free and fair election that would bring in a duly constituted students’ union leadership; he did. “When I came last year, I met a transition committee on ground but I was not happy with the situation. Thank God, today, you now have a students leadership that was freely chosen by you all.” He described Prof Aina as a firstclass Vice-Chancellor, saying the school’s helmsman introduced student-friendly policies. He promised to always support the students morally and financially. Kuku’s friend, Onyema, who spoke with the students, promised to give the union a Coaster Bus. There was

•The building’s exterior

excitement at the centre when Kuku and his associates, who were former National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) leaders, began to chant Aluta songs. The president of the union, Babatope Ibitola, expressed gratitude to the donor and his friends, saying the building would be their symbol of unionism. Dr Awosusi, who was the administrative officer at the Faculty of Arts when Kuku was a student, said: “Hon. Kuku has demonstrated, through this gesture, that he is a person that is seeking better life for Nigerian students.” The VC urged students not to destroy the building in the name of protest, urging them to learn from Kuku and become worthy ambassadors of

the institution. Kuku attended Ekiti State University when the school was Ondo State University, Ado Ekiti (OSUA). As a student, he was seen as rebellious, having led several protests against the management over anti-student policies. Kuku, who is from an Ijaw community in Ondo State, was disqualified from contesting for Students’ Union president in his time. One of his mates, told the crowd, “Kuku was a powerful student-comrade. When he decided to contest for the union president, no student was willing to contest against him but the management disqualified him before the election. That was the year the union had executive without president.” •Continued on page 44




Students escape death as truck loses control


RAGEDY was averted last Friday when a truck carrying gravels hit another vehicle conveying students of the Abia State University (ABSU) from St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Owerri road to campus. The accident occurred in Okigwe axis. The driver of the truck was said to be driving on the wrong lane when it lost control. An eye-witness told CAMPUSLIFE that the driver took the wrong lane to escape gullies on the road. “Even though the bad spots on the road might have made him to take the other lane, one cannot deny the fact that the driver was also reckless,” the eyewitness said. The truck smashed part of the students’ vehicle before it rammed into the premises of a new generation bank. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that exhaust of the truck broke the glass of the building, causing thick smoke to fill

From Uchechukwu Amanze ABSU the banking hall. The driver and his assistant were said to have died at the of this report. Eye witnesses praised the driver for not killing the students. Chuks Ukabuilu, a 300-Level student of Nursing, said he was grateful that his laptop was not damaged. “I thought my laptop would be crushed because the truck was on it. It is a miracle that nothing happened to it,” he said. Students who spoke to CAMPUSLIFE decried the poor state of the road. “We are happy and grateful with what the state government is doing in Okigwe especially on road projects. However, we will be happier if the government can quickly finish the road projects to avoid further accidents,’’ a student who did not want to be named, said.

•The scene of the accident

Association welcomes freshers


•Some members of the Google club at the stadium during the match

Students put medical college on Google map


EMBERS of the Google Students’ Club at the Lagos State University (LASU) have mapped up the institution’s College of Medicine in Ikeja as part of measures to make direction easy for new visitors to the school. A novelty football match was held between the members of club and the medical students. The match referee, Olatilewa Audu, said the match was played to celebrate the mapping up of the college, describing it as good innovation. He assured that the map-up would help to make the college to

From Everistus Onwuzurike LASU be popular on the internet, urging members to be committed to the discharge of their duties. A member of the club, Rasheed Rasaki, said the club, which was a network of technology-oriented students, had helped him develop internet-related skills, saying he was happy that the mapping project was successful. A Google student-ambassador in LASU, Oyinkansola Mabeko, 300Level Mass Communication, said the

objective of the club was to familiarise students with various Google applications, including Google+ , Gmail, YouTube, Google play, saying it would help to improve their learning experience and give them the opportunity to compete with their counterparts anywhere in the world.”We are the campus contact for Google teams, delivering Google’s experience and values through serving and improving engineering community technically and personally. This is actually our second major map up project,” she stated.

‘Mathematics is a tool for development’


PROFESSOR of Applied Mathematics, Kayode Adeboye, has delivered the 27th inaugural lecture of the Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUT MINNA) in Niger State with the title: Mathematics, Mathematicians and numerical analysis: The bridge and the bridgehead view of Nigeria with Mathematical prism. Prof Adeboye said mathematics came into being because of the need for accurate measurement of areas and volumes of all matter, noting that mathematics knew no language, political or ideological barriers to function. He noted that to be influential in the field, one needed to have talent, insight, creativity, imagination, ingenuity, concentration and drive.

From Tolulope Ajobiewe FUT MINNA He explained that a large number of physical phenomena could be described by means of differential equations, adding that numerical analysis could be employed in solving and analysing these physical problems such as the behaviour of water waves, flow of heat, motion of fluids, growth of population, spread of diseases, etc. Prof Adeboye said the CorrectorPredictor method he developed for the solution of algebraic equations was more accurate than Newton-Raphson’s iterative method, adding that it was being used widely by scientists and engineers.

To confront the various challenges faced by Nigeria, Prof Adeboye recommended that mathematics was needed for the development of the nation. “In view of the universal importance of mathematics to man on earth, it becomes compulsory that those charged with education should find ways of involving the younger generation of our days in the study of mathematics,” he said. He warned that any nation that was unable to get school children involved in mathematics would not attain true social, economic, scientific and technological independence. The lecture was attended by principal officers and students of the institution. .

EMBERS of the Social Science Students Association (SOSSA) at the Ekiti State University (EKSU) have held an orientation for freshers at the 1050seater Lecture Theatre. The students were dressed in native attires, displaying their various cultures. Anjolaoluwa Raji, a 100-Level student of Sociology, said he was excited with the ceremony. “We have been in 100-Level since December 2012 and we are finally holding our orientation in 2014. It’s been somewhat overdue but its better late than never. The incessant strikes that started in 2012 caused the delay.” The students were taught how to calculate their Cumulative Grade Point Aggregate (CGPA) . A motivational speaker, Kushimo Seun, spoke to the students on the

From Olatunji Awe EKSU need to develop positive thinking. The event witnessed a speech contest and beauty pageants. Ada Eze from the Department of Geography and Planning Science won the speech contest, emerging as Miss SOSSA. Imuetinyan Michael, a 400-Level student of Economics, said: “We understood the need to conduct this orientation before examination begins. The series of programmes lined up would help students to understand the dynamics of campus life,” he stated. A 300-Level student of Geography and Planning Science while addressing newsmen, said: “This event was tailored to serve the students’ interest. The association went the extra mile to include programmes that enrich the development of members.” President of the association Adenowo Adewale, 400-Level Sociology, thanked the students for turning out en masse, adding that the executive would continue to organise enriching programmes for members.

CAMPUSLIFE man presents book


HE public presentation of the novel Once upon a hard time by Chidiebere Enyia has been held at the Theatre Arts Hall of the Imo State University (IMSU) in Owerri. Chidiebere, a 300-Level English and Literary Studies student and CAMPUSLIFE reporter, is the Assistant Secretary-General of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Imo State chapter. At the ceremony were scholars, including Dr Psalm Chinaka, Mr Leon Osu, Mr Kenneth Enesha and Prof Hillary Okorie. The chairman of the occasion, Prof Emeka Obinna, advised students to enhance their potentials through intellectual engagements. He recounted how the young author started his literary adventure from secondary school, urging students to believe in themselves and work hard. Okorie, who is from the Agricultural Science Department, praised the author and advised students to emulate the young writer. “Chidiebere is a visionary young scholar and a member of the Holy Ghostant Chapel. He had a fertile ground for creativity, considering his family background and religious inclination,” he said. Chidiebere thanked his parents, friends and course mates for making the launch possible.


From Favour Kanu and Thelma Nnadozie IMSU Michael Adiba, 300-Level Education English student, described the author as inspiring. Eberechukwu Prisca, 100-Level English and literary Studies student, said: “Chidi is a visionary young writer in the department. He is always teaching us and we are happy to celebrate one of his literary works today.” Chidiebere said his journey into literature was borne out of his passion to be an agent of social change in the society.

Newspaper of the Year


Obiano rallies communities for peace •PAGE 38

NGO rescues indigent patients in Imo •PAGE 38


Erosion cuts off communities •PAGE 40

•The Benue Igbo in bold relief

Agony of Igbos in Benue T

HEY are torn between two worlds. Being of the Igbo stock, their soul is in the Southeast, but their bodies and homes are in Benue State, in the Northcentral. That is not all. In Benue, where they are quartered, more for political considerations than for cultural reaons, they lament their lack: no roads, no water, hardly any sign of modern life. They are Igbos of the Ezza, Izzi and Effium stock. Their kith and kin are in other parts of the Southeast, particularly Ebonyi State. They claim they are not fewer than one million scattered in four local governments of Benue State. And for close to 50 years since they were excised from their kinsmen, they have been living primitive lives. Their pathetic plight is that the

From Chris Oji, Enugu

authorities in Benue, from the state to the local governments, have not seen them as part of the state ostensibly because they speak Igbo. On the other hand, the Ebonyi State government where they should have rightly belonged is helpless as they are not under its area of administration and authority. The people allege that since their inclusion into Benue State they have not felt any government presence. None of their people were considered for employment in any of the two tiers of government. Indeed, in their lamentation, they are not in the scheme of things as far as government business is concerned in Benue. “We have been on our own. No roads, no water, no electricity, no employment. We just wander about

‘We have been on our own. No roads, no water, no electricity, no employment. We just wander about to help ourselves in our own way...We are neither here nor there’ to help ourselves in our own way,” an octogenarian, Pa Nwankwo Aloh said, clutching a bucket in search of water. Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam is said to have acknowledged their existence and concerns, even

promising to address them, but that was during his first term in office. Also, Mr Ogbu Igelega, spokesman of Ado Local Government Area, one of the councils where the Igbos are found in Benue, told our reporter on the telephone that one of the obstacles

to the development of the Igbospeaking areas of the state is their difficult terrain. Igelega said this makes access difficult, adding that the few places which do not present such challenges get government attention. The spokesman cited the example of Etenyi which has 90 per cent Igbo population, saying the community “is being electrified at the cost of N17m”. He also said the Igbos occupy “important offices” in the council, adding that the assistant head of Revenue Development is Igbo, while the Senior Special Assistant on Interethnic Relations is also Igbo. The reporter met with the president, Benue Igbo Development Union, Nweke Cedrick Ifeanyi who narrated their ordeal. He said all they want is for the Benue State govern•Continued on page 34




•Type of Source of water in the Igbo speaking areas..igbo plight

•Pa Nwankwo

Agony of Igbos in Benue •Continued from page 33 ment to accept them since fate has lumped them together. He is of the view that if they can be given a sense of belonging, they would all wholeheartedly join in the effort to develop the state. Ifeanyi does not expressly condemn their inclusion in Benue State, be he said if the other ethnic groups do not want them in Benue, the Federal Government should set up a machinery immediately to return them to their kith and kin in the Southeast, particularly Ebonyi State. He sent a save-or-soul message to the Senate president, David Mark and Governor Suswam to come and save them from “this ignoble plight”, adding: “We are neither here nor there.” In Nweke’s words: “The Igbos in Benue State particularly those in Ado, Oju, Obi and Okpoku LGAs of the state were in existence before the advent of Christian religion in Nigeria. The Igbo found in Benue are: Umuezeokoha, Umuezeoka, Oriuzor, Umuoghara, Amaekka and Amaezekwe all in Ezza communi-

ties, Izzi, Ezzamgbo and Effium, these are the people who would have been in present-day Ebonyi State but due for the fact that the Nigerian government then carved us into Benue in order to use our population to suppress our Eastern population. Apart from the Ezza-speaking clan, particularly the people of Umuezeokoha that has over 300 villages, if you are to calculate the number of Igbospeaking villages, you find out that we are more than 600 villages because three of the biggest markets in our area are all in the Igbo-speaking part. The markets are as follows: Inikiri Ichari, Iddah, Iduokpe. ”But in all these places, we have been facing a lot of deprivation of our fundamental human rights to the extent that we do not have any project attracted by the government, be it local, state or federal. In fact we have become the rejected part of the country because local government identification letters are not given to us any longer. “Before now we used to witness governmental attention in everything during and after colonial administration but since after the civil war we were dumped by the succes-

‘One of the obstacles to the development of the Igbo-speaking areas of the state is their difficult terrain, which makes access difficult. Also, the few places which do not present such challenges get government attention’ sive governments just because of our language difference. “We do not have any drinking water, our source of water here is a dam which Fulani herdsmen do carry their cow to drink at the same place with us because the water is not covered. “In the process of stopping them from coming to the water with their cow, it later resulted in the loss of five lives. “We have no representative in local, state and federal levels. Mosquito nets that were given free of charge to roll back malaria have

been sold to our people at the sum of N6,000 each. We have become slaves to our brothers because of language difference. No hospital, let alone health centre, we are seeing hell here in Benue State because of our language. I do not know whether it is a curse for someone to have fallen under a particular tribe like Ezza, Izzi, Ezzamgbo and Effium. “Our women are dying every day during labour. Also our children are dying for lack of polio immunisation programme and other medical treatment needed to

be given to a child at a tender age. “Our roads are not passable. We have contributed so much not only to the development of Benue State but Nigeria at large. At least a place with over one million people in population has no primary school. We are therefore as a matter of urgency calling on federal government, our Southeastern brothers and any other corporate bodies to rush to our aid before water will come to our neck. It is obvious that if we are speaking the same language with them we wouldn’t have found ourselves in this forbidden and undeserved situation like this one we are now. An area with over 50 polling units, but we are benefiting nothing even on every of our market days they do come and sell their ticket (tax). We have been regarded as slaves in the country of our birth and our fore-fathers, we are also calling on our able president of the senate David mark to come to our help because after God we also contributed in making him what he is today and even Gabriel Suswan. We can never regret why we are Igbos or deny being Igbo people before we are recognized in the country of our fore-fathers.”

Abia councillors honour Transition Committee chair


BA South Transition Committee (TC) Chairman, Hon. Otumdi David Kalu has bagged the Abia State Councilors’ Forum Leadership award. Hon. Okechukwu Iboko, Chairman of the Councilors’ Forum speaking during the occasion at the Aba South Local Government Town Hall auditorium said that the award was not in any sponsored or paid for, but was giving to the recipient based on merit and sterling performance since he assumed office as the TC chairman of the local government. Iboko said the councilors after painstakingly assessing the performance of all the 17 local government chairmen in the state, the award recipient was rated best among equals through his giant strides in and around the local council.

From Sunny Nwankwo, Aba

He expressed hope that the award which was initiated by the group would spur many TC chairmen to work hard and do more people oriented project that would spread unequal dividend of democracy to various rural areas in the state. He also used the opportunity to thank immensely, Governor Theodore Orji for appointing them and also giving 303 PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) councilors the opportunity to serve the state in their local governments, pledging their continued unalloyed loyalty to the governor. On the emergence of T.A Orji as the Chairman, Southeast Governors Forum (SGF), Iboko said it was going to further foster the relationship of the state and indeed the southeast with the Federal government,

‘After painstakingly assessing the performance of all the 17 local government chairmen in the state, the award recipient was rated best among equals through his giant strides in and around the local council’ urging other governors in the southeast to rally behind the Abia State governor as he pilots the affairs of the SGF. The award recipient, Hon. Kalu, thanked the Governor of the state for appointing him Aba South TC

Chairman and Abia Councilors forum for finding him fit for the award. He vowed to continue using his might in the service of humanity, the state and the local government in particular. And dedicating the award to councilors and the LG

staff who he said gave him their unalloyed support in executing some of his programmes successfully. Earlier, the chairman of the occasion and a former elected chairman of the local government, Chief Simon Eme thanked the councilors for finding Hon. Kalu fit for the award of excellence and the governor of the state for appointing him as the local government chairman. He urged the TC chairman to continue to see the award as a further call for more commitment to serve the people of Aba South, the state and the governor by further initiating projects that were going to outlive him as Aba South TC. He also called on staff and councilors to continue in their support for the chairman in order to make his job easier and simpler.




Anambra marks International Women’s Day T

HOUSANDS of women from over 177 communities of the 21 local government areas of Anambra State have marked the International Women’s Day celebration. They also witnessed the first major outing of the wife of the state governor, Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano since her husband took office. The women turned up to interact with the new governor’s wife, and also with one another. This year’s theme, “Equality For Women, Progress For All” is “most appropriate and speaks to our commonly shared aspirations,” Mrs Obiano said. The women were happy and never disappointed as they went home with various equipment to enable them start up co-operative societies and those already doing one to energise their society to be more viable. Empowerment of the women was the watchword and equipment worth millions was distributed to the women. Some of the beneficiaries, Lady Virgy Nwankwo of Ezinwanne Cooporative Society and Lady Chinwe Egbuna from Onitsha North council area commended Obiano’s wife for the gesture for distributing the empowerment equipment to the women including, oil processing machine, garri processing machine, palm oil processing machine, motorized grinding machine among others even when she is not up to two weeks in office. They prayed her to continue to remember the rural women and empower women more than her predecessor Chief Mrs Margaret Peter Obi who changed the lives of rural women in the state and influenced such in South-East and Nigeria at large. They said their support to her and husband is unflinching and unencumbered. With the sea of women it was glaring that the society is anchored on women and the values of our Igbo society are equally anchored on women even though our society and our values have changed. The day was important and valuable to the women as they were set to reevaluate and recommit to upholding womanhood and women empowerment and enfranchisement as well as all rights and privileges due to women; starting with equality. Billed to lead the pack of prominent women in Nigeria to the event was the wife of President Goodluck Jonathan, Mrs Patience Jonathan, though she failed to make the trip. But the Director General, National Council for Women Development, Lady Onyeka Onwenu may have spoken her mind. Onwenu described women as caregivers, adding that any nation that fails to empower women is already doomed. She called on Obiano’s wife to emulate the legacies of wife of President Jonathan in ensuring that the 35 per

•From left: Commissioner, Ministry for Women Affairs & Social Development, Lady Henrietta Agbata; wife of the Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Mrs. Oby Okeke; Mrs Ebele Obiano at the International Womens Day event in Awka

•From left: Director-General, National Centre for Women Development, Ms Onyeka Onwenu; Speaker, Anambra State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Princess Chinwe Nwaebili; wife of Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Mrs. Oby Okeke; Secretary to the State Government, Mr Oseloka Obaze; Mrs Ebele Obiano; Hon Commissioner, Ministry for Women Affairs & Social Development, Lady Henrietta Agbata at the International Womens Day event in Awka From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Onitsha

cent affirmative action is achieved as well as setting a good example for the children. She urged women to be proud of themselves and redouble their efforts in the fight against violence on women in Nigeria. The event was at the Women Development Centre, Awka where Mrs Ebele Obiano emphasised the salient responsibilities of women in the society but frowned deeply at the recent killing of school children by Boko Haram insurgents at Buni Yadi in Yobe State and the kidnap of 18 school girls.

•Hon. Simon Emeh handing over the award to Otumdi Kalu

‘As we commemorate this day, let us be reminded that we cannot afford to dither in our duties of nurturing the family, shaping the community and the building of our state and the nation. We must recognize that there is greater work ahead’ Thegovernor’s wife confirmed the promise of her husband in the area of access to finance through cooperative society, skill acquisition through vo-

cational education and promotion of children and aged people’s health through free medicare. Chief Mrs Ebele V. Obiano stated: “Actually I had planned after the Inauguration, to reach out to the various groups who played major roles in ensuring the success of my husband, His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano and our great party APGA in the last gubernatorial elections. But they came calling before I could get on the road, and for that I am grateful. I must thank you all for your good works and dedication to duty at various levels of governance, the success we have achieved so far came as a result of hard work and most importantly, your prayers. “My predecessor, Her Excellency Margaret Obi, whose exemplary leadership alongside her husband set the tone for the new Anambra State we are building today, thought me well. And I assure you that the interest and welfare of Ndi Nne Anambra State is very important to me and I will continue to work and you are carried along this journey. “On this International Women’s Day – a day of awareness for women rights, we are confronted with many challenges confronting women in our society. The issues of poverty, rape

and violence and trafficking readily come to mind. First, we must pause to reflect on the conditions of women in our various communities whose major challenge is that of daily subsistence. Although we cannot remake the world completely, we must always look around us to identify the pervasive nature of poverty on women who incidentally are our neighbours. I urge you to stretch out in your little corner and assuage the needs of neighbours whenever you can, onye ayana nwanne ya! ‘’Also we can no longer ignore the prevalence of rape and violence against women and the girl-child in the society; everyone should be concerned at the increasing wave of reported cases of rape and violence these days. We recognize the effort of various women groups and NGOs, just as we charge you to redouble efforts in monitoring, observing and reporting such abuses to the authorities. We are open to collaboration with groups to proffer solutions on how to tackle the menace once and for all. Obiano’s wife continued: ‘’The achievement of the Millennium Development Goals as it applies to women is task we must continue to pursue. There is the 35% appointment ratio for women which am told Anambra State is doing well at. Nonetheless, in our traditional African society, issues surrounding gender equality and women empowerment will remain a constant source of debate. In fact the former American Secretary of State, Mrs Hilary Clinton said that it “remains the great unfinished business of the 20th century.” But I am optimistic that as long as we continue to do what is right and encourage others to do same, the future is bright for women and the girl-child in our ever improving society. ‘’Ndi nne, as we commemorate this day, let us be reminded that we cannot afford to dither in our duties of nurturing the family, shaping the community and the building of our state and the nation. We must recognize that there is greater work ahead; that the delivery of good governance to the people of Anambra State is a task for all and following the lead of the Governor, it is very clear to me that the women have greater roles to play. ‘’I enjoin you to immediately identify with the goals and aspirations of the present administration by taking responsibility wherever you are for the good of the family and our state. Like His Excellency Governor of Anambra State Chief Willie Obiano charged a group of stakeholders recently, “we have set out on this journey to return Anambra State to a welldeserved glorious path; we can hardly make any progress if we do not win with the people. So, I expect you to continue to play the role of mobilizing the critical mass of our people to accept our programmes and projects.” The governor’s wife concluded: ‘’The challenge of security is central to the peace and progress of our State. My husband the Governor, told me to extend this appeal for cooperation on the security of the state whenever I find the opportunity. As we all know the armed robbers and kidnappers that bring a bad reputation to our dear state live among us; they are our brothers and members of our communities but they are enemies of our happiness and enemies of the state. As part of measures to combat and stem criminal activity, we are all advised to report suspicious characters to relevant authorities, verbally or in writing which we can put in a drop box at Women Affairs Ministry. “Above all, I urge our women to try and improve their lot by joining various cooperatives to learn new ways of growing their trade and businesses. We must never lose sight of the fact that economic advancement, prosperity and increased opportunity for women leads to the growth of the society because once a woman is empowered the family benefits.







NGO rescues indigent patients in Imo


HEIR agony has come to an end. They took ill and were admitted to hospital where they were treated and certified strong enough to ho home. But they could not pay their bills, so the hospital management held them back until they came up with the money. And they remained on bed for months. Help has come. The 11 patients, stranded for several months at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri, can now go home, thanks to a non-governmental organisation (NGO), the Divine Care Global Community Initiative. The organisation paid the hospital bill which amounted to N858,153 and they were let off the hook. The patients who had been discharged after being certified cured of their ailments, were however prevented from going home because they could not afford their hospitals bills were living in open places within the hospital premises after they were ejected from the medical wards. To quite a number of the patients, the hope of going home had become elusive, having waited endlessly for relatives to come to their aid until the NGO which is in collaboration with the Ken Ojiri Foundation, secured their release after paying 70% of their outstanding bills. One of the released patients, Mrs. Ngozi Amaihu, who was delivered of a baby girl through a cesarean operation, could not hide her emotions as she shared her ordeal amidst tears. According to her, “after I had the operation, my husband could not pay the bill of N237,000 after the initial deposit and I have been here for the past three months with my baby but I thank God for the NGO that came to our rescue. I am grateful to them for their kind gesture”. For another beneficiary who did

‘After I had the operation, my husband could not pay the bill of N237,000 after the initial deposit and I have been here for the past three months with my baby but I thank God for the NGO that came to our rescue. I am grateful to them for their kind gesture’

•A beneficiary of the NGO’s gesture

From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

not want his name mentioned, the gesture of the NGO is commendable and exemplary, “I never thought that things like this still exist it is like a dream. Having spent up to five months in this hospital I had lost all hope but thank God today the trauma is over and I promise to live the rest of my life serving humanity I must contribute my quota to alleviate the plight of the indigent people in the society”.

•Members of the Divine Care Foundation

The National Coordinator of the NGO, Mr. Dandy Odii, called for collaborative efforts between voluntary agencies and the various tiers of Government in the country to cushion the excruciating economic conduction of the masses. He stated that the organization is worried that life might completely become meaningless for the average

Nigerians without input from organizations, corporate bodies and wealthy individuals to complement that of the government. According to him, the NGO established in 2006 with the major objective of taking care of the sick and the less privileged got the information that some discharged patients at the hospital were stranded as a result of

their inability to settle their bills and had to intervene immediately. He said, “Divine Care Global Community Initiative is an NGO which provides succor to the needy and the less privileged without any religious or political undertone. We go out and look for indigent members of the society who are in need for assistance and intervene wherever necessary

Obiano rallies communities for peace


NEW leadership of the Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU) has been inaugurated and Governor Willie Obiano is hoping the association will be a veritable instrument of peace and harmony in the state. The governor has since made it clear that his administration wants community leaders to play an active role in achieving peace in the state. St Peter’s Catholic Church Amawbia grounds were packed with people as the new leadership took office. The association was without leadership for eight years since the previous executive was dissolved. Governor Obiano has continued to appeal to the town union executives to bring their vantage positions to bear on the peace process in the state. He has also sought to push through his peace plan with the help of three commissioners, Commissioner for Town Union and Chieftaincy Affairs, Sir Godfrey Muotolu; Commissioner for Local Government, Lady Azuka Enemuo and former Commissioner for Local government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Dubem Obaze.

‘There is nothing greater than peace, and what our governor wants from them is peace in our various communities and nothing else. He wants to work and people to see that he is working because with crisis whatever you do will be swallowed up’ From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

The new leadership of the Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU) led by Dr. Jude Okolo was inaugurated in Amawbia-Awka, Anambra State by the association’s Board of Trustees chairman, Chief Demian Afam Okeke- Ogene. Before the ASATU executives were inaugurated, a new nine-member Board of Trustees of the association derived from the three senatorial

zones of the state led by Chief Demian Afam Okeke-Ogene was also inaugurated by former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Dubem Obaze. The board members are to play an advisory role to the Anambra State fourth tier of government. Shortly after his inauguration, the board chairman, Chief Okeke-Ogene in his speech thanked the ASATU members for finding him worthy to serve in that capacity even as he lauded the entire members for re-

•From left: Special Adviser on Chieftancy Matters, Godfrey Muotolu; new ASATU N and another ASATU chief

maining in unity despite divergent political views and interest. Okeke-Ogene who is one of the founding members of the association in 1996, explained that the major goal of the association is to unite all the 177 communities in the state by ensuring intra- and inter-communal peace. He stressed that, “any government in power ought to give ASATU

100 per cent support”. Okeke-Ogene was Special Adviser to National President of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Rt Justice Eze Ozobu; Representative of Ohaneze Ndigbo in Europe for four years; former President General of Nanka Patriotic Union; pioneer member and pioneer PRO ASATU and Second elected National President of ASATU. He was also the




Sure-P health workshop ends in Anambra From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi


•One of the rescued patients

•Members of the NGO with officers of the FMC Owerri

and possible”. In his words, “It takes a heart full of compassion to serve, not just ordinary heart, because the art of charity is from the heart not the head, it is highly irrational not rational. We thank Almighty God who is the owner of the job Divine Care is doing, and who had made it possible for all to gather to do this compas-

TU National President, Dr. Jude Okolo

Director of Community Mobilization during Governor Chukwuemeka Ezeife regime. Chief Okeke-Ogene thanked the former Anambra governor, Mr. Peter Obi for making ASATU the fourth tier of government and for approving the award of contract for construction of a befitting ASATU secretariat in the state, arguing that it is

sionate service. We also thank the management of the hospital for waiving 30% of the total bill otherwise the NGO would have paid more. “The NGO’s routine visits to hospitals are aimed at encouraging the sick, praying for them and presenting them with gifts after observations were made that some patients, who had been discharged, were held back

because of their inability to pay. Desirous to solve this problem, the members of Divine Care, who had been giving care and succour to the needy approach individuals and group that have willing hearts for partnership. Hence, the collaboration with Ken Ojiri Foundation in settling bills of indigent patients at FMC, Owerri”.

HERE was grim information as a health workshop organised by the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme or SURE-P ended in Anambra State. One million expectant women and children died in 2013, attendants were told. The workshop focused on the health of mothers and children. The one-day sensitisation and advocacy training with all the stakeholders in Awka, the state capital, ended with a call on expectant mothers to assess healthcare for their safety and that of their unborn babies. The programme noted that Nigeria is struggling to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MGD 4 and 5) by the year 2015, even when approximately one million women and children die every year in Nigeria from largely preventable causes. The SURE-P workshop revealed that 33,000 women die from pregnancy related causes while about 946,000 children under the age of five years also die of which 241,000 of the children are newborn. One of the facilitators of the programme, Dr. Romanus Nriagu explained that the aim of the SURE-P MCH project is to contribute to the reduction of maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality so as to place Nigeria on track in achieving the Million Development Goals 4 and 5 through utilisation of cost effective supply and demand side interventions. Nriagu further disclosed that Nigeria generates N1.134 trillion per annum from SURE-P, regretting that the entire South East governors have not given required attention to SURE-P MCH. He said: “In the conditional cash transfer (CCT) intervention of SURE-P, Anambra and Ebonyi were the pilot survey states in the entire South East. Anambra State alone gets over N10billion annually. They may be addressing health issues but they don’t call it SURE-P but Federal Government utilizes their own and call it SURE-P. “SURE-P MCH is to address maternal and child health issues because mothers and children are the most vulnerable group in the society. In Anambra State, SURE-P built centres in 24 communities and this workshop is to sensitize the stakeholders on the benefits derivable from SURE-P and to let them know about mothers and children” The Chairman, Board Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria and former Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ben Anyaele said the SURE-P is an intervention fund and cannot cover all the 21 Local Governments in Anambra state adding that that Nigeria would have solved more than 50 percent of her health problems if the issue of mother and children is solved. “SURE-P focuses on good health especially during delivery for mothers and children under 5 to ensure that they are protected against vaccine preventable diseases. So, the programme areas of investment include maternal and child health , community services, employment schemes, mass transit, vocational training, road networks and rail transport”. He further explained that SURE-P MCH provides fully and well equipped health facilities and free antenatal and postnatal care services to the women of child bearing age saying that every eligible expectant mother who fulfils the SURE-P prerequisites, gets N5000 from the SURE-P MCH. Earlier in a paper presentation, another facilitator, Mrs Chinwe Onumonuu urged all pregnant women to attend at least four antenatal care visits to ensure a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery. She gave an overview of SURE-P, explaining that SURE-P was designed to cushion the effect of subsidy removal, mostly on the vulnerable population in Nigeria. One of the participants at the programme and Onitsha South Council Area Reproductive Health Supervisor, Mrs Ijeoma Onuorah commended SURE-P MCH for the workshop which she said will yield positive result as the stakeholders will take the message to their various communities. She admitted that expectant mothers within, Model Umunna facility has started benefiting from SURE-P MCH as most of them now receive free antenatal treatments.

•The Commissioner for Local Governments, Azuka Enemmuo; SA on Chieftancy Matters, G.O Muotolu; Chief Dubem Obaze with the new leaders

wrong for government to sack elected Town Union presidents without due process and verifiable evident. “Such development,” according to him, “ will no longer be tolerated in the scheme of things of ASATU”. Some of the newly inaugurated ASATU executives include: Dr. Jude Okolo, President; Ambassador J.U Ubah; Mike Nnakwuzie and Ignatius

Ilo, first to third Vice Presidents, respectively. Others are: Peter Nwagu and Christian Okafor, Secretary and First Assistant Secretary. Chuka Ogbonna, Financial Secretary; Basil Onwuzume, Treasurer; Mike Anierobi, First Auditor; Oliver Okafor, Publicity Secretary, among others. While inaugurating the new board

members, the former Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs Commissioner, Chief Dubem Obaze congratulated the new board of trustee members as well as the newly elected Executives of the association. He enjoined the new leaders to strive at all times to work as a team, cooperate with the government and restrict the framework of ASATU to

ensure peace and harmony among the 177 communities in Anambra State. Obaze said no other state in Nigeria has a formidable and united Town Union as Anambra State. He stated that he fought against autonomous community as a commissioner because he suspected that it could lead to communal crisis and clumsiness in governance as is being currently witnessed in other neighbouring states in the South-East. Obaze therefore, charged the Board members not to derail in their advisory role which according to him will enable the new executives to pursue a common goal of simultaneous development in the State. He insisted that Chief Willie Obaino demands nothing from them more than peace and unity to move the state forward as no meaningful development could be achieved in the state without peace. Obaze concluded: “There is nothing greater than peace and what our governor wants from them is peace in our various communities and nothing else for him to work and people to see that he is working because with crisis whatever you do will be swallowed. I am not saying only peace in ASATU but peace in their various communities and with peace in the communities there would be peace in Anambra’’. Head of Local Government Admin •Continued on page 40




Erosion cuts off Imo communities


EVASTATED residents of Obinugwu, Ntueke and Umuogbom communities in Ideato South Local Government Area of Imo State are looking up to Governor Rochas Okorocha to save them. Their communities have been cut off from the rest of the state as the only road linking them to other parts of the council and the state has been devastated by gully erosion. The people say the disaster happened because the contract to build the road was abandoned. The Okorocha administration awarded the contract as part of efforts to open up the rural communities. The traditional ruler of Ntueke Autonomous Community, Eze Kerian Uchenna Chinedo lamented that the people of the communities have been cut off from their kinsmen in the other neighboring communities. According to the monarch, the first contractor handling the road abandoned it immediately after excavating red earth from the road. He noted that due to the poor performance by the first contractor, the road was re-awarded to a second contractor who also abandoned it after constructing 100 metres of drainage. He added further that, ”while other contractors had returned to site in other areas, the road in our community has been left for erosion to swallow the houses and electric poles, thereby causing grievous danger to our people. “The erosion has gone out of control and the remaining portion of the road has been completely washed off, making it impossible for both pedestrian and vehicles to travel on; even the roads leading to our farms have been totally damaged, and as a result we cannot harvest our farm produce”. The traditional ruler appealed to the state government to come to their aid by calling back the contractor or reassigning the road project to a more serious contractor to save the people from threat of the rampaging erosion . Also speaking, the Chairman of Elugwu Ntueke Community, Elder

•The road damaged by erosion

From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

Clement Nnoham said that the people are facing serious challenges as a result of the inability to access their farmlands to harvest their products, “we have been starved of food of as a result of lack of access to our family lands to harvest our crops. The road was manageable before the project was awarded but after damaging the road, the contractors left us to suffer untold hardship”. The story is not different in some other communities where the abandoned roads have become sources of worry for the residents who accused the state government poor monitoring of contractors handling the projects. A resident of one of the affected

‘The erosion has gone out of control and the remaining portion of the road has been completely washed off, making it impossible for both pedestrians and vehicles to travel on; even the roads leading to our farms have been totally damaged’ communities in Ogbaku, Mbaitoli Local Government Area of the state Mr Anaele Akachukwu, maintained that if the state government truly paid the contractors as claimed, adequate monitoring should have been followed to detect fraudulent contrac-

tors . “That is why the people are blaming the state government, how can you tell me that after releasing money to them, a contractor would fail to do his own part”, he said. Akachukwu noted that most rural

roads in the state said to be under construction have been abandoned despite the claims by the state government to have paid the contractors. Akachukwu called on the state government especially now that the rainy season is about to commence to ensure that the roads are fixed to avert impending flood disaster in the rural areas. Governor Okorocha, it would be recalled last week ordered for the arrest of failed contractors in the state who could not justify the money paid to them. Following the poor performance of most of the contractors handling the rural roads in the state, the Governor, after his tour of the communities, sacked all the contractors and revoked the contracts. Okorocha noted that, “it is criminal to collect money for contract and abandon the work after receiving over 80% of the total contract sum”. The Governor who stated this during a meeting with members of the Executive Council, Transition Committee Chairmen, Traditional Rulers and Ministerial Heads at the new Banquet Hall, Government House, Owerri, said he was shocked at his findings during his tour of Local Government Areas where most contractors either did a skeletal work or totally abandoned the jobs after collecting huge amounts of money. He also dissolved all Committees previously set up to supervise all road contracts, stating that, “I don’t want to leave any of my projects uncompleted before December this year. No more awards of contracts, we shall now do the roads through Direct Labour in order to get the works done so that new roads can be embarked upon; I am in a hurry to make all roads in the State motorable”. The Imo governor also called on well meaning citizens of the State to work in synergy with the government to discourage and discipline people of dubious character who squander public funds meant for developmental projects. “If we don’t fix Imo State now, it will be difficult to do so later; we must sacrifice to better the lives of our people and the state,” he warned.

Obiano rallies communities for peace •Continued from page 39 istration of Idemmili North, Chief Chike Obuekwe had this to say: “I am happy the way they all came together for a peaceful transition despite that they came from different political parties but they are mindful of the peace and development of the state. They forgot their selfish desires and pursued the collective interest of Anambra people and that is what true leadership should be. I am not afraid of the capability of those entrusted with the leadership of our communities and their board of trustees chairman Okeke-Ogene. I can only but wish them well.” Anambra State Woman Leader of Ohaneze Ndigbo , Mrs Patience Enemuo , former President General Oraifite Town Union , Sir Raphs Nwike and former Assistant National Secretary of ASATU who doubles as President General Ebenebe Town Union , Prince Cletus Osieme described the transition as laudable and appealed to the new leadership to ensure the peace and unity of purpose found in Anambra that enabled it to be the center of attraction in Southeast and Nigeria at large is not lost in their administration. In his acceptance speech, the new National President of ASATU and President-General, Oraifite Town

Union, Dr. Jude Okolo promised to uphold the integrity of the 4th tier of Government in Anambra state. He beckoned on the out-gone EXCOS not to abandon them, promising that his administration will leave up to the expectations of the founding fathers, saying, “we will not clash with the government. We shall assist the government in securing lives and properties of the citizens. As we forge ahead, there will be capacity building for members on the code of conduct. So, if we play our role well, the work will be easier for the government”. In her goodwill message, the State Commissioner for Local Government, Mrs Azuka Enemmuo admitted that ASATU has made its mark in all the communities in Anambra State. She thanked them for maintaining peace in all the communities during Gov. Peter Obi’s administration and urged them to extend greater support to the incumbent Governor, Chief Willie Obiano. “You were instrumental to the transition from Obi to Obiano and from Agulu to Aguleri,” she said. Earlier, Okolo’s immediate predecessor, Dr. Innocent Onwubuya in his eight-page valedictory speech, xrayed ASATU, tracing its early days in 1996 and the bearing of former governor of the state, Dr. Chinwoke

Mbadinuju, the late Chimezie Ikeazor (SAN), the late Chief John Nwadiogbu, Igwe Gibson Nwosu and Chief Demain Afam Okeke-Ogene, among others. Chief Onwubuya enumerated the achievement of his administration in ASATU including pushing for and consolidating the position of ASATU

in Ohaneze Ndigbo among other sundry benefits, expressing optimism that Obiano’s administration will still maintain the cordial relationship between the former governor, Chief Peter Obi and ASATU. He said: “We are confident that the present administration of His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano will not

relent in ensuring the close relationship between ASATU and the State Government’’. The new face of leadership of the 177 communities in the state has just begun and time will tell how their support to Chief Willie Obiano , Governor Anambra state will shape his administration.

•The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (right) and Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Sunday Onyebuchi during the School Games at Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium Enugu. PHOTO: OBI CLETUS




•The freshers taking the oath before the Prof Shehu



4,204 take matriculation oath at UDUS

ANAGEMENT of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University in Sokoto (UDUS) has held matriculation for freshers. The ceremony, which took place at the university’s Convocation Theatre, started at 9:20 am. No fewer than 4,024 students took the matriculation oath. The Dean of Students, Dr Ibrahim Magawatta, congratulated the fresh-

From Halimah Akanbi, Ibrahim Jatto and Titilope Anifowose UDUS ers for scaling many hurdles to be admitted. “About 9,000 applicants participated in the post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) screening, but only 4,024 are being matriculated today,” he stated.

He said: “Our university is among the few in the country that has recorded minimal social vices in all its campuses. It is free from cultism and the university has zero tolerance for sexual harassment, drug abuse and to exam misconduct.” The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Riskuwa Arabu Shehu, administered the matriculation oath on the students. In his remark, he urged the students to consider themselves

lucky for their admission, urging them not to fritter away the opportunity. He said: “I need to emphasise that you should be prepared to cross many hurdles, which require hard work, strict adherence to university rules and regulations, high moral standards and respect for constituted authority among others. This oath should help you develop self-discipline, resistance to temptations, in-

dulging in undesirable behaviours and practices such as cultism, drug abuse, and other related offences.” Some of the students, who spoke to CAMPUSLIFE, said they were excited. Opeyemi Agbarigidoma, admitted into Linguistics Department, said: “Today is my happiest because I had expecting a day I would be admitted into the university. I am enjoying every bit of the ceremony.”

Students lament congested classrooms


•Fellowship members in prayer session at the sport complex

Religious activities return to OAU centre


OLLOWING the conclusion of the 2014 Nigerian Universities Games (NUGA) at the ObafemiAwolowo University (OAU) in Ile-Ife, Osun State, religious activities have resumed at the sports complex. Before the NUGA took off, management directed all fellowships to vacate the complex to allow for renovation exercise. The religious groups were directed to relocate to the designated ground for such activities but students said the distance from their hostels would make it difficult for them move. “My church has completed its building at the religious ground but I can’t imagine going that far and late at night for our weekly meetings,” a student, who preferred to anonymity, said.

From KemiBusari OAU When asked how his fellowship members were coping with the development, Dayo Atanda, a former Evangelism and Mission Secretary of the Foursquare Students Fellowship (FSF), said students walked a long distance to worship. “They told us to vacate the complex not only because of NUGA but permanently. We have to resume back there because of the distance and the cost of developing buildings at the ground allocated to us,” Atanda stated. Justin Oyetola, a student pastor of the Redeemed Christian Fellowship, said his fellowship which used to hold its weekly workers fellowship at the ground had to vacate

permanently before the commencement of NUGA games. “They have told us to leave there, so we took the opportunity of NUGA to move fully to a venue at the religious ground. Though it is challenging, we will move to our own building as soon as it is completed’


TUDENTS of the University of Agriculture (UNIAGRIC) in Makurdi, Benue State, have decried the overcrowding halls in the university. They said the inadequacy of lecture rooms is affecting their learning. A student, who preferred anonymity, said: “An ideal lecture hall should be peaceful and calm, but that has not been the case in our school. Classrooms are like with a market place due to increased number of students receiving lectures in a camped hall.” Students of the Colleges of Science, Science Education and Agronomy are the worst hit. Investigations showed that students of the college receive lectures in Blocks A and B, Science Lecture Theatre and Convocation Square located in the south wing of the university. About 350 students now receive lecture in a 132-capacity classroom, leaving many students hanging around the windows during class session. A 400-Level Physics Education student, Benjamin Oduk, said: “It is really frustrating for students as they have divided attention in class making it difficult to concentrate. So, what do you expect from the students in terms of performance?” Another student, Christian Edoh, narrated his challenge.

From Amos Abba, UNIAGRIC MAKURDI “When the class room is crowded, I strain my ears to listen to lecturer and that makes it difficult to focus on what the lecturer is saying. This is affecting me on a great deal,” he said. CAMPUSLIFE made efforts to speak to some executive members of the Students’ Union Government (SUG) on the development but none of them was ready to speak. A former member of the Student Supreme Council (SSC), Eyimoga Oko, 500-Level Soil Science, expressed optimism that management was working to resolve the problem. He said: “The VC is working hard to put infrastructures in place for students.”

‘I strain my ears to listen to lecturer and that makes it difficult to focus on what the lecturer is saying. This is affecting me on a great deal’

LAUTECH gets new anthem and choir

HE Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) in Ogbomoso, Oyo State has created a new anthem after 23years of existence. The old anthem was said to be that of its Student Union Government. Earlier this semester, a statement was issued by the school choral group led by Mr Akin Odesola. The

From Nifemi Olatunde LAUTECH statement implored students to submit lines and verses they wanted to be included in the new anthem. The new anthem was released last week in a session attended by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Suleiman Gbadegesin and other principal of-

ficers of the school, Students’ Union officers and executives of various clubs at the institution. A sample of the new anthem was presented by the new Mass Choir. Participants at the event expressed satisfaction with the new anthem. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that the anthem would be formally released at the coming convocation ceremony.



CAMPUS LIFE As part of its social responsibility and commitment to law development, Sterling Partners, a law firm in Lagos, held a mentoring programme for students of the Nigerian Law School (Lagos campus.) UCHE ANICHEBE (Lagos Law School) reports.


HE auditorium of the Nigerian Law School (NLS), Lagos Campus, was filled to capacity when Sterling Chambers, a Lagos law firm, held its annual mentoring programme for Law students. Students trooped to the programme to learn new procedures in law practice . According to the organisers, the mentoring course is to educate the students with practical legal skills, and also to provide them with the information needed to be successful when they are called to Bar. The interactive session was facilitated by professionals, who shared their experiences and challenges with the participants. Justice Dabiri Awolabi of the High Court of Lagos State in Ikeja spoke on the Role of the Nigerian Bar Association and proper conduct of the legal practitioner. He described law as a noble profession, stressing that lawyers, as ministers in the temple of justice, must exhibit a noble character and conduct themselves in a manner befitting of the profession. Justice Awolabi likened judges to agents of God on earth, saying they must bring the fear of God to bear on their assignments. Another speaker, Femi Atilade,

•Law students at the event

Preparing them for the future Legal Adviser to the International Women’s Society, recounted her experience as a new counsel. She said: “I was a counsel with Strachan Partners, and Aluko and Oyebode. As a new wig, things were so difficult for me. I remember going broke at certain points in time, yet I was determined to work hard and become a professional in my field. After working for a couple of years, I decided to leave litigation and try out something different. That decision came out to be my turning point.” The first African president of Commonwealth Lawyers Association and senior partner at Sterling

Partners, Mrs Boma Ozobia, urged the students to take their studies seriously. She lamented the poor remuneration of young lawyers, saying: “It was high time legal practitioners in Nigeria stopped earning drivers’ wages. We have got to a point where a standard minimum wage should be set out for legal practitioners and duly implemented by all law offices in Nigeria. This will go a long way in upholding the dignity of the profession and the practitioners.” Mrs Ifeyinwa Azubike, an associate partner at Detail Commercial Solicitor and legal columnist, told

the participants how she was able to maintain a balance between her career and family. “It is all about time management,” she said, adding: “Also, having a husband who understands you and believes in what you are doing is another virtue. My clients know my schedule and, to that extent, they know when to call and when not to call because by such times, I will be involved in my family affairs.” Other speakers included Chijioke Okoli, the founding partner of Ilo and Okoli, and former chairman of the Lagos branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). He shared

his experience on litigation, advising the students to shun conducts that could end their career abruptly. Hezekiah Ugwueze, the Law students’ leader, thanked the mentors on behalf of his colleagues, praising the Sterling Partners for its efforts in bringing up legal practitioners. “We appreciate the time you have spent with us today; we have learnt so much from your experiences, which you shared with us and we feel more convinced about what we want to do and the legal specialty we desire to be engaged in,” he said.

Students of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University in Sokoto (UDUS) trooped to the university stadium last week to watch the final game between Anambra and Kaduna states in the soccer contest of all indigenous associations organised by the Students’ Union Government (SUG). IBRAHIM JATTO (400-Level Zoology) and HALIMAH AKANBI (200-Level Law) report.

Promoting unity on the pitch


HE soccer contest started 10 months ago, but it could not be concluded because of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike. When the strike was called off, there was no time to return to the field to conclude the competition. Examinations beckoned. Last Saturday, students of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University in Sokoto (UDUS), in their thousands, flocked to the campus stadium to watch the grand finale of the football competition hosted by the Students’ Union Government (SUG) for all indigenous associations. The competition, the 15th in the series, was part of the measures to promote unity among the various ethnic groups in the university. The final match was between Anambra and Kaduna states’ students. While the latter was playing the final match for the first time, it was the sixth time for the former. By 2pm, the stadium was filled. Students from the competing associations expressed optimism on the victory of their colleagues. Katherine Audu, a 300-Level stu-

•Anambra team captain being presented with the trophy

dent, who hails from Kaduna State, said: “I am here to support my colleagues for them to be victorious because this is the first time Kaduna State will be playing in the final. So, I have to be here.” Shehu Balarabe, a 400-Level student, said: “I can’t wait for the game to start, this is our own version of the World Cup and we are enjoying the

moment.” Precious Nwani, a 200-Level student from Anambra State, said: “This match is memorable; I am most delighted and I hope my state will win the cup.” The match kicked off at 4pm, with players from both teams displaying their soccer skills on the pitch. The first half ended goalless. A few min-

utes into the second half, the Anambra team striker, Anthony Shuaibu, scored a goal, which was contested by the Kaduna team. Kaduna fans, who believed the goal was scored from the offside, ran onto the field and accused the referee of bias. Students’ Union officials and security personnel calmed the angry students. The match ended 1-

0, with Anambra students taking over the field in celebration. The Dean of Students’ Affairs, Dr Ibrahim Magawatta, represented by his deputy, praised the students for the spirit of sportsmanship displayed throughout the game. He said he believed the competition would make the students to shun tribalism and promote peace on the campus. Hailing the union for organising the tournament, Dr Magawatta urged it double its efforts to foster unity among students. Some of the players were honoured after the match. Aliyu Ladan, captain of Kaduna State team, was awarded the Most Valuable Player of the tournament; Anthony Shuaibu of Anambra team won a Golden Boot for being the player with the highest number of goals. He scored eight goals. The highpoint of the event was the presentation of the trophy to the winners. Students expressed satisfaction with the organisation of the event. Jubril Wada, a 400-Level student, said: “In my opinion, this is the best football tournament in this university so far; everything went as planned, despite months of ASUU strike that delayed the final match. It was a good tournament.” Morenikeji Dauda, a 200-Level History student, said the final match was fun, adding: “The football match will linger for a very long time in the memory of students that watched it.”




‘Children also suffer from cancer’ T

HE headline was an expression printed on the bangles given to us - CAMPUSLIFE reporters – when we went for a community outreach at the cancer ward of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) in IdiAraba, last December. The outreach was facilitated by Child Survival and Development Organisation of Nigeria (CSDON), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) run by former First Lady of Cross River State, Mrs Onari Duke. An official of the NGO, who shared the wrist bands, mentioned those words effortlessly, but their effects on students that participated in the community project were intense. Shivers ran down my spine when the words left her lips. And they kept re-echoing in my mind. The thought that children also suffer from the dreaded disease called cancer sent me into an emotional bewilderment. I could imagine the bad gift life presents to the innocent kids. Of course, life is hard; and now, new-born babies are feeling it. But such cruelty on infants cannot be understood.

When we were told we were visiting “children” with cancer, it did not occur to me that the word encompasses toddlers and new-born babies until I asked the nurse taking care of them about the age group of the patients under the care. I was shocked to hear the response. “Between six months and 40 years,” she replied. Again, I wondered how a baby of six months would be struggling with such a stubborn killer-disease. I contemplated on why a disease he doesn’t know how to spell should be tearing him apart, silently but steadily. Oh my God! I was thrown into another round of sympathetic feelings, wishing I could do something to heal the infants of the health menace. Yes! We can actually do something to reduce the prevalence of the tumor. When we spoke with the nurses, they confirmed that the cause of infant cancer remained unknown, but they advised that pregnant women should be careful of what they do, where they stay, the air they inhale, the liquid and food they take to avoid the dangers of carcinogenic growth in

their unborn babies. They also laid emphasis on the need for expectant mothers to be cautious of the drug they take. A visit to the NGO’s office later revealed that adequate care for expectant mothers can mitigate the menace. It was said that proper intake of folic acid by expectant mothers and women still in the stage of child bearing goes a long way in reducing the cause of malignant growth in babies. There are still some arguments for and against the claims on folic acid intake. This calls for a well-planned awareness on getting people, who are still in the dark on the prevalence of infant cancer, educated. They must know that children can also suffer cancer. Women should be targeted in the campaign to let them know the dos and don’ts in pregnancy to help mitigate the prevalence of the scourge, if it cannot be totally eradicated. The infant cancer campaign should be promoted with vigour such as we do for HIV/AIDS, malaria, polio, breast and cervical cancers. This should be done to

drastically reduce the number of children falling prey to the cold grip of this monster-disease. Provision should be made for easy and early detection, as it is highly believed that early detection is very vital to its remedy. In the light of this, the test for cancer should be subsidised or made free such as we do for HIV/AIDS, since it is gradually becoming endemic. At the moment, medical equipment that can be used to detect the tumor such as Computed Tomography Scan (CT Scan) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) are costly. Hence, the government must help to subsidised these tests for timely detection and possible cure. But since prevention is always better than cure and the best remedy in cases such as cancer, public enlightenments must be stepped up. Information dissemination is very crucial to help educate the public on dangerous and safe lifestyles. People should also seek knowledge on safe health habits. There is no gainsaying the fact that cancer doesn’t believe in the myth that: “what one doesn’t know doesn’t kill him”. If the saying

Stemming suicide on campus

By Ezekiel Efeobhokhan


UICIDE is a planned act; it takes boldness and calculated zeal of the victim to plan and ‘successfully’ execute it. It is also the only act, in which the first successful attempt teaches victims life experience they will not come back to relive. No victim lives to tell his

experience on suicide. However, the spate of suicide has ballooned in recent times. Many people are toeing the path of quick death because of societal frustration, academic tribulation, economic depression and some other reasons. They are fed up with life and things happening around them; they are left with no other option but suicide. Reasons for suicide vary from one country to another. In Nigeria, we have our own peculiar economic meltdown, a situation that is sending many citizens, who cannot cope, to their early death. For students, the society no longer supports learning to make it affordable. Some, who are ready to learn, are frustrated by stringent academic regulations, making it impossible for them to achieve their academic pursuit. They contemplate suicide as the only way out. Yet the government appears not to have an idea on how to salvage the situation. The society has turned upside down. People are disenchanted with development. The universities’ irresponsible fee re-

gimes and many other challenges make many people go mad. Many persons prefer taking their life instead of having a terrible state of mind. But, despite the societal challenges, is suicide really the way out? For me, I prefer to die fighting than to surrender to suicide. Committing suicide leaves a huge dent on the lineage of the families of the victims and their values; neighbours would see them people with small mind. The stigmatisation and opprobrium such act bring to the family cannot be quantified. Nobody would love to have any form of relationship with such families. Suicide is a very serious act the government needs to pay attention to after terrorism. When people who are not ready to die contemplate suicide, we should ask questions. The rising cases of suicide in our universities should be checked by authorities. Drastic steps such as psycho analysis of students before admission should be introduced in higher institutions. Depression starts when a situation that seems insurmount-

able worries the mind for days, weeks, months or even years without sharing it with people or the authority concerned. Victims feel they don’t deserve the attention of other people or organisation. These woes keep piling up until their minds couldn’t take tolerate anymore and they start thinking the way out. If the suicide story is true, the recent controversial death of Oladipopu Ige, a Law student at tthe Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, should be seen as a case study. He could have been alive if he had the opportunity to share his challenges with his parents. Alas, his message to inform his mom of the suicide move did not deliver on time. His mom had a flat battery. Should we say it was because of the epileptic power supply that made Oladipupo’s alleged suicide successful? I will blame his friends because they saw him in solitary places at night and they could not call the authorities’ or his parents’ attention to him. The society is not helping matters.

By Kingsley Amatanweze holds any iota of truth, then what does a child of six months old know about cancer? Kingsley, 500-Level Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, UNN What else has the government done to salvage the nation from the grip of acute poverty? The youth hope for a better future; nobody is ready to shape the good future for them. Those whose zeal has not been damped by the inhuman events happening in the society they come from are dejected by the poor state of things. The rich are getting richer, while the poor court penury and sorrow without a sign of getting out of the state. The level of poverty is high in this country. Some people die because they could not afford N200 bus fare to their destination; they jumped onto a cheap canoe and got drowned in the river. We have resources to make things work fine in this country, but government officials steal the money for personal use. Why would the poor not contemplate suicide? It is time we checked corruption in the system and make life meaningful to the masses again. We cannot afford to see the future of the country waste away in suicide while we look elsewhere. If we fail to act, the present cases of suicide may have been a child’s play. Ezekiel, UNIBEN



Making education the right of all


N all climes, education is taken as the right of citizens. In Nigeria, our Constitution is not equivocal about the educational rights of the citizens. This forms a strong foundation on which the government bases its policy and social reform. As exemplified by the late sage and ardent supporter of education, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and his political contemporaries, such as the late Chief Nnamdi Azikiwe and Sir Tafawa Balewa, education for all citizens is the bedrock of social and political development of any society. However, the present crop of leaders has not found the provision of Constitution meaningful the way our founding fathers did. Spurred on by selfish desires and personal profits, their failure to build on the educational system bequeathed to us have helped in creating an educational mirage in the system. Our education used to be ranked among the best in the world but not anymore. Our leaders have turned a blind eye to the foundation and chose to play politics with every-

thing that has to do with education. A few years ago, there were speculations that the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examinations and other examination bodies would be scrapped to make education accessible to the people; the bodies wax stronger daily. Despite reports of examination malpractices, registration bottleneck, non-release of results, high registration fee, mass failure and increase in the number of applicants annually, the government is yet to introduce reforms that would minimise the challenges and make education attractive to the youth. According to statistics, more than one million applicants write the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) annually. The figure rose to 1.7 million last year but only 520,000 placements were available for this number. Former Minister for Education Prof Ruqayyatu Rufa’I wondered what the fate of the unlucky 1.2 million applicants would be. One, too, wonders what the country is turning to. One might want to ask the fate of applicants that will,

for one reason or the other, not make the examination, if only to buttress the ex-minister’s statement. When the results for the 2013 UTME were released, more than half of the 1.7 million candidates that wrote the test scored below the average of 200. According to the examination body, only 10 candidates scored above 300 as against three that had 300 aggregate in 2012. The question, therefore, is whether the successful candidates are worth the admission with the kind of grade they’ve got? Even the rigour of post-UTME screening is another factor that denies many applicants admission. The exercise has turned to a money-spinning venture for most of universities. Every year, thousands of undergraduates rush to universities to take their screening test. It appears the higher the number of applicants, the more the profits universities’ managements get. Some got admitted through hard work and luck. But they still have to pay the school authority to stabilise the admission. You wonder how? Acceptance fees! You offer a

student admission to study in order for him to be useful for himself and the society, and you turn your left hand behind your back to demand for fee from him to “thank you” for offering him the admission. This is what I call open daylight robbery and bribery. As it is always the case, failure to comply leads to withdrawal of the admission. Then the student battles exorbitant school fees. So how does education become the right of a citizen? How can that poor family living in mud house afford to educate two children? What is the future of a kid who has to hawk and expose him to danger before the family can pay his school fee? In an ever-revolving world, where education is held in high esteemed and its products are respected and placed in good positions, what legacy does Nigeria is bequeathing to its future leader? For the education sector to be truly revitalised and upgraded, all the ailments that have been working against the development of the country, including bribery and corruption must be cured. Tertiary institu-

By Ayodeji Adeyemi tions must be purged of termite milking the system dry of values. A bottom-up approach should be institutionalised into the governance and education must be restored as the right and not a privilege for all. Ayodeji, 400-Level English, OAU




NANS holds convention


HE National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Zone B, which comprises institutions in Southeast and South-south, has held its annual convention at the College of Education (COE) in Akampka, Cross River State. The zone co-ordinator, Chinomso Obasi, thanked the students for attending the conference, adding that the struggle of association was not for selfish gains but sacrifice and patriotism. He listed his achievements in the last one year to include the reinstatement of students’ unions in many schools where union activities were proscribed. “We made sure that in our administration, we succeeded in establishing duly elected governments for the students’ unions in the zone. Some of the schools were operating with care-taker committees while some had no student government at all. But when we made moves, we caused the managements to see the need to give the students the chance to have their own government,” he stated. The Senior Special Adviser (SSA) to the President on Students and Youth Affairs, Hon. Jude Imagwe, praised the students of the Zone for maintaining decorum and peace. He expressed the readiness of the Federal Government to provide platform for students to achieve excellence. He said: “The Fed-

From Emmanuel Shebbs CALABAR

eral Government led by Dr Goodluck Jonathan is ready and committed to ensuring that the students come out of school being the best in their fields and disciplines.” The election started when the Kadiri Aruna-led committee dissolved the zonal executive members and other standing committees. Ikechukwu Okorie emerged as co-ordinator of the zone. Others elected include Richard Ekutu, Deputy Coordinator; Chuks Okafor, Secretary; Paul Eze, Director of Sports; Chibuzo Pedro, Public Relations Officer; Victor Ezenagu, Director of Action and Mobilisation, Aliyu Enadamen, Director of External Affairs; Aniefiok Inyang, Director of Special Duties; Rodney Okwusi, Treasurer; Mercy Ogar, Financial Secretary and Lah Amabu Ledogoh, Assistant SecretaryGeneral. Okorie thanked God for his emergence, praising students in the zone for supporting him. He said: “I lack words to express my gratitude. I don’t know what to say but I am most grateful to God and to the senators for electing me to serve in this capacity. I will always be there to serve Nigerian students and I will work with everybody to make sure we realise our objectives.”

•Celestine (middle) with other members of the association during the event

Students mark World Water Day


EMBERS of the Environmental Health Technology Students Association (EHTSA), Federal University of Technology in Owerri (FUTO) chapter, have celebrated the World Water Day. In his remark, President of the association, Celestine Onah, said: “Despite the fact that water is one of the basic essentials for life, it is a scarce commodity in many parts of the world because 20 per cent of the world population does not have ac-

On and Off Campus By Solomon Izekor 08061522600

From Mohammed Sani FUTO cess to safe drinking water. In Nigeria, access to potable water is a challenge.” He said the 2008 Joint Monitoring Programme of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Funds (UNICEF) stated that the proportion of world population using water from improved sources decreased by three per cent from 1990 to 2006, while the urban population with access to improved sources of drinking water decreased to 65 per cent from 80 per cent in 1990 to 2006. He added that the bodies also revealed that access to potable water in rural areas reduced to 30 per cent from 34 per cent in 1990 to 2006. He said the day was set aside to remind people about the significance of potable water and to pro-

mote sustainability for fresh water management and protect its sources and consumption. Speaking on this year’s theme, Water and energy, Celestine said: “The United Nations is paying attention to the water-energy nexus to particularly address inequities, especially for the ‘bottom billion’ who live in slums and impoverished rural areas and survive without access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, sufficient food and energy services.” It called on Nigeria to improve the current water supply level of 44 per cent, saying it was below the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target of 75 per cent. A participant, Orimoloye Emmanuel, said: “considering the importance of water as a basic necessity, it should be made available in its purest form, and should be one of the fundamental human rights”.

Union leaders suspended


HE legislative arm of the Students’ Union Government of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (UDUS) has held an emergency sitting to nullify the decision of the executive arm on the suspension of the union’s president Usman Musa Maizare and his Secretary General, Adamu Aliyu Shuaibu. The parliament faulted the executive’s decision, saying it had no constitutional power to suspend an officer. The lawmakers said the suspended officers should be reinstated and any official entitlement accrued to them during the period of suspension should be given to them. The executive arm was directed to write a letter of apology to the house for contravening the provisions of the constitution, saying copies of the letter should be pasted at strategic places of the school campus. The executive arm had suspended the duo for flouting the union’s constitution by soliciting for sponsorship for a programme

From Mubarak Ibrahim UDUS without the knowledge of other members. Their decision was based on the evidences provided which showed that the duo solicited for financial support of about N 250,000 in several places to execute project unknown to the council. Maizare admitted the allegations levelled against him but said he was not aware of the constitutional provisions in question. The decision of the council came hours after the house issued the president a 10-day ultimatum to refund the N 60,000 he misappropriated or face either suspension or impeachment. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that the suspension, which was to last for four weeks for each officer, was to enable proper investigations. The House Committee on Rules, Ethics and Congress Petition chaired by Mutiu Jimoh, was responsible for the probe.

A worthy alumnus

•Continued from page 31

Some students praised Kuku for his gesture. Ibrahim Adelakun, a 100-Level student of Engineering, said: “This is historic event and I am glad to be part of it. Hon. Kuku did not forget his roots; this is why he came back to build a magnificent Students’ Union Building for us. If every alumnus thinks this way, the campus would have experienced

more development today.” Jide Kolawole, a 400-Level Economics student, said: “Harvard University and other world-class institutions achieve development because their alumni go back to the institutions to donate legacy projects. This gesture by Hon. Kuku should be seen as a call to people that passed through this university to come back and give it meaning. I would also come back here to give back to this school.”




Ex-UNN Medical School graduates home coming


HE management of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) has re-affirmed its determination to re-invent the conducive academic environment that enabled medical doctors trained by the institution record medical breakthroughs in the past. Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Enugu Campus of the University, Prof Ifeoma Enemo, said the present administration had evolved several measures to boost learning, research and enhance staff welfare at its college of medicine in order to bring out the best from workforce. Declaring open the 2014 homecoming health conference of past graduates of the UNN college of Medicine, christianed UNNCOMA, at the Nike Lake Protea Hotel, Enugu at the weekend, Prof Enemo, who represented the vice Chancellor on the occasion, stated that despite present financial crunch facing tertiary institutions in the country, UNN would continue to give priority to its training and retraining programme and reassured that work on the ongoing projects at the medical school would be completed, even as she solicited support of the private sector. Provost of the UNN College of Medicine, Prof Basden Onwubere recalled that their medical surgeons led by Prof. Udekwu in 1976 performed the first separation of siamese twins in Africa, after it pioneered the open Heart Surgery in


ICT: FEDPOFFA, EdePoly rated high

From Chris Oji, Enugu

Nigeria in 1974, among several other medical feats. Onwubere, noted that with improved funding and motivation, his team of doctors were ready to do more and make a strong statement on the nations health sector. According to the medical legend, a school that started with less than 120 students in 1970 and now has over 2,500 students is in dire need of expansion, coupled with the difficulty of re-locating from old site in Enugu to the permanent site of UNTH at Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State. He explained that the University of Nigeria College of Medicine Alumni Association, UNNCOMA Health Conference was strategically designed to provide the platform for the over 3,000 participants to cross-fertilize ideas and draw inspiration from one another with a view to moving the health sector forward. The theme of the conference was, “Past glory, present challenges and future expectations”. Also speaking, former governor of Enugu State and an alumnus of UNN, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo exphasized the need for the adoption of medium and long term development of master plan to not only sustain but build an infrastructure that would match the reputation of the college of medicine on the continent as the flagship of medical education. Nwodo said the road map on how

•Left: Prof Okoye and Prof Onwubere

to raise the targeted N6 Billion naira was for all past graduates to donate at least 25,000 every year to serve as a foundation source of funds to guarantee the growth of the institution while exploring external windows, stressing that there” should be clear vision on where we are going and where we want to be”. Earlier, the chairman of the local organising committee for the event, Prof. Ifeoma Okoye said Nigerians would continue to travel abroad for medical attention untill our heath facilities were equipped with state -of the art equipment, while the medical personnel were adequately motivated and were sent overseas periodically to update their knowledge on the medicine. She however, attributed success so far achieved by UNNCOMA

since 205 to the support and commitment of the provost of the college, prof. Basden Onwubere and expressed the hope that hsi successor would do the same. The occasion attracted the cream of the academia from within and outside the country and the country, including former governor of Anambra State, Senator Chris Ngige, founder of the famous Memfys International Hospita for Neurosurgery, Enugu, Prof Sma Ohaegbulam, chief Medical Director of UNTH, Dr. Chris Amah renowned researcher, Dr. Sam Ibeneme and the National President of University of Nigeria College of the Medicine Alumni Association, UNNCOMA, Dr. Ejike Orji as well as former deputy vice chancellor UNEC, Professor Peter Ebigbo who chaired the occasion.

UNICAL entrepreneurship centre graduates 500


HE Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC) of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) have graduated its pioneer set of 500 students, cutting across various disciplines of the institution. Speaking at the ceremony held recently at the institutions conference hall, the Chief Executive Officer of Davandy-Group, Asuquo Ekpenyoung, impressed by the centre’s performance, expressed his firm’s readiness to partner her graduands in mentorship. While urging the graduands to think less about white collar jobs,

From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

Asuquo who was also chairman of the occasion, said the partnership is intended to encourage deserving graduands of the centre. Ekpenyong said: “may be if they (graduands) submit their business plans and we are satisfied, we would take about 20 per cent of them for mentoring and other necessary assistance”. Ekpenyong stressed the need for entrepreneurs to be proactive in identifying business opportunities, adding that every given opportunity must be relentlessly pursued

for an entrepreneur to succeed. He said critical thinking, focus, creativity as well as internal motivation are required for an entrepreneur to stand the test of time. Director of the EDC, UNICAL, Prof Usang Bassey, said the centre was established to make students look beyond white collar jobs. “The entrepreneurship centre was established to make students look beyond the one stretched white-collar job mentality and become more proactive”, Bassey said. He charged the pioneer graduands to indulge in critical thinking, recognize business op-

portunities as well as take interest in team work in order to make an headway. Some of the skills offered at the centre include; water treatment, brewing, photography, paper production, tailoring, crop farming, printing, satellite installation among others. The certificate of acceptance of the centre was presented to the graduands by the institution’s vice chancellor, Prof James Epoke, who was represented by the dean, faculty of social sciences, Prof Eugene Aniah.

LASPOTECH graduates 14,920 students today


HE Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Ikorodu will graduate 14,920 students during its 22nd convocation today. Rector of the polytechnic, Dr AbdulAzeez Lawal said at a briefing last Thursday that all the graduands will get their certificates at the convocation ground. He said the graduating students are so many because the institution cleared all outstanding results. “I am happy to inform you that the Lagos State Polytechnic will be graduating a total of 14,920 students across all our schools this session (part-time and full-time). This is because all outstanding results have been fully processed and approved by the Academic Board for convocation. “I am equally happy to state that all graduating students can go home with their certificates immediately after the convocation, because the certificates are fully ready for collection,” he said. In line with the directive of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Lawal said the institution has closed all its satellite campuses. He said students from those campuses took their last exam at the

A lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Prof G.A. Aderounmu, has praised the Federal Polytechnic Offa (FEDPOFFA) and the Federal Polytechnic, Ede, for impacting sound knowledge into their Computer Science and Computer Engineering students. Aderounmu, who is the Director of Information Technology and Communications Centre of OAU, said students of both insititutions usually perform excellently at their industrial training posts. Speaking at the 13th Annual National Conference, organised by the School of Business Studies, Federal Polytechnic, Ede, Aderounmu added that students from the two institutions undergoing industrial training at OAU Communication were outstanding in their performances. He urged the leadership of the two institutions to keep up the good work and further improve on the performances In his remarks the Rector, FEDPOFFA, Dr. Mufutau Olatinwo, who chaired the ocassion, argued for the increased application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes and the purposeful application of information and communication technology in the design, production and utilization of goods and services.

Cars for workers THE Credit and Thrift Cooperative Society (CTCS), FEDPOFFA has imported varieties of cars for its members. The cars were handed over to the beneficiaries at an official programme witnessed by the Rector, Dr Mufutau Olatinwo, represented by the Deputy Rector (Academics) Alhaji Biaminu Salihu and other principal officers. Olatinwo praised the leaders of the cooperative for looking out for the members’ interest. He also advised all the beneficiaries to drive carefull. Speaking at the occasion the Chairman of the CTCS, Mr. Wasiu Folorunsho, said the intention of the CTCS is to improve the standard of living of members by assisting them to meet basic requirements of life and solve pressing needs. One of the beneficiaries, Mr O.O.S Ajayi, who now owns a Toyota Sienna space bus, expressed joy about his new car. “I got almost all my electrical equipments from them. I also got some plots of land too in the just concluded round and this time, I am getting a Toyota Sienna. The cooperative is really trying for the staff of the Polytechnic,” he said.

Vocational skills for students

•From left: Olayinka Sogunro, Deputy Rector (Administration); Otunba Fatai Olukoga, Special Adviser on Education; Dr. Lawal and Adebayo Salvador, Special Adviser on Parastatal Monitoring at the briefing. By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

main campus of the institution, an exercise he noted would help them develop their distance learning education platform. “We were able to bring them down to Ikorodu for the exam. They were happy about it because writing in the main campus gave them a sense of belonging. The conduct of the exam also exposed to the fact that we are ready to run the distance

learning programme. We can prepare lecture notes, and send them online to the students. They only have to come to the campus for tutorials and exams,” he said. The Rector also said it is almost done with relocating all departments from other campuses to the main Ikorodu campus. He however said the Isolo Campus would be retained for the parttime programmes. Activities that featured as part of

the convocation, included, interdenominational and jumat services held Friday, a convocation dinner at the Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja; and students’ programme/football match, Monday. A Convocation Lecture titled: “National Vocational Qualification Framework as a new deal for Nigeria’s Skills Development: The role of the Polytechnic” was delivered by Dr Masa’udu Kazaure, NBTE Executive Secretary, on Tuesday.

STUDENTS of FEDPOFFA have undergone training in production of soap, disinfectant, tie and dye and database computer training. The training was organised by the polytechnic’s Directorate of Entrepreneurship Development to ensure all students acquire entrepreneurial skills. The Director, Mr Kamaldeen Arowomole, said the workshop was to prepare the students for a self reliant life after their education. Also speaking, a Principal Lecturer in the Accountancy Department, Dr T. Adesina, expressed happiness with the programme but urged students to be more familiar with ICT applications, especially those that may enhance their productivity. Lauding he programme, a Business Administration Department student, Funke Ishola, said it would help them become independent and job creators.





AAUA to build BOT hostel THE Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, 9AAUA) Ondo State, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, (MoU), with Akoko Development Group, (ADG), to build a 200-bed space female hostel. The Registrar, Mr. Bamidele Olotu, who signed the MoU on behalf of the university, thanked ADG urging the outfit to build according to the master plan of the university. Spokesperson of ADG, Chief Felix Ayegbusi, said the hostel would be built on Build Operate and Transfer basis, with the outfit managing the infrastructure for 25 years, after which ownership of the facility is reverted back to the university.

…Hosts third institute’s lecture ON Thursday last week, the AAUA played host to the International Institute of Professional Security, (IIPS), Ondo/Ekiti chapter, during the institute’s lecture titled: ‘The role of private security in complimenting internal security machineries in higher institutions.’ IIPS is the largest security institute in Africa and the first in Nigeria with its headquarters in Lagos. It has branches in 22 states nationwide. The AAUA Deputy ViceChancellor, Prof. Rotimi Ajayi, who declared the seminar open on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Femi Mimiko, thanked IIPS for ceding the hosting right to AAUA. Prof. Ajayi said outsourcing jobs by establishments, including higher institutions, is a global response to the economic recession that engulfed the world a few years back.

APPROACHING DEADLINES •Continued from previous edition

Call for Application: Graduate Research Program on Climate Change and Agriculture 6.Innovation Systems in Agricultural Production/Field trip/Excursion 7.Research component Each student will carry out some PhD research. The topic and location of PhD research are decided by the GRP Board. Students' dissertation research topic should be decided after their admission. The topic should be in conformity with the mandates of the GRP CC & Agric and be useful for the country and the sub region. The research component includes the research plan preparation, field work, data analysis, final write up and de-

fense. "Research Plan Preparation (3 months), during the course-curriculum phase. "Field Work (maximum 24 months): The field work can be done in or outside Mali depending on expertise (supervisor), availability of equipment and accessibility to relevant data. "Data analysis- if needed visit to Germany/WASCAL (maximum 6 months): During the course of their research, students may visit Germany to use some specialized equipment and computing facilities otherwise not available in Mali or in the partner universities or in the WASCAL Competence Centre (Burkina Faso). "Final write up and defense (maximum 7 months): The final write up of

the thesis will be undertaken at the university or research centre where the supervisor works or at IPR/IFRA or in the Competence Centre (Burkina Faso). The thesis defense will be conducted in Mali (at IPR/IFRA or at ISFRA). 6. Application Procedure and Contact Candidates may apply directly to the GRP CC&Agric by submitting all information requested via e-mail to Prof. Amoro Coulibaly, e-mail or and copy to Dr. Benjamin Kofi Nyarko, email Application Deadline: March 30th, 2014 7. Publication of the Selection Outcome


Kogi Poly partners NASRDA on space tech


HE Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja, Kogi State, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), to run a National Diploma in Aerospace Engineering Technology. This automatically makes the polytechnic the first institution to run such programme in Nigeria. Speaking at the ceremony which took place at the Boniface Boroffice Conference Hall of NASRDA in Abuja, the Director-General of the

By Adejo David

agency, Prof Saidu Mohammed, said the event was historic, as NASDRA was signing MoU with a polytechnic in Nigeria for the first time. Prof Mohammed said Kogi State Polytechnic is unique in the sense that it occupies central position in Nigeria and is also located in the same area with iron and steel company. He said in the light of this, the engineering programmes of the polytechnic are particularly important.

The NASRDA DG stressed that space technology is not on1y about designing and building of satellite, but the fastest way to fast track development in all areas. “Space technology is not only scientific but also political because of its impact in national economy,” he said. In his response, the Rector of the Polytechnic, Prof Mathew Ajibero, thanked NASRDA for providing an enabling environment for the programmr. Prof Ajibero, who considered him-

self lucky for signing the pact during his tenure, promised to leave up to expectation. The Rector further said the institution is already engaging some consultants to design the Department of Aerospace Engineering, adding that the agency and the polytechnic teams are working on the curriculum. Ajibero subsequently sought the approval of the programme by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) so that the programme can start by next academic session.

MOUAU warns students against homosexuality


HE Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike [MOUAU] near Umuahia has held its 21st matriculation with about 5,000 new students. Speaking at the ceremonial pavilion of the institution, the Vice-Chancellor of MOUAU, Prof. Hilary Edeoga, warned the newly admitted students against homosexual act and other anti-social conducts. Edeoga said: “In order for you to

•As varsity matriculates 5000 From Ugochukwu Ugoji-eke, Umuahia

succeed in your various academic programmes, I urge you all to shun acts of indiscipline, including rape, same sex union or association, gangsters activities, cultism, extortion, and exam malpractices, Indecent dressing, abusive languages, fight-

ing and other vices that may truncate the academic journey which you have officially begun today.” Edeoga urged them to channel their energies to: “those things that will ensure that you enjoy sound academic and moral training from this university which will secure your future and better your lot.”


•L-R: Maria Brewer, Deputy Head of Mission, U. S Consulate and Dr. Ted Ngu, Head, Corporate Development & Investments, Honeywell Group during the signing of a partnership to fund a study for the development of a $3 billion gas-based industrial complex in Nigeria.


IPR/IFRA in collaboration with the GRP CC&Agric Advisory Board will short list and select one candidate from each country. There may be the need for a selection interview in Bamako or via telephone, Skype or Messenger when feasible to gain a better assessment of students. The date of the interview will be communicated after short listing. The selection interview is mandatory to support the final selection of candidates. The list of successful candidates will be decided by April 30th, 2014. Selected students will be asked to submit a hardcopy of the application package and to present original diplomas at the time of registration (by June30th, 2014).

He assured them that the management would give priority to their welfare, promising that more hostels and lecture theatres would be provided to meet the accommodation needs of the school and with security always. He also said that intra-campus bus shuttles would be introduced to enhance students’ mobility, adding that the existing one will be increased and new ones added.

‘Education conquers youths restiveness’

HE Vice-Chancellor of Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), Prof Cyprian Onyeji, has said that the growing youths restiveness across the country and the dangerous threat it poses to the peaceful coexistence of citizenry could only be addressed through quality education. Speaking at the 33rd matriculation of the university, Onyeji said various researches the world over, have demonstrated that without education, human beings would grow dangerously and become a threat to cohesion of mankind. Onyeji advised the freshers not to identify with social vices as such could lead to expulsion. Onyeji said

From Chris Oji, Enugu

the mission of the university was to produce graduates that could compete favourably with their counterparts from other universities anywhere in the world. He advised them to show strong commitment to their studies, assuring that the institution has been very strict in handling cases of students’ exploitation under any guise by any workers of the university. Onyeji said the university has provided ‘opinion boxes’ at strategic locations on campus where students could drop their opinions or complaints on any issue they felt that they could not express to management physically.

‘ICT vital to tertiary institutions’

OR a planned repositioning of a tertiary institution or any other organisations to be successful, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a necessity. Besides, nothing must be taken for granted. Though workers are often rigid to change, yet the individual at the helm of affairs must convince his/her subordinates of the need to adopt new measure in line with 21 century demands, said Mr Owolabi Amisu at the maiden Registry lecture of the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED) Otto/Ijanikin Lagos. Amisu said any organisation that is crisis-ridden, or wants to remain relevant needs to continuously

By Adegunle Olugbamila

carry out re-engineering. Amisu, a former Registrar of AOCOED spoke on the topic: ’Change for real: A case of organisational renewal in colleges of education,’ at the college auditorium on Thursday last week. He said: “Once you are behind in ICT, you are as good as dead. With ICT, it will help make the job flexible and more efficient. It will also keep track of individuals and expose ghost workers. Networking is also made a lot easier because workers in a particular unit can also link up with another through emails. And with each unit or individuals allot-

ted password, one can easily navigate to other departments and carry our certain administrative activities without much physical stress.” Corporate Planning is central in the process of reengineering, Owolabi explained, adding that it entails college mandates (vision/mission statements) as handed down by her Governing Council. Human resources are also key as they are catalysts that will drive the planned re-organisation. To continue to build on its Human Resources (HR), Amisu suggested repeated training of workforce while also identifying workers that are ideal for certain job designations. In carrying out HM however, Amisu contended that certain ques-

tions must be asked: “Is workforce planning required? Is performance system in place? Do manager needs help to address poor performance and in communication and team skills? Could grievances and disputes be handled locally and for better working relationship? Does godfatherism exist? Should all aspect of training be improved? And will professionals and skilled HR practitioners add value,? among other posers. With HR in place, Amisu is optimistic that evaluation which is the next by the college management, will reveal an appreciable improvement in understanding of HR. Aside, subordinates in the college


system are most likely to endorse the new measures in work approach resulting in significant improvement in HR framework.




Obiano begins school tour •Teachers to get better package


NAMBRA State Governor Willie Obiano has kicked off on-the-spot checks on schools especially those in remote areas, assuring teachers in the state school of a better welfare package. He however urged them to work harder, warning that his administration would not condone truancy and negligence to duty. Addressing principals and managers of secondary schools in the state in Abagana, Njikoka Local Government Area on Wednesday last week, Governor Obiano said education occupies a key position in his blueprint believing same would unlock the potentials of the Anambra people. Obiano said: “I want to put you on notice that I plan to pay surprise visits to schools. I will not tell anybody where I plan to visit and when but I expect to see you in the classroom when I come. I will not take kindly anyone who is away from his or her duty post when I visit,” he warned. He observed that his predecessor, former governor Peter Obi had done very well in education, promising to improve upon the foundation Obi laid. “We have adopted tested models that will return Anambra to its preeminent position as the Light of the Nation in education,” Obiano explained. The governor, however, reminded the teachers that it was their responsibility to reshape society by equipping the students with the right val-

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Onitsha

ues that would help them evolve into responsible citizens. His words: “I learnt most of the virtues that I live by today from my days in secondary school has nearly varnished. The virtues of hard work, respect for elders, and others that lead to a responsible citizenry are all imparted on the students at this level of education. So, I expect you to do the right thing for our children,” he further explained. Obiano also assured the teachers that his administration was determined to improve their lot and that their request for support in the area of training and capacity building would get his express approval when formally presented. Earlier in her opening remarks, the Chairman of Post-Primary Schools Service Commission (PPSSC), Lady Joy Ulasi, had recalled that as the son of a headmaster, every teacher in Anambra State feels a sense of fulfillment in Obiano’s emergence as the governor of the state. According to her, the PPSSC urgently needs more buses to ensure a more effective supervision and onthe-spot checks in the 254 post-primary schools in the state. The commission also wants to move from its temporary location along EnuguOnitsha expressway to its permanent site in the shortest possible time and would be grateful if the governor could help actualise this wish, Ulasi further requested.

•Obiano (middle), Lady Joy Ulasi, Chairman, Post-Primary Schools Service Commission (left) Dr. Uju Okeke, Commissioner for Education, Anambra State (third right) and some pupils of Nnamdi Azikiwe Secondary School, Abagana during the Obiano’s. PHOTO ODOGWU EMEKA ODOGWU

Also in his welcome address, the President of the Anambra State chapter of All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), Sir Godfrey N. Ajiba


N an effort to raise awareness on child protection and help provide solutions to protecting the Nigerian child, the Association of International School Educators in Nigeria, (AISEN), has held a one day conference on child protection. With the theme: “Child protec-


land event that the learning about these vital health issues early could save their lives and help the female pupils guard against abortion and reduce the infant mortality rate. She said: “I always believe we should preempt things. We should give this information at an early age. They need to know that once you are Rhesus negative and have an abortion, you become sensitised and there may be complications with child bearing in marriage. In Nigeria we have a high infant mortality rate, and rhesus incompatibility is one of the reasons for it. The issue of genotype also causes problems in marriage. “We have graduates, even PhD holders who do not know this information despite being educated; that is why we advocate early intervention. Moreover, a lot of teenagers are exposed to sex as early as 12-18,” she said. Apart from its relevance to reproductive issues, Dr Kemi Famuyiwa, who delivered a lecture, titled: “Importance of knowing your blood group, rhesus factor and genotype as part of your Identity”, said RSI is

By Medinat Kanabe

tion: Securing our children in a changing world,” the conference which was held at the Shell Hall, Muson Centre, Lagos, attracted participants across varying disciplines. Speaking at the conference, AISEN President and Administrator, Greenwood House School, Mrs Ekuah Abudu, said child abuse is still rife in Nigeria. She said: “Child labour is rife and we have millions, mostly girls as domestic maids. Then there are the issues of child trafficking, child marriage, genital mutilation reports of various kidnapping all over the country. Many across all classes experience sexual abuse and exploitation at the hands of family and careers. Physically challenged children are abandoned or starved of basic love and care because they are considered a stigma to society. Nearer us are the over achieving parents who pressurise their wards to the point of depression despite his/her obvious inability to cope. Nigerian girls and boys should be encouraged to speak up when abused.” Another speaker at the event, founder of Tinogona, which builds

and repairs schools in rural Zimbabwe, Dr Tererai Trent, called on Nigerians to believe in the right of children to be educated. She shared a story on how she managed to study up to PhD level without the assistance of her family. The Co-Founder Victoria Climbie Foundation, United Kingdom, Mr Mor Dioum, said Nigeria needs to work with developed countries if she desires a higher effectiveness on child protection. “To develop policies that will be in practice and work with the people, the voice of the people must be heard because they are the ones that have lived the real life. Many policies on child right protection have failed because the community was not contacted,” he said. Dioum who spoke on: ‘Prevention through early involvement and safeguarding children in and out of homecare’ warned people to stay away from practices especially cultures that are harmful to children. The Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye urged people to look Inward to see how best they can serve the children even if their rights are not always exercised.

Education…the nation’s future

NGO enlightens pupils about Rhesus, others By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

and international conferences as well as a donation of a piece of land in Awka, the state capital for the building of a befitting secretariat for ANCOPSS.

AISEN holds conference on child protection

•A cross section of the participants

T what age should children learn about Rhesus factor, genotype, and blood grouping? As early as possible says Rhesus Solution Initiative (RSI), a non-governmental orgnaisation which is organising awareness programme on these issues for secondary school pupils around Lagos. The RSI campaign train stopped at the Lagos State Education District II last week. At separate programmes held on Tuesday at the Lagos State Model College, Igbogbo for the Ikorodu zone; and on Wednesday at the SUBEB Hall, Maryland, for the Somolu/Kosofe Zone, over 1,000 pupils learnt the importance of rhesus compatibility, genotype and blood grouping to their health and reproductive well being later in life. Rhesus factor is an attribute of the blood that is either positive or negative. A rhesus negative woman married to a rhesus positive man will have problems with conception as her body will produce antibodies that will harm the foetus. Founder of RSI, Mrs Olufunmilayo Banire, told The Nation at the Mary-

had made a series of requests including the appointment of principals as permanent secretaries, promotion of principals to higher grade levels, sponsorship of principals to national

•Mrs Banire

advocating for the pupils to carry cards containing information about their rhesus, genotype and blood group to speed up intervention in emergency cases. “If they are carrying details about their blood group type, rhesus, and genotype, it could speed up help in times of emergency. Instead of medical personnel trying to test their types for blood transfusion, they could start treatment straightaway. Also, it can help avoid complications. If a man with rhesus negativity gets transfused with rhesus positive blood, he can have a reaction that leads to headache, fever and even death. “Children are really impressionable. If they know their genotype, blood group and rhesus, it is part of their identity and they can pass on the information to others. It is good to start early, knowledge is power,” she said. Coordinator of RSI, Rasaq Olorunnimbe, said the NGO also conducted on-the-spot blood and rhesus tests for some of the pupils.


HE Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Prof Modupe Adelabu, has insisted that the nation’s future is anchored on education. She made the remark during the 21st anniversary of Yerokun Early Learning Nursery and Primary School and Diamond College, Iba Housing Estate, Lagos. Adelabu, who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Deputy Governor, Mr. Babatunde Alokan, said: “ I believe that you will all agree with me that education is the bedrock of the future of any great nation especially Nigeria. Only few of life’s investments succeed without proper education. “Our great nation, Nigeria, is no doubt one of the countries of the world which enjoys western education. A wise man once said ‘the only panacea to ignorance and vices is sound education’. Give education to a fool, he will give you the wisdom to build and rule the world in return. That is why some state governments, especially in Ekiti State, under Dr. Kayode Fayemi, are placing utmost priority on education.” In her speech, the Proprietress of

• Prof Adelabu By Kunle Akinrinade

the schools, Mrs. Christianah Yerokun blamed the decline in standard of education in Nigeria on the society “Although, there is need for proactive evaluation and monitoring of our education sector for excellent height but the society should take the blame for the drop in standard. “Many parents today would prefer their children attend schools where teachers would, after teaching students in the classroom assist them in passing their West African School Certificate examination through malpractices and corruption. That is one thing we don’t do in our schools because doing so would also mean that we are helping to compromise standards.”




NHIS targets 24 million pupils for healthcare


HE Nigerian Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is seeking to capture 10 million public primary school pupils across Nigeria under the scheme this year. The registration would allow the pupils aged 6-12 to be treated freeof-charge in any hospital when the need arises. Speaking about the initiative at the recording of Health Access, a television show aired on NTA, Dr Thomas Adeoye, Ag General Manager, Research and Planning, NHIS, said the programme should commence in four months by which time the registration should have advanced or been completed. He said the 10 million represents the first phase of the project as the ultimate goal is to register 24 million pupils. Adeoye said children in public schools are being targetted because they are mostly indigent, and at a vulnerable stage when they can eas-


By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

ily pick up diseases. He added that the scheme would afford them access to quality healthcare and save their parents from expending scarce resources taking care of their ailments. The NHIS boss said state governments have agreed to pay N250 per child. And that the cost will cover treatment of cuts, aberration, infections, schistosomiasis, malaria, and others. He said the NHIS would pay accredited health facilities under the scheme directly and expect them to open their doors to the pupils. Once underway, Adeoye is optimistic the initiative would boost enrolment and retention in schools and save many parents from becoming poor. “There should be a reduction in the percentage of dropouts with the NHIS. It will even boost enrolment as parents would be encouraged to send their

• Dr Adeoye

wards to school where they can be treated. This intervention is to ensure that the parents do not run into poverty. Research has shown that paying from the pocket to treat health issues impoverishes parents. It is part of government’s intervention fund to ensure that parents are no longer burdened by health challenges of their wards,” he said. After the primary school pupils have been captured, Adeoye said the initiative will move to capture those in secondary school, then those outside the school system.

•Sport wins?????????????

Pupils dedicate sports victory to Buni Yadi victims


EMBERS of Herbert Macaulay (Blue) House, winners of the 3rd Inter House Sports competition of First Foundation Private Schools, Kubwa Abuja have dedicated their victory to the victims of Buni Yadi attack. House Captain, Master James Odum (not real name) described the attack by the violent Boko Haram sect that claimed the lives of 59 pupils of the Federal Government College in Buni Yadi, Yobe State on February 25, 2014 as unfortunate. The children called for better security for students in the country. He said: “Our teacher is always informing us of what is happening around the world everyday. He came in one day and told us that 59 students were killed while sleeping in their hostels. None of us was happy throughout that day. Some of my mates also told us other things about the attack which everybody


From Dele Anofi, Abuja

has condemned. “Since then we have been training hard to make sure that we get a medal in this completion so that we can dedicate it to the dead souls. “We are happy that we eventually won the competition and we are dedicating it to those students that lost their lives untimely. We want government to arrest the evil people that did it and also to provide adequate protection for students everywhere in Nigeria. “We were also told that a plane with over 200 passengers has been missing, it’s our prayers that they find it”. Earlier in her welcome address, the Proprietess of the school, Mrs Zainab Adeleke, said the third edition of the event was meant to mentally and physically prepare the children for the challenges of the future.

“We are aware that these impressionable children have to be exposed to sporting activities early enough to aid their growth. Apart from being prepared mentally, the physical fitness of the children is also of great importance to their development in life. “That is why we are always encouraged to ensure that we don’t miss this opportunity because we discovered that the children are not only excited about the competition, their academic performance has also been on the rise since the inception of the games,” she said. The competition featured various athletics events including 100m, 200m, 400m×4 relay, and others like - Dress your partner, Catch the bus and invitational relay. Obafemi Awolowo (Green) House took the rear position while Ahmadu Bello (Yellow) House and Nnamdi Azikwe (Red) took second and third positions respectively.

Retired teachers elect new leaders

EVEREND James Kayode Owoyemi is the new Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Teacher Pensioners Branch (TPB), Lagos State branch. Owoyemi who was the former secretary of the TPB, Lagos, was elected with 40 votes - two more than his opponent, Chief Ogunmefun Michael, during the union’s election held at the Baptist Academy premises, in Obanikoro, Lagos. The Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Lagos State, Chief Abraham Folarin Akinwale, who announced the results of the election, had earlier told the contestants that the election was a call

By Ibrahim Adam

to serve and not a do or die affair. Outgoing chairman, Mr Isaac Folafgade Afolabi, who served for 10 years, told The Nation that his tenure was beset with travails. “My tenure witnessed series of travails ranging from the TPB’s brawl with the State NUP to incessant litigation by some dissidents. To God be the glory, the case was dismissed in December 2013 in favour of the Teacher Pensioners Branch, Lagos,” he said. Afolabi also enjoined the members to work with the new executives for the progress of the TPB.

In his inaugural speech, Owoyemi urged other contestants to join hands with him to lift the union. He also urged the Lagos State government to accede to the group’s demands “Pensioners in Lagos State are demanding for payment of the 36 months of the 142 per cent. A lot of primary school teachers retirees who are yet to be paid their gratuity should be settled before the end of our erudite, dynamic, knowledgeable Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola’s tenure. “I am short of words been elevated from the secretary to the post of the Chairman. This is truly a charge to work.” he added.


A salute to courage from the north


OR some time now, I have been mulling the irony of the sectional violence in Kofoworola the north. In this same country, Belo-Osagie some people wake up and do not know whether they will be dead by the end of the day or left with08054503077 (SMS only) out limbs, homes or means of livelihood; while down south, others wake up thinking of business, pleasure and making future plans with a greater degree of certainty. The Boko Haram sect is wrecking havoc in the northeast and further threatening educational imbalance that the government has not been able to correct since Nigeria became an entity. Given its avowed conviction that western education is sin, its members have been merciless in burning schools, and killing teachers and pupils/students. It is no news that the school system is under threat. The academic calendar is in disarray as schools are forced to shut in places where the violence is hottest - after all we think of life first before other things. With schools being burnt, the shortage of facilities becomes even more acute. We rave about how terrible it is for pupils to sit on the floor and and learn in windowless classrooms with leaking roofs in most parts of the country. But up north where the violence persists, they would be lucky if they can learn unharassed under a tree, not to mention in a building, furnished or not. But the good news is that the governments and people of the northeast are not giving up on education just because Boko Haram says they should do so. Despite real threats to their lives, many parents are determined to give their wards an education, and the youngsters are also willing to learn. Some parents who can afford it are sending their wards to other states, while others seek safer havens to attend school within the same state. It is good to know that not all of the people have given the criminals the pleasure of thinking they have succeeded by giving up. Last week, some of the girls who fled the single sex boarding school at Konjuga in Borno State told their story of the horror of being surrounded by over 200 Boko Haram men armed with “heavy knives” and guns the night their school was sacked last month. Some of the men, they said, were bold enough to remove their masks. When they were told to flee, the girls could not go back for their personal effects. Many of them fled on foot through the bush to Maiduguri, the state capital, which was 20km away. They arrived exhausted and with sores on their feet. Some had to be hospitalised following the ordeal. But guess what? Despite this, they re-enrolled in a school in Maiduguri and are writing the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). If this is not courage, I wonder else what to call it. These girls faced death yet chose not to remain ignorant and forever be sentenced to a life of poverty and oppression. They have chosen their destinies and I pray that the Almighty will seal it with an Amen that would route the forces of these evil men seeking to destroy our nation. Now, seeing that these children are not giving up on their dream to be educated, the government should do more to protect them and urgently address this problem of insurgency threatening the peace and progress of our nation.

Many of them fled on foot through the bush to Maiduguri, the state capital, which was 20km away. They arrived exhausted and with sores on their feet. Some had to be hospitalised following the ordeal. But guess what? Despite this, they re-enrolled in a school in Maiduguri and are writing the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) From My Inbox Re: Immigration Mess! (Published Thursday, March 20, 2014) Ah! Anti Kofo, it appears you never investigate before you write. NIS has nothing to do with that interview please. It is the Minister and his consultant...MESS. Anonymous I thought that you had 'checked out' when your column was vacant. You are welcome back with one of the tragedies of our time. Bisi Odebunmi.






OSUN POLITICS The Osun State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been polarised over its recent governorship primaries. ADESOJI ADENIYI examines the implication of the post-primary crisis on the preparations of the troubled chapter for the poll.

Osun PDP in disarray over Omisore’s ambition T

HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State has not been the same since the race for the party’s ticket for the August 9 governorship election began. Four stalwarts initially signified intention to run for the election on the crisis-ridden platform. The aspirants are Senator Iyiola Omisore, former Minister of Youths Development Senator Olasunkanmi Akinlabi, former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Oluwole Oke and former Secretary to the Government, Alhaji Akinade Akinbade, who has now defected to the Labour Party (LP). Former Governor Adetunji Adeleke joined the race about four weeks ago on the claim that he was called upon by the Presidency and the PDP leadership to do so. Senator Omisore had an edge over others. All the odds were stacked in his favour. For instance, he was believed to have installed the party’s executive committee led Alhaji Ganiyu Ola-Oluwa. He is seen as the major financier of the party. Even the state party secretariat, which doubles as the campaign office of President Goodluck Jonathan along Gbongan Road, is Omisore’s property, which he donated to the party. His political structure has always been made available to party members, including Prince Oyinlola. Omisore and Akinbade have been bidding his time to occupy the governor’s seat. They have been waiting in the wings, since the expiration of Oyinlola’s tenure. It was the November 26, 2010 judgment of the Court of Appeal, which sacked the Oyinlola, that put their ambitions on hold. This explains why Omisore has been so aggressive to get the plum job. He has also been struggling to shed the toga of a daring, fierce and violent politician. But it was perhaps the ambition of Senator Adeleke that further put things asunder for Omisore. A few weeks to the primary, Adeleke had claimed that he was the anointed candidate of the President. Omisore’s supporters had objected to the claim. Some PDP members are blaming Adeleke for the latest crisis in the party. They allege that he is being sponsored by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to spoil show for Omisore, who by all calculations, had the backing of the state executive committee for the job. However, Adeleke had denied that he was being sponsored to spoil Omisore’s chance. He said it was obvious that none of the aspirants could deliver the state for the PDP, except him. Omisore’s machinery for the governorship election has been in place a long time ago and he has spent so much money on it. Thus, one can say that Omisore is at the centre of the crisis threatening to tear the PDP apart in Osun State. Two days to the primaries, one of the aspirants, Oke, petitioned the Chairman, Congress Appeal Committee over the result of the April 2 Ward congress. He insisted that he wanted justice and fairness. Oke alleged that Olaoluwa worked for his colleague, Omisore. He described the result as a charade. In a statement by the Publicity and Media Committee of his Wole Oke Capaign Organisation (WOCO), he complained that the congress was “highly manipulated and despicably concocted by the s Olaoluwa, in favour of his sole chosen aspirant, Omisore.” Oke explained that he rejected the congress, owing to lack of transparency in the selection of ‘Electoral and Returning Officers’ and refusal of the party chairman to liaise with local government party



‘Adeleke further said the devil had taken control of Senator Iyiola Omisore, whom he said was ready to kill to emerge as the party’s candidate. He reiterated the allegation that the party machinery had been hijacked to favour Omisore. He said that his decision not to participate in the primary election should not be seen as an act of cowardice or fear’ •Adeleke

chairmen, contrary to the directive of the Electoral Panel. Oke said: “Electoral and returning officers for the exercise were selected solely by the state Chairman, Alhaji Gani Olaoluwa. The list reveals that those who were selected to serve were chosen from known members of Omisore Youth Solidarity Forum (OYSF) and Omisore Grand Mobilisers (OGM). Whereas, the equitable thing to do would have been to get local government party chairmen to nominate names to the party secretariat. Our proof of this allegation is rooted in the fact that, as grassroot politicians, we know ourselves, and so, we recognise the individuals involved. The electoral and returning officers did not report to the local government party chairmen, but simply reported to Senator Omisore’s ‘Local government Coordinators,’ who simply filled the result sheets with prepared names. “In many councils, agents of other aspirants alleged that there was no vot-

ing, but manipulation and falsification of results by Omisore’s hired thugs. All representatives of other aspirants reported that the electoral and returning officers made use of photocopy result sheets, instead of the original required by the rules, which gave room for manipulation and distortion of results. The state secretary, who was supposed to sign and vet all results, by virtue of his position under the party constitution, Major Raphael Towobola (rtd.), remained suspended by Alhaji Gani Olaoluwa against an instruction from the National Working Committee for him to be reinstated without further delay. Against the backdrop of the fact that the failure, success and credibility of primaries depends on the outcome of the ward congress, it is clear that the manipulation of the congress of Wednesday 2nd April, 2014 by Alhaji Olaoluwa has effectively skewed the primaries to favour an aspirant. The so-called congress was not transparent, unfair and incredible.” Also, few days to the shadow election, Adeleke and his men were allegedly

beaten up by Omisore supporters. The former governor alleged that the Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Jelili Adesiyan, believed to be a staunch supporter of Omisore, allegedly ordered his men to search Adeleke’s aides ,who had come to a popular hotel in Osogbo, where the aspirants came to meet a five-man electoral committee led by former Governor of Kebbi State, Senator Adamu Aliero, to preside over the exercise. Adeleke claimed that he was beaten up by one Sogo Agboola, Adesiyan and Omisore. But, Adesiyan said it was case of two fighting between Agboola and Adeleke. Omisore’s supporters also alleged that Adeleke came to the hotel with thugs to disrupt the meeting convened by the electoral committee. On the eve of the primaries, Adeleke called his supporters to his country home and announced his withdrawal from the race. He said he decided to boycott the exercise, owing to insecurity. He said he could not endanger the lives of his followers because of “an aspirant’s desperation and determination to maim and kill in order to secure the Osun State PDP’s governorship ticket at all costs.” Adeleke added: “The devil had taken control of Senator Iyiola Omisore, who is ready to kill to emerge as the party’s candidate.” He reiterated the allegation that the party machinery had been hijacked to favour Omisore, stressing his decision not to participate in the primary was not an act of cowardice or fear. Adeleke said when the party decides to organise a transparent contest in the future, he may decide to participate. When the result of the primary poll was released, Omisore was declared the winner with 1,128 votes, out of 1280 votes expected from the delegates. Two contestants, Akinlabi and Oke, scored 35 and 5 votes respectively and 18 void votes were recorded. Omisore said his victory was for the PDP members. He commended his cocontestants for their maturity. He said that the contest showed that the PDP was set for the governorship election. But, before the shadow election, Akinlabi and Oke, said the process should be reviewed because the party leadership had allowed all contestants to expend their resources on the exercise. They said that the resources should have been deployed to prosecute the governorship election. The genesis of the crisis in Osun PDP is traceable to the 2011 senatorial contest. Many had opposed the candidature of Adeleke and Omisore, claiming that new blood would have made an impact than the old brigade. Omisore lost to Senator Jide Omoworare in Ife/Ijesa District. Adeleke lost to Senator Mudashiru Hussain in Osun Central District. Fears are rife that the oppostion party may go to the election as a divided fold. Adeleke is popular in his Ede area and he may mobilise the people to vote for another party, if reconciliation between him and Omisore fails. Already, he had vowed to take Omisore and Adesiyan to court for an alleged assault before the primaries. Also, in the PDP, there are many chieftains who believe that the chapter may attract a negative perception, with Omisore as the candidate. They believe that Omisore is too controversial and the ruling party may invade the media with propaganda against his candidature. Analysts believe that, if the post-primary crisis is not resolved, the divided party may pay dearly for it at the poll.



POLITICS Delta State All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant Sir Fidelis Tilije has unfolded his agenda for the state. The highlights are free education, free health services, job creation and security. EMMANUEL OLADESU reports.

My agenda for Delta, by Tilije


OREMOST banker and politician Sir Fidelis Okenmor Tilije has a vision for Delta State. The oilrich state, he said, deserves the benefits of development. In postUduaghan era, the state must be led by a governor who can extend a duty of care to his neighbour, he added. Tilije is of the opinion that only his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), can give a better leadership as from next year. Unfolding his ambition for governorship, inAsaba, the state capital, he said: “If God grants my prayer, I will lead Deltans and Delta State to our enviable position of first among the Nigerian states”. The financial expert has intensified his consultations with stakeholders in the heterogeneous state. He is armed with a roadmap christened: “For your neighbours’ sake”. These programmes mirror the APC mission statement encompassing national security, conflict resolution, national unity and social harmony, job creation and economic development, agriculture and food security, industrialisation, infrastructural development, education and health, social security, youth, women and cultural development , environment and foreign policy. The line of demarcation is that Tilije’s blueprint has taken into cognisance the peculiarity of the coastal state. The first critical task, in his view, is redirecting the morality of the people. This is important because public morality is at a low ebb. In Delta, the love of money has taken the central stage. The culture of theft and graft in high places is worrisome. Militants are also on the prowl. Kidnapping is a brisk business. “As a people, our morals have over the years gone from good to bad and indeed, at the worst level today. It cannot be worse than it is today”, he la-

mented. But, what is the solution? The politician unfolded plans to set up a campaign aimed at fostering good manners. This, he said, can be achieved through zero tolerance for corruption, respect for education and knowledge, promoting the dignity of labour, reducing the craving for primitive accumulation and enforcing community disciplinary system. In Delta, unemployment is a major problem. There is a link between joblessness and crime rate. If elected as the governor, Tilije said that he would resolve the challenge through job creation. He said the starting point is infrastructural development, adding that, when the state becomes a huge construction site, there will be jobs for both skilled and unskilled workers. “We shall within our means make the major cities construction sites. In Asaba, the capital, we will tar all medium and major roads and do their drainages, streetlights and traffic lights. We will open the major Onitsha/Agbor road and clean up the environment”, he said. To ease the traffic grid lock in Warri, the aspirant said that his government would urgently construct three short overhead bridges and complete the dualisation of Warri/Eku road. He also said that all federal constituency headquarters would be given city status, in terms of provision of amenities. Tilije promised to boost agricul-

• Tilije

tural development and food security by providing an enabling environment that will support the mordernisation of agriculture. “We will support the establishment of two farming cooperative societies in each local government. We will massively inject guaranteed funds into this sector in the first year, but with sufficient monitoring with a view to introducing full commercial farming. We shall support the preservation, processing and canning of agricultural products”, he added. The politician believes that any government that neglects entrepreneurial and vocational training does so at the peril of the society. To support youths with low educational qualifications, Tilije promised to embark on massive vocational training in small scale business. He said that

his government will also pursue the industrialisation of Asaba, warri, Sapele/Koko, Burutu, and Kwale. He was however, silent on how to translate the dream into reality. Tilije’s plans for the education sector is similar to what those before him had promised the state. He promised to raise the standard of teaching and learning, renovate 10 primary schools and five secondary schools in each local government, provide free primary and secondary education and one meal per day to pupils as it is being done in Osun State. He said that, in the second year, he would consider the possibility of extending free education to the tertiary institution. Health is wealth. Thus, the APC chieftain believes that Delta State should enjoy free medical services. “We believe that the state has the capacity to provide free health to its citizenry. However, we shall pronounce and ensure on our first day in office the provision of full free healthcare for babies and children up to and through primary school age. In our second year, all the secondary schools will have clinics. We shall also provide free medical care to senior citizens who are 65 years and above”, he added. In Tilije’s reckoning, peace and security are critical to development. In Delta, security of life is often threatened by kidnapping and other crimes. Other states are not insulated too from these horrors. The aspirant promised to enthrone justice, adding that this is the first criterion for peace. This promise is essential in the heterogeneous state. He also promised to tackle corruption, punish offenders by invoking the spirit of the law, support police to maintain law and order and the judiciary to achieve

‘This is important because public morality is at a low ebb. In Delta, the love of money has taken the central stage. The culture of theft and graft in high places is worrisome. Militants are also on the prowl. Kidnapping is a brisk business. As a people, our morals have over the years gone from good to bad and indeed, at the worst level today. It cannot be worse than it is today’

quick dispensation of justice, and pay unemployment allowance to unemployed graduates. The APC chieftain said that these goals are achievable. What is important, he stressed, is the prudent management of resources. “With zero tolerance for corruption and the rebirth of ethical values, a lot of leakages will be blocked and more resources made available. Moreover, as Deltans begin to see effective and positive changes in governance, more revenue are likely to be generated internally”, he added. Tilije is not a professional politician. Many stakeholders perceive him as a professional in politics. The 56 years old politician from Abbi, Ndokwa local government, is a banker, marketer, stockbroker, teacher and philanthropist. In 1983, he graduated from the University of Lagos, Akoka, where he studied Banking and Finance. He obtained a Masters Degree in Corporate Finance from the same institution in 1985. Also, in that year, he began his working career as a teacher at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo. In the school, he taught Comparative banking, Business mathematics and Elements of Banking. In 1987, he left for the Securities and Exchange Commission. He left there as an Assistant Manager. In 1991, he became an Assistant Manager at the Merchant Bank of Africa. He headed the Investment Banking Department. Later, he was promoted into the position of the Deputy Manager. From the Merchant Bank, he moved to the First City Merchant bank, now First City Monument Bank PLC. That was in June 1994. He left there as an Assistant Manager and Head, Corporate Finance Department. In 1997,he left for the United Bank for Africa (UBA), where he became the Chief Banking Officer. In 1999, Okenmor became the Managing Director and Chief Executive officer of Fortune International Bank PLC. Following his retirement, he joined the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP). He was selected as the running mate to the governorship candidate, Chief Great Ogboru, in 2011.

‘Nigeria has a lot to learn from Ghana’ The New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidate in the 2012 Ghanaian election, Nana AkufoAddo, was in Lagos recently. He spoke with reporters on the political developments in his country and plans for the next election. MUSA ODOSHIMOKHE was there.


HAT’s the political situation in Ghana after the last election? One thing that we would continue to be grateful for is the peace and stability in Ghana. Activities in the political arena is very vibrant, but by and large there is relative peace, and this matters so much to us. I am in the opposition, so I would speak as one. What is going on is not very complimentary. I don’t think the administration is doing a good job, handling the successes we have made so far. So, elections of 2012 are now history. Our party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the people are preparing for the next election, which would come in two years time. There are different versions of stories about what is happenning in Ghana. But the civil society in the country is doing a good job to ensure that Ghana is on course. What are the challenges facing the people of Ghana? The complain of majority of Ghanaians centre around the economy; particularly weakness of the cedi, our local currency. We have had some significant depreciation of our currency over time to the extent that it has put the government in financial crisis. Expectations have not been met. In a situation where prices are going up generally, salaries of public servants and workers generally

have not been regular. We have salary arrears of many months pending. There is escalating cost of living; prices of essential commodities are going up. All these things are taking place against the background of the deficit in government spending. They have been visiting lots of difficulties on the ordinary people of Ghana. What about the power supply in Ghana? What happens in Nigeria, in terms of power supply, is not too different from what obtains in Ghana. The Lagos power problem is similar to the Accra problem. But not long ago Ghana celebrated uninterrupted power supply… We have not been able to manage the department very well. There is depreciation in the level of gas. The sector is not getting its best from this administration. The development of infrastructure is not taking place. This has created lots of problems. Power supply has been on the lowest ebb. The business community may not be able to function because the country has not functioned well. These are the difficulties; these are the issues that has entrenched the political debate in Ghana at the moment. If you are going to run for the next election in Ghana, have you given a thought to the challenges on ground? I am coming from a party that have track records. When we came into office in 2001, many of the failing phe-

nomenons that we are seeing today were not there. We were there for eight years and we brought stability into Ghana. The business environment functioned more than we are seeing now. The issues are simple; first of all we are borrowing in Ghana at the compromise of the future of our country. Today, interest rate payment on government bonds, both domestic and foreign overshadows our revenue. And I am disappointed by this discovery. The ruling party that has been in power in the last five years has not really addressed issues that are germane to the development of our country. Looking back at the election year in 2012, we have a deficit of four billion dollars. The future of our country is what we should think about and how we are going to salvage it. I have examined myself and I see that I have the support of my party to serve Ghana and rescue the country from the dwindling socio-economic challenges that have continued to be our lot under the present government. I have the drive and energy, the commitment to give Ghanaians good leadership. What advantage do you have over other contestants? First of all, I would provide honest government. You have to get honest people around you to manage the affairs of government. Thus, you would ensure that those doing the job give honest service by their action and con-

duct. When you have a government without a critical attitude to corruption, then the government would not get it well. That is very important. Between the eight years that John Kufuor was in office, there was transparency in government business. We believe in prudent use of public fund. We brought down our door for easy access to us in government. We would ensure that the interest rate come down in order to improve the economy. We would ensure that there is discipline in order to make government function properly. You seem to be criticising the government because you are not there? There is no reason to do that. All the statistics I’m reeling out are verifiable. The interest rate, inflationary trend etc are not the thing you can manufacture. Beyond that, you and I know that the opposition is supposed to be the watchdog, to enable it to be accountable to the people. I am not just talking from both sides of my mouth. I am telling the truth. These are the facts that I have put before you and you should find out whether I am telling the truth or not. Then, you would know whether it is just criticism or my genuine concern about the management of the economy of Ghana. We don’t do that in our country. The opposition doesn’t just look away, but must be seen to be doing its job. What do you think Nigeria and

• Akufo-Addo

Ghana can learn from each other? Let us start with what Nigerian can learn from Ghana. The most important thing is our growing democracy. We have been able to supervise a peaceful transfer of power between the main contending parties. This has given very important impetus to the development of our democracy and our people. This has been done without violence, without external intervention. You have not had that experience here. It is an important phenomenon; it will be nice to see something like that happens in Nigeria. I think that is the biggest lesson Nigeria can learn from Ghana. We have achieved that twice in the First Republic and also very recently. And, talking about what we can learn from Nigeria, I think we should all look at how we can use the resources of our countries to develop.





Consumers of herbal products need to beware of how they abuse them.This is because they possess active ingredients that can cause them harm.OYEYEMI GBENGA -MUSTAPHA reports


Nigerians cautioned against abuse of herbs

IGERIANS have been urged not to abuse herbal products as most of them have potent ingredients like pharmaceutical drugs. Speaking on self medication that can lead to abuse, the Medical Director, Franel Phytotherapy Clinic, Ikotun, Lagos, Dr Francis Elegbuo, said: “Herbal medicine aims to return the body to a state of natural balance, so that it can start healing itself. Different herbs act on different systems of the body. Any medication (herbal or otherwise) should be taken under the supervision of knowledgeable practitioners; otherwise, there could be negative effects.” Elegbuo added: “In fact, many pharmaceutical drugs are based on the synthesised versions of naturally occurring compounds found in plants. For instance, the heart drug digitalis was derived from the herb foxglove. Phyto-medicine or herbal medicine is the science, art and exploration of using botanical remedies to treat illness. According to Elegbuo, herbalists believe that the body is a selfhealing organism and that herbs should be chosen to enhance wellness, not simply relieving symptoms or treat disease. “They look to re-establish a homeostatic balance in the body despite the varying environmental pressures. The practitioner of phyto-medicine looks for those natural agents that can help the body help itself. So, when people use herbal medicine without guidance, they are actually endangering their health, with all its attendant problems,” he said. He continued: “Phytomedicine or herbal medicine is the science,


art, and exploration of using botanical remedies to treat illness. Apparently, herbalists rely on the history of the presenting complaints and a review of physiologic systems to arrive at a treatment plan. They do not rely on laboratory tests. This is probably because they do not have access to these laboratories and a feeling that tests do not reveal the whole picture. “Interesting enough, individuals usually go to herbalists after they have obtained a diagnosis from their physicians and feel unsatisfied with the results. While there is a similar disease classification in phyto-medicine to allopathic medicine, the treatment usually involves a basic lifestyle change and a nutritional prescription, something that is only recently creeping into conventional medicine prescriptions.” Dr Elegbuo said it would seem that herbal therapy addresses many chronic complaints that are only partially treated by conventional medicine and everyday complaints where people seek re-

•St John’s wort

lief from a pill bottle. “Instead of trying to block or reverse the process that produces disease, herbal therapy attempts to assist the body in search of wellness. The longer the condition exists, the longer it will take to restore the homeostasis or cause any change in the body. That is why practitioners would evaluate a client and treat wholistically,” he said. The medical director said if somebody uses herbal plants without prescriptions, that person would face the consequences for abusing the drug. “I will implore all and sundry to desist from relying on oral prescription, i.e, using a preparation based on adverts or experiences of other users, but to first go for evaluation from a qualified hand and then adhere to prescriptions,” he said. He continued: “Different herbs act on different systems of the body. Some of the herbs that have been scientifically studied and found to be effective and safe, include: Echinacea (Family of Asteraceae) Kashin yaro (Hausa), Yawo (Fulani), Dagumo/ asofeyeje

•Dr Elegbuo

(Yoruba) that boosts the immune system and aids the body in fighting infection. It is used to treat ailments such as boils, fever and herpes. Echinacea is under investigation for its use in treating cancer and AIDS. Dong quai (dang gui) known as Ewe angeli (Yoruba) is used for gynaecological complaints, such as premenstrual tension, menopause symptoms and menstrual pain. Some studies indicate that dong quai can lower blood pressure.

He said garlic known as Ayu (Yoruba), tafarnuwa (Hausa), Ayun (Igbo) can be used to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood fats and cholesterol (a type of blood fat) levels. The antibiotic and antiviral properties of garlic mean that it is also used to fight colds, sinusitis and other respiratory infections. Ginger, many studies have shown is useful in treating nausea, including motion sickness and morning sickness. “Ginkgo biloba known as obi gbogbo nse (Yoruba) is commonly used to treat poor blood circulation and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Some studies have found ginkgo biloba to be effective in treating neurological disorders, such as memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease. Ginseng is generally used for debility and weakness, for example during recovery from illness. It can be used to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels. His words: “Overuse of ginseng has been associated with raised blood pressure. Some studies show that ginseng can also boost immunity, improve mental functioning and speed the healing processes of the body. Hypericum, commonly known as St John’s Wort, (Ewe Ajebidan/ pirilologonji in Yoruba) numerous studies have demonstrated that it is just as effective as some synthetic antidepressants in treating mild to moderate depression. It is also effective for anxiety and insomnia. “Research is currently focusing on hypericum’s antiviral properties and its effect on AIDS. Recent information suggests that hypericum can interact with a number of prescription drugs, including the oral contraceptive pill. So, as many health benefits are inherent in herbal plants, so are the negative potentials.”

Ginger and garlic are two of the common plants in Nigeria, which have unequalled healing properties. They are, however, barely used. WALE ADEPOJU writes.


INGER and garlic are two common plants that have enormous health benefits. But, are these plants well-utilised? The answer is no, according to natural medicine practitioners, Dr Gilbert Ezengige and Dr Lambo Adebisi. Ezengige, a naturopath, said the plants have properties that can promote people’s wellness and ensure longevity. According to him, eating fresh ginger before lunch can boost appetite and help the digestive system. He said: “Garlic increases insulin release and regulates blood sugar levels in diabetics. Daily intake of garlic lowers the risk of most types of cancer. Putting some crushed garlic clove directly on the affected tooth can help relieve toothaches due to its antibacterial and analgesic properties. But it can be irritating to the gum.” Garlic, he said, may help to regulate the formation of fat cells in the body, adding: “Ginger improves the absorp-




Common plants with ‘great’ curative powers tion and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body. It also stops nausea especially, if taken with a little honey.” A traditional medicine practitioner, Dr Lambo Adebisi, said ginger has many benefits, such as giving flavour and aroma to food and adding a good blend to carrot, apple and lemon juices. He said: “Garlic is known in India as a ‘miracle herb’, a medicine to prevent or treat various diseases and con-

ditions.” Garlic is well-known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties, adding that it helps to control bacterial, viral, fungal, yeast and worm infections. According to him, fresh garlic can be used to prevent food poisoning by killing bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella enteritidis, among others. He said garlic’s anti-clotting properties of ajoene help in preventing the formation of blood clots in the body.

Ezengige said garlic offered protection for the heart against cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks and atherosclerosis. Garlic, he said, is known to have anti-inflammatory property. It can help the body fight against allergies. Garlic has been shown to improve allergies in respiratory tract such as inflammation (allergic rhinitis). Raw garlic juice may be used to immediately stop itching from rashes and bug bites.






Welcome, Eternal Eye-massage glasses, Energy Cup


TERNAL! This picturesque word reminds us of our wish to live forever, and to be in perfect health, devoid of pain and disability till ripe, old age when, from deep night sleep, we can slip into eternity. Well, Eternal is no longer just dream, ETERNAL is now here with us! Eternal is the name of a new company in Nigeria which, through multilevel marketing, has just introduced to this country a wide range of natural health care products under the brand name Eternal. Indirectly, I learned about the company from a woman in Ibadan who asked if I had heard of a pair of eye-glasses which, when worn for some times, take away the need for a regular pair of recommended eye-glass. That was news to me, and almost unbelievable. I didn't put her off, though, because I have learnt not to discountenance anything I have not personally experienced. In any case, some of those things anyone would have thought were unlikely to rid the eye of cataract without surgery have gotten rid of mine naturally. Now, we know Professor Adefule-Oshitelu's bitter kola eye drops (Adefulenol) works as well as many Pharmaceutical eyedrops for lowering eye tension in glaucoma cases, and may even improve the visual field. And haven't many women gotten over uterine fibroids without surgery? It was my niece, Mrs. Folake Ogunje, who gave me a link to Eternal. She is a hard-core natural health enthusiast who noses around the world on the web for latest information about anything. Once, we were at a health shop and I wanted to buy a tooth paste with baking soda base. You know, doctors and dentist are now suggesting that many tooth pastes contain poisonous substances and recommending the use of baking soda for cleaning the gums and teeth. Mrs. Ogunje took the tooth paste from me, examined the contents and handed it back to the shop keeper. On a web check myself, I discovered that some of the contents she objected to have been linked to cancer and other degenerative diseases. I still use tooth paste, but minimally. After rinsing it off, I chew two or four leaves of bitter leaf till they foamed, swirl the foam around with the tongue for about five minutes and then spit it out. I leave the bitter principles in my mouth until the next meal takes them away. Sometimes, I add a pinch of Paud'Arco powder or comfrey powder to toothpaste. How beautiful would it have been for teeth and gum health if Nigeria's native medicinal chewing sticks and herbs were powderised for oral care. Mrs. Ogunje asked if I had heard about Eternal. "No," I replied, unaware that the eye - glasses the woman in Ibadan spoke of were marketed by the company. She, too, didn't know the massage eye-glasses were among the company's products. She had just registered with the company to be able to buy its products at distributor price. And, being fond of me, she bought me one of Eternal's products as a present. She said I drove myself too hard for my age, and she thought I would need it.

Energy cup The gift is an "energy cup". It is all stainless steel and will hold about two glasses of water. When I studied its structure, I found it to be a semblance of Dynapharms "Alkaline Water Pot", which holds some litres of water. This cup contains an immovable box which holds some alkaline mineral substances at the bottom and a sieve at the top. It is one of Eternal's entries in the world’s alkaline water market. And one of its selling points is its portability. For it can sit comfortably in a lady's bag without constituting a weight nuisance.

Okinawa The world's scientists and leading doctors had always known that water was important to health and life. But it wasn't until about 1969 that it was known that water had to be alkaline to provide the health benefits that Mother Nature intended it to give. Water forms about 70 or 75 percent of the human body. The blood, that live wire, of human health and life, is more than 90 percent water. Therefore, the health of the water we drink or cook will determine the direction of our health. In 1969, the Guinness Book of Records sent some journalists to a Japanese Island called Okinawa, to investigate health secrets of the Islanders. Some of these people held the world's longevity records, worked in their record old age and were found to be physically, emotionally, and sexually balanced. Their secret was not in their food, but in the water they drank. Their water contained no chlorine or fluorine or any other chemical treatment to kill germs in water, but which makes water acidic or dangerous to health. Water is meant to be alkaline so it can neutralise all the unwanted excess corrosive acids our bodies produce from the acid-forming foods we feed it with. We know what an acid does to the skin, and we know the implications of acid rain not only to us but to animal and plant life as well, not to mention the corrosion of buildings and equipment. Whether a substance is acidic or alkaline is measured on the pH scale of 0-14, on which readings below 7 are acidic and above it alkaline. Many authorities believe the human body is set at 7.364 to be in optimal health. In Okinawa, the water seeps up coral reefs. The reefs were formed from the remains of these small marine creatures millions of years. As the water seeps up, it dissolves small quantities of these coral remains which contain several alkaline minerals that hold the longevity secret. These minerals keep the water alkaline sometimes at a pH of above 10 or 11. Compare this with most of the water brands in Nigeria. The "pure water" sachet brands are sometimes loaded with too much chlorine that puts them at a pH of about 5 or 6. Many so-called great and popular bottle water brands are below pH 7. None of them is registered with the International Bottle Water Association which demands that composition of the brand be stated on the label. Check the label of your favourite bottle water today. You are unlikely to find this

an alkaline brand.

Back to the Energy cup

vital product information. Besides, the plastic bottles in which water is bottled in Nigeria is often, if not always, substandard. Every foreign plastic bottle for water or food carries a number at the bottom to enable you know the quality of the bottling. Poor quality bottles degrade in a shorter period of time, adding their contents to the water you drank, and this increases the toxins or poison load of your blood and cells. The Okinawa story made Coral Calcium popular worldwide: for it is coral calcium and its 40 or 50 associated alkaline mineral substances which make Okinawa water alkaline. In Nigeria, coral calcium, whether as powder, capsule, tablet, grain (Alkalyte) or ionic (Ionyte) is now fairly well known.

Dr. Samora Emoto This medical doctor from Japan has helped the world understand water better. (See the internet). He obtained water from a source, kept it in different places: One in a different room, he played a different type of music… pop, classical etc. when he analysed the crystalline structure of water in each bottle, he found the ones in the room in which classical music was played formed most beautifully and, hence, offered most beneficial impact for health. The crystalline structure on water on which pop music was player was the most ragged, most sickly. You can draw your conclusions from this when you find yourself in an environment where music is played. Remember about 70 percent of your body is water, and vibrations, that is energy, from the music is arranging and rearranging the crystalline structure of the water in your body! Next, Dr. Emoto arranged bottles of water in a room and on each wrote certain inscriptions on each of the labels of each bottle. *On one, he wrote "Jesus Christ" *On another, he wrote "Lucifer" *On yet another, he wrote "Help me" *On another, he pleaded "Please Help me" The label "Jesus Christ" produced most beautiful crystalline forms. The commanding tone "Help me" yielded poor water molecules. On the surface, water in all these bottles looked like water, but it was in their crystalline molecules that their character and power were revealed. Next, Dr. Emoto collected water from a polluted river and bottled it in several bottles. To test the power of the focused prayer, he asked anyone who cared to pray at a particular hour, focusing on the bottles of water, with the wish that the water be purified. And It was. This reminded me of the prophets in my days in a white garment church. We members of the congregation would all place before the altar, bottles of water in white bottles. During the service, the prophet will dip his iron rod in every bottle as a form of blessing it. Now, I can imagine that, if the service attracted power from on high, or, better still, if the prophet was called and anointed by transcendental authorities will dispense power, and he was connected to this power source during the service, then he could pass on that which he received. But what if his connection was to the principalities. This is food for thought for members of a congregation who hold their neighbours hand during such session in which fire and thunder and brimstone are invoked. Remember that 70 percent of the body of your neighbour is water and, from the work of Dr. Emoto, the crystalline molecules of this water content is charged in one direction or the other, downhill or heavenwards, negatively or positively.

Alkalising water Nigerians have become aware of the medical values of alkaline water. The taps of many homes are now filled with equipment which alkalise tap water from public supply system or from the borehole. Dr. Sam Asomuha, of Lagos, has an alkaline water system in his clinic which supplies his patients with alkaline water. Mr. Ochi, of Emina Crescent, Ikeja, Lagos, also makes and sells alkaline water. The newest alkaline water crave in Lagos is LASENA. It comes from a gentleman who is said to have dug a bore hole about 522 meters deep and landed on an artesan pool. The minerals-rich water is close to pH 10, according to Mr. Olajide Shoboyede, 77, who sells Mr. Ochi's Wellness water,

As already stated, this is another method of alkalising water. An alkaline minerals apartment on the floor of the cup, like the coral reefs of Okinawa, lead minerals into water stored in the cup. I store water overnight in the cup and drink it on empty stomach in the morning… and refill for another serving at night before I retire to bed. Before I came by the cup, I got my minerals from green drinks or green powder added to pap porridge for breakfast. Often, I do not need lunch while I am on this breakfast protocol. To the pap, I add one quarter teaspoonful of spirulina powder, cocoa powder, horsetail powder, kelp powder and one teaspoonful of blackstrap molasses. From these I believe I obtain minerals, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes and co-factor most of which are missing in cooked food and the heavy carbohydrate diet prevalent in this country. Our bodies do not need the heavy carbohydrate cargo we often unleash on it. Rather, it needs so little of it and lots of minerals, vitamins, enzymes and co-factors. A steady supply of these in food or water makes us eat less and make us healthier. Alkaline water is a good complement of alkaline food, and that is why I recommend the energy cup from Eternal. I almost forgot to say that this energy cup is different from the magnetic cup brands on the market, the quality of which has been declining from the first one I bought sometime in the 1970s. For now, I know of only two major components of the active materials of Eternal energy cup. One is Gelato, a German rock which is believed to be the source of Congerity of people who live around it through infusion in their drinking water and food crops. The other chips are of Volcanic rock, loaded with minerals and vitamins. In the energy cup, their expiry is about two years. The compartment which contains them can be replaced, to provide the cup a new stock.

Eye massage glasses I do not know if Eternal Eye Massage Glasses will help you to throw your prescribed eye-glasses away, but I sense it may help eye problems caused by poor blood circulation. You may wish to give it a try, as I am doing, you must recognise ab inito that eye problems have many origins. Free radical may have damaged or are damaging sensitive organs. You need antioxidants for this condition. You may be giving the eye enough of, or all of the 33 nutrients it is now known to need, which you can find rolled up in EYEMAXPLUS. The gelataneous protein gel in the lens may be caking up, a cause of cataracts, for which you need those nutrients, CATARACT CLEAR (a natural cataract dissolving eye drop formula) which I used along with some medications my ophthalmologist gave me to improve metabolism in the Acqeous Humour. The Acqeous humour is the fluid chamber in the front part of the eye before which stands the lens. Light passes through the lens to the Acqeous humour (or chamber) and from there to the back chamber, the retina, the optic nerve and the brain. Any impediment to light movement in this structure may cause vision disturbance and trouble. If the Acqeous chamber is toxic, it will affect the lens. If the lens is not protected against the blue portion of the light spectrum by, say, LUTEIN these blue rays will "cook" and harden it into a cataract to light flow. Lutein and Zeazarithin, sold alone or formulated into natural vision formulas, block or filter these blue rays. And, guess what? The commercial source of these eye nutrients is none other than MARIGOLD FLOWER, which grows but is used largely in flower arrangements for decorations. Eternal eye-massage eye-glasses are not eye-glasses as such. It is a hard plastic designed to sit comfortably on the nose ridge, cover up to the mid forehead and project halfway toward the ears. Inside it is a wiring system which connect with softer and pliable tubes jotting out from the interior. Powered by a 1.5volts battery, these soft projections agitate in staccato mode and then continually to produce those massage effects which gave the device its name as an eyemassage glasses. You can see a little through the device, and it has two straps which fasten it to the back of the head, both of which produce the semblance of a pair of eye glasses. If you wonder what rating it is, after only three days of massage, I'll say (1) if you have glaucoma and tension in the reflex zones of the bones above, below and in the side of the eyes, you are unlikely to feel it. Perhaps, in my case, the Bitter Kola eye drops I apply to drop tension (Adefulenol) is partly responsible for that. But I feel warmth in and around the eyes. If this resulted from metabolism upsurge, it would mean the device spurred better blood flow which would bring more nutrients and oxygen, and remove metabolic wastes, such as may cause not only cataract and glaucoma but problem such as floaters. My worry in respect of people challenged with glaucoma and leaking eye blood vessels retinitis pigmentosa, for example is this… If metabolism increases and drainage system is inefficient, as it is in glaucoma, wont pressure rise and more damage to the nerves occur? I am told, nevertheless, that it helps people with colour blindness and that it helped to brighten the eyes. If indeed it helps people who have problems differentiating colours, that would mean it supports the health of the rod-like and cone-like cells in the retina, the light sensitive part of the eye. Well, for now, what else can one say than, as it is usual, to welcome the new products and many others in their stable to the Nigerian Alternative Medicine market. So, welcome to Nigeria, Eternal International Ltd from China.

e-mail: or Tel: 08116759749, 08034004247, 07025077303







National Confab: Labour kicks against secret selection of leaders


RGANISED labour comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), has criticised the secret selection of committees leaders by the National Conference leadership, stressing that the decision for committees to select or elect their officers was unanimously taken month and ought not to be changed without recourse to the general house. President of NLC, Comrade Abdulwahed Ibrahim Omar and TUC President, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama declared that the committee of 50 acted in violation of their brief since their mandate was to determine what should constitute a majority vote in the absence of a consensus. The labour said this scenario of a few privileged people tinkering with

Stories by Toba Agboola

the decision of a whole house is nothing but dictatorship and tyranny adding that if it is allowed to stand, it may become a feature of the conference. According to them, one of the reasons for convening the conference is to deepen democracy and not to reinforce impunity. They said: ”We demand the restoration of the original decision of the plenary session that committees should choose their leaders. The leadership should desist from taking for granted delegates to the conference. We are here to express our reservations as well as protest against the decision of the conference leadership to unilaterally reverse a consensus decision taken by the entire membership of the conference that chairmen and deputy chairmen of committees

would be elected or selected by the committees.” The labour leaders said that the committees’ recommendations on the issue of presiding officers of committees, therefore, cannot and should not stand. “This scenario of a few privileged people tinkering with the decision of a whole house is nothing but dictatorship and tyranny of a few. If it is allowed to stand, it may become a feature of the conference. The reversal of the right of committees to elect/select their officers directly is an affront to democracy as well as a violation of the right of delegates to freely choose their presiding officers. ”We must warn that this seemingly innocuous act sends out dangerous signals and is capable of raising credibility issues in subsequent decisions,” they said.

•From left: Kaigama, Omar and Economic Adviser of NLC, Dr Peter Ozo-Eson at the press conference in Lagos.


NECA opposes plan to picket DISCOs

HE Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) is opposed to the move by the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) to picket some distribution companies in the power sector, the Director -General, Mr. Olusegun Oshinowo, told reporters in Lagos. Oshinowo condemned the statement issued by NUEE informing Nigerians on its planned move to picket the privatized units of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) acquired by new investors. He said: “The statement of NUEE came as a rude shock to us and their action is completely out of place. I will appeal to them not to take laws into their hands. If this is not checked, it may lead to crisis and state of anarchy. Industrial relations is not gangsterism or students union.” Oshinowo maintained that the way to go in resolving issues is not by picketing, saying that laid down rules should be followed. He added that the non-payment of the union members’ entitlements should be directed to the Federal Government not the new owners of PHCN. Oshinowo stressed that the issue of trade union is a fundamental right of workers but noted it is wrong for new employers to assume that their employees belong to unions without informing them (employers). ”We are not saying they should not belong to union but it should be in accordance with labour laws,”he said. Last week, NUEE kicked against the anti-workers stance of some of the new investors who took over the privatised units of PHCN. The group stressed that the new investors have started in a large scale the de-unionisation of workers. Addressing newsmen on the antiworkers activities in Lagos, NUEE’s General Secretary, comrade Joe Ajaero, said that the workers and

Nigerians at large are badly affected by the anti-workers actions of the investors He said: “We have decided to engage them with the aim of restoring normalcy in the system as they are involved in de-unionisation of workers, casualization, under-payment of workers remunerations, sacking of union leaders after legitimate struggle for workers’ right as well as the continued manipulation of fixed tariff. “Others include the continued nonmetering of electricity customers as well as the non-payment of entitlement of disengaged staff.” He explained that the government has been feeding Nigerians with lies by saying it has finished paying disengaged power sector workers. He said: “Government through the Ministry of Power and the AccountantGeneral of the Federation and other agencies are unable to explain the whereabouts of over N100billion meant for the payment of workers’ entitlements. “We are worried that the 10 per cent equity shareholding for workers as collectively agreed has been jettisoned. The issue of biometric of workers has been a broad day racket as the consultant engaged for this purpose has continued to use endless biometric exercise to siphon the the sector’s funds.” Ajaero argued that the unpaid sixteen months entitlements of workers (July, 2012 to October, 2013), is still pending. “We therefore, consider it highly imperative to inform Nigerians that picketing of these companies will commence any moment from now. “We hereby solicit for the understanding of the general public towards arresting this act of un-patriotism and second slavery of Nigerians by these newinvestors,” he said.

‘Lagos committed to training competent workforce’


HE Lagos State government said it is committed to training and retraining of its workforce to ensure that they deliver on the mandate to offer cutting edge services to residents of the state. The Head of Service (HOS), Mrs. Josephine Oluseyi Williams made this known at the graduation and award giving ceremony of 147 participants from the third tier of government at the state’s Public Service Staff Development Centre (PSSDC), Magodo, Lagos. The participants were drawn from the Local Government Service Commission, the Judicial Service Commission, the Lagos State Water Corporation and administrative officers of the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs). The three batches comprised of the Specialised Information Communication Technology (ICT) programme for secretariat assistants batch IV to VI, which is for the 2011 to 2013 sessions and participants for the certificate course in Local Government Administration for 2009 to 2013 sessions. Williams who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Public Service Office, Mr. Olalekan Akodu, said government’s determination to see that the tradition of excellence with which the Lagos State government is known permeates all the strata of governance informs the approval of Governor Babatunde Fashola for the training of the council workers.

By Adeyinka Aderibigbe

She charged all the secretary assistants and administrative officers who had participated in the two respective programmes to see the trainings as an investment for which the government would be looking forward to greater service delivery and excellence when they report at their duty posts. She said: “As the head of service, I shall be looking forward to a positive post-training assessment of your performance from the office of the Local Government Service Commission and I believe that this would ginger the government to continue to do more.” The Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pensions, who was represented by the Ministry’s Director of Training, Mr. Akeem M. Odeyemi, urged the participants to ensure at all times that they give their best to justify their inclusion in the programme by improving their competence at their respective local governments. “I urge you all to see your graduation from this centre as the beginning of new things and always strive to rise above this level, knowing that the government would want them to maxi-

mize the lessons learnt to improve their service delivery capacity. The Permanent Secretary, Local Government Service Commission, Mr. Adewale Jamiu Ashimi said the Commission would be measuring the performance of all participants in order to measure the impact of the training received at the centre as part of its feedback mechanism. The Director-General and Chief Executive of the centre, Mrs, Regina Olubunmi Fabanwo, in her welcome address, said the PSSDC would continue to provide human capacity solutions to government workers to ensure that the state continues to lead. She praised the centre’s collaborators, particularly the Yabatech Consult and the Computer Professionals of Nigeria (CPN) for giving the ICT graduands appropriate certification. Presenting the 147 participants to the HOS for acceptance into the graduands’ cadre, the Director of Training and Programmes, PSSDC, Mrs. Kemisola Jiboye said the three sets of participants of the two programmes had spent between three and nine months in the centre. Though the courses, she said, are non residential, the participants had gone through the rigours and there is no doubt that they would be able to hold

their own in the discharge of their duties. Representative of Yabatech Consult, Mr. Edwin Aigbokhai thanked the state government for providing an avenue for the retraining of workers at the grassroots. He assured that the new ICT training that they have been exposed to would be of tremendous use to them at their duty posts. “The training besides being of tremendous benefit at their workplaces would also ensure the career rise of workers as it has addressed the deficiencies in their certificates and bring them at par with their colleagues in the state government service,” he said. Responding, Mrs Ademoye Olaomoju Olufunmilayo, the overall best granduand of the local government administration class, thanked the government for the selection of participants for the courses, even as she advised that the programmes be continuous exercises so that all who have been caught in the web of career stagnation due to the absence of appropriate certification could have the opportunity of rising above the situation. Olaomoju said she and her colleagues and would not let the gov-

‘The training, besides being of tremendous benefit at their workplaces, would also ensure the career rise of workers as it has addressed the deficiencies in their certificates and bring them at par with their colleagues in the state government service’

•Mrs. Williams

ernment down. Another graduand, Mrs. Victor Olutayo Deborah, the overall best graduand who spoke on behalf of the ICT class, tasked the government to make the service life of assistant secretaries more robust as, according to her, they are the life wire of secretariat activities at the councils. She called for adequate reforms that would see their cadre rise even to level 11 in the local government service, adding that regular training such as this would ensure that many more workers are kitted with appropriate certificates to make their career rise. The highpoint of the ceremony was the award of certificates as deserving participants were presented awards both for academic and moral/leadership excellence.




BUSINESS e-Business


The Federal Government’s rejection of the Stephen Oronsaye Panel’s recommendation that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST) be merged has been generating reactions from stakeholders in the Information Communications Technology (ICT) industry,LUCAS AJANAKU reports.

Oronsaye Panel report sparks telecom row T

HE Federal Government raised the Stephen Oronsaye-led Committee on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies because of its belief that the functions of these organisations overlap. The panel’s job was to streamline these agencies and reduce waste. Submitting the panel’s report in Abuja, Oronsaye captured its mandate thus: “The setting up of the committee, undoubtedly, underscores this administration’s commitment and determination to reduce the size of government and the cost of governance, while upholding excellence in performance in the Federal Public Service.” The committee was given four terms of reference one of which was “to examine critically, the mandates of the existing Federal Agencies, Parastatals and Commissions and determine areas of overlap or duplication of functions and make appropriate recommendations to either restructure, merge or scrap to eliminate such overlaps, duplication or redundancies.” The committee, which was given eight weeks to submit its report, spent eight months. One of the recommendations of the committee was that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the regulatory functions of Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) be merged under a management structure to be known as the Communications Regulatory Authority of Nigeria (CRAN). When this recommendation became public knowledge, it generated heated arguments among stakeholders. But the Federal Government, in its White Paper on the Presidential Committee rejected the recommendation even when it is glaring that the global shift in the ICT space is convergence.

why would regulators with obvious overlapping and duplicating responsibilities refuse to converge? “Technologies are converging. Regulators should also converge. I think the regulators should converge because if you look at it very well, you will discover that it will save the economy huge money. Duplicating regulatory agencies is a huge drain on the public coffers. So much money is wasted on overhead, servicing wage bills. I am of the view that regulators should converge if the industry they are regulating is converging. If the Federal Government has decided that it is rejecting the recommendation, well, my view is that the regulators should merge in line with convergence,” he said.


• Ajayi

• Prof Adewumi

Stakeholders react The rejection of the Committee’s report has generated reaction from stakeholders in the industry. Some stakeholders are disappointed that the recommendation was rejected in view of the bloated size of the civil service and obvious inter-lapping, interloping and sometimes conflicting regulatory functions of many of these agencies. For instance, the NBC is still in custody of spectrum which the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has assigned to telecommunications and not for ought not to be for broadcasting. It is not clear whe the spectrum, referred to as dividends of the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting. The NCC and NBC have never concealed the fact that it is crucial for convergence to take place but neither of them would agree to be subsumed to the authority of the other. Stakeholders, such as the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Nigerian Computer Society (NCS), Association of Nigerian Courier Operators (ANCO) and Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), expressed divergent views on the rejection of the recommendation.

NCS President, NCS, Prof David Adewumi said convergence has become the vogue all over the world with technologies now converging. According to him, if technologies are converging, why should regulators continue to work at cross-purposes by allowing them to operate in silos. “Our belief in the NCS is in line with global trends. We align with the Oronsaye recommendations. It is in the best interest

• Oladipo

• Uwaje

National President, ANCO Siyanbola Oladipo said the rejection of the recommendation is the best for the industry, adding that instead of convergence/merger, the industry should be looking at pushing for the passage into law, the Postal Courier Commission Bill, to spur development in the industry. He said: “Our support is for the Federal Government on this matter. Don’t forget that before now, telecommunication and postal services were together under P&T. it was when telecoms was taken away from post that the sector recorded progress. Our industry is still in its emerging nascent stage, the courier in particular is still an emerging industry. It has not developed to the point that it can be merged with telecoms and broadcasting. NIPOST should be allowed to stabilise. Any attempt to merge them in the name of convergence will be counterproductive. The Postal Courier Commission Bill has been sent to the National Assembly. The bill, if passed into law, will close the existing gap. To now fuse telecoms and broadcasting with postal service is an ill wind that will blow no man any good. “We should be careful how we copy things from other parts of the world because in those places, there is infrastructure and institutions that have been tested over time. In our own case, we are fighting to stabilise the economy after long years of military rule. We support a separate commission for the postal services. We are looking for investors to come into the sector, so lumping us together with telecommunication and broadcasting that have stabilised is going to kill the industry completely.”


‘Technologies are converging. Regulators should also converge. I think the regulators should converge because if you look at it very well, you will discover that it will save the economy huge money. Duplicating regulatory agencies is a huge drain on the public coffers. So much money is wasted on overhead, servicing wage bills’ of the industry. We will suggest that the Federal Government take a second look at the recommendation. It should not be thrown away completely,” he said. According to him, effecting convergence in the industry will save the government the huge cost on overhead and other expenses incurred by employees of the various agencies with overlapping and conflicting functions. He added that convergence will also ease

the process of decision making in the sector as the long list of approvals that have to be obtained before decisions are taken will be reduced.

ALTON President, ALTON, Lanre Ajayi said convergence is real and is in line with new thinking in the ICT sector globally. He said when technologies have started converging,

President, ISPON, Dr Chris Uwaje, said the strategy to attaining a knowledgedriven economy is wrong, adding that a policy that disallows creativity, but encourages 100 per cent consumption is not good enough. According to him, there has to be a national strategy spelling out how to attain the goals set by the nation. He said there is Communications Technology Ministry and Ministry of Information, arguing that what is being encouraged is information. He likened communication to electricity, saying people have stopped talking about electricity but energy as an all-encompassing term. “We should be innovating. We should rebuild the ecosystem,” he said. Uwaje said software remains the core of everything, adding that the government should be looking in the direction of creating the Office of Information Technology of Nigeria just as there is of Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation. According to him, Edward Snowden did not steal the server of American government but went away with software which is become an issue that has attracted global attention.









Growth outlook of Nigerian services sector

HE prospect of Nigeria becoming the leading economy in Africa is being realised. For two straight years (2011 and 2012), Nigeria led other African countries as the top destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Divestment of assets by the International Oil Companies (IOCs) resulted in Nigeria’s slip to second position in 2013 – the year global FDI flows also took a tumble as a result of weak economic conditions around the world. Remarkably though, much of the sold assets by the IOCs were snapped up by Nigerian indigenous entities, as local participation in the country’s oil and gas sector has increased. While this is cheery news, the truth is that Nigeria has made even more impressive progress with structural transformation of the economy. The non-oil sectors are now the key drivers of the country’s grosss domestic product (GDP) growth, which is expected to rise to 7.3 per cent in 2014. Until recently, South Africa had for years maintained the status of the top destination for foreign investment on the continent: it was the top FDI recipient country, as well as the gateway for foreign investments into other African countries. Also, Nigeria had usually trailed Egypt in attracting FDI. But now, the signs are clear; whereas opportunities in South Africa have been significantly tapped, Nigeria has only recently come under the radar of global investors because of its frontier opportunities in several sectors including power, infrastructure, agriculture, solid mineral, retailing and services. Egypt is embroiled in a problematic political transition, while Nigeria is

By Roberts Orya

strengthening in democratic governance. Besides, Nigeria’s population of 170 million makes her the biggest market in the African region. This being the case, Nigeria looks set to be the lead destination of private investment in Africa for a long time.

Peep into the scenario Last year, investment opportunities in Nigeria were headlined by the power sector privatisation programme, which has benefitted tremendously from strong political will of the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan in pushing through one of the most important sectoral reforms in the country. Since 2011, reform of agriculture has gathered pace. The reform agenda was codified in the Agriculture Transformation Agenda, which places emphasis on value chain development. Over a decade ago, sales of mobile licenses to local and foreign investors introduced wider scope in the structural transformation in the Nigerian economy. Private investment in telecommunication, after a transparent licensing round, saw rapid deployment of infrastructure in the sector. Modern mobile services rolled out quickly and dramatically increased access to mobile communication by all classes of Nigerians. Soon after this was the banking industry reform which has seen Nigerian banks rapidly transform from small entities to some of the biggest banks in Africa and the world. We also remember the sparkle of modernity in the aviation sector, where private sector management of a key infrastructure has taken place. Today, the current admin-

istration has brought infrastructure investment to the forefront of its commitment to improving the Nigerian business landscape. It is revamping and expanding road, rail and aviation infrastructures.

Beneficiary services sector Investment fund flows into these and other sectors in recent years have triggered a huge demand in the services sector. For instance, the banking sector has witnessed significant growth over the past decade as Nigeria opened up for investment. Unlike in the past, Nigerian banks are funding private sector investments in the power sector and other infrastructure projects. Until now, the capital and appetite for this was simply not there as the Nigerian economy was seemingly helmed in. But there is burst of pent up demand, and thanks to much bigger capital, Nigerian banks are committing to the longer term lending needs. Financial services sector growth itself has triggered demand for information communication technology (ICT) services, particularly highspeed internet bandwidth and software. Policy support to unlock these sub-sectors of the services industry are in place. They include clear regulatory framework which incentivises private sector participation. Huge investments in fibre optic networks are linking the major cities to deliver high speed internet connection. Coverage of the entire country with modern telecommunication services are becoming a reality. As would have been known to interested parties, the entrepreneurial drive of Nigerians is part of the facilitation of investments in technology as


with other services. Nigerian software services companies are doing well in meeting the demand arising from rapid growth in the financial services value chain involving (pension) fund custody and administration, asset management, fixed asset management, payment system, human resources management and others. Increase in foreign capital flow for investment in Nigeria, has meant increase in inbound international aviation traffic. The need for linkages to the states has fuelled rising demand in the domestic aviation industry. Since Nigerian businessmen are also leading the charge of investment in other African countries, Nigeria is steps closer to being the hub for regional air travel; not only in the West Coast, but predictably in Africa. This trend is also pushing up demand for road transportation to open up access to the vast land and mineral resources across the country. The hospitality industry is a key beneficiary of the surging domestic and foreign investments. Data collected by W-Hospitality Group affirms Nigeria as the fastest-growing hotel industry in subSaharan Africa. Demand for luxury hotel rooms in Nigeria’s political capital, Abuja, and commercial hub, Lagos, is complemented by rising demand for lower cadre hotel facilities in secondary hotel markets including Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Enugu, Abeokuta and Kano, according to W-Hospitality Group.

The big services frontiers In line with Nigeria’s status as the biggest consumer market in Africa, and “Africa rising” being a recent phe-

•Left: Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Sakari Tuomioja and French Foreign Affairs Minister, Laurent Fabius in discussing prior to a European Union (EU) Foreign Ministers Meeting on Ukraine crisis at EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. PHOTO: XINHUA/YE PINGFAN

ISCO has announced a new video and collaboration solutions designed to put high-quality video at the fingertips of everyone in the in organizations, irrespective of sizes. According to a statement, the systems will allow people to effectively share video and content in rooms of any size depending upon their needs as well as the setup of the room. These fully integrated systems combine a sleek, award-winning design with a simple and intuitive user experience. Cisco explained that in its second generation, the Cisco TelePresence MX200 is optimal for smaller rooms,

‘Barclays most complained-about bank’


That marked a fall of 17 percent from the first half of the year, but was still around 50,000 more than secondranked Lloyds Bank Plc. However, Lloyds was the only financial services company to see complaints edge a fraction higher. Credit card issuer MBNA, Lloyds-owned Bank of Scotland and National Westminster Bank, owned by part-privatised Royal Bank of Scotland, took the last three

• Orya

ices constitute a huge market and frontier investment area. Many country-investment analyses have identified healthcare as a viable area for investment in Nigeria. For this reason and based on its own study, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector lending arm of the World Bank Group, has been working to unlock private investment in healthcare services in the country. The IFC has made some impact investments in this regard. Its investment is an influencer in developing countries. Accordingly, we have seen more interests and more private investments in healthcare. Again, the critical enabler is government policy. A few years ago, government addressed the big question of affordability of consumers of healthcare services with the introduction of health insurance. It is one of several reforms that have proved successful and impactful in Nigeria. Tens of millions of Nigerians who have subscribed to health insurance have constituted a steady funding source for the healthcare providers, even as patients now pay just a fraction of what otherwise they would have paid. Investments in healthcare will be driven in large part by the commitment of the government to reverse the current trend.

Ciscos unveils new collaboration solution


ARCLAYS Bank Plc has topped the list of the most complained-about British bank, although the number of reported grievances against financial services companies has fallen by 15 per cent overall. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said on almost 310,000 new complaints from retail customers had been opened against Barclays from July to December last year.

nomenon, it is very easy to distil investment opportunities in the services sector to key frontiers of education and healthcare: the two areas I intend to limit this discussion. Nigeria’s demographic structure, which features large youth population, and government encouragement of private investment in education, create a huge opportunity. Indeed, private sector investment has complemented government resources in education across the tiers. But gaps still remain for high quality science, technology and vocational education as well as adequate number of such institutions to train and retrain the teeming Nigerian youth population. In the meantime, unmet demand has resulted in patronage of foreign institutions by Nigerians that can afford it. But this will scale down in the long run; the government is prioritising local supply and is keen to mitigate capital outflow in paying expensive school fees in foreign institutions. Today, one of the areas of smart investment would be educational institutions and related facilities in Nigeria. We have the population to support sustainable enrolment. We have proven affordability. We also have growing industries to absorb graduates from the institutions. On its part, the current administration has maintained commitment to investing in public educational institutions. Fallen standards are attracting policy attention. But limited public resources have created opportunities for private sector investment. The health sector shares some similarities with the education sector as serviceand knowledge-driven endeavours. Healthcare serv-

slots in the table. “No firm wants to top this particular list, and they all should be striving to ensure that customers are being treated fairly and not given cause to complain,” said FCA Chief Executive Martin Wheatley, releasing the latest complaints data. “This is an indication that firms seem to be putting customers at the heart of their business. However, there is

clearly more for us all to do to show consumers their interests come first.” The majority of customer complaints still centre on payment protection insurance, a mis-selling scandal for which banks have set aside more than 20 billion pounds ($33.5 billion) for compensation claims, followed by gripes about other insurance products, current accounts, credit cards and savings.

value-priced to scale, incredibly easy to install, and offers premium high definition (HD) resolution out of the box. “The Cisco TelePresence MX700 and Cisco TelePresence MX800 represent the performance line and are ideal for medium- to large-sized rooms. These integrated systems come equipped with premium HD resolution and support H.265, which will give users incredible quality at half the regularly-needed bandwidth,” the statement read in part. Mr. Dare Ogunlade, General Manager Cisco, Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and SierraLeone said “Previous attempts to deliver collaboration have been incremental and good. But the cold, hard truth is that today’s collaboration tools are forcing users to do today’s jobs with yesterday’s technology. It is time for a change. The industry is ready for a great leap forward, and Cisco is making that leap. These new products represent the first phase of a multiphase rollout in how Cisco is reimagining collaboration and setting the foundation for a revolution in the industry; stay tuned for more.” Costing less than the price

of a PC, the Cisco TelePresence SX10 Quick Set builds upon elements many companies already have in smaller meeting spaces—flat panel displays—to create incredible video meeting spaces. Sure to be popular with SMBs, this system turns any standard flat panel display into an HD video collaboration system in 10 minutes or less. By making such a high-quality experience available at such an attractive price point, Cisco aims to make video the de facto collaboration tool for every conference room. It added that though not every room is built alike and not every customer has the same needs. the Cisco TelePresence SX80 is an ideal solution for integrators looking to equip large, unique spaces with video. “Technology makes it easier to connect and collaborate with colleagues, partners, and customers from any location—whether that’s the work office, the home office, a hotel room, or a coffee shop. Reliable, high-quality, interoperable video—as opposed to video that’s webcam-based, unreliable or incapable of scaling—plays a significant role in the collaboration mix.




GTBank to grow market share in African expansion


UARANTY Trust Bank has said its target in the years ahead is to aggressively grow its market share in priority sectors and also build highly driven workers with deep industry skills. Presenting the bank’s result for the year ended December 31, 2013, to the business editors in Lagos yesterday, its Managing Director, Segun Agbaje said the lender also wants to scale up its African franchise. He said the bank has been able to sustain its profitability as well as a 9.68 per cent increase in dividend value. He said based on the recently

completed Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rebasing, Nigeria remains the largest economy in Africa with GDP of $510 billion, adding that Nigeria’s third quarter 2013 real GDP will be 6.81 against South Africa’s 1.70 per cent. Agbaje said the GDP growth is increasingly driven by non-oil sector adding that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is committed to stable currency regime having maintained a stable rate regime. He said although oil production dropped from 2.09 million barrels per day (mbpd) in June 2012 to

Adelabu assumes duties as CBN’s Deputy Governor

1.99mbpd in June last year, oil prices remained above $100/barrel through last year. He averred that given current international developments, there is need for suppot for oil prices through this year. Agabje said the bank’s management goal is to promote sustainable efficiency across board and increase in cost of private. According to him, GTBank successfully completed its acquisition of Fina Bank and its subsidiaries Such as Fina Kenya and Uganda adding that the bank has now been


WO weeks after his confirmation by the Senate, Mr. Adebayo Adekola Adelabu yesterday assumed his new role as the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Adebayo, who was accompanied to the bank by his aides, was received by the Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, Alhaji Suleiman Barau. Introducing the trio of Yunusa Mohammed Sanusi, Ahmad Abdullahi and Ibitayo Olubenga Amu, Directors of Corporate Secretariat, Governors’ and Security Services Departments, Barau said Adelabu had been briefed and would be in charge of the Financial System Stability (FSS) Directorate. He wished Adelabu well in his role, expressing confidence that he would settle down to work immediately.

• Agbaje

rebranded to GTB Kenya, GTB Rwanda. He said GTB Fina Bank was already a profitable venture prior to acquisition and management is confident that it will be a lot more profitable, efficient and innovative

CBN harmonises account forms for customers


HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is working on harmonising all account opening forms for commercial banks in the country to forstall money laundering and terrorism financing. In a circular to all commercial banks and Other Financial Institutions (OFIs), released yesterday, the apex bank said the new directive is a follow up to an earlier circular of February 24, hence the need to ensure compliance by all banks. The circular signed Uniform Account Opening Forms and Minimum Information Requirements for Three-Tired KYC for Customers of Banks and Other Financial Institutions (OFIS)- The Implementation strategy signed by CBN Director, Financial Policy and Regulation, Kelvin Amugo said the absence of uniformity in account opening procedure and documentation for prospective customers has continued to hinder the effectiveness of Know Your

Stories by Collins Nweze

Customer (KYC) requirement in banks and OFIs.He said: “The uniformity is to ensure that Customer Due Diligence is consistently and uniformly practiced in account opening process for prospective customers of financial

institutions.”He also said existing customers are to constantly update their accounts. The CBN had earlier said the adverse effect of this on the fight against money laundering and combating of financial terrorism cannot be overemphasised.Such plan, it added, will also facilitate quick in-

vestigation of financial crimes by relevant agencies. For review therefore, are all account opening forms for individuals, companies, partnership and sole proprietorship, and for designated non-financial businesses and profession.

Reserve Bank may raise S’Africa’s borrowing costs


OUTH African Reserve Bank may have to raise borrowing costs to protect the country against the outflow of capital and limit the effect of a weaker rand on inflation, the International Monetary Fund said. “The external current-account deficit has been over 5 percent for some time, notwithstanding substantial rand depreciation,” the Washington-based lender said in its World Economic Outlook today. “Fiscal and monetary policies may need to be tightened to


Amount N

Rate %


3-Year 5-Year

35m 35m

11.039 12.23

19-05-2014 18-05-2016

29, the first tightening in more than five years. Since then, the rand has gained 8.1 percent against the dollar. While the IMF cut its forecast for South Africa’s 2014 current-account deficit to 5.4 percent of gross domestic product from 6.1 percent, the inflation projection was increased to 6 per cent from 5.5 percent. The lender said Africa’s second-largest economy will expand 2.3 per cent this year and 2.7 percent in 2015, lower than the 2.8 per cent and 3.3 percent estimated in January.

lower the country’s vulnerabilities and contain the second-round impact of the depreciation on inflation,” report by Bloomberg said.The rand has lost 19 per cent against the dollar since the start of last year, the most among 16 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg, as increased risk perceptions about emerging markets led to an outflow of capital. This fueled inflation expectations and the central bank increased its benchmark repurchase rate to 5.5 per cent on Jan.

DATA BANK Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 400m 400m 400m 400m 400m 400m

MANAGED FUNDS Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33


OBB Rate

Price Loss 2754.67


Amount 30m 46.7m

Rate % 10.96 9.62

Date 28-04-2012 “



DANGSUGAR 9.20 9.89 NPFMCRFBK 0.97 1.02` INTENEGINS 0.60 0.63 UACN 54.37 57.08 AFRIPRUD 2.82 2.96 FO 106.20 111.30 UBCAP 2.50 2.62 CUTIX 1.79 1.87 PRESTIGE 0.58 0.60 CADBURY 72.50(72.50) 74.75


Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51









CHANGE 0.69 0.05 0.03 2.71 0.14 5.10 0.12 0.08 0.02 2.25


July ’11

July ’12





Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00%

LOSERS AS AT 09-04-14


O/PRICE 4.38 0.60 0.60 181.45 1.41 5.85 9.50 1.87 1.20 0.97

C/PRICE 3.97 0.57 0.57 172.38 1.34 5.56 9.03 1.78 1.15 0.93

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days

Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917

Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96%

Exchange Rate (N) 155.75 155.8 155.7

Date 2-5-14 2-3-14 1-29-14





% Change

CAP Index

N13.07tr 40,766.16

N6.617tr 20,903.16

-1.44% -1.44%



CHANGE -0.41 -0.03 -0.03 -9.07 -0.07 -0.29 -0.47 -0.09 -0.05 -0.04

Amount Sold ($) 399.9m 399.9m 399.9m



GAINERS AS AT 09-04-14


EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency


• Adelabu



1.2655 1.3132 0.9270 1.1597

Bid Price 158.40 9.08 1.05 1.17 0.67 1.33 2,540.20 1,090.11 113.22 1,087.00 1.62 1.03 142.62 0.76 1,890.77 1.2543 1.3132 0.9098 1.1597



Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012












NSE’s index rally to 39,000 points as investors earn N44b


HE bullish r ally at the Nigerian stock market continued yesterday as gains by fast moving consumer goods companies and banking stocks spurred the market’s benchmark index beyond 39,000 points. After a momentary pause on Monday, the bulls regained the control of the market situation on Tuesday and built on the momentum yesterday. The benchmark index at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the All Share Index (ASI) had grown by 0.99 per cent last week. It rose by 0.66 per cent on Tuesday and added 0.35 per cent yesterday. Aggregate market value of all quoted companies increased by N44 billion to close at N12.533 trillion as against its opening value of


Stories by Taofik Salako Capital Market Editor

N12.489 trillion. The ASI also trended upward from 38,881.76 points to 39,017.66 points. With 27 gainers to 26 losers, the market situation was driven primarily by the substantial gains recorded by several highly capitalised stocks in the fast moving consumer goods and banking sectors. Nestle Nigeria topped the gainers’ list with a gain of N22.10 to close at N1, 182.10. Forte Oil followed with addition of N5.10 to close at N111.30. UAC of Nigeria rose by N2.71 to close at N57.08. Cadbury Nigeria added N2.25 to close at N74.75. Presco garnered 90 kobo to close at N41. Dangote Sugar Refin-

ery rose by 69 kobo to N9.89. Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria chalked up 57 kobo to close at N108.50. Stanbic IBTC Holdings gained 45 kobo to close at N20.45. Zenith Bank rose by 35 kobo to N22.10 while National Salt Company of Nigeria added 19 kobo to close at N11.50. The banking sub-sector remained the driver of activities at the Exchange. The trio of FBN Holdings, Access Bank and Zenith Bank were the most active stocks just as financial services stocks contributed about 83 per cent of aggregate turnover volume. FBN Holdings recorded a turnover of 61.31 million shares worth N760.03 million in 425 deals. Ac-

cess Bank followed with a turnover of 47.76 million shares valued at N353.52 million in 164 deals. Zenith Bank placed third with 46.78 million shares worth N1.03 billion in 289 deals. Financial services sector accounted for 241.01 million shares valued at N2.64 billion in 2,392 deals. Aggregate turnover stood at 290.97 million valued at N4.31 billion in 4,253 deals. On the downside, Total Nigeria topped the losers’ list with a loss of N9.07 to close at N172.38. Guinness Nigeria dropped by N6.99 to close at N188. Julius Berger Nigeria declined by N2.35 to close at N68.50. Nigerian Breweries lost 60 kobo to close at N151.40. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN)

Warburg Pincus eyes African investments

ARBURG Pincus LLC, the private-equity firm managing about $37 billion in assets, is considering investments in Africa and the Middle East as capital starts to flow back into emerging markets. “We are looking beyond the core euro-zone markets into the rapidly growing emerging markets around Europe for investment opportunities,” Joseph Schull, head of Warburg Pincus in Europe, said in an interview. “Africa is the next big frontier in private equity and we are spending an increasing amount of time investigating opportunities in that region.” Investors are seeking out acquisition opportunities in less-developed markets in the Middle East and Africa as economic growth ac-

celerates and financial markets recover from the credit crisis. Money is also returning to emerging markets, with exchange-traded funds attracting $1.4 billion in the first three days of April, as countries take steps to stabilize their economies, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Standard Chartered Plc, the London-based bank present in Africa for more than 150 years, said in February it’s investing more money in private-equity deals there than in any other region in which it operates. Robert Diamond’s Atlas Mara Co-Nvest Ltd. this month agreed to buy a stake in state-owned Development Bank of Rwanda, while KKR & Co. is competing with Abraaj Group to buy a stake in Saudi Arabian res-

taurant business Kudu, two people familiar with the deal said in September. Bloomberg reported that New York-based Warburg Pincus made its first investment in the Middle East today, agreeing to acquire a controlling stake in Mercator, a Dubai aviation software-solutions company owned by Emirates’ Dnata unit. Mercator provides services to airlines including United Airlines Inc. (UAL) and British Airways Plc, the two companies said in a joint statement today, without disclosing financial details of the transaction. “This is a growth equity investment for Warburg, our first in the Middle East, and there is no debt involved in the transaction,” Schull said. “This business can be a multiple of its current size.”

Warburg Pincus expects to double or triple its initial investment in Mercator in the coming years and is also exploring add-on acquisitions to expand the business, Schull said, without identifying potential targets. Mercator has more than 125 airline clients in 80 countries. Warburg Pincus, founded in 1966, owns stakes in more than 120 businesses and last year hired former U.S. Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner as its president. In 2013, it agreed to sell luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Inc. to an investor group for $6 billion, and sold eyecare company Bausch & Lomb Holdings Inc. to Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. in an $8.7 billion deal. The company has more than $9 billion in emerging-market investments.

working to cut costs and evaluate the company’s units for potential divestitures. Analysts and investors considered Iams, which P&G bought in 1999, a natural candidate. The business hasn’t been a good one for P&G, said Dibadj, who recommends buying P&G shares. “I wish they’d never bought this thing,” he said yesterday. “They’re unraveling some of their mistakes, and this potentially was one.” While Mars didn’t want the brands’ European business, it has an option to buy operations in remaining markets in Asia and Africa, said Paul Fox, a P&G spokesman. “We will actively pursue the sale of our pet-care business in Europe,” Fox said. He declined to say whether the company has received interest in the units or whether it already is in talks with potential suitors.

A sale may help P&G as the stronger dollar weighs on international revenue at the same time that it’s working to regain market share in key categories. The company in January lowered its forecast for profit and sales growth this year because of currency exchange-rate fluctuations and policy changes in Venezuela. That move followed second-quarter earnings that topped analysts’ estimates. Lafley’s second tenure came with high expectations. In his first round as CEO, he oversaw the $57 billion acquisition of Gillette Co., expanded P&G’s overseas presence and presided over the introduction of successful new products, such as the Swiffer cleaner. “It’s good to see that he’s being active,” Jack Russo, an analyst at Edward Jones & Co. in St. Louis, said of the pet-food sale. “This company is so big, sometimes the best way to grow it is to shrink it first.”

Mars to buy P&G pet food brands for $2.9b


ARS Inc, the closely held maker of M&M’s candies and Uncle Ben’s rice, agreed to buy three Procter & Gamble Company pet-food brands for $2.9 billion, cementing its lead in the industry. The transaction, which excludes the brands’ businesses in some markets, mainly in Europe, will be completed in the second half of the year, the companies stated yesterday in a statement. The acquisition gives Mars the Iams, Eukanuba and Natura lines to add to its Pedigree, Whiskas and Royal Canin brands. McLean, Virginia-based Mars was the largest global pet-food seller in 2012, with 23.4 per cent of the market, compared with 23.1 per cent for Purina owner Nestle SA (NESN), according to researcher Euromonitor International. “It gives them size in a potentially attractive market,” Ali Dibadj, an

analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York, said in an interview. “They just have to decide to invest back in the business.” P&G said it will restate its results to reduce fiscal 2013 earnings per share by 3 cents and cut 2014 earnings by 4 cents. The sale won’t affect P&G’s forecast for profit growth in its fiscal 2014, which runs through June, and won’t have a material effect on fiscal 2015 results. Cash from the sale will be used for general corporate purposes, the company said. Mars Inc, based in McLean, Virginia, is the closely held maker of M&Ms candies and Uncle Ben’s rice. P&G, based in Cincinnati, rose 0.2 percent to $81.49 at the close in New York. The shares are little changed this year. Bloomberg reported that AG Lafley, who returned as P&G’s chief executive officer last year, has been

slipped by 47 kobo to close at N9.03. University Press dropped by 41 kobo to close at N3.97. Dangote Flour Mills lost 32 kobo to close at N8.18. Computer Warehouse Group declined by 29 kobo to close at N5.56. Berger Paints dropped by 24 kobo to N8.76 while PZ Cussons Nigeria lost 18 kobo to close at N32 per share.

Investors dump Computer Warehouse Group over low yield


NVESTORS sent the bears after Computer Warehouse Group (CWG) yesterday as the information and communication technology (ICT) company announced a dividend recommendation of 8.0 kobo. CWG’s share price dropped by 4.96 per cent at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as the news on the dividend recommendation filtered to the investing public. CWG lost 29 kobo to close at N5.56 per share. The overall market position had indicated a bullish market situation with average return of 0.35 per cent. Market analysts said the negative response to CWG’s dividend recommendation was due to the low return on investment, considering the listing and current market value of the stock. At today’s opening price of N5.56 per share, the dividend recommendation of 8.0 kobo represents a dividend yield of 1.43 per cent, a yield that is significantly lower than returns by other stocks with similar price range. Skye Bank and Sterling Bank, which trade at lower prices, carry dividend yields of between seven and nine per cent. An analyst noted that even if CWG had distributed its entire earnings per share of 24 kobo, it would still not compare favourably to other active stocks within the price range. At current market price, CWG’s earnings per share indicates earnings yield of 4.3 per cent. Meanwhile, audited report and accounts of CWG for the year ended December 31, 2013 showed that turnover rose from N18.76 billion in 2012 to N20.67 billion in 2013. Gross profit increased from N3.75 billion to N3.91 billion. Profit before tax rose to N618.46 million as against N339.23 million while profit after tax increased from N339.23 million to N612.85 million. CWG had late last year listed its entire share capital of 2.5 billion ordinary shares on the NSE. CWG was incorporated in February 2005 as a holding company for CWL Systems Limited, DCC Networks Limited and ExpertEdge Software Limited.






Kwara Assembly suspends lawmaker


HE Kwara State House of Assembly suspended yesterday the member representing Malete/Ipaye/Olorun Constituency, Iliasu Ibrahim, for his refusal to apologise to his colleague. Ibrahim, who resumed yesterday from a threemonth suspension, was punished for accusing a colleague of attempted murder. This is the lawmaker’s third suspension in less than three years. The House suspended him for three months in May 2012 over an allegation of financial misappropriation

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

levelled against the Speaker, Rasaq Atunwa. Ibrahim was indicted by the House Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Judiciary in its report presented to the House. Atunwa announced the suspension after the House adopted the report of the committee. The Speaker directed Ibrahim to begin another three months suspension without pay from April 9 . Ibrahim, who was not at plenary, said the House lacked the power to suspend him.

Govts, individuals urged to create jobs

•From left: Emir Of Zuru, Alhaji Sani Sami; Sen. Muhammadu Magoro; National President Of Zuru Emirate Development Society (ZEDS), Yakubu Kwami and Markus Dudu, at the presentation of an Information Technology Centre (ICT) Centre, donated to the society by Magoro in Zuru …yesterday PHOTO: NAN


14-year-old bride poisons groom

FOURTEEN-yearold bride, Wasila Umaru, has allegedly poisoned her 35-year- old groom, Umaru Sani and three others in Ungwar Yansoro, Gaya Local Government Area of Kano State. Wasila was said to have bought a rat poison known in local parlance as Shinkafa Bera at a village market for N80.

•Three others too

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

She reportedly laced the food she prepared for her husband and his friends with the substance. Two of the victims- Nasiru Mohammed and Alhassan Alhassan of Yansoro Kademi- died on the spot.

The third victim, a woman, Indo Ibrahim, died in the hospital. Ten other people ,who also ate the food, have been discharged from the hospital. The suspect reportedly confessed to the crime, claiming that she did it because she was forced to mar-

ry a man she didn’t love. Police spokesman Musa Magaji Majiya said the bodies had been taken to the hospital for autopsy. Also in Kano, two menGhaddafi Yunusa and Hayadu Ibrahim- died after drinking Zobo juice at a wedding in Ungwar Uku quarters. The police have arrested two suspects, who fled to Bauchi State.

Seven arrested for herdsmen’s murder


EVEN persons suspected to have killed two herdsmen were arraigned yesterday at a Makurdi Magistrate’s Court in Benue State. Terver Uva, Vershima Mngure, Msughve Ushir, Ikyaan Tarvershima, Aondosoo Tyozenda, Iorwuese Shaapera and Vershima Gwaza were accused of criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide and mischief by fire. The prosecuting police of-

ficer, Insp. James Zungwe, told the court that the case was transferred from the Divisional Police Headquarters, Gboko to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at the Police Headquarters in Makurdi. Zungwe said in a letter dated March 31, transferring the case, that some men, armed with guns, cutlasses, sticks and stones blocked the GbokoMka Road on March 27. According to him, the men on the same day attacked and

burnt down a truck conveying cows, killing Hassan Hussaini and Balarabe, who were in the truck. He said the bodies were burnt by the suspects. The prosecutor told the court that the accused, who hail from Gboko Local Government Area, were arrested during police investigation. The prosecutor said the offences were contrary to sections 97 (1), 225 and 337 of the Penal Code of Benue

State, 2004. Zungwe, however, told the court that investigation into the matter was still ongoing and pleaded that another date be taken for the case to be mentioned. Consequently, the pleas of the accused were not taken. The Magistrate, Mrs Lillian Terseer-Tsumba, ordered that they be remanded at the Federal Prison, Makurdi. She adjourned the case till May 13.

EFCC arraigns perm sec, deputy director in Sokoto


HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday said it arraigned a permanent secretary in Sokoto State, Mohammed Bello Abubakar, and a deputy director, Abubakar Abdullahi Ahmed. Abubakar and Ahmed were docked on a 43-count charge bordering on conspiracy, forgery and alleged laundering of over N100million. A statement by EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity Wilson Uwujaren said


From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

the suspects were alleged to be living above their means. The anti-graft agency said the size of their assets is not supported by their legitimate sources of income. The statement said: “Abubakar is said to own five companies -Rose Gallery Nigeria Limited, Silver Spring Concept, Gidadawa Global Ventures, BAG Interiors and Eco Habitat Nigeria Limited with various bank accounts. The suspect

also has properties at various locations across Sokoto State. “The accused pleaded not guilty to all 43-count charge when it was read to them. “Upon their plea, EFCC’s counsel I.O Uket urged the court to fix a date for trial and remand the accused in custody. “But the defence counsel, Y.C Maikyau(SAN), urged the court to admit the accused to bail. “He said the alleged offences for which they are being prosecuted are baila-

‘Plateau working to curb diseases’

LATEAU State government has intensified its battle against diseases. The state is battling cholera, Lassa fever and food contamination. Cholera has killed no fewer than six people; Lassa fever has killed one. The Deputy Director, Epidemiology, Ministry of Health, Dr. Raymond Juryit,

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

said the government was working to prevent an outbreak and had taken specimens for experiment. Four cases of Lassa fever are being treated at the Bingham Hospital, Jos. One person is being treated at a hospital in Jingri, Bassa Local Government Area.

He also confirmed that one person died of Lassa fever at Bingham Teaching Hospital. Juryit said: “On Monday, we got a report of cholera outbreak in Panyam, Mangu Local Government. “Our medical team was deployed to the community and we discovered that it was not a case of cholera but food contamination.”

ble. Maikyau said both accused persons had been granted administrative bail by the Commission and have not jumped bail. “Maikyau told the court that Abubakar is a diabetic patient,who requires regular check-up to monitor his blood sugar level. “He urged the court to admit his clients to bail, assuring that they are ready to make themselves available for trial. “Uket told the court that if the accused are admitted to bail, they are likely to interfere with witnesses. “The prosecution added that, though bail is at the discretion of the court, diabetes is a common ailment which can easily be treated in prison, should the accused person be remanded in prison custody. “He urged the court to refuse the application.” Justice Rilwan Aikawa grantedN10million bail each to the accused and one surety.


EDERAL and state governments as well as individuals have been urged to create jobs. The Vice-Chairman of Omotayo Group of Schools, Ogijo, Ogun State, Mrs. Sarah Opanubi, gave the advice at the fourth Biennial and first Joint Inter House Sports Competition held at the NNPC Primary School, Mosinmi, Ogun State. She said urgent steps should be taken to curb unemployment. According to her, “this is necessary to prevent our youths from becoming miscreants, robbers, prostitutes and criminals.” Mrs. Opanubi, who represented her husband, the Chairman, Sir Tayo Opanubi, said the school trains its pupils to become self-reliant. “We prepare our pupils to

By Tokunbo Ogunsami

become self-employed. We train them not to become seekers of white-collar jobs,” she added. Red House (Alhaji Monsour Alebiosu) won the football event, beating Blue House (Bill Gate) 1-0 in the final. It emerged the overall winner in the secondary school category. Green House (Chief Oduola Yerokun) came third. In the primary school category, Yellow House (Tayo Opanubi) emerged first. Red House was second, Blue House third. PUBLIC NOTICE ORIAKU I formerly known and addressed as Miss Celestina Onyeyirichi Oriaku, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Celestina Onyeyirichi Chidi. All former documents remain valid. Abia State University Uturu & general public should please take note.



NEWS Aviation Round Table kicks against merger of NCAA, NIMET, NAMA AVIATION watchdog, Aviation Round Table (ART), has kicked against the merger of three agencies – Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and the National Airspace Management Agency (NAMA). It said the plan was another wrong decision by the government. ART noted that the planned merger should not be allowed to see the light of the day. In a statement by Capt. Dele Ore, President and Sam Owolabi-Akerele, ART said: “The Presidential Committee on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies, headed by the former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), Mr. Steve Oronsanye recommended the merging of NCAA, NIMET and NAMA to form a single agency of aviation. The government has however accepted this ridiculous state of affairs. To avoid any further embarrassment, the contemplated merger should not be materialized. “Once again, we have retrogressed into the 1995 era. This is another wrong decision by the government and it should be rescinded immediately. Nigeria should not at this time, when a Nigerian is the President of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO); we cannot be seen to be working at cross-purposes to ICAO’s international standards. “It would not matter what kind of amendment is anticipated into the establishment Acts of the affected parastatals, Nigeria will be in violation of international best practices. This will be another ridicule to which this country will now be exposed to. “Section 30 of the Civil Aviation Act (2006) is very explicit and no matter how we manipulate that Act, the new FCAA will no longer be able to regulate the making of signals and other communication by or to aircraft and persons carried in aircraft. The new FCAA will no longer be able to regulate air traffic control and meteorological services. The new FCAA cannot be a Regulator as well as being a service provider. “This whole exercise was done without wide consultation with the industry and the government was misinformed and misadvised by so-called professionals to serve the own selfish end.”


Man ‘defiles’ step-daughter

36-year-old man, Jonathan Joseph, has been arrested for allegedly having carnal knowledge of his 12-yearold step-daughter. He was said to have defiled the victim both at the farm and at home. Joseph was among 33 suspects paraded by the Edo State Police Command yesterday. The suspects were arrested for kidnapping, robbery, murder, defilement, impersonation and unlawful possession of firearms. Joseph told reporters that he prayed against sleeping with his step-daughter but he did not know what came over him. He said he committed the


From Osagie Otabor, Benin and Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa

offence when his wife travelled. Also arrested were three youths from Oke village, who allegedly murdered Joseph Tihi , who was working on an Indian hemp farm. They are Osemwengie Osayamwen, Eguavoen Osabuohien and Monday Osabuohien. Police said the suspects went to the farm to attack the owner of the farm for failing to pay “annual dues”. Also paraded were six students of the College of Education, Ekiadolor, for al-

leged cultism. Thompson Oguwzi and Labaran Mohammed were paraded for impersonating Army personnel. They were said to been visiting hotels and posing as army officers. Police commissioner Foluso Adebanjo said his command “is ready to wipe out criminals from the state”. He said the suspects would soon be charged to court. In Bayelsa, the state security outfit, Operation Door Akpor, has arrested a 33year-old employee of a popular fast foods outlet for allegedly defiling a 12-yearold girl.

The suspect, identified as Ikechukwu, was arrested at Toolda Junction, Ekeki, Yenagoa Local Government Area. The suspect was said to have been arrested, following complaints by the girl’s guardian. He was, however, released by the police, amidst outrage by the public. The suspect was said to have been released for lack of evidence and the uncooperative attitude of the victim. Police spokesman Alex Akhigbe said the police could only act when affected persons agree to press charges. He advised parents to monitor their wards.

From left: Country Head, Olam Nigeria, Mukul Mathur, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Akinwumi Adesina, Head, Corporate and Government Relations, Ade Adefeko and General Manager Olam Rice Farm, Regi George, discussing when the minister visited the farm near Doma, Nasarawa State.


From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja


HE Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday directed the offices of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and the Head of Federal Civil Service (HFCS) to raise a committee to implement government’s rationalisation exercise among its corporations and agencies. The government, on Monday, released the White Paper on the Report of the Presidential Committee on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies based on the report of the former Head of Federal Civil Service, Steve Oronsaye. Addressing State House correspondents at the end of the FEC meeting, Information Minister Labaran Maku said the government decided to fast-track the implementation of the report. He said: “The President has directed the SGF and Head of Service to come up with a committee, which he will approve, in order to begin the rationalisation process that will increase efficiency and bring down the cost of governance.” Maku added that the President directed that another committee be set up on the new Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to ensure that Nigeria benefits maximally from the new figure.

Agumagu’s suspension lawless, says Aturu

AGOS lawyer Bamidele Aturu has described the suspension of the Rivers State Chief Judge, Justice Peter Agumagu, by the National Judicial Council (NJC) as “judicial lawlessness”. Aturu spoke yesterday in Ilorin, Kwara State, at a public lecture organised by the University of Ilorin Law Students Society. He said: “I call on NJC to withdraw the query it issued to Agumagu because the query was offensive, uncalled for and an attempt to intimidate. “I think a body of emi-

Lagos to improve health delivery

AGOS State Commissioner for Health Jide Idris has assured residents of improved health service delivery. He said the Ministry is set to attain excellence and quality service in the health sector. Idris spoke at the opening of a two-day training for private and public laboratory scientists by the State Blood Transfusion Committee (LSBTC). The commissioner, who was represented by Taiwo Oyeleye, said: “We want to develop the skills of our stakeholders, improve service delivery and build capacity so that what they deliver to clients will be better and satisfactory.” Also speaking, LSBTC

•Fake Army personnel arrested

Govt raises panels on Orosanye Report, new GDP figures

By Olatunde Odebiyi chairman Adetoun AgbeDavies said the training will ensure the quality and safety of blood transfusion in the state. LSBTC Executive Secretary Modupe Olaiya said the workshop will improve the skills of the trainees to provide quality service. She said blood transfusion is a matter of life and death and those handling it must have the right skills. Country Director, Safe Blood for Africa, Idris Saliu called on government to pass blood transfusion into law. “There is no statistics on voluntary blood donors in the state but the blood we have is low in relation to the need for blood,” he said.

•Musdapher: all manner of judges in judiciary From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

nent jurists should not behave like that. “My position is that although the high court judge was wrong to have said the State Judicial Service Commission could recommend the chief judge, the NJC ought to have appealed that decision because it was party to that suit. “If NJC does not appeal and it is using its weight to suspend Agumagu, the NJC is abusing its office. That is trampling on the rule of law. “I think that is wrong because if NJC does that, then


it is going to create a reign of judicial anarchy and lawlessness. I think it is very disappointing. “My position is clear. The decision of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt suggesting that the state judiciary service commission has the constitutional power to make recommendation on who becomes the chief Judge is wrong in law. “This is because the law is clear that the state judicial service commission can only advise the NJC as to who can be appointed.

“So that aspect of the decision is wrong but the aspect of the decision that says all you require to become a chief judge is just to be a practising lawyer for 10 years is correct. “But there is a problem between the NJC and the governor on whether the NJC or the State Judicial Service Commission can recommend .” Former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Dahiru Musdapher said all manner of people find their way into the judiciary.

Justice Musdapher, who was the chairman of the occasion, said: “In those days, people do not even ask to be appointed judges. The mere fact that you asked to be appointed a judge, you have disqualified yourself. “That was the situation that was going on then. But things have changed. “All kinds of people find their ways into becoming judges. “Let us start thinking inward, what is decent and good about us and promote it all the time. Let us not always think of what is obtained in Europe. Let us start thinking inwards.”

Ibori: UK prosecutor calls for re-trial

HE travails of convicted former Delta State Governor James Ibori is not over. The prosecution in his confiscation trial yesterday urged a London Crown Court to allow a re-trial. The trial ended in December with the judge demanding appropriate evidence to allow him deliver judgment. British Crown Prosecutor Sasha Wass, at the resumed hearing, told the court that the prosecution desires to re-open trial in the confiscation suit. Wass told Judge Anthony Pitts that Ibori’s lawyers had changed their submissions, which “surprised and con-

By Precious Igbonwelundu

fused the prosecution, thereby preventing the prosecution from knowing where the case was leading”. He said the actions of the defence team prompted the prosecution to seek an adjournment in December for it to present more evidence to help the court in reaching a decision. But Ibori’s lead counsel Ivan Krolic (QC) objected to the argument on the basis that there was no precedent. Krolic told the court that the defence was against the prosecution’s request, because “the function of the court in confiscation hear-

ing is to consider which individual has benefited from proceeds of crime and to what amount”. “Your Honour has no jurisdiction to abort the earlier proceeding; we say the court should not continue to act where it has no jurisdiction,” said Krolic. According to him, the law prescribes that where a case is due for ruling, it should be concluded whether or not a party in the case has done its duties well. “It is not the duty of the court to aid any party in a suit or restart a case when convinced that one side in a suit has not adduced enough evidence to prove its point. “The suggestion by the

Crown that they were taken by surprise in my respectful submission is nonsense. The Crown could not have been surprised. “I cannot cross-examine the court, but if the court was surprised, it should not have been. “We say that the prosecution having closed its case should not be entitled to restart the same case. “The court has no powers to tell a party in a case that it has not produced enough evidence nor allow the party restart its case,” he stated. Judge Pitts adjourned till tomorrow after allowing Mrs. Udoamaka Okoronkwo as Ibori’s co-defendant.




Ukraine gives ultimatum to east’s activists


KRAINE's interior minister has warned pro-Russian activists who have taken over state buildings in eastern cities to enter talks to find a political solution or face "force". Arsen Avakov said the situation would "be resolved in 48 hours" either way. Earlier, some of those who had been inside security service offices in Luhansk since Sunday left the building. The EU, Russia, US and Ukraine are to meet next week in the first four-way meeting since the crisis erupted.

The talks are aimed at breaking the impasse since Russia annexed the southern Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in February. Russian troops are now massed along the borders of the two countries. In another development yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested state-controlled energy company Gazprom should make Ukraine pay up front for its gas, but said there should be "additional consultations" first. Ukraine, which is on the verge of bankruptcy, owes

Gazprom $2.2bn (£1.3bn) for natural gas supplies and recently missed a payment deadline. Daniel Sandford watched as President Putin met with top officials to discuss gas supplies Tensions have been high since government buildings in the eastern cities of Luhansk, Donetsk and Kharkiv were taken over by pro-Russian activists on Sunday. Mr Avakov said an "anti-terrorist operation" was under way in the three regions and would be concluded within

the next two days. "There are two options," he told journalists, " political settlement through talks or the use of force. "For those who want dialogue, we propose talks and a political solution. For the minority who want conflict they will get a forceful answer from the Ukrainian authorities." The leader of the armed activists inside the state security service building in Luhansk has appealed to President Putin for help.

Missing Malaysia plane: Search ‘regains recorder signal


EAMS searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane have reacquired signals that could be consistent with "black box" flight recorders. An Australian vessel heard the signals again on Tuesday afternoon and evening, the search chief said. Signals heard earlier had also been further analysed by experts who concluded they were from "specific electronic equipment", he said. Flight MH370 disappeared on 8 March, carrying 239 people.

LENTEN MESSAGE Theme: Father, take away my ‘buts’ N

AAMAN was a great man in the society. He had a record of gallantry, and was consequently a confidant of the King of Syria, because through him many victories had been won by Syria. One day however, his star became dim, his grace was replaced with disgrace and his honour turned to dishonour Naaman the great warrior was struck by a ‘but’ that he didn’t have the military expertise to deal with or overrun. He became an outcast in the society where he had a record of being honored, revered and celebrated. The ‘but’ turned the great man into an object of ridicule and shame. The Bible said that “when men are asleep, the enemy comes in the night and sows tares in the field” (Matthew 13:25). When tares are sown, they grow to manifest as ‘buts’. A ‘but’ reflects

Text: “ Now Naaman....... also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper.” (2 Kings 5:1) By The Revd. Henry O. Adelegan

in incidents of shame and ridicule; it is a problem that takes off God’s glory from the life of a person, gives reasons for sadness or regret concerning decisions that had been made years back or a good working or marital relationship suddenly turned sour or a mountain that has refused to move. A ‘but’ can also manifest in barrenness after a glamorous wedding, unemployment after a grandiose University convocation or enviable degree, a sickness or bad habit that is seem-

ingly incurable or a child that is giving parents lots of challenges etc. The good news however is that “it is for this purpose that the Son of man was manifested so that He can destroy the works of the devil’ (1 John 3:8b). Whenever the Son of man intervenes, He comes in with an axe that goes to the root of any satanic plantation, cuts off every unproductive tree and throws them into the fire. (Matthew 3:10). When He intervened at the wedding in Cana of Galilee, the obvious shame and ridicule of the family of Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, was turned to joy, amaze-

ment and celebration ( John 2:111). The day that Naaman had an encounter with the anointing, his story changed. After he obeyed by dipping his body inside the River Jordan seven times, the ‘but’ in his life was removed, all he had lost were restored and his body became like a baby (2 Kings 5:14; Jeremiah 32:27). Brethren, God has power to remove any ‘but’ that the enemy has introduced into the life of any of your close family or church member. What you need to do, during this time of Lent, is to ask Him to pardon you of all sins (John 6:37; Isaiah 1:18) and make a commitment to obey Him in all things like Naaman (Isaiah 1:19). I can assure you that God will open a new

It was travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it lost contact with air traffic controllers. Malaysian officials say that based on satellite data, they believe it ended its flight in the southern Indian Ocean, thousands of kilometres from its intended flight path. "I believe we are searching in the right area," said Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, who heads the joint agency co-ordinating the search. "But we need to visually identify aircraft wreckage before we can confirm with certainty that this is the final resting place of

Mass stabbing at US high school

A •Revd Adelegan

chapter of peace, love and joy for you, and all that you have lost to physical and spiritual warfare shall be restored to you in Jesus’ name. Prayers: Almighty God, I come to you during this season, forgive my sins, pardon all my shortcomings and I promise to obey you in all things. Father, touch the foundation of my life and uproot every ‘but’ from my life in the name of Jesus.

TEENAGER armed with two knives has gone on a rampage at a high school in the US state of Pennsylvania, injuring 19 students and a security guard. The 16-year-old student was taken into custody at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, a suburb of Pittsburgh, police said. The wounded, some with serious stab wounds to the torso, were as young as 14. Several were in surgery in hospital. All are expected to survive. Eight patients were transported to nearby Forbes Regional Hospital, three of whom had suffered severe injuries. Two of those patients were in critical condition, while up to four were expected to recover from superficial wounds, Dr Mark Rubino told reporters.

NEWS Senate passes N4.69tr 2014 budget Continued from page 4

still a worrying recurring decimal for our economy. “Unspent funds that are rolled over into the economy only make a mockery of development, which is a dire necessity across the nation. Government must be seen to be taking steps to improve on this. “The 2014 Budget, which is described as one of job creation and inclusive growth, deserves to urgently rise to the occasion to defend itself, in view of the yawning gap between employment created and the army of the unemployed.” There was a mild drama when Senator Ahmad Lawan (Yobe North), through a point of order, observed that though lawmakers complained about the N2billion intervention fund proposed for the Northeast states, the amount was passed as proposed. Senate President David Mark replied that no change could be made in the report before the Senate. Mark said further representations would be made to the executive to remedy the situation. The Senate President also urged the executive to ensure that they adhere strictly implementation of the budget as passed.

He said: “I hope the Executive would work as hard as we have done and make sure they strictly implement the budget as passed.” The budget’s highlights are: Statutory Transfers N408,687,801,891.00, Debt Service - N712billion, Recurrent Expenditure N2,454,887,566,702.00, Capital Expenditure N1,119,614,631,407.00, Aggregate Expenditure N4,695,190,000,000.00, SURE-P - N268,370billion. The approved budget also contained N373.53billion for Education, N314.34billion for Defence/Ministry of Defence/ Army/Air Force/Navy; N295.561billion for Police Formation and Commands; 214.946billion for Health, N145.021billion for Interior and N106,321billion for Works. It also included Presidential Amnesty Programme N63,281billion and N7billion for the National Dialogue, among others. Members of the House of Representatives suspended plenary yesterday for two hours and locked themselves in a room for a crucial meeting over the 2014 budget. The all-parties meeting was convened by the leadership of

the House to persuade members to pass the N4.642 trillion 2014 budget today, ahead of a proposed two-week Easter break. The meeting, which began a few minutes past 10 am, lasted till 12:40. Members emerged from the meeting, some with smiles; others with frowns on their faces. The closed- door meeting caused yesterday’s plenary to begin at 12:45pm instead of the usual 11:am. The N4.6 trillion budget has gone through second reading on the floor of the House and committees have worked on it after sessions with the MDAs under their watch. The Speaker of the House, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, eventually persuaded the members to agree on passing the budget today, “ in the interest of the nation” after contentious issues surrounding the budget was sorted out at the closed-door meeting, a source said. Members complained during the first and second readings of the N4.642 trillion Appropriation Bill about its over 70 percent recurrent /overhead and with meagre vote for capital/infrastructure, which stands at less than 30 percent. The All Progressives Congress (APC) had flayed the budget proposal submitted by the Presidency to the National Assembly last

December, on the high recurrent component and the deficit of over N1trillion. The party, in the wake of the Rivers State crisis, said its members in the National Assembly should block the passage of the 2014 budget. Though many members are of the opinion that most of the conditions given the Presidency by the party has been met, the leadership of the House was said to have this at the back of its mind when it convened yesterday’s meeting. However, some members were alleged to have given a condition that passing the budget would be sequel to the payment of their quarterly allowances. They were said to have been pacified by the Speaker who assured them that it would be taken care of soon. Many of the lawmakers were confident yesterday that the budget will be passed today following the resolution of their differences on the budget issue. Yesterday, the Chairman of the House committee on Appropriations, Hon. John Enoh (PDP, Cross River), laid the budget report before the House Speaker Aminu Tambuwal urged his colleagues to attend the sitting today to consider and pass the budget.

Boko Haram: Security stops IBB, Buhari, Sultan, others

Continued from page 4

an environment at any given period, a clear and concise advice is given. Another source said security agencies do not want the VIPs to be caught in the crossfire between troops and the insurgents. He cited Senator Ali Ndume whose convoy was sighted by Air Force jet fighters. He was asked to stop and he did, when

it was confirmed who he was, he was waved on. The convoy was almost picked up as that of the insurgents. Another source also said security agencies had been providing cover for some of these personalities. “In fact, some of these leaders apply for escorts whenever it is necessary to visit their states and they are usually given by security agencies”, he said.

Many former-governors, senators and members of the House of Representatives enjoy such services. Among them is a former governor in the Northeast who was once quizzed on alleged link with Boko Haram. “This is to show you that both the military and security agencies are unbiased against any individual or person,” the source said, pleading not to be named because the matter is

“sensitivity”. Another source said: “I think your enquiries border on what I may call routine process but we are paying attention to the situation in the Northeast and movement of these VIPs. “At least, we have increased exchange of movement between security detail of some of these personalities, including exHeads of State, with relevant agencies.”

Zamfara killings: Community accuses police of complicity Continued from page 4

bent on inflicting mass starvation on people by chasing them away from their farmland. Dansadau said the invaders who meet regularly under the auspices of cattle rearers union warned residents through the Emir and the police to desist from holding meetings on how to protect their farmland. He said one of the leaders of the cattle rearers union openly boasted that the union was “responsible for the killing of 19 people in Lingyado on 1st October, 2011; the killing of 23 people in Dangulbi on 10th June, 2011 and 21 people in Kabaro on 30th October, 2012.” Dansadau said the union threatened that “if the state government does not provide them with sufficient grazing reserve, they will continue to kill people in the area”. The cattle rearers’ union, he said, told the Zamfara State government to warn the farmers to stay away from the farmland. He said the April 5 massacre confirmed that the bandits had carried out their threat. Dansadau said it was important for Nigerians to know that over 70 per cent of those killed in the latest orgy of “unprovoked and mindless killings were innocent and unsuspecting people on a market day of the community and in a premeditated plan of the blood thirsty hoodlums”. He said the assailants divided themselves into two. According to him, while one group invaded the meeting venue of the farmers and shot into the participants, another “went to the market and shot at any thing and anybody in sight, kill-

ing, maiming and wreaking havoc”. He said the police in Zamfara, particularly in Dansadau Division, treated the burgeoning genocide with scant attention while “the Emir of Dansadau in whose domain the dastardly event happened has strangely been nonchalant about the plight of the people.” The people of Dansadau, he said, are convinced that the police and the Emir misled the state government to have wrong impressions about the events in the area. Dansadau noted that his people do not need any relief materials from the Federal Government. What they want, he said, is for President Goodluck Jonathan to sack the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, for “negligence of duty”. The IGP, he said, failed to protect lives and property of Dansadau people. The people also demanded the immediate sack of Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 10, state commissioner of police and the divisional police officer in charge of Dansadau Emirate for their alleged complicity in the April 5 killings. The people also demanded compensation for lives and property lost during the mayhem. Dansadau said his people wanted a security summit for Zamfara State where ordinary people will have the opportunity to convey their grievances to the government. Dansadau said if their demands were not met, the people would be forced to employ the services of human rights advocates to advance their cause.




•Action in the explosive Champions League match between Manchester United and Bayern Munich on Wednesday night

United bow out to Bayern


ANCHESTER UNITED failed to reproduce their comeback heroics of 1999 as they crashed out of thev Champions League despite a spirited effort at the Allianz Arena. United fans started dreaming of another Champions League triumph against the Germans when Patrice Evra put the visitors 1-0 up on the night, but the lead lasted just 22 seconds as Bayern claimed a reasonably comfortable win. The Germans dominated possession for most of the evening and ran out 3-1 winners on the night thanks

to goals from Mario Mandzukic, Thomas Muller and the superb Arjen Robben. David Moyes’ men spent nearly all the first period in their own half as Bayern launched wave after wave of attack. It would have been so different had Wayne Rooney playing with a pain-killing injection in his toe not fluffed two easy chances. Evra’s sweet half-volley led to raucous celebrations from the United bench, but slack defending allowed Mandzukic to score and it was the same story moments later when Muller beat David

de Gea after gaining a yard on Nemanja Vidic. Then Robben, a constant thorn in Bayern’s side, got the goal he deserved, beating Evra and Vidic for pace before planting the ball into the corner. Moyes’ game plan, as predicted by opposite number Pep Guardiola, of trying to contain Bayern and hit them on the attack, worked for the best part of an hour thanks to some solid defending. But in the end Bayern’s class was too much. The fact that the German side could field such a stellar line-up when two of their most prominent players

- Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez - were suspended shows how big a gulf remains between these two sides. It also reinforces just how much Moyes needs to spend to turn his team into worldbeaters who belong in the European elite, rather than plucky battlers. They will not be able to take on the likes of Bayern again next year. This was the last realistic chance they had to qualify for the Champions League and the valiant performance in Bavaria will not put a gloss on what has been a dour season under Moyes.

NFF, LMC officials in Abidjan for FIFA seminar


FFICIALS of the Nigeria Football Federation(NFF) are involved in a two-day ‘Integrity in Sport Workshop for West Africa’ seminar taking place in Abidjan, capital of Cote d’Ivoire. Director of Technical, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme, just back from a FIFA seminar in South Africa that also involved NFF President Aminu Maigari and General Secretary Musa

Amadu, is attending the seminar in Abidjan alongside Director of Competitions, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, Super Eagles’ Assistant Coach Daniel Amokachi, Mr. Shehu Dikko of the League M a n a g e m e n t Company(LMC) and Dr. Christian Emeruwa, Special Assistant to NFF General Secretary. The regional workshop, which is organised by world

football-governing body, FIFA, with the theme, ‘Tackling Match-Fixing and Corruption in Football’, has the objectives of developing knowledge and understanding of the global threat from match-fixing and rregular/illegal betting and its impact at regional and national levels; identifying current good practice and ways of preventing match-fixing and corruption

in football and more effectively protect the future of the game and; further encouraging global, regional and national bodies associated with football to work together more effectively in partnerships, regularly sharing information and taking action to prevent match-fixing. The seminar starts on Thursday, April 10 and ends on Friday, April 11.

Alhaji Aminu Balele said on Wednesday that Nigeria football will benefit tremendously from the partnership.

“We are talking about development of infrastructure and programmes in educating our coaches and administrators. The beautiful

thing is that this is not only for the Nigeria Football Federation. The various Clubs within the country will also benefit.”

NFF, Orlean Invest partner on football development


HE Nigeria Football Federation will on Thursday sign a memorandum of understanding with an oil services firm, Orlean Invest West Africa Limited. Officials said on Wednesday that the partnership with the Port Harcourt -based firm will drive development in the area of infrastructure, education and organisation of Nigeria football. As a first step, Orlean Invest West Africa is set to provide for free,three playing pitches, including an artificial turf, for the Nigeria Football Federation. The signing ceremony at the Media Centre of the National Stadium, Abuja on Thursday afternoon will have in attendance President of Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, a number of NFF Executive Committee members and Management, as well as chieftains of Orlean Invest, which has extensive influence in Italy and Croatia. The company’s consultant,

Elegbeleye declares open FIFA elite course


HE Director General of National Sports Commission( N S C ) , Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye on Wednesday in Abuja declared open this year’s FIFA Member Associations Elite Course for referees, technical instructors, referee assessors and physical fitness instructors. At a ceremony inside the Media Centre of the National Stadium Complex,Elegbeleye charged the participants to be studious in order to grow quickly in the profession, expressing excitement at their youthfulness. “I am happy seeing most of you being so young. It means that the future is indeed very bright for Nigerian refereeing. You must be diligent and study hard, remain fit, alert and committed to the profession.” NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, who was represented

by Chairman of NFF Media and Publicity Committee, Chief Emeka Inyama, praised world football-governing body, FIFA for making Nigeria one of very few countries to benefit from the elite course twice a year. “FIFA’s support and encouragement for this course, has been underscored each year with the sending of some of its best hands in refereeing instruction business to come to Nigeria and impart uncommon knowledge to our referees, referee assessors and technical instructors.” There are seven technical instructors, 37 referee assessors, 30 elite referees and 14 physical fitness instructors attending the five-day course. Speaking at the event, renowned former FIFA referee Lim Kee Chong from

Mauritius encouraged Nigeria referees to believe in themselves and aim higher always.


Morocco holds Flying Eagles


OSTS Morocco forced Nigeria’s Flying Eagles to a 2-2 draw in a friendly at the National Sports Centre in Rabat in a friendly on Wednesday. The Flying Eagles twice led through Alhassan Ibrahim aka Mu-azam in the second half, before skipper Arjoune Omar drew the home team level in stoppage time. The Flying Eagles dominated the first half even after the hosts settled quicker than them. After just four minutes Flying Eagles goalkeeper Emeka Nwabulu was forced to make a save off a free-kick. Ifeanyi Matthew then had several chances to put Nigeria in front but his shots either were too weak or missed target within the first 18 minutes. Taiwo Awoniyi then rounded up the Morocco goalkeeper in the 14th minute but somehow the opposing defence cleared to safety. Muazam’s effort was then cleared off the goalline in the

28th minute and five minutes later, the striker’s shot missed by a whisker. In first half stoppage time, Awoniyi wasted a glit-edged chance as the Flying Eagles bossed the game. Abdullahi Alfa ought to have opened scoring for Nigeria five minutes after the break but he chose to sky his shot wide off target when he was left all alone with goalkeeper Majid Aymane. Muazam finally broke the deadlock after 64 minutes with a gentle tap in from close range, but almost immediately Morocco drew level when skipper Wilfred Ndidi put a low cross into his own net. Nwabulu made a big save for Nigeria in the 74th minute and then both Muazam and Matthew came close to regaining the Eagles lead. Muazam then scored his brace in the 81st minute, before skipper Omar salvage a result for the Junior Lion Atlas in stoppage time with a near post header.

Glo lauds Giwa, Nembe’s Return to Premier League ITLE sponsor of the


Nigeria Premier League, Globacom, has described the readmission of Nembe City of Bayelsa and Giwa FC of Jos to the league as a right step in the right directioný. Both clubs were banned by the League Management Company (LMC) from participating in the elite league after they failed to meet the pre-requisite standards for participation. But they got a reprieve a fortnight ago after the LMC stamped their re-entry upon meeting the conditions set for their managements. Globacom said that the decision is “good for the development of football in Nigeria.” “With the formal reabsorption of the two clubs in the league, the NPL will now have the full complement of the 20 clubs to guarantee a stifferý competition among the clubs this season,” Globacom said on Tuesday in a statement in Lagos. “The fans would not have had the benefit of witnessing a newly promoted side like Giwa FC trading tackles with the legendary Rangers International FC of Enugu last week. The result of that

encounter shows that the underdogs are becoming giant killers. We believe that this year’s league will produce quality teams and players in Nigeria,” the statement added. “We are now witnessing an era where any team can win anywhere, home or away. We believe this will make the league to attract more local and international attention,” the statement further said. As the League enters Week six this weekend, Kano Pillars will hope to stop visiting Taraba United from causing an upset in Kano, same as El Kanemi who will host Lobi Stars in the former’s temporary home in Kano. Dolphins will lock horns with visiting Enugu Rangers in Port Harcourt. Host Kaduna United will ensure the boys are really united to stop victorythirsty Heartland of Owerri, while Gombe United will attempt to feast on Sharks at the Patami Stadium, Gombe. In what looks like the battle of Bayelsans, Nembe City will host Bayelsa Unitedý. Sunshine Stars and Warri Wolves will jostle for the maximum points at the Akure Stadium.








Ooni, Alake to grace 10th Ademiluyi tennis tourney


•Koke of Atletico Madrid celebrates scoring the only goal of the night against Barcelona.Inset: Neymar and Messi dejected


TLETICO Madrid hit new heights in their incredible season when Koke’s goal secured a 2-1 aggregate success against Barcelona on Wednesday that put Atletico into the last four of Europe’s elite club competition for the first time in 40 years. The stunning 1-0 victory at an electric Calderon stadium fol-

Atletico Madrid sends Barcelona packing lowed last week’s 1-1 draw in Barcelona in their Champions League quarter-final, first leg and denied Barca a recordextending seventh consecutive appearance in the last four.

Ezeamama vows to transform FHA tennis club


S the countdown to the Presidential election of the FHA Tennis Club Festac Town Intensifies, one of the leading candidates, Models Ezeamama said he intends to consolidate on the giant strides recorded on the current administration led by outgoing president, Okey Agu. Ezeamama who is the current Vice President stated this during a chat with newsmen at the club house in FestacTown. He revealed that he will achieve his dream of taking the club to greater height within the first six month of his admistration “I have lot of things to give to this club. I have been a member of this club for the last 15 years which has given me enough experirnce to manage the club”. As a former treasurer, Assistant captain and captain who have devoted so much I intend to leave a lasting legacy. He said he wants to provide more facilities at the club . “My plan is to build a Squash Court, provide interlock on our driveway. We are planning to

build a pavillion and also provide a training wall for members, we will bring more Cooperate bodies to our club. We will equip the gym with modern equipment and total renovation of the bar and club house. I am also planning to incoporate other game like Squash, Dart etc. Ezeamama said his administation will make welfare of members top priority. “I am looking forward to have a 1000 member of this club and that is why welfare of member is a top priority for us . As the number one tennis playing Club in the country, we are going to play more local and international tournament with other tennis clubs in Nigeria and outside the country. He denied insinnuation that he has been approach to step down for other candidate. “ In the past I have stepped down twice due to pressure by members but now everybody is backing me to run and have received support from 95Percent of members.

Ali Baba others set to fight malaria through soccer


HE 2nd Edition of the World Malaria Day Novelty Football Match Initiative between Comedians and On Air Personalities has been scheduled for Sunday, 27th April at the Campos mini stadium Lagos Island. According the chief executive officer of 3ra’fique Communications, Irabor Okosun, the initiative is tagged ‘Join the Cast’ which is also in partnership with Veteran Ace Comedian, ALIBABA GCFR, and 3ra’fique Communications. “The football tourney is aimed at leveraging on the appeal of soccer to galvanize mobilization within communities against Malaria,” Okosun said. Meanwhile, several comedians have been enlisted for the match: AliBaba, Okey Bakassi, Julius Agwu, AY, Bovi, Akpororo, Owen Gee, Buchi, MC Prince, LaFUp and Sir Jeff.

By Stella Bamawo On-Air-Personalities facing the comedians in the epic match include Mannie, Yaw, Frank Edoho, Dayo D1 Adeneye, Toyin Ibitoye, Colin Udoh, Femi and the Gang, Jide Alabi, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, D.O.2D.T.U.N and many more as they contribute to championing the universal theme for Malaria – INVEST IN In the same vein, there will also be a free malaria testing and counselling at Silverbird Galleria and Ikeja City Mall from Tuesday, April 22 – Friday, April 25, 2014. Health workers and medical professionals from the Society for Family Health, Sacred Heart Clinics and the Lagos State Ministry of Health will be on ground to provide these services to whoever comes by.

A fired-up Atletico blew Barca away in the opening 20 minutes and after midfielder Koke volleyed in from close range in the fifth minute former

Barca forward David Villa twice hit the crossbar. Barca showed more intensity and had their chances in the second half against an ex-

hausted Atletico but the home side held out with inspirational coach Diego Simeone willing them on from his technical area.

Promoting the game of Golf in Real Estate


HE world over, stories of nations and communities are usually woven round individuals. This has always been the epic tale of men and women whose actions or inactions affect the future of their nation, community or group positively or negatively. Thus, their exploits become history which would be passed from generation to generation. This is the case of BodeAdediji, an estate surveyor and valuer and Group Executive Chairman, Bode Adediji Partnership (BAP).Come April 11 and 12, 2014, the SmokinHill Golf andCountry Club, IlaraMokin, near Akure, Ondo State will play host to the 1st BAP real estate Bi-ennial golf (PRO-AM) tournament. It is being organised and sponsored by Bode AdedijiPartnership (BAP), a firm of estate surveyors, valuers and property consultants based in Lagos, Nigeria.According to the tournament’s programme schedule, the professionals

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie (PRO) will play on Friday April 11 while the amateur (AM) will play both Friday afternoon and Saturday, April 12. Bode Adediji, who is a great lover of the game of golf disclosed that “players and spectators will have the opportunity of having a facility tour of a most unique landmark in Africa, where a first -class university campus is sited next door to a first class golf court”.Adediji who is a fellow and past president of the Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, NIESV, emphasized that the tournament is to showcase the best golf courses in Africa to the Nigerian public as well as demonstrating that “golf is real estate and real estate is golf”The Smokin Hill golf Court, Ilara-Ilokin, is says, as promoted and developed by Elizade group because of the passion of the chairman, Chief Michael Ade-Ojo, for the game of golf.It could be recalled that Bode Adediji, then the Honorary

national Secretary of NIESV facilitated and coordinated the first NIESV national real estate Golf tournament held at the instance of the national council during its 27th annual conference and general meeting, tagged “OLUOYE97” at Ibadan, Oyo state. Since then, the tournament which attracted quite a large number of whois-who in the nation’s real estate and the building construction industry, has today become an integral part of the yearly conference and annual general meetings of the nation’s estate surveyors and valuers.It therefore, becomes imperative to ask the question: “What has the game of golf got to do with real estate and urban infrastructural development? A lot, Adediji responded. According to him, it is an established fact that the aim of the game of golf is adjudged as a strategic sport in terms of leisure and investment worldwide.

NNPC/SHELL Cup enters q/final stage


HE quarter finals of the NNPC/Shell Cup will hold in 4 cities across the country on Saturday and Sunday, April 12th and 13th, 2014. All matches will be played at the venues from 4:00pm each day. At the Shagamu stadium, BrightVille College, Ibadan that performed well during the zonal preliminaries at the Osogbo center by clinching the sole quarter final ticket at the expense of other contenders, will lock horns with Randolph Comprehensive College, Port Harcourt, another very enterprising team in the Championship. Spectators will surely be treated to scintillating soccer display from these young talents going by their performances at the zonal preliminaries. Also, at the Stella Maris College playground in Port Harcourt, the struggle for semi finals ticket is between St. Thomas Basic Secondary School, Benin, Anglican Secondary School, Makurdi and Etinan Community

Secondary School, Uyo. It would be recalled that St. Thomas Basica Secondary School was the overall champions of the competition in 2003. They would be aiming for a repeat performance with the quarter final matches in Port Harcourt once again. The Bako Kotangora Stadium, Minna will host the quarter final matches between Government Secondary School, Kopyal Bokos, Plateau State, Government Day Secondary School, Gandu, Gombe State and Dangogo Secondary School, Bungudu, Zamfara State. Only one school will emerge for the semi finals. Of all the three, only Plateau State have not gone past the quarter finals in the history of the championship. Although with different school, Zamfara state lost to Edo in the 2003 finals while, Gombe state have won the NNPC/Shell Cup Trophy in 2006 through Government Science Technical College. Meanwhile, the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna is also battle ready for the ononslaught between

Government Model School, Kotangora, Niger State and Government Day Secondary School,Dange, Sokoto State. The two semi final matches of the championship is scheduled to hold on Friday, April 25th at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos while the third place and final matches will hold on Sunday, April 27th at the same venue.

ONI of life, Oba Okunade Sijuwade and the Alake of Egba land, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo are royal fathers expected to grace the 10th Prince Joseph Ademunmi Ademiluyi Foundation Tennis Championships grand finale on Saturday. However, about twenty children from the Lagos Country Club under the age of fifteen will participate at the tournament at the Tennis section of the Lagos Country Club Host of the tournament, Prince Ademola Ademiluyi confirmed that this year’s edition tagged “A decade of the Tennis Foundation” is going to be a landmark edition, that will give opportunity to restate the worthy founding objectives of the foundation. In his words, “Since the foundation was set up, it has made impact infusing the principles of sportsmanship into another generation which has led to better facilities and a greater funding for youth development across the board”. Chairman of the Lagos Country Club Tennis Section, Mr. Ayo Olarenwaju added that the tournament which started ten years ago is a fulfillment of the bequest in the Will of Late Dr. Prince Ademiluyi, which encapsulates the desire to develop the game of Tennis in the Club and Nigeria in general. Olarenwaju said “His foundation and the management committee of the Tennis Section, Lagos Country Club have jointly organised yearly the Dr. Prince Joseph Adewunmi Ademiluyi Tournament for Children of members of the Lagos Country Club Ikeja.” “Through the tournament, a number of the children have developed great interest in the game of tennis, with the result that many are now playing excellent tennis and on the way to becoming future champions of the game in Nigeria” he added. However, Foundation Coordinator Mr Yinka Alakija stressed that prizes to be won will complement their children’s growing up, as cash prices will not be welcomed to avoid losing their amateur eligibility. In his words” At any time by international standard, if any of this kids accept cash they will lose their amateur eligibility, they could be given presents worth millions but If given cash and its accepted and kept on record they have lost their amateur eligibility, so rather than give cash to the kids, they will be given gifts”.


VOL. 9, NO. 2,814

TOMORROW IN THE NATION ‘Some of the flaws in the SSS/Army operation as highlighted in NHRC's report should not be discountenanced by our security operatives to avoid making the same mistakes in future. Thank you, NHRC for affirming the innocence of these innocent souls. May they get justice no matter how long it takes’ LAWAL OGIENAGBON



ONTRARY to widespread scepticism and apprehensions, the National Conference in Abuja got off to a good start. The initial hiccup over voting procedure on the decisions or resolutions of the conference has been amicably resolved by consummate tact and diplomacy, with both sides accepting a compromise. Instead of the 75 percent of minimum votes that Northern delegates had asked for to block decisions they may not like, and the two thirds that most of the Southern delegates had demanded, the conference settled for 70 per cent of delegates voting on any contentious issues on which a consensus cannot be reached. This is a fair deal. The plenary session has also gone quite well. The Chairman of the Conference, Justice Kutigi, has earned the confidence and respect of the delegates at the conference, essential for its success. With the exception of the controversial speech at the plenary by the Lamido of Adamawa threatening secession, which was denounced by many delegates, including some Northern delegates, most of the other interventions at the plenary have been forthright, responsible, and sober, reflecting the mood and hopes of the public that this conference will be successful. It has to be as it may well be the last chance for Nigeria to secure its future as one united and prosperous nation. The selection of committee chairmen and vice chairmen caused some sharp disagreement. But this too has been resolved. There has been no real threat so far of secession, although the idea is never too far from the surface.



Confab: Good start, but bumpy road ahead

A bumpy road ahead.

However, the road ahead of the conference is likely to be bumpy. It will require a display of statesmanship on all sides to resolve some of the thorny issues that will emerge at the conference. Both at plenary and at the committee level, where the really important work and trade offs will be done, great tact and diplomacy will be needed to move the conference forward and avoid its total collapse, with some regional delegates walking out of the conference. Among the contentious issues likely to emerge as the conference progresses are the formula for the sharing of the national revenue, state control of natural resources, the demand for state police, federal/state relations, presidential vs. parliamentary system of government, the future role of ethnic nationalities in the nation, the demand for the restructuring of the country into six regional zones as the basic unit of governance in the country and the demand for the creation of more states in the federation. Some of these issues are more contentious and important than others.

Resource Control.

Of these, the most difficult and contentious is the sharing among the centre and the states



Honestly I just wonder how they’ll face MESSI.

•Justice Kutigi

of the federally collectible revenue. Currently, the federal government gets about 51 per cent of these national revenues, while the 36 states, plus Abuja, and over 700 local governments together receive the balance of only 49 per cent. By any standards, the federal share is much too large and has been a sore point with the Southern states where there is a strong demand for a significant reduction in the federal share of the national revenue. Although there is really no regional or party consensus on this among the delegates, most of the Southern states would prefer that revenue allocation be based on the principle of derivation, as was the case in 1960 when Nigeria became independent. At that time, the annual budgets of the Western and Eastern regions of the country were both bigger than those of the federal government, to which the three regions made financial contributions. It was during the

long period of military rule in Nigeria that the federal share of national revenue increased dramatically to the point now where its share is more than that of all the other governments of the federation combined. But most Northern delegates are not too keen on any radical change in the formula for revenue allocation. It suits the Northern states. There is no justification for this gross financial imbalance between the federal and the states at all, and the states are right to demand a larger share of the federally collectible revenue. It may be argued that Nigeria needs a strong central (federal) government and that this requires adequate financial resources at the centre to successfully run the country. But over the years, the federal government has not really succeeded in doing so despite the huge financial resources at its disposal at the expense of the states and local governments. Instead, the nation is in a far worse state now than it was at independence, when the share of the federal government in the national revenue was less than 30 per cent. Besides, the reduction of the economic activities of the federal government, through the strategy of privatisation and withdrawal from state sponsored commercial enterprises, should also lead to a reduction in its financial commitments. These should now be confined to security and the improvement of social and physical infrastructure in the nation. It is in the states that more funds are needed to improve the standard of living of the people. That is where new jobs, in huge demand, can be created, not at the federal level, where there has been a colossal financial recklessness and mismanagement. Less federal funds should also lead to less corruption and financial profligacy at the centre. The Southern states, particularly the oil bearing states, want to be in control of their oil resources and will, as usual, ask again for not less than 50 per cent of the federally collectible revenue, as they did at the 2005 national political reform conference in which I participated as a federal delegate.



HAT has the job of a junior minister in the department of defence got to do with lands and housing? We ask, what is he doing defending the indefensible when he should be working with his superior minister on how to stop the menace of Boko Haram, arrest the kidnap of his mentors' family members or how he should work with the national security adviser to broker peace with a disquieted corps of service chiefs? Rather Musiliu Obanikoro, a failed governorship candidate in Lagos State, has morphed from electoral disaster of his own to fighting to bring misfortune to the lives of people he contested to save in his previous incarnation. How can we say he means well when a land that has already been set aside to give shelter to over a thousand souls is giving him sleepless nights in his elite mansion? Was that why he contested for the same position in 2007? So he wanted to deprive

The Northern delegation will oppose this as it did in 2005, offering 19 per cent instead, which the South -eastern delegates rejected. It was on this issue that the 2005 conference broke down completely. This scenario of the wide divergence between the Northern delegation and the South- eastern delegation over revenue sharing is likely to repeat itself, unless the two sides in the dispute are able to work out a suitable and mutually acceptable compromise. This will be difficult to achieve and may lead to the total collapse of the conference.

State Police.

The creation of state police is another controversial issue. Many of the states, particularly in the South, want state police to check the extensive coercive powers of the centre, often used to harass and intimidate the opposition parties. The recent conflict between the Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, and Mr. Mbu, the former Commissioner of Police in the state, shows what use the federal authorities can make of the Nigerian Police which it controls exclusively. Thinking of a reversion of political power to the North in future, Northern delegates are not keen on state police. But Nigeria is the only federal state that runs a single federal police. The police should now be defederalised so that states that want to create their own police force can do so. There will no doubt be some abuse of the state police by governors. But such abuse will be no worse than the current abuse of the Nigeria Police by the federal government. But here again, there is a conflict between the Northern and Southern delegations that could end in a deadlock. I think Nigeria will be better policed by a multiple police force instead of a single police that has become corrupt, inept and incompetent. The creation of state police will enable the federal police focus better on the current and increasing internal security threats to the nation. Though still contentious, it should not be too difficult to reach a consensus on most of the other issues, such as the creation of more states (unlikely), the replacement of the existing presidential system by a Westminster model or the cumbersome restructuring of the country into six administrative zones, for which there is little support in the country. The fact of the matter is that whatever the attractions might be, these proposed changes are no longer feasible. The states are here to stay. It will be difficult now to dissolve them. And responsibilities for the creation of new local governments should be turned over to the states. It should not be a federal matter at all. There is a limit to how far and how often the Constitution should be amended or changed. The problem of Nigeria is not really the Constitution but an inept, incompetent and corrupt leadership, a drag on the nation. • For comments, send SMS to 08054503031

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Is Obanikoro a true Lagosian?

the homeless of their deserved roofs over their heads. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, the Lagos State governor, who bested him in that election and walloped his party's candidate the second time, said he has documents to show that the federal government handed to Lagos State the Ilubirin property where the housing complex will be erected. But rather than follow decency by first consulting with the government, he deployed military men to occupy the place. He had the option of going to court first. He did not. Is he minister of invasion of lands and housing? Is it a case of Obanikoro bringing his office as a minister of defence to tackle lands that belong to the people? Is that the way he defines his position as junior minister of defence? To attack, they say, is a form of defence. That is Obanikoro's

way of showing that he is the defender of the mandate. That is the act of the coward who would not fight until he thinks he has seen a perceived lazy man. Lagos State does not have control of the armed forces. The federal government does. Lagos State does not control the police. The federal government does in our skewed federalism. Is it not the proper thing to do for a Jonathan administration that believes in due process to take the matter to court? Rather "Koro," as he is called, has taken arms before the law. Yet he will claim he is a true Lagosian. Maybe he is a Lagosian by birth. He is certainly not a Lagosian by heart or in spirit. His style to Lagos is perfidy, and Lagos loves those who love them. "Koro" is made of a different stripe.

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:08099365644, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. Port Harcourt Office: 12/14, Njemanze Street, Mila 1, Diobu, PH. 08023595790. WEBSITE: E-mail: ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

April 10, 2014  
April 10, 2014  

April 10,2014 Publication for The Nation Newspapers