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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

News Majekodunmi: Jonathan, governors, others pay tribute P5 Sports Joel Obi’s injury a blow for Inter, says manager P24 Business N32b more takes recovered pension cash to N183b P57


VOL. 7, NO. 2092 FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2012


Boko Haram boasts in video From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja


HE Boko Haram sect leader, Abubakar Shekau, has told the Federal Government that it can never destroy the group blamed for hundreds of killings. He spoke on an online video posted yesterday. News of the video broke as Boko Haram killed five people in an attack on a Maiduguri market in Borno State. The 14-minute video on YouTube showed Shekau in a white robe, with gunmen holding Kalashnikov rifles around him. A heavy machine gun leaned against a wall as he spoke, first in Arabic and later in Hausa. Shekau said President Jonathan would be unable to stop the group’s attacks. “Jonathan, you the helpless, we heard that you intend and want to destroy us, but this talk is useless when it is said by an infidel because only God can destroy us,” Shekau said in Arabic. “Until now, nobody was able to do that (destroy us), and you too will not be able to do anything, with God’s help.” The North has been under increasing atContinued on page 4

•The crippling traffic on the Marina ... yesterday.


Traffic jam chokes Lagos as First Lady visits


OW do you know when the First Lady is in town? A massive traffic jam, sweating commuters and several manhours wasted. So it was in Lagos yesterday. Lagos Island was groan-

By Eric Ikhilae and Tajudeen Adebanjo

ing under a crippling traffic jam that paralysed business and sent many trekking. First Lady Patience Jonathan was visiting – to thank women for voting her husband in last year’s elec-

tion. Security operatives closed down some sections of roads in the nation’s business and financial capital. The resultant traffic jam extended beyond the Island to Mainland Lagos. It did not subside until early evening.

Dame Jonathan visited the Lagos monarch, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, at his palace on Wednesday. The traffic situation became more difficult in the afternoon as movement became difficult. From Ozumba Mbadiwe

Road, Ahmadu Bello Way (on Victoria Island) through Alfred Rewane Road (formerly Kingsway Road), Awolowo Road (in Ikoyi); Catholic Mission Street, through Igbosere Road and Continued on page 4

•Mrs Jonathan ... yesterday

Nigeria is going broke, says Okonjo-Iweala $3.6b left in excess crude account From Nduka Chiejina, Abuja

N •Dr Okonjo-Iweala

IGERIANS got yesterday a rare insight into this country’s financial health. But the news is not cheery. The country is going broke, with only $3.6 billion left in the excess crude account, Finance Minister Dr Ngozi

FACTS AND FIGURES total debt $40b •Nigeria’s profile as at Sept 2011 $34.4b •Domestic debt ratio to export -5% •Debt earnings borrowing $7b •Expected for major projects

$5.63b •External debt service 19.6% •Debt ratio to GDP debt service in N540b •Total 2002 reserves as $35.23b •External at March 2012

•Nigeria’s $40b total debt profile, which is 19.6 per cent of her Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is still sustainable given the fact that the global standard for all countries in Nigeria’s Peer Group is that total debt to GDP should be 40%

Okonjo-Iweala said. The Coordinating Minister for the Economy (CME) spoke when she

met with members of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Abuja to discuss the government’s transforma-

tion agenda. In her view, governors’ insistence on sharing every revenue is unhealthy for the country. With just $3.6 billion left in the excess crude account after withdrawals to augment monthly allocations to the three tiers of government, Dr OkonjoIweala warned that “should the price of oil drop, we have no cushion”. “The $3.6 billion in the excess crude account is not enough to sustain Nigeria for any period of time,” she said. Following the governors’ determination to share everything that comes Continued on page 4





Is the World The World Bank has never had a female president. That could all change if Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi OkonjoIweala beats out her two male competitors in the ongoing race for the top job


•Governor Babatunde Fashola (third left) during the Free State-wide Hypertension and Diabetes Screening and Awareness programme organized by the Ministry of Health held at the Secretariat of Ikosi Isheri Local Council Development Area, Ikosi Ketu, Lagos... With him are: Special Adviser, Public Health Dr. Yewande Adesina (left) and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health Dr. Femi Olugbile (second left). PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES

•Governor Ibikunle Amosun (third left), Ogun State Commissioner for Health Dr. Olaokun Soyinka (left), Managing Director, Society for Family Health Sir Bright Ekweremadu (second left), Director-General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Prof. John Idoko (second right) and Special Adviser on Health, Dr. Rotimi Ogungbe (right) after a NACA’s visit to the Governor's Office, Abeokuta...yesterday.

•Senator Bala Mohammed (second left) presenting a book entitled "The Jonathan/Sambo Presidency in Nigeria" in Abuja... yesterday. With him are: Representative of Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Aminu Wamgai (left), Prof. Jerry Gana, National Co-ordinator, National Coalition for Jonathan/Sambo Presidency Mr Anyanwu Darlinton, and Duty National Co-ordinator Dr. Jhalil Balewa.

HE race to be the next president of the World Bank is revving up. Three candidates – Nigeria’s Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Jose Antonio Ocampo, a former finance minister of Colombia, and Dr Jim Yong Kim, a public health expert and president of Dartmouth College in the US – have emerged from the pack of contenders to succeed outgoing president Robert Zoellick, who is due to check out by 20 April 2012. The ongoing race is being closely watched because it represents the first proper merit-based contest for the top job since the Bank was created after World War II. In the past, as per an unwritten convention, the US — the largest single majority shareholder of the bank — got to select the president of the Bank which is, at its core, a development institution. US President Barack Obama has backed Korean-American medical doctor and anthropologist Dr Kim, noted the BBC. But the rest of the world aren’t all convinced of Kim’s credentials for the post. The fact Kim is not a trained economist – unlike the other two candidates – has concerned some. In an open letter, 35 former economists and managers said the Bank should choose the next chief on merit. Another group of economists this week signed a petition backing Ocampo. Brics countries flexing muscles “The three-way fight is attracting increasingly passionate comment from candidates’ supporters,” reported the BBC, which noted “it has also shone a light on the way the World Bank chooses its head.” The US, Europe and Japan have 54% of the votes and under an informal arrangement the US chooses the World Bank president on the understanding that Europe appoints a European as head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Bank’s sister institution. However, the BBC reported that emerging economies “have become increasingly unhappy with this system” and are pushing for change: “The leaders of Russia, Brazil, China, India and South Africa recently called

for a review of that weighted voting system. The nations, sometimes referred to as the Brics countries, are working to chose a joint candidate, according to the Brazilian finance minister Guido Mantega.” US must embrace increased World Bank transparency Writing at The New York Times, Thomas J. Bollyky, senior fellow for global health, economics and development at the Council on Foreign Relations, argued that “the controversy around Dr. Kim’s nomination is understandable … For decades, America has effectively had unilateral control over who gets to lead the World Bank. Mr. Obama’s unconventional pick of Dr. Kim, a physician and anthropologist, has opened the door to developing countries to put forward their own candidates whose economic and banking qualifications more closely resemble those of past leaders of the bank.” Bollyky backed Kim as the “right” and “inspired” choice yet insisted that the Bank “will suffer unless the United States takes the high ground and uses this controversy to reform how the institution is governed. Only by embracing a competitive election process can the United States ensure that Dr. Kim will have the mandate to revitalize an institution long resistant to change.” “President Obama has made an inspired nomination of an unconventional candidate to lead the World Bank back into relevance. The United States must now vindicate that choice by embracing a competitive election process that would give Dr. Kim the mandate he needs to advance the interests of the world’s poor, as well as America’s interests,” insisted Thomas J. Bollyky at The New York Times. Welcome competition Writing at The Baltimore Sun, M.G. Quibria, a professor of development economics at Morgan State University, concurred that “change” is what the World Bank “needs” and welcoming the merit-based race: “Over-

Monday is D-day for hopefuls


•Secretary to the Govt. of the Federation Anyim Pius Anyim (clapping), during the foundation ceremony for the new Federal Secretariat in Awka... yesterday. With him are: Governor Peter Obi and his Deputy, Emeka Sibeudu, Anyim’s wife (right) and the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Mrs Amal Pepple

HE World Bank will meet to decide which of three candidates will be its 12th president, after a historic campaign that saw the first serious challenge to US leadership of the institution. According to a source close the decision making process, the World Bank’s board will convene Monday to choose between American nominee Jim Yong Kim and two candidates who embody developing countries’ demands to have a bigger say in global governance. Though Kim remains the odds-on favourite to win, Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Colombian Jose Antonio Ocampo have transformed what is normally a US coronation into a fully-fledged battle of succession. Thanks to a tacit agreement, the United States, the Bank’s biggest stakeholder, has always chosen its leader, with support from Europe, which in turn nominates the head of

•Zoellick the International Monetary Fund. Widely respected Nigerian finance minister Okonjo-Iweala and Colombian former finance minister Ocampo, have given voice to demands from Africa, Asia and Latin America, that the arrangement must end. Forced onto the back foot, President Barack Obama and his administration have pushed back hard for Kim’s nomination.




Bank ready for Okonjo-Iweala?




More support for Africa’s World Bank candidate A

GROUP of 39 former World Bank managers and economists - including Francois Bourguignon, the development lender’s chief economist from 2003 to 2007 - have endorsed Africa’s candidate to lead the institution, Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi OkonjoIweala. In an open letter published on Wednesday, the group called on the Bank’s executive board to make their decision on merit, when the board for the first time considers more than one candidate for the job. “We believe that Mrs OkonjoIweala has outstanding qualifications across the full range of relevant criteria,” they said. Competition for US nominee Okonjo-Iweala, a former World

Bank managing director, and Jose Antonio Ocampo, a former finance minister of Colombia, are competing with the US nominee Jim Yong Kim, a public health expert and president of Dartmouth College. Under a tacit agreement, the US picks the World Bank president, always an American, and Europe puts a European at the helm of the International Monetary Fund, the Bank’s sister institution. Writing in their personal capacity ahead of the candidate interviews next week, the ex-Bank officials said “we care too much for the institution and for its historic development mission not to speak up.” The letter was signed by a number of Europeans, including Bourguignon, as well as Barbara

Kafka, an American who served over 33 years at the Bank in a range of posts. Candidate ‘the times call for’ Tunisia’s central bank chief, Mustapha Nabli, a former head of the Bank’s Middle East and North Africa region, also signed. His country has not endorsed a candidate. Okonjo-Iweala “would bring the combination of her experience as finance and foreign minister of a large and complex African country with her wide experience of working at all levels of the Bank’s hierarchy in different parts of the world, from agricultural economist to managing director.” While the other two candidates also have strong qualifications, “she would be the outstanding World

Bank president the times call for.” The World Bank plans to select the successor to outgoing president Robert Zoellick by 20 April, the start of its spring meetings with the IMF. South Africa’s backing Nigeria, South Africa and Angola jointly announced Okonjo-Iweala’s nomination in Pretoria on 23 March, ahead of a World Bank constituency meeting between the three countries. “We are very proud as Africa and certainly this constituency to confirm that the Minister of Finance of Nigeria is going to be a candidate for the president of the World Bank,” Gordhan said. “She would be a candidate of choice not just on the African continent but well beyond as well.

Gordhan added that the G20 had made a decision that future processes for the selection of heads of international finance institutions like the World Bank needed to be open, transparent, democratic and merit-based. “We believe that the candidature of Minister Okonjo-Iweala enables those that are going to make this decision in Washington to have before them an eminently qualified individual who can balance the needs of both developed and, importantly, developing countries,” Gordhan said. Okonjo-Iweala would also “provide a new vision and sense of mission to the World Bank and its relevance, particularly to developing countries across the globe”.

all, this increased competition has augured well for the bank, as it has attracted a field of strong candidates.” Quibria pointed out “flaws” in each candidate but concluded that “the flaws of these candidates aside, what represents an unambiguous advance over the past is the current selection process, which is more

open and transparent — an important reform for so critical a global institution.” Okonjo-Iweala stakes her claim Writing in The Financial Times, Okonjo-Iweala set out her “vision” for the World Bank. She argued that, “emerging countries, once dependent on the World Bank, have be-

come world powers. Growth across Asia, Africa and Latin America is transforming the global economy. The World Bank must adapt to such tectonic shifts … “ Claiming to “represent the aspirations of many people from the developing world,” Okonjo-Iweala said that the Bank must respond quickly and effectively

to three key challenges facing its client countries in “ways that respect their priorities, their culture and their own processes.” “These three major challenges – creating jobs, investing in the human capital of the poor and building institutions – have to be pursued with vigour,” insisted Okonjo-Iweala, who concluded, “the

work of the World Bank affects the welfare of millions of citizens and the prospects for a more peaceful world. I would be most honoured to lead this important institution with a sense of humility, urgency and hope at this time of change and challenge.” •Culled from The Periscope Post

‘If Kim is appointed, it would be a backward step’


ORMER Assistant SecretaryGeneral of the United Nations, Sir Richard Jolly, has warned of a potential backlash if the US candidate was appointed as usual. “If Dr Kim was appointed it would be a real backward political step in the international system, at a time when the world needs fresh thinking,” he told the BBC. “I am not sure that China, India and Brazil will put up with that. They will probably set up their own bank, which has been talked about,” Sir Richard said. The bank plans to name its new president on Monday. Former World Bank director of policy, Uri Dadush, said his preferred candidate, Ngozi OkonjoIweala, would probably not be appointed, especially if all European countries continued to vote with the US. He told the BBC World Service that change was imperative at the top of the “vital” development

organisation. “The world is different now, the developing countries... account for most of the growth in the world, so you really need to get a change in these international institutions that reflects the new world economy if they are to remain relevant.” World Bank presidential candidate Jose Antonio Ocampo has called for a change in culture at the organisation and more co-operation with other global lenders. The Colombian also said the bank had lost ground to other development banks and had not been forceful enough in pushing for fresh funding. He pointed the finger at outgoing president Robert Zoellick for the lack of capital. Ocampo said the World Bank needed to become more inclusive. “The bank has to be a client-based organisation. The first thing the staff have to learn is that working at the country level is actually an im-

provement in its role for the bank, rather than working in Washington,” said the economist and former finance minister. Former Colombian finance minister and has held other posts in government, including agriculture. “I think sincerely the problem of working for the World Bank is the sense of superiority.” But he saved his strongest criticisms for Mr Zoellick. “The current president was too shy in asking for a capital increase,” he said. “All the other development banks got huge recapitalisations... The World Bank did not, and I think that’s the reason why now the bank is decreasing its lending significantly.” Mr Ocampo made his comments after he was interviewed by the board of the World Bank on Tuesday. “In advance of the vote, Dr Kim’s immediate top priority is to meet with as many of the World Bank’s

shareholder and client countries as he can to discuss how the bank can best promote growth, combat poverty, and create jobs in developing nations,” a US Treasury spokesperson said. Mrs Okonjo-Iweala had her interview on Monday. Afterwards, she spoke of her “frustration” at what she saw as “inertia” at the bank. “You have to have the courage to say, ‘look, certain things that we’ve always made this way, they have to go’,” she said. Traditionally, the post is given to the candidate put forward by the US, which on this occasion is Dr Kim. Together with Europe and Japan, it has 54% of the votes to appoint the bank’s president. Under an informal arrangement, in return, Europe appoints a European as head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is the bank’s sister institution. Frenchwoman Christine Lagarde currently runs the IMF.

• Jolly

However, emerging economies have become increasingly unhappy with this system and are pushing for change - this year’s vote is the first time the World Bank has had to choose between candidates since its creation more than 60 years ago.



NEWS Continued from page 1

•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (fourth right) with Secretary to the State Government, Mrs .Oluranti Adebule (second right), Commissioners (Tourism and Inter-Governmental Relations), Mr. Oladisun Holloway (right), (Special Duties) Dr Wale Ahmed (sixth right), Head of delegation of the National Defence University, Pakistan, on foreign study tour to Nigeria, Brigadier General Haider-Syed Al Naqvi (fifth right), Defence Coordinator for the visit, Navy Captain Yaminu E. Musa (third right) and other members during a visit to the governor by the delegation at Government House, Ikeja, Lagos ... yesterday.

Simpson Street, the situation was the same. Similar difficulty was witnessed from Apongbon, through Carter Bridge to Western Avenue and Ikorodu Road. Passers-by also could not continue their journey as human traffic melted with vehicular movement. A bid to outsmart one another in the traffic led to minor accidents at Obalende and CMS areas. There were shattered windscreen on the roads and commuters engaged in hot arguments over who was at fault. Many who could not withstand the delay parked their vehicles and resulted to using the motorcycles. The commercial motorcyclists seized the opportunity

Traffic jam chokes Lagos to increase fare. Even the motorcyclists’ efforts to manouvre their way proved difficult. In most cases, they rode through the walk ways. Officials of Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA), and security agents were helpless as the situation got complex. LASTMA General-Manager, Mr. Babatunde Edu confirmed that the presence of the First Lady was responsible for the traffic jam. He said his officers were working tirelessly to ensure that smooth movement, reduction in travel time and to unlock the congestion.

Nigeria is going broke, says Minister Okonjo-Iweala Continued from page 1

into the federation account as stipulated by the Constitution, the minister wondered aloud: “how many governors have saved any money? They should understand the dynamics.” While she admitted that some governors have saved some money from their states’ allocations, Dr Okonjo-Iweala noted that “if we don’t have arguments of constitutionality and fiscal federalism, we will progress and we need to address this”. By this, she meant that there should be less talk about what the Constitution says and the desire for fiscal federalism and concentrate on saving for the future. But, advocates of fiscal federalism insists it should be no problem, if the Federal Government agrees to reduce its share of the revenue allocation and allow the states and local governments, which carry bigger loads to have more cash. The minister recalled that “it was difficult getting governors to agree to $1 billion savings for the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF)”.

“Now that the price of oil is high, we should be happy but because the quantity we produce as a country has dropped, we are not selling expected quantities. So, not much money is coming in. We are selling below budgeted quantities,” she said. The Federal Government, Mrs Okonjo-Iweala said, “is not dipping hands in anything”. I can tell you how much is in every account. We must save for the future because soon Ghana and Angola will join the league of countries that have savings, whereas Nigeria is fast depleting the little she has.” She went on: “Nigeria, because of fiscal federalism, cannot save. The Constitution says the President should manage the economy for the benefit of everybody; the decision to save is also part of the management of the economy for the benefit of the people of Nigeria. Every state can save, but the Federal Government can save for all Nigerians. The governors can insist on accountability in the management of the SWF as a guarantee against their apprehension.” To her, the governors are

“100 per cent right to demand for transparency and how and what the money saved is spent”. “But, they are on the council of the SWF as well as Civil Society Organisations; there should be no fear. Saving is the right thing to do.” Nigeria, she said, is not leaving in isolation and it is a part of a global community that depends on a product sold internationally. The revenue that comes from the sale of this single product (crude oil), she added, comes periodically, stressing that “there is no money stacked up anywhere, which is why I am pushing for savings, in case the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) does not sell crude oil or cannot remit money as it’s being experienced in recent times.” Mrs Okonjo-Iweala argued that since “60 per cent of our money and products comes from and goes to Europe and USA, if they are not doing well, we suffer too. “Unemployment in the USA is at a crisis level same as in Europe,” she said. “That product determines how the economy grows and the nation’s expenditure fluctuates with revenue. Such

volatile pattern of development crashes the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). To make expenditure smooth necessitated budget benchmarking.” She noted that the years between 2003 and 2007 were the only steady time in Nigeria’s recent economic life because it was when Nigeria saved and after the period (20082009), when the price of oil crashed, the government was drawing from savings to pay bills. The minister dropped another bombshell when she disclosed that the ministry does not know how much is spent on subsidy. What the ministry does, according to her, “is to get the accountants to verify what the importers present as their imports and pay them”. She said there was no way her ministry could accurately determine how much petroleum products are imported and how much are actually sold in Nigeria. According to Mrs OkonjoIweala, “what we are doing is subsidising other countries”. “We have genuine importers, but must separate them from the smugglers

who ferry petroleum products to other countries after claiming to import the products to Nigeria,” she said, wondering if there is a way of stopping the smugglers. Mrs Okonjo-Iweala said in 2006, N256 billion was spent on subsidy, but over the years, this has skyrocketed to the extent that governors became worried that they were being short-changed. The heavy deduction for subsidy, she said, was what resulted in the November and December 2011 refusal by governors to collect their allocations, until the subsidy was removed. Giving an insight into what to expect from the report of the subsidy removal probe by the National Assembly, the minister said: “when the report comes out, we will know those who are genuine importers and those who are not”. To her, the government “did not explain itself well and did not wait long enough before removing the subsidy in January” – an admittance that the government acted in a hurry. Despite the protest and the government’s conceding to the wishes of the

people, Mrs Okonjo-Iweala said, the government is still paying subsidy, but partially. She also admitted that the economy that is growing at 7.9 per cent and yet claims to be creating jobs is not inclusive. She attributed this development to “challenges”, stressing that jobs must be inclusive and target rural areas. According to her, we are “growing at 7.9 per cent with no power. You can imagine what the growth will be like, if power was stable.” On the erratic electric power situation, Mrs OkonjoIweala said privatising the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) should be fair and transparent and not under the table. She said: “Government has decided to get away from what it has not succeeded in doing in the past. Power that we get is heavily subsidised. Investors have insisted that tariff must match cost of producing power. They will not purchase the companies, unless the government announces the new tariff, but government is scared of the backlash from the masses, if it announces the new tariff.”

Boko Haram boasts in video Continued from page 1

tack by Boko Haram, which is blamed for more than 390 killings this year alone, according to an Associated Press count. Boko Haram has killed Christians, Muslims and foreigners in its growing fight against the government over the introduction of strict Shariah law across the country and the release of all imprisoned followers. The video included no claims of responsibility for a suicide car bombing on Easter Sunday in Kaduna that killed at least 41 people. Suspicion for the attack immediately fell on the group as witnesses said the suicide bomber had been apparently trying to get close to a church before the explosion. Boko Haram has attacked churches in the past, as well as the United Nations and the Police headquarters in Abuja. Yesterday’s video showed a new sophistication for the group. Shekau has issued videos via YouTube in the past, though this one included a Hausa-language

song at the beginning about the sect, saying its members were ready to kill non believers. The beginning of the video also showed a logo of two crossed Kalashnikov rifles around a Quran and a black Islamist flag. That symbol mirrors one used by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, a group that diplomats and officials believe has loose ties with Boko Haram. At one point, Shekau even smiles as he describes the ongoing fighting between Boko Haram and the government. “One day you kill 1,000, and then we turn back, then after two days we kill your own 100,” Shekau said. “We’re turning it around like the way it is in the Quran.” The nation’s joint security chiefs yesterday assured that the war being waged by Boko Haram against the Nigerian state would soon end, with the sect as the vanquished. The assurance came in the face of daunting security challenges posed by the sect. The Joint Security Information Managers Committee

(JSIMC) said the military had checkmated many plots hatched by the sect, regretting however that the media had chosen to give undue attention to the sect’s periodical attacks. Air Commodore Yusuf Anas spoke on behalf of other representatives of sister security agencies. He said the Joint Task Forces set up to tackle the menace of the sect had recorded many successful outings which the agencies have kept under wraps for tactical reasons. Anas said: “We are winning the war against the terrorists and the security agencies are on top of the game. We have recorded so many successes but keep most of them to ourselves since we are not out to blow our own trumpets. “We only disclose some of them to the media. The war against terrorists would soon be over. The once in a while strikes being recorded have to do with where the people failed to give us vital information to arrest the situation before they performed their nefarious activities”

•A screengrab taken from a video released on YouTube showing Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau PHOTO: AFP (center) sitting flanked by militants ... yesterday.

The committee members lamented that the media have been blowing the threats or activities of the terrorist group out of proportion, at the same time playing down the successes being recorded against them. They cited the reduction in sect’s bombings in the Miaduguri metropolis as one of the instances. Spokesperson for the State Security Services (SSS), Ms Marilyn Ogar, said in all

parts of the world, it takes collaborative efforts among security agencies and the people to win the war. Ms Ogar appealed to the media to demonstrate love for the country in the course of their professional duties, citing what she described as recent false alarm by some foreign countries that some hotels in Abuja were targeted for bombing, a claim which she said turned out a hoax.

The committee put the death toll “on the spot” in the Easter Sunday bomb attack in Kaduna at 16, regretting however that there had been an increase in the number of casualties as some of the injured later died in the hospitals. No fewer than 40 persons were killed in the attack. Present at the briefing were spokespersons of the Army, the Air Force, the Navy and the Police.

ADVERT HOTLINES: 01-280668, 08070591302, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678




Majekodunmi for burial on Tuesday


UNERAL plans for the former administrator of Western Region and founder of St Nicholas Hospital, Lagos, the late Dr Moses Adekoyejo Majekodunmi were announced yesterday. His remains will be buried on April 17 at Ikereku, Oke-Ona Egba, Abeokuta, Ogun State, the family said. One of the deceased’s sons, Desmond, who spoke at 3, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos family house said the burial programmes will begin on Sunday at 5:00pm with a Service of Songs. It will be followed by commendation service at the Marina Cathedral on Monday at 11:00am. He described the late physician who died on on Wednesday at 11:00am with a smile on his face, as “unparalleled, very loving and caring father.” Desmond said the late business mogul was for many years very bitter about the development in the country. He said: “The late Majekodunmi was one of the founding fathers, he was very bitter seeing the country going astray, for many years. But recently before he passed on, he was beginning to look around Lagos, for instance he was happy seeing the changes in Lagos. That they were doing something such as fixing roads here and the establishment of parks and gardens” Desmond said his father had in the last few years, looked a bit more optimistic about the future of the country. “My father was very much at peace. He was fully reconciled with his God. And I don’t think he has any fear going to his maker. “He was always ready to discipline his children as at when necessary. He gave us a wonderful example to emulate and to follow in his footsteps. “We have been following the footsteps of somebody who was with a vision for Nigeria, a vision that would have driven the country to greatness. You can see he was with the cadre of people who brought Nigeria. He was one of the founding fathers of our nation.” Desmond noted his late father’s love for the country was rooted in his great principle, tremendous integrity and deep determination to drive Nigeria to greatness. “He was proud of the country. He was determined that Nigeria was going to be a very great nation. “We all have a lot of pride in our country as a result of it.” “He dedicated himself to his work. And he dedicated himself to playing with the family as well. “He believed in integrity. He abhorred the idea of misappropriating anything. To him, it was unacceptable. He hated it when people try to cheat, steal or cut corners. He extolled good virtues and godly principles such as righteousness and justice.” On his Christian faith, Desmond said: “My grandfather was one of the Christian leaders who built a church in Abeokuta. My father emulated the Christian principles

Mark, Fasanmi, Adebayo, Fayose mourn Omoboriowo

By Emmanuel Oladesu and Wale Adepoju

of his own father. In all ramifications, it was a privilege and honour and a blessing to have been brought up by a man like that.” He said the late doctor will be missed because of his smiles. “I would remember him for so many things, particularly his smiles; he had a very warm smile that would ease one’s trials, anger and stress. Also, we will remember him for his words of wisdom. He would just encapsulate it in few words. In just a couple of sentences,” he added. On his legacies, Desmond said: the sons have resolved to emulate his lifestyle as much as possible and also establish a foundation in his name. He said: That foundation will do a lot of things. It would help to boost his name and touch many lives. It is a multi-faceted foundation that will be doing a lot of things such as awarding scholarships, giving lecture and giving intervention in the medical field which was what he specialised in. We believe his foundation will grow from strength to strength and be meaningful to the people.” Desmond spoke on his business empire. His words: “He left behind effective succession plan with his businesses including hospital which is being run by one of our younger brothers, Dapo, who is a practising doctor. He has even improved the status of the hospital and has taken St Nicholas to another level already. The hospital has already been expanded and improved. “And the other businesses are monitored by the other members of the family, especially by our eldest brother, Femi. Our father put up a succession plan long before he passed away. So, his legacy would surely live on.” According to Desmond, Wednesday’s morning was one of the most painful mornings.” Another son of the deceased, Kofo described his father as an exemplary person. He said: “From all aspects of his life, he was someone who strove for the best in himself and in others. He was very humble, modest, thoughtful and considerate to everybody around him including those who were close to him.” Kofo, a banker, said his father was a visionary. “I think he had a great vision for himself and our great country and what he wanted to achieve and I think he achieved that to a large extent.” Paying tributes to him, Senate President David Mark said the late chief dedicated his life to the service of humanity as a doctor and public servant, urging the government of Ogun State to immortalise him because he led a life worthy of emulation. Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi expressed shock at the news of

By Emmanuel Oladesu Deputy Political Editor

•The late Chief Majekodunmi

Majekodunmi’s death, saying he left behind indelible marks. He said his demise had robbed Nigeria of the wealth of experience needed to tackle the country’s socioeconomic and political problems. Former Ogun State Governor Segun Osoba, described him as a great Nigerian. He said: “He was a father to me, until he died. I used to go to him regularly to tap from his wealth of experience and wisdom. I would sit with him discussing Nigeria. He was a great ma; very unassuming and quiet”. Senator Olabiyi Durojaye recalled that the deceased was a distinguished medical consultant to the late Prime Minister before serving as Health Minister. He noted that he lived a fulfilled life, adding: “It takes the grace of God and good health to live up to 95 in this generation”. Durojaye added: “He was highly favoured by God. The late Chief. Dr. Majekodunmi hailed from one of those illustrious families of Egbaland we have heard about from childhood”.

•The late Chief Omoboriowo


MINENT Nigerians have expressed shock at the demise of the former deputy governor of Ondo State, Chief Akin Omoboriowo at 80. Senate President David Marks said in a statement by his media aide, Kola Ologbondiyan, that Omoboriowo was an active nationalist who shared the vision of the founding fathers for a united Nigeria. He added: “He was a patriotic nationalist who worked assiduously to ensure that the Southwest had a place in the mainstream of Nigerian politics’. The Senate President urged the people of Ondo and Ekiti states to take solace in the fact that he made impressive contributions to the states before he died. Second Republic Senator Ayo Fasanmi noted that Omoboriowo had been engaged in deep spiritual exercise since he left politics in the Second Republic. He prayed for the repose of his soul, saying: “I know that he will meet with the Lord”. Fasanmi added: “Ekiti has

lost a politician of repute. He was an advocate of the creation of Ekiti State. he was my friend. We were very close. My wife and his wife were first cousins. In spite of our political differences since the Second Republic, we had related as friends and brothers. May his soul rest in perfect peace”. Former Ekiti State Governor Niyi Adebayo, whose father was Omoboriowo’s colleagues in the NPN, said: “The news of the death of Chief Omoboriowo came to me as a shock. I had seen him two weeks ago and we agreed that there was the need for us to meet and discuss current affairs. His death is a loss to Ekiti and Nigeria. I commiserate with his wife and children and pray that his rests in perfect peace”. Former Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose described him as an Ekiti patriot who agitated for the creation of the state, right from the Second Republic. He said Omoboriowo was a politician who shunned materialism, adding that he was a great defender of the masses. The former governor recalled that he brought charisma and carriage to the office of deputy governor in old Ondo State as an astute administrator, power broker and man of the people. Fayose added: “As deputy governor, his legacies cannot perish. He was not a cor-

rupt politician. Thus, when the military took over, he was never tried for corrupt enrichment. He was a modest man and a Christian till the last day”. Former Lagos State Deputy Governor Chief Rafiu Jafojo described him as a consummate politician who was loved by the leader, Awolowo. He added: “He played his part well as deputy governor. he was a politician of note who contributed to the growth of UPN as a founding member”. Ajasin’s daughter and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chairman in Ondo State, Mrs. Jumoke Anifowose simply said: “May his soul rest in peace”. Former UPN Director of Organisation and PDP chieftain Chief Ebenezer Babatope expressed sadness over the demise of the former deputy governor, who he described as a close friend for over 40 years. In a statement, the former Transport Minister said: “In 1972, Chief Omoboriowo was the President of a proAwolowo political organisation called “the Nigerian Social Reformers Movement. I was the secretary of the organisation. He became deputy governor of Ondo State in 1979. Omoboriowo remained a frontline Awoist, until he and his supporters pulled out of the UPN. May Chief Akin Omoboriowo’s soul rest in peace”.

Jonathan, Fashola extol Majekodunmi’s virtues


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan and Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola yesterday described the death of First Republic Senator and Minister of Health, Dr. Moses Adekoyejo Majekodunmi, as a great loss to the nation. According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the President said Dr. Majekodunmi’s wisdom, immense patriotism, dedication to work, commitment to national service and excellence will undoubtedly be sorely missed by his family, friends, associates and the whole country. Jonathan also noted that late Majekodunmi distinguished himself not only during his brief sojourn as a federal minister and administrator of the old Western Region, but also as one of the pioneers of high quality private health care services in the country. The President extolled Dr. Majekodunmi’s uncommon courage and willingness to answer the call to national service even at a period of political uncertainty. He extended sincere condolences to members of the Majekodunmi family and urged them to take solace in the fact that the eminent physician lived to a grand old age and has bequeathed worthy legacies to his offspring and

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

the nation. Jonathan prayed that Almighty God will grant the soul of the elder statesman peaceful rest. Fashola described the late Majekodunmi as an effective and far-sighted leader. In a condolence letter to the widow, Fashola said although most Nigerians would remember the late Dr. Majekodunmi as the former Administrator of the defunct Western Region, he chose to

remember the elder statesman as the effective and farsighted Minister of Health in the First Republic under whose watch the first indigenous College of Medicine was established in Nigeria. The Governor recalled that as Minister, Dr. Majekodunmi personally oversaw the conversion of Mainland Hospital, IdiAraba to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital and recruited professionals who mid-wifed the process of awarding the first Nigerian

degree in Medicine and Surgery, adding that despite his wealth of knowledge and considerable means, he lived a humble and dignified life. Thanking the Majekodunmi Family “for lending Nigeria your illustrious patriarch at most auspicious times in our history”, Governor Fashola said the Saint Nicholas Hospital which the deceased established in 1968 would remain a worthy testimony to his reputation as a first class obstetrician.

•Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun condoling with Majekodunmi’s widow Katsina he visited the family onVictoria Island, Lagos... yesterday




CITYBEATS ‘Enact law to ban land speculators’ By Oziegbe Okoeki

IGBOGBO Monarch, Oba Johnson Fatola has urged the Lagos State House of Assembly to events a law banning the activities of land speculators in the state. The Oba made the call yesterday in his palace when an ad-hoc Committee set up by the House to investigate the land dispute between some residents and a faction of Adeyoruwa's Family in Agunfoye community visited the community, near Ikorodu. Oba Fatola said: “We have made a call to the government about the law that would ban land speculators in the state but we have not seen any good result. We therefore urge Lagos Assembly to make a law to ban the activities of the land spectators in Lagos.” The royal father said that the matter had been in court and the judgement favoured Isiawu Ogunlana, who was the mastermind of the demolition of houses in Agunfoye community. He said after the court judgement, Ogunlana demolished the community without considering the level of the development. Neither did he give room for fresh negotiations from the residents The royal father also expressed his dissatisfaction over the inhumane attitude of hoodlums and described the Adeyoruwa's in Igbogbo community as a responsible big family. ''We belong to the same family including myself and we would not allow anybody to rubbish the name and the Igbogbo community,'' he said. He urged the Committee to take urgent action to curtail the ruthless attitude of Ogunlana and his accomplice to prevent subsequent demolitions and ruthless activities in the area. Also speaking, one of the chiefs, the Odofin of Igbogbo to Chief Tajudeen Onasanya, the heartless action taken by Ogunlana over the landed property.

Boy, 19, jailed for stealing biro, kolanuts By Precious Igbonwelundu

A Magistrate’s Court in Mushin, Lagos yesterday sentenced a 19 year-old boy, Chibueze Nwaigbo for stealing. The convict was arrested on April 4 at Ilasamaja, Lagos for snatching a purse belonging to Mrs Mufisat Hassan. The purse was found to contain N2,750, a red biro, a mobile phone and kolanuts. Nwaigbo pleaded with the court for leniency. He said he stole the purse because he was "very hungry with no hope of survival.” The Magistrate, Mrs. D.T. Olatokun found him guilty and sentenced him to one week imprisonment. "Having considered the charge against the defendant and his counsel's prayer for leniency, I hereby sentence him to one week imprisonment. The time he has spent in custody should be considered as part of his sentence," the court held.

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Psychiatric hospital rejects Clifford Orji T

HE Yaba Psychiatric Hospital has rejected a suspected mentally unstabled man, Clifford Orji, who was arrested about 13 years ago for allegedly selling human parts under Toyota Bridge on Apapa-Oshodi Expressway. Deputy Controller of Prisons at Kirikiri, Apapa, Noel Ailewon told Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Ade Ipaye and Director, Office of Public Defender (OPD), Mrs Omotola Rotimi that the hospital rejected Orji when he was taken there. Orji, he said, has been in solitary confinement for over 10 years because he is in “bad mental shape and nobody can come close to him or stay with him.” Ipaye and Mrs Rotimi were in Kirikiri as part of government’s efforts to decongest the prisons. He said: "Clifford Orji is in a bad shape. He is a bad mental case, we

By Yinka Aderibigbe

tried to see that he gets treatment at the Yaba Psychiatric Hospital, but he was rejected. Right now, he is in solitary confinement. Most times he is naked, and urinates and defecates inside his cell. We usually have a hell of a time cleaning the place and getting him to even take his bath, he is literally mad, and cannot be taken for any trial in his state of mind." Ailewon said Orji's trial is delayed because of his health, adding that he would be available for trial once he gets better. Responding, Ipaye said Nigerians were worried that Orji's case had lingered for long, adding that with facts now available to him, the government's immediate responsibility would be to see that he gets psychological attention. "We are being made to understand that Clifford Orji has not been presented for trial because he

is mentally imbalanced and his case is even made worse because he is being denied treatment in the Psychiatric Hospitals because of lack of adequate facility for long term patients, then you can see that he is a stuck suspect. What we would try to do is to get him some kind of treatment to assist him and when he fully recovers, his trial can then commence," Ipaye said. Ipaye renewed the government determination to decongest the prisons to ensure that only inmates who have been convicted are kept there. He said it was worrisome that several people were remanded in prisons for trivial and bailable reasons, but could not perfect their bail conditions. He said the state has put together a joint visitation team with the Chief Judge visiting all prisons regularly to accelerate the decongestion process.

His ministry, Ipaye said, is encouraging lawyers in private practice to take up awaiting trials pro bono to help achieve the aim of decongesting the prisons and making the facility conducive for reforming convicted inmates.

Conduct autopsy on our man, family, union tell WAEC By Seyi Odewale

• Odeniyi


HERE is no let-up in the controversy over the death of Mr Fatai Odeniyi, a worker with Ojuwoye Odi-Olowo Local Council Development Area, in a lift at the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), Yaba, Lagos last month. His family, employers and the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) are demanding the conduct of an autopsy on his remains. At a meeting attended by five representatives of the family and 14 NULGE leaders, they also asked for a reply to a letter written by their lawyer. The meeting held at the office of the Council Manager's at OdiOlowo, deplored WAEC’s attitude to the incident since it occured. Sources said there were fears about some family members conduct and WAEC's alleged divide and rule tactics and approach to the issue. There was suspicion that a family member could jeopardise the union's efforts at seeking redress over the incident. The union, according to sourc-

es alleged that a family member, could be used to scuttle the understanding reached with the union to pursue the case to its logical end. The council manager, Mr Raufu Fashola, was quoted to have raised doubts on the sincerity of the family member whom he said has not declared where his interest lies in the matter. There were also suspicions about WAEC's alleged moves to turn the family against the union. "That the family is encouraging a meeting with WAEC raised some doubts about the sincerity of the who I feel may not have the same approach as we do. The family man has to state his relationship with WAEC otherwise, he may not be allowed to participate in the meeting," the council manager was quoted. Fashola went on: "In any case do we need to hold a meeting with WAEC since they have not replied the letter written to them by our lawyer? On what basis will the meeting be holding, except to ask them to carry out an autopsy? “We should not forget that this is a case of criminal negligence and we have written them through our lawyer, but they are yet to reply us. We were to meet them on Tuesday at 2pm, only to receive a call from them postponing the meeting till Thursday. That further raised our suspicion.” However, the council’s fears according to sources were allayed by another member of the family. He said the suspected family member was not working at cross purpose with the union in seeking redress for the late Odeniyi The meeting however, resolved to demand that an autopsy be carried out on Odeniyi and

his remains released for burial. According to them, the late Odeniyi ought to have been buried according to Islamic rites, because he was a Muslim. There was also a consensus on the choice of legal representation. Family members agreed to engage Bamidele Aturu, who represents the union. They are to meet again today to perfect their plans before meeting with WAEC officials later in the day. However, the meeting with WAEC officials yesterday, sources disclosed, was inconclusive as both parties agreed to meet again. There was however, a consesus at the meeting that an autopsy should be done on the remains of the late Odeniyi, but when it would be done was not certain.

Lions Club sensitise women on food abuse IONS Club International District 404B yesterday, organised a seminar to sensitise women on the need to maintain a healthy eating habit. Addressing participants at the club’s forum which held at Ikeja, second Vice President Yinka Bolarinwa, said the current eating habit of an average family in the country poses serious concern. He stressed the need to step up the campaign in order to educate people on their eating habits. "This programme gives us the opportunity to create awareness on who we are, what we do and how we do it. And it also gives us the opportunity to attract more women membership to the club,” Bolarinwa said. He explained that as a club com-


LAGOS EMERGENCY LINES STATE AGENCIES 4. KAI Brigade Phone Nos: 080-23036632; 0805-5284914 Head office Phone Nos: 3. LASTMA Emergency Numbers: 01-4703325; 01-7743026 080-75005411; 080-60152462 5. Rapid Response Squad (RRS) 080-23111742; 080-29728371 Phone Nos: 070-55350249; 080-23909364; 080-77551000 070-35068242 01-7904983 080-79279349; 080-63299264

1. Fire and Safety Services Control Room Phone Nos: 01-7944929; 080-33235892; 080-33235890; 080-23321770; 080-56374036. 2. Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Lagos Zonal Command Phone No:080-33706639; 01-7742771 Sector Commander Phone No: 080-34346168; 01-2881304


070-55462708; 080-65154338 767 or email: 6. Health Services – LASAMBUS Ambulance Services Phone Nos: 01-4979844; 01-4979866; 01-4979899; 01-4979888; 01-2637853-4; 080-33057916; 080-33051918-9; 080-29000003-5.

By Miriam Ndikanwu

mitted to the service of humanity, attracting more women membership will further expand their scope as their service will help bring smiles to the faces of many. He commended the facilitators for the knowledge which he said will in no small measure, impact in the larger society. He continued: "Before now, what we know was drug abuse, but here today, we have been told about food abuse when we eat what our body does not need. We also learn the importance of exercise and how we can do this in order to keep us fit and healthy." The guest lecturer, Mrs Patience Chima, enjoined participants on the need to complement food intake with physical exercise. Chima, who spoke extensively on food abuse, said moderation should be applied in what we choose to eat. He added that vegetables, which are considered as the most healthy food today, should be eaten with moderation. Princess Adetope Thychus, who also spoke on family and women membership, emphasised the need to ensure a good family life.



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HE Lagos doctors' strike has entered its third day.The warning strike expires on Saturday. But the effect has not been as devastating as many had thought, with consultants working full time and nurses helping out. In fact, some of the doctors are divided over the strike. The doctors are demanding the full implementation of Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS), which the state government is contesting. Instead of CONMESS, the state has the Government Medical/ Dental/ Veterinary Officers Consolidated Salary Structure (LAMDVCSS) and Lagos State Government Consultants Consolidated Salary Structure (LACCSS). Also, the doctors are demanding that House Officers and Medical Doctors on Grade Levels 10 and 12 be paid Teaching Allowance as obtained in the CONMES document. However, the state government said with the implementation of the Lagos State Government Medical/ Dental/ Veterinary Officers Consolidated Salary Structure (LAMDVCSS) and Lagos State Gov-


Doctors divided as strike enters third day Doctor’s Three key demands • Full implementation of Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) •Teaching Allowance for House Officers Grade Level 10. •Tax reduction By Wale Adepoju

ernment Consultants Consolidated Salary Structure (LACCSS), Teaching Allowance will only be granted to Medical Consultants and Medical, Dental and Veterinary Officers on Grade Level (GL) 15 to 17, Medical/Doctors/Veterinary Officers on GL 13-17. The doctors claim that they have been demoted as a result of LAGMESS, as they expected a migration from the old scale to the same grade level and step in the new scale. The government said it carried

Government’s response •We can only pay Medical/ Dental/ Veterinary Officers Consolidated Salary Structure (LAMDVCSS) •Lagos State Government Consultants Consolidated Salary Structure (LACCSS) is CONMESS equivalent. •House Officers are students so are not entitled to teaching allowance •We are still dialoguing on tax. out some reviews of the pay structure over the last five years because it wanted to ensure that doctors were not at a disadvantage compared with their peers. The most recent of such pay policy review was the Lagos State Government Medical, Dental and Veterinary Officers Consolidated Salary Structure (LAMDVCSS) estab-

lished last year. With the review, the government aimed at keeping personnel cost within budgetary provisions -in line with the recommendations of the committee. The Office of Establishments and Training, in conjuction with the Ministry of Health, the Health Service Commission (HSC) and the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), has taken steps to address concerns raised. Doctors also complained that their colleagues in General Hospitals in the state on Grade level 12 are on higher steps than those in the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH). But the government, said there was no deliberate policy to create a pay disparity between LASUTH and the rest of the health workforce. It said concerns identified in implementation were being dealt with on a case-by-case basis. This was conveyed to the Guild at the last meeting held with their executives earlier in the month. The Guild said the entry level for doctors on Grade level 12 in the Civil Service is Step 2. but some doctors are still being placed on Step 1, especially in LASUTH.

The policy is such that newly employed doctors were placed on Grade Level 12 Step 2 and LASUTH's attention has been drawn to this observation. This was also conveyed to the Medical Guild at the last meeting on Wednesday 4th of April. The entry level for Specialist Cadre, that is consultants in the Civil Service is on Grade Level 15 Step 4, according to CONMESS scale. However, newly appointed Consultants are being placed on GL 15 Step 1, but the older ones are being demoted to Step 1, contrary to what is in their employment letters. The government said there was no reference to the entry level and step of consultants in the Schemes of Service and the CONMESS Circular dated September 29, 2009. The new dispensation of the Lagos State Government Consultants Consolidated Salary Structure (LACCSS) defined the new scale commencing from Grade Level 15 Step 1 on acquisition of Part II Fellowship Certificate on completion of Residency Training Programme. On adoption of the new Salary Structure, this was taken into consideration and thus the placement of newly qualified consultants on GL 15 Step 1.

Lagos set to abolish jail sentence T

•From left: President Ikeja Viva L’Amour Lion Club Elizabeth Pacheco, past district cabinet Secretary, Alhaji Abiodun Adedeji, 2nd Vice District Governor 404B Yinka Bolarinwa and Seminar committee Chairperson Claire Chizea at the event PHOTO: DAYO ADEWUNMI


20-YEAR-OLD undergraduate has been killed in a factory in Lagos. The death almost sparked a protest hen members of his immediate family went to the company demanding for explanation on his death. It was gathered that the deceased, identified as Aghanenu was killed in an industrial accident in a Chinese owned furniture factory, Alberti, in Ikotun area of the state. The incident occurred around 11am on Tuesday. Aghanenu was reportedly abandoned after the accident in which his right arm down to his ribs was chopped off causing him to bleed to death. He was said to be operating a heavy duty machine used to saw timber and grinding fibre in the factory. It was learnt that other workers were alerted when he screamed. His co-workers watched helplessly as the machine ground his hand. Before help could come, the machine had damaged his hand, and part of his neck. He was confirmed dead at Holiness hospital where he was rushed to after the incident. Sources said the company’s management has

O decongest prisons, the Lagos State Government is contemplating replacing jail terms with community service, Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General Ade Ipaye said yesterday. Prison terms may go after a review of the state’s Criminal Code which has been in operation for 98 years. Ipaye said the government planned to introduce new measures which include non-custodian sentences; community service, probation and restitution in the administration of criminal justice to decongest the prisons. "When you are convicted, the judge may decide to sentence you to community service as an alternative to sending you to prison. In this case, you do this community service without pay and you would be monitored to ensure that you do the work as ordered by the judge," he said. Ipaye said the government has secured the services of Community Service Officers to supervise those sentenced to such service,

Man, 20, killed in Lagos factory By Jude Isiguzo

abandoned the bereaved family to their fate. The family has registered their displeasure over what they described as the company’s disregard for human life and arrogant attitude. They claimed that the company did not intimate them of the incident, wondering why it deposited Aghanenu’s at the morgue without first contacting them. The family also raised the alarm over plans to sweep the case under the carpet claiming they were prevented from seeing Aghanemu’s body. According to the father of the deceased, Mr Aghanenu, "As I speak, (12noon Wednesday) we have not been briefed on the exact circumstance that led to my son's death. We heard yesterday evening and rushed to the Isolo General Hospital mortuary where we were told his body was deposited but can you imagine that we were prevented from seeing my own son's corpse", he asked. A police patrol vehicle with heavily armed policemen was stationed in front of the company premises yesterday to forestall

any protest by aggrieved family members. Some members of the bereaved family were also seen, awaiting the arrival of the company management. After about two hours, a woman who claimed to be the company's spokesperson came out to attend to some journalists and the bereaved family.


However, when asked to explaine what happened, she referred our reporter to the Police at Ikotun, saying she was not in the position to explain. Her utterances sparked up the already tensed situation, as members of the family engaged her in a verbal confrontation.

By Adebisi Onanuga and Miriam Ndikanwu

adding that it is also organising workshops to build capacity of magistrates and relevant officers to implement the law. His ministry in collaboration with its Youth, Sports and Social Development counterpart inspected several work places and found only 10 satisfactory for community service, he said. Ipaye said offences such as bigamy, sedition and defamation have been deleted from the Criminal Code. He listed other offences that were addressed in details with proper penalties attached to include computer and other electronic data misuse, hacking and other computer related frauds, money laundering, examination malpractices, desertion of pregnant woman or girl, unlawful conversion and fraudulent dealings in land, sexual offences, terrorism and kidnapping among others. The commissioner said the Office of the Public Defender(OPD) handled 1,812 petitions ranging from criminal, child abuse, domestic violence, breach of contract, compensation/monetary among others in the last one year. According to him, the OPD excelled in the enforcement of fundamental human rights of the citizens and in enhancing pro bono services by legal practitioners.

Govt seeks private sector participation HE Lagos State government represented by her Permanent Secyesterday insisted on pri- in development retary, Mr. Kunle Ajanaku,

vate initiatives in the transformation of the grassroots. The Permanent Secretary, Office of the Auditor-General for Local Governments, Mr Mohammed Hassan, said at a forum with investors held in collaboration with Chapel Hill Advisory Partners Ltd the government is wholly committed to enhancing physical transformation of the grassroots. Noting that government will continue to enhance the living standards of the people, Hassan said: "Government alone cannot shoulder the desired accelerated physical transformation without the private sector."

By Yinka Aderibigbe

He said the matching of public sector's technical expertise with adequate private sector funding, will create a synergy needed for the attainment of basic physical and infrastructural development desirable for the grassroots. The Deputy Governor Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, said the workshop is aimed at bringing greater partnership between the public and private sectors in addressing the infrastructural needs of the society. Mrs Orelope-Adefulire

stressed the immense benefit that the Public Private Partnership (PPP), holds for the people. He added that government can no longer continue to rely on taxes and internally generated revenue to fund development. The Managing Director, Chapel Hill Advisory Partners Ltd., Mr. Bolaji Balogun, said the need to address infrastructure neglect and decay led the government to adopt PPP. He solicited the cooperation of investors to enable government bring rapid development to the grassroots.



NEWS Robbery suspect held in Ekiti From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

A 22-year-old man, Tope Jinadu, has been arrested by the police in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, for alleged robberies and sexual assaults. Jinadu, who claims to be an indigene of Ado-Ekiti, was reported to have robbed many households and sexually assaulted many women, including pupils. It was learnt that he was captured at his hideout in Ojumose by men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). In a statement yesterday, Police spokesman Jimoh Mohammed said Jinadu and other members of the gang are still at large. Items recovered from the suspect include nine DVD players, three gold necklaces, 17 Blackberry phones, eight HP laptops and some cash. Mohammed said the suspect would be charged to court when investigations have been concluded.

Fed Govt, World Bank hail Osun T job scheme HE Federal Government and the World Bank have said the Osun State Youths Employment Scheme (OYES) is a model for positive youth employment. World Bank Sector Leader, Human Development Unit, Prof. Foluso Okunmadewa said the scheme could be replicated across the country. Speaking yesterday in Iloko-Ijesa, Osun State, during the closing of a two-day Seminar on Public Works, Okunmadewa said OYES is the most creative job creation initiative in the country. He said: “The attraction to Osun State is that it is the pioneering state. Though other states are trying it, it is not on the scale of Osun. Twenty thousand youths getting N200m monthly and N2.4 billion annually is a huge endeavour. “We urge other states to learn from whatever challenges the pioneer state may have encountered, so that when they start, they will start on a sound footing. More

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

importantly, Osun State has provided a template for us to guide other states which may want to go into the youth empowerment programme.” Deputy Project Director (Public Works), Federal Ministry of Finance, Dr. Mathina Nwordu said: “From what we have seen and heard from the participants and Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s address, the scheme is wonderful. “What I find impressive about the programme is the way the governor is grooming the youths. He has re-oriented them to focus on work. “Reports and observations will be compiled and a template will be designed to guide the Federal Government on youth employment. OYES is commenda-

ble and with this kind of scheme, youth unemployment will become history.” Aregbesola said the country will be doomed, if it fails to create jobs. He said he was motivated to initiate the scheme by the rising number of unemployed youths. During his electioneering campaign, Aregbesola said he was stunned by the large number of idle youths in his Alimosho area of Lagos State and Osun State. He said: “Next to the generally visible absence of prosperity among the populace, nothing touched me more painfully than the discovery during personal interviews with young men and women, many of whom were commercial motorcyclists, that a high proportion of them are graduates who could not find jobs or lacked the opportunities to acquire

entrepreneurial skills.” Aregbesola told the World Bank and the Federal Government representatives that the scheme has helped the state’s economy. He said: “For instance, all the uniforms worn by the corps members were sown by tailors in the state. This includes the entire kit of boots, socks, caps and singlets, which were purchased in the open markets in the state.” The governor briefed the participants on the various disengagement plans which would, in the end, turn the beneficiaries into entrepreneurs. He said the scheme would tame youth restiveness and other social vices. Participants at the seminar include representatives of the Federal Government’s SURE-P programme; the National Directorate of Employment (NDE); the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity; the Federal Ministry of Finance; and 15 states.

Oyo offers Total 17 hectares THE Oyo State Government has offered to provide 17 hectares of land for Total Nigeria Plc at a reduced rate. Governor Abiola Ajimobi said the company’s presence would improve the state’s economy. He spoke yesterday at the inauguration of the Truck Drivers’ Training School and Inspection Centre built by Total Nigeria PLC in Ibadan, the state capital. Ajimobi said: “If we review what you are doing and assess your impact on the socio-economic activities of the state, we will reduce the cost of the land substantially.” He stressed the importance of skill acquisition and human capital development to the society and urged youths to equip themselves with them. Ajimobi said: “If you look around today, most of our unemployed youths are unemployable. Basically, for you to be intellectually supportive and contribute to your environment, you should be trained and must acquire skills. These we will provide for people to be the best that they can through training, knowledge and intellectual capital development. “What Total is doing today is the most important thing that should be done in any organisation, that is to encourage, develop and nurture safety and security. “Part of these is to train people, educate and reorientate them and ensure that they constantly think of safety first in everything they do. “The foundation of life is safety. In Oyo State, since we came into government, we have paid particular attention to safety and security. In fact, it remains our number one priority. Our approach to safety and security is a developmental one.”

•Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi (seccond right) and his wife, Florence; Deputy Governor Moses Adeyemo (second left); and Chief Security Officer to the Governor CSP Francis Ojomo; during the launch of Ojomo’s book entitled: “Policing in a corrosive environment” in Ibadan...yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Southwest not playground for thieves, says Osun ACN T HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Osun State has said the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) “dream” of reclaiming the Southwest is “laughable”. The party is reacting to a statement credited to the PDP National Vice Chairman (Southwest), Mr. Segun Oni, that his party would dislodge the ACN in 2015. In a statement, ACN’s Director of Publicity Mr. Kunle Oyatomi said Oni is a “political neophyte” that cannot be taken seriously.

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

Oyatomi said Oni should realise that PDP is in disarray in the Southwest. He said: “Any astute political leader should know that a party in disarray cannot dislodge its opponent in power. Oni’s statement that PDP’s mandate in the Southwest was stolen by ACN is ridiculous. “Who is the political thief

in the Southwest? The PDP, which has been certified by the courts as illegally occupying government houses after criminally manipulating the votes of the people, or the ACN which was the victim of PDP’s robbery? “I advise the ousted Ekiti State Governor to think before he speaks, otherwise, he will continue to expose himself to ridicule as a bumbling politician who has a lot to learn before he can

mature for the politics of the Southwest. “Yoruba land is not a play ground for political ignoramuses. Oni should first fix the PDP that is in total disarray in the Southwest before strategising on how to ‘dislodge’ the ACN. He cannot put the cart before the horse. “However, Oni’s dream will never come true, because the Yoruba people know who the political thieves are and they will never again be allowed to rule Oduduwa land.”

I was misquoted, says Adefarati’s widow


HE widow of former Ondo State Governor Adebayo Adefarati has said she was misquoted by the media during her recent visit to Governor Olusegun Mimiko. She said she was at the governor’s office on behalf of Akoko Community for an unknown reason and not to eulogise the governor. Mrs. Adefarati spoke on Wednesday while hosting a governorship aspirant of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Segun Ojo.

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

She said Ojo, a former Commissioner for Finance, would work with zeal and honesty, if elected. The widow described him as a loyal member of the Adefarati political family, who was with her husband till the end. She said: “It is not everybody that worked with my husband that was loyal to him. But I can say emphatically that Segun Ojo was loyal, honest and committed to

Baba. He was always thorough and gave his all to the service of the state. “As commissioner for finance, he offered useful advice against decisions that would not benefit the administration. That is why some people were not pleased with him, because he never allowed fraudulent practices. “When he was working with my husband, I believe he never dreamt of a day like this. But whatever a man sows, he will reap. He will certainly do better, if he becomes gover-

nor.” Mrs. Adefarati urged members of the Segun Ojo Campaign Organisation to be honest and committed to the project. The visit to the Adefarati family marks the end of the Segun Ojo Campaign Organisation’s tour of the four local government areas in Akoko. Ojo was accompanied on the visit by former Commissioner for Works Chief Erastus Akeju; Mr. Dapo Fasesin; Mr. Kisun Akinro; and other ACN leaders from Akoko.

NURTW sends names of Oyo caretaker panel to govt From John Ofikhenua, Abuja


HE National President of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Alhaji Najeem Yasin, has said the crisis rocking the Oyo State chapter of the union would be resolved this month. He said the national headquarters has forwarded the names of members of the chapter’s caretaker committee to the Oyo State Government. Speaking with reporters before the Central Working Committee’s meeting with stakeholders in the transport sector in Abuja, Yasin explained why Oyo would not be represented at the parley. He said: “Before the end of this month, we are going to resolve the issue of Oyo because we have sent the names of the caretaker committee that is to take charge of the state to the state government.” The National President said the union received 236 buses from the Federal Government to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal. He said 151 of the buses have been allocated to members of the union on hire purchase and the remaining 85 are being used for the union’s Mass Transit Scheme in Abuja and Lagos. On the agenda of the meeting, Yasin said it would centre on the welfare of union members and ways of improving the sector. Minister of Labour and Productivity Emeka Wogu, who was represented by the Deputy Director (Industrial Relations), Mr. Solomon Ajibola, said the parley was to revive the sector.

Alaafin, Ooni for Ilaro monarch’s coronation From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta


HE Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; the Oni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade; the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona; the Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Adeniyi Sonariwo; the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo are among the prominent Yoruba monarchs expected tomorrow at the coronation of the new Olu of Ilaro, Prince Kehinde Olugbenle. Olugbenle is a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).

FUTA unions on strike


NIONS at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), have declared a strike. The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Union of Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) allege that the management has refused to pay them the Federal Government-approved hazard allowances. Students were supposed to start exams on Wednesday, but the university’s gates remained closed yesterday. The university’s spokesman did not pick his calls.




Report of autopsy on Apagun Olumide not ready, say police T His golfing life, by associate

HERE is still no word on what killed a famous draughtsman and golfer, Apagun Oluwole Olumide -- several weeks after his death. Reason: the two agencies saddled with the responsibility, the Psychiatric Hospital, Abeokuta and the Ogun State Police , are yet to reveal the outcome of the investigations into his death. The Transit Lodge Rockbeach Lake Toria Day and Night Mini Golf at Oke-Mosan, where Olumide’s body was found on March 17, looked deserted when The Nation visited on Wednesday. Only two men stood within the compound, discussing. The approach of a guest drew their suspicion. After the exchange of greetings and the reporter made known her mission, the countenance of the duo changed. “Just go to the Ogun State Police, if you want to know anything.” The situation at his Surulere Street, Ita-Eko, Abeokuta home was not much different. The main gate was locked. A knock on the pedestrian gate drew out a young man who claimed to be the only one in the house. At the Psychiatric Hospital, which is popularly known as ARO, the Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mrs. Olude, snapped: “I know nothing about any autopsy. I was not in the office when the incident happened. I have no clue on what you are asking. So, leave me out of this, please.” But Police spokesman Olumuyiwa Adejobi was not hostile. He told The Nation that investigation into the cause of the death of the late Apagun Olumide was ongoing. Adejobi said: “It is true that pathologists carried out an autopsy to determine the cause of the death of the chief, but the job of the police is to investigate such cases. It is not our duty to carry out the autopsy. But the police will be part of the witnesses, with the family doctor and members of his family as well as other people that are willing to be there. Autopsy is not something that can be done in secret. This has been done the way it ought to be done and the pathologists have taken the samples they need to analyse. They have told us that they are working on the analysis. And we cannot compel them to give us the report. They are the ones that will come out and tell us when they are ready. “Just yesterday, the Officer-inCharge of Homicide D1 called the

Oh, we played together a lot. And I tell you it was wonderful. And in different places too –Ado-Ekiti, Abuja, we flew, we drove, we were both invited for the Ibrahim Babangida Golf Tournament, the Sola Adekanola Tournament and we often played indoors regularly basically to keep fit and be in touch with the game we both loved so much. And I would boldly tell you that Apagun loved golf. And one thing I would love to say about the late Apagun is that, he was more like a ‘marshal’ on the golf course. We played in Ikeja and Ikoyi where they

have professional courses. And somebody could be playing four holes away from where Apagun was, you would just hear him shout “don’t cheat, don’t cheat ...I have seen you...” That was Apagun for you: sharp eye with very good understanding of the game. One other thing I would love to say is that, I never saw him cheat or hear anyone complain about him being a cheat when it comes to golf. I don’t know much about other aspects of his life. But the Apagun I know on the golf course never cheated in the golf course. It doesn’t matter whether he was on the winning or

losing end of the game. He would still not cheat on the golf course. He would not. Even while he was maintaining his resort and he noticed that some people had left, kind of ran away, he went to look for them and persuaded them to return. I was one of those that still stayed with him. He loved the game to the point that he felt the pain that after he had spent so much money creating that place, people were not playing regularly. And because I stayed, he would say “I love Kenny because he is always playing golf...” And that encouraged me to the point that I played 54 holes per day at times. I know that the late Apagun’s love for golf was exceptional. I can say that without fear. How would you describe Apagun’s input to the development of golf in Nigeria? I would say it was during his time as president, NGF, that he initiated the President Open Tournament. And when he was at the AGF, he started the Abeokuta Golf Academy during which he would go to secondary schools to try to see how he could get young children interested in playing golf through the then Abeokuta Sports Club which has now been turned into a housing corporation. At close to 70 before he passed on, did age slow him down in any way? No, he was there all through. He was always at the resort most of the time. He played as if he was still very young. And that is one of the gains of golf. It keeps players intact, content and energetic. You can’t play golf and lose your composure. And that was true for Apagun. His enthusiasm for the game never waned. He would be there morning, noon and evening changing one setting or the other and moving things around. He would change some leaves into something like roses.

not out yet. If it is out, the police have nothing to do with it by holding on to it. We will make it known to people the moment the pathologists bring it. Then the whole nation will know what actually caused his death, both immediate and remote.” He also spoke on the independent investigation of the police, which he described as multi-faceted. Adejobi said: “We have been propelled to spread our tentacles into

certain areas, particularly the calllog because we have had several people say that the deceased called them before his death. But such claims are not enough; the onus is on the police to confirm whether such assertions are true or not. And we can only do that scientifically. There is a lot of process attached to that. It is not that we can simply write a telecommunications company and say ‘Oh give me the calllog of the late Apagun...’ No, we

have to follow due process to get court order for legal backing, then seek the official consent of the service provider to get the call-logs. It is after that that we can narrow down our investigation to the last calls on the log to ascertain if they could lead us to what we need to know and then sit down to analyse. However, we are actually trying to narrow down the scope of our investigation to his immediate last calls and text messages.”

Dr. Kehinde Osinfade is Chief Consultant Nephrologist at the Med-Sup Clinic, Abeokuta. Osinfade and the late Apagun Oluwole Olumide played golf together. He speaks on the late Egba chief’s love for golf


S someone who was close to Apagun Oluwole Olumide, what can you tell us about his life as a golfer? The late Apagun and I were very close, as golfers, and almost as brothers. We were friends as golfers, but as you know like every other human beings, we had our differences. But it’s nothing really serious because ours was merely on golf-related matters. When did you meet him? We met about 1994. He was then the President of the Nigerian Golf Federation (NGF). I became the captain for the amateur golfers around 1998-99. The Golf Union of Nigeria (GUN) was about the development of the young golfers in schools within the country, while the NGF is about administration of golf tournament. So, what was playing golf with Apagun like? By Joke Kujenya

hospital to ask for the report; they assured us that they would soon get to us. And we do not have full control over the doctors to tell them when precisely to bring the report. As you know, their job is scientific and they know the right thing to be done. It is on this premise that I am appealing to us all to know that the autopsy report of the late Apagun Chief Oluwole Olumide is

• Osinfade and the late Olumide

‘Two per cent of men’s deaths in Nigeria caused by tobacco’


T least two per cent of all deaths of men in Nigeria every year is related to tobacco use, a new global report has shown. The 2012 Tobacco Atlas said this is the most preventable cause of death in the country and globally. $591 million is lost annually by the country to tobacco use in terms of health care and related expenses. Besides, it shows that Nigerians smoke about 17 billion sticks of cigarette annually. The Atlas, which is the world’s most comprehensive analysis of tobacco related activities, shows that 21.7 per cent of youths are exposed to second hand smoke in their homes and as such are at risk of cancer and other allied diseases. Girls who use tobacco are put at 1.3 per cent, while boys, between ages 13 and 15 who use tobacco, stand at 5.6 per cent. The percentage of men who use tobacco is put at 8. Experts say if this trend continues, the country will soon be dealing with a tobacco epidemic. A tobacco control activist, Akinbode Oluwafemi said: “ This madness must be stopped before it consumes more people. Imagine the number of people dying annually from the

•New study details tobacco casualties By Olukorede Yishau, Assistant Editor (News)

killer products of the tobacco giants. This sure must stop, and a way of doing that is to have the Tobacco Control Bill signed into law and implemented.” Akinbode added: “We have to prevent a situation where Nigeria will become Europe or America where at least 20 per cent of all male deaths have been blamed on cigarette smoking. In China, tobacco use is the number one killer, causing 1.2 million deaths annually and this is expected to rise to 3.5 million deaths annually by the year 2030. We must not get to this state.” The report said last year, tobacco use killed about six million people globally, with nearly 80 per cent of these deaths in low- and middle-income countries such as Nigeria. It shows that the industry realises almost $6,000 (Sh498,000) in profit for each death caused by tobacco. President, American Cancer Society (ACS) John Seffrin said tobacco giants’ activities in countries like Nigeria calls for concern. Seffrin said

they are already growing in developing countries. “We can no longer deny or accept the massive human and economic harm costs by tobacco,” he said. Chief Executive Officer, World Lung Foundation Peter Baldini said:”The tobacco industry thrives on ignorance of the true harms of tobacco and using misinformation to subvert health policies that could save millions.” The high number of deaths has made the WHO recommend higher cigarette prices to make them unaffordable to children and make the habit expensive for regular smokers. A professor of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the University of Benin, Edo State, Friday Okonofua, said: “Indeed, the rising cases of cancer deaths in Nigeria is becoming a national embarrassment, It is my considered opinion that the government needs to develop a comprehensive policy on cancer prevention and treatment, and set up an emergency task force to implement the related plan of action. Such a policy

must be hinged on the tripod of the prevention of cancers, early recognition of the disease and prompt treatment. We must go back to the days of Professor Olikoye RansomeKuti when he emphasized the importance of preventative health care. I dare say, our failure to heed his advice has continued to plague our health care system and is the major reason for the continued under-performance of this country in key health indicators.” The Atlas, produced by the ACS in partnership with the World Lung Foundation and endorsed by the WHO, noted: “Worldwide, smoking causes almost 80 per cent of male and nearly 50 per cent of female lung cancer deaths. “Uniquely among cancer-causing agents, however, tobacco is a manmade problem that is completely preventable through proven public policies. These cost-effective policies are among those included in the WHOs Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, a global treaty endorsed by more than 174 countries.”

Nigerian arrested for series of Internet love scams A NIGERIAN man was arrested by the Malaysian police in Kuala Lumpur and extradited to Singapore on April 11 for a spate of Internet love scams. The 32-year-old is believed to be involved in a series of love scam cases which were reported to the police last year. He allegedly befriended female victims through online dating and social networking sites, and developed a ‘love’ relationship with them. He would promise to visit Singapore and on the day of arrival, he would contact the victims and inform them that he had been detained at the checkpoint. He would then ask the victims to remit money to specified bank accounts to secure his release. The suspect will be charged in court today and a court order will be sought to remand him for further investigations, said DAC Sam Tee, Commander Airport Police Division, who expressed his gratitude to the Malaysian police “for the excellent cooperation and assistance rendered to the Singapore Police in effecting the arrest”.




•Sector Leader, World Bank Country Office, Abuja Prof. Foluso Okunmadewa (seventh left); Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola (middle); Director-General, Bureau of Social Services, Mr.Femi Ifaturoti (seventh right); Commandant of Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (O-YES) Col. Enibukun Oyewole (sixth right) and other participants at a Seminar on Public Works Toolkit and Practice for O-YES volunteer members, organised by the World Bank at Royal Park Hotel, Iloko-Ijesha, Osun State...yesterday

Rep Abegunde to join Ondo governorship race April 18 From Leke Akeredolu, Akure


HOUSE of Representatives member, representing Akure South/North of Ondo State, Ifedayo Abegunde, has said he would on April 18 declare his intention for the governorship race. The lawmaker, who recently defected from the Labour Party (LP) to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) will join over 20 other aspirants jostling for the governorship ticket on the platform of the party. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed October 20 for the governorship election. In a statement in Akure, the state capital, by his senior aide, Femi Ajayi, the lawmaker said he would visit the party secretariat to brief its leadership on his ambition. The letter reads: “The lawmaker representing Akure North/South Federal Constituency will be at the state secretariat of our great party by 10am on Wednesday 18, to officially inform the state executive of our party of his intention to contest the governorship seat of Ondo State on the party platform. “It is in line with Abegunde’s political ideology to respect party structures and constitution. He will, thereafter, proceed to his campaign office at 14b, Ondo Road, Akure, to address reporters and declare his ambition.” Abegunde, who is Chairman of the House Committee on Emergency and Natural Disaster, had filed a suit at the Akure Federal High Court to stop the LP from recalling him from the House of Representatives following his defection to ACN. The Federal High Court has fixed April 26 for the hearing.

Oyo awaits legislation to set up drivers’ institute


HE Oyo State Government yesterday said the Drivers’ Institute to be established in the state would take off as soon as the House of Assembly passes the bill into law. Commissioner for Works and Transport Mr Yunus Akintunde yesterday addressed reporters on the activities of the ministry. He said the institute would create awareness among road users and help to reduce the number of accidents. The commissioner said the government would complete 58 road projects, whose contracts have been awarded, before the end of the year. He added that the Abiola Ajimobi administration would soon become a benchmark in quality road construction. Akintunde said the dualisation of UCH-Total Garden-Agodi Bus-Stop road had been reactivated to ensure a speedy completion of the project. According to him, the government will install street lights on the road, adding:

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

“The ministry is proposing to instal solar-powered street lights on Yidi-Old Ife Road and Ikolaba-Custom in Ibadan, besides the already completed ones. “The government also plans to complete the ongoing solar-powered traffic control lights at various junctions in Ibadan and add new ones before the end of this year.” He described Ajimobi as a focused governor, who is determined to leave the state better than he met it. The commissioner urged residents to support the administration, saying: “We are all joint owners of the state. Our governor is the listening type; don’t hesitate to pass on to us any information that can help us to bring governance nearer to the people. It is not possible for government officials to be in every place. Give us information on whatever goes on in your area that you feel the government should be interested in and you will see us taking prompt action.”

Two children die in Ogun house fire


WO children have died in a night fire at a home in Agoka, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital. Lateef Akinwunmi (12), his sister Jumoke (5) and two older siblings were asleep in their room on Wednesday night when the fire broke out. Their mother, Mrs Basirat Akinwunmi, was said to have rushed to the room to

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

rescue the children when the fire broke out in the bungalow at 11pm. But she could only save the two older children. Additional efforts by other occupants and their neighbours to douse the fire were abortive. The fire reportedly spread fast from one room to the other. It also destroyed property worth thousands of naira.

A sympathiser, who spoke in confidence, said the incident could have been averted if there was no blackout and intense heat, which forced people to sleep outside their rooms. It was learnt that the woman was roused from where she was enjoying the breeze when she saw smoke coming from her room. “As the woman saw the smoke coming out of the

room and remembering that her children were inside, she rushed inside to rescue them. Two were rescued but two others were burnt,” the sympathiser said. The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Adatan Divisional Police Station, Adatan, Abeokuta, who visited the scene yesterday, said Police Commissioner Okoye Ikemefuna had given orders for the burial of the children.

Osun Assembly Speaker condemns assassination attempt on House Leader SUN State House of Assembly Speaker Najeem Salaam has condemned the alleged assassination attempt on the life of the Leader of the Assembly, Timothy Owoeye. He said those threatening the security and peace of the state might have begun to make a statement with the attempt. The Speaker said the House would await the outcome of police investigation on the matter before stepping in, to prevent prejudice. Salaam urged security agencies in the state and other Southwest states to protect life and property of government officials. He noted that all connections to


By Olamilekan Andu

the matter should be probed. In a statement in Abuja by his Press Secretary Goke Butika, the Speaker said a group threatened to make the state ungovernable for the Rauf Aregbesola administration. He noted that with a lawmaker almost assassinated, it is useless looking for the source of the attack, unless investigation shows otherwise. Salaam said: “When I said the threat of some politicians, who had vowed to make Osun State ungovernable, should be taken serious, my statement was

passed for a political game. Now that the leader of the parliament in Osun State just escaped assassination by the whiskers and God’s mercy, I believe that all clues connecting to the assassination attempt should be unravelled.” The Speaker said investigation on the assassination attempt would not be allowed to be manipulated or subverted, adding that all arsenals at the disposal of the Assembly would be deployed to get to the root of the matter. He said: “The House of Assembly is an institution on its own, and no member of that institution would be allowed to contend with vio-

lence of some unscrupulous set-up whose stock in trade is violence and assassination.” Owoeye was ambushed by four gunmen in an unmarked Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) in front of St. Charles Grammar School, Ilesa Road, Osogbo. He was returning to his Ilesa home on Wednesday evening. The Assembly had warned the ousted Ekiti State Governor, now the National ViceChairman (Southwest) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Segun Oni, following his threat that his party would make Osun State ungovernable for Aregbesola should he intimidate or arrest its members.

Ondo community LP members defect to ACN


VER 2,000 members of the ruling Labour Party (LP) in Akoko North West Local Government Area of Ondo State yesterday joined the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Among them were the LP House of Representatives aspirant in the 2011 election, Ademuyiwa Funmilade, and the House of Assembly aspirant for Akoko North West, Dr. Idowu Ilesanmi. The defectors said their decision was hinged on the neglect of Akoko Division in the scheme of things. They noted that the northern senatorial district, par-

From Damisi Ojo, Akure ticularly Akoko, lacks basic infrastructure, such as good roads, water and stable electricity, despite having prominent indigenes in the government. The aggrieved ex-LP members condemned how Governor Olusegun Mimiko allegedly used and dumped their kinsmen and former Special Adviser to the governor, Saka Lawal, after assisting to bring him to power. They said: “With the governorship election around the corner, there is no need for us to pretend again. We

are pulling out of the ruling party that denied us the desired dividends of democracy. We are joining our son, Lawal, to work diligently in ensuring that ACN unseats Mimiko. “Now that INEC has fixed the election for October 20, we can no more remain in the sinking boat of the LP. We will move from house to house to mobilise people for the ACN.” The defectors hoped that their new party would provide succour for them, if it is voted to power. Lawal, who is an ACN governorship aspirant, urged Akokos to unite and

send the present administration into exile through their votes. He noted that of all the three senatorial districts in the state, Ondo North, particularly Akoko, was being relegated to the background. Leading the defectors were: K.O Aminu (Ward 3), Ogundana Akintoye (Ward 3), Akanbi Banjo (Ward 4), Sunday Fajana (Ward 4), Adebayo Raphael (Ward 3), Adeyemi Grace (Ward 7) and Awolusi Pius (Ward 7). Others were: Adeusi Ireti, Chief (Mrs) Adewunmi Taiwo, Mrs Adeusi Funke and Adeyeye Bisi.





Growth prospects remain favourable for many developing countries in subsahara Africa especially commodity producers in the region. -Mr Philips Uduoza, GMD, UBA

‘Govt owes Lagos pensioners N11.2b’ By Miriam Ndikanwu


HE Federal govern ment owes pensioners in the state public service N11.2billion, Lagos State Commissioner for Establishment, Pensions and Training, Mrs. Florence Oguntuase has said. The commissioner who revealed this at a press conference, said the amount is an accumulative debt of seven years pensions benefit that accrued to the state. She said the non-payment of the benefits by the Federal Government has caused anxiety for such pensioners, stressing that N1.1billion and N10.1billion had been verified and approved as reimbursement to the State and Local Governments respectively. The commissioner however, expressed optimism that the outcome of the ongoing Pensions investigation by the Senate Committee on Establishments and Pensions would be favourable to the states and local governments. “These figures are cumulative from 2005. They have been verified and they are with them in Abuja but we don’t know when they would pay. The committee assured us that as soon as their finding are concluded, they would ensure that no pensioner is owned anything. So Lagos pensioners are eagerly looking forward to when they will be paid”, she added. On Pensions administration in the state, Oguntuase said the Civil Service Pensions Office processed 232 files for terminal benefits for prospective pensioners, adding that N119, 701,677 was paid to 145 pensioners as gratuity.

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$123.6/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE -N6.503 trillion JSE -Z5.112trillion NYSE -$10.84 trillion LSE -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -12.6% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending-22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -14.18% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $34.6b FOREX CFA 0.2958 EUR 206.9 £ 245 $ 156.4 ¥ 1.9179 SDR 241 RIYAL 40.472

• President Goodluck Jonathan (centre) in group photograph with the award winners from left to right are Mr. Robinson Omorogiuwa , Mr.Gbenga Ali Makinde, Mr.Mohammed Aminu , Mr. Muritala Osuolale Bello, Mr. Mbetobong Umoefik and Mr. Bimlack Jimon with their cheques of N500.000.00 each at the You Win Presidential Awards ceremony of Youth Enterprise With Innovations In Nigeria (YOU WIN) at the Banquet Hall Presidential Villa in Abuja ... PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN. yesterday.

More industries may collapse, T says Lagos chamber HE Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Indus try (LCCI) has raised the alarm that more industries may collapse if the manufacturing sector continues to bear the huge cost of energy. Speaking at the first quarter press conference of the Chamber in Lagos, President of the chamber, Mr Goddie Ibru said most firms now rely entirely on their generators for production. He added that the cost is horrendous, with diesel costing between N150 and N165 per litre. “This is in addition to the problem of dwindling sales, weak consumer demand, high cost of fund, dumping of substandard products at

By Toba Agboola

ridiculous prices in the market and unethical practices in the importation processes. If the current trend persists, we may not have an industrial sector in a few years to come. Only a robust package of incentives can save the sector from total collapse. The burden of energy cost and funding has become excruciating and intolerable,” Ibru said. He noted the business condition in the first quarter was very challenging, adding that there was persistent credit squeeze and tight liquidity in

the financial system, which made access to credit difficult and exerted pressure on interest rate. Ibru said the delay in the passage of the budget will cause a major setback to the capital projects. ”The delay has a number of implications for the economy. The public sector is a major driver of economic activities by virtue of the configuration of the economy and resource allocation. Therefore, when the fiscal activity of government is slowed down, it has a dampening effect on the general

cash flow in the economy. “Capital projects would suffer the risk of poor implementation. This will further take its toll on infrastructure development in the economy. The construction industry, which is driven principally by public sector expenditure, may be further depressed. “Also, payment of many contractors is dependent on the conclusion of the budget process. We are concerned that budget delays have become a recurring phenomenon in the country,” he said.

Oil workers threaten strike over sack


HE Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff of Nigeria (PENGASSEN) and National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) yesterday threatened to mobilise their staff for an industrial action over mass disengagement of workers in the downstream petroleum sector. The unions while making a presentation during stakeholders meeting with Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu expressed concern over poor monitoring and enforcement by the Bureau of Public Enterprises

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

(BPE) of privitisation agreement with core investors. Presidents of the unions, comrade Babatunde Ogun and Igwe Achese of PENGASSEN and NUPENG told the minister that despite the sufficient increase in products demand that has opened doors for unlimited operators in downstream petroleum sector, there have been sharp practices. They lamented that the response has massive job losses and recourse to engagement of casual workers. According to the union, MRS, AP and

host of other oil majors have been flouting the Nigeria Labour Law by casualising staff. They urged Wogu to urgently order for the sensitisation of companies and administrators of the free trade zone on labour legislations. Besides, the oil workers urged the Federal government to review the basis of all concessions and waivers to the downstream Petroleum Sector players for the non-complementary action of disguising the delay of full deregulation and right pricing/full cost recovery as basis for irratio-

nal job cut. Their words: “Both Unions maintain that it is imperative to share the content of the PIB draft for accelerated passage particularly as regards labour related issues to prevent possible crisis that may precipitate from non-engagement before passage. “As may be recalled, PENGASSEN shelved the industrial actions that became compelling to protect the lives of their members over the increasing spate of abductions and general insecurity that was reported to government at all levels.”

Aviation probe: Senate won’t join issues with UK


HE Senate yesterday said it had no plan to join issues with the British Government on the probe of alleged malpractices by foreign airliners operating in the country. Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Hope Uzodinma disclosed this at a press conference in Abuja on the planned investigation of outrageous price disparity being perpetrated by foreign airlines operating in the

• Vows to recover lost funds From Onyedi Ojiabor, Asst. Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

country. Britain was reported to have said the Federal Government cannot sanction British Airways (BA) over fare disparity by foreign airlines operating in the country.. But Uzodinma said the panel will work within its terms of reference .

He said:” I can assure you that we don’t have the plan to join issues with anybody. We will be friendly in the way we go about this business. “We will be diplomatic enough and we will not join issues with the British Government but we will ensure that any violation to our laws will attract appropriate decisions and recommendations.”

The Senate at its plenary on March 28 th mandated the Senate committee on Aviation to investigate series of allegations of violations of the country’s aviation laws by foreign airlines. The committee was also mandated to probe allegations of negligence and lapses by the regulatory agencies. Uzodinma said that the investigation would open next week to listen to stakeholders.

NNPC to intensify local participation From John Ofikhenua, Abuja


IGERIA would continue to intensify efforts to encourage indigenous participation in the upstream sector of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry, Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Group Managing Director, Engr. Austen Oniwon has said. This he said is to guarantee national security and ensure that the country derives more benefits from the exploration of the nation’s hydrocarbon resources. The NNPC boss disclosed these yesterday in a statement from its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Levi Ajuonuma. Oniwon spoke when he received in his office a 23-man delegation of Faculty staff and top ranking military officers of the National Defence University in Pakistan. He explained that it was line with local participation commitment that two oil wells from which Shell Petroleum Development Company recently divested were ceded to indigenous companies to manage.

Oil market fundamentals ‘easing’


HE oil market has broken a two-year cycle of tightening supply conditions, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said yesterday. Demand has softened and Saudi Arabia has increased output in response to tensions with Iran. The agency said in its monthly report that there had potentially been a rise in global oil stocks of one million barrels per day (bpd) over the last quarter and the impact on prices had not yet been fully realised. “The cycle of repeatedly tightening fundamentals since 2009 has been broken for now,” it said.






Customs records N52b in Tin Can


IGERIAN Customs Service, Tin-Can Is land Ports Command, recorded N52.8 billion as revenue in the first quarter of the year, the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Chris Osunkwo, has said. Osunkwo, said the amount is N10.09 billion over its revenue collections in the corresponding period of 2011. The Commands spokesman, told The Nation, that the Tin Can Command is the second most lucrative point in the country, saying it has recorded N14.5 billion in January 2012, representing six per cent, as against the N13.6 billion it recorded in the same month in 2011. Furthermore, he said in February, the Command’s

• Non- oil exports decline by 64,959 MT By Uyoatta Eshiet

performance rose by 53 per cent, as the actual revenue generated stood at N19.2 billion compared with N12.5 billion it made in the same month in 2011. He said in March, the Command garnered N19.03 billion, as against the N16.5 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2011. The Command’s revenue grew by 15 per cent, he stated. The Spokesperson said the new target for year 2012 set for Tin-Can by Customs High Command is N264 billion which translates to N22 billion a month, as against the N15 billion monthly set

for it last year. He said the unit recorded N193 billion as total revenue in the preceding year, indicating an increase of N13 billion over the set target of N180 billion. By this first quarter result, the Command recorded a short fall of about N13 billion from its set target. However, Osunkwo assured that the target would be met, saying there is no cause for alarm. “The target though high, is realizable,” he stated. Export data for the past three years exclusively obtained by The Nation, showed that non oil exports in the three years from 2009 – 2011 have been

on the decline. Total export declined by 64,959.479 metric tonnes. A breakdown of the data showed that between January 2009 and December of the same year, the total export of non-oil products that passed through Tin Can Port stood at 234,495.739 metric tonnes valued at N77.659 billion, while in 2010, the total tonnage reduced to 223,947.33 metric tonnes valued at N107.380 billion. In 2011 the total tonnage, declined to 169,536.26 metric tonnes valued at N101.159 billion. Within a period of three years, 2009 to 2011, the total tonnage of non-oil exports that passed through Tin-Can Ports declined by 64,959.479 metric tonnes.

‘OPEC crude shipments surge most since 2008’


HE Organization of Pe troleum Exporting Countries will boost oil shipments this month by the most since at least 2008 as Asian refiners build stockpiles, according to tanker-tracker Oil Movements. OPEC will export 24.32 million barrels a day in the four weeks to April 28, an increase of 5.2 percent on the 23.12 million a day that was scheduled for shipment in the period to March 31, the researcher said in an e-mailed report today. The data exclude Angola and Ecuador. “It’s unnaturally high for the time of year,” Roy Mason, the company’s founder, said by telephone from Halifax inEngland. “It’s been driven by the east. It’s coming from the Gulf and could be stock-build-

ing in advance of the completion of refinery maintenance in the east.” OPEC raised forecasts for supplies from outside the group today, echoing an assessment by the International Energy Agencythat oil markets are adequately supplied. Brent crude futures have climbed 12 percent this year, trading at $120 a barrel today in London, amid concern that a tougher embargo imposed onIran in the middle of this year will cut supply and stoke political tension in the Middle East. Crude on board tankers will average 512.94 million barrels in the four weeks, up 9.7 percent from the month to March 31, Oil Movements said. That is the most since December 2000.






School marks Cultural Day

Community urges empowerment of youths

FRSC officers donate to Delta Command




FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2012




Page 15


‘Greed, corruption bane of Nigeria’s development’


•Chief Odigie-Oyegun

IGERIANS have been urged to shun greed and corruption in order to fasttrack the country’s development. Former Governor of Edo State, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun made the appeal in Benin during an international colloquium on 30 years of social service delivery in Nigeria. The colloquium held at Precious Palm Royal Hotel, Benin City was organised in honor of Professor Emeritus and former Vice Chancellor, University of Benin, Andrew Godwin Onokerhoraye. Facilitated by the Department of Geography and Regional planning, UNIBEN and Centre for Population and Environmental

From Emeka Attah

Development (CPED), the colloquium attracted over 30 university professors, academicians from different institutions and disciplines. Governors of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko and Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan were all represented. Other guests included Nigeria’s former Minister of Information and Culture, Prof. Sam Oyovbaire and various university vice chancellors. Other attendants were Prof. Eghosa Osaghen, Igbinedion University, Okada, Prof. Boniface Egboka, Nnamdi Azikwe University, Awka and Prof Eric Arubayi,

Delta State University, Abraka, among others. Chief Oyegun acknowledged the contributions of academics to the development of the country. He extolled the virtues of Onokerhoraye and urged all Nigerians to join the effort to make the country better. He also supported the agitation for the creation of state police in Nigeria as one of the ways out of the security challenges facing the nation. “As long as we remain a nation of insatiable greed, all noble and lofty ideas espoused by scholars will amount to nullity. We should have a rethink and change of attitude in the way we behave and act

both in public office and in our individual lifestyles,” he said. Onokerhoraye who was overwhelmed by the outpouring of encomiums on him said that experience has taught him that the best way to hold public office is to use one’s position to touch lives and accumulate friends, not foes and enemies because according to him it is the friends that one can run to after leaving office. He disclosed that he has garnered over 50 awards from different groups and organisations since leaving office as university vice chancellor over 15 years ago. •Continued on Page 47


HE Jukun, descendants of warriors in Taraba State, have organised an elaborate feast to celebrate the prevailing peace between them and their neighbours. Jukun warriors once fought and conquered vast swathes of territory, establishing the formidable Kwararafa Kingdom. In contemporary times, they have also clashed with neighbours in what left many dead and injured, and prized properties destroyed on both sides. But the days of war have since come to an end, necessitating the Youth and Cultural Day feast. When the Jukun celebrated the Day, the people sought to revive and sustain their rich cultural heritage for the future generation. They sought to make peace and foster unity, not only among themselves but across the ethnic groups. The feast took place at the Aku Uka Palace in Wukari. It witnessed an unprecedented convergence of Junkun people. The event sought to unify all Jukun people. His Royal Majesty Dr. Shekarau Angyu Massa-Ibi, who holds the traditional title of the Kuvyo II is the Aku-Uka. The Aku-Uka is their supreme king; he is aptly regarded as their god and the earthly representative of the Almighty. The occasion was heralded by folk songs and cultural displays, featuring masquerades. The Jukun masquerades have different social and sacred purposes to the traditional life of their people. Those that were showcased included: Agashi, Ashama, Agbakeke, Yododo, Akuwason and Adashan among others. The Agashi and Ashama are regarded as royal masquerades and Aku-Uka’s most favourites. Jukun have four stunning cultural regalia. On that event, while the youth sported the Adere, which is usually blue, the elders dorned the white Kyazwe that symbolises peace. The blue Adire is for command and spiritual strength, according to the belief of the Jukun. There is also the Kyazwe Wambo, which is used for the inauguration of their king, and other purposes). The Aku-Uka, as usual, was

•Jukun warriors

Jukun celebrate peace Ethnic group says peace will usher development Ex-governor Doma urges cohesion From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo

dressed in his red Anyipo. The Anyipo is the royal regalia worn only by the Aku-Uka. This is because red, known in Jukun as “abukhan” signifies danger–the brave nature of Jukun as well as the symbol of authority. The men’s traditional hairstyle

was also unique. As warriors, their hair is completely shaven, except for a braided patch atop the head. Clad in Adere, bare-chested and barefoot, some wielded bird feather, some spears or swords. The bird feather is for honour and dignity, while the spear, which they call Atsoshi, is a weapon of war. The sword (Kahwa) was borne

only by the Aku-Uka, who has the authority to terminate someone’s life, if found guilty of murder. At the venue, the young Jukun and their elders sat quietly as they listened passionately to their history. In turns, the dignitaries made their speeches. Subsequently the message of peace was preached, to subdue the priority of fighting and conquering

ethnic hegemonies. Chairman of the occasion, Chief David Sabo Kente said the feast was to revive their rich cultural heritage and promote their identity. It was also an occasion that served as a medium through which the Jukun met to evaluate their success and achievement in the land, as well as the obstacles to their progress and critically proffer a solution. Kente, however, said the newgeneration Jukun would have to change their cultural priorities different from those of their forefathers and founders of the Kwararafa kingdom. He said: “We may need to set up •Continued on Page 47



Edo community urges empowerment of youths


• Governor Oshiomhole

ESIDENTS of Igarra community in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State have called on political office holders in the country to work collectively to ensure the empowerment of youths. The call was made during the second Igarra General Conference organised by the Etuno Youths Association (EYA). The President of the association,Mr Monday Orisaremi, while addressing the gathering, expressed regret that successive state governments and the Federal Government had marginalised the community. Orisaremi, therefore, called on the sons and daughters of the community holding political offices to use their positions to ensure the

Ohaneze sues for peace, unity


HE Kano State Chapter of Ohanaeze Ndigbo has urged all Christians to continue to pray for peace, unity and progress of the country. A statement signed by its president, Chief Tobias Idika, in Kano, also urged all Nigerians to look inward and reflect on those issues that constituted an impediment to moving the nation forward. “It is indeed disheartening that after over 52 years of independence, Nigeria has continued to grapple with socio-economic and security challenges.” It is indeed more painful that our leaders, who are supposed to solve these problems and make life bearable for Nigerians, have continued to fail in their constitutional responsibilities,” Idika was quoted as saying. Idika urged Christians to pray fervently against insecurity, bad leadership and hunger. He also called on President Goodluck Jonathan to be more resolute in the fight against terrorism and enemies of the state. “May God continue to bless us and redeem Nigeria and Nigerians from the shackles of poverty and diseases,” he said. In Gombe, Gov. Ibrahim Dankwambo solicited the support of Christians in the

Kano country and in the state to pray for peace to reign. Dankwambo made the call in Gombe at a prayer rally organised by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Gombe chapter. He was represented by Mr Hassan Ahmadu Gombe, the Commissioner for Rural Development and Cooperative. He urged the the Christian faithful to pray and fast for the progress of the country and for peaceful co-existence in Gombe.. “Christians should make Gombe a prayer point of contact,’’ he said. He also urged them to continue living in peace with one another irrespective of religious differences. “Show example of Christ’s life by showing love without segregation,’’ he said. Rev. Abare Kalla, the CAN Chairman, challenged Christians to stand on the truth even if it would cost their lives. “Let us be reunited and energise ourselves for the betterment of Gombe and Nigeria at large.

Uduaghan stresses importance of Ode-Itsekiri road


ELTA State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan has said that the desire to tap the economic potentials and open up the communities between Warri and OdeItsekiri for development informed the construction of Ode-Itsekiri road. Uduaghan, who stated this after inspecting the Ode-ltsekiri end of the project, said it was a strategic one that would open up the axis for growth and development. He disclosed that the road will connect Warri from Ubeji to Ode-ltsekiri, adding that the project included 22 bridges including a major navigational bridge.

Edo development of the community. He said that irrespective of political divide and other sentiments, the development of the community remained a challenge that must be fought. According to him, as big as Igarra is, it lacks government presence. He said that an Institute of Management and Technology approved to be established in the area by the defunct Bendel State Government in 1980 was established in another community in Edo South senatorial district. Orisaremi appealed for the establishment of some faculties of the state-owned university in the locality and called on the University of Benin to do the same. He said that the association was ready to partner with any group or person whose activities were geared toward developing the town. In his presentation, the senator representing Edo North Senatorial District, Mr Domingo Obende, said that he was determined to bring development to the area. He also called on the people to explore the possibility of establishing a solid mineral resources institute in the area to explore the abundance solid minerals available in some parts of the community.

• Uduaghan

Akpabio’s wife donates N2m to honest officer


HE Wife of the Governor of Akwa Ibom State Mrs. Ekaette Unoma Akpabio has again identified honesty and commitment to duty as panacea for success. Mrs Akpabio made this known while redeeming the pledge of N2m to Mrs. Elizabeth Akande a staff of the Civil Defence Corps who had earlier been honoured by Sun newspapers for rejecting graft. Mrs Akande, was honoured for rejecting a bribe of N500,000 to aid the rigging of election in Oyo State during the 2011 general elections, even in


•From left: Marketing Manager, Federal Palace Hotel and Casino, Uche Ogbu; Mary Anne Dobreta; General Manager of the Hotel, David Kliegl at the presentation of the first car prize in the ongoing Federal Palace Hotel and Casino’s Cash ‘N’ Cars Promo

the face of intimidation. Presenting the cash gift to the awardee at the Sun Newspaper Headquaters in Lagos, Mrs Akpabio, represented by the State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Aniekan Umanah, said her efforts through campaigns have been targeted at re-orientating people against corruption and other vices that are rocking the fabrics of our nation. Mrs Akpabio said her pet programme the Family Life Enhancement Initiative has been used to provide houses for widows, empowerment schemes for youths and the elderly as well as remand homes for the destitute and orphans in the state.


EEDVEST Limited, a firm providing corporate finance for entrepreneurs has celebrated its 10th anniversary in Lagos with donations to Little Saints Orphanage Homes and Down Syndrome Foundation Home. Speaking during the ceremony, Managing Director of the company, Mr. Kehinde Oyeleke, explained that the company had donated food items to two charity homes as part of the activities marking the occasion, to express support for the less privileged in the society. He said: “The donations were a way of appreciating God for the success the company

By Musa Odoshimokhe

He urged the beneficiaries to be prudent in the management of the funds provided so that they too can assist others who seek employment and assured that the exercise would be a continuous one. Akinlade used the occasion to render accounts of his stewardship in the last quarter at the lower chamber and assured that the next batch of empowerment would start in June with women and youths being the major target. Also Speaking, ACN chairmen in the local governments, Hon. Yahyah Idowu, Yewa South and Alhaji Gani Adelakun, Ipokia Local Government, praised the legislator for the gesture and urged other lawmakers to emulate the good example displayed by Akinlade. In the same vein, former House of Representatives member, Alhaji Kamoru Oduntan, praised the exemplary qualities of the legislator and urged beneficiaries to make judicious use of the various empowerment items they got.

Akwa Ibom

Delta The governor explained that the project entails a lot of engineering technicalities and designs, stressing that the high cost of construction in the riverside communities was as a result of the difficult terrain. He expressed satisfaction with the quality and pace of work at the Trans-Warri- Ode ltsekiri Road Project and charged the contracting firm not to relent in its efforts. He used the opportunity to inspect the palace of the Olu of Warri which was under reconstruction by ltsekiri indigenes in preparation for the 25th Coronation anniversary of the Olu, Ogiame Atuwatse II. Governor Uduaghan who was pleased at the preparations, said the event for this year will take place at Ode-ltsekiri, the ancestral home of the ltsekiris because of the peace and harmony that now exist between the people and other communities in the area.


•Wife of the Governor of Akwa Ibom State represented by the State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Aniekan Umanah(left) redeeming the pledge of N2M to Mrs. Elizabeth Akande who was honoured by Sun newspapers for rejecting a bribe of N500,000 to aid the rigging of election, while the Sun Newspaper Editor, Steve Nwosu, watches.

Council chief promises support for education C

HAIRMAN Interim Management Committee of Akinyele Local Government area of Oyo state Honorable Mukaila Abiola Ambali has reiterated his commitment to complement the effort of the Oyo State governor Senator Abiola Ajimobi to restructure the education sector in the state. The council chief stated this at an award programme organised by the Chief Whip of the State House Assembly Hon. Abidun Adigun-Hammed to motivate the primary school pupils who performed brilliantly during the just concluded Florence Ajimobi quiz competition. Hon. Ambali said the governor , has been trying to improve on the facility he met on ground so as to restore the lost glory of the state in the education sector. He said: “Governor Ajimobi has been trying to improve on the poor facilities we inherited from the last administration in education sector to improve the leaning environment and that is why he is encouraging the teachers through improved remunerations, and students by organising extra coaching for them, constructing new class rooms and renovating dilapidated ones. In view of this, my administration is ready to complement the effort of the state governor in all sectors especially education where the future of the country laid”. The caretaker chairman denied the saying that private school students are better

By Jeremiah Oke

products. He said further: “If students are serious, I believe that they can win laurels more than their private school counterparts. If you check the general examinations which they both participated, you discover that most of the best brains are from the public schools and that has been like that for long. For instance, the great scholars in this country, if not all of them, larger part of them graduated before the introduction of private schools to the education sector in this country. That signified that we have more competent teachers in the public schools than the private schools where proprietors are trying to maximise profit”. He, therefore ,called on his copolitical office holders to emulate the Chief Whip of Assembly who gave scholarship to the students who p e r f o r m e d brilliantly during the quiz organised by the wife of the State Governor Florence Ajimobi by fulfilling their election promises. •Mukaila

• Lagos State House of Assembly Chairman on Local Government, Hon Moshood Oshun flanked by a member the committee, Hon Bisi Yusuf (right) and Chairman, Lagos Island Local Government, Prince Wasiu Eshilokun during the committee’s visit to the council.

Overseas training for Nigerian youths

N a bid to support the local content drive in the oil and gas sector SAMSUNG Heavy Industries (SHI), has sent the first batch of 20 young Nigerian trainees, to Samsung’s shipyard in Geoje, South Korea on an extensive training programme aimed at technology transfer. Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI), is a foremost world class shipbuilding and offshore fabrication company. The company’s extensive commitment to training Nigerians was first announced on February 6, with the ground breaking of its new world class training facility in LADOL

Firm lifts the physically-challenged

Lawmaker empowers constituents VER 90 indigenes of Yewa South Constituency, Ogun State were empowered by Hon. Abiodun Akinlade of the House of Representative with various items to alleviate their poverty level last week. Akinlade of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) is the House Committee chairman on Science and Technology. He distributed over 45 brand new motorcycles to various families in the constituency, gave cash donations to enable them start their individual businesses. Also no fewer than 46 graduates from the constituency were assisted to secure employment. Akinlade, who addressed the recipients at a meeting held at Owede, Ogun State, said the programme was to assist members of his constituency improve their standard of living. “My heart is always with my people and that is why I look for every avenue possible to better their lots and complement the efforts of other arms of government in ensuring that poverty is alleviated to the barest minimum.”


By Kunle Akinrinade

has recorded in the last 10 years, adding that the gifts donated to the two charity homes were to encourage the children and support them to excel in spite of their physical challenges” The company also held a customers forum to educate their customers on the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, new policy of a cashless society. The celebration climaxed with a party held at Chrisland International School Hall, Opebi, Lagos.

Free Zone, called (“Samsung Nigeria Technology Academy”) SaNTA. The training facility will cost about USD 10 million and will benefit from having Samsung’s world class training programmes and equipment. Samsung has however, gone a step further by launching Samsung’s Intensive Technical Training Programme, providing full scholarships for young Nigerians to also be trained at its world class facility in Korea. The scholarship programme run by Samsung exclusively for young Nigerians, would cost the South Korea based company $300,000 to train each group of 20 trainees. Speaking at the pre-departure ceremony for the 20 youths at Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos , the General Manager SAMSUNG Heavy Industries in Nigeria, Mr. Frank Ejuzi told journalists that the company decided to key into the training of Nigerian youths to meet the local content initiative of President Goodluck Jonathan by sending the youths for training in South Korea to acquire

technology which they are expected to transfer to the oil and gas sector . “ In order to recover the Nigerian local content initiative of Mr President, we felt it is important to support that initiative and my company is sending the first batch of youths in the oil and gas sector for training in Korea in order for them to transfer the technology to our other youths back home,” said Ejuzi Samsung’s commitment to training Nigerians ahead of any contract award demonstrates the Company’s true intention to share technology with and promote local content in Nigeria. Samsung believes in promoting mutual prosperity with Nigeria by enabling Nigerians to fully participate in and contribute to the world class offshore fabrication projects. For Samsung this is the start of a long-term relationship with Nigeria and they have already shown themselves to be unique amongst their peers, being the first and only international contractor to proactively begin training Nigerians, before winning any contracts in Nigeria.

Imo to embark on massive rice production


MO State government has disclosed plans to engage in massive rice production under the agricultural transformation programme. This was made known by the governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha at Arondizuogu, Ideato North Local Government Area while speaking in a thanksgiving church service in honour of the member representing Ideato Federal Constituency at the National


N85m spent on community radio station EIGHTY-FIVE million Naira have (N85M) so far been released to the contractor handling the delivery and installation of modern transmission equipment for Bauchi state Community Radio stations in each of the 20 local government areas in the state by the state government. Governor Isa Yuguda disclosed this in Bauchi when he inaugurated one of the Community Radio Stations at Kafin Madaki in Ganjuwa Local Government Area. He,however, did not say how much the state would spend on the 20 Community Radio Stations in the 20 local government areas in the state. Yuguda said his government has ordered 2 twenty kilohertz FM transmitters with digital equipment in compliance with National Media Digitisation Policy which begins in August 2012.The transmitters are to be installed in Bauchi and Azare

Imo From: Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

Assembly, Hon. Eddy Mbadiwe. The governor stated that government has entered into negotiation with some experts from Thailand to begin massive production and processing of rice at a location in Arondizuogu, Ideato North. He said: “As I am speaking, the state government has commenced negotiation with a team of experts in rice production who are already in the state. Our intention is to ensure that we produce enough rice for local consumption and commercial purposes. Therefore, the Arondizuogu Rice Mill has been taken over by government and with the aid of these experts, we will commence cultivation and processing of rice in a commercial quantity.” Okorocha added that similar steps have been taken to ensure that each community in the state plants at least 20,000 improved palm seedlings. The governor, however expressed that the state under the ongoing agricultural transformation would be economically independent even as massive job opportunities would be created for the teeming unemployed youths. He restated the commitment of his administration to remain focused in the bid to rebuild Imo into a model state with vast investment opportunities. The lawmaker representing Orlu/Orsu/ Oru East Federal Constituency, Hon. Jerry Alagbaso enjoined all Imolites to support the governor in his good work, dsed man’ who sees the entire Imo as his constituency.

•From left: Mr. Ola Ijimakin-GM Marketing Fidson Healthcare Plc, Prof. David A.Oke-CMD LASUTH, Mrs Omobowale Oluwatoyin, Omobowale Israel (Child) Mr. Olugbenga Olayeye Sales and Marketing Director Fidson Healthcare Plc and Mrs. adeola animashaun during the presentation of Cheque to CMD for Omobowale Israel’s Heart Operations abroad.

‘Be an agent of change’


HE chairman of Mushin Local Government Hon. Olatunde Adepitan has urged the youth in his council to be agents of positive change in the society. He made this call during the presentation of cash reward to the winner of the Governor Fashola Boxing competition for the Banter weight category, Mr. Taiwo, in his office. According to the chairman, youths can easily assume the role of economic and political catalysts. The abundant resources and energies could be harnessed to develop the country.He said:”This young man has demonstrated unequalled and unparalled qualities on how to galvanise the society for growth. “Despite the harsh economic condition

and the nature of youths in Mushin Local Government area, you have shone like a northern star. The sky is not your limit but the beginning for you. This token is to encourage not only you to do more, but for others to emulate your good virtues and use their God-given talents to achieve greater height rather than engage in act of thuggery, hooliganism, destructive tendencies, stealing and gangsterism”`. Speaking further,the council said: “I am very proud of this fit. His Excellency the Governor of Lagos State Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN has initiated this programme to engage our teaming youths in productive venture. In your case, the purpose has been achieved”.




Farmers lose 40 % of crops to diseases A

BOUT 40 per cent of crops grown by farmers are lost to diseases, an expert, Dr Daniel Gwary, has said. Gwary, an associate professor, Department of Crop Protection, University of Maidugari, said these diseases manifest during pre-and post-harvest, adding that food and cash crops are threatened by epidemic pests and diseases. He said average crop losses due to pests and diseases, are 20 per cent during the pre-harvest period, and 10-15 per cent during the post harvest period. He said foreign and indigenous pests and diseases are a threat to agric. At times, losses of up to 40 per cent occur, caused by epidemics or diseases in perishable crops. Gwary, said losses are attributed to diseases, such as banana bacterial.

By Daniel Essiet, Agric Correspondent

Other epidemics include coffee wilt, locusts, armyworm, quela birds, variegated hoppers, whitefly, cassava mosaic and cassava brown streak virus. Gwary, a crops’ specialist, said the nation needs a surveillance, forecasting and diagnostic system to enable timely and effective control of the pests and diseases. To minimise crop losses, he suggested rapid response in controlling the epidemics whenever there is an outbreak, equipping staff with the necessary knowledge and skills and setting up mechanisms for pest and diseases surveillance, forecasting, diagnosis and prompt control. He called for the use of resistant varieties to mimimise the spread of the diseases. Gwary sug-

gested modifying the genetic material of plants to give them better endurance to the effects of pests. Scientists have controlled a large number of serious diseases through sensible selection of appropriate genetic materials and the incorporation of the most vulnerable crops. Experts suggested strengthening the inspection and certification services to assure quality and safety of agricultural exports. The greatest constraints to cassava production, however, are virus diseases, such as cassava mosaic disease (CMD) caused by cassava mosaic geminiviruses (CMGs), cassava brown streak disease (CBSD), caused by cassava brown streak viruses (CBSVs), which together result in crop losses worth more than $1 billion yearly, accord-

ing to International Institute for Tropical Agriculture. Last year, scientists based in Nigeria and Kenya, begun a major push against parasitic weeds that have spread across much of subSaharan Africa, causing up to $1.2 billion in damage every year to the maize and cowpea crops of tens of millions of small farmers. The project, co-ordinated by the Nigeria-based International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), will introduce proven technologies for fighting Striga, or witchweed, and Alectra. Known by some as the “violet vampire” because of its bright purple colour, Striga attaches itself to the roots of plants like maize and cowpea and sucks out nutrients, reducing yields and destroying entire harvests. Witchweed affects smallholder farmers who can’t afford costly herbicides for fighting the parasitic

plant. The most widespread Striga species is estimated to have infested up to four million hectares of land under maize production in subSaharan Africa, causing yield losses of up to 80 per cent. According to researchers at IITA, this represents up to $1.2 billion in losses for farmers and affects approximately 100 million people in sub-Saharan Africa. The parasitic weeds have spread widely in Africa in recent decades; their prolific seeds germinate in response to substances released by the roots of crop plants. Because crop plants have more difficulty competing with witchweed in poor soils, intensive farming and the expansion of farming into marginal soils have encouraged their spread. Also, witchweed is difficult to control because each plant produces up to half a million seeds that can remain dormant in the soil for decades.

FISON holds workshop on Tilapia


•Eze Abel Chukwuocha (left); Eze Rufus Adindu, Imo State, Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture, representing Ohaji/Egbema State Constituency, Luke Chukwu and Minister, Agriculture, Dr. Akin Adesina, during the latter’s visit to the palace of Eze Chukwuocha, at Avutu, Imo State.

‘Check unhygienic chicken meat


OOD safety expert,Prof Dele Fapohunda, said the sale of unhygienic chicken meat could cause different diseases among the citizens and urged health authorities to rise to the challenge. Fapohunda, who is of the Department of Biosciences and Biotechnology, Babcock University, Ogun State, said there is the possibility of purchasing meat of sick and infected chickens where there is no surveillance system. He said veterinary officers need to visit chicken-sale shops in the markets and identify sources of diseases spread due to insufficient cleaning arrangements. Fapohunda said it is the respon-

supply’ sibility of veterinary officers working in the abattoirs and farmlands to ensure poultry farm owners, or wholesale chicken dealers do not supply infested chicken to the public, saying its sale could continue unabated if the health officials as well as food departments are not alive to their responsibilities . He said it is the responsibility of the government and its departments to check the quality of edibles, including meat, before they are supplied to markets because consumers do not know

whether they are purchasing healthy meat or infected ones. Fapohunda called on the government to strengthen food recall system to control the spread of contaminated meat products, adding that improving food safety recalls has implications for the agric industry.He said targeted recalls could rebuild consumer confidence. He said chickens from affected farms should be withdrawn from shelves and the authorities should make it clear that there are health risks from consuming the products. He said there is the need to control food borne diseases, associated with handling or consumption of infected poultry meat.

HE National Executive Council of the Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON) is organising an international workshop on Tilapia production in Lagos and Abuja between April 16 and April 27, this year. The event, which is being organised in collaboration with Winrock International, a United States-based, a nonprofit organisation registered in Nigeria, is aimed at providing aquaculture extension officers with the skills required to train investors in Tilapia production in the country. Speaking in Lagos, Dr Abba Abdullah, the National President of FISON, said the development of tilapia culture, which can be grown to bigger sizes and commercial level can boost demand for fish. “It can also directly affect job creation, alleviate poverty and improve export earnings in line with the current focus of Jonathan Goodluck’s Aquaculture Transformation Agenda for the country. “The technology to produce Tilapia to a size that can be filleted and packaged for export is lacking hence the need for this intervention.

“Further more, bad management practices such as the use of medication/antibiotics leaving residues in Aquaculture products can lead to increased trade prohibition/bans, especially into the EU and USA markets,” he said. The other groups expected to benefit from the workshopinclude students in tertiary institutions (Human Resource Development), Research Scientists, Investors, Producers and Processors. FISON sees the event as part of its mandate to boost Tilapia production and management in the country and to equip extension officers, researchers, lecturers and investors with requisite skills. Abdullah said the Tilapia workshop will enhance the teaching and production of Tilapia using the All Male technology to encourage global competitiveness of fish farmers in order to improve production, market linkages,storage and commercialisation. During the event, Winrock International will focus specially on Aquaculture – Tilapia Production – the All Male Technology.

Minister to revive Imo poultry


HE Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akin Adesina, has expressed dismay at the decay of the Imo modern poultry situated at Avutu, Obowo Local Government. He promised to ensure the farm enterprise is resuscitated. He disclosed this when he was conducted through the 20 square kilometre poultry estate. Facilities at the farm have been abandoned since 1995. He observed that the poultry farm, would be put ‘back to work,’ as he expressed his “readiness to work with the government of the state on the project. He also promised to boost the

Imo Oil Palm Industry, known before as Adapalm. Adesina, while visiting the oil palm plantation at Egbema, said he would expand the estate with ‘new plantings of up to 3,000 hectares,’ in addition to the existing 4,000 hectares of farmland, which he described the palm trees as ‘old.’ “We will help the state with tenera seedlings for 3,000 hectares,” he said. He added that he would revive and upgrade the five cassava small scale projects in the state and a large scale High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) plant for the state which will process 72,000 metric tonnes of cassava might start operation in the next 12 to 18 months.

Katsina to plant ‘special trees’ to combat desert Food prices remain unchanged desertification and erosion. HE Katsina State government Ibrahim also said the government encroachment said it would plant 204, 000 ORLD food prices last ries and a strong soybean market, had initiated a ‘’Katsina Green Ini-


hectares of a special tree, known as the ``Sakura tree'', to combat desert encroachment in the state. The Commissioner for Environment, Alhaji Aminu Ibrahim, told the reporters in Katsina that 6,000 hectares would be established in each of the 34 local government ares of the state. The commissioner said the project would be implemented in collaboration with Clean Air Organisation, a Japanese non-government organisation (NGO) on environment.

The trees are resistant to drought and grow rapidly in the desert,’’ he said. Ibrahim said the government would engage 3,000 people who would plant and nurse the trees in all the local government areas. He said the tree would assist in controlling desert encroachment not only in the state, but across the north, as well as control erosion in the eastern and western parts of the nation. The commissioner expressed the hope that the initiative would be adopted by other states affected by

tiative,’’ under which a one kilometre shelter belt would be established in each of the old seven local government areas of the state. He said the local governments are Daura, Dutsinma, Funtua, Mani, Malumfashi, Kankia and Katsina. On sanitation, the commissioner disclosed that N19 million would be used to evacuate drainage in all the 34 local government areas and combat flood and outbreak of diseases. He urged the public not to dump refuse in drainage and to always clean their environment.


month remained virtually unchanged from their February levels, according to the latest Food and Agriculture Organisation( FAO) Food Price Index. The Index averaged 216 points in March, compared to 215 in February. Among the various commodity groups, only oils prices showed strength, whereas dairy prices fell.The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 227 points in March, up one point from February. Maize prices registered some gains, supported by low invento-

but wheat changed little as supplies remained ample. After several months of declines, prices of rice recovered somewhat in March, underpinned by large purchases by China and Nigeria. The FAO Oils/Fats Price index rose in March to 245 points, up 6 points or 2.5 per cent from February, as markets reacted to the prospect of growing tightness in the 2011/12. Weak growth in world palm oil production and limited global soy oil export availabilities combined with declining rapeseed production contributed to the rise in oils prices.





•Awagu; Managing Director, 151 Products, Ugochukwu Nwabuisi and Economic Counselor, South African High Commission, Nick Coleman, at the briefing.

Expert decries pirates’attacks on shrimps trawlers P RICES of shrimps are likely to go up due to a decrease in supply caused by high fuel prices, and increased pirates attacks on fishing trawlers. The pirates robbed trawlers’ crew, equipment, and catches. Chairman, Atlantic Shrimpers Limited,Manjit Sadarangani, said in Lagos that high fuel prices are not only affecting fishermen’s livelihoods, but also reducing seafood production. Fuel costs, he said, makes up 70 per cent of the expenses of the nation’s offshore fishing fleet. Without government subsidies, he said, falling shrimp output would affect export. He stressed that rising fuel prices are a threat to nation’s

By Daniel Essiet

fishing. According to him, while the fishing companies absorbed the increased costs, it resulted in significant loss of income, reduced job security and problems in recruiting personnel. Without a proactive planning and policy, he said rising fuel prices can cause job losses and economic hardship. He explained that fuel consumption by the fisheries sector is concentrated at the fishing-vessel level and comprises a significant proportion of fishing vessel

costs. He said fishermen are scared to go out to sea as there is no protection for them. Many fishermen have lost millions of dollars and are finding it difficult to return to business. To address the effect of over fishing, he said his company is working on a N2.5billion shrimp farm project to be located in Lagos. The export-oriented project, he said,will earn the nation substantial foreign exchange and provide employment to many Nigerians. With the help of the Federal Government‘s Export Ex-

pansion Grant (EEG), he said the company’s exports grew from $7 million in 2001 to $35 million in 2011. So far, he said the company has invested N5billion in various infrastructural facilities. Nigerian shrimp exports to the United States are low because the American market prefers more labour intensive products including head-off and peeled shrimp. European markets, particularly in Portugal and Spain, do not require this additional processing, he added. He urged the government to work with the sector to build capacity to end pirate attacks. According to experts, the Nigerian Navy Patrol has been unable to police the waters to secure the shrimp fleets’safety.

NAFDAC endorses Lagos agric expo


HE National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has endorsed the Agric, Food and Beverage Expo to be held in Lagos. Jointly organised by 151 Products Limited, the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) and the AIQ Capital Management Limited, the event will include presentation of “Agrik Awards” to deserving individuals, state governments, companies and agencies who have worked towards the advancement of agriculture in Nigeria and West Africa. President, NBCC, Thompson Awagu, said at a press

By Joseph Jibueze

conference that the exhibition, tagged Agrikexpo, will hold from August 27 to 29 this year at the Expo Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. On the award, he said: “We believe that at this time, the true national heroes are those who are working tirelessly to ensure food supply to the nation without the huge expenses on imports.” The expo, he said, aims at creating a business networking platform, attracting foreign direct investment, advancing food supply and encouraging intra-regional trade. Intending exporters and in-

vestors will also get acquainted with the regulatory environment at the fair, which the organisers said, is West Africa’s largest international exhibition for agricultural food crops, equipments, services, research and technology. “So far, the activities of the Ministry of Agriculture, under the able leadership of Dr Akinwumi Adesina, show a creative commitment to agricultural development and if the tempo is sustained, our agriculture will witness rejuvenation in the nearest future. “However, the wisdom is that the government cannot do it all alone. An incorpora-

tion of private sector initiatives into the solution strategy mix is a step in the right direction. “Hence, we use the opportunity to seek an active support and participation of government in our project in order to show the right signals to the investing public. “It is time to treat, showcase, and market agriculture as commercially profitable business rather than developmental project. We must come to terms with the reality of attracting foreign investors into the sector, in view of the fact of modern agricultural technology and huge investment requirement,” Awagu said.

Speaker urges farmers to repay agric loans


HE Speaker of Katsina State House of Assembly, Alhaji Ya’u GwajoGwajo, has advised beneficiaries of the state government’s N250 million interest-free agriculture loan to repay it. Gwajo-Gwajo gave the advice at a meeting of the state chapter of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Katsina. He said the repayment became necessary to allow others to benefit from the gesture

for improved agricultural production. “Specifically, farmers who benefited from the loans should reciprocate the gesture by repaying the loans,” he said. He said the call became imperative in view of the fact that the repayment of the loans was not encouraging in the state, even as the farming season was around the corner. He urged farmers to regis-

ter and fill farmers’data forms now being processed in the state. He said the state government was committed to boosting agriculture, especially in the provision of fertiliser, improved seeds, insecticides, water pumps and payment of all counterpart funds on agriculture. The speaker said: “There is, therefore, need for all farmers to support the state government’s policies on ag-

riculture to boost the sector.” In his remarks, Alhaji Halilu Karofi, the state Chairman of Mechanised Farmers Association, said the body was making effort to ensure repayment of all loans given to its members. The state Secretary of AFAN, Alhaji Sani Danjari, expressed the readiness of the association to participate in the National Agriculture Show scheduled to hold in Kaduna State this year.

Where to invest in Ebonyi

GRICULTURE is a major industry in Ebonyi State. An estimated 85 per cent of the people are farmers. The state’s agricultural productivity is one of the highest in the country. The state is well known for its rice. The popular Abakaliki brand of rice is cultivated in the state. Other food crops grown in large quantities include yam, cassava, maize, cocoyam, cowpea and groundnut. Cash crops, such as oil palm, cashew, cocoa and rubber are cultivated. The presence of large arable land, rivers and streams has made farming very attractive. Fishing is also carried out on commercial scale, particularly along the Aboine River which crosses the northcentral parts of the state and Cross River. Livestock farming is also popular in Ebonyi. This includes the traditional rearing of animals such as goats, pigs, chicken, cows, horses and pets. There are cattle ranches in Onicha, Ohaozara and Ishielu council areas. On the whole, agricultural development in Ebonyi has benefitted from the wealth of successful sector-wide or commodity-based development strategies implemented within and outside the state. The state government has prioritised agriculture as a vehicle for pro-poor economic growth and greater rural food security. It supports the nation ’s efforts by enabling agricultureled development. Objectives include meeting the demand for food, supporting and facilitating access to strong markets, increasing incomes for the poor, and improving nutrition, especially for women and children. The government recognises that agricultural growth is more effective in reducing poverty than in any other sector. The policy goals are to revitalise operations and activities that contribute to sustainableeconomic growth and development; provide food security and nutrition; and increase farmers’ employment and income – all aimed at measurably reducing poverty. So far, the government’s programmes has provided farmers with new farming methods and seed rice. The state’s ministry of agriculture support farmers to cultivate rice to ensure self-sufficiency. At the core of its agenda is the transformation of small farmers agriculture into a sustainable, diversified, income-generating sector that is well integrated into markets – one in which commercial agriculture provides support and incentives to small farmers. To achieve this objective, its agriculture investment priorities include food and nutrition security; competitive value chains and market linkages; institutional development; and land and water development. In a marketdriven economy, a large share of the actual development of agriculture is carried out by the private sector through their involvement in different facets of production, processing, servicing and

trade.The government’s role in this regard is to provide the enabling environment for the private sector to thrive. The government wants private sector investments in palm oil and rice. It wants this facilitated through a broad range of institutional and marketing arrangements, which included a wide use of contract farming, in which companies provide farmers funding to expand their activities, price information and overall marketing services. The government believes rapid productivity gains in agriculture will lift thousands out of poverty.To this end,the government is taking a key role in the development process by providing infrastructure and handling directly selected economic activities and encouraging private investment in others. On the balance, the government is paying attention to the development of agriculture and rural areas, as a foundation for industrialisation and modernisation of the country. The government’s agricultural development programme is three pronged: Direct public participation through the establishment of agro based indus tries, tree crop plantations, irrigation and the provision of fertiliser and seeds; public participation in commercial private agricultural production, operated as joint ventures in large scale crop, livestock and fish farming with farmers and other private entrepreneurs, both local and foreign; and c. Smallholder agricultural production, in which government seeks to emphasise the role of the smallholder. The state has 11 officially gazetted forest reserves and many sacred grooves which pro tect the rich biodiversity in the state. The Akanto game reserve (with an area of about 450 hectares) is a protected area where endemic wildlife species are conserved. The state Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources has planted over 2,000 seedlings of teak at Effrum and Ovuum Ozizza reserve. It is also participating in the forest reserve study of the Federal Government aimed at developing a forestry management plan. The agricultural lands as well as the mineral resources of the state offer enormous potential for profitable investment by local and foreign interests. The rich agricultural potential provides raw materials base for traditional industries and crafts such as woodwork , food ,plastic, and detergent manufacture.

•Governor Martins Elechi





Israel’s poetry critics

Not again! • We cannot afford another doctors’ strike now. So, LASG and the doctors should return to the negotiating table


HIS newspaper is irrevocably committed to the welfare and proper remuneration of all workers, both in the public and private sectors of the economy. The reason is obvious. Only a well motivated workforce can achieve maximum productivity with beneficial impacts on the economy. This is no less true of the medical profession, which provides essential services that can make the difference between life and death for patients in their care. It is against this background that we are alarmed that, less than a year after its last protracted strike, Lagos State doctors under the aegis of the Medical Guild on Wednesday commenced a three-day warning strike to press for the full implementation of the Consolidated Medical Salary Scale (CONMESS) as agreed between the association and the Lagos State Government. Lives that are lost when doctors and other categories of medical professionals go on strike cannot be revived when the issues in contention are resolved. That is the central reason why we believe that Lagos State government doctors must be more circumspect and restrained in using the strike weapon in expressing their grievances. Yes, the doctors have the right to associate. It is well within their constitutional purview to air their grievances and take lawful steps to seek redress. However, we are dismayed that the doctors gave only 24 hours notice before commencing the warning strike whereas the law demands that a notice of 15 days be given before employees can withdraw their services. This creates the

unfortunate impression that the doctors were desperate to go on strike and that there may be more to these incessant strikes by Lagos State doctors than the reasons often advanced. If the doctors were truly desirous of dialogue, they should have adhered to the legal requirement of giving 15 days notice, which would have afforded both sides more time to iron out their differences. On its part, the Lagos State Government insists that it has complied fully with the implementation of CONMESS. Indeed, it insists that unlike most other states where the level of implementation ranges between 50 per cent and 93 per cent, Lagos State has attained 100 per cent level of implementation. It appears that what we have on our hands is a case of divergent interpretations by both the doctors and government of the content and intent of the agreement. Some of the contentious issues include the appropriate steps to place consultants, payment of teaching allowances for trainers of students on housemanship, perceived excessive taxation, the appropriate entry level for newly employed doctors in the civil service and the alleged disparity between medical professionals at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and the rest of the health workforce. We believe that all these issues and others can be amicably resolved through dialogue. But how can productive dialogue take place when doctors go on strike without adequate notice, resulting in avoidable deaths of innocent patients? Indeed, giving an indication of its readiness for dialogue, the Lagos State

Government in a statement noted that “Government is already taking action in some of the areas of demand and has communicated this verbally and in writing to the guild”. It stresses that the transition from the old salary structure to the new CONMESS represents a fundamental paradigm shift, which will necessarily involve some hiccups. We urge the doctors to reciprocate the conciliatory stance of the government, call off their strike and return to the negotiating table. In the interest of the life and well-being of millions of people who use public health facilities in Lagos State, neither side can afford to be unduly rigid. More importantly, the Hippocratic Oath places a burden on the striking doctors to place the highest premium on human life.

‘We are dismayed that the doctors gave only 24 hours notice before commencing the warning strike whereas the law demands that a notice of 15 days be given before employees can withdraw their services. This creates the unfortunate impression that the doctors were desperate to go on strike and that there may be more to these incessant strikes by Lagos State doctors than the reasons often advanced’

Lust for minors •There is need to curb the activities of rapists, especially those who defile children


ASES of rape of minors are on the rise, if media reports are anything to go by. Indeed, the matter has attracted the attention of some state governments like Osun and Lagos, which have threatened not to treat rapists with kid gloves. Osun State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Adetoun Adegboyega, raised the alarm over the rising cases of minors who are rape victims on April 9. She said “It is heart-rending to see old men, who are old enough to be grandfathers of minors being charged with rape. This trend must stop in Osun. We are a virtuous people and we will do everything to protect our young girls and women from rapists,” the commissioner said. The concern is understandable: in the past few weeks,

‘Sexual intercourse is meant to be enjoyed, not endured; but that can only happen between consenting adults. Rape is a bad experience for anyone; it is worse when the victims are children. It is more pathetic when it is realised that some of the rapists are usually people old enough to be fathers of the affected children; or people so close to their families.’

there had been at least six cases of rape of minors in the state. In the same vein, the Office of the Public Defender (OPD), a department under the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, has raised the alarm over the increase in cases of child abuse and rape in the state. The director of the organisation, Mrs. Omotola Rotimi, said during a press conference in Lagos on April 10 that between January and March this year, the office had handled 15 cases of rape and 17 cases of defilement. Also, the Bauchi State Command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps has paraded five persons for allegedly defiling two primary school girls. The state public relations officer, Mr. Paul Odimba, said the suspects were aged between 45 and 55, while the victims were 12 and 13 years old, respectively. The two suspects who were security men in the school that the pupils attend lured them with N50 after which they had sex with them. According to reports, they had been doing this over time before they were eventually caught. As a matter of fact, they were even said to have invited three of their friends who also slept with the girls. There are other examples across the country. It is important to stress that these were the reported cases. This point is essential in a country like ours where most rape victims merely suffer in silence rather than expose the rapists for fear of stigmatisation. Like Mrs Adegboyega, we wonder why the rapists go for children

when there are many mature women who could be ready and willing to have sex if properly approached by the men who take undue advantage of the minors. Sexual intercourse is meant to be enjoyed, not endured; but that can only happen between consenting adults. Rape is a bad experience for anyone; it is worse when the victims are children. It is more pathetic when it is realised that some of the rapists are usually people old enough to be fathers of the affected children; or people so close to their families. Therefore, parents have to be extravigilant. They have to be careful about those in whose care they entrust their children. The same thing applies to school authorities; some of their employees, including even teachers are wolves in human skin. The case of the two Bauchi pupils is an example. Some of the consequences of rape are irreversible; they live with the victims for life. So are the scars, physical and otherwise. Government has a duty to enlighten the citizenry that the shame of rape is for the rapist and not the victim. This is with a view to encouraging victims to come out and testify towards ensuring conviction of rapists. If there is the need to strengthen existing laws to make rape, especially of minors unattractive, the government should do that. Children are entitled to protection under the Child Rights Law and the government owes them that responsibility.


ARRING German author Gunter Grass for expressing his political views is the kind of reaction expected from Iran’s mullahs. The people in Israel and Germany who are most outraged by Nobel Prize-winning author Gunter Grass’ latest work have one thing in common: They think it’s ridiculous, and possibly anti-Semitic, for Grass to assert a moral equivalency between Israel and Iran. Yet by overreacting to Grass’ criticism, Israeli officials are acting like, well, Iranians. Grass, 84, is being lambasted in his native Germany over his poem “What Must Be Said,” published last week in the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung. The poem is Grass’ reaction to assertions by Israeli officials that their country may be justified in launching a first strike against Iran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons, even though Israel is widely believed to have itself acquired nuclear arms without the knowledge or acquiescence of the international community. The poem appeals to Israel to renounce violence and for both Israel and Iran to open nuclear sites to international inspectors. “Putting Israel and Iran on the same moral level is not ingenious but absurd,” wrote German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle. While Grass’ work raises old questions in his native land about whether it’s acceptable to criticize Israel given Germany’s Nazi past, it’s having an even more divisive impact in Israel, where some see it as part of a growing international movement to delegitimize the nation. Hence the resulting personal attacks on Grass by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who suggested that Grass was motivated by anti-Semitism that could be traced back to his time as a World War II soldier in the Waffen SS. And the terrible decision by Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai to bar Grass from entering the country. Grass’ wartime past is certainly troublesome. Yet it does little to undercut the power of his anti-fascist novels (including the 1959 masterpiece “The Tin Drum”), nor does it imply that there is anything anti-Semitic about his poem. There isn’t; it’s a polemic about Israeli policies with which Grass disagrees. For Israelis to accuse him of anti-Semitism plays into a common belief that such accusations are a mere excuse to suppress dissent against official policy. Israel and Iran aren’t morally equivalent because Israel is an open democracy that cherishes free speech and the rule of law. Yet barring a prominent European intellectual from the country for expressing his political views is precisely the kind of reaction we’d expect from Iran’s mullahs. – Los Angeles Times

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi •Editor, Online Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli •Managing Editor Waheed Odusile

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IR: Everything Nigerian as it is today has become unsavoury. Imagine the level of morality in the frenzy of disorienting rat-race! Consider the political arena and the ends of its substance! Think of the educational sector and the quest for the good life! Our social world is primarily driven by the pettiest motives as a means of attaining the best and everywhere one turns, what unfolds is decay, subversion of the permanent and, therefore, of the truth, degeneration and decay of societal values. Like everything else, our world is turned upside down. If not so, why is it that a worthless politician’s pocket is full of gold by mere chance while a university professor toiling wearily from morn till midnight could scarcely afford himself a satisfying meal? Why is it that a medical doctor’s product of a quarter century research and hard work which is capable of saving millions of lives goes unrewarded while a boxer who uses his crude muscular endowment to overpower an opponent even at the point of death is given a heroic patronage? Such is the hallmark of a society that places frivolities as a premium for success. Fame and popularity are not one and the same thing. If this notion is not clearly palpable, then, the subtle differences at least should be felt. One is universal, the other is particular. A famous person must be popular; a popular person must not be famous. Fame is more sublime and has the same subtleties as the most tender passion and glory. Or, to put it in - what else - a simple expression, fame is the highest degree of popularity. But rather unfortunately, the goal posts to success and to accomplish-


The making of Nigerian celebrity ments have been shifted for easy and convenient attainment. Success must be highly competitive to worth itself. Mention celebrity anywhere in Nigeria today and what readily come to mind is the entertainment industry. There is no Nigerian today who is an entertainment practitioner that is not a celebrity! All it takes is to feature in one of the many social functions or entertainment centres and rap a song however rhythm-less it may be, or crack a hackneyed joke and

you are there. If you are an actor and have featured in no more than one movie no matter what role played, whether a gateman or one of the numerous congregation in a church service, your place is secure in the committee of celebrities. This is rather, too facile a measurement for heroic attainment. Such is the direction of the Nigerian state today, degenerating irredeemably into the abyss of lower standards and despair. The bar to our national hall of fame has been low-

ered to accommodate every Emeka, Yahaya and Gbenga. This medieval infection has found its place in every aspect of our national life with the consequence that the set values have been displaced by indelicate systems watered concertedly to take firm roots. Just last year, about 360 Nigerians were decorated with national honour. This number marked for the award within a space one year is outrageous and unheard of. The otherwise highly treasured medal

Transforming the Nigeria Police


IR: The basis for setting up police as an outfit or an agency of the government is no

doubt the maintenance of security, law and order. The Nigerian police have come a long way, yet far from its constitutional roles, hence, the call for its transformation in order to meet the yearnings and aspiration of Nigerians. Though the task of policing a multi-lingual, heterogeneous and most populous African nation like ours is a Herculean, transformation in every facet of live is most sought for in any civilized society. Transformation is a movement from one stage of development to a higher one in which there is a sense of fulfillment. In other words, it is one in which people experi-

ence higher standards of service delivery or living condition. Suffice therefore, to say that police transformation could mean no other thing than reliable Nigerian police in terms of service delivery, security of lives and property. Certainly, the desired transformation of Nigerian police is not in change of uniform as recently canvassed by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar. It is the aspiration of Nigerians that with public admittance of sharp and corrupt practices in the rank and file of the Nigeria police by the I.G when he was first appointed, the focus will be a total overhaul of the institution for effective service delivery. The ideals Nigerians are yearning for from the IG are in the area of values, equality, dignity, fair-

ness, social justice, security, law and order etc. The afore-mentioned are the core content of any transformation that is capable of sparking development, attitudinal change and service delivery. Certainly, much is expected of the Nigerian police because of their central roles in our lives. Today, Nigeria is engulfed in endemic corruption and the police have a critical role to play. It must first rid itself of sharp and corrupt practices that has eaten deep into their system. Changing the uniform without attitudinal change will make no difference. After all, Nigeria police uniform has severally been changed, and was recently changed by the immediate past IG Hafis Ringim. Training of a child starts from

When a Senator turns traffic controller IR: I read the above news story in the Tribune of April 9, where a senator was reported to have spent 15 hours between Abuja to Okene, a journey which ordinarily should not be more than 3 hours, due to gridlock occasioned by traffic congestion on Easter Friday. The Senator, Nurudeen AbatemiUsman representing Kogi Central, was said to have trekked about 30km and assisted in the control of traffic during the unimaginable traffic jam that rendered travellers stranded and helpless for the whole of the day.


became a trifle robbing it of its priceless value. The United States civilian decoration is not an annual event and it is typically issued for sustained meritorious service over a period of time rather than for a specific heroic or meritorious act. Since its being as a nation, the United States of America have given national honour to only 88 of its highly accomplished citizens, not 88 within a space of one year but on the whole. Isn’t it stunning? Is it not unbelievable to note that as famous as Bill Gate is, he has not got any national honour? It is high time petty things and momentary ovation were confined to where they belong. The standards for measuring success must be high, very high in a society where much is expected. • Uchenna Isiani Lagos

Much as I would commend Senator Abatemi-Usman, because most people of his status could not have done what he did, I wish to urge him to present the issue on the floor of the Senate so that something drastic can be done about the Abuja-Lokoja road. At least, he was able to feel what the poor masses are going through on that road during festive periods. A lot of the big men who have stolen our money and refused to allow us enjoy our God-given resources collectively do not ply the road. So, they may not know exactly the kind of

pains experienced by Nigerians on the road. The Senator should not stop at lamenting the agony of Nigerians on the road and calling on the Federal Government to ensure that the contractors handling the project were adequately mobilised to complete the dualisation of the road on the pages of newspapers, he should take it upon himself to find out why the dualisation of the Abuja/Lokoja road is taking this long. This is a contract that has been awarded to a number of companies for almost seven years, during the administration

of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. It is indeed unfortunate that we have a National Assembly in place, an institution that is supposed to be the voice of the people, yet the masses are suffering in this country. Really, it is regrettable that our lawmakers have not in any way helped to salvage the terrible situation that mis-governance, maladministration and misappropriation have put us in Nigeria, despite the huge resources at our disposal. May God help us! • Jerry Ikechukwu, Abuja

childhood. If the police is to purge itself of corruption, it must start from the recruitment stage. Recruitment into the Nigerian police must be in line with the force’s scheme where physical and mental fitness is of paramount. Superior officers must be made to face the wrath of the law where found to have engaged a subordinate in an unlawful act or assignment. Divisional Police Officers (DPO)s must be held responsible for misuse of arms within their jurisdiction and unwholesome practices. Thanks to the IG Mohammed who for the first time admitted that police stations are money making sites and where returns are made for other superior officers up to the top. The desired police transformation is one of a highly discipline police with sense of dignity, culture and effective services – a police that will prevent the occurrence of crime, not the one that feeds on crime. A police that will understand the enormous powers the constitution has bestowed on it by being the only public servant with warrant identity card that gives its personnel the opportunity to act even when not on duty in order to prevent crime in the society; a police that shall be seen as the presence of authority, hope for justice, law and order. A symbol of the nation, Nigeria. • Abdulganiyu Onotu Mohammed Kaduna




Reality Bites I

Olatunji Ololade

HAVE seen all sorts of revolutionary marches and I’ve come to the conclusion that the Nigerian revolutionary is an incurable idiot. It doesn’t make a darn bit of difference what his causes are. Its worse if he’s in his youth – because then he fully immerses into the backward civilization into which he has been born…evolving quite brazenly like a barbarian, badgering onto the stage for acclaim through the trap-door. The conscientious and the just, the honorable, gracious and humane; the unselfish and the intelligent may begin a movement—but soon it slips from their grasp turning them from leaders of the revolution into victims of the revolt; thus their seemingly desperate inclinations to distance themselves from every revolutionary march. The problem of the Nigerian

‘The fear of the Nigerian leadership was however hardly farfetched given the radicalism of the Occupy Nigeria movement. In a violent society that has no future to offer them, the Nigerian youth have very little to lose; thus their lack of hesitancy in confronting the State’


youth is that he believes himself staggeringly capable of revolt, but he does not know how to revolt. At the end, in his desperate bid to rebel against the established and much dreaded order, he propagates the contradiction of that style of living which cultivates sincerity and at the same time frustrates it. Thus the Nigerian youth remains his own greatest enemy and the most inimitable adversary to the Nigerian dream. No revolution can be successful if the human elements serving as its force of change are wholly incapacitated to see to the fruitful end, the ideals of the insurrection; which brings me to the quality of youth mooting the revolt. Revolution is never the rebellion against a pre-existing order, but the setting-up of a new order contradictory to the traditional one. How different could an order anchored by the current crop of Nigerian youth be? They are not yet the patriots they are meant to become. This citizenship business still confounds them. And education which is the only thing that should wholly never fail to rub off on them has failed woefully to rub off on them. They have learnt too little and they have too little to pass on, save quackery…and insolence…and incompetence…and greed. In the daily lives of our youth, fear plays a greater part than hope: they are more filled with the thoughts of possessions they may acquire and that others may take from them, than of the progressive-

OU don’t have the opportunity of writing about uncommon personalities like Bola Ahmed Tinubu all the time because you may not even know where to start. The popular dictum that –some men are born great, some achieve greatness while others have greatness thrust upon them is apt about Bola Tinubu. More apt is that he has greatness thrust upon him in a way. But for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT), the Southwest today would have been writhing under the jackboot of the PDP interlopers spearheaded by Olusegun Obasanjo who tried in vain to appoint himself as leader of the Yorubas. When Obasanjo’s rampaging army raped the Southwest in 2003, Tinubu was the last man standing. He understands Obasanjo and could read him like a book. He interpreted his body language correctly and as a result, was able to beat Obasanjo at his own game. Shortly before the 2003 general elections, whilst his other colleague governors fell for Obasanjo’s trick to cage them and destroy the main Yoruba political party, the Alliance for Democracy (AD) which was dominant in the Southwest then, Tinubu was the only one who saw through this evil plot and he survived the onslaught. This heroic but uncommon resistance at that time shaped and changed the political history of the Southwest for good. No amount of superlatives could adequately qualify BAT, but he is simply an enigma. He is in a class of his own. Going by his trajectories, unknown to him, fate and providence have prepared him for the task of liberating the Southwest from the yoke of the oppressive conservatives otherwise known as the demos in Yorubaland. As this arduous task of being the liberator unfolds daily, he adjusts accordingly by picking the gauntlet as a leader of his people. Signs that he would later be a defender of democracy and justice showed in his days as a Senator when he was one of the arrowheads of those calling for the de-annulment of June 12 elections . Despite the threats to his life from Babangida and Abacha’s goons, Tinubu stood his ground that the military must be chased out and democracy should operate. He became endangered specie especially with the formation of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) in which he was very active. He fled the country with other patriots who

Revolutionary rascals (1) ness and joy that they might create in their own lives and in the lives with which they come in contact. Russell would say “It is not so that life should be lived” but the Nigerian youth could not be bothered even if they knew that much. Many whose lives ought to be fruitful to them, to their friends, and to the world in entirety are hardly inspired by hope and sustained by joy; they seek in imagination the vanities that might be and the way in which they are to be brought into existence. Ultimately they choose the path of decadence. In their private relations they are pre-occupied with the vacuous lest they should lose such affection and respect as they receive; they are engaged in giving affection and respect at a price and the reward often comes by their desperate quests. In their work they are haunted by jealousy of competitors, and are least concerned with the actual task that has to be done. In politics, they spend time and passion defending unjust privileges of their benefactors, godfathers, class or ethnicity, even as they make their world less happy, less compassionate, less peaceful, more full of greed and compatriots whose growth is perpetually dwarfed and stunted by oppression. A spectre is haunting the Nigerian youth. Knowingly and unabashedly, they have entered an unholy alliance with the ruling class. They do not constitute formidable opposition to keep the ruling class on its toes neither do they offer invaluable support to keep our leaders on track. Their approach to politics complicates the class antagonisms. Society as a whole is splitting up more and more into two great hostile camps, the ruling class and the working class; the proverbial middle class got lost somewhere at the

crossroads where the bourgeoisie swallows up the proletariat. Though youth does not really have the means to stop the economy, the ruling class dreads the youth, as was discernible when a wave of panic seized the Nigerian government by the jugular in the wake of the Occupy Nigeria protests. What do they fear? It’s without doubt the frequency and the potentials of youth mobilizations. Massive youth mobilizations were taking place across the globe and with often grievous and far-reaching consequences in the affected nations; the Nigerian leadership no doubt dreaded a Nigerian manifestation of the Arab Spring. The fear of the Nigerian leadership was however hardly farfetched given the radicalism of the Occupy Nigeria movement. In a violent society that has no future to offer them, the Nigerian youth have very little to lose; thus their lack of hesitancy in confronting the State. The wish to abolish status quo was widespread among the nation’s youth as they romanticized the idea of a revolution as the protests dragged. In spite of the youth’s passionate struggle against the incumbent leadership’s utter insensitivity and cluelessness, the eventual result was basically, an opportunistic contract between the exploiters (the government) and a part of the exploited (labour leadership), at the expense of the rest of the exploited (you, me and everyone) – something Noel Ignatin would call “the original sweetheart agreement.” Says a lot of the Nigerian youth’s revolutionary potential. Eventually, the nation’s youth were written off and their grievances dismissed as the crazed rant of a pathetic mass of revolutionary impostors. The youth were eventually

Bouquet for Bola Ahmed Tinubu at 60 By Hakeem Jamiu championed the cause of June 12. He relocated to Europe where he continued the struggle to oust military rule with others like the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Chief Ralph Obioha, Air Commodore Dan Suleiman (Rtd.), Chief Raph Uwechue, Chief Bobo Nwosisi, Gen.Alani Akinriade and other NADECO figures. The military was eventually consigned to the barracks and democratic rule was ushered in. He became Governor of Lagos State in 1999 and served two terms which terminated in 2007. It was in 2003 that Obasanjo’s conservative forces defiled the innocence of the Southwest except Lagos which was stoutly guarded by Bola Tinubu. The defilement was completed in 2007 when Obasanjo consolidated his conquest of the region. Again, he failed to conquer Lagos. Rather than overrunning Lagos as he had boasted, power was seamlessly transferred from Tinubu to Babatunde Raji Fashola who consolidated on the gains of the Tinubu administration of which he was the Chief of Staff and has been able to build on that foundation. Today, Lagos State is a model for good governance and a centre of infrastructural development which has become the envy of other states. Unfortunately, between 2003 and 2010, other South-western states became conquered territories and they were badly run by those who never won elections but were appointed vassal lords in the name of governors. Bola Tinubu became a thorn in the flesh of poll robbers. He openly supported the legal battle to reclaim the stolen mandates of Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Osun, Oyo and Ogun States. While the stolen mandates of the first four states mentioned were reclaimed through legal means, the remaining two were reclaimed through resounding electoral victories in April 2011 thus completing the total liberation of the Southwest. It is instructive to note that the reclamation

of the Southwest by the progressive forces was made possible by Tinubu’s doggedness and political wizardry. Because he prevented the fall of Lagos, he was able to rescue the remaining occupied territories of the Southwest. We can talk of regional integration today because of Asiwaju Tinubu. Therefore, it is not unusual that the whole of the Southwest celebrated his birthday in a manner only befitting an acceptable leader of the people. Tinubu is not a saint, nobody is. He has his own human foibles like any other mortal. Some don’t like his politics while others don’t even like his person but the fact remains that he is probably the only Yoruba leader today who commands the respect of a large majority of the Yoruba nation. The recent attempt to re-create a Bode George out of him to square up by the reactionary forces failed when all the trumped up charges of operating a foreign account while he was governor was dismissed by the court. The Yorubas are too sophisticated and too independent minded to follow any Shenanigan who claims to be their leader. Yorubas naturally devolve to a leader that meets their basic minimum set standards of the Omoluabi credo. It is not about money or position previously held, it is about the qualities of Omoluabi possessed. After the demise of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the leadership of the Yoruba fell on the shoulders of Chief Abraham Adesanya who led the Yorubas during a critical moment in the history of the nation. It was during the dark days of the military regimes of Generals Ibrahim Babangida, Abacha and Abdulsalaami Abubakar. During that era, many Yoruba sons and daughters were assassinated by suspected agents of the military junta. After the demise of Chief Adesanya in April 2008, there was leadership tussle among the Afenifere leading to the emergence of Chief Reuben Fasoranti and Senator Ayo

dismissed as essentially hopeless and misdirected. Despite the fervor of the Occupy Nigeria movement, the youth remain exploited and perpetually exploitable – victims of what George Bernard Shaw, terms “the stupid system of violence and robbery which we call Law and Industry.” Most of the time, youth mobilizations and revolutionary movements attract sympathy from the workers and the population, as if the youth were saying loudly what the majority couldn’t afford to say. Thus, in many instances, youth mobilizations restore to the social camp the confidence in the masses’ ability to resist; and in some cases other working sectors engage in mobilization, following the youth. The Nigerian youth however, presents a contradiction to the benefits of such relationship of trust. He is accustomed to keep his head down like one eternally doomed to be adept in all the arts of the beggar. He even presumes a little upon the possession of talents which, as he ought to know, can never compete with cringing mediocrity; in the long run he comes to recognize the inferiority of those who are placed over his head, and when they inflict greater hurt upon him, he becomes refractory and shy, turning round to crawl into the wall when he is backed against it. This is hardly the way to get on in the world but very few Nigerian youths are conversant with the words of Voltaire: “We have only two days to live; it is not worth our while to spend them in cringing to contemptible rascals.” But what if “contemptible rascals” also qualifies a greater percentage of the nation’s youth? • To be continued… For SMS only 08038551123

Fasanmi factions of the socio-cultural organisation. To de-emphasise these factional tendencies, younger Yoruba leaders formed the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) with the main aim of restoring the Yoruba core values of hard work, honesty and integrity. They wanted to return the region to the good old days of life more abundant for the masses. But they must fight poll robbers first and this they did well. Tinubu, apart from being an advocate of democracy and justice in the country as a whole, is always passionate about the development of the Southwest and how to put the Yoruba in her pride of place. This he demonstrated while he was governor of Lagos State. In this task, he identified and encouraged progressive minded Yoruba elements who emerged as flag bearers of the ACN in other Southwest states Thus, a Raji Fashola in Lagos, Kayode Fayemi in Ekiti, Rauf Aregbesola in Osun, Abiola Ajimobi in Oyo, Adams Oshiomhole in Edo and Ibikunle Amosun in Ogun are all working in line with the dream and vision of Tinubu to propel the development of the region and re-enact the glorious days of Chief Obafemi Awolowo as Premier of the Western Region. It is not debatable today that Bola Ahmed Tinubu can walk on the streets of many state capitals in the Southwest with multitudes following and singing his praise but the same cannot be said of those forcing themselves on the people as their leader. They would probably be stoned or booed with the shouts of Ole! Ole! (thief! thief!). As the Yorubas celebrate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu at 60, I join others to wish the Jargaban Borgu, a human colossus, a happy birthday. May God continue to grant him more healthy years of leadership to the Yoruba race. Jamiu writes from Ado-Ekiti.

‘Tinubu, apart from being an advocate of democracy and justice in the country as a whole, is always passionate about the development of the Southwest and how to put the Yoruba in her pride of place’





AST year, an indigent friend of mine had hernia and was to be operated urgently. But unfortunately for him, doctors in the employ of the Lagos state government hospitals where hospital bills are affordable were on strike over the implementation of the federal government crafted Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS). Initially, he was waiting while hoping that the strike would soon come to an end but that was not to be. As his condition became worse with no money to pay for his surgery in a private hospital, a relative of his who works in the Federal Medical Centre came to his rescue by arranging for the operation in that hospital with a proviso- that he would have to leave for his house the day after the operation due to of lack of bed space. He agreed and the rest is history. However, not many people were as lucky as my friend for they knew nobody in any FMC or private hospital that can rescue them. Many of such people must have untimely passed to the great beyond for no reason other than the avoidable Lagos doctors’ strike of 2010/11. Again, the doctors are currently on another 3-day warning strike that would end today. This needless strike must have put several lives on the line. But the few with means that initially depended on these hospitals had to revert to the highly priced private hospitals for health succour. Nevertheless, for those who could not afford it, their health suffered

‘In Odubote’s years of medical practice, he should know that most in-patients in severe medical conditions might not be able to survive long distance travel to neighbouring states especially when they had been denied days of due medical attention from their hospital of departure arising from senseless abandonment of duty by doctors’


INCE EPRESSO seems to be in a laudatory mood this season, let’s do some more by giving a thumb-up to the Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr M.D Abubakar. Why does he deserve the applause of this column? Here: by a mere proclamation, a simple gesture, he has done what all his predecessors (from Smith to Ringim) could not do. By mere announcing and insisting on it, he has removed the obnoxious police check points from our roads. Without an aorta of equivocation, I think this is the best thing that has happened to the Nigeria Police in the last two decades. A mark of leadership: this hated and ignoble police tolls have been with us for so long and Nigerian have cried about it all these years – advising and begging and cajoling that they be done away with but none of the past IGs could muster the courage or the will to act right. Even when Nigerians began to accuse the police high command of getting ‘returns’ from the field, it did not matter to IG after IG and they never bothered to think through the problem not to speak of tackling it. As the years went by, the men got emboldened and the brazen; they mounted road blocks at every nook and cranny – anywhere they could get away with - at street corners and on the highways. At its peak, it seemed as if the sole purpose of our police was to set up road blocks ostensibly to extort the hell out of the people. As the so-called IGs watched, the police got debased as much as they dehumanized themselves. In the full view of the watching world, they shed their garment of dignity and donned beggarly uniform as they made a duty of demanding and accepting the dirtiest and lowliest of naira notes. Spiritually, psychologically and socially, they sunk to the nadir of humanity, unknown to them. It was police ‘checkpoint’ horror on our highways as travelling became a nightmare for commuters who suffered the huddle of ugly blockade of the express ways. The Lagos to Ore, Benin and Onitsha stretch was the worst example. Our police blockade was worse than in any war zone. We had known these mindless roadblocks to have caused ghastly accidents (the Enugu Awka

Stethoscope without humanity

• Fashola with no hope in sight due to the recalcitrant posture of the doctors. It would be recalled that in August and September of 2010 and February 2011, the refractory doctors callously withdrew their services. Are doctors working in Lagos state owned hospitals without conscience? Are their stethoscopes devoid of humanity? What is the worth of human life to these doctors that pitilessly placed high premium on money than on human wellbeing? What are they out to achieve with this recurring strikes? Would it be right to impute political motive to their incessant strike actions? Should doctors allow their duties to be politicised for selfish or whatever reason? The answers to these questions may be operating in the realm of

conjecture but for the statement reportedly credited to the Medical Guild’s (MG) chairman, Dr Olumuyiwa Odusote last week. After reeling out his catalogue of demands/ requests on government, he concluded in a manner that showed that the doctors are heartless to the medical plights of inhabitants of the state. What they are merely bothered about is how to make more allowances and other perquisites from government. Otherwise, Odubote would not have said that during the strike; “all services will be withdrawn by our members. If need be, inpatients in severe medical conditions during this period may be transferred to hospitals in neighbouring states.” In Odubote’s years of medical practice, he should know that most in-patients in severe medical conditions might not be able to survive long distance travel to neighbouring states especially when they had been denied days of due medical attention from their hospital of departure arising from senseless abandonment of duty by doctors. Additionally, he and his fellow striking doctors must note that it is possible that the state of the art medical equipment in Lagos state hospitals might be obviously lacking in neighbouring states to the centre of excellence. The doctors must realise that salary and allowances can be collected in arrears but human lives cannot be revived once lost. Perhaps the Medical Guild cannot effectively convince Lagosians that excessive


SMS O8181624757,

One up for IG Abubakar

M. D. Abubakar (IG)

expressway petrol tanker fire); we have heard how armed robbers worst policemen at road blocks who were deeply engrossed in their ‘collections’. Of course, creating heavy traffic snarl seemed like the purpose of the roadblocks. Then there was the thwarting of the free flow of goods and agric produce. In short, police checkpoint was a kind of lunacy that almost became standard professional practice for the Nigeria police. While we watch MD Abubakar’s progression on this, it is enough to say that he may well have started on the TRUE reform of the Nigeria Police. Please forget all the reform panels that have been set up all these years. We all, or lets say, every cop of IG caliber knows or ought to know the problems

Sen. Bala Mohammed (FCT Minister)

of the force. Now that the IG has cured the police of the demeaning N20.00 syndrome and stopped them from being a menace to the populace, he must take it one step further. The problem of the police has never been a lack of funding but lack of leadership. First he must see to it that the police budget is applied accordingly. He must return professionalism, integrity and self-worth to the police. He must make an average policeman proud to wear that uniform. Continuous improvement of police welfare is crucial; training is crucial, especially intelligence training. We must wean ourselves of the notion that security is the heavy presence of armed uniformed men at any cluster. No; the best security is never self-

taxation when proved is something that can not be remedied. If indeed the Lagos government has been over taxing its members, the Guild should supply evidence so that redress can be quickly effected. It is very wrong of it to go on strike because of this especially when the withdrawal of services by its members will put human lives in jeopardy. Again, are doctors above the law? I don’t in my candid learned view as a lawyer believe that they are. No Nigerian whatever his profession or status is above the law. The Medical Guild erred in law by giving the state government less than 24 hours notice before embarking on this running-out warning strike over what it termed in its view to be the non-implementation of the CONMESS agreement and what the association describes as excessive taxation by the state government. The law allows for 15 days notice to an employer and all means of negotiation broken down before a trade union can embark on a strike action. What is even more disturbing is that these doctors’ strike occurs too often, thereby putting the health and lives of thousands of people who depend on the public health care system during such periods at stake. The Guild must watch its ways or else no one will take it serious again. Of course, it is losing credibility at a fast rate with the modus and timing of its injurious strike actions. On previous occasions, it is either when election time is around the corner or when one festivity or the other is approaching or being celebrated. On this running out strike, it was timed to punish and inflict unjustifiable pain on Lagosians that are just smarting off the Easter break celebrations. The Medical Guild leadership must be reasonable enough to think of the wellbeing of inhabitants of the state. Health is wealth but the wealth created by health can be consolidated and sustained when medical doctors remain focused on their jobs. They should remember that nurses too are very important element in the health chain. Doctors are not an island in the chain and what will happen if the nurses decided to proceed on strike too can be better imagined. Of course, the doctors will be rendered useless! Doctors must realise that Nigeria is a federation and as such must not push their luck too far while in the employ of not only Lagos state alone but that of other states across the federation.

evident. The salutary effect of the banishing of checkpoints is so pervasive already on the polity, the IG has started on a good note, let him build on it while we pray for him. … And for Bala Mohammed too The job of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) minister is probably the most coveted in the land and the jostle for it comes with intrigues, slander and back-stabbing. With the current administration bracing the tape of its first year anniversary and with a possible reshuffle in the offing a strong under current of lobbying has ensued and this comes with sinister actions like blackmail and all sorts. Since Abuja became the FCT, especially after the seat of federal power was moved there, that parcel of land carved out in the heart of Nigeria has become perhaps the hottest property in the land. It is therefore, haven for speculators which in this case, include civil servants, politicians, appointees and all manner of land grabbers. This is the problem that faces every minister of the FCT and the current one, Senator Bala Mohammed is no exception. Any attempt at any time to bring sanity to the fraudulent land acquisition in the FCT is often met with stiff resistance. As a result of the miasma that is FCT parks and gardens, a sizeable portion of the entire FCT spread, a ministerial committee was set up by the current minister to unravel the mess and put the records straight. But before the committee could submit its report, there is a heavy backlash and dollops of mud are being flung to deflate the effort. Some even say that the purpose of the committee is not to clear the messy situation but to grab the land. But it is a verifiable fact that out of the 907 parks allocation that has been made in the FCT, only 97 have ministerial approval. What this means is that 810 parks are allocated through the back door. Again, out of this number, only 299 0f these parks have files existing in the Department of Parks and Gardens. It goes on and on… the mess is a pile. The Minister must summon the courage to correct this anomaly not caring whose ox is gored. He must go ahead and implement the report of his committee.





At a well-celebrated ceremony, Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment Tunji Bello led his colleagues, associates and friends to mark the 80th birthday of his in-law, Elder Jadesola Ibidapo. NNEKA NWANERI was there.

•From left: Chief Ibidapo; the Celebrator Elder Ibidapo; Primate Udofia; Revd Julius Abee and Revd Dapo Asaju


WAS just 23 when I first met Jadesola over five decades ago. She was stunningly beautiful back then. I was a banker with Barclays Bank (now Union Bank). As a colonial banker, it was mandatory that all the staff be neatly dressed with a tie. We usually converged as a matter of routine in front of the bank 30 minutes before resumption to observe passersby, especially young ladies. I noticed her out of several young ladies passing by. About a week after noticing her, I made a move for her and told her I would like to see her again and take her out. She agreed and told me her house was just around the corner. She later advised me to write a letter regarding my intent to marry her to her family.” With these words, the celebrator's husband, Chief Eniola Meshack Ibidapo, recounted how he met his wife, Elder Jadesola, who clocked 80 last Saturday. Chief Ibidapo also relived how his in-laws opposed their union at the beginning. “I was seen as an Ara-Oke (a person from the hitherland). They wanted her to remain in the city. The main reason the family was against the relationship was because it perceived that the Ara-Oke’s are fond of acquiring women as a status symbol. Thank God, we got married a year after,” he said. He described her as a “dutiful wife.” “Jade (as he fondly calls her) has been a fulltime housewife, who insists on having quality time with her children. She is a nice, kind and considerate woman. She placed so much emphasis on education that she reserved two rooms for study. Given the nature of my job, which didn't allow me to be involved in raising children, she did a very good job.” For the relations of the Ibidapos, their Easter festivities began last Saturday, with the birthday bash marking Elder Jadesola’s entry into the octogenarian club.

80 hearty cheers for a ‘dutiful’ matriach The auditorium of the African Church Cathedral, Bethel, Lagos Island, was filled as family members and well-wishers turned out for a thanksgiving service for the celebrator. Many were clad in sky blue laces and red wine head gears. The service took off with the processional hymn, “O God of Bethel”, The church premises were filled with exotic cars. Traders who sat at the entrances of their shops, craned their necks to catch a glimpse of the guests. Passersby and those around the vicinity join in singing the melodious songs from the church. Praise and worship songs were sang, as mama and her family members filled out to give thanks to God. They came out to dance with the 'birthday girl’, and her husband. The Primate of the African Church and Bishop of the Lagos Dioceses, Rev Emmanuel Udofia, said Elder Jadesola, despite her age, was one of those who made it punctually to the daily morning service, which begins at 8 O’clock. “Always walking hand-in-hand with her husband of 61 years, the duo move like twins and are always interested in God’s words,” Rev Udofia said.

He urged the youth to imbibe some of her virtues so that their days will be long on earth. Guests were later entertained at KFA Events Place. The centre was aesthetically decorated. A musician, Atinuke Shoo, thrilled guests with her sonorous voice. “I thank God for having her as my wife and I beckon on God that if I live another life, he should give me the privilege to have her as my wife again,” Chief Ibidapo said. The celebrator's son-in-law, Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment Mr Tunji Bello expressed gratitude to the celebrator for taking care of his children after school hours. Bello, the husband of Prof Ibiyemi, Lagos State University (LASU) Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said mama was always there to attend to his children even when his wife went on study leave. "Mama welcomed me while I was still courting my wife. Even when my wife wasn't around, she will give me food and make the place comfortable for me. She is one woman always full of advice, a very lovely mother, indeed," he said. He wished her more years in peace and good health.

With Mrs Toun Ajomale proposing the toast, Elder Jadesola cut her large squaresized birthday cake surrounded by her family members. Present were Deputy Governor Adejoke Adefulire-Orelope; the governor’s wife, Dame Abimbola Fashola, Special Adviser on Education Otunba Fatai Olukoga represented Governor Babatunde Fashola; Secretary to the State Government Mrs Oluranti Adebule; Head of Service Adesegun Ogunlewe; Senator Oluremi Tinubu; Commissioner for Central Business District Mrs Derin Disu; her Budget and Planning counterpart Ben Akabueze; Alhaja Fatimat Bintu Tinubu; former Deputy Governor Princess Sarah Sosan; Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA) boss Ola Oresanya; Prof Omolola Bamboye; Hon Abike DabiriErewa and former Commissioner for Health Dr Leke Pitan. Others were Chairman, LASU Governing Board, Mr Akin Kekere-Ekun; LASU Registrar Mr Lateef Animashaun; Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Lagos State Chairman, Henry Ajomale; and Prof Ibikunle Tijani, among others. •More pictures on page 26



SOCIETY •Continued from page 25

•Mr Bello and wife, Prof Ibiyemi

•From left: Mrs Fashola; Mrs Orelope-Adefulire; Otunba Dele Ajomale and his wife Toun

•From left: Senator Oluremi Tinubu; Mrs Anike Adekanye and Mrs Sarah Sosan

•Mr Kekere-Ekun (left) and Mr Ogunlewe

Mrs Adenike Ogunlewe (left) and Mrs Mayowa Ikuforiji

•From left: Kehinde Aruwajoye; Mr Olu Ibidapo and Dr Ladun Ibidapo

•Lagos SSG Mrs Oluranti Adebule

•Otunba Fatai Olukoga

•Mr Adebiyi Mabadeje (left) and Mr Babatunde Hunpe

•Chief Richard Oma Ahonaruogho and his Olori Mojisola





After six years on the throne, the Okere of Saki, Oba Kelani Olatoyese Olarinre II, was presented the staff of office by Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi at an epochal event. OSEHEYE OKWUOFU reports.

•Governor Ajimobi (second left) presenting staff of office to Oba Olatoyese


HE mammoth crowd underscored the significance of the occasion. The OSADEP Sports Complex, Saki Township, venue of the epochal event, could not contain indigenes of the ancient town. It was the sixth coronation anniversary and the presentation of staff of office to Oba Kelani Olatoyese Olarinre II, the Okere of Saki and Vice-Chairman, Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs. The twin events were held in grand style. As early as 7.30am, officials of the Coronation Committee, security personnel and local government workers saddled with various responsibilities were on ground. To ensure adequate security, soldiers, policemen, State Security Service (SSS) operatives, civil defence and local vigilante groups were stationed at strategic locations. In less than two hours, all seats under the canopies were occupied except those reserved for top government officials and traditional rulers. It was the day indigenes of the town had been waiting for. With enthusiasm, they left their businesses to be part of the historic event - presentation of the instrument of office to their king. The chief host and former National Chairman of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), Chief Adeniyi Michael Koleoso and the Chairman, Caretaker Committee of Saki West, Dapo Popoola, led the people to welcome dignitaries who came from far and wide. Gorgeously dressed in a royal attire,

At last, monarch gets staff of office Oba Olatoyese was flanked by his Oloris, who wore beautifully-made Aso Ofi and flowing head gears (gele). Leading the array of royal fathers was the Chairman, Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs and Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III. Oba Adeyemi, popularly called Iku Babayeye, was clad in a white flowing Agbada, Abeti Aja cap and a pair of shoes. The revered monarch came with a retinue of palace guards and praise singers. Governor Abiola Ajimobi and his wife, Florence led those from Ibadan the Oyo State capital to the event. They include the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon Mosurat Sumonu; the Minority Leader Hon Rafiu Adekunle; the governorship candidate of the Congress for Political Change (CPC) Alhaji Adebayo Shittu; Hon Rasak Olubodun; Onitede of Tede Oba Raufu Oladoyin; Onijo of Okeho Oba Rafiu Osuolale; Iba of Kishi Oba Moshood Aweda Lawal; Emir of Kita Alhaji Idris Tutoru; Eleruwa of Eruwa Oba Samuel Adegbola and Aare of AgoAre, Oba Jubril.

While welcoming the guests, Popoola paid glowing tribute to the sterling leadership qualities of the monarch, saying: “There is no doubt that his six-year reign has witnessed tremendous progress.” “As you can all see, our Kabiyesi symbolises humility and is greatly loved in the town. The past six years are years of peace and development… When a good man reigns, there is peace and tranquility. But when a wicked man rules, there is violence everywhere,” he added. Oba Adeyemi was called upon to bless his fellow monarch. He congratulated Oba Olatoyese. He described Oba Olatoyese, as a “man of quiet disposition, simple, unassuming and an untellectual.” Oba Adeyemi prayed for the peace, progress and development of the town and the state. Ajimobi said the presentation of the instrument of office was God’s making, and in his own time He promised that his administration would continue to accord priority to tradtional rulers’ welfare.

The governor, who presented the staff of office to Oba Olatoyese, noted that since the inception of his administration, the welfare and prompt payment of salaries to traditional rulers have been of utmost concern. He, however, charged the royal fathers to reciprocate the gesture by ensuring a conducive atmosphere in their domains. Ajimobi also appealed for the cooperation of the indigenes of the state to ensure successful execution of its programmes. “As the government is committed to ensuring the safety of lives and properties, the citizens too must be law-abiding and channel whatever grievances that they may harbour through legal means and appropriate channels,” he said. He thanked God that the coronation and presentation of the instrument of office which should have been performed since 2007 by the immediate past administration, had come to reality. “This is a further confirmation of the fact that this administration is a believer in and a promoter of justice and the rule of law. We do not believe in half measures of justice. It has to be full and in its totality,” he said. While congratulating the royal father and, indeed, the sons and daughters of Saki on the occasion, he implored them to work together as a people for the progress and development of the town and the state in general.



SOCIETY The second edition of the Management Day of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) held on Tuesday at the Management House, Victoria Island, Lagos. NNEKA NWANERI, who was there, reports.

•Deacon Onosode

•Olawale-Cole flanked by Mallam Ribadu (left) and Chief Lugard Aimiuwu

•From right: Oba of Onigbongbo Munirudeen Olatunji; Mr Femi Ibrahim and Mrs Funsho Egunleti

•CODER Chief Ayo Opadokun

•Bashorun JK Randle

When managers meet T

HE main hall of the Management House on Victoria Island hosted many from the academia, dignitaries and members of the institute to this year’s Management Day. At 11.30am, the event began with the reaffirmation of the National Pledge and NIM'S Code of Conduct by the audience. The President/Chairman of Council, Chief Michael Olawale-Cole, welcomed guests. Before the end of his speech, the auditorium was filled. Clad in a suit and tie to match with his golden insignia of his office hanging around his shoulders, Olawale-Cole said the event was to celebrate the ideals and tenets of the management profession and the Nigerian manager. “In its over 51 years of existence, this Institute can boast of positive impact on business and governance in this country,” he said. He expressed confidence that, by the end of the lecture, all would be better prepared to meet the challenges that mismanagement pose to the nation. Chairman on the occasion and former president of the institute, Deacon Gamaliel Onosode, addressed the audience. He got a rousing applaud when he brought out the January 29 1966 Daily Times newspaper and read from it. Onosode quoted Exodus 23, which reads:

"Do not join the multitude to do evil”. Afterwards, he beckoned on the guest speaker, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, to take over. Ribadu’s citation was read after which he was called to the podium. The Presidential candidate of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) described Onosode as man of honour and character. He thanked him on behalf of many Nigerians who learn from him, saying he was proud of him. Indeed, it was his first talk after what he called 'gate crashing' into politics. Dressed in a sky blue Agbada and cap, his lecture commenced. As one very vast about history underlying with examples countries that contrast with Nigeria, the former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) boss gave a strong food for thought with passion. The audience responded by nodding, humming and making side comments with what the he said. At a point, guests were aghast when Ribadu swore by God that he never receive bribe as a policeman. “Walahi Talahi Sumobilahi, I have never taken a bribe even when I was a police officer,” he said. Moderated by the chairman, almost all who had questions bothering them were an-

•NIM Life President Mrs Adetutu Adeleke and Ade Adenubi

swered by the speaker. Thereafter, Ribadu was presented a letter of membership of the institute and presented a plaque as a show of appreciation for the day. Also, Bashorun Jaiye Randle was called upon to give a plaque to Deacon Onosode. Before doing so, the revered accountant said: ‘This plaque is given to you for scoring distinction in all subjects. A1 in punctuality, double 'A' in history, triple 'A' in English and another distinction for command of English when he


dwelt on semantics. He is a man of knowledge, fear of God and trusted by all Nigerians." In response, Onosode said: “I feel humbled by this avalanche of affection and I promise to do my very best until 'the field is called to rest". The Management Day was instituted last year by the 17th President of Nigerian Institute of Management, (NIM), Dr Sally Adukwu-Bolujoko, to hold every second Tuesday in April.

29 FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2012

Vol 3 No. 147

‘How to position brand Nigeria’ Political thought leaders, experts sang discordant notes at a brand conference on Nigeria hosted by Verdant Zeal, a marketing communications firm, to mark its fifth anniversary. WALE ALABI, who was at the event, reports


HEN Mr Tunji Olugbodi, managing director /chief executive officer , Verdant Zeal, an integrated marketing communications firm penultimate Thursday, decided to assemble political thought leaders including two governors, ministers, top entrepreneurs, publishers, editors, leading marketing communications and media practitioners to celebrate its fifth anniversary in business with a lecture on how reinvent the Nigeria brand, little did he know he would be stirring hornet’s nest. It was Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the Osun State governor who fired the first salvo with his keynote address entitled: “Nigeria; What image?” Chronicling the history of the country since October 1, 1960, the governor lamented that over 50 years after independence, Nigeria still suffers from identity crisis. The governor, who was ably represented at the lecture by Osun State Commissioner of Finance, Dr Wale Bolorunduro, said: “ Today, over 51 years after, the genuine question that still lingers is whether we have been able to develop a Nigerian Identity? What defines Brand Nigeria? Or rather, what does it mean to be Nigerian? “Is it our abundance of agricultural produce or the millions of oil barrels we export annually? Is it the contributions of Nigerian technocrats home and abroad or the ignominy of having corrupt officials? Or maybe we are simply known for our poor development indices burdened by vices such as corruption in public and private places, religious extremism, kidnapping, advanced fee fraud amongst others.” Aregbesola,taking a quote from American billionaire, Jeff Bezos, stressed: “A person’s reputation is largely based on what he does as opposed to what he says”. This, in all simplicity, is the definition of a brand. “Bringing Bezos quote into perspective, we can say that Brand Nigeria can only be defined by the collective actions of every individual that makes up the Nigerian nation.” He said: “We have the fortune of being born in a land richly blessed and commonly referred to as ‘a land of milk and honey’; a land with the greatest concentration of the black race all over the world. Nigeria is a land of outstanding professionals, entrepreneurs, administrators, scientists and humanists. Accomplished sports men and women, talented poets, dramatists, novelists abound in abundance. We produced Africa’s first Nobel laureate in Literature in Wole Soyinka. We have the exploits of the Chinua Achebes, J.P. Clarks,Yinka Shonibares, Niyi Osundares and Femi Osofisans as

From left: Publisher, Vanguard Newspapers, Sam Amuka and Amaechi, at the event.

worthy testimonies of the abundance of talent.” Still the governor contends that we have been unable to leverage these positive attributes for the overall benefit of the Nigerian brand. In his lecture, the guest lecturer of the day, Governor of Rivers State Chibuike Amaechi like Aregbesola lamented the parlous state of the Nigerian brand. According to Amaechi, “All over the world, nation branding is a deliberate act, and it is not happenstance and it is not ad hoc, whereas events or conditions may act as catalysts in the process, nation branding is pragmatic, deliberate and beyond cosmetic.” Listing countries like China, Singapore, India, Dubai, South Africa and Ghana that have successfully rebranded on the international scene, Amaechi contends

that a nation that is conscious of branding itself must have something to sell, adding that Nigeria can leverage on its value of hospitality, strength, good weather and natural resources to become a force to reckon with. Amaechi posits that nation branding is beyond advertising or placing billboards at airports with pay-off lines or tag lines. For a nation to win the branding war, it has to leverage on the strength of its economy, military, politics and deliberate act of poverty alleviation to drive change amongst its citizenry. He said: “If a government fails to provide a legitimate means for living its people; the people will decide an illegitimate means of living for themselves. And an unproductive economy can only produce hungry people. And what happens

‘If a government fails to provide a legitimate means for living its people, the people will decide an illegitimate means of living for themselves. And an unproductive economy can only produce hungry people. And what happens when they are hungry? They become angry. Now can you rebrand in the midst hungry and angry people?’

when they are hungry? They become angry. Now can you rebrand in the midst hungry and angry people?” Austin Ufomba, marketing director, Coca- Cola Nigeria, who was on the team of discussants blamed the problem of brand Nigeria on weak institutions. And with the weak institutions, at both public and private sectors, there will be no positive impact on the national brand. Beside weak institutions, he also harps on poor leadership training as another factor impacting negatively on Nigeria’s brand. “Where are our leaders, trained and how? he asked, stressing that, “If our leaders are trained from the failed education system, then “we get what we train.” In her submission, the Chief Executive Officer, Purples Consult, Sola Salako, urged successive governments to always use adequate communication channels to reach the people on values. He stated that when the leaders show good examples, the citizenry will follow. The Registrar/Chief Executive, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), Mallam Bello Kankarofi, advised each state in the country to leverage their distinct potential through reputable marketing and marketing communications firms, saying this would lead to effective development of destination brands across the country.



Brandnews No. 10 reviews press expertise


From right: Director, Brian Munro, Mr Brian Voakes; Managing Director, Proximity Communications, Mr Rotimi Olaniyan; National Sales Manager ,Brian Munro; Mr Paul Omekwe and Brand Manager, Campari, Mr Victor Ikem, at the Campari briefing on Dare to Mix promo in Lagos.

New Nokia mobile phone coming


N line with its strategy to deepen its market penetration in the country, world’s largest manufacturer of mobile phones, Nokia, has unveiled affordable mobile phones targeted primarily at low income earners. The Nokia 103 is the first of its kind to be launched in Nigeria and designed specifically for people buying their first phones. A major feature of the new Nokia 103 is its fresh look and durable anti-scratch cover, designed with long lasting battery life of up to 11 hours talk time and 27 days standby time. Other features include built-in flashlight, FM radio, speaking clock and MP3 grade ringtones. Speaking on the new phones,

Vice-President, Nokia West Africa, Mr James Rutherfoord, said the choice of Nigeria as the lead market for the Nokia 103 phones underscores the importance of its market and the need to empower millions of Nigerians, who are yet to acquire a mobile phone. He said the Nokia 103 is for people looking for an affordable and practical phone that gives them the essential features needed to help them progress economically and socially without compromising on design and quality. He said the firm is the only company providing mobile devices to people in virtually every market of the world, across economic segments. “Of the

world’s seven billion people, 3.2 billion don’t have a phone yet due largely to economic constraints.Nokia has been progressively lowering the entry barrier to the market while continually increasing the capability of our devices and delivering phones with contemporary fresh designs”, he said. Rutherfoord said Nokia is committed to helping to mobilise the next generation – the next billion and beyond – and ensure they have access to the advantages of mobile technology. According to him, “with the Nokia 103, Nokia is making mobile connectivity a reality for lower-income consumers”.

Cannes Lions partners Haymarket on Digital Media Awards


IONS Festivals, organisers of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, and Haymarket Media, has announced an agreement to extend their joint venture. The partnership runs Spikes Asia Festival of Creativity and the Asian Marketing Effectiveness Festival (AMEs), and will now also include the Digital Media Awards for Asia. This year’s Digital Marketing Awards, will take place in November in Beijing, China, and will become a two-day festival, providing Asia’s digital marketing industry – agencies, media owners and clients - with a great content and networking platform. A learning programme of inspirational sessions presented by some thought-leaders and industry experts, will take to the stage to motivate and debate on digital communications. The festival will culminate in the awards celebrating the best work across media and entertainment, apps, gaming, online PR and online marketing categories, judged by a stellar lineup of industry professionals. Terry Savage, Chairman of Lions Festivals, said: “With the incredible growth in Asia we are delighted to build on our partnership between Haymarket Media Asia and Lions Festivals, drawing on our expertise to deliver a world-

class event that will provide inspiration, learning, networking and celebration to Asia’s digital media industry.” Tim Waldron, Managing Director of Haymarket Media Asia, said: “The Digital Media Awards, founded by Campaign in 2007, have come to be recognised by agencies and clients as the region’s most respected digital awards competition. “Since their launch, we have expanded the categories and refined the judging criteria to represent the growth and development of the region’s digital scene. It has always been our intention to grow the awards into a full-scale digital festival and given the tremendous success of our two existing Asian joint ventures with Lions Festivals it makes total sense to work together to create such an event.” Phil Thomas, chief executive officer, Lions Festivals, said: “We look forward to extending our partnership with Haymarket and harnessing the expertise of Lions Festivals to deliver an outstanding inaugural Digital Media Festival in Beijing later this year. Now in their sixth year, the Digital Media Awards already have significant traction in Asia and we look forward to greatly enhancing and growing the event. With digital channels becoming increasingly sophisticated and central to brand

marketing, the Digital Media Festival will be a unique platform that will reflect the ever-changing digital landscape.”

ATT Cartmell, Downing Street is formulating plans to bolster its print news expertise after a week of being slammed by the press, according to well-connected Conservative sources. Although no recruitment is believed to have started, it is understood that those in David Cameron’s inner circle are aware that former BBC man Craig Oliver is not a like-for-like replacement for previous director of comms Andy Coulson, and are considering refreshing the team with new blood. A party insider told PRWeek: ‘There’s a wholesale review taking place. The idea that keeps coming back is that the Government needs someone who knows print, combining Oliver’s visual skills with someone who has print skills to get the narrative right and to get to the commentariat.’ Last week, the Tories were hammered in the media over minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude’s disastrous comms around petrol strikes, the ‘Pastygate’ issue, Peter Cruddas’ cash-for-access sting by The Sunday Times and, most recently, digital surveillance, which have enabled Labour to take strident media lines.

PRWeek understands discussions have taken place within Downing Street about the perception that Cameron has lost the ‘common touch’. One source noted that ‘Oliver is under a lot of pressure’, but pointed out that Cameron does not like ‘endlessly reshuffling his team’. Daily Mail columnist Andrew Pierce suggested to PRWeek that Coulson ‘would have seen the bear traps over pasties’, while The Times’ Executive Editor Roger Alton said Downing Street’s rumoured plan to ‘suck petrol out of the refineries and on to the forecourts’had ‘spectacularly backfired’. Cicero Director/Chief Corporate Counsel Iain Anderson told PRWeek that he expected the Easter recess to provide an opportunity for Cameron’s team to ‘step back and review and refresh the whole comms approach’. However, one Tory insider with links to a prominent Cabinet minister painted a more negative picture of the Tories’ current comms situation: ‘They’re in meltdown. No-one has been in control since Coulson left. They realise they have a massive problem but they have no idea how to address it.

Promasidor unveils new Top Tea


ROMASIDOR Nigeria Limited, makers of Top Tea, has launched two new variants of the tea (lemon-lime and ginger flavours) into the market. The firm has also launched square and tag tea bags into the market in response to the demand of its consumers, one option with tags only and the other with tags and envelopes. They are expected to provide consumers more convenience. Mr Onyekachi Onubogu, marketing director of the company, said in Lagos that the company was “offering consumer choice, in terms of what they are used to, that is the black tea in terms of format and presentation, as well as adding two additional new flavours.” He added that the new flavours would provide an opportunity for health to meet taste. Top Tea was launched in 1998, with four key sku, x26bp, x26pp, x100pp and, x500pp. The company offered at that time, round bags,

with the added advantage of better infusion. Since it was launched, it has recorded a number of milestones, the last being the packaging redesign and communication redirection in 2009, all geared towards better satisfying our consumers. Onubogu said the primary key benefits of tea are the health, alertness and rejuvenation, adding: “we want to show the fun way of drinking tea and also show, that tea consumption can transcend the rational morning/breakfast usage occasion.” Earlier, in his keynote address Chief Keith Richards, managing director, Promasidor Nigeria, remarked that “following in the tradition of what Promasidor is known for, being innovative and exciting the market, we are here today to unveil to the consumers and all our stakeholders, some of the things we have been doing around the Top Tea brand since the re-launch in 2009.

From left: Managing Director, Insight Communications, Jimi Awosika; Chief Marketing/Strategy Officer, MTN Nigeria, Bola Akingbade and General Manager, Consumer Marketing, Kola Oyeyemi, at the launch of MTN Pulse in Lagos ... Wednesday.





FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2012

e-mail: 08033349992 sms only


• Examination bed made in Nigeria

Push for made-in-Nigeria products Many people agree that buying made-in-Nigeria products helps to create jobs and grow the economy. This can boost the manufacturing industry and make the economy vibrant. So, do you buy made-in-Nigeria goods? JANICE NKOLI IFEME asks.


ANY countries aspire to produce goods to improve their economy. Countries such as Germany and the United States are known to have developed their economies through industrialisation. A country like Japan has carved a niche for itself in the manufacturing of automobiles and electronics, among other products. At the moment, China, which, 30 years ago was underdeveloped, has taken the world by storm, producing many prod-

ucts of necessity to mankind. In almost every part of the world, made-in-China products are present. This has so improved its economy that the Chinese government no longer see its country as developing. Poverty has reduced with a great number of people moving up to the middle class. The reason for China’s boom has been attributed to an enabling environment, infrastructure and electricity. Besides, the cost of labour is cheap so, many find it convenient to produce in China. The big manufacturers have established

their factories there to increase profit. That is why made-in-China goods have continued to gain grounds not just in Nigeria but in several parts of the world. They can be found in most leading shopping malls around the world. A highly revered store, Walmart, in the United States, is a good example of an international retail outlet that flaunts made-in-China products. A Nigerian based in Australia, Mr Benjamin Okosi, said: “Even in Australia, almost everything is made-in-China, especially electronic products.”

Many, who spoke to The Nation Shopping, asserted that there is a need for people to buy their country’s products, as it helps those who are willing to stay in business and also aids the growth of the local economy. At the annual international trade fairs in Lagos, Kaduna, Enugu and Abuja, various states are encouraged to exhibit made-in-Nigeria products. A local manufacturer, Mr Emma Ejiogu, from Anambra State, always endeavours to attend trade shows to showcase his products

which include hospital equipment, kerosene cooker and canopy, but his efforts have not been fruitful. He explained that the cost of production is high due to the lack of an enabling environment, especially electricity and adequate capital. He said: “It is not very easy to produce these things on a large scale because we do not receive any encouragement from anyone. We have to spend so much to get the raw materials and the erratic power supply in the coun• Continued on Page 32

Shopping for bicycles Shopping centre holds exhibition Page 32

Firm launches 7Days Croissant Page 34

Page 34




Push for made-in-Nigeria products • Continued from Page 31

try makes it worse; so, it appears as if we always produce at a loss.” Like Ejiogu, many Nigerians strive to produce goods, despite the challenges. Some also opined that although Nigerians manufacture a lot of goods, some often do not label them made-in-Nigeria for fear of their not being patronised. Mr John Uchendu observed: “My colleague’s husband, an Irish, came into the country two months ago. She took him to the market for sightseeing. He wanted to buy a Nigerian-made belt to take back to Ireland as gifts to his friends but was unable to find any belt tagged made-in-Nigeria. He really wanted to buy a Nigerian-made product, but could not find any; it is that bad. The thing is, we are not proud to be Nigerian and so rather than even tag our goods made-in-Nigeria, we rather tag them as made in another country so that people would patronise the seller and also they would sell at reasonable prices, regardless of the quality. “Come to think of it, would you blame them? I guess it is only our designers that can confidently brand their clothes and accessories made in Naija. We are all guilty of putting our locals down. I am hoping that when we have constant power things will start looking up; because the cost of running production on generator is not friendly at all. I like the creative products (movies, music, fashion).They have achieved a lot, against all odds. There is much to be joyful about.” But some are of the opinion that it is about consumer preferences. Mr Angus Obi said: “The consumer is free to choose what product to buy; and most of the time, that decision is based on which is cheaper without risking safety and health. The consumer is smart enough to know what works best and what is good for them. Made-in-Nigeria products are not the low quality health hazard you think. There are quality Nigerian products out there that rival foreign products.” But Mr Samuel Udoh argued: “There is no government intervention here; it is just the free market dictating which product people buy. There is nothing wrong with buying

• Triple burner stove, produced by a Nigerian

• Canopy, made in Nigeria

products made in Nigeria. The fact is that buying made-in-Nigeria goods creates jobs and grows the economy. Instead of relying on foreign goods Nigerians can enjoy a thriving manufacturing industry and a vibrant economy. Let us stop acting as powerless victims, blaming the government or any other institution or person. Let us act. Nollywood has developed and is consumed across continents by Nigerians and foreigners.”

For Dr David Akin-Samuels, whether “made-in-Nigeria, made-in-England or China, in as much as the product is good, I will buy and use. In 2006, I visited Nigeria from London. I had a bedroom slippers which I bought in the UK. Incidentally, the upper part came apart and one of the hotel helpers took the slippers to one of these mobile shoe repairers and it was mended, I still have the slippers up till today and it is still as good as when the mobile shoemaker repaired it. I

Shopping centre holds exhibition To mark the Easter, Sparkle and Woods Shopping Centre, Ogudu, Lagos, last weekend showcased exquisite products at give-away prices. TONIA ‘DIYAN was there.


ORRIED by poor materials used for interior decoration, Sparkle and Woods Shopping Centre, Ogudu, Lagos, held an exhibition during the Easter holiday to showcase some of its products. Many shoppers who seized the opportunity of the slashed prices to pick some kitchen items and other home appliances were happy with their purchases. The sales representative of the company, Mr Saheed Shofola, said the aim of the exhibition was to encourage people of good taste to enhance, beautify and transform their homes, living quarters, events and lives with the help of the company. “We are not just for the rich. We are in Ogudu to reach everybody. Come in and let’s know your budget. Let’s discuss and the rest is simply magic,” he assured shoppers. He further said: “Your home is not just a place you live in, but an integral part of your life, an extension of your personality, a showpiece to impress your friends and, most importantly, a comfortable haven for you to retire to after a hard day’s work, so, make it speak your mind at all times.” Shofola went on: “Products categories here include; interior design consolation, space planning, home staging, design, supply and installation of wall finishes, wall-to-wall carpeting, curtains and blinds, design and manufacture of custom traditional and contemporary furniture, retail of interior decorations and home accessories, centre tables consoles, rugs, throw pillows, bedroom sets, coffee table, dining sofas, kids’ room designs, chairs, home makeover, wall designs, mini bar, shelves, wall pieces, mats, frames and paintings, among others.”

Mr Wale Odebanjo, a dentist, said he enjoyed himself as he went round the showroom. “I was able to buy a coffee table for myself and spouse, just the two of us. I have always wanted one, but haven’t been opportuned to get it this cheap. Believe me; it is quite affordable and very comfortable to sit on. I came with a desire and I have it granted. That’s one of the promises here.” A philanthropist, Mrs Kehinde Obadeyi, bought a glass centre table. She testified that she was given good value for her money. “The organisers are very nice, accommodating and highly hospitable. I have patronised here before now. But, this time, I took this opportunity to add one more exquisite, classy and sophisticated settee to my collections. I will need this in my office. I got it at a very friendly price. It will be delivered to my office and I hope you have got one for yourself?” she asked. Miss Gloria Otoide, a student got to the exhibition with an impression that she might not be able to pick any of the items. But she was proved wrong, and left fulfilled when she conveniently picked up a big plasma television set because of the friendly price attached. “I am so…so happy to be here today. I never believed I would be able to buy a single thing. This is like a miracle to me. I am perplexed. I actually bought this! I will tell my friends about this place,” she exclaimed. “I have learnt today never to allow a structure or calibre of people in a place make me feel inferior at anytime. I was going to come and window shop. God bless the management and organisers of this exhibition. I have also been made to understand that things are very affordable here, not only during exhibitions. I am encouraged to shop here from time to time,” she added.

• Household appliances

could not get this done in London, I could have had to shock it and buy another one. So, do not knock made-in-Nigeria products. “I respect people who work tirelessly to produce products, work in the factories, sell goods on the street, cook food in bukas and make Nigeria one of the most industrious countries in the universe. Some Nigerian products are even better than foreign goods. We need our government to encourage the companies involved,” he said. But Seun Salako asked: “How many buy made-in-Nigeria products? Do not forget that the personal computer, laptop and mobile device you are using are not made in Nigeria. Do not let us be hypocritical about it. On the other hand, there are some good products at Aba market too, but the problem is that most Nigerians prefer to put made in UK, Italy, Indonesia or China labels to attract buyers. So, do you blame them for buying from abroad? These countries can afford to do without only home products but a country like ours cannot. For instance, in the United Kingdom, you can approach the bank for a loan to set up a business and if you make a loss, you do not have to repay the loan, as long as your account shows you are making a loss. The Nigeria marketers are out to make money and profit, so if foreign product is the way to go, so be it.” The President, Association of Micro Entrepreneurs of Nigeria (AMEN), Prince Saviour Iche, said: “Actually, Nigerians are beginning to accept their products. Our people are creative and willing to manufacture products but the major challenge is lack of capital and electricity. If you look at foreign products, their labeling is well arranged, which some of our producers cannot yet do because they do not have enough capital. But in the next two months, my company will be coming out with labels that will appeal to many. I have gone round and seen what I want and I know that Nigerians will love what we have.” Some of the items produced by members of AMEN are soap, cream, custard, liquid soap, beverages and disinfectant, among others.




Firm launches 7Days Croissant A new snack, 7Days Croissant, has been introduced into the market. JOSEPH JIBUEZE reports.


EVEN Days Croissant, a soft, fluffy dough of three variants: chocolate, vanilla fillings and strawberry jam, has been launched in Lagos. The producer, Chipita Nigeria Limited, said the snack is a wholesome supplement for children, to be taken in-between meals at school or home and for students when they need a nourishing meal during lecture or long evening reading sessions. It is also for busy professionals who need nourishment at work. “The new 7Days croissant is a sizable snack that pleasures your taste buds at work, play, on the go, anywhere and anytime of the day,” said Chipita’s Managing Director, Mr Antonios Nikolopolous. Ogun State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry Otunba Bimbola Ashiru said Chipita’s plant has created direct and indirect employment for thousands of youths in the state and will go a long way in reducing criminality on the streets. He said the state is open to more investment. “Ogun is an economic state that will soon erupt. We are truly open for business,” he said. Ashiru assured the company that their $700 million investment is safe, saying: “We are partners in progress. I love the product. I will continue to patronise you.” He added that those who live in Ogun but work in Lagos “must pay their tax where they reside,” disclosing that the two governments are working on modalities to actualise that. Nikolopolous said the product is the company’s leading brand that has grown to become the international leader of the croissant category. “Chipita’s vision is that in five years, the ‘7Days’ brand and products range will be as popular and successful in Nigeria and furthermost in other parts of Africa as they are today in the Americas, Europe and the Middle East.

“We, Chipita Nigeria Limited, are determined to make the ‘7Days Croissant’ a success story and the favourite snack of all Nigerians,” he said. Nikolopopous said its state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Ogun State operates under the best hygienic conditions in compliance with international good manufacturing practices. President of Chipita, Spyros Theodoropoulos, said the consumer is always at the centre of their strategy. “In all markets we enter, we build a relationship with the consumers based on a long-standing and mutual trust, offering innovative and high-quality products. “Despite the fact that our business model for emerging markets calls for a joint venture with a strong local business partner, Nigeria is the first market in which we have established a fully-owned business and this was a conscious decision. “We are well aware of the country’s challenges. However, there is huge, untapped potential here. We strongly believe that Nigeria is an enormous market for foreign investors,” he added.

• The product.

• From left: Company Secretary, Chipita, Theophilus Emuwa; 7days croissant brand am-

bassador, MI, Ashiru, Nikolopulous and Managing Director, Blueseal Communication, Mr Sam Obosi, at the launch.

A couple can be judged by the appearance of their child. That is why precaution should be taken when shopping for children’s clothes, especially babies. The dressing of your child will determine how people will want to associate with him or her. OMOLARA MOFESOLA OMONIYI writes.

Tips on buying fashionable baby clothes


HILDREN are considered the most important God-ordained heritage and the source of joy in an average African society. Their importance is closely connected with the radiance they portray, especially when they are dressed. Therefore, when shopping, most parents dress their children colourfully. The good taste of purchase attitude cuts across most families. According to a middle-aged mother, Mrs Olusola Omoniyi, “even struggling parents

shop right for their children because they have eyes for the future. Mostly, girls’ dresses have more variety of colours than those of boys, and their clothes are relatively more expensive. We really need to buy good clothes for our kids in order to make them look good and presentable”. Moreover, the weather should be considered while making purchases. People in the tropical regions of the world like Nigeria need cotton dresses rather than silk • Continued on Page 33

Shopping Right with

Learn to shop smart


F fools did not go to market, cracked pots and false wares would not be sold,” said Jean Le Malchanceux in the 12th century. The market place offers a bewildering variety of choices and we often end up getting a raw deal. It is, therefore, very important for us to make informed choices. You do not always buy clothes to own them, you buy them because you think they make you look good. And for an important social event, looking good is 50 per cent bulk of your reasons to even be at an event. If you learn to shop smart, you would greatly reduce post-purchase hassles. To get a fair deal, it is very important that JANICE NKOLI IFEME you, as consumer, assert yourselve while buying goods and services. Never buy on impulse or under pressure. Do you measure the things that customers Decide in advance exactly what you want really care about? Get advice and price quotes from several Points of View sellers of various brands and compare From the customer’s point of view, your Check for any extra, hidden charges such as company or brand exists only to create value delivery fees, installation and service costs for them, to provide them with results. In Read and understand any contract or legal the fast-changing global economy, the focus document that you are asked to sign. Make must be on the way in which the nature of sure there are no blank spaces. Insist that any value is changing, involving new ways to extras you are promised orally be put in writprice goods, innovation and emotion. The ing. Never assume things. Ask the sales perimplication of these new forms of exchange son to fully explain the store’s return or exis a transfer of power from the producer to change policy. the customer. Save all papers that you There are multitudes of get with your purchasevalues present in every ‘In today’s world, cus- buyer-seller exchange: sales receipts, manuals and warranty documents. Entomers are looking for economic, informational sure that the warranty card emotional. These exproducts that suit their and is stamped with the dealchanges increasingly haper’s seal and has the date of purpose best – in terms pen so fast that there is no purchase and term of warto translate them into of price, features, qual- time ranty period on it. Any precise monetary terms. card without these details ity and appearance. Businesses need to idenrenders the warranty null these hidden values They expect to be tify and void and think more accurately treated as kings and to about their worth before Read and follow product and service instructions. If receive sales and serv- accepting the price prothere is a defect, take the posed. The implications ice support, along with are profound. Companies product only to an authorised service centre of the definite solutions to need to think in terms of manufacturer. This helps which involve problems from retailers, offers, you make a legal claim in merging products and case of a recurring problem dealers or channel part- services to exploit their In today’s world, customknowledge and give cusners’ ers are looking for prodtomers a value-added exucts that suit their purpose perience, not just selling best – in terms of price, feathem stuff. tures, quality and appearance. They expect Checklist to be treated as kings and to receive sales Customer First – refers to making customand service support, along with definite soers the central focus of all decision making; lutions to problems from retailers, dealers product design, production, distribution and or channel partners. marketing The mantra that the ‘customer is king’ is Customers want products that best meet the premise that any product’s design, protheir needs in terms of price, features, qualduction, distribution and marketing should ity and appearance. have one central focus at the core of all deciKnow your customer and predict their sion-making: the customer (remember: in needs before they ask the question. some instances, the customer may not necTailor products to meet different customer essarily be the end-user or consumer). needs. Products or brands by themselves do not Simplify the purchase process for your cusautomatically usher in customer loyalty or tomer. strengthen customer relations. Add value through innovation and incenConsider the following questions tives. Do you present a single face to your cusDeliver something that goes beyond the tomers? basic product. Do you work in different ways for differThe key concern is the kind of interface ent classes of customers and different types your brand builds and presents to your cusof people? tomers as well as your end user. To be sucDo you know what your customers will cessful, you need to add value for your cusask for before they do? tomer, by distinguishing between what you Do you make your customers’ experience are selling and what your customer is buya seamless one? ing. Take a broad view of your customer’s Do you let customers do more for themneeds and deliver something that goes beselves? yond the basic product purchase.

Write to us, express your views, observations and experiences. Let’s have your comments about shopping. Your comments, questions and answers will be published first Friday of every month. With your full name and occupation, send e-mail to: SMS - 08033349992




Trade fair promises more discounts Tomorrow, the Easter bonanza trade fair at The Arena Shopping Complex, Oshodi, Lagos, will end. The organisers are promising more discounts for shoppers, writes TONIA ‘DIYAN.


HE trade fair at the Arena Shopping Complex, Oshodi, Lagos, tagged ‘Easter bonanza trade fair’,which began on April 2 , will end tomorrow. The shopping complex has succeeded in taking in traders who have been plying their trade on the streets, giving them a peaceful environment to fulfill their dreams. It is a peaceful and well-organised fair with traders inside their various shops and spaces waiting patiently for shoppers. Hand bills are given to shoppers as they visit each stand, advertising and giving more information on goods available. Shoppers, who cannot go round walking from one shop or stand to the other, have the opportunity of driving round the complex, which is very spacious with large car parks. Few traders display their goods outside their shops wanting to be part of the fun; with music and presentations making the fair an enjoyable one. Some traders testified that they have made more than what they spent getting spaces and stocking them with goods for sale. One of the traders, who sell ladies clothing, bags, shoes and accessories told the Nation Shopping how he has made more than he invested on

the space and goods. “If you don’t mind, I wouldn’t want to disclose my name but I can give you my business data so you can patronise me. Sincerely, I have made lots of money during this fair. It’s a two weeks fair that has not ended yet, and I have a testimony already. Likewise, other traders; I am sure by the time you go round, you will hear many more testimonies. “This place brings good luck to all traders naturally, and then this trade fair! I am so happy to be part of it, it has been wonderful”, he added. A shopper, Mrs Funke Abimbola, said: “I am a teacher in one of the private schools around. I came here to shop for a few things my kids need. I will be back tomorrow which is the last day of this fair because of the benefit attached. I will be able to buy things cheaper than I did today.” Another shopper , Mrs Elloh Agbator, said, while driving round in her car: “I want to spend little time here today, knowing that I can still be here again. It is a two weeks fair and benefits are attached to the last day which I will not miss for anything. This is the second time I will be visiting since it commenced.” A student, Miss Grace Aghelibe, told the Nation Shopping that she was able to buy school shoes for herself. “I stopped by on my way from school to purchase my school san-

• Glass cups and home accessories on display

dals, because I know it will be cheap at the fair. Moreover, my class mate referred me here. She bought hers here too. I will also be here tomorrow that the fair will close to buy another type of school sandals. The woman I bought from told me I can get it cheaper than I did today.”

On display at the fair are various kinds of cooking pots for the socialites, assorted exotic wines, mobile phones and laptops. Also, lace materials, ranging from sample laces to French laces and Swiss laces, kiddies’ items, bridal materials, cosmetics, fashion materials, handbags and shoes to match.

There were cooking ingredients and food items, processed foods, raw foods, textiles, lovely bicycle for male kids, office clothing and many more. The organisers promise that the next fair would come with better packages and that enough awareness would be made early.

Unlike in the past, more people are going for bicycles these days for health and other reasons. In this report, OMOLARA MOFESOLA OMONIYI writes on the benefit of bicycles over other means of transport.

Shopping for bicycles


ICYCLES could act as a means of exercise, especially for those who are aging and also for those who want to remain fit and slim. According to a bicycle seller at Abule Egba, a suburb of Lagos, Alhaji Ismail Hassan, “the use of bicycles regularly helps the circulation of blood in the body, thereby reducing the risk of falling sic’”. According to him, bicycles have some advantages over cars. “Bicycle riding requires the upward and downward movement of the legs, which could cure some bone problems like fracture. But using the car, such sicknesses cannot be cured. Cars also increase your chances of having pile. Anyway, the people who know these values patronise me because I do not sell fake products,” he said. “Bicycles could serve as a means of transportation, especially for short distances”, a former Student Union Government President of Yaba College of Technology, Mr Adebayo Ololade Adelola said. “I • Continued from Page 34

or rayon. They should also be light and open ended to allow air into the child’s body but it should not be too exposed to avoid health hazards. Body odour, rashes and extreme sweating are results of heat from thick clothes. Clothes, if not carefully selected, can become symbols of child abuse. Cotton and light clothes absorb heat. On the other hand, during rainy season, clothes should be warm and thick. Another function of clothes apart from covering one’s

• Bicycles

have a car and I have a bicycle too. But there are some benefits I enjoy from my bicycle that my car cannot

offer me. Sometimes, I may just want to get something from a supermarket very close to my house, I go with

my bicycle in that kind of situation.” he said. According to nine-year-old Mas-

Tips on buying fashionable baby clothes nakedness is to beautify. Therefore, the colour of the clothes should be considered when blending them. For example, buying dark coloured clothes alone for a dark child makes the child look moody; bright clothes should be worn. Colourful clothes with flowered patterns will make a child look attractive and endearing. Even babies that are fair in complexion need bright coloured clothes to make them more attractive. Generally, most baby clothes in the market are colourful.

However, when buying suits for boys, black ones are preferable. Most boys’ trousers come in dark colours like black, ash and navy blue but the shirts or tops should be bright and match the colours of the trousers. Wrong colour combination should be completely avoided. Most parents see it as unnecessary buying native clothes for their kids. It is very good and advisable to start buying native clothes for children as this would help in educating them on their culture.

The introduction of native clothes for them will also make them stand out among their pairs. It is not a hidden fact that some parents who cannot afford expensive clothes step down to purchase different grades of ‘tokunbo’ (fairly used) clothes. Even though they are relatively cheap, they could pose health hazards to the children but even if you have to get these clothes, make sure they are disinfected and washed clean before putting them on your kids.

ter Ageh Pwanidi Daniel, “I do not care what others may say, I still love bicycles and I can ride it to school if only my parents would allow me. I even prefer my bicycles to my father’s cars, and I mean it. Most parents do not buy bicycles for their children anymore because they feel it is a form of distraction, which is not true. The regular use of my bicycle makes me grow well.” Bicycles do not use any form of fuel, thereby helping to economise resources. No matter the distance you ride the bicycle; you will always have it in mind that your money is not wasting, which should make you feel good. Bicycles are also relatively cheap, when compared to cars and bikes. Even though bicycles have different grades and sizes, some may be relatively expensive while some are cheap and affordable. Investigation shows that the expensive ones have some functions the cheap ones may not have. All bicycles can perform the functions mentioned above. So, never ignore bicycles in your shopping. Never look at bicycles as toy for children, property for the rural area dwellers or instrument for the less privileged. It could serve you, no matter your age and size. Why not get one during your next shopping?

Parents should also have in mind, that they should avoid encouraging the ideas which feminist theorist have fought to abolish; that purchasing girls, dresses that bare their chest regions and backsides nowadays is not only morally wrong, but unfair to the child. The female kids can accentuate their looks with trendy pieces, including necklaces, wrist watches, bags, shoes, bracelets, hair bows, hats and belts to give them that exceptional look. The male ones can add wrist watches, shoes and other fashionable accessories to their outfits.




I’m not new to winning, says man who won N1m in promo T HERE was jubilation across the nation yesterday as more loyal consumers became millionaires courtesy of Coca-Cola’s ‘Open & Win’ promo. Another set of lucky winners received their cheques at aceremony, at the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Plant, Abuja. Senior officials from Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited and NBC attended the event. The new millionaires are Edwin Ikechukwu, a 38-year-old business man; Chiwendu Anielo, a 27-year-old Aluminum roofing apprentice; Bamikole Bodunde, a 30-year-old taxi driver; and Moses Bako, a 30year-old photographer amongst others. They were overwhelmed with over as they received their cheques. Committed to fulfilling its promise to reward one consumer with N1 million daily for 70 days, the promo has since inception rewarded 28 consumers. In ad-

dition, over N80 million worth of airtime has been given out to thousands of consumers since the promo opened on February 28. Austin Ufomba, Marketing Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited,re-affirmed the company’s commitment to refreshing and rewarding consumers around the nation. He said: “We are delighted to be part of the success stories of hardworking Nigerians, who believe in Coca-Cola. We congratulate them on their good fortune and look forward to many more joining them on the millionaires list soon.” Also speaking at the prize presentation, Mathieu Seguin, Commercial Director, Nigerian Bottling Company, said: “We are in the business of inspiring happiness and through this promo, 35

people are experiencing happy moments by winning a lifechanging sum of N1 million each.” Ecstatic winner, Bamikole Bodunde, said: “I am not new to winning. I won N5,000 in the ‘Coca-Cola Open Happiness promo’ last October. Although I wished for more, God knows best. When this new promotion started, I quickly began buying Coca-Cola products and texting the unique numbers to the code 33665. My friends made fun of me, but I was not discouraged. Now, with my N1 million in my hands, who is laughing now? I thank Coca-Cola for changing my life.”

Moses Bako, another winner said: “Everyone in my neighbourhood and my customers called me ‘Counter Boy’ because I was moving around daily with countless crowns corks in my pocket, hoping for a miracle in my life. God has used CocaCola to make that happen. I am grateful to God and Coca-Cola!” Bako advised Nigerians to keep buying Coca-Cola, keep texting and keep winning as he is a living witness. The promo is a reward programme where one consumer win N1 million daily for 70 days and it is open to consumers above the age of 13. To participate in the promo, consumers

need to buy a 35 or 50cl bottle of Coca-Cola, Fanta or Sprite and a 29cl bottle of Schweppes, look under the special white crown and send the code therein to a special short code 33665 to qualify for the daily raffle draw. The SMS costs N10 and is open to subscribers of MTN, GLO, Airtel, Visafone and Etisalat. All winners will be notified via SMS. Winners of the daily recharge will have their phones automatically credited by their network providers and airtime prizes range from N100 to N1, 000 while winners of the daily cash prize will be alerted through a phone call by a Coca-Cola representative and redemption of a cash prize will follow after verification at the nearest Nigerian Bottling Company depot closest to the consumer.

Firm introduces Wild Rush wine


ILD Rush, one of the most celebrated wines from the renowned Rietvallei Wine Estate of South Africa, has entered the market. The wine, which is deep red, almost black has lots of berry fruit flavours and exciting aroma, with hints of coffee and a soft touch of vanilla. The fruity berry flavours are also evident on the palate with a good balance overall. According to Mrs Nwanneka Agbo, chief executive officer, Wines & Vines Limited, promoters of the brand, the wine is a clever blend of the classic Cabernet Sauvignon from Bordeaux with one of the traditional Port grapes. Wild Rush is well-balanced and has a lingering after taste; it has smooth mid weight fruit and is a cracking example of a simple Cape Red wine. Mrs Agbo said Wild Rush is a blend of 55 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon and 45 per cent Tinta Barocca with lots of at-

tractive berry fruit flavours that makes the drink carry through nicely on the palate with a hint of spiciness She said the drink is an ideal match for red meats, pizza’s and pastas as well as for outdoor picnics. “The beautiful thing about Wild Rush is that there is no need for a corkscrew because it is fitted with a screw cap that enables ease of opening,” she stated. On how the drink will fair in the increasingly crowded wines market in Nigeria, she said: “We have looked at the wines market in Nigeria and while there are a few that have done well to position themselves, others are merely struggling. A lot of them are sold because they are wine and not for whatever brand value and loyalty they command. We are here to make a difference not just because we want to, but we are sure that we have the wine that Nigerians want.”

•From left: Joe Blue, 1st runner-up Nigerian Idol Season II, receiving refrigerator from Pepsi Team: Mr Samson Awobutu, Mrs. Patricia Odia Iletogun and Mr Rotimi Ibitoye, at the finals in Lagos.

Again, Dufil Prima supports Lagos Carnival


UFIL Prima Foods Plc, makers of Nigeria No 1 Noodles brandIndomie Instant Noodles, has partnered with the Lagos State Government on the Lagos Carnival tagged ‘Eko 4 Show’, which was held on Easter Monday, April 9 at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) in Lagos. According to the Public Relations and Events Manager, Dufil Prima Foods Plc, Mr Temitope Ashiwaju, the company supported this year’s edition as it has done in the last two years as part of its Corpo-

rate Social Responsibility activities. He revealed that the company partnered with the Lagos State Government which sponsored the Lagos Carnival and was also on hand at the venue to excite participant by feeding more than 15,000 with Indomie meal. “We have always identified with the Lagos State Government in many ways and for us the Lagos Carnival is just another way to support the initiative of the government and to also give back to the society

by reaching out and connecting with our consumers at platforms like this”, he said. Speaking further on the company’s support for the event, Ashiwaju added that apart from the financial support and feeding for the participants at the carnival, the company also excited the fun seekers by doling out several special branded gifts items including T-Shirts, Face Caps, Pens and wrist bands. According to the organisers, this year’s edition will have 12,000 beautifully costumed

performers (young and old) parading the streets of Ikoyi, Lagos Island and TBS, where they were welcomed by the governor and other dignitaries The yearly Lagos carnival, which usually turns out as a carnival of many colours is designed to showcase tourism potential of Lagos during the Easter Holiday and to put the state on the World tourism calendar. In his remarks at the Carnival, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, commended Dufil Prima Foods and other corpo-

rate sponsors for their assistance to the success of the carnival. He urged them to do more by supporting the state government in its effort to transform the state into a mega city. Fashola described the carnival as very ambitious effort at putting Lagos tourism in the world stage. He commended Lagosians for trooping out in large numbers to support the carnival. He also urged them to continue to support the efforts of its administration.



Sound of competition

Why MTN PULSE excites youths


RAND experts ,who specialises in destination branding are familiar with the famous tagline ‘what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.’ They understand this to be a peculiar city’s way of admitting what would have been frailties, thereby turning it into strengths in the battlefield of destination branding. In marketing, brand building and communications hard and fast rules may fail but it pays, it does brands and their custodians a world of good on a consistent basis to keep an eye on competition. This piece is not about Las Vegas, it is about the brand promise of MTN Nigeria to make lives richer that it has taken a bold move to make good in the youth segment. Yes, Las Vegas’deft strategy of attracting tourists and investors might be a bold admittance of its peculiarities quite unlike MTN that has lots of goodies to parade before youths that have never had it so good in telecoms services over the years. Talking about deft strategy, the marketing team at MTN can be said to rank among the best in the continent, going by the credentials of its people and the success the telecoms giant have recorded over the years. There are clear signals that the team is not resting on its oars. Something happened in Vegas that cannot stay in Vegas; no, not by any means. There is a favourite youth arena by Sheraton Hotels, Ikeja, Lagos, on Opebi link road. MTN’s astute marketing team might have taken from the theory of brand fitness and meeting prospects at their preferred locations in electing to unveil their latest life enriching package specially targeted at the youth in the youth-centric Vegas on Opebi link road. It is a day that youths, who stormed the location in their thousands, would not forget in a hurry. Who would forget a day that the biggest telecommunication company in Africa announced an opportunity of unlimited community building in the largest telephony network at 10 kobo per second call rates and text message chat at five naira, 50 free text messages and 10MB data on minimum recharge of N100 monthly? Space would not permit the listing of all the benefits that MTN is offering Nigerian youth on the MTN Pulse. Yes, it takes a great level of marketing intelligence to gauge the heartbeat of the leaders of tomorrow, prepare and serve them such an irresistible dish as MTN has done. To demonstrate its readiness to empower the youths, the telecom company had Kola Oyeyemi, its General Manger, Consumer Marketing unveil the new package instead of Bola Akingbade, the Chief Marketing Officer who was also present at the event to lend support to an

‘The service brings with it such other benefits as bonus on recharge, free night calls and access on the largest telephone network in Nigeria. New and existing subscribers on all prepaid packages can migrate to the new offering by texting text 406 to 131 or *106#’

‘MTN is offering the youth a package that effectively fits into their lifestyle, that provides an opportunity to freely express themselves, enjoy lively, endless fun while socialising in a trendy way.’ event which turned out to be a carnival of some sorts.. How do you beat that? The move was applauded by most youths present at the event who reckon that it demonstrates that MTN is walking the talk in youth empowerment even from within. Oyeyemi while unveiling the new youth-centric offering said it is an upgrade of the MTN Funlink, “offering youths and the young at heart the opportunity of creating their own limitless communities at pocket friendly rates with loads of other benefits.” The service brings with it such other benefits as bonus on recharge, free night calls and access on the largest telephone network in Nigeria. New and existing subscribers on all prepaid packages can migrate to the new offering by texting text 406 to 131 or *106#. In further demonstration of the importance of the youth segment, MTN has appointed Davido as the ambassador for the new offering. Being the newest offering to the youth in the telecom industry, it is evident that there is a strong brand fit with the rave of the moment in hip-hop music with his latest hit song “Da Mi Duro”. All parties are in a win, win situation that marketers say is the best to sustain the mutual relationship. The youth are set to get more than they ever bargained for. MTN is set to add the youth segment to other territories it has already captured. Davido is living up his new star status as ambassador to the biggest multinational in Nigeria. With this arrangement never will a Nigerian youth encounter an insurmountable obstacle on his way to business or pleasure as a result of communications, as Oyeyemi said, “MTN is offering the youth a package that effectively fits into their lifestyle, that provides an opportunity to freely express themselves, enjoy lively, endless fun while socialising in a trendy way.” He expressed the hope that the youth segment will cherish and grab the offer with both hands and bring their leisure and business aspirations alive because ‘pulse means energy, pulse means life. We know that the youth in Nigeria are alive.’ With the youth segment of the telephony market coming alive with the biggest player set to join the competition, the appointment of a youthful ambassador, Davido, who is looking forward to achieving great things with MTN; and optimistic youth who could not wait for too long to migrate to the pulse, the coming days will witness the story of how MTN’s Pulse is able to alter the youth market segment in telecoms in Nigeria.


USIC: Is it an art or a note? Is it an art whose mode of expression is sound? Whatever it is, it has taken a new, dynamic sound. It has become a way of life. If you do not believe it, check out the kind of music you listen to now. It is called Naija music. Naija music is 9ice singing “Gon go so”. It is Weird MC playing “Sola lo ni gon gon”. It is Natoe C rapping “Ako mi ti po”. It is Asa singing for “Bibanke” and D’banj dishing out “Oliver Twist”. Naija music comprise legion of stars including Psquare, Sunny Nneji, D’Banj and the Mo’Hit squad, back in the days. It is Lagbaja. It is all that you listen to on the radio and or watch on Channel O. If you don’t believe it, try this experiment. Lagos has about 14 frequency modulation (FM) radio stations. Okay, tune in to 10 of those channels, and chances are nine of them would be playing Naija music simultaneously. Go ahead. Do it. Turn the dial! Let’s go there. Back in the days, your ear-drums would be assailed with Michael Jackson’s Wanna be starting something, Cool & the Gang’s Get Down on it, Shalamar’s Friends. Followed by the likes of Earth Wind & Fire, Skyline, Brother Johnsons, Commodores, Sisters Sledge, the Genesis, Lionel Richie, the Temptations etc. Later, it shifted to Usher, Ludacris, T Pain, Akon or Lady Gaga. Oh, how times have flown. However, today, Naija music reigns supreme. On air personalities, both DJ and VDJ, play it 24/7. It is the music you dance to at the frequent birthday parties, house-warming, Valentine’s Day celebration, Christmas parties and reunion parties. Naija music is your call back tune. It is your ring tune. You play in your car, at home, in the office and while jogging. It is the signature tune for popular radio and TV programmes. Unlike before, Naija music is now clearer, deeper, sharper, having international flavour; soothing, smoking and hitting the target. If it is not 2face, it is Faze. If it is not Banky W, it is Olamide. If it is not Waje, it is If it is not Wande Coal, it is Lord of Ajasa. If it is not Olu Maintain, it is Darey. If it is not Femi, it is Asa. The kind of healthy rivalry that exists among these stars has added a new sound to Naija music. Naija music is now popular across Africa and in the Diaspora. Each time 2face’s ‘African Queen’ is being played, you would wonder who penned this afro-romantic love song. It is African. It is Naija. It is international. The effect of competition in the music scene has caused some of these acts to up the ante. This is definite: a new entrant would not produce just any kind of melody. He would measure the depth of his compositions, the smoothness of his delivery, and his total packaging before releasing a CD. No Naija artiste would release a wishy-washy work into the market. No, not now; not when Darey and Banky W have showed how to produce a musical. No, not when Asa is soothing you with her voice. No, not when the Guitar man is strumming your heart with his fingers. Oh, as if you did not know, the same high level of competition being experienced among Naija music stars is evident in the telecommunications industry. Now the operators are jostling for fair share of the market. This has caused each telco to invent different means through which the networks would attract, retain and multiply subscribers. It is a great experience for the teeming subscribers. It is also a great business for the operators. The effect of competition in the market is not about to subside. This started way back in 2003 when Glo defied the odds by rolling out per second billing (psb) service at the time competing operators announced that such billing could not be done. Then, subscribers who have been screaming for psb quickly switched to Glo in droves. That singular, giant step ensured that the consumers can no longer be ripped off. After that, the same operators that claimed psb could not be achieved followed suit. Since then and till now, you can choose a menu that catches your fancy: psb or per minutes. Now, such menu is applicable on all networks. If it is not MTN, it is Airtel. If it is not Glo, it is Etisalat. If it is not Visafone, it is Multilink Telecom. If it is not ZoomMobile, it is Starcomms.

It is quite interesting now that subscribers have a long list to choose from. New entrants like Visafone and Etisalat have added bite to the competition, though. Why? The two telcos were compelled by two basic needs: one, the need to make profits for their sponsors, and the need to offer service. These needs were delivered and much more were added to it. Because of these, Visafone has surpassed the one million subscribers’ milestone within a short spell. In 2008, Etisalat achieved its over one million landmark within nine months. What aided the fast delivery was its 0809ja marketing strategy, which upturned the market. Nevertheless, as the two cellcos, and the incumbent network owners, are ready to further increase their offerings, suddenly all the telcos are offering the same menu. Here is the list: free midnight calls, free SMS, recharge card bonus, free on-net calls, free call-back tune, free ring tone, and several freebies. The menu list is endless, mind you. That is the sound of competition. Thanks to competition, just about every major cellular network in Nigeria now offers BlackBerry services as a way to lure fresh consumers and retain existing ones. Besides, the cost of starter pack is ridiculously low, compared with what some of you paid in 2001. Now, the environment has changed. SIM pack is as low as N150! The game has changed. The game is becoming quite interesting, as every Nigerian, from secondary school pupils to university undergraduates, from lecturers to vice-chancellors, from company executives to roadside vulcanisers, have all acquired mobile telephone line through the overriding effect of competition in the telecommunication industry. Nigerians now make local and international calls in the comfort of their bedrooms without hassles. This was a dream 2000. Now you can send SMS and picture messages to friends and loved ones via infrared and Bluetooth technology on the mobile phones effortlessly. Bank accounts alerts, capital market updates, news on request, and timely information are now sent and received on the mobile phones seamlessly. In retrospect, 10 years previously, these actions were just impossible; then acquiring a mobile telephone line was so expensive that only the rich could afford one. The low cost of acquisition has led to a sharp increase in the number of GSM subscribers. Yet, the entire operators have only captured just 40 per cent of the market. What this means is that there are still room for more operators. The swift and steady growth in the subscriber numbers of new entrants is evidence that the operators are merely scratching the surface. The market can still accommodate more operators. However, you know, amidst all the euphoria, the infrastructural challenges identified ten years ago are still with us. PHCN has not improved its service delivery, which has led the telcos to rely solely on power generating sets and cost of diesel has remained high. Security measures have not been improved, which has compelled the operators to outsource security of their base stations and switching centres to third party companies. Boko Haram is now part of the threat that was not there 10 years ago. Telecoms backbone is either obsolete or in comatose, which has led to the slow development of the industry since the telcos had to start building their own backbones; yet the quality of service is getting worse by the second. However, in spite of these problems, Nigerian telecoms market has remained dynamic. No one can predict what would happen next. But one thing is sure. More competition would further slash the GSM tariff. Subscribers would hugely benefit from low tariff. The ultimate beneficiary would be the operators. The operators need to do three things: 1. Improve on the quality of service delivery. 2. Improve on the quality of service delivery. 3. Improve on the quality of service delivery. Then calls would cease to be a Herculean task. Operators would get return on their investments. Subscribers would smile. And your Naija ring back tune would be music to the ear.

*Editor - Wale Alabi *Consulting Editors - Rarzack Olaegbe, Sola Fanawopo * Correspondent-Jimi David * Business Development - Kenny Hussain * Legal Adviser - Olasupo Osewa & Co Brandweek is powered by Brandz Republic Consulting and published every Friday in THE NATION Newspaper. All correspondence to the editor - 0808.247.7806, 0805.618.0040, , e-mail: © All rights reserved.



SOCIETY On April 1, one of the Oloris of Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, Alhaja Musiliat Jolade, marked her 50th birthday. Dignitaries from within and outside the country stormed the Alaafin’s palace in Oyo, Oyo State, to felicitate with the Adeyemis. ABIKE ADEGBULEHIN writes.

•The celebrator Alhaja Adeyemi assisted by fellow Oloris to cut the cake

‘I see Alaafin as my husband, not as Kabiyesi’


T was yet another celebration at the palace of Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III. This time, one of the Oloris (Queens) of Iku Baba Yeye Alayeluwa as Oba Adeyemi is fondly called, marked her 50th birthday. The ‘birthday girl’, Alhaja Musiliat Jolade Adeyemi, came in from London where she stays to celebrate her entrance into the golden club, with the love of her life. The expansive palace accommodated dignitaries who trooped in to felicitate with the paramount ruler of Oyoland. They shone in various colourful African traditional attires. Many wore the blue Ankara and lace picked for the event. In attendance were House of Representatives member, representing Oyo Federal Constituency, Hon Kamil Akinlabi; Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Mrs Monsurat Sunmonu; Commissioner for Works, Alhaji Yunus Akintunde; Chairman, Odu’a Investment Company Limited and former Secretary to Oyo State Government, Chief Sarafadeen Alli; Caretaker of the Atiba and Oyo West local governments: Akeem Adeyemi and Soji Ojoawo, Onpetu of Ijeru Oba Sunday Oyediran, among many others. The celebrator looked stunning in a buttercoloured Aso-Oke, a lace buba, a beautiful gele (headgear), royal beads, golden necklace, eye glasses and a pair of shoes. The event featured prayers and cutting of the birthday cake. Many a guests including the celebrator’s friends from London joined her to cut the cake. She dazzled the guests with her brilliant dance steps. At a point, Alhaja Adeyemi was left on the dance floor before being joined by her fellow queens. The monarch afterwards joined them on the floor and appreciated them with new naira notes. Unlike many women, who derive pride at

being married to traditional rulers for the sake of being identified as ‘Ayaba’ (Queen), the celebrator said her relationship with the Alaafin was simply that of a wife and her husband. Jolly as fondly called by her husband, said: “I see the monarch not as Alaafin or Kabiyesi, but as my husband. We relate together as husband and wife, which is what is very important. I really love him and he loves me too.” She described her marriage to Alaafin as a privilege. “It is a privilege for me to be one of the wives of the Alaafin. I feel excited and great witnessing today. I really feel happy and blessed. I give thanks to the Almighty Allah,” she said. Oba Adeyemi congratulated her and wished her many more fruitful years. Asked why he threw such an elaborate party for Jolade at 50, the 73-year-old Alaafin said he cherished her because she married him at very young age. “I never thought she could cope with the palace rites and stay with me till date,” said the monarch. “I married the lady when she was very young, and when she joined the palace, we took her through all the traditional induction, guidance and palace etiquette. Apart from that, I also took her to several parts of the world, where she was educated. She came back and nobody thought she would be able to cope with the life in the palace as a very young lady. That was about 30 years ago. “She had four children for me and all of them are graduates. Two of them graduated from London University. A wife who had done that and moved over to London to take care of her children deserves this type of celebration here so that every housewife can see her as role model. “Every man will be proud of such a woman, who is responsible; who sat down and gave her children a sound education. Since I married her, she has remained a very faithful, loyal and beautiful wife,” the Alaafin said.

•Oba Adeyemi dancing with his Olori

‘It is a privilege for me to be one of the wives of the Alaafin. I feel excited and great witnessing today. I really feel happy and blessed. I give thanks to the Almighty Allah she said’ •Alhaja Amudat Oreoluwa (left) and Alhaja Kubirat



SOCIETY Last Friday, family members and friends of a retired diplomat and member of Ajaokuta Steel Company Interim Management Committee Chief Babatunde Fadun and Mr Ebenezer Olomola rallied round them as their children, Olawunmi and Temitope, a lecturer at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) were joined in Holy Matrimony at the Fountain of Life Church, Ilupeju, Lagos. AMIDU ARIJE witnessed the ceremony.


T was the moment everybody had been waiting for. The bride, Olawunmi, was led into the church auditorium by her father, Chief Babatunde Fadun, a retired diplomat and member, Ajaokuta Steel Company Interim Management Committee amid the processional hymn All Creatures of our God and King. Guests stretched their necks to catch a glimpse of the bride as she walked to the altar. Decked in a flowing wedding gown, she responded to the guests’gesture with smiles. As soon as she got to the altar with her father, the solemnisation began. The officiating minister, Pastor Taiwo Odukoya, after completing the marriage rituals declared Olawunmi and Temitope, a Chemistry lecturer at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) ‘husband and wife’. The auditorium roared with Halleluyah! Thereafter, the church choir entertained the couple and the guests with praise songs. No doubt, it was a joyful moment for the Fadun and Olomola families. Guests, who shunned the downpour last Friday morning to witness the marriage solemnisation, could not hide their joy. Pastor Odukoya urged the couple to live peacefully with each other. The cleric enjoined them to be God-fearing and allow Bible teachings to be their guide. The fear of the God, he said, is the only key to a successful marital life. The couple was later joined by their parents to sign the marriage register. This was followed by a photograph session. After the church service, the bridal train

‘He is loving, kind’

moved to Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja, for the reception. Before the arrival of the new couple, the pavilion was filled with choice cars with guests anxiously waiting for the couple to arrive. The auditorium was tastefully decorated with white and orange satin materials. The duo of Tunji Olalekan and Abel Ojetunde of Radio Nigeria (Bond FM) anchored the ceremony. It commenced with a prayer before the couple was ushered in by the bridal train amid songs of love. Chief Samuel Oladele, who chaired the event, congratulated the couple. He urged them to allow love to dictate their lifeand that they should be prayerful and hold firm on the teachings of the Bible. “Prayer is the master key, always pray together as a family. It will solidify your union,” he said. “You must calm down to understand each other and work by it so that you will taste conjugal bliss,” Oladele added. The bride’s father ,Chief Fadun could not hide his joy seeing his daughter get married in his life time. So, also the mother. The groom’s father, Mr Olomola was also elated. Olawunmi, an Estate Management graduate of OAU described her beau as a “loving and kind man.” Tope also described his love as a “virtuous and beautiful woman.” “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but Lawunmi surpasses them all; charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last, but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised,” Tope enthused.

•From left: Groom’s mother Mrs Omolola Olomola; bride’s father Chief Fadun and Mr Samuel Oladele

•The couple Olawunmi and Temitope

•Chief Ebenezer Oloruntoba and bride’s mother Mrs Yetunde Fadun

•Hon Leye Odunjo (left) and Captain Musa Borokini

•Mr Abel Ojetunde (left) and Mr Bisi Olalekan







•Sultan Abubakar


HE Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, will lead other Muslim faithful to a two-day conference at the National Mosque Abuja Conference Hall, Abuja. Organised by the Coali-

tion of Muslim Organisation in Nigeria, the conference which starts today and ends tomorrow is meant to discus issue of democracy in the country. It will be chaired the Executive Secretary, Muslim Ummah in Southwest Nigeria (MUSWEN), Prof Daud Noibi. The theme is Nigerian Muslims and democracy. Expected guests include House of Representative Speaker Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and Federal Capital Territory Minister Senator Bala Muhammad.



•Chairman on the occassion Mr Isiaka Olaitan (right) supervising the cutting of the cake between the new couple Mr and Mrs Lanre Ojo during their wedding in Lagos. With them are Prof Adebayo Williams and his wife


ODAY, the engagement of former Miss Afolake Adegbulehin and her beau, Michael El-David, will take place at the Adegbulehin’s residence Eneka, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The wedding holds tomorrow at The Redeemed Christian Church Of God (Wisdom Chapel), Oroigwe, Port Harcourt. The reception follows immediately at X-Checkers Hotels, Oroigwe.



HE remains of Pa Jackson Bolajoko Osinusi (alias Jacko) will be laid to rest today after a funeral service at The Cathedral Church of Our Saviour, IjebuOde, Ogun State. The interment will follow at the Christain Cemetery, Iperu; guests will be entertained at the Community Basic School Field, Iperu-Ijebu, Ogun State. An outing and thanksgiving service will hold at the Epiphany Anglican Church, Iperu on Sunday.



ERVICE of songs for the late Deaconess Arit Udo Akagha will hold today at Marine Lane, Eket, Akwa Ibom State. The funeral service will hold tomorrow at The Redeemed Christain Church of God, Akwa Ibom.


T From left: Abuja based Legal Practitioner, Chief Godwin Obla, his daughter, Mami Obla, son, Elagbaje, and wife Judith during Mami’s graduation from Faculty of Law, Buckingham University, United Kingdom


HE National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) will today end its two-day Southsouth emergency management summit which began yesterday at Le-Meridien Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort, Uyo. Akwa Ibom State. President Dr Goodluck Jonathan is the special guest of honour while the chief host the Governor of Akwa Ibom State Dr



Godswill Akpabio.


OMORROW, former Miss Oluwayemisi Ogunbodede and her lovebird, Chukwunweike Michael Uche, will be joined in holy matrimony. The marriage will take place at the Eko Club, Bode Thomas, Surulere., Lagos.

Book Presentation


•Lagos State Deputy Governor Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire signing marriage certificate during the wedding of Olugbenga Ajagbe (left) and Olubukola at the Christ Gospel Apostolic Church, Oke-Anu Isolo, Lagos. With them are bride’s dad Pastor Israel Alagbe (middle) is Pastor Bayo Bolarinwa


O M O R R O W , governors of Lagos and Imo states, Mr

Babatunde Fashola and Owelle Rochas Okorocha will lead others to the public presentation of the book entitled: Time to Reclaim Nigeria, at Lagos Airport Hotels, Ikeja. The book is written by Chido Onumah. Guests expected at the event include former head of state, Gen Muhammad Buhari; Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Prof Pat Utomi, Founder, Guarranty Trust Bank (GTBank), Mr Fola Adeola and Dr Tunji Braithwaite.

•Compiled by Damilola Bamidele, Aminat Adesina and Abike Adegbulehin





QUIET gathering of who’s who academia at the University of Ibadan took place for 48 hours from


Tuesday to Thursday (April 10-12, 2010). The purpose was to celebrate the golden anniversary of a ‘Golden Master Key’. That ‘Master Key’ is the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies. Although there was nothing to indicate even on the campus of UI that such an event was taking place, this does not stop the ode which the great Master Key deserves despite the local arrangement made for its celebration and the shoddy manner in which that celebration was done. In the academic world, the word University is evidently symbolic of the universality of thoughts, ideas, experiences and civilisations all meeting at a confluence. It connotes a conglomerate of talents and skills of intellectual men and women in an ivory tower. Thus, an inscription at the entrance of any University clearly shows the likelihood of what that University is pregnant with. It is for this reason that the inscription at the entrance of the very first University in the world (University of Cordoba), established by the Muslim Arabs in Spain about 967 CE, was axiomatically instructive. It read thus: “The world is sustained by four formidable pillars: the wisdom of the learned; the justice of the great; the prayers of the righteous and the valour of the brave”. This inscription was perfectly in tandem with a prophetic Hadith which opined that “the ink of the scholars is more precious than the blood of the martyrs”. Ironically, however, the University of Ibadan which was established in 1948 well over 1000 years after that of Cordoba has no meaningful symbolic inscription. What stands in place of such inscription is a motto within the logo of that institution written in a dead language called Latin which most students and lecturers alike cannot even read it. But that is not the immediate concern of ‘The Message’. The concern here which informed the choice of the theme of this article is the GOLDEN JUBILEE of a great fountain of knowledge from which thousands of people, Muslims and nonMuslims alike, have had a sip. That fountain is the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, the proverbial goose that lays the golden egg. It is a well known fact that the University of Ibadan (Nigeria’s Premier University) was established as a University College, (UCI) and an affiliate of the University of London 64 years ago (1948). And the very first Faculty to come into existence then was that of Arts which the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies was to later belong at its establishment 14 years later (1962). Until then, UCI could only award a general degree to graduating students because it was not yet autonomous. And there was nothing like postgraduate studies. On attaining autonomy in 1962, a new academic design was put in place to broaden the educational backgrounds of graduates with specialisation in diverse areas of interest. This meant studying Arts without losing their essential universal usefulness while relating such studies directly to African through acculturation with special focus on local environments. Incidentally in this new philosophy, the African man of culture whom the Faculty of Arts sought to produce through various Departments was perceived not as “an African familiar with Machiavelli and unfamiliar with Ibn Khaldun” but a judicious blend of both. What remained unknown to the planners of that time was that the madrasah pupils were the real ‘African men of literary culture’ whom they ought to dream of. But those planners could only be pitied because they were unfamiliar with Arabic language and could therefore not appreciate its value. Thus while they saw both Machiavelli and Ibn Khaldun as alien to an average African potential University student the madrasah pupils were already masters in the subjects that related to both because they had read about them extensively in their Arabic text books. If those madrasah pupils lacked anything at that time as far as this subject was concerned, it was the English language with which to communicate their knowledge to those who were ignorant of it. Any assumption that a madrasah pupil 08122697498

UI’s golden master key

• UI crest is a nonentity simply because he can’t speak English is a misgiving arising from sheer prejudice based on ignorance. Contrary to such assumption, the madrasah pupil had been rightly taught that virtually all the fields of learning which constitute a place of pride for the West today are the heritage of the Muslim Arabs. Apart from establishing the first University in the world, it was the Muslim Arabs who introduced the numerals now in use as well as figure zero which brought decimalisation to bear. At least an average schoolboy knows that the figures with which the scores in a football match are recorded are called Arabic numerals. The Europeans adopted those numerals from the Arabs only in the 13th century. That was over 400 years of mockery to which they (the Europeans) had ignorantly subjected the same numerals. Hitherto, the West had relied on the clumsy Roman figures that are now completely obsolete and anachronistic. With those Roman numerals one would need eleven figures to write 1848 for instance thus: MDCCCXLVIII. And in Arabic numerals used today, the same date requires only four figures as seen here. From this it becomes obvious that even a solution to the simplest arithmetical problem the Roman numerals would require enormous expenditure of time and labour while Arabic numerals render the most complicated mathematical tasks relatively simple. Had the Muslim Arabs given the world only the decimal system through the introduction of zero in 873 CE, their contribution to human progress would have been inestimable. And what is more, they gave by far much more than zero. This is what spurred Albert Campdor, the author of ‘Saladin: The Noblest Hero of Islam’ to state as follows while ruminating over the pace of human civilisation vis a vis the contribution of Islam and the Muslims to it. He said: “It is from the Orient that our ancestors learnt to weave the luxury fabrics from which Venice, and later, parts of France made their fortunes. From the Orient came to us, the art of making satin, velvet, gold and silver brocades and light weight fabrics like muslin, gauze and taffeta....If Venice soon learnt how to blow glass and cut mirrors, it was due to techniques used in the market of the near East that she owed are knowledge....”. Today, one of the heirs to that heritage here in Nigeria is the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies.

If an attempt to subjugate the language with which such great heritage was bequeathed to the West were to be made at all, it shouldn’t have been by any informed person in a Nigerian University where the thirst for knowledge ought to have remained unquenchable. Fortunately, Arabic was one of the new Departments established in the year of the University’s autonomy (1962). Creating that Department in that year was a blessing, not only for the Faculty of Arts but even for the University. Without the creation of that Department, many academic documents in the University’s archive which came in Arabic language and have since required translation would have remained buried in the dusty rubbles of academic mirage. And that would have either warranted the employment of foreign experts and translators on their own terms compelled the taking of such documents to other Universities for translation which would have excluded the touch of African culture. The pioneer academic staff of the Arabic Department included Dr. B.G. Martins and Mr. J.O. Hunwick both of whom eventually became Professors in the US. They were later joined by F.H. El-Masri a Sudanese and A.R Duhaini a Lebanese in 1963. The latter was a lecturer seconded to the Department and paid by the Lebanese government on an education grant aid basis. The former was to later become a Professor in the University of Nairobi, Kenya. With these foreign experts in place as pioneer lecturers, the thought arose for the need to train Nigerians in both the Arabic language and translation. But then there were no trainable materials as most of the pioneer students never learnt Arabic before getting admitted into the University and had to be taught from the alphabets as undergraduates in the Department. Ironically, those who could easily be trained were madrasah graduates who had not enough Western education to qualify for University admission. It was this dicey situation that led to the establishment of a one year intensive Certificate Course in 1963/64 session not only to enable those madrasah graduates to benefit from University education and become the needed raw materials for the projected training but also to plan ahead for the future of the Department as well as those of the secondary school Muslim pupils who needed competent teachers in the field. This noble foresight began to germinate profitably in 1964 when Mr. M.O.A. Abdul, who rose to become a Professor/Head of the same Department (but passed on in February 1986), joined the Department as the first Nigerian member of the academic staff. His contribution to the newly introduced one year Certificate Course was tremendous as he saw it as an opportunity to prop up academic ambition in madrasah pupils of Southern Nigeria by writing many text books that could serve their stead. The books also became useful for the two year Diploma Course established in the Department in 1976 to further enhance the height of knowledge being disseminated. Without those two Courses (Certificate and Diploma) the likes of this columnist who were never privileged to attend secondary schools would probably have withered in limbo for long. Other Departments created along with Arabic in 1962 included Linguistic and

Nigeria (now African) Languages and Modern Languages now called European Languages as well as Theatre Arts. But incidentally, within a couple of years after its creation, a clandestine move began to split the Arabic and Islamic Studies Department into two and merge them with two other Departments in the Faculty of Arts. Arabic was to be merged with Linguistics while Islamic Studies was to go to the Christian Religious Department just as a unit section. The disaster in this move, had the plan succeeded, was to subject well informed Muslim students from madrasah to the mediocrity of some uninformed nonMuslim lecturers in the name of student/ lecturer relationship without dichotomising between literacy and education. And all this was for pecuniary purpose. This was a move which no genuine Muslim would ever have contemplated in respect of any other religion, especially when the Department in question was open to all qualified students irrespective of their religions. Interestingly, no other Department created along with Arabic and Islamic Studies was subjected to a similar intimidation. When the clandestine plan failed to materialise after some fierce debates, a new underground move was devised. This was to create a section for teaching Islamic Studies and graduating students in the Department of Christian Religious Studies against the academic norm of taking such courses as electives in the relevant Departments if required. In the curriculum designed for the new move, some undergraduate courses meant for Fresh students and sophomore in the Arabic and Islamic Studies Department were to qualify some people for Masters and PhD degrees under the plan. This new devise simply amounted to illegal duplication of courses in the same University contrary to well known academic ethics. Alhamdu Lillah, the Department which had been like a lily by the mossy stone stands out gallantly today like the rock of Gibraltar feeding men and women of academic ambition with valuable knowledge and quenching their thirst for more. So far, this Department has produced thousands of literary and cultured men and women directly or in conjunction with other well-meaning Departments in various fields of human endeavour. Yours very sincerely is one of such men. Among many Professors rising from the platform of the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies to the topmost echelon of their respective academic disciplines are the following: The late Prof. M.O.A Abdul (Islamic Studies); Prof. Isaac A. Ogunbiyi (Arabic); Prof. D.OS Noibi (Islamic Studies); Prof. Kole Omotoso (Arabic); The late Prof. W.O.A. Nasir (Islamic Studies); Prof. Yasir Qadir (Islamic Studies); Prof. S.H.A. Malik (Arabic); Prof. M.O. Opeloye (Islamic Studies); Prof. M. T. Yahya (Arabic); Prof. R. D. Abubakre (Arabic); Prof. Ishaq Olanrewaju Oloyede, the current ViceChancellor, University of Ilorin, (Islamic Studies) Chairman, Nigerian Committee of Vice-Chancellors; Prof. M.O. Bidmus (Islamic Studies); Prof. Z.I. Oseni (Arabic); Prof. S.H.A. Malik (Arabic); Prof. Z. I. Oseni (Arabic); Prof. H.O. Danmole (English); Professor M. Raheem (Islamic Studies); Professor A. F. Ahmad (Islamic Studies); Prof. Shittu Agbetola (Islamic Studies); Prof. A.O. Sanni (Arabic); Prof. R.A. Raji (Islamic Studies); Prof. L.O. Salami (English); Prof. M.A Muhibudin (Islamic Studies); Prof. M.O. Abdur-Rahman (Arabic); Prof. K. O. Balogun (Islamic Studies); Prof. I.A Lawal (Arabic); Prof. I.L. Akintola (Islamic Studies); Prof. S.E. Musa (Islamic Studies); Prof. M. AbdurRaheem (Islamic Studies); Prof. F. Olayiwola (Islamic Studies). The list cannot be exhausted here. Besides, four Colleges of Arabic and Islamic Studies are currently affiliated to the Department. These are:Sulaiman Adegunwa College of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Ososa, Ijebu-Ode; Ansar-ud-Deen Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Isolo, Lagos; Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Olodo, Ibadan; Mufutau Lanihun College of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Ibadan. Each of these is efficiently flying the glorious flag of the great Department by using the materials of today to produce the great men and women of tomorrow. Long live the Alma Mater, long live the alumni.


FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2012



Former Kaduna State Governor Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi means so many things to different people. In Kaduna State, he is not only seen as a major stakeholder but also a power broker. In the Sixth Senate where he Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, he was one of the big players whose opinions counted on important issues. In this interview with Assistant Editor ONYEDI OJIABOR, Makarfi, who represents Kaduna North in the Senate, bares his mind on some controversial issues, including the Boko Haram insurgency, restructuring of the country, the public service and the legal battle to reclaim his senatorial seat.

Boko Haram not a popular revolt, says Makarfi H ‘Honestly OW would you compare the Senate you found on your re turn with the sixth Senate of which you were also a part? I was in the Sixth Senate for four years, so I got to know members well and we went through a lot together. Most members of the Seventh Senate, as I speak, I don’t even know by name. So, one cannot jump into drawing conclusions, comparing four years with two months. I think such comparison will be faulty. As time goes on, of course we will see how it goes, but I believe that the desire for the Seventh Senate will be to exceed whatever achievements the Sixth Senate recorded. Time will tell, this is a challenge to all of us. I’m part of it, I was part of the Sixth Senate, so let’s see how it goes. But, some observers still worry about the capability and capacity of the National Assembly as presently constituted to handle certain fundamental assignments? As I said earlier, I’m just in the Senate for two months. I have not interacted with my colleagues enough to know individual capacities. Even if I have done so it won’t be right for me on the pages of newspaper to begin to discuss their capabilities and lack of capabilities. But in general terms, ex this, ex that, former this, former that, we have to conclude that for you to have become ex this, former that you have certain capacities and capabilities and must have excelled in one way or the other and even after that people still found you worthy to be elected into Senate. So it is a challenge, let’s not be basking in this former this, ex that. Let’s see how we can bring whatever experiences we had garnered in the past to reflect in the quality of legislation that we enact which will positively impact on Nigeria and Nigerians You staged a come back to the Senate. One would have expected that with the level of your performance in Kaduna State where you served as a governor, you would have had a smooth sail back to the Senate, but there was a lengthy legal battle for you to reclaim your seat in the Senate ...? First of all, the reality of the situation is that whatever happens, political events have to occur while you can become a victim in those circumstances. But it is unfortunate, very unfortunate. Sometimes in Nigeria, people look for a spade to bring down or to destroy. Sometimes it is intentional, some other times accidental. Whichever way it was in my case, that is for historians to dig up and write about. I know what it was, but I’ll rather keep that to myself because I don’t want to hold any grudge against any individual or group of individuals. What will be will be. I should just look ahead and see how I can continue to contribute to nation building. Of course, I must say here that the ordinary voter in my zone did not reject me. What happened, happened. Even from the little proof we laid before the tribunal, it was obvious what was done to attempt to upturn the actual wish of the voters from my zone. All that is part of history. Legal processes take time because

speaking, we should rightly acknowledge that a lot is going on. I believe we are going to overcome. We will overcome not just by force of law but by dialogue, by provision of good governance. Good governance is the solution to most of these thing’ • Markafi

parties to the issue sometimes take steps to either elongate them in order to serve their personal interest. It is not because judges don’t want to try the case. Be that as it may, should we come to review the Electoral Act, I think I can draw from my experience. So God has a purpose for everything. I’m sure the experiences so many other people have gone through will come to bear on how we look into further improving the electoral system. Are you saying that some individuals attempted to sabotage your effort to return to the Senate.. You go and read the judgment of the tribunal which is the subsisting judgment. Once you read it, you will know exactly what happened. There is a judgment, so I don’t have to say what it was. The country is boiling, insecurity is on the rise. You will agree with me that the Kaduna State you left behind is no longer what it used to be. Where did we go wrong? The Nigeria that was then is no longer the Nigeria that we have now, it is not just Kaduna . But all the same, Kaduna is not near as bad as many other states. Definitely it must be because of a lot of past efforts not just my time, even those before me. What we have is a national crisis. It is a mistake even for other parts of the country to think that it is a northern crisis or that it is a north east crisis or that it is a north west crisis. If you are shot in the head, when you die, your whole body is gone. What affects the eye can affect the

entire body, what affects the nose can affect the entire body. So it is for all of us to look at what we are facing as a national crisis. While urging government to actually do more, honestly speaking, we should rightly acknowledge that a lot is going on. I believe we are going to overcome. We will overcome not just by force of law but by dialogue, by provision of good governance. Good governance is the solution to most of these things. Information can flow freely to government where people feel satisfied with government, where the people feel that government is there for them not necessarily that they are there for government. It should not be a situation where government is only telling people don’t do this, don’t do that. It is not a regimented society. Some Nigerians are calling for the restructuring of the country, what is your take on that Of course, but again that should not be taken in isolation with some kind of restructuring of the government and the federation. Anybody who will attempt to run away from fundamental restructuring is deceiving himself. But how we approach it is the issue. You don’t approach it from the point of one part antagonizing the other. You should begin to approach it from where you have common consensus on. Because restructuring cannot be by compulsion because we all have rights otherwise you ignite suspicion But you can build consensus on a number of issues, overcome them. So

definitely we can not run away from that. We can’t runaway from restructuring. We can start restructuring by just looking at the revenue allocation formula. We can look at the economy of the economically disadvantaged areas. As long as you don’t do that, hardly can you achieve peace and stability. If you think that somebody can eat well and the others should live in hunger and poverty and you want to have peace, it is not possible. You are not preventing the others from eating well but you are having policies that enable the other to continue to eat and even have excess. Once you have that kind of scenario again, it will affect the entire nation Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The central government in conjunction with economically advantaged area should work out some Marshall plan which can look at how to ginger the economy of economically disadvantaged areas. It is not enough to say go you have natural resources to sort out yourself; no it is not enough at all. That is why you have leadership, to lead and to ginger development. My brother, there is a lot to be done. Some Nigerians are calling for a sovereign national conference to discuss the way forward. What do you think? There is nothing bad in talking, call it conference or whatever. Like I said before, if you are approaching it as if it is a fight, it is a war, that is the problem. We sit down, we have so much inter-marriages, friendship,

businesses, name them all sorts of things linking us together. If you sit down sensibly and begin to reconcile we easily build consensus that will work successfully. That is the method we should adopt. One side says we must, another side says we must not, when you look deep into it you find out they are basically saying the same thing. We should approach it responsibly. The word sovereign, for example, is viewed with a lot of suspicion. That is the reality. If people continue to suspect a particular word why continue to use it except your intention is not good. Obasanjo convened a conference, he did not call it sovereign national conference. I chaired the committee that produced the draft agenda and they were far reaching. Some issues that formed the draft agenda were removed as no go areas. But in our own view, then I was governor, of course there was National Assembly then, the whole thing should be discussed such as whether we should continue with the Presidential or Parliamentary system of government or quasi Presidential such as reduction in the number of constituencies to reduce the cost of governance— Talking can take place while the legislature is still there, it depends on how we go about talking. We try to make everybody to understand that we all have a role, we are all partners in peace, to make the country a united, prosperous, equitable Nigeria. But do you see anything wrong with the existing structure of the country? A lot of things are wrong in Nigerians; also some things are wrong in the structure. I was a governor, I believe with my experiences and with what has happened, we have to decide whether we really need local government councils or we don’t. I think that leaving local government funds at the discretion of state chief executives is not healthy. But it is because of the constitution. The powers that are so enormous at the centre is because of the constitution. Except some of these things are restructured, I’m not saying we should have weak president or weak centre, but it should be limited in its role. We should not have one organ consuming almost everything there is leaving little for development. People should be heard and when people are heard what I said may not be what will be the outcome. People have different views, we should aggregate these views and see how we can live together. How far have you gone to reconcile and mend fence with those who fought you now that you have won. Quite frankly, I don’t think I scored any victory. I won at the Court of Appeal. Which fence do I have to mend? There is no fence for me to mend, we are a people. But if there are individuals who have some personal fears and some other things I don’t know them, I have no time even to think about them. Ultimately God is the giver of everything in life. But I work hard for everything I’m given, I work hard for whatever I’m pursuing. If I get it fine, if I don’t get it life goes on.



POLITICS Few days back, we all stood to celebrate the Diamond jubilee of a political icon, a living legend, a numero uno and unarguably the greatest philanthropist in sight, a man some people love to call “The Jagaban of all Nations.”

The Tinubu Institute for Policy and Government By Deji Sule-Odu


HE high point of the quintessential celebration, was the unveiling of the Bola Tinubu Institute for Politics and Government at the 4th Bola Tinubu Colloquium held at the expo hall of the Eko Hotel. The Institute is actually a first of its kind in our clime, where there seem to be no clear distinction between politics as it’s usually played as a game, and Government as an act of public administration. The Bola Tinubu Institute for Politics and Government is said to be a Policy institute, which will focus on Issues of politics and government in Africa with emphasis on Nigeria. The Institute is set to deploy relevant intellectual efforts needed for discovering localised, innovative, as well as effective strategies needed to tackle all emerging threats confronting the Nations of Africa, like the rapidly increasing populations, urban inequalities, climate change, and the problems of endemic public corruption, amongst many other challenges. It was said that the Institute will also seek to provide necessary resources for policy makers with a view to building their capacity to deal with these massive challenges. At the unveiling of the Institute it was said that the Institute will identify and study opportunities geared towards developing analysis and to also make policy recommendations around critical issues such as electoral practices, policies, regional integration, fiscal federalism, education, health and social strategies for a ballooning population. In a democratic setting as big as Nigeria, politics should never be left in the hands of mediocres, but concerted efforts must be made to build the capacity of the various political actors/stakeholders to enable them learn the nitty-gritty of politcs and government In Nigeria, politics has been a major act and tool deployed by political actors while discharging their responsibilities in Government, and its lack of mastery usually gives room for sentiments and sheer emotions cum selfish intuitions while discharging such responsibilities, rather than holding paramount to the national well-being or general interest. This is why the Bola Tinubu Institute for Politics and Government could be said to be coming at the right time. In fact, politics is an act of diplomacy towards achieving a political end, while government is a system or form by which a community, a state or any other political unit is governed, and once these acts are not properly blended, what you get is unnecessary fictions in the governance of the affairs of the state, which in most cases leads to outright waste of state resources. The relevance of this Instutute can never be over-emphasized, considering the many diverse political interests in our clime, but one thing that must be held paramount, is that no matter what party or political structure administering a state, the general interest of the state must be the guiding compass that steers the ruder, this way the people can be assured of policy consistency in the administration of the state, no matter the difference in the polity structure at the helm of affairs. Therefore, going by the ingenuity and the track record of its founder and promoter, the former governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, it is nearly certain that all efforts to make this Institution succeed at its objectives will be put in place, and the impact will begin to manifest in earnest in the capacity of the individual beneficiaries, Nigeria and the whole of Africa.

‘Tukur will reposition PDP’ Hon. Babatunde Ereola was a member of the Constituent Assembly in 1989 and Publicity Secretary of Bamanga Tukur Presidential Campaign Organisation in the Third Republic. In this interview with MUSA ODOSHIMOKHE, he identifies the challenges before the new chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party.


OW would you de scribe the emergence of Bamanga Tukur as PDP chairman ? Alhaji Tukur is a cat with nine lives. After the overthrow of the Alhaji Shehu Shagari regime in 1983 by the Buhari/ Idiagbon junta, he was a victim of the coup d’état because he held power then in Gongola State as the governor. And as you would probably recall, all notable politicians then were detained by the military government. After a short spell in detention, he regained his freedom and co- founded the defunct African Ocean Lines with late Major General Shehu Yar’Adua and late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola. Dr.Raymond Dokpesi was their CEO. However, after the relationship went souring the partners went their different ways and later entered the Nigerian political scene. Tukur is the only one to tell the story of the deadly political intrigues of the period. I give him credit for this. Again, in 1999 he was a founding member of the PDP, but the same political intrigue saw him prematurely moving out of the party temporarily. He took his time and later came back stronger. What I am saying is that Alhaji Tukur is a strategist who


knows it all. What does his election portend for the party? The PDP needs competent hands and that is why I was in support of the aspiration of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur to lead the party before the party’s convention in Abuja. I want to say that such a man is needed to reshape the party. The party needs a new direction from the past. I’m saying this because the PDP still remains the largest party in the country and if the leadership of the party is focused, the party will produce focused leaders in government. This, to me, is why Tukur comes into focus.

Having said this, I think I want to thank all those who made it possible for the emergence of Tukur as national chairman, starting from President Goodluck Jonathan, to the zonal leaders of the party. I congratulate the PDP for its ability to organise a well secured and well attended convention. What is your expectation from the Tukur led executive? We expect him to reposition the party and focus on the transformation agenda. You know they have to complement President Jonathan’s transformation agenda. I want them to bring unity to the PDP by ensuring that genuine reconciliation is achieved within the party in all the geo –political zones. They should also ensure that they bring back to the PDP fold those who had earlier dumped the party. But some insist Tukur is too old for the office… Age should not pose any barrier to any set goal. Awujale of Ijebu Ode wants to fulfill his life ambition hence he went to enrol to read Law at the age of 78. Again there is no age limit in politics. In advanced democracies such as Britain and United States of America, they have older people in their Parliament, especially the Senate.

By nature, Bamanga is a workaholic. He combines his international engagements in New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) with the running of his business empire. This is enough justification that the energy is still there in abundance to deliver. Furthermore, the PDP needs the likes of Bamamga to lead at this crucial period to stabilise the polity and show direction, otherwise the dream of ruling forever by some PDP chieftains may as well not go beyond 2015. Given the intrigues of power politics, is President Jonathan in safe hands? There is no doubt that the new executive of the party will complement the transformational agenda of President Jonathan. The new executive is made up of people of experience, integrity and people with ideas. President Jonathan would definitely find in them partners who can be trusted. Since the politicking will be left in the hands of the newly elected executive, President Jonathan will have enough time to face task of governance. In my opinion the best people have been elected to lead the PDP and I don’t have any doubt that they will transform the party to an enviable position.


Deji Sule-Odu works with Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reforms (CODER), Abuja

Tribunal adjourns hearing in Kogi election petition to April 3


HE Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tri bunal has adjourned sitting in the case filed by the Action Congress of Nigeria candidate, Alhaji Abubakar Audu to April 3. A witness Ade Abubakar who was a supervisor in Otutu ward in Okene said the electoral officials did not adhere to guidelines in the conduct of the election. Another witness, Fred Odiah who was the governorship candidate of Accord in the election testified under cross examination that he voted at Mammy, Otokiti village, polling unit in Lokoja, saying that the election in many polling units in the ward was free and fair. Answering questions from Mr Mike Ozekhome (SAN), lead counsel to the petitioners, the witness said he polled 1,102 in the election and had no reason to contest the outcome of the election. He also agreed that after casting his votes, he went back home and did not visit other polling units and could therefore, not get first hand information from units as there was restriction on movement during the election. The tribunal chairman, Justice Suleiman Ambursa had earlier ruled that the appellant counsel refrain from asking questions on INEC documents. Ambursa said the witnesses were not the makers of the documents and could therefore, not answer questions on the content.

• Cross section of party supporters at the rally.

• Dr Olu Agunloye; Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) Ondo State ACN governorship aspirant and wife Chioma; Chief Olusegun Abraham and wife Olubunmi at the Akeredolu governorship election campaign flag off in Akure.




Group raises alarm over one million-man march


GROUP, the Bayelsa Democratic Front (BDF), has alerted the public and security authorities to the danger of a “one million-man march” planned by the state government ahead of the Supreme Court judgment on the state’s governorship election. President-General of BDF Mr. Promise Okpoebi warned that the march could cause chaos and frustrate the Niger Delta peace process. Okpoebi said in a statement in Yenagoa yesterday that “the rally being planned by the administration of Seriake Dickson to coincide with the ruling of the Supreme Court on the governorship poll is an open invitation to anarchy in the state and Niger Delta. It is a huge but needless destructive fire being set to cause enormous damage to Bayelsa State and, indeed, the Niger Delta peace process. A project which the people and government at the various levels have made human and material investments to nurture. “It is ironic that funds meant for the development of the people are being expended in very expensive mobilisation efforts coordinated by the Office of the Special Adviser to the Bayelsa State Governor on Youth Empowerment, Training and Rehabilitation.” BDF also frowned at the harmful implication of the march for the Supreme Court judgment, which comes up on April 20. “We see this rally planned by the Bayelsa State Government on the eve of the April 20 Supreme Court ruling on the

Bayelsa governorship election as a psychological warfare waged against the Nigerian judiciary to send out a clear message to the apex court as it prepares to pronounce judgment,” Okpoebi said. BDF urged parties to the governorship poll to respect the judicial process in the interest of the state and the country. The Bayelsa State Government said the proposed Peace Walk earlier scheduled for tomorrow and organised by the Office of the Special Adviser to the Governor of Bayelsa State on Youth Empowerment, Training and Rehabilitation, has been postponed till April 17. The postponement is as a result of the visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to the state tomorrow. The government said the Peace Walk is not in anyway connected to the one millionman march as being alleged, with a view to curry support for Governor Dickson ahead of the Supreme Court ruling slated for April 20. “We wish to place it on record that this government does not need a one millionman march to alter the ruling of the Supreme Court in its favour. The Peace Walk, as the name implies, is simply a peace walk and the objective is quite clear - to serve as a platform to denounce the vices in the society often perpetrated by the youths and other criminalminded persons in the society. His Excellency, Governor Dickson, will lead the walk himself and they will move to all the major streets in Yenegoa. At the end, the Governor will address the youths in a forum that will be held at the Cultural Centre.”

Orji urges northern govs to protect life


BIA State Governor Theodore Orji has urged northern leaders, especially the governors, not to relent in their efforts to secure life and property in the region. The governor, who was speaking on the incessant bombings, which have led to loss of lives, said his northern colleagues under the aegis of the Northern Governors’ Forum, have shown sincerity in tackling “this ugly trend

which seems to be portraying the nation in bad light.” In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Ugochukwu Emezue, Governor Orji said the northern leaders, especially governors, have the capacity to restore peace in the region. He advised them not to be discouraged over the menace which he said would be consigned to history one day. Orji said the northern leaders need the support of Nigerians in their desire to

end insecurity. The Abia State governor enjoined them to disregard any comment from either people in or outside the government, to portray them as being nonchalant “to this burning issue.” He urged the Police High Command to go the extra mile “to curtail this emerging but dangerous trend.” “The police should not give up. There is light at the end of the tunnel,” Orji added.

Fashola’s aide urges harmonious living



GROUP, the Patriotic Christian Leaders Forum (PCLF), has urged Christians and Mus-


lims to live in harmony. The President/Founder of the body, Mrs. Funmilayo Akitoye-Braimoh, who spoke in Lagos, said there is no reason for Christians and Muslims to fight “because all of us were created by God.” Mrs. Akitoye-Braimoh, who is a Senior Special Assistant to Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola on Religion (Christian), said PCLF is determined to promote cordial relationship between Christians and Muslims. “This is why we want to

organise a seminar on Leadership and the Church on April 17. We want to encourage Christians to participate in politics. We also want to promote peace between Christians and Muslims. The seminar will hold at the Chapel of Christ the Light, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos from 10 am. Governor Fashola, Deputy Governor Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, top government officials, clerics and other important personalities are expected at the event,” she said.

Ex-campaign director elected into HE Executive ComOgun PDP exco mittee of the People’s

Democratic Party (PDP), Ogun State chapter, held its inaugural meeting on Tuesday at the party’s secretariat in Abeokuta. President Goodluck Jonathan’s former

campaign director, Segun Showunmi, was elected as the director of organisation. At the meeting, the exco, led by Bayo Adebayo, also constituted four commit-



RS. Olusola Oladele Kehinde (nee Fapohunda), who died in March last year, is being remembered by her family, relations, friends and colleagues. An educationist, Mrs. Kehinde, aka Mama Kay, passed on after a protracted illness. During her lifetime, she added value to the lives of people by helping them. Her husband, Mr. Julius Kehinde, praised those who stood by his family before, during and after the funeral. Besides her husband, she is survived by children- Bamidele, Oluwadamilola, Ayodeji and Ifedayo.

tees. They include Finance and Fund Raising, headed by Kayode, Disciplinary, headed by Akogun Pegba Otemolu; Reconciliation, headed by Chief Dayo Abatan; Mobilisation, Chief Wale Egunleti and Strategic and Planning led by Tunji Akinose. Addressing the meeting, the state chairman, Mr Adebayo, urged the exco to work assiduously to return the party to its former position in the state. He pledged to run an all-inclusive, transparent and fair administration.




Agric to drive economic growth, says Sambo


HE Federal Government has said agriculture would drive the country’s economic growth and development. Vice-President Namadi Sambo said the government would use agriculture as a tool for development. Sambo addressed foreign investors and stakeholders in the sector at the Agriculture Investment Forum organised by the Nigerian Embassy in Washington DC, United States of America. He said the Goodluck Jonathan administration’s Transformation Agenda has agriculture as one of the major drivers of the economy. Sambo said: “It is based on our common understanding of the importance of agriculture, not just in terms of food

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

security and contribution to poverty alleviation, but also its abundant potential for employment generation.” The Vice-President noted that effort was being concentrated on large scale production of staples, such as rice, cassava, sorghum, and the creation of opportunities in livestock, fisheries, maize, soya beans, palm oil, cocoa and cotton. He added that “the current focus on agriculture is to improve the value chain, moving away from production of raw materials for export, to agro-processing into semi-finished product, especially in food production”. Sambo urged American investors and Nigerians in

the Diaspora to take advantage of the abundant opportunities for investment in the nation’s agribusiness, adding that “the government has undertaken a number of reforms to make Nigeria investor-friendly”. He said: “The federal and state governments have further steps to entrench the enabling environment for foreign direct investment as the Federal Government has committed a lot of resources towards the provision of infrastructural facilities that will address the main factors militating against investment generation.” The Vice-President expressed government’s appreciation to a group of American investors during its exploratory visit to Ni-

geria. He particularly referred to General Electric of the US. He said much attention was being committed to address the transport sector by constructing roads and rehabilitating the abandoned 4000KM new railway lines. He added that the administration is building new thermal plants for the power sector and has created new inland waterways by the dredging of River Niger. Sambo said the government was tackling the security challenges from all fronts, including strengthening security agencies’ capacity as well as collaborating with regional and international communities to avoid further terrorist activities. The Minister of Agricul-

ture, Dr. Adewumi Adesina, who coordinated the event, said Nigeria was focusing on agriculture as a big business. He said the government has committed N2.7 billion to the sector while international organisations were supporting of agric programmes in Nigeria. Adesina said Nigeria wants a strong partnership with the US in agric sector as agriculture is the life of the country, adding that women and youths are being targeted for the revolution. Among those at the forum were Governors Patrick Yakowa (Kaduna; Rotimi Ameachi (Rivers); Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti); the Nigerian Ambassador to the US, Prof Ade Adefuye; Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr


Olugbenga Ashiru and the representative of Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed.

Community petitions PHCN By Olamilekan Andu

ANDLORDS and residents of Olokuta community in Idi-Aba, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, have petitioned the Power Holding Corporation of Nigeria (PHCN) for leaving them in darkness for two years. They urged the electricity company to either supply electricity or remove its cables. The people decried the lukewarm attitude of PHCN towards its non-supply of electricity to the community in the last two years. In a protest letter to the company, the residents’ association said PHCN’s cables and poles were useless without electricity. “It is on record that the community, with thousands of residents, has made several attempts - with various complaints on this ugly development - to your office, with the hope that you would come to our aid. But contrary to this, we have continued to meet a brickwall in getting a lasting solution to the problem,” the letter said. The letter was signed by the Community Development Chairman I. A. Sotinwa, and Acting Secretary M.A. Salisu. The letter noted that despite “the fact that we lack satisfactory electricity supply in the community, your office is alive to the responsibility of bringing electricity bills to our homes, and we paid monthly for service which is not forthcoming”. The aggrieved residents said because of the unfair treatment meted out to them, they have resolved that “we are no more interested in your services, except you rise up to the challenges of solving the problem and make life better for us”.


Ekiti indigenes in Ireland to partner govt on development


KITI State indigenes in Ireland have said they would partner the Kayode Fayemi administration for the development of the economy. Addressing reporters yesterday on phone, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Diaspora Affairs, Mr. Femi Adefolaju, said there were “high-level consultations between Diasporan Ekitis and the state government, which ended in the latest success”. He said the partnership is a way of “asserting the strength of the association and appreciating the great achievements of the current administration in the state”. According to him, the indigenes decided to pool their resources together for the “development of the land of their birth”. Adefolaju noted that though the partners have not decided how much to invest, they have indicated interest in “job creation/poverty alleviation, health and the development of the Ikogosi Spring to an enviable standard”. The senior special assistant said many of the partners have agreed to return home and meet with the government.

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

He said: “The age-long parapo (cooperation) spirit, which has long typified the Ekitis, has equally caught up with our Diasporan indigenes in Ireland. They have willingly accepted to join Governor Fayemi in the task of revamping and re-focusing the state economy. “When they called to inform me about their intentions, they further asked me to come down to Ireland for us to share a brief interaction. Getting there, they commended the government and demanded to know how best they could show their appreciation for what is happening in the state. “I invited their attention to the government’s website, where I was able to show them the Eight-Point Agenda of the state government. And I explained what the government has been able to achieve so far on the agenda. “I mentioned specific government efforts in Health, Education, Social Welfare, Tourism, including the efforts to revamp the water supply network, power generation and work with other five sister states in the Southwest through the DAWN blueprint.”



‘Greed, corruption bane of Nigeria’s development’ •Continued from Page 15 Onokerhoraye described social services which include schools, health, water, power and road infrastructures as part of development, saying that people all over the world yearn for these services. He also lauded the administrative style of Comrade Adams Oshiomole in Edo State for providing qualitative leadership through the provision of these social services in the last three years. He said the essence of the international colloquium is to review the provision of social service in Nigeria in the last 30 years, identify areas the country has peformed well and chart the way forward. “I feel very much happy that this is taking place today in my honour and also in relation to what I’ve done over 30 years ago,” he said. In a lead paper presentation titled Water Provision and Management in Nigeria, Challenges and Pospects delivered by Boniface Egboka, a professor of Hydrogeology and Vice Chancellor, Nnamd Azikive Unversity, Awka, Egboka pointed out that water is life and providing and managing

water and its attendant resources are highly essential if Nigeria is to achieve sustainable development goals as planned and envisaged. He said poor and inadequate service delivery in the water sector over the last 30 years has exacerbated major incidents of poverty and impairment of public health and that several initiatives by government at all levels to provide potable and sustainable water supplies have not yielded the desired results. Painting a gloomy picture, Egboka regretted that “three years to the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), government at all levels as well as public water and sanitation agencies in Nigeria still lack the human and financial resources to provide adequate water and sanitation infrastructure services for the total populace”. “Water supply services in Nigeria are irregular and unreliable. It is shrouded in poor educational training, weak institutional framework, weak data base, fragmented responsibility, weak strategic plan of action and poor management. This situation has adversely com-

I feel very much happy that this is taking place today in my honour and also in relation to what I’ve done over 30 years ago •Continued from Page 15 our priorities right, in order to cope with the challenges of our time in this global village. “We cannot continue with military campaigns and capturing of kingdoms to pay tribute to us, as our forefathers did. “We shall give up fighting wars to attract foreign investment into our land, in order to bring about economic development. If we choose the path of peace, every Jukun would be better”. Kente donated the sum of N10 million, through the Ajikwen Educational Trust Fund (AETF), to assist Jukun youths go to school, noting that “education (not fighting) is the life wire of the modern society”.

•Participants at the colloqium pounded the challenges of implementation, monitoring and evaluation of water resource delivery projects” Reeling out statistics, Egboka in the paper presentation said the country has four large surface water basins providing opportunities for migrated agriculture as well as fisheries. “The two longest, the Niger Basin and Lake Chad Basin cover 83% of the country. Rivers and lakes make up approximately 16% of Nigeria’s total surface area. Two river systems-The Chad and Niger Benue dominate the country’s hydrology

in Nigeria. Nigeria has an annual internal renewable water resources of 221 cubic kilometers, 69% of water is used for agriculture, 21% for domestic uses and 10% for industry. 47% of the total population (30% of the rural population) has access to safe water,” he said. Egboka also identified the unavailability of accurate data and non absence of sanitation object as twin challenges in water and sanitation issues in Nigeria. He also noted that majority of the 774 local government areas in the country do not have water, sanita-

Jukun celebrate peace Wukari Local Government Council Chairman, Hon. Dan’Azumi Agbu said the continents and different countries were moving towards urbanization, they were still upholding their cultures and traditions. “Jukun has a rich culture, which we must not allow it to decay. We cover almost all parts of the country, unfortunately unity is eluding us as a nation. It is my hope that this occasion would rekindle the lost glory, unity and strength of the Jukun kingdom”, he said.

The Aku-Uka, His Royal Majesty Dr. Shekarau Angyu welcome the audience to his palace and the ancient city –Wukari, which he said was established some 400-years ago. He said the occasion was being celebrated in the recent past but the latest event was special; all the Kwararafa descendants, which he said exist in 24 states of the federation, were brought together. The Jukun ruler proposed to establish a large Kwararafa Ethnic Nationalities Museum to preserving their

various cultures. He concluded his address by suing for peace and unity of purpose, for development. Aku-Uka said: “let me use this opportunity to remind you that the Kwararafa was not only an organized society, it was a great civilization. “We the descendants have every reason to show good example by living in peace and harmony with all our brothers and sisters in Nigeria. “To build a better tomorrow, we must remain law abiding to continue to support government policies and programmes, and as well, pursue education with vigour, especially now that a federal university has been established in our community”. Former Governor of Nasarawa State

tion and hygiene (WASH) departments which contributes to the inadequate water and sanitation budgets in the local councils. He posited that there is need for greater participation of non-governmental organisations and community-based organisations in water supply, sanitation and management programmes as government has limited capacity to take behavioral change intervention required in achieving the water and sanitation millennium development goals.

and Guest Speaker at the occasion, Alh. Aliyu Akwe Doma traced the history of the Kwararafa confederacy to embrace a plethora of ethnic groups like the Alago, Igala, Geomai, Igbirra, Yala, Rindre, Chamba, Idoma, Etulo and Koro, among others. All these tribes, he said, once lived side by side. Doma said, in spite of the military exploits of the Jukuns, “they were neither colonialists nor oppressors. He said: “this festival and carnival should be used to enhance inter-ethnic and cross-cultural interactions in our efforts to mould our diversity in unity. We the Kwararafa descendants have a great deal in common. “Our children need to grow together, know themselves and study the past, towards the understanding and revival of Kwararafa within the context of modernity and the Nigerian nation”. High point of the two-day occasion was the honour and chieftaincy titles conferred on some illustrious sons of the Kwararafa kingdom.

We the descendants have every reason to show good example by living in peace and harmony with all our brothers and sisters in Nigeria

•Chairman, Yaba Local Council Development Area, Hon. Jide Jimoh (left) and former Director, Lagos Ministry of Local Government, Alhaji Fatai Oluwole during a training for clerical officers in conjunction Southern Bridge Limited Management Consultancy in Lagos



School marks Cultural Day


SCHOOL in Lagos State, Grace and Mercies School, has marked its Cultural Day with a message that Nigerians could foster unity through their way of life. Pupils of the school turned out in colourful traditional attires, sporting assorted headgears, dangling beads and reach-down wrappers. You could distinguish the boy of Igbo parentage from the girl of Edo extraction, as you would tell the Urhobo boy from his colleague from the Middle Belt. Still, an apparent chord of unity seemed to tie them together. That was the message the school proprietress Mrs, Isioma Akinade preached on the day. She stressed the need to promote Nigeria’s culture as a way of sustaining peace and unity. She said this will go a long way in countering the prevailing air of violence in the country. “The prosperity of any nation does not depend on the beauty of atmosphere or building, but indeed upon the level of human capital development, education and culture inclusive,” she said, adding that every Nigerian should give priority to their respective culture for a sustainable peace to exist in their domain. She continued, saying religious leaders, traditional rulers and community heads used various cultural methods to maintain peace in their respective domain. “Most Nigerian cultures preach love, peace and unity.” Responding to a question on the benefits and challenges of culture, Akinade said there are several cultures and religious beliefs in different parts of the world, Nigeria inclusive. “In Nigeria,” she said, “many people, particularly children, do not


ISABLED youths in Anambra State under the aegis of the Deaf Committee of Friends Club (DCFC) have appealed to the state government to empower physical challenged people in the state. They stated that the empowerment programme which should include scholarship, vocational studies, skill acquisition and employment will help them to achieve their dreams and reduce the continuous abuse and stigmatisation by

•The pupils on the cultural day know their culture; that is why we set aside a day to celebrate cultural values. Culture, as people say, is a way of life; it signifies the language we speak, the food we eat and our dressing style. Culture is important in the life of an individual. To this end, culture educates to make you appreciate and understand the arts of a given people in a given period; it is the entire range of customs, beliefs and social forms.” Continuing, the proprietress promised to work out strategies

that would maintain the primary aims and objectives of Grace and Mercies School in line with government curriculum. Speaking also at the event was the chairman of the occasion Mr Itohan Igbinoba commended the staff and parents for their contributions to the development of the school. He promised to work out modalities that would promote the academic activities of the school. He also advised the pupils to be serious with their studies, saying


that education remains the key to national development. Apart cultural display, the pupils also

thrilled the audience with drama, after which they were given presents and refreshment.

Disabled youths seek help in Anambra From Okodili Ndidi, Onitsha

the public. They lamented that efforts to get the assistance of the state government in the past were rebuffed, assuring that given the same opportunity like their peers, they could also contribute their quota in the

development of the state. The chairman of the club, Chief Onyebuchi Akpudo who disclosed this at Nkpor, during the inaugural ceremony of their trustees and patrons, as well as honorary awards to deserving individuals, said they have written so many letters to Governor Peter Obi to look into

Senate advocates continuity in leadership EMBERS of the Senate Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs have advocated for continuity in leadership of the various parastatals and agencies of the federal government to ensure consistency in their developmental agenda for the overall growth of the nation. The lawmakers observed that a situation whereby a winning team is suddenly changed to pave way for a new one will only be tantamount to setting backwards the hands of the clock, as successive teams are known for dismantling existing structures to create their own, thus giving room for policy inconsistency. The committee members said this when they paid an oversight visit to the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) at its corporate headquarters in Abuja. Articulating the committee’s views, Senator Smart Adeyemi who was once an NTA staff, noted that having passed through the organisation and therefore well informed about its evolutionary trend, he can conveniently say that its present management led by Mallam

In Nigeria, many people, particularly children, do not know their culture; that is why we set aside a day to celebrate cultural values. Culture is a way of life; it signifies the language we speak, the food we eat and our dressing style

By Edozie Udeze

Usman Magawata has embarked on building a world-class broadcasting legacy compared to what obtained before his appointment. This, as shown by Magawata himself while conducting the visitors round, includes: digitalisation efforts to comply with ITV’s 2015 deadline for organisations to migrate from analogue to digital broadcasting; crashing down of decoder-based satellite broadcasting through its Star Times TV; multi-channel creation for news, sports, entertainment and education; corporate social responsibility, among others. Adeyemi therefore sought for continuation of Magawata’s good works at the expiration of his first tenure to pave way for consolidation of the numerous laudable projects and structures already in place. The committee chairman, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe particularly commended the Magawata management for its various achievements, against the backdrop of its limited resources which the DG told them was possible through internally generated

•Mallam Magawata revenue. Senator Abaribe, however, expressed regret that the NTA corporate headquarters started over 20 years ago by the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) has not been completed, and promised to assist the organisation to own a befitting corporate headquarters through appropriate legislation. He also frowned at the sharing formula between the NTA and Chinese Star Communications Technology in the establishment of the NTA Star Times, urging the NTA management to renegotiate with the Chinese company in the overall interest of Nigeria.

their plight but to no avail. Akpudo who spoke through an interpreter, disclosed that the association was formed in 2006 to help integrate the deaf into the society, harness the skills of the Deaf and channel them towards the development of the state. He continued that the Association was also formed to help sponsor their members at both formal and informal educational levels, sensitise the society to the needs of the deaf and influence government policies as they affect the deaf in the state. Akpudo therefore appealed to government, individuals and corporate bodies to come to their aid as part of the society, irrespective of their challenges. Also speaking, the Legal Adviser to the group, Mrs. Uchey Mmaju and the chairman of the Deaf Sports Association, Delta State Council, Friday Okobi, regretted that government and individuals are not doing enough for the deaf, suggesting that sign language should be made compulsory in schools.

In his speech, the chairman of the occasion and incumbent president of the Peoples Club of Nigeria (PCN), Worldwide, Chief Fabian Onwuachu, noted that the society has not been fair to the disabled and less-privileged in the society, stating that if properly aided, the deaf and dumb youths can achieve their goals in life. In their own separate speeches, some of the awardees, Hon. Obiora Chukwuka and Mr. H. C. Udechukwu, a legal practitioner, urged public-spirited individuals and groups to assist the destitute in their midst. The occasion witnessed the inauguration of the newly elected executive members of the club, including Prince Ifeanyi Chukwuka, Vice-Chairman; Hon. Ebuka Uche, General Secretary; Mr. Ikechi Apugo, Financial Secretary; Engr, Okwudili Ezenwekwe, Treasurer; Prince Raphael Uzo, Assistant Treasurer; Mr. Obiora Edeokosi, Chief Whip and Mr. Chine Onyedika, House Keeper.


FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2012

One of the cardinal points of the Special Marshal is to partner with the corps marshal to ensure that the office goes on smoothly and give the FRSC men good support in their sometimes dangerous duties


HE Delta State Sector Command, Asaba of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) has received a donation of an electric generator to boost productivity and operational efficiency. The donation was made by a team of Special Marshals led by the State Coordinator, Mr. Dickson Amromowhe during their visit to the newly appointed Sector Commander, FRSC, Delta State Mrs. Susan Agenge. Mrs. Agenge said the gesture was worth emulating, urging public spirited individuals to collaborate with the agency to enable it serve the public better. She stressed that since assumption of duty in the state, the partnership between the public and the FRSC has been heart-warming, adding that the team of special marshals in the state has made such donations to other units within the command. Her words: ”This gesture is surprising and overwhelming. Like I said earlier, this is not the first time this group of Deltans have made donations to the FRSC including a personal computer to the state sector command. They have made such donations to other FRSC units in Kwale, Sapele, and Warri. I urge all Deltans to emulate these gentlemen to enable us serve the society better.” Mrs. Agenge has harsh words for some inconsiderate motorists, stressing that the FRSC will ensure road violators are sanctioned to serve as deterrent to others. “We do not have a general road violations issue due probably to a high level of well informed motorists, but our problems are mainly with commercial cab drivers,” she said. “They find it very difficult to obey the rules; even when you want to educate them, they will not take it. We arrest them even sometimes when they attempt to run us over; we educate them, keep their cars as a lesson for those who will not want to be prosecuted; we prosecute the recalcitrant motorists”. On the issue of education for commercial cab drivers, Agenge assured that the FRSC will commence a partnership with National Union of Road

•Delta FRSC Commands receiving the generator from the Special Marshals

FRSC officers donate to Delta Command From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

Transport Workers (NURTW) in the State to educate them on the dangers of over-speeding and other road violations. Reacting, State Coordinator, Special Marshal and Partnership, Mr. Dickson Amromowhe said the donation was in furtherance of a partnership that has grown over the years, stressing the gesture was to

improve the productivity of men and officers of the Delta State Sector Command. According to him, “One of the cardinal points of the Special Marshal is to partner with the corps marshal to ensure that the office goes on smoothly and give the FRSC men good support in their sometimes dangerous duties. Looking at the situation of things in the State headquarters there are some challenges such as power outages and these officers

have been working under this harsh conditions which is not too encouraging. We, as special marshals thought we should come together and improve their working environment to improve productivity”. Corroborating the Sector Commander, Mr. Amromowhe assured that the special marshal corps was poised to continue its partnership with the Federal Road Safety Commission, stressing that his team will not relent in assisting the FRSC in

meeting its stated objectives by contributing its quota to improving productivity among officers and men. “We have donated items to Kwale, Agbor, Ughelli,” he said. “We have donated items to virtually all the seven units in Delta except the new command at Ebeidei-Umutu Command. “We assess the needs of the various commands and working in concert with the unit commanders, we meet such needs as best we can”.

Enhancing the security of corps members By Austin Avwode

•Gen. Okere


OLLOWING the death of some 10 members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in the bloody post-election violence of April last year, some measures have been taken to ensure the security of the corps members. The federal government paid the sum of N5m to each family of the deceased but that did not end the disenchantment with the one-year postgraduation national service. Nor did it stop further attacks on the fresh graduates. Some even advocated outright cancellation of the programme, which began in 1973. In November 2011, a corps member serving in Yobe State, Eucharia Remmy was killed by suspected

members of the extremist group, Boko Haram. Much earlier in 2009, a female corps member, Grace Adie Ushang was raped to death in Borno State. Consequently, the NYSC authorities have initiated a series of interventions aimed at improving the security of corps members. These interventions include the introduction of self-defence training as part of the orientation programme for corps members, the launch of the NYSC distress call centres, and the bold decision not to post corps members to volatile states. The 2012 Batch “A” of corps members, currently in orientation camps, are receiving training in martial arts as part of efforts to improve their personal security. The training delivered during the orientation is meant for self-defence. While this may not be helpful during coordinated and sophisticated attacks, it will come in handy in other instances when hoodlums attack corps members. Female corps members who are able to learn martial arts would reduce the possibility of becoming rape victims. In January this year, the NYSC Distress Call Centre (NYSC DCC) was launched. This is an electronic platform that corps members in distress can call into to receive help on time.

Once the centre receives a call from any corps member, operators are expected to get the problems and location of the caller and alert the security agents in that area for quick response. The call centre with numbers 092912128/29/32/31 is also connected to the State Security Services and the Police to speed up the response time. At the commissioning of the facility, the Minister of Youth Development, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said “Our greatest challenge has been the increasing spate of insecurity which exacts tremendous pressure on the operations of the scheme. It is incumbent on us to seek improved ways of attending to the security concerns of the corps members because the uniform that used to protect corps members now exposes them to violence and attack.” Director General of NYSC, Brig-

General Nnamdi Okore-Affia explained that the NYSC DCC is to create a back-up where the corps members can communicate with the NYSC management whenever emergency arises. This has automatically removed the bureaucratic hurdles that corps members had to scale in the past before they can inform the management about crises and life-threatening situations such as the post-election violence. And the measure has received rave commendation by discerning parents. Another development, which is a direct reaction to the attacks on corps members in some parts of the country, is the decision of the scheme to stop posting corps members to volatile areas. Brigadier General OkoreAffia, said the decision was reached following the ugly incident in the past when some corps members were

It is incumbent on us to seek improved ways of attending to the security concerns of the corps members because the uniform that used to protect corps members now exposes them to violence and attack

killed in the heat of religious or ethnic conflicts. Okore-Affia explained that the decision was taken because the NYSC viewed the lives of corps members as very important to the country and their parents, and would, therefore, not expose them to danger. The first indication that NYSC would adopt this approach first emerged in November of 2011 when the Minister of Youth Development, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi directed that no new corps member should be posted to Borno and Yobe states for ‘Batch C’ mobilisation of corps members. Instead of reporting for service in the two states, affected corps members were called to camp and began the orientation exercise in Benue State (for those initially posted to Borno) and Nassarawa State (for those posted to Yobe). They were later posted to other states of the federation, except for Borno and Yobe states. By December, the orientation camp in Yobe State was burnt by suspected Islamic extremists, prompting speculations about what would have happened if the corps members earlier scheduled to camp there were not moved to Nassarawa State. These steps taken to secure the lives of corps members are part of a larger reform of the NYSC to make the scheme regain its relevance, breathe life into it and make it attractive in view of challenges it has faced in recent times.





NEWS Text of the speech of His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, Sultan of Sokoto and President-General Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) at the opening of The Model Almajiri School, Sokoto on Tuesday

•DG meets with levels 17 and above officers

‘Let’s act and work together’


T is with utmost gratitude to Allah [SWT] that I stand before you to welcome you most warmly to the historic city of Sokoto. I would like to extend a special welcome to His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan GCFR, the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces Federal Republic of Nigeria. Mr. President, we thank you immensely for finding time, despite the exigencies of State, to grace this occasion. The people of Sokoto take special pride in Education and the advancement of learning. Your Excellency has made us more proud by launching the first Model Almajiri School here in Sokoto. May I also avail myself of this opportunity to welcome Executive Governors or their representatives, Honorable Ministers, Members of the National Assembly, Your Royal Highnesses, and other distinguished guests, who have come from far and wide to witness this occasion. Please accept our sincere welcome. Your Excellencies, Your Royal Highnesses, may I begin by stating that Islam and Islamic Civilization and Society, had been predicated on knowledge and learning. The search for knowledge is an unabridged obligation upon every Muslim, male and female. Since the eleventh century, when Islam gained an institutional foothold in Nigeria, the establishment of schools and the promotion of scholarship had been an integral part of its growth and development. These schools produced not only the scholars who mediated the religious and social activities of our societies but also the literati and the technocracies that supported state institutions and the management of state affairs. For many of our societies, the development of Education also served a strategic societal goal: the support and promotion of responsible leadership and good governance. Distinguished Guests, the school Mr. President is commissioning today has firm and secure roots in the intellectual culture and traditions of our society. We welcome it wholeheartedly. It is therefore our ardent hope and fervent prayer that Allah


INE men have been arraigned at the Chief Magistrate’s Court, Yaba, for alleged murder and armed robbery. Tom Joseph (49) was arraigned for allegedly administering a concoction to sixyear-old Victoria Friday at about on January 17 at 2, Joseph Kayode Street, Okeira, Lagos. The police said Joseph “did unlawfully kill” Friday by giving her the mixture to drink and, thereby, committed an offence punishable under Sec-

[SWT], in His infinite mercy, would bless this noble effort and grant it the wherewithal to serve the educational needs of its host communities. We must also state that the bold vision, the indomitable courage and the culture of excellence with which the Model Almajiri Schools Project had been conceived and executed, give us great hope that we may have begun the arduous task of rejuvenating our educational system and of providing succour and relief to the teeming millions who had been left out of the conventional school system. We cannot, as a nation, afford to allow the emergence of separate and unequal societies and the adverse social consequences associated with it. We must endeavour to provide fair opportunities to each and every child. We must strive to equip our school age population, adequately and conscientiously, to lead productive lives and contribute their rightful quota to national development. Your Excellencies, Your Royal Highnesses, we must also remind ourselves of the enormity of the challenges posed by the Almajiri Phenomenon. These challenges are real and daunting, but the longer we tarry the more complex they become. The truth is that no single stakeholder can adequately address these challenges. It is therefore imperative for all of us to act together and work together, seriously and meaningfully, to begin to face up to these enormous challenges. We must begin by calling upon parents to appreciate the fact that Education, both Islamic and conventional, is the greatest gift we could bequeath our progeny. We therefore bear special responsibility to ensure that our children take full advantage of this precious gift. We can ill-afford to abandon this responsibility to itinerant Mallams or to the vagaries of the street. Above all, this is a specific responsibility for which we must render a full account to Allah [SWT] on the Day of Judgment. For Government, at all levels, we must counsel cooperation, determination and understanding as well as the firm expression of

Tension in NYSC over promotion, ethnic bias


•Sultan Abubakar

political will. We need to sustain the model institutions that we are now building. We need to build many more schools. We should not forget that in several states there are more pupils in the traditional Almajiri education sector than those attending conventional schools. We should also not forget the high population growth that we have to contend with. We must ensure that we plan appropriately for the upcoming generations and endow them with better educational opportunities than their predecessors. Your Excellencies, Your Royal Highnesses, it is also important to mobilise our communities to play an effective role in this strategic endeavour. Education is a collective enterprise. It can succeed only when it is pursued collectively. We must revive the passion for Education among our people and for the support of educational projects. We must encourage self-help and facilitate the establishment and sustenance of community schools. We must, above all, restore the culture of Waqf [endowment], to support educational and religious institutions. The launching of the Almajiri Education Trust Fund, especially at the state level, should be pursued with all vigour as a bold expression of community action in the development of Education in our society. Mr. President, please accept our deep appreciation for this laudable project to support the education of Almajirai in Nigeria. We thank you immensely for the great honour done to us. We pray to Allah [SWT] to help us realise the lofty goals for which this veritable institution was established. I thank you for listening.

HERE is tension in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) over alleged ethnic bias and lopsidedness in the appointment of directors. The Director-General of the scheme, Brig-General N.T. Okore-Affia yesterday met for hours behind closed doors with officers on levels 17 and above to resolve the grey areas. Also, to avert any major crisis, the DG will be meeting with all the labour unions in the scheme today. The NYSC, which was established in 1973 to foster unity among diverse ethnic groups, seems caught up in the web of ethnic politics. But an officer of the scheme, however, said some officials are afraid of the reforms being carried out by the DG. Top officers of the corps are said to be unhappy with the DG for ignoring Federal Character Principle in appointing directors for the six departments in the NYSC. The DG is alleged to have favoured the Southeast at the management level and strategic portfolios. According to findings, of top 11 directors, four are from the Southeast; two from the Southwest; one from Northcentral, two from Southsouth, and one from the Northeast and Northwest (one). Those appointed are Director, Human Resources and Management, Mrs. Elizabeth Adimorah; Director Corps Mobilisation, Mrs. Mercy Kolajo; Director, Public Relations, Mrs. Martha Midala; Director Finance and Accounts, Mrs. Oby Erokwu; Director Skills Acquisition, Mrs. May Dan-Abia; Director, Ventures, Mrs. Rhoda Kwaki; Director Certification, Mrs. Clara Babatunde; Director Community Development

From Yusuf Alli and Bukola Amusan, Abuja

Services, Alhaji Abdulwahab Obomeile; Director Corps Welfare and Inspection, Mr. E.A Obi; Director, Information and Communication Technology, Mr. Anthony Ani; and Director, Procurement, Mr. Gabriel Alonge. An observation sent to the management of the NYSC by the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ACSN) on the lopsidedness in the promotion reads: “A cursory view of the annotated data shows gross disparity between the Southern and Northern geopolitical zones. “Federal Character provisions stipulate that appointments and promotions into these exalted offices are alternated between the Southern and Northern group of geopolitical zones. “Where a zone does not have a candidate to fill up its vacancies, the government through the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation is requested to avail such that would act on secondment until such a zone is able to produce a substantive incumbent. “At the root of people’s anger is the lopsided composition and sharing of portfolios under the supervision of the DG. “The DG, who directs the affairs of the scheme on dayto-day basis, hails from the Southeast. Yet, the same zone is controlling Human Resources Management, Finance and Accounts, Corps Welfare and Inspection and Information and Communication Technology. “In summary, the zone holds five resounding offices in a management of 12 members. “Rather than unifying staff

to prosecute and promote the corporate goals of the scheme, the DG and Director (Human Resources) are orchestrating division on ethnic and regional basis to bring the NYSC scheme down on her knees.” A source in the NYSC said: “Some staff are holding on to ethnic sentiments to oppose the ongoing reforms of the DG. Some staff are just comfortable with the business-as-usual syndrome. “The truth of the matter is that those promoted to the level of directors had been deputydirectors in the system before the DG came on board. Are they now saying that because they are from the Southeast or the moon, they should not be elevated to the next rank? “These are directors that had earned their promotions over the years in the system on merit. Will the DG as a political appointee sacrifice merit for mediocrity? Is it not circumstantial that some of these directors come from the Southeast with the DG? He did not import any of the directors into the system.” Replying a question, the source added: “To avoid any ethnic conflict, the DG has been meeting with all groups. On Friday, he will meet with labour leaders some of who are being used to orchestrate ethnic campaign in the scheme.” A union leader, who spoke in confidence, said: “We have met with the NYSC DG on all these issues, especially allegation of ethnic bias, and high-handedness. And he is looking into it. So far, the challenges we are facing will remain internal affairs until no action is taken.” The immediate past Director of Public Relations, Mrs. Clara Babatunde, declined comments, saying she is “not permitted to react to the issue.”

•Representative of the Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Dr. Alhassan Nuhu, delivering a lecture on “Role of Volunteers in Disaster Management” at a workshop for disaster relief officers in Yola…yesterday

Nine plead not guilty to alleged murder, robbery By Joseph Jibueze

tion 221 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2011. Kayode Awofiranye (30) was arraigned for allegedly driving an Iveco truck recklessly at about 8.22pm on February 13 along Murtala Muhammed Way, Yaba, killing two passersby and injuring one. The police said he drove “in a public highway in a reckless or dangerous manner, without due regard to other road users and caused the death of one Jude Onyema,

one Dumaka Ilona and caused injury to Chigozie Nnamani.” The offence contravenes Sections 28 and 30 (1) of the Road Traffic Law, Cap R.10, Vol. 7, Laws of Lagos State 2003. Mohammed Umoru (22) and Oji Musa Muhammed (20) were charged with armed robbery and murder. The police said they, on Christmas Day last year, at about 3.40pm at 4, Uche Dimgbe Close, Julie Estate, Oregun, robbed Munashino Duru and

his family. Items allegedly taken from them include a Blackberry Bold 9000 phone valued at N92,000 and a laptop valued at N220,000. Umoru was also accused of murder. Prosecutors said he “did unlawfully kill one Celestine Duru, aged 55, by stabbing him with a knife in the chest.” Three men – Jimoh Lamidi (48), Sampson Ume (42) and Bukola Ajayi (40) were arraigned for allegedly robbing a truck while armed

“with dangerous weapons” on February 10 at Sagamu. The truck, with registration number: XT-773-GL, was loaded with cosmetics valued at N5million, belonging to Franem Industry Limited. A staff of the company, Francis Nwakanma, was in the vehicle. Ominiyi Ayetoba (18) and Babatunde Afolayun (34) were arrested for alleged conspiracy to commit a felony: armed robbery. Armed with “a toy black pistol”, the police said they

robbed Elizabeth Nutiamedo of her Blackberry Touch phone, valued at N80,000, recharged cards worth N70,000 and N50,000. The offences contravene Section 221 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011, and section 1 (2) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) Act, Cap R11, Vol XXII, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. The defendants, who all pleaded not guilty, have been remanded in prison custody. Their trial was adjourned.






Sterling Bank declares N1.6b dividend


HE Board of Sterling Bank Plc has recommended distribution of about N1.6 billion as cash dividends to shareholders for the immediate past business year, setting bargain hunters after the high-yield stock. In a dividend recommendation made available to investors yesterday, the directors said they have recommended a dividend per share of 10 kobo for the immediate past year. Other key details of the audited report and account for the year ended December 31, 2011, are expected to be presented to the market today. With a current market consideration of N1.20, the dividend per share of 10 kobo represents a dividend yield of 8.3 per cent, a strong attraction that triggered upward rally for Sterling Bank’s stocks yesterday. The bank’s share price rose by 5.0 kobo to N1.20, indicating a percentage increase of 4.3 per cent over the opening price of N1.15. The maximum daily allowable percentage price change on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) is five per cent. Sterling Bank recently concluded the acquisition of

• Stock market down by N24b By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

Equitorial Trust Bank (ETB). Group managing director, Sterling Bank Plc, Yemi Adeola, said the emergent Sterling Bank would benefit from increase in its earnings, reduction of costs and synergies from the two banks that would lead to consolidation of its market share. He said with the merger, Sterling Bank would have opportunity to become a major player in corporate banking and other services which would strengthen Sterling Bank’s traditional strengths in structured and trade finance, cash management and treasury. Meanwhile, the downtrend at the Nigerian stock market worsened yesterday as the downers shaved off considerable values from several highly capitalised stocks. Aggregate market capitalisation of all quoted equities on the NSE dropped by N24 billion to N6.615 trillion, as against its opening value of N6.639 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI)-NSE’s main index, also slipped by

same margin from 20,814.35 points to 20,742.09 points. The decline brought the year-to-date average return close to negative position at 0.06 per cent. Mobil Oil Nigeria topped the losers’ list with a loss of N6.98 to close at N139.02. Nestle Nigeria, followed with a drop of N2.50 to close at N4.15. Conoil lost N1.22 to close at N23.22. Oando declined by 42 kobo to N18.40. Unilever Nigeria, lost 39 kobo to close at N30.60. First Bank of Nigeria dropped by 34 kobo to N9.26. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria lost 22 kobo to close at N4.78, while Access Bank, Dangote Flour Mills and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria dropped by 20 kobo each to close at N5.80, N3.90 and N20.21 respectively. On the positive side, CAP led a handful of gainers with a gain of 70 kobo to close at N21.72. Eterna followed with a gain of 16 kobo to close at N3.47. Union Bank of Nigeria rallied 13 kobo to close at N2.82. Stanbic IBTC Bank added 7.0 kobo to close at N6.90 while RT Briscoe rose by 5.0 kobo to close at N1.05 per share. Total turnover stood at 823.82 million shares valued at N2.13 billion in 3,513 deals. Transnational Corporation of Nigeria alone accounted for 611.14 million shares valued at N306.14 million through 71 deals.





E-pensions, salaries to enhance transparency in govt


HE commencement of electronic payment of pensioners, taxes, salaries and supplies by government will save billions of naira for government, promote transparency and accountability in governance and increase internally generated revenue (IGR). Such e-payment option would have saved the country, the over N700 billion fraud rocking the Pension unit of the Office of Head of Service of Federation and other wastages in government, analysts have said. In a statement, the Central Bank

Stories by Collins Nweze

of Nigeria (CBN) which initiated the process, said e-payment is also expected to ensure confidentiality of information for both the government and public. The regulator said there is need to further enlighten and carryalong public sector stakeholders on the implementation of end-to-end electronic payment of suppliers, taxes, salaries and pensions. Such campaign is expected to create the needed awareness that will enable

sioners and suppliers at the request of the employers and other banks. They are also expected to acquire basic e-Payment infrastructure, activate selected e-Payment solution, train relevant staff on use of the new system before commencing use of your e-Payment system. Once the process is completed, the beneficiaries would stop manual cheques, mandates, schedules for payment of suppliers, taxes, salary and pension. They are also to endorse compliance charter and send copy to the Central Bank. The CBN said the progress made by the Federal Government in the electronic payments of salaries and contractors/suppliers, the growing acceptance among the citizens of innovations such as the

government reap the desired dividend from the project. To make the exercise a success, the apex bank, has in collaboration with key stakeholders in the Nigerian payments community, developed the National Payments Systems Vision 2020 (NPSV 2020). The NPSV 2020 is a sub-set of the Financial Systems Strategy 2020 (FSS 2020). It works when beneficiaries open bank accounts or e-purse with the bank, verify bank account details of tax agencies, employees, pen-

FirstBank facilitates home ownership for couples F

IRST Bank of Nigeria Plc has introduced a joint home ownership scheme for couples. In a statement, the bank said it is now possible for couples to have their own houses even in the midst of competing needs for the scarce resources. It said owing a home requires couples to observe a strict saving regimen that is followed to the letter. Also, some form of contributory scheme is adopted to shore up capital for building a home. The bank said these little contributions add up to millions of naira, providing homes of different shapes

and sizes for many Nigerians. It also said the bank can step in with its mortgage products designed to give loans to people to own their homes. “The mortgage market offers various products and services that are designed to meet specific needs. Couples can now access mortgage loans under FirstBank’s Joint Mortgage product to realise the all-important feat of becoming landlords. Joint Mortgage has been created so that couples can finance

the purchase or construction of residential properties by pooling resources to access higher mortgage amounts,” the bank said. The product also supports other partnerships, such as investors or friends who wish to purchase properties together. In a joint mortgage, repayment will be structured in a manner that the parties will not necessarily pay equal amounts, but the ratio will depend on each person’s financial capacity. However, in case of default, liability becomes joint and several. Each party becomes liable for the entire outstanding sum.

ECOWAS to hasten single monetary union plan


HE Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member states, have called for speedy implementation of the commission’s Macroeconomic Convergence, known as ECOMAC, to expedite the single monetary union in the region. A statement from ECOWAS Commission, said series of workshops had been held in Lomé, Lagos and Abidjan in 2010 to examine and validate the ECOMAC database to that effect. The Information Officer in the Commission, Uwem Thompson, said the methods of data retrieval from each ECOWAS member state were also discussed in the workshop. “Member states, experts and other regional institutions have

Skye Bank deploys improved PoS terminals


OR seamless operations in the new ‘Cash-less economy,’ Skye Bank Plc has concluded plans to roll out improved Point of Sale (POS) terminals into the market. The product, the bank said, will ensure 24 hour uninterrupted operation. This is in addition to its efficient fund transfer services as well as mobile and internet banking facilities.

The bank’s Group Head, EChannels, Chuks Iku, who disclosed this, said the dual sim PoS terminals would be deployed to merchants, hospitals, hotels, and retail outlets to facilitate payment for goods purchased and services rendered. Iku, said all the bank’s merchants and retail outlets have been profiled for Point of Sale

(PoS) Terminal deployment based on market segments, value and frequency of transactions, to boost the Cash-less project. Explaining the competitive edge that the dual SIM PoS will have over the other terminals, he said if one SIM is down, the other would power the terminal and ensure continuous operation on a daily basis.


Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 150m 150m 138m 138m



Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

7.9-10% 10-11%

PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011




1.00 3.31 2.69 0.88 1.15 0.53 21.02 0.92 6.83 2.62


1.05 3.47 2.82 0.92 1.20 0.55 21.72 0.95 6.90 2.63


NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N) Bureau de Change (S/N) Parallel Market

Current Before

O/PRICE 24.44 1.41 4.10 3.10 146.00 1.51 5.00 0.73 0.52 0.55

C/PRICE 23.22 1.34 3.90 2.95 139.02 1.44 4.78 0.70 0.50 0.53

CHANGE 1.22 0.07 0.20 0.15 6.98 0.07 0.22 0.03 0.02 0.02

29-2-12 27-2-12




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














July ’11

Dec ’11





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 12.6%

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days


27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37


Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250

Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%

28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16

% Change -1.44% -1.44%


LOSERS AS AT 12-4-12


Exchange Rate (N) 155.8 155.8



0.05 0.16 0.13 0.04 0.05 0.02 0.70 0.03 0.07 0.01


Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency


called on the commission to accelerate the process for the operationalisation of the ECOWAS Macroeconomic Convergence,’’ the statement said. It said the commission reiterated its commitment to the operation of the database to facilitate macroeconomic activities of the member states. The ECOMAC database is expected to be launched in July. The database will focus on generalities and country-specific guides which were developed to address challenges in each of the member states. The general and country-specific guides will be prepared in the three ECOWAS official languages comprising English, French and Portuguese.



Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20

Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and mobile telephony, and commitment by the banking community to improve the supporting infrastructure for seamless electronic payments were encouraging factors in the economy. Other e-services being finetuned in the country is the e-dividend. It was sponsored by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and allows dividends to be paid simultaneously to shareholders through the Nigerian Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) bulk services. With that, shareholders do not need any dividend warrant. It was introduced because many shareholders especially the small ones are not collecting their dividends.

Offer Price

Bid Price


9.08 1.00 122.48 98.79 0.72 1.08 0.88 1,686.98 7.74 1.33 1.80 7,071.36 191.08 1.62


OPEN BUY BACK Previous 04 July, 2011

Current 07, Aug, 2011













•Prof. Pak Sunlow of University of Australia at the Summit...yesterday

•Mr Bello...yesterday

•Dr. Monica Munan...yesterday


Knowledge solution to climate change challenge, says Fashola


AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) has said knowledge and information are necessary to win the challenge that climate change poses to mankind. The governor spoke in Lagos at the opening of the Fourth Climate Change Summit with the theme: Vulnerability and Adaptability in Nigeria: Lagos State Agriculture, Industry and Health Sectors in Focus. The governor said Lagos State

Ekiti CNPP urges PDP to resolve differences From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

THE Ekiti State chapter of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) yesterday cautioned the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against allowing its intra-party squabbles to breach the peace in the state. In a statement by its Director of Information and Strategy, Prince Ayo Adelabu, CNPP urged PDP members not to allow the crisis to degenerate into violence. It said: “The people would not want the PDP to re-enact the orgies of mayhem and death, which once typified life in the state a little while ago. “Neither would the citizenry take kindly to situations in which security would be punctuated, because of intra-party misunderstanding in the PDP.”

Businessman arrested over drug By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

OFFICERS of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have foiled an attempt by a 52year-old businessman, Philip Anazodo, to export powdery substances that tested positive to Ephedrine to Mozambique. The drug weighed 25.4kilogrammes. The suspect was arrested at the Nigeria Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) area of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos. Anazodo, an auto parts dealer at the Trade Fair Complex, Lagos, allegedly packed the drug in sandals for export. It was detected during a routine search on passengers.

has successfully hosted the summit for the fourth consecutive year to discuss the effects of global warming and climate change as well as proffer solutions to them. He said the state’s approach to the challenge of climate change has been deliberate, strategic and focused, with a plan that has moved from one stage to the next. Fashola said: “The underlying solution to climate change is knowledge, preparation and adaptation. Therefore, knowledge, information

and our relentless resolve to dominate the earth will be the weapons we need to fight and win this war. “When the ordinary man in the street is beginning to acknowledge that there is a problem, then it makes it easier for us to join hands together to fight it.” The Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, noted that the annual summit is the state government’s effort to create awareness on the menace of climate change and sensitise the

world about the looming dangers of its effects. The commissioner said the expected outcome of the summits is to attract the support of national governments towards environmental sustainability. He added that Lagos State, being a trail blazer among other states in the fight against climate change, is committed to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through Green Economy Technologies, capturing of methane

generated from solid wastes for electricity and alternative energy as well as other forms of wasteto-wealth programmes. Bello said: “Part of this commitment is the technical review of the vehicular emission regulation, proposed for Year 2013 and the review of the final draft of the Lagos State Environmental Law, whose passage into law will have tremendous impact in achieving a sustainable environment in Lagos State.”

Pension task team uncovers N32b scam, says Maina


NOTHER N32 billion looted pension fund has been recovered by the Pension Reform Task Team, its Chairman Abdurasheed Maina said in Abuja yesterday. Maina said the total recovered fund so far is about N184 billion, including the N152 billion already recovered. He addressed reporters on how much the team has recovered and the alleged bribe offer by his team. Maina said: “Nobody asked me about the bribe allegation the Senate Committee on Pension Fund Scam levelled against the

•Senate, team at war over bribery allegation From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

task team. “President Goodluck Jonathan has delivered on his pension promise. You will agree with me that it is as a result of the work carried out by the Pension Task Term that we were able to save the government over N152 billion. The money has increased. We have recovered an additional N32 billion, now totalling N184 billion. Investigation is still ongoing to recover more funds. “President Jonathan, since

inception of his term, has given the order that all pensioners must be paid their dues, even if it is over the years. In doing that, you must step on so many toes. We must do that to cleanse the system. We have had the pension problem for over 44 years and nobody has been able to solve it until the era of this government. “We have had information going around that the Pension Reform Task Team has been disbanded. It is not true. We are still functioning. We are working for

Abdulsalami: bombings destroying The former Head of State ORMER Head State, Nigeria hailed the police and other G e n e r a l


Abdulsalami Abubakar, yesterday warned that the incessant bombings in the North and the insecurity in the country are destroying Nigeria. Abubakar spoke in his home in Minna, the Niger State capital, when he hosted the new Police Commissioner, Mrs Desire Nsirim. The former military leader noted that the development has begun to take its toll on some states, including Niger State. According to him, Niger State, which used to be peace-

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

ful, has been under siege since last March, when Suleja and its environs were bombed. He said the deplorable security situation in the country has overstretched the police, adding that the situation requires the attention of the government and the people. Abubakar said governments at all levels need to equip the police and other security agencies with logistics to tackle the current insecurity.

security agencies for their efforts at keeping the nation secured. He sympathised with the force over the killing its personnel when violence broke out across the country, saying this has placed more challenges on the police. Abubakar assured Mrs Nsirim of his cooperation to enable succeed in her assignment. He said: “I want to assure the commissioner of my support so that you can achieve your goals in Niger State.”

‘70,000 children born with HIV’


HE Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Prof. John Idoko, yesterday said over 70,000 children born in Nigeria were HIV-positive. Idoko spoke in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, when he visited Governor Ibikunle Amosun in his office. He noted that tuberculo-

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

sis and malaria are prevalent among expectant mothers in the country. The NACA chief urged all levels of government to assist the agency in strengthening the fight against HIV/AIDS and other deadly diseases. He said: “About 70,000

children born in Nigeria are HIV-positive while tuberculosis and malaria are also prevalent among expectant mothers in Nigeria.” The NACA chief hailed the State Action Committee on Aids (SACA) for fighting the HIV/AIDS scourge. He assured that NACA would collaborate with SACA to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of the infection.

President Jonathan and he is giving us the go-ahead to do the right thing. If there is anybody that has a contrary view, the person can come out and say it. “This is the appointment of the Executive. The pensioners are worried over the alleged development and I have told them that even if I am not here, we have built an institution to ensure that their pension funds are paid as at when due. Mr. President is very passionate about the pensioners and the pension reform. “In the past, you saw how

pensioners died in this country. We have been able to intercept some individuals who used the name of the task team to defraud pensioners.”

PUBLIC NOTICE CHRIST THE LIFE-GIVER MINISTRY This is to inform general public that the above-named organization has applied to the corporate affairs commission for registration under part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act. BOARD OF TRUSTEES 1. Pastor (Prof.) Dominic A. Badaiki 2. Evangelist (Mrs.) Christiana E. Badaiki 3. Sister Blessing E. Badaiki AIMS AND OBJECTIVES (a) To disseminate the gospel of Jesus Christ for the salvation of man. (b) To render social, guidance and counseling services for moral and educational advancement. (c) To engage in charitable activities. Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. Signed: Prof. A. D. Badaiki’s Chambers



NEWS One of two missing Nigerian girls found


NE of the two Nigerian girls who went missing after coming to Ferring has been found by Sussex Police. Police confirmed yesterday that the missing 15-yearold Nigerian girls travelled to Spain on April 7, and one of them was detained at passport control and was returned to the UK and taken into the care of social services. However, the other girl remained unaccounted for and her whereabouts is unknown. Detective Chief Inspector Adam Hibbert, Crime Manager for West Sussex CID, said: “It’s our belief that these two girls have been trafficked into the UK for onward transportation to

somewhere in Europe. “Whilst one has been recovered we still have another vulnerable 15-year-old missing. “Our investigation is focusing on identifying where the other girl is and the circumstances of how they were trafficked, and as a result we are working closely with the UKBA, the UK Human Trafficking Centre, local authorities and the Human Trafficking Unit of the Met. “If you have any information that could help police with this investigation please call 101 quoting Op Newbridge. Due to the ongoing risk, police said they could not confirm which of the girls was recovered or where they are being relocated to.

UACN defends sale of facilities


NITED African Company of Nigeria (UACN) Plc has defended the planned sale of some of its items through newspaper advertisement. In a statement, the food conglomerate said there is nothing unusual in the sale of excess items. “If anything, it is rather a pointer to growth in business as obtainable in advance economies,” the firm said. According to the statement, the adoption of a full franchise model for the operation of its Quick Service Restaurant, informed the development. The statement reads: “UAC restaurants will now be run by managers, who are the new partners in the

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie

drive to grow and consolidate the gains made by the brand so far.” The statement explained the items advertised are surplus to their needs and in some cases new ones have been acquired to replace the old stocks. On how long the process will last, it said the adoption of the Franchise model was a management decision taken last year but which took off in January. “It has become pertinent to situate things in the proper context, what was surplus to requirement after the transactions were the equipment; hence, the sale of such surplus items. No property (land/building) is involved”.

This is our mission, by Boko Haram


H YOU people, oh you people. I want you all to listen to me carefully; listen to this servant of God who has no other duty to pursue on earth except the propagation and the fighting on the cause of Allah. We want to respond to the laughable pronouncement of President Jonathan that we will be defeated within the next three months. We have listened to his proclamation and understand that nobody talks like this except one that has stayed off the path of his divine creator. But he should know that we have given the assurance and have committed faith in God that nothing can be done to subdue us. With all glory to God, our divine desire is that all of us should be killed as martyrs on the path of God, so as to enable us be blessed with the rewards of Allah as promised in His holy book, Al Qur’an. This is the only mission before us, and we have prayed that Allah should purify our minds with faith and strengthen our minds on His cause. We have sworn and we are telling you Jonathan that there is nothing that you can

do to stop us. Those that have preceded you in that office have not been able to do anything to us even though they have bragged as you are doing now - since the eras of King Pharaoh and those that came before Pharaoh up till the present time; if you see a person not walking on the path of God, you will always hear such making empty threats. But for us we have nothing but the worship and the trusting in God almighty; Allah is enough as our protector. We also want people to understand that we have no intention in killing any one or maiming people indiscriminately; there may be some persons or group of persons that are going after people terrorising them or extorting them under our revered umbrella or name, but we want to tell the world that we are not with those people and we don’t know them. People may not really understand or differentiate us with those people, but there will certainly be a day when God will make things clear for the whole world to understand where we stand. To those that we kill, it has been established that they have constituted themselves as af-

front to the cause of God. This is a message we have for the world and especially those that have been making empty threats about us. We will not bother ourselves engaging in too many talks, neither are we going to worry about the talks of the people, except on issue that will be of benefit to the people. We pray Allah to continue to support us on this mission and make us to continue in this mission with no purpose other than His worship. We have prayed that God should give us the privilege of being amongst those killed in the path of the struggle for the establishment of His dominion. You people of Government and security agencies are busy boasting and priding yourselves with the killings and attacks on us …(quoting some qur’anic verses) How we wish that Muslim faithful will sit down and ponder over the Quranic verses, he will understand any time that an unbeliever catches one or kills one, he will definitely laugh at the follies of such unbeliever. God has said that it won’t take a longer period for such persecution to last; so don’t be discouraged, and don’t be disheartened with what you

are facing in this movement, because you the believers and the exalted ones. I want the world to know that even if I was trampled upon, with my head pressed to the ground and people are beating are mobbing me, I still remain the exalted in the sight of Allah; If I am but a sincere believer. Even if we were maimed or injured on this mission, Allah has said it that many who fought similar religious holy wars may have suffered worst persecution. In this movement God has said that if will 1000 people today, and by tomorrow they come to kill a hundred from amongst us, Allah has said that He is the one allowing it to test our faith in Him, so that those that have professed faith in God will be able to know who from amongst them are truly the sincere believers. It is from all these arrests and killings of our people that we have witnessed in the recent times, we will be able to know those who are of weak faith and those that are the true believers in Allah. Being the text of the YouTube address of Boko Haram leader Abu Shekau… yesterday

Achebe, Babalakin, Yakubu for honour


HE Third Convocation ceremony of the Ebonyi State University will hold tomorrow. Honorary degrees would be conferred on renowned writer Professor Chinua Achebe; former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Dr. Bolanle Babalakin (rtd); and the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary

From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki

Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), Professor Mahmood Yakubu. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Francis Idike, said 10,169 Diploma, Bachelor, Masters and PH.D students of the 2009 to 2011 sets will graduate.

•Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku (second right) and other dignitaries cheering a drama presentation by NYSC Dance and Drama Community Development Service (CDS) group, during the Creativity Week in Abuja…yesterday

EFCC takes Akingbola, Elumelu to Appeal Court From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja



HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has appealed against a Lagos Federal High Court judgment that freed former Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank (now Access Bank), Dr. Erastus Akingbola, of corruption charge. The anti-graft agency has also filed an appeal at the Abuja Court of Appeal, against the judgement of an Abuja Federal High Court that the struck out charges of corruption against former House of Representatives Committee Chairman on Power, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu. Elumelu was accused of

complicity in the alleged N5.2 billion Rural Electrification Agency (REA) fraud. He alongside his Senate counterpart, Nicholas Ugbane and 29 were facing a 158-count charge. The appeal against Akingbola as filed by the EFCC counsel, Godwin Obla held that the trial judge, Justice Charles Archibong erred in law when on April 2, he”proceeded to dismiss the 26-count charge filed against the respondent suo motu without affording the appellant the opportunity of being heard;”. He Argued that the decision of the court “did not emanate from any of the applications pending before it”. The EFCC wants the appellate court to make an order setting aside the said decision of Justice Archibong in its entirety; and an order remitting the case to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for re-

assignment to any other judge for retrial on its merits. “In coming to the conclusion to dismiss the charges, the learned trial judge did not invite any of the parties to address him and failed to afford the appellant any opportunity to be heard on the matters taken into account by the learned trial judge to arrive at the his conclusion to dismiss the charges. The order granted by the trial judge was not sought by any of the parties before him. The decision constituted a violation of the appellant’s right to fair hearing and is null and void,” the particulars of error stated. The EFCC which further accused Justice Archibong of bias and recklessness in arriving at the decision to free Akingbola from the criminal charges; argued that the decision of the federal high court judge was perverse in the circumstance. In the notice of appeal against Elumelu, the anti-

grant agency stated that the trial judge erred in law when in his consideration of a motion on notice filed by Elumelu dated July 25, 2011, the judge held that he was unable to find a prima facie case or complaint disclosed in the proof of evidence against him. The EFCC argued that the proof of evidence does not have to disclose absolute proof or evidence required at the trial stage; saying that it was sufficient if the proof discloses prima facie case connecting the accused person to the offence. “The learned trial judge adopted a wrong parameter in reaching his finding; hence the error,” the EFCC stated. It is praying for “An order allowing the appeal, setting aside the decision of the court below appealed from, re-instating the eighth respondent as a party to the charge and remitting the case to the court below for trial or to be heard before another judge,”.




Five killed in attack on market


USPECTED Boko Haram members yesterday attacked the Monday Market in Maiduguri, killing five persons. But the Joint Task Force (JTF) claimed that one person was killed by the gunmen.

From Joseph Abiodun, Maiduguri

According to sources, the gunmen killed five traders and many others were injured. The attack caused confusion as everyone within and around the market

scampered for safety. The gunmen later escaped. Confirming the incident to reporters, the JTF spokesman said: “It is true that one person was shot dead by unknown gunmen at the Monday Market yesterday. The area where the incident

occurred has been cordoned off.” He said to avoid stampede, troops assisted people to get out of the market, adding that effort was on to arrest the assailants. He said one person was killed and that there was no injury.

Northeast Speakers meet on insecurity


PEAKERS in the Northeast geopolitical zone yesterday met in Bauchi on insecurity and other socio-economic problems facing the zone. Speaker Bauchi State House of Assembly Yahaya Mohammed Miya told reporters that “the purpose of the meeting is for the speakers to make laws that will bring development and progress to our area.”

From Austine Tsenzughul Bauchi

He said: “We are making efforts to make good laws that will ensure our people’s safety in the zone and bring development to our area.” Miya, who did not give details of what was discussed, identified insecurity as a major problem in the zone, saying other problems are poverty and unem-

ployment. He said Bauchi and Jigawa Houses of Assembly would partner to legislate on Almajiri. The lawmaker, who declined to give details on the dissolution of the standing committees in the House, said it was to enable the House reorganise itself and discharge its legislative functions efficiently. The Nation learnt that the

move followed series of complaints that some members of certain committees were not qualified to chair some sensitive committees because they lacked academic qualification and experience. Commenting on the development, the Speaker said “henceforth, members of any committee must have relevant qualities that will enhance their functions.”

Mark, Fashola, Oshiomhole condole with Abubakar •Sympathisers throng Gusau as IG buries mum


RESIDENT of the Senate Senator David Mark yesterday commiserated with the Acting Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Abubakar on the death of his mother, Hajia Aisha Saidu, on Wednesday in a Cairo, Egypt hospital after a brief illness. He prayed God to give the family the fortitude to bear the loss. Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State also yesterday in a letter of condolence noted that death is never welcome at any age. He thanked the Almighty Allah for granting her long life and privilege to witness one of her sons serve in the highest office of the Nigeria Police. Fashola counselled the Abubakar family, particularly the widower and patriarch, Alhaji Suleiman Gusau, to draw solace from the Holy Quran which says that it is the Almighty Allah that gives and takes life, even as he prayed that the Almighty Allah should grant her soul Al Jannah Firdaus. Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State commiserated with Abubakar over the death of his mother. The governor, in a condolence letter to the IG, said: “On behalf of the people and Government of Edo State, I wish to extend condolence to you on the passing on of your beloved mother. Although she was advanced in age, we appreciate how much pain her death would still have caused you, knowing how tenderly close you were to her. Our prayer to Allah

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

is to comfort you and give you the courage to bear the loss.” Hundreds of sympathisers yesterday thronged Gusau, Zamfara State, to commiserate with Abubakar over the death of his mother. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the late Saidu died at the age of 80 after a protracted illness. Alhaji Mustapha Isyaku, one of the nine children of Hajiya Saidu, told NAN at the Kanwuri, Gusau family home that the deceased died of cancer. NAN further reports that the late Hajiya Saidu was buried at the Gangaren Kwata Cemetery about 10.15 a.m. after a short prayer by the Chief Imam of Gusau Central Mosque, Alhaji Liman Dan-Alhaji Sambo. In his sermon, Sambo prayed for the repose of her soul and for God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss. Among the sympathisers who witnessed the burial were Governor Abdulazizi Yari of Zamfara, his deputy, Ibrahim Wakkala, and the Speaker of the Zamfara House of Assembly, Sanusi Rikiji. Also at the burial were Assistant Inspectors-General of Police Mamman Tsafe, Hashimu Argungu and Muntari Ibrahim as well as the Commissioners of Police in charge of Zamfara, Sokoto and Kebbi states.

Court strikes out appeal


•From left: Acting Governor of Kaduna State, Mukhtar Yero; Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris; Chief of Kagoro, Mr. Ufoi Bonet, and Emir of Ja’ama, Alhaji Isah Muhammed, at a Peace and Security enhancement workshop for traditional rulers in Kaduna...yesterday PHOTO: NAN

Fed Govt sets up team to resolve crisis in UNIABUJA


HE Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’i, has constituted a ministerial task team to facilitate speedy resolution of the accreditation crisis rocking four faculties of the University of Abuja. According to the minister, the committee members are expected to liaise with relevant professional bodies towards the accreditation of the affected programmes. The suspension placed on the faculties of Medical

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

Science, Engineering, Agricultural Science and Veterinary Medicine last week still remains in force. The minister gave the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Sunday Adelabu, six months to put the infrastructure of the affected faculties in place. Yesterday’s meeting was sober compared to the tension last week when the students took their protest to the minister. The students, however, insisted

that they would go ahead with their programmes at the university. Some of the students agreed to the decision of the minister to be transferred to other universities if the facilities in their institution are not put in place in six months. Presenting the position of the University of Abuja Medical Association (UAMSA) to the minister, their President, Uchenna Anyanwu, said while the students still believed that with strong political support to

Two injured as building collapses in Ilorin


WO labourers were yesterday injured in a collapsed building on Coca-cola Road, Ilorin. The building is still under construction. The building, which was designed to be a two storey office complex, was said to have collapsed about 12 pm when the labourers were working.

From Samson Ademola, Ilorin

One of the labourers said electric pipes had been passed into the building before it collapsed. The operator of the mixer, identified as Dayo, was said to have gone to sleep on a bench at the ground floor when the building collapsed, while another

identified as Fatai was on the decking of the building when it caved in. “When the incident occurred, we searched for our colleagues. Thirty-seven workers were on site,” said one of the labourers. The Nation learnt that the injured labourers have been treated in a hospital on Coca-cola Road.

the VC, the six months deadline could be met, he noted that “as a mother and mentor, you have our interest at heart. We humbly implore you to initiate consultations with the necessary professional bodies involved in the transfer process, since it has been acknowledged that the transfer process may take some time. “If in six months, the university is unable to get accreditation, the entire medical students wish to be transferred to other accredited medical schools, as consultations and negotiations would have been concluded by then. But we believe that with the help and support of the minister, the university will be able to get the medical programme accredited within the stipulated six months.” Attempts by the students to get the minister to rescind the suspension order failed, as she stood her ground on account of the instability within the system.

HE Court of Appeal, Makurdi Division, sitting in Makurdi yesterday struck out the interlocutory appeal brought by the Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN) candidate, Professor Torkuma Ugba, in the petition against the election of Governor Gabriel Suswam. Justice George Mbah upheld the preliminary objection of counsel to Governor Gabriel Suswam, Damian Dodo(SAN), who, in his argument, said the petition has no ground, following the dismissal of the petition at the tribunal. Counsel to ACN Orkuma had filed an Interlocutory Appeal against the decision of Justice Halima Mohammed-led Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which denied the prayer judgment on grounds of the petition.

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

Ugba sought judgment through motion on the grounds, in view of the fact that Governor Suswam did not present his certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during the screening, and it was confirmed by both INEC and the PDP secretary, Bem Dzhoo, who told the tribunal in his evidence that: “Governor Suswam did not present his certificate because INEC did not demand for it.” Counsel to Ugba Orkuma described the judgment as welcome and said it has prepared ground for them to go to the Supreme Court, while Suswam’s counsel Chief Edward Ashiekaa said the outcome of the Supreme Court has been predicted by the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Makurdi.

Flood: Kwara urges riverine communities to vacate homes


WARA State Government has urged residents of River Niger communities in the state to vacate their homes. The affected people live on the bank of the river. The affected areas are in Patigi, Edu and Moro local governments. The Ministry of Environment, which issued the warning in Ilorin yesterday, alerted the affected residents to an impending flooding of River Niger. This warning came just as

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

the Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development, Bode Olayemi, warned the residents of Ilorin living at the bank of Asa Dam to vacate their homes. He told the residents that work would soon commence on the channellisation of Asa River following the Federal Government’s approval for the commencement of the project.





ONARCHS from Edo North have reaffirmed their endorsement of Governor Adams Oshiomhole ahead of the July 14 governorship election. The Otaru of Igarra, Oba Adeche Saiki 11, gave the assurance at Igarra in Akoko Edo Local Government Area, when the governor visited his palace yesterday. “We have resolved that come July 14 we are going to do our best to give you not less than 90 per cent of the votes. “ I and my people have resolved to do just that. By the grace of God we are going to do it just that way. “The traditional rulers of Edo North, if I may let you know, have jointly resolved to say we are going to support the governor in July,” he said. The monarch said this is the first time a governor has emerged from Edo North. “He has done a lot more than his predecessors. “We have jointly resolved that we are going to support you, we are going to fight for your victory, not only to win but we are fighting that you win with more than 90 per cent. “I am conscious of the fact that God has ordained your coming back. “Coming back not to repeat but to continue what you have

•Oshiomhole addressing a rally in Akoko-Edo ...yesterday

Monarchs reaffirm support for Oshiomhole started. God will give you the strength and wisdom to succeed.” Oshiomhole thanked the traditional rulers for their support, adding that to whom much is given much is expected.

According to the governor “Edo has been mismanaged and under-governed. “Its resources were abused by the previous parties that governed the state for 10 years and it would take quite sometime to make up for the

ground lost.” A former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Edward Osado, former councillors and a former Youth Leader of the party, Peter Ekun, were among those who led over

Kidnapped JTF member released in Delta


NIDENTIFIED gunmen on Wednesday kidnapped a member of the Sector “A” Command of the Joint Task Force (JTF). The victim, identified as Ibrahim, is a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) attached to the JTF. It was gathered that the victim was kidnapped near Blue Water Hotels, a popular night club along the N.P.A Road in Ekpan, Uwvie Local Government. The incident, it was gathered, oc-

From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

curred at about 9.45pm adjacent the 3rd Amphibious Battalion, which hosts the JTF Command, a short distance from the scene of the crime. However, a source has revealed that the victim has been released. The victim was released at about 1 pm yesterday. It is unclear if the ransom was paid for the release of the victim. The head of the anti-kidnapping squad in the State Command, Dickson

Adeyemi, was arrested for alleged complicity in a series of abductions. But JTF spokesman Col Timothy Antigha, who would neither deny nor confirm the incident, said he had completed his tenure as JTF spokesman and was not in any position to comment on JTF affairs. His words: “Unfortunately, I have completed my stint as JTF spokesman, I intend to do a press release to that effect. I will send you the telephone number of my successor”.

‘Imoke is a youth-friendly governor ‘



HE Chief Press Secretary to Cross River State Governor Liyel Imoke, Christian Ita, has denied a newspaper report which quoted the governor as saying that the younger generation lacks discipline. Ita, in a statement, said the

quotes attributed to the governor were a distortion of what he said at a meeting of the Bridge Leadership Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO). Ita said the governor did

not make any statement that tends to give the impression that every youth is a deviant. He said such a statement will be inconsistent with Imoke’s own political trajectory.

He said even a cursory look at the Cross River State Executive Council will show that a good number of the members are young people, who are in their 30s and early 40s.

Southsouth leaders to meet Sunday


OUTH-SOUTH leaders under the aegis of BRACED, the acronym for Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta states are to meet on Sunday in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital . A statement by the BRACED chairman and Governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke, says the meeting will now hold at 6pm.

Those expected to attend the meeting include the Chief of Staff to President Goodluck Jonathan, Mike Oghiadomhe, the six Southsouth states governors, senators from the region, ministers of Southsouth origin, House of Representatives members from the region and speakers of the six houses of assembly.

FOREIGN NEWS Florida killer appears in court


EORGE Zimmerman, the Florida neighbourhood watchman accused over the death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, has appeared in court. The neighbourhood watchman told police he opened fire after the teenager attacked him, breaking his nose and banging his head against the pavement. During the brief hearing, a date of 29 May was set for a formal reading of the charges and a bail hearing. Zimmerman, 28, who turned himself in on Wednesday to face a charge of second-degree murder, stood up

straight and wore a grey prison jumpsuit. The February 26 killing of the 17-year-old has divided the US. Zimmerman has spent his first night in jail 45 days after shooting the teenager in a quiet gated community in the Orlando suburb of Sanford. Zimmerman’s lawyer, Mark O’Mara, did not seek bail for his client during the brief hearing, as expected. He told reporters outside the court afterwards he had decided not to ask for a bond because “it might only arouse the fervour” around the case.

The attorney said earlier that his client would plead not guilty. But those who were pressing for Mr Zimmerman’s arrest suggested the teenager was shot because of his race. Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey announced on Wednesday that charges would be pressed, telling reporters: “We did not come to this decision lightly. Let me emphasise that we do not prosecute by public pressure or petition.” The move followed a nationwide campaign of demonstrations demanding Mr Zimmerman’s arrest, led by the dead teenager’s parents

4,000 others to join the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in two rallies in Okpella and Akoko Edo yesterday. The former PDP chairman said: “Oshiomhole is an encyclopaedia of good governance for the people of Edo

State. I know him as a man that does not go back on his words. I have watched keenly and carefully while in PDP and I saw the good works, so I decided to join the ACN to be part of the development.”

Students injured in UNIBEN hostel fire


From Osagie Otabor, Benin

ANY students were yesterday injured in a fire which gutted a female hostel at the main campus of University of Benin (UNIBEN). The incident was said to have started at 1am on the last floor of the three-storey building housing about 700 students. It could not be ascertained what caused the fire but sources said many students were injured when they jumped to avoid being caught in the fire. The institution’s spokesman, Harris Osarenren, said the fire started from a room inside the hostel. He said the cause of the fire could be attributed to an electrical fault, adding that few students were injured. Osarenren said the injured students have been taken to hospital.

Suspects arrested in Bayelsa From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa


HE Bayelsa State Police Command has said its new approach to crime fighting has paid off with the arrest of some suspects. The Commissioner of Police, Chris Olakpe, said the Command foiled attempts to burgle a 500-bed hospital to steal some computerised equipment. He said some indigenes of Kebbi, Cross River, Anambra and Enugu states were arrested. The commissioner confirmed the arrests of kidnap suspects, suspected cultists, robbery suspects, including a 300-level student of the Niger Delta University (NDU), Precious Jombo, for his alleged involvement in gang rape of a female undergraduate. A robbery suspect, Ndudi Ezikiel from Abraka in Delta State, allegedly involved in the snatching of N500,000 from a bank customer in Yenagoa was also arrested.

Syria ceasefire holds


IOLENCE has fallen in Syria as a fragile ceasefire takes hold, although both sides are reporting violations. Syrian state TV said a roadside bomb in the city of Aleppo had killed one person and wounded 24. The opposition said three people had been killed in Idlib and Hama and there was “no evidence” of a significant withdrawal by Syrian troops.

Jonathan condoles with Algeria From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja



and prominent civil rights activists.

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has condoled the people of Algeria over the death of the country’s first President, Ahmed Ben Bella. In a statement by his spokesman, Rueben Abati, Jonathan said Ahmed Ben Bella’s immense courage, gallantry and valour have assured him an eternal place in the pantheon of heroes of African liberation The statement said: “On behalf of myself, the government and the people, I extend sincerest condolences to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and the brotherly people of Algeria on the death of the first president.”




facts about

Masters champion Bubba Watson


UBBA Watson held his nerve to win his first Major title in extraordinary fashion at the US Masters in Augusta. But while the extraordinary — and ultimately match-winning — shot he hooked out of the trees on hole 10, the second play-off hole will go down in golfing folklore, Watson has already added plenty of colour to the sport. Here are 10 extraordinary facts about Watson, who is now ranked number four in the world behind the British trio of Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood. 1 — He was born in Bagdad Not the one in Iraq, but the slightly less well-known Bagdad, Florida. In the 2000 census, there were fewer than 1500 residents. 2 — He's never had a golf lesson In an era where golfers are coached, coached and then coached again, Watson is entirely self-taught. As a boy his father showed him how to hold a club, and thereafter it was all Bubba, who has also reportedly never watched a replay of his swing. 3 - He owns one of TV's iconic cars The American spent $110,000 on his 'dream car', but eschewed the big brands to buy the General Lee from television show The Dukes of Hazzard. Now, there were plenty of General Lees, but the one there was special; called "Lee 1," it's the one that jumped the police car in "The Dukes of Hazzard" TV series' opening credits. Destroyed in the jump, it was restored in a 16-month process. 4 — He didn't care for France In 2011 Watson warmed up for the Open by playing the French Open. The plan was to broaden his horizons and see a little of the world, but after a miserable time at the tournament, where he was frustrated by fans flouting rules about cameras, he revealed he wasn't especially impressed by Paris' sights. "I miss my home. I don't know the names of all the things, the big tower, Eiffel Tower, an arch (Arc de Triomphe), whatever I rode around in a circle. And then what's that - it starts with an 'L' - Louvre, something like that. One of those." 5 — He did his best to build bridges with the French "I would never want France to think I was bad-mouthing the place," Watson said apologetically. "I didn't know how to pronounce the names the right way. They say it was disrespectful. I'm sorry for that. I didn't mean to be disrespectful. But I play golf. I'm not a history major. I didn't understand that I was the big star of the week because I don't go over there [Europe] that much. There is a lot of learning I have to do and a lot of growing up I have to do. I have to choose my words carefully. I am sorry for the words I spoke." 6 — His 6'4" wife played basketball Angie Watson and Bubba have been together since their time at the University of Georgia, and have now been married for seven years. She played professional basketball in Europe and in the women's NBA. Not only is she literally head and shoulders above other golfing WAGs, but having retired from basketball she's now her husband's agent. 7 — He's just adopted a son A week before the tournament, the Watsons adopted one-month old Caleb after a four-year process. Watson's commitments at the Georgia tournament meant that he has not yet had to change a nappy. 8 — He's been part of an all-golf boy band US golfers Watson, Ben Crane, Rickie Fowler and Hunter Mahan set up a boy band ahead of the 2011 US Open to record a charity single. 'Oh oh oh' was a feast for the ears, and if you don't believe us, you can listen and decide for yourself. 9 — He talks to Justin Bieber 'almost every day' Bubba is living the fantasy of many teenage girls, hanging out with pop prince Justin Bieber. The singer told Access Hollywood Live that he counted Watson amongst his closest friends. "I talk to him almost every day," Bieber said. "He's a good guy. I'm all right at golfing, I'm not the greatest. Bubba says I'm terrible!" What Bieber thinks of 'The Golf Boys' record is unclear. 10 — And his real name... Bubba has always been known as Bubba — but his real name is Gerry. The golfer claims his father gave him the name because he was "fat and ugly" as a child.




Eagles shine in defeat N

IGERIA’S Super Eagles despite going down 2-3 to Egypt’s Pharaoh’s in Thursday’s international friendly in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, gave a good account of themselves in the exciting fixture. Nigeria opened scoring in the 13th minute when striker Uche Kalu fed Sunday Mba for a close range goal. Egypt drew level in the 25th minute when midfielder Ahmed Temsah’s shot ricocheted off a defender’s foot and looped into the net. The Pharaohs went ahead in the 32nd minute when Mohammed Aboutrika converted a penalty. But Nigeria drew level in the 40th minute when Kalu scored with a back heel from close range. Ahmed Hassan Mekky slotted home the winner from just inside the area in injury time. Interestingly, the encounter which was Stephen Keshi’s first loss as Nigeria coach saw

•Mba, Kalu Uche on target •Keshi suffers first loss By Uchenna Ajah the players, all from Nigeria Premier League side, tired toward the end of the match. However, it was overall a

Ikhana calls-up 53 to Super Falcons’ camp

• Nigeria's Kalu Uche (R) jumps with Egypt's Hussam Ghali to head the ball during their friendly football match in the Gulf emirate of Dubai yesterday.


EAD COACH of the Senior Women’s National Team, known as Super Falcons, Kadiri Ikhana has called to camp 53 players for a first phase programme that will begin in Abuja on Sunday, April 15. The list of 12 goalkeepers and 13 defenders also included 11 midfielders and 17 strikers. The players are expected to report to the Serab Legacy Hotel, Wuye in the Federal Capital on Sunday. Veteran goalkeepers Precious Dede and Tochukwu Oluehi, defenders Ulunma Jerome, midfielders Akudo Iwuagwu, Martina Ohadugha, Glory Iroka and strikers Stella Mbachu and Shola Oyewusi are joined by young blood like goalkeepers Dikachi Uzor and Chioma Nwankwo, defenders Esther Udegbe and Regina McFancy, midfielders Tessy Biahwo and Blessing Ukeme and strikers Rosemary Okezie and Funmilayo Kuzebe. The Super Falcons, holders of the African Women Championship title, will play off against Zimbabwe in a two-leg fixture to guarantee a place at this year’s finals, billed for Equatorial Guinea in November. Zimbabwe host the first leg of the fixture on May 27 with the return leg in Nigeria on June 16.


Team Nigeria hits London July 18 •Minister approves training grants for athletes


ITH the 2012 Summer Olympics just few months away plans are in top gear to ensure Nigeria’s successful participation at the games. This Chairman of the Ministerial Advisory and Coordinating Committee on Nigeria’s Participation at the London 2012 Olympics, Alhassan Yakmut, who made this known at a press briefing on the preparations towards the games, also revealed, among other things, that Team Nigeria would be in London by July 18. Yakmut stated that so far a total of six (6) out of eight (8) Federations billed to take part in the games have completed the qualification championships. They are: Athletics, Canoeing, Table Tennis, Wrestling, Weightlifting and Taekwondo. According to him, the Basketball qualifiers are billed to take place in June. Boxing too is yet to conclude its qualification series.

150 athletes for Taekwondo championship


BOUT one hundred and fifty athletes are expected to participate at the Eko Taekwondo Open Championship scheduled for Saturday at the Tera Culture Tiamiyu Savage, Victoria Island, Lagos. Chairman, Lagos State Taekwondo Association, Jimi Okunowo told NationSport on Wednesday that the athletes will participate in Poomsae and Kyuorugi category as part of their preparation for the National Sports Festival holding in the

positive experience for the NPL players while the Pharaohs under former U.S. coach Bob Bradley are looking to rebound after missing out on the African Cup of Nations.

state later in the year. Speaking further, the LSTA boss said that the championship will be keenly contested because it will not only serve as trials for the state team to the National Sports Festival but will also provide avenue for more talents to be discovered among the adults and the kiddies. Okunowo revealed that the championship will attract prize monies of two hundred and fifty thousand naira in all the categories in order to motivate the athletes.

As at the time of filing in this report a total of 46 athletes comprising 24 males and 22 females had qualified for the Olympics proper, while in the Paralympics 34 athletes made up of 21 males and 13 females had booked passages to the Summer Olympic games. Yakmut said that Nigeria athletes have so far achieved qualifying standards in the following athletics events (up to a maximum of 3 athletes in each event at the ‘A’ Standard, and 1 at the ‘B’ Standard) He further revealed that the Nigeria contingent is scheduled to move into the Olympics on the 18th of July to enable them have adequate access to the training facilities. In respect to Doping, the Chairman said that Nigeria have put in place adequate measures to ensure “a clean doping bill” at the games. This will include putting in place three sets of anti-doping exercises with the first set concluded for prequalification. On the issue of funding the chairman stated that budgetary consideration will not affect Nigeria’s participation as the management of the National Sports Commission (NSC) had taken proactive measures to ensure a successful outing for Team Nigeria. “The Hon. Minister has approved training grants for independent athletes to boost their morale, ameliorate their conditions and assist them in offsetting training costs,” he added. Nigeria is scheduled to compete at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom from July 27 to August 12, 2012.



FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2012



What really matters

We are equally guilty of such a crime of wrong accusation against the devil when we fail to do our part to make a relationship work through good communication. I think the devil must sometimes demand a right to fair hearing.

like “two planets orbiting the same star, two halves becoming one whole. In the case of my son and new daughter, it is “two cultures blending into one”, east meeting west “in the African orbit, it becomes east-west highway” as he elegantly put it. Surely there is much to cherish in such a relationship and there is a lot to blend and preserve in the concoction of love. The pastor also observed rightly that a partnership that will endure a lifetime is not “grown in a day or a night; it’s a life-long endeavor.” In other words, even when a couple has had countless years of courtship, it requires a serious effort to make it work for a marriage relationship to endure. And if marriage is the foundation of the family, it stands to reason that a successful and happy marriage can be counted on to produce a successful and happy family. My pastor emphasised the importance of understanding marriage as friendship, and friendship as “the fuel of love and flowing fountain-head of a long happy marriage.”




NO. 2094

down in Mali and Nigeria as the arrow head of ECOWAS should see to that urgently .This is because the Boko Haram menace in Nigeria is similar to the Tuareg invasion of Mali. DAYO SOBOWALE



N the rough and tumble of life, in the ebb and flow of the seasons, in the ruggedness of the struggle for survival and the cut-throat competition to get ahead of sometimes phantom opponents, we hardly have time to think about what really matters. We preoccupy ourselves with meaningless pursuits which we consider to be indispensable means to success without realising that those pursuits are the sure bet for failure. Thinking of this matter, I am reminded of students that I have encountered in the business of instructing the youth. They register for full load of courses but skip classes because they must work in order to pay their bills and acquire the good things of life, a sure road to failing the courses. Not having thought deeply about their choices, they have no answer to the question, “if you must skip classes because you have to work to pay your bills, does it occur to you that you will fail the course because you decide to skip classes? Grownups often fall into the same trap. We work hard day and night to get access to the means of a good life and justifiably, to have good provisions for the welfare of our children and wards. But we hardly have time to take care of our children and wards, to oversee their educational pursuits, and to bring them up as good and decent human beings. In the end, the huge accumulation of wealth is meaningless because uncared for children will grow up as uncaring grownups and the vicious circle continues. This is the tragedy of the fast life of the industrial age. The sad case of parental neglect on account of inordinate pursuit of wealth has had disastrous consequences especially for many African immigrant families in the stressful world of the West where the dollar, euro, and pound sterling are little gods. But every now and then, courtesy of some significant event, we are pulled back to the corridor of reflection, where the truth about the reality of existence that has eluded us strikes us starkly. One such moment occurred this past weekend as I listened to the message of my pastor, Rev. Joel Ojelade after he pronounced my son and his sweetheart husband and wife. It was a message that resonated with the audience of young and old as the pastor reflected on the meaning of love and family. The reverend pastor reminded us that those who enter the hallowed relationship of marriage “are not just partners in the bond of matrimony; they are two people in the process of becoming one flesh, dearest friends, lifelong confidants, alter egos, best buddies, fellow students in the school of life, and fellow servants in the work of God.” Ojelade observed that husband and wife are

TOMORROW IN THE NATION ‘The Tuareg aggression should be contained and put

Referring the young couple to a recipe found in God’s own “cookbook” for a happy marriage, Pastor Ojelade quoted from Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, Chapter 12: “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Practice hospitality…Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud…Do not be conceited…Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody…..” Genuine love and sincere friendship is the key to a lasting relationship but they do not guarantee a relationship without friction or misunderstanding. Communication, Commitment and Caring, the pastor suggests, are the antidotes against a relationship that appears to allow friction or prioritise it as a way of life. No relationship endures without adequate communication, the young couple was told. We often give the devil a bragging right



HE last time anyone seriously threatened the Islamist sect, Boko Haram, with a timeline of credible action was when the former Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim, visited Borno State and publicly vowed to crush the sect. Barely one week after that audacious statement, Boko Haram struck by bombing the Nigeria Police Headquarters in Abuja on June 16, 2011. The sect leaders then followed up by pouring scorn on the police and deriding them as ineffective. In the end, the sect was virtually responsible for compelling President Goodluck Jonathan to remove Ringim. It took a much longer time for anyone to issue direct threats against the sect. Indeed, it was not until this year that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Azubuike Ihejirika, said anything that could be concretely interpreted as a resolve to fight the terrorist sect. However, buoyed perhaps by security reports, and after considerable pussyfooting, Jonathan in late March finally issued his own threat against the sect, complete with a timeline. During his visit to South Korea for a world nuclear energy summit in March, Jonathan told South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency that Boko Haram activities were limited to a small part of

Boko Haram’s counterthreat Nigeria. The sect’s activities would be over by the middle of the year, he promised enthusiastically. Many commentators criticised him for putting a timeline on Boko Haram’s defeat. The critics felt that the sect had been allowed to fester so badly that the chances of defeating it by mid-2012 were not only overly optimistic, they were also indeed far-fetched on account of the tactics and strategies adopted by the government in fighting the group. It was, however, expected that the sect would immediately counteract the President’s temerity by issuing fresh threats of its own or pouring scorn on the statement as it had done to similar threats against it in the past. Instead, the sect calmly waited for an opportune time to make a tellingly impactful statement. Finally, in a YouTube video watched by Hardball yesterday, Boko Haram has finally responded to Jonathan’s threat by making a counterthreat of its own. According to the sect, Jonathan would be ‘devoured’ in

which the evil one does not naturally possess when we attribute everything to his power. Some years ago, a pastor scolded a congregation for holding the devil responsible for a failed generating set which they admitted had not been serviced in months. We are equally guilty of such a crime of wrong accusation against the devil when we fail to do our part to make a relationship work through good communication. I think the devil must sometimes demand a right to fair hearing. As my pastor noted, the fire of the original commitment between the couple must always burn and power the relationship so it doesn’t die prematurely. “Don’t just love one another as the world defines love, but work heartily each day to become and to always be one another’s closest friend”, he admonished them. Reverend Ojelade advised the couple not to go to bed angry with one another, to let go, all the time, and avoid unnecessary and unfruitful argument, to listen to one another and to the still small voice of God. Finally, the pastor gave what I considered to be a most important admonition. He urged the couple to be each other’s best friend, to “care for one another deeply”, to “not allow strangers to get into (their) personal business but to “allow the Holy Spirit of God to be (their) guide always.” Many marriages are wrecked and families destroyed because human geckos penetrate unrepaired cracks in the love walls of the homes. It is therefore a great advice to a young couple to avoid anyone, including the closest relations, to get in their business. If love was the original basis of coming together as a couple, love will always see them through any challenges and will help them repair any cracks in the walls of love. As the message of Pastor Joel Ojelade sank into the inner recesses of my mind, I thought about the family that I have been blessed with, and came up with a stronger commitment of love and care to my wife, children, and grandchildren, and by extension to all genuine friends and extended family. When we think of it deeply, this is what really matters. Happy families and happy homes make happy nations. As the sages put the matter, “Bodede o dun bi igbe nilu ri.” Dysfunctional families make dysfunctional nations. In the words of the song writer, may God give us homes that are free from the blight of wrong and homes that are joyous with love and song. Then we can be hopeful that the products of such homes will strive to build a nation where truth and justice reign.

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•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above three months for daring to suggest in South Korea that Boko Haram would be over by June. According to the sect’s spiritual leader, Imam Abubakar Shekau, “You Jonathan cannot stop us like you boasted; instead we will devour you in the three months like you are boasting. If death is your worldly gain, for us, it is eternal victory to die working for Allah. Our joy is to die in Jihad for Allah against infidels like you…” It is not certain how the Federal Government will take this threat or respond to it. Will Jonathan respond with courage and tenacity as Shekau responded with defiance and boldness to the President’s Korean boast? What is certain, however, is that more and more it seems the battle line is being drawn. Recall that apart from its interminable hesitations, the government made at least one well-known but halfhearted attempt to negotiate with the sect. That effort came to grief apparently because there was no consensus in government concerning dialogue. Now that Boko Haram has upped the ante, the country must hope that the president would now walk the talk by putting his money where his mouth is. For the clearest way to know that the sect has succeeded in its aim is when the country has disintegrated.

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The Nation April 13, 2012  

The Nation April 13, 2012

The Nation April 13, 2012  

The Nation April 13, 2012