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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Police vow to rescue Lagos council chair

•Fashola’s wife leads prayers

Ajimobi sacks Ladoja’s men


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•Ex-governor ‘broke alliance’

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VOL. 8, NO. 2462 THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2013



Boko Haram: Akinyemi, Lemu, 24 others on panel Datti Ahmed, Makarfi also on the list Shehu Sani rejects appointment


•Shehu Sani






On the committee are a respected cleric, Sheikh Lemu, the facilitator of the collapsed peace talks with Boko Haram, Comrade Shehu Sani, who rejected the offer last night, the cleric who tried to bring Boko Haram leaders to the peace table, Dr. Datti Ahmed; a former

Secretary of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed and Sheikh Abubakar Tureta. There are, also, a woman activist, Hajiya Naja’atu Mohammed; a former Minister of External (Foreign) Affairs, Prof. Bolaji


NOTHER major step was taken yesterday on the plan to give Boko Haram members amnesty. President Goodluck Jonathan constituted a 26man committee for dialogue with the sect. The panel, comprising eminent apolitical Northern leaders, is to develop a framework with which amnesty will take place. The Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

in the North is headed by Minister of Special Duties Kabiru Tanimu Turaki as chairman. The committee is expected to design the framework under which disarmament could take place within 60 days.

•Kabiru Tanimu Turaki •Air Vice Marshal Shehu •Sheikh Lemu •Mr. R. I. Nkemdirim •Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed •DIG P. I. Leha •Col. Musa Shehu (rtd.) •Prof. Nur Alkali •Sheikh Abubakar Tureta •Malam Salihu Abubakar •Dr. Datti Ahmed •Abubakar Sani Lugga •Senator Ahmed Makarfi •Mr. Ibrahim Tahir •Mohammed Matawalle •Brig.-Gen. Ibrahim Sabo •Amb. Zakari Ibrahim • Amb. Baba Jidda •Comrade Shehu Sani •Capt. Bilal Bulama (rtd.) •Hajiya Mohammed •Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi •Malam Adamu S. Ladan •Representative of OSGF •Dr. Joseph Golwa Akinyemi; Northern States Governors’ Forum’s (NSGF’s) Committee on Reconciliation, Healing and Security, Amb. Zakari Ibrahim; and a former Director-General of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Prof. Nur Alkali.

Others are: Col. Musa Shehu, (rtd.) ;Senator Sodangi Abubakar ;Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Hon. Mohammed Bello Matawalle, Malam Adamu S. Ladan, Dr. Joseph Golwa, AVM A. I. Shehu, Mr. R. I. Nkemdirim, Continued on page 2

World bids ‘Iron Lady’ Thatcher bye


HE world yesterday bade former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher the final bye. Baroness Thatcher, known in her days in office as the ‘Iron Lady’, was laid to rest with a level of pomp and protest, reflecting her status as a commanding and polarised political figure. Queen Elizabeth II, prime ministers and Continued on page 57

Traffic chaos fear as Jonathan visits •ACN, Presidency argue By Joseph Jibueze, Staff Reporter


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday tabled two requests before President Goodluck Jonathan on his proposed trip to Lagos. According to the party, the requests are to ensure traffic sanity in the Centre of Excellence today as the ACN holds its convention. One – that the President takes a chopper from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja to Eko Hotel & Suites on Victoria Island, where he is billed to attend a centenary event. Continued on page 57

•The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh watching as the bearer party, dressed in their regimental and service uniform, bring the coffin into the PHOTO: DAILY MAIL cathedral...yesterday




NEWS Buhari may contest 2015 presidential election


•From left: Tom Pegrume, Vice President, Oracle Hardware Sales - Middle East & Africa; Chris Armes, Vice President, Engineering, Oracle Systems; Austin JayJay Okocha, former soccer star and Alexander Jenewein, Regional Sales Director, Oracle Hardware-West & Central Africa at the launch of Oracle SPARC Servers in Lagos.

Boko Haram: Akinyemi, Lemu, 24 others on panel Activist Shehu Sani rejects appointment

Continued from page 1

DIG P. I. Leha, Malam Salihu Abubakar, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Lugga, Mr. Ibrahim Tahir, Brig.-Gen. Ibrahim Sabo, Amb. Baba Ahmed Jidda, Group Capt. Bilal Bulama (rtd.) and a representative of the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), who will be Secretary to the committee. A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, also said the President has set up a 17-man Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons. The statement said: “Following the consideration yesterday by the National Security Council of the report of the technical committee it set up to review fresh modalities for addressing security challenges in the North, President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the constitution of a Presidential Committee to constructively engage key members of Boko Haram and define a comprehensive and workable framework for resolving the crisis of insecurity in the country. “The Committee’s terms of reference will include: devel-


IGHTS activist and President of Civil Rights Congress Comrade Shehu Sani last night rejected his nomination by President Goodluck Jonathan as a member of the Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North. He said he was not consulted by the Federal Government before the appointment. Sani, who spoke with our correspondent, said: “I have formally declined to be a member of the committee. “The earlier suggestion that I had given that there must be consultation before dialogue still stands.” Sani, who facilitated initial talks with Boko Haram, also gave a hint that the sect would not listen to the committee. He said: “I do not think the insurgents would accept a committee which they were never consulted on.” A former Director-General of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Prof. Nur Alkali, also reacted to his nomination as a member of the committee. He said: “Well, I have not received any foroping a framework for the granting of amnesty; setting up of a framework through which disarmament could take place within a 60-day time frame; the development of a comprehensive victims’ support programme, and the development of mechanisms to address the underlying causes of insurgencies that will

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja and Musa Odoshimokhe

mal communication rather than the announcement in the media and it is not proper to say anything at this stage. “So far, there is no communication with me, it is what the people have read about in the media and what I have also got to know from the media. The Professor, however, said he will no hesitate to heed the call. Alkali said: “Certainly if it is a national duty, I will accept.” Former Foreign Affairs Minister Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, who was named a a member of the panel, declined to comment on his appointment. He told The Nation that the time was not ripe for comment, though he was aware that President Jonathan announced the constitution of the committee. He said: “I have not been briefed and have not seen the list. We have not been inaugurated, therefore, I cannot say anything about it now but I know about it.”

help to prevent future occurrences. “President Jonathan has also approved the constitution of a Federal Government committee on the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in keeping with his pledge that Nigeria will work with the United Nations and other countries to stem the worri-

some proliferation of small arms and light weapons, and their use in creating insecurity and instability in Nigeria and other developing nations.” The 17-man Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons is as follows Amb. Emmanuel Imohe (Chairman); Amb. Martin I. Uhomoibhi;

Continued on page 57

ORMER military Head of State General Mohammadu Buhari (rtd) seems to be interested in Nigeria’s number one job. Gen. Buhari, who was the presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in the 2011 election, told the CPC Contact and Mobilisation Committee meeting for the North west zone in Kaduna that if given the mandate, he was prepared to transform the country for good. The former Head of State, who said that the fact that people’s votes were not allowed to count in previous elections was responsible for the lack of development in the country, promised not to disappoint Nigerians - if given the mandate in 2015. Saying that the 2003, 2007 and 2011 elections lacked fairness, Gen. Buhari urged Nigerians to ensure that their votes count in the forthcoming elections by engaging in grassroots mobilisation to have credible people occupying positions of leadership. The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the CPC, said “in 2015, if given the man-

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

date, I will uphold your trust”. Gen. Buhari, who noted that the nation was on the verge of collapse under the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), stressed the need for urgent action that will put the country back on the right track. He urged members of the party and other progressive minded Nigerians to embrace the merger of opposition parties to wrest power from the PDP and give every Nigerian a sense of belonging. The National Co-ordinator of the committee, Senator Solomon Ewuga, said the Northwest meeting was aimed at sensitising party members to the planned merger of opposition parties. Ewuga said that the CPC governorship candidate in Kaduna State during the 2011 election, Alhaji Haruna Sa’eed, has been appointed as the Northwest Zonal Chairman for the committee. The state chairman of the party, Ahmadu Yaro Coca-Cola, will be the state co-ordinator.

Southsouth leaders condemn MEND over threat on Muslims


OUTHSOUTH leaders yesterday regretted the latest threat by a faction of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) to attack Muslim institutions . They described the threat as condemnable and urged security agencies to properly investigate the sources of the publications and expose the masterminds. Besides, the Southsouth leaders called on security operatives to redouble their efforts in protecting places of worship for both Christians and Muslims to frustrate the plans of unscrupulous elements. In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by Chief Edwin Clark, the leaders traced the threat to mischief makers hiding under the cover of some faceless groups. Clark also noted that it was

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

no longer news that MEND’s self- acclaimed leaders - both in Nigeria and abroad - have repeatedly said the group was no longer in existence. The statement reads: “The report alleged to have been attributed to a group that parades itself as MEND threatening to attack some religious places of worship of our muslim brothers has been received by many of us leaders of the southsouth with much regrets and total condemnation. “In the said report published in several national newspapers, the authors of the threat purported to have concluded plans to invoke mayhem and destruction as a result of the planned attacks. “I will like to state that these threats are obviously, the Continued on page 57

Rivers council chiefs allege plan to declare emergency rule


HERE was a new twist yesterday in the crisis rocking the Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The state wing of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) alleged a plan by the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the state, in a bid to illegally remove Governor Rotimi Amaechi. Amaechi, who doubles as the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), having a running battle with the Presidency over his handling of the governors’ ‘club’. The Rivers ALGON also rejected the Felix Obuah–led Executive Committtee inaugurated at the PDP national headquarters on Tuesday to run the affairs of the party in the state. An Abuja High Court, presided over by Justice Ishaq Bello, endorsed the Obuah-led team as the authentic executive committee of the party. Yesterday, all the 23 local governments’ helmsmen met and said they were not afraid

Why new exco was inaugurated, by Tukur


EOPLES Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman Bamanga Tukur yesterday defended the prompt inauguration of factional executive committee for the party in Rivers State. He said the decision was in line with the party’s decision to obey all court verdicts. Speaking in Abuja at an interactive session with reporters, Tukur also defended the gubernatorial ambition of his son, Awwal Tukur, in Adamawa State, noting that the creation of a level playing field for all aspirants irrespective of social status should be paramount to the party’s leadership. Denying the suggestion that the party From Bisi Olaniyi and Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt

of expulsion. According to them, all they seek is for justice to be done in what they called the “illegal” removal of the Chief Godspower Ake-led executive. ALGON Chairman Chimbi-

From Yomi Odunuga, Abuja

appeared to have taken sides with the promptness with which it inaugurated the factional executive on Tuesday, Tukur said: “The PDP does not remove anybody. We don’t remove a winning team. It is a court matter and I have nothing to do with it. If people feel cheated, they go to court and if the court decides, I have nothing to do with it. What they decide, we take over from there.” Explaining his son’s ambition, which has pitted him against Governor Murtala Nyako and other stakeholders in his Adamawa home state, the party chair said: “My son was in politics before I became the chairman.

ko Iche Akarolo, who is also the Mayor of Port Harcourt City Council, led members of his executive to a crowded news conference at the official residence of the Chief of Staff, Tony Okocha, opposite the Government House, Port Harcourt.

He was in the House of Representatives before I became the chairman. I leave my son to be what he wants to be. I cheer him up, if he is looking for leadership; why not? “My job as chairman of the party is not to promote any individual or stop any individual from expressing his desires. I have already told my party members and my God that I want to lead this party based on equity, justice and fair play. And I said, no imposition. “Let the members of the party decide whom they want as their leader in every level; that is where I stand. Whoever they want should be their leader. I am not interested if he is my son or she is my daughter. And so what if you are

Ake, also a former National Vice Chairman (Southsouth), who emerged the party’s chairman at a congress that took place at the Alfred DieteSpiff Civic Centre in Port Harcourt on March 17, last year, has the ears of the Amaechi-led aministration.

Continued on page 57

Obuah, an ex-chairman of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area - the political constituency of former Governor Peter Odili - enjoys the backing of the Minister of State for Education, Mr Nyesom Wike, who is said to have Continued on page 57


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Boston Marathon bo

•Hope Odhulum Ikiriko (left), Prof. Aminu Diyo Sheidu (second left), Dr. Ngozi Agatha Etoue and Emmanuel Chimeze Ihedioha (right) taking the oath of office as new members of the Federal Civil Service Commissioners at the State House, Abuja... yesterday. PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN

Three days after the bombings in Boston, more details have emerged about how the violence was done, but more answers need to be provided

•The device

W •Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan (right), Commissioner for Power & Energy Charles Emetulu ( second right) his Information counterpart, Mr. Chike Ogeah (second left)and Chief of Staff ,Government House, Dr. Festus Okubor, shortly after attending a programe at the Delta Broadcasting Service (DBS),Warri ... yesterday.

•From left: National Chairman, National Conscience Party, Dr Yunusa Tanko, Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Hassan Kukah, Secretary-General, Community of Democracies, Ambassador Maria Leissner and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, at a national workshop to strengthen democratic traditions and institutions in Abuja ... yesterday.

•Gombe State Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo (left) receiving an award of excellence for Youth Empowerment from Comrade Abubakar Billy Tafawa.

ITHIN a day of the Oklahoma City bombing, officials had named their suspect: Timothy McVeigh. Within two days of the 9/11 attacks, investigators had zeroed in on al Qaeda as the perpetrator. But as loved ones mourn the deaths of three people and dozens of others remain hospitalized from the dual bombings Monday near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, two questions continue to hound authorities: Who triggered the attack, and why? Yesterday morning, a federal law enforcement source with firsthand knowledge of the investigation told CNN that a lid to a pressure cooker thought to have been used in the bombings had been found on a roof of a building near the scene. While such clues may move the investigation forward, they did not reveal whether the attack was an act of domestic or foreign terrorism. “If your experience and your expertise is Middle East terrorism, it has the hallmarks of al Qaeda or a Middle East group,” former FBI Assistant Director Tom Fuentes said. “If your experience is domestic groups and bombings that have occurred here, it has the hallmarks of a domestic terrorist like Eric Rudolph in the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics bombings.” Fuentes said he has investigated both types of terrorism — from Iraq to the United States — and finds the Boston attack has elements of both. “It has the hallmarks of both domestic and international (attacks), and you can see either side of that.” The bombs, which exploded 12 seconds apart, killed three people and wounded 183. One was housed in a pressure cooker hidden inside a backpack, the FBI said in a joint intelligence bulletin. The device also had fragments that may have included nails, BBs and ball bearings, the agency said. The second bomb was also housed in a metal container, but it was not clear whether it too was in a pressure cooker, the FBI said. The U.S. government has warned federal agencies in the past that terrorists could turn pressure cookers into bombs by packing them with explosives and shrapnel and detonating them with blasting caps. Photos obtained by CNN show the remains of a pressure cooker found at the scene, along with a shredded black backpack and what


UTHORITIES investigating the Boston Marathon blasts that killed three and injured more than 175 believe the two bombs were assembled from household pressure cookers, a crude but effective explosive that has been thwarted before in U.S. terror plots. Investigators are exploring whether the bombs were assembled not far from the scene of Monday’s horrific explosions since transporting such improvised devices over any significant distance could trigger a premature detonation, according to a law-enforcement official with knowledge of the matter. Photographs from the site of the bombings show twisted metal pieces, wire fragments, and what appears to be a small circuit board. Working with local police, federal agents are canvassing Boston hotels and short-term rentals for clues on where the bombs could have been constructed, the official said. More than 24 hours after the attacks, no one had claimed responsiappear to be metal pellets or ball bearings. The pieces suggest each of the devices was 6 liters (about 1.6 gallons) in volume, a Boston law enforcement source said. The recovered parts include part of a circuit board, which might have been used to detonate a device. A law enforcement official said Monday’s bombs were probably detonated by timers. But the FBI said de-




on bombings: More details, more questions

•The detonator

•The Shenyang Evening News reported yesterday on its official Twitter-like microblog account that the third victim is named Lü Lingzi. An editor at the newspaper said Lü's father confirmed his daughter's death.

•Mourners at a candlelight vigil for the late Martin Richard at Garvey Park, near Richard's home in the Dorchester section of Boston... on Tuesday.

Hotels, others combed for clues bility and no suspect had been identified. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, with the assistance of U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel, have been scrutinising passenger lists from flights that had recently arrived at Boston’s Logan Airport for clues, the official said. The materials believed to have been used in the bombs closely match those that Naser Jason Abdo, a young Texas soldier, had amassed before he was charged by the FBI in Texas in 2011 with plotting to attack fellow soldiers. An FBI expert testified at his trial that it would have taken about 30 minutes to build a bomb using materials Mr. Abdo had gathered—including a pressure cooker, gunpowder, clocks and electrical tape—by following instructions in an al Qaeda magazine found in his backpack.

Mr. Abdo was convicted and is serving life in prison. In the foiled Times Square bombing of 2010, authorities said one of the three devices would-be bomber Faisal Shahzad had assembled was a pressure cooker containing more than 100 firecrackers. The Boston investigation, led by the FBI, intensified Tuesday, with authorities interviewing witnesses and examining what one official called the “most complex crime scene” the city had ever dealt with. Hundreds of federal and local investigators began to slog through a vast trove of videos, photos, local hotel manifests and other potential evidence to determine how bombs could have been placed in an area that had been swept for explosives by bomb-sniffing dogs, said people familiar with the investigation.

Boston FBI chief Richard DesLauriers said investigators would go to the “ends of the earth” to find those involved in the attack and that “the range of suspects remains wide open.” More than 2,000 people called in tips to the FBI, he said. Among the injured, more than 20 were in critical condition, hospitals said. Thirteen people had to have limbs amputated. The blasts killed 8-year-old Martin Richard of Boston’s Dorchester section, whose mother and sister were seriously injured; 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, a restaurant manager from Medford, Mass.; and a Boston University graduate student whose identity wasn’t released. The Chinese Consulate, however, said a female Chinese citizen had died in the attack.

tails of the detonating system were unknown. The attack has left Boston police with “the most complex crime scene that we’ve dealt with in the history of our department,” Commissioner Ed Davis said Tuesday. “Someone knows who did this,” said Rick DesLauriers, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston office. “Cooperation from the community will

play a crucial role in this investigation.” DesLauriers asked the public to report anyone who may have talked about targeting the marathon or shown interest in explosives. He urged anyone who may have heard explosions in remote areas — possibly indicating a bomb test — or seen someone carrying “an unusually heavy, dark-colored bag” around the

time of the attack to come forward. Who may have wanted to cause mass destruction — and whether the individual or individuals acted alone or as part of a group — remained a mystery. “We really don’t know if it’s a foreign or domestic threat,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. “We don’t know

whether this was a homegrown terrorist or part of a wider conspiracy.” A “lone wolf” attacker could be particularly difficult to identify. “This is what you worry about the most,” a source with knowledge of the investigation said. “No trail, no intelligence.”

Clues from inside the hospital Medical personnel treating the wounded found evidence suggesting the bombmaker or bombmakers sought to maximize the suffering. Dr. George Velmahos, head of trauma care at Massachusetts General Hospital, said his team found metal pellets and nails inside patients’ bodies. “They are numerous. There are people who have 10, 20, 30, 40 of them in their body, or more,” Velmahos said. While most of the patients treated at Brigham and Women’s Hospital were wounded by “ordinary debris,” three were struck by “perfectly round objects” that were uniform, consistent and metallic, the hospital’s chairman of emergency medicine said.

‘Human spirit’ still alive Dr. Ron Walls also said one patient had more than 12 carpenter-type nails. “There is no question some of these objects were implanted in the device for the purpose of being ex-

ploded forward,” he said. The process of healing is already well under way. Boston Medical Center has two patients in critical condition, down from 11 just after the bombings, Dr. Peter Burke, chief of trauma care, told reporters Wednesday. Ten patients are in serious condition and seven are in fair condition, he said.

A traumatic road ahead Candace Rispoli was cheering on a friend when the festive atmosphere turned into a “terrifying hell.” “One of my best friends ... was actually trampled and thrown to the blood-splattered ground when it first happened,” Rispoli told CNN’s iReport. “She was able to get up and keep running, but when I turned around to seek all my friends, I could not see her and panicked.” Rispoli, who suffered minor injuries, said the attack has changed her life. “I personally will never participate in an event of this nature in a city in fear that something like this could happen again,” she said. “I keep replaying the moments of terror over and over in my head and am just still in utter shock. Always seeing terrible things of this nature happen all over the world on TV, my heart would always go out to those directly affected. But I never imagined in a million years I would be a spectator at the Boston Marathon running for my life.” •Culled from CNN



NEWS Fafowora’s book presentation May 9


HE public presentation of a book: Lest I Forget, the memoirs of Ambassador Oladapo Fafowora, will take place at the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, on May 9. The time is 11a.m. Prof Adebayo Williams is the reviewer, according to a statement by the author.

Okonjo-Iweala’s father denies kidnap suspect’s claims By Joseph Jibueze


he Obi of OgwashiUku, Delta State and father of Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Prof Chukwuma Okonjo, yesterday denied a claim by a former aide in his palace, Chiejine Onochie, that he was owed salaries. Onochie was arrested in connection with the kidnap of the minister’s mother, 82-year-old Prof. Kamene Okonjo. The suspect had claimed he was part of the alleged kidnap conspiracy because he was owed salaries. But the monarch, through his spokesman Law Okolobi, said in a statement that the suspect lied. The monarch praised the effort of security agencies in investigating the kidnap, but said he felt compelled to react to “some of the self-serving lies which the main suspect told the media when he and his accomplices were recently paraded by the police.” He said Onochie was dismissed from the palace for alleged stealing. The fact that he went on to become a kidnap suspect, the monarch said, speaks volumes about his character. “These lies are obviously designed to put a positive gloss on the serious crimes they committed by abducting and brutalising an 82year-old woman for five whole days. “For instance, the suspect claimed that Mrs. Okonjo was fed generously while she was in captivity. This is pure falsehood. “She was given nothing to eat throughout the period and only survived by the special grace of God. “Were it not for the prayers of Nigerians and the quick medical attention she received after she was freed, the story could have ended tragically,” Prof Okonjo said. According to the monarch, the kidnapping was no ordinary criminal act. “God will reveal the truth in due course,” the statement added.

Ex-Minister’s, others’ trial: Witness tells court how funds were paid to ‘wrong contractor’


PROSECUTION witness in the trial of former Works Minister Hassan Lawal and seven others yesterday revealed how funds meant for government’s project were paid to a company that was not a party to the deal. The witness, a Deputy Superintendent of Police and an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Chike Nwibe told a Federal High Court that a party to the contract for the building of a bridge on River Benue, Sirag Nigeria Limited allegedly paid N147million to Proman Vital Ventures Limited. “The 8th defendant (Wise Health Services Limited) is not a party to the concession contract and was not found to have performed any contract

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

job for the N147million that was paid to it,” Nwibe, the first prosecution witness, said. Nwibe was cross-examined by two defence lawyers, Ibrahim Ishiaku, SAN (for Lawal) and Wahab Toye (for the second accused, Adeogba Godwin Ademola) at the resumed hearing of the case before Justice Adamu Bello of the Federal High Court, Abuja. Lawal, Ademola and five companies are being tried for their alleged complicity in the fraud uncovered in the N75.7billion contract for the building of Benue River bridge named: Buto Bagama Bridge, while the minister was in office. It was to be built to link Nasarawa to Kogi states. The companies are Digital

Toll Company Limited, Swede Control Interlink Limited,Proman Vital Ventures Limited, Siraj Nigeria Limited and Wise Health Services Limited (WHSL). “We could not find any reason why Siraj paid N147million to the 8th accused. However, in the course of investigation, the second accused (Ademola) claimed he borrowed money to Digital Toll Company Limited (GTCL), a company that he was the Chief Executive Officer. But there was no document to support this claim,” the witness said. He told the court that Ademola was the alter ego of both Siraj and WHSL), being the MD\CEO of one and owner of the other. Nwibe said the relationship between Ademola and WHSL, in rela-

tion to the contract was that N147million was paid to the company from a contract awarded by him. On whether the N6billion released for the job was before Lawal became minister in 2009, he said no, because payment of about N3billion was made in 2009. When asked how the EFCC got to know about the case, he said it was through the complaint made by the Federal Government, Nasarawa and Kogi states about the way the contractors were executing the project. He said he did not know if a petition was written to his agency, but that the directive to investigate the project was given by the then commissions’ chairman, who constituted an investigative team, in which he was

•From left: Chairman, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Oyo State chapter, Chief Akin Oke, receiving defectors from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Accord in Ibadan...yesterday

‘No friction between Defence Ministry, Military’ HE Defence Headquarters yesterday debunked reports of disagreement between the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces over contract awards. A statement by Defence spokesman, Brig. Gen. Chris Olukolade said the discussion at an interactive session between the ministry’s Permanent Secretary and Service Chiefs on Monday was



From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

misrepresented by certain newspapers. Olukolade urged the public to disregard the report and warned a section of the media against sensational reports, especially on issues that border on national security. The statement reads: “The report which was obviously syndicated to some on-line

media went to a ridiculous extent of drawing allusion to a non-existent friction between the Services and the Ministry of Defence. “It is rather shocking the deliberate twisting of an otherwise innocuous exchange of ideas between officials by the reporters, some of whom were not even present at the event, to suit whatever intention. “The comment at the

event was grossly and unfairly quoted out of context to create an impression of bitter friction between the leadership of the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence. “This is very unfair and unfortunate misrepresentation of the spirit of cordial interaction that took place between the Permanent Secretary, the CDS and the Service Chiefs on Monday.

a member. Nwibe told the court that when his investigation team visited the project site, no work was done. He said the saw evidence of works done, but could not quantify it because the team was not accumpanied by an Estate Valuer. He said the total initial release of N6billion was paid in tranches, adding that only N3billion was released once. Justice Bello has adjourned the case to May 27 for continuation of trial.

Constitution review: Reps present report today From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja


HE House of Representa tives will today present the report of the public sessions conducted on the Constitution in the 360 Federal constituencies. Also, the House assured Nigerians that the report will reflect the views of stakeholders. Deputy Chairman of the Media sub-committee of the Review process, Eziuche Ubani briefed reporters yesterday. He said members have perused the document and have approved it. Ubani assured Nigerians of a reviewed constitution before the next general elections, adding: “The Constitution won’t be ready until a thorough job of it was done because it is in the larger interest of the majority which is more important. “We also want to present to Nigerians a document that can stand the test time, but it will be ready before the next general election”. Speaker Aminu Tambuwal is expected to preside over the presentation that would be witnessed by the President of Trade Union Congress ( TUC); President, Academic Staff Union of Universities( ASUU); President of Nigeria Union of Teachers( NUT); National President of Nigeria Union of Journalists( NUJ); President of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and representatives of other groups such as non governmental organisations (NGOs) and the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) among others.

National Assembly got N190b in three years, OUSE Speaker says Tambuwal The Speaker traced the Aminu Tambuwal country’s socio-political and

yesterday in Kano dismissed as false, claims that federal lawmakers are draining the nation’s economy. Tambuwal, who was the Guest Speaker at the 30thMemorial Anniversary Lecture of Malam Aminu Kano said, of the Federal Government’s yearly N4.9 trillion budget, the National Assembly has received N190 billion in three years. The lecture was held at the Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Research and Training, Mambaya House, Kano. According to the Speaker, in the last three years, the Budget of the National Assembly, which comprises

•Speaker defends lawmakers at 30th Mallam Aminu Kano lecture

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

lawmakers, aides and other workers of the Secretariat got only N190 billion, which he described as quite insignificant against the perception of the public that the National Assembly members take a large chunk of the Federal Government budget. Defending the lawmakers, Tambuwal said that apart from the N80 billion received by the Judiciary, in addition to the N190 billion, the Federal Government has in its kitty about

N4.6 trillion to spend, pointing out that, what is the justification when agencies of the Federal Government budget are not even sent to the National Assembly . On allegations of corruption on members of the National Assembly, the Speaker argued that for the case of corruption to be established against anyone, a competent court of jurisdiction must have found him guilty beyond reasonable doubt, citing former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara’s case.

economic crisis to lack of sincerity and fear of God by the nation’s political leaders and expressed the fear that if the trend is allowed to continue, the country will be plunged into chaos. In his paper: “The Rule of Law as Fundamental Condition for Democracy and Good Governance in Nigeria”, Tambuwal noted that the prerequisites for a thriving democracy are abidance by certain normative principles, as well as their internalisation and acceptance as doctrines of political participation. The principle of the Rule of Law, Tambuwal said stems from the view that a demo-


cratic government, normatively and empirically should be able to meet certain universally accepted values and norms, which govern democracy, stressing that the promotion of human rights and its corollary principles of the Rule of Law is : “Nonetheless the foundation for the realisation of all other elements of a functional Democracy.”



NEWS Jonathan calls for feedback system in public service

Teachers on strike notice From Shola O’Neil, Warri


From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday called for the introduction of a feedback mechanism in public service to boost service quality. Dr Jonathan spoke at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, during the swearing-in ceremony of four new members of the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC). They are: Dr Emmanuel Ihedioha, representing Imo and Abia states; Dr Ngozi Etoue (Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi); Prof. Aminu Sheidu (Kogi and Kwara) and Hope Ikiriko (Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta). The President said promotions is based on merit in the private sector, but that many employees in the public service have been promoted without a proper assessment. He urged the Service Commission and the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation to work together and design a qualitative progression assessment system. Jonathan said: “One thing I believe is that the Federal Civil Service Commission and the Office of the Head of Service must find a feedback mechanism to bring quality into the service. “Over the period, it appears that in the private sector, for you to climb to the top, you must be good. But in the civil service, especially at the federal level, people just climb up without a proper assessment. At the federal level, you must write examinations. But it is one thing to pass an examination and another to do what is right.”

Ex-minister seeks national carrier By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor


FORMER Minister of Aviation in the Second Republic, Mr Samuel Mafuyai, has urged the Federal Government to establish a national carrier to uplift the sovereignty of the country as well as fly the nation’s flag across the world. Mafuyai advised the government to overhaul the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, Kaduna State, to enable it cater adequately for effective training of aviation personnel. He noted that more investments in NCAT would position Nigeria as a leader in the training of aviation personnel in Africa and across the world. The Minister of Aviation under the Shehu Shagari administration noted that setting up a national carrier would consolidate the ongoing airport remodelling in which over 11 terminals are being reconstructed. Mafuyai also called for the allocation of more funds to boost capacity development at NCAT. He said the ongoing massive airport remodelling showed that the government was positioning the aviation sector for economic development.

•From left: President, Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes, Chief Bayo Oyero; Ikolaba Olubadan, Oloye Lekan Alabi; guest lecturer, Prof. Adekunle Adeniran and Otun Olubadan, Chief Omowale Kuye, at the 99th birthday lecture of the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade, in Ibadan, Oyo State...yesterday.

Falana threatens suit over Lemu’s 2011 violence report L

AGOS lawyer Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) yesterday asked the Federal Government to provide information on the recommendations of the Shiekh Ahmed Lemu Committee on the 2011 political violence across the country. The request was contained in a letter the frontline lawyer wrote to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim. In the letter, entitled: “Request for information on the implementation of the report of the Sheikh Ahmed Panel on the 2011 political violence disturbances”, Falana said he would take legal action against relevant public officers and agencies, if information was not provided within seven days. “Take notice that if you fail or refuse to accede to our request within seven days of the receipt of this letter, we shall not hesitate to initiate civil and criminal prosecution against the relevant public officers and agencies forth-

By Adebisi Onanuga

with, in line with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011,” he warned. The Senior Advocate of Nigeria explained that he was compelled to seek information on the report because nothing appeared to have been done on it since the government accepted the report and issued a White Paper on it last August, particularly on the 943 people that were killed, with 838 injured. The letter reads: “The announcement of the result of the presidential election in April 2011 was greeted with violence and civil disturbances in some states in the northern part of the country. “As soon as the situation was brought under control, the Federal Government instituted a panel of enquiry, headed by Sheik Ahmed Lemu, to investigate the immediate and remote causes of

the political violence. “Upon the conclusion of its assignment, the panel submitted its report to President Goodluck Jonathan in September 2011. Thereafter, the Federal Government studied the report and issued a White Paper on it in May 2012. “With respect to the 943 people who were killed and the 838 others, who were injured in the violence, the Federal Government undertook to ‘work out the level of assistance to the victims and directs the Inspector-General of Police and the Attorney-General of the Federation to double their efforts in apprehending and prosecuting the perpetrators. “In order to deal with political thuggery, electoral fraud, political terrorism and other electoral offences, the Attorney-General of the Federation was directed to take necessary action to establish ‘an autonomous and constitutionally

recognised Electoral Offences Tribunal’. Both the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation and the Inspector-General of Police were directed to ensure the prosecution of the 626 suspects, who were apprehended by security agencies during the crisis. “Many other officials and agencies of the Federal Government were also directed to carry out specific assignments to forestall future recurrence of political violence in the country. “It is significant to note that the Federal Government accepted the recommendation of the panel to ‘review all relevant reports of which the government’s views were not published as well as those which the government published its views but not implemented’ in respect of the reports of many previous panels set up in the past.

Reps doubt NBC’s ability to resolve boundary disputes


HE House of Representatives has expressed reservations on the ability of the National Boundary Commission (NBC) to resolve lingering boundary disputes among various communities across the country. Its Committee on Special Duties has been mandated to interface with the commission to proffer permanent solution to such disputes. The House Committee was given four weeks to report back with particular reference to the inter-state border conflict between the Moon people of Benue State and the Kashimbila community of Taraba State. The decision of the lawmakers followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance raised by Benjamin Aboho (ACN, Benue) who regretted that the dispute had lingered for several years and resulted in several deaths. Aboho said: “The lingering boundary disputes always result in armed conflicts between the Moon people of Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State and Kashimbila Community of Takun Lopcal Government Area of Taraba State. “It is, however, important to state that the recent resurface of this problem has resulted in the abduction of people and an alleged invasion of soldiers in Imande-Debam Market of Moon

From Victor Oluwaegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

District.” The lawmaker noted that a major contributory factor to the unending conflict was the inability of the National Boundary Commission to demarcate the Taraba/Benue Border on this axis despite many attempts in this direction. “It is worrisome that as long as this problem remains unsolved, the people (on both sides) will continue to suffer in the hands of security agencies, thus creating continuous conflict situations. “In addition, it also disturbing that the people on both sides are farmers, who rely on food production for their livelihood, and they may likely abandon farm work in this season for fear of invasion and abduction on farmlands, thus creating famine this year,” he added. He implored the House to mandate the House Committee on Special Duties to urge the National Boundary Commission to hasten up the demarcation of the boundary in the disputed area. In his contribution, Samson Osagie (ACN, Edo) said the NBC has nver been able to conclusively and successfully resolved any boundary dispute since its inception.

HE National President of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Mike Olukoya, yesterday said teachers would begin a nationwide strike over the refusal of some states to implement the National Minimum Wage for primary school teachers. The union leader spoke in Warri, the Delta State capital, when he led the National Executive Council of the NUT to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan. He said: “Many states have refused to implement the National Minimum Wage for primary school teachers despite the fact that it is a law.” Olukoya said except Delta, other states have failed to implement the new salary scale for teachers. According to him, the defaulting states will be affected by the nationwide strike. Although he conceded that the wage bills across the country were enormous, the NUT president insisted that it is imperative for governments at all levels to pay the bill since it has been so decided. Olukoya, who hailed Uduaghan’s stride in education development, also expressed the union’s opposition to autonomy for local governments.

Polio vaccination: Mark blames politicians From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja


ENATE President David Mark yesterday blamed politicians for the widespread misinformation about the effects of polio vaccines in some parts of the country. Mark spoke in Abuja during a debate on a motion entitled: Urgent Sensitisation and Awareness Campaign, Supply of Vaccines to Measles Affected Areas. The motion was sponsored by Senator Danlandi Sankara (Jigawa North West) and 27 others. Mark said the Federal Government is not to blame for the prevalence of some childhood killers diseases in some parts of the country. He urged the states and local governments to do more to put an end to a situation he described as “embarrassing.” Mark said: “There is no doubt that some people go about deliberately misinforming innocent people about the effects of the vaccines.

Jonathan seeks ban of chemical weapons


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday submitted to the Senate a Bill seeking the prohibition of chemical weapons in the country. Senate President David Mark read the covering letter of the Bill, entitled: Chemical Weapons Prohibition Bill, 2012, on the floor of the Senate. Apparently to underscore the importance of the Bill, Jonathan asked the lawmakers

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Ongu, Abuja

to accord it expeditious consideration. The letter reads: "I hereby introduce for formal consideration and enactment into law by the Senate, The Chemical Weapons Prohibition Bill." A chemical weapon is said to be a device that uses chemicals formulated to inflict death or harm on human beings. Studies say chemical weap-

ons may also be classified as weapons of mass destruction, though they are separate from biological weapons (diseases), nuclear weapons (which use sub-nuclear fission) and radiological weapons (which use radioactive decay of elements). Chemical weapons can be widely dispersed in gas, liquid and solid forms and may easily afflict others than the intended targets. Nerve gas and tear gas are said to be two modern exam-

ples. The Geneva Protocol, officially known as the Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other gasses, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, is an international treaty prohibiting the use of chemical and biological weapons. No date has been fixed for the first reading of the Bill. Apart from the Chemical Weapons Prohibition Bill,

•President Jonathan

Jonathan also submitted the Pension Reform Bill for the consideration of the Senate.




Lagos Assembly holds special session for Wole Awolowo •Lawmakers hail Tribune publisher


HE Lagos State House of Assembly yesterday held a lying-in-state/ special valedictory session for its former member and publisher of the Tribune, Chief Oluwole Awolowo, who died on March 27 in a London hospital. He was 70. The deceased was a member of the Assembly from 1979 to 1983. The ash-colour casket bearing Awolowo’s remains arrived at the Assembly complex in a motorcade at exactly 10:20am from the Murtala Mohammed Airport. Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji described the deceased as an exceptional man, who upheld the legacies of his father, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Ikuforiji said the Assembly was holding the special session partly because it did not have the opportunity to honour the late Awolowo’s father when he died. He said: “Today’s session is exceptional because the House, by tradition, only holds valedictory parliamentary sessions for former speakers and any member, who dies in service. “The House, in its wisdom, decided to host this session in line with Shakespeare’s saying that ‘when beggars die, there are no comets seen; heavens themselves blaze for the death of princes’. “Though the late Oluwole was born with a silver spoon, he was always cool headed and peace-loving. He was an embodiment of humility and

.The children of the late Chief Oluwole Awolowo: (From left) Seyi, Olugbenga, Obafemi, Adekunle,Olubukola, Olufunmi Adeyemi, Olayinka, Babajide and Damilola Adekoya at the session...yesterday. By Oziegbe Okoeki

very patriotic, going by the meritorious role he played in this House as a lawmaker.” On the deceased’s role in the development of Lagos State, Deputy Speaker Taiwo Kolawole said: “I knew him to be the heir of the Awolowo family and studied his reports on the floor of the House as a lawmaker representing Apapa. He loved his people and constituency. The complaint he made then about Apapa in one of the reports is the same complaint we are

still making today.” Kolawole said the late Awolowo once protested against the bringing of a foreigner to head a government parastatal. Chairman of the House Committee on Education Wahab Alawiye-King said the late Awolowo had a mind of his own. Alawiye-King said at 17, the late Awolowo decided to join the opposition party, the National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC), even though his father was the leader and founder of the pro-

gressive Action Group (AG). He said the late publisher impacted positively on the lives of the common people by “moving some of the lifechanging motions on the floor of the House in the first and second assemblies”. Mr. Rotimi Olowo (Shomolu I) said the deceased lived a modest life worthy of emulation. Olowo said: “His ability to manage the family deserves emulation. He was a great manager of people and assets and a great welfarist, who de-


Environment, Lowo Obisesan, described the area as an “eyesore”. He said the demolished structures had no water and toilets, adding that the area was indiscriminately littered with refuse. Obisesan said the demolition was in line with the ongoing clean-up of Ibadan. He said: “Before the demolition, we held meetings with leaders and youths in the area, so that they will not think we want to chase them away from

the area. We explained our reasons for the demolition to them to forestall any revolt that may jeopardise the existing peace in the state. “We gave owners of the demolished spots three areas where they can relocate to in Ibadan. The areas are TCTC motor-park; the Eleyele Water Works, where we have about six acres of land; and the former airspace, now acquired by the government.” The commissioner said the demolition would be extended to the other side of Sabo, where the Ibadan Golf Club is situated.

Court orders striking Osun lecturers back to work


N Osun State High Court sitting in Osogbo, the state capital, yesterday ordered striking workers of the four government-owned tertiary institutions to resume work with immediate effect. The institutions are: the colleges of education in Ila and Ilesa; the Polytechnic, Iree and the College of Technology, Esa-Oke. Justice Oyejide Falola directed the provosts and rectors of the institutions to resume academic activities pending the determination

•Dredging of Ogun River banned

•Govt relocates Suya sellers From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

of the originating summons. Presidents of the Students’ Union Governments in the four institutions sued the managements of their schools and the government because of the strike. They urged the court to order their lecturers back to work. Justice Falola said: “I have read through the court processes, especially the motion and the affidavit in support and the lawyers’ written ad-

dresses. I am also attracted to the statement allegedly issued by students on the subject matter of this suit. “It is, therefore, necessary to grant this order in the interim. I order the provosts and rectors of the institutions to resume duties pending the determination of the suit.” The judge said the motion on notice would be heard on Monday. The interim order will last for seven days. It can be renewed in compliance with the rules of the court.

At the session were top government officials, past and present members of the Assembly. They included former Governor Lateef Jakande; Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye; Senator Anthony Adefuye; National Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Prince Abiodun Ogunleye; former Speaker Jokotola Pelumi; a former commissioner, Chief Lanre Razak and a former AttorneyGeneral, Yomi Osinbajo.

Ogun to relocate Kara cattle market on Monday

50 illegal structures demolished in Ibadan VER 50 illegal structures in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, have been demolished to pave the way for the government’s urban renewal programme. The structures were on major roads in Sabo. Over 40 of them were Suya spots on the Adamasingba-Ibadan Recreation Club-Jembewon road. Motorists often experienced traffic jam on the road, as traders encroached on it. When The Nation visited the area yesterday, owners of the demolished structures were removing valuables from the ruins. The Commissioner for

cided not to have a car at the expense of his staff.” Mr. Bisi Yusuf said the late sage inspired him to become a politician. He said the senior Awolowo had no rival in terms of his contributions to the society, especially as regards free education in the Western Region. Mr. Ipoola Omisore eulogised the deceased for upholding his father’s legacies, such as the Tribune, considering the fact that all its contemporaries have become moribund.



HE Ogun State Government will, on Monday, relocate the popular Kara Cattle Market in Isheri. The government has also banned dredging on the Ogun River at a spot in Isheri. Governor Ibikunle Amosun announced the relocation of the traders on Tuesday, when he visited the market in the company of top government officials. He said in June, 2011, he informed the leadership of the market that the traders would be relocated to a befitting place. Amosun said: “We are here

to tell you that in line with what we told you in June, 2011, which we followed up with a meeting with leaders of this market, officials of the government will be coming to relocate you to another place. I assure you that you will not be allowed to suffer over the move. The government will provide an alternative for you. We will build a modern market that you will be proud of. “We will build a place for the cattle traders and equip it with modern amenities, including a modern abattoir. The road to the new cattle market would be tarred, with adequate security provided.” The governor praised the traders for conducting their businesses peacefully and urged them to sustain the peace. Representatives of the traders pledged to cooperate with the government during the relocation. They also pledged their support for the Amosun administration.

During an on-the-spot assessment of illegal dredging spots on the Ogun River, the governor said illegal dredging posed a risk to the environment. It also affect the state’s revenue negatively. He said: “They just come here to commit illegality and siphon the revenue we need to develop our state. We will not allow this to continue.” Amosun said the government woud regulate operations at the river to conform with modern ways of dredging. He said: “We are going to be technically involved as a government. Professionals in dredging will be engaged to advise the government.” Complaining about the environmental hazards of dredging, Amosun said: “If flooding occurs here, it will affect many communities, simply because of the selfish interest of some people. Henceforth, any business done at the river must follow environmental procedures.”

Ondo cocoa merchants sue govt


HE Cocoa Produce Merchants Association of Nigeria (CPMA), Ondo State chapter, have sued the State Government for “arbitrary taxation”. In a statement by its Chairman, Mr. Abiodun Jacob, and Secretary Oyelere Adebayo, the group said the state government had been “randomly” increasing the tax of cocoa merchants through the produce department. They also complained of double taxation. The statement reads: “We have engaged the

From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

Produce Director and the management on the problem of high and double taxation, but it has yielded no result. “As law-abiding citizens, who respect the laws of the land, we approached the judiciary to settle the disagreement in the interest of peace. Taxing our business premises and at the same time forcing us to pay nothing less than N500,000 as ware house fee is a great burden.”





NEWS Oyo PDP, Accord members defect to ACN

Ajimobi kicks out Ladoja’s men


YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has disengaged Accord members nominated by former Governor Rashidi Ladoja from his administration. This was contained in a letter Ajimobi personally signed and delivered to Ladoja in his Bodija home in Ibadan, the state capital, yesterday. In the letter, the governor traced the history of his alliance with Ladoja and how, in the last few months, the former governor had “consistently broken the tenets of the accord by casting aspersion on an administration in which he vicariously participated, through his nominees and proxies, which included his younger brother. It reads: “Immediately after the 2011 election, because of the peculiar configuration of the electoral balance, it was obvious that, for the good of our state and its development, I needed to extend my handshake across other frontiers. You will recall that after the

elections, I met with you to ask for an alliance between your party, the Accord, and my administration. “The basis of the relationship being demanded was for you to support me and contribute, as well as participate, positively in the governance of the state, considering the devastation and degradation that had been visited on the state over the years. “You will also recall that at my meeting with you, you agreed with me that for a total restoration of the state, there was the need for well-meaning indigenes to eliminate the politics of brickbats, mudslinging and the proverbial ‘Pull Him Down’ syndrome, which had become the byword for politicking in our state. “This politics invariably misinforms the people through subterfuge and has, over the years, contributed in stalling the development of the state. At that meeting, you agreed with me that there was

the need to rescue the state from those vices of the political arena that had driven our state backwards.” Ajimobi said despite his party’s initial opposition that Ladoja’s ambition to govern the state again would destroy the alliance, he stuck to the agreement, believing that the former governor would respect the alliance. He said: “Regrettably, recent developments, in terms of the conduct of your people and the campaign of calumny recorded frequently in the newspapers, unsubstantiated allegations, as well as unwarranted vitriolic attacks against my person and administration, have made me conclude that these recent campaigns against me are incompatible with the spirit of our alliance. “There is nowhere in the world where an alliance that benefits a participating partner is repaid with destructive manoeuvres and corrosive innuendoes aimed at bringing down the house as this.

From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

M •Ajimobi

“It is in view of the foregoing that I am using this medium to inform you of my decision to disengage your nominees from the government. I feel constrained to take this painful but inevitable decision, in view of our personal relationship.” Those affected by this sack are two commissioners, two special advisers, some chairmen and members of boards and a local government caretaker chairman, among others.

EMBERS of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Accord from the 12 wards in Akinyele Local Government Area of Oyo State yesterday defected to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Six hundred former Accord members, led by Alhaji Ismaila Afobaje and other 450 ex-PDP members, led by Chief Rafiu Ajao, were received into the ACN by the party’s State Chairman, Chief Akin Oke. Oke advocated mutual co-existence among old and new members, urging the defectors not to feel alienated, but to see themselves as members of the family. He said the defection was an attestation of the ACN’s determination to ameliorate the age-long impoverishment of residents by the past PDP-led administration. Governor Abiola Ajimobi, who was represented by the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr. Isaac Omodewu, assured the defectors that they would be treated equally in the party. The Transition Committee Chairman of Akinyele Local Government, Alhaji Mukaila Ambali, said the defectors were convinced by the quality of projects the ACN has been executing. He said: “I want all of you to unite with us, because this is a collective government and you shall hence forth be treated as one of us.” The lawmaker representing Akinyele Constituency II in the House of Assembly, Mr. Ahmed Adigun said the defection has proved that the Ajimobi administration is performing. Afobaje, who spoke on behalf of the defectors, said they were inspired by the performance of Ajimobi and Ambali to join the ACN . He said: ”I left the Accord because there was no unity among members. We have all seen what Ajimobi has been doing to transform this state, especially his urban renewal programme. We support him because it is not necessary to oppose a progressive administration.” Ajao said they were tired of the leadership tussle in the PDP. “That is why we have come to join the progressives,” he added.

Govt, PDP disagree on Ondo’s financial status


•Fayemi flanked by Orji (right) and Chukwu...yesterday.

‘Olayinka lived a life of service’


KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi yesterday said his late deputy, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, lived a life of service. He said she was not just central to the transformation agenda of the state, but was supportive of all his administration’s initiatives. Fayemi spoke at the Government House in AdoEkiti, the state capital, when his Abia State counterpart, Theodore Orji, visited him. Orji was accompanied by the Abia State House of Assembly Speaker, Sir Ude

•Orji, others condole with Fayemi Oko Chukwu and some top government officials. Fayemi said even at the point of death, his deputy remained passionate about seeing the administration fulfil its promises to the people. Fayemi said: “She was a strong pillar to the work we are doing in the state. She was central to it. She was loyal and supportive of all the work we pledged to do for our people. She gave her best. She was full of zest, despite the excruciating pain

she experienced from the debilitating ailment she suffered from. She was more concerned about relieving others of their pain, rather than focusing on what she was going through. We thank God for her life of service and sacrifice.” He said the late Mrs. Olayinka’s life of service would be greatly missed by the Ekiti people. Orji described the late Mrs. Olayinka as “an amiable woman”, who represented Ekiti State well among the

comity of states. He said: “I know your government did everything possible to save her, but it is apparent that her time was up. I know what you feel, but take heart. It is one of those things that happen in this life. As my friend, we are here to show solidarity. Abia State mourns your deputy. We feel for you and your state.” Describing the late deputy governor as a patriot, Orji said Abia would be adequately represented at her funeral slated for April 26 in AdoEkiti.

Court: Akeredolu is qualified to contest Ondo poll


HE Federal High Court sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, yesterday said the governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in last October’s election, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), is qualified to contest any electoral position in the country. Governor Olusegun Mimiko, in his reply to Akeredolu’s petition before the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, said the qualification

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

of the former President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) to contest last year’s election was still a subject of litigation before the Federal High Court and that the tribunal lacked jurisdiction to hear his (Akeredolu’s) petition. Justice I. M. Sani of the Federal High Court dismissed the claims made by Mr. Bode Betiku against Akeredolu and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The court agreed with

Akeredolu’s counsel, Kola Olawoye, that the report of the Fawehinmi Judicial Commission of Enquiry, upon which the plaintiff based his case of indictment against Akeredolu, has ceased to exist. It said: “The report is dead and of no effect, based on its being set aside by a court of competent jurisdiction. The proceedings of a panel that has been set aside never existed, so it is not necessary for the defendant to mention the existence of such proceedings or

its outcome.” The court ruled that Akeredolu is qualified to contest the governorship election. It noted that since the election had been conducted, it lacked the power to restrain Akeredolu from taking part in an act that has been completed and dismissed the order to restrain Akeredolu from contesting the poll. The court dismissed the four claims against Akeredolu and asked the parties to bear the cost of their litigation.

HE Ondo State Government and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have disagreed on the state’s financial status. In a statement, the PDP’s governorship candidate in last October’s election, Chief Olusola Oke, said the state was broke. But the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Rotimi Adelola, insisted that the state was financially buoyant. Adelola said the PDP was only seeking relevance. In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Wale Ozogoro, PDP said the SSG was economical with the truth. It said: “We are maintaining our stand that the government has been reckless in the appropriation and usage of our common wealth. The government owes workers up to three months salary and its continued denial is wicked and sinister. The level of falsehood is alarming. It has become a recurring decimal. “The Labour Party (LP)-led government has continued to deceive the populace. While portraying itself as a progressive party, the running of this government has proved otherwise. “Recently, the SSG said the government is not broke, but a circular from the Ministry of Education, dated April 11 and addressed to the headteachers of secondary schools, with Ref. No: Our Ref. No.PR&S/R&S/1219/ 117, signed by one Olaleye R.A for the Permanent Secretary, mandated the headteachers to collect N7,950 from pupils for registration for the National Examination Council (NECO) examination.

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

“This is an affirmation that the government is broke, thereby confirming the fear and assertion of our party. Since the inception of civil rule in Ondo State, the government has made it a point of duty to pay the aforementioned fees, until the above circular was issued. “It is disheartening that the LP administration, in its normal deceitful manner, has continued to deceive the people. It has abandoned its duties because of reckless spending. “Secondary school pupils paid for this year’s West African Examination Council (WAEC) examination and the government, through the above circular, is mandating them to pay for the NECO examination. “To hide the fact that it is broke, the government has embarked on a futile mission of screening and unmasking ghost workers in the system, while surreptitiously making them pay N5,000 at the Ministry of Education to obtain Primary School Leaving Certificate. This is aimed at generating funds to run the government. “It is callous that a government that has collected over N800 billion from the Federation Account, with over N38 billion surplus from the administration of Dr. Olusegun Agagu and borrowed over N50 billion, could embark on this mission of inflicting hardship on the citizens.” PDP hoped that the Election Petition Tribunal would put an end to the LP administration.





Jonathan nominates non-executive members for CBN board From Onyedi Ojiabor, Asst. Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday forwarded the names of four non-executive members of the board of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the Senate for confirmation. This is contained in a letter entitled, “Request for the confirmation of the appointment of non-executive members of the board of the CBN.” Those nominated are Muhammad Musa Kafarati (North East), Collons Chike Chikelube (South East), Adaba Anthony Adeiza (North Central) and Ayuli Jemide (South South). In the letter read by Senate President, David Mark, Jomathan said that following the expiration of the statutory terms of appointment of some non-executive members of the board of the CBN, and the vacancy occasioned when the member representing the SouthSouth geo-political zone on the board vacated the position in 2009, it became necessary to forward the names for the consideration of the Senate in accordance with the provisions of the CBN Act, 2007.

Following the approval of Federal Executive Council, we have concluded arrangements to commence the construction of not just one, but five brand new world class international airport terminal. - Ms Stella Oduah, Minister of Aviation

PENGASSAN urges govt to fight oil theft

BOFIA: Reps set up 10-man ad hoc committee T T • failed bank officials risk two-year jail term HE House of Repre sentatives has set up a 10-member ad hoc committee to facilitate consideration of the bill on the repeal and re-enactment of the Banking and Other Financial Institutions Act ( BOFIA), The committee, headed by the Deputy House Leader, Leo Ogor, is to report back to the House within three weeks. The contentious BOFIA bill has been passed by the 6th House, but was not assented to by the President, it was thereafter committed to the Committee of the Whole in the 7th House after its first reading. Speaking yesterday at the Committee of the Whole, the Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, who presided over the consideration of the Bill, said the constitution of the ad hoc panel was to enable speedy consideration of the

By Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

bill. He noted that even during the consideration yesterday, there were contentious issues raised by members, adding that the only way to get good result on the issue, is to put it in the hands of an efficient committee that would do the work. He said the House will do its work devoid of any outside interest. “It is necessary to commit the bill to the adhoc committee and we demand that the committee takes its work seriously.” All members were in agreement with him on the choice of a small but effec-

tive committee to handle the consideration. Others members of the committee, include, Chairman, Betty Apiafi (sponsor of the bill) Sam Tsokwa, Ali Ahmed, Ogbuefi Ozomgbachi, Jones Onyereri, Haruna Adamu, Abubakar Momoh, Frank Enekorowa and Rafequat Onabamiro. During the consideration of the bill yesterday, clauses 2,3 and 4 of the bill were treated and passed by members. Clause 1 which deals with Functions, Powers and Duties of the Central Bank of Nigeria, had earlier been considered before the House went on Easter break.

Clause 2 deals with Banking Business, while clauses 3, is on Investment and Release of a prescribed Minimum Share Capital. Clause 4 deals with Power to revoke or Vary Conditions of License. The Lawmakers stopped halfway through the consideration of clause 5 after agreeing that “ any person who, being a director, manager or officer of a bank, fails to take reasonable steps to secure compliance with any of the conditions of the license of the bank is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of at least N1,000,000 (One million Naira) and a minimum of two years jail term.”

Firm to upgrade quality of barite •Invests N1b in mining tools

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$107/barrel Cocoa-$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE

-N10.6 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -9% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending -22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $48b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472

From John Ofikhenua, Nnewi

• From left: Executive Director, Personal and Business Banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Obinnia Abajue; a customer, Mr Victor Nkanta; and Head of Personal Banking, Ayoola Adio, at the launch of Stanbic IBTC Bank’s Executive Banking Services in Lagos ... on Tuesday.

Inflation rate drops to 8.6% in March


IGERIA’s Composite Price Index, (CPI) which measures the average change in price level, slowed down for the second month in March, dropping to 8.6 per cent, down from the 9.5 per cent rate attained in the preceding month. According to a statement issued by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) yesterday in Abuja, the slower rise in the headline index when compared with the price level of the preceding month, could primarily be attributable to base effects

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

from March of 2012, when the economy witnessed significant higher price levels. Describing the slower rise year-on-year changes exhibited for March 2013, as muted, the Bureau stated that between February and March of 2012, there were substantial increases in the 11 non-food Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) divisions in the headline, urban and rural indices, which resulted in the Core index increasing from

11.9 in February, 2012 to 15.0 in March, 2012. It reads in part: “In March, the composite CPI increased by 0.71 per cent month-onmonth from index levels recorded in February. The Urban composite CPI was recorded at 142.8 in March, which was a 9.3 per cent yearon-year change. This was lower than the 9.8 percent recorded in February. The corresponding rural composite CPI recorded a 8.1 per cent year-on-year change, up from 9.5 per cent in February. “On a month-on-month basis, the Urban All-item index

increased by 0.6 per cent from levels recorded in February, while the Rural All Items index increased from levels recorded in February by 0.8 per cent “The percentage change in the average Composite CPI for the twelve-month period, ending in March, 2012 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve-month period, was recorded at 11.4 per cent. The corresponding 12month year-on-year average percentage change for the Urban index was 13.3percent, while the corresponding Rural index was 10.0 per cent.”

BPE receives 20 bids for Afam, Kaduna DISCO


HE Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has received 20 bids by prospective investors for the Afam Power Generation Company (Genco) and Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (Disco). The BPE, in a statement, said nine bids were received

HE Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) yesterday urged the Federal Government to check oil theft and pipe vandalisim that has caused a drain on the country’s resources. Speaking in Lagos, PENGASSAN President, Comrade Babatunde Ogun, condemned the two recent criminal acts in the sector, describing them as acts of economic sabotage. He said that the union condemned the two heinous acts, among other issues discussed during the last National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the union on April 4, this year in Calabar, Cross Rivers State; “During our NEC in Calabar, we condemned the increasing level of pipeline vandalisation and the attendant crude oil and petroleum products theft as completely unacceptable. “Pipe vandalisation and the attendant crude oil and petroleum products theft constitute not just a drain on the nation’s resources but also a major environmental hazard as well as threat to our democracy and national security,” he stated.

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

for Afam Power Plc and 11 for Kaduna Distribution Company. BPE also said that at the deadline of January 31, 2013 for the submission of Expressions of Interest (EOIs), it received 19 applications for

Kaduna Disco and 29 applications for Afam Generation Company. Consequently, on February 4, 2013, it sent Requests for Proposals (RFP) to the 48 prospective bidders. Afam Power Plc and Kaduna Electricity Distribution were among the 17 PHCN successor companies that were ear-

lier advertised for sale in December 2010 but following the rigorous technical evaluation that all bids were subjected to, none of the bids received for the two assets scored the minimum 75 percent required to progress to the financial bid stage. This development compelled the National Council on

Privatisation (NCP) to order a re-run of the entire transaction as it was not prepared to settle for a second best. The pre-due diligence conference for the re-tender of Afam Power Plc and Kaduna Electricity Distribution Plc was held in Abuja on Monday, March 4, 2013.


HE A-Z Petroleum Products Limited, has concluded plans to start the production of quality barite that meets international standard. The Managing Director, Linus Ilozue, who spoke to reporters in Nnewi, Anambra State, said the firm has identified good sources of barite, procured the right technology that can produce the acceptable Specific Gravity (SG), remove the grits and produce the pure white colour in line with international best practice. He said most barites produced in the country are rejected because of the artisanal and small miners involved in the business who lack the wherewithal for the the production of the quality product required in the oil, pharmaceutical and paint industries. According to him, upon the adoption of the final investment decision after the market feasibility studies, the firm has installed its solid mineral processing plant in Benue State. He noted that the company has invested over N1billion in mining equipment, adding: “There is no equipment we don’t have.” Ilozue noted that though the company has the capacity to produce 120 tonnes per hour, it would start with the 44 tonnes per hour in August.



NEWS N800m realised at AMAA fund-raising BOUT N800 million was raised at the fundraising event for the hosting of the Africa Movie Academy Award (AMAA) in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital. The money, which is expected to boost the organisers’ efforts in ensuring a successful hosting of the ceremony, is exclusive of the pledges made by some corporate organisations. Speaking at the event, which was held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, First Lady Patience Jonathan urged filmmakers to tell stories that highlight the virtues of peaceful coexistence among Nigeri-


ans. Governor Seriake Dickson said henceforth, AMAA would be a private sectordriven event . He said the new Bayelsa project cannot be realised without effective collaboration with the organised private sector, which he noted is more enterprising and business-oriented than the government. Chairman of the occasion Sayyu Dantata underscored the significance of the event. He said supporting Bayelsa on the project would have positive multiplier effects on the socio-economic fortunes of the country.

Businessman kidnapped in Delta From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri


UNMEN yesterday in Udu, Udu Local Government of Delta State, kidnapped a Warri businessman, Francis Orogun. Orogun is the Managing Director of Daddy’s Bakery/Fast Food, Warri. Sources said the victim was kidnapped on the Udu/Ujevwe road in his Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV). The bakery’s General Manager, Alfred Orukpe, said the kidnappers were yet to contact the family. The Divisional Police Officer in Ovwian/Aladja confirmed the incident.

Detained ACN candidate released


HE detained Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chairmanship candidate for Etsako Central Local Government of Edo State, Emmanuel Momoh, has been released. He appealed to the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, to ad-

dress the issue of detainees in police cells across the country. The ACN candidate condemned the incident in Fugar, which led to the death of two persons. He called on the police to investigate the matter.

NYSC DG hails Obi From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi


HE Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig- Gen. Nnamdi Okorie-Affia, yesterday praised Anambra State Governor Peter Obi for his decision to build an orientation camp in the state. Gen Okorie-Affia spoke when he visited the governor at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia. He described Obi’s assistance as invaluable to the Corps. The DG pleaded for a Certificate-of-Occupancy for the land on which the state secretariat is being built. He called on other governors to emulate Obi‘s relationship with the NYSC.

•Dickson ushering in the First Lady the event. With them is the wife of the Vice-President, Mrs Amina Sambo

Clark, monarchs seal pact on governorship, state creation


LTHOUGH 2015 is about two years away, agitation for political offices has kicked off in Delta State. Nine traditional rulers under the aegis of Anioma Congress (AC) in Abuja said it was their area’s turn to produce the governor. The group demanded for Anioma state, urging the National Assembly to consider the aspirations of their people. The group, led by the Asagba of Asaba, Prof. Chike Edozie and the Obi of Owa, Dr. Emmanuel Efeiozomor, made the demands when they visited the former Federal Commissioner for Information, Chief Edwin Clark, at his Asokoro home. Also in the entourage were the Obi of Issele-Uku, Ogene of Ibedeni, Obi of OnichaUgbo, Obi of Ejeme-Unor, Obi of Ubulu-Uku, Obi of

From Vincent Ikuomola and Nike Adebowale, Abuja

Atuma and Eze Emu of Emu. Edozie said the agitation for the creation of Anioma state was alive. He said: “Power rotation is possible. That it is not spelt out in the constitution does not mean it can’t work. It is only people who do not want progress and equity that will insist that rotation is impossible. “We want to produce the best and we have come to plead with you that if state creation comes to fruition, please help us. But if state creation does not take place, assist us to produce the next governor. “We believe that the creation of Anioma state will be good for the progress, peace and development of our area. It is not that we dislike our neighbours; but there are inherent advantages-we need to develop

our culture and language. “We have been marginalised, especially in federal matters, because we are believed to belong to the Igbo people. We are neither here nor there but this time we want to be somewhere. We have long been making the request for the creation of Anioma state in the interest of equal development and equity and we want you to use your influence to support us so that the next governor of Delta State gets to us.” Clark said: “At 85, I can say what I want because I am already a dead man. The issue of where the governor will come from has not been a conspiracy between Delta South and Delta Central. It was not the decision of Delta South and Delta Central that Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan should be governor in 2007. “We have felt that the imposition of Uduaghan was against the tenets of democracy and we took the war to

Abuja. What happened in 2007 was an imposition, nobody in Delta State should feel superior to the other. “No ethnic group has the monopoly of governance, at the age of 85, what am I doing here in exile in Abuja? Is it for contract? No! If I need contract I will be in my village and get contract. But I am here in Abuja to fight injustice. It will be a conflict of interest if I say Delta North can’t produce governor.” Clark advised the group to work together and produce a credible candidate if they are to achieve their aim of producing the next governor. He said: “If you want a governor from Anioma, it is a legitimate demand; if you want Anioma state, it is a legitimate demand. “When the right time comes, bring forward your best candidate. When the time comes, I will cast my vote for Delta North, I have a soft spot for Delta North.”

Edo electoral body sacks officials


OME officers of the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) have been sacked for alleged affiliation with political parties. They were removed from Ovia South West and Uhunmwode local governments. EDSEIC Chairman Solomon Ogoh broke the news at a meeting yesterday with stakeholders, where he briefed them on the commission’s preparedness for the election. Ogoh said EDSEIC was in-

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

vestigating some recruited ad hoc staff and vowed to remove any officials found to be a member of any party. The EDSIEC boss denied allegations by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the deliberate plans to rig the election in favour of the ruling party. He said: “We have never sat down to deliberately plan to undo some persons. We are going to abide by the law.

“Six parties are taking part in this election. Party agents not fielding candidates would not be allowed at the polling units, except to cast their votes.” Ogoh dismissed insinuations that elections would not hold in Estako Central Local Government following the killing of two persons and destruction of property. He said they were yet to arrive at a decision on whether or not elections would hold in the locality .

Unions give govt ultimatum


HREE unions in the Federal College of Education, Obudu, –Colleges of Education Academic Staff

Union (COEASU), Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education (SSUCOEN) and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) – have given a 48-hour ultimatum to the Cross River State Government to reopen the institution. The college was shut down on April 12 by the State Internal Revenue Service for non-remittance of PAYE-Withholding Tax deductions from staff amounting to over N543.9 million from 2004 to 2009.

From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

The action was said to be in response to an order by the State High Court, Obudu, presided over by Justice E.O. Abua. The unions made their position known in a statement signed by Dr Peter Betiang, State Chairman COEASU; Okang Okang, State Chairman SSUCOEN and Godwin Inde of NASU. They claimed that members of the unions pay their taxes promptly. “If the college authority has not remitted taxes paid by staff, it is a matter between it and the tax board,” they said.

LMC challenges refs to do more





Chelsea chases Europa League star IT SEEMS not and given the report in the Daily Express that the club are about to make a bid for Vlad Chiriches signature it is little wonder. From defenders to forwards, the West London club seem to want them all and it is of no surprise whatsoever to us that they are unfazed that a player brought in this summer may not be what their new manager is after with Roman Abramovich willing to move ahead regardless. Now the club are hunting the Steaua Bucharest centre back who would be available for around £12.8 million – hardly an issue for Chelsea considering they seem to enjoy throwing money down the drain on players who fail to live up to their fees and then get shipped out less than a season later. The player was a star of the Romanian side's Europa League campaign and featured and scored against the Blues this season. The player’s agent did claim that a ‘host of other clubs are following him’ and Serie A seems to represent the league which holds the most interest with Inter Milan previously linked with the player.


Allardyce ends Carroll speculation THE constant speculation relating to whether Andy Carroll will stay at Upton Park next season appears to have been concluded. Talking to the media yesterday, Sam Allardyce explained that the introduction of the Financial Fair Play rules will prohibit West Ham from splashing such a huge amount of cash on one deal, with Big Sam explaining, "Financial restrictions being implemented next season could blow the whole deal in one go." "From what I gather, the first team squad wages and expenditure could be restricted." "So in one fell swoop the financial restrictions may mean Andy Carroll can`t sign for us because it`s too expensive."



Arteta: Right decision to leave Everton A RSENAL midfielder Mikel Arteta believes his ability to hold down a regular first-team spot at Emirates Stadium proves he was right to leave Everton in 2011. Arteta's switch to the Gunners came as a surprise to many, and the Spaniard has admitted that even he was not sure if he would establish himself as a constant in Arsene Wenger's starting line-up. However, the 31-year-old has done just that, also captaining Arsenal at times this season in the absence of regular skipper Thomas Vermaelen. "It has gone probably better than I expected," Arteta told the Evening Standard. "When you come to a club like Arsenal, you expect to find it very tough. "I didn't know how much I was going to play but to get

in the team and play the amount of games I have in the last two years in unbelievable. The way I have got on with the players, the staff and the fans has been great. "My family are happy here so I think I made the right choice coming [to the club] and that is not disrespectful to Everton. I felt it was my time to leave after what I did there and go on to a different challenge." Arteta comes up against his former club at The Emirates on Tuesday and ahead of his 29th start of the season was full of praise for his old boss David Moyes. "He is a manager who really looks after the players, not only in football terms but any time you have a problem, he is always behind you," Arteta said. "What he does with the group is amazing because

sometimes, when I was there, we had 12 or 13 players training. "It was very small squads all the time because Everton cannot manage to pay 24 good wages. The way he takes everything out of the players and keeps demanding more of them without killing them psychologically, it is a very difficult thing to do as a manager." Arteta established himself as a creative attacking player at Goodison Park but has found himself playing in a deeper role at Arsenal, something he says he has no problem with. "Sometimes when I watch old videos from when I was at Everton, I see I was playing left wing, right wing and the way I have to play now is very different," Arteta said. "But when I started my career at

Vidic can see the finish line


ANCHESTER United defender Nemanja Vidic has warned that the Red Devils must remain focused as they close in on the Premier League crown. Sir Alex Ferguson's team are 15 points clear of Manchester City, who have a game in hand, at the top of the table with six matches to play. Sunday's 2-0 win over Stoke City was United's eighth victory in their past nine league fixtures and Vidic believes that they will enter the final run-in full of confidence. "Yes, you think you're almost there but you have to win the games," the centreback told MUTV. "(Winning at Stoke) helps us build up the confidence

and a few players had a great game - people like Antonio (Valencia), Wayne (Rooney) and Robin (van Persie). "It's important for players


like this to be in good form for the games to come." United face West Ham at Upton Park on Wednesday and Vidic is expecting another physical encounter after coming through a similar test against Stoke. "Stoke is always a difficult place to go to but we fought for every ball, played some good football and, in the end, I think we deserved to win," he added. "It was physical. You know they're going to get the ball to the forwards, they're good at set-pieces, they're going to challenge defenders. "Now it's West Ham and we have to play well again. They play in a similar style to Stoke - we're going to have long balls and setpieces to deal with."

Barcelona and Paris StGermain, I used to play there with a lot of creative players in front of me and I enjoyed a different role. You have a lot of responsibility there but I enjoy it now. "Sometimes people say to me, 'Mikel, you can go

forward, score goals and be in the headlines,' but we have a lot of good players who can do that already. Sometimes you need to know that if you can help in another position and make the rest better, that is the best thing to do."

Delph prepared to miss birth of baby for Aston Villa


STON VILLA midfielder Fabian Delph is prepared to miss the birth of his first child if it coincides with one of the games in the club's ongoing battle to avoid relegation from the Barclays Premier League. Delph's girlfriend Natalie is due to give birth early next month and he is desperate to be present when the baby arrives. But the 23-year-old former Leeds player, who scored an own goal in Saturday's 1-1 home draw with Fulham, has also stressed the importance of keeping himself available for Villa at the moment something he is ready to prioritise if necessary.

"We have spoken about it and we know it's a possibility," Delph told the club's official website, "It could happen as one of the games is about to go on. But this is a crucial part of the season and if I'm down to play in the games, I need to be playing. "Natalie appreciates the situation and is 100% behind me. "I want to see my baby being born and hope it happens. Ideally, it will happen on a Wednesday." Villa are currently 17th in the table with five matches left to play, three points clear of 18thplaced Wigan, who have two games in hand over them.





NATION SPORT Heynckes prefers Cruyff input to Pep BAYERN MUNICH coach Jupp Heynckes has made it clear that he would prefer Johan Cruyff's advice over that of Pep Guardiola. The Bavarians were paired with Guardiola's former club in Friday's draw for the Champions League semi-finals but the 65-year-old feels the legendary Dutchman would be able to offer more information about Barca. "Out of respect for his old club Pep can't give away any details about Barcelona, but I don't need him to," Heynckes told reporters. "I know Spanish football well and I know Barcelona well. If I wanted to call anyone I would choose Cruyff, because he invented Barca's style of play." Cruyff made 143 appearances for Barca as a player from 1973 until 1978 and was their head coach from 1988 to 1996.



Victory, a big step forward, says Buffon GIANLUIGI BUFFON believes Juventus' 2-0 victory over Lazio was a big step forward for the club in retaining their Serie A title. Two goals from Arturo Vidal saw the Bianconeri move 11 points clear of Napoli at the top of the table and leave the reigning champions needing just another seven to seal a second successive crown. "I will not even pronounce the word championship," Buffon said. "(But) I can say that today we have made a big step forward. We had to absorb elimination in the Champions League, which was deserved, but it has still come as a surprise to us. "There are still seven points to win by the end of the season. If we can achieve this goal, it will be another great accomplishment." Buffon was also quick to give credit to Lazio, who sit in sixth spot after the loss and have a fight on their hands to secure European football next season. "I went to say goodbye to the Lazio fans after the game because they have always shown me great respect. They deserve it," he said. "Tonight we did well because it is not easy to win at the Olimpico. Lazio is always a tough opponent."

Rocchi seeks cup ´revenge´ INTER STRIKER Tommaso Rocchi wants to knock Roma out of the Coppa Italia for the fans of his former side Lazio, as well as his current supporters. Rochi moved to San Siro in January after nine years in the Italian capital, and he revealed reaching the final at the expense of Aurelio Andreazzoli's side would be a way of saying thank you to those who used to sing his praises. "I want to make the fans happy of both Inter and Lazio," he told Corriere dello Sport. "I have had messages from Lazio fans telling me 'I know how to beat them'. I still have respect for Roma but it will be like a derby for me."

Serie Ancelotti denies Rooney link AMaterazzi: refs are scared C T OACH Carlo Ancelotti claims it would be 'impossible' for Paris SaintGermain to sign Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney. revealed in March that the 27-year-old, whose contract expires in 2015, had admitted to team-mates that he may leave Old Trafford this summer. "Wayne Rooney is one of the best attackers in the world," Ancelotti told reporters. "I think it will be impossible for


PSG to buy him. He is an idol at Manchester United." Rooney was left out of Manchester United's starting line-up for their Champions League tie against Real Madrid last month, prompting uncertainty over his future at the club, but Sir Alex Ferguson later insisted that the decision was for tactical reasons and his relationship with the striker was fine. On Sunday, PSG's former advisor Michael Moulin, who owns French sports publication Le 10 Sport,

claimed a deal for Rooney to move to the Ligue 1 leaders has already been completed. PSG have been heavily linked as a potential destination for Rooney, despite the French club's director, Leonardo, and president, Nasser AlKhelaifi, both dismissing reports which suggest a bid had already been made for the England international. "I announce to you from trusted sources: Rooney to PSG is done. He will be at PSG next season," he said.

I held talks with Spurs over move, admits ex-PSG boss Kombouare

HE 49-year-old left the Ligue 1 side in December 2011 and claims he spoke with the north London club before they appointed Andre-Villas-Boas, as well as West Brom and Swansea Ex-Paris Saint-Germain boss Antoine Kombouare has claimed he held talks with Tottenham last summer over replacing Harry Redknapp. Andre Villas-Boas eventually filled the void following Redknapp’s departure - but Kombouare has revealed he met Spurs officials, as well fellow Premier League sides West Brom and Swansea. The 49-year-old decided to take control at Middle East side Al-Hilal - but has since left the club and is seeking a new challenge. He told L'Equipe: "After my sacking from PSG I had a six-month break. Then I wanted to coach in the Premier League, rather than France. "I had contacts but it was never sorted because I was always the second or third name on the list. "The contacts? West Bromwich Albion, Swansea and Tottenham. I


went to London to meet officials, but it never came to anything. "I didn't want to join a small club or a small European league, so I finally chose Saudi Arabia. "Since my departure from Al-Hilal I have had some very serious contacts, but the projects didn't really excite me. I want to manage clubs playing at the top of their league." Lahm serious about Wolfsburg test Bayern Munich defender Philipp Lahm has stressed his will not take Tuesday's DFB Pokal semi-final against Wolfsburg lightly. The Bavarians missed out on the cup last term, losing 5-2 to Borussia

Dortmund in the final. And they are keen to make amends this season, Lahm says. "We're determined to make the final, as are our fans and staff. We all want a trip to Berlin," the German "It's fabulous and our big target." Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, meanwhile, added that Bayern realise it will not be easy to book their ticket for the final. "Our target is to go to Berlin. And we've been there regularly in recent years," Rummenigge said. "We know it won't just take care of itself and that we'll have to concentrate hard yet again."

Vucinic rejects ´lazy´ accusations


UVENTUS striker Mirko Vucinic has hit out at the selective vision of the Italian media for questioning his work rate. The Montenegro international has come in for criticism of late from some sections of the national press, who have questioned his level of effort for the Bianconeri. However, the former Roma forward has refuted the claims and suggested his detractors view the statistics of Juventus' recent defeat to Bayern Munich to gain a little more insight into his commitment. "We run like crazy at Juventus, but these people do not see it. They told me that I lacked commitment, but if we look at the statistics from the Bayern game you will see that is not true," he told reporters.

"I accept criticism, but I cannot accept it when it is not true." The Old Lady moved a step closer to recording back-to-back Scudetto titles with a 2-0 victory over Lazio in Rome on Monday, prompting Vucinic to praise his team-mates for putting their Champions League disappointment to one side. "Today we saw a great Juventus performance," he added. "Despite being eliminated from the Champions League, we came to Rome with the right mentality. "The Scudetto? No, we have not won it until it is mathematically assured." Antonio Conte's men can potentially move to within a point of retaining their league title in the event they beat AC Milan in Turin and Cagliari beat second-placed Napoli.

HE ex-Nerazzurri and Italy centre-back believes the officials in Italy's top flight are not up to scratch after decisions have gone against his former club lately Former Inter defender Marco Materazzi has criticised the standard of refereeing in Italy’s top flight. A number of decisions appear to have gone against the Nerazzurri in recent weeks which has led to the ex-Italy international to speak out. "I do not believe in bad faith, I believe that the referees are scared, they show it Sunday after Sunday,” he told reporters. "Against Juve, a penalty was not given on [Antonio] Cassano, then a penalty was given to Atalanta. On Sunday a penalty was not given to [Cagliari's Victor] Ibarbo and instead one was given to [Mauricio] Pinilla that was not there. These are strange things." Materazzi added referees cannot be the sole blame for the poor season suffered by Inter, with the team’s defence being an issue. "If a team concedes 45 goals in a year is something wrong there." Inter will face Roma in the Italian cup semi-final and the World Cup winner believes victory in that tournament could salvage something from this season. He added: "This is a decisive game, especially since there is little they can do in the league. Our journey began long ago with an Italian Cup; I hope that it will end in victory."





NEWS As water is to plants, so is steel to development. The nation’s quest to attain real growth and development is finding expression today, with the inauguration of the Western Metal Product Company Limited (WEMPCO) by President Goodluck Jonathan.

WEMPCO: Breaking new grounds in steel development


HE largest steel mill industry in subSahara Africa - Western Metal Product Company Limited, (WEMPCO), is due for inauguration today by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Goodluck Jonathan. It is imperative to underscore the fact that the steel plant which has a production capacity of 700,000 metric tonnes, will produce cold roll steel sheets and coils, from 0.15 millimeter thicknesses and above. The purpose to which this very germane plant could be put for economic and industrial use are, automobile/truck body building, roofing sheets, pipes, all kinds of metal containers, including food storage, steel furniture, strips, enamelware, storage tanks, electric appliances, washing machines, motor cycles, machinery structure and body. It is important to note that Egypt produces about four per cent of the total world iron and steel output. Iran produces about fivesix per cent, Pakistan and India have moved up on the graph, while China, Australia, Canada, South Korea, USA, Russia are the big steel power countries. No nation can flex its muscle or show her strength of influence when she has no steel production competency and capacity. Even in the old empires, black smiths and gold smiths were very powerful people because they produced swords and other tools for war for the Emperors from Iron. It is worthy to note that, Japan has no iron ore, but they import iron ore from Brazil, Peru and Australia, but today Japan is a steel nation because they produce steel on their own. Great Britain, France, Germany, all developed on iron and coal. It would be recalled that the industrial revolution and development of Britain and France was based on iron and coal. Hence, if Nigeria must really occupy its place of pride amongst the committee of nations that have progressed industrially, then emphasis must be placed on the genuine development of the steel industry. No doubt, the WEMPCO Steel Company is indeed a watershed in Nigeria’s history, this is because, since the attainment of independence in 1960, Nigeria has consistently imported its steel requirements at very great cost from all over the globe. Some group of business strongholds have constituted themselves into a cabal and have rapaciously milked the nation dry on account of inexcusable capital flight. They use the massive demands in Nigeria to maintain their steel industries in their homelands, hence, Nigeria has been turned into a feeder country, making other countries wealthy, while it is being systematically impoverished. This is the first time that a serious attempt is being made to halt this abnormality and it is a landmark development in the annals of the nation’s history. Nigerians will be able to get at their doorsteps what used to take them some strenuous efforts to obtain. It is for this reason that these strongholds are up in arms against the patriotic zeal of WEMPCO owners to make Nigeria self-sufficient in steel production, but perspective Nigerians could see through their selfish game plan. Planning for a steel industry in the country started in 1958. This was the search for appropriate local input, the characteristics of which determined the particular technologies that would be used. To this end, Iron ore would be got at Agbaja, Itakpe and Udi; suitable limestone at Jakura, Mfamosin and other parts of the country. Coal deposits were always there at Enugu, while potential coke-able coal was struck at Lafia. Between 1961 and 1965, many industrialised nations’ firms submitted proposals for the construction of an integrated steel plant in Nigeria. In 1967, a UNIDO survey identified Nigeria as a potential steel market. This led to the signing of a bilateral agreement between the defunct Soviet Union and Nigeria, leading to the arrival of Soviet steel experts to Nigeria to conduct a feasibility study. The experts recommended the Blast Furnace/Basic Oxygen Furnace (BF/BOF) process to produce 570,000 tonnes per year capacity of rolled products. In April 1971, the Nigerian Steel Development Authority (NSDA) was established by a Military Decree (No. 9 of April 14). Thus, the first formal body to be charged with the supervision of the steel programme in Nigeria was born. NSDA was charged with the responsibility to plan, construct and operate a steel plants in the country, amongst other duties.

•President Jonathan

• WEMPCO GMD, Lewis S. N. Tung

In addition, The Federal Government also decided to establish threeRolling Mills with 210,000 tonnes per annum capacity to be sited in Katsina, Osogbo and Jos. In October, 1977, the contract for the construction of Delta Steel Company at Ovwian–Aladja, Warri in Delta State was awarded to the German Consortium headed by Messrs GMBH. Delta Steel Company would consist of seven units integrated process-which was to produce one million tons of liquid steel per year and a captive rolling mill with 320,000 tonnes rolling capacity. On July 29, 1982, the fully completed Delta Steel Plant was inaugurated and production started. In 1982 and 1983, the Rolling Mills in Jos, Katsina and Osogbo were all inaugurated and were expected to obtain their billets from the Delta Steel Company. In 1987, in order to ensure that steel plants were not starved of raw materials, the government established the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) by Decree No.39 under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology. RMRDC should, among other things, establish self-supporting small scale projects on raw materials exploitation to expedite industrial development for maximum utilisation of local raw materials deposits as input to the steel industries. However, over the years, the government has not been able to realise the objectives it set out to achieve with the steel industry. The Ajaokuta project is still in the pipeline after several years of experimentation which cost several billions of naira. Painfully, the rolling mills have all gone under. This bold initiative by the Wempco Group is not only a right step in the right direction, but a welcome development that will change the face of industrialisation in Nigeria for good. This idea is coming to fruition at a time President Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda is kick-starting the economy with uncommon zeal which the Wempco Group has rightly keyed into, to give the national economy a new lease of life. The WEMPCO steel rolling mill worth $1.5 billion and capable of producing 700,000 metric tonnes of steel yearly, is born in Nigeria. The steel mill, along with a ceramic tiles plant worth $500 million and a nail production plant, worth $200 million all located in the Wempco steel complex, in Ogun State, is expected to create 5,500 additional jobs. The production capacity of the steel mill, which is owned by the Wempco Group, represents 65 per cent of the 1.2 million of steel consumed yearly in Nigeria, most of which are imported. The mill will produce cold rolled (flat steel) and the mill will depend on imported steel billets for raw materials until it can work out how to ferry iron ore from Itakpe in Kogi State. The ceramic tiles plant, which has started production, produces 800,000 square metres, in addition to what is produced in an plant of the Group.

This brings the total production to 1.2 million square metres, which represents 45 per cent of local demand. The production will increase to 1.5 million square metres by the end of the year and three million square metres by 2015 which is more than the present local demand of 2.5 million square metres. The ceramic tiles produced by the company compares with the best in the world in terms of quality and are cheaper. The companies there are plans to export its ceramic tiles to the West African region. Discussions with distributors across the region are on-going. To ensure adequate and uninterrupted power supply for the massive operations of the complex, the company invested about $250 million to build a 50 megawatt gas power plant. The significance and import of this must be understood in light of the fact that many Third World countries have been able to lift their economies away from Third World poverty and starvation, and seriously threatening the developed countries in economic well-being for their people. A few examples will suffice. India, South Korea, Pakistan, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Algeria, Libya, Turkey, Venezuela, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Mexico. The steel projects in all these countries started as serious national projects, with their governments taking active interest in the steel development. Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Libya with their fabulous oil reserves also have developed viable steel industries. Other third world oil producing countries with well-developed steel industries, include Indonesia, Venezuela and Mexico. Therefore, the bold industrial plan by the Wempco Group will help to put Nigeria on the world map in the steel sector. It is very evident that the government cannot do it all alone, it is for this reason that the Wempco Group is partnering with government to make the transformation agenda of Mr. President a reality and beneficial to all Nigerians. According to the Group Managing Director of the Wempco Group, Mr Lewis Tung, the steel complex, which would be the largest in Africa on completion, is motivated by the need to conserve foreign exchange resources and the availability of the needed raw materials in the country. “We realise that importing these products cost a lot of foreign exchange and we thought that since the raw materials are available locally, producing them locally will help conserve foreign exchange,” Tung said. The huge investment on the complex is a demonstration of the confidence and belief of the Wempco group in Nigeria, he added. “We have been in Nigeria in the last forty years with established manufacturing companies producing wide range of building materials and associated products. This is because we believe in Nigeria and we see a lot of potentials in the country and its people,” he said.

‘The WEMPCO steel rolling mill worth $1.5 billion and capable of producing 700,000 metric tonnes of steel yearly, is born in Nigeria. The steel mill, along with a ceramic tiles plant worth $500 million and a nail production plant, worth $200 million all located in the Wempco steel complex, in Ogun State, is expected to create 5,500 additional jobs’

Apart from the areas mentioned above, Wempco Steel will help immensely in the production of ocean vessels, train bodies, agriculture steel equipment, earth moving vehicles, coils, flat sheet for round/hollow/square pipes, household electronics casing, refrigerators, airconditioners, fan-blade/stands, washing machines and microwaves, among others. It will also assist in the production of office steel furniture for cabinets, desks and stands, containers for chemical, foods and drinks packaging and to be a flat steel supply centre for thousands of small scale enterprises who require flat steel. And, the technology deployed for this purpose is five-Stand Tandem Rolling Milling with state of the art combined hi-technology from China and USA, which is the first of its kind in Africa. The firm generate direct employment for 1,800 people, 30,000 indirect employment and thousands of jobs in downstream activities. Business and different empowerment activities at both the macro and micro levels will be provided for engineers, technicians, artisans, fabricators, mechanics, drivers and researchers. The vision of Wempco Steel is to go upstream of the steel sector by utilising the vast deposits of iron-ore in the country with a view to producing steel raw materials, such as billets, hot rolled flat steel, among others, and any other identified steel raw materials as developments unfold for local consumption and for export. However, it is important to note that this plan can only be realised with government support and policy consistency. To this end, Wempco Steel seeks to reduce, in the short term and eliminate in the long term, the importation of steel products that are available locally in the country, while generating foreign exchange for Nigeria from export. The impact of these efforts on the national economy is enormous. It will increase job opportunities, provide the right signal for prospective investors both local and foreign, and save about $250 million in foreign exchange for the country. The plant will also create transfer of technology, gradual import substitution and reduction in steel importation, as well as avenue to open up new investment in downstream and upstream, such as Iron-Ore mining, and a wake-up call for local content application in our steel utilisation and investment in local production of cold rolled (flat) steel which will open the way and opportunity for sustainable self-sufficiency in the country’s steel requirements. The continued investment, expansion and reinvestment of the Wempco Group in Nigeria is as a result of the confidence of the Group in the Nigerian economy. For example, Argentina hit and surpassed their installed capacity after seven years, Venezuela, after 11yeras, Egypt after six yearIran after 10 years, Saudi Arabia, after three years, India after seven years. South Africa hit above 50 per cent after four years. Wempco should be supported to bail out the country as steel is strategic for Nigeria’s industrial and economic development. Being unserious with steel development in Nigeria is not good. It is the bedrock of industrialisation; there is no way a nation can build ships, cars, rigs, houses and complexes without iron and steel. Since the day car was developed, it is still a metal box, no matter the shape and transformation, which means no nation can produce a car without steel. The heavy industries of SAMSUNG, Hyundai and Mitsubishi, where big ships and rigs are being produced, rely heavily on the iron and steel industries. So, there is no way Nigeria is going to become a world power or self-sufficient if she does not develop the steel industry. The benefits are enormous! The high rate of unemployment in Nigeria is partly responsible for the destructive spiral of violence and criminal activities across the country. Nigeria’s unemployment rate increased to 23.9 per cent in 2011 compared with 21.1 per cent in 2010 and 19.7 per cent in 2009 as revealed by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), and 23.9 per cent of our population of over 160 million is about 38 million. There is no amount of investment a nation puts in its iron and steel industry that will be a waste when you have a population as much as 160 million people. With good education and training, the country will get a crop of talented and innovative people that will turn around the steel sector in the nearest future and Nigeria will be the better for it. Wempco should be commended and supported for taking the bull by the horns in this regard, the odds notwithstanding.







Imo conundrum •The deputy governor’s impeachment raises moral questions


N the Imo State impeachment saga just ended, the nation tasted again the flavour of politics of the powerful as ticket for legitimacy. The ritual played out with all the semblance of seriousness. The ousted deputy governor was accused, the state house of assembly conducted an investigation, a panel was set up, and eventually the charges were presented for vote on the floor of the legislature. Those who watched the proceedings purely as a technicality would not fault its fidelity to law and process. But from the facts of the story, law may have taken its course in the legislative house. But for those who want the law to match the demands of morality, questions linger. It is not the law and integrity alone that bother the average person. We also wonder at the contradiction of a state governor and government that rattled a deputy governor for wasting public funds on bribery while the government has shown an alleged public contempt for prudence in the management of taxpayers’ patrimony. On the impeachment, a clear gap happens when the taker of an alleged bribe is punished while the giver does not suffer any moral or legal retribution. The nation still expresses moral horror at the Farouk Lawan-Otedola bribery saga in which the alleged taker – Lawan- has suffered prosecutions and opprobrium while the self-confessed giver seems to enjoy an air of a moral superior. According to the reports, Jude Agbaso obtained a bribe of N458million from the hands of a Lebanese contractor, Joseph Dina of JPROS International Nigeria Limited. This is a grave matter as the money

was meant to construct roads in Imo State. It is doubly important because it shows how persons in position of trust abuse their privileges to pauperise the ordinary people who should have enjoyed the services if the contracts were executed faithfully. The sum involved allegedly amounted to 46 percent of the full contract sum. It is not only corrupt but it is close to an act of official delirium. Agbaso has raised some questions. One, was it true that the said bribe sum was traced to two accounts in Dubai and London? Did the accounts belong to Three Brother Concept Nig. Ltd and IHSAN Bureau De Change Limited? Does Agbaso have any links to the accounts? From the points advanced by Agbaso, it was not a case of bribery but an orchestrated malfeasance by the Rochas Okorocha administration to entrap the deputy governor for impeachment. We need to investigate these matters because what is at stake is not Agbaso’s position but integrity and fairness in society. Agbaso may have thrown these assertions to defrock himself of the grave allegations over which he was flushed out of power. He will be doing himself and this democracy deep disservice if he fabricates stories in order to tarnish the governor’s image and that of his cronies. We are not unaware, too, of the impotence of deputy governors and how they are at the mercy of their bosses. The governor can act arbitrarily in cahoots with the rubberstamp legislature to oust a deputy governor whose ways are no longer compatible with his. Impeachment has been “legitimised” as instru-

ments of revenge. We hope this was not the case in the Agbaso ouster. But also important is that while the Okorocha government expresses indignation at the bribe story, he has been accused of lack of prudence that contradicts. It has not answered, for instance, the allegations from his predecessor, Ikedi Ohakim. Rather, he said he met an empty purse. His predecessor alleged that he left N13.2 billion as the sum left after projects executed on an N18.2 billion bond obtained from the banks. He also said he left another sum of N12.9 billion. He also alleged that the governor has asked for another loan, which he denied. He needs to address with transparency Ohakim’s allegations to prevent a charge of hypocrisy and imprudence.

‘Those who watched the proceedings purely as a technicality would not fault its fidelity to law and process. But from the facts of the story, law may have taken its course in the legislative house. But for those who want the law to match the demands of morality, questions linger’

Titillating Five • Quintuplets and two health facilities dramatise a cheer for Nigeria


IVE kids, one year and four months old, born of the same parents at the same time. The uncommon story of the Shofunlayo quintuplets –Eyitayo, Eyitope, Eyitomini, Eyimofe and Eyidayois the stuff of news, and they are likely to stay in the spotlight because of the circumstances of their birth. Against all odds, they survived at birth in 2011, which has earned them the titillating tag, “Five Alive.” The two boys and three girls made history as the first quintuplets born at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Lagos, although they were conceived through Assisted Reproduction at Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. It is fascinating that the fifth in the line was not expected as their mother’s last

‘It is interesting that the quintuplets were conceived through in vitro fertilisation (IVF) at a local fertility centre and born in a local hospital. It shows, without doubt, that the country is not lacking either in equipment or expertise in this area. This is a picture of possibilities that should be inspiring across various sectors’

scan had shown she was, in her own words, “carrying four babies.” Equally remarkable is the fact that during the Caesarian Section (CS) on her, it took the expertise of the medical team headed by Prof. Godwin Ajayi to locate and bring out the unexpected baby. “We can do a lot of things in Nigeria, if we believe,” said the kids’ father, Wale Shofunlayo, a lawyer, who had been reportedly advised to fly his wife to India for safe delivery. His faith in Nigerian doctors eventually paid off, and he deserves kudos for his patriotic spirit. This impressive belief in the country’s health care system, despite its often publicised shortcomings, it should be observed, happened in the context of a 17-year wait for a child. It can only be imagined what level of courage and confidence made him to defy the alleged risks connected with having the children in the country. He was, after all, to go by reports, perhaps in a position to afford overseas medical attention for his wife. “For about seven months, my wife was admitted at LUTH for bed rest and I was able to pay,” he said. Also, it is a matter for conjecture the financial cost he had to bear by using the Nordica Fertility Centre, which is a private medical facility. The collaboration of LUTH and the centre in the delivery of the quintuplets is a positive example of partnership between a public health institution and a private organisation, and such cooperation should be encouraged for the synergy it achieves. Shofunlayo’s experience gives an instructive insight into the benefits of

such public-private relationship. He said: “I will say kudos to the doctors and nurses for their efforts and consistency. They have really shown that Nigeria is not lagging behind in the preservation of human lives. I am satisfied with the services rendered before and after delivery. “ Shofunlayo’s good words didn’t end there. According to him, “The only thing the doctors did was to get their hand gloves and get going. None of them requested for any gratification. This is my first experience in a public hospital and it is the best place for anybody to come for treatment.” His testimony is certainly heart-warming; it calls for greater belief in the country’s health care system, and, indeed, greater faith in the country. It is interesting that the quintuplets were conceived through in vitro fertilisation (IVF) at a local fertility centre and born in a local hospital. It shows, without doubt, that the country is not lacking either in equipment or expertise in this area. This is a picture of possibilities that should be inspiring across various sectors. It is a noteworthy coincidence that the Nordica Fertility Centre, which recorded its first birth through Assisted Reproduction nine years ago, and has been central to the birth of 1,200 babies by the same method, marked its 10th anniversary just a few days after the passage of Robert Edwards, the co-founder of the 35-year-old IVF technique and British Nobel laureate who died on April 10 at age 87.

In Boston, explosions transform a scene of celebration into one of tragedy


N THE weeks and months after the 2001 terrorist attacks, every iconic

sports event became an occasion for anxiety. World Series games, the Super Bowl— with each, trepidation suffused every fan’s normal interest. Over time, the trepidation faded — until Monday. The Boston Marathon, held each Patriot’s Day, is about as iconic as a sporting event can be, for the world’s elite runners and for Bostonians, whether sedentary or fit. As Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) said, “This is a pretty special day around here.” That it would be despoiled by two explosions near the finish line, killing at least three and injuring scores, is a terrible development. In the early moments after the blasts, there were indications of the nation’s maturity, for better and worse, in dealing with such shocks. Runners and onlookers seemed to respond, for the most part, without panic. Local police began cooperating seamlessly with state police and the FBI and other federal authorities. Emergency crews responded with professionalism. Officials and reporters, meanwhile, were careful not to get ahead of the confirmed news. Could the explosions have been something other than bombs? In the late afternoon, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis confirmed that they were explosive devices. Who was responsible? Again, there seemed to be a general understanding of the danger of jumping to conclusions. The nation has seen its share of foreign terrorism and homegrown terrorism attacks alike (the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta come to mind). Sadly, any number of explanatory scenarios were plausible, absent a claim of responsibility and pending a more thorough investigation. Washingtonians who knew a marathoner, or whose friends or loved ones were in Boston for other reasons, frantically sought reassurance. For everyone else, there was little to do but hold the victims in their hearts and wait for more clarity. Unfortunately, we’ve learned well by now that “senseless” doesn’t mean“unlikely.” Even so, who could help but feel furious that anyone would target such a sunny event and so many innocent people? – Washington Post

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IR: One of the expectations of democracy is better accountability from government and since Nigeria returned to civil rule, elected officers had been conceiving different programmes to make them accountable to the people. Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema recently released two volumes of brochure dubbed Katsina State Projects 2007/2010 and 2010/2012 on the development projects he embarked on for the state. The brochures were produced by the Kaduna-based Timex Communications (Nig) Ltd. One striking idea about the two books is that in each sector, the numbers of projects executed were stated and the cost of these projects. This, no doubt, gives room for verification of not just the physical projects but also the amount expended on the projects, which is a huge departure from the norm. Most governors in their scorecards do not state the cost of projects executed. The books are testimonials of his stewardship as governor of the state since 2007. Since taking over from the late President Umaru Yar’ Adua as Governor of Kastina State, Shema has devised new methods of bringing development and accountability to the people. First of this is the introduction of Community Devel-


Shema’s scorecard in print opment Committees (CDC) which he has effectively used as means of identifying and executing relevant projects in the state. That strategy gave various communities in the state the opportunity to determine projects, which are needed by the people. This strategy has also helped the governor to build projects that will add value to the people. Also, the method has enabled the governor to provide responsive

leadership to the needs of the people. Through this method, Shema has demonstrated that prudent management of scare resources can bring succour to the people. A census of projects undertaken by state government under the leadership of Governor Shema since 2007 revealed about 30 roads which have been newly built, rehabilitated or dualised. If the completion of the Katsina Airport is added to the executed projects, it will be clear

that his administration has adequately attended to the transportation and infrastructural needs of the people of Kastina State. By building of fertilizer blending plants in Batsari, Bakori, Safana and Maiadua, the governor has set the stage for revolution in agriculture in the state. What is more? His introduction of free education in primary and secondary schools in state has brought enlightenment to the people.


• Hassan Sirajo 2, Cibi Road, Kurmin Mashi, Kaduna

German Physicist and Methodist Girls , Yaba, Lagos IR: German Physicist Max Planck once jested that those born in 1879 are especially pre destined for Physics. In 1879, Albert Einstein, Max Von Laue and Otto Hahn were born.They all went on to win the Nobel prize for Physics. Lisa Meitner, Planck, said “was born a small inquisitive girl in November 1878. She could not wait for her


time to come.” Lisa Meitner was an Austrian, later Swedish, Physicist who worked on radio activity and nuclear Physics. Meitner was part of the team that discovered nuclear fission 75 years ago. According to the wikipedia, “Meitner is often mentioned as one of the most glaring examples of women’s scientific

achievement overlooked by the Nobel committee”. Also in 1879, Methodist Girls High School (MGHS), Yaba, Lagos was founded. MGHS was to produce Ibiyinka Fuwape who emerged valedictorian at the University of Ibadan founded on November 17, 1948, exactly 70 years after the birth of Lisa Meitner whose birthdate is

Kudos to Amosun on technical education IR: I wish to commend the governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, for inaugurating the Technical and Vocational Education Board 20 years after the idea was first conceived. There is no doubt that Nigeria cannot overcome its current challenges without aggressive support for technical and vocational education.

Thus, the establishment of free education has opened the way for the spread of prosperity; he has given electricity to more than 60 towns and villages in the state. He has built the Youth Craft Centre for Entrepreneurship Development in the state. Shema’s strides in development enabled the Katsina State Universal Basic Education Commission to win laurels in 2009 and 2010. Katsina Motel has been upgraded to a three-star hotel with suites, chalets, rooms and a swimming pool. The motel is also equipped with an automomatic power generator. The list of accomplishment is long and inexhaustible touching every aspect of human life.

As the governor himself observed, “Technical education is a very strategic aspect of learning that will help create wealth and bring out the creativity, craftsmanship as well as entrepreneurial spirit in our youths.” The 12 man Doyin Ogunbiyi-led Board therefore has its assignment well cut out. We must produce the necessary

workforce to drive the growing number of industries in Ogun State. The era of running to other African countries to look for capable technicians, even in areas where we used to take pride in as a nation, should be over. We must henceforth productively engage our youths. Ogun has taken the lead in this direction.

Apart from the ongoing efforts to revive its technical schools, vocational studies will be a major aspect of learning in the international standard model schools under construction across the three senatorial districts of the state. • Yetunde Oyefeso Iperu Remo, Ogun State

sometimes mistaken for November 7, 1878. Ibiyinka Fuwape(nee Adedokun) was to be described by the University of Ibadan Physicist, Profesor Ebun Oni (also a product of MGHS) as Africa’s first authentic woman theoretical physicist. Ibiyinka Fuwape was to be promoted to the rank of Professor in 2005, refered to as the Einstein Year, or the World Year of Physics to mark the publication of Einstein’s three” miraculous” papers of 1905. Einstein was a Theoretical Physicist. Interestingly Methodist Boys High School, Lagos was founded on March 14 1878 exacly one year before the birth of Albert Einstein. But the world waits for the Methodist Girls Yaba, Lagos. • Augustine Togonu-Bickersteth, London, England




Hegemon in a peripheral region: Future of Nigeria’s foreign policy (3) HE present educational institutions that are grossly under-funded and under-financed are not capable of producing the outcome that this country needs for its industrial and economic leap forward. Yet this is critical to the kind of role Nigeria has to play in the sub-region. Nigeria can afford to finance its educational institutions at the appropriate level of funding and also provide modern infrastructure required in an emerging economy. One of the obstacles to this availability of funds is the current pervasive corrosive and debilitating corruption. It does not seem the Nigerian elite particularly those running the affairs of the country at public and private sectors realise that corruption is not just a criminal offence but has become a cog in the wheel of development and has therefore become a security issue because without development there would be a rise in poverty and immiseration in our country. Economic growth and development would redound on our country’s political stability, domestic strength and consequent power and influence in our region. Political stability is a necessary condition of development particularly in a post-colonial country like Nigeria. The bane of African politics is the instability arising out of the plural nature and the multiplicity of tongues in many African countries. The incessant coup d’états of the past was the result and the manifestation of this malady. In the case of Nigeria, about 350 different languages and ethnicities have been identified. Some of these languages are of course related. This multilingualism is further compounded by the divide of religion among votaries of Christianity, Islam and Traditional African religions. Poverty in the land has unfortunately exacerbated fissiparous religious and ethnic tendencies in the country. Politics in Nigeria is becoming gradually a zero-sum game. Electoral victories are most times manipulated through rigging and other anti-democratic means. Leadership selection is usually compromised by ethnic differences and affiliations to the extent that dissatisfaction with the political process is generally the outcome of electoral and political party processes. The result of all these is political instability. The exposure of the country to the outside world of terrorism has not helped. In order to be heard, ethnic and religious factions in the country sometimes result to arms as witnessed



EAR rules the land these days. The people live in fear. Whether in or out of the house, they are afraid because they don’t know when that kidnapper or robber will strike. Even though many of us live in fortresses, we no longer feel safe behind our high fences. The walls we built round ourselves to protect us have become our prison yards. As we go out daily, we pray that evil will not befall us; that we will return home safe and sound. When we do, we heave a sigh of relief and thank God for His mercies. On the road and at work, we say the same prayer. ‘’Father, oh Lord, protect us from those watching us with evil intentions’’. Our prayers for protection and preservation have been doing wonders, if not many would have found themselves in the lair of hoodlums. Hardly a day passes without news of kidnapped or missing persons. We have seem to come to terms with it as a way of life. We tend to believe that these things must happen and when they don’t happen, we are shocked. Isn’t that strange? We are shocked by what should ordinarily not move us, while we feel unconcerned when calamity befalls people. Parents either kill or sell their children. Some also use their children for money rituals. This is the depth to which our society has sunk. Human lives no longer have value. To hoodlums, killing is nothing; they seem to derive joy from this dastardly act. Why are people so bestial? Why do they kill or kidnap people? Is it for money? The ready answer will be to say it is for money, but we will be missing the point by so doing. Something must have informed a person’s decision to become a killer or a kidnapper or a robber. Some have blamed it on poverty; others on the devil. What this shows is that these people are psychologically troubled. In the past few years, these ma-

by violence in the Niger-Delta; ethnic militancy in the Southeast and South-west expressed through cultural organisations and youth movements. But the most challenging problem the country now faces is the terrorism of religious fundamentalism in certain parts of Northern Nigeria. There is growing evidence and fear that the Boko Haram movement has links with the Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM) and Al-Shabab in the Horn of Africa. The ongoing campaign against the forces of secession and fundamentalism in Mali, in which Nigeria is involved militarily, is the greatest challenge the current government faces. It is a case of stopping fire in a neighbour’s house so that it does not consume one’s house. For Nigeria therefore to remain stable and prosperous, steps would have to be taken to consolidate democratic and economic development at home. Once this is done, the place of the country would be assured in the sub-region, in Africa and in the world at large. Nigeria’s role in the future of the sub-region Unlike physical development of a country in areas such as housing, roads, infrastructure, telecommunication, educational facilities, health and social welfare, a country’s achievement in the area of foreign policy is sometimes difficult to measure. The dividends of foreign policy are always not quantifiable, even though peace is a factor in development, it is not easily measurable. Nevertheless, peace in our region, due to Nigeria’s leadership, especially when it physically intervenes to prevent wars would be obvious to everybody. In recent past, Nigeria’s intervention in Guinea-Bissau, in Togo, in Principe and Sao Tome outside our region was decisive in bringing peace and avoiding war in those countries. Our intervention in Liberia and Sierra Leone, worthwhile as it was, had to be subsumed in the final stages within the UN peace-keeping operations. Nigeria’s role in bringing peace to Liberia and Sierra Leone was not always acknowledged and sometimes it is forgotten when the success is ascribed to the UN; despite the fact that the fighting and dying in those two countries had virtually been done before the UN’s advent and presence and this was at a cost of about $8billion to Nigeria’s exchequer between 1989 and 1998. On the question of peace keeping for which Nigeria has

acquired justified credibility and covered some yardage in our march to global recognition, there is need to preserve the sanctity of our reputation. Along with India Jide and Bangladesh, we Osuntokun have provided troops in many UN Peace Keeping and Peace Enforcement operations. But in recent times due to corruption and the Nigerian “factor” our troops have sometimes been provided with poor arms and equipment leading to our troops performing below par and consequent UN criticism of our troops’ ineffectiveness and lack of courage. Our honour is involved. If we are to continue to be relevant in this respect we must adopt best practice in kitting, provisioning and arming our troops with weapons that are new and conformable to UN military standards. This in any case is a reimbursable expenditure and the UN pays for services that meet UN standards and there is no reason to buy cheap or second-hand weapons for our troops. Our involvement in peacemaking in the Ivory Coast raises some fundamental questions in one’s mind. For the first time in our history, Nigeria had to compete with South Africa in our sub-region for influence. In the past, we used to imagine there were two powers in West Africa, Nigeria and France, but the involvement of former South Africa’s President, Thabo Mbeki in the Ivory Coast was a sign of what is to come in the future, when South Africa and Nigeria would have to compete for Africa’s leadership. The denouement in the Ivory Coast finally came in the form of French military intervention, albeit under UN auspices to get rid of Laurent Gbagbo who is to face trial in the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Nigeria was complicit in this French intervention. It is true that Laurent Gbagbo should have left power after losing the election; but a situation where a former colonial power intervenes to remove a sitting African president and with Nigeria being complicit in this removal raises a fundamental question in one’s mind.

When evil stalks the land

niacs have made the country unsafe. We all live with our hearts in our mouths for fear of the unknown. When the Niger Delta militants were granted amnesty in 2009, we thought we had seen the end of kidnappings and all sorts of killings, only for some faceless goons in the Southeast to start their own. Then came Boko Haram. The Southeast goons have made kidnapping their business and they are making a kill from it. They kidnap people and get their families to pay huge ransom. They are smiling to the bank, while many households are wailing over their losses because at times, those kidnapped are killed. In some instances, they collect the ransom and still kill their victims. Pioneer deputy governor of Anambra State, the late Dr Chuddy Nwike, was one of such victims. After kidnapping Nwike, the kidnappers demanded $30 million ransom. The family negotiated and they agreed to collect N5 million. The family took the money to the designated place, hoping that Nwike will be released as agreed. He was but the family got only his body. As I write this on Tuesday night, his killers have yet to be found. Of course, this is no longer a case of kidnapping but murder for which those involved should be brought to book because it might have been done deliberately as revealed in the confession of one of those arrested over the abduction of Prof Kamene Okonjo, mother of Finance Minister Dr Ngozi OkonjoIweala. The suspect killed his victim, a woman, to avenge, according to his accomplice, the death of his brother. Was the brother killed by the slain woman? he didn’t say. It seems there is no part of the country where they cannot strike. Abeokuta, Abuja, Enugu, Warri, Ilorin,

Umuahia, Kano, Kaduna, you name it, they have been there. Many people are abducted daily on the streets or in their homes that we don’t get to hear about. These hoodlums are so brazen in their daredevilry that they can operate anywhere, even if security operatives are around. Does it mean that our security agents cannot match these hoodlums who have spread their tentacles far and wide? They struck in Lagos on Monday night when they kidnapped Ejigbo Local Council Development Area chairman Kehinde Bamigbetan, who was on his way home. Bamigbetan is not your typical politician, who could be said to have had a run in with his opponents to warrant his abduction. Until he served former Governor Bola Tinubu as chief press secretary (CPS) a few years ago, he was a reporter doing his job quietly. Even as CPS, he was not a loud person. He preferred to allow his work speak for him. So, why will anyone kidnap such a person? It appears the spate of kidnappings is not going to stop any time soon. So, the government must rise up to the challenge of smoking out these monsters. The nation cannot continue to be held by the jugular by some criminals who think that they can use the weapon of fear to cow everybody. The insecurity in the country is not something for the government to gloss over. It should rise up and act now before things get out of hand, that is if they have not already. Those in power should

not think that because they have security men at their beck and call, they are safe from the reach of these criminals. They should show concern over what is happening because what comes round have a way of going round. They may have an army guarding them today, but will they enjoy that privilege for life. Once they are out of office, they are as vulnerable as those of us who look up to them for protection today. In as much as I don’t want to heap all the blames on the government, I cannot shy away from the fact that it is not doing enough to address the security challenge. The police, which should lead the campaign against kidnappers and other criminals, are not alive to their responsibility, yet they enjoy huge support from the states. Virtually all the states are trying to outdo one another in order to meet the needs of the police, yet we are not getting results from them. wonder if the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) is still there. If he is, he should wake up from slumber. The police get vehicles, communication gadgets and even subvention from the states to facilitate their job of crime fighting, yet they find it difficult to work. What is their problem? What is the essence of all this support by the states if the police cannot deliver? We cannot continue to wring our hands in frustration over our inability to tame the excesses of kidnappers, Boko Haram and other criminal elements and at the same time be wasting money on equip-


‘The police get vehicles, communication gadgets and even subvention from the states to facilitate their job of crime fighting, yet they find it difficult to work’

Lawal Ogienagbon SMS ONLY: 08099400204

ping the police. No, there is no sense in doing that. If the police cannot make use of these equipment to curb crime, it will only be logical for the states to stop wasting money on them. Kidnappers are on the rampage and they are not ready to stop because of the easy money they are making. It does not matter to them that they waste lives in order to make this easy money. To them, it is all in the line of business and so the end justifies the means. As long as there is easy money in kidnapping because people are ready to pay ransom secretly, they will continue to brave the odd to get it. Should the government continue to watch as these people perpetrate criminality? The answer is obvious; there is nowhere in the world where criminals are given a free hand to operate and ours cannot be different. It behoves on the government to break the back of kidnappers and other criminals by applying the force of law. We have allowed them to operate for too long and they have come to see themselves as being above the law. But nobody is above the law. We must make them know this by bringing them to book no matter what it takes.



COMMENTS ND suddenly the real architects of the current situation where majority of about four million annual graduates from our universities roam the streets without jobs, where PDP stalwarts, and their sympathizers who have access to free money import products of labour from other nations while over 60% of our 40 million youths remain jobless, and those whose policies have contributed to the misery of our youths (the National Bureau of Statistics placed the country’s misery index at 34 per cent), are warning us of the coming apocalypse if the problem of youth unemployment is not urgently addressed. Leading those who have been shedding crocodile tears about the misery of our unemployed youths is the father of PDP himself, ex-President Obasanjo who when challenged over his administration’s lack of a coherent policy on employment told bemused Nigerians that the recharge card and plantain chip hawkers on the streets of our major cities represented dividends of PDP policy on employment. And now the CBN governor, irrepressible Sanusi Lamido Sanusi whose policy led to the loss of about 50% of the banking sector workforce and who recently called for downsizing of the civil service by 50%, quoting data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) put unemployment rate in 2011 is 29.3 per cent, Yobe and Kano at 60.6 and 67 per cent respectively. This according to him means ‘unemployment has not only doubled in the last five years’, but saw the development whereby ‘unemployment is widening at a time of economic growth’, as an aberration’ Sanusi who has been the star of Jonathan PDP administration in the last four years accused government of failing to ‘create an enabling environment that can encourage indus-


‘Buhari lost his job because he was not prepared to do what Babangida, Kalu Idika Kalu, and Olu Falae eventually did. They accepted IMF loan, opened our market to importation which only increased employment for the youths of the exporting nations’


Challenge of unemployed youths trialisation of a country that produces oil yet imports refined fuel, a country that is in the tomato belt yet import tomatoes’. He perhaps forgot to add that we are a nation with acres upon acres of rubber plantation and sixth oil producer in the world and yet import used and substandard tyres; that we abandoned our massive oil palm plantations to import palm oil from Malaysia that came to borrow palm nuts from us; that in spite of our over 1,200 kilometres of coast line, we have for the past 50 years imported fish and that with over 80 million hectares of arable land, two third of which is located within a geographical zone where Sanusi told us his grandfather once supervised ground nut pyramids, we import ground nut oil. Government officials are also not left out. They have been talking from both sides of the mouth. While the Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr. Temi Kale put the figure of jobless and unemployed Nigerians at 20.3 million and praised President Jonathan for this feat, the Director General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), the body statutorily charged with the responsibility to design and implement programs aimed at combating unemployment in the country, Mallam Abubakar Mohammed on his part put the number of unemployed youths at 50%. But although President Jonathan administration has continued to dig the hole making our escape more difficult with acts of executive profligacy, the president’s inability to fight corruption, and our legislators shameless involvement in constituency contracts, etc, but he cannot be held responsible for the situation in which we today find ourselves. That unenviable position is reserved for the past successive military regimes that mortgaged the present and the future of our youths. While Gowon and Murtala/Obasanjo regimes

HE term branding has evolved so intensely especially in contemporary times as a critical element in salesmanship. It simply means “to burn.” According to Wikipedia, it refers to the practice of producers burning their mark (or brand) onto their products. The concept of branding has since progressed over the last century and now we are in a world ruled by brands. Not only is branding associated with products, today we see various countries of the world strongly identified by their compelling brand posturing. This is so because we are in a world where today the consumers are obsessed with brands. Why, for instance, has Dubai today become one of the world’s favourite travel destinations? Or why is America called God’s Own Country? And you wonder why most people go through so much trouble just to take up American citizenship. The answers to the above questions lie in the branding. Truth is, the branding and image of a nation-state and the successful transference of this image to its exports - is just as important as what they actually produce and sell. The brand recognition of Dubai and USA has been so built up to a level where they now command and enjoy a critical mass of positive sentiment in public consciousness. The positive response United Arab Emirates and the United States or any other country for that matter enjoy today by virtue of the success of their brand image, stems from people’s perception of their brand. The brand image or public perception of these countries is the direct result ofa deliberate symbolic construct created within the minds of the public, consisting of all the information and expectations associated with those countries, thereby making them who they are today. We talk of the emergence of a new Bayelsa today all because we recognize the power of branding. Governor Seriake Dickson through the vigorous and audacious pursuit of his restoration agenda has surely left no one in doubt that indeed a new Bayelsa is possible. The emergence of a new Bayelsa has given rise to a situation whereby the welfare rights of every Bayelsan is pursued with vigour especially within the context of basic human rights (socio-economic and political). We also fondly talk of the emergence of a new Bayelsa especially as it concerns Governor Dickson’s visionary leadership: an ambitious template which in the last one year has ensured an impressive stewardship that satisfies the basic, broad interests of the people of Bayelsa State, creating great economic opportunities as well as making a beautiful statement in infrastructural development. The hosting of this year’s African Movie Academy Awards

destroyed the academia and the bureaucracy, the two most important institutions in society, Babangida completed the cycle through structural economic derailment otherwise known as Structural Adjustment Program (SAP). Buhari lost his job because he was not prepared to do what Babangida, Kalu Idika Kalu, and Olu Falae eventually did. They accepted IMF loan, opened our market to importation which only increased employment for the youths of the exporting nations. Eskor Toyo and Sam Aluko warned that we would become a net importer of cheap goods, that local manufactured goods would become more expensive, that foreign capital would become more mobile while our labour also a factor of production would be immobile. Beko Ransome-Kuti, Gani Fawehinmi, Alao AkaBashorun and others took to the streets and were clamped into prison serving jail terms from Ikoyi to Gashua. Newspaper houses were closed down. Journalists were picked up in broad day light. Many simply escaped to Afghanistan. Babangida and his group devalued our naira which was almost at par with the pound sterling. And as our nation became a nation of immigrants, Margaret Thatcher in order to prevent economic immigrants from Nigeria slammed a visa requirement on Nigeria, a commonwealth country that was hitherto exempted from visa requirement. Of course, the PDP, peopled by military new breed that breed only corruption, messed up the privatization and commercialization exercise imposed by IMF as part of their conditionalities. Nasir El Rufai, the former BPE Director General confirmed blue chip companies on which the nation had invested over a hundred billion dollars were sold at give a way prices to PDP members and their

cronies. World Bank projected the exercise would lead to the creation of seven million jobs. But our nation lost the enterprises, lost the job opportunities and lost our investments as a result of PDP greed. Today our ceramic industries, textile industries, automobile support industries, and pharmaceutical industries are all dead –their factories turned to ware houses for Italian tiles, imported guinea brocade or Taiwanese rice or fake substandard India and Chinese drugs. Poverty started by Babangida’s SAP is today manifesting in the activities of hungry and angry uneducated youths led by unemployed educated youths from the north, kidnapping for ransom and human trafficking and prostitution by jobless youths in the South-east and South-south. And now that those who mortgaged the present and future, of our youths have become apprehensive; now that our angry youths especially those below 30 years who have never known anything outside military dictatorship and corruption by military-created new breeds that populate our national and state assemblies know where they are coming from, they can take their future in their hands. After all, Chinua Achebe told us, if a people cannot remember where rain started beating them, they may not know where to dry their clothes. Now, our twitter savvy facebook friendly, miracle-seeking drenched youths, who earnestly supported President Jonathan on the basis of their interaction on the social media in the 2011 election, now know why they have remained drenched. They also can now see that the military is not an option. For their economic liberation, they must get their politics right. And to do this, they need a sense of history instead of saying the past has gone with the old people. This was the trick Babangida used to destroy our political culture and saddle us with new breed without values or role models. Their job is therefore simple. Mobilise and elect leaders that will be on the side of the people. Leaders who will not like the military and PDP buccaneers, behave like looters of conquered territories; leaders that can stop importation of textile, shoes, ceramics, tyres, fish, and rice. Leaders that can judiciously divert huge resources wasted on phantom fuel subsidy to massive subsidy of agriculture sector and the cotton belt of the north to keep restive youths busy. And above all leaders who have faith in Nigeria and ready to have a national conference to discuss our differences, unlike military and their PDP surrogate who are insisting Nigeria unity is not negotiable because they are beneficiaries of the current anarchy.

Bayelsa, AMAA and the making of pan-African brand By Daniel Iworiso-Markson (AMAA) is another eloquent testimony to Governor Dickson’s quest to give vent to the on-going branding effort to make Bayelsa the desired tourism destination in Nigeria. The attainment of this branding aspiration clearly informed the decision to host AMAA 2013 and it also informs the various policies and programmes now being implemented vigorously across the state. Surely, like the former leader of Singapore, Lee Kwan Yew, who turned around the fortunes of his country by leap-frogging Singapore from third world to first world, Dickson is also laying a solid foundation for the rapid development of Bayelsa State. For Bayelsa State, AMAA 2013 represents a valuable branding asset, which indeed explains the reason for its long-term stewardship and relationship with the brand. In the last eight years out of the nine years since AMAA came into existence, Bayelsa State has been an active player and supporter of Africa’s biggest and most prestigious movie awards. The reason why Bayelsa has been dubbed the natural home of AMAA is in itself a branding strategy. Whenever you think of AMAA, you automatically think of Bayelsa. Beyond the advantage of place branding, which evokes or conjures pleasant memories of the place given the sheer affection, warmth and love that greet every first time visitor to Bayelsa; there is also the compelling presence of the untapped beauty of our rich natural environment and culture and the many endowments. The Dickson administration is working hard to leverage on the successful transference of the robust brand image that comes with the hosting of AMAA in Bayelsa State to drive its rich tourism potentials, thereby attracting investment in that critical sector. The quest to use the award event as a key vehicle to drive the state’s economy through tourism is more evident when you consider the fact that AMAA as of today ranks as the most elaborate and glamorous event in the African continent attracting over 1,000 movies stars and invited guests strutting up the red carpet and with the main award ceremony televised live to over 150 million TV viewers across the African Continent and elsewhere through-

out the world. The 2012 ceremony was watched by more than 60 million Africans across the continent. Realizing the huge potential of this brand vehicle and the enormously prohibitive cost that goes into hosting every AMAA event, Governor Henry Seriake Dickson took the decision to seek private sector involvement and partnership in the hosting of the 2013 edition. To this end, a fund raising dinner chaired by one of Nigeria’s leading corporate players, Alhaji Sayyu Dantata, was held April 16 at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja. The fund raising event was to help raise the stakes as well as provide a unique platform for Corporate Nigeria to come in and invest. Governor Dickson also believes the vast branding opportunities that African Movie industry through AMAA offers is a good way to promote African businesses in addition to serving as a strategic tool in the re-branding campaign of Nigeria and the African continent. Also conscious of the vital role of security in the entire pursuit of tourism development and the successful hosting of AMAA 2013, the state government has been tackling the menace of crimes and criminality and we can say confidently that we are winning the social re-orientation crusade with enduring law and order. As the state plays host to thousands of movie stars from all across the continent who will gather in Yenagoa come April 20 for the ninth edition of the African Academy Movie Awards, we make bold to say that our continued support for AMAA is hinged on our abiding faith and resolute commitment to Africa’s fast emerging movie industry and the need to celebrate excellence as well as an opportunity to showcase the best of the continent’s talents. We cannot but underscore the huge branding relationship which AMAA and Bayelsa State share as we look forward to a future bound up in limitless opportunities. This is the good news about a new Bayelsa, creating and co-creating value. The future is very bright indeed. • Iworiso-Markson, Chief Press Secretary to Bayelsa State Governor sent this piece from Yenagoa.







HIS position is buttressed by the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the British Academy: “Higher education and research are critical features of any national development strategy, and as Africa’s most populous country this is undoubtedly the case in Nigeria. Through teaching and research, universities develop the people and the knowledge needed to tackle the many complex and inter-related problems which underpin all aspects of development. This includes the social and cultural as much as it does the technical and scientific, areas of particular salience in Nigeria’s federal system. Nigeria’s 27 Federal, 31 State and 34 private universities offer considerable potential, and already contribute much valuable research and produce many very able graduates. The challenge is for the country to more effectively harness this research and graduate talent in support of national development.” Nigerian economy is yet to articulate a strategy to link knowledge with economic and technological development. To participate and compete in the contemporary knowledge driven economy across the globe, Nigerian universities must collaborate through research and development to provide the much needed synergy for technological growth and linkages with industries. The Malaysian success story in research and development in relation to palm oil export is one we are all familiar with. Nigeria was a leading country in crop production in the 60s. Malaysia’s Department of Agriculture established an exchange programme with Nigeria and other West African countries. With the experience gained from Nigeria, complemented by research and development, Malaysia now exports about 19.8 million metric tons of palm oil. This is a classical example of the catalytic effect of collaborative research. It is however unfortunate that Nigeria has retrogressed in this area. What then is the solution? We need to arrest our retrogression by forging research synergy and partnering between the public and the private universities. For example, in a recent collaborative research between scientists from cross-border universities on HIV prevention for rural youth in EDO, one of the researchers observed: “For the Nigerian team members, the project provided an opportunity for collaborative research amongst Nigerian researchers who belong to four different institutions on the one hand and between them and researchers from Canada on the other. Lack of local funding for research and the inability of Nigerians to attract the competitive research grants from international funding organizations based in advanced countries has restricted the exposure of many Nigerian researchers to large scale collaborative research. This project facilitated such collaboration for them. In addition, the action research model used in HP4RY is new to most members of the Nigerian team and this project provided the opportunity for Nigerian research team members to be exposed to implementation of the model.” This is a testimony to what collaborative research can achieve. It cannot be overemphasized that research and development is a fundamental tool in finding lasting solutions to the problems confronting us as a nation. Our public and private universities have a pivotal role to play in this. A university cannot do it alone. Resources must be pooled together. This much is noted by the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the British Academy: “Strengthening research in Nigeria requires academics to be better connected to their colleagues within the country, and at a regional level, as well as to the rest of the world. Improving academic networks within Nigeria must be a priority if the potential of the national HE system is to be realised, while intra-African collaboration must also be encouraged and supported within research funding programmes if a genuinely African research base is to develop. Selectivity is also important, and with very few institutions having the capacity to support a full programme of research in all fields it is clear that inter-university collaboration will be needed to develop sound research and teaching programmes which span all disciplines.” No alternative to forging a collaboration I make bold to submit that if Nigeria is to wake up from her inertia and rise above the level of under-development, both our public and private universities must take up the challenge of collaboration and synergizing. The Gown must lead the way to our renaissance. There is no alternative to the collaboration suggested in this paper, as the net result of non-collaboration would lead to either the near collapse of any or all of the public and private universities. For now, both are inter-dependent. By NUC’s directives, any newly approved private university must be mentored by an older public university. I understand Elizade University is under the mentorship of the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA). It is not a surprise then that both the Vice-Chancellor and the

Forging a synergy between public and private universities Conclusion of text of a paper delivered by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), former president, Nigerian Bar Association and pro-chancellor and chairman of Council, University of Ibadan, at the debut of Distinguished Lecture Series of the Elizade University, Ondo State. Registrar are from the same University. The public universities must also readily assist the private ones in the provision of personnel, both academic and administrative, as none of the private universities can produce or invent these very scarce and rare resources, whatever might be the extent or depth of their Proprietors’ wealth or riches. They are not purchasable commodities. As for the public universities, they have a lot to learn from the private ones in terms of management and mid-wifing of scarce resources. They must also drop and, if need be, bid goodbye to all the associated public and bureaucratic lethargies and dogmas which have abysmally crept into the university system and which from my vintage position, is crippling the system. I propose a synergy whereby there would be restructuring, akin to what is defined as mergers and acquisitions/take-overs in Company Law. Reasons for mergers and acquisitions include the desire to diversify and reduce risks; taking advantage of the resulting economies of scale by large scale production, thus lowering unit costs and enhancing profits; securing efficient management where the acquired company is poorly managed; saving a failing company by acquisition in order to prevent its liquidation. The mergers might be vertical, horizontal or conglomerate. It is proposed in this lecture that some of the private universities should either merge with themselves or with any of the public ones and vice-versa. The mergers should be vertical, horizontal and conglomerate. I do not forsee a sizeable number of our present public and private universities running any distant academic race. To me, any university, in this age and times commenced without proper planning and infusion of sufficient resources would not run any distance. On the flip side, any university established with every fanfare and with much funds in the vault of the Proprietor without the presence or recruitment of tested academics and administrative personnel, in addition to a long term plan, well beyond the life span of the founding Proprietor and foraying far into the future, might not be able to weather the storm, turbulence and vicissitudes of our world of today and what it has in stock for tomorrow. Therefore, in the interest of the nation and the universities themselves, there is a compelling need for collaboration. Our universities, both public and private, must collaborate to ensure the endurance of an academic continuum rather than unleashing on us an academic conundrum. Role of the academia in nation building/devt Education at all levels is a key and fundamental pivot of development. A more educated society may translate into higher rates of innovation, higher productivity and faster introduction of new technology. Education is a crucial prerequisite to nation building because with education, a country will have the best human resources competent to carry out the day-to-day affairs of the State, initiate innovations and positive thinking. The impact of education on economic growth is well documented in a 2005 report by Access Economics on the study of ‘The Economic Benefit of Increased Participation in Education and Training’ in Australia which concluded that increasing the participation rate in education increased productivity, wage rates and rate of participation in better paid jobs. The result being an increase in GDP by 1.1% in a generation by increasing participation by about ten percent. It is not in doubt that education is clearly a driver of better productivity giving rise to a higher competitive ability and hence more creativity, innovation, more jobs and higher economic growth rates. History shows that most African nations strove to establish at least one national university immediately after independence. The major purpose for establishing universities in these countries was, and still is, for the institutions to play a pioneering role in addressing problems of poverty, social disorganization, low production, unemployment, hunger, illiteracy, diseases – that is, the problems of

•Chief Olanipekun

underdevelopment which appeared to be common on the African continent. Kofi Annan, the then Secretary-General of the United Nations, strongly promoted the importance of universities for development in Africa in the following words: “The university must become a primary tool for Africa’s development in the new century. Universities can help develop African expertise; they can enhance the analysis of African problems; strengthen domestic institutions; serve as a model environment for the practice of good governance, conflict resolution and respect for human rights, and enable African academics to play an active part in the global community of scholars.” This claim for higher education was endorsed by a group of African Ministers of Education at a preparatory meeting for the UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education in 2009. Over the past couple of decades, globalisation and the emergence of the knowledge economy have given rise to new economic, social, political and cultural challenges to which nations, regions and higher education systems and institutions are responding. Knowledge production, accumulation, transfer and application have become major factors in socio-economic development and are increasingly at the core of national development strategies for gaining competitive advantages in the global knowledge economy. Higher education institutions are seen by many as playing a key role in delivering the knowledge requirements for development. Research has, for example, suggested a strong association between higher education participation rates and levels of development. While the higher education participation rates in many high-income countries are well over 50%, in sub-Saharan Africa they are in most cases below 5%. Furthermore, there is increasing evidence that high levels of education in general, and of higher education in particular, are essential for the design and productive use of new technologies, while they also provide the foundations for a nation’s innovative capacity, and contribute more than any other social institution to the development of civil society. Countries over the years have used university education as a source of growth. The Chinese and Indian economies have displayed unprecedented levels of sustained growth since the early 1990s. China embarked on a knowledge-based growth track by attracting massive foreign direct investment and then building ingenious knowledge capacity through huge investments in education and research. India has succeeded by making the best use of its elite education institutions and exploiting international information technology-related opportunities, in part through the deft use of

‘Nigerian economy is yet to articulate a strategy to link knowledge with economic and technological development. To participate and compete in the contemporary knowledge driven economy across the globe, Nigerian universities must collaborate through research and development to provide the much needed synergy for technological growth and linkages with industries’

knowledge assets. The universities are seen as repositories of expertise which should be applied to solving pressing development issues, such as poverty reduction and education for all and also as a service provider. University World News reported that at the Association of Commonwealth Universities Conference in April 2010, it was stated that Universities must be ‘citadels not silos’, defending communities around them rather than being inward-looking, if they are to actively advance global development goals and that universities must orientate their activities more directly towards supporting the UN Millennium Development Goals. According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Southern African Regional Universities Association, Piyushi Kotecha, in recent decades, higher education had assumed growing importance for both personal development and for driving social and economic development. In his words, not more than ever before, higher education in developing nations is being expected to take on the mantle of responsibility for growth and development, where the governments have failed. Castells described the direct effect of higher education on development in his as follows: “In the current condition of the global knowledge economy, knowledge production and technological innovation become the most important productive forces. So, without at least some level of a national research system, which is composed of universities, the private sector, public research centres and external funding, no country, even the smallest country, can really participate in the knowledge economy.” It is beyond doubt that the university is fundamental in the development of any country. It benefits both individuals and the society at large. Students who attend institutions of higher education obtain a wide range of personal, financial and other lifelong benefits; likewise taxpayers and society as a whole derive multitude of direct and indirect benefits when citizens have access to post secondary education. Much of the benefit of higher education accrues to individual students and their families. Average earnings increase measurably with higher level of education. More educated people are less likely to be unemployed and less likely to live in poverty. Society as a whole enjoys financial return on the investment in higher education. In addition, widespread productivity increases, the higher earnings of educated workers generate higher tax payments at the federal, state and local levels. Because the individual outcomes affect others, it is not possible to neatly separate the benefits to individuals from those shared by society as a whole. University system and national development I have highlighted above the relationship and correlation university education has with the development of a nation. Put differently, the effect of a university education on the growth of a nation is immense. One begins to wonder whether or not the Nigerian university system is a primary tool for Nigeria’s development. The development of a nation lies more importantly on the quality of its educated citizens. Advanced and/or developed countries, that is, the first world countries owe their breakthrough and successes in the field of science and technology to robust and functional educational systems. It is now a very common saying that the Nigerian University is failing. It is producing largely unemployable graduates lacking in the development consciousness to drive Nigeria’s competition and development in today’s globalizing world. Some have argued that the Nigerian university curriculum is not being set up to effectively drive development. Others have argued that the rot in the university system is due to the fact that we do not understand the purpose of education. Most parents want their children to go to the best schools, get the best grades and secure the best jobs without a proper understanding of the purpose of education. It is common knowledge that advanced economies develop by producing and manufacturing their products locally, this accounts for their advancement, progression and development. For universities in Nigeria to contribute immeasurably to its national development, there has to be a commitment on the part of the products of the universities to make the country better. Development comes by improving on the present state of the economy. We have to be mindful and conscious of the fact that a university degree is not a licence to getting better paying jobs for the purpose of receiving an increase in income and living comfortably. It is a call to serve by making sacrifices for the benefit. advancement and progress of the nation. Also in order to impact positively on the economy, Nigerian universities must be research driven and strive to make scientific breakthroughs in medical fields, industrial processes and production, agriculture, entrepreneurial development etc. Breakthroughs made in these areas would improve in unanticipated ways the economy. • Continued on page ??






Prisoners get e-books


The National Universities Commission (NUC) is contemplating tinkering with universities’ curriculum so as to match graduates’ skills with employers’ requirements. The move is informed by employers’ complaints that many graduates do not have the requisite job skills. KOFOWOROLA BELO-OSAGIE and GBENGA OMOKHUNU report.

IT was an emotional session when a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Zeacheus Onuba Dibiaeze Memorial Library (ZODML), donated ebooks and other library resources to the Ikoyi Prison for use by the inmates. -Page 27

College indicts 15 for fraud FIFTEEN members of staff of Niger State College of Education (COE), Minna have been indicted for disciplinary measures for their involvement in admission racketeering. -Page 39

CAMPUS LIFE •An eight-page section on campus news, people etc

‘No electricity, no payment’ IT all started as a one-man campaign. In no time, the streets of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, had been packed with students protesting epileptic power supply in their off-campus hostels. -Page 29

• •Okojie



How to sharpen graduates’ I skills for jobs T is a problem that employers face. They employ graduates, with hope of getting the best out of them, only to be disappointed by their output. The graduates turn out to be lazy and incapable, despite having qualifications certifying them competent. Worried by this development, the employers commissioned a study whose findings are revealing, according to the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Julius Okojie. The findings from the Labour Market Observatory Project (LMOP) study showed a mismatch of skills produced by the tertiary institutions with the requirements of the manufacturing industry. At a meeting of the National Project Steering Committee of the Labour Market Information System in Abuja, on Monday, Prof Okojie said the quality and focus of training by universities were not in tune with the needs of the society. This, he said, brought about the prevailing high rate of unemployment since many graduates are perceived to lack skills needed by employers. There is, he said, a glut of graduates in the labour market well above the demand for their skills, thereby reducing the value of their certificates. Okojie said: "There is no doubt that the nation has a glut in the supply of graduate labour as the situation on ground shows that the demand for graduate labour is far below the supply. “The excess supply of graduate labour in any economy has the ten-

dency to force down the amount/ salaries that employers are willing to pay since they can recruit other idle but able, willing and ready hands that will take the job even with less pay. It could also lead to other social vices like robbery, kidnapping, terrorism, prostitution and other forms of youth restiveness.” Okojie blamed the problem on gap between tertiary institutions and the employers of labour, saying the observations of manufacturers involved in the study would be used to review the curricula of tertiary institutions. Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education ( NBTE) Dr Masa'ud Kazaure believes that emphasis on paper qualification has overdependence on paper qualifications and other causative factor may be exacerbated by the challenges of skills mismatch. NBTE is also working towards addressing the problem. At a workshop in Lagos, Kazaure said the problem started in the 70s when demand for paper qualifications led to overcrowded schools where focus was more on theory than practical. “The skills development challenges started immediately after the third National Development Plan, when emphasis was shifted from competency to paper qualifications - resulting to over-subscription of our institutions,” he said.

He said the deviation of institutions focused on Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) from providing technical competencies for their products did not help matters as those expected to have technical skills also lacked the required competencies. There are many in the non-formal sector that have skills but no qualifications. Executive Secretary of Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB) Mr Olawumi Gasper said these are artisans, craftsmen and others whose contribution to the economy outweighs those from the formal sector. He said despite their contributions, they have gained no recognition because of their lack of qualifications. “There is no system for those in the informal sector, which is very bad. I don't want to use the word wicked but we have been unfair to those people because they have skills. Those skills must be given a quantity no matter how small those skills are,” he said. With Nigerians appreciating the need for competency, Kazaure said the Federal Government, through the NBTE, was working to establish a National Qualifications Framework (NVQF) so that those with non-formal training could have their skills measured and awarded certificates that would be equivalent to various levels of higher edu-

cation; enable them to attract jobs, and pursue formal education if they wished. He said: “The development and institutionalisation of NVQF will: provide policy guidelines on organising skills training to improve product quality, productivity and competitiveness in the formal and informal sector; provide a coherent structure for vocational qualifications, which are based on employment-led standard of competence." To be able to measure the skills and competencies of people in various fields, Kazaure said the NBTE was collaborating with LASTVEB, United Nations Education and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and industry to create a National Occupational Standard (NOS) that would detail the expected competency for each occupation. Kazaure said the board was developing standards for 15 occupations in the pilot stage after which assessors will be trained to verify the claims of skill owners. After being verified competent, they would be awarded certificates according to the level of their competencies. On how it will work, Gasper said: "The first step is occupational standard which is the way, procedurally, of carrying out activities. From there to the curriculum, assessors and, finally, to examination. You now find the person fit to carry out an activity. For instance, the camera man, what does it take to be a cameraman? You now set questions and assessments and if the guy can • Continued on page 26



EDUCATION NBTE ties entrepreneurship to accreditation


• From left: (front row): Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, Covenant University Dr Taiwo Abioye, Director of Programmes, NBTE Joseph Aboi, Prof Ayo, and Dr Kabiru Matazu, Rector Federal Polytechnic, Kazaure, Jigawa State and other participants at the workshop.

Nigerian Army School may offer degrees CTING Commander, Nigerian Army Education Corps (NAEC) Brig Gen Sunday Adebayo, has said that the Nigerian Army School of education (NASE), Ilorin may run degree programmes. Adebayo made this known while speaking at the inauguration of NAEC officers' Executive Management Course 15 of 2013. He hinted that there was the possibility that NASE would start degree programmes for its officers, but added that the corps has to take permission from the relevant authorities before it takes off. "We are only considering it for now; we need to have some blue prints on ground before we can talk of running degree programmes," he added. Adebayo said the structures on


ground at NASE are enough to operate degree programmes. He noted that education is essential to security services, adding that without good education, the service may not be able to perform well. "Without educating your soldiers, you are just sending robots to the field, but with proper education, all will be well," he said. Adebayo said the Chief of Army Staff has approved the teaching of French language in NASE because of officers posted to foreign countries. Speaking on the Course 15, Adebayo said it is designed for senior NAEC officers to prepare them to fill in vacancies at strategic management positions and locations across army units and tri-service establishments. He said the course would arouse

participants' interest in globalisation, conflict management, dispute resolution, threat to domestic and international security as well as peace support operation. Gen Adebayo told the participants that the Chief of Army Staff laid great emphasis on capacity building of officers and assured them of training in this regard. Earlier in his own remarks, the commandant of NASE, Brig Gen Timothy Orimogunje said 15 senior army officers made up of six colonel and nine Lt Colonels are participating in the course. He said Nigerian Army attaches much importance on the course due to its strategic importance in preparing officers for high level strategic decision making and appointment.

How to sharpen graduates’ skills for jobs • Continued from page 25

answer all your questions and can operate your machine the way you want him to, you give him a level and that level opens him to other formal education system. So, it is a radical reform that is why the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) technicians of those days are known for nothing but how to repair a transformer. They cannot get promoted because they cannot get certificates, so what this system is saying now is that if you can repair a transformer and you are known for a transformer, you can get your NVQ level 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 which is equivalent to a B.Sc holder and then you can now move to become a director of transformer. That is why you see all of us smiling, so we hope it works because these are the key stakeholders. So, I must say congratulations to all of us.” Another champion of skills competencies, is Bishop Mike Okonkwo of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), Anthony, Lagos, said unlike other Christian missions, TREM was not going to establish a university but a Technical and Vocational Education (TVE) institution in Aba, Abia State. He said the school would train technicians to deliver quality services comparable with those in other parts of the world. Underscoring the importance of TVE institutions, he said Nigeria needed places where youths would learn skills and entrepreneurship, which universities have not been able to provide. He said: “I don't have a dream to

build a university. I noticed that with the number of universities that we have, and there is still more coming, our people are stranded; after leaving school, there is no job. Can you imagine a doctor finishing from the university after how many years and is struggling to get a job of N10,000? It is frustrating. What informed vocational institution? Nigeria is a developing country. We have not even scratched the resources that are in this country. We will train people who can use the gift they have and become entrepreneurs, become employers of labour; you employ yourself and start to develop certain things that are lacking. Every problem in this country is an opportunity. But somebody has to make you see it so that is one of the things that my mind is going to. “It is understanding that our people need. The first thing God gave to us is our individual gift and when that is brought out, it can be useful to better the society. So, this is happening because of lack of understanding. Bishop Okonkwo said another was that institutions do not train people to give their best, adding that this, is robbing local professionals of jobs with multinational companies. He said: “I was discussing with somebody of recent and he said I would be shocked to know that some of the multinationals like Julius Berger and other construction companies do not employ our labourers because we don't shoot for excellence. Look at this tiling now,

•Bishop Okonkwo

we had to look for people from Cotonou because the ones that Nigerians did, after finishing it we broke it. I want to be able to tell our people that: look, you don’t lose by doing a nice job. If you notice, our people are in a hurry because everyone wants to make millions overnight and so they do shoddy jobs. A tailor would sew a dress for you and before you know it the zip is off. Can't we do things right? “We will teach you how to be a good plumber and you will do it thoroughly that when you finish people will want to come to you. These are areas I am looking at. The whole vision is not to start just another school. The whole essence is to improve the quality of services we render. We render any thing to people and expect them to pay for it. It doesn't work that way. We can also do things in an excellent way. We travel abroad, we see what others do, so why will we come into this country and just stuff things down the throat of people and expect them to pay for it?”

ROM now on, polytechnics that fail to start entrepreneurship programmes will not get accreditation for their programmes. Abdu Kofarmata, Desk Officer in charge of Entrepreneurship Programme and Education, National Board of Technical Education (NBTE) said this in an interview with journalists at the NBTE capacity building programme on entrepreneurship education for rectors, provosts and head of institutions held at the Covenant University, Ota. He said: "Any polytechnic that does not offer entrepreneurship programme and education will not be accredited because entrepreneurship programmes allows for innovations and inventions and you cannot have a sustainable economy growth without innovation which is the key aim of establishing polytechnics." Kofarmata said polytechnics were leading in terms of entrepreneurship education, adding that polytechnic graduates would employ university graduates in the near future. "The polytechnic system is the only sector in the education system that has developed the training document for entrepreneurship which includes the curriculum, teachers guide and training manual," he noted. From 2009 to date Kofarmata said the NBTE has trained 1,150 lecturers, 930 in Nigeria and 220 outside the country and "we can say that those institutions now have a vibrant entrepreneurship centers." He urged the administrators to key into the board's objective for

By Medinat Kanabe

entrepreneurship education and implement same in their institutions. "The actual aim of this workshop is to sensitise the Rectors on what we want to achieve with entrepreneurship programmes in polytechnics and the role we want them to play in the discharging of the project. We don't want them to starve the development or funding of this programme in their institutions." In an interview, Dr Jen Saidu Umaru, Rector, Federal Polytechnic, Bali, Taraba State said the programme was necessary because of the importance of entrepreneurship programme, especially to technical education, which he said cannot prosper without entrepreneurship programme. Speaking at the event, Prof Korede Ayo, Vice-Chancellor, Covenent University, said polytechnic graduates be provided a platform to be innovative. "We just need a business incubator where polytechnic graduates can walk into to carryout innovations and inventions no matter how small. Prof Ayo also said that polytechnics should be funded to deliver their mandate as this will improve the economy and create employment. He noted that his Chancellor Prof David Oyedepo once said: "I will consider Covenent University a failure if our graduates will join the army of unemployed graduates combing the streets of the country in search of jobs."

Varsity administrators get training on NUC database


NIVERSITY administrators have praised the Nigerian University System Management Portal (NUSMAP), a database platform created by the National Universities Commission (NUC) for documentation of student, workers, facilities and research details online. They spoke during a two-day training organised for Deputy Vice-Chancellors (Academics), Directors of Academic Planning and ICT Directors of universities in the Southwest Geo-Political Zone at the University of Lagos (UNILAG). Praising the initiative, one of the participants, Prof Sena Bakre, DVC (Academic), Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, said apart from giving Nigerian universities more web visibility, it would reduce the paper work required of universities by the NUC. "It is a laudable initiative for the system. It will place Nigerian universities on the world pedestal. It will reduce paper work we do and the risk of transferring information will reduce. It will make communication easy between the NUC and universities. However, she also called on the Federal Government to address challenges of power, supply of ICT infrastructure and ICT training for workers that will manage the portal for each institution. "However, power is a problem. No university can go virtual without stable electricity. Then how many universities have enough computers to run this? It means the DAP, Faculites and ICT units must be virtual. The internet connectivity must be perfect if not all the information will be in jeopardy,"s he said. Speaking on the portal, Hon Paul Adingwupu, chairman Gucci Chis, said the firm and NUC is already assisting universities to upgrade their ICT facilities so they can access

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie and Jide Orintunsin, Minna

the NUSMAP without problems. He also said the training will continue until members of the university community master the use of the portal. "We are already assisting universities to improve their ICT facilities. We have assisted the University of Uyo and the University of Calabar. The issue of power is not peculiar to education alone but the portal is always there on the internet when they want to connect to it. For those not able to attned this training and those that have not fully mastered the training, there will be other trainings," he said. In his speech, the Executive Secretary of the NUC, Prof Julius Okojie at the Federal University of Technology, Minna said that difficulties encountered in accessing information about any of the nation's universities would be put to check with the use of the ICT portal. Speaking through the Commission's ICT officer, Miss. Patricia Eromesele at a three day workshop organised for Deputy Vice Chancellors (Academics) and Directors of Academic Planning of 22 Universities in the North Central zone of the country said the on-line application would also assist the ivory towers process, and share data with NUC, the public, and other government agencies for adequate planning and management. According to Okojie when the system is fully operational, it has the capacity to capture the activities of all the directorates of the commission, which include Universities programme Accreditation, Universities Academic Standards, University System Annual Review Meeting (USARM), Universities Research and Innovation, Finance and Budget, among others.




That prisoners may read •Inmates get e-books, others


T was an emotional session when a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Zeacheus Onuba Dibiaeze Memorial Library (ZODML), donated e-books and other library resources to the Ikoyi Prison for its inmates. The inmates presented a drama on how cases are judged in Nigerian courts, with the accused condemned to life behind bars. One of them also provided music, singing a song titled: Freedom. The musician pasted papers bearing various inscriptions on his body. They include, affliction, suffering, sorrow and trouble. His lyrics said he was tired of government food, and missed his mother's cooking. Some people in the audience shed tears. ZODML's donation of Prison Knowledge Centre, consisting of 500 e-books, dictionaries, and bibles was meant to help the inmates to develop their minds while in prison. The NGO also donated copies of the Quran, encyclopedias, and Microsoft word office suite software, among others. Its Project Facilitator, Mrs Lilian Esiri said ZODML was consolidating on the foundation laid by the Muharam Sisters Foundation Education Centre (MSFEC), which had donated a library to the prison. She said ZODML aligned with the

By Oluwayemisi Awe

philosophy of Nigerian Prisons and correctional Service (NPCS), which she said is aimed at equipping inmates with values and skills that would help their re-integration into the society after their sentences. "NPCS has as its philosophy ‘that treatment and rehabilitation of offenders can be achieved through carefully designed and well articulated administrative, reformative and rehabilitative programmes aimed at inculcating discipline, respect for law and order and regard for the dignity of honest labour'. ZODML aligns with this philosophy and is committed to channelling some of its resources to help with this realisation. "The United Nations (UN) Office for Drugs and Crime has stated that 'when released, often with no prospects for employment, former prisoners are generally subject to socioeconomic exclusion and are thus vulnerable to an endless cycle of poverty, marginalisation, criminality and imprisonment. Thus, imprisonment contributes directly to the impoverishment of the prisoner, of his family (with a significant crossgenerational effect) and of society by creating future victims and reducing future potential economic performance'. "It is this cycle that ZODML is trying to break with the establishment

•Inmates reading in the library section of the Ikoyi Prison’s Knowledge Centre

of the Prison Knowledge Centre (PKC) which we are here to open. The PKC is a centre with seven computers and over 2000 volumes of books. Each computer comes equipped with more than 500 ebooks, the Bible and Koran, Microsoft Office Suite, games such as chess and scrabble, dictionaries and encyclopaedias." On the cost of the project, she said, the organisation spent about N4

million raised from the public. MSFEC's Principal, Mr Ayodele Obarewo said the centre is open to interested inmates willing to study. He told them that there were teachers available to teach them. He also said that 43 inmates whose cases will soon be determined by the court would be allowed to sit for this year's Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). "If they pass the exams, they

would be allowed to attend the National Open University (NOUN), also situated in the area," he said. The Chief Registrar of Lagos State High Court, Mr Ganiyu Safari thanked the organisation for the gesture and enjoined the inmates to make a judicious use of the computers and developed their minds by reading. This, he added, would provide them the opportunities to sit for public examinations.

Rector warns against fake credentials


•Some of the new inductees taking the PCN oath

Pharmacists urged to reverse decline


HE Ag. Registrar, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Mrs. Gloria Abumere has urged fresh inductees into the council to go out and halt the declining trend in the health indices of Nigeria. This call was made during the induction and oath taking ceremony of 156 inductees of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) at the Princess Alexandra Auditorium and Unity Hall. Mrs Abumere told the inductees: "I enjoin you to be good team players with other healthcare professionals in the best interest of the patients and the society at large. Set good examples of moral behaviour in your profession, home and social life, and use your knowledge and skills for the advancement of the country, especially through the promotion of healthcare delivery services of the nation”. She disclosed that the purpose of the ceremony was to administer the oath and admit the graduands formally into PCN without which they cannot exercise their legal rights as practitioners.

From Chris Oji, Enugu

Mrs Abumere said that as the future of the pharmacy profession, they are meant to help patients achieve and maintain good health by optimising the use of prescribed medications. She added that strict compliance to the code of ethics is indispensable for the practice of the profession. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Bartho N. Okolo who was represented by the Director, Academic Planning, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth E. Ichoku, said "Pharmacy practice is an essential component of healthcare delivery system of any nation and by extension national economic development”. Okolo advised the Pharmacy graduates to realise from the onset, the integral role they are expected to play in national development, and therefore commit themselves to achieving such feat. The Dean, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Prof. Vincent C. Okore, thanked the Vice-Chancellor for the unprecedented level of transformation that is taking place

in the university especially in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He also praised the academic staff of the Faculty who had distinguished themselves in the establishment of external linkages for research and scholarship, thereby attracting local, national and international recognition. Okore stated that this had added to the image and rating of the university and faculty. He counseled the inductees to practise the profession with decorum. The keynote speaker, Rev. Fr. Samson E. Asadu in his speech titled "Identifying with the spirit of Success" said that "success is continual. It is not an event that has come and gone but an on-going process and the positive results of steady forward movement". Asadu enumerated some nuggets of success such as having a vision/ plan, acting and not just planning. Others included the ability to cultivate the "you can spirit", overcoming the enemy called average as well as developing the habit of regular reflection.

ECTOR of the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State, Dr Philipa Idogho, has warned students against parading fake credentials. Speaking at the 30th matriculation of the institution last weekend, the Rector cautioned the new students that the polytechnic frowns at such practice and also would not hesitate to sanction any students caught in examination malpractices. She said the polytechnic has a verification machinery for ensuring that students with fake credentials were detected. Idogho said those caught with fake credentials and certificates would be expelled while those caught engaging in examination malpractices would be rusticated. "The polytechnic is governed by rules and regulations which you are all expected to be conversant with," she said. She said only 5,951 out of the 26,000

From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

applicants were offered admission in keeping with the carrying capacity of the institution. Dr Idogho said the school wanted to ensure conducive learning environment for all students rather than admitting students that would overcrowd its facilities. To this end she also disclosed that 132 offices would be commissioned for the use by workers this year. She counseled the students to incorporate ICT into their learning in line with global trends. "There is need to emphasise that education is now going the way of e-learning. The polytechnic has three e-learning centers, in addition to two units donated by NITDA. As much as we have encouraged staff to be computer literate, it is also necessary that students begin to imbibe the correct use of computers for learning," she said.

‘Amaechi’s passion has elevated education’


HE Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board (RSUBEB), Chairman, Sir Alli Oruitemeka, has said Governor Chibuike Amaechi's passion for education has improved the sector in the state. Oruitemeka, who said this during a send-forth/award ceremony for some retired members of the board in Port Harcourt, also pointed out that the Amaechi- led government has invested a lot of resources into education, especially in equipping the teachers. "Amaechi's passion for education is enormous. He has put so much resources into education, which includes soft ware equipment for teachers", Oruitemeka noted. The RSUBEB boss, who congratulated the awardees for their efforts in building better education system in the state, also said that the reason for the event was to appreciate their

From Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt

effective years in service. While appealing to them to continue to contribute to the success of the sector, he also assured of the continuity of the award programme. In her speech, the Commissioner of Education, Dame Alice LawrenceNemi, thanked the board for giving the retirees and other awardees the well-deserved opportunity. The commissioner, who was represented by the Director of Education, May Solomon, also said they should be grateful for divine grace to be alive to receive the awards, adding that many of their colleagues had left the planet earth for years. In his vote of thanks, the Permanent Board Member I, Sir Lucky Worlu, whose team organised the event commended Oruitemeka for setting a landmark in RSUBEB.




English students donate washing machine to health centre THE English Language Student Association, Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo chapter, has donated a washing machine to the College, health centre. Presenting the washing machine to the Director, College Helath Centre last Friday, the outgoing President of the association, Mr Femi Akinmusire, said the association decided to present the washing machine to serve as encouragement to the staff of the health centre and for other students to emulate the kind gesture. Receiving the washing machine, the Director, College Health Centre Dr. Adekunle Ogunmosin, said he was overwhelmed by the gesture of the students describing it as deviation from the usual practice of students. He added that students are fond of hauling abuses on the staff of the health centre and appreciated them for the gift noting that it would be judiciously utilised by the centre.

College COEASU president emerges as National Officer THE Chairman, Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo Chapter, Comrade Smart Olugbeko has emerged the National Vice President of the union. Mr. Olugbeko was elected during the national delegates congress held in the College last week. Other national officers of the union elected during the congress include Comrade Asagha Emmanual, President, Comrade Nuhu Ogrima General Secretary, Comrade Davidson Vincent, Assistant General Secretary and Comrade Dafur Bala as Treasurer. Others are Comrade Gidado Nuhu, Financial Secretary, Comrade Sunday Agholor Director of Social; Comrade Rafiu Salami, Public Relations Officer, Comrade Bashir Auditor and Comrade Mohammed Awwal as EX-offico. Olugbeko congratulated all the national officers' Council on the successful completion of their tenure and implored the incoming executive to consolidate on the great foundation of the past leaders in order for the union to attain enviable height.

Bells varsity students demand respectect from parents TUDENTS of Bells University of Technology, Ota want some respect from their parents and they have sent representatives to tell them so. The Parents Forum, organised by the university at the NECA Hall, Agidingbi, gave the appropriate platform for the students to tell their parents to amend their styles and treat them like adults. More than 500 parents and representatives of other institutions nodded in agreement as the duo of Oluwabamike Olawunmi, a 400-Level Microbiology, student and David Abejide, a 300-Level Computer Science student, spoke about wanting to be heard, allowed to take decisions and learn about sexuality education. When it was time for David to address his parents, he said he relished the chance to talk to parents like a fellow adult. "We have always being listening to parents talk to us; it's a privilege to have this opportunity to have them listen to us," he said. He told the parents to forget about the parenting style of old as times had changed. He said he had always wanted to know if parents ever made mistakes or failed in school. He added that the way parents handle matters is not convenient, especially concerning sex education. "If you don't educate us on sex someone else would or the internet would.


•Cross section of parents By Medinat Kanabe

Parenting these days can't be like your days. Parents should embrace change. Give us a little open hand. You think you know your children but you don't. Don't shut us down every time we are talking. We have our thought opinions and life to live, just as we have peer pressure, so do you," he noted. On her part Olawunmi said forcing students to fit into a certain mould would only yield rebellion. "As children we have expectations of you as our parents just as you have of us. Treat us as the adults that we are. Let us be in partnership with you. Don't expect us to turn out like you because we will just say yes, I have heard but when you turn your back, we are doing something else. Trust us,

if you overcrowd us we will want to break out. If we buy you gifts tell us thank you and use it sometimes even though it is your money we used to buy it. Good parenting will result to a good society," she said. She advised students to do their best and leave the rest to God. "We need to be grateful to our parents and try as much as possible to come out in flying colours. Help them at home, keep in touch." Many speakers addressed the parents on the theme: Parenting in Tertiary Education in the 21st Century. Keynote speaker, Mr Kelvin Ejiofor, former Director General, FRCN, said at tertiary level, parents should do less of parenting and more of partnership with their children as they are adults. "Putting your child in universities

and paying the bills is never enough. Strive to be your children's friends and partner and less of parents. Parental influence may diminish or change. Partnership works best," he said. He noted that there are three styles of parenting namely: the authoritarian which produces children who are obedient and proficient but generally unhappy and cannot question their parents; the permissive or indulgent, which produces children with poor levels of self-control and self -reliance because they lack structure at home; and the uninvolved where as a result of parents' emotional and physical absence, the children suffer social competence, poor academic performance, psycho-social development and problematic behaviour.

Start succession planning now, proprietors told


ROPRIETORS of Private schools have been told to establish a succession plan if they want their schools to remain in existence for many generations. This was the focus of discussion at a conference organised by the Association of International School Educators of Nigeria (AISEN), held at the Oriental Hotel, Lekki last week. Professionals in education management, entrepreneurship and leadership development programmes were there to do justice to the theme, Succession Planning: 30 years on. Speaking on: Tools for Staying the Course keynote speaker, Mr Jeff Bradley, said it is not common for school owners to plan ahead of their departure, noting that it is quite important to do so. Bradley, who has been a teacher,

By Medinat Kanabe

coach, dean and head of school for 17 years in the United States, said for a succession plan to sail through, good governance and leadership are very important factors that encapsulate sound direction, continuity, consistency and effective support from staff members. Bradley said to pick a successor, one should look for leadership quality " someone who is showing imagination and great leadership, creativity, and passion; who knows how to connect, who is good at building alliances, who do people listen to," he said. He added: "Look for people who are lifters not learners. The lifters are the ones who shoulder their burden and carry others; they are the ones who can move the school forward. Look

for people with a growth mindset not a fixed mindset. The people with growth mindset are constantly learning and working. They don't mind if they fail, they keep on pushing themselves, they look for challenges, feedback, and want to hear criticism. They constantly look for ways to better themselves. "When you find the person, give them space to fail and learn from their mistakes. Allow them explore. Make them start from the beginning, and trust the person very much," he said. Underscoring the importance of a succession plan, the second speaker, Mrs Ndidi Nwuneli, founder of LEAP Africa, said many companies have died because there was nobody to carry on. Speaking on: Identifying and grooming your successor, she said people are scared of sitting down to think that

one day they would become old and weak or even die , so therefore need someone to take over from where they stop. "There were companies that used to be the talk of town before but are nowhere today. Some died because of succession problem. You need to have a clear succession plan. You don't need to procrastinate. When you are putting your board together, put in people that will help you prepare your school to survive from generation to generation. Don't just put in your family members", she warned. AISEN President, Mrs Ekua Abudu, said it is inevitable that one day, the proprietors will leave their businesses. "Our intention is that every school present here will provide their services to generations yet unborn."

NERDC saves N50m through PPP


•From left: Mrs Fajobi Folasayo, Head Teacher, Ibadan District Council Primary School, Olunloyo Akanran, Ibadan, watches as the founder, Christiana Akinjide Foundation, Mrs Nike Akinjide, presents a mathematical set to a pupil in the school.

VER N50 million of public funds is expected to be saved by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) through the adoption of Public Private Partnership (PPP) for the printing of the newly revised nineyear Basic Education Curriculum for Primaries 4 to 6. This revelation came from Mr Patrick Ozeigbe, the Director of Procurement and Corporate Services of NERDC at the bid opening session held in Lagos with representatives of the nation's major publishing outfits in attendance. The benefits accruable to the nation from the partnership with the publishers, according to Ozeigbe, is not only limited to the conservation of public funds but also include the delivery of qualitative curriculum as the selected publishing companies have their reputation and integrity to protect. Those who bidded for the printing of the curriculum are West African Book Publishers, University Press Plc, HEBN Publishers Plc, Africana Press

Publishers, Macmillan Nigeria Publishers and NERDC Printing Press. Ozeigbe said: "The project of printing the curriculum for primaries 4 to 6 is captured in 2013 budget. We first did the printing for primaries 1 to 3 and the publishers have been doing well. It is, however, expected that they should complete the printing of the curriculum for primaries 4 to 6 within 60 days. The process of bidding and issuance of award letters by NERDC is a transparent one. Due process and Procurement Act are our guiding principle. So you don't need to know anybody before you can win a contract these days. This prevents corruption. In accordance with the Procurement Act, everybody is treated equally and the most competent and responsible people are given the jobs''. The Director of Procurement further disclosed that NERDC has put everything in place to ensure quality assurance in the printing and delivery of the curriculum by the publishers to all the states of the federation.



Council’s parting gifts

Africa’s best Page 31


Page 34


CAMPUS LIFE 0805-450-3104 email: THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2013


Olumayowa Babatunde, 400-Level Urban and Regional Planning, has handed over as the president of the National Association of Kwara State Students (NAKSS), Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUT MINNA) chapter. He shares his leadership experience with DAVID OSU (classmate).

‘Youths must participate in politics’


Students of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) have protested what they described as “five minutes electricity” in their hostels. HAMEED MURITALA (300-Level Mass Communication) reports that the students have vowed not to pay their electricity bills, if there is no improvement in power supply.

•The protesters shortly before they marched to the PHCN office


‘No electricity, no payment’ •UNILORIN students protest erratic power supply



•See page 30

T all started as a one-man campaign. In no time, the streets of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, had been packed with students protesting epileptic power supply in their off-campus hostels. The protesters are students of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) residing in Tanke and Oke-Odo, the institution’s neighbourhood. By 8am last Saturday, the protesters, under the aegis of Tanke Students Association, had gathered for the “big” march. The huge crowd moved from its take-off point on Tanke Road to Tipper Garage, down to the Kwara State Government House en route to Challenge, home of the Business Unit of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). The students first stopped at the Tanke district office of PHCN, where

they were addressed by a worker, who introduced himself as the Public Relations Officer (PRO) . He said: “Unstable power supply has been a general problem for the past two weeks. We are doing our best to resolve it. All we can do now is to implore you to be patient with us.” Before the official finished his speech, the protesters shouted: “It is a lie; it is a lie…there is electricity in the GRA (Government Reserved Area).” They left for the Business Unit. Carrying placards, with inscriptions, such as: “Say no to five minutes power supply”, “No light, no payment”, “Enough of darkness; give us light” and “Enough of this rubbish, PHCN”, the students complained that they had not been able to study at night and use their electronic gadgets for their academic work because of unstable elec-

tricity in their hostels. The protesters were led by the president of the Students’ Union Government (SUG), Abdulmalik Aremu, and other members of the union. As they approached the GRA, where the Government House and offices are located, the police drafted riot policemen to ensure that the demonstration did not degenerate into violence. Peacefully, the protesters passed by chanting solidarity songs. The crowd ran into Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, who was going for an official assignment. The governor stopped and addressed the students. For three weeks, there has not been power supply in the hostels, the protesters told the governor. “We only have light for five minutes out of 24 hours every day. To the best

of our knowledge, the transformers that supply power to Tanke and OkeOdo area are not faulty. Why are they not giving us light?” Abdulmalik asked. Ahmed assured the students that the people’s welfare would remain his priority. He said: “The government will do all it can to provide all the student areas constant power supply. But you all know that the electricity we consume comes from Osogbo power station. If you need transformers and poles, the Kwara State government will make them available to you. Write me and see what the government will do.” The governor urged the students to maintain the peace as they moved to the PHCN office. The protesters became infuriated •Continued on page 30

•VC sympathises with Fayemi-P32•Water restored in hostel-P33




Mediocrity, Pushing the overlooked Out challenge on with Agbo Agbo campuses 08052959489


HAD a shocker two weeks ago when I asked some undergraduates who sent me SMS reactions on a story I wrote to send to my email box detailed comments in long hand. Since SMS sometimes limits the expressions, I thought it appropriate they be given the opportunity to say what they wanted to say without limiting themselves due to cost or word constraints. I was surprised when they still sent the same coded messages to my email box; I sent another SMS repeating the same instruction and back came the same coded messages; I gave up and knew that my fear which dates back a few years back may have started manifesting. So it is not out of place to say we may be having another challenge with this generation regarding the mode of communicating in English and communication generally without realising it. Since almost everything has become like instant coffee to this generation, processes are truncated and they want the expression of something that could take say five years to manifest in hours, this has permeated all facet including education where teachers and lectures often complain of the ‘horrible’ written English of this generation. And of course, this has repercussions in the larger society, especially when it comes to the area of employment. It also breeds a high level of mediocrity which is now a major concern among us as it has permeated even our leadership. For the average Nigerian youth, the two most difficult hurdles to cross in the quest to become a productive member of the society and a responsible citizen that is acceptable are gaining admission into the university and getting a decent job thereafter. As we are all aware, several factors have been linked to the rising number of the unemployed in the country. From inadequate capacity building, hostile business environment leading to the

(SMS only)

• closure of many companies, funding problems for educational institutions, archaic style of educational institutions, to most recently, the influence of the social media on youths’ writing style. Writing style and skill is critical now as it has always been, if we beam the searchlight on the employability or otherwise of many Nigerian graduates we will see the link. What the dearth and depth of coherent writing skill has done is that it has led employers of labour to keep redefining their recruitment strategies each time they notice new trends from this generation. Most times, employers’ first priority is to engage graduates with strong profession-specific skills and then to consider if they have the potentials to be ‘groomed’ for employment. This potential includes graduates’ personal characteristics and attributes, the diversity of their experiences and skills, as well as their understanding of what the workplace actually is. This is fundamental because employers of labour have complained that many youth definition of the workplace is at variance with conventional norm, some just need jobs ‘to get by’. While skills and others all seem necessary, English language proficiency seems to be an emerging key factor influencing access to skilled employment, but I am afraid that SMS ‘incursion’ into English has done more harm than good in this area. So what are employers, either directly or in most cases through their management consultants looking out for? They are likely to be influenced by a range of perceived attributes, including the quality of graduates’ prior training, their level of cultural enclosure, relevant work experience, and demand for courses studied by the applicants

in the labour market. But recently, the test for English Language proficiency has become a tool for employers to screen applicants before the interview stage and this is where most of them are ‘weeded’ out. Beyond the progressively declining quality of Nigerian graduates, we are also dealing with a very narrow employment space, so the issue is not excess supply but quality. I recollect that it was Prof Charles Soludo, the erstwhile governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who was among the first that raised the alarm on the ‘unemployability’ of many Nigerian graduates. He cannot be further from the truth. I interact with a number of Nigerian graduates regularly and I find appalling the quality of youths that parade themselves as graduates today. And one of the illusions some of them have is the dangerous mindset that jobs come automatically with being a graduate, and you don’t need to justify why the employer should hire you. One of such ‘graduates’ called me recently from Abuja and said he wants to be a writer since a job was not forthcoming, though his spoken English was something else I still gave him the opportunity to send in his story. When I managed to read through his two page story that took me almost an hour to decipher, it would be a miracle if anyone hires him. How would any employer employ an individual that cannot speak and write simple English in a country where the mode of communication is English? Brig.-Gen. Nnamdi Okorie-Affia, the Director General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) raised this concern recently when he said some universities have been sending “graduates” to the scheme who can hardly speak English. According to him, the quality of these graduates is so appalling that employers who can’t find any use for them are left with no choice but to send them back to the NYSC. Trying to find out why things are the way they are is not difficult, most, if not all Nigerian undergraduates have mobile phones or one form of mobile device or the other. With these devices they immerse themselves in text messaging, and other forms of social media chats. This has resulted in a situation that some teachers, parents and students themselves are expressing concerns

that student-writing skills stand the risk of being sacrificed on the altar of text messaging. With the emergence of the new media, beginning with the SMS communicative style, attention seems to be no longer given to the grammatical rules of the English Language. English remains the language of ‘all’ official proceedings, communication, administration, education, law, commerce/ trade, executive and legislative use in the country. Prior to the emergence of the e-mail, ours was a letter writing and voice-centric society through the telephone, and do Nigerians love to talk! But we began to see a shift to the written word once e-mail became widely available for business and personal use. The short messaging and instant messaging habits are like every other habit, which when formed becomes difficult to control or stop. There is little doubt that the use of text messaging is common among youths, students in secondary and tertiary institutions in Nigeria and has come to stay as most of them have formed the habit of using text messages in most of their communications. The reasons are obvious; it is quick, it does not adhere to the rules of English grammar and it is relatively cheap, more convenient, used in establishing new and re-enforcing old relationships among others. As a result of this influence, many students find it difficult separating formal and informal English as they freely use “U” for “you”, “4” for “for”, “pls” for “please”, “2mrw” for “tomorrow” among others, during formal writing”. Hardest hit are the conventions of capitalisation and punctuation, which has been sacrificed on the altar of good writing. With youth unemployment rate - which currently stands at 37.5 per cent, according to Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s Coordinating Minister of Economy - it appears there is no rainbow in the horizon. Statistics from the Ministry of Youth Development show that over 4.5 million Nigerian youths enter the labour market yearly, while that of the Federal Bureau of Statistics revealed that over 40 million Nigerian youths are unemployed, translating to at least one unemployed person in every household in the country. Scary statistics, but what would stand an individual out is to shun mediocrity and be exceptional.

‘Youths must participate in politics’

government? We appreciate the governor because since he came to office, he has been acting like a father to the association either at home or other parts of the country. The government has not relented in paying our bursary and scholarship grants. What inspired you to join politics? I saw underdevelopment, social negligence and waste of resources as the bane of our politics. These inspired me and fired my interest in politics. As a firm believer in change, I want to make myself an agent of change through service to humanity. How would you describe the relationship between school authorities and students’ leaders? There is a widening polarity between managements and Students’ Union Governments (SUG) in some institutions. Authorities should know that SUG is the only medium through which the interests and welfare of students are properly channelled for immediate action. Nowadays, union leaders have forgotten this core purpose. Well, they can still change their method. I see campus politics as a platform to build future leaders. There have been calls on youths to participate in politics. What is your take? I strongly believe that youths have the intellectual energy and enthusiasm to bring a positive change in the society. We possess great ideas to govern this country. Young leaders must know that there is no better time to be that change agent we desire in this country than now. They must participate in politics to serve and not to loot. What’s your message to young politicians? We should be ready to serve and not to be served. We should forget about personal gains and pursue true democratisation of Nigeria. We must leave a legacy like the people that fought for our independence. What do you want to be remembered for? I want to be remembered for positive changes and impact on the lives of people around me.

•Continued from page 29

Y •Gov. Ahmed addressing the students

‘No electricity, no payment’ •Continued from page 29

when they got to PHCN Business Unit at Challenge and saw that there was electricity there. The security personnel prevented the protesters from gaining entry into the office. When a top officer in “F” Division of the Police in Ilorin, intervened, representatives of the students were allowed to enter to dialogue with the PHCN officials. The SUG Public Relations Officer, Titilope Akogun, who was one of the three students at the talks, said the demonstration was embarked up on because students had endured harsh condition for more than three weeks and could not bear it anymore. “We are here today to register our grievances because we have been patient enough and we cannot bear the hardship again,” Titilope told the PHCN officials. He said the protesters demanded 15 hours supply daily, but the PHCN negotiators maintained that the company could not meet that demand. PHCN assured the students that power supply to their hostels would be improved. An agreement was signed by both parties. The protesters threatened to stage another

protest if the condition did not improve. After the meeting, Titilope addressed his colleagues, urging them not to pay electricity bill if the PHCN failed to fulfil its promise. He said: “We are here to pass a message, which we have done. The message is clear. We are saying that if they fail to give light, students will not pay their electricity bill.” None of the PHCN officials addressed the protesters after the negotiation. The immediate past chairman, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Kwara State chapter, Shakir Akorede, who was among the protesters, enjoined students to peacefully channel their agitation. One of the protesters, Kazeem Shuaib, said: “It is sheer wickedness on the part of the PHCN. Anytime students are on holiday, there will be constant power supply. But when we resume, the situation changes. This is the harsh treatment we get from the PHCN. We cannot continue like this because we are paying for the electricity we are not using.” At the time of this report, the situation has not improved.

OU were the president of Kwara Students. How was your tenure? For me, it was an eventful tenure. I saw it as a good opportunity given to me by my colleagues to serve them and implement my programmes to take the association to a new height. I believe my experience from the position I held will prepare me to tackle challenges in a more complicated setting. I will rather say that the opportunity was not just a deal; it was an avenue to showcase my innate leadership abilities. What are the projects you executed during your tenure? Well, several projects were needed to be done but we were able to achieve some of them. However, one thing, which had been the hurdle against the progress of our association, is the constitution with which we operate. I am elated that we were able to review the constitution and produce a more progressive document. We achieved this within the first 90 days of our tenure. We did many other projects. What impact did your tenure make on the welfare of members? Within our capacity, we assisted members, who were not financially strong, through empowerment programme. We also held several tutorial classes and training to boost the academic performances of members. We also subsidised transport fares for our members travelling from Minna to Kwara and vice versa. What is the relationship between the association and the Kwara State



CAMPUS LIFE Four students of the Geology Department of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, have done their institution and country proud. They defeated their peers from universities across Africa to win the regional contest of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, becoming the best on the continent. NGOZI EMMANUEL reports.

Africa’s best


S they walked into the council chambers of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), with their Head of Department, Prof Anthony Okoro, all heads turned. And they beamed with smiles, acknowledging cheers from members of the Governing Council. The students - Chibuzo Ahaneku, Pamela Ezidugwu, Nnaemeka Okoli and Vivian Oguadimma – made up the team that won the contest organised for African students by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. They represented UNIZIK. It was held at the Peninsula Hotel, Lekki, Lagos. The Vice-Chancellor (VC), Prof Boniface Egboka, looked with pride as the students sat down, exclaiming: “I feel like I have grown three inches taller”. The VC’s statement was greeted with applause by staff and students. It was a heroic reception for the victorious students. The students were mentored by Dr Ben Odoh and Ms Nkechi Ebgoka, lecturers of Geology, who accompanied them to the competition. Prof Egboka said: “I meant the statement when I said I felt taller because these students have made us very proud by making UNIZIK the first university in Africa to win the Imperial Barrel Award of the Ameri-

•Prof Okoro

•The students. From left: Chibuzor, Pamela, Vivian and Nnaemeka

can Association of Petroleum Geologists.” The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics), Prof Joseph Ahaneku, said: “Today, we are celebrating an academic excellence through quality research and productivity.” According to him, the institution supports efforts aimed at putting UNIZIK on the map of honour and excellence, like the Geological Sciences students who won the African award. Over 20 universities across Africa participated in the competition. Each team was given an oil basin in different parts of the world to evaluate, assess and come up with objective predictions. The UNIZIK team was given a ba-

sin in Nova Scotia, Canada. They used power-point presentation to analyse the oil field. Pamela said: “We evaluated the hydrocarbon prospectivity of Penobscot field in Scotian Basin, offshore Nova Scotia Canada.” The analysis, she said, was done with the aid of power-point presentation evaluating facts about the oil basin. The team leader, Chibuzo, said each of them performed a specific role, ranging from the introduction to sequence straight graph interpretation. The conclusion was done by Nnaemeka; Vivian and Chubuzo handled the basin analysis and seismic interpretation. Pamela said she focused on volumetrics and economics aspect of the analysis.

Experts in the field were on hand to judge the performance of each institution. The UNIZIK team emerged overall best with 79.5 points after the session. Being the best in Africa, the team members are expected to be in the United States for the global contest. They will meet students from other regions of the world. An elated Prof Okoro said the department was ready to support the students to any level, having made the university proud with their feat. On the world contest, Nnaemeka said determination and unique presentation would move the team to clinch the world best institution in Geology training. Vivian and Pamela said they had “unflinching

faith” in God, adding that their project will earn them first position in the world. Chibuzo said: “We only have to improve on what we did in Lagos to be the world best and with our mentors and HOD on our side, students from other universities across the world will not be difficult for us to handle.” Other institutions that participated included Helwan University, Egypt, which came second, University of Tunis, Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), University of Lagos (UNILAG), Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), University of Ibadan (UI) and University of Calabar (UNICAL), among others.

On many campuses, squatting is fast becoming a way of life. Students, who cannot afford accommodation on campus, squat with their friends against schools’ regulations. Will there be an end to the act? OLUWAFEMI OGUNJOBI (400Level Language Arts, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife) asks.

Students’ accommodation blues


QUATTING is common in most higher institutions. It is caused mostly by the inability of the school management to provide adequate halls of residence for students. Other factors include high cost of accommodation and a deliberate circumvention of bed spaces allocation rules by students. The practice prevails at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State. Whenever an academic session begins, students are worried over accommodation. Most times, there are arguments between the hostel managers and prospective occupants of the halls of residence. Students believe that bed spaces available in OAU’s hostels can only accommodate 30 per cent of the students’ population. A few weeks ago, the university began a fresh academic session; but, many of the returning students will not be accommodated. The bed spaces were allocated to some students, including freshers, the Deputy Dean, Students’ Affairs Unit, Dr Yinka Adesina said in an interview with CAMPUSLIFE. Majority will have to reside offcampus, where they will contend with irregular power supply and insecurity. Some students have resorted to squatting. Dr Adesina said the bed spaces were allocated on first-come-firstserve basis.

•A typical night in OAU hostel; three squatters manage to sleep on a student-size mattress

“Man must survive,” some squatters chorused when CAMPUSLIFE visited the allocation office. According to the statistics released by Dr Adesina, 3,417 which is the number of bed spaces in Fajuyi, Moremi, Awolowo, Education Trust Fund, Akintola and Alumni are reserved for 5,241 final year students. In an online interview with our correspondent, Dr Adesina said OAU could not accommodate all freshers, who are 5,400. He said the bed spaces in the school were less than 9,600, which are not enough to accommodate all its

students. “Yet, we will still accommodate other categories of students. The freshmen have been told that bed spaces allocation are on first-comefirst-serve basis,” Dr Adesina said. Some of the final year students, who wanted privacy and convenience, paid higher to rent apartments in the university’s host community. The lucky ones said they would not accommodate squatters. In Awolowo and Fajuyi halls, legal occupants dare not report squatters, who always create spaces for their hosts. Here, squatters have the ‘right’ to sleep on the

legal occupants’ bed spaces. They use their hosts’ materials such as buckets, slippers, towels, pots and spoons without taking excuse. However, this is not the case in Angola and Mozambique halls, where the freshers are accommodated. Squatting is not rampant in these halls. Dolapo Akanni, a 200-Level student, who resided in Mozambique Hall in her first year, said: “I did not have squatters to stay with me in my 100-Level days, although I wish I had one because I felt the pain most of them go through.”

With no room for her in the current session, Dolapo said: “I will rather take to balloting rather than to squat. If balloting did not work, I will have to resign to fate.” In OAU, illegal occupants know themselves and have a club. They can even invite their squat-mate to join them illegally. “I started to squat from my first year on campus. In fact, I slept in the common room for some weeks before I got hooked with a colleague. It was like this till my penultimate year that a senior colleague gave me his bed space free of charge. This was when I could say I had a bed space to myself,” Moses Oluwanifise, president of English Department said. A 100-Level female student, who preferred anonymity, told CAMPUSLIFE: “The situation on campus is so bad that even, freshers do not have bed spaces to themselves. I do not have issues with squatting because life is meant to be enjoyed by all. Who knows, I might have been in their shoes.” Jamiu Adewole, 400-Level English, said: “I stayed in the freshers’ hall in my part one. I had a squatter that could not get accommodation because he resumed late. In my 200-Level days, I bought a bed space from a senior colleague, but in my 300-Level, I joined the squatters’ club. It takes me nothing to squat someone, so far the person lives a normal human life. Besides, life does not end here; we can still meet in future.” It is an offence in the university to squat or be squatted. Buying many bed spaces in order to re-sell at exorbitant price is also a crime. To deter students, management punished some students, who engaged in selling bed spaces at exorbitant price. But will the punishment deter students from squatting or being squatted?



CAMPUS LIFE VC sympathises with Fayemi


•Charles’ colleagues in Togo clad in black to mourn his death

Students mourn departed colleague


TUDENTS of the French Department, Ignatuius Ajaru

University, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, are mourning. One of their colleagues, Charles Haramara, died some weeks ago. The students, who are undergoing their compulsory one-year abroad studies at the Centre International de Recherches et d’Etudes de Langues (CIREL), Village du Benin, Togo, appeared in black attires last Monday to mourn Charles’ death, who died in Nigeria. Charles, a 200-Level student, died during a midnight stampede at the university while he was reading with classmates. He died after he

From Johnpaul Nnamdi LOME

jumped from a building when one of the students shouted that there was a ghost in the building. Th is caused a stampede with students rushing to leave the building. Two students died and some were injured. Charles’ colleagues in Lome, Togo expressed sadness, describing his death as untimely. The mourners offered prayers for the repose of the deceased’s soul. Bright Wosu, the class representative, conveyed the students’ condolence to the family of the late Charles, saying: “Death is a necessary end. Only cowards die many times before

their death. Charles lived a good life which is worth emulating and his good deeds will never be forgotten in a hurry. We share in this moment of sorrow and ask God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss.” Students described the late Charles as a dedicated student and one who was always ready to learn. Amos Nseka, who recently graduated from the university, recounted his encounter with Charles. He said: “Charles’ death shocked me to the bone. I see it as a terrible occurrence because he was one of the students I like hanging out with. I had several tutorials with him and taught him some things, which he appreciated a lot. I still cannot believe he is dead.”

HE Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Prof Bamitale Omole, has described the death of the Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Mrs Funmilayo Olayinka, as an irreparable loss to the government and people of Ekiti State. The VC spoke when he led his management team on a condolence visit to Governor Kayode Fayemi in AdoEkiti, last week. He said the late Mrs Olayinka was a dependable lieutenant of Dr Fayemi, who brought passion, inspiration and an uncommon zeal to bear in fighting the cause of the downtrodden and championing the rights of women and children. He added that the deceased was an epitome of integrity, courage and dedication to service, who, he said, contributed in no small measure to the politics of Ekiti State. Omole urged the governor to take solace in God, who, he said, has the sole power to give and take away life, irrespective of the situation or circumstance. He said:“Although there is no amount of words that can truly as-

•The late Olayinka From Dhikru Akinola OAU

suage your feelings on the death of this woman of great influence and the attendant pains, I want you to take solace in God who is the only one that is able to comfort you.” Omole prayed God to grant the governor and his executive council, the deceased’s parents and husband the fortitude to bear the loss.

‘Although, there is no amount of words that can truly assuage your feelings on the death of this woman of great influence and the attendant pains, I want you to take solace in God who is the only one that is able to comfort you.”

Leaders for Anatomy students


EMBERS of the Anatomical Students Society of Nigeria (ASSON), College of Medical Science, University of Calabar (UNICAL), have elected leaders that will pilot the affairs of the society for another session. The new executive is led by Patrick Ede, while Patricia Obase and Fabian Sixtus are the Vice President and General Secretary respectively. Others elected included Sophia

From Sam Ibok and Raymond Ekemini UNICAL

Ameh, Treasurer; Emmanuel Etta, Financial Secretary; Abang Jabe, Director of Information; Goodluck Alozie, Social Director; Davina Ekpa, Director of Welfare and Sunday Nkanta, Provost. After taking the oath, Patrick thanked the students for having confidence in him and promised to restore the lost glory of the department. The department did not have a union for more than four years. The head of the department, Dr V.A. Fisher, said he was glad the association has come back after years of proscription. He charged the new executives to avoid the scenario that led to the suspension of the association.

College matriculates freshers


•The awardees after the programme

Faculty holds talks on security


HE Faculty of Education of the Federal College of Education, Oyo, has held its biannual conference with awards for individuals, who supported education. Two lawmakers of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Waliu Adekunle, Atiba Constituency, and Hon. Adesina Adeyemo, Ibarapa Constituency, were among those honoured at the programme. Other honorees included Prof Tunde Salau and Dr. Tajudeen Opoola. The Provost, Dr Emmanuel Adeniyi, chaired the event, which was held in the expansive lecture theatre of the institution. He said those honoured were worthy because of their contributions to education and development of the institution. The Director, Distance Learning

From Dhikru Akinola OYO

Centre, University of Ibadan (UI), Prof Bayo Okunade, delivered a lecture with the theme: The limit of education in addressing security problem in Nigeria. Prof Okunade, a Political Scientist, noted that before Nigeria could overcome its numerous security challenges, its leaders must get the process of governance right. He observed that the fight against terrorism could not be won on the basis of education, adding that the problem the nation is contending with was not about education. He, however, noted that there is a close relationship between education and security. “The problem of insecurity in Nigeria is indeed a very serious one not only because of the apparent lack of a

security system that can respond appropriately but also because the non-material aspects of the problems are not met. You cannot defeat the insurgency with Joint Military Task Force. No government has ever won terrorism with force because it is an idea,” he said. He urged the government to explore other options in dealing with insurgency in the north. After receiving his award, Hon. Adekunle said he was happy because it was the first time his alma mater would honour him. He attended the college before he left for the University of Ado Ekiti, now Ekiti State University (EKSU). Responding on behalf of the awardees, Prof Salau, proprietor of Prime Model School, Ibadan, thanked the management of the faculty for considering them for the award.

ARENTS, guardians and well wishers trooped into the Oyo State College of Agriculture, Igboora (OYSCAI) last Wednesday for the matriculation of freshers admitted into the college. Speaking at the ceremony, the Provost, Prof J.G. Adewale, urged the students to stay focused and shun cultism, examination malpractices and vices that could jeopardise their future. He enjoined the freshers to also exhibit good character, stressing that expulsion remained the penalty for any student

From Succes Shaibu and Oluwayemi Ojediran OYSCAI

found guilty of cultism. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that 470 were admitted of the 3,500 applicants that applied to study in the college. Freshers spoke on the matriculation. Olalekan Abiola, Science Laboratory Technology, said he was excited being a part of the pioneer students to be admitted into the department. “The matriculation was colourful,” Festus Ayodeji, another student, said.

Students relieved as exam ends


HE National Diploma students of Oyo State College of Agriculture, Igboora (OYSCAI) have ended their first semester examination after about 17 weeks of lectures. Students expressed relief after three weeks of rigorous reading during the examination. The students have since proceeded on break. According to the school academic calendar, the break will last for a week and some days. But students said they would be relieved during the break. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that the

From Oluwayemi Ojediran OYSCAI

college was able to reduce exam malpractice by introducing stringent measures. Ayokomi Alayande, ND I Fishery Technology, said: “The semester as a whole was very hectic being a fresher in the system. However, I thank God that the semester is over now. I can now have some rest.” When asked if she was expecting good grades from her papers, Ayokomi said: “I did the best I could, and I am praying for God’s favour to make me pass all the papers I wrote.”



CAMPUS LIFE Benue students win unity contest


ENUE State students have won the Peace and Unity Championship contest organised by the National Association of Ondo Students Association (NAOSS), University of Jos (UNIJOS) chapter. The contest was held at the J.T Useni Stadium, on the campus. The soccer fiesta, which started with a symposium, during which certain individuals were honoured, had about 24 state associations taking part in the championship. Benue State Students Association (BSSA) defeated Akwa Ibom State Students Association by 4 goals to 2 to win the contest. There was also a third-place match between students of Nasarawa and Plateau states. Those honoured included Dr Olubunmi Lar, a lecturer and Hon. Suleiman Kwande, a member representing Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency in the

•Some freshers after taking the oath

4,522 take oath at UNICAL


RESHERS admitted into the University of Calabar (UNICAL) have taken the matriculation oath at a colourful ceremony held at the Abraham Odia Stadium. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof James Epoke, said over 50,000 candidates applied to study in the institution but the school could only admit 4,522. It was its 36th matriculation. Prof Epoke said 3,467 were given admission for Science-based courses while 1,055 were admitted to study Arts-related courses. He charged the freshers to always be punctual at lectures, stressing that the university

From Stanley Uchebu and Favour Inyangudo UNICAL

would only allow the students to write exam having attended 75 per cent of lectures. He also noted that norms, rules and regulations were spelt out in the students’ handbook, urging freshers to get it and study properly. He warned that ignorance of rules and regulations would not be an excuse when any student was found wanting, saying the penalty for any form of vices was expulsion. Some of the freshers, who spoke

to CAMPUSLIFE, expressed joy at being offered a place in the university. Christopher Akpan, 100-Level Curriculum and Teaching, said: “I am very glad to be one of the lucky ones. I see this as an opportunity for me to be a professional in my chosen discipline.” Pastor Ignatius Atim, a parent, said: “I am happy to be the father of an undergraduate, who is a potential medical doctor.” After the ceremony, the freshers entertained their friends and family members, who graced the occasion.

Water restored in hostel


ESIDENTS of Village Hostel, University of Jos (UNIJOS), have heaved a sigh relief following the repair of the faulty borehole in the hostel by the Directorate of Physical Facilities. The restoration of the borehole has ended weeks of water shortage experienced by the students. The borehole, which had been faulty since the commencement of the semester, forced students to fetch water from a well, a situ-

DESLU starts exam


TUDENTS of the Delta State University, Abraka are burning the midnight candle in preparation for first semester examination, which begins on Monday. According to the timetable released by the management, the examination is to hold simultaneously on the three campuses of the university. When CAMPUSLIFE visited the

•Members of the club with the physically-challenged pupils after they donated the materials

Group donates to the disabled


ORPORATE Swaggz International (CSI), a students’ group at the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), has donated materials to the school of the physically-challenged in Ikare-Akoko, Ondo State as part of its bid to give back to the society. The materials included waste bins, refuse parkers, bags of rice, cartons of noodles, toiletries, tissue papers, clothes and cartons of biscuits and drinks. Speaking on the reason for the donation, the team leader of the club, Toyosi Ayeleso, 500-Level Law, said: “The initiative is only one of many other charity works embarked on by the team. CSI is not just about showbiz but also its responsibility to the society.” Receiving the gifts, the representative of the physically-chal-

From Dayo Ojerinde AKURE

lenged school, who gave his name as Mr Abubukar, thanked the students for remembering the challenged members of the society. He charged Nigerians to always remember the physically-challenged among them. Olusegun Akinsehinde, a member of the club, said: “Our organisation hopes to touch lives in the state through its 18-local government tour termed The hearty train.” Others on the club’s team included Kolawole Oromoloye, Akintomiwa Adaran, Ebun Bamgboye, Yinka Igbatayo, Olaleke Oni, Busayo Ojewale, Adewale Ojomu, Kayode Ige, Ganiyat Olotu, Segun Olubola, Isiaka Saidi, Oladapo Yusuf, Opeyemi Akindiose and Olusegun Akinsehinde.

From Esther Mark UNIJOS

House of Representatives. Speaking, NAOSS president, Olusegun Akintade, appreciated people that contributed to the success of the fiesta. He specifically praised Globacom, which sponsored the sporting activity and praised the Special Task Force (STF), Indomie Noodles, National Union of Journalists (NUJ), Plateau State chapter among others. Representative of Globacom, Mr Gabriel Okoh, said the mobile company was proud to be a part of the event. He said UNIJOS and Globacom had had a successful collaboration in the past, adding the company would continue to partner with students to ensure peace in the state. Okoh urged other associations and unions in the school to imitate the programme to leave footprint for which they would be remembered. From Esther Mark UNIJOS

ation that made many fail to meet up with early morning lectures. Speaking to CAMPUSLIFE, acting governor of the hostel, Joseph Nansat, 400-Level Psychology, said: “Students have been relieved of the heavy burden of queuing up for hours to fetch a bowl of water while lectures were going on.” Paul Nweke, final year student of Pharmacy, expressed joy, saying he would be punctual at lectures. He appealed to the management to improve on the infrastructure in the hostel, adding that the reservoir, which served the students could not store water without power supply. From Philip Okorodudu DELSU

schoo, students were seen carrying books to classrooms to do Awoko, a parlance for overnight reading. Our correspondent also noticed a group of students playing. Since the release of the timetable, football viewing centres around the campus, which are always visited by students, have been deserted. After the exam, the institution will go on a break, which is expected to last from May 18 to June 2.

ESSAY CONTEST FOR UNDERGRADS The Nation CAMPUSLIFE in collaboration with Blantyre newspaper, Malawi, and Network for a Free Society, is calling for entries into an essay competition. Details are as follows: Question: Nations which are economically free out-perform non-free nations in all indicators of well-being. Discuss. Eligibility: All students in any tertiary institutions (university, polytechnic, college of education and vocational school) in Africa. The format of the text should be in MS word and not more than 1,500 words. Interested student should please request for the background material from Adedayo Thomas at, Wale at and Brian Ligomeka at On the first page of the completed essay, please write your full name, department, year of study and name of institution. Also include your email address and GSM line. Send your entries to Entries will be received between March 28 and June 11, 2013. Entry sent after the deadline will not be accepted. Announcement of winners: July 18, 2013. All participants will get a free CD of “Ideas for a free society”, which contains 100 textbooks on various field of studies. Prizes: 1st - $1,000 and scholar-

ship to 2013 Student and Young Professional African Liberty Academy (SYPALA) in Kenya from August 8- 11, 2013 2nd - $700 and scholarship to 2013 Student and Young Professional African Liberty Academy (SYPALA) in Kenya from August 8- 11, 2013 3rd - $500 and scholarship to 2013 Student and Young Professional African Liberty Academy (SYPALA) in Kenya from August 8- 11, 2013 4th - $300 and scholarship to 2013 Student and Young Professional African Liberty Academy (SYPALA) in Kenya from August 8- 11, 2013 5th - $100 We have eight consolidation prizes of $50 each.




•The new Faculty of Medical Sciences

•One of the 500-capacity lecture theatres

The tenure of the Governing Council of the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) has ended. Its members inaugurated projects to mark their departure from the school. TAIWO ISOLA (200-Level Human Anatomy) writes.


O mark the completion of its tenure, the Dr Wale Babalakinled Governing Council of the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) handed over some facilities to the institution. From the two university gates to the faculties, the council left its mark. As the building for the School of Pharmacy was inaugurated, the students sang with joy, having waited for many years for the faculty. There is also a 1,000-capacity auditorium built for conferences. New buildings for the Dentistry Department and the Faculty of Medical Sciences, which include Anatomy, Physiotherapy, Nursing, among others, were also inaugurated. The Faculty of Education was not left out. Its building was

Council’s parting gifts completed with twin 500-seater lecture theatres. The council also completed the UNIMAID Radio House and built a 33/11KV power station for the school. The roads from gates 1 and 2 were dualised and beautified with solar lamps. During the inauguration, the ViceChancellor, Prof Muhammed Daura, said the projects were a milestone achievement in the university’s annals, adding that the institution had never witnessed such an “explosion of projects”. He said the management was proud

of the Dr Babalakin-led council for the achievement, noting that his tenure was four years of prudent management and unprecedented development in the institution. Praising the outgoing council members, Prof Daura said: “We thank you very much for the commitment you have shown to this university. This is the first time the university will be having this kind of projects including a lecture theatre that can accommodate 500 students. That makes us a proud member of the global university community.” On the money committed to the

projects, Dr Babalakin said there was no abandoned project, despite the security challenge in the state, noting that embarking on such projects was a difficult task. The optimism and faith of the council members, he said, made the achievement a reality. Idris Abubakar, a Business Education student, praised the council for completing the Faculty of Education building. He said: “I am happy we will no longer use other faculties’ halls and classrooms for our lectures. That all our lectures will now be within the faculty is

commendable.” He, however, noted students would be faced with the challenge of walking a long distance from their hostels to the new classrooms for lectures. The UNIMAID Garden Hotel in Abuja was also inaugurated. Dr Babalakin said the projects would boost the revenue base of the institution, adding that proceeds from them would be used to sponsor First Class graduates to further their education. He added that the projects would reduced the university’s dependence on the Federal Government. A graduating student praised the council and management, saying he was happy to witness changes in the school.

Leaders of the Students’ Union Government (SUG) at the University of Calabar (UNICAL) have been sworn in. STANLEY UCHEGBU (400Level Accounting) reports.

A call to serve


HEIR emergence is perceived as a new beginning by students. The executive of the Students’ Union Government (SUG), University of Calabar (UNICAL), was inaugurated at a colourful ceremony at the old Senate Building The Vice-Chancellor (VC), Prof James Epoke, led some senior staff members, including the Dean of Students’ Affairs (DSA), Prof Eyong Eyong, Information Officer Mr Eyo Effiong and Chairman of Calabar University Electoral Dr Idaka Idaka, to the ceremony. The outgoing SUG president, Ayi Ekpenyong, and Speaker of the parliament Emmanuel Olayi led students to the event. Prof Eyong congratulated the incoming officers, promising them the management’s support. Dr Idaka presented the union officials for oath taking. The president was sworn in, after which he administrated the oath on other executive members. Prof Epoke said the management was interested in union leaders that would bring the ethics of leadership to bear in leading students. He said if union leaders resided with students in hostels, they would understand the plight of their colleagues better and discharge their duties diligently. He urged the leaders to work with the DSA, who he said is responsible for students’ matters. While commending the outgoing

Our major plight remains the issue of fees, prices of commodities in hostels, transportation and accommodation. If the president can tackle these problems, I will be very happy,


•The SUG officers after they were sworn in

union leaders for maintaining peace during their tenure, the VC charged the incoming ones to adopt new method of leadership to improve on students’ welfare. The union president, Bassey Eka, pledged that the SUG under his watch would promote the vision of the university and also contribute to building a strong culture in the institution. He urged his opponents to join hands with him in the union’s interest. Bassey, 200-Level Curriculum and Teaching, who obtained his first degree in Political Science, said his administration would streamline his objectives with the VC’s agenda for the institution. He charged other officers to live

among students and advised them not to allow their personal interest to override the general wellbeing of their colleagues, who voted for them. Michael Sifon, a student of Faculty of Social Science, told CAMPUSLIFE that he was convinced that Bassey would res t o r e t h e s p i r i t o f u n i o n ism among students. “Our major plight remains the issue of fees, prices of commodities in hostels, transportation and accommodation. If the president can tackle these problems, I will be very happy,” Blessing Okon, a female student of the Faculty of Management Science said.

•Prof Epoke speaking at the ceremony




By Adebisi Adeniji


HE term “virginity” has returned to be the discourse in certain circles. Coming in an age when obnoxious words reign supreme, of course, it could not have come at a better time. Nowadays, it is hard to define who is a virgin in the real mean-


F you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing about.” – Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), US author and politician In the world of today where information has become free and communication indispensable, everyone desires to share his ideas in writing. Nobody is pleased to be a spectator and watch as history unfolds under his nose. Each man wants to dictate how history is told. I am no exception. I am fed up with being told different stories by different writers. I want to express myself too. I want to write to right wrongs, to curb menaces, to remedy maladies and propagate my own ideas, too. Gone are the days I used to think online write-ups were scribbled by some word-spinning bots. What is my belief now? Of

ing of the word. The general meaning of the word “virgin” refers to a girl who keeps her chastity. Such a girl can be said not to have slept with the opposite sex at the time of being called a virgin. However, people believe that such a girl is scarce in today’s world. Much emphasis is not placed on male virginity because the gender does not have hymen. The attention is on women. According to an online statistics, 95 per cent of Nigerian teenagers cannot boast of being virgins. In an era where premarital and casual sex abound, girls who are as young as 14 have started experimenting with the forbidden fruit, causing an upsurge in teen pregnancies and abortions. Such act has also resulted in psychological breakdowns with the rejection of unwanted children. There are many factors that contribute to the sexual decadence in our society. It should be noted that the mass media, which has, over the years, served as a source of socialisation, also has its negative effect on the society and the people. The media’s portrayal of

A vote for chastity sexual images to an already vulnerable audience has helped to increase the level of decadence. Corporate advertisers are particularly guilty of this; bits of sensuality are infused into every advert they place or show on television. Even when it is not necessary, they employ skimpily dressed girls to advertise their products, passing a wrong message to the audience. Peer pressure is also a factor. Teenagers, who do not indulge in the practice, are seen as greenhorns by their peers, who have had the experience. In order not to be the butt of jokes among their friends, some teenagers make wrong decisions. Today’s forms of entertainment are also to blame. Songs with weird lyrics are the favourites of the young. Some of them would say: “We only love the beat; we don’t practise the message”. But, in reality, the songs are like ra-


Adebisi, 300-Level Language Arts, UI

Making a case for writing course, I know that it is ordinary people like me who are shaping history. And I have got ideas I can give humanity too. Writing is about the best, the most far-reaching and permanent medium to express any opinion. It is rare, if not impossible, to come across somebody who will declare: “I hate writing!” I do wish to know how to assemble words in writing to express my thought and sell my views. But many only wish, a few actually write. I cannot claim to be a writing guru. But I dare say writing gives me tremendous joy and that it brings me a load of fortune too. I have won a number of national essay writing contests, so readers can be sure it is something I have a flair for; my very specialty. I

have written a couple of opinion pieces published in national dailies and read hundreds of others, so I guess I am really addicted to the craft. My slogan is: “A writer can, with word, move the world if he knows how to write masterpiece.” My advice to readers is that writing is an impressive way of selling ideas and contributing one’s quota to burning local, national or global issues. People that do not want themselves rendered irrelevant in public discourses write articles as many as they wish. Hence, one cannot afford but to be counted among the writers in the society, a formidable one at that. It is said, and I think rightly, that everyone has an opinion. So, if one has a strong opinion about

Of SUG protest and students’ interest HAVE not always welcomed the idea of the Students’ Union Government (SUG) staging protests to agitate and table their challenges before school authorities. This is because, most of the time, students who have shallow knowledge of the issues in question are gathered just to be counted in the protest. Some join to feather their nest. In times past, we (students) have supported protests, which, on the surface, looked beneficial to our cause. We chant Aluta continua and Victoria ascerta, we carry placards, cut every available branch of trees just to make our pains known to the brains that sustain the train of the school. The SUG leaders demand what seems to be the rights of students. And like every protest, all students cannot have a closed door meeting with the authorities; their key leaders will. The students chanting Aluta at the gate don’t get to know what was discussed. Perhaps, they would have been compromised by the authorities with a promise of gifts, money or valuable materials. The next thing is a directive asking all students to leave the school compound. Then, followed by deployment of pensive-looking policemen of Goliath’s descendant to disperse the protest-

dioactive wastes; they slowly destroy whoever listens to them. There is no way a 14-year-old girl would listen to songs, such as Lay on me, without having certain thoughts. Some people have argued that virginity is not important in this globalisation age, claiming that in the olden days, girls married relatively early as soon as they reached puberty. Such early marriages, they argued, kept promiscuity at bay. However, times and civilisation have changed the practice. Nowadays, the first 20 years of any girl are spent in the classroom. But, by that age, her features would have developed. It is reasonable for an unmarried 25-year -old woman to be sexually active. It is so bad that many teenagers know some things about sex, which their parents probably might never know. A newspaper cartoon was circulated sometime

ago, where a man was seen telling his teenage son that it was time for sex education. The boy answered: “Sure, what part do you want to know, daddy?” Everyone has a reason for making certain decisions but it would be advantageous if such decisions are not based on external influence. Abstinence is the surest way of preventing sexually-transmitted diseases. The slogan “abstinence is the best method to prevent diseases” attests to this fact. My advice to teenagers and the youth is that they must abstain from premarital sex. And those who are still chaste, should maintain this status. We must not allow ourselves to be the butt of jokes in the society. There is a Yoruba adage that says anything that is protected doesn’t lose its value. We must not be deceived by the argument that virginity is an outdated value. It is not; it is a value we must nurture to ensure our society is free of decadence.

ers and eject students from their hostels. Then the school is closed down till “further notice”. When the school eventually reopens, the hapless students, who joined the protest in the hope that things would change, now have to come with their parents to sign an undertaking of good behaviour; if unlucky, they pay tens of thousands of Naira as fine. But the students’ union leaders won’t be there to stop the students from paying the fine. They won’t be there to say the reason their colleagues embarked on the protest in the first place. We would have thought that the SUG is the voice of all students. Alas, some of them are self-serving and represent their pockets. This is not to say there are no union leaders who truly fight for students’ welfare. The protest staged in my school sometime ago by the SUG and Students Representative Council was basically for mattresses. According to union leaders, the protest was to address one problem out of many challenges students face. The protest sent shivers down the spine of the school management. Not wanting any problem with students, the management immediately produced 500 good mattresses for their use. This is a sign

something, why not let the world know at least through writing? Now the question for many aspiring writers is: “How do I write good pieces?” The answer is plain. The best way to learn how to write is by writing. It may seem illogical, but that is the truth. How do you learn to walk? By walking, right? How do you learn to speak if not by speaking? Writing also demands commitment, perseverance and self-motivation. If one wants to be a prolific writer, then one need consistency. One way we can achieve that is to write regularly. We must summon the courage and start from somewhere. We must not be deterred by “if” or “but”, we just must start and be consistent in order to be a good writer. We must make our ink

By Muhammed Abdullahi flow freely because our writings can achieve cure many things in the society. Muhammed, UNILORIN



Association to hold African Night


ATIONAL Association of Accounting and Finance Students, University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) chapter, is set to hold its second Annual Award and African Night. The event, slated for Excellence Hall, will take place on April 26. According to the Social Director of the association, Kabir Mustapha, the event is to promote and celebrate African culture, and to avail students of the department the opportunity to socialise and interact with one

By Princewill Jacob of good productive demonstration. The union leaders are, therefore, urged to fight for the rights of students, but they must do it in an open and logical manner. Gone are the days when violence is used as a tool for demanding what rightly belongs to the students. Our union leaders should place the interest of the students above their personal gains. I can boldly say that students will put their weight behind those leaders who discuss their welfare with the authorities open-mindedly. But they will not also fail to condemn some of those who join unionism to further their personal interests. Princewill, HND 1 Petroleum and Natural Gas Processing, PTI Effurun

Urhobo students get leaders


HE National Association of Urhobo Students, Delta State University (DELSU) chapter, has inaugurated its new executive to pilot the affairs of the association for another academic session. Members also welcomed freshers into the association. At a colourful ceremony attended by old and new students of Urhobo extraction, the immediate past president of the association, Ernest Igbighogho, 500-Level Law, who was recently elected the national president of the association, crowned the new king that will be in charge of the association.

From Hameed Muritala UNILORIN

another. Kabir said those that contributed to growth of the association in the last one year would be honoured. He said Gabriel Afolayan, a Nollywood actor, would be the guest of honour while the Head of Department will be the chief host. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that the event is supported by CocaCola, House of Tara and Etisalat. From Philip Okorodudu DELSU

The new Okobaro, title for president in Urhobo dialect, Onovwotafe Newton, 500-Level Electrical and Electronics Engineering, thanked Earnest for his doggedness and desire for excellence, which, he said, had yielded good result in making him the national president. He also appreciated some of the outgoing members, such as Samuel Akpimegi, Lucky Chughiefe, Morris Iwhiwhu for their efforts to take the association higher. The highpoint of the ceremony was when the freshers were called to dance to the tunes of Urhobo music. Many of them could not dance to the music. Some of the new students promised to be good ambassadors of the association. Okpoji Rukeme, 100-Level Law, said she was not expecting the type of reception accorded the freshers, saying she was honoured to be among her kinsmen.




Osun students hold confab


TUDENT leaders of Osun State-owned institutions gathered in Osogbo for a twoday stakeholders’ meeting organised by the Department of Social Mobilisation and Guidance, Ministry of Information. The meeting was held in Hotelde-Charity and Local Government Commission hall, state secretariat. Delegates came from Osun State College of Education, Ilesa, Osun State College of Education, IlaOrangun, Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, and Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke. Students also came from Federal Polytechnic, Ede (EDE POLY) and Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, to grace the occasion. On the first day, the meeting, which was moderated by Dr Abiola Soetan, deliberated on issues affecting students in all institutions in the state. The delegates considered the situation report and made recommendations on the

•Some of the delegates at the conference By Gboluwaga Olaomo ILESA

state of infrastructure on their campuses, management and government policies. The delegates stated their positions – in line with the theme of the meeting. Some of the issues discussed in-

cluded the state of infrastructure on campus, tuition fees, insecurity, epileptic power supply, state of libraries and laboratories, roads and the level of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Sheriff Olawale, from EDE POLY, urged the state government not to neglect students of the institution. He said: “Since we are schooling

On and Off Campus By Solomon Izekor 08061522600

in this state, and a good percentage of the students are indigenes of this state, we should not be neglected at all by the state government.” On the second day, the students gathered in the hall of the Local Government Commission with Governor Rauf Aregbesola and his deputy, Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori, who doubles as the Commissioner of Education.

The delegates presented the governor with recommendations on how to revamp the state of infrastructure in the institutions and maintain the standard. Some of the recommendations included extension of bursary payment to all Osun students, irrespective of their school locations, improvement of schools’ library with new textbooks and upgrading of the libraries to ICT-compliant, among others. Aregbesola expressed disappointment at the low into which students’ unionism has been brought on campuses. He lamented the dearth of intellectualism among the present crop of students’ leaders, recalling his days as union leader at The Polytechnic, Ibadan (IBADAN POLY). He said students had not made the best use of the opportunity given to them to give recommendations to the government on challenges they faced. Aregbesola wondered why the delegates did not mention offering of scholarship to best students in the recommendations submitted. The governor said students’ leaders should always be passionate about getting scholarship from the government rather than fighting for what may not benefit them in the long run.

Senate praises project


EMBERS of the Senate Committee on Education have praised the management of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), led by Prof Bartho Okolo, for using its resources to upgrade infrastructure and enhance academics. Led by its chairman, Sen. Uche Chukwumerije, the committee visited the university at the weekend as part of its oversight function on educational institutions in the country. Speaking after inspecting some of the projects of the institution on Enugu and Nsukka campuses, Chukwumerije noted that the massive infrastructure upgrade in the university was a reflection of quality, focused and visionary leadership in the institution. He said: “My impression about the oversight visit here is one of a very massive transformation going on here. And it confirms the general impression I share with the people that leadership is pivotal in any social phenomena. Whatever you talk about the flow of history, whatever you talk about changes in larger environment, the catalyst is always the quality of leadership. “Coming back to Nsukka after years I delivered lecture, I could not believe this is the same place I had visited five years ago. There is a

From Inya Agha UNN

massive change in facilities, in landscape and in general environment. For the first time, I feel the university is, at last, coming back to its former glory as one of the first generation universities in the country.” Responding to questions raised by the senators, Prof Okolo lamented that paucity of fund remained the challenge in running the university in Nigeria. According to him, the institution received about N19 million for overhead cost whereas it spent over N27 million on electricity bill alone. The VC cited the civil war as a major drawback to the development of the university, but said his administration had been making efforts to address infrastructure through support from the government, private sector and publicspirited individuals. On measures taken to expand the revenue base of the university, Prof Okolo said one of the major things his administration did was to enhance the revenue generation potentials of the institution through international grants and direct investment in property. He added that the institution had taken measures to mobilise its alumni across the world to support its development.

•CAMPUSLIFE’s Dayo Ojerinde and his course mate Jide Ogundana during their convocation at the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Akoko (AAUA). They graduated from Mass Communication department from the institution.




JAMB/NSCDC to deploy 10,000 men for UTME •CBT to begin May 18


O fewer than 10,000 men and officers of the Nigeria Security and Defence Corps (NSCDC) would participate in the 2013 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) scheduled for April 27 across the nation. The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) which conducts the UTME has also announced May 18 as the date for the Computer Based Tests (CBT) version of the examination. A statement by JAMB Relations Officer Fabian Benjamin, noted that the management of the board headed by Prof 'Dibu Ojerinde met with top management of the NSCDC represented by the Deputy Commandant-General (DCG) Operations, Mr Evans Ewerem on security plans for the examination vis-à-vis the role the agency would play. Issues bordering on effective monitoring and securing examination centres on the

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

examination day and general conduct of the examination were discussed during the meeting held in Abuja. On his part Ojerinde said it has become a tradition for the Board to meet with the NSCDC prior to the UTME. He praised the agency for its achievements including exposing a fake NYSC orientation camp in Nasarawa and encouraged its men to keep up the good work. Also speaking, Ewerem assured the Board of the corps' cooperation in ensuring the success of the 2013 UTME conduct. He added that all state commandants of the NSCDC would be invited to Abuja for briefing so men that would be deployed to centres are conversant with the new innovations for the examination. Ewerem urged JAMB to provide the agency with the names and addresses of the custodians and centres supervisors to enable them strategise on how to dispatch officials to various centres.

•From left: Mr Obi Emenike, Social Engagement Director; Mr Segun Adekoya, Communications & Networking Director; Mrs. Moji Oguntoyibo, Future Funds & Gala Director; Mr. Isa Emmanuel Omagu, Chairman and Mr. Siji Aina, General Secretary all of the University of Stellenbosch Business School, West Africa Alumni Association at their inauguration in Lagos.

I will not grant my son admission if unqualified, says UNIJOS VC


RESSURE to admit students gives the Vice-Chancellor, University of Jos (UNIJOS), Prof Hayward Babale Mafuyai greater headache than insufficient funds. Addressing journalists at a preconvocation briefing, Mafuyai said the age long Nigerian tradition of parents influencing the university to admit their wards is the beginning of decline of quality education. The VC noted that the most difficult challenge facing universities in Nigeria is not how to manage

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

inadequate fund but how to manage long lists of request from various authorities every year for admission. He said he would no longer honour such requests. He said: "I have made it a policy to change this aged long tradition, I have insisted on admission on merit. If the university will admit on request from above, then I will be compromising quality and causing serious problems for the school. "I never got admission into the university by request in those days,

I got it because I merited it, so I will not encourage granting admission on request. I have made up my mind, I will not even grant my son admission here if he does not have the maximum qualification”. "I want to use the opportunity to appeal to those in authorities, friends and staff of the university, government officials that the best contribution they can make to the growth of the school is to ensure their wards pass through the due process, subject themselves to quality test to earn the admission.

"They should understand that my headache is that list, quality should not be compromised when it comes to admission of students, there are laid down criteria, minimum qualification benchmark and maximum qualification benchmark, anything outside that is fraud. "So let it be known that University of Jos does not admit students through request and we will further advise candidates to come with maximum qualification scores if they want to make it. Minimum qualification is not a guarantee for

The last is also the best


NE could see the accomplishment on her face as she embraced her son, welcoming him into the fold of overall best graduating students among her children. Even though she could not speak a word of English as she never had any form of western education, Mrs Sarat Bakare understood that her last child, Sakiru, was the one getting all the ovations from the parents, guests, graduands and others present at the 21st convocation of the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Ikorodu last Thursday. She did not just know because she was told but because she was used to all her children graduating as the best in their various schools and she did not expect anything less from her last child. Her first son, Fatai graduated as the second best Law student from the Nigerian Law School about five years ago. He was also the best in West Africa at the examination by the Chartered Institute of Adminstration. The second, Hussein, who studied Electrical/ Electronics Engineering Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), AgoIwoye, also made the best result; while her daughter, Latifa was the best student when she graduated from the Ogun State College of Nursing. Sakiru said their brilliance runs in the blood. "My dad and his younger brother also graduated as best students in their school in those days. His younger brother got a scholarship as a result of that to study abroad so it runs in the family," he said. As he was called for hand shakes over and over with the Deputy Governor, Lagos State, Mrs Adejoke Adefulire who represented the governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola,

• Sakiru in convocation gown standing beside his mum and surrounded by, from left Hussein, Latifat, Mrs Falilat Bakare, his god mother, and Ibrahim Bakare, his cousin. By Medinat Kanabe

Sakiru held his head up high as if to say "Yes, this is it". Speaking to The Nation, the HND Computer Engineering graduate who made a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.97, said that since the beginning of his HND programme he made 'A's in all his courses except one, which was a B. He said 4.0 was his target GPA and before he started his studies in the school, he wrote it down and pasted

it where he would see it whenever he woke up. Sakiru whose dad died about three months ago just when he was about to begin his final exams said it affected him psychologically but "I was able to pull myself together because no amount of grief would have brought him back." He said he would continue to study and seek a scholarship to study abroad because he wants "to be the greatest engineer that ever lived."

‘My dad and his younger brother also graduated as best students in their school in those days. His younger brother got a scholarship as a result of that to study abroad so it runs in the family’

He said God, hard work, time management and persistence brought him this far as he advised other students to never to misuse time because "the misuse of anything as precious as time would be a crime. How you spend your day is how you spend your life so make every minute count positively." His mum who spoke to The Nation in her Yoruba dialect said she is not surprised that her son graduated as the best because he had always shown intelligence. She said: "He began to show intelligence as he clocked two years and even memorised the Holy Quran at 22, so I am not surprised." Sakiru won the school's prize, Academic prize, Rector's award, Muyiwa Osikoya Memorial award, Alumni association award, Gabriel Sodeinde Memorial award, Alhaja

admission. "Any candidate who tried once and failed should try again. Do not compel or influence us to admit you through another means other than merit. "This is a standing policy of the institution because we want to continue to produce quality graduates who will do the university proud any where in the world, and we can achieve that by ensuring only those with merit come in. We don't encourage garbage in, garbage out" Amoriade Bamgbala Memorial award, all for best graduating student. He also won the Fasasi Oloro Memorial award for most disciplined student in the polytechnic and Engr Cosmos Odunaiya Memorial award, which all amounted to about 60, 000. Speaking through his representative, Fashola congratulated the 8, 686 graduating students and their parents saying that the graduands can contribute to the development of the nation. He advised that as they go for their national youth service, they should not forget where they are coming from and be a pride to their family, state and country. He called on individuals and private organisations to assist the state government in providing education to the masses adding that the responsibility of education should not be rested on the shoulders of the government alone. In his remarks, the Rector of the polytechnic, Dr Abdulazeez Lawal, said the polytechnic is committed to its vision of becoming a world-class institution whose mission is to extend the frontiers of knowledge through teaching, research, creative works, consultancy, and community service. He, however, lamented that the 35-old institution is still without a befitting administrative complex. "The main administrative activities of our polytechnic are carried in the library complex meaning that the space meant for academic activities of staff and students are utilised for other purposes." Dr Lawal further said the running cost of the polytechnic as well as workers’ salaries is now a problem, "as government's new policy on part-time programmes and running of satellite campuses has seriously eroded the internally-generated revenue base of the polytechnic."



EDUCATION Poly teachers end strike From Yusuf Aminu Idegu, Jos


ECTURERS of the Plateau State Polytechnic have called off their two-month old strike and asked the students of the institution to resume classes immediately. Nanzim Jibrin who announced the suspension of the strike on behalf of his colleagues Tuesday in Jos said the PLAPOLY branch of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has decided to pull out of the strike after considering its legal implication. Jibrin, a Barrister, said: “Yes it is true we embarked on strike about two months ago but after a second thought we have realised that the union that declared the strike did not follow the due process, we have therefore resolved to pull out of it. “We have also realised that frequent strikes are doing serious harm to our education sector. The students are losing, the lecturers are not happy and it is not in the interest of government and parents. He added further: “We lecturers of the Plateau State Polytechnic have resolved to pull out of the strike. We are asking our students to resume immediately and we call on other tertiary institutions under the joint union of tertiary institutions in the state to also see reason to call off the strike.” Similarly, President of the Students’ Union of the institution, Comrade Victor Wilfred has praised the lecturers for suspending the strike and called on all students all over the country to resume immediately.

SCHOLARSHIPS APPROACHING DEADLINES UK Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme Masters Degree Brief description: The UK Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme provides scholarships for international students from developing Commonwealth countries who wants to study a postgraduate degree in UK Universities. It is a joint initiative between the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (with funding from DFID), and UK universities. The Scheme allows them to contribute toward the development of their home countries. Awards are for taught masters courses only. No awards will be made for undergraduate or doctoral study. Fields of study: Shared Scholarship Scheme (SSS) Awards are offered only for subjects relating to the economic, social and technological development of a candidate's country. Number of Scholarships:

170 Scholarships will be offered distributed to the participating institutions. Target group: Nigeria and Nationals of Commonwealth Developing Countries Scholarship value/inclusions: DFID and participating United Kingdom institutions will jointly meet the full costs of an award holder's study in the United Kingdom including air fares to and from the United Kingdom. Maintenance allowance is paid by the scholar's host institution, at the level set by the UK Government: £1,134 per month for scholars based in London and £917 per month for the rest of the UK. A grant of up to £225 to cover thesis (Master's) costs is available; also available is £200 for study travel. The cost of up to 10 Kilograms of excess baggage (books only) is available for scholars returning home at the end of their awards. No additional allowances are paid for spouses or other dependents. Eligibility Applicants should be hold a first degree at either

first or upper second class level, have not previously studied for one year or more in a developed country; not be employed by a government department (at national level) or a parastatal organisation (employees of universities are normally acceptable, however); be willing to confirm that they will return to their home country as soon as their period of study is complete. Application instructions: Applications should be made directly to the institutions at which candidates wish to study. The sponsoring institutions will be the judges of academic calibre and will forward their nominations to the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission for its agreement. Deadlines : no later than 30 April 2013 Contact information: All enquiries should be addressed to the University at which you wish to study. Source link: 2834/commonwealth-shared-scholarshipscheme-for-developing-countries/ #ixzz2HxdasBAl

College indicts 15 workers for admission fraud


IFTEEN members of staff of Niger State College of Education (COE), Minna have been indicted for disciplinary measures for their involvement in admission racketeering. Eight of them are to be dismissed while four are to have their appointments terminated and three are to be suspended. The affected workers were indicted by an investigating committee set up by Prof Farouk Haruna, the Provost of the college, following allegation of admission scam in the institution. Out of the 14 indicted workers, five

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

are academic staff and nine non-academic staff. Also indicted were five members of the public and a student of the college. Haruna disclosed while submitting the reports of the committee to the Commissioner for Higher Education, Dr Mohammed Bashir Nuhu. According to the Provost, the eight workers recommended for dismissal include: Mohammed Shabako, Danlami Abubakar, Garba Ibrahim Gballu, Iman Mohammed Sanusi, Usman Musa

Jibrin, Suleiman Ahmed Umar, S. Yabagi and Umar Ndaman. Those recommended for outright sack are Mallam Zakariya Ibrahim, Abubakar Ndabini, Umar Salihu and Aliyu Ibrahim, while Mohammed Bello Waziri, Hassan Ibrahim Mohammed and Yusuf Ibrahim are to go on suspension. Prof Haruna however said that Musa Farouk Mohammed, a worker, was exonerated of any involvement in the fraud by the committee. He also said the five non-workers of the college found involved in the scam were banned from entering

the college and have been handed over to the police for prosecution. Haruna further disclosed that 1000 students were found with fake admission letters out of the 7,894 students including PRE -NCE and 100-Level screened. Receiving the report, Dr Nuhu described it as quite revealing, assuring that the government with its zero tolerance policy for corruption and indecency will implement the report to the letter. “Those found guilty will be made to face the full wrath of the law to serve as a deterrent to others," Dr Nuhu had said.

Imagine Cup finalists emerge


COMBINED team of students from the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife and the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso will pitch their technology ideas against the best student teams from other parts of the world at the Imagine Cup final holding July in Russia. Team Life Saver won the Nigerian ticket at a competition held at the Victoria Crown Plaza Hotel, VI. Eleven other teams competed but Live Saver's carried the day with CardioLife, a device the team invented. Afolabi Olamide, Oluwole Michael, Akinlaja Solomon and Adewale Adeyinka, all members of Team Life Saver, competed in the category of World Citizenship. Their solution titled CardioLife is designed to tackle heart attack by monitoring heart reading on the fly via the Microsoft Windows Phone. The solution also provides a rehabilitation programme for stroke patients using the Kinect sensor. In addition to winning the ticket to the global finals scheduled for St Petersburg, Russia in July 23, Nokia would be giving each member of Team Life Saver its innovative smartphones, Nokia Lumia 920 devices while Dell Nigeria would present them with Dell Vestro laptops. "We are speechless! To have won the competition - and to have the opportunity to represent our country at the Worldwide Imagine Cup along some of the brightest young minds - is an honour," said Team Life Saver's spokesperson, Oluwole Michael. "And we're thrilled to have the opportunity to compete with students from around the globe who, like us, are passionate about making a difference in the world." Yinka Oni, National Technology Officer for Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, praised all the teams for their creativity.

By Sampson Unamka and Adedeji Fakorede

"Each team that competed in the regional finals is deserving of the highest recognition for the creativity and imagination applied to some of the world's biggest challenges. We're proud to honour these young students who we believe truly exemplify the spirit of the Imagine Cup competition, and we'll be cheering Team Life Saver on as they compete on the world stage in St Petersburg," he said. “Imagine Cup is also directly aligned with the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative that was launched earlier this year as it drives access to technology, innovation and world-class skills. We believe deeply that technology can accelerate growth for Africa, and Africa can also accelerate technology for the world, and we are honoured to engage with these young people to help bring their innovative ideas to fruition." In his congratulatory message at the event, Partner Manager, Developer Experience Nokia West Africa, Olumide Balogun praised the winners on their victory.


• Oni (Left) presenting Team Life Saver with their award

Foreign cultures, problems for young Nigerians

HE Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof Mopelola Omoegun has attributed problems facing the younger generations of Nigerians to the adoption of foreign language and culture, noting that this has had negative impact on our cultural values. She made this declaration while addressing parents, guardians, and guests at the 2013 Cultural Day celebration of AOS Montessori Nursery and Primary School, Agege, Lagos, at the AbanikandaMulti-Purpose Hall. Urging parents to endeavour at all times to communicate in their mother tongues with their wards at home, she lamented that a mixture and outright abandon of the rich Nigerian cultural heritage in favour of foreign culture had done unimaginable damage to the moral upbringing and respect for

By Medinat Kanabe

elders. She appealed to parents whose wards respond to conversation in native dialects in English language to effect corrections now, noting that a child that is well grounded in mother tongue is more intelligent than their counterparts that are westernised. Administrator of the school, Mrs Omolola Osuolale-Olaiya said the annual celebration assumed a new dimension this year to call the attention of government, parents and guardians to the threatening extinction of the local languages among the younger generations of Nigerians. She added that Nigeria as a country is blessed with good cultural values and traditions that could be of benefit to the younger generation

if only parents would heed to the calls and avoid a looming loss of identity of young citizens because of the influx of foreign cultures. "At AOS, every Friday of the week is dedicated as cultural day. In addition to learning, every child is dressed in native attire in order to get familiar with the traditions of other tribes in the country.. "Also, part of our modest contributions to inculcate cultural values in the children is to encourage parents to open up discussions with their wards at home in the mother tongue and take them on visits during holidays to their ancestral homes as against taking children on expensive trips to America. We should not over Westernise these children," she said. Apparently disturbed that some parents find it difficult to instil com-

munication in local dialects in their children at home and among their peer groups, the Administrator said the school at a time wrote official letters to parents in the local languages depending on their states of origin. Highlight of the celebration was the serving of local delicacies like roasted yam, plantain, garden eggs, groundnut and bean cakes, and zobo drinks in gourds and calabashes while local food condiments and delicacies were also on display to the admiration of guests. The excited pupils who were dressed in colouful local attires representing the Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, the Niger Delta and other ethnic tribes, entertained guests with different dance steps and news casting in their local languages of various states.




When public school becomes 'His Excellencies' hangout


AVE you ever imagined that Nigerian governors - of all people - would gather for a function in a public school, instead of their usually cozy five-star hotels or lavishly-decorated town halls? But the unusual happened recently at the Imaguero College, Benin City, the Edo State capital, when governors joined their colleague, Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole on his 61st birthday. There were about 13 state governors, four former governors, and some Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), chieftains, led by its key national leaders- Chief Bisi Akande, and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Also Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal was there, with the Chairman, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Alhaji Aliko Mohammed. These eminent figures, with many others bantered on as they settled inside the Imaguero College hall. The occasion was Oshiomhole's birthday lecture themed: Deepening democracy

• The School Hall By Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu

and enhancing public welfare. And why the choice of a public school for such a high-octane event when compared with other beautiful places in the 'Heartbeat 'state, The Nation enquired. "But is this a public school?" asked Comrade Didi Adodo rhetorically. "Of course, it is! Oshiomhole has changed the face of education in Edo State," Adodo, a former commis-

sioner in the state added. And true to Adodo's remarks, the hall of Imaguero College is one of the shining testimonies of Oshiomhole's Midas Touch. Its gleaming white and spacious interior makes it simply magnificent, for any occasion. Its stage, modified to accommodate a live theatre, reminds one the National Theatre in its hey days. No wonder, former Education Minister, Obiageli Ezekwesili scored the governor high in educa-

tion and some other areas. Standing magnificently a stone throw from another mud block that would soon be pulled down, Imaguero Hall cut the picture of affluence which, to many, is out of place in a Nigerian public school. Imaguero - name of the school, in the native parlance means "I am not dubious" or "I no sabi wayo" in pidgin English. The cross ventilation actually rendered the air conditioner unnecessary. With the wide doors and windows, guests sat comfortably. Governors Rochas Okorochas and Rauf Aregbesola of Imo and Osun states, came in while Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger state was giving his remarks. Aliyu exclaimed, "Ha, Raufu! Okorocha, you did not come for this lecture o. You came for the reception," provoking laughter from guests. Adodo said education, health, environment and roads are Oshiomhole's priority, adding that his government has done a lot to

make positive changes in those areas. Vice-President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Isa Aremu said what he saw in Imaguero College could kickstart a revolution in public schools in Nigeria. "We are doing this in a public school, not outside Nigeria. It is time we changed the story of Nigeria," he said. Oshiomhole recalled how he had led a protest against Tinubu on national minimum wage, how the workers wanted to throw stones at the former Governor of Lagos State, and how he had dared them to throw it, and they could not. He said, " All of us here today are given the challenge to celebrate a person I can easily now describe as a junior brother, because of the quality of life given to people of Edo State, and the pride given to us. Tinubu said Adams is a tireless guardian of public trust who has made him and his party proud.

Edo may relocate school

S • Funke Sodade, Director, Hapas Wellness, a Non-Governmental Organisation distributing free food to some primary school pupils in Somolu Local Government Area of Lagos during the Meals for All initiative which the NGO organised for some schools in the council.


ARYLAND Inclusive Primary School, Maryland, is to be adopted by the Learning Place Special Centre, Lekki, a non-profit organisation with interest in education of Special Children. This was announced by Mrs Bolanle Adewole, the Executive Director, Learning Place Special Centre who led the team of three experts in the area of children with special needs from AACTION on a courtesy visit to the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye. Mrs Adewole said the organisation will partner with Lagos State in improving the standard of education, especially regarding children with

NGO adopts 'Special School' By Sampson Unamka

special needs, with a view to ensuring education for all children irrespective of their circumstances. She said they were interested in the actual needs of the special schools/ inclusive units in both public and private schools, capacity building of teachers, parents and other stakeholders of children with special needs, in line with global best practice. According to Adewole, the visit was to commemorate the Annual World Autism Awareness Day celebration. The Centre, a Special

School centre in Lekki also organised a workshop on strategies for implementing the components of structured teaching at home, work, school and in the community for special education teachers, parents and stakeholders in the state.

UCCOUR may be coming the way of pupils and staff of Etete Primary School in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State following the decision by the state government to relocate the school. Etete Primary School, which is built under a Power Holding Corporation of Nigeria (PHCN) high tension line by Sapele road transmission station has students population which stands at 1,110. The Commissioner for Basic Education, Patrick Agwinede during an inspection tour of some schools under his ministry in Oredo Local government area, said the step is to reduce the risk and health danger posed to the pupils. Agwinede, who just assumed

From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

duties as commissioner, said the ministry will no longer tolerate laxity and indiscipline on the part of staff and teachers. He said attempts must be made to protect the various facilities that have been put in place by the state government aimed at creating conducive environment for learning and teaching. He said: "I am of the view that some of the risks we can avoid should be avoided. We have seen it that since it is a very bad situation, I am strongly of the view that we make recommendation to the state government to relocate these pupils."

Blue House dazzles at sports meet


LUE (Raheem Apena) House has emerged the new champion at the just concluded Funktob Schools biennial inter house sport competition held at the Arepo Sports Complex. The house won 14 gold, nine silver and 11 bronze medals, Red House was second with 12 gold, nine silver and five bronze medals, while Yellow House came third with seven gold,14 silver and six bronze medals. Green House was fourth with five gold, nine silver and six bronze medals. The school's proprietor, Mrs

By Seun Olalude

Oluwafunmilayo Banjoko, expressed satisfaction with the performance of the pupils, adding that the better house won the tourney. She called on the students to see sports as a profession which can better their lives after leaving school. Banjoko, who is also the school's director of studies, appealed to the government and other stakeholders to invest in sports so that more talents will be discovered for national and international championships.

• From left: Mrs Moji Olagunju, President, All Nigerian Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), Osun State Chapter, the Osun State Deputy Governor, Mrs Titi Laoye -Tomori, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr Femi Fawole and Auditor, ANCOPSS, Mrs Adeola Akanji after an interactive session on contemporary issues in the education sector in Osogbo on Monday.




No more transfers into Lagos public schools •JSS1 placement test holds Saturday


HE Lagos State government will no longer accept pupils seeking transfers into JSS2 and SS2 classes in its public secondary schools. Chairman of the Lagos State Basic Education Board (LSUBEB), Mrs Gbolahan Daodu, said at a meeting with parents and head teachers held at LTV Blue Roof last Thursday that many candidates seeking admissions from other states usually present forged results from their former schools which become evident when they fail screening tests. She added that when they are admitted in JSS2 and SS2, a year before terminal classes, there is insufficient time to prepare them adequately for public examinations, worsening the performance statistics. She also said the influx of schoolaged children into Lagos daily puts pressure on school infrastructures and

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

makes it difficult for the government to plan for the future. "From now on we will not accept transfers into JSS2 and SS2. The reason is that many would say they want to change school and they tell lies. They bring all sorts of documents from other schools where they must have failed. We now conduct exams for these transfers. Some people buy forms but don't come for the exams; some come but at the end we don't know where to place them," she said. Mrs Daodu also used the meeting to inform parents of the 2013 Placement Tests for Primary Six pupils holding on Saturday. Underscoring the importance of the test, she told the parents it is now compulsory for pupils transiting from primary six in both public and private

primary schools, to JSS1 classes to write and pass the test. She warned them against trying to influence admission for wards that fail to sit for the examination. She said: "All Primary Six pupils both public/private school pupils must write the exam and must make at least 50 per cent. There is no talk that we are ACN, PDP politicians or that we are poor so take our children. If we take them in we are giving our teachers problems." Mrs Daodu, however, appealed to the parents to bear with the government if their wards are placed in schools far from their homes as the number of junior secondary schools in the state is insufficient. She said while areas like Alimosho, Agege, Ketu have overcrowded schools, places like Ogudu had schools that cannot fill their classrooms. She also appealed to landowners and chiefs to provide the government with land to build more schools in areas of great need.

• Colonel Aiyegbeni Peters presenting an award of Best Broadband Company for Education to Okuya Okecha, Head, Business Solutions and Sales, PHASE 3 Telecoms, during the 8th Titan of Tech Conference and Award held in Lagos PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA

Principal faults non-involvement of private schools in sports


RINCIPAL, Early-Life Secondary School, Festac, Mr Onyema Onyenakeya has complained that private schools are not notified of school sports activities organised by government, unlike in the past. Speaking at the 17th inter-house sports competition of the school, Onyenakeya said a return to the old practice would help Nigeria to groom future athletes that can compete on the international level. He said: "They are not catching them young these days. In those days when we were in school, we had school sporting activities, local, state and national level; and from there you have a group of people that are well groomed but that is lacking today. It is unfortunate that even when attempts are made to recognise it, the

By Sampson Unamka

private schools are not carried along. We have private schools that sport should reckon with, but when you exclude them you are not reaping the reward of what this sector of education is growing. "For Nigeria to actually make it in sports at national and international levels we need to go back to the grass root; we need to go back to the school level. We need to encourage schools; sports teachers need to be trained and also need motivated. As a matter of fact, it should be a law that before approval of any school adequate sporting facilities should be provided, and there should be adequate and periodical competition among schools at the primary and secondary levels.” During the sports competition, the

pupils participated in 100, 200 and 400 metres dash, relay race, Cycling, Orobo race, and Calisthenics. The event also featured races by teachers and parents. The competition came to an end with Blue House lifting the trophy. Yellow House came second, Green third, and Red, fourth position. The best male and female athletes of the competition were Nnamdi Okeke and Ugwu Chinyere. Chairman of the event, Sir Peter Nwabunike Ezimuor said "sports plays central role in the psycho-motor development of students. Moreover, these days sports not only enhances the physical development of people, it also enhances their mental development and is a veritable means of employment and stardom to many.”



Following UNIJOS VC’s example


HERE was a time students did not need to visit institutions they applied to for information about their admission status. They checked at the post office or the admission letKofoworola ters came to them at home. They did not need to know anybody Belo-Osagie to be admitted. They only had to satisfy the institution's mission requirements - includ08054503077 (SMS only) ing making the cut-off marks and having the right 'O' Level combinations for the course they applied for. We all know the story is not the same today. Any candidate who sits at home expecting admission to come just like that, is like one praying for Manna to fall from heaven like it did in the time of Moses. But one Vice-Chancellor has declared that once again, admissions will be like that in his institution. He is Prof Hayward Babale Mafuyai of the University of Jos. He has warned people to stop putting pressure on him to admit by request. He even said his own son would not be admitted if he does not pass. Wow! Such noble declarations; but how hard to carry through! I do not doubt Mafuyai's resolution. I admire his courage but I can imagine the pressure he would be under to bend a little to satisfy a superior from Abuja, a politician in his state, a colleague, former classmate, member of his club, or a member of his own family. Since he has said he would not change the rules to admit his own son let us hope no other influence can be stronger than that. More importantly, however, is the need for other school administrators to make similar resolves. Just last week, this columnist admitted for the umpteenth time that our tertiary institutions cannot accommodate those that desire higher education. But while this is sacrosanct for now, are all those admitted selected on merit to occupy each precious space? To what extent is the admission process based on merit or compromised by influence from high places or the greed of admission officers and other cadres of workers? Every institution, especially public-owned, where the competition for spaces is stiffer, should try and answer these questions as honestly as possible. If a large percentage of those admitted are accepted by request, then such institutions need to review their admissions policy and procedures. If Mafuyai succeeds in instituting a transparent admissions process, then those who try to enter the University of Jos and fail can be consoled that everyone selected was better one way or the other. In time, the university would attract the best of brains as serious minded students would work towards getting into the university. High quality students would mean the university would have less problems with poor performance, truancy, and other consequences of 'unseriousness' like rowdiness, cultism, students' unrest, and unbridled partying. In time, once the society notices the unique qualities of its students, the university may begin to enjoy some goodwill from individuals, associations, NGOs and corporate organisations. While others would need to wait for government subvention to embark on capital projects, the university may find that it has a waiting list of people waiting to do some good to associate with it. When this happens, then we may be on our way to getting our own Harvard. I hope this picture is not too good to be true.

‘If Mafuyai succeeds in instituting a transparent admissions process, then those who try to enter the University of Jos and fail can be consoled that everyone selected was better one way or the other. In time, the university would attract the best of brains as serious minded students would work towards getting into the university. High quality students would mean the university would have less problems with poor performance, truancy, and other consequences of unseriousness’

Scholars Memo to aid reading culture


NEW educational journal, Scholars Memo, is now seeking to help secondary school pupils and youths to imbibe good reading habits. The full-colored magazine published by Digital Torch has tailored its content to what appeals to young ones. Its Media Operations Director, Olamide Dawodu said the vision that births the Magazine is that of inculcating leadership skills, good

character, discipline and academic excellence in youths for the overall development of the nation. He advised parents to help their wards develop good reading habits at home by exposing them to books. ''It is imperative for parents to ensure that the children read and study extensively at home. All stakeholders, parents, schools, students, governments, corporate organisations and individuals have roles to play to reverse the poor

reading habits of our youths. Students on their part must be aware that they are products of what is in them by way of the quality of knowledge and exposure they acquire," he said. Scholars Memo is divided into two parts: Tutorial (Learning Made Easy) where basic subjects are simplified and treated by experienced professionals; and the General Interest section which feature articles that are educative, entertaining and motivational.

From My Inbox Re: Beyond scrapping UTME and NECO (Thursday, April 11, 2013) I appreciate your write up on the NECO/UTME issues. Yours has been the most objective I have read so far. Now aside from your reasons, I think a very crucial issue is the likelihood of localising admissions. If institutions are given the leverage as being speculated, we should expect locality to determine who get admitted and into which school. Nepotism, tribalism and favouritism will be widespread in addition to 'moneyfor-admission' playout. These no doubt will further divide us as a nation. May God help us in choosing the right course. From 08037050---.




Nigeria’s transformation and leadership lessons from contemporary issues of national interest Protocols I am particularly delighted by this rare honour to deliver the centennial lecture of our renowned alma mater – the great Ibadan Grammar School. I remain grateful to the founders of this great institution for the opportunity I had to be schooled within its four walls . It was like a finishing school for me having had my secondary education at the equally famous Union Secondary School, Enugu. Here at Ibadan Grammar School, I learnt some lessons that have continued to guide my life and shape my views of Nigeria. Most of my friends who passed through this institution have similar testimonies. You can only then imagine my joy and excitement when I was asked to speak on this special occasion of the centenary celebration of our dear school. Let me therefore welcome all of you “Mountaineers” and other guests to this lecture and pray that my excitement will allow me make some sense to you especially on the topic of the lecture which is ‘’Nigeria’s transformation and leadership lessons from contemporary issues of National interest.’’ In this presentation, we shall interrogate the issue of national transformation and explore how transformational leadership can accelerate national development. Up till now, much of the solution offered for Nigeria’s transformation had revolved around improved infrastructure, more diligent exploitation of national resources, and repositioning of the national economy. The role of leadership in national transformation has not been given the required attention it deserves. The core argument of this presentation therefore is that transformational leadership is what is required to revolutionize Nigeria’s path to national development. This presentation is divided into five parts. The first part will explore the current socio-economic conditions in Nigeria and argue that a national transformation is indeed required. The second part will examine the role of leadership in national transformation, while the third part will highlight the fundamentals of transformational leadership. The fourth part will look at contemporary examples of transformational

Text of a paper delivered by Senator Ken Nnamani, former Senate President, at the centenary celebrations of the Ibadan Grammer School, Ibadan Oyo State. leadership in Nigeria and underscore the lessons that we can draw from these experiences. The paper will end in the fifth part where I will try to conclude. The Need for National Transformation The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in its 2013 publication of Human Development Index (HDI), ranked Nigeria among countries with low development index at 153 out of 186 countries that were ranked. The UNDP’s HDI indicates that 68.0 per cent of Nigerians live on less than $1.25 daily while adult illiteracy rate for adult (both sexes) is 61.3 per cent. While Nigeria has earned a staggering $205 billion on oil receipts alone between May 1999 and June 2008, the UNDP report shows that Nigeria’s HDI is the lowest among oil producing countries. The picture portrayed by Nigeria’s Human Development Index is collaborated by data on the level of poverty in the country. Recent figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics put the percentage of Nigerians living in absolute poverty (that is, those who can afford only the bare essentials of food, shelter and clothing) in 2010 at 60.9 per cent. Nigeria’s absolute poverty rate in 2004 was 54.7 per cent. The rate of unemployment is also very high, rising from 11.9 percent in 2005 to 23.9 percent in 2011, with some northern states like Yobe, Zamfara, and Niger, recording as high as 60.6, 42.6, and 39.4 per cent unemployment rate, respectively. These appalling figures come along side reports of growth in the Nigerian economy. The country’s economy has been described by many respected voices as robust and resilient and figures show that the country recorded a GDP growth rate of 6.99 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012. But how come the socio-economic conditions of Nigerians appear to be worsening while the country’s economy is flourishing? I think a plausible explanation

•Senator Nnamani

would point to the way national resources are used and distributed. The low performance of the Nigerian state further reflects in its inability to address the problem of corruption. The anti-corruption group, Transparency International has consistently ranked Nigeria among countries most riddled with corruption. It described Nigeria as a Gangster’s Paradise where ” pay a bribe to see a key official in many an establishment. You pay a bribe to get a job. You pay a bribe to get the passport that is yours by birthright. If you do not give or collect bribes, you remain poor and an object of scorn despite your several degrees and cognate experience until Providence intervenes for you”. The 2011 Ibrahim Index of African Governance released by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, ranked Nigeria 41st out of 53 Afri-

can countries studied ( far behind countries like Cape Verde which scored 78.0, Ghana 66.0, and Sao Tome 60.2.) The Index ranks good governance in four major areas: Safety and Rule of Law, Participation and Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity, and Human Development. The data presented above will not startle many considering the character of Nigeria’s socio-economic institutions. After several years of reforms, Nigeria still run a public sector led economy with a bloated public service. In addition, our economy has remained oil-dependent, with a weak and reeling national currency, and without an efficient infrastructure for sustained economic progress. What the Nigerian experience has shown is that possession of mere potentials is not sufficient for transformation to greatness. Something more is needed to take Nigeria to the place its forefathers envisioned before the country’s independence. My thesis is that Nigeria indeed requires a leadership with a bold and audacious transformation agenda to radically transform the national economy, reform the polity, and repair our social fabric. (More on this later.) A transformational leadership with a well-conceived transformation agenda must see the country move from oil-dominated to a more diversified economy. This type of leadership will move Nigeria from a public-sector dominated to a private-sector driven economy. It will provide a framework to integrate the local economy with the global economy and transform a passive and corrupt oil industry to a more pro-active and efficient one. A transformational leadership will restructure Nigeria’s polity and empower communities to participate more in development. This sort of leadership will rehabilitate the education and health sectors, fix decaying infrastructure and provide new ones, launch an all-out fight against corruption, and set a clear target on how to reduce poverty, provide adequate security, and repair the psyche of Nigerians. In the following section, I will examine the concept of transformational leadership and attempt to outline the role of leadership in national development. • To be continued

Forging a synergy between public and private universities • Continued from page ??

About Elizade University A first time visitor to the Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State will be pleasantly surprised at the preponderance of developments in the school within less than six months of its establishment. From the alluring, beautiful, expansive gate, one is ushered into a resplendent, fascinating and captivating citadel of intellectualism, which is a mustard seed that is germinating to a huge, vast and massive oak. The University itself is situated in a very serene, calm, aesthetic, peaceful, unpolluted and undiluted environment qua venue where there is a meeting point between the works and input of man as simplified by the exemplary masterpieces, architectural designs and nature at its kindest, most pacific and gentlest. I wish I am endowed with sufficient intelligence and wisdom to describe and interpret the meaning of this transformation of anonymity, this slow but steady morphing of peaceful ruralty to radiant urbanity. During my impromptu visit to this place on 18th February, 2013, I was lost in thought and speech by this edifice called Elizade University, particularly these walls of intimidating elegance, their true allegiance to order and architectural arrogance; I felt transformed by the lush and luscious environment, conducing to calm and cool feelings, smelling gorgeously of roses (both planted and natural), all looking so beautiful and shining with such aroma and brilliance as could take the breath away. It was Albert Camus who posed the rhetoric question: “Again here, we must say to ourselves, why this generosity and why at this time and towards what end?” One might be tempted to pose the question to Chief Ade Ojo as to why he is investing so much at the twilight of his life to this University, as well as the expansive Golf Course in Ilara-Mokin. The answer to me has been supplied by Anne Frank who again enthused gleefully that “I want to go on living even after my death, and therefore, I am grateful to God for giving this gift – of expressing all that is in me”. One is also reminded of the illuminating statement of George Bernard Shaw who opined that “Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid touch which I get to hold for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before turning it over to

future generations.” I dare say that each of Albert Camus, Anne Frank and Bernard Shaw probably had Chief Ade Ojo in mind in their postulations above. Here is a man who is not a contractor but has chosen to be an investor; a non-politician who has assumed the role best suited for the Minister or Commissioner of Rural Development or Environment, thus making urban and urbane men out of rural and rustic dwellers of IlaraMokin. I want to suggest that our Ministers and Commissioners for Rural Development and Environment all over the country should come around here for tutorials and pupillage so as to enable them convert some governmental theories into practice. Let us all salute and celebrate this enigma and persona called Chief Michael Ade Ojo for this legacy which he is bequeathing to humanity. The vision of this University ‘to be a world class institution dedicated to the pursuit of academic and moral excellence in the context of the relevance of knowledge and character to the developmental aspirations of mankind’ should be consciously, carefully and deliberately married and aligned to its mission, ‘to be a specialized institution that shall be an epitome of the best traditions in the production of selfreliant, ethics-conscious, globally competitive graduates imbued with requisite skills, competencies and ability to be key players in the nation’s quest for socio-economic and technological development.’ My prayer is that this University shall never be a paraphrase, but a full story, relayed to the present and future generations, not in the semblance of moon light tales, but through actual and living testimonies by its products, with impeccable and irresistible testimonials, as well as the world at large. It shall become a mission accomplished and not a journey abandoned. Never will it be a happenstance, a paradox or a parable. In saying all this, let us also remember what is contained in the Holy writ[72] that “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” May the Lord Himself be the very foundation of this citadel of learning; may the labours of the Proprietor, the staff and students never be in vain; may the Lord Himself keep watch over this city of academic excellence. May it be a continuum and blossom to an institution

in perpetuity. Epilogue In this humble presentation, I have been able to present some of the myriads of problems confronting the Nigerian higher education framework, particularly within the public and private universities, after peeping into their emergence, relative growth and development. While it is too early to give any outright pass mark to any of the private universities who has/ have not been ranked or globally tested as such, the point has been made that the fortunes of our public universities are dwindling. Yet it is appreciated that universities globally anchor their national development(s). The Nigerian universities, both public and private should not be an exception. In the words of Thomas Hardy, they should be far from the Nigerian maddening crowd and champion our growth and development. For them to attain this objective, the time has come whereby, either deliberately, consciously or cautiously or even willy-nilly, they must forge a synergy and in so doing, some of them must be able to give and take. One last point before I am done. It is not every prospective Founder of a university that has the capacity or intelligence to establish, run, manage and sustain a full-fledged university. In this wise, establishing a public or private university should not be taken or embarked upon like any other Nigerian past time, like running after import licence for cement in the 80’s, establishment of Bureau De Change in the 90’s, procurement of oil blocks as at now etc. The NUC should be very careful and meticulous in the way and manner licences are doled out to private University initiators and approvals given to public universities Proprietors. Frankly speaking, a reasonable number of our public and private universities are mere glorified secondary schools. No wonder, a good chunk of our graduates are not productive. Rather than every individual insisting on establishing a private university simply because he or she has the means without having both the managerial and intelligential wherewithal or capacity, such individual should be encouraged to invest principally in Faculties and Colleges of the existing universities, which would in turn be named after them. The NUC also must insist on having a long term plan and portfolio of any university to be established in Nigeria, whether

•Chief Olanipekun

public or private. To establish, fund and manage a university can never be likened to or compared with a picnic or a tea-party. Mr Governor sir, may I congratulate you most heartily for your good fortunes, as the emergence of this university would be recorded in the archives of your achievements, and chroniclers of history would record with glee that this paradigm shift was brought about by your good luck, amongst others. To this extent, your Excellency, you owe this Institution, State and humanity a duty to participate at nurturing it and putting your imprimatur as the Chief Executive of the State on its map and terrain. In this wise, you should not discriminate between it and the two State-owned universities. Rather, it would not be out of place for you to give it reasonable consideration in your budgetary preparations and allocations. This place has also become a tourist centre which I believe would bring more revenue to the State. I thank the Founder of this University, the ViceChancellor and the Principal Officers for the golden opportunity afforded me to debut this Elizade University Distinguished Lecture Series. I apologise for and regret any shortcomings spotted or identified in this presentation.







Correspondent SULAIMA SALAWUDEEN examines the factors that may influence the appointment of a new deputy governor in Ekiti State.

Who succeeds Olayinka as deputy governor? T HE death of Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Funmilayo Olayinka has created a vacuum. Her boss, Governor Kayode Fayemi, has described her as a loyal deputy, adding that she was not a spare tyre. Many Nigerians have also said nice things about her life and time. To her party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), her death was unfortunate and painful. However, nature abhors vacuum. According to the 1999 Constitution, the governor is expected to be assisted by the deputy governor. Although no serious role is alloted to the office of the number two citizen of the state, the position must be filled. A critical challenge facing the governor of Ekiti State is the choice of a replacement to fill the void. Sources said this would be done, following the funeral of the deeased deputy governor.

Qualities of deputy governor Despite its characterisation as a spare tyre, the position of a deputy governor is full of prospects. In politics, loyalty is never compromised. Therefore, the deputy governor must be faithful and loyal to the governor. In addition, he or she must embrace the limitations imposed on the office by the constitution. In the Southwest, political parties are usually careful to select “agreeable politicians”, judging by the past experience. In the Second Republic, a war of attrition broke out between the former Oyo State governor, the late Chief Bola Ige, and his deputy, the late Chief Sunday Afolabi. The relationship between their counterparts in Ondo State, the late Chief Adekunle Ajasin and

“Ekiti people are ever sensitive to politics and political appointments and a move to appoint someone from another town, apart from Ado-Ekiti, will not only alter the distribution and spread of appointments against the capital and this may ruffle feathers”, he added.

Gender The ruling ACN is gender sensitive. The party leaders have often championed the agitation for increased women participation in politics and governance. This is based on its avowed belief and commitment to the affirmative action on gender balancing in political appointments. Although the gender consideration is a weak constitutional issue, it has become an integral part of the political culture.

2014 calculation •The late Ekiti State Deputy Governor Olayinka at her swearing ceremony in October 2010.

Akin Omoboriowo, was also not cordial. In fact, in 2002, the Alliance for Democracy (AD) asked the former deputy governors of Lagos and Osun states; Senator Kofoworola Akerele-Bucknor and Chief Iyiola Omisore to resign, following irreconciliable differences between them and their bosses - Senator Bola Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande. In Ekiti, there may be no shortage of competent, disciplined and loyal persons that can replace Mrs. Olayinka. However, since they have not been tested, the governor and the party will have to critically vet the list of the contenders for the purpose of making a rational choice. A party chieftain, who spoke

with our correspondent, said that Ekiti looks forward to the appointment of a credible indigene as the deputy governor. “Let us put it this way. The person should be hardworking, honest and humble like the departed deputy governor. The person must have succeeded in his or her profession. The person must be an Ekiti patriot,” he added.

Zoning Where will the new deputy governor come from? The late deputy governor hailed from Ado-Ekiti, the state capital. It is a stronghold of the ruling party. Many believe that the “Ado factor”

cannot be downplayed. Some have rationalised that it would be a mark of honour for the Mrs. Olayinka and the people of Ado, who stood by behind the ruling party during the liberation struggle. Another party chieftain, who said that the late Mrs Olayinka’s successor may come from the town, added that it would be a double tragedy, if the slot is given to another town. “But, let us even ask, do you think it would be easy to take such a position away from Ado-Ekiti, which is Ekiti Central, with the present arrangement of the governor coming from Ekiti North and the Speaker of the House of Assembly from the South?”

Analyts have raised two questions: will the new deputy governor hold forte till the expiration of Fayemi’s first term? Would he or she be appointed, based on his or her fitness to emerge as the governor’s running mate in the next governorship election?

Religion Curiously, few elements are advocating religious balancing. They claim that since the governor is a Christian, his deputy should be a Muslim. However, there is no evidence that religion has ever shaped the politics of Ekiti State, and indeed, the Southwest. The people live in harmony, irrespective of their diverse religious leanings. Also, religion has not dictated the distribution of social amenities to the three senatorial districts.

Can power shift in Delta?


HREE political parties-the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Democratic Peoples Party (DPP)-are battling for the soul of Delta State. The three parties are preparing for the 2015 governorship election in the state. Sources said that there are eight politicians already jostling for the exalted seat. “Four of them are members of the cabinet. Two are legislators”, added the source who declined further clarification. Ahead of the poll, an ethnic group, Anioma, is lobbying the parties to zone the governorship to the area. Prominent indigenes who are from the ethnic group are seriously canvassing for power shift based on zoning, although the choice of the governorship candidates in the state has not been based on any rotational principle. In the PDP, three groups are scheming to produce the flag bearer. The three competing forces cannot be ignored. The first group revolves around the elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, who is opposed to the governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan. Clark, according to political insiders, wants a man in his own image as the next governor of Delta State. The second caucus is led by the governor. The third group is led by the former governor, James Ibori, who is in jail in Lon-

By Emmanuel Oladesu

don. Sources said that there is no tension between the governors camp and Ibori’s as both leaders have agreed to collaborate on 2015. “Ibori is still a potent force in Delta, despite his current predicament and that is why many politicians who have ambitions have been scrambling for his endorsement. He is still powerful in jail and he dictates the tune”, said another source. Irked by this, a chieftain of an opposition party wondered why the PDP leaders were celebrating graft in high places. “Delta State is the personification of corruption in Nigeria because it is only our former governor that is in jail in London”, he fumed. The main opposition party, the DPP led by Great Ogboru, is now in disarray. Sources said that the businessman-turned politician is planning to defect to the ACN. His defection may revive the party, whose members were downcast, following its desertion by the its former governorship candidates, Peter Okocha and Ovie Omo-Agege, to the PDP. Also expected to defect to the ACN is a radical scholar and professor of entrepreneurship. In the last election, he was a presidential candidate of one of the mushroom parties.

Last month, a group emerged to discredit the existing status quo. The ‘Delta Forces’, which is canvassing power shift to the young generation, is mobilising the people for the governorship ambition of the Lagos lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo. Confirming this in Lagos, the radical lawyer said that Delta deserves a credible leadership in 2015. He said those who have rule the state since 1999 have failed the people. “They continue to deceive the people through their deceitful empowerment peogramme, instead of embarking on infrastructural development”, he said. The Delta Forces also said that, as its members explore the alternative route to liberation in the state, the media should also set agenda for the people. Currently, the members of the ‘Delta Forces’ are touring the local governments to educate and enlighten the people on the imperative of right choice. The opposition believes that change is possible in Delta State. They take solace in the Edo example. Although the PDP held forte in the state for eight years, the Adams Oshiomhole’s ACN dislodged the party from power. The ACN governorship aspirant Navy Commander Onabu (rtd) said in Lagos that PDP can be uprooted, if the people are properly mobilised. “People believe that ACN can actually do

• Uduagban

better. The state has resources, but the government lacks vision. Corruption is on the increase in the state and the resources are wasted. This should not continue. That is why I said that the people must be properly organised and mobilised for the next election”.



POLITICS Osun State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) politician Senator Iyiola Omisore has made some sweeping allegations against the Rauf Aregbesola Administration. In this piece, LATEEF RAJI writes on the futility of pressing for power shift through rumour peddling, fabrications and prevarications by the opponent.

Can falsehood catapult Omisore to power? I

N June, last year, when Iyiola Omisore threatened to stop the convoy of Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola to search him for God knows what, many Nigerians were alarmed at Omisore’s resolve to ignite mayhem in the state, as if that is what will make him the governor. But even in the face of overwhelming evidence of his outbursts, Omisore denied making such a statement when it dawned on him that his threat contained elements of crime against the state. While failing to clean up the mess of an open threat against a serving governor, the desperation for office has led to more faux paus from the cantankerous politician, whose career has been dogged by controversy. Of course, many Nigerians know that all the hoopla about Islamising Osun, concocted security reports, secession plot, cancer, and other forms of manipulated diatribes are aimed at only one thing: Discredit the governor and his administration for his inordinate gubernatorial ambition. His interview currently circulating in some national dailies, including that published in Thisday of last Sunday, is another clear manifestation of the incorrigibility of a purveyor of falsehood; dexterous at concoctions and highly gifted in manipulative tendencies. Omisore is desperate for a rebirth and image laundry. First, he needs to show the world that he is not himself and he is the best his political party can put forward in 2014 while he is faced with the gargantuan opposition by other governorship aspirants within the PDP who believe and insist that Omisore, for the sake of all that is good, cannot be the face of their party. He needs, secondly, to neutralise many of the heavy, unwholesome political baggage that he carries with him as a politician. Unfortunately, none of these can be wished away by mere ranting, fabrication of lies against the governor and his administration. Lies would remain what they are: lies! A quick look at some of the lies told in his interview: · That Aregbesola employed 10,000 youths, instead of 20,000, · That the government, after two years, laid them off and employed another 10,000, · That the governor purchased a helicopter for private use at the cost of N7billion, · That Osun got an allocation of N10. 9bn for March and declared N2b, · That the governor awarded a contract for the construction of the Osogbo-Ila Odo-Kwara Boundary Road for N19bn while, according to him, the contract had been awarded at an original cost of N7b, · That the East Bye Pass Road (which he ignorantly called Western Byepass Road) was awarded at the cost of N15b,when the original cost was N7.2b · That Osun is giving “mini-computers to students at the cost of N11b to download textbooks · That the state cannot pay minimum wage to its workers · That a strike was on in the state as at the time he was granting his interview. And now the truth of the matter: · Aregbesola’s government did not employ 10,000 youths. His government engaged 20,000 youths for a period of two years for community, social and public work volunteer services in a two-year rolling scheme within which the volunteers are given entrepreneurial lifechanging skills. By the time the first batch of 20,000 recruited in March 2011 left in February 2013, no fewer than 18,000 of them had gained one form of employment, either through absorption into the state’s civil service system, or set up one small-scale investment or the other through the skill-acquisition scheme that is part of the package called OYES. But for his desperate attempts at brazen falsehood, we know that Omisore, whose extended family is a beneficiary of this scheme, knows that he can confirm from the First Bank Plc, which handles the payment of these 20,000 volunteers every month, if his figures are not mere concoctions. · Only ignorance or pure mischief would make a former senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria fail to realise that a brand new helicopter costs about $4.5 million (equivalent of less than N700 million), rather than the ridiculous N7bn he quoted as the cost of the helicopter in question.



‘In Osun, the Omoluabi ethos tells us that only work can produce wealth, pleasure must be with conscience, knowledge must be with character, morality must accompany commerce, science must have human face, worship must be full of sacrifice, and above all, politics must be with principles’ · The Osun government leased the helicopter for its Swift Action Squad (SAS) for its aerial surveillance, in addition to the over 200 patrol vans and five Amoured Personnel Carriers (APC) that have all combined to make Osun a no-go-area for criminals. The arrival of this helicopter was widely publicised in February to also sound a note of warning to hoodlums that, whether on land on from the air, the state is well covered and fortified against their activities. · Osun did not get any N10.9bn and declared N2bn as monthly allocation in March. It is baffling that Omisore could lie so cheaply on a matter so open as allocation to states, which are published on monthly basis for all to see. His lies are calculated at hoodwinking unsuspecting members of the public. · Osun would not wait endlessly for a do-nothing PDP-led Federal Government to construct the Osogbo-Ila-Odo-Kwara Boundary Road when we realise the economic importance of the road to our people. Of course, this is the second time Omisore is being challenged to come forward with the evidence of his claim to have awarded the same contract at the cost of N7.2b as against the N17.8 b, which is under a contractor-financed arrangement. In what capacity did he award the contract for the road in question? Was it as chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation or what? Of course, it is only ignorance that would make Omisore querry the business of Osun government with what he called the Federal road. Even as a senator representing the state, was Omisore unaware that the state had got the nod of the Federal Government to reconstruct the road? · Omisore should come forward with evidence of an earlier award of contract for the East ByePass Road at the cost of N7.2bn as against the cost of N14.5bn for which it is being constructed now. The ACN government is not patching roads as was the practice under the PDP government. Massive reconstructions of roads are going on for all to see. · That what Omisore called mini-computers at his concocted cost of N11bn is the landmark Tablet of Knowledge (Opon Imo) nearing its completion and currently being test-run by students of final year in secondary schools. With 56 textbooks on 17 subjects being taught in Osun, no family in the state would wish to be excluded from having their children experience this ipad-like device with past questions, lesson notes and virtual classroom to prepare students for their examinations. In this age of digital technology, what more would an administration do to bring children in the remotest part of the state to modern day digital devise for quality education? Whatever the state may have

spent on that project must be a far cry from the present and future benefits to the state, certainly a far cry from Omisore’s outlandish and bogus claim. · Omisore must be referring to another Osun where workers are owed salaries for no worker would come out to say that, even with delayed allocations from Abuja, which makes the Federal Government workers to get their salaries, almost one month in arrears, Osun pays salaries of its workers every 25th of the month with even a proviso that when the 25th of any month falls on a Saturday, payment must be effected before that deadline. The only period of delay was when the workers union leaders insisted that all workers must be captured on the biometric system of payment recently introduced to ensure transparency, before payments of salaries. At least, Omisore should bring out just one civil servant known to him whose salaries are not paid as at when due to justify his claim that the state cannot pay salaries. · Closely related to that is the fact that Osun has not implemented the Minimum Wage Act. How fallacious! When Osun blazed the trail on the minimum wage with N19,001, exceeding the N18,000 in 2012 without agitation, where was Omisore? · Of course, because Omisore and his cohorts are bent on perpetrating confusion, using some elements within labour, had believed a strike would be on by the time he was granting his interview. Sorry, no worker went on strike in Osun. That ‘strike’ only took place in the imagination of those who plotted it; waiting for it to precipitate the chaos masterminded to destabilise Osun. There is a pattern that must have become discernible to those following the whole hoopla about the alleged Islamisation agenda in Osun, the merger of schools, and others. Those who have visited the state easily marvel at the massive transformation of the state in the areas of urban renewal, education, the environment, agriculture, youths engagement, infrastructure upgrade, and above all, restoration of peace. Apart from major road projects being constructed (some already completed) by the state government, totaling over 500kilometers, the 218 kilometre-roads by the 30 council areas and one area office are taking development to the door steps of the ordinary man. The PDP, in its almost eight years in the saddle, could only do 513 kilometres of roads, whereas in two years of the Aregbesola Administration, 532 kilometres of roads have been completed, aside the 218 kilometres of roads listed above. The school feeding programme that takes care of all the elementary pupils from Primary One

to Primary Four has ensured that no single family can say the government has not touched their life directly. Other social welfare schemes such as the Agba Osun (Care for the elderly) that gives N10,000 to critically vulnerable old people across the state; the rehabilitation of destitute; and organised skill acquisition for youths, have restored the hopes of the people. These and more are sharp departures from the culture of waste of resources, violence against the defenceless, lack of any clear cut programme for the youths and others, which hallmarked the PDP government in the state before the advent of this administration. Omisore’s smear campaigns will only work in an environment where the government merely entices the populace with tokens. No amount of orchestrated calumny would neutralise the giant development strides people have seen in the state. What the people of Osun have witnessed since the advent of this administration makes the road to be predictably rough for any governorship aspirant who flaunts the ignoble credential of diatribe, misinformation, outright mudslinging and capacity for mayhem, mischief and manipulation as if those are what it takes to assume the gubernatorial office. Yes, the records are there. The six innocent souls killed in the most brutal manner in a church in Ile Ife on the eve of the last National Assembly election; the crazy attempts to steal and stuff ballot boxes, the threat to attack the convoy of Governor Rauf Aregbesola and others all add up in the theories of violence being sketched and perfected by those who believe that the state must be brought down if only to be governor over a depopulated state. Omisore, in the most shameful manner, flaunts the record of being elected from prison as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Of course, was that not one of the oddities of an electoral climate where the votes of the people did not count? At the time he claimed to have won an election in Ife/Ijesha Zone, which is the same as the Osun East Senatorial District, the memory of the dastardly killing of former governor of old Oyo and former Minister of Justice, Chief James Ajibola Ige, was as fresh as it remains till date. For an accused person standing trial at the time for the alleged killing of this illustrious son of Nigeria and Odua to claim to have been elected by the same pained and bereaved people stands logic on its head. Oh! Do the people of Ijeshaland and Ife have short memories to have discarded their hero even in death for a man standing trial to represent them? What happened was no more than the crass and dubious allocation of positions to the highest bidders in the bazar called election under the watch of the PDP-led Federal Government. Even, during the preparations for the 2007 flawed elections, was Samuel Olanrewaju not assassinated? It was a deep shame. It cannot be a triumph for any electoral exploit by any politician. This writer witnessed the trial from the first day Omisore was brought to the court in Iyaganku, Ibadan till the very moment a nolli prosecui was entered by the then Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Oyo State under very curious and alarming circumstances. Our memories are not so short! On a final note, those scheming to unleash violence and terror on Osun as the only route to the Government House have the common people to contend with. Aregbesola Administration has no apology to those who cannot come to terms with the reality that people, the common, defenceless and vulnerable masses, must be the centre of every government policy. Such people have lessons to learn from the words of the Indian hero, Mahatma Gandhi, who said many decades ago in “The roots of violence”, condemned wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics without principles.” In Osun, the Omoluabi ethos tells us that only work can produce wealth, pleasure must be with conscience, knowledge must be with character, morality must accompany commerce, science must have human face, worship must be full of sacrifice, and above all, politics must be with principles. • Raji is the Special Adviser on Information in Lagos State.





How to stop cold, catarrh, cough, others The rainy season comes with a lot of health challenges. OYEYEMI GBENGA-MUSTAPHA writes on how to stay healthy throughout the season.


ATURE has health provisions for each season. This is why during the wet season vegetables and fruits abound. It is left for one to tap into their nutritional benefits for the well being of the body. A nutritional medicine practitioner, Olayinka Fashipe said during this season, it is common for people to complain or actually come down with ailments, such as allergies, cold, cough, catarrh, diarrhoea, among others. He said seasonal fruits such as pomegranates, plums, litchis, pear and vegetables like carrots, radish, fenugreek, mango, watermelon, corn and oranges, should form a part of the diet. Consumption of bitter vegetables like karela (bitter gourd) and bitter herbs like neem and haldi (turmeric) contain antioxidants and medicinal properties that prevent common infections during the rainy season. He listed the things people should not engage in to prevent some of the illnesses. “It is good to increase your intake of vitamin C to help build resistance against infections and diseases. Avoid sleeping during the daytime. Always keep the surroundings dry and clean, neat and tidy. Do not allow water to get accumulated around you. Keep your body warm as viruses attack immediately when body temperature goes down. Do not enter an air conditioned room with wet hair and wet clothes. Do not indulge in extreme physical exertion. Do not get exposed to the sun fre-



•Pear •Fashipe



quently. “Always carry something to protect yourself from the rain. A raincoat or an umbrella will do. If you get drenched by the heavy rain, dry yourself as soon as pos-

sible or you can take a shower first and then dry yourself before taking a sip of that tea. Dry your feet with soft dry cloth whenever they are wet. Wash vegetables with clean water and steam them


well to kill germs. Avoid eating uncooked foods and salads. Drink plenty of water and keep your body well hydrated always. Do not allow children to play in stagnant polluted water or

Using herbs to treat ovarian cyst By Wale Adepoju



REATING an ovarian cyst, which is a fluid-filled sac that develops in a woman’s ovary, can be difficult, Provost, Federal College of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Lagos, Dr Idowu Ogunkoya, has said. He said: “Although ovarian cysts are very common, they do not usually cause any symptoms. And, in most cases, they are harmless and usually disappear without treatment.

“But if the cyst is large or is causing symptoms, it will probably have to be surgically removed by orthodox physicians.” He said there are traditional ways of treating the condition, which can be through herbal remedies prepared from Eeru (Xylopia Aethiopica), Oro Agogo known as spurge in English (Euphorbia Deightonii) and Emi Ile known in English as snake weed (Euphorbia Hirta). This is often used with acu massager, Ogunkoya added. He said the disease can affect women of any age and race. The ovaries, he said, are two small, bean-shaped organs that are part of the female reproductive system. Ogunkoya said every woman has a pair of ovaries that sits on both sides of the womb (uterus). “An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac of tissue that develops inside an ovary,” he said. He said the ovaries perform two main functions. They release an egg approximately every 28 days as part of the menstrual cycle and they also help to reduce breast cancer risk. This is because they release the female sex hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, which play an important role in

female reproduction. Ogunkoya said having an ovarian cyst can be upsetting, particularly if it is causing symptoms. The good news, he said, is that researchers have found that women (particularly black women) with ovarian cysts have a lower risk of developing breast cancer. The reasons for this are unclear. He said there are two main types of ovarian cyst: functional ovarian cyst – (the most common type), which is harmless and is shortlived and formed as part of the menstrual cycle. The other is pathological ovarian cyst, which is much less common and occur as a result of abnormal cell growth (most pathological ovarian cysts are not cancerous). He said ovarian cysts are common. “It is estimated that virtually all women who still have monthly period, and one in five women who have been through menopause, will have one or more ovarian cysts. “Ovarian cysts that cause symptoms are much less common, affecting only one in every 25 women at some point in their life,” he added. On fertility, he said ovarian cysts usually do not affect a woman’s

flooded areas.” Fashipe, the righthand man of Dr Bamidele Ogagah of Rodwell Health care Services, said the key is to be vigilant, so that: “Immediately you sense any ill health you take decisive step to forestall its snowballing into severe ill health. So keep antiseptic liquids like dettol or savlon handy and use for washing off mud or dirt that usually gets splashed around the house, especially the living room. Don’t just wash your hands but also your feet to avoid itching, rashes and skin infections. Use disposable hankies, instead of handkerchiefs. “Always use sturdy footwear that will give you a good grip and adequate protection to avoid slipping or falling. If you have any minor injury, place ice on it. It helps in numbing the nerve endings. If you are suffering from asthma or diabetes, avoid staying anywhere with wet walls. It promotes the growth of fungus and can be especially harmful. “Drink lots of warm herbal teas, especially those with antibacterial properties such as holybasil leaves,” Fashipe said.

Do you know?



ability to conceive. “Even if the cyst is larger and needs to be removed, this is usually done by the orthodox doctors using laparoscopy, which preserves a woman’s fertility and herbs are prescribed by traditional medicine doctors to shrink it,” Ogunkoya said.

YDROGENATION manipulates vegetable and seed oils by adding hydrogen atoms while heating the oil, producing a rancid, thickened oil that really only benefits processed food shelf life and corporate profits. The medical and scientific communities are now fairly united in the opinion that hydrogenated vegetable and seed oils should be avoided. These unsaturated fats, artificially manipulated into saturated fats, are also called trans fats, and no doubt you’ve heard about them lately. Some cities and states have now outlawed their use. There is no controversy anymore regarding the health dangers of these artificially saturated fats. •Source:




Some nutritional answers to infertility problems (2)


IKE words, thought and other deeds, the procreative act is a form of prayer, even if we do not believe it is. During this act, waves of etheric power or energy arise from both parties, envelop them and ring out, in a peculiar echo, to the Universe through a connecting channel formed of their radiations. Depending on their state of being, high or low souls approach this couple through this channel to seek possession of a young body which may form in the woman's womb. People who do not believe such radiation connections exist may find convincing explanations in the following events……. (1) Why do uninhabited houses go stale, crack or collapse? Is there some emanation from human occupants which keeps houses healthy? (2) Why do rabbits, cats and pigs abandon their young ones after their birth if human hands touch them? Is there something in these hands which they smell on their young? How do hens tell their own chicks from a crowd and peck the strangers? (3) Why do amputees feel life or ghost, pain in so-called empty space where a limb existed before its amputation? What is in this "space" which gives the feeling that life or human sense still exists there? WELL, maybe these are questions for another day. Today, I see souls rushing through this channel of radiation in search of an earthly vessel to anchor them on earth. We can, therefore, imagine the magnitude of disappointments when pregnancy fails to occur, is aborted or, because of congenital problems, or if Mother Nature decides to discard it. Every-one on earth involved in effort to make a baby which fails feels terribly raw within. So do souls in the beyond who have to wait for another opportunity. When I meet Christians who disbelieve the existence of such souls or this process, I always ask them what they think of the Biblical reference "…… I knew thee before I formed thee in thy Mother's womb" . A waiting soul whose forming physical body is evacuated in an unnecessary abortion may become so vengeful that it may develop the volition which bars another pregnancy for a long time, if not throughout the woman's reproductive year. A woman afflicted by such vengeance may need to appease the offended souls, not by occult means but through psychic or spiritual communication. Such a vengeful soul need to know, also, that it is merely wasting its alloted time. It is like a bird tied in the wings to another. Both would be unable to fly. But by forgiving any wrong, as Christ taught on the Cross and as Prophet Mohammed also taught, we are given an opportunity to become light in spirit and to soar homewards, far, far away from this despoiled and degradable earth. I have veered somewhat from the familiar environment, in response to some enquirers who oftens ask for safe herbal abortifacents, that is herbs which can help to induce abortion. My reply, always, is that my faith abhors such things. As we descend once more into familiar grounds, we are greeted by a plethora of possible causes of male and female infertility which nutrition can help.

The endless list may include the following (1) Some women's vaginas are so acidic that they kill sperm (2) Some women have infection in the vagina and cervix (This makes the cervix overproduce thick mucus to barricade its gate to the womb, as a means of protecting that organ from infection). (3) This, in turn, means sperm cannot reach the uterus and, from there, swim to the fallopian tube to fertilise egg descending towards them (4) Sometimes, an underactive thyroid gland may be the cause of male and female infertility slowing the metabolic rate (5) Uterine fibroids may constitute a nuisance not serious enough to prevent pregnancy, but they may make foetal development so harmful to mother and baby that pregnancy is better delayed until they are resolved. (6) While in men the problems of low sperm count, sperm mophology (shape) and motility (speed) agglutination (gumming) may be resolved, as suggested in this column last week, the semen is delivered, in some cases, into the male bladder, not the vagina, and flows out with the man's urine. In some cases, sperm flow is blocked by certain obstructions which make so little, if any delivered in the vagina. (7) The bodies of some men, like those of some women, are acidic, not slightly alkaline, and this predisposes the alkalinebased sperm to exist in an acidic environment which depopulate them and deprives the survivors of energy. (8) As the sperm are going into a foreign environment (the vagina, cervix, uterus and the fallopian tubes) where they would be seen as foreign bodies and attacked with antibodies, Mother Nature arms them with antibody. This helps the sperm withstand the antibody fire of the female reproductive system. And, as an antibody and antibody war would generate free radicals inimical to sperm health. Mother Nature wisdom again equips the sperm with abundant antioxidants armour and firepower against these free radicals. But many men nutritionally deprive themselves of the nurture to make enough antibody antibodies and antioxidants for this purpose. (9) In some cases, the problems of many men began when their bodies were forming in their mothers' wombs. If a woman was estrogenic, that is if she had more estrogen, a female hormone, than was necessary, vis-à-vis other hormones, including progesterone or androgen hormones, the situation may affect the certolli cells of the foetal testes. Certolli cells produce the food infant or premature sperm cells would eat to grow to adulthood. If these cells are not enough, having been depopulated or killed in the womb by excess estrogen, there would not be enough food to go round the growing sperm cells in the adult testes. This means that through the process of natural setection, some, if not many of them, would not make it to adulthood, and the consequence is low sperm count. Happily, low sperm count

of Zinc to the reproductive organs. "Red Raspberry leaves caught my attention after I read in the book of an American Pharmacologist in the 1980s of how this herb, Vertex and squaw vine ended the nightmare of three miscarriages for him and his wife. This herb is rich in iron and Calcium which help to tone the uterus and improve its weight.

Infections Many infections can cause infertility in men and women. They may reduce ability of the testes to produce sperm, cause blockage of the transmission of sperm. The herpes simplex virus, Cytomegalovirus (CMV), has been linked to low sperm count and inflammation of the testes. Happily, it responds to herbal antivirals such as Amazon A-V, Chanka piedra, bioflavonoid, Golden seal root, Echinacea, Grape Seed Extract (the last three are combined in the proprietary blend Echinacea Supreme), Cod Liver Oil. LMOST every one has heard of Candida, the yeast or fungus which is implicated in many cancers, that of the breast in particular, and may cause systemic candidiasis. involving many organs, and tissue including the lymphatic system, the plasma, blood, brain and heart. It yields to Pau D'Arco, Amazon AF, Amazon CF, Benabiotic, a Nigerian herbal alcohol, extract, Bellaw Capsi. Last year, this column reported the success story of a Nigerian woman who, for years, did not menstruate and suffered from bilateral polycystic ovaries, even after taking 20 packets of Clomid, a standard orthodox medicine recipe. Suspecting a candida malaise, the therapist attempted a cadida flush, using some of these herbs, healed the ovaries with zinc, Wheat Germ Oil, flax seed oil, Alkaline Vitamin C and the likes of them and them, stimulated the ovaries with Maharani, Vitex and Dong quai. In about three months, she began to menstruate and even got pregnant, although she lost it. It was suspected the fertilised egg lodged in the fallopian tube from lack of energy to continue its journey to the uterus. For this reason, the Ubiquinol version of CoQ10 has been added to her regimen. To be added is Yarrow leaves or root, a friend of women about which huge role in these matters I shall soon refer.


is no longer a big deal in male fertility nowadays, although some doctors still fuss about it. If I had low sperm count and I wished to make a baby, I would think the way some doctors are empowering low-sperm men to reason. That is that, in any case, only one sperm cell out of millions would fertilise the egg. A large number was probably recommended in the past because many sperm cells were known to die on the way due to many factors such as the female antibody, free radicals, agglutination, loss of tail or head and exhaustion due to the swimming competition to reach the egg. What if the smaller population is much, much healthier than the huge but unhealthy and obtuse population? Have the Jews in the State of Israel not held a much bigger Arab population at bay for decades? Isn't there evidence that sperm count has been depopulated in many countries, and aren't babies still being born in these nations? The answer to their questions would appear to be how to make sperm, whatever the count, healthy and vigorous. Some hints in this regard were given last Thursday in the first part of this series. As a brief reminder, they included Vitamins A, B (especially B6, B12 and Folic acid), C, E, Selenium, Zinc, Manganese, L-Arginine, Calcium and Magnesium, among others. As an addition to the list before some suggestions on nutritional recipes for special challenges such as infections and uterine fibroids, I'd like to mention formulas which are popular in some countries. “Calcium is popular everywhere. The egg uses it to signal its location to the sperm. Weak signals may make the sperm miss the target. As the body does not readily absorb some forms of calcium, it is suggested that the absorbable ones, even if more expensive, be taken. “Cayenne pepper, like other hot peppers, is a Japanese favourite. They believe it enhances male and female fertility. They are correct in the sense that hot peppers improve blood circulation to the reproductive organs. That's one of the things Alternative Medicine Physicians try to achieve in the treatment of such conditions as irregular period, periods with light or heavy clots, ceased periods, uterine fibroids, ovarian insufficiency and even in erectile dysfunction. “Trace a mineral, that is those other than Calcium, Magnesium and Phophorous, for example, have been linked with fertility. Among them are Iodine, Magnenese, Zinc and Copper. Iodine is needed by the thyroid gland to prevent hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid ) which may cause infertility and miscarriages not related to incompetent cervix. Iodine is present in sea weed such as Kelp and Dulse. The proprietary blends Iodoral and Swanson's Thyroid essentials are a rich source of it and do help to resolve obesity which, like thinness, may impede fertility through a deficiency of fat cells to make enough of the hormone estrogens. HE place of Manganese, like Chromium, Magnesium and Zinc, is valuable in diabetes therapy, as elevated blood sugar causes the blood to clot and this affects fertility. In women with low blood sugar, the influx of the adrenal gland hormone adrenaline to balance blood sugar makes the female body unable to adequately absorb and use progesterone, the hormone which stabilises the lining of the uterus. Thus, the egg may have been fertilised and, after implanting in the womb, the lining of this organ may shred and it may be washed out as menstruation because there is not enough progesterone to maintain it. A woman may, therefore, have her period, unknown to her that she had been pregnant but lost it. And Zinc? So much was said of it last week for male and female fertility. On the market, there are all sorts of brands, some plan Zinc, some the oxider or Sulphate of Zinc, some combined with other substance, pinch as methionine, an amino acid. Again, the absorption rate is crucial. I did mention that about 80 per cent of the Zinc in a man's body is in his prostate gland, which injects this trace mineral into the semen, where the body's highest concentration of Zinc, after the prostate gland is to be found. Therefore, sexually active men lose zinc and need to supplement their store, otherwise their sperm may be Zinc deficient. And as Zinc is an antioxidant, this will mean deprivation of sperm of Zinc's antioxidant protection one important point I missed out last week was the Egyptian experiment in which boys with small penises and girls with small breasts were given Zinc supplements in the diet for three months. At the end of the study, the girls had bigger breasts, the boy longer and bigger penises in both boys and girls had weight and height gains. This study is cited in fertility literature to show the importance


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Chlamydia: Generally known as a woman's "fertility time bomb" because it often gives no signs of its presence yet causes infertility, has, Chlamydia been described in England by the Royal College of Physicians Committee on Genito-Urinary Medicine as the commonest sexually transmitted diseases (STD) in the United Kingdom. Men, too, suffer form Chlamydia which is characterised by burning sensation during urination. Infected men infect women. In the vagina, Chlamydia can lodge for months before travelling to the cervix, womb and fallopian tubes. Once well-established, it may be the cause of lower abdominal pain arising from Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). In these tubes, Chlamydia can cause damage, scars and blockages, and ectopic pregnancy, if the journey of the fertilised egg is aborted there. Besides Chlamydia, there are Mycoplasmas and Ureaplasm as, microorganisms found in the genitor-urinary tracts. HESE conditions respond to herbal treatment, as stated. Women may douche with weak solutions of Apple Cidec Vinegar. If done right, douching does not make the vagina less acidic and infectable, as some doctors' fear. Berberine-containing herbs such as Golden Seal root help. When one capsule of Golden Seal root is inserted into the overight, or if the capsule is unscreaved and the powder is applied like a paste, the warmth melts the capsule and releases the content, which soon becomes moist and does its job. Berberine coats the lining of the vagina and makes it slippery. Being slippery; germs cannot adhere to the wall. Yet germs require adherence to suck proteins (amino acids) from the tissue to feed themselves and grow their population. Unable to adhere, they become weak from malnutrition and principles contrary to their constitution in the herb, like the immune system kills them. Golden Seal dehydrates the mucous lining. So, it should be used for only about seven days, with a seven days break, before resumption for another seven days if the symptoms have not cleared. Beta Carotene and Vitamin A can be taken to stimulate vaginal mucus membrane hydration. During the break from Golden Seal, a good Probiotic formula can be inserted into the vagina, overnight. A probiotic capsule is a colony of fraudel bacteria. Some capsules contain one, two or 10 billion cells. These cells eat up the unfriendly bacteria and check their growth. Where the germs have damaged walls in the vagina, Vitamin E or Aloe Vera capsules may be similarly inserted on "free" nights. Vitamin E, LIKE Zinc, heals. So does Aloe Vera, which stimulates tissue regeneration. At the same time as these insertions are made, these remedies should also be taken orally to clean up other tissue and the blood. Bellaco Capsi, for example, clears the ovaries for them, and Myco cleans up the blood and the plasmas. Where there is a need for a cleansing of the lymphatic system, Amazon Lympth support is suggested Parashield, like Paracleanse should not be left out of the medicine cabinet by the man or woman who wishes to rid his or her body of these terrible organisms which, forever, seek to make the human body their home. There are still many important points to brake. I promised to make a few comments on uterine fibroids and on the yarrow herb. I'd like to mention, also, how toxic chemicals in lipstick and hairsprays, found in the blood, wounds and ovaries of some women, have been attributed to the cause of their infertility. The same go for aluminum etched from cookware into food, those scented green or greenish yellow liquid dish wash soaps, nail polish removers and all these things women think would make life unbearable for them as women if they had to give them up. These call for another column… next week? To be continue


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The unending ‘unsolicited’ calls, SMS saga •Telcos, Subscribers trade words


HE operators see nothing wrong with it, but their subscribers are complaining about what they call “unsolicited call and texts”. Daily susbcribers are inundated with such calls and text messages. Helen Eni, a Lagosbased journalist is a victim. She described the problem as disturbing. To solve the problem, she blacklisted some of the numbers. “I sat down one day, opened my phone and checked the numbers blacklisted and discovered that they were about 400. As a journalist that needs concentration, this means that I have been distracted from the performance of my job for that number of times. It also means that each time I received calls from those numbers, I have to spend my valuable time to quarantine the numbers so that they stop disturbing me. It is very painful and I don’t think this should be the case,” she said. According to her, aside these ‘punitive’calls, she also receives short message services (SMS) which, without prompting, automatically subscribe her to one service or the other for which she pays for weekly. “I am a serious-minded person. I do not have the time to be subscribing to those frivolous services they offer, but suprisingly, I find myself paying more than N100 per week for something I never asked for,” Helen added. For Madam Esther Kokumo, a civil servant and mother of three, it is so very disgusting that her service providers do not stop harassing her with SMS and calls, they even ‘flash’ her number so that she could call and waste her airtime in the process. “When I counted the number of times my operator calls and ‘flashes’ me per day using different telephone numbers, some coded others not, it is a minimum of six. It is so upsetting that my operator would descend so low to be ‘flashing’ me. The Federal Government must do something about this,” she said. According to her, a particular number which begins with 547 torments her the most. “This number series begin with 547. It is about six or seven digits. Each time these calls come, I leave whatever I am doing and attend to them only to discover that it is from my service provider, advertising one service or the other. They are also fond of ‘flashing’ with these same numbers and of recent, they even call and speak Hausa language to me even when I neither understand nor speak the language,” she added. With the discovery that many discerning subscribers were no longer swallowing the bait with the three-digit-number or code the operators use, the operators resorted to making calls with the regular 11-digit numbers so that the subscriber would have no choice but to pick the call. The Chief Executive Officer, Brandsdefinitions, Richard Adeyeye, said the operators don’t respect the subscriber’s right to privacy as they call and send SMS at very odd hours “These calls and SMS became so disturbing that I had to complain to my service provider. I had to pay my way from Baruwa, a Lagos suburb, to Ikeja where it has a customer care shop, to lodge complaints. I was assured that it would stop. It did but it was for a very short while,” he said, adding that the situation has assumed a rather disturbing dimension. The Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian

• Minister, Communications Techonology, Mrs Omobola Johnson



Unsolicited calls and text messages are some of the problems mobile telephone owners contend with in Nigeria. The trend is assuming a disturbing dimension, reports LUCAS AJANAKU. Communications Commission (NCC), agrees with Adeyeye. According to him, the regulator has been inundated with an avalanche of complaints from subscribers over unsolicited SMS and calls. According to him, the escalation in the volume of these intrusive calls cannot be divorced from the imminent implementation of the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) . “The operators probably want to get across to as many subscribers as possible now that MNP implementation is round the corner,” he said, adding that MNP will take care of all those lapses in the industry. According to him, telemarketing is a global phenomenon, which has elicited the interest of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and other world bodies. He said the practice is not limited to the country, adding that it is practiced in matured markets like that of the US and Canada. The Secretary, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS), Bayo Omotudora, agrees with Ojobo that it is a global practice. He argues that the exception to the rule in Nigeria is that operators ought to give subscribers the opportunity to choose not to receive these calls and SMS by providing a code that will do that. He said based on complaints received from subscribers, the body had complained to the NCC with assurance from the regulator that it would act, lamenting that nothing has been done ever since. They argue that most of the SMS that are sent to subscribers are not necessarily from the operators as people now buy bulk SMS which they send to as many people as possible.Ojobo said if a person has the contacts of 1000 persons on his phone, technology has made it easy for him to send messages to all of them ‘just at the press of a button.’ “Most of these things are driven by software. IT-savvy Nigerians are developing software, which they deploy to the network and eke out a living. It is providing employment opportunities for them. Therefore, we must be careful not stifle the

growth of that sub-sector,” he said. While in developed telecoms market where regulation is strong and effective, such as South Africa, telemarketing itself is a source of employment generation as smart young men and women are recruited online and paid handsomely for doing telemarketing jobs. The case is, however, different in Nigeria as it appears to be a punitive measure by the operators to force themselves on their customers. The Director-General, National Lottery and Regulatory Commission (NLRC), Peter Igho, last year, called on the National Assembly to enact a law that will criminalise telemarketing in the country. He argued that they are ‘cold calls’ that are made to the subscribers at odd hours of the day. “Telemarketing is marketing conducted over the telephone. Most telemarketing calls are ‘cold calls’ meaning the recipeints of the call has not requested that the telemarketer contact him/her,” he said. He added that apart from the fact that such calls have been associated with various scams and fraud, they are often considered as provocative, especially when they occur during dinner hours, early in the morning during famiy devotion, at the peak of important meetings, late in the evenings or in the middle of the night. “In some countries, telemarketing is subject to regulatory and legislative controls related to consumers’ privacy and protection. Unfortunately, such legislations are yet to be enacted in Nigeria. The Nigerian parliament should enact a law that criminalises unsolicited and intrusive telemarketing at odd hours,” the DG suggested. The United States has restricted telemarketing at the federal level through the enactment of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 while many associations of telemarketers have codes of ethics and standards that members comply with. He said while some jurisdictions have implemented ‘do not call’ lists through either legislation or industry oganisations, telemarketers are barred from initiating

‘Most of these things are driven by software. ITsavvy Nigerians are developing software which they deploy to the network and eke out a living. It is providing employment opportunities for them. Therefore, we must be careful not to stifle the growth of that sub-sector’

contacts with subscribers. “Legislative versions often provide for heavy penalties on companies, which call individuals on these listings. The US Federal Trade Commission has implemented a National Do Not Call Registry in an attempt to reduce intrusive telemarketing nationwide,” the DG said. In Canada, telemarketing is under strict regulation and it is being handled by the Canadian Radio-Televison and Telecommunication Commission while in Australia, the practice is restricted by the Australian federal government and poilced by the Austrian Communications and Media Authority. He said the Austrian government restricts calling hours for both research and marketing, urging the National Assembly to take steps to halt the practice in Nigeria. In Australia, telemarketing is also restricted by the government and enforced strictly by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. There is a law in the country that provides for a restriction in calling hours for both research and marketing calls. Specifically, the law stipulates that “a caller must not make, or cause to make a call that is not a research call, or attempt to make such a call, on weekday before 9 am; or a Saturday after 5 pm; or a Sunday or any of the public holidays.” The NLRC said in to protect the privacy of the public without necessarily suffocating the business of legitimate lottery operators, the agency has instructed lottery operators in whatever form, as part of the condition of grant of any licence or permit, to avoid what it described as “intrusive telemarketing.” Ojobo said the Nigerian Communication Act 2003 needed to be amended. According to him, the NCC does not regulate content and a lot of the contents involved are software-driven. He said the issue will be included in the proposed amendment to Act 2003. “We are also looking at convergence which will also hopefully take care of this type of issues too,” he said, adding that the issue consumer rights issue too. This is where the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) comes in. Observers say the CPC is a paper tiger. But the Head, Lagos Office of the council, Ngozi Obidike, disagrees. She said the agency acts upon complaints from consumers. “We are partners in the building of education for the consumers. The CPC implores the consumers to complain, to seek redress for the provision of poor goods and services provided by manufacturers and service providers alike,” she stated in an e-mail or electronic mail. Now that the NCC said it is waiting for the amendment of the NCC Act 2003, subscribers will have to wait. But for how long?




Local content key to growth says society N

IGERIA will remain backward if nothing is done to increase local content in the information communication technology (ICT), comity of developing nations, President, Nigerian Computer Society (NCS), Sir Demola Aladekomo, has said. He said countries, such as India and China to grew their economies because they made local content policy. “We are not satisfied with the local value addition to the ICT sector. We are certainly not there.

Stories by Lucas Ajanaku

We have not started scratching the surface yet. Part of the advocacy we are saying is that they should engage our people, engage Nigerians. If you do not engage Nigerians, how do we get the experience? It is like a young graduate that is looking for employment and you are asking him/her to give you five, six years experience. Somebody must give him that opportunity,” he said. According to him, India is where it is today in software and

manufacturing because it gave her citizens the opportunity, arguing that software now contributes substantially to India’s gross domestic product. Said he: “The Indians gave it to themselves in manufacturing and software development, everything we need must come from our place, so people were compelled to be developing software. China also said anything we are going to have must come from here (China). They started manufacturing.

Where are they today?” According to him, as the country moves to institutionalise a cashless economy, the Federal Government should give indigenous original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) the opportunity to be part of the revolution. “Now we are going to deploy one million PoS (point of sales) terminals. Are we going to import everything? We are going to bring in about 200 million smartcards, are we going to import them? ATM (automated

teller machines), switches, computers (are all going to be needed?). Now, we are going to deploy about a million computers in the next one year, do you want to import everything? You must look at the local assembly firms; you must look at the local sector companies. How do you acquire the capacity to do it? Have you gone out of your way to give them the platforms to acquire this capacity? It is not going to be a miracle; it has to be pursued by all,” Demola said.

Qatar Airways adopts Blackberry, others


ATAR Airways says it has launched a new mobile application for Blackberry, Android and iPhone handsets which would ease customers connection with the airline services. In a statement the airline said with the development, through the use of mobile devices, customers can search for, and book flights, check flight status and follow travel alerts, adding that members of the airline’s Privilege Card frequent flyer programme can fast-track their bookings by

logging in with their membership number. Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “We are continually looking for ways to bring new and exciting services to our customers. “Mobility is high on the list of our customers to have access to important travel and flight information when and where they want it, so we have now given them a new service that meets that demand. As our customers’needs evolve, so will the services and products that we offer.”

Lagos opens competition for innovators


AGOS State government, with other 22 cities of the world, has opened a competition for innovators to win an opportunity to implement their solutions in urban and social challenges in the environment. Among the 2,535 innovators that competed, 120 providers were invited to present their commitment to partner with cities and help improve the lives of 121 million citizens by implementing their high impact solutions to challenges such as social exclusion, energy management, urban dereliction, mobility and health. According to a statement endorsed by O. O. Rotimi of the state Ministry of Science and Technol-

ogy, between May 14 and 16, leaders of the 22 partner cities and the 120 nominated solution providers are expected to meet at the LLGA/ Cities Summit in San Francisco to deepen their partnerships, announce the 22 most promising solutions, debate their challenges and kick-start implementation. is the organisation in charge of the programme. It is a global marketplace for cities; it is based in Copenhagen in Denmark and Barcelona in Spain and has worked with more than 80 cities and 1,200 companies, not-for-profits and research centres in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas with a mission to accelerate the sharing of solutions around the world.

Samsung showcases ‘floating’ TV


AMSUNG Electronics West Africa has announced its first ultra-high definition TV, with a ‘floating’ design which, according to the company, will revolutionise home cinema. According to the firm, housed within an easel-like frame that allows it to rotate freely and appear to float in mid-air, the 85-inch TV offers four times the pixels available on other Smart TVs in the market. The product was unveiled earlier this year by Samsung at the CES 2013 in Las Vegas, United States and will be available in Nigeria at the end of the month. Managing Director, Samsung Electronics West Africa, Mr Brovo Kim, who spoke in Lagos, reiter-

ated Samsung’s goal of creating new experiences for its consumers through its deep understanding of consumers’ lives and its relentless pursuit of discovery and innovation. “At Samsung, our mission is to help people discover a world of possibilities. We aim to delight them, bringing not just what they expect, but what they have never dreamed is possible. Our new Ultra-High Definition Smart TV is delivering on this commitment, re-inventing home entertainment and re-invigorating the consumer electronics market with seamless navigation and personalised user experience, all to create the ultimate lean back experience for our consumers,” he said.

•From left: Publisher, magazine, Ernest Osagie; President, Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Sir Demola Aladekomo, and Chairman, Publicity and Events Committee, NCS, Jide Awe, at a breakfast meeting with National Information Technology Merit Awards (NITMA) award winners in Lagos, ahead of the 11th International Conference of the society in Osun State.

‘Scarcity of software bane of technological breakthrough’ D EARTH of educational software and inadequate post-basic teachers have been identified as factors affecting technological breakthroughs in the country. The Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC), Academics, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), IleIfe, Prof Ayobami Salami, who stated this, added that no nation can grow without the development of its science and technology education. He said OAU, in partnership with the World Bank/STEB-B grants, Skye Bank and HiCOS Technologies, is planning to inaugurate the Centre of Excellence (CEoX) in Software Engineering. “Science and Technology (S&T)

sector has been largely responsible for the scientific and technological breakthrough of many developed countries. S &T based postbasic education is one of the key factors for this breakthrough,” he said. According to the DVC, who is also the Project Manager of the Software Engineering Centre, the organisation will address the factors affecting the country’s science and technology. Also, the Director of Information Technology and Communications Unit of the university, Prof Sola Aderounmu, said the centre will create an enabling environment for imparting knowledge in

NigComSat urges broadcasting firms to use facilities T HE Nigeria Satellite Company (NigComSat Ltd) has urged broadcasting houses to use its facilities so as to meet the January 15, 2015 deadline for member-countries to complete migration from analogue to digital transmission. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) set the deadline.

By Deji Fakorede

NigComSat Managing Director, Timasaniyu Ahmed-Rufai said the firm has the facilities to help firms to digitalise, adding that its direct-ToHome (DTH) center is ready.

We’re ready for number portability, says MTN


TN has said it is ready to implement the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) later this month as directed by the industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). Speaking at a forum, its Corporate Services Executive, Akinwale Goodluck, said the telecoms giant has put systems in place to make the scheme a reality for mobile phone users in Nigeria who are eager to join the country’s most expansive network. “We are confident that at the commencement date, we will be absolutely ready,” he said. Goodluck said a tests had been

carried out on the company’s systems and infrastructure without any hitch. “We are excited that customers who wish to join the network with the most coverage of Nigeria will now be able to do so without worrying about losing their mobile numbers. As you know, we have made far more investment in our network than any other operator in Nigeria has done, with the result that we are today the clear leader with effective network coverage of more than 85 per cent of Nigeria’s land mass and population. “We have nearly 100 per cent coverage of most major highways in Nigeria and we are gradually moving towards the final laps of a massive,

S&T using ICT driven, participatory and student-centred teaching and learning approaches. The programmes within the centre will build national capacities (via postgraduate training, post-doctoral researches, short term training, conferences and workshops) in software engineering, particularly in educational software development and application, networking, development of Internet and web applications, simulation, graphics, remote experimentation, hardware design, implementation, and maintenance. The centre will also equip subject teachers and students in S & T with skills to develop, deploy and evaluate teaching and learning using modern ICT facilities.

nationwide network modernisation and swap-out exercise that is bound to give the network unequalled capacity and much improved quality of service in the near future. We have no doubt in our minds that mobile phone users on other networks in Nigeria will be eager to port into MTN to avail themselves of these and other benefits they can only find on the MTN network,” he said. Apart from its massive investment in its core services, MTN was the first operator to create a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) vehicle, MTN Foundation, to implement lifeimpacting social projects across the length and breadth of Nigeria, Goodluck said.

He added that the company through MTNF had invested over N5 billion in such social projects which have directly and indirectly impacted millions of lives in the areas of health, education and economic empowerment. The MTN Foundation is known internationally as a credible benchmark of project driven, sustainable corporate social investments in Nigeria. He affirmed the company’s commitment to continue to seek for ways of adding value to the lives of Nigerians both through the company’s core services and corporate social investment initiatives.

He spoke when the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications Technology, Dr Henry Akpan, visited NigComSat headquarters in Abuja. He said the firm has the facilities to help firms to digitalise, adding that its Direct-To-Home (DTH) Centre is ready. In a statement, the agency’s Head, Corporate Communication, Sonny Aragba-Akpore quoted his boss as saying: “Content providers could use the DTH for uplink and transmission of their contents to viewers, which will save the providers the risk of spending billions to build facility (DTH). We have reduced the entry barrier for a new business man, so if someone has his content, tomorrow he is in business. But he will pay only for transmission. Eutelsat has this kind of facility in Torino, the same with China Satcom and Russian Satellite Communications. These are enablers for revenue generation.” He said the team inspected the Micro-Electronic Centre (MEC) to the Satellite Control Centre (SCC) where they were shown the dynamics in satellite technology operations and the telemetry control.

, 2013





Khan promises another UK bout Dlamini defends Stroke Play title A N MIR KHAN has revealed his next fight could be his last in the UK before he hangs up his gloves. Khan bids to get back into the world title mix when he

takes on Julio Diaz at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena on April 27. It will be his first fight in England for almost two years. The former world light-

welterweight title holder plans to box again just once more this year and if things go to plan it will be in Las Vegas in December. Khan, 26, has built a strong fanbase here and abroad but

Lotus confident of keeping Kimi


OTUS say they do not fear losing Kimi Raikkonen to champions Red Bull. The Finn was one of the star performers of last season despite making his return after two years away. And his victory in Melbourne has only increased his value. With widespread rumours that Mark Webber could quit the team at the end of the season over the Malaysia team orders debacle - or edged out by the team -

owner Dietrich Mateschitz has publicly admitted Raikkonen would be on the shortlist of replacements. "Kimi's position is going to be based on a bunch of things and not on what Red Bull say I think they have their hands full right now,” said Lotus boss Gerard Lopez. "As far as we are concerned, the relationship with Kimi is excellent. "We are where we want to be, he is where he wants to be, and I can guarantee you

that Kimi is not the sort of guy who is going to sign any sort of pre-contract. Not with anybody. "If we keep giving him what he wants I don't see there is any reason for him to go anywhere. "We are happy, so we don't see any reason to replace him." "They have their own issues and maybe saying something like that, they are thinking it may be able to help them but I don't see how. "We are well aware of where we are and I think Kimi will stay."

with big American TV networks desperate to show his bouts, he will be forced to fight in the US. He has taken a big pay cut to fight in England this time and he said: “It’s good to be back fighting in England, this could be one of my last times. "The next fight is in US but for this one fight I thought...bring it back home. “I want to put on as perfomance for my home fans, I want a good performance for them I want to make it special for them. “I have never fought in Sheffield as amateur or professional but it’s a big fight town producing the likes of Nassem Hamed and Johnny Nelson and a few others. It’s a big-fight town. “When ever you fight, you want a performance but with this being one of my last here in UK, I want an explosive bout. I wan't people to get excited watching me.”

London Marathon runners urged to show solidarity with Boston victims


UNNERS in Sunday's London Marathon are being asked to cross the finish line with their hands over their hearts to show solidarity with those killed and injured in the attack on the Boston Marathon. The hashtag

• Robertson


#handsoverhearts went viral on Tuesday after being tweeted by SPAT, a British running organisation. It urges competitors in London to make the gesture after finishing the nation's most prestigious road race. "What happened in Boston was just so horrible and we wanted to try and make a positive statement from such a negative event," SPAT founder James Gilley told the Huffington Post UK. "We wanted to make a statement of solidarity with those in Boston." London officials have said the the race, which attracts 500,000 fans, will be held Sunday despite the terror attack that left three dead at the Boston Marathon. British sports minister Hugh Robertson said "we won't be cowered by this sort of behaviour."

OBUHLE Dlamini successfully defended her Sanlam South African Women’s Amateur Stroke Play title with a crushing 12stroke victory at Pretoria Country Club on Tuesday. Dlamini took a two-stroke lead into the final round and was never challenged as she closed with a two-under-par 70 for a winning total of three-over-par. It was one of the most emphatic victories in the history of this championship, cementing Dlamini’s status as the South African number 1 and world number 3 in the women’s amateur game. Dlamini also became only the sixth golfer since 1969 to have successfully defended her title in this event. “Nobuhle is a serious champion,” said Cynthia Rayner, president of Women’s Golf South Africa. “She’s dominated the game ever since she moved to the top of our rankings, and she’s such a worthy champion because she’s so hard working and disciplined.” Dlamini has already expressed her desire to turn professional later this year and take up a place on the


Ladies European Tour before moving to the LPGA Tour. “I predict a great future for her as professional,” said Rayner. “She sets such a great example for the rest of Africa.” Dlamini was incredibly solid over the opening few holes on Tuesday, while her nearest challengers all faltered early. Gina Switala dropped four shots in the first three holes, and then an eight on the parfour seventh hole was the end of her challenge. And Eleonora Galletti opened with a triple bogey on the first and a bogey on the second to also fall off the pace. Dlamini parred her way to the sixth hole, then birdied holes seven, eight and 11. She dropped four shots in four holes from the 12th, but finished strong with three birdies over her final three holes. Lara Weinstein took second place on 15 over par with a closing 74. Dlamini now travels to Southbroom Golf Club in KwaZulu-Natal to take up a place in the field for the South African Women’s Open, the country’s oldest women’s professional tournament.




Cahill: My passion as strong as ever T

IM CAHILL will forever be a part of Australia’s football narrative having been a headlinemember of the generation which lifted the green and gold to unprecedented heights. Seven years ago in Germany, the Sydney-born Cahill scored Australia’s first-ever FIFA World Cup™ goal with his double also lifting the Socceroos to their maiden win on the world stage. Four years later in South Africa he became the only Australian to score in two FIFA World Cups. Cahill has long had a happy knack of scoring crucial goals, many with his head, and now sits just one shy of equalling the Socceroos’ all-time record. Despite being told as a teenager he was too short for top level football, Cahill boasts remarkable heading ability and Oman’s experienced French coach Paul Le Guen recently described Cahill as “one of the best in the world in the air”. At club level Cahill enjoyed a prosperous eight-year career at Everton, where he was held in high regard by the Goodison Park faithful. Last year, the 33year-old embarked on a new chapter in his career by signing with MLS club New York Red Bulls. recently sat down with Cahill to talk about his new life in the Big Apple, English Premier League experiences, his star-studded international career and Australia’s 2014 FIFA World Cup hopes. Cahill also opened up about giving back to the game and how his Samoan heritage shaped him as a person. How are you enjoying your new career in New York? Tim Cahill: It is a great opportunity at this stage in my career to sign for a long period in the MLS and be part of a big football team. The lifestyle is amazing, the football is great and also the fans, so it is just about enjoying it which I have been. Did the chance to contribute to one of the world’s newer and fastdeveloping leagues also hold some attraction? Definitely. [It is good] To be part of the MLS revolution with the players that are going there... it is a pretty good standard. It is a different stage in my career, after 15 or so years at a high level in England. In this league you have to play well, be fit and do the right things on and off the park. Internationally, too, it is a good move as we don’t play so many games as in Europe and the scheduling works better.

• Cahill

How is it living in a city like New York? It is nice, but I don’t think I was drawn by the bright lights and never have been. You have players like Juninho and Thierry Henry and with the stature of players they are signing, it [the move] was a nobrainer for me. It is nice to help develop the team, the club and the league, and also to be respected on a different side of the world. Was it a wrench to leave Everton after so long? I’m lucky to have a great

• Cahill

relationship with [Everton manager] David Moyes, the chairman and also the fans. I think I left Everton on a high, a massive high. They were in a good place where they could kick on regardless of me leaving or not. I think I didn’t jump ship when the time was bad. I left at a time when the ship was steady. Do I miss the Premier League and Everton? Yes and no. I had eight amazing years at such a great club. The level of football is different but when you go to a different league and be part of a different project, you have to embrace everything. On the international front, how do you think the regeneration of the Socceroo team is shaping up? I think it is fantastic. What Holger is trying to do is incorporate new players over a period over time. You have to slowly put the ingredients together and make sure that you don’t push things too quickly. We are at a stage now where the ability and stature of the boys is fantastic. It is great to be one of the older players that guides and leads. It is a different aspect but one that is really enjoyable. To see these kids help the team and push us for spots I couldn’t be happier. Now that you are in an advanced part of your career, do you appreciate playing for your country even more? No, there is no difference. My passion for Australia has been strong from the very first day. I have always cherished the green and gold jersey and I have shown that in every camp. I still get the same feeling as when I first played for my country. Being an older player, it is about helping and being available for advice. With a prominent place in Australia’s football history, do you ever stop and reflect about some of those key moments?

I always think about re-enacting those important moments again, and what it might in terms of getting Australia to another World Cup. It is fantastic to relive the moments, but it is more about now and making the difference. Whether it’s me or someone else making the final pass or scoring the goal is irrelevant. It is just about winning. The impression that you leave on or off the pitch with the people that you interact with is something that you leave behind forever. Cahill on his outlook on life How important is your Samoan heritage to you? That is where my mum is from and where I was brought up for a little bit. The culture and tradition side is important because of the values. The values of respect to your elders, to anyone your around and basically to be humble. Sharing and being polite, just little things. As much as a great footballer you might be, the impression that you leave on or off the pitch with the people that you interact with is something that you leave behind forever. That is something I have learnt from my culture, not to forget where I came from and I won’t. To always know that you are equal with everyone. I am in a privileged position and something I have never taken advantage of for my own personal gain. Tradition, culture and heritage of Samoa is probably the strongest factor in what has made me. And giving back to the game seems to be something that is important to you… For me charity and giving back to the right causes is important. You get to see a part of everyday life that is probably more relevant than what I do. Perspective is important. Charities and other things I do is a natural thing for me. It puts the right

messages out and making the right impact is something I‘m all for. Finally, are the legs still feeling strong at 33? Yes, I play every game I’m picked in. You have to look after your body and the move to the MLS is a smart one. I’m not playing two games a week like in Europe. To play in another World Cup... the move has definitely been the right one for me.

That is where my mum is from and where I was brought up for a little bit. The culture and tradition side is important because of the values. The values of respect to your elders, to anyone your around and basically to be humble. Sharing and being polite, just little things. As much as a great footballer you might be, the impression that you leave on or off the pitch with the people that you interact with is something that you leave behind forever.





Court: Nnamani doesn’t need to Nwike: ACN blasts Anambra govt T justify foreign trip A

FEDERAL High Court in Lagos yesterday said former Enugu State Governor Chimaroke Nnamani cannot be compelled to justify his reasons for travelling abroad. Ruling on his application for leave to travel to the United States for medical treatment, Justice Mohammed Yinusa said all Nnamani needed to do was to obtain the court’s permission. Granting the application, the judge, however, held that Nnamani must appear before him on the next adjourned date. He must also notify the court that he has returned, the judge said. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) re-arraigned Nnamani and others before Justice Yinusa on a 105-count of money laundering and economic crimes, involving about N4.5billion of state funds. He was charged with his former aide, Sunday Anyaogu, and six firms, Rainbownet Nig Ltd, Hillgate Nig Ltd, Cosmos FM, Capital City Automobile Nig Ltd, Renaissance University Teaching Hospital and Mea Mater Elizabeth High School. The crime was allegedly committed when Nnamani, also a former senator, was governor between 1999 and 2007.

By Joseph Jibueze

Trial is yet to begin in the case, which has passed through four judges due to transfers and retirements. EFCC had opposed Nnamani’s bid to travel abroad for treatment, saying the ailments he complained about could be treated in Nigeria. Besides, the agency said allowing him to travel would further delay the trial, as this would be the fifth time he would embark on such a trip. But, Justice Yinusa said it was not mandatory for Nnamani to justify his trip. “It is very clear to me that what the first accused/applicant (Nnamani) is required to do is to seek for leave of this court before travelling out of Nigeria either on health grounds or any other ground. “The emphasis is on seeking leave of the court and not on providing justification for the journey. “It is, therefore, my considered opinion that the first accused/applicant has fulfilled the requirement and the conditions provided under the bail bond by seeking leave of the court before embarking on a medical treatment in the United States. “The applicant was granted bail by Justice Peter

Olayiwola on August 2, 2007 and one of the conditions was that the first accused/ applicant shall give a written undertaking that he would not travel outside the country without permission of the court. “My understanding of the above bail condition is that anytime the accused/applicant intends to travel outside Nigeria, he must seek the leave of court. “To insist on or to compel the applicant to provide reasons or justification will amount to altering the order of the court granting bail to the accused/applicant. “The application is hereby granted. However, the applicant must ensure that he appears in court on the next adjourned date. “The applicant must also file a notice of return to Nigeria. He must submit his international passport,” said Justice Yinusa. EFCC had, on Tuesday, accused Nnamani of withholding his international passport since he obtained the court’s permission to travel abroad for treatment on April 10, last year. The commission’s lawyer, Kelvin Uzozie, said: “He never returned the passport. There was evidence that he returned it in 2008 and 2009. “But there is no evidence

that he returned it the last time he was granted leave to travel abroad. “He has not returned his passport, yet he wants the court to exercise discretion in his favour.” Uzozie said documents presented to the court showed that the former governor was suffering from “chest pain, shortness of breath, cough and tiredness,” ailments he said could be treated in Nigeria. “He has not said no doctor in Nigeria can treat chest pain, shortness, cough or tiredness; or that he has tried to get treatment in Nigeria and failed. “This must not be allowed. It is because of this kind of conduct that has delayed the trial,” he said. Uzozie also faulted the doctor’s report tendered by Nnamani, alleging that it was not issued by a qualified personnel as provided for in law. Nnamani’s counsel Rickey Tarfa (SAN) neither denied nor confirmed Uzozie’s allegation that the former governor was still holding onto his passport. He said EFCC did not provide any evidence showing that it compelled Nnamani to return to Nigeria the last time he was granted a similar application. “If it is true, you have to show evidence. Let’s see how you have sought international intervention for him (Nnamani) to return to Nigeria,” Tarfa said.

HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has taken a swipe at the Anambra State Government for the handling of the kidnapping/murder of its national Vice Chairman (Southeast), Chudi Nwike. The party said the government’s nonchalant attitude towards the incident was inhuman. In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Okelo Madukaife, the party condemned Governor Peter Obi’s condolence message to the family, saying: “It was a little too late.” The late Nwike (61), a former deputy governor, was reportedly abducted on the Auchi–Abuja road on March 19 and his body was discovered in Agbor, Delta State, on April 9. The party said: “If it takes our governor a month to react to the kidnap of a former deputy governor, how long will it take him to react to the distress situation of or-

dinary mortals in Anambra State? “If it takes the governor four days to react to the death of a former deputy governor, how much longer will it take him to show concern for the common man? “If the governor chooses to react this way, has he not failed in his role as the father of the state? “Today, the Obi-led administration finds it convenient to follow the ritual of commiserating with the family for a life it could possibly have saved. “Our take is that if the government is actually fighting crimes in Anambra State, it has not evolved or applied the right policies to meet the desired expectations, even when it is running out of time. “A different set of operators and a brand new set of ideas shall be required to transform the security architecture of the state so that Dr Chudi Nwike will not have died in vain.”

Ex-council boss’s wife released From Sunny Nwankwo, Aba


HE wife of the former Chairman of Obingwa Local Government of Abia State, Mrs. Glory Nwulu, who was kidnapped on April 10, has been released. Mrs. Nwulu was abducted by gunmen in front of her house at Ogbor-Hill, Aba, in the company of her husband. Commissioner of Police Usman Tilli Abubakar said the victim was abandoned by her captors near a church at Osisioma, Osisioma Ngwa Local Government on their way to Imo State. He said: “The hoodlums got information from their informants that a combined team of police anti-robbery, anti-kidnapping and the counter-terrorism squads were after them. “They returned to Aba and dropped her near a church at Osisioma around 7:30pm on April 11 and went into hiding.” The commissioner said the woman had re-united with her family at Umuodukwu Village in Ogbor-Hill, Aba. He said no ransom was paid to the abductors.

Kalu to brief House of Commons ORMER Abia State Governor and Coordinator of Njiko Igbo Orji Kalu will brief the House of Commons on the plight of Igbo in Nigeria. The briefing, to be done via a lecture, will take place today at 6pm at the House of Commons, Westminster, London, United Kingdom. Kalu will speak on: “The historical plight and precarious future of the Igbo people.” He will deliver the speech on the platform of Njiko Igbo, a group propagating the emergence of a president of Igbo extraction for Nigeria in 2015. The gathering will attract members of the UK parliament, diplomats, officials and members of Njiko Igbo at home and in the Diaspora, the Nigerian community, professionals and politicians from all over the world.


•Anambra State Governor Peter Obi receiving a gift from the DirectorGeneral of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), BrigGen. Nnamdi Okorie-Affia … yesterday. STORY ON PAGE 12

‘Go after child traffickers’ From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia

T Court stops Okwu as APGA faction chairman HERE seems to be no end in sight to the crisis rocking the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). A Federal High Court in Awka, Anambra State, has stopped Maxi Okwu and the State Chairman, Egwuoyibo Okoye, from parading themselves as party executives. Justice M.T Salihu also stopped the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), commissioner of police, the Inspector-General of Police and APGA from recognising the duo. Charles Nwazojie filed the suit on behalf of himself and the elected mem-


•Orders INEC to stop recognising faction From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

bers of the ward, local government and state executive committees of APGA in Anambra State. The respondents included INEC, IG, Anambra CP, APGA, Okwu representing those purportedly elected as national officers under his chairmanship as well as Okoye representing those purportedly elected as ward, LGA and state officers of APGA. Justice Salilu granted all the reliefs sought by the ap-

plicant, which he said was in the best interest of justice. The reliefs sought included “an order of mandamus compelling the first respondent to perform its statutory and public duties as enshrined in the Section 287 (3) of the 1999 Constitution. He also sought an order to ensure that APGA activities, its members, officers, organs, subordinates, servants, agents or privies, regarding its executive committees both at the national and Anambra State chapter,

conforms with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and the party’s constitution.” The return date for the motion on notice was fixed for June 25.

HE Abia State House of Assembly has urged security agencies to go after suspected child traffickers in the state. The House said it has passed a law that attracts capital punishment for suspected child traffickers. The Committee Chairman on Information and Deputy Speaker, Alwell Asiforo Okere, said it is the duty of security agencies and the judiciary to implement the law. He said: “We have made the relevant laws against child trafficking and we have also done all that we could do to fight the ugly trend, what is left for us to do is to carry arms to go after child traffickers and enforce the law we have made.” Okere said the House is not happy that ex-kidnappers from the state were excluded from the Federal Government’s amnesty programme. The Deputy Speaker said there is need for the Federal Government to include the ex-kidnappers in the programme.

Anambra Varsity radio kicks-off


HE Vice-Chancellor of the Anambra State University, Prof Fidelis Okafor, yesterday announced that Eagles FM Radio, the training radio station for students of Mass Communication will soon start broadcasting. Okafor, who announced this

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

during the annual interactive session with staff at Igbariam campus, said the radio and television demonstration studios were part of the facilities which the department pre-

sented to the National Universities Commission (NUC) team during last year’s accreditation exercise. He said of the 100 universities going to Britain for a student engineering competition, only the university is going from Nigeria.




Dangote Sugar declares N6b dividends


HE board of Dangote Sugar Refinery (DSR) Plc yesterday announced that they have recommended distribution of N6 billion as cash dividends for the 2012 business year just as the sugar-refining company recorded about 50 per cent increase in profit. The gross dividend of N6 billion represents a dividend per share of 50 kobo, an increase of 66.7 per cent on gross dividend of N3.6 billion or dividend per share of 30 kobo distributed for the 2011 business year. Audited report and accounts of DSR for the year ended December 31, 2012 released yesterday showed that while turnover dropped marginally by 0.33 per cent, pre and post tax profits rose by 49.5 per cent and 46 per cent respectively. Turnover stood at N106.87 billion in 2012 as against N107.22 billion in 2011. Profit before tax rose from N10.92 billion in 2011 to N16.33 billion in 2012. Profit after tax increased

•Equities record marginal recovery By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

from N7.40 billion to N10.80 billion. Earnings per share improved by 45 per cent from 62 kobo in 2011 to 90 kobo in 2012. Meanwhile, the Nigerian stock market witnessed marginal recovery yesterday with the main index inching up by 0.06 per cent. The All-Share-Index gained 18.30 points to close at 33,352.97 points while the market capitalisation of all traded equities increased by N6 billion to close at N10.662 trillion. Out of 109 equities traded, only 17 stocks made the gainers list, 38 reduced in value and the remaining 54 were unchanged. Leading the gainers’ table was AG Leventist with a price increase of N0.11 to close at N1.28. It was followed by PZ with price appreciation of N3.33 to close at N39.00. Also on the list were BOC Gases, UTC, Neimeth, Mansard,

Dangote Cement, UBN, Zenith Bank and Livestock with price appreciation of N0.50, N0.04, N0.03, N0.09, N4.10, N0.19, N0.36 and N0.05 respectively. On the losers’ list, Capital Hotel led the table with a drop of N0.56 to close at N5.09. It was followed by Deap Capital with price drop of N0.20 to close at N1.82. Others were Wapic Insurance, Transcorp, UBA, Royal Exchange, ABC Transport, Ikeja Hotel, Paint Company and NAHCO with price change of N0.11, N0.13, N0.70, N0.07, N0.06, N0.07, N0.12 and N0.50 apiece. In all, investors traded 766.566 million shares worth N9.353 billion in 6,175 deals. The financial services stocks as usual contributed the largest chunk of volume with 667.474 million shares worth N4.631 billion exchanged in 3,720 deals. This was followed by the Consumer Goods with 51.407 million shares worth N4.269 billion in 1,024 deals. Also with relatively high volume were the Conglomerates, Oil & Gas, ICT, Services, Agriculture and Industrial Goods with 15.172 million shares, 9.407 million shares, 8.521 million shares, 6.984 million shares, 2.646 million shares and 2.409 million shares.




MONEY LINK Naira declines as dollar demand drops

Heritage Bank begins free COT ahead of 2016 deadline


ERITAGE Bank Limited has adopted a free Commission on Turnover (COT) policy on all transactions carried out by its customers with the bank. The policy, which started last Monday, is coming ahead of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revised guide to bank charges which said COT will be free in 2016. Heritage Bank said there will be no hidden charges as it tries to use the initiative to attract more customers. Speaking at the Heritage Bank Night, the bank’s Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Ifie Sekibo said of the N21 billion deposit base it inherited from Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria (SGBN), customers have withdrawn close to 60 per cent amounting to N12.6 billion. He said only 15 per cent of its customers have responded to the verification exercise it recently carried out. The bank had on January 29 began account validation for customers of SGBN. The exercise is in line with the terms of the CBN approval of its banking licence to offer commercial banking services under a Regional Bank status. He said the aim of the revalidation

Stories by Collins Nweze exercise is to pay all customers of SGBN who came to participate in the exercise. Also, cheques were issued to those who requested for their deposit at the validation centres immediately their accounts were successfully validated. “The process is simple, hassle-free and technology-driven to ensure that customers that turn up do not have to wait endlessly. We just call up the customer’s number from our server base at the head office. Once this appears, the customer’s picture is taken and stored and the form is passed on to the validation officer through the control officer, for the account to be verified, including the balance in such account. Once this is done, the customer is referred to the cashiers who instantly write cheques for those that want their account balance paid,” the bank explained. Investigations conducted across some designated centres showed that the exercise was in two parts: verification of accounts and instant issuance of payment of cheques for those

who prefer to collect the balances in their accounts with the defunct SGBN. Also, savings account holders are expected to come with means of identification such as driver’s licence, passport or national identity card, as well as their cash withdrawal forms and deposit slips. Current and corporate accounts, holders are expected to present their cheque books or cheque stumbs. The bank’s Chairman, Mr. Akinsola Akinfemiwa, said the lender will be focusing on small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) as such would boost its operation. “We are not there to compete with the so called big banks; our services are going to be quite different from what other banks do. We will work closely with the small and medium businesses to nurture them to greater height. We will be enlightening them on her to keep proper books of accounting, how to manage their businesses and make them grow,” he said. Continuing, he said, “Our services is going to be technology driven. We may not have many branches, but we are going to deploy technology

N •Sekibo

to reach our customers. It should be noted that SGBN pioneered Automated Teller Machine (ATM) which many thought will never work. But today it is working and making withdrawal easier for people,” he said. The bank had provided 13 designated centres across the country for customers of former SGBN to revalidate their accounts and collect instant cheques of the value outstanding in their accounts if desired. The centres which are spread over 11 states/cities included Lagos, Oyo, Kwara, Rivers, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Adamawa, Zamfara, Kaduna and Federal Capital Territory.

Finance ministry sensitises interns


HE Federal Ministry of Finance yesterday commenced a threeday orientation exercise for interns on how they can secure their dream jobs through the ongoing Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS). Speaking at the training, representative of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Aremu O. said GIS was established as part of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P). He explained that the programme seeks to provide graduates with qual-

ity temporary work experience to make them stronger candidates for job openings in the labour market. Such experience, he said, will also boost their chances of becoming self-employed. “The scheme will improve job placement opportunities for graduates by providing them with the opportunity to acquire professional skills, training, and work experience through a oneyear internship placement,” he said. He explained that though the exercise is a short-term measure, GIS has high

prospects for job creation, improve the welfare of youths and achieve the inclusive growth objective of Federal Government’s transformation agenda. He said that during the period of internship, the Federal Government will be responsible for paying a monthly stipend to the graduate interns while the participating institutions/firms will be expected to provide adequate opportunities for training and mentoring the interns. Funmi Adeyemi of After School

Graduate Development, one of the facilitators, said the interns are being trained to support and add value to the organisations where the work. She advised the interns to build self confidence and develop the needed skills that will enable them secure the right jobs when the opportunities arise. Over 83,000 beneficiaries have been registered, which is beyond the threshold of 50,000 allotted for the scheme in any given year.




Amount N

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 ($) Demanded ($) 350m 150m 350m 138m 350m 113m

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


OBB Rate Call Rate

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

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

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012

GAINERS AS AT 17-04-13





1.17 35.67 8.00 0.71 0.82 2.65 157.00 9.81 19.04 2.89

1.28 39.00 8.50 0.75 0.85 2.74 161.10 10.00 19.40 2.94

CHANGE 0.11 3.33 0.50 0.04 0.03 0.09 4.10 0.19 0.36 0.05


O/PRICE 5.65 2.03 1.17 1.39 7.70 0.78 0.69 0.82 1.45 6.50

C/PRICE 5.09 1.82 1.06 1.26 7.00 0.71 0.63 0.75 1.33 6.00

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7

Date 2-7-12 27-6-12 22-6-12


Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %


147.6000 239.4810

149.7100 244.0123

150.7100 245.6422

-2.11 -2.57

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

















Feb. ’11

July ’11





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%

July ’12

CHANGE 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%



0.56 0.20 0.11 0.13 0.70 0.07 0.06 0.07 0.12 0.50

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m


LOSERS AS AT 17-04-13


AIRA depreciated to the lowest in two weeks as investors demanded dollars after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold the least foreign currency at auctions in more than a month, Bloomberg report said. The currency retreated 0.2 per cent to 158.40 per dollar, the weakest on an intraday basis since April 3. The CBN sold $266.2 million at an auction yesterday, bringing sales this week to $498.7 million, the lowest since the period ending March 13, according to data on the CBN’s website. The regulator sells the dollar at auctions on Mondays and Wednesdays to keep the naira within a three per cent band above or below 155 per dollar. There was “increased dollar demand to cover import bills,” Kunle Ezun and Kenneth Asenime, analysts at Ecobank Transnational Inc. in Lagos, wrote in an e-mailed note to clients yesterday. Dealers anticipated more dollars at the auctions, Sewa Wusu, an analyst at Lagos-based Sterling Capital Ltd., said by phone. Borrowing costs on the nation’s local-currency debt due January 2022 rose four basis points or 0.04 percentage point, to 11.05 percent, according to yesterday’s prices on the Lagos- based Financial Markets Dealers Association website.

Offer Price

Bid Price




Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833




NEWS Nasarawa gets new commissioners, HOS From Johnny Danjuma, Lafia


ASARAWA State Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura yesterday swore in 17 new commissioners and Head of the Civil Service (HOS) following the sack of the State Executive Council (Exco) in January. Also affected in the January sack was the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Hamza Elayo. He is among the new commissioners. Al-Makura said the appointment of the new Exco was a major step reinvigorating and strengthen the public service for enhanced performance and productivity. He said: “This ceremony is an impetus to us in our drive towards the realisation of our development objectives for the good of our people.” The governor hailed the House of Assembly for ensuring the prompt screening and approval of the commissioners. Al-Makura said: “It is worthy of note that the promptness with which the screening process was conducted is in consonance with the urgency this administration attaches to all issues of the socioeconomic development of our state. “Let me, therefore, commend the Speaker and members of the House for their continued partnership with this administration in our collective effort to move our dear state to a higher pedestal. “I need to reiterate that the commitment of the House is a further testimony to the shared belief in the unity of purpose which is a fundamental requirement for the growth and progress of any society.”

Suspected terrorist lynched in Kano From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano


SUSPECTED terrorist was yesterday burnt to death at a mosque near the Emir of Kano’s palace in the ancient city. The Nation learnt that the incident occurred at 8.30pm at Soron Dinkin Quarters in the heart of the city. The suspect was said to have disguised as a worshipper and mingled with the others for the Ishai (fifth daily prayer) in the mosque. He reportedly rode a tricycle to the mosque. He was also said to have carried a bag. A vigilant worshipper reportedly spotted a strange object in the suspect’s bag and called the attention of the others to it. An improvised explosive device (IED) was said to have been found in the bag. The worshippers were said to have bundled the suspect into his tricycle and set him on fire. A senior police officer, who spoke in confidence, confirmed the incident. He said the area had been cordoned off.

Eight killed in renewed Plateau attacks •Four suspects arrested E IGHT people were confirmed killed yesterday when two villages, Tanjol and Dukum, in Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State, were attacked by suspected Fulani herds-

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

men. The Media Information Officer of the Special Task Force (STF), Capt Salisu Mustapha, confirmed the killing.

He said six people were killed and three others injured in Dakum. The STF spokesman add-

ed that two residents of Tanjol were ambushed and killed. He said the attacks were

suspected to be reprisals following the killing of two cows belonging to Fulani herdsmen in the area. He said four suspects have been arrested but investigations is ongoing.

•Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun (middle) addressing traders at the Kara Cattle Market in Isheri on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway... on Tuesday. With him are the Seriki Kara, Alhaji Muritala Babalola (left) and General-Secretary, Mr Lukman Adewale.

Gunmen kill two policemen in Kaduna


NKNOWN gunmen, who were said to have been terrorising Kaduna villages for some time, have killed two policemen at a road block in Tudun Wada, Kaduna, the state capital. The Nation learnt that the gunmen, who rode a motorcycle, opened fire on the policemen at about 10pm on Tuesday. The critically injured po-

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

licemen were said to have been rushed to a hospital where they later died. While one of the injured policemen was said to have died at the St. Gerard’s Catholic Hospital, the other reportedly died at the Army Reference Hospital, both in Kaduna. Police spokesman, Aminu

Lawan, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), said he was attending a function in Akwa Ibom State when our correspondent called him for confirmation last night. Lawan said he was not in a position to comment on the incident. Also, Police Commissioner Adenaike Olufemi did not pick his calls when our correspondent called for his comment on the incident.

Suswam, Taraba acting governor seek peace ENUE State Governor on Kuteb/Tiv crisis Gabriel Suswam and


Taraba State Acting Governor Garba Umar yesterday appealed for peace and harmonious coexistence among ethnic groups on the boundary between both states. Suswam and Umar were at Gongo Gawa, a boundary town between Katsina Ala in Benue State and Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State, to broker peace between Tiv and Kuteb residents of the area. The meeting is coming on the heels of a recent crisis between the ethnic groups, which led to the death of 16 people. Eleven others were declared missing with several homes torched and property destroyed. Suswam and Umar set up a 12-man committee, with six members each from Taraba and Benue states, including security personnel, to visit the affected homes and find lasting solution to the lingering crisis. A former member of the Benue State House of Assembly, who represented Kastina Ala East, Atoza Ihidan, is the chairman of the peace committee. At the meeting were soldiers from Katsina Ala and Takum. They are to share intelligence and make “friends” to monitor and comb suspected criminals terrorising the area. Suswam said the meeting was not to apportion blame on who is wrong or right but to

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi and Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo

broker peace among the displaced persons to ensure they return to their homes. He said: “Let us leave together as brothers and sisters. We are all farmers; we intermarry and share a lot of things. This crisis must stop now. Let us live together in harmony and share the little that is available in the land.” The governor noted that some criminals were responsible for the atrocity in the area. He said all hands must be on deck to track down the culprits. Suswam added: “If a criminal kills your ethnic brother, don’t go and kill an innocent

person. Instead, let us be more committed to fish out the criminal.” Umar said there was no basis for the crisis because the area was not developed. The acting governor gave the example of himself, saying he was born in Benue State and schooled there. He added that providence has made him acting governor of Taraba State. Umar said he was attending the peace meeting for the first time and that the conflict must stop. He stressed that he was not looking forward to attend another. A similar peace meeting was held at the same venue between Governors Suswam and Danbaba Suntai in 2007.

The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of St. Gerald’s Catholic Hospital, Mr John Sunday, confirmed that one of the policemen died shortly after he was brought to the hospital. Gunmen have been on the prowl in Kaduna villages since the beginning of the current insecurity in the North. They have attacked mainly southern Kaduna villages. The recent

Offa/Erin-Ile: You’re destined to live together, says Ahmed From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

K er.

WARA State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed yesterday said the two communities of Offa and Erin-Ile, in Offa and Oyun local government areas are destined to live togeth-

The governor urged the two communities to see their differences as sources of strength and not weakness. The government, on February 6, inaugurated the Justice Adeyinka Sikiru Oyinloye Judicial Commission of Enquiry on Erin-Ile/Offa communal crisis. The committee was to determine the immediate and remote causes of the crisis; the extent of damage to property and the number of casualties. It was also to proffer immediate and long-term measures to prevent future recurrence Ahmed spoke yesterday in Ilorin, the state capital, when he received the report of the commission of enquiry.

Envoy advises Fed Govt Boko Haram


HE Irish High Commissioner in Nigeria, Mr. Patrick Fay, yesterday said the Federal Government should be wary of criminal elements who would emerge and

Funeral for Olori Alawode


HE Oke Alawode and Popoola families of Gbongan, Osun State, have announced the passing on of their mother, grandmother, Olori Comfort Aduke Taiwo Alawode (nee Popoola). The late Olori Alawode died on February 8. She was 90. A funeral and thanksgiving service will hold tomorrow at St. David’s Anglican Church, Akiriboto (2), Agboja, near Gbongan, Osun State. Interment will hold at her

home after the church service and a reception will follow immediately at St. David Anglican Primary School, Akiriboto Agboja. She was a community leader, a devouted Christian, who accommodated many people. The deceased is survived by children, grandchildren and others, including Mrs. R. Alawode of Kasumu Estate, Zone C, Odo-Ona Elewe, Orita Challenge, Ibadan. Mrs. R. Alawode said Olori would be missed by all.

attack has been blamed on Fulani herdsmen. Though the Kaduna State Government, in the last one year, has banned the movement of motorcycles after 9pm, investigation showed that the ban has not been effectively obeyed. Commercial motorcycles are always seen carrying passengers from one point of the city to the other.

•The late Olori Alawode

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

settle scores with the government in the name of the Boko Haram sect. The envoy also said the government has much to learn from the Irish government on its experience with the Irish Republican Army (IRA), which fought the country for decades. Fay spoke in Kaduan when he visited the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF). The envoy said the ACF has all it takes to resolve the security problems in the North with its wide connections across the land. He said dialogue was key to solving the insecurity in the country, adding that the use of force would aggravate the problem. The envoy added that this is why the ACF leadership needs to be strong and courageous.



NEWS Lemu, Akinyemi, 24 others on Boko Haram panel Continued from page 2

Amb. T. Dan Hart; Amb. Ghali Umar; Amb. B. G. Wakil; Mr. Opelusi Olureti; Representative of Ministry of Interior; Representative of NSA; Representative of DG (SSS); Representative of NIA; Representative of Federal Minis-

try of Justice; Representative of Ministry of Defence; Representative of DIA; Representative of the Nigeria Police Force; Representative of the Nigerian Customs Service; Representative of OSGF; Director, International Organisations Dept (MFA) – Secretary.

‘Why new exco was inaugurated in Rivers’ Continued from page 2

•Lagos State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Kadiri Obafemi Hamzat (2nd right), answering questions from reporters on the activities of the Lagos State Government at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa...yesterday. With him are: Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Aderemi Ibirogba (right), Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Ganiyu Johnson (second left) and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Paul Bamigbose-Martins

Southsouth leaders condemn MEND over threat on Muslims Continued from page 2

handiworks of mischief makers hiding under the cover of some bogus and faceless groups that are known by many to be non-existent. “We may all recall media publications that the self – acclaimed leaders of the so called MEND both in Nigeria and abroad had repeatedly stated that the group is no more in existence. “They had even dissociated themselves from publications that tend to suggest any inactivity in that respect. “Following some reports which got to me, I recall alerting in publications in the electronic, print and social media that persons such as the present phony groups will try to use the name of non-existent

organisations to cause havoc and attempt to bring disaffection between the various groups in the country and to heat up the polity in order to make the country ungovernable. “In particular, I had warned that this will be done to tarnish and sour the very healthy and harmonious relationship existing between the people of the Southsouth and those from the other parts of the country. “The people of the southsouth are known to be peaceful, hospitable and accommodating. Even at the height of the agitations directed at environmental justice and equity over the years, people from other parts of the country enjoyed the best of hospitality and protection in that part of

the country. “It is therefore totally incongruent and ridiculous that some groups will try to fan the embers of ethnic disharmony aimed at scoring cheap political point against the people of the Southsouth. “I also want to enjoin Mr. President to continue with the good work which he has started regarding dialogue with our leaders, brothers and friends in the North in courageously tackling our security challenges. “It is good leadership in trying to bring all groups to dialogue and work towards peaceful resolution of any existing situation. Nigeria is the only home that we have and we must all work closely together for its peace and

progress. “Finally, let it be known that the alledged voice of MEND’s Jomo Gbomo no longer exists in Nigeria because there is no more MEND. Anyone parading or masquerading himself as Jomo Gbomo is not operating from Nigeria. “It may be the voice of a mischievous and an unpatriotic Nigerian operating from outside the country. Those who were using the name Jomo Gbomo are either in detention awaiting trial or already adjudged guilty and are serving their jail term. Therefore, appeal to all the ex-militant leaders and their followers not to allow themselves to be used, and should also ignore and openly condemn the so-called voice of Jomo Gbomo.”

World bids ‘Iron Lady’ Thatcher bye Continued from page 1

dignitaries from 170 countries were among the mourners at St. Paul’s Cathedral, where Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, spoke of the strong feelings the former prime minister still evoked, 23 years after leaving office. The cleric said: “The storm of conflicting opinions centers on the Mrs. Thatcher who became a symbolic figure — even an –ism. “Today the remains of the real Margaret Hilda Thatcher are here at her funeral service.” “There is an important place for debating policies and legacy ... but here and today is neither the time nor the place.” More than 700 soldiers, sailors and air force personnel lined the route taken by Thatcher’s coffin to the cathedral and around 4,000 police

officers were on duty. Security was stepped up after Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and wounded more than 170 others. Spectators lining the route broke into applause — and scattered boos — as the carriage passed by, escorted by young soldiers, sailors and airmen. Some clearly disagreed with the bishop’s exhortation to leave politics at home. Some staged silent protests by turning their backs on Thatcher’s coffin. One man held a banner declaring “Rest in shame”. Arguments also broke out in the crowd along the route between supporters and opponents of the late prime minister. Guests inside the cathedral included: Thatcher’s political

colleagues and rivals and her successors as prime minister — John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, and David Cameron. Former United States (U.S.) Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former Vice President Dick Cheney were among the American dignitaries. Figures from Thatcher’s era included: F.W. de Klerk, the last apartheid-era leader of South Africa; former Polish President Lech Walesa; ex-Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and entertainers, including “Dynasty” star Joan Collins, singer Shirley Bassey and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. The ceremony was traditional, dignified and very British. Mourners entered to music by British composers, including:

Edward Elgar and Ralph Vaughan Williams, and the service featured hymns and readings chosen by Thatcher, who grew up as a grocer’s daughter in a hard-working Methodist household. There was a passage from T.S. Eliot, a section of Gabriel Faure’s “Requiem” and the patriotic hymn - I Vow to Thee, My Country — also played at the 1997 funeral of Princess Diana. The late leader’s 19-year-old granddaughter, Amanda Thatcher, read a passage from Ephesians: “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.” It was a classic Thatcher image, capturing what people loved and loathed about a leader full of strength and certainty.

my son, or my daughter? “Those who are governors, are they not sons of some individuals? If they are not my daughters, are they from the tree? They are sons and daughters of some people. If he says he wants to be governor, I will clap for him.” He also spoke on the Boko Haram menace, describing the sect’s activities as evil that should be condemned by any well-meaning Nigerians.

“Boko Haram is a bad omen and they are bad. They are not Boko Haram, they are evil. That is what I can say. “How can you justify the bombing of mosques and churches; bombing of a market places; bombing of motor parks; bombing of people along the streets; bombing of police stations; and bombing of barracks; bombing of banks and all that. What I can say is, ‘let good confront the evil’.”

Rivers council chiefs allege emergency rule plot Continued from page 2

the backing of President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Dame Patience. The representative of Rivers East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator George Thompson Sekibo, is being positioned by the “Abuja forces” to succeed Amaechi in 2015. Wike is eyeing Sekibo’s seat, thereby foreclosing the senatorial ambition of the incumbent governor. The council chairmen said: “There is a calculated and orchestrated plan by a group of individuals to cause a breakdown of law and order in Rivers State, aimed at creating an environment to warrant the declaration of state of emergency and illegally remove the duly-elected Governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. “The clinical implementation of the plot did commence with the several failed attempts to remove the governor as the chairman of NGF, contrary to the will and aspirations, as expressly indicated by majority of members of the forum. “In perfection of this plan by these disgruntled elements, Rivers State has been victimised, deprived, denied and alienated by the government at the centre of its resources and due benefits, such as ceding unlawfully the oil wells of Rivers State to Bayelsa and refusal to develop or repair federal infrastructure in Rivers State, among others. “The climax of the grand plot was executed through the sack of the duly-elected PDP Rivers State executive council and the illegal swearing in of a group that never contested elections,

as the new executive members, relying on an Abuja High Court judgment. “As the third tier of government and leaders of our great party in the local government areas, we shall not accept or condone any illegal executive council to be foisted upon us. “We took part and led delegates, who duly voted for and elected the Chief Godspower Ake-led executive council of PDP in Rivers State, whose election had earlier been validated by a High court judgment in Rivers State. “We shall not support, recognise or do any business with any other state executive council of the PDP, except the one duly elected by us and the accredited delegates from our various local government areas. The unfortunate decision of the Abuja High Court is a ‘bad luck’ to democracy in Rivers state and Nigeria.” The council chairmen said the “indefensible” judgment had already been contested at the Court of Appeal, stressing that the earlier verdict that confirmed the Ake-led executive council as the legitimate and duly-elected state executive council of PDP was still in force. Obuah headed for the Abuja High Court to challenge the emergence of Ake, alleging that his (Ake’s) election and those of the other members of his executive were not democratically conducted. In his ruling, Justice Bello declared that his court had jurisdiction over the matter and adopted the affidavit of the chairman of the PDP, Edo State chapter, Dan Orbih, who stated that the results being paraded by Ake did not emanate from the congress he supervised in Rivers State.

ACN fears traffic chaos as Jonathan visits Lagos today Continued from page 1

The other request is for the President to postpone his visit in order not to create a traffic chaos. The ACN has scheduled his National Convention to hold at Onikan Stadium, one of the presidential routes leading to Victoria Island. Presidential routes are usually shut against public transportation anywhere the President visits.

The ACN’s requests were contained in a letter written by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to Governor Babatunde Fashola on the President’s visit. In the letter, the ACN spokesman said the President’s visit usually creates heavy traffic and grounds movement. Combined with the convention, Mohammed noted that the traffic situation would be

unimaginable, should the President travel by road. But presidential spokesman Dr. Reuben Abati accused the party of crying wolf where there was none. He said the President would only be transiting through Lagos, en route Ogun State. According to Mohammed, the convention was to get the party’s mandate to merge with other political parties to form the All Progressives

Congress (APC) in line with the Electoral Act 2010. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), he said, would be represented at the convention where the merger plan and the new party’s name would be ratified. Mohammed, who spoke while accrediting reporters for the coverage of the convention, explained the motive behind the party’s requests through the governor

of Lagos state governor. He said: “We have been compelled to write a letter to the Lagos State governor asking him to please prevail on the President to reschedule his visit. “But if his visit must go on, he should use another means of transportation such as the helicopter so that the whole town is not locked up. “Anytime Mr President is coming to Lagos, our roads are closed, and traffic conges-

tion is at its highest. The whole city is shut down for the entire day. “You can imagine when we’re expecting about 10,000 people from different parts of Nigeria to our convention, all heading for the same place. It’s going to be chaos. “So, we’re appealing to Mr President, through the Governor, to please reconsider his visit. “And if he must come, he Continued on page 62



CITYBEATS Mid-day rain pounds Lagos ‘Motorists had a hectic time wading R through the flood. AIN pounded some parts of Lagos again yesterday, leaving a tale of woes. Some roads were flooded and commuters stranded. The rain resumed about noon after stopping six hours earlier. It rained all-night in some communities. Motorists had a hectic time wading through the flood. Some vehicles got stuck. Area boys made brisk business pushing those vehicles. Many commuters were stranded endlessly at bus stops. Parts of Ogba, Ojodu-Berger, Ikeja, Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway and Oshodi were flooded. It was cloudy in Mushin, ApapaOshodi Expressway, Gbagada and Oworonsoki were cloudy. Traders hurriedly packed their wares and shut their shops. A trader, Mrs Basirat Muhammed, who deals in gift items at Agege Market near Isokoko Police Station, said the rain "spoilt business for the day". "Since the rain began, I have had to

CITYBEATS LINE: 07059022999

Some vehicles got stuck. Area boys made brisk business pushing those vehicles’ By Yinka Aderibigbe

pack my wares and even if the rain stops now, it will be difficult to bring my wares out for display again," she said. Mr Emmanuel Akindele, who works in a manufacturing company at Ikeja, said his problem was how to return home, especially the situation he would meet his flood-prone apartment. Akindele, who lives at Aboru, a Lagos suburb, said the Aboru terrain was water-logged.

•Vehicles trapped in flood during the downpour at Ojodu-Berger ... yesterday

Speaker urges council chiefs to work hard

Court orders release of 71-year-old woman's passport


Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday ordered the Commissioner of Police, Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Ikoyi, Mr Tunde Ogunsakin, to release the International Passport of a bed-ridden 71-year-old woman. Mrs Clara Oye Otoki was arrested over a family dispute involving her elder brother's company - Nojovo Farms and Fisheries Limited - where she is a director. The company is owned by the late Chief Babasola Rhodes (SAN). In an affidavit in support of her application, Mrs Otoki said she had been on sick bed for six months, adding that she is unable to walk and is having excruciating pains across her back, pelvis, thigh bones and muscles. The pains, she said, arose from the "complete destruction of the head of the right femur and the acetabulum." The applicant said she underwent surgery in the United Kingdom in 1993 and 1995, adding that her ailment was aggravated when she was asked "to report every now and then" to SFU. Following a relapse of her condition, she said she was recommended for another surgery in the


By Joseph Jibueze

United States. She is unable to embark on the journey "because of the forceful seizure and continuous retention of her International Passport by the respondents, she said." She sought a declaration that the forceful seizure of her passport and its retention since July 6, last year by SFU without court order is a gross violation of her right to freedom of movement. Mrs Otoki urged the court to hold that the police’s seizure of her passport, despite her release on bail to a responsible surety, violates her rights. The woman said the development "prevents her from obtaining appropriate medical attention abroad" and has endangered her life. She said the rights are guaranteed under Section 33 and 41 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). The applicant prayed for a mandatory injunction directing the respondents to release the passport to her forthwith. Her lawyer, Oviemuno Obobolo, referred to a Supreme Court case of "Director of SSS vs. Agbakoba," where it was held that the right to freedom of movement includes the right to hold a passport.


Justice Mohammed Yinusa ruled that the application has merit. "After considering all the issues raised by learned counsel for the applicant, the evidence in support and other exhibits, it is my considered opinion that there is evidence that the right of the applicant has been, is being and is likely to be further infringed upon. The application has merit. The reliefs sought by the applicant are hereby granted as prayed," Justice Yinusa said. Other respondents in the suit are the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), Mr Osong Ekpo and Mr Dauda Olanipekun.

•L-R: Technical Coordinator, State Partnership for Accountability, Responsibility and Capability (SPARC), Mr Austin Ndiokwedu; State Team Leader, State Accountability and Voice Initiative (SAVI), Mr Felix Obannbi and Regional Coordinator, Southwest DFID, Dr Adesina Fagbenro-Bryron, during the workshop on Understanding Legislative Processes and enganging the Lagos State 2014 Budget ... in Lagos yesterday. PHOTO: DAYO ADEWUNMI

HE Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly (LSHA), Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji yesterday urged council chairmen to live up to people's expectations because they hold offices in trust for them. Speaking at the commissioning of the Abiodun Sunmola Administrative Block in the Agboyi-Ketu Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Ikuforiji said government places emphasis on probity and would reward those who are outstanding in the discharge of their duties. "We will continue to investigate chairmen and whosoever that is found wanting shall be dealt with. Those who perform will be commended," he said. Commending the Agboyi-Ketu council chair, Hon. Obafemi Durosimi for the efforts so far, the Speaker said: "You have done well, I pray that God continue to show you the way in your services to the people."

By Musa Odoshimokhe

Reacting, Durosimi said: "I feel deeply humbled and grateful for people's support for this administration. I welcome you all to the official commissioning of the new administrative block which comprises six office rooms, Marriage Registry and the Customary Court. "Let me appreciate Governor Babatunde Fashola for his purposeful leadership towards the attainment of the Mega City which as provided the ample example for us to work harder." Durosimi, who also presented the council's new budget, expressed satisfaction with the conduct of administration in term of budget implementation in the past year and said the current budget would be implemented maximally. The budget tagged, "Budget of Inspiration" will spend N2.1 billion in the year. Out of the amount, capital expenditure will gulp 37.1 per cent while recurrent expenditure takes 62.9

'My Pikin' case stalled again


HE trial of a company, Barewa Pharmaceutical Company Limited and others charged with the production of an alleged killer teething syrup, 'My Pikin', was stalled again yesterday. The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) charged the accused before the Federal High Court, Lagos. The case could not go on because Justice Okechukwu Okeke was said to be away on official assignment. The case was also stalled on Monday for the same reason. Barewa Pharmaceutical, its Chief Executive Officer, the late Gbadegeshin Okunlola and two workews Adeyemo Abiodun and Egbele Eromosele have been facing trial since March 8, 2009. The name of Okunlola, 58, a pharmacist, who died on October 27, last year, has been struck out. The defendants were re-arraigned on January 7 following the amendment of the charge; they pleaded not guilty and were granted bail. The teething syrup was alleged to have killed over 80 children. The offences contravene Section 1 (a) of the Counterfeit and Fake Drugs, (Miscellaneous provisions) Act No. 25 of 1999.

By Joseph Jibueze

The court has since turned down the manufacturer's request to strike out its name from the charge. The company's lawyer, Mr Osaro Eghobamien, prayed the court to strike out its name following Okunlola's death. He also asked the court to strike out the name the prosecution sought to replace that of the late Okunlola’s with, arguing that nobody should be made to stand trial in place of the deceased. The counsel noted that though the company was a legal entity, the director who was primarily responsible for the offence was now dead. Eghobamien submitted that Okunlola’s death should ordinarily have brought the case to an end. According to him, it would amount to malicious prosecution to attempt to substitute the name of the dead CEO with that of another director. He said since the offence for which the deceased was charged clearly touched on mens rea (intention), it suffices that only the deceased could answer for it. Rejecting the argument, Justice Okeke said such argument could not be made at this stage of the proceedings, when no body had been produced to replace the deceased. The trial is expected to continue today.




CITYBEATS LINE: 07059022999

Septuagenarian, others charged with A septuagenarian, Suraju Saliu, and 'assault, theft' six others, were yesterday arraigned

Fashola's wife prays for kidnapped council chair • We won’t rest until he’s rescued, says police chief By Yinka Aderibigbe


T was prayer time at the home of Ejibo Local Council Developent Area (LCDA) chair Kehinde Bamigbetan when Dame Abimbola Fashola, wife of Lagos State Governor came calling yesterday. Mrs Fashola was there to commiserate with Mrs Fatimah Bamigbetan whose husband was kidnapped on Monday night. Their home at 21, Ona Iwa Mimo Street, Ejigbo remained a beehive yesterday, some 72 hours after Bamigbetan's kidnap. Mrs Fashola led a fervent prayer session in Bamigbetan's sitting room, praying for God's intervention and the safety of the embattled chairman. The governor's wife, who led other

•Mrs Fashola


wives of public office holders on the visit, had soothing words for Mrs Bamigbetan. She advised her to relax as everything was being done to track down her husband’s abductors. She said: "I would want to advise you to take things easy; stop thinking of the travails of your husband; have the assurances of the governor that everything would be done to track down all those behind his ordeal and your husband shall return home safely."

Mrs Fashola expressed shock at the development, saying everything would be done to fish out the kidnappers and bring them to justice. Also yesterday, Police Commissioner Umar Manko restated the commitment of the state Police Command to ensuring that the abductors don’t go scot-free, assuring that his men would have no rest until they rescue Bamigbetan alive. “We will no rest until the council chairman is resued from his abductors,” he said.

before an Ikeja Magistrate’s Court for allegedly assaulting some surveyors working for the Lagos State government. They were also alleged to have stolen N235,000 belonging to Asha Gideon and company. The others are: Samuel Babatunde, 61; Iyayi Saula, 60; Bolanle Ebun, 38; Oriyomi Omishonde, 33; Mohammed Ayuba, 32, and Yetunde Samuel, 32. They are facing a three-count charge of conspiracy, assault and stealing before Magistrate A.O Akinde. The defendants were said to have assaulted the surveyors in Idasho Village in the Ibeju Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos State. Prosecuting police Inspector Samson Ekikere said the defendants committed the offence on April 12,

By Adebisi Onanuga

about 11am, adding that they unlawfully conspired to commit felony and conducted themselves in a manner likely to breach the peace. He alleged that they stole the surveyors properties, which included Ashtec Promark 120 valued at N150,000; Bipod, N60,000; Antenna and Cable, N15,000 and CPS holder and Touch Pen, N10,000, all belonging to Asha GIdeon and Company. He said the offence was punishable under Sections 410,409 and 285 (1) Criminal Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria 2011. The defendants, pleaded not guilty. Magistrate Akinde granted them N20,00 bail each with two sureties in the like sum. She adjourned the matter till May, 20 for mention

First Bank moves to empower youths FIRST Bank of Nigeria Plc has treated university students to a culture of self- discovery and empowerment amid fun. Tagged ‘First Bank Youth Excel Series’, the one-day event was organised by Peculiar People Management (PPM), a consultancy firm. At the maiden event, which took place at the University of Lagos and Ibadan, students received lectures on career building for their future. Popular motivational speaker and singer, Wille Jolley, challenged the students on self-empowerment as part of efforts to make them contribute greatly to the nation. He taught students how to achieve and exceed their goals in

life. The same goes for the event that took place at the main auditorium of the University of Lagos. Both auditoriums were filled to capacity, indicating the students' interest in the programme. The highlight of the programme was the music with jokes by famous comedian David Adeleke a.k.a Davido. Managing Director/Consultant, PPM, Ghandi Olaoye, said the programme was organised to empower the youth and make them achieve their dreams, and to showcase First Bank as a leading and pioneering institution with a strong passion to influence, impact and empower the youth.

FRSC steps up road safety campaign

•R-L: Mr. Funso Ologunde, Mrs Folashade Durosimi, Durosimi and Ikuforiji ... yesterday

per cent. He stated that the major current programmes include Primary Health-

care Reforms, Education Support Services for Primary Schools, Infrastructural Renewal, Environ-

mental Management and the Greening and Beautification of the council area.

Expectant woman 'burns husband to death' •No, candle light caused it, she says


HE Lagos State Police Command has arrested a pregnant woman, Esther Peters, for allegedly setting her husband, Anayo Kenneth Peters, ablaze. It was learnt that the incident occurred at their residence at Ijedemo Village, Isheri Osun, a Lagos suburb. Police sources said the woman allegedly had a fight with her late husband on Monday night and when the deceased went to bed, she set him ablaze. The Nation gathered that officers from Isheri Police Station responded to a distress call and intercepted the pregnant woman while trying to escape. The suspect denied setting her husband ablaze but neighbours insisted she was always fighting with her late husband before the sad incident happened.

By Jude Isiguzo

Deputy Police spokesman, Mr. Damasus Ozoani, confirmed that she

•Lagos Police chief Umar Manko

had been arrested while the husband's body has also been deposited in the mortuary, pending the conclusion of police investigations. Ozoani said, "The police at Isheri Osun got a report that a woman at Ijedemo Village had set her husband ablaze. When our men got there, they saw the woman trying to escape. They saw the man burnt to death. "Immediately, the police arrested the woman and took the body of the man to Yaba General Hospital. The woman alleged that it was the candle light they left in the house that sent the man to an early grave, but neighbours said the man had a quarrel with the wife a day before the incident. We are investigating the matter. The woman will be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba for discrete investigation."

Community appeals to Amaechi over kidnap victim


WO months after their son, Mr. Joseph Sokolo, a businessman, was kidnapped, the people of Abua in Abua/Odual Local Government Area of Rivers State want the state government to ensure his release. Sokolo was abducted two months ago on his way to his hometown. President, Edouh Abuan Development Association (EADA), Dr. Ela George, who spoke on behalf of the community, said

From Precious Dikewoha, Port Harcourt

the Abua people were no longer comfortable with the continued hostage of the businessman. He said EADA, as the voice of Abua community, had constituted a committee to visit Governor Rotimi Amaechi over the matter. Ela said: "After several efforts made

by the community to ensure the freedom of our brother, we in EADA have decided to meet with the governor and brief him on our predicament over the abduction of Mr. Joseph Sokolo. "His continued stay in the hands of his abductors is dangerous to his health; that is why we want the governor to do something fast to see if he could regain his freedom."

MORE than 4.5 million traffic offenders have been captured in the database of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) nationwide, its Lagos State Sector Commander, Nseobong Akpabio, has revealed. Akpabio disclosed it at the flag-off of the yearly Road Safety Awareness Training for fleet and safety managers of manufacturing and corporate companies running a fleet of more than five vehicles at the Commission's headquarters in Lagos. "All these European countries send to us to confirm a driver's licence of Nigerians and they are always surprised at the level of our technology. The Australian High Commission was here and they confessed we run a better system than the one in operation in their country. In Africa we are the best, we have a data base of traffic offenders nationwide and as at December 2012, there are more than 4.5 million names

By Seun Akioye

on our data bank," he said. In a lecture entitled: "Meet Federal Road Safety Corps", Akpabio said: "In the last 25 years, we have recorded 82 percent reduction in reported road crashes because of the measures we have put in place towards ensure that road users obey traffic rules. Also, we have a quarterly free vehicle safety checks; in the last quarter, over 3.5 million vehicles were checked. Those found to have defaulted were not booked but asked to repair whatever was wrong. I urge all vehicle owners to take advantage of this offer," he said. "You are responsible for the safety of vehicles. If you notice that a tyre is bad or a driver is complaining of fatigue, it is your responsibility to rectify that situation as you will be liable for what happens afterward," Akpabio said.

RCCG, others partner to lift youths THE third edition of the Lagos Shift Initiative being co-sponsored by the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), TOTAL Upstream Oil and AFREN Oil, which began on Monday, will run till April 27 at Okota Youth Centre, Cele, Lagos, it was learnt yesterday. The Convener of the initiative, Charle Kpandei, told The Nation that the initiative with the theme, Creativity Uncensored, would bring together 10, 000 youths to display their talents in comedy, music and

By Adeola Ogunlade

dance simultaneously in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja. Kpandie said the talent hunt was to harness the immerse potential of young people. "It is not the quality of endowment that matters, it is how it is explored to help them get to where they want to get through in life", he said. Winners of the talent hunt competition, he said, would meet for the final stage on May 1 at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS).

Police warn derelict vehicles’ owners THE Ogun State Police Command has warned owners of abandoned vehicles at Owode-Egbado/Ogere Divisions and Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), to remove them or lose them to the public within 14 days. They are: Mazda 626 marked Al399JGB; Mitsubishi, DQ481EKY; Mitsubishi, SH613KJA; Volvo 440, CH530JJJ; Mazda 323, EX502AAA; Mitsubishi Sigma, MB165AAA; Golf car, MX782AAA; Toyota Carina, FK29KJA; Nissan Primera, BZ595KSF; Mazda 626, EW627APP; Honda Accord, FK91KJA; Nissan Sunn,y BV325LSD; Toyota Corolla, AG301FFF; Toyota Hiace bus, XW766AAA; Toyota Sienna bus,

EX451APP; Toyota Condour Jeep DY927SMK, and Golf Station Wagon DM798APP. Others are: Peugeot 505 car AP587AKD; Nissan bus XA754REE; Toyota Pannel van AE777AAB; Toyota Carina E (unregistered); Boxer Bajaj (unregistered); nine burnt motorcycles; LIFAN motorcycle, QD976TTD; Bajaj, QP775EKY; TVS motorcycle, QR538SMK; blue Kymco motorcycle, QL527EKY; blue Kymco motorcyle, QG762EKY; Peugeot OS605A-01, Mercedez Benz Parker, XF654LSR; Toyota Avalon LSD753AL and a Vanagon XQ177MUS. At the Surulere Command, Lagos, is a Passat, BW106MUS



FOREIGN NEWS Zimbabwe withdraws U.N. election funding request


IMBABWE has withdrawn a request for money from the United Nations to fund elections expected this year after refusing to accept its conditions, including over media reforms and security issues, a minister from President Robert Mugabe’s party said. The comments, which came days after Finance Minister Tendai Biti said Zimbabwe could not afford to fund the vote, could undermine the credibility of the polls in the country which has a history of election violence. The U.N. assistance was expected to be about $132 million. Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa told the stateowned Herald newspaper that the United Nations wanted to interfere in local politics by attaching conditions to funding. “We remain alert to any attempts to manipulate, infiltrate and interfere with our internal processes and we are happy we have parted ways with them,” he said. “The U.N. avenue for sourcing resources for the election is now closed.” The president’s rivals say he has used the security forces to crack down on the opposition, including breaking up their meetings. The U.N. chief representative in Harare, Alain Noudehou, said the U.N. conditions followed standard guidelines. Western countries want to place observers in the southern African country for the election in an attempt to help prevent a recurrence of the 2008 violence when hundreds of thousands fled across the border with South Africa seeking safety. Zimbabwe’s economy has been on the mend since Mugabe and Tsvangirai agreed to share power but is still suffering a hangover from a decade-long recession. Finance Minister Biti, a member of the Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change, has sought foreign funding for the elections which have an initial budget of $132 million, saying the state’s coffers were near empty.

Security raised at Norway party convention


Letter to President Obama tests positive for poison


HE FBI has confirmed that preliminary tests on a letter addressed to President Barack Obama indicate that it contained poisonous ricin. The U.S. Secret Service intercepted the letter Tuesday and said it contained a “suspicious substance.” A law enforcement official said the letter is very similar to one recently mailed to Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker. That letter tested positive Tuesday for poisonous ricin. The official requested anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation. In a separate incident, parts of two

Senate office buildings were evacuated Wednesday afternoon. There was no immediate word on why the evacuations took place. The letters were received at separate facilities that sort mail addressed to the White House and Capitol Hill. The mail facilities are not located on the main White House and Capitol Hill complexes. Word of the suspicious letters comes amid already heightened tensions in Washington and across the country since the deadly bombings on Monday at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured more than 170. Law enforcement officials haven’t said whether they believe the letters are related in any

Egypt’s Mubarak ordered back to prison



way to the Boston bombings. Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said the letter to Obama was intercepted Tuesday, the same day congressional officials alerted the public to the letter sent to Wicker. Secret Service is working with the FBI, as well as U.S. Capitol Police, on the investigation, Donovan said.

•People stand outside of their office buildings following an earthquake tremor in Karachi yesterday. An 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck Iran on Tuesday with tremors felt across Pakistan. PHOTO:REUTERS

ORWAY’S governing Labor Party has tightened security at its first convention since a farright extremist who railed against the party’s immigration policies killed 77 people in a bombing and shooting massacre. Labor officials cited an “overall assessment” of the situation in Norway, but wouldn’t say whether the raised security level was linked to Anders Behring Breivik’s attacks on July 22, 2011, or the explosions at the Boston Marathon this week. The four-day convention starts Thursday with Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg leading a memorial service for the victims of Breivik’s violence. The anti-Muslim fanatic detonated a bomb that killed eight in Oslo before killing 69 people, mostly teenagers, at the Labor Party’s youth summer camp. He’s serving a 21-year sentence that can be extended for as long as he’s considered dangerous.

New Zealand legalises same-sex marriage


EW Zealand’s parliament has legalised same-sex marriage, the first country in the AsiaPacific region to do so. Lawmakers approved the bill, amending the 1955 marriage act, despite opposition from Christian lobby groups. The bill was passed with a wide majority of 77 votes in favour and 44 against. Hundreds of jubilant gay-rights advocates celebrated outside parliament after the bill was passed, calling it a milestone for equality. People watching from the public gallery and some lawmakers immediately broke into song, singing the New Zealand love song “Pokarekare Ana”, AP news agency reported. Some opinion polls have sug-

gested that about two-thirds of New Zealanders support the reform, although others polls suggest the public are more divided. Parliamentarians were allowed a conscience vote, and, crucially, the reform had the backing of both the Prime Minister John Key and leader of the opposition David Shearer, the BBC’s Phil Mercer in Sydney reports. Celebrations have been held in pubs and clubs in the capital Wellington, our correspondent adds. Same-sex civil unions have been legal in New Zealand since 2005. “In our society, the meaning of marriage is universal - it’s a declaration of love and commitment to a special person,” Labour MP Louisa Wall, who introduced the legislation, said. “I am so happy, not only because

I can now marry the person I love, but because New Zealand has moved a step further towards gay and lesbian people becoming completely equal with the rest of our society.” Tania Bermudez and Sonja Fray, a same-sex couple, said the bill was about human rights. “It means that we can actually call each other wife,” Ms Fray said. However, Conservative Party leader Colin Craig said there were many people who disagreed with the bill. Bob McCoskrie, founder of the lobby group Family First, said the bill undermined the traditional concept of marriage. “Historically and culturally, marriage is about man and a woman, and it shouldn’t be touched,” he said.

Venezuela: Opposition calls off rally


ORMER Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been ordered back to prison from military hospital. Mr Mubarak’s retrial will open on 11 May, a Cairo appeals court says. He is charged alongside his former interior minister and six former security chiefs with complicity in the murder and attempted murder of hundreds of protesters in January 2011. The retrial was meant to begin on 13 April but collapsed when the presiding judge withdrew from the case. AFP news agency quotes judicial sources as saying that Judge Mahmud al-Rashidi will preside over the case at the North Cairo Criminal Court. Mr Mubarak will also face corruption charges, along with his sons, Alaa and Gamal, and businessman Hussein Salem.

ENEZUELA’S opposition leader Henrique Capriles has called off a rally to demand a recount of Sunday’s disputed presidential election. Rival Nicolas Maduro was declared to have won the poll, and earlier said he would not allow the opposition rally. He accused the opposition of trying to stage a coup after clashes on Monday left seven people dead. Mr Capriles said the government was responsible for the violence as it sought to avoid a recount. He had called for a march on the National Electoral Council in the capital, Caracas, on Wednesday, and for peaceful protests around the country. “We are ready to open a dialogue with the government so that the crisis can be ended in the coming hours,” he said later, calling off the rally. He

claimed that Mr Maduro’s supporters were planning to infiltrate the march. Mr Capriles had previously said he would not accept the election results until all votes were counted again, and called Mr Maduro “illegitimate”. On Tuesday, there were sporadic clashes between police and opposition members in several provincial cities, and protesters set up some roadblocks in Caracas. Mr Maduro said the government would not be blackmailed, and he called on Venezuelans to remain peaceful. “This is the responsibility of those who have called for violence, who have ignored the constitution and the institutions,” he said in a televised speech to the nation. “Their plan is a coup d’etat,” he added, while calling his own supporters into the streets.

“If they want to overthrow me, come get me. With the people and the armed forces, I am here.” Police clash with protesters in Caracas, 15 April 2013 Dozens were injured in clashes between police and protesters on Monday Mr Maduro and other senior officials labelled Mr Capriles and his supporters “fascists”. Attorney General Luisa Ortega said clashes between protesters and police on Monday had left seven people dead, with more than 60 injured and 139 arrested. She said some offices had been set on fire and public property destroyed. State media reported that two of those killed were shot while celebrating Mr Maduro’s victory in Caracas, one died in a government-run clinic in a central state, and two others were killed in an Andean border state.

ICJ settles Niger-Burkina Faso border


HE International Court of Justice (ICJ) has settled a decades-old border dispute between the West African nations of Niger and Burkina Faso. The two countries turned to the ICJ to settle disagreements dating back as far as 1927, under French colonial rule. The Hague court demarcated territory covering an area of 380km, over half the length of the border. Representatives from both governments expressed satisfaction with the ICJ ruling. For decades, the two countries had tried to solve the issue themselves by setting up a joint technical commission. In 2006, leaders met in the border regions to try to dissipate tensions caused by incursions of security forces and customs officials on either side of the frontier. They eventually filed a joint suit with the ICJ in July 2010, promising to abide by the court’s final decision. ICJ President Peter Tomka said the judges were guided by a 1927 ruling issued by the governorgeneral of French West Africa and a map published by a French government agency in 1960. The court asked both countries to consider the needs of the nomadic population, who reside in the north of the disputed territory, when laying down the border.






Lagos set to unveil Adopt-A-Talent stars

Keshi: I know my players


UPER Eagles’ coach Stephen Keshi has said he knows his players and the players know him, and there is a good relationship between both parties. Keshi said he talks regularly with his players and expects that any issue bothering the minds of the players are privately resolved on telephone in cases of distance barrier. Joseph Yobo, the team’s captain at the 2013 African Cup of Nations tournament lashed out at Keshi for not calling him up or informing him that would not be part of his plans for the 1 – 1 draw against Kenya in the recent 2014 World Cup qualifying game In Calabar. Keshi has subsequently omitted the Fenerbahce defender from Super Eagles’ busy schedule between the month of May and July. It means Yobo will miss out on the FIFA Confederations

Cup in Brazil. But Keshi has now said he knows his players and his players know him, so any player who goes public for issues that would have been resolved privately, that player is not his player. -I spoke with Keshi and he told me that he communicates with his players very often, and they talk on so many things, a close source told -If the players have any issues they discuss it with him, and they resolve it privately. -But if any player goes to the public over any issue, then that player is not his player. Keshi feels there was nothing wrong in omitting Yobo, pointing out that he has a flourishing central defensive partnership in Kenneth Omeruo and Godfrey Oboabona and saw no need to call up Yobo only to keep him on the bench.




Baby Elephants shock Eaglets 1-0 A

NDERSON Niangbo scored a late goal to condemn Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets to a shock 10 defeat against Côte d'Ivoire in their second group match of the CAF Under-17 Championship. Despite dominating the

game, the Nigerian youngsters failed to crack a sturdy Ivorian backline and were made to reflect on the cruelty of football when their opponents took advantage of a double error to produce a goal out of nothing. As the seconds ticked away,

Nigeria poured men up-front in search of a winning goal. With one attack repelled, Côte d'Ivoire launched a long, hopeful punt forward. Nigeria’s goalkeeper, Adewale totally misjudged the ensuing cross, and Ahissan held up the ball

before laying it onto the path of Niangbo to drill in. It is the Eaglets’ first loss in both competitive and friendly games, and this means they have to wait until their final group match against Congo on April 20 to seek qualification.


Emenogu gets Eze-Ndi-Igbo’s royal blessing


ORLD Boxing Organization ( W B O ) International light middleweight champion, King Davidson Emenogu has received the royal backing of Eze Hyacinth Ohazulike (OON) the Eze Ndi Igbo of Lagos, for his World title defence slated for May 31 in Abuja. The boxer paid the royal father a courtesy visit on Monday at his Agege palace in Lagos, presenting his five

world title belts, and seeking the support of the monarch for the world title bout. According to the Eze, King Davidsoan’s achievement is worthy of emulation, and the Igbo community would give him their support for the bout. He, however, assured the double champion of his tremendous support during the fight next month in Nigeria. He said: “You have made Nigeria and the entire Igbo race proud by your

achievements outside Nigeria. I must confess that I am highly impressed; the Igbo race is solidly behind you. When Dick Tiger defended his title I was there, when Obisia Nwampa defended his own I was equally there. Let me assure you again, I will be in Abuja for the fight. “Not only that, I will also be there with nothing less than 50 Igbo people to support you. By so doing, you have received my blessing, and I am telling

you that I will do everything within my power to make the fight a success.” Emenogu is the current WBO International Light middleweight champion, Australian Light middleweight champion, WBO Africa light middleweight champion, Pan Asia Boxing Association (PABA) light middleweight champion and IBF Pan Pacific light middleweight champion.

HE Lagos State Government will soon unveil athletes that have been recommended for adoption by the management of Adopt-A-Talent Sports Programme. The programme that started three years ago with series of screening, camping and training of 287 athletes, most of whom registered online in sports such as Athletics, Basketball, Boxing, Football, Gymnastics, Judo, Karate, Swimming, Table Tennis and Volleyball. With seasoned coaches handling these sports, it has now produced 39 athletes for adoption. These athletes will be unveiled at a well attended ceremony by Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola any time from now. The Adopt-A-Talent Programme is the initiative of His Excellency, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola to train and become elite athletes within shortest possible time, using scientific approach for extraordinary and exceptional gifted athletes based in Lagos. The forerunner sports of the programme are six: Soccer, Table Tennis, Athletics, Volleyball, Basketball and Boxing. Due to expected positive result of these six sports within a year of the programme, Governor Fashola further granted approval for additional four more sports. These are Swimming, Karate, Gymnastics and Judo. The breakdown of the adopted athletes to be unveiled shows 7 athletes in Athletics, 4 in Basketball, 3 in Boxing, 5 in Football, 3 in Gymnastics, 3 in Judo, 2 in Karate, 5 in Swimming, 5 in Table Tennis and 2 in Volleyball. In 2010 Governor Fashola in a moment of inspiration came up with a plan to marry sports and education, targeting the pool of abundant talents that are based in Lagos State. He directed the Office of the Senior Special Assistant on Grassroots Sports Development to the Governor, to put flesh to it, a challenge that was eagerly taken up and has been painstakingly executed. To kick start the process, much public

Former chief coach urges AFN to strengthen talent discovery, grooming

Chelsea drubs Fulham 3-0 A C HELSEA moved up to third in the table after a comfortable derby win at Fulham. John Terry's headed brace, coupled with a David Luiz wonder-strike, earned the Blues

bragging rights with victory at Craven Cottage. It could have been different if Bryan Ruiz hadn't wasted a good chance to give the hosts the lead inside two minutes when he blazed Sascha Riether's cross over

the bar from four yards. Giorgos Karagounis' rocket flew just over, while John Arne Riise shot tamely at Petr Cech as the home side made most of the early running. However, the Blues took the

lead in stunning fashion on the half-hour mark. Luiz picked the ball up just inside the Fulham half before unleashing an unstoppable 35yard drive into the top corner that gave Mark Schwarzer no chance. Chelsea had Cech to thank for keeping their lead intact when he dive down low to his left to keep out Urby Emanuelson's effort. But the Blues doubled their lead three minutes before the break. Juan Mata sent in a teasing cross from the right, and Terry ghosted in between Riether and Philippe Senderos to nod the ball into the net from close range. Fulham were left with a mountain to climb, but they should've pulled a goal back midway through the second half through Senderos, only for Petric to divert the ball over the bar from a yard out. It was all over moments later when Terry got his second of the game, heading Fernando Torres' goal-bound effort over the line to put Chelsea out of sight.

awareness through fliers, letters to college authorities, print and electronic media and personal contacts were undertaken. A web site,, the first in the country on Grassroots Sports Development, was also created for easy access to necessary information by eager enthusiasts, spotters, coaches, parents and students alike. Parties were invited to recommend exceptionally gifted boys and girls for the programme and forward details on forms available online and downloaded and submitted in the Office of Grassroots Development. The forms were collated and about 287 of the athletes were made to undergo medical and physical screening and then taken through their places in the different sports. In the three years since the inception of the programme, a total of three screening exercises involving over 450 students have been undertaken to ensure wider participation with a total of 32 coaches comprising ten highly experienced coaches with a good track record in youth development, supported by two assistants for each of the 10 sports were recruited to develop the 170 youths invited for the programme. The process of nurturing them involved vacation camps, twice weekly training sessionsweekend only to enable the athletes attend schools regularly, monitoring during competitions, counseling, intervention in their education and kitting. The results so far have been most encouraging thus justifying the efforts and resources committed. Outstanding successes have been recorded particularly in individual sports as seen in Lagos State Sports Festival, the last Eko 2012 National Sports Festival, the 2013 African Junior Athletics Championship in Warri, Delta States and some other recognised competitions. Having handled these youngsters for three years now 39 of them have been highly recommended for adoption.

MELIA Edet, a former Chief Coach (Athletics) with the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), on Wednesday appealed to the federation not to relent in the discovery and grooming of talents at the grassroots. Edet told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, that discovering and nurturing talents was the surest way for Nigeria to regain lost glory in athletics in international competitions. ``In the next five years, if the federation maintains its discovery and nurturing of talents with the staging of regular competitions, the sport will certainly develop immensely. ``However, the welfare of the young athletes to be taken into serious consideration, to have good athletes to represent the country at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and beyond,`` she said. The coach noted that serious nations hardly recycled athletes, saying that recycling the same old athletes usually slows down

the growth of sports generally. ``If we want to develop sports, recycling of athletes should be stopped. When an athlete gets to retirement stage, such should not be allowed to remain in the competitive stage. ``Recycling the same athletes hinders sports development,’’ she added. She also canvassed the development of school sports for an enhanced overall development of sports, saying sports fortunes had greatly dwindled in the country due to the neglect of schools sports. ``All what I am saying is that we should go back to the schools. A lot of athletes were discovered from the primary and secondary schools,’’ Edet said. She stressed the need for athletes to combine sports with education, saying that if athletes made money without formal education, they may not be able to spend the money wisely. ``If you make money and you do not have anything in your head, how will you be able to spend the money judiciously?’’ she wondered.




Enugu fans to pay N200, N500 to watch Rangers


NUGU fans will not have to pay much to watch their darling team, Enugu Rangers as they file out against Angolan side, Recreativo Desportivo do Libolo on Sunday in the 3rd Round of the CAF Champions League, the club's Director, media and publicity,Foster Chime has said. In a text message sent to NationSport, Chime stated that the Flying Antelopes deemed it fit to remind their supporters that the continental game remains open to all and not shut from them like their next four premier league encounters which they would still have to play behind closed

•The Flying Antelopes to play Angolan Recreativo 3.30pm on Sunday From Tunde Liadi, Owerri

doors has directed by the League Management Committee (LMC). He said the gate fee for the


popular and the covered stands has been pegged at N200 while the VIP stands will attract N500. Chime appealed to Enugu fans and Nigerians as a whole

‘TheFlying Antelopes deemed it fit to remind their supporters that the continental game remains open to all and not shut from them like their next four premier league encounters... ‘

to troop to the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium on Sunday to support their team as the Flying Antelopes seek to march past their Angolan opponents. The game is slated to start by 3.30pm To get to this stage of the competition, Rangers walked over Sporting Clube do Principe of Sao Tome and Principe in the first round after the team failed to show up. They also decisioned Vital'O of Burundi 2-0 on aggregate in the second round before the latest tie against Recreativo Libolo of Angola.

Tennis coach canvasses early development for budding talents


BALE Mohammed, the National Junior Tennis Coach, on Wednesday stressed that it was only through the early discovery of outstanding budding talents that the growth of the sport could be sustained. Ubale told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that athletes who started their careers early in life usually

enjoyed a long spell in their vocations. The coach added that budding talents were usually groomed in the rudiments of the sport and also exposed to the right kind of competitions. ``Jonathan Igbinovia was one of our very own who was the youngest Nigerian tennis player to feature in the Davis Cup. ``He was put through and

rose through our developmental programmes to bring out the talent in him. ``He is just an example of such a champion,'' Ubale said. He advised coaches to nurture young tennis players in primary and secondary schools through well-crafted programmes, to groom them to stardom. The coach, however, expressed dissatisfaction over

the non-inclusion of the sport in the inter-house sports competitions in the Secondary Schools. ``There should be good sensitisation programmes to encourage and develop the sport in schools, as Tennis does not segregate in any way,'' he said. Ubale advised school authorities to ensure that tennis was made a part of their annual inter-house

South African football body in crisis --- Sports mininstry


OUTH Africa's Sports Ministry and the Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) have revealed that the South African Football Association (SAFA) operations had been on a decline since after the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In a joint statement, the sports ministry and SASCOC said they had offered SAFA ``unwavering support" in recent years, but the football body was in crisis. ``SAFA has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons. ``Football-loving South Africans have been exposed to diatribes and serious allegations," the statement said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that SASCOC received an anonymous document detailing a long list of allegations which included match-fixing, inappropriate use of FIFA legacy trust funds, and corruption. An auditing firm, KPMG report on SAFA's finances also revealed that the football regulatory body was R92m (about N1.2 billion) in the red and on the brink of bankruptcy. ``Over and above these allegations, there have been protracted and perennial problems of mishandling leadership and management disputes. ``These played theirselves out on the eve of our hosting the Africa Cup of Nations. ``It took our intervention as

the ministry of sports and recreation and SASCOC to request the SAFA leadership to desist from engaging in public spats. ``Or making pronouncements that will bring the name of football into disrepute," the statement said. It was reported that Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula and SAFA president Kirsten Nematandani travelled to FIFA’s home in Zurich to absolve the South African government. ``The minister travelled to FIFA to clarify that there was no interference and no intentions to interfere. The ministry and SASCOC’s involvement was at SAFA’s invitation. ``Secondly, in terms of our legislation as a sovereign government that promulgates laws for the establishment of the confederation, federations and other sports bodies. ``We are empowered by the same laws to intervene in reported instances of maladministration and mismanagement. ``We indicated that in terms of our laws, match-fixing/ match manipulation and financial mismanagement are considered as acts of criminality," the statement said. NAN reports that the sports ministry confirmed on April 3 that a judicial inquiry would be conducted into allegations of match fixing during the 2010 World Cup warm-up matches.


Okah’s associates behind threat on Niger Delta Moslems, says Dokubo-Asari •Uduaghan appeals for calm L

EADER of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF), Alhaji Dokubor Asari, yesterday accused supporters of the jailed leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Mr. Henry Okah, of being behind the recent threat to bomb Mosques, kill Muslim clerics and attack Islamic institutions. He vowed to mobilise his group to fish out and crush the remnants of the Okahled faction of MEND, on whom he blamed for criminal activities in the Niger Delta region. The relationship between Asari and Okah deteriorated further when spokesperson of the Okah-led MEND, Comrade Timi Azizi, con-

From Shola O’Neil, Warri

demned the former’s statement justifying Okah’s sentencing in South Africa. Speaking inj a statement through the NDPVF’s spokesperson, Rex Anighoro, Dokubo-Asari said: “A MEND largely set up to the extent of advancing the release from detention of Alhaji Mujahid Abubakr Dokubo Asari and the former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Dieprieye Alamieyeseigha, but now defunct, is now hijacked by criminal elements and now being used by enemies of the Niger Delta. “We shall join in fishing

them out wherever they are hiding in the Niger Delta and crush them.a statement sent by email. The group also warned Niger Delta governors against utterances and activities that tend to portray them as associate of those who wish to destabilise the region. Delta State Governor Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan yesterday cautioned against the planned attacks by MEND. Speaking in a Delta Broadcasting Service (DBS) TV ‘Executive Phone-in Programme’ monitored in Warri, Uduaghan said attacking Muslems could trigger religious war, emphasizing that

it should not be a case of “an eye for eye.” The governor said: “We should not escalate the situation, the President is on top of the situation and everything will normalise soon.” Uduaghan appealed for calm, noting that security issues are complex and advised that the people apply caution “so that they don’t exacerbate the situation and jeopardise the efforts being made by the President Goodluck to ensure lasting peace and security in the country.” Throwing light on his recent frequent trips to Warri, the governor said his mission was to boost the secu-

rity situation of the oil-rich city and ensure the day-today monitoring of projects being executed in Warri and its environs. “Today, we are ranked 4th among oil producing states in the country,” the governor said, a situation he linked to security issues which he said must be tackled by his administration, reiterating that Government House remains in Asaba and that he has not relocated to Warri. He charged those who are engaged in criminal activities to take to meaningful and acceptable ventures, stating, “criminality in any form is not justifiable.” On the issue of death penalty for kidnappers which, he has refused to sign into


law, the governor noted that death penalty has not stopped criminal activities in any part of the world, adding, “worldwide, people are moving away from death penalty.’ He also advocated for a law to empower judges who sentence criminals to death to be empowered to sign death warrants.

ACN fears traffic chaos as Jonathan visits Lagos today Continued from page 57

should inflict the minimum pain and hardship on Nigerians.” Reacting yesterday, Abati said the Presidential visit would not in any way disrupt the ACN convention, wondering what informed the party’s letter to the governor. He alleged that the CAN spokesman was trying to reorder the itinerary of the President. Abati said in a statement: “We find it hard to believe

that any patriotic and rightthinking Nigerian would have written the kind of publicly circulated letter reportedly sent to the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola by the National Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Alhaji Lai Mohammed in which he attempts to dictate President Jonathan’s itinerary, mode of transportation within Lagos, and motive, and even suggests that the President’s visit could have been designed to frustrate a planned Action Congress of Nigeria convention and merger with some

other political parties. “The allegation is not only baseless, but another in the series of ‘wolf crying’ that has become the sole strategy and pre-occupation of the ACN. It is clearly a deliberate, further attempt to undermine, ridicule and debase the office of the President of the Federal Republic. “A courteous and simple discussion of the phantom potential conflict of programmes with appropriate officials of the Presidency would have sufficed to inform the ACN and its officials that President Jonathan is

only transiting through Lagos tomorrow on his way to the commissioning of the WEMPCO Cold Roll Steel Plant in Ibafo, Ogun State. “In point of fact, President Jonathan’s visit tomorrow which was scheduled long before the ACN convention will have absolutely no effect whatsoever on the convention as he will only touchdown at the airport, transit to Ibafo (miles away from the ACN convention venue) by chopper and return to the airport the same way for his flight back to Abuja. “It is certain that Governor

Fashola was already aware of President Jonathan’s itinerary in Lagos tomorrow since in keeping with protocol, the Presidency always briefs state governments well ahead of time on all Presidential movements to their states. “Alhaji Lai Mohammed’s letter was therefore pointless and serves no purpose other than distasteful muck-raking.” Abati said the Presidency completely rejected the insinuation that the President’s visits to Lagos are always disruptive.

The statement reads: “The paranoia displayed by the ACN in its plea to Governor Fashola concerning an imaginary plan to scuttle a political merger is beneath the politics of inclusiveness this administration has encouraged in its interaction with the state, as with all other states of the Federal Republic. “President Jonathan is President of the whole of Nigeria. It is strange and intolerable that any political party would as much as suggest that the President is not welcome in any state, city or local council in any part of the country at any time or date.”





HO can beat Nigeria’s ingenuity? Just when you think that a problem is intractable and that we should learn to live with it, a solution appears and the matter is resolved. Just like that. Whoever thought the serenity in the Niger Delta was possible? Now oil companies are pumping the stuff without much hassle. Forget the whimpering about oil theft – Is there a place where you do not have petty thieves and scoundrels? Former militants have left the rough and tumble life of the creeks from where they almost turned the Niger Delta into a Somalia of sorts for the fast and bustling life of the city. Many have been to South Africa and some other places that used to exist only in their imagination. Their former bosses now belong to the enviable league of billionaires, running huge contracts, living like kings and partying like Hollywood stars. New life. Does anybody still doubt the efficacy of amnesty as the magical pill for many – its vociferous advocates actually insist all – of the ailments that trouble Nigeria? Forget the recent killing of 12 policemen in the quiet creeks of Bayelsa. That was the handiwork of some idle criminals, who we shall, unfortunately, always have with us, anyway. After a long hesitation, the Federal Government has been persuaded to have faith in its own medicine. Now, it has agreed that granting amnesty to the Boko Haram insurgents will stop their bloody campaign against the state, a fiendish campaign that has claimed thousands of lives and limbs. President Goodluck Jonathan was insisting that the sect’s leaders were faceless and, therefore, could not be pardoned. We can’t grant amnesty to ghosts, he once told elders in Borno State, the engine-room of the insurgency. But trust those spoilers who will always want to throw a spanner in the works. They would not even allow the committee set up to study the feasibility of amnesty for Boko Haram submit its report before telling the government to abandon the scheme without suggesting any other viable alternative. They said it would cost money and give people the impression that any group can take on the state and win. The government, as focused as ever, has refused to listen to these unsolicited expertise. It is forging ahead with amnesty. How can you run such a gigantic scheme smoothly without spending money? Committees will be set up. Won’t the members get sitting allowances? They surely will require the coziness of a five-star hotel, perhaps somewhere in Dubai or the serenity of the Obudu Cattle Ranch to hammer out the details of the deal. How will their hotel bills be settled? Who picks the travel bills? What about other logistics? Souvenirs for committee members for sparing their time and risking their all for such a crucial national assignment. Cars for their shuttling from one centre to another. Lunch break. Dinner. And a gala night after the whole process must have been completed. Who will pay for all that? I am sure those leading technocrats who are well grounded in the workings of the bureaucracy must have advised the government not to listen to the blathering that amnesty does not necessarily mean dishing out cash. The sect’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, has rejected amnesty but elders insist the scheme


...Even as the government has performed WONDERFULLY WOEFUL?

‘Buhari lost his job because he was not prepared to do what Babangida, Kalu Idika Kalu, and Olu Falae eventually did. They accepted IMF loan, opened our market to importation which only increased employment for the youths of the exporting nations’

VOL. 8, NO. 2,462




EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK •Winner, DAME Award for Informed Commentary

A vote for amnesty

• Shekau must go on. That is the spirit. In Abia State, over 5,000 repentant kidnappers and other criminals are seeking amnesty. They petitioned the House of Assembly that they surrendered their arms in 2010 but are yet to be enlisted in the programme. Governor Theodore Orji recalled that Aba, the industrial city, used to be a den of criminals. The government built camps and was about resettling the youths when the Federal Government announced its amnesty. Now, the youths are stranded. Said Orji: “They were in camps…but when they heard that the Federal Government had provided largesse to their colleagues, they abandoned the camps. We took their names to the Federal Government, but no response. They promised not to make trouble…they maintained it till their kingpin, Osisikankwu, was killed. Please, tell the Federal Government to start where we stopped.” Will the Federal Government listen to Orji’s cry? A fellow who realised the governor’s agony has suggested that the state should float an organisation to fight its battle for amnesty. His

Excellency may consider the name Abia Youths Earnestly Ask for Amnesty(AYEAA). There can be no more auspicious time for such a group. A reliable source told me yesterday that there are plans to extend the bonanza to all those other groups who distract the government from providing the much vaunted but hardly available dividends of democracy so as to create a conducive atmosphere for the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to perfect its plan to capture 36 –an error there, please – 32 states in the 2015 elections. Most likely on the line are armed robbers and their cousins, the kidnappers as well as ritualists who have turned the country into one vast arena of serious crimes. The other day in Delta State, the kidnapped Vice Chairman (Southeast) of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chudi Nwike, was killed. His abductors, after collecting a N5million ransom, murdered the captive, the conveyor of the cash and the driver who brought him to deliver the money. Imagine the effect of granting such depraved souls amnesty – with some compensation for taking them off their lucrative business. Many big men who are scared of being snatched off their SUVs can then drive round the cities without trepidation, my friends from the Southeast will start going home for festivities again and people will no longer be afraid of flaunting their wealth. The police will then have time to return to their all-important duties of arresting people for wandering, teaching stubborn motorists who won’t renew their particulars promptly some lessons in good citizenship and keeping overzealous motor park touts in check. Peace. The bloodletting in Jos has been on for so long that nobody seems to remember exactly what may have caused it. Some say it is a settler-indigene palaver. Others argue it is a matter of religious differences. Herdsmen and farmers clash. Whole families get hacked to


death by night marauders. Imagine proclaiming a general amnesty for them all –complete with compensation for whatever discomfort a peace deal may have caused the combatants. Jos will return to being the home of tourism, with visitors flocking in from all over the world. Just imagine. Even the Lagos “area boys” can do with amnesty. Imagine the streets free of alcohol drenched, red-eyed toothless youths, their mouths foaming, singing your praises – unsolicited. It is all simple. Some compensation; just a few bucks for some of those stuff that make them high. And there will be peace. Who knows the pension cash scandal would not have been this terrible if the leading actors and actresses had been offered amnesty. If they won’t drop what they have stolen, an amnesty will at least stop them from stealing more. There would have been no need for the Senate to issue a bench warrant for the police chief to seize anybody. Some old people would not have been carrying placards in support of a man who the Senate believed had questions to answer. No. A professor of Conflict Resolution, who is a research fellow in an international agency, has just told me of a paper he is putting together on “Dialectics and dynamics of amnesty in Nigeria: A case for global application”, which he is recommending to the United Nations (UN). The result of a 10-year study, the work encapsulates all the fine details of how Nigeria formulated the magical pill that is set to bring allround tranquility. It is unfortunate that Shekau has rejected amnesty. He said the sect, being the one which has been wronged, should be the one to offer Nigeria amnesty. Not the other way round. In the spirit of our belief in the efficacy of the therapy, why don’t we then ask Shekau and his boys to give us all amnesty?

Let Bamigbetan go, please


S I was writing yesterday, I cast a glance at the book shelf. My eyes hit Teacher, don’t teach me nonsense, written by Kehinde Bamigbetan, the Ejigbo Local Council Development Area chair who was kidnapped on Monday near his home on the outskirts of Lagos. Bamigbetan, a journalist-turned–politician, would not hurt a fly. His abductors are asking for $1m but I know Korki, as he is fondly called, is not rich in cash; his worth lies in his reputation as an activist who has pledged to ensure that we have a Nigeria where nobody will see crime as a lucrative venture. I plead with his abductors to let him go today. •For comments, send SMS to 08111813080

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Boston bombings: How Nigeria, US define terrorism


HREE people were killed and more than 170 injured in the United States on Monday when two explosions hit the finish line of the Boston Marathon. No one has claimed responsibility for the blasts. But it took less than 24 hours for President Barack Obama to describe the explosions as a terrorist act. “This was a heinous and cowardly act,” he said. “And given what we now know about what took place, the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism. Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians it is an act of terror. What we don’t yet know, however, is who carried out this attack, or why; whether it was planned and executed by a terrorist organization, foreign or domestic, or was the act of a malevolent individual.” Even if the US president had not been quick in describing the attack as terrorism, he would still have done so in the days ahead, as he belatedly did in last year’s attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, when four Americans were killed including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. In contrast, after more than three years of active bombing of mainly civilian targets in the northern part of Nigeria by Boko Haram militants, the federal government, claiming

poetic licence, has struggled not to describe the attacks as terrorism. Not only has it wrestled with its conscience, it has also put pressure on the US government not to categorise the attacks as terrorism. So far, the US has acceded to Nigeria’s strange request, perhaps because there is no consensus within Nigeria on how to describe the violent bombing campaigns in Nigeria. Some argue that the attacks manifest unmitigated terrorism, while others argue that once the bombings were categorised as terrorism it would stigmatise the country and inflict untold hardship on Nigerians travelling abroad. In determining how to describe the Boko Haram attacks, those who eventually won the argument and prevented the sect from being labelled terrorists gave the impression we owed more obligations to the comfort of travellers and the living than we owed to the more than 2,000 who have died and countless more who have been maimed or who can no longer smile. Indeed, in Nigeria, the US has found itself putting up with much more than merely wrestling with its conscience on how to categorise Boko Haram attacks. The Americans also squirm as they are made to

respect, or pretend indifference to, the Nigerian government’s decision to negotiate with terror or grant amnesty to terrorists. It is of course not the business of any outsider what we do with ourselves, as long as our actions do not impinge on the wellbeing of others. So, whether we see a minor insurgency where other countries see terrorism is strictly speaking not the concern of the US. But as Obama reiterated clearly on Tuesday, the US has made it the cardinal principle of its domestic policy never to negotiate with terror or to prevaricate on the meaning of terrorism, for the life of every American is so valuable that the living has an unshakeable obligation to the dead to bring every felon to justice. If Nigeria chooses to negotiate with terror in exchange for peace, or to pretend that terror is not actually terror until it pleases us to consider it so, that is our business. We are at liberty to choose not to mind what the consequences of today’s appeasement will be on future generations of Nigerians, as we whimsically modify moral principles and set precedents that neither past nor present, nor yet future generations can be proud to cite or embrace.

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The Nation April 18, 2013  

The Nation April 18, 2013