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ACF seeks probe of Nyako’s claim NEWS Page 58

•Governors to tackle clashes

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News Mob attacks house in Abeokuta P8 Sports Mikel likely to play Athletico P24 Business $25m for Olorunsogo power plant P53

•Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper


VOL. 9, NO. 2826 TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2014

EKITI 2014

Corporate governance key for bidders in Shell’s four oil blocks


From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

DHERENCE to global Corporate Governance principles is expected to play a key role in the selection of successful bidders for the four oil blocks put up for sale by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).

HERE appears to be a split among governors on emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. President Goodluck Jonathan is meeting with governors tomorrow in Abuja on security challenges tomorrow in Abuja. Governors Murtala Nyako, Kashim Shettima and Ibrahim Gaidam of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states are adamant Continued on page 2


•Fayemi to ‘do development with people’ •SEE PAGES 9&10 •‘Tranformative leadership‘ll earn governor 2nd term’ •I was not bribed to support Fayose, says ex-deputy

Governors divided over emergency rule extension




By Simeon Ebulu, Group Business Editor

In fact, global institutions respected for their thorough approach to unearthing sleaze, are poised to ensure that only businessmen with transparent records and with no link to individuals and bod-

•LA GOS FOR SHO W: Eti-Osa Local Government troupe dancing at the Lagos State carnival at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos...yesterday. More photographs on page 11 •LAGOS SHOW

ies believed to have gained from proceeds of corruption, are allotted the blocks. The four oil wells in which Shell has a 45 per cent stake are OML-18, OML- 29, OML-25 and OML-24. Successful bidContinued on page 2


Parents: 234 girls abducted 105 Arts students also kidnapped by Boko Haram Dad relives fruitless search


OW many girls were abducted at the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State? The puzzle got more complex yesterday, with parents insisting that 234 were missing. Initially, 129 were believed to have been kidnapped by Boko

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

Haram; 52 were said to have returned. Governor Kashim Shettima said 77 girls were being searched for. But the distraught governor was shocked yesterday to learn that 234 girls were actually kidnapped.


HOW MANY GIRLS ARE MISSING •157, according to the governor’s aide •187, says the school principal •230, a parent, Haruna says •There were 129 science students in the hostel, waiting to complete their exams •There were also over 105 Arts students who had completed their exams. They remained in the hostel, according to the dormitory master

The governor shunned security advice to visit the troubled town where parents told him that officials

would not listen to them when they drew up their list of names of missing children and the figure reached

234. A source on the entourage of the governor, gave reasons for the mix-up on figures of the abducted girls. He said: “During the visit of Governor Kashim Shettima today (yesterday), parents thronged and filed 234 complaints of missing schoolgirls. “From the complaints, there were 129 science students at the hostel. They had not completed their exams and were expected to remain in the hostel. “Then, there were over 105 arts Continued on page 2




NEWS Corporate governance key for bidders in Shell’s four oil blocks Continued from page 1 •Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun during an Easter visit to the former President at his Hilltop residence in Abeokuta ...yesterday.

Governors divided over emergency rule extension Continued from page 1

on their position that there should be no extension of the emergency rule. The three governors have secured the support of some of their colleagues to reject plans to extend the state of emergency in their states. But some governors have been trying to pressurise the President to extend the emergency. Our correspondent gathered that there are three options before the President ahead of the crucial meeting. The options are: •extension of emergency rule; •ending the state of emergency with enhanced security apparatchik in the three states; and •placing restrictions on some services - in line with the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amend-


ment) Act 2013. The Presidency is looking at the security implications of the three options. Jonathan, in a November 5, 2013 letter to Senate President David Mark, sought approval for the extension of the state of emergency in the three states because “some security challenges still exist in a few parts”. The request was granted by the Senate and the House of Representatives. Investigation by our correspondent revealed that although the Presidency was already looking at the legal and security implications of extending the state of emergency, the three governors are poised to resist it. The governors, who have reached out to their col-

leagues, are already lobbying members of the National Assembly to reject any notice of extension of the emergency rule. A top source said: “Most of the governors are rallying their colleagues to end the state of emergency in the three states. They have also secured the support of quite an appreciable number of National Assembly members. “So, the governors are determined to frustrate any move to extend the state of emergency. Therefore, unlike the overwhelming support, which the extension enjoyed in the National Assembly, it might not scale through this time around. “The state of emergency is also already politicised, with the Presidency feeling scandalised.”

A governor said: “I know the state of emergency might be one of the issues to be discussed on Wednesday. We are already determined to ask the President to end the rule and let us see how the three states will cope. “We prefer total overhauling of the security apparatchik in the three states than the state of emergency which has paralysed the economic activities of the states. “The good thing is that the President cannot arbitrarily decide the fate of the three states. It is going to be a game of number in the National Assembly to extend the state of emergency. We are waiting for his decision.” One of the governors of the affected states, who spoke in

town, Oro in Kwara State, yesterday, the party said whatever grievances the abductors may have, they have nothing to do with innocent school girls. It urged the kidnappers to free the girls who remain in their custody and cease forthwith all acts of violence against innocent citizens. ‘’Violence has never resolved any issue. Dialogue is always

the preferred and civilised way to go in resolving any conflict, no matter how difficult. We are calling on those who have been perpetrating unbridled violence to stop their despicable acts and renounce violence,’’ the APC said. The party congratulated the church on the successful completion of the magnificent edifice, and hailed it for forging the

spirit of love, tolerance and peace within the community. ‘’It is noteworthy that the annual Ramadan Talk hosted by the APC’s Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, is held within the church grounds. There is no better example of religious tolerance and commitment to societal peace than this,’’ it said.

Continued on page 61

APC calls on abductors to release girls

HE All Progressives Congress (APC) has called on the abductors of school girls in Borno State to release them immediately and without conditions, in the spirit of the season. In comments made by the party’s Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at the dedication of the N150 million Catholic Church in his home-

ders for the four blocks may pay close to $5 billion for the stakes held by Shell in conjunction with two other international oil companies. The Nation gathered that global agencies averse to unscrupulous and sharp business practices are working in league with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and foreign governments to probe into sources of funds of the bidding firms. A top official of Shell admitted that the oil giant is under pressure to ensure that “ politically exposed persons or those who have corruptly enriched themselves” are not handed the blocks . The bidders for the blocks are: Midwestern/Mart/Notore, Sahara Consortium and Dangote/Dansa for OML-18 ; Vertex/ Seplat/ Maurel&Prom/VP Global, Glencore/Neconde, Transcorp, Aiteo/Taleveras for OML-29; Lekoil, Crestar, GreenAcres/CCC/Signet Petroleum, NDPR/SAPETRO, and Essar for ML-25 . Others in the race are Sahara consortium, PanOcean/ Newcross, Shoreline Aiteo/ Taleveras for OML-24. Amongst the bidders is the

students, who had completed the exams and were expected to leave the hostel in the evening of that day hours before the attack. “Unknown to the dormitory master, the art students remained at the hostel and were part of those abducted. “The man gave his record of 129 science students as those abducted not knowing there were more. “That gave rise to the mix up. The fact is that the parents are confused due to understandable anxiety.” With this development, the whereabouts of 157 pupils are unknown. Security officials had warned Shettima that it was too dangerous for him to drive to Chibok, 130 kilometres (80 miles) from Maiduguri, the state capital. Education Commissioner Musa Inuwo Kubo and the principal of the Chibok Government Girls Secondary School had initially said that 129 science students were at

Continued on page 61

Rivers 2015: Kinsmen dump Wike for Ogoni candidate


insmen of the Supervising Minister of Education Nyesom Wike have dumped him, opting to back an Ogoni candidate for Rivers State governor in next year’s election to ensure fairness, equity and justice. The Ikwerre/Etche People’s Forum and non-indigenes in the areas insisted yesterday that an Ogoni ought to be allowed to be Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s successor, so as to give them a sense of belonging. They said Ogoni have not been able to produce a gover-

Parents to Borno Governor Shettima: 234 girls abducted Continued from page 1

word’s 23rd richest man, business mogul Aliko Dangote, who is behind Dangote/Dansa. Midwestern/Notore has Jide Omokore and Wade Chewenko as backers. Tonye Cole, Tope Shonubi and Ade Odunsi are behind Sahara Consortium. Aiteo/Taleveras has Benedict Peters and Igho Sanomi as backers, Transcorp has Tony Elumelu. Greenacres is promoted by Funsho Kupolokun and Basil Omiyi. For SAPETRO is General Theophilus Danjuma. Lekoil has Lekan Akinyanmi and some other Nigerians as promoters. Global anti-graft bodies and their Nigerian affiliates, it was learnt, are in agreement that firms linked with individuals with tainted records and who are serving jail terms either in or out of the country, or granted reprieve following their conviction should be denied access to any of the blocks. It was equally gathered that many of the bidding firms with hazy status are under serious scrutiny and would have their dossiers sent to Shell Nigeria, its parent company in the Netherlands , as well as the Nigerian and foreign governments. A Shell official who spoke in confidence because he is not allowed to talk to the media, said: “One area that can-

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

nor since the creation of Rivers state out of the defunct Eastern Region on May 27, 1967. The group also passed a vote of confidence on Amaechi based on his developmental strides across the 23 local government councils of the state. The forum’s President, Emmanuel Amadi, in company with the General Secretary, Dr. Gift Nwiyi, yesterday at a news conference in Port Harcourt, read a six-point communique and later responded to quesContinued on page 61

Our failed search for girls in Sambisa forest, by parent


BOUT 230 of out the estimated 270 abducted female students of the Government Girls Secondary School (GGSC) Chibok in Borno are still missing. Mallam Shettima Haruna, one of the parents of the missing girls, who spoke on behalf of other parents, disclosed this on Monday in Chibok while receiving Governor Kashim Shettima who was on an assessment visit to the area. Haruna , who weeping, said only 39 of the abducted girls had so far regained their freedom. “I want to say clearly on behalf of the parents that about 230 girls are still missing. “This is because only 39 girls have so far escaped to safety,” he said. He said the parents formed a search par-

the school to write a physics exam when the abductors struck, after midnight on April 14. Twenty-eight pupils escaped from their captors between Tuesday and Friday. Then another 16 were found to be day scholars who had returned to their homes in Chibok before the attack. That left 85 missing students, according

ty after the abduction of the girls, with the aim of rescuing them. “After the girls were abducted last Monday, we became disturbed as parents. “So we formed a search party on Thursday and stormed the Sambisa forest, based on information that our children were being held there,” Haruna said. He said the parents were conveyed on about 1500 motor cycles for the search in the Sambisa forest. “We rode on about 1500 motorcycles, each carrying between one and three persons. “We went to several places asking questions, but each time we were directed to a new place, until we reached a particular place in the middle of the forest with only two houses,” Haruna said. “As we kept searching, we met a Fulani

to school officials. This latest confusion comes after the military had reported last week that all but eight of those abducted had been rescued — but then retracted the claim the following day. Security sources have said they are in “hot pursuit” of the abductors, but so far they have not rescued any of the girls and young women, aged

man who gave us information that he saw our girls with the abductors ahead. “But our motorcycles began to develop problems due to the intensity of the search,” Haruna said. He said the team managed to move forward to a point where it met a lone man in the thick forest. “The man actually told us that our children were not far from the place. “But he warned that the people (abductors) were well armed and kill at will, so we decided to save our lives and returned,” Haruna said. Haruna urged Shettima to prevail on security agents to help comb the area and rescue their children. The governor condoled with the parents, assuring that security agents were working hard to rescue the girls.

between 16 and 18. Parents and other town residents have joined the search for the students in the Sambisa Forest, which borders Chibok town and is a known hideout for the militants. Boko Haram was on the rampage last week, staging four attacks in three days that began with a massive explosion during rush hour at a

busy bus station Monday morning in Nyanya, Abuja, which killed no fewer than 75 people and injured 141. The school’s principal, Asabe Kwambura, who said she was working with parents to compile a complete registry of those taken, said: “A total of 230 names were registered by parents. “So far, 43 girls have es-


caped on their own. We still have 187 missing.” “We are appealing to Boko Haram to show mercy and release these girls,” said Chibok resident Haladu Sule. “The people of Chibok... will know no peace until they are freed.” Locals have fiercely criticised the rescue mission, claiming they have not yet Continued on page 61

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2014 budget h •From left: One of the Nigerian Idol Top 12 Contestant, Paul Enoma; Director, Brands & Communication, Etisalat Nigeria, Enitan Denloye; another Top 12 Contestants, Elvis Ejiro and Anthony Akpan, at the unveiling event of the Etisalat sponsored Nigerian Idol Season 4 Top 12 contestants in Lagos,.

2014 budget implantation hangs in the balance with the coming elections, late passage of the budget and the new possibilities exposed by the rebasing exercise. Assistant Editor NDUKA CHIEJINA looks at the challenges

A •From right: Archbishop Magnus Atilade, The Nation’s Religion Correspondent and author of the book, Effective Media Relations for Churches and Pastors, Sunday Oguntola , Group Managing Director, Sun Publishing Limited, Femi Adesina, General Overseer, Amazing Grace Pentecostal Church ,Yaba, Bishop Chioma Grace Dauji and the book reviewer, Mr Bolade Omonijo, during the public presentation of Oguntola’s book in the weekend. PHOTO: MUYIWA HASSAN

• Director of Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission( NCC), Mr Tony Ojobo speaking at an interaction with reporters on the activities of the agency in Enugu...yesterday. With him are Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), PHOTO: NAN Enugu State Council, Louise Dellibe and Head of NCC Media, Rueben Mouka.

• From left: Secretary, Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIPAN), Eki Adzufeh , Managing Director, Media Stamp Ltd , Mr. Feyisola Olukoya and Chairman, MIPAN , Tolu Ogunkoya, during the induction of Media Stamp into the association.

FTER months of indecisiveness, the National Assembly finally passed the 2014 budget with a slight increase to the figure projected by the executive arm of government. The directive by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to its legislators in the National Assembly to block the Appropriation Bill among other bills, threatened the early passage of the 2014 budget, but by April 14, both chambers of the National Assembly had passed N4.695 trillion budget as against the N4.642 trillion presented by the executive ready for the President's accent. Details of the additional N53 billion in the budget was not immediately made public by the legislators. At the presentation of the 2014 budget to the National Assembly, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had stated the budget was formulated to create more jobs, provide more infrastructure and engender inclusive growth for the whole economy through a reduction in the cost of governance. The baseline assumptions for the budget were predicated on the Benchmark Oil Price of $77.5pb; Budgeted Oil Production of 2.3883mbpd; Average Exchange Rate of N160/$, same as in 2013 and Real GDP Growth Rate of 6.75 per cent. All these assumptions were retained by the National Assembly. The revenue projections for 2014 are have been pegged at: Gross Federally Collectible Revenue, N10.88 trillion; Gross Federally Collectible Oil and Gas Revenue, N7.16 trillion; Total deductions, including cost of crude oil production, subsidy payments, and domestic gas development is N2.15 trillion, same as in 2013; Subsidy payments were maintained at the 2013 level of N971.1 billion; Gross Federally Collectible Non-Oil Revenue, N3.29 trillion and Federal Government budget revenue of N3.73 trillion. The expenditure projections for 2014 is also predicated on an aggregate expenditure (Net of SURE-P) of N4.642 trillion, with aggregate expenditure (Inclusive of SURE-P) put at N4.910 trillion. Statutory Transfers is put at N399.7 billion; INEC's expenditure is to increase from the N32 billion provisioned in 2013 to N45 bil-

•Dr. Jonathan

lion in 2014. "This is to enable the Commission intensify preparations towards the 2014 elections." National Assembly's allocation remained at the 2013 level of N150 billion, while the provision for debt service increased to N712 billion from the 2013 level of N591.8 billion. Recurrent (non-debt) spending is projected at N2.43 trillion down from N2.80 trillion in 2013 while Personnel cost increased slightly from the 2013 amendment Budget provision of N1.718 trillion to N1.723 trillion for 2014. Capital Expenditure for 2014 is projected at N1.100 trillion with the share of capital in total expenditure put at 27.29 per cent down from 31.9 per cent in 2013 which is said to reflect the increased allocation to pension as well as high wage bills. The share of recurrent in total spending for 2014 is 72.71 per cent and the provision for SURE-P is budgeted at N268.37 billion. In 2014, the fiscal balance is projected at N911.96 billion for Fiscal Deficit with a share of GDP of 1.90, while new borrowing requirement is expected to be N571 billion, a decrease from N577 billion in 2013. According to President Goodluck Jonathan, in 2014, the economy needs "to grow even faster than 7 per cent per annum and we need growth in sectors such as agriculture, housing, and services that create the most jobs. Our growth must bring shared prosperity. An economy whose growth leaves wealth in the hands of a few cannot achieve its full potential." The major focus of the 2014 fiscal year projection will be the continuation "of prudent economic management in order to build on recent economic growth to support job creation and more infrastructure." But because "we are connected to a global economy that remains weak, we need to be prudent and proactive to avoid risks and dangers while creating more jobs and building more infrastructure" the government said for 2014. Priorities for 2014 are: Power: with a continued focused implementation of Power Roadmap to consolidate the transformation of the power sector. Increased investments in transmission to ensure power generated is properly evacuated and distributed. Strengthening of regulation of the sector, and closely monitoring elec-



get hangs in the balance ‘

The 2014 federal budget is tagged a budget of job creation and inclusive growth. We seek to find a link between the proposals for expenditure, the policies and governmental actions and the tag of job creation and inclusive growth •Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala

tricity delivery to increase this beyond 18 hours per day. To complete the privatisation of the NIPP projects, accelerate work on gas pipeline infrastructure and also continue to invest in hydro-electric power and clean energy as they monitor the effects of climate change on the economy. On roads, government plans in 2014 to make considerable progress and the completion of some major projects including: the East-West road; dualisation of the Abuja-AbajiLokoja road; rehabilitation of the Ayingba-Otukpo road and the dualisation of the Kano-Maiduguri road. It also plans to increase the pace of work on important roads such as: the Lagos-Ibadan expressway; the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway; the second Niger Bridge, and the Loko-Oweto Bridge. In aviation, 2014 plans to see the continuation of investment in upgrading air navigational and security systems to maintain safety in the skies. The completion of work on the remodeling of 11 airport terminals across the country, and the acceleration of construction work on the five new airport terminals and 13 perishable air cargo terminals across the country. N agriculture, government plans in 2014 to sustain its on going agricultural transformation, with further investments in the sector through the provision of input subsidies to 5 million farmers nationwide using the e-wallet system. Ali it will target the self-employment initiative under the Youth Employment in Agriculture Programme (YEAP), called the Nagropreneur programme to develop over 750,000 youth commercial farmers by 2015. Establish new agro-industrial clusters to complement the staple crop processing zones being developed across the country. In 2014, in partnership with the private sector, the Fund for Agricultural Finance in Nigeria (FAFIN), a private equity fund to invest in agribusinesses across the country will be launched. To strengthen the 17 million registered Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which employ over 32 million Nigerians and improve their job creation capacity in 2014, government says "there will be a stronger focus on implementing the Nigeria



Enterprise Development Programme (NEDEP) to address the needs of small businesses. This will include helping SMEs with access to affordable finance, business development services, and youth training." To reinvigorate the housing and construction sector, the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) has been launched in January 2014. NMRC is expected to increase liquidity in the housing sector, provide a secondary market for mortgages, and thereby increase the number of people able to purchase or build homes at an affordable price in the country. The programme will begin in 14 pilot states where the State Governors have agreed to provide fast-track land titles, foreclosure arrangements, and serviced plots. NMRC will help create over 200,000 mortgages over the next five years at affordable interest rates. To provide for those at the lower end of the economic ladder, there will be an expansion of mass housing schemes through a re-structured Federal Mortgage Bank and other institutions to provide rent-to-own and lease-to-own options. "This will help ensure more hardworking Nigerian families will be able to realize their dream of owning a home." To support the film and creative arts industry, 2014 will witness accelerated implementation of the Project Advancing Creativity and Technology (PACT) for programme for Nollywood with focus on tackling intellectual property and distribution challenges faced in the industry. The PACT is a ?3 billion grant programme for Nollywood set up in 2013. N1 billion of this Fund has gone to support capacity building and film production in the industry. In the 2014 Budget, government says "there will be continued implementation of the Saving One Million Lives initiative to strengthen primary health care services. This will involve scaled up interventions in reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health, nutrition, routine immunisation, HIV/AIDS, malaria elimination, tuberculosis, neglected tropical diseases, and noncommunicable diseases." There will also be stronger focus on implementation of the provision of universal health coverage, focused implementation of new initiatives such as the President's comprehensive

response plan for HIV/AIDS as President Goodluck Jonathan will CoChair the fourth replenishment of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria along with UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon and other selected world leaders. OR education in 2014, there will be focus on revitalising tertiary institutions by increasing investments in infrastructure to upgrade hostels, laboratories, classrooms, and halls. Working with State Governments, the Federal Government plans to tackle the problem of the large numbers of out-of-school children in this country through investment in technical and vocational education to promote skills development for youth across the country. Government has repeatedly admitted that lack of access to affordable medium to long term credit is one of the greatest problems facing Nigerian industrialists and entrepreneurs. To address this problem, it said "a new wholesale development finance institution will be established by end-2014 to provide medium-to long-term financing for Nigerian businesses." To this end, government is working with partners such as the World Bank, the Africa Development Bank, the BNDES Bank in Brazil, and KfW in Germany, to realize this project, while the Bank of Agriculture and Bank of Industry will be re-structured as specialized institutions to retail financing from this new wholesale development bank. In 2014, plans are afoot to reduce cost of governance and stem the tide of corruption and leakages. To curb fraud in the administration of the pension system, a Pensions Transition Arrangement Department (PTAD) under a new Director-General was set up I 2013. In 2014, this department will now ensure pensioners still under the old scheme receive their pensions and gratuities, and are not subjected to fraud. From 2014, all training for personnel of Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and parastatals must now take place in Nigeria. Foreign training programs will only be approved in exceptional cases, and will be based on guidelines to be developed by the Head of Service and the Director-General of the Budget Office. Foreign travel by government personnel in all MDAs will be further curtailed. The strategy to curb leak-


‘ ‘

ages increasingly relies on introducing the right technologies such as biometrics and digitizing government payments. In 2014, the deployment of the three electronic platforms - the Treasury Single Account (TSA), the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) and the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) - which are all geared towards improving efficiency and transparency in the public finances will be completed. Through these reforms, N126 billion in leaked funds have already been saved. After the presentation of the budget to the National Assembly and eventual release of the details of the budget, Citizens Wealth Platform (CWP) a non-government and faith based organisation called on the National Assembly to eliminate all "inappropriate, unclear and frivolous expenditure from the 2014 budget, a move that would see to the reduction of about N295.32 billion from the N4.64 trillion budget proposed by the Federal Government. Convener of the CWP, Mr Eze Onyekpere, also called on the National Assembly to ensure proper alignment of the expenditure proposals with the tag of the budget as contained in the Presidents' address. "The 2014 federal budget is tagged a budget of job creation and inclusive growth. We seek to find a link between the proposals for expenditure, the policies and governmental actions and the tag of job creation and inclusive growth." E noted that in the past Ni geria has had budgets of consolidation, growth, hope and so on but nothing changed after the implementation of such budgets. "We are still searching and Nigeria wants to see the link. Poverty is deepening, inequality is the order of the day, unemployment is growing and spreading for the majority of the populace in the country," he stated. The CWP noted that N220.32 billion could be saved if the inappropriate, unclear and frivolous expenditures were expunged from the Line Items of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government, including the Presidency. "Why is virtually every MDA asking for money for uniforms, welfare etc? Why would MDAs continue playing with words like "rehabilita-


tion", "maintenance", and "repairs" and using them as different expenditure heads to get money out of the Treasury?" The group also queried the provision of N1.5 billion for the purchase of a new Aircraft for the Presidential Fleet when there are already 10 planes within the fleet. "Who needs a new presidential aircraft in the midst of popular despair? If the money is not stolen, who changes furniture, fittings, computers and software every year in his personal house from his hard earned money?" Onyekpere queried. He also commented on the capital budget which at 23.7 per cent of the budget is very low. "I think it is wrong for the federal government to operate on a 74 per cent recurrent expenditure, but I think the minister of finance has explained that it was the wage increase that shot up the personnel bill. However, we are thinking that it is not just salary increases that are responsible for the overshot recurrent. Rather it is the perks of office for political office holders. Let us make a disaggregation of how much goes to the major civil servants and how much goes to political office holders. We have made an FOI request to madam minister and we are hoping to get a response and if we can't get a response we go to court. Mind you even what you are calling capital expenditure, part of it is for the rehabilitation and repairs, money for the National Assembly to build a new building, cars, and all kinds of things that are more or less administrative expenses." "The core developmental capital like the money used to build roads, hospital, is not more 50 per cent of the capital fund. We are saying that developmental capita should be increased and not the money for computers and software and so on," he stated. With the 2015 elections very much around the corner, the National Assembly by delaying so much before passing the 2014 budget may have helped in what may result to the poor implementation of the 2014 budget. As the months and days to the elections draw nearer attention will shift away from the execution of the budget to the antics of politicians as they maneuver to retain or assume new political positions. Time that would have been spent to execute the budget will now be spent campaigning and it will well into 2015 before normalcy will return to budget implantation. Coupled with this, is the expected huge spending to fund campaigns and very little questions are being asked as to where the funding for the campaigns and the always attendant inflation that accompanies election years will come from. The only mention of election funds in the 2014 budget is the fund earmarked for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), there is the unspoken yet widely believed assumption that those in government today will fund their campaigns from budgetary allocations to MDAs. Also the rebasing of the country's GDP was a spur of the moment event, it had been in the works for two to three years but no specific mention was made of government's plan to key into the opportunities that the result of the rebasing exercise will throw up in 2014 and beyond. If the federal government genuinely plans to take advantage of the opportunities the result of the rebasing exercise has thrown up, then there is the possibility that there will supplementary budget proposals that will be pushed to the National Assembly along with other expenses that will surface as the elections approach thus increasing the budget deficit well and truly beyond what is currently projected.





How Presidency sacked Nuclear agency’s DG

ACTS emerged yesterday why the DirectorGeneral of the Nigeria Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA), Dr Martin Ogharandukun, was relieved of his job by the Presidency . It was gathered that the Presidency decided to sack the DG following the receipt of reports on the alleged abuse of office, corruption and highhandedness that led to the closure of the two Nuclear Medicine centres for three months. Part of the report was the arbitrary increase of Nuclear Medicine annual licence fees from N250,000 to N2million without seeking the formal consent and approval of the Minister of Petroleum, who is the supervising ministry to Nigeria Nuclear Regulatory Authority. Acting on a report on how a senator brought his mother suffering from cancer to the Nuclear Medicine centre at the University College Hospital, and the inability of Doctors at the centre to attend to the senator’s mother as a result of their inability to pay the N2million fee, Dr Ogharandukun was invited to the Senate Committee on Health to explain the reason for the arbitrary fee hike.

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

After addressing the Senate Committee on Health , it was discovered that Dr Ogharandukun never sought the permission nor approval of the supervising ministry of Petroleum before the increase. A source said the committee members were shocked at the brazen abuse of office and lack of respect to human lives as demonstrated by the sacked DG. At the end of the Committee hearing, it was learnt that the senators mandated the DG to reverse to status quo, and gave till Thursday for the DG to issue licences to the two centres ( Ibadan and Abuja) without delay to enable them commence the treatment of cancer patients. Besides, it was said that most of the questions posed by senators to Dr Ogharandukun on the operations of the organisation he headed was not satisfactorily answered . “He was declared unfit to hold such a sensitive public office going by his disposition to very important issues that touched on human lives. How can you arrogate to

yourself the power to increase license fees from N250,000 to N2million from a body that is non profit making? You asked if he saw a letter written by the Senate President on the need to reverse the fees to status quo , he said he saw it but did nothing. “ He was asked if he read the story on two national dailies; he said he was too busy to read newspapers. Okay, who gave you approval to increase the fees, he said nobody. Infact, after all said and done, he was declared unfit to hold such a sensitive public office,”a source said. In a letter by the Secretary to the Federal Government (SFG) , Senator Pius Ayim, Dr Ogharandukun was directed to handover to Prof Lawrence Dim, a professor of Physics from Ahmadu Bello University , Zaria with immediate effect. Reacting to the development, the National Coordinator of National Nuclear Medicine Project, Prof Bola Osifo thanked all stakeholders who contributed to making sure the fee was reversed. Prof Osifo said since the beginning of this year the two centres could not practise due to the arbitrary increase of li-

cense fee from the initial N250,000 a year to N2 million . Without the licence , the centres would not be given clearance by the International Atomic Energy Agency( IAEA) to import radioactive nuclear materials used for diagnoses and treatment of cancer patients . The National Coordinator of Nuclear Medicine project in a letter dated December 13, addressed to Prof T.C. Akpa, Director, Radioactive Safety under the Nigeria Nuclear Regulatory Authority expressed bewilderment over the arbitrary increase of license fees , declaring that the centres been a non profit making body could not afford to pay N2million every year for license. The letter reads:” It is difficult for me to understand your review of fees after I had applied for licence for 2014 since November 8, 2013. The fact is that no department of Nuclear Medicine in this country can afford to pay your fees. Your Commission is already ruining our 2014 practice as our suppliers have written to us to submit our licences latest December 23, 2013. Please remember that we are

practicing in a hospital which is not a profitable business venture , rather it is to help millions of Nigerians who are very sick and cannot afford to go anywhere else for their medical care unlike the elites of this country . We would like to remind you that we are running an IAEA project where all the equipment are given free of charge by the Agency . “ The Minister of Petroleum is the supervising minister to the Nigeria Nuclear Regulatory Authority ( NNRA) saddled with the responsibility of issuing licence to the National Nuclear Medicine project in the country. Despite repeated letters to the regulatory authority, nothing positive was done to issue the licence or review the fees three months after . A source said several calls made by the agency to the Minister of Petroleum were rebuffed on the matter . “This place was opened in March 2006 . Few years later, they opened another centre in National Hospital, Abuja . This is the first and this is the headquarters of nuclear medicine in Nigeria . So, Ibadan has been practising nuclear medicine since March 2006 and we

need licence from another agency of the Federal Government, that is called Nigeria Nuclear Regulatory Authority . And that licence they will give us is three licences combined. Licence to import radioactive materials because what we use in nuclear medicine is radioactive materials; licence to practise nuclear medicine and the third licence is for where we are using it. “And we use to pay N250,000 in a year . In November 2013, we applied, by December we didn’t hear anything from them. So, we contacted them. As we applied here in Ibadan, we also applied from the National Hospital Abuja because Abuja has to cooperate with us since Abuja is under Ibadan . The Nigeria Nuclear Regulatory Authority belongs to the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources . Then, we wrote them after a long period then they told us that the licence fees which was N250,000 is now N2million . Then, we said N2million a year is abominable . And that we don’t sell anything here ,we only take care of patients and Nigeria is a poor country ,” the National Coordinator, Nuclear Medicine project in Nigeria said.

Ogundipe now EKSUTH’s CMD


Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III (left) and the OwaObokun of Ijeshaland, Oba Adekunle Aromolaran when the Owa visited the Alaafin’s Palace...yesterday.

Ayoka, Osunbor: Group urges AGF to act on NHRC’s recommendation


•Catholic faithful taking Holy Communion at the Sacred Heart Catholic Parish, Gwagwalada in Abuja...yesterday.

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

KITI StateGovernor Kayode Fayemi has appointed Dr Kolawole Ogundipe as the Chief Medical Director of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti. The Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon was appointed in acting capacity last year. The appointment takes immediate effect according to a letter dated April 17 and signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Folake Olomojobi. Ogundipe, a native of Ijesa Isu Ekiti in Ikole Local Government, joined EKSUTH in 2008 as a Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon before he became the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee of the hospital in 2012. Dr Ogundipe is also the immediate past Chairman of the Ekiti State chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

GROUP, the Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) yesterday praised the Governing Council of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for its recommendation that some individuals be prosecuted by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) for alleged violation of electoral laws It urged the AGF to take up the challenge and ensure that those indicted are actually prosecuted to serve as deterrent for others. The NHRC had in a recommendation to the AGF, reported by the media yesterday, suggested the prosecution of some 41 people including former Edo State Governor, Prof Oserhiemen Osunbor and an Electoral Commissioner with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mrs Ayoka Adebayo be prosecuted for election related offences. NOPRIN, in a statement yesterday, said it “believes that the only way to check impunity for crime and human rights abuse is to ensure that those indicted are tried under relevant laws and borough to account. “This will create deterrence and send a strong message to perpetrators that crime and abuse will no more be tolerated and those who commit them will no longer be protected by impunity. The group, in the statement by its National Coordinator, Okechukwu Nwanguma, argued that electoral offences by those, who ought to prevent them particularly, electoral officials and law enforcement agents deny Nigerians their right to participate in governance. “Reform of our electoral system will not work unless those who subvert electoral laws are punished as deterrence. “This is coming at a most auspicious time when elections are around the corner. Acting on the NHRC’s recommendations is necessary to send a clear warning to the indicted and other intending electoral offenders that the days of impunity are over. “NOPRIN therefore, calls on the AGF to prioritise the sanctity and integrity of our electoral system by acting promptly and courageously on the recommendations of the NHRC. “The AGF should ensure the immediate arraignment and prompt trial of all those indicted in the overall interest of Nigerians,” it said.



NEWS Stakeholders seek legal backing for National Building Code From Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor), Abuja


TAKEHOLDERS in the Building and Construction industry have urged the Federal Government to legalise the National Building Code. This, they said, would enable the country to sanitise and secure the industry. The National Building Code, which came into force in 2006, has been accepted by all stakeholders but still lacks legal backing. In a communique issued at the end of the second edition of Lafarge National Dialogue series in Abuja, the stakeholders also urged the government to forward the building code to the National Assembly for consideration and passage into law. The stakeholders regretted that building collapse had persisted, despite the efforts by professionals and various tiers of government. The communique ruled out the quality of cement among the causes of building collapse in the country. It said: “There is no substandard cement produced in the country. The 32.5 strength manufactured by cement manufacturers is of world standard. “Professionals are unanimous that cement is not responsible for building collapse and identify issues such as faulty designs, sharp practices, non-involvement of professionals in building projects, overloading due to change in initial building plans, among others, for economic gains, as contributory factors to building collapse.”


APC: intelligence failure, corruption caused Nyanya bombing

HE All Progressives Congress (APC) has said the bombing at the Nyanya Motor Park in Abuja was the failure of intelligence and a combination of corruption and incompetence. The main opposition party noted that despite the billions the Federal Government had spent on security equipment in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), nothing was working to enhance security surveillance in the territory. APC Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, addressed reporters yesterday in his home town, Oro, Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, after attending the dedication of St. Andrews Catholic Church in the town. He said: "What is happening in Nigeria today is simply the failure of government. What happened in Nyanya was failure of intelligence and it is a combination of corruption and incompetence. "How can the government tell us it spent N86 billion to install closed circuits cameras (CCTV) in Abuja and yet none is working today? If that money had been truly spent, we would have had footage of what happened in Nyanya. Is the Federal Government really telling us what it knows about Boko Haram? We suspect the government is trying to make political benefits out of the lives of our people." The party spokesman

•Party seeks convocation of security summit From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

faulted the claim of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the APC was behind insurgency in the land. Mohammed said: "It is quite reckless and unfortunate that anybody without any proof would come and make such senseless accusation. Who are our leaders that you are accusing of supporting Boko Haram? Who are our leaders that you are accusing of being fanatical Muslims? They will mention Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. "Unfortunately for many Nigerians, we are ruled by emotions, not by facts. In December 1983, when Gen. Buhari came to power, he had a Muslim as the second-incommand, the late Gen. Tunde Idiagbon. Yet, Gen. Buhari refused to drag Nigerians to the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC). "Is there any further proof that this is a man who believes that Nigeria should not be divided on the grounds of religion? Why have Nigerians forgotten this? Nigerians have also forgotten that our forefathers, our former leaders, ran away from everything that would divide us, especially in terms religion and eth-

nicity? "That was one of the reasons the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) was introduced - to forge unity among Nigerians. One of the reasons the Federal Character Commission was introduced and made part of the constitution was to ensure that despite our differences, there is balance and equity. "This (PDP) government has brought religion and ethnicity to the forefront. It is very sad, and it pains me when Nigerians take hook, line and sinker the accusation by the PDP that APC is behind religious uprising. What would APC gain from killing the people it wants to govern; from destroying the economy of the (Northeast) states? "Each of the governors in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe is spending so much money, which ought to have gone to infrastructural development, on security. They have had their entire economies destroyed. There are over 10,000 widows in those three states; there are 201 schools destroyed in Yobe and 800 classrooms destroyed in Borno. "It would have been sensible if Boko Haram were the creation of APC and it was attacking PDP states. What is the information that Olisha

Metuh (PDP National Publicity Secretary) has that the National Security Adviser (NSA) does not have? If it is true we are behind Boko Haram, why can't you arrest and prosecute us? "Not too long ago, the President himself admitted that his government was infiltrated by Boko Haram. The late NSA, General Owoye Azazi said the Boko Haram problem stemmed from inequity and injustice in the PDP." On the solution to the security challenges in the land, Mohammed said: "We have offered them (the Federal Government) our hands of cooperation. The latest we suggested is a National Summit on Security. The government should urgently convoke a National Summit on Security. This is different from the ongoing national confab. However, the insincerity of government is worrisome to us. "Even the reaction of President Goodluck Jonathan does not portray him as somebody who is genuinely concerned about the plight of Nigerians. Otherwise, 24 hours after the Nyanya bomb blasts, he would not have left Abuja to go dancing in Kano or for the Olubadan of Ibadan's centenary to drink champagne when we had over 75 people roast-

‘Stop genocide against Jukun’ By Adeyinka Aderibigbe


Ashafa urges Christians to emulate Jesus


HE senator representing Lagos East, Gbenga Ashafa, has urged Christians to emulate the exemplary life of sacrifice, love and selflessness that Jesus Christ embodies. He advised them to embrace other people, including those who despise them, with brotherly affection. The senator noted that this has remained a central focus of Christian teaching. In his Easter message to Christians at the weekend, Ashafa said: “The lessons of Easter, when Christians all over the world reflect on the excruciating experiences of Jesus Christ and his eventual triumph over death, should never be lost on us, in our period of challenges, sufferings and deprivation. “I enjoin all Christians to emulate the virtues of Jesus Christ as a good and an exemplary leader without whom there will not be anything called Easter today. “In this sober period, everyone of us, regardless of our religion, should be our brother’s keeper. This is the only way peace can reign instead of the incessant security challenges the country is battling at the moment.”

ed alive. To combat religious acrimony in the land, the opposition spokesman offered a good example. Mohammed said: "I will urge Nigerians to emulate my small community where religious harmony and tolerance are at play. However, the truth of the matter is that Nigerians are really not divided along religious lines. But I think people who want to seek elective offices or people who want to seek undue advantage to exploit these primordial sentiments of religion and ethnicity are the problems. I think the average Nigerian can live together harmoniously, irrespective of his or her religion. "The Boko Haram insurgency is worrisome because, going by the statement credited to Akwa Ibom Governor Godswill Akpabio. He said President Jonathan should sack the three governors of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, not for any reason but because it would give the PDP an advantage towards 2015. "That, again, gives us concerns, that probably the manner the government has been handling the Boko Haram insurgency has been with a view to 2015 elections. That will be very sad, because I know that our party has severally warned that nobody should politicise, ethnicise or regionalise the issue as it is a national matter. It is even becoming a global issue. We should all be sincere in our approach to it."

•Members of Apostolic Faith Church choir performing during the Easter concert at the church headquarters at Anthony PHOTO: NNEKA NWANERI Village, Lagos...on Sunday.

Exhibition on Soyinka’s 80th birthday opens


CTIVITIES marking Nobel Laureate Prof Wole Soyinka’s 80th birthday celebration have begun with an exhibition, tagged WS80 International Cultural Exchange. The exhibition, which comprises life paintings of the global literary icon, will open at the Ogun State Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, on Thursday, April 24 and run till July. The 80-day exhibition was planned to be a countdown to the renowned writer’s 80th birthday in July. It also marks the fifth edition of the yearly WS Inter-

By Ozolua Uhakheme, Assistant Editor (Arts)

national Cultural Exchange (ICE) Programme, which began in 2010 when Soyinka turned 76. The Chief Executive Officer of Zmirage Multimedia Company and Executive Producer of the WS80-ICE Programme, Alhaji Teju Kareem said a weekly workshop for secondary school pupils in Ogun State was being organised for the celebration. He said the workshop was being planned to inspire the youths throughout the 80

days. Kareem said the exhibition, being organised in conjunction with the Ogun State Ministry of Education, and Culture and Tourism, “will be declared open by ...Governor (Ibikunle Amosun) at 11am on Thursday, April 24”. Among other dignitaries, Prof. Soyinka himself is expected to attend the opening session, with notable artists, art patrons and collectors. Life paintings of Prof Soyinka, which were produced during the maiden edition of “The Legend Series”, coordinated and conducted by the Olu Ajayi Studios, will be

displayed throughout the exhibition period. About 20 artists of diverse orientations and techniques have hosted the Nobel laureate during studio sessions where the renowned writer was painted life as directed by the popular painter, Olu Ajayi. It was learnt that since it began, “The Legend Series” has featured Prof Yussuf Grillo; Prof. Bruce Onobrakpeya; the Oba of Benin, Omo Noba N’edo Erediauwa Uku Akpolokpolo and, lately, Prof. John Pepper Clark-Bekederemo.

HE Jukun ethnic nationality in the northeast, under the aegis of Jukuns Development Association (JDA), has urged Amnesty International (AI) and the Human Rights Community (HRC) in Nigeria to stop the “genocide taking place in Wukari and other communities in Southern Taraba”. The group urged the Federal Government to stop the killing of innocent people. It said armed Fulani herdsmen killed over 100 people, including women and children, in nine Jukun villages during attacks in the last five days. Addressing reporters in Lagos, JDA President Benjamin Bako Danborno said the situation in Jukun demanded desperate action from the government. He stressed that the people, if continuously left undefended, might recourse to selfhelp. The spokesman appealed to the Federal Government to assist the state government in ensuring that tight security is provided and the lives and property of the people protected. Danborno said: “Our people have been under severe bombardment in the last five days and nine Jukun villages and our town, Wukari, have been attacked. We are peaceloving peeple. “We want the government to explore peaceful means to settle the grievances these people may have against our people, which led to the killings, before the people begin to take the law into their hands.” The spokesman said his people were beginning to read political undertone to the attacks, adding that southern Taraba was noted for being the haven of peace in the region.




Mob searches ex-police officer’s home for human parts


THREE-storey building in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, was vandalised yesterday by a mob on the suspicion that the landlord trades in human parts. The house is situated at Agogo-Ogun Compound in Ijaiye. It is reportedly owned by a retired police officer. Residents, in their hundreds, gathered at the gate of the house and threw stones and other objects at the glass window panes. They were about to pull down the fence when men and officers of the Police, Department of State Security (DSS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Vigilante Service of Ogun State (VSO) intervened. The residents claimed that there was an underground cell in the house where kidnap victims were being held before they were killed and their parts sold to ritualists. By noon, when the residents insisted that they would not leave the compound until it was searched, the security agents sent for the Balogun of Ijaiye

Ekiti fire stations get trucks


HE Ekiti State government has given a fire-fighting truck to each of the fire stations at Ijero, Ikole, Omuo and Aramoko-Ekiti. Handing over the trucks at the Fire Service Headquarters in Ado-Ekiti, Commissioner for Special Duties Apalara WoleAdewunmi said they would ensure swift response to fire. He said the government would maintain the trucks and train firemen on how to use modern equipment.

I do not know what the mob was looking for. The people said there was an underground cell here but we searched everywhere and found no underground cell. This is an unfounded rumour and I do not know the person behind it. From Ernest Nwokolo,


and Aare of Egbaland, Alhaji Ganiyu Alimo. After his arrival, the security men broke into the building and searched it. They were accompanied by the Balogun and representatives of the residents. After searching for about an hour, nothing was found. Two women tenants were found in the compound. The residents, who had threatened to burn the building if their suspicions were confirmed, were told to

52 die on Ogun roads

•A crowd in front of the house...yesterday.

go home. Addressing reporters after the search, the Balogun said: “I do not know what the mob was looking for. The people said there was an underground cell here but we searched everywhere and found no underground cell. This is an unfounded rumour and I do not know the person behind it. I do not know if the owner of the building has been notified of this incident because I do not know him very well. “He has never come to my house. He built on a family land. This is Agogo-Ogun compound. When he was building this house, I asked the people living here about him and they said he is one

of their children. “Having gone inside and found no underground prison, I appeal to the youths not to cause chaos because the rumour is unfounded. There is no need to break into somebody’s house. If they have suspicions about him, they should inform the Council of Chiefs and we will talk to him.” VSO spokesman Soji Ganzalo said: “We heard that there was an underground cell in the house and that they were trading in human parts. We mobilised security agents there and searched the house and nothing of such was found. “The mob vandalised the house and if we were not on

tumes have been sold out in the markets. The Lagos Carnival, which is a beautiful recreation of the age-long tradition of Brazilian Lagos, as pioneered by Brazilian returnees, Emancipados, was given added impetus through a colourful display of music, dance and procession. The participants, earlier in a procession, went through Bourdillon Road, Giwa Barracks, Falomo Roundabout, Awolowo Road, King George V Road, Igbosere Road, Campos Square, Catholic Mission Street and Tafawa Balewa Square in a road show. The six educational districts in Lagos were represented at the parade, which also featured areas

like Ikeja, Ketu, Agege, Ifako- Ijaiye, Ikorodu Ogba, Isolo, Surulere, OdiOlowo, Mushin, Ilasamaja, Oworonshoki Awoyaya, Addo Langbasa, Epe and Badagry. They joined the traditional Fanti groups of Campos Lafiaji, Epetedo and Oko Faji in beautiful displays. Guests at the event included Tourism Minister Edem Duke; Commissioner for Finance Ayo Gbeleyi; Mrs Florence Oguntuashe (Establishment, Training and Pensions); Mr. Ademorin Kuye, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs; Mr Lateef Ibirogba, Information and Strategy; Special Adviser on Taxation and Revenue Mr Abimbola Shodipo; elder statesman Chief Mo-

Fashola urges residents to be vigilant


OR the fifth year running, colour, glamour and splendid displays took the centre stage as a crowd of excited Lagosians and tourists thronged the Tafawa Balewa Square yesterday for the 2014 Lagos Carnival. Guests from all walks of life applauded various groups as they danced in the colourful carnival procession. Governor Babatunde Fashola, who was accompanied by his wife, Abimbola, and Deputy Governor Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, reiterated the need for peaceful coexistence and urged everyone to remain vigilant and be their brothers’ keepers. Fashola said there was need for everyone to be

peaceful and respect one another’s choice, adding that it is only when there is peace that this kind of carnival can take place. He said: “I congratulate all of you at this season of Easter, a season of sacrifice and triumph. As you go away from here, you must expect that we will triumph over all our challenges. “It is my pleasure to be here with you at this year’s carnival, called LASGIDI. It has been a whole week of fun from Badagry to the waterways in the Regatta and many other activities at the Freedom Park.” Fashola said the carnival represents the real spirit of Lagos, which is a spirit of prosperity, adding that items used for the cos-


ground, it would have been set on fire. It is a baseless accusation. Nothing of what they alleged happened here. We have been trying to get the phone number of the owner of the house to notify him of the incident. But with the presence of the Balogun here, who is the number one person in Ijaiye, I believe there would be no problem. He is a member of the community.” One of the women found in the compound said: “I was inside the house when I heard the crowd outside smashing the glass windows. I do not really know what happened outside. The other tenant moved in here about five days ago.”

14 suspects held in Ondo From Damisi Ojo, Akure


lade Okoya-Thomas; former Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Social Development Prince Ademola Adeniji Adele and members of the Local Organising Committee.

Easter: Ibadan residents flood tourist centres

OURIST centres in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, were flooded yesterday by picnickers a n d s h o p p e r s i n continuation of the Easter celebration. The capital city was agog as residents thronged the Heritage and Cocoa Malls at Dugbe, the Trans Amusement Park, major eateries, the Zoological Garden of the University of Ibadan (U.I.) and hotels. At the Heritage and Cocoa Malls, residents filled the popular supermarket,

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

Shoprite; the cinema and eateries. The large car park was filled up. Many customers endured long minutes of waiting before they could get a space to park their vehicles. The situation was the same at the Trans Amusement Park and U.I.’s Zoological Garden. The N200 gate fee at the Zoo remained unchanged. Major eateries, including Mr. Biggs, Tantalizers and


IFTY two people have died in 66 road accidents in Ogun State from January to March, the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) said yesterday. The Sector Commander, Mr. Adetunji, said 264 people were injured in road accidents during the period under review. He said the figure indicated over 50 per cent drop compared with casualties recorded during the same period last year, when 107 deaths were recorded and 674 persons were injured in 218 accidents. Giving the breakdown for each month, he said the command recorded 158 casualties in 24 crashes in January, with 22 deaths and 90 people injured. Adetunji explained that in February, 207 casualties were recorded in 20 crashes, with 12 people killed and 89 injured. “In March, we recorded 177 casualties in 22 crashes, where 18 persons lost their lives and 85 injured,’’ he said. Adetunji said most of the crashes were due to speeding, dangerous driving and violation of traffic rules. He urged road users to obey traffic rules always.

FoodCo, enjoyed high patronage. Tantalizers attracted more customers with its repackaged menu, which offers cheaper meals. Some hotels had special Easter offers. At the hilltop Premier Hotel, some customers swam at the swimming pool while others wined, dined and danced at the restaurant. Memories of this year’s Easter celebration will not be forgotten soon by many residents.


OURTEEN robbery suspects have been paraded by the police in Ondo State. They include a physically-challenged man, Kabiru Lateef (20) from Oyo State, who claims to be a shoemaker. Lateef said he was a friend to one of the suspects, Sheriff Olamoyegun from Ondo town, and they live in the same apartment. He said he was not aware that his friend was a “robber” and did not follow him to any operation. Lateef said his friend used to leave the house at night on the excuse of going to church and returned between 3 and 5am with a Bible, some handsets and cash. He confessed that he often got some of what his friend brought home and sometimes helped to sell the phones without asking where they came from. Police Commissioner Isaac Eke assured residents of security and warned criminals to stay away from the state.




EKITI 2014

I’ll continue to do development with the people, says Fayemi E KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi has promised that he will always involve people in the state’s development. The governor spoke at the weekend in Isan-Ekiti during his quarterly meeting with representatives of Community Development Associations (CDAs) across the state for a review of ongoing projects being implemented across communities through the grant-in-aids programme. Fayemi said the Community Self Help Projects programme was a fulfilment of his promise not to “do development for the people, but to do development with the people”. The various CDAs were represented at the meeting by their chairmen and sec-

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

retaries. Fayemi said the programme was already actualising its set goals even as some communities have completed their projects while others are at advanced completion stages. Said he: “It is a quarterly meeting of community representatives in the 132 communities and farmsteads. We have projects almost dotting all communities. Some have been completed, some are half-way through, some are three quarter finished and we have milestone payment for them and some are due for second

tranche payment. “The monarchs in each community show appreciation for the self-help projects. They chose the project, the contractor, the carpenter and plumber. The jobs are done in such a way that grows the local economy and help those who have skills in artisanship in the communities”, he said. The governor stressed the need for the community leaders to ensure peace in their various communities even as the State prepares for the June 21 governorship election. According to him, while every citizen had a right to belong to an association of

his choice, the leaders should ensure the political parties and their members in the communities conduct affairs in accordance with the law. The CDAs lauded Fayemi for introducing the grant-inaid programme, which has enabled them revive and complete many projects which the communities have abandoned for lack of funds. The Commissioner for Rural Development and Community Empowerment, Folorunso Olabode, said the meeting became necessary to get feedback on the self-help projects even as the government merely provides the funds and monitors the execution of the projects.

‘I wasn’t bribed to support Fayose’


ORMER Ekiti State Deputy Governor Abiodun Aluko has said none of the 13 aggrieved Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) aspirants was induced to support the candidacy of the ex-Governor Ayodele Fayose. Aluko said he decided of his own volition to support Fayose being a loyal member of the party and the enormous respect he had for President Goodluck Jonathan. Speaking yesterday at a rally he organised to drum support for Fayose, Aluko said neither the party nor the Presidency offered him money for supporting Fayose. He noted: “What I did was to show that I am a loyal party man. I am too politically conscious to know that it is better to be in the

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

PDP, a party that controls the centre and that can be of advantage to the state and my supporters than to defect to APC.” He explained that while he was earlier opposed to Fayose’s candidacy, the thought of a greater need to strengthen the party at the state made him set aside all misgivings about the party primaries. Urging all his supporters to rally round the PDP candidate for the victory of the PDP at the June 21 election, Aluko assured them that “their interests will be well and adequately protected”. He said: “I have no choice than to work for the success of the PDP in the election. I have to work with former Governor Ayodele Fayose

to win the election. “As a loyal party man, I don’t have to believe that the whole house must collapse because I didn’t get the ticket. I was not desperate for it and whatever grievances I had had been put to rest.” Fayose praised Aluko for what he described as “uncommon show of sportsmanship and statesmanship”, promising that “I would offer leadership that would represent all interests in our great party if elected governor again in this coming election”. The former governor berated Governor Kayode Fayemi for what he called “dwindling fortunes of education in the state”. According to him, the state now ranked 35th in public examinations in the country as against the 6th during his time.

Group accuses APC of preparing for war


HE Save Ekiti Coalition (SEC) has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State of preparing for war in the June 21 governorship election. The group was reacting to Governor Kayode Fayemi’s criticism of Vice-President

Namadi Sambo’s statement that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was going to war in Ekiti and Osun states. It described Fayemi’s media attack on Sambo as hypocritical and deceitful, added that “it was the height of deceit for anyone to say that Ekiti State under Fayemi and his APC is

at peace.” In a statement yesterday by its Convener, Mr Lere Olayinka, the SEC said: “The Vice President has assured that the principle of one man one vote, and transparent election would be observed in the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections.”

Ekiti Governor’s wife receives defectors into APC

•Mrs Fayemi


HE wife of Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, has said the rural areas and farmsteads will feel more government attention. She spoke during her visit to Ejiko and Aba Igbira in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area, as well as Asaride Farm, in Ido/Osi Local Government Area in continuation of her empowerment visits to the farmsteads, at the weekend. The governor’s wife has visited 15 farmsteads located

in Ekiti Southwest, Ijero, Oye, Ilejemeje, Moba, Irepodun/Ifelodun and Ido/ Osi local government areas. At each stop, she gave out gallons of kerosene, treated mosquito nets, cooking stoves, garri and palm oil processing machines, and other empowerment materials. She received defectors at Ejiko. Mrs Fayemi said: “I congratulate all of you for dumping darkness and coming into light. This is the party that has good plans for citizens, irrespective of age, social class, religion or ethnicity. “Let me use this opportunity to admonish foundation members of the APC not to discriminate against the newcomers. Once you team up with our party, you have equal rights and opportunities. “I want to task the defectors

to go back to their former parties and woo more members for the APC. Go and tell them to also jettison darkness for light. The more the merrier.” Erelu Fayemi later distributed APC customised hand bands and brooms to the defectors, assisted by the party’s State Women Leader, Chief Funke Owoseni. The leader of the defectors, Sule Ahmed, said they made up their mind to defect to the APC when they saw the impressive activities of the governor and his wife, as well as indigenes of Irepodun-Ifelodun LG serving under the governor. He said: “The (Caretaker Committee) Chairman of the Local Government, Major Tajudeen Awe (retd); and Jaru (Mr. Deji Adesokan, Senior Special Assistant on Security to the Governor) are helping the people a lot.”

Said he: “How did Ekiti lose education this much? Why are the teachers being asked to do exam when there are other ways to motivate them? “My 11 years out of power has made me better experienced, responsible and responsive. I will employ people, even if for social reasons. This coming election, PDP must win. Teachers, workers, civil servants, they are all crying Fayose.”

‘Transformative leadership’ll earn governor another term’


From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi will be re-elected for a second term in the June 21 governorship election, based on his transformative leadership, his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Olayinka Oyebode, said yesterday at a forum in Ido-Ile. He said Ekiti people recognise and appreciate good work as well as good leaders and know how to give “appropriate” reward. According to the CPS, Fayemi has improved the quality of lives of the people and the various communities in the last three and a half years through innovation and prudent management of the resources of the state. According to him, while other aspirants would be labouring to convince the electorate on their ability, Fayemi’s record of achievements in education and human capital development, health care delivery, youth, women and community empowerment, gender empowerment, tourism development, modernised agriculture and the social security scheme would speak for him. Describing other aspirants as pretenders, Oyebode said Fayemi raised the bar of governance, adding that the Ekiti people, having tasted massive development by an accountable and compassionate administration are not prepared to go back to the era of brigandage that characterised the state between 2003 and 2010. He said: “Governor Fayemi knows where Ekiti should be in the next four years and has the roadmap and the ability to take the state and the people there. This is difference from other aspirants many of whom have no clear cut agenda. Till date, he remains the only one who has a clear vision of what he wants to do for the state and its people in the next four years. “Sometimes you laugh and cry when you hear some aspirants discuss their vision for the state. The other time one of them was discussing his educational plan, said he would change the name of the state university. Another said he would not take salary. I tell you Ekiti people have moved beyond these mundane and childish promises. Now is the time to tell the people what and what you would do to improve the education or tourism sector or else you have no business canvassing for their votes.” On the gale of violence in the state, Oyebode said the trend was a deliberate attempt by one of the candidates to hide his inadequacies.



NEWS EKITI 2014 Residents root for Ekiti governor


From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

ESIDENTS of communities in Ekiti State are praying for the success of Governor Kayode Fayemi in the governorship election. Speaking in Iro-Ekiti, a resident, Madam Rachael Ayantunde said the governor has done a lot to make her happy, adding: “I can point to three things which he has done for me. One is that since the death of Saliu Adeoti, he has been feeding me and when they brought the Owo Arugbo (money for the elderly - Social Seciurity stipend), they have been giving me; he has supported me to complete my house which you can see there. Generally, he has assisted us with our palace project. They will soon finish the palace.” Mama Alice Akanni, a resident of Osun-Ekiti, thanked the governor for his programmes. Another beneficiary of the social security scheme, Baba Afolayan Awogbami, said Owo Arugbo is reason why many elders in the town has not died, noting: “So many of our people would have died without the money. Fayemi, you are a child to us and we are praying for you. Whoever plans evil for you shall reap evil as profit. You will win this election and continue to win in life.” Madam Akanni, 60, explained that although she was not receiving the N5000 monthly stipend for elders, she was impressed. “What I have seen about him (Fayemi) is too much. Since I came to this world and living in this state, I have never seen a government like Fayemi’s. I can say so many things. He has been assisting the people,” she said.


Fayemi to VP Sambo: Ekiti not a war front

KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi has taken exception to Vice-President Namadi Sambo’s description of the state as a war front, saying that the remark is unbecoming of the number two citizen. He said the pronouncement, which was reminiscent of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s “door-die” slogan, may directly or indirectly provoke insecurity, ahead of the June 21 governorship poll. Describing the statement as worrisome and unfortunate, the governor said the state needed a cogent assurance by the Independent Natio0nal Electoral Commission (INEC) that it would conduct a credible poll. Fayemi spoke with reporters in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, at the weekend on the preparations for the election and implications of the Vice-President’s statement. He said: “The Vice-President is someone I relate with very well. He and I are on the board of the Nigeria Integrated Power Project (NIPP). He chairs the NIPP and I represent the Southwest in the power project in the country. Through that, we meet fairly regularly. “ The Vice-President has every right to push for his party in any election. That is his legitimate right. But, what the media reported him to have purportedly said was quite unfortunate because we are not at war in Ekiti. We have been here three and a half years and Ekiti is one of the most peaceful states in this country today. So, for somebody who occupies one of the highest offices in the land as our Vice President, to reduce the importance of his office and promote insecurity, either directly or by subterfuge, and in this case it is pretty much directly and it wasn’t used figuratively, he used it in a matter of fact that he was


•Dr Fayemi addressing leaders of all town union associations in the state during the quarterly meeting with Community Development Associations in the weekend.

•We need assurance that INEC will conduct credible poll


NOA urges candidates not to kill to be governor

HE Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mike Omeri, has urged governorship candidates in Ekiti State not to engage in killings to realise their ambition. Omeri urged religious leaders to join the campaign for mutual tolerance and peaceful co-existence across party divides. Speaking at a stakeholders’ forum organised by the Agency in Oye-Ekiti, Oye Local Government Area of the state at the weekend, Omeri also noted the traditional rulers equally have a role to play in ensuroing peace before and during the polls. He said: “All of us are members of this same community and whatever harms one person harms another person. The conduct of a free, fair and credible election is the responsibility of all. Particularly, the religious leaders and traditional rulers must sensitise their subjects on evils that are associated with electoral violence. “The youth and women groups also must be alive By Emmanuel Oladesu, Group Political Editor

going to a war front. “It is very reminiscent of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s door-die statement, which is really unbecoming of the person who occupies the number two office in the land. I still would like to take the Vice-President on himself. I hope he would deny saying that and it would be some form of reassurance. I think it is the underlying text that should worry us.” Fayemi said the statement should be taken seriously by lovers of democracy and sanctity of the ballot box, in view of the unfolding alleged unruly behaviour of prominent Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains in the Southwest. He added: “ All of us also saw what happened at Ilaje-Ese Odo and the

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti to their responsibilities. They should ensure that the young people are not recruited by politicians as thugs to destabilise the system”. The State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Alhaji Halilu Pai, said the commission would be transparent and neutral. Pai said: “We don’t have a favourite. Our commission is the umpire and we will ensure that we do what is right so that the outcome of the election will be acceptable to all stakeholders. The Chairman, Council of Traditional Rulers in the State, Oba Adamo Babalola, urged the people to participate fully and actively in the electoral process and elect a leader that would bring development to the state. Oba Babalola, the Onitaji (Monarch) of Itaji Ekiti, appealed to all external forces not to meddle in party affairs in the state, noting “External forces should steer clear and allow Ekiti people to decide their leader.”

role played by a minister of government, who does not even come from the state and has no responsibility in the state. The Resident Electoral Commissioner came out openly and said ‘let them challenge what I’m telling you in your report. This was what this person did.’ “The INEC ought to be sending a very strong signal to Mr. President himself that we would not take kindly to this kind of interference by the minister of state in an election that we want as a precursor for the 2015 presidential election”. The governor alleged that certain unscrupulous elements are sewing fake uniforms for fake soldiers and policemen, ahead of the election. Fayemi said: “Ihe Ekiti election is even far more important than the 2015 election because, if confi-

dence is lost in INEC’s preparation and eventual implementation of the Ekiti election, that will rub off terribly on the 2015 election. I mean the INEC is already on the tenterhook. We know what happened in Anambra. “I think INEC together with Inter Agency Committee and Security that would be involved in the election to give people a lot of reassurance,, following the Vice President’s statement. I think it is very unfortunate. I think it is unbecoming of his office. “I think the Vice-President really ought to withdraw the statement and reassure Nigerians that the agenda for Ekiti election is not going to be determined in Aso Rock but by Ekiti people because it is a referendum on the performance of the current government in Ekiti. It is not a national election. It should

not be reduced to a national election. So, that would be my reaction to the unfortunate remark of the Vice President”. Fayemi urged political leaders to learn from the lessons of history to avoid a repeat of the past tragedy that shook the nation to its foundation. He warned against bungling Ekiti poll as the INEC did in Anambra State, stressing out that the Ekiti will definitely react differently. He added: “This is Ekiti and people who are familiar with the history here would know that this is not a very good place to rig election. You can afford to manipulate elections in Anambra because Anambra has a lot of rich people who are even richer than the governor. “My friend, Peter Obi, used to say to me when he was still the governor that there were so many people with mobile police and security that they throw him off the street, even when he was still governor. So, election is not what Anambra people see as a big deal; yes, they are interested but it is not for them any big deal. In Ekiti, you will discover that everybody is interested in what happens because we have 2.5million governors in this state. “Every single indigene believes he has what it takes; that he understands government and that he knows how to govern. So, you can’t say such a person does not have an opinion. And when you try to manipulate elections in a place like Ekiti, the result has not been palatable. Whether you refer to 1964/65; Ekiti was even more of a resistance zone than Ikenne and, of course, when you talk of 1983, we all can remember what happened here. Even though our son was the person that perpetrated the crisis, they still did not spare him and his supporters.”

I initiated social security scheme for the elderly, says Fayose

HE governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State, Mr. Ayo Fayose, has said he started the social security scheme for the elderly people in the state during his tenure as governor. Fayose spoke at the weekend while on campaign tour of wards in Ayegbaju and Oye Ekiti. “It is not true that Fayemi started the monthly payment for the elderly in the state,” he said. On the train with Fayose were Senator Ayo Arise, Dr Jimi Oke, Hon Duro Faseyi, Senator Clement Awoyelu and others. He urged the electorate to vote

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

for him in the June 21 election to enable him continue the progrmme, adding: “I will improve upon the existing programme as being implemented by Fayemi and bring life to more people in the state”. But, the spokesman for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti, Mr. Segun Dipe, said Fayose did not initiate the scheme. He said: “No one in this state knew what our elders now know as ‘Owo Arugbo (Money for the elderly or social security scheme) programme until Fayemi came

•APC: he’s lying to win cheap favour with it over three years ago.” Fayose said N2,000 was given to elderly individuals as allowance every month from 2003-2006 apart from special package for the widows. He said: “Though, I don’t want to engage in any controversy with anybody over any issue, the records are there for anybody to see. I started the social security scheme for the elderly in this state at the various local governments. “Elderly people were then given the sum of N2,000 on monthly basis and the widows were equally taken

care of, aside the fact that l pay salary to workers, including teachers, on 20th of every month. Given another opportunity, I will improve on this.” Fayose said God has ordained him to return to power on October 15. The former governor urged his supporters to get their voter cards and embark on a house-to-house campaign. Dipe said Fayose lied on “the spirit of both the living and the dead by claiming to have given the elderly people social security benefits”, noting that all the programmes of the former governor were “half hearted

and poorly implemented”. He said: “Fayose has again resorted to lying to win cheap favour. Let us ask him (Fayose) where exactly he implemented his social security scheme and for what category or class of people.” The monarch of Oye-Ekiti, Oba Oluwole Ademolaju, urged Fayose to ensure peaceful and violencefree election. Ademolaju said: “It is the view of we traditional rulers in this state that we want election devoid of acrimony. Fayose has said he does not want violence. To you his followers, please do according to his wish; don’t create unnecessary tension.”





•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (third right); his deputy, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire (right); governor’s wife Dame Abimbola (second right); Minister for Culture Edem Duke (third left); Fashola’s mum Omolara (left) and Mrs Bintu Tinubu at the Lagos State Carnival at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos...yesterday.

•Industralist Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas and Erelu Abiola Dosumu

• Former Ogun State Governor Aremo Olusegun Osoba and his wife Derin

• Bola Tinubu Women Group

•Members of the Lafiagi Giants

• Surulere group

•Agege Local Government Troupe

• Troupe from Oworosoki.














* The Environment * Mortgage * Apartments * Security * Homes * Real Estate Website:- 08062722507

•Public address system: major cause of noise.


ELIEF may soon come the way of Lagos residents. The state government, in its efforts to further sanitise the environment, has approved a sound limit of 55 decibels during the day and 45 decibels at night for places designated as residential areas, while the noise level in industrial areas will not exceed 90 decibels. With these limits, the state government is set to come down hard against noise pollution. The government not only ordered all churches, mosques, bars and relaxation joints to pull down their loud speakers and reduce the noise pollution their activities are constituting to the environment, threatening to seal off any religious centre that flouts the directive. The General Manager, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Rasheed Adebola Shabi, said: “Anything exceeding this can be described as noise and would be categorised as a pollutant once it can be proved to constitute an

Lagos tackles noise pollution By Adeyinka Aderibigbe

inconvenience to neighbours and other residents in the area.” At an interactive and an enlightenment forum organised by the agency for residents of Oworo, in the Kosofe council area of the state on noise pollution, Shabi, who described noise as “any unpleasant or unwanted sound,” said where unregulated, noise pollution could lead to sleep disorder, high blood pressure, hearing impairment, deafness, and might be at the root of other complicated illnesses. Describing noise as a product of increased urbanisation due to increase in population, he identified known sources of noise to come from mobile phones, television and radio, vehicles, train or aeroplanes, and factory or religious activities. He challenged the community d ev e l o p m e n t as s o c i at i o n s ,

traditional institutions to assist the government in ensuring that the people adhere to the directive and reduce the pollution level in other to promote good health of their residents. The Bashorun of Oworoland, Chief Jelili Lawal, praised the government for the initiative, assuring that the traditional institution would swing into action and ensure that all tenants and land owners in the town support the government in the onerous task of reducing noise pollution in Oworo. He said: “Let all tenants and all those who have bought lands from us know that we are with the government on this and you would have us to contend with us first before we report you to the government if you will not comply.” A resident, Ambassador Lawrence Tunde Bade-Afuye (rtd), who was the brain behind the forum, urged the government to

Sambo partners builders on nation building


HE Vice President Nnamadi Sambo has urged professionals in the building and construction industry to brace for more responsibilities to move the nation forward. He made the call at a business luncheon for Top 100 Nigeria’s Development professionals by Construction and Engineering Digest in Lagos. The Vice President, who was represented by the Minister For Land, Housing and Urban Development, Mrs. Akon Eyakeny, said no nation can rise beyond the level of the competence of its enlightened citizenry and knowledgeable workforce, of which the professionals in the industry are a critical part. She noted that in a rapidly changing world where yesterday’s innovations have suddenly been found to be inadequate for meeting

By Adeola Ogunlade

today’s needs, the professionals must brace up for higher responsibilities to move the nation forward. Acknowledging the role of professionals in nation building, she said: “We duly acknowledge the experts and professionals in the built environment as the key for achieving the necessary transformation which we urgently desire in the housing and urban development sector,” adding that the hallmark of professionalism is, however, not in the acquisition of certificates for selfaggrandisement, but in the application of core skills and competence to resolve the challenges of the society. Mrs Eyakeny added that the administration was aware that the reduction of the national housing

deficit and transformation of towns and cities into productive, healthy human settlements, and engine of growth are compelling. “The infrastructural deficit will be addressed holistically and systematically through the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP), which seeks to integrate all sectoral plans into cohesive whole for sustained and affirmative actions,” she said. Chief Executive Officer, KOA Consultant Limited, Ibikunle Ogunbayo, called for the overhauling of the 500 technical colleges in the country to tackle the housing deficit estimated at about 17 million units. He added that the building of such volume of houses would depend on the availability of experts, who are equipped to provide best practices for housing development across the country.

follow the forum with stiff sanction as according to him, “the people we are addressing here are so difficult that only a sanction would compel them to

conform.” The diplomat, who said he no longer finds the noise menace tolerable, campaigned for sanctions on mosques and churches that fail to remove their loud speakers.

Experts harp on affordable housing


OW Nigeria can achieve affordable housing and better urban planning topped discussions at the presentation of a book titled: Affordable Housing and Urban Planning Practice in Nigeria: Advocacy for Change. The book, which was launched at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), was written by Mr Yacoob Abiodun, a town planner and retired Deputy Director (Urban Planning), Federal Ministry of Housing. The reviewer, a former president, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Mr Kadiri Waheed, described the book as the author’s product of passion for town planning and urban development. He said the book was a collection of 58 articles published over three decades by Abiodun as an officer in the Housing and Land ministry, adding that it was borne out of the author’s conviction that there was need for concerted effort by leaders and followers to make the nation clean, healthier, functional and investment-friendly. He said: “That the issue of housing made up the first and largest section of the book is not a surprise because housing is of importance to individual, groups and government. It has become a major societal issue and political concern in Nigeria with its questionable stance over the years.” He said the section on urban planning and management must

By Wale Ajetunmobi

have been based on the author’s conviction that the planning process must steadfastly and consistently serve the overall public interest and must be participatory by recognising the rights of the citizens to take collective decision during the planning process. The chairman of the occasion and former Director of Lands, Urban and Regional Planning in the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Mr Wole Okunfulure, under whom the author worked for over two decades, described Abiodun as an unseen actor, who continue to offer good suggestions and practical answers on how the government could fulfill its obligation to the masses in provision of affordable housing using gamut of strategies. Chairman, Senate Committee on Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Senator Bukar Abba I b r a h i m , p r a i s e d t h e author for writing the book, saying despite efforts by the previous governments, the nation was still lagging behind in the provision of affordable housing for the citizens. Is there a solution to the challenges of town planning and urban management? Abiodun said the challenges could be solved if the government could comply with a nd implement documented policies formulated by the Land Ministry, which were contained in the book, and make them endure.








Two Railway directors, nine others fired over N1b pension fraud E LEVEN persons, including two directors, have been relieved of their jobs over a N1 billion pension fraud at the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC). They were fired following the adoption of the report of the management committee, which probed the matter. At an emergency meeting on April 17 at the corporation’s headquarters, the Bamanga Tukurled board directed the management to implement the report, following its review. A statement issued after the meeting reads: “After a thorough and drastic review of the reports and recommendations of the subcommittee, the Board took corrective administrative decisions

Stories by Adeyinka Aderibigbe

aimed at preventing such inadequacies and mis-calculations in future.” Earlier in a memo , Tukur directed that henceforth, the Board of Trustees (BOT) members should meet regularly with the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Pension Fund in accordance with the law. He pledged the board’s preparedness to restore the NRC as the number one employer in the country and the most economically viable Federal Government establishment. Tukur urged the management to work closely with the Board to

achieve its aim of ensuring the viability of Nigerian Railways. The management, he said, would continue to drive the process for the implementation of policies ennunciated by the corporation’s board. Tukur announced that the Eastern Lines would soon commence to serve the Southeast. He called for the commitment of the staff, assuring them of improvement in their condition of service in line with Civil Service rules. The pension scam was discovered in the corporation earlier in the month, when the management

mandated its administration office to begin the documentation for its intending directors who are billed to retire later in the year. The management swiftly set up an inter-departmental panel headed by the Director of Mechanical and Engineering Mr. Okhiria to probe the scam. The panel in its report which was submitted to the management, indicted 11 workers and two directors in the Finance department. The management had forwarded the panel’s report to the board, which reviewed the report.


Lagos to enforce commercial passenger vehicle licence registration



RE you a commercial vehicle driver or owner? Is your vehicle operating in Lagos? You may be barred, arrested and prosecuted, if your vehicle does not carry the Lagos State Number-Plate, Commissioner for Transportation Kayode Opeifa has said. Opeifa said henceforth, only commercial vehicles registered with Lagos State number-plates would be allowed to operate intra-city transportation. Speaking in his office at

Alausa, Ikeja, Opeifa said this is part of a security review for safer public transportation. He directed all law enforcement agents to apprehend any vehicle violating this directive and prosecute their owners. He added that the directive became necessary in order to ensure the safety of lives and property of the people and in line with the Lagos Road Traffic Law 2012. In addition to the approved li-

cense, the vehicles, Opeifa added, must be painted in the yellow with black stripes, which was the prescribed colour of the state and the drivers must be certified by the Lagos State Drivers Institute (LASDRI). The commissioner served an April 30 deadline for all owners and drivers of commercial passenger vehicles who are yet to document their names and register their vehicles, as full

enforcement would begin fully on May 1. The Lagos State government began the documentation of commercial passenger vehicles in November, last year. Meanwhile, Opeifa urged commuters to be security conscious whenever they are boarding any commercial buses. He urged commuters to be security conscious at motor parks and whenever they board or disembark from vehicles.

LAGBUS urges staff to ensure regular maintenance


ECHANICS working with the LAGBUS Asset Management Ltd., have been asked to ensure the regular maintenenace of the vehicles to prolong their lives. LAGBUS Managing Director Mr Babatunde Disu spoke at a training for the mechanics, held at the Public Service Staff Development Centre (PSSDC) in Magodo, a Lagos suburb. He said: “You don’t need to wait for problem to come before you start the trainingyour workers. We are training the LAGBUS maintenance staff; we have trained the captains before and we will continue to organsie sessions like this to ensure efficiency in service delivery.’’ He said his company has put measures in place to guarantee welfare and security of the staff. “We have put in place safety measures to reduce to the barest minimum hazards in our operations,” he said. He said interested partners on the training of staff are welcome to partner with them to ensure a smooth and efficient transportation in the state. Head of Maintenance Department Mrs Shola Oni said the training is part of the company’s effort to ensure and guarantee a sustainable culture among the staff. “Training is key to us and our commitment and dedication to the work is our driven force for training and retraining of our staff, and being able to contribute towards the sustainability of our busses,” she said. Mrs Oni said non-availability of spare partsis a major challenge facing the company. “At the end of the training we

By Amidu Arije

want to see energise and renewed effort on the part of the staff for them to continue the sustainability of our busses. “What we have done today is to train the maintenance staff of the LAGBUS we are also doing a separate training for other staff of the company, all in an effort to ensure sustainable transport in the state,” she said. The resource person, Mr Nathaniel Evborien, spoke on the topic: Fundamentals of preventive maintenance. He tasked the staff to make LAGBUS attain world class grading through effective maintainance of the busses. “The essence of this training is to make LAGBUS world class and to have a good maintenance culture,” he said. Speaking on how to maintain the busses, Mr Evborien said the staff must be disciplined and dedicated to their duties. “You must be discipline, dutiful and organised to achieve effective maintenance,” he said. Giving reasons why maintenance culture must be imbibed, Evborien said it allows for safety of personnel using them. “The essence of maintenance is to extend the useful life of the system, to assure the optimum and ensure the safety of personnel using the facility or equipment,” he said. Medical caravan led by Dr Dayo Osholowu were also on ground giving medical checks on the staff. They were urged to maintain a good health for efficiency in their activities.

•Mr Tairu, flanked left by Mr Magnus Davis and Mr Hakeem Liadi at the public hearing.


Govt restates commitment to safer water ways


AGOS State Government has restated its commitment to safer waterways, saying they are critical to the transportation curve being implemented to improve urban transportation in the mega city. The government also unveiled plans to turn the burial site of the victims of the Ikorodu boat mishap into a monument, as their families have been agitating to know where they are buried. The Director of Public Transport and Commuter Services, Mr Olajide Tairu, broke the news at the inaugural sitting of the committee on the Ikorodu boat mishap, at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Transportation. Tairu, who chairs the committee, said the government has taken adequate precautionary measures to prevent a recurrence. He said: “Our almost instanta-

neous response which led to the formation of this committee and the steps we have taken so far are indications of our determination to strengthen our response capacity and ensure we prevent as much as possible a recurrence of such calamity on our waterways.” Appealing to people to continue to travel by water, he said, the government would continue to work to make water transportation safer. Tairu also directed the operator of the sunken boat – Bell Marine Ltd. - to take steps to acquire the burial site of the victims and to take step in identifying each victim’s grave, for their family members. The government, he said, would work with the firm to ensure that this is done speedily. Earlier, some of the victims’ families alleged that many may not have died if they had received urgent attention at the hospital. They said rescuers were frus-

trated to see medical personnel who should have swung into action to save lives demand for police report before beginning treatment. The Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) Chief Medical Director, Prof. Adewale O. Oke, however said the practice has been stopped by the government. Safety experts at the forum however canvassed that the state establish more presence on the waterways. They not only canvassed the mandatory use of Life Jackets, they called for the enthronement of a regime of the exhibition of safety plan procedures by all operators in the sector. Also identified was the need for a float plan for emergency response by all boat operators to ensure that at least one boat is made available for rescue in case there was emergency on the water.





Maintain the vigil over global poverty

Nigeria’s poor •Material suffering by many Nigerians trumps our GDP status


N the heat of the euphoria over the rebasing of the Nigerian economy which puts the country at the top spot on the continent at South Africa’s expense, most Nigerians may have missed the import of the other sobering statistics released by the World Bank, which puts Nigeria among the top three countries harbouring the world’s poor. The figures, as released by World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, puts Nigeria, with seven percent of the world’s poor, in the third place, behind India with 33 percent and China with 13 per cent. Bangladesh, harbouring six per cent of the world’s poor, is fourth while the Democratic Republic of Congo with five per cent is fifth. In-between the five reside 760 million of the world’s poor, of which Nigeria accounts for a frightening 53.2 million – nearly a third of the country’s population. No doubt, the findings by the World Bank would merely confirm the reality of the wide chasm between official claims of superlative growth and the reality on the main street. After what was supposed to be a soar-away economic growth that has averaged seven percent in the course of the last decade –this latest testimonial - which suggests that nearly one out of three citizens still lives in extreme poverty goes beyond mere repudiation of government’s pretensions about achievement, what it does is to call for a completely new thinking on how to distribute the so-called gains of economic growth. This is where we couldn’t agree more with the World Bank when it posits that:

“Countries need to complement efforts to enhance growth with policies that allocate more resources to the extreme poor. These resources can be distributed through the growth process itself, by promoting more inclusive growth, or through government programmes, such as conditional and direct cash transfers”. Today, what is no longer in doubt is that the poor are currently hemmed in by forces that only the government can ameliorate. Indeed, we do think that the problems are now of such magnitude that the current growth path, even with the best of results, would not be able to make appreciable dent either in the short or the long run. The World Bank chief actually puts the global challenge in perspective when he suggests that “To end extreme poverty, the vast numbers of the poorest – those earning less than $1.25 a day – will have to decrease by 50 million people each year until 2030. This means that one million people each week will have to lift themselves out of poverty for the next 16 years. This will be extraordinarily difficult...” For Nigeria’s poor, the challenge would appear even more daunting. At the heart of the challenge is how to lift the mass out of the vicious grip of poverty through the widening of economic opportunities, better access to qualitative education, quality health care, cheap and affordable housing and public transportation. We see the World Bank report as a call to arms. Needed at this time are practical and sustainable programmes to reduce

the number of the poor. Good enough, states like Ekiti and Osun – with their provision of stipends to the elderly – have offered the nation a template of the possibilities. Other states should borrow a leaf. In the long run, the challenge is to get the economy revving at full throttle to create opportunities for employment and wealth creation. It is unflattering that an economy which claims to rank first on the continent and in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), has remained an investors’ nightmare – going by 2013 World Bank’s Doing Business Report ranking the economy 147 out of 189 nations; this is even when South Africa is ranked 41, Tunisia 51, Botswana 56, and Ghana 67.

‘In the long run, the challenge is to get the economy revving at full throttle to create opportunities for employment and wealth creation. It is unflattering that an economy which claims to rank first on the continent and in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), has remained an investors’ nightmare – going by 2013 World Bank’s Doing Business Report ranking the economy 147 out of 189 nations’

Good riddance •Supreme Court ruling on female inheritance in Igbo land upholds gender equality


MONG the many shortcomings that have disfigured Nigerian democracy, one of the most egregious is the continuing influence of destructive cultural practices which continue to negate the most fundamental provisions of the country’s constitution. Entrenched as they are in the beliefs and traditions of the many nationalities that comprise the country, they have proven particularly difficult to get rid of. Given this lamentable situation, it is especially gratifying that the Supreme Court of Nigeria recently ruled against plaintiffs who had sought to uphold traditional Igbo custom which apparently discriminates against daughters in inheritance matters. Reading the judgment of a five-person panel which sat on the case, Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour stated that a female child was entitled to inherit from

‘It is especially gratifying that the Supreme Court of Nigeria recently ruled against plaintiffs who had sought to uphold traditional Igbo custom which apparently discriminates against daughters in inheritance matters. Reading the judgment of a fiveperson panel which sat on the case, Justice Bode RhodesVivour stated that a female child was entitled to inherit from her father’s estate, regardless of the circumstances of her birth’

her father’s estate, regardless of the circumstances of her birth. He added that denial of such rights amounted to discrimination which conflicted with Section 42(1)(a) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution and therefore could not continue. The significance of this ruling cannot be under-estimated. Not only does it clearly declare a long-accepted practice illegal, it opens the way to further challenges of similarly discriminatory and oppressive cultural practices that have gone on unquestioned for decades. Thus, the maltreatment of widows, child marriage, and other unjust practices are being exposed for the crimes that they are. With its 170 million people, 250 languages and more than 450 ethnic groups, Nigeria is a veritable cultural paradise. It is home to some of the oldest and most distinguished cultural heritages, including those of the Nok, Benin, Ife, Arochukwu and Kanem-Bornu. These cultures have provided their peoples with a set of attitudes, beliefs and customs which have, by and large, adequately prepared them to face the challenges of life and living. At the height of British colonial oppression, it was the durability of cultural heritage which served as a bulwark against the assault on traditional sensibilities that colonialism represented. However, what must also be recognised is that all cultures are dynamic. In that regard, they are subject to change, alteration and development over time. In the particular case of girls, women and inheritance, the cultural imperatives which made it possible for women to be discriminated against in inheritance in the

past have surely become irrelevant in an age where some of the most influential public offices in Nigeria are held by women. Nor can the marrying-off of underage girls make any sense in a world where education for all children has become the globally-accepted norm. Nigeria needs to move more quickly to end the damage caused by cultural practices that have clearly outlived their use. It took the country decades to allow women to post bail; child marriage is still a notorious feature of life in some parts of the country; unproven accusations of witchcraft continue to endanger the lives of women and children throughout the nation. One way of achieving this is for all citizens to be more prepared to contest such injustices wherever they are seen. Concerned individuals and non-governmental agencies should seek to challenge cultural practices which unnecessarily oppress others in court, as well as in the court of public opinion. Many negative cultural practices continue to flourish in the absence of exposure to the harsh light of rational inquiry. When they are shown up as the unjust behaviour that they are, it becomes less easy to defend or sustain them. It is true that Nigeria’s traditional cultures will continue to provide its people with a sense of uniqueness and belonging, especially given the less-welcome aspects of globalisation. But this must not be at the expense of genuine social progress. This is what the RhodesVivour panel unambiguously upheld, and it is what Nigerians must work to achieve.

• Sub-par growth may quickly reverse gains of past decade


OR the past five years, the world economy has been in crisis. However, if we take a longer view and survey economic developments over

the past three decades, it would certainly be right to highlight one remarkable success. Since 1981, the number of people living on less than $2 per day, the definition of poverty set by the Asian Development Bank, has almost halved. The rich world may be engaged in a debate about rising inequality in western societies. But economic growth in China, India and Africa has made the world far more equal than it was. This is no time for complacency, however. While policy makers are undoubtedly working hard to reduce poverty still further, there is a risk that those with incomes above $2 per day will soon slip back into the ranks of the world’s poor. The reason to be fearful is that the world looks set to face years of subpar growth. The emerging market growth spurt of the past 30 years is coming to an end. The dramatic poverty alleviation we have seen may therefore be quickly reversed. The group with most to lose from the economic slowdown is one that the Financial Times has this week defined in a series of articles as the “fragile middle”. It comprises 2.8bn people, more than a third of the world’s population. The individuals in this group live on more than $2 per day. However, they are still below the $10 per day level that would provide financial security in most developing economies. The emergence of the fragile middle is the great global economic success story of the past 30 years. If this group prospers, it will provide a vast class of employees, entrepreneurs and consumers that can forge new markets and drive the global economy forward. The problem, however, is that one-third of this group are operating just above the poverty threshold, on $2 to $3 a day. There is a real risk that this group – comprising 1bn people – will rapidly fall back into total penury. In China, millions of migrant workers are just one payday away from poverty. The same can be said of huge communities in Brazil, India, Indonesia and Nigeria. Indeed, experience suggests that a descent into poverty is precisely what these people are now condemned to. There has always been a very considerable churn affecting those who reside just below and above the poverty threshold. According to the World Bank, half the people in Indonesia living below the line in any one year were above it the year before. Some nations are clearly committed to stopping this descent back into poverty. This year, China announced a plan to improve the housing and social safety nets for 100m migrants to its cities. But governments in many developing economies have done too little in the good times to prepare for leaner growth ahead. Brazil is a glaring example of a oncebooming economy where the poor are now increasingly restless over abysmal public transport and infrastructure. Emerging economies must therefore provide much better safety nets for the poor. They must do more to guarantee access to the education and healthcare that the fragile middle needs. For those in the $2 to $10 a day income bracket, the biggest threat to financial status is a family medical emergency. The biggest running expense outside food and housing will often be the education of children. For governments across the developing world, the future of the billion citizens living precariously above the $2 a day line must become the central focus of attention. The good news this Easter is that global poverty is continuing to decline. But the global economy is at an inflection point. An immense effort must now be made to ensure that those who have had the luck to shake off the burden of poverty do not slip back into it. - Financial Times

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

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IR: Few weeks ago, the city of Ibadan and indeed the world, quaked at the revelation that a den of kidnappers had been discovered in the Soka area of the city. The world was terrified and bothered that, right in its very before, some traffickers and merchants were trading in the entrails and other body parts of its people. While the state government, which rose to the occasion immediately, intensified efforts to arrest the situation, in conjunction with the state police command, politics, that ubiquitous vocation that is the preoccupation of the high and mighty, crept into the tragic discovery. First was a young lady who was said to have been hit by a vehicle at the Mobil area of the state capital, which dragged her remains down to the Adeoyo area of the city. Promptly, not one to be caught napping, Oyo politicians leapt on the scene and began to spin a yarn: she was a victim of ritual murder, a story primed to up sow the seed of fear in a state where the most essential win for the government in power is the peace and tranquility it brought after eight years of brigandage and thuggery. Then what was alien to Ibadan became the norm: mad men became recipients of people’s anger. One was apprehended at the Ring Road area, reportedly with human tongues. Before the drop of a hat, a cabal of political merchants went to town to spin the ridiculous: since the apprehended mad man was apprehended close to




Oyo: What manner of politics? lice PPRO confirmed this animal sausage story. This revelation by the police confirms one thing: that animal sausage was planted by a God-knows-who on the mad men, with an intention that is clear: play politics, tar-brush the

government in power, reverse the peace of Oyo State and make it ungovernable. Not long after, some politicians began an Albert Camus absurdity: government and not kidnappers, was responsible for Soka. Some years ago, the Bayo Akala

IR: Boko Haram insurgency which emerged from an unnoticed, negligible and quiet beginning under the leadership of late Mohammed Yusuf has turned out daring, monstrous and unstoppable. These days the fear of Boko Haram is the beginning of wisdom.The ruthless attacks, audacity, sophistication and dexterity with which they operate has shamed government measures and eroded the ability of the state to secure and care for its citizens. People are killed, maimed, kidnapped, displaced and facilities wrecked or plundered. Boko Haram has exacerbated poverty, brought massive human suffering, destroyed the environment, and created enormous problems. The society has lost

confidence in the system and relies only on God for His mercy and protection.However, policy makers have been slow to understand the importance of media in shaping modern conflict or how, with proper support, it could help create the conditions for peace. The mass media was a force to reckon with in the struggle for the attainment of independence in 1960. It was in Nigerian’s pre and postindependence era that the media cut its teeth in purposeful, zealous, vocal, dogged and professional journalism. Since then, the Nigerian media has carved a niche for itself in performing its traditional role of education, information, entertainment, shaping of opinions and

swinging of the views of the society on knotty national issues. What is the place of the Nigerian media in the reportage of Boko Haram insurgency? The imposing challenges of this group and the precarious security situation the nation finds itself leaves one to wonder whether the media has indeed fulfilled these responsibilities. These traditional responsibilities of the mass media in conscientising the society at every circumstance and situation are enormous, vital and have far reaching implications. Any organised society, government or institution which takes the media for granted does so at its own peril.The mass media often plays a key role in today’s insurgency all over the

stimulated them. In Benue State, the scourge of Fulani herdsmen that bear the imprints of terrorist incursions indicates the dawn of a new regime of security concern in the state. Such attacks have in the recent past been experienced in places like Agatu, Guma, Gwer west, Makurdi, Kwande, Katsina-Ala and Loggo Local government areas. The consequences include the loss of lives and property of innocent citizens and increase in apprehension on the questions of security in Nigeria. They also pose threats to government’s commitments to peacebuilding, sustainable democracy and political instability in the state. It should be realized that whatever their motivations, these dastardly acts

constitute set back to the pursuit of unity, peace and development and should be condemned in entirety. Benue State is presently at a dawn of a new beginning which requires investments in infrastructural development, environmental governance and re branding of her image. Benue State is in an era where government should be encouraged to foster unity and integration, stimulate economic development and enhance the standard of living of her citizens. These goals cannot be attained in a security vacuum characterized by constant attacks and other acts reminiscent of terrorism. It is in line with this that the following recommendations are proffered as recipe to halt the scourge of

killings in the state. The state and National Assembly should enact relevant legislations that address the scourge of the Fulani herdsmen and related security challenges in the state. The security agencies should intensify inter-agency cooperation to combat the menace. .The general public should make vigilance their watch word since the task of security is a collective responsibility. Grazing reserves and dams should be established in the northern states like Sokoto, Kano, Jigawa, Katsina, Zamfara, Bauchi, Borno and Yobe to restrict the activities of the Fulani herdsmen who are mainly foreigners from Chad, Mali, Senegal, Guinea and Niger. • John Akevi, Bauchi

Oluyole, the home of the governor, he must be working for him! The mad man was promptly lynched by a wrathful mob. Two others were lynched within a week. I saw one beside Genesis area being rescued by police, his face bloodied. The po-


Nigerian media and Boko Haram

Addressing the scourge of Fulani herdsmen

IR: Apart from Boko Haram, one recurrent security challenge that confronts many states in the country is the scourge of Fulani herdsmen. The attacks by the herdsmen on the sedentary communities have been increasing with each passing day. The magnitude of such attacks are often associated with terrorist aggression and have been experienced in states like Benue, Nassarawa, Plateau, Taraba, Kaduna, Adamawa, Zamfara, Oyo, Imo, Cross-River, Enugu among others. It is important to observe that the experience of these states with acts being perpetrated by the nomadic herdsmen will only heighten insecurity and tension but will never resolved the grievances that

government was also tar-brushed by ostensibly this same set of politicians as giving pupils poisoned Indomie. The questions to ask are, why would politicians be this desperate for power? Why package animal sausage to look like human tongues? What is their intention? Is the blood of these madmen lynched by the provoked mob not crying for vengeance? Will police reveal the masterminds of this callous politicking? Are Oyo people so unsophisticated as to be arrested by these politicians’ kind of politics? May God help the people of Oyo in the hands of these evil politicians. • Bilikisu Mumuni, Opo Yeosa, Ibadan.

world. The media has enough potential and can contribute effectively to conflict resolution and reconciliation. One cannot say that these purposeful and zealous roles are lost entirely on the media reportage of Boko Haram insurgence in the North Eastern part of Nigeria. Basically, the media role can take two different and opposed forms. It is either the media takes an active part in the conflict and hence responsibility for increased violence, or stays independent and out of the conflict, thereby contributing to the resolution and alleviation of violence. The Nigerian media needs to be commended for not wavering in this role since the inception of Boko Haram onslaught in 2009. But concerns are raised that only horrible statistics of the dead, injured, attacked, kidnapped or houses burnt are reeled out often for public consumption.The media is therefore charged to up genuine sensitisation effort on safety precautions to apply in this perilous time. It should be able to swaythe society to give undiluted support and reliable information to the government and security agencies in this fight. The advocacy role of the media in speaking out against societal ills and vices and recommending practical solutions to problems should be maintained. The media does this better and the answer is found on the pages of the newspapers, magazines, television and radio programmes and other social media networks.What would the world have been without the mass media? • Sunday Onyemaechi Eze Zaria






HAT was that all about — Conference. But that is if it rises President Goodluck above the suspicious circumJonathan’s unthinking rally stances of its birth; and seizes the moment to make history. in Kano; and Governor Rabiu Everyone is teary right now, Kwakwanso’s alacrity to sweep away but it is high time we started the president’s supposed ill-fated footasking the hard questions. All prints from his territory? this mayhem has its roots in the Even as no less than 75 innocent Nigesummary junking of PDP’s zonrians perished in a terror attack in ing, that gifted Jonathan the Nyanya, Abuja, and same terrorists abOlakunle presidency, but clearly embitducted at least 100 secondary school, 08054504169 (Sms only, please) Abimbola tered a section of the North. girls in Borno State, the president must So, where is former President go on a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Olusegun Obasanjo? He “unity rally” in Kano — and less than wanted to build a dynasty of 24 hours after this twin-tragedy? puppets, so he could call the No less blameable: Jonathan must stand on his presidential dignity to thumb his nose at the making merry at the Olubadan centenary. The contrast is shots from behind. Though that scheme spectacularly collapsed Electoral Law, which spirit, if not letters, the president and devastating! and the puppet can no longer hear his puppeteer, the old genhis party serially and cynically breach by the so-called “unity Now, the president visiting the Olubadan on such an auspieral is cool and comfy at home. But not so the innocent victims rallies”? Is the president then above the law that created his cious occasion was no crime. Indeed, it was duty. But the of mass murder, who continue to pay with lives and limbs, in a office? timing was awfully wrong. The president’s friends could plot they had no part! And Governor Kwakwanso — what, beyond partisan argue he postponed it by a day, to visit the scene of the blast And Citizen Goodluck Jonathan? He is right there, in the grandstanding, did he mean that the people of Kano would and see some of the victims in their hospital beds. virtual valley of the shadows of death! Even as president, he not welcome the president? Could “the people”, de jure or de But the merry smirk on the president’s face at the Olubadan’s, cuts the picture of abject power opportunism gone awry, a stiff facto, have stopped him, given the Federal Government’s combined with his gaiety on the hustings in Kano, were so price for a breach of agreement. monopoly of the security agencies? out of tune with the country’s dolorous mood that one begins What is his presidency worth, when everyday he is greeted And the high drama of sweeping away the president’s footto wonder, with all due respect, at the quality of his sense of with the slain being shovelled into trucks after each mass masprints! That was hilarious politics to be sure! But that hilarity judgement. It was a most reprehensible escapism, that was sacre, and the gnashing of teeth of the dying and the wounded, brought both the offices of president and governor to high anything but presidential! being rushed to hospital? lows, given the bitter partisan exchanges between the two. Why does the president give the sorry impression that NiThe agonised public — where were they when the power Unfortunately, the president did himself and his office no geria and Nigerians are nothing but winning in 2015 is everydealers were cooking their anti-zoning brew? Didn’t they, back credit by unabashedly romping in the sewers at the Kano thing? And over what — the poisoned chalice that he now then, lose their sense of outrage, simply because the power rally. He childishly suggested he induced voting delegates drinks from? plotters were their friends and kin; and the hurt victims, their (euphemism for bribery?) at his 2011 presidential nominaYet, warts and all, President Jonathan would rather keep what foes and just “other people”? Did they not, Nigerian-style, pounce tion; and went ahead, with child-like naivety, to bomb the he has! on the victim, while hailing the aggressor to ride on? governor for alleged non-delivery on the gratification! And Governor Kwakwanso, and the opposition All And the embittered segments of the North — if really by Doesn’t this president know that both who gives and takes Progressives Congress (APC), would fight tooth and nail to their threat to make the country ungovernable, for a Jonathan bribes are culpable? have what the president has — that same poisoned chalice! that allegedly stole their power patrimony, they are behind To keep what he has, President Jonathan must rally in Kano No doubt, Kano Governor Kwakwanso was spot on in his this anomie — what do they intend to gain? — unthinking at best, callous at worst. Meanwhile, the counhigh moral criticism about the president gallivanting about on Wipe out the whole country and later gain power over try mourns the victims of the Abuja bombing; and parents of “illegal” rallies instead facing his job of tending hurting Nigeghosts? Some northern rascals, after all, annulled June 12 and the abducted girls are a nervous wreck on the fate of their rians. But the partisan base of the manoeuvre was all too clear a Sani Abacha came to kill and maim the victims for their loved ones, again kidnapped from a government-owned — no crime, there! audacity to complain! A case of galloping injustice consumschool! Still, with all due respect to the APC democratic right to ing its own children? Perhaps the most damning to the Jonathan Presidency, on contest for power, what is the worth of this poisoned presiAs in the June 12 issue, the present crisis results from rogue this latest terror attack, is a two-picture montage now makdency to anyone now? All the bitterness by innocent victims politicians plotting dangerous power games and the people ing the rounds in the social media. Picture 1 shows the British and galloping evil by the Boko Haram anarchists, will they just playing dumb when they should have shouted down the blaHigh Commissioner in Nigeria donating blood in aid of the vanish because power has changed hands? tant injustice. Now, everybody is paying so dear! Abuja blast victims. But picture 2 shows President Jonathan Nigeria appears frightfully on the way to Kigali. A heightNigeria needs healing. Today’s victims were yesterday’s ened recklessness may shoot it straight on the road to Magadishu! aggressors. Today’s aggressors are tomorrow’s victims. Evetoo soon, the dire prediction that Nigeria would break up ryone has sinned and fallen short of glory. So, this madness ‘Nigeria appears frightfully on the All by 2015 does not look so fantastic after all. must stop. Can a power change of guard halt the creeping disaster? The National Conference must seize the times and work on way to Kigali. A heightened recklessMaybe. Maybe not. But the omens are not so convincing — healing old wounds, aside from genuine federal restructurness may shoot it straight on the road without a conscious and deliberate attempt at healing and rec- ing. onciliation. Should all this madness continue, sooner than later, it might to Magadishu!’ That puts the ball right in the court of the ongoing National just be “To your house, O Israel ...”


epublican ipples

OT even in the wildest stretch of democratic licence could one have fathomed the on-going macabre dance between the Jonathan presidency and Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa coming days after the carnage at Nyanya. Indeed, only in the engulfing climate of ethical regression – or better still – environment of leadership vacuity could one begin to make sense of the brickbats between two foremost institutions of the Nigerian state at a time of grave national calamity. To begin with, there is a lot to say of an 71-year old exgovernor, ex-three star general, one-time chief of the country’s Navy, recipient of two of the nation’s topmost honours - GCON, CFR, who currently occupies a gubernatorial office waking up to do a letter to his 18 northern counterparts alleging grievous crime of genocide against the central government on the basis of claims without a shred of evidence. We are talking here of an individual, who by all qualifications, should ordinarily qualify for the elite club of statesmen, making dangerous, unsubstantiated claims against the state. Agreed, some would argue that there is probably more to say about a pathetic, blundering presidency that has failed to rally Nigerians behind it in the war on terror. A presidency that has far too meagre results to show for the humongous resources deployed to the war; one that couldn’t find the words top connect with our hearts in the aftermath of the most gruesome calamities that has befallen us, and one under which an emergency national security meeting to review the security situation would overnight transform to a conclave of PDP governors on security! Add that to the pathetic PDP stridently seeking to pin the tag of terror on the opposition and the picture of an engulfing anomie emerges. However, I believe that the situation is bad enough without another rabid, partisan “elder” coming in to further muddle things up for us. For not even in the hatefilled politics of the current time would the attempt by Nyako to stand facts – and logic – on their heads wash! Merely by his letter, any hopes by the younger generation that the Nyako generation – in whom the nation had invested heavily – would somehow rise to the challenge of the times would have by now dissolved into a mirage. They are evidently a major part of the problems for which the nation is currently in quest of solutions. But then, the trouble with the Nyako’s of this world is that they are living in the past. When he talks about the Jonathan federal government as being the chief sponsor of the Boko Haram, or fingers the administration in the daily mass murder of innocent Nigerians, including the

Poisoned chalice

Policy Sanya Oni 08051101841

Nyako’s play of the giants rampant kidnapping of young boys and girls; or the attempts on the lives of prominent northerners like Senate President David Mark in Imo State, Governor of Benue State Gabriel Suswan and himself or even prominent northern traditional leaders like the Shehu of Borno and the Emir of Kano, of course, they are not only meant to sound good to the ears of his “fellow northerners”, they are designed to deflect from the well-known culpability of the region’s leadership in the festering of the monstrous terror machine. Guess it is part of that living in denial that the pervasive insecurity– whether it is the Boko Haram carnage in the north-east, or the frequent the clashes between the nomadic Fulani and farmers across the middle-belt and north central – are alien imports aided and abetted by the federal militias! The fact of the matter is that Boko Haram is real. The bases are in the North. Perhaps the only area of dispute is the extent to which the menace has mutated. Not even Governor Nyako’s version of reality can change the fact that the Boko Haram has since transformed into a global terrorist network with ties with the Al-Quaeda in the Mahgreb. Terrorism, on the other hand, is a relatively new challenge to the military, the same way that intelligence has remained substantially an alien culture among Nigeria’s population. The talk of winning the terror war without active citizen engagement is sheer bunkum. But then, how could one imagine possible collaboration when leaders appear to denigrate the efforts of the fighting men? What was Nyako’s cry of genocide meant to achieve?

Hardly about getting the best of the fighting men; at least not with the military – a branch of which Nyako once had the privilege of leading – increasingly presented as an occupation force to the people. Surely, it’s not about tasking the field commanders about the need to observe scrupulously, the rules of engagement, or calling those known to have breached the rules to account. I prefer not to deal with the grave charge of genocide alleged by Nyako which I consider at best opportunistic and cheap. It is not even about the ordinary people – the hapless victims of Boko Haram’s butchery – who genuinely desire an end to their agonies. No, it is a re-enactment of the long-running play of giants! In the circumstance, his reference to an exit strategy for the current state of emergency would appear an afterthought! I guess it is fine to consider “Northern Nigerian Amnesty to the culprits and consequently squarely address all other matters connected with the Amnesty and BokoHaram syndrome”. So also is his proposal “to support maximally all those who have been adversely affected by ‘Boko-Haram’ to sue the federal administration to court for full compensation for any loss of life and property as per existing Laws of Nigeria including those enacted from 1915" fine. Indeed, the idea of a Trust Fund to address the matter would be most welcome. The question is – would the proposed restitution also apply to other victims of state-sponsored injustices in other parts of the country particularly those predating the Boko Haram? Or is this an extension of the specious definition of ‘justice’ that has brought the nation to this sorry pass?

‘Would the proposed restitution also apply to other victims of statesponsored injustices in other parts of the country particularly those predating the Boko Haram? Or is this an extension of the specious definition of ‘justice’ that has brought the nation to this sorry pass?’





S had been feared, Boko Haram was behind last week terror attack at Nyanya Motor Park in Abuja killing no fewer than 75 with many more wounded. The terror group confirmed this in a 25 minutes video message at the weekend by its leader Abubakar Shekau with a further threat of more attacks in the nation’s capital. The readiness or lack of it of our security agencies to confront the growing trend of insurgency and most importantly, terrorism in the country and the tardy nature of the political response to this threat to Nigeria’s unity and her territorial integrity are beginning to cause concern among the rest of the populace. While the bereaved in the Nyanya attack bury their dead and scores of school girls abducted in Borno State by the terrorists are being held captives, most probably as sex slaves in the forest, our political leaders have been busy passing the buck with the leadership of the two main parties engaged in blame game. What a shame! Meanwhile the security agencies have been trying without success to convince us that they are doing their best to contain the terrible situation. We wish them luck. In the last couple of weeks the politicians have behaved most irresponsibly in their response to the Boko Haram attacks. Playing politics with the lives and security of Nigerians is a betrayal of trust and utterly condemnable. I do not know what the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) stand to gain from the verbal assault on each other’s position on this national crisis. Most irresponsible was the claim by Olisa Metuh, spokesman for PDP that the opposition, meaning APC knows a thing or two about what Boko Haram is doing and most probably in support. Equally annoying is the seeming grandstanding of the APC on the matter at hand. Both parties seem not to understand the enormity of the security challenge facing the nation and are looking for avenues to make cheap political gains from the deplorable security situation in the cautery, particularly in the north east region, all in readiness for the 2015 elections. Yes, it is in the nature of political parties to try to maximize every opportunity to their political advantage but as it is done elsewhere in well established democracies, when national interest is at stake, all the parties rally round and queue behind the


When terror strikes Commander-In-Chief. It is in the light of this that the decision of the leadership of the APC to postpone its states’ congress to enable its governors attend a meeting called by President Goodluck Jonathan on the security situation in the country is commendable. But the party must do more than this. It must not only proffer or suggest credible solutions to the crisis, it must show its commitment to it and also rally its governors, especially in the north to bond together and fight this terror. To whom much is given, much is expected. The Commander-In-Chief to borrow the words of former Information Minister Professor Jerry Gana must also chiefly command well. If everybody is behind you then you must lead from the front, lead well and responsibly too. Dancing ‘Owambe’ in Ibadan and cutting birthday cake (no matter whose birthday it was) while the Nyanya attack was still fresh (following day) and frolicking away while our girls are still held captive by terrorists in the forest is to say the least irresponsible of President Jonathan. No apologies here. It would also be good if some of our state governors and also presidential spokesmen guard their utterances in the course of this crisis because we are in a delicate period that calls for sober reflection and all hands being put on deck. Now that all our political leaders from both sides seem to have come to their senses, it is hoped that the President’s meeting with the state governors would be fruitful and chart a way out of this Boko Haram problem and restore peace and security to the north east and all other trouble spots in the country. One meeting certainly cannot achieve this but a good beginning will send the right signal to the terrorists that our leaders are ready and serious to confront them. There have been instances of the fed-

DUCATION is obviously the most powerful weapon that can be used to change the world says the late great freedom fighter and legend, Nelson Mandela. But how far have we as a people and a nation strived to promote quality and affordable education as a means of changing our great country Nigeria for better? Before now, Nigeria’s education system was ranked among the best in the continent of Africa. Then there were few schools mostly public, and governments at all levels lived up to expectations in funding and promotion of good and qualitative education. The country was good for it and a lot of Nigerians benefitted from it. But since the policy of private ownership of schools came into existence, the rat race for proliferation of schools became the order of the day, not for affordable and sound education, but purely for commercial purposes. Beneficiaries of public schools who are in position of authority today loot public treasury at ease, refuse to fund public schools, and at the same time use the looted funds to establish their own private schools using their stooges as proxies to run them. In the face of all these, the education sector continued to dwindle unabated with shocking performance year in, year out. That is where we are today as a country. But despite all these challenges, the present government in Abia State has from inception taken the bull by the horn in addressing the age-long rot and challenges that has bedeviled education sector in the state. Before the inception of the current administration, the state of educational infrastructures, conditions of service for workers and learning environment for students in all the stateowned schools were pathetic and appalling. That was why coming on board in 2007, the Theodore Orji administration increased the monthly subvention to all the tertiary institutions in the state. The state Scholarship Board that had been moribund was reactivated. With the reactivation of the Scholarship Board, the regular bursary disbursements to indigent Abia students was resurrected and beneficiaries have continued to enjoy it till date. The board also reactivated the Overseas Scholarship Scheme through which it has granted bursaries to over 40 students of Abia State origin studying in the United States of America, United Kingdom, South Africa and Asia. Students of Abia origin currently in Nigeria Law schools across the country were recently paid bursary by the state government. The governor also instituted a private scholarship scheme – the Ochendo Scholarship Scheme which took off with 25 undergraduates in various disciplines within the country as beneficiaries. The project which was strictly private has the respected Catholic Bishop of Umuahia, Most Rev.

eral government hampering the efforts of some states to combat insecurity in the area, just for political gains, especially in states not controlled by the PDP. And not surprisingly, most of the states in the north east are not. The president must behave and act presidential in the interest of Nigeria, no room for sentiments. As the Yoruba would say, the name of the king during whose reign the town was peaceful would never be forgotten or erased, same for the king under whose reign there was chaos. A word is enough for the wise. Much has been said and written on this page about what the security agencies have done or failed to do in arresting the security situation in the country that it might be pointless repeating them again. But the point has to be made that Nigerians are not happy with them and they should rise up to expectation. Whatever has to be done must be done to defeat terror, defeat Boko Haram, drive the terrorists out of our country and restore peace and security to the north east and other areas under threat of terrorism and, most importantly, restore the trust Nigerians have in one another to leave anywhere in the country peacefully. But then security is not the business of the security agencies alone, we are all involved. It would be foolish of a man to leave his doors or gates open and go to sleep just because there is a police patrol around. Security of lives and properties starts from the home. Not just locking the gates and doors but also being security conscious and instilling the right security consciousness in our kids. At work, school, play and anywhere there is or going to be a large gathering, security measures must be put in place by those concerned to protect lives and properties. In the aftermath of the Nyanya bombing, I

had a lengthy telephone discussion with someone who claim to be a member of one of the security agencies and he was quite disturbed at the amount of criticism directed at the security agents for their inability to bring Boko Haram and similar organisations to their knees. He claimed that they are doing a lot to arrest the situation and urged Nigerians to be patient both with the government and the security agencies. There is no debating the fact that they are doing a lot, but whether they are doing enough is where the debate is. Be that as it may, suffice to say that you cannot fight a 21st century problem using a 20th century method, it won’t work. To defeat terror in Nigeria, we must outgun, outspend, outsmart, outmaneuver, (out whatever) and overwhelm Boko Haram and their sponsors with all our military might. No amount spent would be too much if at the end of the day Boko Haram is routed and Nigeria gets back to business. The guy from the security service said operators of Motor Parks, including the leadership of the various transport workers unions should share in the blame of this seeming lack of security at the bus stations. “What are those union leaders doing at the Parks”, he queried. “ They just sit there collecting money, drinking beer and ‘carrying’ women without any consideration for the security of not just their members but also the traveling populace. Instead of organising themselves and providing security at the Parks, all they do is to ‘enjoy’ themselves. Not even basic security measures are put in place. You find all manner of people at the Motor Parks. Can anybody just go to the airport anyhow?” He went on and on and on and I could see he was very angry. I share some of his sentiments and concerns and believe that these transport sector unions, the likes of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) et al need to organise themselves better, they need to be security conscious and re-orientate their members accordingly. The traveling public and indeed the general public need to key in to this project as well. The business of security is everybody’s business. Nobody is immune to terror strike. When the terrorists strike, all of us are touched one way or another. May GOD safe Nigeria and deliver us from BOKO HARAM. Did I hear someone shout Allelujah there?

Abia’s strides in education sector By Mercy Ozuobi Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji as its Board Chairman. One of the beneficiaries of the Scheme, Solomon Odochi Chibuzo of the Department of Animal and Environmental Biology Abia State University Uturu emerged the overall best graduating student of the university in 2013 with CGPA 4.8. He was granted automatic employment by the university. The government also increased the fleet of buses in its Free-School-Bus Scheme for students in secondary and primary schools while equally repackaging the scheme to ensure effective and efficient service delivery. Teachers’ salaries and allowances are being paid regularly and as at when due. The same goes with their promotions and entitlements that accompany it which hitherto were stunted. Since 2007, the government has embarked on massive rehabilitation and construction of standard classroom blocks, offices, and other facilities in schools across the state. Presently many of the rehabilitation and construction works at the schools have been completed. They include construction of classroom block at Nde Ebe Primary School Abam, Arochukwu, construction of many administrative blocks at a school in Okeikpe Ukwa-west, construction of administrative blocks and borehole at Ogbor Central School old Umuahia. At Isikwuato High School, three classroom blocks and a toilet were constructed. The same facilities were also constructed in Community School Umuobala, also in Isikwuato council area. Also not left out were Leru Secondary/ primary schools Leru in Umunneochi council area where several classrooms were constructed. Across the state, massive on-going reconstruction and rehabilitation works are on-going at a pace unprecedented in history of public schools in the state. With the completion of works in a number of the schools, the state government returned them to their origin owners to manage, while still paying the teachers salaries. The government, through the Ministry of Education ensured strict supervision and monitoring of the activities of private schools in the state the result of which was the closure of some of that were caught cutting corners. Some Nigerians may be surprised at the superb performance of Abia State in the recently released 2013 West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination WASSCE in which they emerged the overall second best in the coun-

try behind Anambra State. It is nothing but a confirmation and the result of the present administration’s massive investment in education in last seven years. With what the government has invested in the sector, the WASSCE feat is just a tip of ice berg; certainly the state will do much in the years to come when the sector must have consolidated the gains of the government’s interventions. State-owned tertiary institutions were not left out in the ongoing education revolution in the state. Recently, the state governorn approved a raise in the monthly subvention of Abia Polytechnic Aba from N25 to N90 million. And towards the end of last year, the government released the sum of N5.4 billion to the management of the state university, ABSU to tackle infrastructure projects in the school. The government also restored peace and harmony between the university and its host community, complete liquidation of the arrears of six months salaries of staff, which gulped a whopping N960 million. The government also redeemed her promise to implement the 2009 FGN/University Staff union’s package in the university from January 2011 which cost the government an additional N528 million. Before now, the university Surgery and Medicine programme was facing the threat of de-accreditation by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria. The government has since rescued the university by providing all the requirements for full accreditation of the programme. The governor approved and awarded contracts for two major projects for the school – the Medical Complex and an auditorium for the University Teaching Hospital located in Aba. The projects have been completed and handed over the management of the school since. The government interventions in the educational sector has already started bearing fruits as can be seen from the plethora of laurels and awards garnered by the state at various national and zonal competitions. Sometime ago, the state took the overall best position in the Universal Basic Education Commission Good Performance rating for the entire South-East zone; the state also came second in educational performance in the South-East zone, and was rewarded with a plaque and cash prize of N70 million naira. Truly, the state has now arrived as a pacesetter in educational development in the country. • Mrs Ozuobi, a teacher wrote from Umuahia, Abia State





In a display of class solidarity with the ruling class the EFCC charges the rich accused of looting the treasury with money laundering while the poor are charged with stealing.

See page 39


The Supreme Court has voided a discriminatory practice in some parts of Igboland against women. In two verdicts, it held that it is illegal to disinherit a woman on grounds of gender or becuase she does not have a male child. These verdicts have not gone down well with core traditionalists in the affected parts of Anambra and Imo states. Will these verdicts engender change or will the traditionalists stick to their guns? ERIC IKHILAE writes.

No longer an outcast

•Traditionalists kick as Supreme Court restores women’s inheritance right



OR ages, women have been prevented from inheriting their husbands’ or fathers’ property in some parts of Igboland. When a man dies, his widow is disinherited, if she does not have a male child. Women are also prohibited from inheriting their father’s estate. Some people have fought against this discriminatory practice, all to no avail. There, however, appears to be light at the end of the tunnel following Supreme Court verdicts declaring this practice illegal. In two related cases, the court voided the custom that denies a woman without a male child the right to share in her late husband’s estate; and which also prevents a female child from sharing in her late father’s property. Delivering the judgments on April 11, the court declared the practice, which formed part of the tradition of the people of Umuahia (Abia State) and Awka (Anambra State), unconstitutional. The cases, one instituted in 2004 (with suit number: SC224/ 2004) and the other in 2013 (marked: SC129/2013) emanated from the decisions of the Lagos and Enugu divisions of the Court of Appeal. The first appeal was filed by Mrs Lois Chituru Ukeje (wife of the late Lazarus Ogbonna Ukeje, a native of Umuahia, who lived and died in Lagos) and their son, Enyinnaya Lazarus Ukeje against Ms Gladys Ada Ukeje (the deceased’s daughter). Gladys sued the widow and son at the Lagos High Court, claiming that as one of the children she should be among those to administer the deceased’s estate. The high court found that she was a daughter of the deceased and was qualified to benefit from the estate. Her father died intestate (without a will) in Lagos in 1981. The Court of Appeal, Lagos division upheld the decision of the trial court. The family appealed to the Supreme Court. After a detailed analysis of the parties’ arguments and records from the lower court, the Supreme Court, in its judgment, held that the Court of Appeal, Lagos was right to have voided the Igbo native law and custom that disinherits female children. Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, who read the lead judgment, held: “No matter the circumstances of the birth of a female child, such a child is entitled to an inheritance from her late father’s estate. “Consequently, the Igbo customary law, which disentitles a female child from partaking in the sharing of her deceased father’s estate in in breach of Section 42(1) and (2) of the Constitution, a fundamental rights provision guaranteed to every Nigerian. “The said discriminatory customary law is void as it conflicts with Section 42(1)and (2) of the Constitution. In the light of all that I have been saying, the appeal is dismissed. In the spirit of reconciliation, parties to bear their own costs.” Justices Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, Claral Bata Ogunbiyi, Kumai Bayang Aka’ahs and John Inyang Okoro, who were part of the panel that heard the appeal, agreed with the lead judgment. The second decision was on the appeal filed by Onyibor Anekwe and Chinweze, descendants of Anieke Nwogbo (the half brother of the late Nweke Nwogbo) against the lower court’s decision, which favoured Mrs Maria Nweke (wife of the late Nweke Nwogbo). In 1991, Mrs Nweke sued the appellants at the Anambra State High Court, Awka, when the appellants moved to evict her from the land she got from her late husband.

Group seeks amendment of obsolete laws -Page 37

•Chief Justice of Nigeria Aloma Mukhtar

She said the land was given to her husband before his death. He died shortly before the Civil War. The land in dispute forms part of what is now known as 19 Ogbuagu Lane, Amikwo Village, Awka. She told the trial court that the appellants (who were defendants) asked her to vacate the house on the ground that she had no male child, even when she had six female children. Mrs Nweke claimed that she was disinherited by her late husband’s family because she had no male child for her husband. She refused to vacate the land, insisting that a woman, according to the customs of Awka people, can inherit the property of her husband whether she had a male child or not. She said the Ozo Awka Society arbitrated in the dispute and agreed with her that she had a right to remain on the land. Defendants disagreed and argued that by the Native Law and Custom of Awka people, the land was inherited by their father as the first and only surviving son. The trial court and the Court of Appeal decided the case in favour of Mrs Nweke. The defendants appealed to the Su-

How courts frustrate corruption cases -Page 38

preme Court, an appeal the court dismissed last Friday. Justice Clara Ogunbiyi, who read the lead judgment, held that the appellants failed to provide any credible evidence to enable the apex court overturn the judgments of the two lower courts. “I hasten to add that the custom and practices of Awka people upon which the appellants have relied is hereby out rightly condemned in very strong terms. A custom of this in the 21st century societal setting will only tend to depict the absence of the relatives of human civilisation. “It is punitive, uncivilised and only intended to protect the selfish perpetuation of male dominance which is aimed at suppressing the right of the women folk in the given society. One would expect that the days of such obvious differential discrimination are over. “Any culture that dis-inherits a daughter from her father’s estate or wife from her husband’s property by reason of God instituted gender differential should be punitively dealt •Continued on page 26

Boko Haram and the National Confab -Page 39




No longer an outcast •Continued from page 25 with. The punishment should serve as a deterrent measure ?and ought to be meted out against the perpetrators of the culture and custom. “For a widow of a man to be thrown out of her matrimonial home, where she had lived all her life with her late husband and children, by her late husband’s brothers on the ground that she had no male child, is indeed very barbaric, worrying and flesh skinning. “The impropriety of such a custom, which militates against women particularly, widows who are denied their inheritance, deserves to be condemned as being repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience,” Justice Ogunbiyi held. She further held that the repulsive nature of the custom being challenge is heightened by the situation in this case, where the widow of the deceased is south to be deprived of the same building where her late husband was buried. Justices Tanko Muhammad, Muhammad Muntaka-Coomasie, Sylvester Ngwuta and Olukayode Ariwoola, who were part of the panel that heard the case, agreed with the lead judgment. Incidentally, these latest decisions served to reinforce several of such decisions given in the past by the Court of Appeal and a similar decision by the Supreme Court in 1989. In the case now cited as Nzekwu vs Nzekwu 3 SCNJ page 167, the Supreme Court held among others, that ‘the plaintiff had the right of possession of her late husband’s property and no member of her husband’s family has the right to dispose of it or otherwise whilst one is still alive.” Much as the position of the apex court could help the effort of those seeking a total break from the people’s unjust and discriminatory traditional practices, there is the belief that the pronouncements by the Supreme Court, informed by existing Constitutional provisions were inadequate for engendering the much needed change. Critics believe that the reliance on the law and Constitution when the need arises should be combined with some other efforts. Some of these additional efforts, they said, should come in the form of enlightenment campaigns intended to help the people gradually change these traditional practices that date back centuries and had been accepted as the norm. The constitutional provision in session 42(1)(a),(b) and (2) relied on by the Supreme Court states as follows: (1) “A citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not, by reason only that he is such a person:- (a) be subjected either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any executive or administrative action of the government, to disabilities or restrictions to which citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions are not made subject; or (b) be accorded either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any such executive or administrative action, any privilege or advantage that is not accorded to citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions.” (2) “No citizen of Nigeria shall be subjected to any disability or deprivation merely by reason of the circumstances of his birth.” The Constitution is superior and the decision of the nation’s apex court is final on any issue, until the court changes its position. This position finds support in the provisions of sessions 1(1) and 287 (1) of the Constitution. Session 1 (1) states that: “This Constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on the authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria” Session 287(1) states that: “The decisions of the Supreme court shall be enforced in any part of the Federation by all authorities and persons, and by courts with subordinate jurisdiction to that of the Supreme Court.” A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Sebastine Hon argued that under Section 287 of the Constitution, all judgments of the Supreme Court are supposed to be enforced and applied by all persons and authorities in Nigeria. He stressed that even “if the judgment does not affect any body or community in particu-

• Justice Rhodes-Vivour


• Hon


‘Our culture will fight Supreme Court verdicts’ •They are judicial jingoism, says monarch From Sunny Nwankwo, Aba and Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia

THE traditional ruler of Umuokahia Autonomous Community in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State, Eze O. J Ananaba, has said the verdicts will be subjected to traditional principles and practice of inheritance. In an interview in Aba, he said his community does not have any business with the Supreme Court. According to him, before the verdict, the community had an existing and generally acceptable way of dealing with such issues . “The culture of the people will fight those judgments. It will not be the people that will fight those judgments, but their culture will fight those judgments. We have no business with those Supreme Court judgments. It is not about me as the Eze or my people, but the culture of the people which has been on ground since origin will fight those judgments. “My own reaction to the judgments is that the culture of the people should be maintained. I think what those judgments looked at was the fundamental right of the individual. Those judgments must not take precedent in a situation like that. The culture of the people should prevail,” he said. He added: “It does not in any way infringe on the female children’s rights. The woman naturally is expected to get married somewhere. So, getting a share of the father’s property and getting a share of another property somewhere will amount to getting a double ration.” Asked what will be the fate of the wife or daughter if the husband or the father writes a Will and allocates part of this estate to the daughter, Eze Ananaba said: “If it is a Will, we don’t contest that. But where the man didn’t make any Will, then the culture of the people will play out.” A community leader in Amuzu Okpu Umuobo Autonomous community in Osisioma Local Government Area of Abia State, Chief Okezie Nwosu hailed the judgments, adding that his community had started making moves to implement them. He said: “A Will is a foreign culture. But if the Will is written to accommodate everybody, we will accommodate it, but when the Will is written in bad faith, we will go to court and seek redress and cancel the Will and do the cultural one.” The traditional ruler of Okwo Aja community Amokwe Item in Bende Local Government Area of Abia State, Eze Clement Offia Chukwu Udensi described the verdicts as “judicial jingoism.” Speaking with The Nation in his palace in Amokwe Item, Eze Udensi said the justices did not take the culture of Igbo people into consideration before their verdicts. Eze Udensi said the problem with the apex court is that the Justices did not know the custom of Ndigbo because a woman once married is now a member of another kindred. He said a woman is not expected to take her family property to her husband’s people because she is not from that family. Besides, she is expected to bring things into her father’s home rather than take away, he said. Eze Udensi said: “Assuming she is married from Igboland to Yoruba, do you expect her to take her father’s property to Lagos or any other pace in Yorubaland? It is not possible. So, the verdicts are quite wrong.” He said except there are clauses in the verdicts which have not been made known to the public, they would not work in Itemland. The President-General of Amokwo Item Welfare Union, Chief Kingsley Ogba Nwokoro, said the verdicts were a landmark. “I have always viewed it as preposterous for people to deny the wives of men who died without male children the right to inherit their husbands’ wealth. It is indeed unimaginable that women will labour with their husbands and create wealth in the full glare of their husband’s relations, and as soon as the man is no more, his relations will pounce on his estate, overpower his wife and take possession of his wealth while she is left to cater for her children alone,” he said. lar, now that a judgment has been passed, every person or community is supposed to apply the principles of the judgment to the facts and circumstances of such person or community.” Hon noted that before the Supreme Court’s judgment, the Court of Appeal had made similar pronouncements in several other decisions. He was of the view that “now that the Supreme

Court has spoken in a substantive manner, until the judgment itself is torpedoed someday by the Supreme Court itself, it remains binding on everybody. “Also, under the doctrine of the supremacy of the Constitution, everybody is expected to uphold the tenant of the Constitution and be bound by its provisions. And Section 47 of the

‘For a widow to be thrown out of her matrimonial home, where she had lived all her life with her late husband and children, by her late husband’s brothers on the ground that she had no male child, is indeed very barbaric’

Constitution has already legislated against gender discrimination, and the Supreme Court’s judgment confirmed the provision of that section. So, even if you want to avoid the Supreme Court, you cannot avoid the Constitution in terms of compliance,” Hon said. Some other lawyers, including Nojim Tairu and Ikechukwu Ikeji are of the view that much as the judgments are commendable, it requires more efforts to achieve the desired goal. Tairu noted that the judgments, rooted in the Roscoe Pound’s School of Law - which states that judgments should be tools of social engineering; redefining the way people should live, remolding obnoxious culture and abolishing primitive practices - are clear direction and leading light to follow for the future. “This is to enshrine fairness, equality and justice in all strata of the society; without any form of discrimination, especially those based on birth, gender among others, where victims are helpless or are not the cause. He however, noted that it will take time for the desired change to come. He referred to some now abolished practices and the measures deployed to ensure that the people abandon such practices. “Mass rallies, public information campaigns, among other strategies should be adopted by civil society groups, professional bodies like the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), women associations, market women, the press, sponsored adverts, public interviews featuring political leaders, like governors, and traditional rulers and other important personalities in the society are veritable steps that will hasten the salutary effect of the judgments,” Tairu said. Ikeji said it is difficult to say that the judgments alone are sufficient to engender the attitudinal change required to put a stop to these practices. He noted the practices are deeply entrenched in the very fabrics of the Igbo society, that it will take more than mere judicial pronouncement to change. “Take the example of the Osu Caste system, which had severally been prohibited both by judicial pronouncement and a law called the Eastern States Abolishment of Caste System Law. This law has been, and is still being observed more in disobedience than obedience. In spite of the obvious disgust of the system, Igbos still practice it as we speak. “Even clergy men, the same Igbo judges that give these judgments, the law makers that passed the laws against the caste system still practice it till today. They cannot give their children out in marriage to any family designated as Osu. “This is the same challenge that the system of depriving female children of inheritance to their father’s estate will face,” he said. Ikeji added that the decision of the Supreme Court was long overdue, coming after such decisions by the Court of Appeal have been seen and treated as neither here nor there. He contended that the needed change can only be brought about by a deliberate effort on the part of government to institute a campaign through the instrumentality of regular and government backed and sponsored town hall meetings. “It should not just be a one off event. It should be a regular meeting between the governments of the affected states and the towns and villages involved, with a view to drawing attention to the need to do away with the customs. It is not going to be easy, but without a deliberate and sustained campaign, it will be difficult to achieve change. “Female gender rights organisations, with the support of other civil society organisations, can do so much to achieve the desired result. They can embark on collaborative campaigns with the governments and go from village to village, with the cooperation of the village heads and town unions. There must be sustained and sustainable publicity,” Ikeji said.





NBA Presidential aspirants woo Eastern Bar Forum

OUR Senior Advocates of Nigeria ( SANs) aspiring for the Presidency of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) have sought the support of the Eastern Bar Forum (EBF), made up lawyers of Igbo extraction. The aspirants are Augustine Alegeh, Deacon Dele Adesina, Chief Adeniyi Akintola and Mrs Funke Adekoya. During the forum’s meeting in Eket, Akwa Ibom State, the aspirants praised EBF’s leadership. Alegeh said the Mid-West Bar Forum, to which he belongs, has modelled itself, its leadership and meetings after the EBF. “We took the EBF constitution, studied it and modelled our own constitution after it,” Alegeh said. He attended the meeting with about 24 NBA branch chairmen from the North. While some branch chairmen came with their secretaries, others sent their secretaries. Adesina, in his goodwill message, said: “EBF is first among equals because you see democracy in action. EBF is really holding the banner of democracy very high and this is worthy of emulation.” He praised the vision of the forum’s founding fathers: “Vision drives passion, a visionless individual is a dead person, unless you run a vision as if your life depends on it, you cannot accomplish it,” he said. Adesina said he attended the meeting to be part of the what was happening in the EBF. He commended the NBA leadership for setting agenda for the ongoing national conference because, according to him, the business of law-making is that of lawyers. “My prayer is that one day, a lawyer will become the President of this country,” he said. Adesina was accompanied to the meeting by the chairman of NBA Ikeja branch, Mr. Monday Ubani, chairman NBA Ondo branch, Mr. Kunle Adetuwubo, chairman NBA Ikere Ekiti branch, Hon Bunmi Olugbade, among others. Akintola frowned at a situation where lawyers talk like politicians outside the courterooms. He stated that such talks should be reserved for the courtrooms. “I came to this meeting as a mark of respect for EBF, I came in the company of my followers from Kaduna, Kano, Lagos and

By John Austin Unachukwu

Ikeja,” he said. Akintola stated that the EBF is the oldest forum in the NBA and has demonstrated purposeful leadership. He urged the forum to continue to maintain the old tradition of the bar, adding that a lawyer should talk in court and not on the pages of newspapers. Akintola urged the EBF to continue its leadership style. Adekoya, in her good will massage, said she had the privilege of participating in the EBF capacity building programmes in the past and knows that enhancing legal knowledge is part of EBF agenda. Having participated as a resource persons in EBF workshop and seminar last year, she advised the EBF to focus on issues of the rule of law. She was accompanied to the meeting by the chairman of NBA Lagos branch, Mr. Alex Muoka, Chukwuma Ezeala, Afam Ofomata Ofomus and Amaka Aneke, among others. Mr. Matthias Schuwa brought goodwill message from Mr. Steve Abar, a General Secretary aspirant. Other aspirants at the meeting include: Mrs. Chinwe Nwadike, Aniche Barth Okoye, Afam Osigwe, while national officers present included Joyce Oduah, Paul Ebial. Afam Obi, Kelvin Ejelonu, U.F.O. Nnaemeka and John Austin Unachukwu NBA President, Okey Wali (SAN) joked that the meeting was more like a National Executive Council (NEC) gathering. He praised EBF chairman Ogbonna Igwenyi for leading by example. According to him, the EBF had been massively supportive of his administration and had been like its pillar. Speaking after the meeting, Igwenyi said: “The meeting is one to be remembered for so many reasons. It provided an opportunity for some of our colleagues who are eying one national office or the other to come and say one thing or the other to us by way of goodwill massages even though the electoral time table has not been rolled out for them to commence their campaigns. “They came in their numbers and we interracted with them. I believe that the meeting had achieved the purpose for which it was convened.”

•From left: Secretary EBF, S.Long Williams; Chairman EBF, Ogbonna Igwenyi and NBA President Okey Wali (SAN).

•From left: Arthur Chukwu, Treasurer EBF and members of the forum, Uda Imeh, Chinedu Nze and Amah Akalonu.

Women SANs condemn pupils’ abduction



OMEN Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) have called on the Federal Government to end the rising terrorising. They are particular about last week’s abduction of pupils of Government Girls Secondary School in Chibik, Borno State. A statement by the first women (SAN), Chief Folake Solanke, reads in part: “On the 15th of

April, 2014, at least 80 people were killed and over 200 persons injured in an early morning bomb blast in Abuja. “On the 16th of April, 2014 over a 100 innocent school girls were abducted by persons unknown from the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State. We vehemently condemn the abduction of these innocent school girls who are our daughters, granddaughters, sisters and nieces. “These acts of terrorism, particularly against children, are increasing daily. They show the highest disregard for human lives, dignity and the law. They raise germane issues that border on the rights guaranteed people by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the duty of the government to protect these rights. The government must urgently protect the basic rights of citizens and provide adequate security for them. “The government must also intensify its efforts at combating the growing security challenges in our dear country. It is most unfortunate that certain parts of our dear country have turned into war zones where human life is extinguished on a regular basis by these faceless persons who appear to evade prosecution. We urge all Nigerians to speak out against these acts of terrorism irrespective of their gender, religion or other circumstances of their birth.”

•From left: 1st Assistant, Secretary, NBA, Paul Ebiala, Chairman, NBA, Calabar Branch Nkoyo Amah former Chairman Calabar Branch, Mba Ukweni, former General Secretary NBA, Dele Adesina (SAN), former Chairman NBA Ikeja Branch Richard Ogbeche and former Chairman, EBF Governing Council Prof. Ernest Ojukwu

Enamhe heads EBF Seminar and Awards committee


ORMER national Financial Secretary of the NBA, Mr. Marc Enamhe has been ap pointed chairman of the Eastern Bar Forum (EBF) Seminar and Awards night committee. Former legal Adviser of the NBA, Mr. Victor Nwugo is the secretary while Secretary EBF, S. Longwilliams, Chairman NBA Eket branch, Mr. Ebitu Akpadiaha, Mr. Arthur Ezechukwu who represents Enugu State on the EBF governing board are also members of the committee. The committee meets on Thursday in Owerri. •Alegeh (fifth from right of front row) with his supporters at the meeting



LAW & SOCIETY A stakeholders meeting on Lagos Public Interest Law Partnership was held last week to appraise the success of the initiative one year after it was launched. ADEBISI ONANUGA and PRECIOUS IGBONWELUNDU report

Stakeholders access partnership law on pro bono services


OW effective has the Lagos Public In terest Law Partnership (LPILP) been? Has it met its objectives since it was launched last year by Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN)? The law provides a platform where the state partners with private law firms to provide pro-bono legal services to the poor. The goal is to increase access to justice and further secure the fundamental rights of every citizen, irrespective of their financial means. Since its launch in November 2012, 66 law firms and non-governmental organisations have signed on. Through the platform, 116 cases pro-bono have been handled, 36 of which are civil and 80 are criminal matters. Through this process, the law has assisted 423 indigent persons with quality legal representation by private legal practitioners. This figure includes two public interest suits which served 110 claimants in one case and 48 in the other. In a bid to encourage more legal practitioners to engage in free legal services to indigent persons, Lagos State Government has said plans are underway to establish special funds for the assistance of interested junior lawyers. Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice (AG) Ade Ipaye made the disclosure at the first LPILP Pro Bono week in Lagos, with the theme: “Building a culture of Pro Bono in Nigeria.” Noting that the special fund would be launched on April 11 to further improve access to justice for all Lagosians, Ipaye acknowledged that the Office of the Public Defender was overwhelmed, hence the need for a public private partnership (PPP) on legal aid. “We intend to launch a fund for independent young lawyers to assist them in handling their pro bono cases. “This fund would only be available to young lawyers in order to assist them meet such expenses as filing and transportation. “Lack of legal services to those who need them have resulted in long adjournments and striking out of cases in courts which have inturn cast aspersions on the reputation of the judiciary,” said Ipaye. “We now have 66 partner law firms, four NGOs and have a total of 116 cases ongoing in different courts under this programme. We have impacted about 400 people, which is good progress but we are just beginning,” he said. While commending the law firms that have signed-on the programme, he urged others to see Pro Bono services as their way of giving back to the society. In her speech, Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Adefulire called on lawyers to ensure access to justice is not only for the rich but also available to the poor. “There is need for us as stakeholders to give voice to the voiceless. After launching OPD many years ago, we found out that the responsibilities on the body were enormous and even with the number of lawyers at the OPD, it was realised that they were overwhelmed and could not handle all cases.” Adefulire said the population of Lagos had placed an enormous responsibility on the government, especially in the area of providing access to justice for all residents. “We are the commercial nerve centre not only for Nigeria but also for the entire West Africa ans with the responsibility of being a former capital of the country, the challenges are enoutmous “So, this is the reason why we are soliciting collaboration of private lawyers because many more people still do not have access to justice,” she said. “Gender based violence and woman/child abuse are order of day and some of the victims are so helpless that they do not know what to do. “At the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) no fewer than 400 distress calls are received daily from victims of one form of abuse or the other and not all of thecases can be handled by the OPD”, she added. The deputy governor commended the 66 law firms and four NGOs for partnering with the State Government to actualise the objective of the Pro Bono services in the State Delivering a welcome address, Director, OPD, Mrs. Omotola Rotimi said the office has sent over 100 cases to LPILP, adding that

•From left: Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Permanent Secretary and Solicitor-General, Mr. Lawal Pedro (SAN) and President of PILnet and Adjunct Professor, Columbia University, New York, Prof. Edwin Rekosh.

•Mr. Johnson Odionu and Mrs. Funmi Falana.

•Mrs. Charlene Preszlar Bartolo.

•Mr. Funso Olukoga.

•Mrs. Gloria Egbuji and Mr. Charles Adeogun.

•Mr. Adeniji Kazeem (left) and Mr. Olaseinde Karim.

the thrust of the initiative is for all stakeholders to work closely in order to develop a sustainable future with Pro Bono. Mrs. Rotimi urged more lawyers to buy into the ideals of the LPILP. She said that the stakeholders meeting is an opportunity for the public and private

sector to brainstorm and have collaboration as equal partners to advance the course of justice administration through improved access to justice’. She said, the need for pro bono services across the globe has never been greater. There is a growing awareness among members of

the profession and a desire to play their part in addressing this need and thus bridging the gap. Corporate pro bono is on the rise throughout the world and the timing of this meeting could not be better because the difficult economic climate has led to a dramatic increase in the demand for free legal services from the under privileged section of the society. ”Our aim is to develop a framework for public-private partnership dedicated to ensuring that no resident of Lagos State is prevented from accessing the justice system on the grounds of lack of means’. she added President, Public Interest Law Network (PILNet), Prof. Edwin Rekosh in his remark noted that access to justice was under duress globally. While noting that lawyers commonly say there is no free launch, Prof. Rekosh urged stakeholders to see Pro Bobo services as a call to assist those in distress. “At PILNet, we understand Pro Bono as an obligation, and harnessing the good spirit of lawyers to assist those in distress is the focal point. I appeal to Nigeria lawyers to take up voluntary Pro Bono. “No legal aid system exist across the world wothout a crack, and so, if properly structured and institutionalised, the Pro Bona can harness more resources to help solve legal aid problems.,” he said. While making a presentation on the need assessment research conducted into culture of pro bono in Lagos by the LPILP in conjuction with PILNet and Justice Research Institute (JRI), Prof. Lanre Fagbohun of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) noted that formal structures for Pro Bono services do not exist in most law firms. He said not many law firms appreciate the essence of their participation in Pro Bono services, calling for re-orientation of lawyers and judicial officers. Fagbohun disclosed that out of a total of 1148 respondents sampled in the course of the research, only 10 percent have benefited from free legal services in the state. Prof. Lanre Fagbohun, said there were enormous challenges being faced in providing equal access to justice for citizens. Fagbohun observed that majority of litigants still appear in court without attorneys for economic reasons. He said that closing the gap would require a multifaceted approach which would include strong and effective partnership with private attorneys and law firms and NGOs providing freem legal services, the bar, the judiciary, development agencies and other stakeholders. The professor said that there is a significant justice gap between the level of legal services available than what is required to meet the needs of unserved litigants. Given this background, her summed that the commitment of Lagos state to ensuring equal access to justice is seriously at risk. He suggested a 14 point approach to improving access to justice in the state. According to him, there is a need to educate and create more awareness on activities of state funded legal service providers and of LPILP. He stressed the need to improve on facilities at the lower court, including increased technology, in order for judicial officers to pee4form more effectively. The erudite professor of law stressed that specific days be dedicated for hearing of pro bono cases in order to ensure quick dispensation of pro bono matters. He said that the understanding of pro bono matters should go beyond giving mere legal advices to litigants or representing them in courts. He emphasized that it should include situations whereby practitioners are able to forward petitions to office of Attorney General in respect of unrepresented litigants and awaiting trials in prisons among other suggestions. Prof. Edwin Rekosh, an adjunct professor at Colombia University, New York, noted that it was not only in Nigeria that access to justice was under pressure. Rekosh said countries such as the UK and US had cut funding for legal aid in recent years. He said notwithstanding, Government still had an obligation to render free legal services to its citizens who could not afford such services.

Newspaper of the Year



Haemophilia: Tackling a blood disease •PAGE 30

Life after Nyanya blast •PAGE 33

•The trainees go through the drill

Kaduna youths prepare for self-employment


HEIR journey to self-employment started on November 26, 2013 when they had their first shot at skills training across various centres in the state. No fewer than 7600 women and youths from the 255 political wards in Kaduna State were trained in vocations and trades using the state’s share of the 2012 Subsidy Reinvestment Programme (SURE-P) funds. Many applaud the jobs scheme. Beneficiaries are in three different groups: women, youths and agriculture. In the agriculture category, beneficiaries are trained in such areas as production of maize, rice, cassava, sugar cane, ginger; fishery, cattle rearing, bee keeping, sheep and goat rearing, piggery and poultry. The youths on the other hand are trained in aluminum works, block making, bricklaying and masonry, fish processing, GSM repair, honey processing, animal husbandry, leather works, photography, plumbing works, and printing. The women are benefiting from training in such areas as Beauty and Cosmetology; hairdressing; tie and dye; Catering and Event manage-

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

ment; Fish processing; Rice milling; Vegetable processing. The government, according to Governor Yero, spent about N139 million on the training. With the training concluded, it was time for the government to make good its promise of setting them up. For Yero, it does not make sense for the government to stop at giving them the required skill without giving them the matching grant to set themselves up and move on in life. But he was not unaware of the fact that some of the beneficiaries may

not be too disposed to setting up a business. So, rather than give them money, the government decided to purchase items needed by each one of them and present same to them with an additional N10,000 as takeoff grant. He however warned them not to sell the items as government was putting in place mechanism to monitor and ensure that the money invested was not wasted. Governor Yero, who supervised the distribution of the items, said that the government supports the trainee graduates in meeting the critical requirement of seed capital for starting viable businesses that will con-

‘Beneficiaries are in three different groups: women, youths and agriculture. In the agriculture category, beneficiaries are trained in such areas as production of maize, rice, cassava, sugar cane, ginger; fishery, cattle rearing, bee keeping, sheep and goat rearing, piggery and poultry’

tribute to the rapid economic development of the state and reduce unemployment. He noted that “the trainings conducted under the various trades were rigorous and in-depth. At the outset we were unequivocal in emphasising, that only training institutions and firms with demonstrable competences in the business will be engaged in the youth trainings. Our insistence was to ensure effective transfer of technology to trainees for maximum benefits. Based on the briefings, I have received on the Youth Empowerment Training, it is heart-warming to note that participants exhibited high sense of discipline and commitment throughout the period of the training. With the level of enthusiasm our youth have displayed thus far, I am confident that the programme will achieve its set objectives. I therefore urge all the trainees to continue to behave responsibly in all your future endeavours”. The governor announced that each of the trainees would receive Starter Packs relevant to his/her trade in addition to take off grant of the sum of N10,000. •Continued on page 30

Searching for peace in Southern Kaduna •PAGE 34

Youth jobs scheme for Gombe •PAGE 32




Haemophilia: Tackling a blood disease


RS. Megan Buky Adediran, founder and executive director of the Haemophilia Foundation of Nigeria, is a mother with a heavy heart. Two of her children are suffering from haemophilia, a blood disorder that hinders the body’s ability to control clotting or coagulation. She has spent several millions treating the children but one sore point is that the government has not provided facilities for their treatment. Even though those suffering from the ailment in the country are not many, the high cost of treatment has made it virtually impossible for many suffering to even get diagnosis. Experts say that haemophiliacs do not have enough clotting factor, a protein in blood that controls bleeding. According to Dr. Tahira Zafar of the Pakistan Haemophilia Patients Welfare Society (PHPWS), “the severity of a person’s haemophilia depends on the amount of the clotting factor that is missing. The main danger is uncontrolled internal bleeding that starts spontaneously or results from an injury. Bleeding into joints and muscles can cause stiffness, pain, severe joint damage, disability and sometimes death. Repeated joint bleeding and inadequate treatment lead to joint disabilities. It is important to create awareness about early detection and treatment of the disorder so that complications like joint disability can be prevented and these children can contribute to the development of the country rather than being a burden on the family and the society,” Even though there are Nigerians suffering from the ailment, there has not been any form of assistance from the Nigerian government in the treatment of these people. Speaking with The Nation as part of the 2014 World Haemophilia Day, Adediran said that the Nigerian government has told them in clear term that the percentage of those suffering from the ailment in the country was too negligible to attract government attention. She said “since 2006, we have been in and out of the Federal Ministry of Health and up to 2014, we are yet to get anything from them. In 2012, I took a delegation from the World Federation of Haemophilia and the National Haemophilia, USA to the Federal Ministry of Health. We met with the Permanent Secretary and a promise was made that they are going to set up a committee to look into what government can do. After series of calls, we were told that it was a population that was so small to attract government attention”. According to her, “It is believed that about 400,000 people are living with haemophilia world-wide with a prevalent rate of 1 in every 10,000. With a 160 million population in Nigeria, we should have between 12,000 and 14,000 people living with haemophilia, but as at today, less than 200 are recorded in our hospitals across the nation. As an organisation, since 2005, we have set out to see how we will alleviate sufferings of families of children with haemophilia. As of today, haemophilia does not have any cure and so, the patients are managed for the rest of their lives. We have patients that have been diagonised with different types of conditions because of the low level of awareness. We are in a society where people ascribe almost everything to witchcraft. So, families who see their sons bleeding continuously, the first thing that comes to mind is one witch in the village or one woman in the family who does not like them. We want to stop that and make people know that haemophilia is a bleeding condition and can be managed. This year, the World Haemophilia Day has come with a theme that says Speak Out and Create Change, and for this, we saw

•Mrs. Megan Adediran, Executive Director, Haemophilia Foundation of Nigeria From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

the need to include members of the press as you are the most people that can speak out for us to every Nigerian about this condition. We need to make people know that haemophilia is with Nigeria”. The foundation, according to her is worried about the low level of awareness about the ailment and the believe that it does not affect black people, saying “we want to let you know that it affect Nigerians and the first person to be diagonised in Nigeria is still alive and was diagonised on December 13, 1969. The haematologist that diagonised him is still alive. So, haemophilia is with us and affecting our population and the help of every one is needed. We need you to be on board and help people with haemophilia in Nigeria”. She noted that even though there are many symptoms for haemophilia, due to the low level of awareness in Nigeria, people can hardly think towards haemophilia. She said “in Nigeria, most of the patients are always suspected or diagonised after circumcision. For us, circumcision is a must and a boy with haemophilia, after circumcision will not stop bleeding and

•A haemophiliac baby

It is believed that about 400,000 people are living with haemophilia world-wide with a prevalent rate of 1 in every 10,000. We should have between 12,000 and 14,000 people living with haemophilia, but now, less than 200 are recorded in our hospitals so, most of them presented to hospital with post circumcision bleeding, bleeding from tooth when the child start changing his teeth after six years or from a cut that has been bleeding for days. There is also the misconception that women must bleed. While this is so, women also have bleeding disorder. We have had women who bleed to death after birth for no just course or bleed for days from prolonged menstrual period and nobody is asking questions. I such women have need for surgical operation, they will not stop bleeding and so, we need to sensitise the public about these signs and watch out for the people

and help them when the need arises. That is why the foundation is there to help people with the available drugs. It has no cure, but it can be managed for the victim to have a normal life and the management is not any family can afford because the drugs are very expensive”. But are there efforts at preventing the ailment? Mrs. Adediran said, “We don’t want to say it is preventable because we don’t want to create stigma. It is a condition that is inherited. It is transmitted from mother to son and from a son who has haemophilia, when he starts having children, he will pass it on to his daughters. We

•Kogi State Governor Idris Wada (middle) flanked by his wife, Hajia Halima Ladi Wada; Mrs Mariam Ladi Ibrahim; Mrs. Nike Okundaye (first left) and other women cutting the celebration cake at the recently concluded Kogi Women’s Conference held in Lokoja, Kogi State

call daughters of haemophilia as obligate carriers because they are compulsory carriers. When you say you want to prevent, you are saying don’t marry women that are carriers. If you don’t marry these women who are carriers, one out every three happen where there is no family history. If you stigmatise the carriers, what about the spontaneous cases? So, haemophilia will always surface in every generation. We try to reach out to every group in the society. We go to churches and mosques to talk about haemophilia. We also go to town meetings to talk about haemophilia and try as much as possible to reach out to everybody. We are trying to reach the last level that we can. We are trying to reach everybody and every social class that we can reach because it doesn’t choose tribe, race, culture or religion. It affects everyone and the help of all is needed”. •Continued on page 32

Car snatcher nabbed in Kebbi From Khadijat Saidu, Birnin Kebbi

THE police in Kebbi State have paraded two persons described as car snatchers. The names of the two suspects were given as Abdulwahab Yusuf, 35, and Esther Ejembi, 26. One other person is said to be at large. Yusuf, Ejembi and the absconded one were said to have snatched a Sport Utility Vehicle at gunpoint along Area 11, Garki Abuja. Parading the suspects, the police Public Relations Officer, Kabiru Bawa Rawayau explained that immediately the incident happened, the police were informed and surveillance was placed on them. He pointed out that despite several checkpoints, the suspects had managed to beat every road block. But they ran out of luck as they were overpowered at a place called Maraba-Yauri, in Kebbi State. The gang leader whose name was not given, is said to have bolted into the bush on citing the team of policemen at a checkpoint. The police spokesman added that the Honda Jeep with registration number, Lagos, KJA 665 BD, was in custody as further investigation continued.




•The Sure-P items distributed to the beneficiaries

•Items given to trainees in fishery production

Kaduna youths prepare for self-employment •Continued from page 29 The governor noted that his administration was determined to continue to “accord priority attention to skills acquisition, as well as training and retraining of our youths for the economic benefit of our dear state. The objectives of this approach are to stimulate the economy of our state through creation of massive employment opportunities for our people and reduce poverty. In this regards, we have concluded plans to engage 2,550 youths using our 2013 SURE-P funds. These youth would be drawn from the 255 wards across the State with 40% of them to be women. They would provide Community Development services within their respective wards in the areas of sanitisation of major roads and public institutions, provision of security, control of human and vehicular traffic especially during occasion and public functions, sensitization/enlightenment, advocacy on peace etc. They would be paid an allowance of N10, 000 monthly with effect from April, 2014. In the same vein, the state will collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Finance to enable 2000 unemployed graduates of our State to participate in the Federal Government SURE-P Community Services, Women and Youth Programme scheme on Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS). Under this programme, each participating graduate will receive an allowance of N30,000 from the Federal Govern-

ment and a stipend of N10, 000 from the state totalling N40, 000.00 monthly. It may also interest you to note that the State and the Bank of Agriculture have jointly set aside the sum of N500 million each (amounting to N1 billion) to disburse as loans to small scale farmers. In addition to this, a similar funding arrangement with the Bank of Industry provides another N1 billion to be disbursed to Small Scale Businesses/ Entrepreneurs in the State”. The governor noted that “we are doing all these to assist our people with the requisite seed capital to kick start their businesses to stimulate the much needed productive economic activities to raise the standards of living and ultimately increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of our dear State. As pioneers of a novel initiative of this administration, I urge you to use the skills you have acquired during this training programme for the benefit of not only yourself and immediate family but to the good of the entire people of our state. You must not sell the starter packs given to you as doing so will defeat the essence of this programme. The State Government will put in place a monitoring and supervisory mechanism for regular and sustained visits to all the places of your business to ensure that you are effectively utilising the resources placed at your disposal. The success of this programme lies on your shoulders. If you succeed, it would be a source of encouragement to us as we firmly believe that

‘As pioneers of a novel initiative of this administration, I urge you to use the skills you have acquired during this training programme for the benefit of not only yourself and immediate family but to the good of the entire people of our state’ programmes of this sort will go a long way in taking youths off the streets thereby enhancing the security and wellbeing of our people”. The state deputy governor who doubles as the chairman of the SUREP implementation committee, Ambassador Nuhu Audu Bajoga said that the programme is significant as it seeks to provide youths and other vulnerable groups in the state with gainful self-employable skills to raise the quality of their lives through employment generation and wealth creation. He said further that the SURE-P Implementation Committee has ensured that in line with directives from the governor, beneficiaries of the Agriculture, Youth and Women Empowerment Schemes were selected devoid of partisan or parochial considerations. He said: “I can dare say without fear of contradiction that the Kaduna

Displaced persons in Benue told to forgive their attackers

‘Cab operators lost 15 members to kidnappers’



CATHOLIC priest in charge of St Francis Catholic Mission, Daudu, Benue State, Rev. Father Solomom Ukeyima has urged victims of Fulani attacks to forgive those who sacked them from their ancestral homes. Father Ukeyima admonished internally displaced persons to see their travails as a necessary cross they must bear, as Jesus Himself did. In his Easter sermon at St Mary Primary School, North Bank, Makurdi, where over 200 victims of Fulani attacks are taking refuge, the Catholic priest said they must learn to forgive their attackers even though they have been sacked, their relations killed, and driven away from their home. He said Easter is the feast of love and they must love and forgive one another. Father Ukeyima, who is also displaced from his mission in Daudu, due to the attacks, told the displaced that better things are coming after their temporary setback.

•Father Ukeyima with the displaced From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

Also speaking after the mass, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), representing Makurdi North in the House of Assembly, Hon. Avine Agbom appealed to Governor Gabriel Suswam to work towards the return of the displaced to their homes before the rains set in. Hon. Agbom said there are secret killings going on as farmers who attempt to get back to their farms are killed by Fulani militia. He called on soldiers deployed to Benue to protect the helpless farmers. Chairman Benue Network of

State Government has been the most forthcoming in effectively and efficiently utilizing its SURE-P funds, by investing in critical areas of infrastructural development as well as welfare of citizens of the State. Let me seize this opportunity to call on the beneficiaries of the various empowerment schemes to pay attention to the training that will be offered, by being prompt and attentive at the training centres for effective learning. The training consultants selected are also knowledgeable and competent to execute the task. The Consultants are therefore enjoined to ensure that they live up to expectations for the overall success of the programme”. Some of the beneficiaries who spoke with The Nation thanked the government for the opportunity given to them to learn a trade. Ruth Daniel who was trained in hair

dressing was elated that the government was giving her what she needs to start her trade. She said “I am very happy that the government has decided to give us these facilities to start. I am going to get a shop and start business and I am sure that what I will be making from there will be enough to sustain me and help my family. I have always wanted to start something of my own, but I didn’t have the money to pay for my training. Now, the government paid for it and even gave us all that we need to start. I am very grateful to the government for this opportunity”. Like 182 other women and girls, Ruth got a starter pack worth N85,575. Items in the starter packs are: one standing dryer, one hand dryer, a set of roller packs, a set of relaxer, a plastic washing basin, 30 litres water container, a wall dressing mirror, an electric kettle, one dressing comb, one full pack og threads and needles, round trolley and N10,000 take-off grant. On his part, Gabriel Peter who was trained along side 190 others and received a starter pack worth N293, 500 said he was elated to be in business, pointing out that before the items were given to them, he has already secured a shop where he will be operating from. He received items such as Exposure Machine for making plates, Light table used for laying films, washing tray and Generator set from the government.

Civil Societies, Mr Justine Gbagir urged the Benue State government to set up camps and care for the multitude of displaced persons affected by Fulani attacks. Gbagir, a lawyer, stated that the essence of governance is welfare and citizens have killed, their houses set ablaze and some have no place to sleep, yet government is doing nothing. He said asking the farmers to go back to their destroyed homes without giving them the necessary logistics to start life afresh is inhuman. The priest, in the spirit of Easter shared food for the displaced person who danced and sang.

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

IRPORTS Car Hire Association of Nigeria (ACHAN) has said it operates in an insecure environment in the country. In the last two years, the group said, it lost over 15 persons to kidnappers and others miscreants across the country. National President of the association, Chief Stanley Dike told reporters in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, shortly after he was sworn in. He added that “in Port Harcourt many of our members have been kidnapped. We are still in search of one of our members. In the last two months we are yet to know his whereabouts and even the cab too. In Abuja, Kaduna and Kano the same thing happens to our members. “A major challenge is our ability to differentiate between genuine or otherwise passengers. Before you know it some of these miscreants will come in pretending to be genuine passengers. They can sometimes offer higher amounts to attract unsuspecting cab owners. In the process our cars and drivers some of the time are taken away. “Kidnapping in this country is something even the government itself tried as much it could to eradicate. At a time government even engaged the services of military personnel, but it later discovered that it was not helping matters.” Other challenges according to him include competition and unauthorised admission of all sorts of car higher operators by the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). He said, “sometimes, admits all sorts of car hire operators and reducing the number of times either in a day or a week we are supposedly going to work carrying passengers and we have families that we take care of; we have cars that we need to maintain. “The kind of business we are doing is very competitive that one needs to secure it. But in most cases there are lots of external interested persons that come in to begin to compete with us. Many of them are not legally recognized by our members and even authorities of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria.”



THE NORTH REPORT Haemophilia: Tackling a blood disease •Continued from page 30 Unfortunately however, very few hospitals in the country in involved in the treatment of haemophilia. Only about ten of the federal and state owned university teaching hospitals in the country offer some form of treatment for the patients. She said “presently we have about 10 hospitals and we are trying to create more hospitals to be aware of the condition. We have the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, UNTH in Enugu, UBTH in Benin, LUTH in Lagos, UCH in Ibadan and the University Teaching hospitals in Akwa Ibom and Calabar. The Yusuf Dantsoho hospital in Kaduna is also part of it and the Muslim Hospital in Tudun Wada just joined. We are trying to see as many hospital as possible join the foundation because last year, we had several training in the six geopolitical zones for medical practitioners and we found out that even among the Doctors, we had to do some retraining. We will continue to do retraining for doctors to raise their suspicion level of haemophilia so as to get a hospital as close to a family because you don’t expect a family with a children bleeding into the brain to travel for three hours to get to a hospital; you don’t expect a family with joint bleed to carry him on a one hour flight to a hospital. So, we are trying to get hospitals close to these families as possible. This is what we are trying do. it is not easy and we know that our country is a very large country and it is not easy to do this type of thing when you are a lone ranger. This foundation is an organisation of parents coming out to create a voice for their children. I have two sons with haemophilia and that is what led to the foundation. We are parents trying to advocate for their sons. It is like HIV campaign which started years back and today, they have a voice. We want to get a level for a patients”. Unlike the dreaded HIV/AIDS and other deadly diseases, haemophilia is not contagious, but is transferable from parents to children. While it is said to be transferred from mother to children, some carrier does not require any form of test to know that they are carriers of the disease. Mrs. Adrdiran told The Nation that “If you are a female child and your father is a carrier, you don’t need a test. You are an automatic carrier because the clothing factor is on the X chromosome. A woman has two X chromosomes while the man has an X and a Y. So, a woman who is a carrier has one of her X chromosome with low level of factor concentrate. We have 13 clothing factors and for you to have haemophilia, you actually need to lack eight or nine in a certain quantity. So, when a man who is a known haemophilia has a daughter, it means he has given his X chromosome and his daughter does not need a test. For a woman who is a carrier, it is a 50/50 chance that your sons or daughter could have haemophilia. However, diagnosis of haemophilia or bleeding disorger is a major challenge in this country. Far back in 2004, it cost me about N140,000 to send my son’s blood sample to Oxford to determine the type of haemophilia he had. As at last year, parents were paying as much as N60,000 for diagnosis. So, it is something that is difficult for some families to diagnose. Today, we are trying to bring diagnosis to most of our teaching hospitals to be able to diagnose people with haemophilia. So, if a woman is a carrier, a test can be carried out on her to determine the type of haemophilia she is having. You can actually live a normal life if you don’t bleed”. •Continued on page 36

•The trainees

Youth jobs scheme for Gombe


HE Gombe State government has launched a youth employment plan. The state governor, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo has also announced that his administration was “working in collaboration with international development agencies towards fashioning out a social protection policy for our citizens, especially the youth.” Governor Dankwambo stated this during the passing out ceremony of 1,554 youths from the Phase II of the Talba Youth Re-orientation and Rehabilitation Programme at MalamSidi, headquarters of Kwami Local Government Area of Gombe State. Some of such groups, according to him, included the World Bank Supported Youth Empowerment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) to provide employment opportunities, skills, training and conditional cash transfer for youths in the state; the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the National Board for Technology Incubation. He explained that his administration, in order to eradicate poverty among the youth, had already keyed into YESSO programme and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UNDP in the area of skills training, adding that government had also collaborated with Industrial Training Fund (ITF) in the area of skills training through Nigeria Industrial Development Plan of the Federal Government while plans to establish a factory for the assembly of tricycle (keke NAPEP) had been concluded. He further disclosed that the state government had taken steps to register unemployed graduates in the state into the Graduate Internship Programme in order to engage them in various walks of life through the provision of temporary employment. He said his administration had constituted a committee that would facilitate the establishment of a micro-finance bank in the state so as to make micro-credits available to small and medium-scale enterprises in the state and provide employment for the youth. He further said all these were policies and programmes deliberately put in place by his administration to aid the teeming youths to improve their lives and provide opportunity for them to contribute their quota in the development the state and country at large. “I wish to reassure our youths that government will continue to conduct programmes that will enable you realise your potential and contribute positively to the socio-economic development of the state,” said Governor Dankwambo while expressing government’s commitment to sustain efforts at rolling out youth empowerment packages. Specifically, he assured the graduating members of the Talba Youth Re-orientation and Rehabilitation Programme that “government, on its part, will continue to support the programme” in order to uplift their

•Some arrested restive youths and their tools By Vincent Ohonbamu, Gombe

living standards. The programme, as the name implies, is meant to reshape the ideology of the infamous political thugs popularly known as Yan Kalare with a view to taking them off the streets and making them better and more useful citizens who can equally contribute positively to the growth of the state and country. Other than the hooligans, some well-behaved unemployed youths found the programme as another vista of opportunities and enlisted into it. This is no surprise because the first set of 1,197 agents under the programme were already performing creditably well, thereby making Gombe State safe from the insecurity perpetrated the yan kalare group between 2003 and 2011. This notorious group of youths who took orders and sourced immunity from those at the corridors of power then committed a lot of atrocities that were inimical to wellmeaning residents of the state and got away with it. Alhaji Bakura Mohammed Bajoga aptly summed it up when he said:

“Any achievement without security is half-baked. But with his (Dankwambo) coming, the terrifying yan kalare group are no more. He came with a very good idea of training those restive youths into productive members of the society. Before, they could be given a token amount to kill and they would do so.” Little wonder the indescribable excitement when the Governor announced that government could train up 10,000 youths under the programme as that would naturally lessen the army of youths through thugs are recruited from. “Some unscrupulous enemies of progress are not happy and always attempt to cause confusion whenever the training is on course to derail and discredit the novel initiative. “It is pathetic that those selfish individuals prefer to see the lives of these youths destroyed for their own selfish interests,” Dankwambo observed. Giving credence to this position is the fact that during the first phase, unknown gunmen went on shooting spree at the camp; even as the

action was preceded by rumours that they had been assembled for the slaughter. This time round, a pernicious rumour spread like whirl wind made the round that the military instructors had killed a trainee agent and in the commotion that followed, five more trainees were dead. Consequently, the trainees scampered out of the camp. Again, the rumour that they had been gathered to be killed was already spreading at the camp. But swift reactions from the authorities restored normalcy even before fleeing trainees got to their homes. The most gratifying point about the programme is that it has been signed into law, just as the appointments of chairman, board members and other principal officers of the Agency for Social Services (the supervisory body of the programme) have been made. This, of course, underscores the deployment of so many resources into the revitalisation of the education sector. The huge investment in this sector is justified by the massive development of school infrastructure, engagement of qualified academic personnel, and procurement of teaching and learning aids. This is borne out of the need to take the youth off the streets, engage their minds positively and then broaden and brighten their horizon, stimulate the maximisation of their potential, polish or reshape their philosophy and psyche while reducing their tendency to become hooligans. Since everyone is not cut out for western education, Governor Dankwambo has equally pioneered other initiatives aimed at empowering the Gombe youths. Among such initiatives is the training of 320 youths on six different trades in four skills acquisition centres across the state and resettling them with a starter pack of N250, 000 and tools for their trades to facilitate easy and smooth take off.

•President Goodluck Jonathan (second left) assisted by Katsina State Governor Ibrahim Shema (second right)and his deputy, Alhaji Faskari, at the inauguration of the new Katsina Government House



Page 33

•The park

Life after Nyanya blast


ONDAY, April 14 has gone down in history as a black Monday. This was the day a motor park in Nyanya, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory was bombed by the Boko Haram insurgents. Many died and several others sustained varying degrees of injuries in the blast that took everyone by surprise. Residents of the area, for the first time experienced the height of man's inhumanity to man. Days after the blast, residents of Nyanya, Mararaba and Masaka were still in pains and counting their losses. The Nyanya Park used to be a busy centre, especially with the Federal Capital Territory's (FCT) restriction of mini-buses from plying some routes in the city. So, the Nyanya Park served as an alternative for commercial motorists. Again, the park served as the first point where people coming in from Nasarawa and even Plateau first stop to board vehicles for town. After the blast, the park has become a shadow of itself. Unlike before, few people are seen around the park. The park that hosts a market where people trade on second-hand clothing materials, bags and shoes was almost empty because people are afraid to get close to the scene of the unfortunate incident. Military and security operatives have since condoned off the site, keeping close watch on the few people hanging around. The park opposite it which has since been converted into a new park for the El-Rufai buses was equally empty as passengers who might have boarded the buses from town alighted from the buses and hur-

From Grace Obike

ried off the park. Although security agents have since declared the area safe, most residents say the horror of the blast has been etched in their psyche. An old man Alhaji Dauda Garba, sat at the far end of the new park dejectedly, with few kola nuts in a tray which he sells, explained that he sells kolanuts in the old park in a bid to take care of his large family in Kano before the blast. He regretted that the blast has affected his means of livelihood as he could not make sells to take care of his family. He further explained that he was at the park early that day carrying his wares about. But he had become fagged out after going round few times, even as he said he had decided to go to the mosque adjacent the park and rest for awhile. He was just about getting up to return to his business when he heard a loud blast that seemed to rip his stomach open. Garba explained that most of the people who died that day didn't die at the park, adding that there were some people who were across the park who died as a result of iron rods that flew from the park after the explosion and killed or injured them as far as the NNPC Filling Station that is more than 200 meters away from the Nyanya Park. He narrated about an incident in which a young man who was across the road had his head split into two by an iron rod. Also a motor spare part of one of the buses flew to the road from the park and killed another victim. He also recounted how the head of a woman that was selling okpa in a wheelbarrow at the park flew across the road into a gutter.

‘There were young people that push wheel barrows about or those that sell pure water, locally made tea or other things at the park, which are still missing. Some people are still dying even days after the event and this time round, they are unaccounted for. Some of these people who were affected by the blast left the scene after they were hit by objects only to die after walking a short distance. They had to be buried quietly without any official announcement’ Garba said: "My body is still weak since the blast and I still find it difficult eating without throwing up. "There were young people that push wheel barrows about or those that sell pure water, locally made tea or other things at the park, which are still missing. Some people are still dying even days after the event and this time round, they are unaccounted for. Some of these people who were affected by the blast left the scene after they were hit by objects only to die after walking a short distance. They had to be buried quietly without any official announcement. "Even on Tuesday and Wednesday, we still found some of our people

that lay inside or under abandoned vehicles and died there. Some of them were not seen by the emergency personnel because they ran away from the scene in fear only to die elsewhere. "For instance, people inside the bathing house not from the park were affected as well by the blast. Most of them were killed inside the bathroom. "Till now, we are still searching for some people who are missing. Sometimes when you ask for someone, you will be told that he died in the blast. They all died there or are in the hospital. "The government needs to see the way lives are being lost in the coun-

try. They have to do something to save the lives of people in this country because they cannot exist without us and vice versa." The Chief of Nyanya, Danladi Iya, Sarkin Nyanya who lives very close to the park said he was in bed when the incident occurred, adding that the ground shook and his ceiling and windows all fell apart from the impact. He said he was so terrified that he could not get up from his bed. The Chief, who said the blast, had weakened him pleaded with residents to pray for the country and go about their businesses without fear or intimidation from anyone. Mr. James Oche who sells rugs around the park said he was about 200 meters from the park on that day when he heard the explosion. He said: "I witnessed the horror that occurred on that day. For me, if this type of thing continues to happen, then I don't think the country is any longer safe for me because, frankly speaking, I may plan to either leave the environment or travel out of the country because I no longer feel safe in my country. "We that do businesses here are not talking about our businesses anymore because my brother went out to buy goods this morning. Formerly, they used to bring the goods to us here but now the Whiteman said he could not come down to Nyanya. So, I don't know what we will be doing now. "My advice to the government is to try to do something urgently concerning this security situation in the country because everybody is afraid. Right now, if someone throws fireworks (knockout) in the •Continued on page ??




Searching for peace in Southern Kaduna ‘At the end of the meeting, leaders of I the two groups allegedly agreed to a N the comfort of the conference hall of the General Hassan Usman Katsina House popularly known as State House in Kaduna, the Michael Zuokumor-led peace committee engaged leaders of the Southern Kaduna people and the Fulani for two days. What were they discussing? How to end attacks on Southern Kaduna communities that have left several people dead in midnight attacks. Present at the meeting were various Fulani organisations as well as leaders of the communities that recently came under attack. Many others who have been attacked in the past or who still stand the risk of being attacked were left out. That did not go down well with Governor Mukthar Yero who told members of the committee that they should be holding the meeting in the villages affected by the attacks and not in the comfort of air conditioned conference all. Yero believes that holding the meeting in Kaura would have been the best option as it will give the victims the feeling that something positive was being done about their plight. Yero told the committee that they should make efforts to actively engage the local people in their assignment, pointing out that it is only through active interaction with those directly affected that the panel can identify the true causes as well as solutions to the crises. He noted that “the crisis is not about religion or ethnicity. It is being engineered by

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

some people using religion just in their selfish interests adding that rather than hold reconciliation meetings with elites who are the ones escalating the situation for selfish aims, “the meeting should have been held in Kaura and other affected communities in order to involve people at the grassroots, so that you can sit down with the natives and Fulanis to resolve the matter.” Rather than listen to the opinion of the governor and possibly visit the scene of the attacks, the committee sat and held discussion with the supposed aggressors and victims. Interestingly, while the southern Kaduna people have consistently accused the fulanis of being the ones attacking their villages (about 37 of such attacks have taken place since 2011), the Fulanis have never agreed that they were responsible for such attacks. This explains why a coalition of civil societies and non-governmental organisations in the area are not comfortable with the meeting and the agreement that came out of it. Zuwaghu Bonat of the Southern Kaduna Development Associations Forum question the rationale for the meeting. He said, “are they telling us that the Fulanis that were there and purportedly signed the cease fire agreed that they were the ones killing our people? Did they agree that they are the ones killing our people? We

ceasefire even though many people in southern Kaduna, especially the youth do not believe that there is anything like ceasefire since, according to them, they are not fighting anybody’

need to know that categorically because if they are the ones killing our people, did they explain why they are killing our people? We never attacked them, but they say warring parties and we know that there is nothing like warring parties because we are not fighting with anybody. Therefore the question of signing a ceasefire does not arise. It is just another round of politics as far as we are concerned”. He is also not comfortable with holding the meeting without those he called the critical stakeholders who are supposed to be part of a peace deal if there will be anything like that. However, at the end of the meeting, leaders of the two groups allegedly agreed to a ceasefire even though many people in southern Kaduna, especially the youth does not believe that there is anything like cease fire since according to them, “we are not fighting anybody”. Zakari Sogfa, a former Commis-

sioner for Justice in Kaduna State and coordinator of the CSO/CBO said they have every cause to believe that the “so called agreement” will not stand the test of time. According to him, “southern Kaduna is not the only place where they have signed such peace agreement. In Benue state, they did that and the following day, what happened? You cant abandon your basic responsibility as security forces and rely on peace and mediation to take over the constitutional role you are supposed to play. If I were at the meeting, I would have asked the DIG what guarantee he is giving the people to fall back on. How are we sure that if we sign this, worse things will not arise the following day like it happened in other places? The reports of peace and reconciliation meetings they have had in the past, why have they not implemented them? As we have stated, we are not fighting fulanis. It is the fulanis that are fighting us and the government has misunderstood it.


It is not an issue of conflict, but an issue of genocide. The hypothesis here is that a group of people are bent on exterminating a section of the country and they are doing that with ferocity ad you are saying that the remedy is a peace meeting between the two sides. That is ridiculous. What you must do is to stop the carnage first and investigate to find out what is happening. Are you saying that if they kill my people, I should go and attend a peace meeting with those who are killing my people? The blood of those killed is crying out for justice and the justice the state can offer them is to call them to government house and humiliate them into signing an agreement. When was it prepared, who negotiated it, what are the terms? How can an agreement be binding on a people who are unaware of the terms and conditions?

‘Old generation hampers confab’


GAIN, the membership of the National Conference has been called to question. A member of the House of Representatives, Dr. Rafiu A. Ibrahim has said the exercise may end up fruitless because there are too many people there who belong to the same generation of people who have determined the fate of the country for years. Dr Ibrahim, who represents Ifelodun/Offa/Oyun Federal Constituency, also expressed reservation on the selection of delegates with old people taking the large chunk of the membership. He therefore, urged the federal government to correct the anomaly in order tackle the multifaceted problems plaguing the nation. The legislator was speaking to reporters in Offa, headquarters of Offa Local Government Area, shortly after his inauguration as honorary President of Mess Committee of the Nigeria Navy School of Health Sciences, Offa. He said, “My major reservation is that the confab is skewed towards the old age. They are too many. Spent forces cannot decide on how our tomorrow will be. That’s the only problem. I’m not against the confab, I’m not against the intention. That one will be judged by the outcome. I’m not against about anybody’s opinion there because we are all Nigerians. “But if we must talk about tomorrow, somebody that has no take in tomorrow, somebody that has taken a fixation or position on issues, most of them are there. They had already taken position. If you see me and my brother whereby we have thought an idea, by the time he talks to me I change. The same thing for him. If he’s thinking of something and I enlighten him on it, he changes, because we have take in the future. “Now, we have so many old people at the confab. So, we hope that they’ll allow the young ones

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

there to be able to have something concrete. The intention of the president is good. The people that are there are prominent citizens. But the only thing is that it is skewed towards old age.” He pointed that inadequate representation and leadership inequality has been partly responsible for under-development being experienced in all spheres. The lawmaker, who is a member of the House Committee on Navy and Appropriation, said he was determined to initiate programmes that would better the lot of the people and called for more support from the people to be able to achieve the lofty dreams.

From left: Ward Head of Boi, Mr Amos James; District Head of Tapshin, Nde David Godit and Village Head of Nemel Kanke council, Nde Goshi Deshi, at the Vih-mah-yah Cultural Festival in Boi Bogoro, Bauchi State

Cultural dancers at the 2014 Vih-mah-yah Cultural Festival in Boi Bogoro, Bauchi State




•Managing Director, Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Limited (NELMCO), Dr. Sam Agbogun (left); Head, Legal Department, Mr.Ogbonna Ugochukwu and Executive Director, Corporate Services, Mallam. Garba Musa during a press briefing on the activites of the company in Abuja. PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

•National President, Nigeria Cooperative Women Alliance (NICOWA), Nimi Inemo Apreala (middle, front seat) with members of the Bayelsa State Chapter. Katherine Debekeme (left); Kate Goun; Mercy Ebifaghe Sintei (National Information Director) and others during a recent visit of the newly inaugurated executives in Abuja


•Leader, House of Reps, Mulikat Akande Adeola (right) giving some cash to a victim of the Nyanya bomb blast at National Hospital Abuja during a visit of some women members of the House to the hospital. With her are Stella Dogu and Betty Apiafi. PHOTO ABAYOMI FAYESE

•Director-General, Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) Mr. Emeka Ezeh (right) taking the Oath of Allegiance at the meeting of procurement officers in the Directorate Cadre. Administering the oath is Legal Adviser, BPP, Andrew Zibiri, in Abuja

Residents to benefit from club’s gesture

HE Guardian of the Citizens Club, a socio-cultural organisation, has disclosed that over 70 residents of Abuja will benefit from an empowerment scheme and loan facilities to start their own businesses. An official of the club, Mr. Akachukwu Nwankpo said that the empowerment programme will

From Faith Yahaya

enable Nigerian citizens to contribute to the growth and development of the country, even as he said it would prevent them from indulging in evil deeds. He blamed the current situation in the country on the inability of citizens to independently create

wealth, said the growth expected can only be achieved if natural and human resources are properly harnessed. The Guardian of the Citizens Club further explained that until Nigerians start thinking of what they can do for themselves and the country, progress won’t be achieved. It also disclosed that the common

Life after Nyanya blast •Continued on page ?? air, people will start running for fear. It is not good for people to be intimidated by his countrymen." Another resident who identified himself as Levi Nwobodo said: "Everybody around here live in fear. Before now, the park was always busy with people selling secondhand clothes and different items. But now, everywhere is empty because people are scared of returning to the market." A food seller close to the park, Rebecca Shehu said: "This thing that happened is really shocking because we did not envisage it. The government needs to take decisions about the issue because people are losing their lives almost on daily basis. "I can no longer sleep well since after the incident because the blast affected my room. All my windows broke and iron rods from the blast entered my room.

•Nyanya park

good of the country can be achieved if citizens learn from founding fathers and football teams. Mr. Akachukwu Nwankpo noted that the best in Nigeria can be achieved if the natural gifts of its citizens are appropriately harnessed. Speaking on the empowerment scheme in Abuja at the induction of

over 70 residents, Mr. Nwankpo said: “We are ready to give them fair access to funding, employment and enterprise alongside conditions that stimulate their enthusiasm. “We offer enterprise opportunities, give loans and also train them on the values of the club. We empower them so that they can help themselves and, in turn, help the country. Some of the partners of the club are First Bank Nigeria Plc and Eta Zuma Group. Residents were lectured on how to become entrepreneurs while some were taught how to make coal stove. Nwankpo, however, noted that what stands as obstacle between Nigeria and its progress is self-inflicted. “Some of the obstacles” he said, “are tribalism, indiscipline, corruption, selfishness and political jobbers. They blind us from the great promise of Nigeria and promote divisiveness that mess up our effort at making this rich land a successful country. “It is time we learnt from our founding fathers and our football teams in order to harness the potential of every citizen and together pursue the prosperity of Nigeria for the happiness of all. “The successes of our founding fathers and that of our football teams have demonstrated that we can achieve Nigeria’s greatness if we develop and mobilise the natural gifts of over 160 million Nigerians.





ITH the deployment of more bomber jets, equipment and troops to the stronghold of the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states mid last year, it was expected that the deadly attackers would have been eradicated by now. Also the news last year that the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau sustained fatal gunshot injuries during gun battle with the Nigerian troops and later died gave Nigerians a false hope that Boko Haram and other terrorists' acts will soon be a thing of the past. Even after changing the Service Chiefs early this year, President Goodluck Jonathan had insistently promised that the tempo against terror will change and the menace would be brought to an end. When Air Marshal Alex Badeh took over from Admiral Ola Sa'ad Ibrahim in January as the new Chief of Defence Staff, he initially declared that the issue of Boko Haram and other acts of terrorism will come to an end before April this year. He later denied the statement. But now, we are more than half way into the month of April and it seems as if the insurgency is on the rise. Boko Haram and other terrorist groups that appeared to have been restricted to the Northeast of the country for several months, struck Monday last week at a bus park in Nyanya in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). While official deaths from the attack alone have been put at 75, many eye-witnesses and early arrivals at the scene of the bomb blast maintained that over 300 persons must have died from the attack. Just as Nigerians and the international community were still mourning over the latest bomb attack in Abuja, news filtered on the same day in the night that over 100 secondary school girls have been abducted by the insurgents in Borno State. With the latest attacks, some Nigerians have observed that the insurgency is on the rise because the government is not adopting the right approaches to the issues and that past recommendations, including those of the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North, headed by Minister of Special Duties, Tanimu Kabiru Turaki, were not implemented. Other observers have also faulted the government for its inability to unmask the sponsors and financiers of the insurgency over the years despite making arrests of key members of Boko Haram and other groups. Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, who has majorly been at the receiving end of the attacks, had recently declared that the insurgents are better equipped and well-motivated to carry out the evil attacks than the Nigerian troops. But the Federal Government refuted his claims.

Jonathan, governors and Boko Haram From the Villa

A more worrisome development was the initial statement last week by the Defence Headquarters that only eight out of the 129 reportedly abducted school girls have not been rescued. The statement was later countered by the same Defence Headquarters. The school community in Borno State had, at the weekend, claimed that only about 14 of the school girls escaped from their abductors and those others are still missing. This calls to question the quality of information being passed to the President by the security agencies. Another grave allegation with a tendency to work against Nigeria's success over the insurgents is the claim that some key military men in the Nigerian troop are working hand-inhand with the insurgents. Worried by the upsurge of the insurgency, not only was the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting last week mainly devoted to the attacks last week, President Jonathan also summoned state governors and the National Security Council for a meeting in Abuja over the security challenges. The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, at the end of FEC meeting last week, maintained that Nigeria is currently faced with one of the worst forms of terrorism across the globe. Also speaking with State House correspondents at the end of the security meeting between Jonathan, gov-

By Augustine Ehikioya

‘We must face the situation and it is not something we can politicise, you don't politicise security. All hands must be on deck. The entire country, every single Nigerian must contribute his or her quota towards bringing the current situation to an end...I believe that if you are not a soldier, you can also be an informant. And, of course, you know that this thing is becoming like an HIV. If you are not infected, you are affected’ ernors and service chiefs, the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors' Forum and Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio said: "Mr. President gra-

ciously listened to us and he said since it is a national issue, we must have all the 36 governors in attendance. "So, I believe strongly notice will be going out and all governors will be

meeting with Mr. President and service chiefs Wednesday next week so we can sit and discuss and proffer solutions to the current insecurity in the country. I believe it will come to an end. "We must face the situation and it is not something we can politicise, you don't politicise security. All hands must be on deck. The entire country, every single Nigerian must contribute his or her quota towards bringing the current situation to an end. "I believe that if you are not a soldier, you can also be an informant. And, of course, you know that this thing is becoming like an HIV. If you are not infected, you are affected. Your children are also involved, your grand children and relations. If people are now attacking schools to disrupt the lives of children, how will you not be concerned? A market woman is affected when motor parks are being bombed. So, there is no way any governor in Nigeria will not be concerned and will not show interest. "In bringing this situation to an end, all Nigerians must know that we must be our brother's keepers as far as security is concern," he said. With Jonathan's next security meeting with state governors fixed for tomorrow and other new strategies to be adopted, it is hoped that the ongoing killings will be stopped and total peace and harmony restored to the country.

Haemophilia: Time to tackle a blood disease

•One of the houses destroyed in the herdsmen/farmers clash in Benue State

•Continued from page 30 However, the haemophilia patients can be managed to live a normal life. Even though it is quite expensive to manage them, Adediran said “the only way to manage somebody with haemophilia is to raise the factor level to normal. There are two types of management. There is what we call on demand therapy and prophylaxis therapy. On demand therapy means when the person has a cut, you give him an injection at that time to stop the bleeding. Prophylaxis is every three days, you give him that same injection which last for 36 hours to make sure that the factor level is normal. But no Nigerian can afford that. 250 international unit of clothing factors concentrate cost N75,000 and that can only manage a four to five year old child. For a full grown adult, you are talking of between 2,000 to 3000 IU which cost about 3600 dollars and you are saying that a family should take and spend that every three days even the on demand that we treat our patients from is from the foundation. There is none of our hospitals that has factor concentrates. What they do to manage our pateients in all our teaching hospitals is either to transfuse them with fresh whole blood or in some hospitals with the equipment to give what we call cryoprecipitate which is also made from blood. For you to treat a four year old with cryo, you need about 15 donors. It is not anything that a family can afford. The foundation try as much as possible to give to the families of identified patients these drugs free of charge and in the past nine years, we have given out drugs worth over N1 billion”.




From left: Mr. Itiza Ukpi; Prof. Dakas C.J. Dakas (SAN); Prof. Charles Ilegbune (SAN); Prof. Ngozichukwuka Ugo; former Edo State governor, Prof. Oseriehmen Osunbor; Judge Akua Kuenyehia; Director-General Nigerian Institute of Advance Legal Studies (NIALS), Prof. Epiphany Azinge (SAN); Ikechi Mgboji; Col. Bello Fadile (rtd); NIALS Bursar, Augustine Odokuma and NIALS Deputy Secretary, Danjuma Tangni at the maiden edition of the African Scholars’ lecture held in Abuja.


Court to hear suit against PHCN May 5

Lagos High Court has fixed May 5 for hearing in a suit be tween some landlords and the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Plc. The OrileAgege, a Lagos suburb landlords sued PHCN over an alleged breach of agreement and refusal to pay compensation for its high tension lines that pass over their buildings. The claimants are Mr. Jimmy Oni Olufade, Reverend P.A. Elemide and Chief Ismaila Olowo, representing themselves and others whose buildings were approved as affected by the defendant’s transmission lines. In their 25-paragraph statement of claim , they accused the defendant of not paying compensation contrary to the agreement reached on March 14, 2005 that payment would be made on May 31, 2005. They are asking for an order directing the defendant to pay N16,249,296 as compensation; an order directing the defendants to pay interest at 20 per cent rate per annum on the original sum of N20,311,620 agreed on as

By Adebisi Onanuga

compensation from June 1, 2005 until the date of judgment. The claimants live with their families at Amulegboniyun, Ayobo, Ipaja, Abule-Oki and Orile Agege villages. They claimed to have been in possession of their buildings before the defendant installed the overhead transmission lines. They also claimed through their lawyer,Mr Abayomi Omoyinmi, to have neighbours at Ashipa and Atan Nla villages who are victims of PHCN affected by the erection of PHCN’s transmission lines. The defendant’s transmission lines, which transmit electricity, they said, cause noise, annoyance, nuisance, inconvenience, danger and are detrimental to them, their families and neighbours. They claimed to have written to the PHCN through their solicitors, together with their neighbours, series of letters of complaining of how injurious the electricity cables can be

and how they obstruct further developments on their buildings. They averred that the defendant did not respond to their letter consequent upon filling their Suit no: ID/ 108/92 Ifebort Farms Limited and others versus NEPA, where they claimed damages/compensation from the defendants. They averred that in the course of proceeding, the defendant paid compensation, to their neighbous and later their solicitors after the inspection of their buildings, which were marked as affected, valued and proposed for settlement. They said they reminded the defendant that their buildings have not been inspected and left out among those to be compensated. They claimed to have written series letters to the defendant, which it did not deny the agreement, but has not paid till date. But the PHCN objected to the suit in one-paragraph ‘Notice of Pre-

liminary Objection’ filed by its counsel, Mr. C.H. Nwuke, basing its preliminary objection on issue of jurisdiction. It, therefore, submitted that the court has no jurisdiction to entertain the suit since there is no proper defendant before it. It then urged the court to strike out the suit with substantial cost. In PHCN’s eight-paragraph statement of defense, Nwuke urged the court to dismiss the action as there is no cause for it. The claimants’ action according to Nwuke, is statute barred as it was not instituted within the period statutorily provided for such. The PHCN, the statement claimed, has been divested of all powers, matters and issues relating to transmission of electric power in Nigeria by the provisions of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2004. The company, the court was, has by the provisions of the Act and the Electric Power Reform (Trans-


RIGHTS group, Greater and Better Nigeria Development Initiative (GABNDI), has urged the National Assembly to amend obsolete laws. It said it was unfortunate that most of the laws, such as those on rape and drug counterfeiting, no longer served as deterrents due to loopholes in them. “The National Assembly should look at some our laws, especially those relating to the criminal justice system, and bring them up to date,” the group’s spokesman, Mr Theophilus Akanwa, a lawyer, said. Akanwa, who was member of the famous Gani Fawehinmi Chambers, spoke during GABNDI’s awareness programme in Lagos. He said the ongoing national conference should produce a new Constitution, or at least its recommendations should be incorporated into the statute book. He said the new Constitution should specify terms of coexistence of the ethnic groups to avoid conflicts. “The outcome of the national conference should be incorporated into the Constitution for a proper definition of our co-existence. The 1999 Constitution was an imposition of the military on Nigerians. It is high time we allowed our true opinion count on our coexistence. “We urge the 492 delegates to make Nigeria proud by proffering solutions to the numerous issues that has kept our country where it is today. “We equally appeal to Mr President to ensure that the outcome of the national conference is fully

fer of Assets, Liabilities, Rights and obligations) Order No. 1 of 2006, transferred all assets, employees, liabilities rights and obligations connected with and related to electric power transmission in Nigeria to another statutory body, Transmission Company of Nigeria Plc (TCN) set up for such. The claimant consequently filed an application seeking to join TCN as second defendant in the suit. The motion on notice was brought under Order 13 Rule 4 and 17(1), (2) High Court Rules and the inherent jurisdiction of the court. But the PHCN in its counter affidavit against the motion for joinder deposed to by Emmanuel Omoju, averred that paragraphs 10, 11, and 12 in the statement of claims are not true, insisting that there is no competent suit because there is no party before the court. It, therefore, urged the court to strike out the suit, saying that the action is statute barred.

NBA holds Law week


•Onuoha (left) and Akanwa

Group seeks amendment of obsolete laws By Joseph Jibueze

implemented,” Akanwa said. The lawyer said the non-governmental organisation, established on April 10, 2012, would use legal means to fight for the right of Nigerians. Among GABNDI’s objectives, he said, is to upgrade the standard of living of members by sensitising them of the government policies and programs; to facilitate citizens

participation in government; and to foster sustainable development through rights education, among others. The group’s Coordinator, Chief Basil Onuoha, urged the government to do more towards jobs creation, and condemned the recent Nigerian Immigration recruitment exercise in which many lost their lives. He added: “Our country is for me and you, so let us join hands to

build it. Let us support our government. We also expect better from the leadership. Our people go abroad to look for greener pastures, but our country can be like those places if we remain here and build it. “It is said that charity begins at home, but is it by killing out brothers and sisters, destroying property and making people cry? There can be no development where there is insecurity,” Onuoha added.

HE Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja Branch will hold her Law Week 2014 from Friday April 25, 2014 and ends with a Dinner at Sheraton Ikeja on May 2, 2014. According to the branch chairman, Monday Ubani, the week long activities will start with a press conference at Ibis Hotel, Toyin Street, Ikeja. There would be a novelty Football match between Ikeja Branch and Lagos Branch on April 26 while (Christian Worship will hold the next day April 27 at the ArchiBishop Anglican Memorial Chuch, Ikeja GRA. The branch will visit Ikoyi Prisons with gifts and materials on April 28, 2014 and hold its Manifesto Night for Political Offices for 2014 Election in the evening of same day. The Continuing Legal Education of the branch at which Judges of various jurisdictions and Several Senior Advocates of Nigeria including very senior lawyers will address the bar will hold between April 29 and 30, 2014. The Annual Alao Aka Bashorun Memorial Lecture to be chaired by by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) will hold May 1, 2014 while the branch’s Variety Night will in the evening same day. The Law week will be rounded up with the branch’s Annual Bar dinner May 2, 2014 to held at Sheraton, Hotel, Ikeja and will be chaired by Rtrd Hon Justice Muhammed Uwais, former Chief Justice of Nigeria. BOOK LAUNCH THE book entitled Recovery of Premises in Lagos State: the Multi-door Courthouse Approach, will be launched on May 8. Written by an accredited Mediator, Micheal Oyagha, the launch will hold at the Peace Hall of the Lagos Multidoor Courthouse, High Court of Lagos, Igbosere.



LEGAL OPINION Why is there no headway in most corruption cases? The courts are to blame, says Femi Falana (SAN) in this paper he presented at the 2014 Law Week of the Aba Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Abia State


How courts frustrate corruption cases


N May 2007, a number of gover nors completed their eight-year term of office. Having lost the immunity conferred on them by Section 308 of the Constitution, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) invited them for investigation on the basis of several petitions alleging diversion of public funds running to billions of naira. Some reported for interrogation while others sought interlocutory and perpetual injunctions restraining the EFCC from arresting, investigating or prosecuting them in any manner whatsoever and howsoever. Among those who were charged to court only two have been convicted and given light sentences. The majority of the defendants have continued to manipulate the criminal justice system to frustrate their trial. To the eternal shame of the country one of the ex-governors who got a clean bill of health by a Nigerian court was later convicted and jailed by a British court. Out of the two, who jumped bail in the United Kingdom, one is now a Senator of the Republic. Not unexpectedly, the Nigerian people have justifiably blamed lawyers and judges for frustrating the antigraft agencies from successfully prosecuting politically exposed persons and other members of the ruling class accused of corrupt practices and money laundering. In this presentation we shall examine how the neocolonial legal system is regularly exploited by senior lawyers in favour of rich and powerful criminal suspects to the detriment of accountability and transparency in the society.

Judicial cover for criminal suspects

In June 2007, an ex-governor was granted leave by a state High Court to enforce his fundamental right to personal liberty and fair hearing. The leave was made to operate as a stay of action pending the determination of the application. However, upon the conclusion of investigation into the complaint of his involvement in serious economic sabotage, the ex-governor was arraigned at the Federal High Court on a 107-count charge by the EFCC. The defendant’s lawyers reported the anti-graft agency to the then Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mike Aondoakaa (SAN). In his reply to the petition the Justice Minister stated that the charge filed against the exgovernor was contemptuous since leave was made to operate as a stay of action in the application for the enforcement of the latter’s fundamental rights. Convinced that the Minister’s opinion was subversive of the rule of law I advised the EFCC to proceed with the criminal case. My advice was anchored on the case of Nzewi & Ors. v. Commissioner of Police (2002) 2 HRLRA 156 where it was held: “It is clear that what the Court intended in that order is that the applicants should not be arrested unless there is a legal basis or justification for it. It cannot be said to mean that the order granted to the applicants a general bill of immunity or insurance from legal processes or redress in appropriate cases. The order was not meant or could not have intended to make the applicants or any of them an institution or anybody above the law. It was implicit in that order that while they carry on their lawful business peacefully and while they continue to be law abiding, their fundamental rights as enshrined in our Constitution remain inviolate and

guaranteed. No court of law can make an order capable of turning a citizen into an out-law… There is nothing in the court’s order which forbids the police from performing their normal duties and no court will do that as that can lead to a state of general break down of law and order.” Both the trial court and the Court of Appeal have dismissed the preliminary objection of the ex-governor on the ground that no contempt of court was committed by the EFCC at the trial court. The legal battle has now shifted to the Supreme Court where the interlocutory appeal may not be determined for several years to come. Such gross abuse of judicial process is encouraged under the criminal legal system when it is trite law that the police and the anti-graft agencies are not precluded from investigating even public officers who are clothed with immunity by the Constitution. The rationale for subjecting them to investigation was explained in Fawehinmi v. Inspector-General of Police (2002) 23 WRN 1 at 98 by Uwaifo JSC (as he then was) who held inter alia: “The police clearly have a duty under section 4 of the Police Act to do all they can to investigate and preserve whatever evidence is available. The evidence or some aspect of it may be the type which might be lost forever if not preserved while it is available, and in the particular instances given it can be seen that the offences are very serious ones which the society would unlikely overlook if it had its way. The evidence may be useful for impeachment purposes if the House of Assembly may have need of it. It may no doubt be used for prosecution of the said incumbent Governor after he has left office. But to do nothing under the pretext that a Governor cannot be investigated is a disservice to the society.” It is further submitted that the state has an unequivocal power to derogate from the fundamental rights of citizens to personal liberty where they are alleged to have committed criminal offences. As the fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution are not absolute there are derogations that have been recognised in the interest of public order, public safety or public morality. One of such derogations is provided for in Section 35 (1) (c ) of the 1999 Constitution which states that the right to personal liberty of any person can be justifiably violated “for the purpose of bringing him before a Court in execution of the order of a court or upon reasonable suspicion of having committed a criminal offence.” In Ekwenugo v. F.R.N. (2001) 6 NWLR (PT 708) 171 the Court of Appeal held that: “If there is a reasonable suspicion that a person has committed an offence his liberty may be impaired temporarily. In the same vein, a person’s liberty may be tampered with so as to prevent him from committing an offence. In short it is clear that no citizen’s freedom is absolute. The freedom or liberty of a citizen ends where that of the other man starts.” The Court of Appeal has since had cause to decry the dangerous practice of obtaining court orders to halt the investigation of criminal cases. That was in the case of the Attorney-General of Anambra State v. Chief Chris

Uba (2005) 33 WRN 191 where Bulkachuwa JCA (as he then was) held that “For a person, therefore, to go to court to be shielded against criminal investigation and prosecution is an interference of powers given by the Constitution to law officers in the control of criminal investigation. The Plaintiff has no legally recognizable right to which the court can come to his aid. His claim is not one that the Court can take cognizance of for it has disclosed no cause of action. The Plaintiff cannot expect a judicial fiat preventing a law official in the exercise of his constitutional power.” In view of the categorical pronouncements of the appellate courts on the powers of the police and the anti-graft agencies to subject all criminal suspects to investigation it is tantamount to judicial misconduct on the part of High Court judges to continue to grant orders of perpetual injunction restraining anti-graft agencies from arresting, investigating and prosecuting politically exposed persons accused of engaging in serious cases of corruption, money laundering, fraud and allied offences. Indeed, it is illogical to contend that a governor who was not immune from investigation while in office can be shielded from investigation when he/ she is out of office. Regrettably, senior lawyers have continued to approach the courts to halt the investigation and prosecution of criminal suspects. In Bukola Saraki v. Inspector-General of Police (Unreported Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/231/ 2012) the Plaintiff sought to restrain the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police Force from investigating an allegation of N9 billion fraud levelled against him. As counsel to the defendants we challenged the competence of the suit on settled principles of law. In reaction to the objection the Plaintiff rightly withdrew the suit. Thereafter, he reported for the investigation. I have just confirmed that the suspect has filed a fresh suit at the Federal High Court with a view to stopping the police from prosecuting him having been indicted in the investigation. In Mohammed Abacha v. Federal Republic of Nigeria (unreported) Suit No: SC.40/2006) the appellant sought to quash his trial at the Federal Capital Territory High Court on the ground that the immunity enjoyed by his father extended to the acts which constituted the offence for which he was charged. In dismissing the spurious objection the apex court held: “The appellant tried to say that he was covered by State immunity. By the provision of section 308 of the 1999 Constitution, it was his late father – General Sani Abacha the then Head of State who had State immunity during the period that he was in office and no more than that. The appellant was not an official of the State. The immunity enjoyed by his father did not extend to him. He was not on a firm ground when he attempted to lay claim to immunity. He was not covered by any shred of immunity.” The court ordered the appellant to return to the trial court and face the music. Notwithstanding that the case was suspended for 14 years the appellant is not precluded from raising fresh objections which may, once again, be contested up to the Supreme Court while the substantive case is further

‘For a person, therefore, to go to court to be shielded against criminal investigation and prosecution is an interference of powers given by the Constitution to law officers in the control of criminal investigation’


stalled. This case has confirmed the manipulation of the criminal justice system by rich criminal suspects. Apart from Nigeria I know of no other country which allows criminal suspects to have criminal cases suspended or adjourned sine die on flimsy grounds. The dangerous practice calls for an urgent review of the criminal justice system in the overall interest of the society. If the trend is not stopped other people accused of engaging in armed robbery and terrorism may soon be asking for interim, interlocutory or perpetual injunctions to stop the state from investigating or prosecuting them.

Conviction of Nigerian VIPS by foreign courts

In recent time, some Very Important Personalities and aliens, who cannot be brought to book in Nigeria for committing economic and financial crimes, have been convicted abroad. Apart from exposing the country’s legal system to ridicule before the international community such conviction is a serious indictment of the members of the legal profession. Three cases, which have recently questioned the commitment of the country to tackle the menace of corruption are reviewed below: i. Akingbola’s Cases Mr. Erastus Akingbola, a former Chief Executive of the Intercontinental Bank Plc had the N10 billioncharge against him pending at the Federal High Court struck out by Justice Clement Archibong (rtd.) for alleged prosecutorial irresponsibility by four- Senior Advocates of Nigeria. The trial in the sister case of N47 billion fraud filed against the defendant at the Lagos State High Court had been concluded and adjourned for judgment before the trial judge, Wale Abiru J. was promoted to the Court of Appeal. As the trial was abruptly terminated the trial of the defendant has commenced de novo. But the defendant has challenged the jurisdiction of the same court to try him for stealing and fraud arising from the alleged manipulation of the capital market. Although, the ruling of the trial court has been fixed for May 2, 2014, the civil suit filed against the defendant in a British High Court by the Access Bank Plc. was concluded in July, 2012. In

granting the reliefs sought by the Plaintiff the trial court ordered the defendant to refund the sum of N212 billion illegally diverted from the bank. The foreign judgment was registered at the Federal High Court in Lagos. ii. Ibori Scandal In a bid to shield Chief James Ibori, an ex-governor of Delta State from prosecution a number of judges and lawyers threw caution to the winds. Notwithstanding that his record of conviction for stealing building materials in 1995 was tampered with and destroyed, the Upper Area Court judge who jailed him gave oral testimony in a case well conducted at the High Court by the Late Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN). But the case was dismissed on the nebulous ground that it was not proved beyond reasonable doubt that Chief Ibori was the actual convict. The verdict was curiously upheld by both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. In the same vein, the 171-count charge of money laundering, fraud and corruption filed against Chief Ibori at the Federal High Court, Kaduna was discontinued in his favour. Following the ruling of the Court of Appeal that his trial in Kaduna was illegal the Asaba Judicial division was hurriedly set up for the trial. As there was no provision for building a court in the 2008 budget of the Federal High Court the Delta State government at the instance of the accused, donated two buildings – one to house the court and the other to house the judge! Upon his arraignment the accused pleaded not guilty and raised a preliminary objection against the charge. The trial judge, Awokulehin J. struck out the charge and freed the defendant. However, as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission took steps to re-arraign him, the defendant vamoosed and re-appeared in Dubai, United Arab Emirate, where he was arrested and deported to London. Following the conviction of his wife, sister, girlfriend and lawyer for aiding and abetting him in defrauding the people of Delta State the defendant pleaded guilty to the charge of fraud and money laundering. He was convicted and sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment. It is interesting to note that Chief Ibori’s objection to the charge on the ground that he had



LEGAL OPINION Govt seeks Nigerians’ support to combat money laundering, terrorism


PECIAL Duties Minister Kabiru Taminu Turaki (SAN) has urged Nigerians to cooperate with the Federal Government to fight money laundering, corruption and terrorism. Turaki spoke at this year’s annual public lecture organised by J-K Gadzama LLP, with the theme: “Money laundering and financial crimes: problems of international enforcement.” He said money laundering, corruption and terrorism had become a threat to the nation, adding that all hands must be on deck to combat them. Turaki said: “And so for us as a government, the Federal Government is taking both the issue of corruption and money laundering very seriously and that is why existing institutions established to fight corruption have been strengthened by President Goodluck Jonathan in such a way to give them a free hand to perform their statutory responsibilities. “We have seen a lot of public of-

ficers, some serving and some retired, being prosecuted here and there. You don’t hear of any interference from the Presidency with the prosecution of alleged offenders, or any of its departments. This is the beauty of what the President is doing as soon as credible allegations with concrete evidence are levelled against individuals. Those individuals should be tried promptly and given the opportunity to defend themselves without any interference. “Hardly do you hear issues of Nolle pro sequi being raised any more because the President believes that as soon as allegations are raised against anybody, even a public officer, that public officer should be able to defend him or herself. That is what has been happening and for us as a government, one can say without fear of contradiction that Mr. President has taken the issue of corruption and money laundering head on.” Turaki urged Nigerians to support the government, saying:

“We need people who will give information. We need whistle blowers. We need patriotic Nigerians that should be able to give information to not only the security agencies, but will send them to several media that are now available. This can be through petition, public agencies and institutions.” Assessing the lecture, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) said: “Let us punish those who for one reason or the other display impunity because what we are seeing today is impunity. We have to walk towards eliminating impunity.” Prof. Paul Idornigie, said: “ In the case of international crime like money laundering, it can have multiple jurisdictions. I feel that there is need for a general guideline, of which there is non at the moment. “What happens is that countries like America assume jurisdiction even on matters that they ordinarily should not. “I feel that there is need for more collaboration in determining the guidelines for assuming jurisdiction.”

•From right: Former Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Charman, Ogoja Branch Mark Enamhe; Chairman, NBA Ikom Branch, Emmanuel Okang; representative of the Senate Leader, Utum E. Utum; Chairman of the occasion and Cross River State Chief Judge, Justice Okoi Itam and Chairman Law Week Planning Committee, Chief S. O. Odong at the inaugural Law Week of the (NBA), Ikom Branch.

How courts frustrate corruption cases •Continued from page 38 been tried and freed of the same charges by a Nigerian judge was dismissed with an embarrassing indictment of the Nigerian judiciary. iii. The Halliburton Case From the reports of several investigation panels the Halliburton scandal indicted three former heads of state, a former Inspector-General of Police, former ministers, permanent secretaries and other officials of the Federal Government. Although some of the suspects indicted in the inquiry made confessional statements they were not charged to court. Some of the privies of the principal suspects, who were eventually arraigned in court, were let off the hook for want of diligent prosecution. In exasperation, the trial judge struck out the charges. The official connivance in sweeping the scandal under the carpet has since exposed the nation to underserved ridicule at home and abroad. The national embarrassment was aggravated when it was found that Halliburton and its officials who bribed the indicted Nigerian officials pleaded guilty to the charges of bribery and corruption before criminal courts in the United States and were accordingly convicted. While Halliburton was ordered to pay fines of millions of dollars the convicted officials were sentenced to prison terms. However, the former US Vice-President, and the CEO of Halliburton at the material time who was charged before an Abuja Court by the Mrs. Farida Waziri led-EFCC for his role in the scandal was “freed” without any arraignment whatsoever. No doubt, the decision of the Jonathan Administration to re-open the case is in the national interest. But the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation should ensure, this time around, that the trial of

all the persons involved in the scandals perpetrated by Halliburton, Wilbros, Siemens, Julius Berger, Daimler AG, Panalpina and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Co. Ltd. is handled by a team of incorruptible prosecutors. In the public interest the NBA should appoint some lawyers to hold a watch brief at the trial. At the end of this paper there is a table which shows the record of convictions and payment of fines of about $2 billion in the United States by individuals and corporate bodies which bribed Nigerian officials. In the case of Nigeria none of the accused persons was convicted but the companies which were indicted were asked to pay fines of $120 million. It is painful to note that the lawyers involved in the prosecution and defense of the cases referred to in this paper are Senior Advocates of Nigeria. The Nigerian Bar Association owes the legal profession a duty by calling lawyers who frustrate the prosecution of corruption cases to order. Trial courts are also enjoined to report such lawyers to the Disciplinary Committee of the NBA for appropriate actions.


A situation whereby the poor are daily railroaded to prison while criminals who are rich and powerful are allowed to breath the air of freedom has to stop. Judges should therefore, desist from conferring immunity or granting perpetual injunction restraining antigraft agencies from investigating and prosecuting politically exposed persons. In a display of class solidarity with the ruling class the EFCC charges the rich accused of looting the treasury with money laundering while the poor are charged with stealing. Since the penalty for money laundering is two years or payment of fine while stealing attracts seven years imprisonment the

discriminatory treatment of the two sets of criminal suspects should stop in the interest of justice and fair play. The new practice directions of the Federal High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court require accelerated hearing of cases pertaining to corruption and terrorism as well as appeals arising from them. For instance, the trial of such cases is required to be conducted day by day at the Federal High Court. Regrettably, the practice directions are not been adhered to by all the relevant stakeholders. Hence, corruption cases are adjourned for all manners of reasons contrary to the letter and spirit of the law. In a recent case involving an ex-governor who is facing a serious corruption case the defense counsel, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, applied for adjournment sine die to allow the defendant contest a gubernatorial election in one of the states. The trial court rightly rejected the application. In view of the presumption of innocence in favour of accused persons the prosecution should stop opposing applications for bail on frivolous grounds. In other words, the prosecution and the defence counsel should agree on the conditions to be attached to bail to enable the defendants to stand trial. However, where the parties are unable to reach an agreement the trial judge should impose bail conditions. The procedure will go a long way to accelerate the trial of criminal cases in our courts. To arrest the undue delay in the prosecution of criminal cases I suggest the introduction of front loading and Pre Trial Conference. The prosecution should go beyond making available to the defendants the proof of evidence. There should be sworn statements of all witnesses which should be served on the defendants in line with the current practice in civil cases.


with gabriel AMALU 08033054939 (sms only)

Boko Haram and the National Confab


HE resort to maximum terror by the Boko Haram insurgents in the run-up to the National Conference, starting on March 17, may be a political message to the Nigerian elite. If so, I hope they take note. With over 400 children, youths, adults, old men and women slaughtered or burnt to death, within five weeks to the start of the conference by the incendiary elements, the biggest issue for the national confab will no doubt be: ‘what can be done to secure lives and property in Nigeria’. The old national scarecrow, resource control, can only come second, now. Even the conferees will no doubt be wary of any suspicious movement, stampede or a carelessly lying suspicious object; as they wheel and deal in the cozy environment of Abuja. This column supported the convocation of the national confab, even before it became agreeable to the majority of Nigerians. The reason is simple. Nigeria as presently governed can not survive a few more decades, regardless of all the optimism by those temporary benefiting. And the reason is because there is perverse corruption, particularly the carefree massive stealing of our common resources, by public officials across the land. This gross mis-governance is possible because of the structural defects in our country, which our political office holders exploit to divide the people and avoid any form of accountability. But to my chagrin, and I guess most Nigerians, the 492 potential conferees, who I thought would change the paradigm, appear already ensnared into the gang of national treasury looters. Forgive my impudence, but there is no other way to describe the humongous allowances that the federal government has promised the delegates. That may explain, why retired and tired old men and women are struggling to get a share of the gravy. One source said the delegates will be paid 4 million naira per month, with other comforts. If that is true, each delegate will ‘earn’ 12 million naira for the three months they will sit. This ridiculous waste of scarce national resources will be shared from the mind boggling budget of a whooping 7 billion naira budget, for the conference. Now, if we rail at the audacious impunity of our law makers and executive officials, who appropriate unconstitutional allowances to themselves, what moral authority will the potentially conniving conferees have to propose an equitable protection and redistribution of our national resources. Indeed, if truly the National conferees who will soon assemble to proffer the solutions to our current crisis, will be comfortable with such an anomalous earning for what should at best be a part-time patriotic engagement, then we wont be surprised if their time at the conference will be spent hankering over allowances, comforts and similar distractions. It does appear to me, now, that what the President has opted for, by agreeing to a national conference, is an opportunity to assemble the crème de la crème of our socio-political and economic elites, and summarily bribe them to shut-up and allow him a secound term in office, in 2015. For it is unthinkable that after grabbing, just in the same manner as our current political office holders are doing, 12 million naira and other sundry entitlements for a mere three months ‘work’; the participants will have the mindset or the temerity to thoroughly appreciate and proffer solutions to the dire economic and political crises starring our dear country in the face. Their case may not be different from the leaders of the Niger-Delta militants, who have been ensnared by the Abuja glitterati, that they have completely forgotten their recent past. If in doubt, compare the ‘rag tag generals and war lords’ that came out of the creeks to shake the hands of former President Yar’Adua on being offered an amnesty program and the suave and sharp looking ‘billionaire business men and philanthropist pretenders’ parading the corridors of power after having handsomely been settled because of who they were. The magic is the massive infusion of luxury and unearned income, which has compromised them. Such cycle is the tragedy of the Nigerian elite. When he/she is outside the corridors of power, the mind is uncluttered and he/she appreciates what needs to be done to have a functional nation, in the true sense of it. Unfortunately, when the elite gets into power or a position to influence a change, he/she is overwhelmed by the unearned easy life, and soon becomes so encumbered that he/she turns into a clog in the wheel of any measure of national progress. Regrettably, President Jonathan and the rest of them are, whether they know it or not, in that quandary. Our country, as is, is a nightmare, regardless of the amount of resources you may have accumulated. If for no other reason, for the simple one that you can not say with any measure of certainty, that you and your wealth are safe and secure. So as the conferees engage in their task, with all the temptations of excessive comfort, they should spare a thought as to the audacious impunity of the Boko Haram. What inspires and sustains it? What needs to be done to contain and resolve it - militarily or politically? They should also spare a thought as to why our national resource is like an unmanned bazaar, such that our public officials freely steal to their hearts’ desire. They should question the legitimacy of the sources and the security of national resource, both human and material. Here they should ask themselves, whether what is in place is fair, reasonable and sustainable. Luckily, nobody is expecting them to re-invent the wheel. Precedents, systems and process abound. What is needed is for them to spare a thought for the possibilities. This piece was first published on March 11.





For a result-oriented research

EGAL research and its research method ologies are essential for the continuous en gagement of issues to discover new areas in the development of not only the legal profession, but other related fields. A prominent characteristic of legal scholarship is the ability to conduct relevant and logical theoretical research that are translated in written words in order to inform, persuade and instruct in relevant areas. Legal Empiricism and Writing Skills, a book by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), thoroughly interrogates the issues surrounding engaging legal research, research processes and the dissemination of research results In Chapter One titled: “Preparing Successful Research Grant Application: Outlines of a Guideline”, Professor Obiorah painstakingly simplifies the art of preparing research grants applications. He reveals that a research grant application with a strong literature review section, with equally strong research questions, which display the importance of asking the questions and engaging in the proposed research, is most likely to sway the funder to award the grant applied for. His contribution in this area is absolutely brilliant, considering the fact that he not only provided the guidelines for a grants application, but makes available, in pages nine to 37, a sample of a successful research grant application. Professor Animi Awah’s “Restatement of Customary Law as a Research Outlet”, which is Chapter Two of the book, is a presentation of a meticulously researched proposal for the restatement of Customary Laws. The contributor showcases her in-depth knowledge of the subject matter of the proposed research by considering the meaning and nature of Customary Law as well as judicial attitude to written evidence of customary law in Nigeria. She concludes by affirming that the result of the research would no doubt be a phenomenal research outlet on issues relating to Customary Law. The objective of every research work is to make the relevant contribution and a reseach work that fails in this objective is totally useless for that purpose. Uchechukwu Ngwaba in Chapter Three titled: “Literature Search and Review” discusses certain issues to be considered when conducting literature searches and reviews such as styles and techniques to be adopted. He, however, before attacking these issues gives an appropriate definition to the terms literature searches and literature reviews on page 73 and discusses their importance to legal research on pages 76-80. Fummi Bammeke in “Collating and Processing Field Data”, Chapter Four of the book, addresses another fundamental research processcollating and processing of field data. She opines that although the processing of data is said to begin with the coding of data, it does in the real sense begin with the collation of the right data. Her scholarly contribution also considers the steps in processing field data. Research outlets are of high importance to a researcher because without them, proper research cannot be undertaken. Emmanuela Maduka in Chapter Five, looks at Research Skills and Research Outlets. Having established the relationship between these two concepts on page 103, she examines some research skills and techniques, which a researcher can adopt so as to properly utilise various research outlets and subsequently examines the

BOOK REVIEW Author: Prof. Epiphany Azinge (SAN), E. Nlerum, F.Amadi. Title: Legal Empiricism and Writing Skills Publisher:Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies. (NIALS 2014). Pages: 308 Chapters: 14 Reviewer: Osatohanmwen O.A Eruaga (Mrs) various research outlets available to a researcher. The writer goes further to provide certain guidelines that would aid in the conduct of effective researches. The chapter is a very expository piece and a must read especially for persons who are engaging in the art of legal research for the first time. Research generally is geared at the discovery of new ideas, proffering explanations for an occurrence or to expand on previous opinions. A researcher making use of research materials must always determine the extent of reliability of such materials. This is one of the main thematic issues Gary Kelechi Amadi examines in Chapter Six, titled: Research Evaluation, Findings and Reports, brings to limelight, the main types of legal research evaluation, while assessing what a legal research should consider in the evaluation of research materials. The writer does, however, not pay much attention to other aspects of his topic to wit: Research findings and Research reports as he only addresses these two aspects in three rather short paragraphs. In Chapter Seven, Fummi Bammeke addresses the topic “ Research Findings and Report”, where she provides a step-by-step guideline on how research outcomes can be transformed from findings to disseminated through reports for use by the target audience. This chapter can be considered another must read for persons who are at the stage of producing research findings to reports. Irekpitan Okukpon-Adesanya, carefully examines the research procedure engaged in conducting Annotation of Laws in Chapter Eight titled: “Research Procedure in the Annotation of Laws”. She explains the importance of annotations in page 143 where she states that “it helps the reader to reach a deeper level of engagement and also promotes active reading”. The writer then examines the procedure adopted in carrying out Annotations of Laws in Nigeria, which is currently being carried out by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), as well as the challenges faced in conducting the Annotations. By considering the process of annotation of laws in the United States before going into the procedure of Annotation of Laws in Nigeria, she provides a veritable ground for comparison of how annotation is carried out in both jurisdictions. Chapter Nine, written by Professor Olarenwaju Fagbohun, titled: “Academic Supervision” is geared towards providing some insight as to what is expected of an instructor, coach or trainer of a researcher undertaking scholarly specialisation. He begins by examining the concept of academic supervision followed by the challenges that may arise in providing it. Fundamental responsibilities of the supervisor as well as the student are also identified in this chapter. In three annexures, the writer

provides questions and guidelines to aid an academic supervisor in taking a research student. Professor Fagbohun’s scholarly work on the subject matter of the chapter reveals sheer brilliance and a profound understanding of the role of an academic supervisor. In Chapter 10 titled: “ Introduction to Legal Writing”, the writer, Obiamaka Gloria Araka, examines the principles and structure of good legal writing. In page 188, the writer rightly states that the poor legal writing skills of some scholars, judges, legal practitioners and law students does not speak well of the legal profession. Her interrogation of the subject matter brings to fore, the importance of having good writing skills. The completion of a graduate programme requires the writing of a dissertation, to demonstrate the student’s knowledge of a particular field. Dr. Wyseman Ubochioma in Chapter 11 titled: “ Crossing the Bridge of a Graduate programme: A Practical Guide to Writing a Dissertation in Law with Ease”, looks at the steps in writing as well as the parts of a well written dissertation. Through this chapter, the writer reveals that writing a good dissertation in law “is one that requires skills and supreme work ethics” (Pg.228). In Chapter 12 titled: “ English and the Practice of Law in Nigeria: Command of English and Advocacy” the writer E.A Adedun, recognises the fact that English language occupies the center stage as the official and professional language in Nigeria (Pg. 229) but the use of English language in Law is directed to legal experts as opposed to the general public. Chapter 13 titled: “The Hallmarks of a Legal Opinion”, is written by Ayuli Jemide. In this chapter, the writer after considering some historical and jurisdictional connation of the concept of legal opinion, goes on to examine the hallmarks of a good opinion. She concludes by reiterating that a good legal opinion must reach a specific conclusion as “it is not proper for a legal opinion to end with a flat non-committal conclusion”. Ayuli Jemide’s interrogation of the topic was an apt and precise representation of what the subject matter entailed. Alex Izinyon (SAN) in Chapter 14 x-rays “Brief Writing at the Court of Appeal/ Supreme Court”. He undertakes a brief historical excurion into how brief writing became a part of the process in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court before discussion the meaning purpose and importance of a brief of argument to the Appellate Courts.


The book is neatly clothed in a red and green cover, with the title written in red ink. The 308page book is divided into 14 chapters each written by individual writers. It is jointly edited by the Director-General Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Prof. Epiphany Azinge (SAN), Dr. Francisca Nlerum, Senior Research Fellow, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies) and Gary Kelechi Amadi (Research Fellow, NIALS, Legal Empiricism and Writing Skills implores the use of narrative, analytical and expository methodologies. The book, authored by 14 scholars, embodies a combination of expert reasoning in the various chapters and the consistency in the consortium of ideas by the writers. It is worthy of commendation. The book convincingly brings to light the essence of legal research,

the processes involved in legal research and the importance of legal writing skills. It fulfills the promises made by the editors in the book’s preface to address new and existing challenges in the skills needed in research and writing for lawyers and non-lawyers. The academic content of the book is greatly enhanced by references made in some cases, to the legal systems of other countries, copious examples and samples where necessary.


The chapter progression and arrangement contribute significantly to ensuring the reader understands the book. Although a few chapters lacked indepth discussions on the titles assigned, other chapters made up for the deficiency by the sheer brilliance with which they were addressed. It was noticed that some chapters in the book contain typographical errors relating to the use of quotation marks, ellipses and paragraphs which made reading of some pages unnecessarily tedious. The frequency and similarity in the errors contained in the chapters convinced the reviewer that errors could not have originated from the legal scholars. The typographical errors notwithstanding, the book as a whole, is compellingly exhaustive of the subject matter of legal research and writing skills, thus making anyone engaging in research, who has not read and re-read it, to be technically and academically malnourished.


With over 10 years of conducting the course on Legal Writing Skills for Lawyers in the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, the book is no doubt a compilation of tried and tested knowledge in the field of legal research methodology and writing skills. This is a very enlightening and informative literature, which aptly fills the gap created by the absence of relevant authorities for people in active practice of law, judges, academia and even persons in non-legal fields, seeking skills needed in research and writing .

LEGAL DIARY CJN, Tambuwal, Fashola, other Dignitaries for NBA-SBL Conference The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Aloma Mukhtar; Speaker, House of the Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal and Lagos State governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) are among the dignitaries expected at the eight Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law (SBL) Annual Conference, to be held at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, from May 25-27. The Chairman of the Conference Planning Committee (CPC) Mr. Seni Adio in a chat with The Nation said: “The forthcoming Conference of the SBL is billed to build on and surpass the programming and attendance of previous conferences hence, in part, the over-arching theme that was selected for this year’s Conference coming on the heels of the 2015 General Elections.” Mr. Adio stated that the conference programme is “topical, insightful and exceptionally qualitative” and will be indelible in the minds of participants for many moons to come. The theme is: ”Exemplary Governance – Enhancing Economic Development in Nigeria”. There will be a welcome cocktail on the evening of May 25 and the opening ceremony will be on May 26 followed by plenary and break-out sessions on May 26 and 27. Adio said: “Regarding the theme for this years’ Conference, part of the thinking had to do with the fact that it is imperative to take stock in order to re-calibrate and build on the successes that the polity has achieved thus far and equally important, to address topical issues that require urgent attention in order to, amongst other things, sustain economic growth and foster a peaceful and stable polity He said: “Put another way, issues of good governance cut across law, business, politics, economics and security – all towards enhancing a strong and exceedingly viable Nigeria “We ought to stop thinking and working in silos, the time has come for us to appreciatethat these different spheres are interwoven and this explains why the SBL chose the theme and planned the Conference with international and indigenous subject matter experts as presenters, facilitators and moderators. “As you may be aware, the SBL has about 21 different Committees covering different areas of law, such as Banking and Finance, Capital Markets, Intellectual Property, Consumer Protection and Products Liability, Insurance, Sports and Entertainment, Tourism, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Aviation. This year,in addition to the three plenary sessions, about 8-12 Committees will conduct break-out sessions on key topics that should not be missed.” •Adio



USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS ON ANY EMERGENCY Council endorsed the useful phone numbers submitted by the security agents in case of any emergency on the metropolitan Roads. Accordingly, the public may easily contact KAROTA for: Breakdown of Vehicle(s), Traffic Congestion, Accidents, and Illegal/Wrong Parking on – 08091626747. Similarly, the State Police Command could be contacted on – 08032419754, 08123821575. In addition, the State Fire Service can also be contacted on – 07051246833, 08191778888.




he Kano State Executive Council held its number One Hundred and Forty-Fifth (145th) sitting under the Chairmanship of Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE. Council solemnly acknowledged the unfortunate incidence that occurred at Nyanya Motor Park, Abuja, which resulted in the loss of 71 innocent lives while over 150 others were injured. Council extended its condolence to the families of the deceased and prayed for the quick recovery of those injured. In the same vein, Council condemned the kidnapping of over 100 girls in Chibok, Borno State and further prayed for everlasting peace in the country. It further called on all those concerned to do their utmost best to ensure these young and innocent children are rescued and re-united with their parents and communities. Forging ahead, Council dedicated today's sitting to the positive transformation of the agricultural sector in Kano State from the inception of this administrationto date. The climax was attained today when implementation of the contents of a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Kano State Government and the National Agricultural Development Bank was ensured. The agreement involves the contribution of N2,000,000,000.00 by each party to total up to the aggregate sum of N4,000,000,000.00 for disbursement as loan to members of thirty-nine (39) Farmers' Cooperatives identified/registered across the 44 LGCAs of Kano State. Notwithstanding, the Kano State Executive Council deliberated on an appreciable number of sixty-four (64) memoranda submitted from ten (10) MDAs of which forty-four (44) were approved for execution with an expenditure of Two Billion, One Hundred and Forty Nine Million, Five Hundred and Ninety Thousand, Six Hundred and Seven Naira, Sixty Kobo (N2,149,590,607.60) covering forty (40) projects. The remaining four (4) were informative. These are as follows: 1. OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT The Secretary to the State Government submitted twenty-seven (27) memoranda on behalf of the Chairman and some MDAs for deliberation by Council. Seventeen (17) of them were approved for execution. Thus: a) Presentation of Request for Support from the Secretary General of Nigeria - Niger Joint Commission for Cooperation (NNJC):Council was notified through the contents of this memorandum that the Secretary General of the NNJC and the President of the Niger - Nigeria Chamber of Commerce (NNCC) visited Kano State on 15th January, 2014. The visiting officials appealed to the Kano State Government to render assistance/support in the renovation of the Secretariat of the Chamber, the Liaison Office and a release of take-off grant/funds to the joint chamber. Details were presented to Council for consideration. Council approved the sum of N1,000,000.00 for the take-off of the joint chamber. b) Request for Funds to Enable the Payment of Water Bills by SUBEB in Respect of 437 Schools Across 28 LGCAs:The Secretary to the State Government endorsed and presented summary of the cited issue to Council for consideration. Council approved the release of the sum of N4,370,000.00 for the settlement of water bills for the 437 schools. c) Request for Funds to Enable the Payment of Statutory Fees to the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in Respect of the Kano State Independent Hydroelectricity Projects (Challawa and Tiga):Messrs. MBS Engineering Ltd. was presented as the Consultant for the two (2) projects, which submitted the cited request. The sum of N6,240,000.00 was required for the settlement of processing and licensing fees for Tiga and Challawa Independent Hydroelectricity Projects. Council acknowledged and approved the request so as to ensure all fees are paid to the regulatory bodies. d) Request for Funds to Enable the Conduct of Training for Leather Processing:The cited request was presented earlier for consideration by Council, which appraised it and directed the Hon. Commissioner for Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Tourism to study and submit details on the criteria for the training. The directive was carried out and details on the criteria for the training were endorsed and presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the aggregate sum of N7,976,250.00 for the purpose to cover for the following three (3) items: i. Training Materials N3,924,250.00 ii. Consultancy N2,500,000.00 iii. Feeding and Logistics N1,552,000.00 Council appraised the request and approved the release of the trimmed down sum of N5,000,000.00 to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Tourism to enable the conduct of the training. e) Request for Funds to Enable the Completion and Take - Off of the First (1st) Batch of Thirty Three (33) Candidates and Second (2nd) Batch of Fifteen (15) Candidates Enrolled into the Model Skills Training Programme of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) in Abuja:The State Government under its empowerment programme has sponsored a total number of 48 candidates to attend model skills training programme at the ITF, Abuja. The Secretary to the State Government submitted details of request for the release of the sum of N17,065,000.00 for the payment of outstanding balance of payment of fees for the course in respect of the thirty-three (33) candidates sponsored for 2012/2013, monthly allowance for one (1) year extension, training fees for fifteen (15) candidates per annum (including training, accommodation and tuition) and upkeep allowances for fifteen (15) candidates. Council approved the release of the requested sum of N17,065,000.00 to the Secretary to the State Government for the stated purpose. f) Request for Counterpart Funding for the Installation of New V - Sat and Local Area Network under NICEP (a Federal Government Intervention Programme):The contents of this memorandum reminded Council of its approval granted to the State Ministry of Science and Technology to partner with Galaxy Backbone to extend internet service to served and underserved MDAs, Schools/Institutions for the programme under the following arrangements: i. Bandwidth cost and support services charges to be shouldered annually by the Kano State Government. ii. Galaxy Backbone to supply V - Sat equipment and accessories free of charge to the beneficiaries. A total of twenty-five (25) Schools benefitted from the endeavor. Details were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the aggregate sum of N39,776,798.28 to cover twelve (12) newly identified locations. The details presented were considered relevant by Council as approval for the release of the requested sum of N39,776,798.28 was granted to the Ministry of Science and Technology for the stated purpose. g) Request for Funds to Provide Financial Assistance to Thirty (30) Kano State Indigenous Naval Officers that Graduated from Training to Enable them Settle at their Respective Duty Posts:Typical of the incumbent administration, Council considered the details presented on the cited issue and approved the release of the sum of N1,700,000.00 to the State Guidance and Counseling Board to extend the requested gesture as follows: i. N50,000.00 x 30 = N1,500,000.00 to be disbursed to the respective Naval Officers. ii. N200,000.00 to finance befitting reception/photographs. h) Request for Funds to Enable the Payment of Funds Required for the Sponsorship of Fifteen (15) Kano State Indigenous Candidates to Attend Aeronautical Telecommunication Engineering Professional Diploma Course at College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) Zaria:The Secretary to the State Government substantiated to Council through the contents of this memorandum that, an approval for the cited sponsorship request was granted to the tune of N31,500,000.00 of which only N22,500,000.00 was released to the Institution, which allowed the students to continue their studies pending payment of the balance of N9,000,000.00. Details were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the balance of N9,000,000.00 to enable the candidates continue their course. Council approved the request. i) Request for Funds to Assist Hisbah Corps Members that Survived from a Ghastly Motor Accident:Twelve (12) Hisbah Corps Members were involved in a ghastly motor accident enroute Doguwa LGCA on 25th February, 2014. Three (3) of them died while the majority nine (9) sustained injuries and remain hospitalized to date. The State Government approved the release of N1,000,000.00 to each of the bereaved families of the three (3) deceased Hisbah Corps Members. It is in relation to this, the Secretary to the State Government recommended to Council to approve the release of the sum of N300,000.00 to each of the hospitalized nine (9) victims. Council

approved the release of the aggregate sum of N2,700,000.00 to be disbursed to the nine (9) victims at the rate of N300,000.00. j) Request for Funds to Enable the Payment of Feeding Allowance and Pocket Money to the Fifty (50) Kano State Indigenous Students Sponsored to Study BSc Nursing at Al - Mansoura University, Egypt:The Secretary to the State Government reminded Council through the contents of this memorandum of its approval granted for the sponsorship of fifty (50) Kano State indigenous students to study BSc Nursing at Al-Mansoura University, Egypt. Essentially, the Kano State Scholarship Board mistakenly computed the full package of the one (1) year programme for the fifty (50) students, which did not include feeding allowance and pocket money to the tune of $190,000.00. Accordingly, Council was requested to approve the release Rabi’u Musa Kwankawaso of the sum of $190,000.00 to enable the Kano State Scholarship Board pay the affected students. Council approved the request. k) Request for Funds to Enable the Payment of One (1) Way Ticket and Four (4) Months Extension (January April, 2014) in Respect of Five (5) Kano State Indigenous Students Sponsored for Studies at Heriot Watt University, Dubai:The Kano State Scholarship Board submitted the cited request for the procurement of one-way tickets and four months extension allowance to students on the verge of completing their studies at Heriot Watt University, Dubai. The details presented were favourably acknowledged as Council approved the release of the aggregate sum of N4,889,703.00 to the Scholarship Board to prepare for the return of the students and payment of allowance. l) Request for Funds to Enable the Conduct of Promotional Examination for 15,193 Senior Teaching and NonTeaching Staff on GL 07 - 15 Serving under SUBEB (April, 2014):State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) submitted the cited request, which was endorsed and presented to Council for consideration by the Secretary to the State Government. The sum of N3,774,300.00 was requested for release by Council to cover for the purchase of stationery (N99,410.00), printing of question papers/documents (N570,000.00) and allowances/logistics (N3,104,000.00) The request was considered as relevant and Council granted approval for the release of the sum of N3,773,400.00 to SUBEB for the stated purpose. m) Request for Funds to Enable the Formation of Fishermen Cluster group:The Senior Special Assistant on Fisheries submitted the cited request for the formation of fishermen cluster group in the State out of the 120 trainees that were trained on modern fishing and fishing gear/craft technology at Magaga Fisheries Skills Acquisition Center. To consolidate the gains achieved from the training, 19 fishermen cluster groups were formed where each group will consist of 3 fishermen to facilitate the implementation of the co-management strategy in the 12 out of the 25 water bodies in the State to curtail fishing malpractices and ensure scientific utilization of the fisheries resources. Each of the 19 groups will be provided with 16 footer wooden fibre glass boat and Yamaha 8 horse power out boat marine engine. The Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources endorsed and authenticated the request, which prompted Council to approve the release of the requested sum of N15,732,000.00 to the Senior Special Assistant on Fisheries to implement the procurement and distribution of the items. o) Request for Funds to Enable the Production of 1,000,000 Tree Seedlings for the 2014 Planting Season:Relevance of the request to the establishment of shelter-belts for the control of desertification prompted Council to approve the release of the sum of N9,832,500.00 to enable the Kano State Afforestation Programme execute the production of 1million tree seedlings for planting this season. p) Presentation of the Committee on Privatization and Commercialization of Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano:This presentation was in compliance with an Executive Directive issued to the Special Adviser on Sports. The proposed Committee comprises eight (8) members as follows: i. Hon Commissioner for Agriculture Chairman ii. Hon. Commissioner for Justice Member iii. Hon. Commissioner for Planning and Budget Member iv. State Accountant General Member v. Special Adviser on Economic Matters Member vi. Permanent Secretary (Information) Member vii. Permanent Secretary (Commerce) Member viii. Special Adviser on Sports Secretary ix. Secretary to be provided by the Secretary to the State Government The terms of reference for the Committee were presented to Council as follows: o To proffer modalities and reliable road map towards the smooth privatization/commercialization of Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano. o To ensure take-over of the Stadium by credible Private Organizations that meet predetermined criteria. o To ensure that reasonable income is realized by the Kano State Government from the exercise. o To assess the income profile of the complex and establish the received income in the last three (3) years. o To proffer appropriate recommendations on deployment/posting of the management officers at the complex. o To proffer any appropriate recommendation(s) to the Kano State Government. Council acknowledged the presentation appreciatively. 2. MINISTRY OF WORKS, HOUSING AND TRANSPORT Eleven (11) of the fourteen (14) memoranda submitted for deliberations by Council from this Ministry were approved for execution as follows: a) Presentation of Report on the Provision of Garden Interlock Tiles on Each Side of the Pavement of the Trapezoidal Drainage Behind Farm Center and Zaria Road, Kano:The Hon. Commissioner for Works, Housing and Transport notified Council, through the contents of this memorandum that the contract for the cited project was handled at the initial sum of N87,262,624.65. Reportedly, variations were encountered in the course of executing the project, which necessitated the presentation of the vetted RETC in the sum of N110,787,889.62, which was higher than the original contract sum in the sum of N23,525,264.97. As such, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport requested Council to approve the adoption of the new RETC figure in the sum of N110,787,889.62 for the project and the release of the sum of N23,525,264.97 to the Contractor as variation. Council approved the request. b) Request for Funds to Enable the Payment of Retention Fees to Dantata and Sawoe Nigeria Ltd. in Respect of Kura - Bugau - Dan Hassan Road Project:The contents of this memorandum substantiated to Council that Dantata and Sawoe Nigeria Ltd. complied with the directive contained in the Executive Council Extract No. SSCA/CA/EX/10/1/392 dated 26th August, 2013 by completing the project. Details on the scope of works executed by the Company were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the sum of N12,016,785.75 outstanding retention fees to the Company for the construction of kura - Bagau- Dan Hassan road. Council approved the request. c) Request for Funds for the Construction of Dunku - Shiyan - Nungawa - Railway Road:Cognizant of the resolve by the present administration to provide the required infrastructure for use by the citizenry in Kano State, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport submitted the cited request for consideration by Council. Details on the scope of works required were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the sum of N187,661,819.05 for the project. Council approved the release of the requested sum of N187,661,819.05 through 50% : 50% funding arrangement between the Kano State Government and the Madobi LGC to enable the execution of the project. d) Request for Funds to Enable the Provision of Erosion Control Along Bari - Falgore Road in Rogo LGCA:Council was notified through the contents of this memorandum that the cited request originated from the Honourable Member of the State House of Assembly representing Rogo Constituency. The Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport assessed the erosion problem at the stated site, quantified the scope of works required and

THE NATION TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2014 presented an in-house estimate to the tune of N107,328,631.93 to enable the provision of erosion control. Council approved the project. e) Request for Funds to Enable the Procurement of Two (2) New 100KVA Electricity Generating Sets and the Installation of One (1) Each at the Residence of the Deputy Governor/Honourable Commissioner, Ministry for Local Governments and the 10 - Chalet Wing in the Government House, Kano:To solve the problem of frequent outages and epileptic electric power supply from the PHCN, the two (2) locations cited were identified as requiring the execution of the stated project. The Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport assessed the requirements/scope of works and presented a BEME, which was vetted to the tune of N9,469,080.00 and requested for release by Council for the project. The request was approved. f) Presentation of Request for the Need to Increase the Height of the Perimeter Wall Fence at the Sports Complex, Former NAMA Site:To forestall encroachment and safeguard unlawful trespass at the cited location, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport submitted the request contained in this memorandum. Details on the scope of works required were presented for consideration by Council along with the request for the release of the sum of N48,081,094.65 for the purpose of increasing the height of the perimeter wall fence at the Sports Complex. The request was approved. g) Request for Funds to Enable the Construction of 1000- Persons Capacity Auditorium at Government House, Kano:The Kano State Government House is the pinnacle and exalted "beehive" of large gatherings for all sorts of reasons especially official. The facility celebrated and tag - named the "Africa House" presently provides accommodation for such activities. The Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport submitted the cited request in order to improve the accommodation situation for the usual large gatherings at the Government House, Kano. Details on the scope of works required were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the sum of N150,796,805.78 to enable execution of the project. The significance of the project prompted Council to approve the release of the requested sum of N150,796,805.78 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable its execution. h) Presentation of Request for the Construction of an Underpass at Kabuga Road:Cognizant of the laudable effort of the present administration to decongest Urban Kano and ensure efficient flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport conceptualized the cited project. Details on the requirements and scope of works were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the sum of N867,498,405.28 to enable the execution of the project. Relevance of the project was considered as Council approved the project. i) Presentation of Request for the Revalidation of the Habu Gumel Road Construction Project :The contents of this memorandum adequately substantiated to Council that the cited contract was awarded at an initial contract sum of N175,283,126.28 last year. The sum of N52,704,937.00 or 30% of the contract sum was paid to the Contractor as advance payment leaving a balance of the sum of N122,978,189.28. Council deliberated on the need, and, approved the revalidation of the award of the contract for its completion. j) Request for Funds to Enable the Complete Renovation of the Perimeter Wall Fence at Gidan Rediyon Manoma, Tukuntawa:Cognizant of the resolve by the present administration to fortify/protect Government owned buildings/facilities from wanton encroachment and illegal trespass, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport identified the cited location and assessed the scope of works required to the tune of N5,641,213.24, which was requested for release to undertake the project. Agreement of the project with the Urban Beautification policy of the present administration prompted Council to approve the release of the requested sum of N5,641,213.24 for the execution of the project. 3. OFFICE OF THE HEAD OF CIVIL SERVICE The five (5) memoranda submitted for deliberation by Council from the Office of the Head of Civil Service were approved for execution. Thus: a) Request for Funds to Enable Fourteen (14) Magistrates Attend a National Workshop on ICT (7th - 11th April, 2014) in Abuja, Nigeria:This request was submitted from the State Ministry of Justice but was endorsed and presented to Council for consideration from the Office of the Head of Civil Service. The memorandum requested the release of the sum of N641,000.00 to facilitate the participation of the 14 magistrates' attendance at the National Workshop on ICT to ensure effective administration of justice in the State along modern ways. Council approved the request. b) Request for Funds to Enable the Processing and Forwarding the Names of Nominated Deserving Civil Servants/MDAs to Vie for the 2013 National Productivity Order of Merit Award (NPOMA):The NPOMA was presented as an "August" annual event routinely considered important in gingering the efforts of all concerned in the Civil Service. For the year 2013, twenty (20) MDAs submitted nominations of a total of forty (40) eligible Civil Servants for the award. Ten (10) Officers and eight (8) MDAs satisfied the necessary criteria. As such, Council was requested to approve the release of the aggregate sum of N60,000.00 (as DTA to the officer)to complete the process and submit the nominated names at the Center in Abuja. Considering authenticity of the request, Council approved as requested. c) Request for Financial Assistance from the Nigeria Association of Social Workers (NASOW):The National Secretary of NASOW is scheduled to attend an International Conference to hold (9th - 12th July, 2014) at Melbourne, Australia. The NASOW solicited for financial assistance to the tune of N1,135,000.00, which was endorsed and presented to Council for consideration by the Head of Civil Service, Kano State. Noteworthy, is the fact that, the theme of the Conference is "Promoting Social and Economic Equality: Response from Social Work and Social Development". The Conference is ideally designed to strengthen the social and cultural well - being of individuals, families and communities. Council approved the release of the sum of N1,000,000.00 as financial assistance from the Kano State Government to enable the National Secretary of NASOW attend the stated conference. d) Presentation of a Letter of Appreciation from the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP):The SSANIP vehemently applauded and expressed their profound gratitude and appreciation for the approval granted for the 10% salary enhancement effective from 1st January, 2014 in respect of non-academic staff of tertiary institutions in Kano State. Council appreciatively acknowledged the presentation. e) Request for Funds to Enable the Training of Junior Staff:The history and genesis of the cited request were adequately presented to Council for consideration, through the contents of this memorandum. The main essence is to improve/build the capacities of the Junior Staff serving under various Government establishments/MDAs. Specifically, the training will be conducted in batches beginning with 300 participants comprising 150 Hospital Attendants, 100 School Matrons, and 50 School Cooks/ Stewards from the Hospitals Management Board, Kano State Senior Secondary School Management Board and Science Technical Schools Management Board. Details on the requirements were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the sum of N3,130,500.00 to enable the conduct of the training. Relevance of the capacity building training informed Council to approve the request. 4. MINISTRY OF HIGHER EDUCATION Only one (1) of the three (3) memoranda submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Higher Education was approved for execution. Thus: Request for Funds to Enable the Participation of Kano State Polytechnic in the 2014 Nigeria Polytechnic Games Association (NIPOGA):The cited games were presented to Council as to be undertaken in two (2) stages. i. Zonal events (10th - 19th February, 2014) at Kaduna Polytechnic. ii. Main events (2nd - 14th April, 2014). Details were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the sum of N8,591,600.00 to facilitatethe attendance and participation of the Kano State Polytechnic. Council approved the request. 5. MINISTRY OF JUSTICE Three (3) memoranda were submitted for deliberation by Council from the State Ministry of Justice. Only one (1) was approved for execution as follows: Request for Funds to Enable the Upward Review of the Monthly Overhead for the High Court and Payment of Outstanding Liabilities:The Attorney General/Hon. Commissioner for Justice submitted the cited requests for the release of N11,278,005.05 to enable the High Court pay its outstanding liabilities and the review of its monthly overhead from N1,500,000.00 to N2,500,000.00. The requests were considered relevant, which instigated Council to approve the execution of the two (2) prayers. 6. MINISTRY OF HEALTH Three (3) of the four (4) memoranda submitted for deliberations by Council from the Ministry of Health were approved for execution as follows: a) Presentation of Report on the Introduction of HND Certificate in Dental Health Therapy at the School of Health Technology, Kano and Request for Funds for its Accreditation:The Hon. Commissioner for Health notified Council, through the contents of this memorandum the preparation towards the introduction of HND Certificate Course in Dental Health Therapy to be among the courses to be offered at the School of Health Technology, Kano. Prominently, what remains is fulfilling the accreditation requirements, which requires the sum of N57,238,413.67 for the provision of more classrooms/demonstration rooms, dental books, laboratory equipment, etc. Council appraised the presentation carefully and approved the release of the requested sum of N57,238,413.67 to the Ministry of Health for the accreditation purpose. b. Request for Funds to Enable Final Relocation of Kano State Drugs and Medical Consumables Supply Agency to its Permanent Site at Kwanar Kwankwaso, Madobi LGCA:The cited effort hasattained its completion level awaiting occupation for effective delivery of services pending the provision of furniture/equipment to the offices of the Medical Director, staff and ICT center at the sum of N24,882,695.43. Council approved the release of the aggregate sum of N24,882,695.43 to the Ministry of Health to expedite action

43 on the remaining requirements for the immediate occupation of the permanent site for the Kano State Drugs and Medical Consumables Supply Agency. Council enacted a two (2) Member Committee comprising the Honourable Commissioners, Ministries of Women Affairs and Social Development and Agriculture and Natural Resources to inspect and ensure that qualitative furniture are supplied at the site. 7. MINISTRY OF WATER RESOURCES Request for Funds to Enable the Repairs of Leakages along the Watari - Miltara Water Supply Pipeline:The Hon. Commissioner for Water Resources reminded Council of its directive issued to the Managing Director, Kano State Water Board on 30th December, 2013 to embark on the repairs of all leakages along the cited location as well as some other areas within Greater Kano. The leakages were assessed to have resulted from improved water supply to the area. Council was informed that the repairs of all identified leakages were duly executed at the aggregate sum of N26,221,820.00, which was requested for release by Council. Council appraised the request and approved the release of the trimmed down sum of N20,000,000.00 to the State Water Board. 8. MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT Both memoranda submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Environment were approved for execution. Thus: a) Request for Operational Funds in Respect of the School of Hygiene Kano in Response to the Effect of the Implementation of the Free Education Policy in Kano State:The contents of this memorandum presented the highlights that reflect the financial/revenue status of the School of Hygiene for the 2014 Academic Session. The Free Education policy of the Government has automatically erased the payment of school fees from the State indigenous students, which was estimated at N68,385,400.00. However, the sum of N24,575,900.00 is expected as fees and other charges from the non-indigenous students studying in the School. The school has submitted a request for the sum of N65,602,676.00 for operational requirements for this academic year. As such, Council was requested to approve the release of 30% or N19,702,800.00 of the operational requirements for the smooth take-off of academic activities at the School of Hygiene for the 2014 Academic Session. Council approved as requested. b) Request for Funds to Enable Landscaping of the Surrounding Area of Zaria Road Flyover Bridge:Cognizant of the Urban Beautification policy of the administration, the Hon. Commissioner for Environment submitted the cited request. Details of the requirements and scope of works were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the sum of N13,695,175.00 for the purpose. The request was appraised and Council approved the release of trimmed down sum of N10,000,000.00 to the Ministry of Environment to enable execution of the stated project. 9. MINISTRY OF LAND AND PHYSICAL PLANNING Three (3) of the four (4) memoranda submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning were approved for execution. Thus: o Notably, all the three (3) memoranda approved for execution by the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning were on the payment of compensation for acquired land/properties and affected structures at one (1) or the other location as follows: a) Request for Funds for the Payment of Compensation to People Affected by the Construction of Earth Dam at Daburau, Madobi LGCA:Details were summarized and presented to Council for consideration as the sum of N71,010,180.00 and N66,544,250.00 were required for the payment of compensation for land and economic tress to be affected by the construction of the Earth Dam respectively. The Dam when completed will be used for irrigation and other domestic purpose. Authenticity of the request prompted Council to approve the release of the aggregate sum of N137,544,430.00 for disbursement to the people affected by the construction of the Earth Dam at Daburau, Madobi LGCA. b) Presentation of Report from the Compensation Committee in Respect of Properties Affected by the Construction of Mudi Salga Road Project:The State Compensation Committee visited and verified the compensation cost for 216 items/properties/structures affected by the cited project to the tune of N127,000,000.00, which was recommended to Council for release to the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning for the payment of the stated compensation. Council approved as recommended. c) Presentation of Report from the Committee on Compensation in Respect of Properties Affected by the Construction of Service Lane along Gwarzo Road:The State Compensation Committee inspected and verified the compensation cost of thirty-six (36) items/ properties/structures affected by the cited project to the tune of N31,151,250.00, which was recommended to Council for release to the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning for the payment of the stated compensation. Council approved as recommended. UPDATE ON ACTIVITIES OF THE 145TH EXCO SITTING GRADUATION & EMPOWERMENT CEREMONIES OF THE 10TH BATCH OF 500 WOMEN FROM THE POULTRY INSTITUTE TUKWI, 6TH BATCH OF 132 YOUTHS FROM KANO LIVESTOCK INSTITUTE AND FLAG-OFF OF KANO STATE GOVERNMENT/BANK OF AGRICULTURE AGRICULTURAL CREDIT SCHEME DISBURSEMENT ON 14TH APRIL, 2014 Council witnessed the successful graduation and empowerment ceremonies of the 10th Batch of 500 women graduates from the Poultry Institute Tukwi who were trained on Home Management. Each was given Posttraining package including 50 day old chicks, bags of layer and grower feeds for the feeding of the chicks. At the same venue, the 6th Batch of 132 graduates of the Kano Livestock Institute were also given Bulls and Rams each as post-training package for self-reliance. Council also noted the flag-off of Kano State Government/Bank of Agricultural Credit Scheme disbursement to dedicated commercial farmers across the State which is aimed at making them self-reliant. PASSING OF A BILL ON STREETS BEGGING AND CHILD LABOR IN THE STATE Council wishes to express its sincere appreciation to traditional rulers, religious leaders, wealthy individuals and the general public for supporting Government in the formulation and implementation of this policy. COMMENDATION TO THE KANO STATE CENTRAL WORKING COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATIONS Council noted and acknowledged the activities and collaborative efforts being rendered by the Kano Central Working Committee on Community Development in the State. THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF KANO STATE AT GOLDEN JUBILEE LECTURE OF JAMA'ATU NASRIL ISLAM (JNI) Council noted with delight over the speech made by the Governor on Sunday 13th of April, 2014 at the recent Golden Jubilee lecture of the Jama'atu Nasril Islam (JNI) held at its National Headquarters, Kawo, Kaduna where he commended the leadership of the Organization for their efforts and commitment towards the sustenance of the organization over the years. Similarly, the Governor expressed gratitude to the organizers and all stakeholders that put all hands on deck to not only ensure that Jama'atu Nasril Islam is kept alive to its responsibilities and functions but also ensured the corporate existence of Nigeria. The Governor urged the Jama'atu Nasril Islam to influence the Northern State Governments and the Muslims States of the South-West to emulate Kano State legislation that prohibit begging with a view to stamping out its negative traits. Furthermore, he enumerated some of the achievements his administration has made in line with relevant aims and objectives of the Organization [JNI] which includes: -Foundation for ensuring the existence of concrete Unity among the various Islamic Religious Sects, Islam and Christianity in the State for peaceful co-existence. -Hisbah Board activities have been enhanced, which is a clear manifestation of his administration's support for effective implementation of religious tenets and stamping out of social evils. -Mass Zawarawa / 'Yan Mata or spinsters' wedding/marriages including the Christians residing in the State. -Enhancing the smooth operation of Hajj through the re-organization of the State Pilgrims' Welfare Board and constituting Hajj Tribunal. -Integrating both the Qur'anic and Islamiyya Schools into the formal education system as well as banning of streets begging in the State by act of legislation where all prominent Ulamas from the North across all sects commended this effort. -Restructuring of Zakkah and Hubsi Commission for effectiveness towards the judicious management of Zakkah and Hubsi where beneficiaries and Mothers of Orphans are being trained and empowered in various vocations/ trades from Zakkah collections to improve and sustain their livelihood. GOVERNMENT SPONSORED TRAINING ON CUTTING AND POLISHING OF GEMSTONE IN THE STATE Council noted with appreciation over the organized training of youths on cutting and polishing of Gemstone by the Office of the Special Adviser on Solid Mineral Development, which is a step forward in exploiting one of the abundant solid Mineral resources the State is blessed with.

Signed: Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youth, Sports andCulture






What is Nigeria’s scorecard in VVF care? Vesicovaginal fistula (VVF) is still a serious health issue in young women in Nigeria. The Federal Government has tried to eliminate it, but many women are still living with it and do not know where to seek help, writes WALE ADEPOJU.


HE Federal Government has been battling to eliminate Vesicovaginal Fistula (VVF), an abnormal fistulous tract extending between the bladder, which allows continuous involuntary discharge of urine into the vaginal vault. Last year, the government drew up a five-year plan to eliminate it, promising to take its care to a new level. But many women, especially in the remote villages, are still battling with the condition. A senior Federal Ministry of Health official, who craved anonymity, said the country was on the right track in eliminating the condition. There are three national fistula centres in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State; Babaruga, Katsina State and Nngi, Bauchi State; and about 16 VVF units in secondary facilities nationwide. The government has prepared a policy document for five years to ensure that a machinery is in place to tackle the condition headlong. This, the source said, is a physical intervention programme designed to give short term succour. The official also said the President had promised to restore hope, life and joy to those with fistula problems. He ensured that some of the women yet to be treated have a chance to access treatment. Onethird of them had their cases treated through the fund provided by the Federal Ministry of Finance to the Ministry of Health. It is called “Seed Money”, in October, last year. “This was under the Glowing Girls and Women in Nigeria (GLOWIN) programme. In Katsina alone, about 200 women with VVF were treated. In all, over 2000 women living with VVF were repaired,” the official said. The source further said the government carried out an assessment across the country, funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in


VVF patient, 44, needs N1.5m for repair


IFE has become unbearable for 44 years old Mrs Folake Ojikutu, a native of Ijede, a town in Ikorodu, on the outskirts of Lagos, since she came down with vesicoveginal fistula (VVF) in 2000. She wears pampers daily to avoid messing herself up with urine. She said the doctors also ran a pipe into her vagina to collect urine because of incontenence. Recounting how it began, Mrs Ojikutu said when she wanted to deliver at Jobat Hospital, at Idumota, Lagos, her baby was forced out of her womb by those taking delivery. She said this was the genesis of her problem. Ever since, she has had to contend with ceaseless flow of urine. This condition, she said, made her to undergo three surgeries at the Sagamu General Hospital, Ogun State, to restore her dignity. “But, the repairs, which were carried out in 2001, 2002 and 2003 did not stop the problem,” she said. Mrs Ojikutu said it was during that period that her husband passed away. “When my husband died in 2003, I couldn’t do anything because I didn’t have money for another surgery. So, what I usually do was to use tissue paper to cover my private part to stop the urine from trickling out of my pant. It is really embarrassing,” she said. She said she was introduced to the gynaecology ward of the

Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba, when she attended the hospital PEPFAR Clinic. It was at the ward that I was referred to the Urology Department where I had two successive surgeries on March 3 and 5, to repair my private part. Yet, the urine didn’t stop as I get wet easily. This time around, I needed pad to stay dry all day. After, the surgeries, I was told I would need to have another surgery. I thought it would be free since I had both surgeries at the same department and the problem persisted. The last surgery cost N400,000 •Mrs Ojikutu since it was a minor one. But now, the consultant said I should adding: “I am always depressed look for N1.5 million which also because of the problem. I’m alincludes money for blood. ways very careful. So, I decided Mrs Ojikutu, who grinds pep- to cry out for help because I can’t per at Oto Market in Oyingbo, shoulder it alone. Where do I get Ebute Metta area of Lagos, said money from as someone who raising such money was a prob- grinds pepper to survive.” lem and as such would need the Consultant urologist, LUTH, Dr help of well-meaning individu- Habib Tijani said her case was a als, corporate organisations and big type of VVF. government. He said some are small while “I asked the hospital for assis- others are big. tance but I was turned down. So I He said she had an obstructed need help to have the surgery,” labour which affected her private she said. part. She is appealing to them to “It is true she has had surgeries come to her rescue so that she can at Sagamu General Hospital trice live a normal life again. and twice here at LUTH but we A n y h e l p c a n b e r e n d e r e d are going to do something to through her First Bank Account: stop the urine,” he said. Ojikutu Gayat Afolake: Tijani, who is the Head of De3056837387. partment of Surgery, LUTH, said Mrs Ojikutu, who presently the repair is going to be a bit l i v e a t 4 B , K a l e j a i y e S t r e e t , more major because the aim is to F a d e y i i n S h o m o l u , s a i d s h e give her final solution. could no longer bear the burden,

partnership with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Federal Ministry of Health, and Federal

Ministry of Women Affairs. It was discovered that between 160,000 and 200,000 women are liv-

ing with fistula. Also, yearly, about 12,000 women become victims.

About 5,000 women are repaired (treated) yearly. There are also about 7,000 women with Fistula that cannot be treated yearly and they keep adding to the backlog of cases of fistula every year. A consultant urologist at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Dr Habib Tijani, said the condition has a profound effect on the patient’s emotional well-being. “VVF not only affect women physically, but emotionally. This is why we do all we can to repair and provide final solution to their problems,” he said. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), VVF is often caused by childbirth (in which case, it is known as an obstetric fistula), when a prolonged labour presses the unborn child tightly against the pelvis, cutting off blood flow to the vesicovaginal wall. The affected tissue may necrotise (die), leaving a hole. Vaginal fistulas can also result from violent rape. This injury common in some war zones, where rape is used as a weapon against innocent females. As a result, some health centers in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have begun to specialise in surgical repair of vaginal fistulas. It can also be associated with hysterectomy, cancer operations, radiation therapy and cone biopsy. “Vesicovaginal fistulae are typically repaired either transvaginally or laparoscopically, although patients who have had multiple transvaginal procedures sometimes attempt a final repair through a large abdominal incision, or laparotomy. “The laparoscopic (minimally invasive) approach to VVF repair has become more prevalent due to its greater visualisation, higher success rate, and lower rate of complications,” he said. Possible complications of surgical treatment are recurrent formation of the fistula, injury to ureter, bowel, or intestines and vaginal shortening.

NHIS to mark Centenary with ‘free’ treatment

HE National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has earmarked funds to treat end-stage diseases in its treatment cache. This, it said, is part of activities to mark the nation’s centenary anniversary. According to the CEO/Executive Secretary, Dr Femi Thomas, the diseases to be treated include cancer, kidney and heart related diseases/conditions and others that affect the bone. Speaking to reporters during the accreditation of facilities in preparation for the massive enrolment of Nigerians on the scheme, scheduled for later this year, Dr. Thomas said the scheme would fund 100 open heart surgeries and major cardiac interventions; 100 major cancer cases; 100 major orthopaedic cases and 100 major renal cases across the country. “This provides a window of opportunities for those who are enrolled in the health insurance scheme to benefit from the processes. It will also provide interventions for other minor diseases. As part of the activities marking the nation’s centenary, the authorities of the National Health Insurance Scheme have approved some funds to take care of some tertiary and super-tertiary diseases before the end of the year,” he said, adding: “This is in the spirit of celebrating the nation’s centenary, an opportunity for the scheme to subsidise the cost of care for those in the vul-

By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha

nerable group who, otherwise, would not have been able to afford such medical interventions.” Dr Thomas said there is hope that the NHIS would develop some programmes that would cover more people as time goes on. “In order to ensure a successful universal coverage, President Goodluck Jonathan had directed the NHIS to enroll 30 per cent Nigerians by 2015. However, we have decided inhouse to go beyond this, as we are working towards having 70.8 million Nigerians enrolled in the scheme, translating into 40 per cent of the entire population.” Thomas said enrollees are still few, compared to the total population, and with a little less than 10 per cent so far enrolled in the scheme, hence the need to make it compulsory if everybody must be covered. “The health insurance coverage is currently less than 10 per cent of the entire population, but in order to make Nigerians enjoy universal health coverage, health insurance would become compulsory as provided for in the Health Bill. He said about N1.3 trillion would be required to fund the universal health coverage,” he said. Thomas said measures had been put in place to enroll 24 million primary school pupils nationwide into the scheme. He said

if the agency was able to cover all pregnant women and children less than five years by 2015, it would have about 70.8 million Nigerians under its coverage. The executive secretary urged wealthy individuals to pay for vulnerable people, adding that, “it is like adopting them for health

insurance coverage.’’ Concerning the Health Bill waiting for the president’s assent, Thomas said once the President assents to it, one per cent consolidated fund would be made available to the NHIS to work with.






NATIONAL CONFERENCE Lagos State delegates to the National Conference have resolved to agitate for a special status for the state, based on the agenda set for them by the Committee of the Indigenous Associations of Lagos State during its recent annual conference. Deputy Political Editor RAYMOND MORDI reports.

Lagos indigenes set agenda for National Conference D

ESPITE the growing skepticism over the National Conference, the Committee of the Indigenous Associations of Lagos State (CIALS) believes in resolving the knotty national question germane to the development of Nigeria. CIALS, a representative body of the indigenous organisations in the five divisions of Lagos State, recognises the need to promote tolerance among the ethnic groups. The theme of its fifth annual CIALS conference, which took place in Ikeja, Lagos was: “National Conference: Answering National Questions.” The chairman of the occasion and former Permanent Secretary in Lagos State, Rev. Julius Idowu Akindele, emphasised in his opening address that the country could only thrive in a federation where the structure is solid and sound. He quoted copiously from the Bible to justify the need to confer and “reason together”. This ongoing conference, he said, “is therefore an opportunity to discuss not only the structure, but we should discuss derivation (resource control), citizenship and how we can live together without being a risk to one another and other neighbours.” Delegates from the five divisions were however more concerned about the subtheme of the conference: “The Yoruba Agenda and Its Implications for Lagos State.” This was evident, judging from the reaction Prof. Rasheed Ojikutu’s paper elicited. Professor Ojikutu is the dean, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos. In the paper, Ojikutu argued that indigenes of Lagos must strive to achieve a special status for Lagos, even though as descendants of Oduduwa, indigenes of Lagos equally believe in the Yoruba Agenda. “This is because from whatever telescopic angle one looks at it, Lagos State is embattled from within and without the Southwest of Nigeria, with our Yoruba brethrens leading the scourge,” the dean noted, adding: “To non-indigenes, Lagos State is a mere farm where profits and returns must be maximised.” The thrust of Professor Ojikutu’s argument is that the Yoruba Agenda is a good document, but it “failed to clearly articulate its position on a special status for Lagos State”. Therefore he said the indigenous people of Lagos are solidly behind the Yoruba demand for regionalism. The options open to the people of Lagos, he said, is either to fuse with the Southwest and work within its constitution or demand to be carved out of the region as the seventh geo-political zone of Nigeria. He said the position of Lagos as a separate political entity was recognised when Lagos was ceded to Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom in 1861 by King Dosunmu. “As a result of this, Lagos indigenes were described as British subjects by birth, while people from the Southern part of Nigeria were known and addressed as British Protected Persons,” he added. On the national question however, it was Akindele who echoed the view of many at the occasion when he posed a number of rhetoric questions hanging over the conference. Some of the questions are: “Will the conference end up as another Abuja jamboree? Will the delegates agree to adopt a new people’s constitution? How would the constitution emerge through referendum or the National Assembly?” The Director-General of the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Professor Bola Akinterinwa, who presented the main paper of the day, responded to Akindele’s questions. Akinterinwa said

• From left: Representative of Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Kunle Abimbola, Prof. Bola Akinterinwa and Justice Solomon Hunponu-Wusu at the PHOTO: BIODUN WILLIAM conference.

that the National Conference would not end up as another “Abuja jamboree”. He said that the delegates would agree to adopt a new constitution and that it would be put before Nigerians for approval in a referendum. Akinterinwa said that controversial issues that have divided Nigerians would re-surface for discussion. These, he said, include fiscal federalism, resource allocation and resource control, protection of minority rights, state and community police, local government autonomy, derivation formula, regional autonomy, future of presidential system and rotational presidency. Others controversial issues that are likely to re-surface, according to the NIIA Director-General, are: land Use Act, creation of new states, boundary adjustments, tenure of the president, endemic corruption, protection of Nigerians abroad and the controversy over how to implement the outcome of the conference. He added that some unknown or accidental issues would come up in the course of deliberations at the conference. President Jonathan had insisted that the unity of Nigeria is not negotiable and that the conferees have no mandate to discuss it. But, Akinterinwa said there is no limit to the issues that would be discussed. He noted that the amalgamation of 1914 is a forced marriage and that there has never been any forum for Nigerians to discuss it constructively. Akinterinwa said it had been known since 1947 that a federal constitution, which gives autonomy to the constituent units, is the most suitable one for Nigeria. “And yet, rather than take this observa-

tion seriously, Nigeria’s leaders have believed, rightly or wrongly, that national unity can be forced… As a result, the main political question in Nigeria from the time of independence in 1960 has been the struggle for regional autonomy,” he added. Guest Speaker Senator Oluremi Tinubu admitted that Nigeria is at the crossroads and that there is no better way to get prepared for the challenges ahead “than to share ideas in conferences like this”. In the address read on her behalf by Mr. Kunle Abimbola, member, Editorial Board of The Nation and former Chief Press Secretary to former Governor Bola Tinubu, the Senator from Lagos Central said there is no doubt that the National Conference has become imperative. She said Nigerians desire a truly Sovereign National Conference (SNC). “Such SNC would go into the roots of our problems and sort out the stark and basic contradictions that make sincerely answering the national question so urgent and compelling,” she added. Senator Tinubu expressed reservations about the ongoing conference, the sincerity of purpose of the Jonathan Administration, particularly what it seeks to achieve with the effort and the astronomical cost of staging the conference at a time the economy is in dire straits. In her opinion, the conference is not different from the two previous ones held under the late military Head of State, General Sani Abacha (from June 26, 1994 to June 26, 1995) and the National Political Reform Conference that former President Olusegun Obasanjo organised from February to July 2005. “Why repeat the same exercise, even at a premium cost of N7 billion? What happened to all the previous

‘Ojikutu argued that indigenes of Lagos must strive to achieve a special status for Lagos, even though as descendants of Oduduwa, indigenes of Lagos equally believe in the Yoruba Agenda’

documentation and deliberations at the previous constitutional conferences? Why can’t we dust up the report, evaluate them, and see areas that need to be included or expunged,” she asked. Also, Senator Tinubu is also worried about the issue of trust. Given the fact that the President had earlier rejected the idea of a conference, she said it is hard to believe that he is sincere, and not playing games and using the conference to burnish his image, ahead of 2015 elections. She added: “The present hand-picked National Conference falls short of the expectations of Nigerians. It is a hand-picked assemblage hurriedly put together. I am afraid the ongoing National Conference would not deliver on our aspirations.” Prof. Lanre Fagbohun of the Nigeria Institute of Advanced Legal Studies applauded the theme of the conference. He posited that three assumptions underscored the theme. The first one is that the President would deliver on his promises. Two, that the critical foundation upon which the National Conference is taking place is sound and that it would end in such a manner that Nigerians would shout uhuru. Three, the theme is predicated on the assumption that Nigeria is a nation. To illustrate his belief that the problem with Nigeria is that of one compromise after another, Fagbohun related an experience he had on a visit to Austria. He had committed a traffic offence and a policeman approached him to book him for the offence. The Professor of Law said he took pains to explain to the officer that he is a foreigner, who does not understand the lingua franca of the country (German Language) and the road signs guiding drivers on how to proceed. Fagbohun said the officer was so sympathetic that he (Fagbohun) assumed he was going to get away with it. But he was wrong. To his surprise, the officer still issued him a ticket. He urged the government and people of Nigeria to stop compromise, because it has become a way of life in Nigeria.








Customs redeploys 1,000 officers to boost PAAR T


HE Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has redeployed over 1,000 officers to facilitate the processing of Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) at the ports and other designated clearing outlets. The exercise is to ensure that only officers with the requisite knowledge of classification and valuation man PAARs desk, it was learnt. Sources said the Customs Comptroller-General, Alhaji Dikko Abdullahi, ordered the redeployment to end the initial challenges. Senior officers are working with young officers knowledgeable in computers to produce between 1,800 and 1,900 PAARs daily. At the Apapa Customs Command, which is said to be the fulcrum of PAAR’s implementation, the Customs is making progress in the generation and transmission of the document. According to findings, the Command generated and transmitted 19,198 PAARs between last December and last month. About 6,632 were utilised, leaving a balance of 12,566. A breakdown of the figures indicated that 781 PAAR were transmitted in December, 372 were utilised and 409 unutilised. In February, the Command recorded 5,365 PAARs; 1,792 were utilised and 3,573 were unutilised.Of the 9,722 PAAR generated and transmitted last month, only 3,338 were used, 6,384 were not. The Area Comptroller, Apapa Command, Charles Edike, said the

Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda Maritime Correspondent

Customs began the transmission of 250 PAARs daily in December. He said Abdullahi complained that the figure was too small and ordered that “we should increase to two shifts, morning and evening. With two shifts, we transmitted 500 per day. He was still not satisfied with this, despite the backlog of 99,000 RAR left behind by the service providers”. Edike also said the opposition against the PAAR regime by a section of stakeholders was a smear campaign to discredit the process. ‘’We are aware that there is a lot of smear campaign to discredit the PAAR initiative. Not everybody likes good things, some people thrive on confusion. ‘’If Customs is not ready, how would this quantum of PAAR be generated? How many Form’ M’ are processed in a day? How many declarations are processed in a day? People are being mischievous in their assessment of the process and their view is myopic. Even the three service providers combined could not generate this much RAR in a month throughout the eight years they operated,” he argued. He noted that importers waited until their cargoes arrived before they began to process their Form ‘’M’’ and they are laying the blame on PAAR, saying it is a pre-arrival method. But importers and their

clearing agents, are doing post-arrival, he said. “For RAR, it is fine, but for PAAR, that is not the concept,’’he said. He noted that an importer is not supposed to start importation until his Form ‘’M’’ is approved. ‘’It is after the bank has forwarded the Form ‘’M’’ to the Customs’ portal that you place order. But some people want to circumvent the process and when they run into a hitch, they blame PAAR.’’ He said: ‘’The purpose of this new clearing procedure is to engender change in our attitude. It is to infuse efficiency into out clearing procedure, to change from being analogue to electronic for speed, efficiency and cost-effectiveness.” The National President, National Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, confirmed that Customs has improved on the issuance of PAAR, urging the Comptroller-General not to relent in his resolve to forge ahead. “The truth is that Customs has improved tremendously on its operation. We are happy with the level they are issuing PAAR, but the C-G must not relent in his effort. If he goes to sleep, his work will also go to sleep,” Shittu said. An importer, Mr Solomon Adeseye, urged Dikko to involve more of his officers in PAAR operation so that the initial problem associated with the scheme would not repeat itself.

Group pushes for stevedoring bill

HE National Association of Stevedoring Companies is pushing for a bill to capture stevedoring. Its President, Bolaji Sunmola, said the body was working on the Nigerian Ports and Harbours Bill to ensure that stevedoring operations are captured. Sunmola, who spoke after the inauguration of the new executives of the stevedores in Lagos, said the body was partnering First City Merchant Bank (FCMB) to develop the industry. He said: “We have considered the need for a comprehensive census of dockworkers, because we believe it is not just for our own need only but also to put a figure to the number of dock employers we have. This project is so dear to us and we are

working in conjunction with NIMASA and the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria. “We believe this census will also determine, to a great extent, under capacity in the industry,” he said. He said FCMB had shown interest in the partnership, to leverage on it as a medium of job creation and to promote cargo handling and enhance stevedore industry. The Zonal Head of Stevedores on Victoria Island, Lagos, Mrs. Opeyemi Ojesina, said the bank would give financial assistance and play advisory role in its logistical engagement. She added that the move would not only benefit the bank but the economy. “As an institution, we have over 30 years of experience, and we would be obliged to partner with any group that will benefit the country,” she said.

Lawyers seek good policies


ARITIME lawyers have urged the Federal Government on policies that promote the industry. Speaking with reporters in Lagos, the lawyers said the dearth of human and material capacity have been a source of worry. They called on relevant government agencies at the ports to complement stakeholders’efforts in ca-

pacity-building. On behalf of others, a maritime lawyer and consultant, Mr Frank Simpson, said the dream of the youth, who seek employment, could only be realised through job creation via the sector and human capacity building. He said the country could be the number one maritime nation in Africa if human capacity building was taken seriously

Seminar on ports’ regulation coming


HE Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) will hold stakeholders’ summit to discuss pricing at the ports to ensure equity and fairness on May 5, at the Rockview Hotel in Apapa, Lagos. It has as theme Pre-requisites for a fair port pricing regime: Shippers Perspective. It is coming barely two months after the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) was appointed by the Federal Government to act as commercial regulator of the ports. The Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar; Senior Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Maritime Services, Mr. Leke Oyewole; Executive Secretary of Nigerian

Shippers Council (NSC), Hassan Bello, and Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mallam Habib Abdullahi, are among dignitaries expected at the one-day event. According to the Chairman of the Organising Committee, Kayode Atofolaki, the participants would include terminal operators, freight forwarders, shipping companies, representatives of government agencies, importers and exporters, among several other stakeholders. He said the seminar would afford stakeholders the opportunity to brainstorm and highlight the various challenges in the port system to assist NSC perform its new role.

Customs generates N19b revenue

T •From left: Bello, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transport, Mr Emodi Nebolisa and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Director-General Mr Patrick Akpobolokemi at the event in `PHOTO: OLUWAKEMI DAUDA Lagos.

Shippers’ Council to promote business at ports T HE Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) is taking steps to make the ports attractive for business, its Executive Secretary, Alhaji Hassan Bello, has said. The council would be independent in the discharge of its duties a as ports economic regulator, he said. Bello, who spoke after a sensitisation programme organised by the council on its new role as economic regulator of the ports,

said it would not take sides with any of the interested parties, including importers, exporters and agents. “We will synergise with all operators with a view to creating a balance and an enabling environment for the interest of the various stakeholders in the maritime sector. “This assignment is a re-affirmation of what we have been doing,

trying to see that there is balance in the industry. We have always been an umpire trying to see that the needed balance, necessary for efficiency is maintained. We are going to work with everybody that matters in the sector,” he added. He said the council would require the cooperation of stakeholders to to fulfill its new mandate. “We need the partnership of stakeholders, their understanding and trust to move the industry forward,” he added.

HE Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Apapa Area Command, generated N19 billion into the Federation and No n - f e d e r a t i o n ac c o u n t s i n March. ASYCUDA Project Manager of the Command Yusuf Malanta, w h o made this known, s a i d though the amount was a far cry from the command’s monthly target of N36 billion, it is N2 billion higher than the N17 billion collected the previous month. Malanta attributed the shortfall to low importation in the first quarter of the year, the hike in import duty on rice and the challenges encountered during the transition period. “The moment a new year starts, there is always a decline in importation coupled with the fact that we are on transition. In every transition, there are some people who are rebellious, who don’t like to accept changes and they go around confusing other people not to accept

the changes but we have to overpower them and the third factor is the government fiscal policy on rice,” he said. He said the PAAR regime would translate to higher revenue for the command when importation is high, noting that the level of compliance to the PAAR by traders has increased compared to other commands. He expressed optimism that with a change of attitude by traders, who have accepted and are ready to make the PAAR regime work, the command would meet its target before the end of the year. “The PAAR works on importation. If there is no importation and declaration, how can the PAAR work? Apapa has compliant traders than other ports. We try to contend with the hiccups of PAAR and good enough people who are ready to change in terms of trade and attitude are complying. So, by this month, we are thinking of generating N25 billion and by the end of June we should be around N36 billion,” he added.








Why helicopters are not allowed to fly at night, by NCAA

HE Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has ruled out the flying of helicopters at night - for now. Its Acting Director-General Mr Benedict Adeyileka, said helicopters would not be allowed to operate 24 hours until NCAA completes the survey and mapping of flight paths. The Nation learnt that helicopters or rotary wing operators as they are classified, can only operate between 6.00 am and 7.00 pm in line with regulations. But helicopters operate at night in countries, such as the United States and United Kingdom, though under regulations. In these countries they are used to move men and materials to oil rigs. Adeyileka said NCAA would expand rotary wing operations backed by adequate policy and regulatory framework. NCAA, he said, embarked on survey and mapping of the airspace to identify telecoms, radio and television masts and other high rise installations to guide helicopters at night. He said apart from reaching the masts owners the flight paths, the authority also informed them to ensure that they have red lights to give signals to helicopters in flight. Until, he said, challenges hindering night operations are addressed, 24-hour helicopter operations would not be approved by the authority. Adeyileka added: “The NCAA will not just give approval for 24 hours helicopter operations until all issues are resolved concerning

By Kelvin Osa Okunbor the litany of telecommunication masts that litter the flight path. “We will only approve night operations for helicopters until we carry out a comprehensive survey and mapping of all masts around the country . The essence of this is to give approval to the route that helicopters would fly without colliding into masts either belonging to telecommunication companies or radio or television stations. “Even some highrise installations, we need to identify where these obstacles are located, properly identify and map them, so that the helicopter operators will know the path to fly. “Until all these issues are resolved, the NCAA will only allow helicopters to operate during the day. “Though a few night flights may be allowed when are emergencies .” He continued: “Our plan to ensure that whatever the NCAA approves concerning helicopter operations is covered by appropriate laws and regulation.” Some years ago, the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced a change in night flying regulations which will allow aircraft to operate under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) in the hours of darkness. All civil aircraft flying at night in the UK must comply with Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). But, since June 2012, this requirement has been removed allowing pilots to decide whether


to fly VFR or IFR. Visual Flight Rules are an internationally agreed standard set of operating rules designed to help prevent collisions between aircraft and the ground by ensuring that pilots fly in weather conditions that enable them to see a potential collision and take action to avoid it. Instrument Flight Rules are a more restrictive set of internationally agreed operating rules, which include additional measures to help prevent collisions between aircraft particularly when flying in weather conditions where pilots may not be able to see other aircraft or obstacles. This include cloudy weather with its attendant poor visibility in areas with high volume of traffic The changes are being made to take into account new and emerging European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) regulations for pilot licensing and rules of the air.

New cargo terminals ready soon, says FAAN MD


HE six cargo terminals being constructed nationwide will be completed in 16 months, the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Saleh Dunoma, has said. Their completion will enable Nigeria reap the benefits of the projected 2bilion pounds perishable cargo market in Africa, he said Dunoma spoke at the fourth Annual Emerging Airports Conference & Exhibition in Abu Dhabi, United Emirates He called on foreign investors to take advantage of Nigeria’s investment climate and invest in the sector. Dunoma also described the

By Kelvin Osa Okunbor remodelling of 22 airports across the country as a veritable foundation for investments in the sector. He said: “Opportunities abound in the aerotropolis project where investors are guaranteed return on their investments.” He invited investors to be part of the aerotropolis and fresh produce market, describing Nigeria’s rating as the 26th economy in the world as an indication that the country is taking its pride of place as the truly. The Federal Government’s transformation in the sector has

received a boost as the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja emerged the Best Emerging Airport - Africa Region - in Abu Dhabi. Dunoma received the award at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. The organisers of the conference who cited the revolutionary turnaround of the airports in Nigeria as some of the reasons for the award, also applauded the aerotropolis and the fresh/perishable cargo projects as indicators of an emerging giant. The awards also featured conferences and an exhibition which attracted over 15 airport directors, CAA’s airport companies from the emerging markets in Africa, Asia and Middle East.


NAHCo gets award HE Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (nahco aviance) has clinched the ‘Cargo Company of the Year 2013 award’ at the Sixth Nigeria Aviation (NIGAV) Conference, Exhibition and Awards at

the Tinapa Resort, Cross Rivers State. According to the Business Development and Corporate Strategy Manager of nahco, Mr Sanya Onayoade, with latest award, the firm has become a two-time winner of the NIGAV Awards, having won the Handling Company of the Year Award at the 2012 edition. He said the yearly event was organised by FCI International Limited , which seeks to recognise firm,organisations and individuals for best practices and outstanding contributions towards developing the industry and related activities. Some of the achievements that qualified the firm for the award, he said, include its strong and exceptional corporate governance, broad working knowledge of the industry. He listed other factors to include the certification and membership of various international bodies, quality service delivery, impressive clientele base and ownership and operation of the largest warehouse in sub-Sahara Africa. Meanwhile, Nahco Aviance has reiterated its commitment to excellent service delivery. He said it would spare no effort to make the customers happy. Speaking in Lagos, where he offered passenger service, the Managing Director of nahco aviance, Mr. Kayode Oluwasegun-Ojo, said this was just the beginning of greater things to come as the new nahco is set to exceed the expectations of all stakeholders. The event was part of the activities marking the Company’s 35th year anniversary. Oluwasegun-Ojo handled the check-in formalities of a London-bound Virgin Atlantic passenger Mr. Michael Olusesi.

ANLCA seeks documentation review


HE Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents ( ANLCA) Murtala Muhammed International Airport Chapter, has called on the Federal Government to review the documentation in the clearing of goods at airports to alleviate the suffering of agents and importers. Speaking in an interview in Lagos, its Chairman, Nze Aloysius Igwe, said the Evaluation Unit of the Nigerian Customs Service should devise means of speedy the process. He said about 80 per cent of goods into the airport are informal, arriving from Dubai and China where receipts were issued on goods purchased instead of invoices. “The procedure is no more destination base, Customs is really responsible. The new idea is that before the arrival of your shipment all the necessary documentations must be ready and customs will prepare your documents for payment. “This ought to quicken the clearance of goods, but we are having challenges here.” Nze Igwe said the demand for original invoices from these countries’ traders were making it cumbersome for the clearing of goods, adding that it would lead to frustration and capable of sending traders from business.

NCAA re-issues certificate to Overland


HE Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA) has re-issued a new air operators‘certificate (AOC) to Overland Airways. It is valid for two years. This is part of the ongoing recertification of airlines. Overland Airways, according to the spokesman of NCAA, Mr Sam Adurogboye, was awarded the certificate, having met the requirements. The Acting Director-General, Benedict Adeyileka, while presenting the certificate at the NCAA Headquarters Annex in Lagos, said NCAA would continue to support and help the airlines to grow in their operations. According to him: “Overland submitted the Pre-Application Statement of Intent (PASI), Formal Application, Document Evaluation – manuals were submitted and their training were inspected and approved before they were cleared to proceed to the next phase. “The Base Inspection and Successful Evacuation Demonstration were conducted. Demonstration plan was approved while the Flight Demonstration was done for 50 mandatory hours as demo hours.” Speaking further.Adeyileka commended the tenacity of Overland Airways during the exercise.”Our doors are open, as the regulatory authority we are here to listen to you and provide you with solutions when you involve us in your challenges.”

‘Adhere to aviation master plan’


•From left: Head, Business Development and Marketing, NAHCO, Mr. Sanya Onayoade; Managing Director, Mr. Kayode Oluwasegun-Ojo and Passenger Services Manager, Mr. Oludaisi Akinbogun, with a Virgin Atlantic traveller, Mr. Michael Olusesi (on wheel chair) during the company’s 35th Anniversary in Lagos.

ORMER Aviation Minister Princess Stella Oduah, has urged the Supervising Minister, Dr. Samuel Ortom, to adhere to the implementation of the industry master plan. Speaking in Enugu last weekend, she said the plan was designed to generate jobs and stimulate the economy’s growth. Oduah said: “Well, there is a master plan, a well-articulated master plan that must be followed and aviation is pivotal to national growth and so I believe he is doing well. I believe he would follow the master plan to the letter and really anybody that does contrary to that

is doing a dis- service to the Nigerian people. “And there must be a continuation to development of the aviation sector. It must be mainstreamed, Mr. President has started mainstreaming and that should continue continue because we do this for a very well developed aviation sector. “And if you look at it really, aviation is employment generating; it contributes to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), so why would it not been given priority? It should be given priority and Mr.President is doing that.”






Why electricity market take-off is delayed, by NERC


HE Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) may not implement the Transitional Electricity Market (TEM) policy soon, its Chief Executive Officer, Dr Sam Amadi, has said. He told The Nation that it would be futile to declare the market open because of problems, such as tarrifs and shortfall in gas supply. He said indices, such as calculations and pricing, must be engaged in the buying and selling of electricity before the market is opened. “The Commission is monitoring the market conditions. Once the conditions are satisfactory to stakeholders, including NERC, the

By Akinola Ajibade

power generation companies (GENCOs) and distribution companies (DISCOs), among others, we would declare the market open. If the conditions are not okay, we would not declare the market open. The review of the market conditions is on-going; when it is completed and growth mitigating factors are addressed, we would know what to do,” he said. He described TEM as a post-privatisation phase, where energy will be bought and sold based on agreement among stakeholders, adding that its operations are crucial to the

industry. The market, Amadi said, allowed the GENCOs and DISCOs to buy electricity without going through the bulk trading agency. Also, the Head, Power Procurement & Power Contracts, Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc, Yesufu Alonge, said there were some assumptions in the fixing and implementation of tariff adding that the market may not start until these problems are solved. “There are lots of assumptions around the tariff. I understand that a consultant has been hired to work on the assumptions as part of efforts to ensure the commencement of the

operations of the market. NERC will validate the outcome of the review. This, among others, would help in determining the terms of the market,’’ he added. He said a workshop was organised to address issues impeding the take-off of the market, adding that the interim market rules are being addressed. ALonge said the main rules to govern the market would be rolled out later. The implementation of the TEM was expected last month, but was postponed following complaints by chief executive officers of the 15 power generation firms.


The complaints include operational losses, tariff review and challenges in gas supply.

Board attributes success to govt


•A gas flaring site


Shell cuts gas flaring by 23 per cent

HELL Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) reduced gas flaring in Nigeria last year by 23 per cent, compared to the previous year. This was due to among other factors, lower productions. It said: “In 2013, SPDC’s total flared gas volume was reduced by 23 per cent compared with 2012, in line with lower production. SPDC has delivered around 60 per cent reduction in gas flaring intensity over the last decade and is reducing this further. “Reductions in flaring are part of a long-term strategy and includes a number of key projects. Once these projects are completed, SPDC flaring will be below current industry average. In 2012, SPDC announced additional investments of around $4 billion on projects to develop new oil and gas fields that will include gas-gathering facilities for fields that currently flare.” Globaly, Shell said gas flaring in its upstream business decreased in 2013 to 7.4 million tonnes of car-

By Emeka Ugwanyi

bon dioxide (CO2) equivalent, from 7.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2012, adding that the decrease was due mainly to lower flaring in line with lower production, as well as completion of startup activities at the Pearl Gas-toLiquids (GTL) plant in Qatar, partially offset by the restart of production at Majnoon in Iraq. It added: “Overall, flaring made up around 10 per cent of the total direct Green House Gas (GHG) emissions in 2013. Nigeria and Iraq accounted for around 50 per cent and 10 per cent of this flaring in 2013, respectively, with the remainder mainly from the Pearl GTL plant in Qatar and operations in the UK and Malaysia. In 2013, we further reduced the flaring intensity, that is, hydrocarbons flared per ton of production – to the lowest level we have recorded for our upstream business. “Most of the continuous flaring in 2013 took place in Nigeria and Iraq. Flaring from the Majnoon field in Iraq will continue to rise in future years as production increases.We are currently working with partners on plans to capture the associated gas.

“Outside Nigeria and Iraq, the few facilities that continuously flare accounted for less than one per cent of our total direct GHG emissions in 2013. Some of these facilities are at ageing oil fields, where the associated gas pressure is too low to power the compressors used to gather the gas and avoid flaring. In 2013, the venting of hydrocarbons amounted to around one per cent of our total direct GHG emissions.” Shell said operational flaring occurs for safety reasons, or during the start-up of upstream facilities, adding that it aims to minimise this operational flaring. Continuous flaring takes place due to lack of equipment to capture the gas produced with oil. It also said its Health, Safety, Security, Environment and Social Performance (HSSE & SP) control framework requires that the company’s new facilities be designed so as not to flare or vent (releasing gas to the atmosphere) continuously. ‘’When we acquire or become the operator of an existing facility that is already flaring or venting, it takes time before these activities can be stopped,’’ it added.

•Country Chairman, Shell Nigeria Mutiu Sunmonu

Overall, flaring made up around 10 per cent of the total direct Green House Gas (GHG) emissions in 2013. Nigeria and Iraq accounted for around 50 per cent and 10 per cent of this flaring in 2013, respectively

By Emeka Ugwanyi

HE Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board’s (NCDMB) has attributed its successes to the Federal Government’s courage, cooperation of International Oil Companies (IOCs) and local oil servicing companies. Speaking at the inauguration of the Tolmann Allied Services’ Deepwater Simulation Theatre (DST) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, NCDMB Executive Secretary Ernest Nwapa praised the entrepreneurial spirit of local oil servicing firms owners who set up key facilities and acquired hi-tech assets despite the challenges in the sector. He also praised the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) for the Board’s creation, saying its members pushed for indigenous participation before the Federal Government crowned their efforts with the Nigerian Content policy which later became law. “You needed a resolute person to lead and drive the changes we have witnessed. The government gave the Board a strong tone from the top to implement the Act,” he said, adding that the Minister has assured that the government would support any investment and ensure that such firms get patronage. Nwapa, who represented the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, at the event, said the inauguration of Africa’s first DST was a good way to start the celebration of the fourth NCDMB’s anniversary. The DST, he said, was not only the first in Africa, but also the third in the world, and that it was conceived to carry out deep offshore exploration and groom operators in the sector. It was noteworthy that the company invested in such an upscale facility, adding that it is a further proof that Nigerians can own and operate key assets in the industry, he said. Nwapa said the Board’s insistence on indigenous ownership of key assets as a major plank of monitoring compliance is based on the fact that it is a guarantee that the implementation of the Content policy would endure. “Because Nigerians now have stakes in ownership, we are sure that the Nigerian Content will survive even after the current officials in the government may have left the scene,” he said, adding: “It is from these kinds of service companies and investments we see from Tolmann and PETAN companies that assure us that jobs will be created and we will push them to make more investments.” The Managing Director of Tolmann Allied Services, Mr. Emmanuel Onyekwena, listed the challenges the company faced while setting up the DST, noting that the intervention of the Minister helped them. He said the project would address challenges in deep water exploration, build in-country capacity with global reach, create employment and assist communities.

Operator seeks corporate governance


By Akinola Ajibade

NDIGENOUS oil and gas operators must provide a strong corporate governance framework to foster growth, the Chief Executive Officer,

Midwest Oil and Gas Limited, Adams Oko-Ene, has said. He spoke at a stakeholders’ forum in Lagos. He said the complexities in crude oil transactions requires that local operators known as independents provide a solid risk management framework to get bigger and international partnership. He said: “Everybody would have take a critical examination of their operations and see if they are complying with the globally acceptable financial standards. Operators need to access opportunities for their businesses; they can only do this by putting in place best practices of corporate governance.’’ According to him, banks are stronger and have the capacity to finance big-ticket transactions in the oil and gas industry, stressing that they would only give loans of operators that show enough due diligence. “Banks are in a position to give, let’s say $100million or $200million loans, to players in the local energy services industry. To access this, operators need to improve on their operations by providing clear, consistent and internationally acceptable method of financial transaction to investors,’’ he added. He said banks would like to know that whether prospective loan seekers are acquiring green field assets or old ones; prospects in the assets and other attributes before they provide credit.






53 We want a SONCAP programme that would serve its purpose; a programme that would be dynamic, where all the identified loopholes would be effectively plugged thereby making it difficult for the plaque of substandard products to continue to dominate the Nigerian business space. -Dr Joseph Odumodu, DG, SON



Nigeria can meet power needs by 2016, says NERC chair

NIGERIA’S quest for regular power supply is attainable before year 2016, Chairman Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Sam Amadi has predicted. Already he said the Commission has issued licences to independent private power plant operators for generation of over 20,000 megawatts (Mw) of power within the next three years. Amadi who was a quest speaker at a town hall meeting on power sector organised by The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM Church)in Minna, Niger State yesterday said with 12,000 Mw, the nation’s power need can be met. “Life has thaught us that

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

nothing is impossible. We can make 30,000 Mw within the next one year if we want. Already we have issued licences to investors to generate over 20,000 Mw before 2016. I am sure that with all the efforts put in place our power generation will surely surpassed our target by 2016,” the NERC boss assured the nation. He said the huge foreign investment in the sector in recent time was a product of the reforms and regulations put in place by the government. “The sector has been

without frame work, no cost related terms and inconsistency in policy had been the order of the sector but it is now being regulated. This has built confidence in investors which in turn will boost the sector and our national generation level,” he said. Amadi complained that the sector suffered decades of total neglect and appealed for understanding from Nigerians as the result of the reforms in the sector will be gradual, adding that new sources are being utilised to increase generation. He said gas is being considered as another verita-

ble means of power generation but stressed that the gas sector requires a review. He added that more incentives need to be given to encourage the use of gas for power generation, instead of selling it off as liquified natural gas (LNG). Amadi expressed concern over the volume of gas flared daily in the country. He said: “The best way to stop gas flaring, aside the global cry for it stoppage is to give incentive to encourage the use of gas for the power sector.” According to him, the Commission has encouraged the distribution company (DISCO) in Port

Harcourt to work with small entrepreneurs in the area on the possibility of setting up small generation units using gas being flared as the source. Aside from this, the NERC chairman said DISCOs are being encouraged to establish small modular power generating plants of between 10 and 20Mw outside the national grid network. On the contentious monthly service charge levied on electricity consumers by various DISCOs, the NERC boss said the commission has directed that no payment should be made when electricity is not supplied for upwards to two weeks and above.

• From left: Public Affairs Advisor Julius Berger Nigeria, (JBN) Clement Iloba; Area Developer, Kip McGrath Nigeria, Folake Adeniyi and its Director, PHOTO ABAYOMI FAYESE Education Centre, Ani Ekwonna during the inauguration of Kip McGrath Education Centre in Kurudu, Abuja...yesterday.

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$117.4/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,396.9/troy Sugar -$163/lb MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE -N11.4 trillion JSE -Z5.112trillion NYSE -$10.84 trillion LSE -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -8.7% Treasury Bills -10.58%(91d) Maximum lending -30% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -1% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $46.8b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472


$25m voted for Olorunsogo power plant’s overhaul

HE Chairman, Sepco-Pacific Part ners Limited, (owners of Olorunsogo Power Plant), Dr. Deji Adeleke has disclosed that $25 million has been earmarked for maintenance and replacement of transformers on the plant. He told members of the Senate Committee on Privatisation on oversight function to the power plant that the firm will ensure that it lived up to its promises. In a statement endorsed by Head, Public Communications, Mr. Chigbo Anichebe, the chairman added that transformers have been purchased and are being imported to replace the two that were gutted by fire in September last year before the firm took over the plant. He expressed optimism that in the next three months, all eight turbines at the plant would work effec-

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

tively and the plant would meet its generation capacity of 336 megawatts (Mw) for transmission to the national grid. He said his company is aware of the maintenance issue at the plant when it conducted a due-diligence on the plant facilitated by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), adding that the firm inherited equipment that had not had any major maintenance seven years after commissioning. He said this is contrary to the recommendation of the manufacturers. Adeleke said the company has embarked on an aggressive programme of a major overhaul of the plant based on a medium to long-

term plans. To effectively carryout the programme, Adeleke said the firm had engaged a Chinese firm, Huafeng Electric Power Technology Engineering Company, as Operation and Maintenance (O&M) operators for the plant. Speaking, Chairman of the committee, Senator Olugbenga Obadara said the lack of maintenance culture in public enterprises was one of the reasons for privatisation of such public enterprises. He decried the poor maintenance culture, saying it greatly affected operations of the plant. Obadara maintained that where there is adequate availability of power, there would be appreciable growth and de-

velopment in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and growth in the economy. Earlier, the committee had paid a courtesy call on the Executive Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun. While receiving the Committee in his office in Abeokuta, Governor Amosun said: “Nigeria to develop, it must be private sector driven.” He said adequate power supply would guarantee the growth of the economy and expedite the effective takeoff SMEs. He urged investors in the power sector to be continually monitored and charged the Senate Committee not to relent on this.“Privatisation Committee had a key role to play in ensuring that the private investor run these businesses effectively,” the governor said.

Security mgt systems in line with global standards, says NIMC chief • NIMC bags ISO/ IEC 27001, today


FFORTS made so far by the Federal Govern ment to create information security management systems in the country are in line with global standards, Director General of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Mr. Chris Onyemenam, has said. He spoke yesterday in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) ahead the certification of the national biometric infrastructure of the agency today. Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, is scheduled to receive the accreditation on behalf of NIMC during a ceremony in Abuja. British Standard Institute (BSI), which is performing the audit around International Standards Organisation (ISO)/ International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 27001, has over 100 years of experience on global best practice. ISO and IEC are foremost global rules agency. While ISO has thousands of guidelines which touch on almost all aspects of human life, IEC is the conformity assessment body for all fields of electrotechnology. ISO/IEC27001, which BSI is issuing NIMC, is one amongst a family of standards which has to do with the security and protection of information. “We are talking about unique identification of Nigerians and legal residents which must be relied upon by all,” Mr. Onyemenam says. “This certification is based on the audit of what we have put in place to ensure secure management of personal information and privacy of individuals. So, it means we have kept faith with our promise to meet global best practice in the roll out of NIMS infrastructure. Our services and infrastructure can be relied upon by the world, simple.” The NIMC boss says that the certification which his agency is receiving on Wednesday, amongst other international rules and guidelines backing the operation of NIMC, will help to sanitize the image of the country around the world. He says in fact that the best way to go about improving the image of the country and ensure that the world takes Nigeria serious is through technology. This is because technological measures are concrete and verifiable. He said: “We have put in place an infrastructure that is technology-driven and based on a verifiable global best practice and this has been so acknowledged by an international standards institute. We are serious about the image of Nigeria and playing by global rules of engagement for such acceptance about issues around the ‘dignity of the Nigerian International status.” According to him, the new national e-ID will attract positive recognition and respect for Nigeria and Nigerians especially at international gateways and land borders, adding that the agency has put in place conditions for a global recognition for the National Identity Management Systems (NIMS).








CBN directs MRCs to reserve 50 per cent investments in bonds T HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed Mortgage Refinance Companies (MRCs) to have a minimum of 50 per cent of their investments in debt obligations issued or guaranteed by the Federal Government or any of its agencies. The directive is contained in a regulatory framework issued by the CBN for the agency which also allowed them to issue guarantee for mortgage loans as part of its off-balance sheet engagements. The MRCs are also to issue bonds and notes to fund its purchase of eligible mort-

Stories by Collins Nweze

gages as well as engage in other activities as may be prescribed by the CBN from time to time. The report said the MRCs are not allowed to engage in granting consumer or commercial loans, originating primary mortgage loans, accepting demand, savings and time deposits, or any type of deposits. They are also not to be involved in financing real estate construction

acknowledged. “As a financial institution, the MRC would be under the regulatory and supervisory purview of the CBN. This regulatory framework is, therefore, designed to ensure that the MRC operates in a safe and sound manner, on internationally accepted principles, standards and best practice in mortgage liquidity facilities,” it said. The CBN said the regulatory framework is drawn pursuant to the provisions of the CBN Act 2007, Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) CAP B3, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004, other relevant Laws, and extant CBN Guidelines and Circulars. The Framework prescribes the basic regulatory requirements for the MRC’s principal line of business of re-financing credits to borrowers on the security of residential mortgage assets and other qualified collaterals. It also sets the capital adequacy requirements for the MRC, including its minimum paid-

and undertaking estate agency or facilities management among others. The CBN said the establishment of a MRC is primarily aimed at increasing the liquidity within the mortgage sub-sector and availability of mortgage credit in the country, reduce mortgage and related costs, and make residential housing more affordable. According to the CBN, the benefits of such mortgage liquidity facilities are well documented and globally

Lagos lauds Ecobank for supporting tourism


HE Lagos State government has prised Ecobank and other corporate organisations for their consistent support for tourism. Speaking at the 2014 Lagos Water Regatta at the weekend, Commissioner for Tourism and Intergovernmental Relations, Lagos State, Mr. Disun Holloway, said the sponsors of this year’s event, among which is Ecobank, must be praised for supporting tourism development. He noted that it was an opportunity for the supporting corporate organisations to showcase their brands to millions of people home and abroad through the branded boat and exhibition stands. The Commissioner explained that the Regatta is a fun filled water-based cultural sporting and recreational activity put together to showcase the aquatic splendour of the state. The event Chairman, Planning Committee, Olusegun Jawando, said the decision of the private sector to support the good initiative

of the Lagos State government in the development of tourism in the state was a welcome development. He said: ‘It is a good avenue for publicity, showcase their products. As you can see, the benefits and exposure is well received by thousands of people that have come to be part of this event.” Jawando noted that this year’s event attracted huge turn out including eight states which are participating for the first time and a foreigner in the swimming competition. “The Lagos Water Regatta was conceived as a means to preserve our socio-cultural sporting heritage in water sports, traditional games and other ways of exploiting the water for human social needs. Above all, we are using the annual Lagos Water Regatta to promote the state into the global tourism destination map” Jawando said. This year’s Lagos Water Regatta which is the 5th edition, attracted dignitaries including the state governor, Babatunde Fashola, members of the state executive and fun seekers from different parts of the

world. The Regatta consist of large fishing boats, ferries, barges and other marine vessels adorned with colours and decorations depicting the social, cultural, traditional folklores and occupational aspects of the Lagos people.

Amount N

Rate %


3-Year 5-Year

35m 35m

11.039 12.23

19-05-2014 18-05-2016



OBB Rate

DATA BANK WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 400m 400m 400m 400m 400m 400m

Price Loss 2754.67


Amount 30m 46.7m

Rate % 10.96 9.62

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency


Date 28-04-2012 “


Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51
















1.44 2.29 0.84 1.72 20.45 1.15 0.50 106.00 3.81 2.25

1.58 2.40 0.88 1.80 21.36 1.20 0.52 110.01 3.94 2.32

0.14 0.11 0.04 0.08 0.91 0.05 0.02 4.01 0.31 0.07


July ’11

July ’12





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00%

LOSERS AS AT 17-4-14




C/PRICE 36.02 51.72 0.67 1.70 0.57 1.15 3.06 1,149.90 1.34 6.10

CHANGE -3.88 -2.72 -0.03 -0.07 -0.02 -0.04 -0.10 -35.10 -0.03 -0.10

training for several banks on cheque fraud detection and prevention and more recently The Cheque Truncation Operations. Okonkwo is married and has children. Mrs. Sanni was the Divisional Head, Enterprise Management of Superflux International Limited before her appointment. A graduate of Economics from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Sanni has over 18 years cognate experience in key management functions including Sales and Marketing, product development, strategy formulation and implementation, etc. She was the pioneer COO of Superflux Ghana between 2009 to 2010. An alumna of Lagos Business School, Mrs. Sanni is married and has children.

While in banking Okonkwo served as a member of the MICR Technical Implementation Committee and Chairman of Sub-committee that produced the Int e r i m •Okonkwo Cheque Standard among other key assignments. He has been involved in recent years in the

MANAGED FUNDS Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33

up capital, maximum leverage limit, and the minimum riskweighted capital requirement. Furthermore, it specifies the types of collateral that a borrower can pledge for the MRC’s advances, and the discount that the MRC shall apply in determining how much it can lend against any qualified collateral.

Superflux appoints Okonkwo COO

UPERFLUX International Limited, a cheque and other security documents printing company has elevated Gabriel Okonkwo to the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO). Until his appointment he was the Head of Marketing of the company. A seasoned banker, Okonkwo studied Business Administration at the University of Lagos. A statement by the President of Superflux Group Mr. Tokunbo Talabi also named Mrs. Adetutu Sanni as the new Managing Director of Courier Plus, one of the subsidiaries in the Group. Mr. Talabi said the appointments were strategic re-engineering aimed at repositioning the companies to meet the ever increasing needs of their clientele.


•CBN Acting Governor Dr Sarah Alade

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days

Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917

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

Amount Sold ($) 399.9m 399.9m 399.9m

Exchange Rate (N) 155.75 155.8 155.7

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





% Change

CAP Index

N13.07tr 40,766.16

N6.617tr 20,903.16

-1.44% -1.44%


Bid Price 153.47 9.08 1.07 1.17 0.72 1.33 1,631.63 1,061.01 1,063.01 115.44 114.59 1,087.00 1.62 1.03 142.62 0.76 2.44 1,903.64


1.2524 1.2952 0.9090 1.1574


1.2636 1.2952 0.9261 1.1574



Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012






CITYBEATS Excitement as T commissioner donates Easter gifts

LAGOS State Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Tunji Bello, has advised members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Yaba and Mainland Local Government Council Areas to close ranks and work for the progress of the party. The commissioner spoke during his annual Easter festival distribution of gifts to APC members in the two LGAs which held at the Mainland Independent Group (MIG) office in Yaba. The items include: Sewing machines, hair dryers, grinding machines and various foodstuffs. Bello, who was represented by his spokesperson, Alhaji Ibrahim Megida, said: “My desire to give to members of our great party is in conformity with the spirit of our National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, who are noted for their high-level performances.” Bello noted that the APC is the fastest growing political party in Africa and urged all its members to work in harmony to ensure victory for the party during the 2015 general elections. He added that the target of the party was to assume power at the centre, where the vision of its leadership to transform the lives of all Nigerians would be realised.

CITYBEATS LINE: 08023247888

HIS is the darkest moment in the life of 25-year-old Samuel Bolande Musbau Alayande, a 300-level Political Science student of the Deltas University College, Ghana. While his peers enjoyed the Easter festivities, he only wished himself the grace to live to relive his ordeal, which began early last year. His family has been running from pillar to post in search of the N8 million needed for a corrective surgery at an Indian hospital to save his life. For 14 months, the student has remained bedridden, with spinal cord injury. Samuel has his aspirations on hold, owing to an accident he had during his third year at school in February, last year. Then, he was diagnosed with what is known in medical parlance as “C5/C6 cervical fracture.” The student, who gained admission into the Foreign Links Campus of the university at Moro, Ife North in Osun State in 2010, may not graduate or live a normal life, unless a Good Samaritan gives him a breather. The Iragbiji, Osun Stateborn student is a major engagement in the hands of a non-governmental organisation (NGO), His Marvelous Grace Support Foundation (HMGSF), which operates from the Lotto Redemption Camp, an arm of The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. The group’s founder, Adetayo Ladega, a lawyer, said: “We are awaiting funds

• Samuel ... at the hospital

Student needs N8m to battle spinal cord injury By Uyoatta Eshiet

from God-fearing Nigerians and organisations to handle the surgery.” The only child of Mrs Folashade Alayande, Samuel regrets his decision to embark on a fun-seeking trip with his friends who are now members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). Amid sobs, he said: “If I had known that the trip would land me in this calamity, I wouldn’t have embarked on it. I went to OdoIshasha in Osun State with my friends and I saw everybody swimming in a river called Odo-Ishasha. I had only swum in the swimming pool before. As I dived into the river, I discovered that I couldn’t move any more. For

about two minutes, I was under the water praying for help. The next thing I saw was my friend, who lifted me out of the river. I couldn’t feel anything until I was taken to the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH) in Ile-Ife.” He added: “After several diagnoses, I was told to go for (CT) Cervical Spine Test at the Gani Fawehinmi Diagnostic Centre in Ondo State, where I was diagnosed with C5/C6 cervical fracture.” The result from the centre, which was made available to The Nation, reads: “There is loss of the cervical curvature with partial wedge collapse of C5 and acute ante version at C5/C6 level. There appears to be fracture of C6 lamina on

the right side...” Mrs Folashade urged kind-hearted Nigerians to save her child. “Samuel has been incapacitated for more than one year now, and the doctors attending to him have been telling us that he would be fine if we could give him an intensive care in a foreign hospital. Some good-spirited Nigerians have been rendering assistance which has made him a bit steady now, but Samuel needs to be flown to India for medical surgery,” she said. The woman, who is now care-giver to her son, further said: “The doctors taking care of him in the hospital have continued to assure me that my son would be healed, but that it might take several

years. Some other consultants have however advised us to take him to the Indian hospital where surgery will be done to give him complete healing. “We have been given a referral letter. And Shalby Hospital, India, has given us an appointment for the surgery, but we have spent all we had on sustaining him. We appeal to Nigerians to assist us in any way possible as we need about N8 million to have a successful operation.” To help Samuel, the woman said she could be reached on 08062787879, while donations can be made into Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB) account number, 0132148264, in favour of Alayande Musbau Bolanle.

NEWS (SHOWBIZ) Absolut celebrates Clarence Peters By Dupe Ayinla-Olasunkanmi


N the spirit of the Easter festivity, Absolut Vodka, one of the leading entertainment companies in Nigeria, on Sunday, organised the Absolute Easter Beach Party at the Elegushi Private Beach, Lagos to great applause. According to the organisers, the event, which was a fusion of music, dance and cocktail, was intended to inspire individuals to be part of a creative generation that will chart a new course in the nation’s music industry. Consequently, the company honoured award-winning music video director, Clarence Peters, for his creativity. Peters started out at the age of eight and later became the CEO of Capital Hills Records. Interestingly, the organisers also announced that the second edition of the show would hold on April 27, at the same venue. They, therefore, encouraged consumers at the beach to be part of a series of the Unique Absolut events by getting special invites to the Absolut Art party and other exciting events in the coming months.



OPULAR musician and self-acclaimed King of Ginjah, Terry G, who has been keeping a low profile for some time, has attributed his inability to get corporate endorsement to his past lifestyle. In a recent interview with The Nation, he revealed that


By Dupe Ayinla-Olasunkanmi

he battled a lot of challenges at the outset of his career. According to him, “It is said that your past deeds will always hunt you. Maybe I should say I have been unlucky, but I thank God. I don’t really think about it; it is just

in this kind of situation that questions like this pop up. And this is when I think about it. Anyway, when I started out, I had so many issues and controversies. When I started to make impact in the industry, there were so many distractions. So, I feel my past is part of the reasons for my keeping a low profile. But I have started endorsing myself.” The singer, who recently released some new promo photos for his pure water business, also expressed his interest in owning a bakery and block-making factory in the future. When asked to clear the air on why he disbanded the Terry G’s House of Ginjah, he said: “Actually, I disbanded the group for so many reasons. One, I wasn’t capable enough to put up the group. Everybody has seen what groups cause in Nigeria, so I just felt that when it’s the right time, it’ll work.”

Half of a Yellow Sun character posters out


HE producers of Half of a Yellow Sun, a Biyi Bandele’s adaptation of Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun, have now released the character posters, as the flick hits cinemas across Nigeria on April 25. According to reports, the posters are for Chiwetel Ejiofor, Onyeka Onwenu, Genevieve Nnaji, Thandie Newton, Anika Noni Rose and OC Ukeje. The movie tells the story of twin sisters, Olanna (Thandie Newton) and Kainene (Anika Noni Rose) who return to Nigeria after their education in England. They make decisions that shock their family. Olanna moves in with her lover, the ‘revolutionary professor’ Odenigbo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and his houseboy, Ugwu (John Boyega), while Kainene takes

By Dupe Ayinla-Olasunkanmi

over the family interests and pursues a career as a businesswoman, falling in love with Richard (Joseph Mawle), an English writer. As the Igbo people struggle to establish Biafra as an independent Republic, the sisters become caught up in the shocking violence of the Nigerian Civil War and a betrayal that threatens their family forever.

Ban telenovelas in Ghana, says Kofi Adjorlolo

ENOWNED Ghanaian actor, Kofi Adjorlolo, has expressed his fear for the future of the Ghanaian movie industry, saying that there is need to discourage the taste of consumers for foreign soap operas in order to develop local movies. He said the Ghanaian movies industry, otherwise called Ghollywood, had received international recognition because of the improvement in its contents on TV stations.

Against the backdrop of the attention being given to Mexican soaps, the actor also called for the ban of telenovelas from airing on local television stations. According to the veteran actor, “The soap operas are dwindling the Ghanaian movie industry.” Speaking on Radio Universe, he advised Ghanaians to take a cue from Nigerians who once banned what he described as limited-run serial dramas. According to him, “The tele-

novelas are ‘killing’ the industry, so they should stop all these Mexican films they have been showing. I will say this over and over again. They should rather concentrate on what we are doing here. You know, in Nigeria, you can’t show Mexican series. At a time it, was banned. “If I, Kofi Adjorlolo, had my own way as the president of the private TV stations association or whatever they call it, I would ban it. I will make sure my executive members agree to it and

we concentrate on how to produce more Ghanaian movies and series. If possible, the TV stations should bring money to produce such kind of series.” The award-winning actor stated that television stations that show these series with the aim of entertaining their viewers were making things difficult for actors and movie producers in the country. He added that TV stations paid higher amounts of money to movie producers who

submit these soap operas to them than those who present local movies. “The television stations have made things difficult for us. I don’t even think that they themselves have realised it. They know that they want to entertain their viewers by showing them these films. Even the TV stations prefer to pay the people who bring the Mexican soaps more than what they will give to the Ghanaian movie producers,” he added.




Oko: Produce my son, says victim’s dad

Ebonyi to complete bond payment in 2015



BONYI State Governor Martin Elechi has said it will take his successor four months to repay the N16.5 billion he borrowed from the capital market in 2010. He said with the N15 billion approved by the House of Assembly, another seven years are needed, a total of 88 months to repay the bond. The govenor said after obtaining the new “controversial” N15 billion from the capital market, Ebonyi should expect “bigger borrowing.” He said: “Borrowing is not a new phenomenon. The bond of 2010 was programmed to be paid by September 2015, meaning that when we bow out, the next administration will only pay it for four months. But that will not be the end of our problems. We have to refinance the existing debt to make the loan lighter.” Elechi said the Federal Government advised him to take the bond since the $250 million being facilitated by his American consultants would not be available until 2016, as it was an offshore loan that needs the National Assembly’s approval. “The attempt to borrow money this time around did not originate from us. It originated from our American consultants.

•Elechi From Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki

Theyoriginated the borrowing and they have applied for $250 million from America.” “We were to receive it in January but the Federal Government said as it is an offshore loan, it is subject to approval by the National Assembly. And going by the schedule of loans awaiting scrutiny, this application will not come on stream before 2016. And therefore what we want to do will not be done, Elechi said. As a result, he noted “the Federal Government advised us to borrow the N15 billion bond. “We need money to accelerate our development. What I am saying is that before now, government has been borrowing to accelerate development. In 2010, we went to the capital market and borrowed N20 billion. After assessments in terms of our ability to pay, it was reduced to N16.5 billion.”

HREE days after 35year-old Chidozie Anyaene from Ezioko, Oko in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State was allegedly shot and taken away by soldiers, his body is yet to be recovered. The incident happened last weekend during the Afia Olu festival crisis at Oko. In the violence, the vehicles of the traditional ruler, Igwe Laz Ekwueme, were torched. Parents of the victim, Mr. and Mrs. Linus Anyaene have cried out to the military authorities in the state, to release their son. The victim is one of the masqueraders. He was reportedly shot dead by soldiers. It was alleged that soldiers were drafted to the community by the monarch to stop the ceremony at the festival and to enforce the ban on masquerades in the community. The Nation gathered yesterday that the victim was carried away by the soldiers alive. Speaking yesterday, the victim’s father said although he was not around, he was informed that his son was shot, the soldiers left with him in their Hilux van alive. Anyaene said the ceremony was an annual event ushering in the planting season. He pleaded with the army to release his son. “I do not know the where-

Monarch’s whereabouts still unknown


HE ruler of Oko in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State, Igwe Laz Ekwueme, is yet to appear in the community. This has created tension among the king’s cabinet members and other concerned indigenes. An indigene, Ernest Okafor, said they were worried over the disappearance of their monarch. He blamed the crisis on those banned by the community. Okafor said they had lost hope in the police, as those who vandalised the monarch’s houses and burnt his vehicles, were going about unmolested. Chairman of Orumba North Chief Okey Enekwe will, today, inaugurate the committee investigating the mayhem. The committee, led by ex-President General of Awa and a frontline contractor, Chief Paul Nwafor, has five members and a representative from the police and the State Security Service (SSS). President General of Oko Cyprian Nwanmuo accused a cabal of fuelling the crisis, alleging that From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Onitsha

abouts of my son. I have been searching for him. “I was preparing to go to Nnewi Teaching Hospital this morning as information came that they took him there, but I got another report that they have taken him to 82 Division in Enugu. ‘’This is a festival that has been here since our forefathers, if they say people should not perform masquerade, my great grand fathers and my own fa-

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Onitsha

those against a second tenure for the Rector of the Federal Polytechnic Oko, Prof Godwin Onu, became targets of the attack by the group, who was angry over the banishment of their members by Igwe Ekwueme. Youths, led by Evangelist Hilary Ezeokafor, said the Oko Youth Movement has not supported Nwanmuo’s campaign against Prof Onu. They said, for this he had chosen to ‘’blackmail the leadership and members of Oko Youth Movement with unfounded allegations and/or fallacies.” Students are worried that all has not been well with the community and the polytechnic for the last six months. They have appealed to the Federal Government and Governor Willie Obiano to intervene in the crisis.

ther performed it, it is. used to mark the beginning of planting season. Amaokpala did theirs, Ndiowu did theirs, why is Oko’s different? “If they have problem with the polytechnic, it does not concern Oko, they should sort themselves out there, I don’t know about that and my son too. ‘’My son only joined his mates to play and make merry, that is what the festival is all about. All I am saying is if my son is alive, let them release him

to me to treat and if he is dead, let them release him for me to bury,” he said. The victim’s mother also appealed to the Army to release her son or allow her see his body. She maintained that her son committed no crime. “My son performed with the masquerades but he did not do anything, he did not beat anyone.’’ Following the disturbances, calm has returned to the community.

APC faithful urged to unite


By Musa Odoshimokhe

CHIEFTAIN of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Agege Local Government Area of Lagos State, Mr. Omodele Morofu, has urged party members to be wary of divisive elements. Speaking with reporters yesterday, he said the warning became necessary in view of rumours peddled in the council through text messages that a candidate had been imposed on the party. Morufu, who is the Chairman of Ward A, urged members to remain committed to the APC’s success in future elections, adding: “We are not the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that uses power arbitrarily to rig elections. I was made to understand last night that a rumour monger is sending illegal text messages through the APC’s alert system, claiming that a candidate has being imposed on us.” He said the machinations of the opposition or divisive elements would not deter the party’s success in 2015. Morufu said the rumour was meant to cause disunity in the party and thanked members for remaining steadfast.

•Morufu addressing reporters...yesterday. With him are Alhaji Kabiru Ahmed (left) and Bishop Julius Olusanya.

Onitsha Park: Police chiefs face contempt charge


HE Federal High Court sitting in Awka, Anambra State, has fixed May 27 to hear a contempt charge against the Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed, Police Commissioner Usman Gwary and Ogbaru Local Government by an Onitsha businessman Chief Michael Emerah and Mic Merah International Agency Ltd. The court granted an order, following a motion ex-parte filed on April 8 by the counsel to the plaintiff, Chief Nnamdi Ibegbu, praying for an order of substituted service on the inspector general, commissioner and Ogbaru Local Government. He said the court bailiffs were finding it difficult to serve the earlier order granted them directly on the respondents. The court earlier this month served a notice of committal (Form 48) on the inspectorgeneral, the assistant inspectorgeneral, Zonal 9, Umuahia, police

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Onitsha

commissioner and the chairman of Ogbaru for failing to comply with the court directive. The notice was sequel to the order directing the respondents to allow the applicants, Chief Michael Emerah and his company, Micmerah International Agency Limited, to occupy a land at Upper Iweka Flyover in Onitsha, leased to him by the Federal Ministry of Works in May, 2001, to operate as a motor park. Emerah had carried out his motor park business on the land since, but in 2012, the former Governor Peter Obi administration drove out of the park, known as Micmerah Modern Park, at 127 Upper Iweka Triangle, near the Onitsha Flyover, Enugu/Onitsha Expressway. Emerah challenged his removal and obtained an order

directing the respondents to allow him continue doing business at Micmerah Modern Park. After the court order in 2012, the first and third respondents reinstated Emerah, but in March the first and third respondents removed him from the park, claiming their action was on the directive of Governor Willie Obiano. Emerah said he had instructed his counsel to cause Form 49 to be served on them at the expiration of Form 48, if the respondents failed to obey the court order. Emerah noted that in 2000, he applied to the government to allocate the open space to him for use as a motor park. He said it was approved by the Governor Chinwoke Mbadinuju administration, which advised him to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing for a Certificate of Occupancy.



‘Folarin is not Oyo PDP’s governorship candidate’

CHIEFTAIN of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State, Alhaji AbdulRasheed Olopoenia, has told former Senate Leader Teslim Folarin to stop parading himself as the party’s candidate in next year’s governorship poll. He urged Folarin to respect the party’s constitution by going through the primary and not cause disunity among aspirants. Speaking with reporters yesterday on the state of the party, Olopoenia said: “We have 10 PDP governorship aspirants and one of them is former Governor Adebayo AlaoAkala. Does Folarin think he is bigger than Alao-Akala? Does he think he can floor Mr. Seyi Makinde, who is a grassroots mobiliser and a friend of the masses? Can he floor Prof. Soji Adejumo, Mr. Azeem Gbolarumi and Mr. Femi Babalola, who are also grassroots mobilisers? “Folarin won the senatorial election with just 11 local government areas in Ibadan and we have 33 councils in this state. Does he think he can win in the other 22?” On rumours that Folarin might have the

Folarin won the senatorial election with just 11 local government areas in Ibadan and we have 33 councils in this state. Does he think he can win in the other 22? From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

backing of the President and some PDP chieftains, he said President Goodluck Jonathan has no candidate and believes in following the party’s constitution. Olopoenia said: “Same applies to the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, and the State Chairman, Mr. Yinka Taiwo. No PDP elder statesman has anointed Folarin, so I advise him to wait for the outcome of the ward primary and not cause rancour among members.” He said the crisis rocking the party in Oyo had been resolved and members were now one big family.




Rescue school girls, says CAN THE Northeast Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has urged the Federal Government and security agents to intensify efforts to rescue the remaining abducted pupils in Borno. The Zonal CAN Chairman, Rev. Shuaibu Byal, made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe yesterday. Byal said CAN had in its records that 83 pupils were still with their captors. He said the Federal Government and security agents should urgently reinforce and re-double efforts to rescue the girls. “We don’t know what is happening to our girls up there in Chibok. ‘It is very unfortunate. But we are still aware that there are about 83 of them out there. We were told yesterday morning that two of them escaped from their captors. “How they made it, we don’t know. Even, we don’t know what they are eating and how their situation is. “These people (insurgents) have burnt our seminaries in those areas. They have burnt our churches in Borno South and in the northern part of Adamawa, around Mubi, Michika, Madagali and other areas,” Byal said. He said all Christians and the parents of the abducted girls had been praying for their freedom. “We pray about these girls. Their parents have been praying, and we have prayed along with them. “I know that security agents are capable enough to see this work done, except if we want to politicise it. We should get these children released immediately,” Byal said. The cleric, who attended Easter prayers rally at the CAN Centre in Gombe, called on Nigerians to imbibe the virtues of love, peace and care, which Jesus Christ exemplified.

Probe Nyako’s claims, ACF urges govt


OVERNORS in the North have waded into the row between President Goodluck Jonathan and Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako. Nyako, in a letter to the Northern State Governors Forum, accused President Jonathan of inept leadership in the handling of the Boko Haram insurgency. He also alleged that the Presidency is behind the activities of the sect, which he described as genocide against the North. Officials in the Presidency fired back, describing Nyako as a “failed governor”. The governors have fixed a meeting for Thursday in Abuja to examine Nyako’s position. The chairman of the forum and Niger State Governor, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, said in Minna yesterday that “the forum is now in receipt of Nyako’s memo and will look at the concerns raised with a view to addressing the issues”. The governors will also meet with the Miyetti Allah Fulani Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria to find lasting solutions to the incessant crises between Fulani herdsmen and farmers. Aliyu, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Malam Danladi Ndayebo, said members of the forum and leaders of the Miyetti Allah Fulani Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria would map out strategies to address the insecurity in the region. He said he was enthusiastic that the interface between the governors and Miyetti Allah would engender the restoration of the most desired peaceful co-existence, unity and de-

•Northern governors meet on Thursday From Tony Akowe, Kaduna and Jide Orintunsin, Minna

velopment in the region. Aliyu said the forum intends to work closely with leaders of Miyetti Allah to unmask criminals, who masquerade as cattle breeders to inflict mayhem on innocent citizens. The decision to dialogue with Miyetti Allah was taken at the last meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) during which governors constituted a panel headed by Nyako. The meeting is expected to make a case for proper demarcation of grazing fields for herdsmen and the adoption of a comprehensive pastoral development programme to reduce constant friction between farmers and herdsmen, especially in the North. Also yesterday, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) asked the Federal Government to immediately investigate Nyako’s allegations of genocide against the North as well as external and third party support for the Boko Haram insurgents. The Forum, in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Mohammed Ibrahim, said the government should also investigate the source of funds, arms and ammunition the insurgents have been using. The statement reads: “Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako, in a letter dated April 16 sent to the Governors of Northern States accused the ‘Federal Government of genocide against the

The ACF therefore calls on the Federal Government to investigate the allegations made by Governor Nyako, especially the support being enjoyed by the insurgents from third parties within and outside Nigeria people of the North. “He alleged that the Federal Government has failed to arrest the mindless slaughter and indiscriminate bloodletting by Boko Haram insurgents and other terrorist groups, which is a clear and systematic effort to destroy the Northern population for partisan political advantage. “ACF had in the last six years expressed serious concern on the spate of killings and destruction of property by the Boko Haram insurgents and other criminals in the North, especially in the North east region. It had also appealed to government at various levels on the need to adequately equip and fund its military and other security personnel to tackle the insecurity challenges bedevilling the North. “Unfortunately, the measures employed by government, including a state of

emergency, have not yielded the desired result, hence the incessant attacks and kidnaping of innocent people by the insurgents and unknown gunmen. “The scale and sophistication of the attacks being waged by the insurgents against harmless people, who do not even know or understand their grievance, are beyond the capacity of the semiliterate almajiri (Boko Haram) that we know. “It will be recalled that not long ago, our military command informed the world that it had found and destroyed over 700 vehicles belonging to the insurgents in one of their camps. “How come the killings and kidnappings have continued, especially in the Northeast region? “ACF had earlier called on the government to investigate the source of funds, arms and ammunition the insurgents have used in their deadly acts of terrorism against the people without much resistance from our security forces deployed in the affected states. “Therefore, Governor Nyako, being a victim of the calamity that has afflicted the Northern states, is only expressing the frustrations being felt by other victims. “The ACF therefore calls on the Federal Government to urgently investigate the allegations made by Governor Nyako, especially the support being enjoyed by the insurgents from third parties within and outside Nigeria in order to get to the root of this insecurity ravaging the North.”

‘Confab gives chance to voice our concerns’

From Grace Obike, Abuja


HE Original Inhabitants Development Association (OIDA) has confirmed that its delegates to the national conference will push for the creation of a commission and statehood. OIDA said the commission will handle the main issues prevalent between the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) indigenes and the Federal Government, which borders on resettlement and compensation. A delegate representing the FCT, Musa Salihu, said most of the problems the inhabitants have come from the fact that many Nigerians are not aware of what transpired in the FCT. He said such people want the inhabitants to be cheated and continually remain slaves. The delegate added that the crux of the matter is land ownership. “The FCT should be constitutionally resolved into the Federal Capital City (FCC) and Federal Territory (FT). “That the FCC should be a municipality headed by the mayor, while the FT should comprise the remaining area councils and other parts, headed by an elected chief executive. “A body to be known as the FCT indigenous people reparation commission, which shall be similar to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), should be formed and used for reparation for FCT indigenes for the deprivation, suffering and trauma they have gone through since the creation of the FCT. “The demolition of homes belonging to the original inhabitants should be stopped forthwith, unless where and when compensation is duly paid in accordance with provisions of the constitution.”

‘Kano IPP to open soon’

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

AN Osun State delegate to the National Conference, Gbadegesin Adedeji, has said the confab was an opportunity for Nigerians to speak frankly about challenges facing the nation. Addressing reporters yesterday at Iwo, Adedeji, a former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, said the discussion was open, frank but bitter. He said the delegates in the last six weeks of the conference were able to talk about bottled up grievances as they affect their geopolitical zone. "I believe the confab is on course. Initially, it was shaky like a plane taking off before getting to the cruising altitude. By the time we are back to the conference after the Easter break, we will get down to business. “And I also believe that the confab will end well with positive contributions of delegates,s which will not compromise the unity of the country," he said.

Abuja residents seek statehood

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

K •Benue State Commissioner of Commerce and Industries Terfa Ihidan (left) presenting relief materials to Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) Chairman and Chairman of Logo Local Government Area Kester Ikyenge in Ugba… yesterPHOTO: UJA EMMANUEL day.

Police confirm baby missing in Makurdi


HE police in Benue State have confirmed that a three-month old baby belonging to Ikyavngi Imande has been stolen in Makurdi. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the baby was stolen on April 19 at 8pm on Inikpi street, High Level, Makurdi. Police spokesman Daniel Ezeala told NAN in Makur-

di that the command had opened full investigation into the matter. Ezeala said that police had arrested one suspect, while the others were still at large. He assured the family and the people of adequate security. It was gathered that the prime suspect, identified as Chichi, was in Makurdi to

adopt a baby, but was turned down by government officials. The baby’s mother, Mrs Msendoo Ikyavngi, said her baby was stolen in her house on April 19, at 8p.m. “It was on Saturday evening at 8p.m. that Chichi, my neighbour’s girlfriend, came to my house, tricked my nanny and stole my baby. “My nanny was with the

baby and she was crying. So, Chichi came and took the baby for the purpose of making her stop crying. She now sent my nanny to get water for her to drink. It was then that Chichi ran away with my baby right in my house. “ I had dashed gone to the market to buy food items earlier. We have been seeing her recently and we felt she is a friend,” she said.

ANO State Governor Rabi’u Kwankwaso, who is on official trips to India and Malaysia, has inspected the power turbines to be installed at the Tiga and Challawa dams as part of the over N14 billion Independent Power Project. Inspecting the facilities, Kwankwaso urged the contractors to ensure that the project starts before the end of this year. He said the company handling the project is one of the most reputable firms in India. The governor said the project will produce 35 megawatts of electricity, which will used to power street and traffic lamps, industries and sold to the public. He was accompanied by the Secretary to the State Government, Rabi’u Sulaiman Bichi, Commissioners Umar Haruna Doguwa (Higher Education) Idris Bello Dambazau (Special Duties) and the Secretary of the State Scholarship Board, Usman Sule Ririwai.




‘Lawyer arrested in Port Harcourt’



SELF-STYLED lawyer, Jonathan Morgan Danagogo, has been arrested by the police in Rivers State for parading himself as an exam malpractice prosecutor and a West African Examination Council (WAEC) official. The suspect, 30, was arrested at Zion International High School, Port Harcourt, the state capital, during the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). It was gathered that Danagogo appeared at the exam centre and presented himself as a WAEC official. WAEC’s Deputy Registrar/Zonal Coordinator in Port Harcourt Patrick Areghan said the suspect was “an impostor”, adding that WAEC had no such name on its payroll. Areghan said the suspect’s arrest was a welcome development, as it would serve as deterrent to others. He warned head teachers and proprietors to desist from actss capable of jeopardising their jobs. “We have about 570 schools writing the exams now. “So, in the course of going round some schools, our workers came across one

Youths to back Jonathan

OUTHS in Akwa Ibom State have reteirated their readiness to support President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015. The youths, under the aegis of “Akwa Ibom Youths Earnestly Ask For The Next Governor And Youths Unite For Goodluck”, said they would sentisise residents about electoral violence and how to establish peace in 2015. The International President for Project AYEAFONG 2015, Moses Armstrong, who spoke during the inauguration, said: “AYEAFONG is a revolution and a renaissance to changing


the minds of the youth to shun electoral violence. He said: “We shall not fight again; we shall not kill each other again, and we shall not destroy property again. “We shall not be used as political thugs again and we shall not hijack ballot boxes again. “We shall not be seen as touts again; we shall not be involved in kidnapping again, we shall not be involved in any electoral violence again. We want to vote, protect our votes and make sure our votes count.”

Award for UNIUYO CMD

NIVERSITY students in West Africa have been urged to shun cultism and other social ills. The Chief Medical Director of the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH), Prof. Etete Peters, gave the advice yesterday when members of the West African Student Union Parliament (WASU) gave him the Kwame Nkrumah Ex-

•The front of the ID card

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

emplary Leadership award. Peters described WASU as a harbinger of freedom and quality education in West Africa. He said cultism has always posed great danger to students’ development, advising that it should be tackled effectively. The don advised the students union to conduct its activities honourably and responsibly.

Missing don’s family petitions Fed Govt


•The back of the ID card. From Precious Dikewoha, Port Harcourt

man, who gave his name as Barrister Jonathan Morgan Danagogo, who claimed he was a prosecutor for exam malpractice.

“But it would interest you to know that we don’t have such a position in WAEC. “He is a fake. He is neither from us nor representing the interest of the council.”

The Divisional Police Officer of Rumukpakani Abdulkarin Nuhu, said Danagogo has “confessed” to the crime. He said the suspect has no university education.

TAN-Ayegbaju, the headquarters of Bolowaduro Local Government Area of Osun State, has petitioned the Federal Government, Osun and Akwa Ibom states to help find one of its indigenes, Prof. James Olomo. Olomo, a Nuclear Physics lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, went missing six months ago. At a briefingssss, the President, Otan-Ayegbaju Progressive Union, Ademola Olayemi, said last October, Olomo travelled to Eket, Akwa Ibom State, on an assignment for an oil producing company. He has not been seen since then. Olayemi said the don’s disappearance has remained a mystery.

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

He said: “The community and the family have sent representatives to the Akwa Ibom State Police Command. The police in Akwa Ibom State are trying their best but we think that presidential intervention in the matter will hasten the process of finding Olomo. “We are also calling on Governors Rauf Aregbesola and Godswill Akpabio to intensify efforts on the searchs.” The victim’s younger brother, Lanre Olomo, said the family had taken spiritual and physical measures to ensure his release but to no avail. He said he believes his brother is alive.




Russia: Kiev breaking pact


USSIAN Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused the Kiev authorities of breaking last week’s Geneva accord on resolving the Ukraine crisis. He said the Kiev government - not recognised by Moscow had not moved to disarm illegal groups, especially the ultranationalist Right Sector. He said it was “absolutely unacceptable” that the Ukrainian authorities had failed to end what he called the illegal protests in the capital. He said: “All signs show that Kiev can’t, and maybe doesn’t want to, control the extremists who continue to call the shots” However, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsya said he was “surprised” Mr Lavrov did “not know what is being done in Ukraine regarding the Geneva agreements”, Kiev-based news agency Unian reported. The government had been having regular consultations with the parties to the agreement in an attempt to find “ways of de-escalating the situation in the east of Ukraine”, Mr Deshchytsya was reported to have said. Early on Sunday at least three people were killed in a shooting at a checkpoint manned by pro-Russian separatists near Sloviansk. The circumstances remain unclear. The local separatists said the attack was carried out by Right Sector militants. Kiev called it a “provocation” staged by Russian special forces. Pro-Russian militants are still holding official buildings in at least nine towns and cities in the


Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine. The interim authorities in Kiev said they had suspended operations against pro-Russian militants over Easter, and appealed for national unity. The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has deployed around 100 monitors across 10 cities in Ukraine to explain the details of the Geneva accord to each side. Spokesman Michael Bociurkiw said they were having a “mixed experience dealing with checkpoints and so forth and there is a varying reaction to teams”. He said they were facing a “hardened attitude” in places such as Donetsk and Slaviansk, but other, smaller, areas are “more accommodating”. Meanwhile, U.S. has warned the next few days will be pivotal and has threatened more sanctions against Russia if it fails to abide by the Geneva accord. US Vice-President Joe Biden arrived in Kiev yesterday for two days of meetings with the country’s leaders, in a show of support for the Ukrainian government. Mr Biden will announce technical support to the Kiev government, including economic and energy-related assistance.

•Amazing: This is the first picture of the 16-year-old boy who traveled from San Jose, California to Maui, Hawaii...on Sunday

‘It’s miraculous’: Stowaway, 16, survives flying 51/2 hours in Wheel Well


16-YEAR-OLD stowaway has miraculously survived flying halfway across the Pacific in the wheel well of a flight from California to Hawaii - despite temperatures of -81F (-62C) at 38,000 feet. The teen was discovered on the tarmac at the Maui airport on Sunday carrying no ID or belongings - apart from a comb - and told the FBI he had run away from home after an argument with his parents. ‘Kid’s lucky to be alive,’ FBI spokesman Tom Simon in Honolulu said on Sunday

night. Among those skeptical about his journey, medical experts said his body would have had to fall into a hibernation-like state - with his heart beating only a couple of times a minute - for him to survive. But Simon said security footage from the San Jose airport verified that the boy, who is from Santa Clara, California, hopped a fence to get to Hawaiian Airlines Flight 45 on Sunday morning. Simon said when the flight landed in Maui, the boy remained unconscious for about an hour, but eventually hopped down from the wheel well and started wandering around the airport grounds. ‘He was unconscious for the lion’s share of the flight,’ Simon said. The flight lasted about 5 1/2 hours. Hawaiian Airlines spokesman Alison Croyle said airline personnel noticed the boy on the ramp after the flight arrived and immediately notified airport security. A picture of the teen being taken away for medical care, looking awake and alert, was provided to the MailOnline by The Maui News. The boy was not charged with any crime and has been handed over to child protective services. ‘Our primary concern now is for the well-being of the boy, who is exceptionally

lucky to have survived,’ Croyle said. Simon said the boy was medically screened and found to be unharmed. ‘Doesn’t even remember the flight,’ Simon said. ‘It’s amazing he survived that.’ But news of the survival was met with suspicion, as most wheel-well stowaways don’t survive the freezing temperatures and lack of oxygen. Among the skeptics was ABC News aviation consultant John Nance, who said: ‘This is a first in medical science and a first in physiology. I just don’t believe it.’ Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News’ chief health and medical editor, said to survive such conditions, the body has to fall into a hibernation-like state, with the heart only beating a couple of times a minute. ‘It’s near impossible, almost miraculous, and maybe there’s more to the story,’ Besser said. Another aviation expert, Peter Forman, said that he was staggered the boy survived. ‘The odds of a person surviving that long of a flight at that altitude are very remote, actually. I mean, you are talking about altitudes that are well above the altitude of Mt. Everest. And temperatures that can reach 40 degrees below zero,’ Forman said. ‘A lot of people would only have useful consciousness for a minute or two at that alti-

STOWAWAYS WHO MADE IT AND THOSE WHO TRAGICALLY DID NOT September 2012: A 26-year-old Mozambique national flying from Angola to Heathrow Airport in London was found dead in a suburban street under the flight path after presumably falling to his death as the undercarriage opened. August 2012: Another man was found dead in the landing gear bay of a Boeing 747 when it landed at Heathrow from a flight from Cape Town, South Africa. June 2010: A 20-year-old Romanian man survived -41f temperatures for 100 minutes during a flight from Vienna to Heathrow. He survived because the plane stayed at 25,000 feet due to thunderstorms. 2006: Fidel Maruhi flew from Tahiti to LA and his core body temperature was 79 degrees Fahrenheit when he arrived at the UCLA Medical Center for treatment of hypothermia and dehydration. Anything below 85 degrees Fahrenheit is usually fatal. December 2002: Cuban refugee Victor Alvarez Molina flew four hours from Havana to Montreal in a DC-10 in temperatures below -41f. He survived due to a leaky pipe which shot out warm air and also gave him something to hold onto when the plane landed.

tude. ‘For somebody to survive multiple hours with that lack of oxygen and that cold is just miraculous. I’ve never heard of anything like that before.’ His misadventure also raised security questions. A Congressman who serves on the Homeland Security committee wondered how the teen could have got onto the airfield at San Jose unnoticed. ‘I have long been concerned about security at our airport perimeters. #Stowaway teen demonstrates vulnerabilities that need to be addressed,’ tweeted Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat who represents the San Francisco Bay Area’s eastern cities and suburbs. A call and email message to a Mineta San Jose International Airport spokeswoman were not immediately returned. Officials at Kahului Airport referred questions to the State Department of Transportation, which did not return a phone call seeking comment. Hawaiian Airlines Flight 24 to Oakland, California, was delayed nearly three hours Sunday due to the incident. The flight was scheduled to leave Kahului at noon and finally departed at 2:51 p.m. A male passenger who declined to be identified said that he was seated on the plane to Oakland with his family before he was notified of the delay. He said that flight attendants were told to disarm the doors and that the flight would be delayed 10 to 15 minutes. A Transportation Security Agency spokesman who declined to be named referred questions to the FBI and airport authorities. In August, a 13- or 14-yearold boy in Nigeria survived a 35-minute trip in the wheel well of a domestic flight after stowing away. Authorities credited the flight’s short duration and altitude of about 25,000. Others stowing away in wheel wells have died, including a 16-year-old killed after stowing away aboard a flight from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Boston in 2010 and a 26-year-old man who fell onto a suburban London street from a flight from Angola in 2012. Culled from Mailonline




Happy birthday ma’am: Gun salutes mark Queen’s 88th birthday


HE Queen’s 88th birthday has been marked across the UK with traditional gun salutes. A 41-gun royal salute was fired in Green Park in London and a 62 gun-salute from the Tower of London. Gunners from 105th Regiment Royal Artillery fired two 21-gun royal salutes at Edinburgh and Stirling Castles. Salutes were also fired in Northern Ireland and Wales. The Queen is spending the day privately at Windsor. The Queen was born on 21 April 1926 at the home of her


mother’s parents in Mayfair. However, her birthday is also celebrated officially each year in June at the Trooping the Colour service - which this year will take place on 14 June. The gun salute at Green Park was carried out by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery using 13-pounder World War One guns drawn by 71 horses. Before the King's Troop arrived, the Band of the Honourable Artillery Company and Royal Yeomanry played celebratory music. The 62-shot salute at the Tower of London was completed by

the Honourable Artillery Company. It included 21 shots for the Queen's birthday, 20 because it is a royal palace, and 21 to follow a tradition in which ships would fire their guns before entering the City of London to show they were not threatening. Gunners from 105th Regiment Royal Artillery fired two 21-gun royal salutes in Scotland; while in Wales, the salute was fired at Cardiff City Hall. The salute in Northern Ireland was carried out at Hillsborough Castle in County Down.


•Queen Elizabeth II

South Sudan : ‘Ethnic slaughter’ condemned

UNDREDS of people were killed because of their ethnic group after South Sudan rebels seized the oil hub of Bentiu last week, the UN has said. They were targeted at a mosque, a church and a hospital, the UN Mission in South Sudan said in a statement. It added that hate speech was broadcast on local radio stations, saying certain groups should leave the town and urging men to rape women. The Nuer community are seen as supporters of rebel leader Riek Machar. In a civil war marked by numerous human rights abuses, the reports from Bentiu are among the most shocking. The rebels are accused of killing Dinkas (President Kiir’s ethnic group), Sudanese (because of

the alleged support of Darfuri rebel groups for President Kiir) and Nuers who were not overtly cheering their fellow Nuer rebels. The victims hid in hospitals and places of worship, but did not find sanctuary there. Many of the rebels say they took up arms because of the murder of their relatives in Juba at the beginning of this conflict. Both sides have committed terrible abuses. However the scale of the killings carried out by rebel troops, including the feared White Army militia, in Bentiu, Bor and Malakal, has turned many people against the rebel leader, Riek Machar. With the rainy season approaching, and negotiations set to resume in Addis Ababa, there is likely to be more fighting - and

very likely more atrocities - in the next few weeks. President Salva Kiir is a member of the country’s largest group, the Dinka. Although both men have prominent supporters from various communities, there have been numerous reports of rebels killing ethnic Dinkas and the army targeting Nuers since the conflict broke out in December 2013. Since then, more than a million people have fled their homes in what was already among the world’s poorest nations. Some 200 civilians were reportedly killed at the Kali-Ballee mosque where they had sought shelter. At the hospital, Nuer men, women and children, who hid rather than cheer the rebel forces as they entered the town, were

also killed, it said. The UN’s top humanitarian official in South Sudan, Toby Lanzer, tweeted about “shocking scenes of atrocities” in Bantiu, saying “bodies of people executed still lie in the streets”. Many of those killed are understood to be Sudanese traders, especially from Darfur. Bentiu, capital of the oil-rich Unity State, has changed hands several times during the conflict. Control of the oilfields is crucial because South Sudan gets about 90% of its revenue from oil. A ceasefire was signed in January but there has been a recent upsurge in fighting. Last week, the UN said an attack on one of its bases in the central town of Bor in which at least 58 people were killed could constitute a war crime.

NEWS Governors divided over emergency rule extension Continued on page 2

confidence, said: “We believe we have had enough of the state of emergency because it has not stopped killings in the three states. Our position has not changed on the need to end it. “We want to appeal to the President to provide adequate security instead of the extension of the state of emergency. “What we are doing is to appeal to our colleagues to understand our position. We are better off without state of emergency.” Replying to a question, the governor said: “I think the state of emergency should end on May 19 and not April 19 , 2014 if it was really for a six-month

period.” A Presidency source, however, said: “Wednesday’s meeting is going to focus on how to end rising insurgency in all parts of the Federation. “The President will present new security proposals or strategies by service chiefs to the governors for their input. He expects them to be large hearted enough and put the nation’s interest above personal sentiments or political partisanship. “The new strategies will be applicable to all the 36 states of the Federation and the FCT. He is meeting the governors because security is now everyone’s business. “There may be need for

more financial collaboration between the Federal Government and the states on the new security measures. “The President is likely to use the opportunity to appeal to all stakeholders to avoid politicising security operations in the country. Some of the troops are feeling unappreciated.” Asked of the state of emergency in the three states, the source added: “This will be an issue but not the main agenda. “Even if it is not on the agenda, some of the governors will raise it because the fate of the state of emergency in the three states has dominated public discourse in the past few weeks. “The President has not made

up his mind on the extension of the state of emergency because he is still consulting on the matter. These governors should appreciate that the President is determined to end these killings in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. “The President is also likely to engage the leaders of the National Assembly on the way out. The consultation is necessary so that the governors will not turn round to point accusing fingers at Jonathan. “We have three options including the extension of the emergency, ending it and applying the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act 2013 as part of the enhanced security operations in the three states.

ment of the state. Wike is interested in becoming Rivers governor next yeae, while Amaechi, who is also the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), declared that he would not allow another Ikwerre person to succeed him. The supervising minister of education claimed that he is from Ikwerre South, while Amaechi is from Ikwerre North and qualified to be governor. Ikwerre/Etche people’s forum stated in the communique: “We support the zoning of the next governorship position to the Rivers Southeast Senatorial District (comprising Ogoni’s four local government of Khana, Gokana, Tai and Eleme), particularly to the people of Ogoni, who have not produced even a deputy governor, speaker or chief judge, in order to

promote equity, justice and fairplay.” The group also stated that its members remained resolute and committed in their support for Amaechi, urging Rivers people to join hands in prayers with the NGF chairman, to ensure that a candidate who would advance his developmental gains succeed him. It also lauded Amaechi and Rivers people for accepting and embracing the All Progressives Congress (APC), while praising the Rivers Police Commissioner, Tunde Ogunsakin, for acknowledging the status and office of the governor, which it said had brought about peace and security, since Ogunsakin’s assumption of duty. The Ikwerre/Etche people’s forum stated that its members were not being sponsored by politicians or any governorship

aspirant in the state. Speaking on behalf of the non-indigenes in Etche and Ikwerre, Musa Ademola, who hails from Ilorin in Kwara State and has been in Rivers State in the last 30 years, stated that Amaechi had performed well, while an Ogoni should be allowed to succeed him. Ademola added that Ogoni people had been marginalised over the years, in spite of the area’s richness in crude oil and gas, stressing that they should be allowed to produce the next occupant of the Brick House (Government House), Port Harcourt. Many Rivers stakeholders are clamouring for upland/riverine dichotomy, in the choice of the next governor of the state, while some persons prefer zoning, based on senatorial districts.

Rivers 2015: Kinsmen dump Wike for Ogoni candidate Continued on page 2

tions from reporters. Ikwerre people are of Port Harcourt City, Obio/Akpor, Emohua and Ikwerre Local Government Areas. Etche ethnic nationality consists of Omuma and Etche local governments of Rivers State. Besides Amadi and Nwiyi, the communique was also signed by Collins Wali (Coordinator of Ikwerre Local Government), Uzodimma Nwafor (Etche Local Government), Okwu Anokuru (Port Harcourt), Jude Obodo Chukwu (Emohua), Hanachor Amadi (Obio/Akpor) and Sylvanus Nwankwo (Omuma). Amaechi hails from Ubima in Ikwerre Local Government. The Supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, is an indigene of Rumueprikom in Obio/Akpor Local Govern-

Syria to hold presidential election in June

HE speaker of Syria’s parliament has announced that the country will hold a presidential election on 3 June. Mohammed al-Lahham said candidates could register to run from Today. Bashar al-Assad is expected to seek a third seven-year term, despite an uprising against his rule that has left an estimated 150,000 people dead and forced 9 million from their homes. World powers who support the opposition have denounced the plans for an election as a “parody of democracy”. Such is Syria’s deep, dangerous divide that an election makes absolute sense for some,

and is profoundly absurd for others. President Assad has hinted for more than a year that it was his right to run again. As preparations gathered pace, the opposition slammed this poll as a “parody of democracy”. Even the UN envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, diplomatically said that, if it went ahead, the opposition “will probably not be interested in talking to the government”. But the Geneva talks went nowhere. And President Assad’s forces, backed by Hezbollah fighters, have recaptured territory in some strategic areas, including around Damascus.

Rouhani urges equal rights for women


RANIAN President Hassan Rouhani has urged equal opportunities and rights for men and women, and condemned sexual discrimination. In a speech marking Women’s Day, Mr Rouhani criticised “those who consider women’s presence society as a threat” and said Iran still had “a long way to go” to ensure gender equality. Mr Rouhani, a religious moderate, was elected to office in June 2013. Foreign activist groups argue that Iran’s laws discriminate against women. Speaking on Sunday at the National Forum on Women Shaping Economy and Culture in Tehran, Mr Rouhani said: “We will not accept the culture of sexual discrimination.” “Women must enjoy equal opportunity, equal protection and equal social rights. According to the Islamic rules, man is not the stronger sex and woman is not the weaker one,” he said in comments that were broadcast live on television. However, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the highest authority in Iran, said in comments on Saturday that gender equality was “one of the biggest mistakes of the Western thought”. “Justice is a right. But equality is sometimes right and sometimes wrong,” he said, according to his personal website. He added that he did not oppose women’s employment, but that it should not conflict with “the main issue”, which was women’s role in the “family environment and household”.

Corporate governance key for bidders in Shell’s four oil blocks Continued on page 2

not be overlooked is the sources of funds of interested bidders and the eventual owners of these assets.” The attention of the global community is on Nigeria, with the rapacious inclination of many of its officials to milk the treasury dry, using willing and conscienceless business men and women as fronts, he said. He drew attention to the revelations from the ongoing probe of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC’s) crude oil swap, saying: “You see the extent to which some can go in Nigeria to make illicit gains? As a major player in the global business field, Shell cannot afford to be indifferent to the global war on corruption and the drive to enthrone ethical conduct in public office.” He said former and serving public officers should never be allowed to corner the nation’s patrimony after corruptly enriching themselves, using proxies. The international agencies,

including Shell are also considering the antecedents of the bidding firms. They argue that submission of high bids alone should not be enough to win an oil block, but that their track record in oil exploration and their technical knowhow should be equally evaluated, an NNPC official familiar with the process and the concerns of the international community. He cautioned against a repeat of the recently concluded sale of the unbundled firms in the power sector where competence and technical knowhow were sacrificed and the attendant worsening of the power situation in the country. Such, he cautioned, should not be allowed in the current sale of Shell’s stake in the four blocks. Already, the sale of the blocks is well behind schedule. Billed to be concluded within eight weeks, the process has entered the 12th week, a development that has heightened tension among the bidding firms and also fuelled suspicion.

Parents: 234 girls abducted Continued on page 2

seen a large build-up of troops in the region or any indication that the military had mobilised a major search effort. Some of the girls who escaped have said the Islamists took the hostages to Borno’s Sambisa Forest area, where Boko Haram is known to

have well-fortified camps. Parents have trekked through the bushlands of the remote region in a desperate search for their daughters, pooling money to buy fuel for motorcycles and cars. Some turned back after being warned that the Islamists were nearby and prepared to slaughter anyone who advanced further.






Blues stay in the hunt with victory over Baggies


ANCHESTER CITY kept their slim chances of overhauling Chelsea and Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table alive on Monday after beating West Brom 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium. The result means City now sit six points behind Liverpool with a game in hand and with the Reds still to host secondplaced Chelsea this weekend. The Citizens once again started brightly with Pablo Zabaleta opening the scoring in just the 2nd minute just as Fernandinho did against Sunderland last week. But unlike City's stuttering performance against the Black Cats, Sergio Aguero doubled the hosts' lead in the 10th minute. Graham Dorrans pulled one back for West Brom in the 16th

minute and Manuel Pellegrini must have felt a sense of deja vu as the Baggies threatened to take further points away from City to totally derail any remaining title aspirations. But Martin Demichelis made it 3-1 in the 33rd minute, prodding home from close range to end all but end the game as a contest inside the first-half. In a potential blow for City, David Silva was carried off on a stretcher with 25 minutes remaining with what could prove to be a costly injury in the run-in. But Silva's misfortunte aside City will still need an enormous dose of fortune if they are to overhaul Chelsea and Liverpool to win their second Premier League title in three years, but they kept themselves in the hunt after last week's embarrassing slip-up.

•Zabaleta celebrates scoring City's opener

Hazard in, Eto’o out of Madrid clash


AMUEL Eto'o will not be playing in Chelsea's Champions League semi final match at Atlético de Madrid because of a knee problem. Eto'o, who scored his side's goal in the 2-1 home defeat to Sunderland at the weekend at Stamford Bridge,


has not travelled to Madrid and will watch the game at home in London. However, Eden Hazard will be there. The Belgian star and Chelsea's key player was injured in the first leg of the Champions League quarter finals against PSG and has not played since.

Even though he has not been training over the last few days, Mourinho has decided to include him in the squad. Chelsea provisional squad: Cech, Cole, Luiz, Ramires, Lampard, Torres, Oscar, Mikel, Schurrle, Van Ginkel, Hazard, Ba, Willian,

Schwarzer, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Kalas, Hilario, Ake.


Courtois relishing Chelsea clash

TLETICO Madrid's Thibaut Courtois believes parent club Chelsea will be favourites when they meet in their UEFA Champions League semi-final. Diego Simeone's men host Chelsea in the first leg of their last-four tie on Tuesday, aiming to reach the final of Europe's premier club competition for the first time since

1974. The clash sees on-loan keeper Courtois come up against permanent employers Chelsea for the second time since joining Atletico temporarily from the London club three years ago. On the first occasion, Atletico beat Chelsea 4-1 in the 2012 UEFA Super Cup, a result that the Belgium international is hopeful of repli-

cating this time around. "For me, the fact that we’ve drawn Chelsea, like we did in the European Super Cup, is special because even though I'm at Atleti, Chelsea is my club too," Courtois told "It's better not to think about it too much though and play like I always do, because if I start thinking, 'Oh, I'd better be careful', then I'll end up

playing poorly. "I want to win trophies here and I'll be an Atleti supporter for these two games, but at all other times I'm a Chelsea fan too. I hope they win the Premier League, just not these two (Champions League) matches. "I really hope we can reach the final as we're so close. They're the favourites (Chelsea), but (beaten quarter-final opponents) Barca (Barcelona) were too."

No crisis in my team—Taraba Coach


FTER watching his side suffer two consecutive league defeats, the latest been the 1-0 loss to fellow new entrant to the Nigeria Premier League, Giwa FC at the Jolly Nyame Township stadium, Jalingo on Sunday, FC Taraba’s technical adviser, Ndubuisi Nduka has played down on any issue of crisis in the team assuring that everything is under control. Coach Nduka noted that there was no reason whatso-

•Eyes good result against Sunshine From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja

ever for his team to have lost the match against Giwa FC, stressing that his players dominated the game but were really unfortunate not to have found the back of the net. The former Heartland of Owerri Chief Coach maintained that they are doing everything within their power

to address the situation and focus on picking some points away. “It is so painful to lose at home, but i am not blaming my boys. They did all they could do to get a goal but they were just unfortunate. That is football for you, sometimes things work out for you, the other times things work against you. But we are focused and will not allow the

two defeats to affect us at all,” Coach Nduka stressed. On their Wednesday match against Sunshine Stars in Akure, Coach Nduka noted that their desire is put up a very good performance so as to come out with comfortable result. “We know that Sunshine is a good side, a very experience team for that matter, but our goal is to go there to put up a fight and come out with a good result”.


Golden Eaglets defeat Mali 2-0


OLDEN Eaglets on Monday made good their promise of winning their first international match at the WAFU B Under-17 Tournament in Togo by edging out Mali 2-0 in the first of their Group B's double header at the Stade Municipal. Nigeria's first goal was scored courtesy of Najeeb Hamza via a penalty kick in the 34th minute, when striker Orji Okonkwo was brought down by the Malian goalkeeper inside the box, while Dauda Abdulganiyu secured the second goal in the 80th minute. The match which was played under floodlights, was watched by an enthusiastic crowd including Nigeria's High Commissioner to Togo, Ambassador Mathew Sunday Adoli and a hordes of people from the Nigerian business and student community in Lome. Also in attendance were Alhaji Yussuf Fresh, a board member of the NFF who is also the Golden Eaglets' Leader of Delegation to Togo and Mr. Patrick Pascal, a special assistant to NFF's President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari. Golden Eaglets clearly made their intention known soon after Ivorian referee, Bievenue Sinko signalled to the Malians to take the kick off. The Nigerian youngsters nearly went into the lead barely five minutes into the game when Dauda Abdulganiyu’s shot was deflected by the Malian goalkeeper, Traore Alou. Two min-

utes later, Okonkwo had a header also plamed away by the agile Alou. There was a flawless understanding between Ganiyu, Okonkwo and petit Kehinde Ayinde’s in the attack as the Golden Eagles mounted ceaseless pressure on their West African foes. Ayinde spirited effort in the 25th minute after dribbling his way into the box was equally foiled by the Malian goalkeeper. Then in the 33rd minute, Okonkwo broke free and raced towards goal alone only to be brought down by the Alou for what was clearly a red card offence since he was the last man of the Malian defence. But referee Sinko 'erroneously' flashed a yellow card but the resultant penalty kick was scored by Hamza in the 34th minute. Ganiyu that finally sealed victory for the Golden Eaglets when he waltzed through the Malian defence and fired a shot into the top corner for the second goal of the match in the 80th minute. Both teams would again return to Stade Municipal on Wednesday for the second of their double -header to determine who tops Group B following the last minute withdrawal of Niger from the competition. Golden Eaglets vs. Mali A. Benjamin - A. Joshua,K. Gbadamosi; N. Hamza; A. Bamidele;- J. Ipalibo(S. Abdullahi 43rd); K.Michael(D. Femi 70th ) Nwakali; D.


Quadri sure of table tennis medals O


F all the medals won by Nigeria at the Commonwealth Games, table tennis has contributed a sizable number even as the next games holds in Scotland, Portugal-based Aruna Quadri believes with more support, Nigeria stands a chance of clinching medals in Glasgow. Quadri, who defied all odds to make the last 16 at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)-sanctioned World Tour tagged Spanish Open, admitted that the attention given to football is really affecting the fortunes of other sports, particularly table tennis adversely. “We really need support and motivation as we are hoping that things must change in our

nation’s sports because priority is just being accorded to football. For us in table tennis, things are not going well because we are not given enough support to the sport and this is putting us in a difficult situation all the time. Most times, we spend our personal money to attend competitions in order to be well prepared the Commonwealth Games. We really appreciate the financial support the President of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Wahid Oshodi has been giving to us since January,” he said. Unlike their foreign counterparts who have been getting granting from their sports ministry to attend tournaments in order to be in top form for the

games, Quadri however, pleaded with the National Sports Commission (NSC) to consider supporting the players with grant to attend competitions. “I wish to take part in more pro tours before Commonwealth Games but I need support and motivation, I have spent a lot on myself and I am in need of financial support to keep playing tournament regularly so as to be in good shape for Glasgow Games,” he added. He expressed optimism that Team Nigeria has the wherewithal to be among the medal winning teams in Scotland, but said, “We stand a chance of winning medal in Scotland because at the Spanish Opens, we had

five English players and five Indian players with one English and two Indians making it to the last 64. But as Nigerians, we were only two that took part in the competition and only one of us made it to the main draw (round of 64). England and Indian are not better than us at present, but because they are playing tournament regularly to keep improving. We also need support to be playing tournament regularly and with that, we can be doing so much better than before,” he admitted. “We are seriously calling the attention of NSC and stakeholders to support table tennis so that we can regain our past lost glory in the game,” he said.



‘Nigeria appears frightfully on the way to Kigali. A heightened recklessness may shoot it straight on the road to Magadishu!’ VOL.9




HIS is not a good time to be an expatriate Nigerian. No, I take that back; this is a particularly bad time to be an expatriate Nigerian, given the steady flow of bad news, bad news and more bad news out of the country. Even the rebasing that has catapulted Nigeria from the doldrums to the world’s 26th largest economy overnight has not translated into equanimity for the expatriate Nigerian. Our political and diplomatic strategists will have to take a cue from the economic strategists to rebase the national image. The latter drew on Nigeria’s burgeoning home video industry Nollywood to boost the Gross Domestic Product by a full percentage point and some. The former will have to factor in Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, JP Clarke, Christopher Okigbo, Niyi Osundare, Femi Osofisan, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, the Super Eagles, Ben Nwabueze, Kenneth Dike, JF Ade Ajayi, Claude Ake, Yusuf Grillo, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Demas Nwoko. Simeon Adebo, Jerome Udoji, Peter Lassa, Ali Akilu, Afigbo Adiele, Bala Usman, Gani Fawehinmi, Ben Enwonwu, the Brothers Ransome-Kuti, Abubakar Imam, Ayodele Awojobi, DO Fagunwa,Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Cyprian Ekwensi, Mokwugo Okoye, Jelani Aliyu, and others too numerous to list, in rebasing the national image. Surely, the country that produced these luminaries and others too numerous to name here deserves a better appellation than the land of Boko Haram and rampaging “Fulani herdsmen.” “Rebranding” was the name Dr Dora Akunyili’s gave this heroic but ultimately futile undertaking when she was Minister of Information. That was then. Now, in keeping with the times, the effort will have to be re-launched, the goal being to rebase Nigeria’s foreign image, the image that follows them wherever they go, defines them and often haunts them, an image they can never shed nor escape from. Their green passports or the line in their foreign passports naming Nigeria as their country of birth literally proclaims that image at foreign ports, assuming they survive the indignities that come with applying for a travel visa. From then on, the passport holder is put through the formidable challenge of proving that he or she is not guilty of the crimes and misdemeanours now associated with being a Nigerian. To this discomfiting experience we must now add the prospect of being regarded as a national of a country infested by terrorism, and of quite possibly being perceived as a covert sympathiser or enabler of bombthrowing Islamists and throat-cutting “Fulani herdsmen” or a close relation of theirs. Each time I enter the coffee room or a class, I hold my breath, hoping fervently that my faculty colleagues and students will not bring up the latest bulletin on Boko Haram’s and

RIPPLES Days of horror in Abuja: WE’LL SOON GET OVER INSURGENCY, Says Jonathan




What is Boko Haram?

Only its masterminds and its denizens know what Boko Haram is. The security agencies do not know, and neither does President Goodluck Jonathan. He is on record as having admitted that much and adding, as if to deepen the mystery, that for all he knew, some members of his cabinet...’ •Jonathan

Fulani herdsmen’s running orgy of bestial violence, however obliquely. Even the most basic question on the matter would stump me, namely, what is Boko Haram? More than three years after Boko Haram hit the front pages and the headlines, I still cannot claim with confidence that I know what it is. If pressed on the matter, I can only say that it is a malignant, nihilistic affliction on the body politic. But that is describing the manifestation rather than defining the essence. Only its masterminds and its denizens know what Boko Haram is. The security agencies do not know, and neither does President Goodluck Jonathan. He is on record as having admitted that much and adding, as if to deepen the mystery, that for all he knew, some members of his cabinet and advisers who met and dined and wined with him every day could well be members of Boko Haram. Whatever Boko Haram may be, it is not a monolith as is generally supposed, according to a source I cannot identify. There is the po-


ROM YEAA to GIFT — it is the distinctly Nigerian penchant to reward failure with huge benefits. Remember the apocryphal tale of the inimitable Esama of Benin, who reportedly admonished the people of Edo State to reward his son, Lucky, with four more years, with his curious logic that when a student flunks his exams, he is entitled to a re-sit? Before the Edo apocrypha was the notorious reality of YEAA — Youths Earnestly Yearn for Abacha. The best forgotten Goggled One, Sani Abacha, was at his murdering and stealing best. He had run all opposition either out of town or into exile. He had tossed into gaol and tossed away the key, MKO Abiola, the elected president whose mandate he brutally usurped. He had suborned the Nigerian economy for his sole pleasure, ironically (as later facts would emerge), using the MKO scarecrow to steal his country blind, via bogus security votes. The cash he so cynically salted away in foreign banks would later be known as the Abacha loot. At the height of that infamy, a certain Daniel Kanu and his band of racketeers emerged.

litical Boko Haram, which carries out largescale operations like blowing up churches and motor parks and police stations and prisons and other public facilities – the one whose masked operatives toting Kalashnikov rifles and rocket-propelled grenades race in Hillux vans through desert shrubbery to distant outposts, their grisly errands to perform. Then there is the mafia-like Boko Haram, which specialises in criminal extortion and is not above being hired by aggrieved persons to settle scores. If the twain are related, it is not clear what the relationship consists in, my source tells me. In the North, nobody talks about the one or the other, for fear of murderous reprisal. It is as if the subject is haram, forbidden. The fear of Boko Haram is the beginning of wisdom – and survival. If I don’t know what Boko Haram is, I can hardly be expected to know what it wants. I don’t. Nobody knows for sure what Boko Haram wants. Is their goal the islamisation of Nigeria through terror, as some commentators have claimed? If that is the case, why is it that they do not spare fellow Muslims in their



murderous rampage? Is it to make Nigeria ungovernable? They certainly have made a swathe of North-eastern Nigeria ungovernable, but reducing the entire country to that condition seems a goal too far. Even if that goal is attainable, what purpose would it serve? To provoke the military into taking over, perhaps, and thus terminate Dr Jonathan’s effete administration? Which military? The one that can’t even protect its own facilities and personnel against the insurgents? The one that claimed to have rescued more than 100 girls abducted by Boko Haram from a secondary school in Chibok, Borno State, only to declare without fear and without shame when it was challenged that it had been “misled”? “Misled” by whom? On how many other crucial issues has it been “misled,” and with what consequences? The military in which a unit can be suborned by a junior cabinet minister, a minor politician with no following, to halt by force of arms a housing construction project being lawfully undertaken by the government of his state, and in which the same minister can deploy soldiers to subvert the electoral process in another state? Again, if pressed by those seeking to learn more about the phenomenon known as Boko Haram, I cannot explain why none of its stalwarts has been brought to justice. At the scene of every Boko Haram outrage, President Jonathan vows solemnly that the perpetrators would not go unpunished. The next week brings another outrage, which draws another solemn vow from the President. And then the next. Nor can I explain why President Jonathan, the nation’s comforter-in-chief, headed to Kano while the public was still trying to grasp the full measure of the carnage at Nyanya Motor Park in Abuja for a ceremony to welcome a defector back to the PDP. Since this was a party affair, could it not have been postponed as a mark of respect to those who were still counting the dead? If the rally must hold, could the PDP national chair not have been dispatched as the featured guest? Did he have to trade abuse on the occasion with Kano State Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso who belongs in the political opposition? Such pusillanimity, it is necessary to insist, ill becomes the person and the office of the President. Entertaining the party faithful to a jig while Nyanya was still smouldering made Dr Jonathan come across as unfeeling. Even his trip to Ibadan the same day to attend ceremonies marking the Olubadan’s 100th birthday was at bottom a re-election ploy inexcusable under the circumstances. If Dr Jonathan cannot rise to the high office of President of the Republic, must he cut it down to fit his own modest profile? •For comments, send SMS to 08111813080

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

From YEAA to GIFT Eagle Square, Abuja, was their satanic stage. Their no less satanic mission was to rally and rally and rally, until the Goggled One took a break from his humongous evil and answer to their plea that he would succeed himself. In their self-given tasks and rogue-funded gambit, they drew into the gravy the cream of Nigerian artistes, who sang away, wriggled their hips and tore their vocal chords, summoning the Goggled One to transmute. He probably would have — until what the media promptly termed “divine intervention”. Sixteen years after the iron dictator exited on the laps of debauchery and three elected civilian administrations after, YEAA has promptly morphed into GIFT — Goodluck Initiative For Transformation. But the abiding philosophy remains: power without responsibility. GIFT, in a newspaper advert, threatened to rally and rally and rally and rally (ala YEAA) until President Goodluck Jonathan hearkens its patriotic plea to run for second term. Now, if Abacha could cook up rogue elements to champion his transmutation sim-

ply because even a military dictator realised it was sheer legal brigandage, how do you explain such of an elected president who, under the law, has a right to second term? That he is convinced, by the sheer disaster of his tenure, that he has forfeited his right to a second term? Yeah right, President Jonathan, hero of GIFT, has during his first term, brought much transformation to his country — transformation into anomie, bordering on full-scale anarchy; politicised the National Security Council meeting, turning a strictly constitutional injunction, a right of governors of every partisan hue into a monopoly of his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and satellite governors; wined and made merry at political hustings, even as innocent citizens were mass bombed in his capital and school girls were captured by terrorists; beggared the states to the tune of 40 per cent, even if oil prices have not dipped and oil sales have not come down! So, why would GIFT not rally and gift Jonathan a second term?

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The Nation April 22, 2014  
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