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Newspaper of the Year

Tambuwal: N10b jet expenses probe alive

Amaka Igwe’s death rattles Nollywood


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•Frontline producer dies of asthma at 51

•House to get legal advice

•Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

VOL. 9, NO. 2834 WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30, 2014


HE North’s delegates to the ongoing National Conference circulated yesterday their position paper. The 47-page document marked “Key issues before the Northern delegates to the 2014 National Conference” also has a sub-title: “Northern Nigeria the back bone and strength of Nigeria”.



EKITI 2014


AND MORE ON •Fayose picks 80-year-old as running mate •PAGES 10&59 •Fayemi promises better life for rural dwellers •Our stand on PDP candidate’s visit, by Daramolas

North rejects Niger Delta’s claims to oil

From Onyedi Ojiabor and Dele Anofi, Abuja

It was articulated by a think tank constituted by Northern Governors, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and the Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation. The position paper, which


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was described as “highly provocative” by some Southern delegates, detailed the demands of the North. It specifically asked northern delegates to reject all claims to oil resources by oil producing areas, which the document claimed led to the cancellation of the onshore/

offshore oil dichotomy. It said that abrogation of onshore/offshore oil dichotomy gave away a national resource to littoral states, “seriously eroding revenue available for distribution to all parts of the country”. “The North demands a reversal to status quo ante. All

mineral resources should remain under the exclusive rights of the Federal Government as provided for by the International law (1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea UNCLOS, Article 76 on territorial waters/boundaries which stipulated that 200 nautical miles

off the continental shelves belong to the central government exclusively,” it said. It said that the Federal Government since 1999 had taken steps which negated the principles of justice and equity to the federating units, clearly threatening the development of the country for the Continued on page 8

Anger over abducted girls

•RA GE: Women protesting at the National Assembly ...yesterday. SEE ALSO PAGES 6&7 •RAGE:

Tearful women protest in Abuja Senators demand military action House summons Service Chiefs


BUJA was in a foul mood yesterday. There was anger at the National Assembly and on the streets - over the April 15 abduction of school girls and the 10-month-old polytechnic teachers’ strike. Women, many of them decked in allblack dresses, demanded action on the fate of the 234 girls who were snatched

Where are the ‘human rights

From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

away from their hostels in Chibok, Borno State, by Boko Haram gunmen. Senators were locked in a charged session over the abduction by the fundamen-

talist Boko Haram sect. They unanimously voted for tougher military action against the insurgents whose activities have killed thousands.

groups...? Where is the Women Affairs Ministry? Is there no government in the country? Are there no fathers and mothers in government...?


•One of the protesters…yesterday.













Judge: I didn’t stop Alison-Madueke’s investigation


FEDERAL High Court in Abuja yesterday summoned the House of Representatives to explain where it got its information that it stopped the investigation of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani AlisonMadueke, for allegedly spending about N10billion on hiring aircraft. The House of Representatives reportedly claimed on Monday that the court presided over by Justice Ahmed Mohammed had restrained it from proceeding with the planned investigation of Mrs AlisonMadueke and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over the N10billion aircraft lease alle-

•Court summons House to explain source of order over N10b jet probe From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

gation. Justice Mohammed expressed displeasure about the claim credited to the House of Representatives. He said his court never granted any order stopping Alison-Madueke’s probe by the House of Representatives. The judge said he was worried by the confusing reports in the media, which were clear misrepresentation of the proceedings in court. He said he got calls inquiring if he actually stopped the investigation. The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Etig-

we Uwa (SAN), said he was also surprised about the reports. He said he equally got calls and had to do a statement to some media houses to correct the wrong information. Lawyer to the National Assembly (1st defendant) Yakubu Maikyau (SAN) said he knew something was wrong with the way the media report came out. He said the suspicion that something was wrong was supported by the fact that the court’s ruling, on which the media reports were based, was delivered on April 14 but was only published to coincide with

when the minister was expected to appear. Maikyau, who apologised to the court on behalf of his client, said he believed if such an order was made, it would have been reported before now. Mr Justice Mohammed held that since the confusion emanated from the House of Representatives, he would adjourn the matter to enable the House which was not represented, to come and clear the air on the reports. “I have seen the press release in the media said to be released by the House of Rep-

resentatives that this court has ordered the stop of the investigation of the Minister for Petroleum Resources. “As far as I am concerned, and I am the judge handling this matter, no such order was made.” The judge gave details of what transpired in the case during the last two occasions when the case came up. He said on April 14 when the matter first came up, the plaintiffs, lawyer moved an exparte application, seeking, among others an order of interim injunction restraining the House from proceeding

with its investigation. The judge said he did not grant the exparte application, but ordered the House to appear on April 17 and show cause why the orders being sought should not be granted. He said on April 17, Uwa told the court that the defendants (National Assembly and House of Representatives) were only served the previous day a development that prompted the court to further adjourn till yesterday, and restated its order for the defendants to appear and show cause. The judge adjourned till May 5 for the House to appear.

Don’t play politics with insecurity, says Abubakar •Fashola, Anyanwu, Dangote, Momoh speak at The Cable launch


ORMER Head of State Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar yesterday warned against politicising insecurity, saying it could worsen the situation. He urged politicians to put the country first ahead of party interests. Gen Abubakar spoke in Lagos at the launch of The Cable online newspaper, published by a former ThisDay Editor Simon Kolawole. “I appeal to politicians and all Nigerians to always put Nigeria first. I appeal to them to forget their differences when issues of security or Nigeria are at stake. Don’t play politics with security. “Perhaps our politicians can learn some lessons from America. Whenever there is an election, they identify themselves as Republicans and Democrats. “As soon as election is over, they identify themselves as Americans. I understand that politicians will always be politicians, but politics should not be destructive,” Gen Abubakar said. There was a discussion on the theme: “Nigeria at 100: Reflections on the future” by La-

•Gen. Abubakar (third left), Fashola (third right), Momoh (left), Ogunsanya (second left) , Senator Anyanwu (second right), Obaigbena (right) and Kolawole, during the unveiling of TheCable newspaper in Lagos…yesterday. PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS By Joseph Jibueze and Deji Ademigbuji

gos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Senator Chris Anyanwu, Chief Executive Officer of Channels Television Mr John Momoh and Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Mr Segun Ogunsanya. ThisDay publisher Nduka Obaigbena moderated the session. Dangore Group President Aliko Dangote sent a recorded message. Fashola questioned the country’s contributions to the “successes” in the telecommunication sector. “We can talk of telephones, but where is the Nigerian telephone?”

Fashola said while the political class shares part of the blame for the country’s woes, it does not exist in isolation, but reacts to the prevailing societal values. “How many politicians do we have in Nigeria? Let us do a math. Is it an average of 72,000 politicians that is a problem to 160 million people? Did they put themselves there? How many of you voted?” he asked the audience. The governor added that the “country has laws aplenty”, but where systems do not work, laws would not be obeyed. “If you want change, go and be the change you want,” he said. On insecurity, the senior ad-


By Tonia 'Diyan

awareness creation and education. Our approach therefore will not be a silver bullet approach. After today's celebration, we have committed to supporting the Abia State Government on the Roll Back Malaria initiative by ensuring that the message of this campaign can be taken to hospitals in the crooks and crannies of Abia State." Chukwu urged Mortein to help spread the message of the campaign against malaria. The minister said: "I encourage us all to strive towards effective leadership and partnership, which I believe will give us the needed leverage to free Nigeria and indeed Africa of malaria. I call on everyone to play an active part in this fight because together, we can have a malaria free Nigeria."

Momoh said Nigeria is a combination of the good, the bad and the ugly, adding: “It is the degree to which you put together those components that makes a great nation.” He said values have “taken a plunge,” and there is “crass materialism,” with people of shady characters being accorded recognition both in the media and the political space, and even ending up making laws and being voted into other public offices. The media chief said politics should be made less attractive. “Make it possible to work without pay. If you make political offices less attractive, the real people will step up. “There is need for us to re-

set, go back to the basics and make sure we’re on the right path to development. Ogunsanya said Nigeria does not need 100 years to develop. He urged the government to focus on good governance and infrastructure. The Airtel chief said the successes recorded in the telecoms section within a few years in which there is now about 130 million subscribers show that rapid development is possible. “If we can do these in a few years, I don’t this we need 100 years to turn the country around. The government, the civil society, the business community – if we come together, nothing can stop us, Ogunsanya said”

‘Why we are against Wike’s ambition’

Minister: we must kill malaria INISTER of Health Onyebuchi Chukwu has said the war against malaria must be won. He spoke at a programme by Reckitt Benckiser to mark this year's World Malaria Day in Umuahia, Abia State. Managing Director, Reckitt Benckiser, Rahul Morgai, said the company was committed to the fight against malaria in Nigeria. He said: "If according to the World Health Organisation, malaria still kills 3,000 children under the age of five every day and one African child still dies every 30 seconds while sub-Saharan Africa bears 90 per cent of the burden, then we all must rise to the occasion and put an end to malaria in Nigeria. "We believe the larger cause can be addressed if only we reach the masses through scaled

vocate said the police is blamed for being inefficient when it has not been well equipped. “Have we given them the tools before coming to the conclusion that the police force is irredeemable?” Senator Anyanwu, publisher of the now rested The Sunday Magazine (TSM), said she dreamt of a time politics would no longer be “insular”, and everyone could run for public offices wherever he lives, irrespective of his state of origin. “We have to tap into the strength of our diversity. When someone from Lagos can go to Kano and become a governor; until we get to that point, we cannot become the giant of Africa,” she said.

Rivers people, including Ikwerres, know that the next governor of Rivers State should in fairness shift to another ethnic group in the state that has not produced governor •Wike


HE Pan Rivers Alliance, a group of indigenes of riverine areas of Rivers State, has said it is against the governorship ambition of the Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, because the upland part of the state has led it for about 16 years. The group, in an advertorial published yesterday in this newspaper, said Wike’s ambition would hurt the riverine

By Wale Adetunmobi

people. The statement by Sir Elemchukwu Ogbowu, Lolo T. Ibineye and Capt Sowaribi Tolofari condemned the attempt by friends of the Supervising Minister of Education” to usurp the political leadership of the Senatorial District on the pages of newspapers and use same for a purported endorsement of Nyesom Wike as governor”.

The statement reads: ”We could have ignored this socalled vote of confidence and endorsement had they done so on behalf of themselves and themselves alone, as they are absolutely at liberty to endorse Nyesom Wike for whatever it is worth. After all, they known where their bread is being buttered. “The Pan Rivers Alliance hereby restates its position that consequent upon the 2007-2015 (eight years) occupation of the governorship position by the Ikwerre, the generality of Rivers people, including Ikwerres, know that the next governor of Rivers State should in fairness shift to another ethnic group in the state that has not produced governor. “The Minister of Sports, Dr Tammy Danagogo, could not have spoken for Kalabari or

Rivers West Senatorial District when he cautions against zoning of the governorship. This is because his (Dangogo’s) appointment as a Minister from the “Riverine” area of Rivers State was done in the spirit of federal character and zoning. His appointment complemented that of Barr Nyesom Wike from the “Upland” area of Rivers State. “We, therefore, call on the these misguided few to retrace their footsteps and stop the make-believe endorsement of Nyesom Wike. We call on them to support the popular desire of Rivers people to ensure the emergence of the next governor from either Kalabari, Andoni, Ibani (Opobo/Bonny), Eleme, Ndoki, Ekeye, Ogba, Engeni, Abua, Ogual, Etche/ Omuma or Okrika.”




Parents pr W • Head, Corporate and Investment Banking, Stanbic IBTC, Victor Williams , speaking at a news conference on the bank's participation at the forthcoming World Economic Forum in Abuja...yesterday. With him are Head, Marketing and Communications, Nkiru Olumide-Ojo and CEO, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Sola David-Borha (middle).

•From left: Chief Representative, Middle East and African Regional Office, Institute of International Finance (IIF), USA, Mr. Wolfang Engel; Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer designate, Skye Bank Plc, Mr. Timothy Oguntayo; Director, Global Events, IIF, Mr. Abdesattar Ouanes; and the Head, Corporate Planning and Strategy, Skye Bank, Mr. PHOTO: DAYO ADEWUNMI Tajudeen Ahmed, during the visit of the IIF team to Skye Bank...yesterday.

•From left: Chief Medical Director, National Hospital,Abuja, Dr J.A. Momoh,Board member, National Hospital, Earnest Okoli , President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Olumide Akintayo and chairman, PSN, Abuja branch, Bridget Otito at the donation of drugs to Nyanya bomb blast victims...yesterday.

•From right: Chairman, Mr. Chika Mordi; Group Chief Executive Officer, UBA Capital Plc, Mrs Oluwatoyin Sanni; National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders of Nigeria, Sir Sunny Nwosu and Director, Mr. Emmanuel Nnorom, during the first Annual General Meeting of UBA Capital Plc in Lagos...yesterday.

OMEN from Borno State yesterday protested the abduction of their daughters from the hostel 15 days after, by members of the Boko Haram sect, in Chibok. The women, dressed in black attire lamented the inability of the Federal Government to rescue the 234 schools girls who were writing their final examinations. Armed with placards containing emotional inscriptions, the bewildered women expressed fears that the kidnapped girls may be undergoing varied forms of torture and molestation in the hands of their captors. Some of the placards read: ‘Our girls in captivity for 15 days’; ‘Nigeria, come to the rescue of our girls’; ‘Mr President, rescue our daughters’; ‘A vacuum has been created’; ‘Save our daughters, please’; etc. The leader of the obviously traumatised parents, Mrs. Naomi Mukhtar, said the essence of their visit to the National Assembly was to further draw global attention to their predicament. She urged the leadership of the National Assembly to show sympathy for their plights by asking the Federal Government and the military authorities to ensure the immediate release of their daughters. She said: “On behalf of mothers of the 234 girls, we are here to express our anger. Our grievance is that we are not aware of the whereabouts of these girls. Our girls have been distributed to hoodlums in the forest. “It is painful that our daughters were carried away into the wilderness over 15 days now like cows to be slaughtered; since then, we have not heard anything from the Federal Government. “Where are the human right groups in the country? Where is the Women Affairs Ministry? Is there no government in the country? Are there no fathers and mothers in government again to deem it fit to see the parents of the abducted school girls and tell us what is actually happening. “If our children are dead, where are their bodies? Let us see their bodies. For the past two weeks, nobody has come to us, we are dying in silence, where is the international community? We need their assistance.” Four Senators, Hellen Esuene, Zainab Kure, Barnabas Gemade and Ali Ndume, addressed the protesters on behalf of Senate President David Mark. Ndume assured the women of the support and determination of the National Assembly to throw its full weight behind efforts by the Federal Government to ensure the safe rescue of the girls. Ndume, who is also from Borno state said: “We have heard your cry, we are with you on the matter. At the moment, we are considering a motion on the subject matter. “The Senate President sent the three of us to receive you. The Senate President has not slept over the matter. The very first motion upon resumption is the abduction. We wish to assure you that this matter will be addressed by the Senate. Our thoughts and prayers go to all of you because we are with you. We stand united in grief with you in your hour of pain, agony and anxiety. “We will do everything possible to make sure that the kidnappers release our daughters immediately, unconditionally.” Minister of Women Affairs Mrs. Zainab Maina, urged them to remain prayerful as the Federal Government

• Chibok women during the protest over the abducted girls at the National Assembly, Abuja... yesterday.

From Sanni Onogu and Victor Oluwasegun, Abuja

and the military authorities would ensure that the innocent girlswere rescued and reunited with their parents. nd collective resolve of Nigerians.”

Service chiefs to face Reps over 234 girls The House of Representatives yesterday resolved to summon the Chief of Defence State, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff and the Chief of Air Staff over the abduction of 234 female students from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State. The Service Chiefs are to brief the lawmakers on the efforts to find the abducted girls and the challenges hampering them from securing their freedom as well as strategies they intend to employ to bring the insurgency by the Boko Haram sect to an end. They also urged t the Federal Government " engage the sub-regional, regional and international organisations in coming up with a resolution that enables the Nigerian army engage other neighbouring countries in tackling the trans-border insurgency". The adoption of the resolutions was sequel to a motion of urgent national importance brought before the House by a member, Hon. Peter Gumta (Borno) and titled: "Urgent need to secure the release of the abducted girls of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State" However, an amendment by a member Sadiq Asema Mohammed, seeking the resignation of the Service Chiefs, National Security Adviser, Director-General of State Security Service and Comptroller General of Immigrations should the children not be found within a week failed to sail through. The motion elicited a passionate debate yesterday as the lawmakers bared their minds on what most to them termed as "an unfortunate incident." A member, Hon. Aisha Ahmed Moddibo was of the opinion that the efforts of the Chamber were a little too late. According to her, she ex-




s protest over abducted girls

•Mothers of some of the 234 abducted girls protesting at the National Assembly...yesterday.

pected that the House would have broken its Easter recess to convene an emergency meeting as it did in the past when it held a Sunday meeting over the fuel subsidy issue. "The debate is belated. The House should have suspended recess to discuss the issue. This is even more important that the fuel subsidy issue because the lives of children are involved," she said. Gumtha, while moving the motion, said t 43 of the 273 students abducted by the Boko Haram sect, escaped on the midnight of 14/15 April 2014 and that two weeks after the incident 234 others are still being held captive by the insurgents in an unknown place. He expressed displeasure over the misleading information from the security agencies that the adducted children had been rescued when they were not. The lawmaker revealed that rescue efforts by the sector command at Damboa and Askira had been hindered by the neglected and untarred

50 kilometre long Mbalala-ChibokDamboa federal road. Farouk Lawan while supporting the motion urged members to spend 30 seconds to imagine that their daughters were amongst the children carted away by the insurgents. Bitrus Kaze (Plateau State) said the Northeast is considered backwards in terms of education and that the abduction of over 200 girls from a school has dealt a deadly blow to education in the state. He urged leaders to eschew media war and stop politicising the fight against terror. "We must act as leaders and save lives and property, we must conduct ourselves as leaders. We must stop the media war. We need Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Benin, we should ask for help." Hon. Momoh Abubarkar said there was need to seek international assistance but that first, the Federal Government should negotiate with the insurgents to free the abducted children.

Another member, Rasak BelloOsagie, said the ongoing insurgency in the country is not checked could tear the nation apart. "The issue threatens our corporate existence," he said. Andrew Uchendu said there is the need to go spiritual to avoid the Balkanization of the country in line with the prediction of the Western countries. "Parliament should close down for a day and we should all go down on our knees." According to him," if care is not taken, the prediction that Nigeria will break in 2015 will come to pass." Samson Osagie described the situation as " a hopeless situation. It is a breakdown of government. Government must retrieve these children. If children of the 360 members are amongst, we will not be sitting here." Hon. Garuba Datti Mohammed said there is no political will to defeat the terrorists, adding that in spite of the state of emergency. Other members, who spoke in


•Two women in pensive mood during the protest... yesterday.

support of the motion include Ogbuefi Ozomgbachi, Robinson Uwak, Ifeoluwa Arewosoge, Patrick Ikheriale, Friday Itulah and Nnena Elendu-Ukeje whose amendment that " engage the sub-regional, re-

gional and international organizations in coming up with a resolution that enables the Nigerian army engage other neighbouring countries in tackling the trans-border insurgency, was passed.

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How to identify good economy, by ex-NLC President Sunmonu •Aregbesola flays drop in federal allocation •Osun’s economic indices impressive’


ORMER President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Hassan Sunmonu has said the only way to identify a good economy is that it must identify and meet the needs of the masses. Sunmonu spoke in Osogbo, the Osun State capital during a two-day economic summit entitled, “Orisun Aje 2014: Crux of Economic Developmental Masterplan”. The summit was organised by Peoples’ Welfare League (PWL). Its National Coordinator, Comrade Abiodun Agboola, yesterday said available indices about economic activities in Osun State have clearly shown that the state has moved up the ladder of economic development. He also disclosed that the recent classification of Osun State by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) as the seventh largest economy in Nigeria and Renaissance Capital, an international financial rating agency, was an indication that the state was in the “first row of developed economies” in the country. The NBS and Renaissance Capital , in 2012, rated the economy of the state as the seventh

largest and fastest growing in Nigeria. It also rated it as the second best in the country in terms of Gross Domestic Products (GDP) after Lagos. Agboola said the summit was to critique the economic activities in the state and the radical development of the state under Governor Rauf Aregbesola, adding that the summit would afford stakeholders, drawn from different segments of the society, the opportunity to examine the state’s economy critically. According to him, the useful indices emanating from the state were responsible for the decision of the league to do a thorough critique of the economy with a view to finding out the veracity of NBS’ rating as well as the impact of the economy on the people of the state. “We found some indices useful, which include enabling environment. The political will to encourage investors was found here, and the security of investment was also guaranteed, and most significantly the overhauling of infrastructure was detected. “In that premise, it is a fact that some industries have found a safe haven in this state,

a resultant effect has been the meaningful engagement of hundreds of unemployed youths in the state,” he revealed. While explaining some of the key issues for deliberations at the summit, the national coordinator noted that discussants would x-ray the working formula of Ogbeni Aregbesola’s administration and the impacts of his economic formula on the people of the state. “We would want to know why agriculture was made to do wonders for revenue generation before the discovery of crude oil in Nigeria and why it was neglected at the arrival of the black gold, and the consequences of the neglect now. “To do this, we chose the concept of ‘O’Meal’ which provides chain for the revolving of agriculture produce and market coupled with empowerment of the stakeholders, where one category is empowered for mental development for cognitive functions, while the other is empowered with meaningful and productive engagement. “My group has been on ground critiquing budgets of the successive governments in the last few years, because we believe that budget, when passed into law, is one law that

must be obeyed through administration of resources at appropriate places, and now we have pushed it to the economic summit, because there are indicators and indices to judge the performance of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s administration in the last 41 months,” he said. Aregbesola said no Nigerian has any reason to be poor in view of the enormous resources available in the country. He averred the importance of developmental economics, adding that his administration has performed excellently in this regard by impacting the people of the state through thoughtful programmes of his government. He, however, decried the reduction in federal allocation to the state, noting that federal allocation accruable to the state had reduced by 40 per cent in recent times. Sunmonu, who was one of the co-chairmen of the summit, said the summit was timely in view of its capacity to open the state to outside world through unbiased critique of the state’s economy, adding that Osun State has every resource to develop and become the best economy in the country.



NEWS North rejects Niger Delta’s claims to oil Continued from page 1

common good of all. “For example, the revenue received by the six states of the Southsouth from the Federal allocation from 1999 to date amounted to N17. 74 trillion (each of the six states received on average N2.96 trillion), while the 19 states of the North received only N10.53 trillion (an average of only N554 billion per state). “On the other hand, the 11 states of the Southwest and Southeast combined, received N8.79 trillion (an average of N799 billion per state), it said. The document said that derivation, which is now at 13 per cent, should be reduced to at best five per cent and must be limited only to oil on the onshore. “The North demands a new revenue sharing formula, which seeks to empower the strata of government closer to the people than the centre, that is, the states, and the local governments to be able to deliver on their governance responsibilities to the people. “The formula is also to ensure a strong enough Federal Government for the security of

the country and give the country the stability of direction and focus on human and economic development. “Here, we recommend a vertical revenue sharing formula as follows: Federal Government 26 %; states 39%, Local Governments Areas 35%. “Also we recommend a horizontal revenue sharing formula for the states and local governments areas as follows: equality 35%; population 30%; population density 2%; land mass 20%; terrain 5%; internal revenue generation effort 5%; and social development factor 3%. “The North rejects the frequent assertions by the South on the population figures of the North and states clearly that the rate of population growth attributed to the North over the years is extremely understated. “The North recommends that all institutions and programmes established for the benefit of a few states be abolished. These include the Niger Delta Development Commission, the Ministry of Niger Delta and the Amnesty programme for the Niger Delta militants and component C of

the SURE-P, the HYPADEC,” it said. The document said the fervent increase in agitation for total resource control that overemphasised revenue from oil minerals producing states (the Niger Delta) is a complete over hyping of the contribution of oil to keeping the country together. “This is needless to say that the agitation is a complete negation of the tenets of a brothers’ keeper of a federal system of government which Nigeria had decided to practise long time ago.” The document said the Constitution gave the ownership of all minerals resources found in any part of the country to the Federal Government. According to the document, the history of revenue sharing among the regions and the centre was 50:50, but limited to revenue derived from activities that involved human effort. “All mineral resources belonged to the centre; this new adventure on resource control is totally new concept and alien to the practice in Nigeria,” it said. The document said the fund-

ing of the civil war was entirely done by the North at a great sacrifice to its wellbeing, at the expense of investment in human and economic development of the entire region. The North, it said, sold forward all its groundnut and cotton for some years, risking forward delivery contract of three years for all its agricultural products to prosecute the civil war. It said that the National Conference “tended to be gimmick” used by past and present presidents to push through certain agenda that they fear cannot possibly pass through the National Assembly. “The unmistakable conclusion to be drawn from the history of these exercises is that the 2014 National Conference, like its 2005 predecessor, is intended to permit Mr. President to take certain actions and decisions which are not allowed without changing the Constitution and which the National Assembly may not otherwise endorse,” the document stated, adding: “Of course, the president won’t tell anyone in advance Continued on page 60

Tension deepens as Committee fails to resolve resource control issue From Onyedi Ojiabor and Dele Anofi, Abuja



OR the third time, the National Conference Committee on Devolution of Power failed to reach a conclusion on the list to place the issue of Mines, Minerals and Geological Surveys. Northern delegates were advocating for mines and minerals to remain on the Exclusive Legislative List where only the National Assembly would have the powers to legislate on it. Their southern counterparts insisted on moving it to the

Concurrent List where the states and Federal Government would share powers and responsibilities. The Committee that bickered so much over the minutes of the previous day dissolved into executive session after the lunch break to resolve the issue. On emerging from the closed door session after two hours, the Co-Chairman, former Governor Victor Attah, said the meeting had adjourned till today as there was no conclusion on the subject. He said the issue would be resolved today. Reacting to the atmosphere of tension that pervaded the hall on the inability of the two divides to shift ground on their demands, Chief Ayo Adebanjo said most members of the Committee were ready to allow force of reason to prevail but that the use of force would not yield any result.

•Police using water to disperse members of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and students protesting over ‘discrimination and neglect’ of the sector in Abuja…yesterday


Senators demand military action to rescue abducted school girls Continued from page 1

The Senate urged the Federal Government to seek the assistance of the United Nations and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to rescue the girls. Besides, senators are to confer with President Goodluck Jonathan to seek ways of curtailing the insurgency. These resolutions followed a motion entitled: “Abduction of School girls in Chibok, Borno State”, sponsored by Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba and 107 others. Some Senators blamed the degenerating insurgency on sabotage and collaboration by insiders in the military. Others wondered why the President had not visited Borno State to commiserate with the people and boost the morale of the troops on ground. A Senator from the area Ahmed Zannah, gave a graphic account of how the terrorists have been moving the girls from camp to camp in the forest since the day they were abducted. He named the locations where the girls were being camped. Zanna lamented that the military did not act on the intelligence he placed at their disposal that could have facilitated early rescue of the girls. In his lead debate, Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba urged the Senate to note the in-


We use information given to us, says DHQ

HE military yesterday declined to comment on allegations that the Boko Haram terrorists have whisked the abducted girls abroad through military-coloured vehicles. A Chibok leader, Dr. Pogu Bitrus, had alleged that the extremist sect members transported the girls to neighbouring Chad and Cameroon through military-coloured vans and ferries, where they married the girls off

human abduction. He told the Upper Chamber, which was just returning from its two-week Easter recess, the incident occurred just when the country was grieving over the rush hour bombing of a bus park in Nyanya near the nation’s capital, Abuja. He said when the nation was was trying to come to grips with the bombing that killed over 75 people and injured dozens , the country was struck with yet another devastating blow: the girls’ abduction. He recalled that the terrorist broke into the Government Secondary School in Chibok, shot the guards and abducted the pupils, taking them away in trucks into the Sambisa forest, a known hideout of the sect. Ndoma-Egba said prior to the abduction, the school was closed down for four weeks due to the deteriorating security situation

By Precious Igbonwelundu

to themselves and their members. But Defence spokesman, Gen. Chris Olukolade, who said the military would rather not comment on the issue, noted that no information was being left unanalysed to ensure the freedom of the girls. He said: “The concern and anxiety from all quarters is quite understand-

in the state, but the pupils were recalled to take their final exams in physics. He said that the Senate is disappointed that two weeks after their disappearance, the girls’ whereabouts remained unknown. The senator noted that about 44 of the girls escaped by jumping from the back of the trucks used to ferry them away or by sneaking out of the abductor’s camp. According to him, besides the uncertainty, as to the fate of the innocent girls, “whose only crime is to go to school, is the lack of authentic information from the school authorities, the security agencies and their parents as to the exact number of girls that were abducted and the processes leading to same.” The lawmaker called on the Senate to be hopeful that the offer of assistance by the United

able. Please be assured that much as the forces may not disclose details of action being taken to secure the freedom of the girls, every information received on the subject is duly analysed and acted upon as necessary. “ No information is being ignored in the concerted effort to ensure the safety and freedom of the girls. Just pray for the successful outcome of all the efforts please.”

States and Britain to rescue the students would come. He, however, said that the Senate was afraid that time was fast running out as the girls’ captors may break them into various hideouts. The senators unanimously resolved to urge the Federal Government and all security agencies to intensify efforts at bringing back the girls. They urged the Federal Government and the security agencies to seek assistance of the United Nations, ECOWAS and other countries to rescue the girls. They also prayed for the safe release of all the abducted girls and urged the government at all levels to provide adequate security for all schools. Senate President David Mark decried the “callous adoption” of the girls and called for full scale military action against the

insurgents. Mark said it was time to be proactive in attacking the terrorists so much so that it is the insurgents that would beg the nation for dialogue. He said the insurgents had touched the “heart of the nation”, with the abduction of the girls. Mark said: “The people we are dealing with are not just locals. They are well trained and they know what they want. They are not terrorists, they are insurgents. And all along we have been reacting. Unless we are proactive, we are not going to get anywhere. “I have been in the forefront of saying we must go to dialogue with the insurgents, but I think we must take this battle to a level where they also will now call for dialogue. “We cannot do this unless the locals on the ground there coop-

erate with the members of the armed forces. Our armed forces are doing their best. “Those who study insurgency and terrorism know that the locals are extremely important because they must work hand-inhand with the members of the armed forces. “This is not a conventional warfare. My prayer is that all hands must be on deck in this war. All of us must begin to appeal to the people in our constituencies.” The Senate President urged the Federal Government to ensure that the nation is briefed daily on efforts to rescue the girls. He lamented that the kidnap of the 234 girls would dominate the World Economic Forum scheduled to meet in Nigeria soon. Said Mark: “I believe that there are external connections because our local terrorists and insurgents cannot do what they are doing. They touch the heart of the nation. “There is no nation that would sit down and fold their arms and watch women and children killed at random by any group of people. Unless the local environment Continued on page 60

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•Members of the Religion Committee of the National Conference in a group photograph after their meeting in Abuja...yesterday


Falana to Jonathan: ignore calls to remove Northeast governors

AGOS lawyer Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) has criticised Ijaw leader Chief Edwin Clark for allegedly calling for the removal of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states' governors over Boko Haram insurgency. Falana urged President Goodluck Jonathan to ignore Clark's call. In a statement yesterday in Lagos, the frontline lawyer noted that it was illegal and unconstitutional for the elder statesman to call for the removal of the governors. Though he admitted that Clark wielded enormous influence at the Presidency, Falana said his call for the removal of the governors was diversionary and without legal backing. He said: "There is nothing like partial declaration of a state of emergency in the 1999 Constitution; what Section 305 (c) of the Constitution contem-



By Adebisi Onanuga

plates is the recourse to 'extraordinary measures to restore peace' and security, where there is a breakdown of public order and public safety. This, in effect, means that all democratic institutions should be suspended to permit the military exercise full control until peace and order return." Falana said Section 305 of the Constitution, which empowers the President to declare a state of emergency in any part of the country, does not make any provision - expressly or impliedly - for the removal of elected democratic structures. "In other words, the power of the President to take 'extraordinary measures to restore peace and security' under a state of emergency does not include the removal of elected public officers or the dissolution of democratic

structures," he said. The lawyer-activist stressed that governors could not be held "vicariously liable" for the inability of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to stem the rising wave of insurgency in the country. Falana said: "It is submitted that the adoption of 'extraordinary measures' should not be construed outside the ambit of the power of the President to deploy the Armed Forces and the police to restore public peace whenever there has been a breakdown of law and order in the whole country or any part thereof. In the process, the fundamental rights of all persons in the affected areas, save the right to life, may be infringed upon in the interest of defence, public safety and public order. "To that extent, Section 45 (2) of the Constitution provides

that 'an Act of the National Assembly shall not be invalidated by reason only that it provides for the taking, during periods of emergency, of measures that derogate from the provisions of Section 33 or 35 of this Constitution; but no such measures shall be taken in pursuance of any such Act during any period of emergency save to the extent that those measures are reasonably justifiable for the purpose of dealing with the situation that exists during that period of emergency'. "'Provided that nothing in this section shall authorise any derogation from the provisions of Section 33 of this Constitution, except in respect of death resulting from acts of war or authorise any derogation from the provisions of Section 36 (8) of this Constitution'." The lawyer said since Clark could not refer to any law or

Mohammed Abacha’s absence stalls arraignment on fresh charge From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

M •Falana

decided case to justify his stand, the Ijaw leader was merely advising President Jonathan to follow the “bad example” of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who suspended former Plateau State Governor Joshua Dariye and Ekiti State Acting Governor for six months in violation of the Constitution. He described the Obasanjo era as a period of "executive recklessness" which has been consigned to the dustbin of history.

Police teargas ASUP, COEASU members in Abuja

HE police disrupted yesterday in Abuja a peaceful protest by members of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU). The police used teargas and water to disperse the protesters, who were calling for the government’s resolution of their demands and 10-month strike. The unions began their march at 9am at the main car park of the Federal Secretariat. They marched on the Ministry of Education, carrying placards with various inscriptions. The protesters called for the sack of the Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike. Attempts to get the minister or a senior official of the ministry were futile. Security operatives, especially the police, barricaded the entrance to the ministry to prevent the protesters from entering. They disallowed the unions from going ahead with the protest. But the unions insisted that the action was their civic right. After waiting for a while without a positive response from the ministry, the unions’ leaders, alongside those of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), became agitated. ASUP President Chibuzor Asomugha said the union would push the government to resolve the lingering crisis. He said nobody could intimidate ASUP. Asomugha said: “Is it right

Wike: I’m committed to resolving unions’ strike


HE Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, has said the ministry will resolve the 10-month strike by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU). Wike said the Federal Government had met over 90 per cent of the unions’ demands. A statement yesterday in Abuja by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Supervising Minister of Education, Simeon Nwakaudu, said the minister also announced that the committee on bridging the gap between HND and first degree holders will be inaugurated next week with the Permanent Secretary in the ministry

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

as its chairman. The minister alluded to reports on the unions that they had accepted Federal Government’s offer to settle the CONTISS 15 arrears in two instalments. He said the unions should officially communicate their position to the ministry for immediate action. Wike added that with the progress attained after series of negotiations between the Federal Ministry of Education, the Federal Ministry of Labour and the unions, the strikes would be resolved soon. The minister urged the unions to call off their strike and resume academic work in the interest of the nation.

•Unions seek end to 10-month strike •Wogu promises Jonathan’s intervention From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

that somebody would spend five years to get an HND (Higher National Diploma) and when he wants to go to the university, they make him a second year student? If the government is sensitive and it means its transformation (agenda), then it should start transforming the Education sector.” COEASU President Asagha Nkoro corroborated Asomugha’s statement. He said: “The Federal Government should arise and solve

the problems of COEASU and ASUP so that they can go back to school. Since December 18, 2013, when COEASU declared its strike, the Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, has never called us for any meeting. He is calming that he has met with us. “We challenge Wike to tell us the date and where he met with COEASU and the letter that conveyed that meeting. “The truth is that their children are not schooling in the country. It is the children of the poor that are here. Most of these

students are not even sure of a job after school. “We are calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene. How can this be happening for over 10 months and nothing has been done? But if there is a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rally, he will be there. He got to that position by the power of God.” NLC President, who was represented by the Assistant Secretary, Industrial Relations, Nuhu Toro, said: “We are with you in this struggle. If it means to mobilise all workers for this cause,

we will. We will stand by you until the right thing is done.” The unions also marched on the Ministry of Labour and Productivity where the minister, Emeka Wogu, assured them that President Jonathan had intervened in their case. The minister said the unions’ issues with the government would soon be resolved. He urged the unions’ leaders to meet with him after the protest for further discussion on how to end the lingering strike. Wogu said: “I came out to you as a Nigerian. I want to reassure you that even last night, your grievances were discussed with the leadership of your unions. We are almost there. I want to commend your patience and perseverance. You have done it the best way, without disrupting anything. “Why I came out is because I was told to tell you that we are almost there. The government has not been silent over the months. What is important is that I am bringing you a message from the highest point. That I came here shows you that we are not running away from the problem.” The unions’ members were marching to the National Assembly to submit their protest letter to the lawmakers when the police started firing teargas and spraying water on them. The police warned the protesters not to go near the National Assembly.

OHAMMED, the son of the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, shunned yesterday the court for the second time. He was to answer to a fresh charge of unlawful receipt of funds allegedly stolen from the Federal Government. The government filed the new charge against him. Mohammed Abacha would have been arraigned on April 10 but his absence in court prompted Justice Mamman Kolo of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to adjourn till yesterday. The Federal Government, through a private lawyer, Daniel Enwelum, filed the fresh charge of nine counts against Mohammed. It accused him of “dishonestly receiving stolen property” and that he “voluntarily assisted in concealing money” estimated at N446.3 billion. The fresh charge replaced the earlier 121 counts in which Mohammed was charged with one of his late father’s associates, Atiku Bagudu. The government has now excluded Bagudu from the fresh charge, leaving only Mohammed. When the case was called yesterday, Enwelum drew the court’s attention to Mohammed’s absence for the second time. Defence lawyer Mr R. O. Atabo explained that his client was absent in court because he was ill. He tendered a medical report to support his claim. The report, which the lawyer read to the court, said Mohammed was suffering from blood pressure, severe back pains and headache and needed two weeks’ bed rest. Atabo sought an adjournment to enable his client recuperate and attend court to answer to the charge. He said: “We acknowledge the fact that the accused has been served, in accordance with the undertaking of Abdullahi Haruna (the lawyer that represented Mohammed on April 10, who accepted the charge on his behalf). “However, we wish to inform the court that about four days ago, the accused took ill and had to be rushed to the hospital...” Justice Kolo adjourned the matter till June 18.




•Fayemi (third right), his wife Bisi (second right), Lagos State Deputy Governor Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire (right), Ekiti Deputy Governor Prof. Modupe Adelabu, wife of Ogun State governor, Funsho Amosun (left), wife of Lagos State governor, Abimbola Fashola (second left), wife of Oyo State governor Florence Ajimobi (third left), wife of Osun State governor, Sherifat Aregbesola (fourth left) and wife of Nasarawa State governor, Hajia Salamatu Al-Makura during the inauguration of Ekiti State’s Women Wing of the All Progressives Congress and Obinrin Kete in AdoEkiti...yesterday.

Our stand on Fayose’s visit to Ijan, by Daramola’s family


HE family of the late Dr Ayo Daramola, a governorship aspirant who was killed in Ijan-Ekiti in 2006, has expressed disappointment over the visit of the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ayo Fayose, to the Onijan of Ijan, Oba Samuel Oyewole. The family, in a statement by Dare Daramola, the late Daramola’s younger brother, said the traditional ruler’s reported exoneration of Fayose of the killing of Daramola was his personal opinion, which “was not and will never be a view shared by the immediate family and all other associates of the deceased”. The statement reads: “We wish to make our position known to the good people of Ekiti, many Nigerians and beyond that have stood by the family of late Dr. Ayo Daramola since his demise on August 14, 2006. “We want to say without mincing words that the exoneration of Ayo Fayose over the death of Ayo Daramola that emanated from the palace of Onijan, Oba Samuel Oyewole Fadahunsi was not and will never be a view shared by the immediate family and all other associates of the deceased. We do not have a hand in it. No members of the family or the political group, The Turning Point, were consulted before such barefaced assertion was made. It was a personal opinion which the Kabiyesi is free to express. “The family wants to place it on record with a very serious emphasis that, at no time, anywhere has the family through any representative exonerated Ayo Fayose and his evil disciples from the dastardly murder of our brother, cousin, husband, and benefactor. Wherever these specious, incorrect, assumptions emanated from is at best from the pit of hell and unconscionable minds of its perpetrators. We are not part of this malicious campaign to put the family at disrepute “Let Ayo Fayose go atop

Olosunta Hill in Ikere or Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to swear that he did not have a hand in the killing. Let a thousand Obas proclaim his innocence. We know all that happened; so are a lot of other people – the threats, intimidation, and the harassment on the person of Ayo Daramola before he was eventually murdered. “Ayo Daramola’s name in the last six years has been a recurrent decimal in the history of Ekiti. The reason for this is not far-fetched. He was humane. He was very passionate about bringing developmental changes to the land that he loved and cherished so much. But Fayose and his cohorts felt uncomfortable with this. “We are still pained by the death of our beloved; an illustrious son of Ijan who was only interested in service to Ekiti and his people. We remain resolute on the fact that it was during Fayose’s reign of terror in Ekiti that the devious act occurred. Because of this, there are questions that he should answer the given the fact that he was the number one citizen of the state at that time. Today, Ayo Fayose may claim to be a changed person. He may swear by whatever god. He may put on the best of traditional attires and employ the service of local drummers and dance round Ekiti because he wants to be governor? again. But he should not forget the Yoruba saying, Iyan ogun odun a ma joni lowo. The Law of Karma is a very constant law of nature. If he escapes the judgment of men, he will not escape the judgment of God! This, we know.”

•The late Dr Daramola

CORRECTION The caption of a picture published on this page yesterday should have read: “Fayose (right) speaking at a campaign in Ipoti-Ekiti, Ijero Local Government Area of the state... on Sunday. Applauding his speech is former Minister of Police Affairs Caleb Olubolade (left)”. The error is regretted.

Fayemi promises better life for rural dwellers


•Ekiti APC launches women’s wing •Oni’s supporters join APC

URAL dwellers in Ekiti State are to enjoy more dividends of democracy. Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi yesterday promised to boost the local economy. Fayemi spoke during his campaign tour to four communities in Gbonyin Local Government Area. Communities visited by the governor’s campaign train include Iro, Egbe, Imesi and Agbado where he was received by residents who promised to use their votes to return him into office. Fayemi said: “Nobody can intimidate you here, there is no way you can see the right way and head into the bush. There is light in Ekiti, we are no longer in darkness. “We are already witnessing progress in Ekiti and we will never retrogress again. We have done a lot but there


From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

is still more to do and by the grace of God on June 21, something great will happen through your votes for the APC.” Also yesterday, the Ekiti State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday launched APC women’s wing, attracting various women groups and thousands of women across the 16 councils of the state. The event, which held at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Ado-Ekiti, was attended by Fayemi, his deputy, Prof. Modupe Adelabu, was to drum support for the governor. The governor’s wife, Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, also launched ‘Obinrin Kete’ (All women group), a united political forum for all women in the state.

Fayemi said he has fulfilled hispledge made while seeking the office in 2006 to ensure improvement in the lives of women, adding: “It is now law in Ekiti that 4 out of ten political posts must now go to women.” The governor Fayemi, who urged women to propagate APC for better reach and acceptance among the electorate, said according to a recent list of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) there were more women voters in Ekiti, adding: “whoever despises women does that at his own peril. They are the source of our strength, particularly in this government.” Mrs Fayemi, who described ‘Obinrin Kete’, as a non-political movement for all categories of women in Ekiti, said: “It is a movement of all women across social

divides who are not really political party members but who are very passionate about the re-election of Governor Kayode Fayemi. Women should forget about their political leanings and join this movement to sustain the development in Ekiti.” The party also received defectors from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), whose spokesperson, Mrs. Fajuyi, said: “It was a natural thing for people of light to be attracted to light. This is a new party now. We are saying bye, bye to jakujaku (meaninglessness and ruderlessness). Those of us here are saying the sun has risen for us in Ekiti with Fayemi. Whoever is here in the last three years, will know something great is happening here in Ekiti. Those of us just joining the party today have a leader (Segun Oni) who will show his face eight days from now.”

Fayose, APC trade words over Institute of Medical Technology

HE Ayo Fayose Campaign Organisation (AFCO) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday traded words over the plan of Governor Kayode Fayemi to establish an Institute of Medical Technology in Ifaki-Ekiti, Ido/Osi Local Government Area. Fayose condemned the plan, describing the move as a “greek gift”. He urged the people of IfakiEkiti to reject the institute. A statement yesterday by the Director-General of AFCO, Chief Dipo Anisulowo, said the Technology Institute was an “insult on the people of IfakiEkiti”. The statement reads: “It is only a wicked government that will take away a university (The University of Science and Technology, IfakiEkiti, USTI) from a community and come back three years after with a plan to replace it with an Institute of Medical Technology. Or isn’t it an act of wickedness to take an 18-seater bus from someone and replace it with Okada?” The APC spokesperson, Mr. Segun Dipe, condemned Fayose for “his persistent ig-

Osun APC: PDP plans to rig


From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

HE All Progressives Congress in Osun State has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of plotting to rig the June 21 and August 9 gubernatorial elections in Ekiti and Osun states. A statement by the party’s Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Kunle Oyatomi, said the PDP plans to hack into the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC’s) data base to corrupt the voter register by eliminating their names from the register. The APC alleged that the PDP in Osun was already deceiving unsuspecting voters to collect the PIN numbers of their voters’ card. It said the PDP had accessed the telephone numbers of the voters and are pretending to be calling from INEC’s office in Osogbo that prospective voters should confirm their voters’ cards’ PIN numbers for security purpose. The APC alerted the INEC of “the latest in the series of dastardly plots by the PDP to rig elections in both Ekiti and Osun states”. The APC urged INEC to nip the plan in the bud. In a swift reaction, Senator Iyiola Omisore, through his media aide, Prince Diran Odeyemi, said the APC should stop making allegations against him and the PDP. He said the party should rather discuss issues. From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

norance in the midst of several opportunities to be enlightened”. Dipe said contrary to what

AFCO said, USTI was only merged with other stateowned institutions, adding: “This was a sincere and genu-

ine recommendation of a threeday State Education Summit.” He added: “For saying USTI was scrapped, Fayose has once again proved he is either incurably unteachable or perniciously lost in perfidy. Ekiti State University (EKSU), which today is the result of the merger of the three erstwhile state-owned institutions, has fared better in all parametres of an academic institution. “Hitherto, Ekiti had to battle with the funding of three universities, a situation which was neither desirable nor achievable, as all three then were barely surviving. “The decision to merge the three was not a a fanciful fiat of an all-powerful governor. Fayemi only followed the recommendation of Stakeholders Forum tagged the Ekiti Education Summit,which analysed the education situation in the state and then made recommendations which included the consolidation of the secondary schools in the state by which both senior and junior secondary schools came together under one administration. This has started yielding results, including unprecedented improvement in the WAEC and NECO results of students in the last two years.”




Aregbesola inaugurates civil servant’s smart ID card

Ajimobi visits offices

SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola inaugurated yesterday the smart identity card and biometric automation for civil servants. The initiative, tagged: “I am Alive”, is the first in the country. The smart card contains the data of civil servants and will serve as credit card, debit card and identification cards. An interesting feature of the card is that carriers can withdraw up to 20 per cent of their salary without money in their accounts. The smart card is a tripartite arrangement among the Osun State government, Charms Plc and First Bank Plc. Aregbesola, in his speech, titled: “Identifying the Living”, said the smart card would intensify the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for administrative efficiency. He said the card is electronically personalised with the biometric features of its carrier. The governor said: “It was through the application of ICT to our tax administration and revenue collection that we increase our InternallyGenerated Revenue (IGR) by 100 per cent within the first few months of our administration.

YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi paid a surprise visit yesterday to some Ministries, Departments and Parastatals (MDAs). He said such visits would be carried out weekly to ensure punctuality and efficiency in the civil service. The governor said the monitoring, which caught many workers unawares, would take place between 7:30 and 8am weekly, adding: “Some civil servants came late and some came early. I have decided that on a weekly basis, I will pay surprise visits to ministries between 7:30 and 8am. When they see us coming regularly, they will adjust.” Expressing satisfaction with the improvement in the civil service, he said his administration would continue to provide a conducive environment for workers, adding that the secretariat would be renovated. The governor visited the Civil Service Commission, Ministries of Health, Trade and Investment, Establishment and Training, Industry, Applied Science and Technology and Agriculture. He also visited the Transport Pool, where he ordered the disposal of rickety and abandoned vehicles on the premises.


•Aregbesola (in white) unveiling the Smart ID Card... yesterday. With him is Aladekomo (left). From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

“We have since intensified efforts to make ICT an inherent part of our public administrative system. The introduction of this smart electronic identity card is another component of that o effort. “It will expectedly bring about many benefits to civil servants and the government. It will be given to all

workers across Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), including Local Government Council workers. “The Smart ID Card is electronically personalised with the biometric features of each user. It will add immense value to the performance of workers and improve the capacity and cost of administration by the government.”

Aregbesola said the card will eliminate financial waste and leakages and create a reliable database for salary payment. He said: “Leave bonuses, for example, are now tied to each worker’s birthday and paid to their accounts automatically on that day. With this Smart ID Cards, there cannot be mistaken identity in the payment of money to workers. In this system, iden-

at selected facilities, adding: “Expectant mothers who are qualified to benefit from this special project within the Araya Scheme will be given a mobile telephone to enable them keep in touch with health workers in case of emergencies.” Amosun said beneficiaries would get stipends for transportation on every ante-natal visit to the facilities. They will get “Mama kits” and money for their babies’ upkeep and post-natal visits will be rewarded whenever they bring the babies for the first four immunisations. The governor said CBHIS was designed to provide financial protection against illness and improve access to quality health services for those excluded from the formal insurance. He said the state was con-

centrating more on preventive health care and renovating primary health care facilities. Amosun said: “New ones are being built and equipped with necessary drugs, equipment and relevant staff. The personnel undergo training and retraining on a regular basis to keep abreast with modern medical development. This is because we believe our PHC facilities are closer to the grassroots and we need to enhance our referral system from primary to tertiary levels of care.” He said model medium hospitals would be built in the nine federal constituencies and the first one had been completed in Abeokuta. Amosun said medical equipment worth about N320 million had been imported and distributed to secondary health care facilities.

Amosun kicks off health insurance scheme


GUN State Governor Ibikunle Amosun inaugurated yesterday the state’s CommunityBased Health Insurance Scheme (CBHIS), Araya, and the second phase of the conditional cash transfer, Gbomoro, to increase access to affordable and sustainable health care. Amosun said since the inception of his administration 35 months ago, he had wanted to rebuild the health care system, adding that a five-cardinal programme was drawn to facilitate an efficient health care delivery system. He said health care delivery, especially Primary Health Care (PHC), had been weakened by many factors over the years, adding that it lacked skilled workers, equipment, drugs and good


By Wale Adepoju

structures. Amosun said expectant mothers, children under five years and people aged 70 years and above belong to the vulnerable group and will not pay any money to be on the scheme, adding that the government’s subsidy would cover each enrollee’s N5,000 registration fee. He said people between five and 69 years will pay N4,000 out of the N7,000 needed to be on the scheme and the government will pay the balance. The governor said the objective of Gbomoro was to increase access to basic health care by expectant mothers. Under the initiative, he said cash would be given to vulnerable expectant mothers to access health services

APC alleges plan by Omisore, PDP to implicate members

OLITICAL office holders from Ife Federal Constituency of Osun State have alleged plans by the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) governorship candidate, Senator Iyiola Omisore, to plant guns in the homes, vehicles and properties of some All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders. At a press conference in Osogbo, the leader of the group, Senator Babajide Omoworare (Osun East District), alleged that the plan was to implicate them and get them detained before the August 9 poll. They accused Minister of State for Defence Musiliu Obanikoro and Minister of Police Affairs Jelili Adesiyan of planning to cause mayhem in the Southwest ahead of the governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

states. They alleged that the PDP and Omisore were planning to kit thugs, who they said are members of the Omisore Youth Support Forum (OYSF), in police uniforms and give them police/presidency official number plates, arms and ammunition. They alleged that the PDP was planning to use the thugs disguised as policemen to its advantage during the campaign and election. They also alleged that members of the Omisore Youth Support Forum had been mandated to kidnap APC members. The political office holders said: “The maturity of APC members should not be mistaken for cowardice, lethargy or timidity. We urge

well meaning Nigerians to call all the characters to order and remind them of our indelible history that since the 19th Century, the Yoruba have strongly abhorred, resolutely resisted and staunchly repelled efforts to perpetrate injustice, rig elections, usurp power and enthrone unpopular governments within our geopolitical zone. “We assure Ife people that we will not relent in our efforts to sustain the current inestimable peace, political tranquility, infrastructural and unprecedented economic development, which is returning Ife land to its place of pride and prosperity. “We encourage indigenes and residents of Ife land alike to remain steadfast, watchful and unintimidated. We implore them to exercise


their political rights, their constitutional obligations and civic responsibilities by coming out en-masse to vote, knowing that the volume of votes count a lot in policy and decision making.”

tity is completely individualised and electronically personalised. “For pensioners, it removes the stress of going through multiple verifications to get their money and blocks means of cheating them. By clearly identifying the living from the dead, this system ensures that ghosts will no longer mingle with our workers or have access to our payroll in Osun. It keeps them where they belong – in the grave. It stops the dead from coming to steal money from the living. It makes certain that only retirees who are ‘ALIVE’ receive payment. This affirms the sense in the project’s title, ‘I am Alive’.” The governor said by June, pupils aged 1-6 years will have personalised cards containing their bio-data. The Group Managing Director of Charms, Mr. Ademola Aladekomo, said Osun has broken another ground in the ICT world. He said the smart card can be used anywhere in Nigeria and abroad, adding that it carries the fingerprints of its holder. The representative of First Bank’s Managing Director, Mr. Mutairu Akinfolarin said the card was a product of “hard thinking”. He hailed the governor for pioneering the card, adding that First Bank was proud to be part of it.


Akpabio, Tinubu for honour


From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

KWA Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio and Senator Oluremi Tinubu are among eminent Nigerians to be honoured at the 50th anniversary celebration and 33rd Convocation of the Adeyemi College of Education (ACE) in Ondo, Ondo State. Others are Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Registrar, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde; former House of Representatives’ member Mr. Omotayo Fawehinmi and Chief Olabanji Akingbule. Minister of Communications Technology Mrs. Omobola Johnson; founder of the Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Chief Afe Babalola (SAN); Director-General of the National Teachers’ Institute, Kaduna, Dr. Aminu Ladan Sharehu; former Managing Director, Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Timi Alaibe and the Chairman of the Pacesetters Group of Schools in Abuja, Kenneth Imansuangbon, will be honoured with the institution’s fellowship awards.


Fasanmi gets award

ECOND Republic Senator Chief Ayo Fasammi will, on May 2 , be presented with an award by the church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Diocese of Osu. The event coincides with the church’s synod, titled: “Fight the Good Fight”. The venue is the diocese’s Conference Centre, Bishop’s Court, Isale-Aro, Osogbo. It will begin at 11am. Dignitaries expected include All Progressives Congress (APC) governors, the party’s Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, and its National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.




NDLEA arrests two with 1.6kg drugs

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N10b jet probe not over yet, says Tambuwal




HE Lagos State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested two men for unlawful possession of 1.6 kilogrammes of heroin. Ogbonna Paul Obioma, 36, an auto spares dealer and Okpoagu Stanley Chijioke, 30, who claimed to be jobless, were arrested at Festac Town in Lagos. The state commander of the agency, Mr Aliyu Sule, said the suspects were apprehended following a tip-off. “The command, acting on intelligence reports, seized 18 wraps of heroin weighing 1.6 kilogrammes at Festac Town. The two male suspects found in possession of the drugs have been arrested and will be charged to court,” Sule said. Chijioke told investigators: “I was recently deported from India. At present, I am jobless and I need to establish myself. My friend in India told me to

•Chijioke By Kelvin Osa Okunbor

collect the drug from a lady at Oshodi in Lagos. I spoke with the lady on the phone and she gave me the bag. I took the drugs to my friend, Ogbonna Paul, to help me look for buyers. It was in the process that we were arrested with the drugs”. Obioma: “My friend came to me with the drugs that I should help him look for a buyer. I decided to partner with him because he promised to reward me handsomely.” The Chairman/Chief Executive of the agency, Ahmadu Giade restated that drug traffickers have no hiding place in the country. “NDLEA will spread its tentacles wide to cover the airports, seaports, land borders and across the country. Drug barons have no hiding place. We shall trace their hideouts, arrest them and make the country drug-free.”

OUSE of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal has said despite the legal action against the House by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, the investigation on her N10 billion alleged bill on chartered jets has not ended. Tambuwal spoke at plenary yesterday when he ruled on a point of order brought by a member, Omosule Eniolorunda. The lawmaker had called the attention of the House to the court ruling on the suit filed by the minister and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). He noted, however, that the ruling was insufficient to stop the House from continuing with its probe of the minister. A source told The Nation yesterday that some House members were allegedly induced to stall the probe. But the inducement was reportedly turned down. A member, who spoke in confidence, said the House committee had received a confidential report that “300,000 Euros” was being spent monthly on three private jets parked at an airport hangar. Eniolorunda said the Constitution gives the House the power to expose corruption and avert a waste of resources. According to him, it is not right for the leadership of the House to stop the minister’s

From Victor Oluwasegun, Abuja

probe because of the court order. Tambuwal said: “We have not closed that investigation. When we get legal advice, we will know the next line of action.” The Speaker directed the House Committee on Public Accounts to maintain a stay of action on the investigation until the House receives a legal opinion on the matter. But a member of the committee, Kehinde Odeneye, gave insight into the controversy. He said the committee had obtained relevant documents that would aid the investigation, adding that the purpose of the probe was to ascertain if it was true the minister really incurred the N10 billion on chattered jets. The lawmaker criticised Mrs Alison-Madueke’s action. He said: “If the minister doesn’t have anything to hide, there was no reason for her to have gone to court.” Odeneye said it would be tantamount to usurping the statutory powers of the National Assembly, if any attempt is made to halt the investigation. The lawmaker said Sections 88 and 89 of the Constitution empower the House to investigate and expose any person who misappropriates public funds. He said the Presidency was

acting on faulty advice and that there is need for it “to look beyond” advice from his political aides. The minister’s name, he said, cannot be cleared by a court injunction. Also, the Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Zakari Mohammed, has been summoned by Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Abuja Federal High Court. The lawmaker would appear on May 5 before the court for allegedly giving misleading information on the court’s ruling. To appear with him is the National Assembly’s Director of Legal Services. Addressing reporters on Monday, Zakari Mohammed alleged that the court had issued an order of interim injunction stopping investigation into the allegation that Mrs AlisonMadueke spent N10 billion in two years to charter a private jet, Challenger 850, for her trips. “I have seen a press release in the media, said to have been issued by the House of Representatives, that this court has made an order restraining the House of Representatives from continuing with the probe,” Justice Mohammed in his ruling. “As far as I am concerned and as the judge presiding over this case, no such order was made,” he added. According to him, the Court only ordered the defendants


(National Assembly and the House of Representatives) to be put on notice after the plaintiff counsel moved an ex parte motion praying for an order of interim injunction to restrain the House of Representatives from summoning the minister. “This court in a ruling directed the defendants to appear in this court on April 17 and show cause why the interim order should not be made. “On April 17 plaintiff counsel informed the court that processes have not been served on the defendants owing to the Nyanya bomb blast and the court adjourned till today (Tuesday, April 29). “As the press release was issued by the House of Representatives which is the 2nd defendant in this suit, and as the House of Representatives is not represented in court today, the only fair thing to do is to adjourn this matter and issue the House of Representatives with a hearing notice to appear before the court and clear the air on whether it has been served with a restraining order issued by this court,” he said.



‘She was a stickler for a of t exi l Amaka Igwe: Painfu professionalism’ Nollywood heavyweight S

T was a tragedy no one ever imagined. It was also like a deadly blow below the belt. Indeed, like the Biblical saying, death stealthily came like a thief in the night and plucked life out of her. Though many are yet to come to terms with the reality of her death, the truth is, celebrated Nollywood producer and entertainment entrepreneur Amaka Igwe has breathed her last. The Nollywood icon reportedly died of asthmatic attack on Monday, thereby casting a pall of gloom on the nation’s movie industry. She was 51. The sad incident occurred in Enugu, where she had gone for the pre-production of a new Igbo sitcom, in company of her husband. According to reports, she suffered an asthmatic attack and was immediately rushed to the hospital after initial interventions had failed. She, however, passed on before getting to the hospital. Born Amaka Isaac-Ene, the deceased was a writer, producer, director, entrepreneur and teacher. She was the founder of BoBTV Expo, founder and CEO of Top Radio 90.9FM, Amaka Igwe Studios and the newly-launched Q Entertainment Networks. Amaka came into the lime-

HE was a stickler for professionalism. She was just one goodhearted person. She was always there to advise you, if you needed it. I believed in her so much. It was just so painful. I was in shock when I heard the news. She was just that woman you could call upon anytime. Even if you were angry and she was talking to you, she just had a way of calming you down. It’s just so painful.

By Ovwe Medeme, Mercy Michael and Dupe AyinlaOlasunkanmi,

light as the writer and producer of the award-winning TV soap, Checkmate and its offshoot, Fuji House of Commotion. She had her early education at All Saints School (now Trans Ekulu Primary School), Girls High School, Awkunanaw, Enugu and Idia College, Benin. While at Idia College, Amaka organised variety shows for her house, which attracted a fee-paying audience. She acted and directed the plays that were staged and taught the group the famous Atilogwu dance, which became the school’s official dance. She led the group to a performance at the Ogbe Stadium in Benin. Following her secondary education, she went ahead to study Education/Religion at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University). She also obtained a Master’s degree from the University of Ibadan, Oyo State. She worked as a lecturer at the Anambra State University of Technology and was briefly in the oil and gas sector before settling for the motion picture industry. Two of her critically acclaimed movies that stood her out in the Nigerian movie industry include Rattle Snake and


She was one of the best brains on TV – Peace Anyiam-Osigwe


• The late Mrs Igwe

Violated. Her other movies include Royal Battle, Never Back Up, Live To Remember, Dry Season, Keep My Love, Wicked Forces, Room 027, Ladies Vampires, Society of Witches, Deadly, Will of Heaven, Covenanted Destiny, Blood Settlement, Village Wife, Screen Saver,

Divert Call, Heart Of A Twin, Dirty Diamond and Render to Caesar. The movie producer is survived by her husband of 21 years, Charles Igwe, three children, an aged mother and siblings.

T is a tragedy and this particular death is very painful. We fought, but we were also very close. She was one of the best TV brains in Nigeria. The motion picture industry in Nigeria and Africa will sorely miss this revolutionary who raised the bar of professionalism and artistic excellence early in Nollywood when it was not fashionable. Amaka Igwe gave herself and applied herself to producing films and soaps that are pacesetters. She was a creative entrepreneur of outstanding qualities who came, saw and conquered in her 51 years of existence on earth. Amaka Igwe worked with us as a Jury member of the Africa Movie Academy Awards at the early stage of

the awards and her contributions were far-reaching and rewarding. On behalf of the management and staff of AMAA, I extend my heartfelt condolence to her husband, Mr. Charles Igwe, the children, her immediate and extended family members and loved ones. May God continue to stay with the family at this period. May God rest the soul of our departed heroine of Nollywood.









The Midweek Magazine E-mail:-

Text only: 08023058761

•Mothers rejoicing after receiving gifts from children and others

Mothering Sunday in Jonathan’s hometown


Badagry monarch lauds tourism boss

– Page 17

Celebrating a man of architecture

– Page 47

Ekpe the legend: 50 years after

– Page 50



The Midweek Magazine


It was their day. Women worshippers in the President’s family church, St. Stephen’s Church, Otuoke Deanery HUBERT ADEDEJI OGUNDE: TWO-AND-A-HALF DECADES AFTER in Bayelsa State, came gorgeously dressed for this year’s “Mothering Sunday”. EVELYN OSAGIE writes on the event which attracted Otueke indigenes from home and abroad.

•Mothers rejoicing after receiving gifts from children and others

Mothering Sunday in Jonathan’s hometown


HE classic song by highlife maestro, the late Nico Mbarga, “Sweet Mother, I no go forget you, for the suffer wey you suffer for me o!...” rent the air as men, women and children went about exchanging gifts and pleasantaries. Yet, it was no party. The celebrators were mothers who have served their families and society. It was their day and women worshippers in President Goodluck Jonathan’s family church in Otuoke, Bayelsa State turned out in large numbers to mark “Mothering Sunday”. Sons and daughters of the town trouped home for the event. The yearly feast, celebrates the importance of motherhood to the family and society. It was the women’s day of glory and they showed they knew what it meant to look good. They had set out to outdo one another in their dressings and the gifts they shared. Many wore white blouses and green and blue wrappers that bore emblem of the Anglican Church Women Guild, made specifically for the occasion. They had matching scarves and shoes. Others came in different eye-popping attires. The men and children were not left out: they were also gaily dressed. The event drew notable personalities, including the Obenema of Otuoke, Lot Ogiasa, Oke X; Bayelsa State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Sarafina Otazi; Dr Celina Eze; the biological sister of President Goodluck Jonathan, Madam Obebtiatein Jonathan, among others. There was a shower of gifts. People, young and old, moved from one row to the other dishing out all sorts of gifts to the women. There was no discrimination. Even though this reporter was not a member of the church, she got a fair share of the gifts. She left with a bag full of gifts. It was a refreshing turn of event for the reporter, having been initialy stopped at the entrance by an usher, who bombarded her with questions.

•Women sharing gifts with others

“Who invited you?” “Who did you come to see?” he asked. Wondering if there was a problem with her dotted whiteand-black kneel-length gown or cream hat or if it was the church custom to treat visitors that way, she answered: “I was invited by a friend.” He took down the friend’s name and had ran off to confirm her claim, but not without saying: “Wait here,” before leaving. Stunned and amused at the same time, the children’s presentation calm her nerves and she resolved not to allow anyone spoil her mood. The day started on a refreshing mood. It rained heavily that morning cooling the hot Otuoke’s air.

‘The success of your home is in your hands. Whether it is to succeed or not, you have a role to play. Don’t leave everything to your husband. You need to walk together with your husband to raise your children. We saw in the drama what the end of a mother who abandons her family and one who does not is’

“I am sorry, please follow me,” came the voice that jolted her back to reality. As he led the way, she wondered if all guests were given such “close watch”. There was a brief announcement calling those paticipating in the dramatic performance to get set as the reporter sat down just in time to listen to Mrs Elizabeth Amangala give the New Testament reading taken from II Timothy 1:3-7 in which Apostle Paul enjoins Timothy “to stir up the gifts of God in him” while citing his mother and grandmother as worthy mentors. The women drama drove home the role of mothers in the life of a child, family and society. For the Vicar’s wife, Mrs Ipoton Eli, women are the bedrock of the family; and as such should live up to their responsibilities. Her submission was taken from Proverbs 31:10 to the end that urges women to build their homes rather than destroy it. According to her, Mothering Sunday is not only set aside by the church to celebrate motherhood but also “women of virtue”. While speaking of the importance of motherhood, she listed the qualities of a good mother, which she termed a “virtuous woman”, urging women, paricularly mothers to imbibe the qualities listed therein. She said: “The success of your home is in your hands. Whether it is to succeed or not, you have a role to play. Don’t leave everything to your husband. You need to walk together with your husband to raise your children. We saw in the drama what the end of a mother who abandons her



The Midweek Magazine Badagry monarch lauds tourism boss



HE Oba of Badagry, De Wheno Aholu Menu-Toyi I, Oba Babatunde Akran, has described the domestic tourism promotion agenda of the Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs Sally Mbanefo, as an incontestable way to promote Nigeria’s tourism and boost the nation’s economy. The monarch said: “Sally Mbanefo is hitting the nail on the head with the promotion of domestic tourism. This was what the government of Japan did some years ago with a law stopping Japanese from traveling out of the country for holidays. It paid off. It did not only endear Japanese to their country and the tourist attractions therein, but it also wooed foreigners to the country and developed their economy.” Oba Akran spoke last Saturday during a courtesy visit by the NTDC boss to his palace. “Domestic tourism remains the best approach to promote Nigeria’s tourism and better the lots of Nigeria and Nigerians. Hence, the NTDC boss should be well-mobilised and supported by every stakeholder in the industry to achieve her domestic tourism promotion cause, which in turn will boost our economy, hearten peace and unity, drastically reduce social vices and woo hosts of foreign tourists to our country,” he added. The monarch, who described the NTDC boss’ visit as momentous, as the visit coincided with his 37th coronation anniversary, noted that Mbanefo is the first directorgeneral of the NTDC to come to Badagry to appreciate the tourist sites in the town to champion their promotion. Mrs Mbanefo, who congratulated the Akran of Badagry on his 37th peaceful reign and prayed for more fulfilling years for him, said tourism will enable Nigerians know the country, appreciate the many tourist attractions in the country, appreci-

• From left: Mrs Mbanefo; De Wheno Aholu Menu-Toyi 1; his wife Ahosi Tosi of Badagary; Ahosi Jehe of Badagary (Olori) and Personal Assistant to Akran of Badagry, Alhaji Olugbenga Afeez Fayemi during the visit. By Ozolua Uhakheme Assistant Editor (Arts)

TOURISM ate its various fascinating cultures, and attract foreigners to the country. This, according to her, will have a positive reflection on the economy. She described her visit to Badagry as part of her ongoing visit to the geo-political zones in the country to know the tourists’ sites in the states, “assess how to develop and promote them to encourage Nigerians and foreigner travel within Nigeria”. This, according to her, will immensely benefit the nation and her good people. Mrs Mbanefo described Badagry as the

first tourist site in Lagos. She added: “There is no way the history of Nigeria will be written without prominently mentioning Badagry, where Christianity was first preached in 1842 by Revd Thomas Birch Freeman, where the first Christmas was held in Nigeria, where the first church, the first primary school and the first storey building, just to mention a few, were located in Nigera.” The Akran of Badagry while presenting a gift of coconut to the NTDC boss, prayed that God should give her Solomonic wisdom to achieve her lofty dream for the tourism subsector, which will make Nigeria stand tall in the comity of nations and enrich her people. “Sally, you are a symbol of Nigeria tourism. It is, no doubt, with your strides since

•Happy women, led by the Vicar’s wife (right), dancing to the altar.

you assumed office that you meant business with the promotion of domestic tourism. Therefore, I pray that God will endowed you with the wisdom to practically develop and promote domestic tourism in Nigeria,” the monarch said. The monarch also presented the NTDC boss with the Badagry Pilgrimage Certificate, which, according to him, is not given to every Tom, Dick and Harry, but patriots, who meant well for the nation and the town. The Badagry Ambassador of Tourism and founder of African Renaissance, Hon. Olaide Mesewaku, described the appointment of Mrs Mbanefo as the NTDC director-general as a round peg in a round hole, adding that she is poised to record more successes than her predecessors.


•Chief Ogiasa

Mothering Sunday in Jonathan’s hometown

family and one who does not is. “While one was cursed by her children at the end; the other received blessing and lived to enjoy the fruit of her labour. Let us lead our children alright. Only then can we receive the blessing of being a virtuous woman as we read in the Bible which says: ‘Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come’.” Mrs Otazi reiterated the Vicar’s wife words, urging women to be dedicated to God in their actions and service to Him. She said: “In the first Sunday of March I was here, and the Vicar said the Bishop had said that our “God is a God of impossibilities” and that with “Him nothing is impossible”. Today, the Vicar’s wife preached that women should do

away with characters that will not allow them make progress by supporting the men to take care of the family. “If we serve a God of impossibilities, I think all we will need to do is to ensure we live rightly, do away with characters and behaviours that allow us to make progress and support our men for the development of the family,” she said. Madam Jonathan advised mothers to do all to give their children a better life, saying a true mother is one who cares for her children. “I believe one of the lessons the day holds is for mothers to live up to their responsibilities in ensuring that their children are well-taken care of. And mothers should support the efforts of their husbands. They should struggle to see

that they do not allow their children to suffer. “My mother was like that, even though we were poor, my mother never allowed us to starve. She supported our father and worked hard to make sure we had food on the table. I think all mothers should be that way.” The speeches were followed with a thanksgiving service. The women danced out in style in appreciation of God’s goodness, while donating a blue canopy to the church. “The blue canopy is symbolic of the presence of God in the family and home,” said Mrs Eli. The day ended with an exchange of gifts. Children and men were seen presenting gifts to their mothers and wives along with other women.







Olomo’s disappearance


• It is a shame that such a high-profile intellectual has not been found

HE puzzling disappearance of James Bolarinwa Olomo, an egghead and professor of Nuclear Physics at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, since last year has reinforced the escalating security challenges bedevilling the country. He reportedly left home on October 17, 2013, and flew to Calabar on an Arik Air flight from where he travelled by road to Eket, Akwa Ibom State. In Eket, he reportedly lodged at Hotel Farlem. His mission was to fulfill a purportedly scheduled obligation with Mobil Oil Unlimited, a multinational oil company where he was its Radiation Safety Adviser. He reportedly left his hotel room on October 20 without taking any of his belongings and could not be found since then. What could have informed the trip and even its sad end remains a matter of conjecture. But from reports, we can glean that Olomo embarked on the trip purportedly to kill boredom and to earn some income during last year’s long strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). But he was oblivious that that journey was going to turn out the way it had. We pray he survives since he reportedly suffered a similar fate on July 16, 2003, but was luckily released from his abductors’ captivity after spending 31 days there. This last one is, sadly, proving to be hopelessly too long since it is getting to over six months. We share in the apprehensions and anxiety of Olomo’s family, friends, dependants and professional colleagues that are deeply disturbed about his sud-

den and prolonged disappearance. In particular, his ancestral Olomo family of Risawe Anlerin Compound in Otan Ayegbaju area of Osun State has consistently addressed the media alongside the family lawyer to express their grave concerns over the disappearance of their illustrious son and breadwinner. The ASUU chapter of OAU led by Prof. Akinola Adegbola has not been left out. The union equally organised a media parley in Lagos to sensitise the public and call government’s attention to perceived lacklustre handling of the plight of Olomo. Despite the fact that the matter has been brought before the police and State Security Service’s topmost hierarchies, nothing concrete has been heard from government through these quarters or even through Nyesom Wike, Minister of Education. We deprecate the widespread incidents of mostly unresolved kidnappings, abductions, mysterious disappearances and killings in the country. These gory occurrences are no doubt a big slur on the already battered image of the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. We ask: Isn’t it a shame that someone of Olomo’s standing could just get missing without visible traces in a country where billions of naira are budgeted annually for security? If Olomo could not be found despite his status and the prominence accorded his case, we wonder the fate of most common Nigerians that are daily abducted by ritualists and other evil men/women in the land. This latter class with their agonising families would obviously be left to

privately bemoan their plight in a country that is gradually descending into the abyss of devilish conducts. Nothing short of unravelling the mystery behind Olomo’s disappearance is acceptable from this administration and its security chiefs. The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, and the top hierarchy of the intelligence service must do something fast to ensure the discovery of this distinguished don. That is the only way to justify their pay; and to, most importantly, convince those unsung Nigerian families that have suffered similar fates and others that live in perpetual fear of the unknown, that all hope is not lost, after all.

‘The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, and the top hierarchy of the intelligence service must do something fast to ensure the discovery of this distinguished don. That is the only way to justify their pay; and to, most importantly, convince those unsung Nigerian families that have suffered similar fates and others that live in perpetual fear of the unknown, that all hope is not lost, after all’

Whose content? • The local content law gets its litmus test between Samsung and local firm LADOL


O nation’s economy can beat its chest if it brandishes high numbers but lags behind in the most vital statistics: the welfare of its citizens. And no welfare metric impresses like the job profile. And one of the government policies that tend to ensure that we have jobs here is the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan on April 22, 2010. The clamour for this law had rung up for more than a decade in the oil and gas industry because it is the main pie of Nigeria. Foreign firms had swarmed into the country and restricted job opportunities to their nationals. So we had

‘But once the deal was done, Samsung allegedly dumped its Nigerian partner and decided to relocate the site for its fabrication and integration in South Korea. This makes mincemeat of the Nigerian law and deprives Nigerians of tens of thousands of jobs ... We sniff a Machiavellian cynicism in the Samsung move and a disregard to local concern, which is supposed to be priority in any country that comes to Nigeria to do business’

the oil but they had the jobs, and it cost us not only the opportunity for our citizens to enjoy what they owned. It also foreclosed the possibility of allowing the interested locals from training and acquiring skills that would open access to lucrative jobs. The law is about to be tested in the courts with a Nigerian firm, Lagos Offshore Logistics, that has sued a South Korean firm and shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries. What is at stake is not whether it is good business for LADOL or bad business for Samsung. We want it to be good law for Nigerians. It is a good law for Nigerians if Nigerians enjoy the benefits. But according to news reports, Samsung secured a $3.1 billion contract to construct a floating production storage offshore vessel for the highly valued, multi-billion dollar Engina deepwater oil field development that generates an output of 200,000 barrels of crude oil a day. The South Korean company could not have secured it without partnering with a local company because of the 2010 local content law. That was when LADOL came into the picture after Samsung visited its facilities in Takwa Bay in Lagos in 2010. Both companies allegedly worked together to batten down agreements, including a memorandum of agreements. The agreement also compelled big investment from Samsung to the tune of $214 million, and LADOL also had to fulfill its own obligations in the contract.

It seemed all was well with both sides in their relationships between 2010 and 2013 when they presented their proposal to the Nigerian authorities, including the minister of petroleum, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Nigerian Ports Authority. But once the deal was done, Samsung allegedly dumped its Nigerian partner and decided to relocate the site for its fabrication and integration in South Korea. This makes mincemeat of the Nigerian law and deprives Nigerians of tens of thousands of jobs. It must be noted that work had begun at the LADOL site prior to the approval by the Nigerian authorities. This was abruptly abandoned. We sniff a Machiavellian cynicism in the Samsung move and a disregard to local concern, which is supposed to be priority in any country that comes to Nigeria to do business. The concept of the Engina oil field is to make it the biggest in West Africa and to operate as the central hub of the sub region. This is a matter that does not only have a nationalist flavour. It is a matter of justice and fair play. The significance of this story also lies in the fact that it is a guinea pig tussle. It will show the way for how local firms and their foreign partners will do business. Eventually it will demonstrate whether the law gives more jobs to Nigerians, train them and bolster Nigeria’s claim to its own patrimony: oil. So, it is a tussle for Nigerian content.

Political Executions in Egypt


N out-of-control Egyptian government has now sentenced more than 680 people to death in a mass trial that lasted only a few minutes and is part of an organized state effort not just to crush its political opponents but to eliminate them. Last month a court handed down a similar sentence on 529 other Islamists. The sentences further demonstrate that the military-led government’s ruthless disregard for law and its contrary political views go far beyond anything that President Mohamed Morsi was accused of when he was deposed by the army in July. And what did the White House have to say about this travesty, which will further fuel hostility and division in one of the Arab world’s most important countries? “The United States is deeply troubled,” the office of the press secretary said in a shockingly weak statement. There was no indication that the administration would reconsider last week’s decision to provide the Egyptians with 10 Apache helicopters and more than $650 million in aid. The death sentences are subject to appeal. But that is little solace to the defendants who have been accused and sentenced with nothing resembling justice or even minimal due process. In Monday’s ruling, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, was among those convicted even though he repeatedly emphasized nonviolence in his public remarks in the period leading up the anti-Islamist crackdown that began with Mr. Morsi’s overthrow and the backlash against it. The sentences on Monday were imposed for inciting violence and disturbances in which one police officer was allegedly killed. But none of those sentenced was charged with participating in his murder. Mr. Badie and many others were given the death sentence for lesser crimes. In a separate outrageous ruling, a court banned the activities of the April 6 group, a liberal organization that spearheaded the revolt against President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Its leaders are already serving three-year sentences for organizing an unauthorized street protest. Egypt’s courts were once regarded as relatively liberal within the country’s authoritarian system, but it is clear that the judges have become a government tool. There has been no serious attempt to deliver justice for the thousands of Islamists and other antigovernment critics who are now languishing in jails or the estimated 1,000 who were killed by security forces during last year’s protests by supporters of Mr. Morsi and the Brotherhood. Like the United States, Israel has an interest in a stable Egypt that can honor the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty and defeat militants in the Sinai Peninsula. But an Egyptian government that persecutes its political opponents and denies them justice and any political role in society will produce only instability and violence. - New York Times TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh

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IR: A lot has been said and done about the activities of the Boko Haram in the past but the menace continues unabated. The truth is that the issue has not been handled rightly. Several tactics have been employed and each has been matched with devastating consequences and more calamities. What this means is that the most viable option has not been embraced. Another troubling aspect is that our leaders and people have tended to look at the grave problem from wrong perspectives. That is, we have narrowed the menace to ethnic, political and religious perspectives. The leaders and the people are shying away from the main issue which is the fact that the perpetrators are aggrieved and disgruntled by the socio/political and economic situation in the country. With all due respect to our religious leaders, traditional rulers, politicians inside and outside government, academia, captains of industries and well meaning Nigerians, the fact remains that we have not really done much to support the government of the day in resolving this problem. While religious leaders are trading blames and castigating one particular religion or belief for being the architects of the menace, politicians are accusing one another of being the sponsors of the sect. Some captains of industries are keeping mum because the activities of the sect are prominent in areas where their industries are not located. Traditional rulers in some parts of the country are also not coming forth with viable ways of resolving the problem because it is not happening in their domains. Majority of the people are also




Boko Haram: Time for a different approach trivializing the issue because it does not affect members of their immediate families. It is only in this country that we talk of East, West, South and Northern parts of Nigeria. Outside, they see us as Nigerians and no one part of the country can isolate itself from the others. The most painful aspect of the scenario is that Nigerians are easily carried away by worthless endeavours. Or how best can we describe a situation where taxpayers’ money is spent on the ongoing Constitutional Con-


ference in the face of insecurity? I had expected the delegates to foreclose every other discussion and concentrate on the state of insecurity in the country. What is the essence of creating more states and resolving the issue of resources control or allocation when the roof top is on fire? The people that are supposed to enjoy the outcome of the so-called conference are presently under siege. If at all they get all other things right, how would it positively impact on the lives of the people that are living in fear? People whose lives and proper-

ties are not secured? Presently, the politicians are gearing up for the forthcoming elections because, they are not really bothered or concerned about the pains the families of those that have been killed or maimed by the activities of members of the sect are going through. What they are saying indirectly is that even if millions of Nigerians are killed today, there will still be millions of people that will participate in future elections. The United States has spent millions of Dollars in the search for the miss-

is done at the expense of the beautiful write-up on other subjects that can as well do the nation good. A case in point is a letter written in March 11, tagged “Transforming Nigeria to Paradise.” In the letter, I made a comparison of Nigeria’s aesthetic values with that of United Kingdom. Inference was drawn that the bane of Nigeria poor environment was bad leadership and poor follower-ship. No good planning, no continuity; no prudent management; no accountability and no fear of God. The Europeans are not wasteful as we do here. Houses built in the 18th

century are still there competing favourably with the modern ones. This explains why they have enough to take care of infrastructure like roads, water, electricity and other social amenities. Historically speaking, Nigeria must have caught a fine figure of developing nation in 70s. What led to her unfortunate and deplorable current status? Leadership. Imagine a situation when a leader looses focus or direction of his/her leadership! Our leaders pursue national goals with less intensity and zero perseverance as a result of unnecessary and

resolved. Second is to thank Prof. Gbadegesin and implore him not to relent in his reformation of LAUTECH. Town is aware of the unprecedented house cleaning ongoing since his arrival as the institution, it is highly imperative. As a matter of fact, thanking him becomes imperatives because he is not the first V.C that the appeal was made over the issue of Isaac Adebayo and the hell of the students in Earth Sciences were passing through with little or

no efforts to look into the issue. The V.C. is advised to direct his attention more on academic sector of LAUTECH. This because the case of Isaac Adebayo was just a tip of the iceberg of students being victimized or wronged with no just cause but because they had no means to voice out their future just long in the balance and rotten away on the campus. • Adewuyi Adegbite Apake, Ogbomoso.

• Raymond Oise-Oghaede Lagos

The real problem with Nigeria

IR: When I first started writing some years back, some of my write-ups used to catch your attention and this motivated me to write more. These days, the reverse is the case leaving me to wonder on the criteria used to choose the opinions featured in your newspaper. This is after writing series of articles on security, economy, education, and governance to mention but few without getting published. My impression these days is that you concentrate on issues that have to do with politics not minding its benefits or impacts on the society. Of course, this

Kudos, LAUTECH Vice Chancellor

IR: Few months ago, an appeal was made to the Vice Chancellor, LAUTECH, Professor Adeniyi Sulaimon Gbadegesin, over the ill treatment meted to some students in the university. Specific mention was made of the Faculty of Earth Sciences. The appeal was published by many national dailies. Mention was also made of a student, Adebayo Isaac O, who was in the Department of Geology. As at the time, he had spent up to 10 years in the Univer-

ing Malaysian Plane because of three or four Americans that were on board. That is how a government shows responsiveness and commitment to the plight of citizens. Just recently, over 200 girls were abducted by members of Boko Haram sect. Though some escaped by divine intervention, others are still in captivity. What else do you want to hear or be told about the capability of members of the sect? They have proven beyond reasonable doubt that they are fully on ground. The best thing to do at this point in time is to call for peaceful resolution of the matter. The government should be sincere and show commitment to true reconciliation by appealing to members of the sect to sheath their sword and be prepared for true reconciliation through dialogue and negotiations.

sity for No Just Cause than victimization and wickedness on the part of some lecturers. To the glory of God, effectiveness, efficiency and magnanimity of the Vice Chancellor, a committee was set up to look into the case and the case was resolved promptly. In a nutshell, that student graduated on Thursday April 24. This is therefore to intimate those who read about the appeal in the dailies that the problem had been

egoistic distractions. As if that is not enough, the followers lack the capacity and reliable system of checkmating them. Instead, they applaud their mediocrities, inefficiencies and corruptions by rolling out drums, trumpets and bells to welcome them at the expiration of their corruptive tenures. In some cases, they confer them with costly titles. Worst still, at election time, they fall prey to them, gullibly and naively voting them into office, for second and even third term! What rubbish? Now that the 2015 general elections are fast approaching, it is high time the electorate realize that they are the employers of their leaders. This means they can hire and fire them at the poll, most especially those that failed to perform or perceived to have failed to deliver. We the electorates should stop trading away our votes on the altar of religion or ethnic sentiments. Let us start the appraisal and evaluation work on the performances of our leaders and this step will guide us in making sound judgement on who or how to vote in the next coming general election, for a better nation. • Ipadeola J. Adebayo, Ibadan




Boko/Fulani/Bank interest Rate/CSR Wars: Matters of Urgent Conference Importance


IGERIA is at war. The second war is the Boko Haram war. ‘Our Girls’, 200+ girls, kidnapped from school, are still ‘missing’ with no encouraging information or Tony ‘Daily News Bulletin’. Marinho Instead we hear of new contracts for roads. Over 200 girls and their captors are not too tiny to have left a heat trail to be picked up by the daily satellite surveillance, our spies and our paid informers. No doubt there is an Air force and military ring of steel tightening around the area in the Sambisa Forest by the magnificent Armed Forces of Nigeria who at last have something to prove at home after their ECOMOG victories. We salute our brave men under arms and in foxholes, eyes penetrating the darkness of that forest seeking their targets and attempting to free the hostages with minimum or zero casualties. Even one dead girl will be too much for any parent to bear, though Boko Haram has maliciously already executed many girls and children and unborn babies in the Nyanya, Abuja bombing. Certainly Nigeria expects the early release by ‘ANY MEANS NECESSARY‘of ‘Our Girls’ so cruelly kidnapped by Boko Haram. Our whole government and private sector energy as a nation should be targeted towards freeing ‘Our Girls’ As Soon As Possible. Meanwhile Nigeria must not forget the daily 10-50 victims of the Fulani herdsmen’s ‘Right of Cow Way’ war and assault on Nigerian farmers across seven states, north and south who on retaliation are labelled as demons. Nobody lies down to die. The Non Sovereign National Conference must address this issue. If meat is the cause of war –fast on, turn to fish. Will Nigeria embarking on a three to six month prayer and ‘FAST FROM MEAT’ stop the war? SAY NO TO MEAT. All wars are financial. Why are Nigerians so insensitive to the rights of others as to demand and actually eat meat brought to their tables at the cost of human lives? Incredible insensi-


N recent times, Nigeria has been bedevilled by all sorts of vices and problems so much that when the country is trying to solve one, another one or so many other new problems tumble in. The rapidity and speed with which these problems manifest on a daily, if not on an hourly basis, has become worrisome to the extent that it appears there is a deliberate machination by some people or a group of people to shuffle the country, Nigeria, into history. And then the whole issues of Nigeria, as we now know it, may become “Once upon a time” or in the true sense of it, something akin to the late Chinua Achebe’s most controversial book, ‘There was a country’. I am neither a Prophet of doom nor someone who does not believe in the indissolubility of Nigeria. If you ask me, I believe in one Nigeria, a country that is so richly blessed with human and natural resources capable of making the most populous country in black Africa, the envy of the whole world. Our strength lies in our diversity as a nation. However, recent events in the country, especially the ones being stage-managed by our so-called politicians, have tended to erode my confidence in the ability of this country to further carry on as one indivisible entity for too long. In short, it is like saying that the country is now being stretched beyond its elasticity and, when that happens, the possibility of breaking apart becomes very real like the dawn of another day. In years past, our worries were about bribery and corruption, nepotism and all that, which were the fulcrum of the January 15, 1966 coup led by Major Chukwuma Kaduna

tivity! Even one life is one too many for your lunch of meat. ‘Blood Meat’ brought to our tables by the murder of over 3000 and displacement of millions of farmers and families members is unacceptable and must be rejected. The Fulani-Nigeria must be stopped by a ‘MORATORIUM ON MEAT EATING’ until peace returns. It is small price to pay to instil sanity. We should have enforced this long ago. Meanwhile Nigeria is fighting a third war after the Boko Haram and the Fulani –Nigeria War. It is the ‘The Cement War’. Check cement bag prices worldwide. Cement is N2,300 per bag, up from N600 a few years ago, pre-rich man, whereas worldwide the average price is N500. Is this the price we have to pay to host the richest man in Nigeria and Africa and 23rd or 25th richest man in the world among us, excluding Nigerian and African past heads of state who are publicity shy? The price Nigeria is paying is too high. Building prices have shot up. The richest get invited to Davos to pontificate, with corner-mouth, on the imperatives of mass housing and poverty reduction. Excuse me, but ‘cement charity and fair play’ begin at home with the normal, not inflated, cement prices in Nigeria. Just imagine the cost to Nigerians of fuel when the richest man’s Lagos Refinery comes on stream. Has he got the guaranteed petroleum deliveries denied all previous refinery planners since Obasanjo’s feeble or frustrated private refinery initiative? There is also a ‘Bank Interest Rate War’ against Nigerians needing loans. The banks first quarter profits, and secret bank bonuses, are as usual obscenely mind-boggling and why not, with interest rates shamefully still at 22-25% except for the chosen few in some economic areas. Four banks have a collective profit in excess of N12b. Cut Interest rates! In normal societies this translates into a Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, fund of 1%+ or N120m. Where is that money? Is it well spent? N120m is twelve N10m youth centres countrywide or 36 in a year. And that does not include the CSR from other banks and 1000 other companies. CSR could be better coordinated than it is. Just as we complain to the Non-Sovereign National Conference about poor and over-centralised central government, we must also complain about poor CSR with over-

centralisation in the headquarters. Why should head office in Abuja spend all the CSR vote? Every manager should be able to spend money in the locality of the bank, perhaps in proportion to earnings. AGMs and shareholders must monitor and direct CSR activities of their companies and the service companies their company does business with and ‘RECOMMEND THAT COMPANIES AND BANKS IN PARTICULAR ‘DECENTALISE CSR FUNDS’ TO BRANCHES and DISTRIBUTORS. A bank or company with a branch or distributorship in your neighbourhood should be doing serious CSR in your community. CSR is not a joke and should not be given maximally to sports like polo and golf. A lot of CSR is well motivated and well spent. However, in our dysfunctional society without any social security net, CSR is actually life-saving, life-changing and a desperately needed helping hand. Without CSR many NGOs and ‘Homes’ especially those servicing the poor, the orphaned and physically and mentally challenged will die. CSR has the additional burden of providing relief in crisis areas. Will the true Nigerians please stand up! Nigeria is so desperately in need of true Nigerians.

‘Why are Nigerians so insensitive to the rights of others as to demand and actually eat meat brought to their tables at the cost of human lives? Incredible insensitivity! Even one life is one too many for your lunch of meat. ‘Blood Meat’ brought to our tables by the murder of over 3000 and displacement of millions of farmers and families members is unacceptable and must be rejected’

Romancing terrorism … (2)

Nzeogwu and some other middlelevel officers in the Army. That coup infuriated young army officers from a section of the country who saw the mass killing of politicians by the coup makers as a ploy to eliminate notable figures from their section of the country to pave the way for domination by another section of the country as represented by the major actors in the January 1966 coup. It was this feeling of despair that eventually crystallised in the July 29, 1966 counter-coup, which invariably set the stage for the 30-month Nigeria Civil War that followed from May 1967 to January 1970. From what is happening now, it is as if the war was only meant to settle scores between a particular ethnic cum tribal group and another in the country. This argument is more germane because those vices, that is, bribery, corruption and nepotism, are not only still prevalent in today’s Nigeria, they have been elevated to a higher pedestal as they have now become a state religion which everybody, old and young, now worships. The worshipers are no longer the “10 percenters” as Nzeogwu puts it in his coup broadcast, they have moved far ahead to a thousand percent and even more. If we aggregate the level of stealing, pilfering, forgery, and other fraudulent activities and official corruption that pervade our system today, anybody who still has some dose of patriotism flowing in his blood stream will weep for this country. It is as if the country is on a freefall to an irretrievable perdition.

‘In short, it is like saying that the country is now being stretched beyond its elasticity and when that happens, the possibility of breaking apart becomes very real like the dawn of another day’

As if the monster of corruption in our body politic is not enough to asphyxiate us from existence, from 1999, particularly since the advent of the current democratic experience, the country has become vulnerable to all manner of crimes and criminalities previously unknown in this part of the world. While endemic corruption has taken over our public and private lives, those who are not opportune to hold public offices, which are now regarded as shortcuts to affluence, have devised various ingenious methods to acquire ill-gotten wealth. Perhaps, to rub salt into our festering wounds, in the last five years, a new sinister dimension has been added to the catalogue of woes confronting the country. These are the current rapacious, debilitating and devastating acts of terrorism which have now become a national cankerworm. Many a commentator on national affairs are quick to lay the blame on the extra-judicial killing of Mohammed Yusuff, the leader of the religious sect now popularly known as Boko Haram, which means “Western education is bad”, and scores of his followers in Maiduguri in July, 2009. Not much has been written about how the sect was nurtured, the leadership structure and all that. We have been told that the late Yusuff and his band of ragtag army actually confronted the security agents in Maiduguri in 2009, leading to several deaths. Many properties were also torched, looted or out rightly vandalised. For quite some time, we have been sentimental about the casualties and damages caused by the Boko Haram uprising that has now engulfed a large section of the country. But why will a so-called religious group turn so bloody in the propagation of their so-called religious ideology? As for me, what I see is that beyond this religious shroud is a political

undertone which goes beyond fighting Jonathan’s Presidency. What is going on is a well-calculated broad-based agenda to completely take over this country by violence using religion as a veil. In the last few years, I have been talking to people within and outside this country who can see beyond the narrow prism of politics and decipher what is actually going on. One thing to note is that until late last year, no notable figure in the Northern part of the country has ever raised his or her voice to condemn, in its entirety, the brigandage being unleashed on that part of the country even though the rampaging sect had completely destroyed the little they had since 2009. Even then, what the few notable figures have done so far appears too little, too late. Today, we talk about the impoverished North. Who are those responsible for this impoverishment of the people? Of course, it is a documented fact that in the 54 years of Nigeria’s independence, elements from the northern part of the country have ruled the country for more than two-thirds of the period under review, leaving a miserable one-third of the period to the rest of the country to grapple with. Go through the records of the Federal Civil Service, you will find out that the list is top heavy with the names of people from a certain part of the country. In the few instances where others hold sway, they are more or less like figureheads as they are ensconced among these powerful people who virtually live on government and government’s patronage all their lives. That is one aspect of our national life, and this attitude is replicated in all aspects of our existence as a nation – a situation where everybody worships at the feet of a powerful few. Nothing quite illustrates the existential anomaly in the system more than what Bola Dada, a re-

Dele Agekameh tired diplomat, unveiled in his recent interview in a national daily where he chronicled his experiences in international affairs as a former diplomat, especially his experience in Sudan. Titled “I was chased out of Sudan when I raised the alarm about Boko Haram”, Dada said, at a point during his stay in Sudan, a former governor of a northern state, now a senator of the Federal Republic, “was in Sudan for two weeks and underwent indoctrination.” He also said the former governor was “exposed to all the training camps of Osama Bin Laden,” who incidentally was Dada’s neighbour. According to Dada, “Osama Bin Laden also had many firms and industries which he only used as a façade because he was actually using those firms as training camps for AlQaeda. Among his trainees were many Nigerians from the North. They would leave Nigeria as if they were going to study but were at the training camps of Osama Bin Laden”. He said “the former governor got back to Nigeria and the following day, he declared Sharia. And from then, they were sending students for Jihadist training… As far as I am concerned, Boko Haram is an offshoot of Sharia”. Send reactions to: 08058354382 (SMS only)



COMMENTS ‘What you failed to know is that power has grade levels. From local governments to state houses and then to Aso Rock: the higher the power, the lower their pity-level. At Aso rock, there are too many Nigerian and international things to attend to and fulfil, hence Nyanya or 234 students’ abduction would be simultaneously handled with rallies! After all, why must the opposition be threatening the sitting power? At all cost. Mr. President must run Usain Bolt’s race to retain his seat’

•President Jonathan

For Olatunji Dare Sir, your piece on What is boko haram? Today makes my day! I had ruminated in my mind severally what we can call this Boko Haram It started like a child‘s play when a group of well grounded lslamic faithful asked anyone (in the North ,in their town) who was a true muslim to surrender their Westerneducation certificate(s) for tear. As a scholar and a one time muslim l was suprised to my thigh. From Anonymous Sir, your article in The Nation news paper of Tuesday, April 22, was well thought out. The issues contained therein were so germane for every sane person to articulate. It was thought provoking and quite in consonnance with the character of the President Jonathan’s led Federal government. How on earth could a president who has sworn to protect the lives and properties of the citizenry would not show any consciousness to the plight of his people when an incident like the one in Nyanya befalls his state and would not deem it fit to put off a PDP unity rally in Kano, only to get there and join issues with Governor Kwankwaso just because he has told him it was improper to go ahead with the rally. From Anonymous Mr. Dare, Happy Easter. I think you need to ask President Jonathan what the present Boko Haram is and ask former Governor Ali Modu Sheriff what the pioneer Boko Haram was. These two gentlemen can give you clear answer If you press hard. Or if it is difficult to meet either the easiest person to ask is the Director General State Security Service. From Senator Zannah Sir, if you can do a little research, I read an interview granted by Balarabe Musa sometime in 2012 on Boko Haram and other views of Abubakar Umar. Both of them gave semblance definition of Boko Haram. From Anonymous What is Boko Haram? Dare, leave President Jonathan alone, can’t you as a journalist

investigate who are behind the Boko Haram and publish their names? Is Borno, Yobe and Adamawa the only states in Nigeria? Now that Fulani herdsmen have started, is it the President who sent them. The Federal government asks Boko Haram to come out for talk they refused, what will president do?”A child who does not want his parent to sleep he too will not sleep” From Anonymous Thanks for your writeup today sir. To say the least, its now seems questionable whether President Jonathan truly got a PhD because most of his actions lack the integrity of true academic scrutiny. And that calls to question too, the subminimal performance of most academics that have graced public space. Professor Attahiru Jega is towing same line. I suggest you do a peer review of your brothers in public office for the sake of your class. Thank you. From Engr. Bode Enikuomehin, Ibadan,Nigeria. Sir, I just want to appeal to you to stop referring to Boko Haram as Islamist because they are not Muslims and have nothing to do with Islam. From Hamza. Sir, If President Jonathan had cancelled the trip to those places, the opposition could’ve been quick to conclude that he is a cowardly President. To me Boko Haram will go with time nothing is permanent except change. From Chikwelu, Abuja Mr President can’t do more than what he’s doing presently even if he’s given ticket to rule for life, instead Nigerians will continue to see the worst. He should step aside. Period! From Anonymous Dare, why are some of you columnists pretentious on Boko Haram’s beastly acts, its source and reasons behind its founding by heartless politicians; a great number of them in a political party you have your sympathy with? Is Nigeria the only country where terrorists are operating? Is Syria not worse off and has Assad stopped attending to governance of the country in spite of his merciless killing of Syrians? So because sponsored beasts invaded Nyanya, President Jonathan should engage in theatricals by cancelling official engagements and mourning the dead in pretence? Did Lagos State governor visit the site or close shop when there were serial boat mishaps with many dead? Must life stop because of mishaps that cannot be undone? There were pictorials of President Jonathan visiting Nyanya survivors in hospital. See The Sun newspaper. April 21 2014 back page. The Nation did not cover it possibly to justify

your criticisms. Why? From LAI ASHADELE Re-What is Boko-Haram? Boko Haram is a club that has survived and is surviving as a result of politicians and political disunity as a result of envy. Now that they are uniting to combat it, it is looking a bit late. From Lanre Oseni. ‘What is Boko Haram?’ is a question begging for answer. They killed Muslims who do not support their irrational mission. The issue of President Jonathan is just like the parable of a king made a slave, and of a slave made a king.Needless to say more. From Yinka, Oshodi, Lagos Sir, you should have included Olatunji Dare in your roll call of persons to be used as parameters to rebase Nigerian image. How many people in this geographical expresion have head enough to understand you? You are talking to the DEAF, but dont be discouraged. From Anonymous For Tunji Adegboyega Tunji Adegboyega, God bless you for your treatise on page 13 of The Nation on Sunday of April 27 titled: ‘A tale of two empathisers’. You’ve made today (Sunday) a great one for me. Anonymous . You see, an uncle of mine came back from Mubi, a town in Adamawa via Borno . He told us how travelling in the north-east states (especially those under emergency rule) are not the best of places to visit. After he had regaled us with stories of how a journey that should not take more than three hours stretched beyond 16 hours, with all manner of security checkpoints, one naturally wondered how come 234 school children could still be abducted without the security agents being aware. Obviously some people are exploiting the situation. Jonathan lacks a proper understanding of the demands of the office he occupies; that is why less than 24 hours after that national tragedy, he saw nothing wrong in having a nice time with his friends in Kano. Come to think of it, it was broadcast on national television. From Simon Oladapo, Ogbomoso. I am not at a loss like our leaders whom we failed to scrutinise and now we are worried. Jonathan’s presidency remains what is called “an intolerable and clumsy presence of accidental power – power got suddenly, got by chance and got anyhow, or call it NEPA (National Embarrassment and Public Annoyance). Redemption or succour can’t be achieved except we want to deceive our-

selves. From Akin Malaolu. The question I ask is, even if the Nyanya bomb blast was detonated by those who want to make Nigeria ungovernable for Jonathan as some lazy people usually say whenever anyone asks why Mr. President is displaying embarrassing ignorance in showing credible leadership, shouldn’t he have shown respect to the people who died at that unfortunate incident? Did Nigerians vote for Jonathan to be playing politics ceaselessly or to solve the problems that are giving them sleepless nights? What is Mr. President truly up to? His excitement in Kano is pregnant with so much meanings; only time will. From Ifeanyi o. Ifeanyichukwu, Abuja. Re: A tale of two empathisers. What you failed to know is that power has grade levels. From local governments to state houses and then to Aso Rock: the higher the power, the lower their pity-level. At Aso rock, there are too many Nigerian and international things to attend to and fulfil, hence Nyanya or 234 students’ abduction would be simultaneously handled with rallies! After all, why must the opposition be threatening the sitting power? At all cost. Mr. President must run Usain Bolt’s race to retain his seat. Clearly not minding this worldly affair, a head must be merciful, have humane touch and do the right thing that shows passion. In spite of all odds, Governor Shettima spoke and showed humaneness on the matter. From Lanre Oseni. Thanks my brother for your April 27 writing; very emotional. From Valentine Ojo, Abuja. One only hopes the merciless people in government read your article. May God almighty uproot them all in 2015 general elections. From Segun Odeyemi, Ibadan. Insurgency is a serious issue that all hands must be on deck to find a solution to instead of the war of words over the sect’s activities. It has become a national embarrassment and is uncalled-for. The security agencies should not leave any stone unturned in combing the forest to rescue the students. No one knows the condition of those girls now; only God can come to their rescue. The sect’s activities should be seen as a national crisis. From Chika Nnorom. Dear Tunji, I can only continue to admire and appreciate you for essays every Sunday. “After the marathon fasting” (April 20, 2014) hit the nail on the head … Tunji, please ask Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor to declare one week of fasting for all Nigerians over the emergence of satanic Boko Haram in Nigeria. All should wear black for one week and pray to God thrice a day. He should forget about denominations or religion or Yoruba prejudice over Jonathan, but call on all believers in God Almighty; then he will see the hand of God raised to help this nation. From AEE, Uyo, AKS. Dear Tunji, I am one of your ardent fans, because most of your comment are synonymous with me. The comment of April 20was very apt and I want you to please let our beloved church leaders know the consequence of keeping silent in the face of the present misrule of the PDP because if the nation burns, there won’t be members again to give tithes and offerings. From Ik



ONE, the Magic Muse of Aracataca. In a manner similar to his wondrous tales, I can see him levitating towards the skies, a pen in one hand, a trumpet in the other, a rueful smile on his face. For his body is too precious, too imperishable for the grave’s cramping dungeon and its ravenous coven of worms. Beyond the clouds, Angel Gabriel is waiting for his famous namesake at Heavensgate, waiting expectantly for this curious mortal whose fame and flourish competed so triumphantly with those of hosts of heaven. And I can see the intrepid ‘Gabo’ later, negotiating a niche with a revolving door and a wide window through which he can continue to peep at the turbulent world he has left behind and watch how the strands of his magic narratives continue to unfold. Without a doubt, his dealings with other angels are likely to be contentious; for this Gabriel is a being who so often obeys his own rules; a spirit averse to time-worn routines and conventional thou-shalt-nots.. . . Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one of the most influential literary figures in the past 100 years; and in literature in the Spanish language, his fame and impact are only rivaled by those of Miguel de Cervantes, the pioneering genius who gave the world the timeless Don Quixote. Veteran journalist and author of numerous novels and short stories, Marquez shook the

Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Farewell to the magic muse By Niyi Osundare world with the publication of One Hundred Years of Solitude in 1967, and literally rewrote the rubric of the narrative genre. Intensely political and socially committed, he assailed the incubi of colonial/imperial exploitation and social injustice in a language and style that made his narration of that exposure irresistible even to those being exposed. He settled, finally, the quarrel between History and Literature, Myth and Reality by making Politics the flexible Mediator between the four. He gathered the strands of our workaday life, wove them into tales with an indelible touch of weird wanderings and wonder. He erased – or extended – the traditional gulf between the probability of the improbable and the improbability of the probable. And therein lies the phenomenon which literary critics and avid name-givers have christened as “magic realism”, a terminology that has been with us for several decades now and which has been

splashed rightly or wrongly on works from different parts of the world with little or no consideration for local peculiarities. Whatever name his style is called, in whatever critical lingo it is couched, Marquez is the master of the hint and hyperbole, of the awe in the story and the aura in its telling. His narrative invented other ways of perceiving reality, other ways of cognizing human existence, other ways of being human. That is why his works are so full of rumble and resonance. That is why his new realism unlinks the chains of the old one. That is why William Kennedy, the noted American writer, recommended that One Hundred Years of Solitude should be compulsory reading for the human race. Influence, or, better still, influentiality, comes naturally to women and men of Marquez’s stature. And he had it and made the best of it. His influence is easily seen in the literary sphere where he changed the content and form of the

narrative genre since the last half of the 20th century. The other kind of influence, a little less easy to perceive, is his influence on the political scene (I almost said ‘destiny’!) of Latin America in a 20th century bloodied by military dictatorship and all manner of murderous incivilities. Marquez spoke out against evil. His voice was loud, insistent, unafraid. And when he spoke, the world listened, for he earned his space, his right to speak, his will to the Word. Not infrequently, his interventions made military dictators shake in their boots. Quite often, the people found their strength in his words. Like the great Pablo Neruda, his Latin American compatriot, he too made an unbreakable pledge to himself that the people would find their voices in his song. We must never underestimate the contribution of people like Marquez to the return of democracy to Latin America and other parts of the world afflicted by the absence of that ideal. Gather round this fire, therefore, oh ye acolytes of the Word. Sing a song and shake a leg. The master storyteller has levitated to the skies. Gabriel is back at Heavensgate. Banana leaves are clapping in the fields of Aracataca. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is laughing, his patented moustache lush and green like the forests of his beloved Colombia. • Prof. Osundare writes from New Orleans, United States







E-mail:- Stories by Taofik Salako

Forecasts Niger Insurance Gross Premium - N2.73b Profit after tax - N212.95m Mutual Benefits Gross Premium - N2b Profit - N885.633m Regency Alliance Gross Premium – N812.596m Profit after tax – N256.437m Learn Africa Turnover - N1.06b Profit after tax - N58.336m Total Nigeria Turnover - N46.676 b Profit after tax - N942.1m MRS Oil Nigeria Turnover - N51.20b Profit after tax - N712 m Eterna Turnover - N27.64b Profit after tax - N563.834m Okomu Oil Palm Turnover - N2.667b Profit after tax - N1.044b Stanbic/IBTC Bank Net operating income N16.805b Profit after tax - N2.737b ASL Turnover - N1.084b Profit after tax - N101.355m GT Assurance Gross Premium - N3.892b Profit after tax - N710.62m Cornerstone Insurance Gross Premium - N1.223b Profit after tax - N80.01m Oasis Insurance Gross Premium N562.500m Profit after tax - N79.868m African Alliance INS Gross Premium - N1.215b Profit after tax - N107.213m Berger Paints Turnover - N976.303m Profit after tax - N88.258m SCOA Nigeria Turnover - N835.0m Profit after tax - N18.200m Dangote Sugar Refinery Turnover - N38.251b Profit after tax - N3.49b Studio Press Nig. Turnover - N3.375b Profit after tax - N20.422m Julius Berger Nig. Turnover - N80.125b Profit after tax - N2.55b Intercontinental Wapic Ins Gross Premium - N1.41b Profit after tax - N250.450m Equity Assurance Gross Premium - N2.45b Profit after tax - N287.283m Standard Alliance Insurance Gross Premium - N2.142b Profit after tax - N475.964m Continental Reinsurance Gross Premium - N6.917b Profit after tax - N805m PRESCO Turnover - N2.60b Profit after tax - N800.9m RT Briscoe Turnover - N4.553b

25 NLNG is one of the biggest success stories in our country. From what I am told, the company has invested $13 billion so far since inception, and has become a pacesetter in terms of revenue generation for the government. -Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga

NSE may sanction 50 companies over delayed results A HEAD of today’s deadline for extended timeline for quoted companies to submit their audited reports and accounts for the year ended December 31, 2013, there are indications that the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) may sanction not less than 50 companies over their failure to submit their period within the extended period. The Nation’s investigation at the NSE showed that several companies have not submitted their audited reports while others were making lastminute efforts to scale the deadline and avoid the poor corporate governance tag and sanction of the NSE. Post-listing rules at the NSE require quoted companies to submit their earnings reports, not later than three months after the expiration of the period. Most quoted companies including all banks, major manufacturers, oil and gas companies, breweries and cement companies use the 12-month Gregorian calendar year as their business year. The business year thus terminates on December 31. NSE’s regulatory filing cal-

•Slams N106m fines on 48 companies By Taofik Salako

Capital Market Editor

endar indicates that the deadline for submission of annual report for companies with Gregorian calendar business year was Monday, March 31. However, on the heels of exclusive report by The Nation that less than one-third of the companies submitted their annual reports by March 31, 2014, the NSE had extended the March 31 deadline for a period of one month, giving companies that operate the Gregorian calendar year as their business year up till April 30, 2014 to submit their audited earnings reports for the year ended December 31, 2013. The NSE had in an emailed response to media enquiry by The Nation attributed the extension to several requests for extension by companies. During the extended period, the companies will not be liable for any sanction. A source at the Exchange

yesterday ruled out possibility of another general extension, implying that the NSE would start applying relevant sanctions and tags as from May 2, 2014. A headcount by The Nation indicated that not less than 50 companies might miss today’s deadline as several companies have not made required announcement for scheduled board meeting to consider their audited reports. A report on sanctions and fines for similar defaults in 2013 obtained showed that the Exchange slammed about N105.9 million on 48 companies that delayed their results. The fines ranged between N200, 000 and N6.8 million. The NSE had slammed some N60.2 million as fines on 34 companies for failure to meet deadlines for 2011 audited reports. With a range of N3.8 million and N100, 000, average fine for the year was N1.77 million.

The source at the NSE said the sanctions were not intended to generate incomes for the Exchange but to serve mainly as deterrents against corporate failures. Meanwhile, market pundits said they expected the momentum of submission to be high today, since companies will want to avoid the double-sanction of monetary fines and “naming and shaming” of the NSE. Companies that have submitted their 2013 results included Unilever Nigeria, FCMB Group, Nigeria Aviation Handling Company (Nahco), Julius Berger Nigeria, Livestock Feeds, United Bank for Africa (UBA), First Aluminium Nigeria, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, Sterling Bank, Dangote Cement, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria, Berger Paints, Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria, Cadbury Nigeria, Zenith Bank, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp), Guaranty Trust Bank, Nestle Nigeria, Forte Oil and Africa Prudential Registrars among others.

•From left: Directors, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Chief Kola Jamodu, Mr. Adekunle Olumide and Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, during the 52nd Annual General Meeting of the bank in Lagos.

Service sector contributes 52.65 per cent to GDP


HE service sector contributes the largest to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with 52.65 per cent, followed by industry 26 per cent, while agriculture contributes 22 per cent. According to a report by Resources and Trust Company (RTC) Advisory Service, a private economic consulting firm in Lagos, manufacturing (part of industry) is about seven per cent of GDP while oil and gas (also in industry) accounts for 14.61 per cent of economic activity. Telecoms and information services (included in services) is 8.82

‘Naira may be devalued after 2015 elections’

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By Toba Agboola

per cent while motion pictures, sound recording and music production (Nollywood & Naija Music) is approaching two per cent of GDP. The report said the data suggests a high level of economic diversification with many more sectors coming into relevance. It said: ‘’The most important insight from the new GDP figures is that even though our GDP is 26th largest globally, per capita GDP places us at number 121. ‘’Interest rates can be expected to rise marginally as

high CRR (Cash Reserve Ration) on private sector deposits kick in. From the point of view of private sector forex (foreign exchange) buyers however, this is in effect offset by continuing foreign exchange subsidies as CBN maintains naira defense. The macroeconomic costs in lost reserves, though high and in our view unsustainable may now be assumed to persist until the 2015 elections. ‘’Inflation and capital markets moved in opposite and positive directions in Feb/ March inflation declining and stock markets experiencing a modest rebound,

CBN, NDIC to inspect microfinance banks quarterly

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both positive for business though again the test is sustainbility,’’ the report added. The report said the severe discomfort of the Nigeria political opposition to the new GDP data means only one thing, the news cannot be bad for the incumbent’s political prospects. It added that the recent rebasing of the nation’s GDP does not imply an increase in national income ,productivity or alter the county’ poor performance in terms of poverty, unemployment, rather it give us a more accurate picture of the current state of our economy.

BATN urges balanced tobacco control bill By Adedeji Ademigbuji


HE British American Tobacco Nigeria (BATN) has pledged to support the decision of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to send an executive bill to the National Assembly, saying it supports a balanced regulation of tobacco industry. Its Director for Corporate and Regulatory Affairs for West Africa, Mr. Freddy Messanvi, said BATN supports effective regulation of tobacco industry, adding that for regulation to be effective and achieve its objectives, it must be balanced and enforceable. He maintained that tobacco control laws must ensure that the legal industry is not affected by such laws to undue advantage of criminal tobacco smuggling rings. He said: “We have not seen the bill yet; so we cannot make any comments on the proposals in the bill. All we can say at this point is that, care should be taken to ensure that the proposals in the bill do not lead to unintended consequences, then the objectives for which such bills were passed will have been met.” Messanvi cited recent passage of the Lagos State Public Smoking Act as an example of good legislation, saying: “The process for the passage of the Lagos State Bill was inclusive and not discriminatory in any form. This is the ideal practice which must be emulated at all times”. The FEC agreed that an executive tobacco control bill should be sent to the National Assembly for consideration. The bill contains stiffer penalties for smoking in undesignated smoking areas than the Lagos State Smoking Act. The tobacco industry which consists of companies like BATN, Japan Tobacco International and several other small players have come under intense pressure in recent times from several internationally funded anti-tobacco orga nisations. Many non-governmental organisations (NGOs), such as the American CTFK have joined Environmental Rights Action Group (Friends of the earth) and Coalition against Tobacco in the fight against the industry. The executive bill will be the 4th bill to be introduced into the National Assembly in recent times.

Taking football into airfreshner business

- P39






Naira may be devalued after 2015 elections, T says economist HE naira may be devalued after the 2015 elections if there is “a significant drop” in the foreign reserves, an economist has predicted. Charles Robertson, the Global Economist of Renaissance Capital (RenCap), in a report titled: “Nigeria/Kazakhstan comparison and oil sales”, said: “Cumulative deterioration in the foreign reserves in 2013 and 2014 implies devaluation in 2015, after the selections.” Renaissance Capital is a financial intermediating and reserach firm. Robertson said though he was working on the assumption that there should be no devaluation in 2014, “there is a risk that the incoming Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, may devalue the naira, as Kazakhstan’s central bank

Stories by Collins Nweze

governor did in coming to office in February 2007. He, doubted the devaluation taking place before the elections, saying such an action would be unpopular for an import-dependent nation. “We think a N160 to N170 to dollar target range is likely. One upside for the government from a weaker naira would be more naira from dollar oil tax revenue,” he said. The economist said foreign exchange reserves, which stood at $38 billion, would drop to $35 billion by the end of the year.

He explained that if such a decline occurs, it would imply greater weakness of the naira than the current N164 to a dollar end-year assumption, but added that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would counter-act the position, by tightening monetary policy. “We assume foreign exchange reserves will fall from $44 billion in 2013 to $35 billion this year – a decline of $9 billion.That would imply greater weakness than our current N164 to a dollar end-year assumption. But we expect the CBN to counter-act this, by tightening monetary policy,”

Robertson said. He said the last time the CBN devalued the naira was in 2011, following the $11 billion drop in foreign reserves. Robertson said: “We believe reserves will likely fall further in 2014 on the back of subpar oil production and higher imports due to election-related spending. We think the cumulative deterioration in Nigeria’s external position in 2013 and 2014 implies devaluation in 2015, after the elections; a devaluation before the elections would be unpopular for an import-dependent nation. We think a N160 to N170 to dollar target range is likely. One upside for the governent from a weaker naira would be more naira from dollar oil tax revenue.” The global economist explained that the CBN sees no obvious advantage for Nigeria from naira devaluation. Like Kazakhstan, Robertson said the naira has come under pressure recently from the US Federal Reserve’s tapering policy, and its current account surplus is

likely to decline as imports rise in the run up to the February 2014 elections. The foreign exchange reserves last week, rose slightly to $38 billion, about $200 million higher than the $37.8 billion the previous week, data obtained from the CBN showed. The reserves had maintained steady decline in recent months after closing last year at $42.85 billion. The year-end figure represented a decrease of $0.98 billion or 2.23 per cent compared with $43.83 billion at end- December 2012. The reserves further dropped to $38.79 billion as at March 12. The reserves were at $42.77 billion on February 3, and dropped to $39.72 billion on March 3. Analysts said the reserves declined as imports of fuel and foods soared. But the CBN said the decrease was driven largely by the increased funding of the foreign exchange market in the face of intense pressure on the naira and the need to maintain stability. The CBN said the pressure on external reserves was deemed to be consistent with the seasonal annual payment of dividends to foreign investors.

Diamond Bank backs MSMEs


From left: Head, Marketing and Communications, Stanbic IBTC, Mrs Nkiru Olumide-Ojo; CEO, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Mrs Sola David-Borha; and Head, Corporate and Investment Banking, Stanbic IBTC, Mr Victor Williams, at a press briefing on the bank’s participation in the forthcoming World Economic Forum in Abuja.

CBN, NDIC to inspect microfinance banks quarterly T HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) will, henceforth, look into the books of microfinance banks (MfBs) to ascertain their state of health. It is to check the lenders’ stress level, clean up of delinquent loans and reorganise their balance sheets to forestall unwholesome practices that resulted in the liquidation of many MfBs in the past. Last February, the CBN announced the revocation of licences of 83 MfBs. The closure of the institutions, according to the apex bank, took effect from December 20, last year. In view of the closure, the NDIC was appointed the provisional liquidator for their winding up. The NDIC has begun the process of winding up of the affairs of the affected MfBs. Findings showed that the inability of the firms to recapitalise was responsible for their closure. The apex bank gave MfBs up to December 31, last year, to recapitalise or be liquidated. Its Director, Other Financial

I n s t i t u t i o n s , O . A . F a b a m w o, said it was exigent to remind directors and shareholders of all MfBs that the deadline is sacrosanct. He, however, advised the banks to conduct due diligence and seek professional legal and financial advice. He also reminded directors and shareholders of all MfBs on the deadline to ensure compliance with the Revised Microfinance Policy Framework, particularly in respect of the capital requirements for each category of MfB and existing branches/cash centres, among others. Already, the CBN and other stakeholders have been carrying out intensive sensitisation of the subsector, educating operators on risk management and corporate governance principles. The CBN, which several months ago asked the MFBs to recapitalise, had categorised them under different amounts of capital base requirement. A unit MfB bank is authorised to operate in

one location without branches/ cash centres, and is required to have a minimum paid up capital of N20 million, while that of a state is expected to have a minimum paid up capital of N100 million. It is equally allowed to open branches within the same state or the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). But the national MfB is authorised to operate in more than one state, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). It is required to have a minimum paid up capital of N2 billion and is allowed to open branches in all states of the federation and the FCT, although subject to prior written approval by the CBN. Many of the MfBs being liquidated by the NDIC ran into trouble when many of their debtors refused to pay back their loans, over 80 per cent of which were unsecured. Besides, some of the MfBs were taking excessive risks, and branching out too quickly without considering resources at their disposal and whether utilised funds were short or long term obligations.

IAMOND Bank has reiterated its commitment to Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) through its BusinessXpress that provides financial and non-financial interventions to the sub-sector. It made the promise at a seminar in Lagos aimed at educating MSMEs on how to build capacity in financial management. The topics discussed included: “Build up to breakthrough”, “Introduction to cash flow and Diamond Bank offerings for MSMEs”. Addressing participants, its Executive Director, Retail Banking, Mr. Uzoma Dozie, stressed the need for entrepreneurs to have well-articulated visions for their businesses. He said: “Entrepreneurs need to have a well-articulated vision, which involves understanding the perspective of their customers and staff, because a business grows as her customers grow and capacity building is what will help MSMEs to sustain the growth of their businesses.” “Reduction of physical cash flow in MSMEs, by making use of electronic banking channels, which helps to monitor expenses and in-

culcate financial discipline, is fundamental to the ultimate success of a business,” Dozie added. Head of Retail Banking, Mr. Jude Anele, who spoke on the contribution of MSMEs to the growth of the economy, said the bank is not just providing loans, but building the capacities of MSMEs, while insisting that the success of MSMEs is crucial to Diamond Bank and the economy at large. On the bank’s determination to continue with the seminars, Head, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Segment, Mr. Chima Nnadozie, revealed that the lender has been supporting MSMEs with loans without collateral since 2009, offering a total range of solutions that MSMEs need and has been encouraged to continue the seminars because the feedback from participants has been very positive. Successful entrepreneurs, who shared their stories at the event, included the Executive Director of Mopeth Group of Companies, Mrs. Odunola Oyegade and the CEO of Avis Nigeria, Mr. Kolawole Ogunbanjo. They stressed the importance of reading to entrepreneurs.

Bank customers’ group emerges


ANK Customers Association of Nigeria (BCAN) has been inaugurated in Lagos. The body is to help bank customers address their grievances against banks and regulators of the financial services sector. At the inauguration, BCAN President, Dr. ‘Uju Ogubunka, said the forum would help bank operators and regulators collaborate with customers in settling disputes. This, he said, would help in achieving financial inclusion for the benefit of the citizenry and the growth of the economy. He described the group as a consumer protection-focused organisation that recognises the inter-dependence of providers and con-

sumers of banking products and services. Ogubunka said the group would promote and protect the rights and interest of its members. It will also educate the public on the advantages inherent in the operations of efficient banking policies and the need to develop a healthy banking culture. Also, the BCAN is expected to provide credible and common platform for customers of banks in the country to consider, take decisions and act on matters of common interest to them. The group will also be involved in gathering, analysing, evaluating and sharing information on banking, finance and other related subjects.



MONEY There are two sides to a report. The true and the false sides. Many banks like to give the false side to hide their sordid deeds. Unknown to them, they are undoing themselves. By adhering to transparent and efficient reporting standards, banks, experts say, will be rewarded with higher returns on investment and an improved risk management system. COLLINS NWEZE reports.

Banks’ road to higher profit F

OR banks, the road to higher profit and sustainable business practices lies in improved reporting standards, but, many of them seem not to know this as they continue to lie with statistics. With improved reporting standards, banks are expected to enhance their overall risk management, reduce cost of operations, create more avenues for fresh capital inflows and the ability to attract and retain talents. Many banks are facing tougher challenges, because of the commitment of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to enthrone corporate governance and accountability. To the CBN, the easiest way to meet regulatory expectations is to adopt and implement sound reporting standards. At the G4 Sustainability Reporting Guideline Training, organised by Access Bank in Lagos, the Group Managing Director, Mr Herbert Wigwe, said for a business to be truly sustainable, it must sustain not only the needed environmental resources, but also its social resources, including employees, customers and reputation. He said Access Bank has been collaborating with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Focal Point, South Africa, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, (SIDA) and Thistle Praxis’ sustainability capacity building in the country. He said the workshop was designed to provide participants with the requisite knowledge of sustainability reporting, help them manage the reporting process and benefit from the transparency of adopting such standards. “Additionally, the programme provides a strategic opportunity for advancing the shared mission of mainstreaming sustainability reporting into business practices in Nigeria and Africa, as well as enhancing the presence of the Global Reporting Initiative in Nigeria at the national and regional levels,” he said. Wigwe, who was represented by the bank’s Chief Risk Officer, Gregory Jobome, said sustainability and responsible business practices are important to the bank and are consistent with its vision of championing and supporting such initiatives across Africa. He said the bank’s involvement in certain corporate actions are a testimony to the bank’s sustained efforts at nation building and support for the financial services sector, in achieving a seamless integration of sustainable business practices into the core of its business operations. Head, GRI Focal Point, South Africa, Douglas Kativu, urged Nigerian banks and government agencies to improve on standard in the practice of sustainability reporting, given the size and relevance of the country in the global economy, saying these have prompted campaigns that the global community should consistently review business decisions and their environmental impact to make the earth truly sustain-

able in the long term. The Chief Executive Officer, Thistle Praxis Consulting, Ms. Ini Onuk, said the workshop was able to improve participants’ capacity to present sustainability reports in a manner that demonstrates linkages between strategies and commitment to sustainable global economy. She said this would help organisations measure, understand and communicate their economic, environmental, social and governance performance accurately, thus making the world become more accountable.

Stakeholders’ roles The GRI Focal Point South Africa works to promote the importance of transparency for markets and better knowledge of sustainability reporting (SR) in key target markets on the African continent, as well as in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. It is also committed to building and strengthening sustainability performance and reporting capacity as well as shaping the reporting environment by influencing public policy and market initiatives. Also, the SIDA is a government organisation under the Swedish Foreign Ministry that administers almost half of Sweden’s budget for development aid, while the ThistlePraxis Consulting is a Strategy and Assessment Management Consulting firm that assists organisations in all sectors through the delivery of innovative solutions from effective strategies.

International Finance Corporation (IFC) partnership Access Bank Plc, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and other signatories of the Nigeria Sustainable Banking Principles (NSBP) last year advocated a holistic implementation of the policy in order to contribute to the development of the economy. The stakeholders noted the need to encourage knowledge and experience sharing among industry players, and other international organisations if the objective of the NSBP is to be achieved. According to the Chairman of the committee, Jobome “the conference was convened to foster a holistic implementation of the NSBP by encouraging knowledge and experience sharing among industry players and other international organisations, like the IFC and Sustainable Finance Limited.” He explained that the bank’s objective as the Chair of the NSBP

• Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Steering Committee, and Co-host of the event, is to encourage practices that would aid the actualisation of the objective of the committee in ensuring the successful implementation of the Nigeria Sustainable Banking Principles across Nigeria’s financial institutions. He said the NSBP was also developed for the banking sector to signal the industry’s commitment to economic growth that is environmentally responsible and socially relevant, noting that the bank has successfully embedded sustainability into the core of its operations by initiating capacity development of its employees. This, he said, would ensure that all staff understood what sustainability means.

Regulatory backing The CBN and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) have provided regulatory support and framework for the sustainable banking practice in the country. For instance, Special Adviser to the CBN Governor on Sustainable Banking, Dr. Aisha Mahmood, said plans by the regulator to institute nationwide Biometric Solution for the financial system would be a game changer for the industry. She told The Nation the CBN has been making steady progress on how to get more people into the financial system especially with the institution of the agent banking model, adding that the introduction of biometric solution by the apex bank is a right step in achieving sustainable banking practice. Mahmood said the facility is also expected to help those who are not educated to use biometric to be part of the payment system.

• Acting CBN Governor Sarah Alade

She said with the biometric solution, the CBN, banks, the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) and banks’ branches will be connected to the facility when it takes off. The CBN assured that the biometric exercise will not interfere, or be in competition with the National Identity project, but instead, it would be rolled into the National Identity project. The benefit of the biometric exercise were listed to include helping boost Nigeria’s image internationally, deal with money laundering, deal with fraud, extend credit to people without worrying about where to find them and who they are. According to the CBN, the platform, when completed, would help operators and regulators of the financial system address issues of Know Your Customer (KYC), antimoney laundering (AML), and access to credit. This will help fasttrack use of channels, such as biometric Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and Point of Sale (PoS) terminals, among others. The CBN and NDIC want banks to shift focus from profitability alone and consider also other issues around sustainability, before lending. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), through its UNEP Financial Initiative on the Environment and Sustainable Development at the Earth Summit in 1992, placed it as pertinent concern for financial systems across the world. It said sustainable banking in Nigeria, therefore, is focused on energising the influence of the banking sector (being financier of economic and social activities) towards transforming the longer

‘The lenders are facing tougher regulatory environment given the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) commitment to enthroning corporate governance and accountability. The easiest way to meet regulatory expectations is to adopt and implement sound reporting standards’

term interest of environmental preservation and societal balancing into key parameters for allocation of capital.

Oil companies

The CBN said if the oil companies that degrade the environment and their cohorts in other sectors are starved of funds from both local and international banks, they will have no choice than to comply. For the apex bank, there is urgent need for a policy ensuring that people do not carry on their businesses in an environmentally unfriendly manner and get away with it. It said the agenda would be presented to the Bankers’ Committee to agree on the way it can be realised. The reason is that as an industry, banks cannot continue to take savings and deposits from Nigerians and then, lend to companies that are destroying the environment. “Why must Nigeria bring multinational oil companies to destroy our environment? How do we feel about it? They can get the funds and still use it in a responsible manner. I want to see more banks coming to identify with issues of sustainability and protection of the environment,” it said. The CBN said banks should not just look at profitability of lending decisions, but should also consider contributions of the borrower to the environment. For the regulator, competition in the sector has drastically risen, compared with what was obtainable in the 80s. It therefore admitted that the policy may be stalled by banks not wanting to lose businesses to competitors that care less about the environment, where a borrower has not adhered to set standards. It explained that global environmental impact of businesses, which are largely financed by the banking industry suggests that the sector has not given adequate attention to environmental impact of their funding activities. It said the tendency to view banking as an environment friendly business is commonplace as it seemed, on the surface, not to be harming the environment and society directly.




‘Equities’ outlook cautious, lukewarm in Q2’


AJOR investment firms and analysts believe Nigerian capital market will be characterised by restrained bargain-hunting amidst evident lull in investors’ appetite in the second quarter as the market oscillates between external pressures and domestic regulatory transition. Leading market pundits and analysts said they expected the market to be somehow tepid in the remaining months of the first half, although there could be some modest resurgence. With a negative first quarter return of -6.25 per cent, most opinions seemed to tilt towards a negative close for the market in the second quarter. Investment experts at BGL Plc, GTI Capital, FSDH Securities, Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) and CBO Capital said they did not expect an overtly bullish market in the second quarter, although there were several bargain stocks that could enliven the market. Group deputy managing director, BGL Plc, Mr. Chibundu Edozie said the capital market would remain cautious and undecided, although it may not witness a major decline. According to him, the outlook for the market is unclear as the market has so far failed to respond to a

Stories by Taofik Salako Capital Market Editor

number of impressive corporate financial announcements of listed companies. “The cautious mode of the market is likely to be sustained through the first half of the year until the new CBN Governor resumes in June and monetary policy direction becomes clearer especially in relation to exchange rates. We however do not foresee a further precipitous decline given that the market currently presents significant bargain opportunities to investors,” Edozie said. He noted that the bearish run in the equities market was due largely to foreign investors selling down in response to the global investment risk reappraisal in the wake of US active tapering of its quantitative easing and hence rising interest rates abroad. Edozie pointed out the influence of foreign portfolios in Nigerian market noting that among peers and emerging markets, the Nigerian stock market was the second worst performer in the first quarter; behind Russia which declined by 8.8 per cent during the period. Managing director, GTI Securities Limited, Mr. Tunde Oyekunle, said the rebasing of the GDP and the emergence of Nigeria as the largest

economy in Africa will boost the nation’s economic outlook and fuel economic activities, which may impact performance of quoted stocks positively. According to him, more impressive results and dividend payouts by some quoted companies are expected to boost market performance in the second quarter. This would be marginally supported by expected growth in first quarter unaudited results. He noted that the momentum around SEPLAT, the first indigenous upstream oil company to be listed, could create a spark in the second quarter, drawing investors’ attention to other potentials. “We are optimist that the passage of the 2014 Budget and other reforms will enhance market performance in the next quarter, though at a slower rate since the foreign reserve is still on the decline while foreign portfolio investors remain wary of new risks,” Oyekunle said. Analysts at FSDH Securities advised investors to diversify their equities portfolios to take on additional sectors in the upstream oil and gas subsector while maintaining long positions in banking stocks Analysts at GTI Securities outlined the key sectors that may herald market performance in the remaining

months of the year to include power, construction, oil and gas and banking sectors. Analysts noted that the positive reforms in the mortgage industry which has seen the creation of the Nigerian Mortgage Refinancing Company to create liquidity by providing access to cheap funds will drive a lot of building activities and boost the construction and building material sector. “The huge dependence of the economy on the oil and gas sector makes a compelling case for it. Despite all the unresolved issues in the sector, the economic relevance of the product makes the sector one to watch out for in the rest of 2014,” analysts stated. They noted that contrary to market insinuations, the recent results of a good number of banks have shown that they were not much affected by the increased public sector cash reserve requirement (CRR). “We are much enthusiastic on the banks with strong fundamentals and rich dividend history,” analysts stated. Analysts at FDC pointed out that as the stock market is currently in the bear territory, value investors will target perceived undervalued stock to hunt for good bargains during the second quarter.

Resort Savings targets 2,753 housing units in first half


•From Left: Managing Director, Investment Banking, UBA Capital Plc, Wale Shonibare; Acting Director-General, National Pension Commission, Chinelo Ahonu-Amazu; Group Chief Executive Officer, UBA Capital Plc; Oluwatoyin Sanni, Managing Director, UBA Capital Asset Management, Modupe Mujota, and Managing Director, UBA Capital Securities, Jude Chiemeka at the UBA Capital investors’ forum in Lagos.

Pfizer, AstraZeneca in $100b takeover bid


NITED States (US) drugmaker Pfizer Inc approached Britain’s AstraZeneca Plc to reignite a potential $100 billion takeover and was rebuffed, raising investor expectations it will have to increase its offer to close the deal. Pfizer said it proposed a takeover to AstraZeneca in January worth 58.8 billion pounds, about $98.9 billion, or nearly 47 pounds per share. It had contacted its British rival again on Saturday, seeking to discuss further a takeover. The chase was welcomed by investors in both companies, as deal-making grips the healthcare industry. AstraZeneca said Pfizer’s suggested offer undervalued the company “very significantly,” adding that Pfizer wanted to pay 70 per cent in shares and only 30 per cent in cash. AstraZeneca urged its shareholders to take no action and said it remained confident of its independent strategy. “I feel pretty confident of a higher bid coming,” said Neil Veitch, global and UK investment director at SVM Asset Management, which owns AstraZeneca shares. “I think it’s more likely than not that we’ll see an agreed deal somewhere in that 52 to 53 pound range.”

“In the interim, the market would depend on positive earnings release as local investors look for bargains on cheaper prices. Earnings will provide a guide; domestic retail investors are important to the outlook,” analysts at CBO Capital stated. The performance of the Nigerian equities market was largely bearish during the first quarter of the year. In January, February and March, the market consistently recorded losses of 1.8 per cent, 2.5 per cent and 2.0 per cent respectively. This was in sharp contrast to the corresponding period of 2013 when the market returned about 17.7 per cent in the first three months. In terms of activities, the average daily volume of transactions of 380 million units for the first quarter of 2014 was also lower than 512 million units in the corresponding period of 2013. The All Share Index (ASI), the benchmark index at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), closed the quarter with a drop of 6.25 per cent to close at 38,748 points while market capitalization dropped by 5.89 per cent to close at N12.45 Trillion. Total market volume for the quarter also fell by 26 per cent at 22.83 billion while total market value rose marginally by 6.3 per cent to close at N269.4 billion.

Buying AstraZeneca would boost Pfizer’s pipeline of cancer drugs and create significant cost and tax savings. Under British takeover rules, Pfizer has until May 26 to announce a firm intention to make an offer or back away. Reuters reported that the renewed approach comes amid a wave of mergers and acquisitions in the sector, pushing the value of deals to $153 billion so far this year, as the industry restructures amid healthcare spending cuts and competition from cheap generics. “Society wants products faster, they want more products and they want value,” Pfizer Chief Executive Ian Read told reporters. “Industry is responding to society’s request for increased efficiencies and productivity.” Read said AstraZeneca had declined to engage in talks and the US group was now considering how to proceed, but he remained convinced that combining the two companies made strategic sense and would benefit AstraZeneca investors. Pfizer’s original proposal, made to the board of AstraZeneca on January 5, would have valued AstraZeneca shares at 46.61 pounds each - a premium of around 30 per cent at the time.

AstraZeneca said the proposal comprised 13.98 pounds in cash and 1.758 Pfizer shares for each AstraZeneca share. “My guess is it will go for somewhere between 50 and 55 pounds a share,” said Dan Mahony, a fund manager at Polar Capital, who raised his stake in AstraZeneca in February last year. “I doubt Pfizer will want to go completely hostile.” Most of Pfizer’s past deals have been conducted on a friendly basis, including its 2009 purchase of Wyeth for $68 billion. But it has been willing to play hardball if needed, as it did in 2000 with its $90 billion purchase of U.S. rival Warner-Lambert, with which it won full ownership of cholesterol fighter Lipitor, the best-selling drug of all time. Read told US analysts that since the initial approach to AstraZeneca, both companies had seen experimental drugs fare well in trials. At the same time, Pfizer concluded it was too difficult to pursue big deals domestically while being on the hook for higher US tax rates. “We’re coming from a position of strength, on our near-term pipeline” of experimental drugs, Read said.

ESORT Savings and Loans Plc will deliver more than 2,753 housing units in Lagos and Ogun States in the first half of this year. Managing Director, Resort Savings and Loans Plc, Mr Abimbola Olayinka, said the housing units would be built under mortgage terms as part of efforts to make housing affordable for Nigerians. According to him, the 2,743 housing units will include the current development of the Resort Estate Ofada, with over 400 housing units, tastefully finished two and three bedroom terrace bungalows, which Nigerians will be able to access at affordable prices. Another is the Resort Pearl Garden Sangotedo, which will have at least 80 housing units. He noted that it its bid to strengthen its position in the housing sector, the bank is partnering with a lot of developers in either financing their projects or providing mortgage facilities to the off-takers at affordable interest rates. Giving an insight into the existing and on-going projects and partnership with developers, Olayinka added that some of these estates include the Teju Royal Garden Estate Okokomaiko, which has over 600 housing units of one and two bedroom terrace bungalow, three bedrooms semi-detached and three bedrooms fully detached bungalows. Apart from the accessi-

bility of the estate due to the current development of the Lagos-Badagry Express Road as well as the proposed Rail track to link Marina Lagos end, the price of the houses are very affordable. He outlined other where the bank has on- going projects and partnership to include the Dreamville Estate, Owode –Ibese road, Ikorodu, which has over 120 housing units in various stages of development, Dabis Royal Estate off Allen Avenue Ikeja, Southdrift in Lekki and Gracious Gardens among others. He noted that the bank has been able to bridge the housing gap by creating over 4,000 housing units in recent period. Outside the western zone, Resort Savings’ projects include many estates in Abuja including the Jedo Mass Housing Estate, in Ushafa Bwari area council with over 1,000 housing units under construction; Mahfas Sunshine Estate, Kurudu, Abuja with over 500 housing units completed and over 1,000 units are in various stages of completion; Resort Court Karu, Kubusa Gardens Estate, Orchards Estate, Lokogoma, Von Garden City Estate and Shelter view, Maraba, Abuja. Olayinka said his company plans to create at least 5,000 housing units in Abuja and it’s environ through mortgage creation.

CIPSMN boss urges govt to tackle corruption, others


HE Federal Government has been urged to tackle vices, such as corruption, fraud and robbery which are threatening the growth of the economy. Speaking at the induction of members of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Management of Nigeria (CIPSMN) in Ikeja, Lagos, its President, Alhaji Mohammed Aliyu, said though the government (and others in the past) promised to solve these problems when it took over, he asked: “But what are we seeing today? Why do we have the worst possible stationery of fraud, in security factories? Why is business so difficult to conduct in Nigeria? Why increase in unemployment, embezzlement of public funds, mis-

By Joseph Eshanokpe

management of depositor’s money in banks, fraud and investment scams?” He accused the government of being insincere with the implementation of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) 2007 and the CIPSMN Act 21 of 2007 aimed at fighting corruption in the procurement and contract awards and upholding professionalism, adding: “Corruption on the part of government officials vested with trust is calculated to undermine the rule of law, trust and erode public confidence.” He said corruption breeds stealing from the treasury or tax payers and “undermines the moral fibre of the citizenry’’.

Newspaper of the Year




• A crowd of residents welcoming Aregbesola to the inauguration of 21 roads in Osogbo, the state capital...on Monday

Osun’s ‘road’ to economic recovery The government of the state of Osun says it is building multi channel roads, which it believes will stimulate economic prosperity. SEUN AKIOYE looks at how the road projects have affected the common Joe.



T was not a political rally. Not yet. It was a different kind of rally, one that the supporters called ‘the peoples’ rally. At about 3:00pm on April

The nation celebrates Olubadan’s centenary birthday •PAGE 32

15, 2014, Governor Rauf Aregbesola rode into the city of Ilesa in an open roof white Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) and a convoy of about six vehicles. He was dressed in a white lace that

fitted his modest frame and a blue cap, sat proudly on his head; a dark sunshade protected his eyes from the blinding rays of the sun. Immediately, a crowd gathered and as the

The changing phases of the Rock city •PAGE 34

convoy progressed into the heart of the city, thousands of enthusiastic supporters joined in forcing it to move at a snail’s pace. The governor waved at the people,

sometimes gave the victory sign and danced to the impromptu music of the Okada riders and other •Continued from Page 30

Man paralysed few days after wedding •PAGE 36



SOUTHWEST REPORT •Continued from Page 29 supporters, who ran alongside his motorcade. He bonded with the people who felt they could honestly lay claim to him as one of their own. In the last one year, Aregbesola’s administration has built 29.71 kilometres of roads round Ilesa. The new roads are on 15 streets. It is like a ring road connecting different sections of the city, so that if one began from one end, one could end up at the same spot going round the city. That was what Aregbesola did when he rode into town to open the roads. He spent over one hour inspecting all 15 roads and ended up at the Ibala Road Community Primary School, venue of the ceremony, where several thousands of people were already waiting. Time was 4:30pm. Aregbesola said his overriding ambition is to regain Osun’s place as the economic hub of the Southwest, outside of Lagos and because the state is bordered by five states of the Southwest and the North central, it serves as a veritable alternative to Lagos in trade and investments. So, the governor thought of linking the state with the railway and constructing standardised access roads into the state. The road construction too would serve as internal economic stimulus for the state. So, almost four years into this plan, how has the state managed to achieve its objectives?

“We just want the roads fixed” Government agencies said that the construction of 15 roads in Ilesa was unprecedented in the history of the state. Instructively, many of the residents shared this sentiment. At the ceremony to mark the commissioning of the roads, about 15 traditional rulers, both within the state and outside, graced the occasion. Speaking for the royal fathers, the Owa Obokun of Ijeshaland, Oba Adekunle Aromolaran said, the administration of Governor Aregbesola has made the biggest developmental impacts in the state. He mentioned the constructed roads as being unprecedented and threw in a clincher. “I can even say it was during your administration that I gave birth to twins,” he told the governor. But, it wasn’t only the royal fathers that appreciated the benefits of the new roads in Ilesa, the people do too. Mary Oyeleye, a resident of OmoOlupe Street, Bonnke area, just opened a new business where she sells food items. About a year ago, this had been impossible to accomplish and the reasons are not farfetched. “We have really suffered in this Olupe Street. Before the road was constructed, this whole area was flood and muds especially the Bonnke area. There was a river there and only Okada could pass through this area, when you get to Bonnke, then you have to roll up your dress and wade through the mud and river. There were houses that have been submerged in the river too. This place was a nightmare,” she said.

•A bridge over the Osun river Oba Adeyemi bypass


Osun’s ‘road’ to economic

The bad condition of the road also had its negative economic impact. Being a major link road to several towns including Ijebu-Ijesa, Osogbo and Akure, the road had been completely deserted by all commercial interests, shops closed down and residents began to move out of the area. About a year ago, work began on the road and when the construction was completed the area took on a new image. Apart from the standard construction, Omo-Olupe Street has opened for business. “We built these stores last December because the road is now passable. Also, all the commercial buses are now using this road, so it makes it busy. We are grateful to the governor for doing this; he has totally changed our lives,” Oyeleye said. Omo-Olupe is not the only street opened for business, the whole of Ilesa is. From one street to the other, residents spoke of years of decay and neglect but which has been reversed by the construction or rehabilitation of the roads. Omi-Eran road for instance, according to some of the engineers from Ratcon Construction company – the company responsible for the construction of the roads – was a terrible specimen of a township road. At the ceremony to commission the roads, the residents discussed the impacts of the new developments in the city. They were not the only ones to marvel in wonder, the governor did too. “As we drove round the roads today with the people, I was just wondering about what God can do. I was thinking to myself that to have 29 kilometers of roads round Ilesa, this is the first time in the history of this state. I was just thanking

I came here about 20-years ago but this type of development has been unprecedented. There were times we had given up, but today, we thank Governor Aregbesola for doing this road for us. We never expected our road will be fixed in 10 years, this governor has really tried and we really appreciate him for that. Tell him we are grateful recipients of all that he is doing

God,” the governor said. His eyes dilating with excitement and his voice rising in a sing-song. The crowd caught the bug of his excitement and somebody raised a song loosely translated to thanking God for a new era. The excitement about the new roads, however, transcends Ilesa, in Osogbo, where several township and inter-city road constructions have been done and still ongoing, the physical outlook of the city has changed, probably forever. In Osogbo, the philosophy behind the road constructions remains the same; that is, opening up economic opportunities for many of the residents of the state, from the bottom up approach. Mercy land area, a large residential and business settlement in Osogbo, with thousands of residents now wears a new look. It is one of the several Osogbo township roads constructed over four months ago, which linked several neighbourhoods. In Mercy land area, which conveniently sits on a small hill, there are about 10 newly constructed roads, linking one street with another up and down the hill. Kayode Oyediran has operated his tie and dye business from Omonike crescent for five years now but according to him it was only this year that any meaningful improvement has occurred in the area. “Because the whole of Mercy land area was in a terrible shape, you find that people cannot move as freely as they want. The consequence of that is business concerns were affected. It was only those who had Okada that could work here,” he said. But things have changed for his business. Because of the newly constructed roads in the neighbourhood he could easily move his raw materials into site and also his finished goods out of his business premises. “I think on the issues of road construction, I will give the governor a pass mark. This is not the only road he has done, if you go across Osogbo, there are so many inner roads like this that have been done. Osogbo has really changed,” Oyediran enthused. The residents of Oke-Arugbo’s 12 zones neighbourhood also believe their newly constructed roads will facilitate business development in the area and boost real estate. According to Chief Titus Osobu, the chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Atakumosa West, in Ilesa, but who owns a house in Oke-Arugbo zone 2, the development in the area has been unprecedented. “I came here about 20-years ago but this type of development has been

unprecedented. There were times we had given up, but today, we thank Governor Aregbesola for doing this road for us. “We never expected our road will be fixed in 10 years, this governor has really tried and we really appreciate him for that. Tell him we are grateful recipients of all that he is doing,” Titilayo Adetoun, a resident of zone 3, who followed the profession of tailoring said. Though the construction of roads in Oke-Arugbo still has about four zones to be completed, the revolution was already catching on in all the zones. “Zone 8, where I live is yet to be constructed, but we can drive on good roads up to this point. We are certain the government must complete all the remaining roads to have a complete development,” Mrs. Adebola Adeseye said. Outside the township roads in Osogbo, there are major inter–city construction being undertaken by the Aregbesola administration. One of the major road constructions embarked upon is the famous Oba Adesoji Aderemi bypass. The story behind this massive 17.5 kilometer road within Osogbo metropolis is as interesting as the construction itself. According to government officials, the aim of the road is to complete the Ring road round Osogbo. Sabitu Amuda, an engineer and Special Adviser to the Governor on Works is the man in charge of the various road constructions. The Oba Adesoji bypass is one of the projects that give him some of the most pleasure and when he talks about it, it shows.

•Elder Olalere

“It’s a roundabout that connects Iwo road and the West by-pass. It ended there before, but we now want to complete the loop, we want to finish the ring. It starts from Iwo road roundabout and goes the whole of 17.5 kilometers to link back to the roundabout at Ikirun road, so that you have a complete Ring road round Osogbo,” he said. Going through the length of the ongoing construction is instructive about the determination of the government to bring massive development to that part of the city. A Turkish construction company, SlavaYeditepe had the task of boring through rocks and wading through rivers to construct the new bypass. From Iwo roundabout to Channel 0, work according to government is about 40 percent completed. When The Nation visited the site, workers were seen engaged in the road work. Between channels 0-4, new bridges were springing up over railways and dual carriage ways took the place of deep forests. At Abere junction, a flyover would pass over it to link the road with Oke-Ijetu/ Ilesa garage. According to Edwin, one of the site engineers, the flyover will have four loops and ramps to divert traffic. When completed, it will be the first flyover in Osogbo. The engineer also said the road being constructed is of the highest standards using 30cm stone base. Another source inside Slava-Yeditepe also said the roads are being constructed to last 40 years. Even though, many houses were demolished in many neighbourhoods, the people continue to look ahead to the economic prosperity it




•On going works at Kobo area, Ikirun road


will bring. They don’t have to wait for long as the road has been throwing up business and developmental opportunities. “I give this road two years and you

will see a business district here, you just need to picture the road the whole stretch and you can imagine the endless possibilities for business development,” Edwin said.

Alhaji Moruf Adenekan, who lives around Testing Ground area, corroborated this view: “Everywhere on this road people are buying up land. I know the land is appreciating now; people are buying up to build shopping malls and other things. If you have the money, it is a good business deal to buy land here even for resale later on.” The economic benefits are not lost

on Oladele Akindele, who owns a business on Oke-Ijetu too. “Well, there are many houses that were demolished, I don’t know if they had been compensated because mine was not demolished, but this road will bring development to this area, that is for sure,” he said. Another road generating interesting permutation is the OshogboIkirun road, which began from the old garage and terminated at Ila-Odo /Kwara state border. It is being handled by a wholly indigenous construction company, Sammya Constructions. The former single carriage way has been made into a dual carriage way, completed with drainage one meter deep and wide. Construction too is almost at 40 percent completion. Businesses that were disrupted before have reopened. One of them is Best Oyin Aluminium Company. “During the construction, we had to cope with a lot of things, but now we are very happy because business here has improved,” says Yessuf Dada, one of the workers. But the progress did not come easy. From the old garage to Aiyetoro, many buildings had to give way. Despite this, however, Moruf Adeyemi, a traffic warden says his job has been made easier with the new road. One of the greatest beneficiaries, Elder Olalere Isaiah, a steel worker at the Kobo area said: “We have not seen this kind of governor before in Osun, this area was the home of flood, when it rained, we experienced massive flood. But with the drainage, this place is dry and our business has improved.”

Engineers at Sammya said, there were various impediments which necessitated an extension of the time needed to finish the job. “We had to deal with the telecommunications and power cables. We have written to them to move them and even electricity poles have to be moved, all these take time, that is why we have to request for a little extension to finish,” a source said. The Gbogan/Akoda/Ede expressway is another massive inter-city road network being constructed by the government. According to Amuda, the thinking behind this road is to facilitate the movement of goods into the state. “We want a situation where coming from Lagos, you can continue with the same dual carriage way into Osogbo. We already have mapped out how this will benefit commercial activities, that is why we are into all these road constructions,” he said. But the people begged for more. Olaleye from Omo-Olupe Street, Ilesa said the residents still need a speed breaker on the road to prevent future accidents. Dada also wants a speed breaker on the Ikirun road while Isaiah wants the government to complete the inner roads around the Kobo area. At the Ikirun Thursday market, sellers mingled with buyers even as they watched the tractors move into town and a part of the market disappeared to pave the way for the new road. “It’s our market but the government is trying to bring improvement to the state so we are happy even if a part of the market is going,” a representative of the market leader told The Nation.

•Mr. Sabitu Amuda local government roads to be the same standard, so that in the next 15 years, we will not come back to it. We will not do any major work on the roads in the next 15 years, I am assuring you. If you look at the terrain where these roads traversed you can imagine what must have gone into building the roads. You can see the road lane markings too, they are modern. How about maintenance, what are the things you are putting in place for constant maintenance? As we build, we are also grooming an agency to constantly monitor the roads. That is the Osun Road Maintenance Agency (ORMA). They have the responsibility to monitor and maintain the roads all over the states. You said you empowered local contractors when there are many foreign companies Let me tell you, Ratcon has its headquarters at Ibadan, but Slava- Yeditepe has its main operation here in the state, if you can go to their camp you will see the facilities they have. Sammya is fully Nigerian; any white person there is an employee. But whether Ratcon or Slava, in terms of staff their foreign input is less than 20 percent. Majority of the workers are sourced locally. Not all sector within these companies is foreign, many of our people are in charge. In total, how much has the government spent on these projects? For now, we are spending in the

range of N80 billion. There is one in the bracket of N29 billion; one in the bracket of N18b, there is one of N15 billion and N17.5 billion etc. The local governments’ road is costing us about N21 billion, it is 228 kilometres single carriage way. Add that together we have about N110 billion. What are the immediate economic reactions to these projects? All petty traders along these roads can in retrospect admit that profit has improved because people can easily access their businesses and they can have quick turnovers. The roads we are constructing have opened up their businesses. Same for grocery sellers and other small scale businesses. The population of Osogbo is also increasing. Hotels are also springing up showing that the standard of living has improved in this city. That is the effect of what the government is doing, it is not a normal growth, it is anchored on the level of infrastructure government is putting in place. Now, sell Osun State to me when all these are completed, what do you see? I want to see the Ring road; I want to look at the most busy road in Washington or Broad Street in Lagos. The transformation that will happen to the properties along this road will be unprecedented. If you have a plot there, you will be thinking of having multistorey building there. By the time we have the airport, picture it yourself, the good road networks in the state, the market hub in Dagbolu, a busy modern town, Osun is going to be great.

‘Our roads will last more than 15 years’ Sabitu Amuda, an engineer and Special Adviser to Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Works, spoke with SEUN AKIOYE


HAT is the philosophy behind the road constructions being undertaken in Osun

now? Simply to increase the revenue generation of the state. How is that possible? It’s simple, people are saying that we are constructing roads and at the same time talking about revenue generation, the amount of money we have spent so far in the construction of the roads in the state remains. The only percentage that goes out cannot be said to be five percent. There are foreign companies working on the road and definitely they must be returning profits to their home country? Thank you, when I say five percent, I am talking about salaries only and that is for those workers who are being paid as foreigners. When it comes to the materials being used, except for a small percentage, all of them are sourced from this state. Granite and sand are found here. The cement, whether we construct roads or not people are building houses so we have distributors everywhere, the reinforcement rods, we can say they are being rolled out in Lagos but they are bringing them here and we can still say they are sourced here. So when we are talking about the construction, we are using the money to buy materials to construct the roads so no matter how much it costs, the money is still entrenched here. How bad were the roads before this administration? We can say the condition was poor. That is giving it about 30 percent, even the roads that were constructed, you go back after four months they are gone. When they make budgets for road construction this year, they will make the same budget for the same number of roads in the next budget. You will not see an increase in the number of roads being constructed, it

is because of the methods they employed in constructing the roads. A lot of roads are being constructed in Ilesa and other places, what is happening in Osogbo, the capital? Let me start from the major road works. There are two that can be said to be seen physically within the state capital that is Oba Adesoji Aderemi bypass which is totally within the city. It’s from the existing stretch of the West bypass which starts from Ikirun roundabout by the stadium to Iwo roundabout where we call ‘Dele Yes Sir’ area. It’s a roundabout that connects Iwo road and that West bypass. It ended there before, but we now want to complete the loop, we want to finish the ring. It starts from Iwo road roundabout and goes the whole of 17.5 kilometers to link back to the roundabout at Ikirun road, so that you have a complete Ring road round Osogbo. What are the features of the road? It’s a dual carriage way, there will be no interference with any other road, you are not waiting for another vehicle to pass, when you move from Channel 0, you get to the rail line and fly over it, when you get to Ataoja area where it crosses Gbongan road, there is going to be another flyover, so you have a full clover leave interchange similar to what we have in Ketu and Mile 2 in Lagos. Flyovers that allows you to complete the ring of a total length of 26 kilometres within the state capital. We have another one that is starting at the centre of Osogbo; the old garage road dual carriage way to terminate at the boundary of Kwara State. We will be taking the road to fly over two railway crossings at two locations namely Okuku and Ilesa areas. Whether the Oba Adesoji Aderemi by-pass or the Kwara boundary road, we are going to have street lights on them. We have another one, a single carriage way that will be constructed alongside the dual carriage way which will form a cres-

cent because of the Dagbolu hub that we want to put in place. Just about two kilometres from the steel rolling mill, you have the Dagbolu settlement. Now, in between Dagbolu and Oba-Ile, there is the land where we will develop, an international market which we call the Dagbolu hub. It is yet to commence but we are preparing the access roads to that market. This market is going to sell the way they sell wholesale in Lagos because government is going to be responsible for hauling these products from Lagos, so the traders can sell the same price they sell in Lagos. There is a railway station there, so that is an advantage. We will transport agric produce from Dagbolu hub to Lagos and we are bringing finished products from Lagos down to Osogbo and government is going to bear the cost of haulage, look at that. We want to build the economy of the state, we are not just constructing roads, we have the economy at the back of our minds. We want to create a conducive environment enough for people to come back and do business here because Osogbo has been relegated. Businessmen think if they come to Osogbo, where is the market for their products? But if we could have all these roads in place, like we are linking Gbongan to Osogbo with another dual carriage way so that the dual carriage way from Lagos will continue like that to Osun. What about townships roads? We have many single carriage ways in Osogbo, Ede, Ilesa, Iwo, Ife and a number of other local government roads, not directly financed by the state but enhanced because the government is supporting them with loans from the banks. The roads are on the average six kilometres all over the 30 local government areas including the area office. The actual number of local government roads built to the same standard is 228 kilometres. We want the





Ibadan’s toast to its monarch on his centenary birthday

The President described Olubadan as a very unique monarch, being one of the very few around who were born when the Northern and Southern protectorates were amalgamated. According to him, it is the clean mind, good character, clear conscience and good record of service, which the monarch has that made him enjoy longevity

Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, was the centre of attention for the centenary birthday celebration of the city’s monarch, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade 1. BISI OLA-DELE and TAYO JOHNSON write on the exciting week-long revelry.


OT many people hope to or could live up to 100 years but when anyone attains the centenary age – and still counting – then it calls for celebration. That was exactly what the people of Ibadan did about a fortnight ago when they staged a huge party to celebrate the 100th birthday of their monarch, Oba Samuel Odulana, Odugade I. It was a unique occasion for the entire indigenes of the ancient city, who proudly celebrated their monarch as they practically sang and drummed it into the ears of those who cared to listen for the whole week that the event lasted, that Oba Odulana was a hundred years old. Old age has never really been a problem as far as the throne of Olubadan of Ibadan land is concerned as most of the past Olubadans actually ascended the throne in their very old age, but few, if any, before Oba Odulana actually lived to celebrate 100 years on the throne. And that added to the uniqueness of the occasion. From billboards announcing the birthday, to radio jingles and television commercials eulogising the monarch and the city, no resident could beat the impact of the media campaign heralding the birthday celebration. While members of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), which planned and organised the ceremony were head-over-heels reaching out to interest groups, organisations, government and individuals to make the ceremony a huge success, politicians of Ibadan origin scrambled for newspaper pages, billboards and airtime on radio and television to congratulate the monarch. Among them were Governor Abiola Ajimobi, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), former governor Rashidi Ladoja of Accord Party and Mr. Oluseyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Many other politicians

donated towards the project. By Sunday, April 14, the city was already agog for the ceremony. The monarch turned 100 years on Monday, April, 15. The week-long ceremony kicked off that Monday with a thanksgiving church service. To lead other dignitaries in joining the Olubadan at the church thanksgiving service at the St Peter’s Cathedral, Aremo and cut the birthday cake that Monday was President Goodluck Jonathan. The city was already prepared as Mr President had confirmed his attendance. But it was not to be as a suicide bomber ripped through the heart of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on the fateful day, killing over 100 people, though government officials put the figure at 75. The incident forced Jonathan to stay back in Abuja to visit the scene and condole with victims of the blast and their families. As the blast inflicted pains on victims and many Nigerians, so did Jonathan’s absence in Ibadan that day inflict pain on some indigenes who had looked forward to his attendance to add colour and glamour to the ceremony. But, the president sent a powerful delegation of six ministers to represent him and convey his goodwill message to the birthday boy, who personally attended the church service. They are Labaran Maku (Information), Jumoke Akinjide (Minister of State for FCT), Akinwumi Adesina (Agriculture), Omobola Johnson (Communication and Technology), Jelili Adesiyan (Police Affairs) and Musiliu Obanikoro (Minister of State for Defence) As early as 7:30 am, all roads leading to the famous church, St Peter’s Cathedral, Aremo, in the heart of the city, had been blocked by security agents. Security presence around the church itself was heavy. A combi-

The cleric said, you are a unique and distinguished personality. You are the first Olubadan to clock 100 years on the throne and the first Olubadan to serve his subjects meritoriously ....your impeccable record and invaluable contributions to social and other facets of life would remain indelible

nation of soldiers, policemen, operatives from the Department of Security Service (DSS), men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, as well as men of the Federal Road Safety Corps, joined others to provide security for the visiting president. However, the church glittered continuously with bright decoration, glamorous guests and many indigenes wearing uniform (asoebi) in honour of the birthday boy. Joy, songs of praise, dance and celebration pervaded the air as Ibadan indigenes revelled in pride for the unique occasion. The church witnessed preponderance of a mixture of politicians, business men, professionals, Ibadan chiefs, friends, family and well-wishers. Delivering the goodwill message in the church on Monday, on behalf of President Jonathan, Maku disclosed that the strong team representing the Fexeral Government showed the historic significance of the day. He recalled that the President had since last year, when Oba Odugade clocked 99, planned to attend the centenary celebration with a prayer that God should spare the life of the monarch to see his 100th birthday and was happy and eager to fulfill his promise but for the Abuja bombing. Asking for the observation of minute silence in honour of those who lost their lives in the bomb blast, he described those behind the dastardly act as forces of darkness and enemies of the country. Jonathan lauded the peaceful coexistence among Yoruba Muslims, Christians and traditional worshippers, a very good example which he enjoined other ethnic groups follow. Regardless of religion or culture, President Jonathan stressed that Nigerians should see one another as fellow human beings and country men who should be shown love. He pointed out the religious tolerance among Yoruba, stressing that if people in the Southwest could live with one another despite the population of both Muslims and Christians, then there should be no reason for political violence in any part of the country. His words: “Yoruba land is a symbol of peace where Muslims, Christians and traditional worshippers embrace one another. If there is no religious violence in Yoruba land, there is no reason for religious violence anywhere in the country”, he said. Playing glowing tributes to Oba Odugade, he described him as king among the kings and promoter of peace, not only among his people, but across the country by his doggedness, forthrightness and his knack for truth at all times. In his sermon, Most Rev. Segun Okubadejo described the celebrant as an embodiment of virtues who has served mankind meritoriously. He said attaining centenary in one’s lifetime is an uncommon phe-


•Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade I (middle) with the Olugbo of Ugbo land, Oba Obateru Akinruntan (left); Orangun of Oke-Ila, Oba Adedokun Abolarin; Chief Falola (second left) and his wife, Bisi (second right) and a guest at the event

•President Goodluck Jonathan (third right), Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State (third left), National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Adamu Muazu (second left) and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha (left) cutting the centenary birthday cake with the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade I (second right). With them is the monarch’s wife, Moriyike (right) at the event. nomenon. “This is unique because it is 100th birthday of royalty. We should offer sacrifice of jubilation and songs of praise to God for what He has done in the life of our king. Looking at the hopelessness, restlessness, insecurity in the world; looking at a world where life expectancy is now 49, it is worthy of praise for somebody to attain 100 years,” he said. Turning to the celebrant, the cleric said: “You are a unique and distinguished personality. You are the first Olubadan to clock 100 years on the throne and the first Olubadan to serve his subjects meritoriously.” Making reference to the book of

Isaiah 3:10, he said the word ‘righteousness’ in the text does not connote perfection but connotes someone who has done justice to all. “Your impeccable record and invaluable contributions to social and other facets of life would remain indelible. As you live on, you must praise God because he has been so faithful to you. Praise him because his undying love is still available to you till you breathe your last”, he said. After the church service, Ibadan chiefs: Mogajis and Baales together with the chairmen of the 11 local governments in Ibadan land, paid homage to the Olubadan in his palace at Monatan. It was a celebration of culture as the chiefs ap-

peared in gorgeous Yoruba attires with beads around their necks. They prayed for longer life for the monarch as well as more peaceful reign. On Tuesday, the president put the horror and pain of the Abuja bomb blast aside and paid a make-up visit to the celebrant. On his entourage were Senate President, David Mark; Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha and other top Federal Government officials. They visited the monarch at his Monatan, Ibadan residence to personally join him in the centenary celebration. The visit, which lasted 25 minutes, left the airport – Iwo Road – Monatan axis of the city reeling

under traffic snarls for the period the president’s visit lasted. Also, on Jonathan’s entourage were the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Adamu Muazu and the Deputy Senate Whip, Hosea Agboola. They were received at the airport by the state Governor Abiola Ajimobi while the Minister of State for FCT Jumoke Akinjide, Ajimobi’s predecessor, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala and former Senate leader, Teslim Folarin, and some other PDP leaders joined them. President Jonathan apologised for his inability to come on Monday as a result of the Nyanya bomb blast.

Though, he was represented by the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, he said he wished to attend personally but for the unfortunate incident. While praying for more prosperous years ahead, he said his representative at the thanksgiving service on Monday had delivered his birthday message. He described the Olubadan as a very unique monarch, being one of the very few around who were born when the Northern and Southern protectorates were amalgamated. According to him, it is the clean mind, good character, clear conscience and good record of service, which the monarch has that made

him enjoy longevity. Jonathan and his entourage sang for the celebrant and thereafter cut the birthday cake. Earlier in his welcome address, the Otun Olubadan, Omowale Kuye, who spoke on behalf of Olubadan praised the President for the visit, saying being the first person to occupy the presidential seat from the minority zone of the country, he had done the right thing by the approval he gave for the ongoing National Conference which he said, “is what the country needs currently.” On Thursday, academics, medical experts, clerics and traditionalists gathered at the Civic Centre to deliberate on the theme of longevity which the Olubadan enjoys. It was another programme on the list of the centenary celebration. Emeritus professor, Oladipo Akinkugbe, moderated the programme. After a long deliberation at the symposium with the theme: “Ageing and Longevity”, it was agreed among experts that consumption of large quantity of water, right amount of fruit, vegetables and regular exercise would keep sickness at bay. They also advocated forgiveness, that is, habouring no hatred or bitterness in one’s heart against fellow humans, as demonstrated by the celebrant. At the symposium were Prof. Lekan Oyedeji, Mr Tunde Ajobo, Bishop Francis Wale Oke, Prof. Oloyede Abdulrahman and a traditionalist, Chief Ifasola Ifamapawa. Others included the CCII National President, Chief Bayo Oyero, Chief Are Oyebola, Oloye Lekan Alabi and Chief Waheed Ekun. Conferment of chieftaincy titles on some distinguished individuals on Saturday wrapped up the celebration. Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka; Senate President, David Mark and a historian, Prof. Toyin Falola, were to be conferred with chieftaincy titles at the palace. But only Falola, a specialist in American history, showed up. Falola was conferred with the title of ‘Bobapitan’ of Ibadan land by the Olubadan-in-Council. The event started around 11:30 am with Falola, his wife, Bisi decked in a wine and chocolate colour Asooke. They were joined by friends and associates in the academic world from home and abroad. Other indigenes, decked in a different uniform (aso-ebi) were on hand to add to the colour of the occasion. So were itinerary drummers, who drummed to the ecstasy of guests. The Personal Assistant to Olubadan, Chief Isiaka Akinpelu, kicked off the event by inviting all

the members of Olubadan-inCouncil and later announced Falola’s name for the conferment. The man prostrated for the Olubadan three times as a mark of respect and as custom demands. His citation was read before a green (Akoko) leaf was placed under his cap to confirm him as a chief in Ibadan land. His wife became the ‘Yeye Bobapitan’ of Ibadan land. Dignitaries at the ceremony were a former Head of Service of the Federation, Prof Oladapo Afolabi; Olugbo of Ugboland, Obateru Akinruntan; Orangun of Oke-Ila, Oba Adedokun Abolarin; former Vice-Chancellor, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Prof Akinola Murtala Salau; Amb. Olusola Saanu and Balogun Olubadan, High Chief Sulaimon Omiyale. Others include, President of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), Chief Bayo Oyero; Chairman of Council, Lead City University, Prof. Jide Owoeye; Ekerin Olubadan, High Chief Eddy Oyewole, scion of Olubadan, Prof Femi Lana and another son of the Olubadan, Prince Gbade Lana, the Oyo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, among others. In his speech, Prof. Falola said that he accepted the honour because Oba Odulana is not given to frivolous conferment of titles on undeserving individuals. He said the honour was based on the monarch’s objective assessment of his intellectual acumen, adding that he would forever be grateful to the monarch. “I am very proud of the Olubadan of Ibadan land, I would have collected several chieftaincy titles, but I have no choice than to accept this honour, coming from the highly revered royal father, the Olubadan. I know that he doesn’t just dole out chieftaincy titles anyhow. He is a man of no mean achievement and he is highly principled,” he said. Reacting on behalf of the Olubadan, on why Senate President, David Mark and Prof Wole Soyinka were absent, Chief Isiaka Akinpelu, said that Mark had already written to the palace to inform them about his unavailability for the chieftaincy title conferment due to official engagements. He said: “Mark promised to give us a new date to receive the title. Also for Prof. Soyinka, he is still mourning the death of his daughter and he called us yesterday evening that he would choose a new date when he will come for the title.” For Oba Odugade 1 and the entire Ibadan indigenes, the centenary was a ceremony that will find a central place in the history of Ibadan land.




•Totoro Road


HAD it all planned out. After a long absence from Abeokuta, all I wanted was a long drive from Lafenwa through Iyana-Igbore, check an old friend who ran an Adire store in Itoku, then drive all the way to Sapon where I will connect Oke-Ijeun, then to my former neighborhood in Babarinsa Street, Oke-Ijeun. I intended to move to Ijaye, down to Iyana-Mortuary where a friend pastors the Rock Foundation Church and visit my Alma Mata, Lisabi Grammar School in Idi-Aba. Time permitting, I will take a quick tour of Abeokuta-North, coming in through Iporo-Ake, Oke-Efon, Saje and the rest. It would be a tight schedule but one that would evoke memories and histories from my childhood. Or so I thought. I didn’t see anything strange coming in from Lafenwa, the snarling traffic was still there, and the traffic wardens still had a hectic time controlling the traffic towards Sabo. I waited my time in the line and when I was eventually passed I shook my head. Lafenwa is the nightmare of travellers. For those who left the city of Abeokuta two years or more, it would be difficult to reconcile the


The changing faces of the Rock city After a long absence from the city of his birth, SEUN AKIOYE returned to Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, and found a changed city – courtesy of the transformational programmes of the administration of Governor Ibikunle Amosun

new city to what they used to know. From Totoro junction, the city began to take on another shape. Standing at the junction now is a huge round-about. Totoro road itself has assumed a different


look. The narrow passageway had given way to a two lane dual carriage road with bumps and streetlights. In the past, Oke-Ilewo was the only road that benefitted from such modern road facility but

I am happy about the infrastructural development of the state; this is how the city should be, if those who came before this governor had done something like this it will not be this bad. We need to cry before we smile

Security: Ogun commissioner calls for vigilance in communities

GUN State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu has underscored the need for communities to be vigilant at all times, particularly now that the country is facing security challenges. Olaniyonu gave the advice in Abeokuta, in a lecture he delivered at a programme of the Junior Chamber International, with the theme: “Effective policing; the key factor to a crime-free society.” He emphasised that ensuring security is a collective responsibility of all, urging Nigerians to get the law enforcement agents promptly informed of any suspicious activity that could threaten the security and peace of a community. “We must all be vigilant at all times and get the Police informed of any suspicious move that is inimical to the security, and consequently, the peace of our community. That is why I am an advocate of community policing, where all

•Ijaiye road construction

now a seemingly unimportant Totoro road has dual carriage. But my greatest shock was the new bridge which began from Iyana-Igbore stretching right over the busy Itoku market. I stood there at the foot of the bridge mesmerised. I knew this place; I remember all the landmarks in Itoku. The cenotaph at the junction now rests peacefully under the bridge. According to some of the workers from the China Civil Engineering Company, the bridge is designed to link Oke-Ijeun passing through Sapon. For about 20 minutes, I struggled to find my way to Sapon and when I got there, I didn’t realise it because right in the middle of the street is a bridge. Passing in front of the General Post office – which was a favourite rendezvous for us in our secondary school days – I made my way to Isale-Igbehin and the whole street looked like one big

construction site. Bridges are being built, roads are being expanded and shanty buildings are giving way. I decided to do more tour of the city. I was told that Ijaiye to IyanaMortuary has also changed, so I decided to visit but going round through Kuto passing through the NNPC road to Iyana-Mortuary. The place as I knew it was gone; I could not find my way to Idi-Aba. Bulldozers were busy clearing piles of sand and road expansion was on-going. One of the workers told me there will be a bridge in Iyana-Mortuary. Till now, it is still incomprehensible to me. The road from Ijaiye all the way to Sokenu has been expanded. I looked for familiar stores and landmarks to remind me of my childhood but found that they had given way to the new road construction. From Oke-Ijeun junction to Sapon,

By Adebisi Onanuga

of us, consciously police our environment. We must realise that members of the Nigerian Police and neither spirit nor omniscient. Thus, we provide them with information that can truncate the moves of men of the underworld.” While urging Nigerians to have attitudinal change and repose enough confidence in members of the Nigerian Police Force, the Commissioner tasked the law enforcement agents to also see their profession as that which is sensitive and deals with lives and well being of the populace. He, therefore, called on the Police High Command to rid the force of bad eggs and take necessary steps to launder its image in the mind of the populace. To do this, he called for orientation programmes, seminars and trainings to re-orientate the policemen to see themselves as public

From left: Mr. Seun Adegunwa, Junior Chamber International, Executive Vice President; DSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi; Mr Yusuph Olaniyonu and Mr Deji Abiri (JCI), Abeokuta President at the seminar. servants and trustees and not masters or rulers of the public. Olaniyonu also enjoined government to provide essential amenities for the populace in terms of education and employment generation as well as improve on the funding of the police force to motivate them and enhance their welfare packages, saying all these would go a long way to smoothen police-

public interaction. Corroborating the position of the Commissioner, the state Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO), DSP Muyiwa Adejobi, emphasised the need for the people to be security conscious and vigilant in their dayto-day activities. Adejobi added that members of the society needed to assist the Police by giving out information that

could help in nabbing people with criminal tendencies. Earlier, the National President of the Junior Chamber International of Nigeria (JCI), Mr. Eniola Egbekunle, said that security of lives and property is one of the basic needs of every Nigerian, stressing that the intervention of the Police was important to maintain law and order in the society.




Ibadan residents panic over seized 30,000 live cartridges Who are the owners of the over 30,000 live cartridges bound for Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, intercepted by men of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Oyo/Osun Command? Nobody knows yet. Residents of the city are scared, but the command has promised that the owners of the lethal goods will be found. OSEHEYE OKWUOFU reports.


•Obasa Ogundeyi

there is now a dual carriage way complete with walkways and huge drainages. Though work is ongoing and large sections of the road had been cordoned off, workers on the site said the road is due for commissioning in May 2014.

From pain to gain Even though, Governor Ibikunle Amosun has made giant strides in physical infrastructures, the people are still feeling the pains of the disruptions to their lives due to the massive construction going on. For instance, going from Totoro to Sapon could take a minimum of 30minutes on a light traffic day and much worse on a really bad day. Going from Sokenu to Sapon, also one would have to go through different diversions stretching commuter’s patience. But a taxi driver, Akisanya Abdulhamid said, it is a necessary pain before the gain. “I am happy about the infrastructural development of the state; this is how the city should be, if those who came before this governor had done something like this it will not be this bad. We need to cry before we smile.” There is also the issue of demolished buildings. To make way for road expansion, hundreds of structures including houses, shops, churches, public buildings were demolished. The Totoro Post Office was cut in half likewise the General Post Office in Sapon. On Sokenu road, several residential buildings paved way for the new construction. However, the government has promised to pay adequate compensation to the owners of such buildings, but for some

of them, they could well be waiting forever. Ogundeyi Obasa is one of them. Though he acknowledged that the infrastructural development has been fantastic, he still lives with his family in what remains of his house at 50 Sokenu Road, with house number OGSG/BLS/R5/ 12/5/413. “We have never seen anything like this before; we thank the governor and also want to beg him not to forget the compensation he promised us. We have not been able to move because we have no money to rent a house now,” he said. Obasa said, he lost four shops and four rooms to the road construction. Half of what he lives in now has no roof and the wall of his mud house has cracked in several places. He claimed he has not been paid any compensation while some of his neighbours have received their cheques. Also, repeated visits to the Ministry of Finance have yielded nothing. “My son sells iron sheets in Sapon and they demolished his shop. He brought his goods here to the house but they were stolen overnight,” he said.. Now the son stays indoors all day, bitter and angry. Obasa’s mother’s family house at 60, Sokenu road was also demolished and no compensation has been paid. The situation has caused no small rift within the family. Close by, Seun Aina came out of his now uncompleted apartment and spat into the road. More than half of his house was affected by the construction and like Obasa, he lives in what remains of his old house. “I have not been paid, they keep asking me to come back next week. Please, help us tell the governor, I have not been paid.” Though full of praise for the governor, Aina said when he received the news of the demolition, he was sick for several weeks. “I fell sick, the thought of losing my house was unbearable, but then they said we will be paid so I got well. Now, I have not been paid,” he lamented. Will Abeokuta become little London? Many of the residents interviewed think so. Given the speed by which the government has accomplished the feat starting from the flyover bridge at Panseke and the magnificent reconstruction of the road, the street and traffic lights and the new feeling of comfort being experienced, many people say in another four more years, Ogun state would have assumed a totally different look, ready for the 21st century global business.

ANY who witnessed the seizure of 30,000 live ammunitions along Saki border between Nigeria and Benin Republic were shocked at the amount of weapons being smuggled into Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, by people suspected to be agents of politicians, who are determined to win elections at all cost. The smuggling of the live ammunitions, described as a great threat to security of lives and property, may not be unconnected with the 2015 general elections, with contending political parties regrouping for the battle ahead. It was all praises from members of the public for the men of the Nigeria Customs Service, Oyo/Osun Command for the gallantry and ingenuity employed to apprehend and identity the ammunitions as the smuggled items were laid bare on floor. The plan to smuggle the items into the ancient city was not only thwarted, the smugglers failed to deliver the live cartridges to their principal and thus failed in their plans which many believe would have set the state on fire if they had succeeded. Observers said that the inability to deliver the ammunitions to its destination has greater meaning for the security of the state. The live cartridges, which were being transported into Ibadan from the neighbouring Republic of Benin were carefully concealed under tubers of yam and yam flour before men of the Customs Service intercepted the items at Oje-Owode along Shaki-Ago-Are road in Oyo State. Also arrested was the 45-year-old driver of the Toyota Hiace bus, Abdulraheem Adegoke. The elated Customs’ Area Commander for Oyo/Osun, Mr. Oteri Richard, explained that the items were packed in 20 cartons. He said the team led by S. C. Okoli arrested the white colour Toyota Hiace bus with registration number KW 286 SHH along Saki-Ago-Are axis in

•The driver of the bus being led away by policemen the early hours of the day. According to him, the arms were concealed within yam tubers and bags of dried cassava tubers. On May 18, 2013, the command similarly made a seizure of 56,750 rounds of live cartridges along the same Saki axis. Oteri further said the command was poised and passionate about building on the success recorded in the past years. According to him, this monumental seizure was commendable to say the least against the backdrop of the heightened insecurity in the country. He, therefore, warned unpatriotic Nigerians, who engage in smuggling of unwholesome goods that “we are more determined now than ever to make Oyo/Osun command, a no hiding place for their nefarious activities while promising trade facilitation to all legitimate businessmen and women in the area. “We will continue to partner with other security agencies to make the command and indeed the country at large a safe place to dwell in,” he said.

•The seized ammunition being handed over to the police

However, the suspect, Adegoke, denied ownership of the live cartridges, saying that he was only hired to transport the goods to Ibadan. Dejected, but sober Adegoke said, he was not aware that the items were concealed in the bus, adding that what was bargained with him were yam tubers and flour. He pleaded for mercy. It was gathered that the smugglers on sighting officers of the Nigeria Customs, jumped out of the bus and escaped through the bush path, leaving the driver. The Customs boss, later handed over the smuggled items and the suspect to the Nigeria Police for further investigation and prosecution. Receiving the items, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Musa Kimo, who praised the Customs for the feat, promised that the matter would be investigated and the culprits brought to book. He described the Customs Command as a goal-getter and highly patriotic.




Lawmaker involves FIFA in grassroots youth football By Oziegbe Okoeki


ESIROUS of motivating and encouraging young talents in his consistency Chairman of Lagos State House of Assembly committee on Information, Publicity, Strategy and Security, Segun Olulade has involved the world football governing body, Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) in grassroots football. Olulade disclosed this to newsmen before the final match of the first edition of football competition he organised for students of Junior Secondary Schools in his Epe II constituency held recently. The match was between Government College, Ketu and Okemagba High School, Ejirin, Epe, Lagos. The representative of FIFA, who is the agent for ‘Search and Groom,’ Yomi Kuku shortly after the match which was won by Government College by 1-0, told the teeming spectators that some talents have been discovered from the just concluded tournament. The tournament was well attended by various groups and organisations including traditional rulers. Former Super Eagles’ goal keeper, Peter Rufai who was among the dignitaries at the event expressed satisfaction with the conduct of such a laudable competition, adding that Olulade has been able to distinguish himself by showing considerable interest in sponsoring sports. According to Rufai, “my conversation with the lawmaker before coming for the event has proven to me that he really meant well for grassroots development.” Dodo Mayana, as he is fondly called by his fans noted that “a lot of money would have been spent to organise this event. It is no doubt well organised and it meets up with acceptable standard, that is why I am here.” He explained that the lawmaker has also assured that talents that would be discovered are to be properly groomed for international competition, saying that the fact that FIFA was also part of the exercise was commendable. The FIFA agent, Yomi Kuku told the audience that some photographs have been selected from the final match, which according to him, are to be showcased during the forthcoming world cup finals, Brazil 2014. “I want to assure that some photos have been selected from this tournament which may appear during this world cup coming up in June in Brazil,” Kuku said. While giving his vote of thanks after the event, the organiser, Olulade stated that “I decided to embark on this project because, we should let the children know that they can combine education with football.” He explained that the reason behind limiting the competition to JSS students was to emphasis young talents and to develop them for future tournament both local and international.

Man paralysed days after wedding A few days after he got married, Gbenga Akinleye became paralysed. Nine years on, his health has not improved. He is crying out for help. DAMISI OJO presents his pathetic story


HEN Gbenga Akinleye, 34, got married to his heartthrob in 2005, he looked forward to a fruitful and happy married life with all the physical and emotional enjoyment that marriage brings. But few days into this life long journey, precisely in the midst of his honeymoon tragedy struck changing the course of his life, turning the once strong, vibrant and energetic young man into a beggar on the streets of Akure, the Ondo State capital. Akinleye was fit as a fiddle when he checked into a hotel at Ile Ife, Osun State, with his wife for what they thought and planned to be a memorable honeymoon, which unfortunately was not to be. As husband and wife cuddled on the bed, a strange frog fell from the ceiling and he quickly got up to hit it and throw it out of the room and returned to his wife. But that natural reaction to a strange occurrence was to be the beginning of his problem since nine years and it has defied all solutions, medical or spiritual. Akinleye in his own words said: ”When I saw the frog on the floor, I hit it with a stick and threw it out of the room. But shortly after, I suddenly became paralysed on the left side. “It was exactly at the left side where I hit the frog that I was totally paralysed. My wife did not know what to do as she was ex-


tremely shocked.” The situation consequently forced him to seek treatment at the state Specialists Hospital Akure, but was rejected because the doctors at the hospital could not diagnose what was wrong with him In order to seek solution to his prolonged illness, Akinleye was taken to a herbalist in Ogun State by his relatives. The herbalist, who promised to cure the sickness, however, had his own hidden agenda. His joy was momentary when discovered that the herbalist wanted to use his semen for money rituals. He said: “When I got to that place, I thought that is where the solution would come from. But the reverse was the case. The herbalist asked me whether I can make love to a woman. “He asked a woman to come and meet me and rub my manhood which pressed me to a climax. The lady wanted to rub my manhood with a handkerchief which I rejected passionately.” The young man was saved by his mother’s timely intervention. The old woman insisted that her son should be taken away from the herbalist to another place where she hoped help would come. However, after several disappointments and seeming hopelessness, he received a major boost at a church in Akure where he sought spiritual deliverance. Though partly healed, Akinleye is more of a beggar today, now seeking alms

•Akinleye on the streets of Akure. He said: “I wouldn’t mind if well to do Nigerians can come to my aid, I am living on alms given to me by sympathetic Nigerians; I will appreciate if people can come to my

aid to start a business of my own. Akinleye said, when there is life, there is hope, believing in God that he could still overcome his present hurdles with the help of well-meaning Nigerians.

Taofeek needs N8m for kidney transplant

OME four decades and nine years ago, there was excitement and joy in the home of Alhaji Mudashiru and Alhaja Amudalat Amori Alayaki of Okun Alfa Village, in Etio-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State. God had blessed the young couple with a bouncy baby boy who they named Taofeek, meaning God’s Favour. Taofeek was bubbling with life as he grew into adolescent and eventually adulthood. Being so promising, he went into printing as a profession in which he excelled, being a job he loved so much. He later got married to Adenike, with who he has four children. He was full of life and making considerable progress in his cherished career and family life until last year when the bubble burst. The unexpected happened and the young, energetic and vibrant son of Alayakis was hewn down by an uncaring and life-threatening kidney problem in February, 2013. Since then, Taofeek has been battling this grave renal problem. His family and well-wishers did not abandon him. They, especially his dear wife, have been taking him from one hospital to the other where he has been receiving treatment. He was first taken to Gbagada General Hospital. He was also a patient at the Magmed Specialist Clinic and Dialysis Centre Magodo. When there was hope of his being totally cured, his health relapsed and became worse. Since the deterioration of his health, family members, in-laws, friends and well-wishers have been apprehensive that their cherished Taofeek may be a grave man if nothing urgent and drastic is done as ad-

•Taofeek on the sick bed By Chinaka Okoro

vised by his doctors. To still keep him alive, the hospitals’ management, at different times, had to act fast by placing him on lifesupport machine and carrying out dialysis every five days which costs N40, 000 each session. His family and in-laws had already spent N2 million, thus stretching the family’s resource beyond its impressionable limits, even as the situation has plunged them into huge debts. Those who have an idea about dialysis sessions would appreciate the financial implications of what Taofeek, his family; friends and relations have gone through in terms of money already expended on receiving medical treatments in these two hospitals. No doubt, Taofeek is still alive by divine providence. He should have gone to India since last year as advised by his doctors on a very urgent note, for proper medical treatment. This has not been possible due to the paucity of his family’s purse. The inability of his family and relations to raise N8 million for a renal trans-

plant in India has prevented Taofeek from enjoying his normal life again. He has remained in Nigeria experiencing excruciating pains. N8 million has stood between this once bubbly, lovely and hard working man and normal life. Consequent to non-availability of the needed fund, he has become a guest to these two hospitals in Nigeria, in spirited efforts by his distraught family and relations to sustain him until they are able to raise such whopping amount of money to send him to India for the kidney transplant. Taofeek, the once handsome, vivacious creature full of life is now a pathetic sight to behold. He has shrunk so dangerously and her skin colour and texture have undergone dramatic change. Recently, his condition became worse, a development that made his doctors to warn seriously this time round that he can no longer afford to delay his trip to India to have the required and necessary medical treatment. But the doctors have continues to give him treatment to sustain him until his family and relations are

able to raise N8 million for a trip to India for a comprehensive treatment that will engender his absolute cure. Medical reports issued by Gbagada General Hospital and Magmed Specialist Clinic and Dialysis Centre suggest that urgent action should be taken to make Taofeek travel to India as soon as possible to enable him live normal life again. In an issued letter by Gbagada General Hospital was dated April 2, 2014, with Ref No GBGH/3/C/Vol.XXX/ 401. The report signed by Dr BomiOmowo reads: “To Whom It May Concern: “The above named patient is a 49-years-old man known hypertensive diagnosed about one-yearago (sic) and being manage (sic) at our centre for end stage renal disease. Patient is presently (sic) on maintenance dialysis (twice a week) and also on the following medication… Patient, however, required (sic) your assistances (sic) to enable him undergo his renal transplant which will help him lead (sic) an optimal life. The medical report by Magmed Specialist Clinic and Dialysis Centre dated March 10, 2014 was signed by Dr Adebayo Oyelola. To this end, an Alayaki Taofeek account has been opened with Access Bank Plc, with the following details: Account Name: Alayaki Taofeek Olayiwola, Account Number: 0053983804 has been opened to enable benevolent individuals who wish to help Taofeek get well and live his normal life again to make their donations. For more information and verification, you may wish to contact him on 08023713623.



THE NATION INVESTORS Managing Director, BGL Group, Mr. Albert Okumagba, was the chairman, Planning Committee of the third annual national workshop of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS). On the sidelines of the national workshop, Okumagba spoke to financial journalists on the investment environment and macroeconomic potential

‘Nigeria needs to address structural deficits to increase foreign investments’


HAT is your assessment of investor’s confidence in the capital market? There is no doubt that investors’ confidence fell considerably during the financial crisis, evinced by a virtual wiping out of the retail segment of the market and explained to a large extent why a handful of institutional investors, mostly foreign dominated the market for a long time. However, confidence has returned to the market as can be seen from the impressive performance of the market in recent years. The sweeping sanitisation of the financial services sector and the improved reporting standards and corporate governance has also helped in this regard.This is evidenced in the increased participation of the domestic investors in the market as foreign portfolio investors reduce their holdings. What do you think can be done to further enhance investor confidence? I believe that a lot of work is being done in this regard. As stated earlier, the improved transparency in terms of reporting and the stronger regulatory push for proper corporate governance is achieving good results. However, further measures to enhance confidence will be the active display of zero tolerance for market infractions by market operators. In addition, the regulators must ensure speedy delivery of settlement and judgement to investors in cases of disputes with capital market operators. Finally, speedy implementation of decisions by regulators and government would also help boost confidence of investors. For example, the quick implementation of the removal of stamp duties and VAT payment on secondary market transactions could attract stronger interest in the market. In specific terms, what are the benefits of rebasing the GDP with reference to the Nigerian capital market? The rebased figures arguably represent an improvement in the accuracy of the Nigeria national income estimates, and offer the investing community, financial and academic analysts, professionals, and public planners with more

•D-G, SEC, Ms Arunma Oteh


N its avowed commitment to ensuring sound corporate governance in the nation’s capital market, the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC Nigeria recently waded into issues relating to corporate governance issues in Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI). Both the intervention and its outcomes affirmed Nigeria’s pole position in market regulation in Africa. It constituted a pathfinder on regulatory imperatives for multi market jurisdiction players in the robustly evolving African business landscape. ETI, a celebrated indigenous African multinational success story, is the holding company of the Ecobank Group, with footprints in 34 countries across West, Central and East Africa. The steps taken by the SEC Nigeria have proved commendable and reassuring especially given the challenges with regulatory response to multinational firms particularly in a continent like Africa with weak institutional development, poor legal frameworks and rule of law inadequacy. In this kind of context, it is so easy for violations of rules to happen unremarked and without being apprehended particularly when perpetrated by multinational enterprises who take advan-

accurate data for doing their work. Across social, economic, financial and trade metrics for the Nigerian economy, significant changes are now obvious. Being the largest economy in Africa would without a doubt put Nigeria on the world map as a force to reckon with going forward. Its US$509.97 billion in 2013 is larger than Egypt (US$226.831 billion), Morocco (US$95.981 billion) and South Africa (US$384.31 billion). It is even larger than Malaysia’s US$305.32 billion. The per capita GDP estimates grew to US$2,889.00 from US$1,555.00 pre-rebasing; suggesting that an average Nigeria earns about US$7.9 per day and of course a robust standard of living that could support large savings and consumption. It is believed that, considering the country’s attractive demographic statistics, this development would generate more foreign investments in terms of both Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and foreign portfolio Investment (FPI). Against the background of the recent data by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showing decline in foreign portfolio inflow, what do you think can be done to sustain foreign investors’ interest in the market? Our financial market is already very attractive to the foreign investors considering the yield that the market offers. Although the equity market is currently experiencing a lull, our stocks are trading at very attractive valuation. However, the structural deficit in terms of lack of infrastructure and some policies to aid production and manufacturing, the country’s risk profile appear to be high in attracting long term capital through direct investment. This also limits the ability to attract patient capital that can play in the capital market for a long time. While the government is doing a good job of improving infrastructure deficit in the country, there is need to increase the speed to meet up with investors’ expectation within the shortest possible time. As one of the major promoters of stockbrokers’ yearly national workshop, what informed the decision?

The annual national workshop was borne out of the need to create platform for thought leadership on critical issues in the National economy as it concerns the capital market. It is also an engagement platform for members who are market players, and regulators and the policy makers- the government. It is part of the larger efforts to use the capital market as a catalyst for growth and of course development. How would you appraise the workshop in the last three years? First and foremost, it is important to note that the resolutions made at the various workshops in the past are subject to a lot of factors that are external to the institute. However, as a professional body in the Nigerian capital market, our conferences and workshops are premised on engagement with the other critical stakeholders especially the public sector and policy makers on major issues that affect primarily the business of the institute in particular the Nigerian economy in general. In this regard, resolutions of our conferences and workshops in the past are usually presented to the government and related stakeholders. In addition, several meeting are held with the relevant authorities to ensure that resolutions passed at the previous workshops are implemented. Notwithstanding, CIS has impacted the economy in a number of ways. It played major role in the passage of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) Bill and the subsequent establishment of same. Also the amended investment guidelines for Pension Fund Act by the PENCOM are also part of the CIS’s effort. This year’s conference is being seen as unique. Can you shed more light on this year’s theme? This year’s workshop is unique in the sense that it focuses on trade, investment, power and agriculture sectors. The uniqueness of this year’s workshop is premised on the pivotal role that these sectors would play in economic growth and development of any nation in the near future. Given the coincidence of this with the time when the economy’s GDP rebasing exposed it as the largest in Africa in terms of size, no other

By Obi Adindu and Efe Ebelo

breaches. The regulator did not stop there; it engaged the services of KPMG, a leading international audit and management consulting firm to support the work of an extensive governance audit of ETI. The diligent work spanned months and the results, expressed in an initial report, were confirmatory that indeed significant breaches had occurred at ETI. Sequel to the findings of the rigorous audit, SEC held a meeting with members of the Board of ETI on Monday, 16th December, 2013 during which the results of the exercise were presented in order to elicit feedback from them. It was agreed at the meeting that such feedback be made available to the regulator on or before Friday, 3rd January, 2014 ahead of the audit results being forwarded to ETI for dissemination to the bank’s shareholders. The SEC is certain that the implementation of the recommended remedial plan would eliminate the governance lapses in addition to strengthening the ETI franchise. The Commission also reiterated its commitment to ensuring the integrity of the market and the protection of the investing public. “It is important to emphasize that the Corporate Governance Audit is being done at the level of the ETI Holding Company and does not reflect governance at any of ETI’s banking subsidiaries that are responsible to the banking and market regulators in the countries in which they operate.” The Commission said. The SEC urged ETI to develop a one year remedial plan with specific measures to address the remarked governance gaps. In the public interest, the regulator demanded a quarterly reporting schedule from ETI to keep abreast with the progress being made. The Commission was persuaded that ETI needed to appoint a substantive Board Chairman in place of Lawson who had exceeded in the course of the governance audit. The new Chairman would lead the effort to attain an improved governance climate. “It will be important that such an appointment is the result of a credible selection process” the SEC Nigeria stresses. “Such



time proves to be more pertinent to discuss these critical sectors’ dynamics than now. In line with the theme of the workshop- “Update on the transformation agenda and expectation from the public and private sectors”, the workshop focused on evaluating the progress of the transformation agenda in relation to opportunities and challenges thrown up in the process. It was also to critically provide workable roadmaps for the government on closing the identified gaps and resolving the challenges either through policies, legislations and/or partnership for the benefits of all stakeholders. What is stockbrokers doing to deepen the growth of the market? As a capital market operator, we are constantly working with the government through our regulators and our trade groups to uplift the market through lower transaction fees, increased transparency through stronger corporate governance, adoption of global standard market structures and improving access to liquidity for market operators. We have contributed immensely towards developing a capital market master plan, working with the capital market committee of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and have severally engaged the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy on the role of the capital market in the country’s economic development.

SEC’s roles in corporate governance compliance tage of the overall parlous picture of weak institutions and the regulatory lapses which this sirs in various country jurisdictions in which they operate to perpetrate arbitrage. It is against this background that the SEC’s intervention in isolating, apprehending and arresting governance breaches in ETI must be recognized as an inspiring show of leadership which points the way forward for Africa and the Emerging Markets. How it all started What triggered this landmark regulatory undertaking was a somewhat innocuous whistle blowing by an employee, Executive Director of Risk and Finance at ETI, Laurence do Rego, who had written a letter to the regulator alleging insider dealings, alterations in the compensation element of the CEO’s contract which by – passed governance structures, and a planned sale of the group’s non-core assets. She wrote to express reservation and concern for a number of actions that the MD and Board Chairman had taken. She alleged that these actions promoted personal interests of the people involved and their conduct ran counter to laiddown operational structures and procedures. With a less proactive regulator, this correspondence may well have elicited an unenthusiastic response in the manner of a mere call or warning letter to the people involved, but not so for the Nigerian regulator which over time has garnered a reputation for steely determination in rule enforcement and for incessantly hankering after entrenchment of an order of sound corporate governance in Nigeria’s market. By universal consensus, the Nigerian regulator had done assiduous work in recent times to sanitize the Nigerian market which, prior to 2010, had garnered a reputation for constituting a cesspool of sorts for improper conduct by market participants. On the basis of the petition, the Nigerian regulator went to work; it engaged the board and management of ETI on the observed lapses and instituted wide reaching investigations to ascertain both the veracity and enormity of the

a Chairman also needs to have the relevant experience and skills to guide this remedial plan. The Chairman should have integrity, independence and should not have the potential for conflict of interest in the discharge of the role. Steps should also commence to ensure that ETI has Board members and a Management team that have the requisite skills and experience to oversee or manage the affairs of ETI at this time” the regulator emphasized. Principal among the remedial measures was the convening of an AGM to put the recommended remedial measures to vote and give them the force of legitimacy. The SEC therefore advised ETI that the findings constituted an important basis for convening an Extra - Ordinary General Meeting (EGM) of shareholders to deliberate and pass resolutions on the critical findings and recommendations of the corporate governance audit. The SEC further advised that the EGM should be held before the end of February 2014. The AGM has since held and shareholders voted overwhelmingly for adoption of the remedial measures which are now being implemented. It is history that the Chairman and MD have quit. SEC Nigeria’s show of leadership has elicited commendation from local and global investor publics. The financial media which followed the evolution of the SEC intervention in ETI with an eagle have similarly applauded the effort as an exemplar of alert regulatory watch and response. There is unanimity that the SEC Nigeria showed great reflex, was prompt and decisive in taking actions against the allegations to protect investor funds as well as the institutional health of ETI. Already, sister regulators in Africa have been flocking to the Nigerian regulator not only to obtain report of the audit but to also share information and knowledge and the modus provender of the Nigerian regulator. •Obi Adindu and Efe Ebelo work in corporate communications department at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).





Retirees receive N235.5b lump sum, monthly pensions on PW, says PenCom


• Get N19.95b annuity

TOTAL of N210.78 billion and N24.63 billion has been paid to 84, 097 retirees who opted for Programme Withdrawal under the new pension scheme, the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) as lump sum, and monthly pensions as at February, this year. Similarly, N19.52 billion and N425.53 million has also been paid respectively as lump-sum and monthly annuities to 8,479 retirees in return for N41.63 billion premium payment during the period under review. This was made known by the Acting Director-General of the National Pension commission (PenCom), Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, in a paper titled: “Retiring under the Contributory Pension Scheme” when she presented at an on-going nationwide sensitisation forum. She explained that actual retirement by Programmed Withdrawal

Stories by Omobola Tolu-Kusimo

commenced in 2007, while actual retirement by Annuity, commenced in 2010, acknowledging that as impressive as this may be, there are challenges on the new pension scheme. This, she noted, include limited public awareness of the workings of the CPS and inadequate communication enlightenment of Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders/ retirees by Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs). She said there was an absence of home grown Mortality Table which necessitated the Commission to adopt the A(55) and A49/52 Mortality Tables, published by the Institute of Actuaries of the United Kingdom (UK). “There is the challenge of different interpretation of some provisions of the Act by retirees, comparison of

benefits under the old and new scheme by retirees; comparison of benefits by colleagues on similar position and different variables/data; relatively small RSA balances of some retirees pending the implementation of Minimum Pension Guarantee, and challenges of authenticity/modification of recorded ages by retirees. “Others are challenges of alteration of pay slips to collect a higher lumpsum; customer service challenges of PFAs leading to influx of retirees into the Commission to obtain clarifications on trivial issues; misinformation of retirees by the PFAs and insurance companies in order to gain patronage and over/under remittance of entitlements leading to delays/ double processing of payments. She also said the absence of home grown Mortality Table has also necessitated the Commission to adopt the A(55) and A49/52 Mortality Tables published by the Institute of Actuaries of the United Kingdom

(UK). Setting the records straight, she noted that the choice of mode of withdrawal of benefits which is either Program Withdrawal or Annuity belongs to the retirees. “Your RSA balance determines your pension under Define Contribution system (DC). Pension calculator allows for minimum and maximum pension and corresponding maximum and minimum lump sum. “The benefits under Define Benefits (DB) & Define contribution (DC) cannot be compared because they are different systems. A retiree should get proper enlightenment from Pension Fund Administrators before taking decision Challenges,” she added. On the way forward, Mrs AnohuAmazu said the commission increased public education and awareness campaigns, and discouraged de-marketing in the industry. She added that she and her team

•Mrs. Anohu-Amazu

would ensure commitment to establishing strong corporate governance in the industry and improve quality of service delivery, noting that there is need to manage retirees’ expectations. She urged retirees to seek professional advice from their PFA Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs), and update the records of prospective retirees six months before their retirement.

PFAs, PFCs to pay N10m fine over unprotected funds


• Director-General, Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC), Mr. Rotimi Adekunle Hussain presenting Retirement Bond Certificate to a retiree, Mrs. Okpala Anthonia, during the first tranche of the retirement Bond Certificate presentation in Lagos. With them is Executive Director (Finance & Investment), Dr. Adekunle Wright.

Pensioners to get advice on life span


ENSIONERS will be given estimates of how long they have left to live to help them manage their savings, the British Pensions Minister, Steve Webb, has disclosed. Steve Webb said that the Government wants to provide pensioners with a rough life expectancy guide when they reach retirement to allow them to make better financial decisions. Experts will take into account factors including gender, where a pensioner lives or whether they smoke, thepensions minister said. Life expectancy should be part of “guidance” given to help people decide how much to save. In last month’s Budget, George Osborne announced the scrapping of rules that force most Britons to use their pension savings to buy an annuity. From next year it will be much easier and cheaper to withdraw

money directly from a pension savings pot for other purposes. But critics fear that people could end up struggling financially if they spend all their money soon after retiring. Mr Webb said that individuals often underestimated their life expectancy. “The idea is that you come to think about retiring, [but] you don’t know how long that retirement is going to be,” Mr Webb said. “What we do know is people get it wrong and they underestimate how long they’re going to live. “At 60 most people will have parents still alive so the best guide they’ve got about how long they are going to live is their grandparents. That is two generations ago so they tend to underestimate how long they are going to live. “My idea … is to say to somebody, ‘look, someone of your generation, living in this part of the country,

you’ve not smoked, someone like you could easily live for 27 years’.” Newly released figures show that life expectancy is rising steadily in the UK with females born now projected to live 82.7 years on average. Average male life expectancy is now 78.9 years. However, for those who reach the age of 65, life expectancy is considerably higher, as the overall figure is an average brought down by the numbers who are likely to die young. The new figures, from the Office for National Statistics, also suggest that young people with healthy lifestyles from poorer parts of the UK are moving to more prosperous regions. Mr Webb said the guidance would be given face to face by savings advisers to any pensioner who requests it. •Culled from The Telegraph, London

FINE of not less than N10 million will, henceforth, be paid by Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) and Pension Fund Custodians (PFCs) who fail to protect the funds under their management. This was contained in a circular titled, “Revised Regime of Sanctions and Penalties for Non-Compliance with the Provisions of the Pension Reform Act 2004”, released by the National Pension Commission (PenCom). The circular stated that in line with Sect. 58 (3), external auditors of PFAs or PFCs shall have responsibility to for the protection of pension funds. It further added that a letter of advice will be written to an operator one month upon discovery that the pension fund is not well protected to correct the anomaly. PenCom said: “If two weeks after the letter of advice, nothing is done, a letter of caution, will be issued. “Thereafter, a letter of warning, and if the firm refuses to take action, a fine not less than N10 million will be slammed on the firm as monetary penalty.

“If violation continues after monetary penalty, the Commission will proceed to naming and shaming; and if the firm failed to heed, imprisonment of a term not less than three years will be imposed on the responsible partner or principal officer. “In line with remittance of contribution as stated in Section 11(5B), Sect. 11(7), employers should remit employees’ contributions not later than seven working days from the day salary is paid. “Two weeks after default, payment of not less than two per cent of unpaid contribution should be paid to Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holder(s) and in case of continuous default for one month after issuance of letter of advice, a letter of caution will be issued to the erring employer.” The Commission added that after one month of failure to adhere to the Letter of Caution, a letter of warning will follow and thereafter, one per cent of the outstanding payable will be paid as monetary penalty if the default persists after three month.

Chicago pension measures in doubt as Quinn withholds signature


T’S decision time in Chicago, the moment to rescue sinking pensions that could pull the city under. And nothing is happening, Bloomberg reports. Two weeks after Illinois lawmakers approved a bill to help stabilise two of the city’s four municipal retirement systems, Governor Pat Quinn hasn’t said whether he’ll sign it. City Council members, a year from re-election campaigns, are balking at delivering their part of the deal — a $750 million property-tax increase. A recovery effort championed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who in 2011 succeeded 22-year incumbent Richard M. Daley, is imperiled as almost $20 billion in unfunded pension promises burden the nation’s third-most-populous city. Chicago’s credit rating has been cut four times since July to three steps above junk. “The issue is ‘Whose ox is going to be gored?’” said former alderman Dick Simpson. “It’s a huge hit.” Retirement-fund pressure is bearing

down on cities across the nation, including bankrupt Detroit and Stockton, California. Chicago has the highest pension costs as a proportion of revenue — 17 per cent — among the largest cities, according to a November report from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

Considered decision “The cost of paying for this is hitting a lot of cities,” said Norton Francis, senior research associate at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center in Washington. “They are surrounded by suburbs, and you don’t want people to move out.” Chicago lost seven per cent of its population in the past decade. Among major US cities, none save bankrupt Detroit lost more people. Emanuel’s proposal to raise property taxes during the next five years to help funds for laborers and other workers reverses the 54-year-old Democrat’s earlier opposition to such a measure and underscores the severity of the crisis.



SMALL BUSINESS AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP Cashing in on Nigerians’ love for football, a young entrepreneur now produces air freshners in club’s colours, smiling to the bank in the process, writes DANIEL ESSIET.

Taking football into air freshners business



OLOMON Amadi, chief executive officer, BKS Industries Limited, recognises opportunity when he sees one. Amadi’s dream is to establish a

business empire where he hopes to produce and sell household and body care products. As a budding entrepreneur, he does not let go of a chance to further his business. It was, therefore, not surprising when Amadi, after a cosmetics business partnership with a friend turned sour, switched to another line - production of air freshners. Amadi’s air freshner business has since proved to be a winning one for him because of the importance of the product in keeping homes, offices and other enclosures fresh. While there are several brands of air freshener - local and for-

eign - in the market, Amadi’s ingenuity has stood his products out in the crowded market, making him smile to the bank in the process. This is because he produces air freshners in leading football clubs’ colours; national teams’ colours and for other sports. He said his business, which has exposed him to many clubs, gives him joy. The business, which he started with a little amount of money, has become a money spinner for him, and it is stll growing. For Amadi, the air freshener industry is dominated by imported mass-market brands. Therefore, to build his brand, he

looked at brands being sold with traditional retail models that didn’t have the personal, energetic sales touch that is often the key to success. “I thought there were lots of great brands for retail that didn’t offer great fragrance,” he said. However, breaking into the crowded market was a challenge for Amadi. That was why he targeted the football clubs and other sports, after an extensive research, which led him to produce his in form of sport souvenirs and in jersey colours. But there are challenges. They include start-up raising capital,

lack of systems, processes and questions of stability. Notwithstanding, he has been able build greater brand awareness among consumers. His target is to bring more products into the market, with more designs. Amadi’s busines has the capacity for additional brands. Several factors worked in his favour. One was the product could be prcduced from the living room, at minimal cost; and the chemicals involved are user friendly and available all-year round. Besides, machines are not required when producing in small or medium scale. Air fresheners contains 80 per cent water, thus having a high profit yield.

How to start online export without capital The world has become a global community, with the introduction of Information and Communication Technology. Now those without capital can make money as export agents, DANIEL ESSIET reports.


NFORMATION technology has continued to make the global economy vibrant. It has opened windows of opportunities. With one click on the web, one can find and link up foreign buyers to reliable suppliers of export commodities. The Chief Executive, Anjorin &Anjorin Investment Limited, Sunday Anjorin, said the internet has created opportunities for brokers to find buyers and sellers of various products. He said there is a great opportunity online for export brokers with several companies itching to expand into foreign markets. The business is very profitable since there is no need for startup capital. A broker’s role is to link exporters with buyers and draw huge commissions. He only needs to invest in a few basics, such as good training

programme, a website, office supplies, a computer, phone and an internet connection. A nroker needs to know the export business well. Describing export brokerage as a very lucrative business, Anjorin said one doesn’t have to buy stock or warehouse any merchandise, nor does one need an office space. Many export business are done from the home to keep costs down. Anjorin said many Nigerians are into export brokerage, making millions from the comfort of their homes, just by connecting local exporters with foreign buyers of solid minerals and agricultural commodities. Once a deal has been struck, and shipment made, Anjorin said the broker is paid a certain amount of money as commission or finder’s fee. For instance, with Nigeria

•Dried split ginger

having a large deposit of cocoa, cashew, snails, ginger, bitter kola, Arabic gum, charcoal and others, many manufacturing companies abroad look towards the country to source for cheap industrial raw materials for their finished goods. Through membership of online business groups, Anjorin

noted, one gets potential clients. He said export brokerage is one of the easiest and the most rewarding means to raise money for full-time export business. According to him, the business is highly competitive and those desiring to enter the business must be adept at with sales and negotiations.

“As a broker, one would simply be playing the middleman by connecting the manufacturer with consumers and to establish commission fee with the manufacturers,” Anjorin said, stressing the need for brokers to have a signed agreement in place that defines the relationship, commission agreement and payment terms.

‘Space sharing makes entrepreneurs’ work easier’


AGOS is a difficult place to do business. There’s the high cost of rent and poor infrastructure – unreliable electricity and unreliable internet connectivity are some of the major issues affecting modern businesses in Lagos today. And, with that, there are still a lot of people going into entrepreneurship because of the high rate of unemployment. There is clearly the need for an easier and more affordable way to do business.” This is why Modupe Macaulay believes there are opportunities for coworking spaces in Nigeria’s commercial hub. Towards the end of last year she officially opened one, CapitalSquare. She had been inspired by the concept a few years earlier when she discovered that one of her heroes, Maria Popova, a writer living in New York and founder of the blog Brain Pickings, had used a co-working space.“It just seemed like an amazing idea to me; the ability to share a workspace with people doing interesting and not necessarily related things. There would be so many opportunities to learn, to work together, to come up

Because of space constraints, entrepreneurs are forced to share space. A Lagos-based entrepreneur, Modupe Macaulay, says business operators cut costs when they share space. with new ideas, to start great things… At that point, it was the community aspect that caught my attention, and I thought it would be great to have something like that in Lagos,” Macaulay told How we made it in Africa. “So I wrote it down as something I’d like to do someday and forgot about it.” When Macaulay returned to Lagos after finishing her master’s in the UK in September 2012, she struggled to find a job, and by 2013 she was still unemployed. At that time she was looking to start a business with a friend and needed an affordable and professional place from which to work, which was also hard to come by. Macaulay saw the potential for a shared working space in Lagos, and so the idea for CapitalSquare was born. Before coming up with the membership model for CapitalSquare, Macaulay did a lot of research on co-working spaces around the world and realised

the membership options needed to be flexible in order to succeed. Today, CapitalSquare has four membership levels that address the needs of those who have a day job and need another place to work part-time or on weekends, to those who need to use the space full-time. The fees range from US$87-$202 a month and include unlimited high speed internet, uninterrupted power supply and extras like printing, meeting rooms, mail handling, virtual phone numbers, office supplies and tea and coffee. There is also a $7 full day pass, and a virtual membership option where members don’t physically use the space but can make use of a business address, virtual phone number and mail handling. According to Macaulay, sharing office infrastructure is not only cheaper for entrepreneurs, but also means they spend less time paying electricity and

other administrative bills, and more time on developing their businesses. “Another huge plus, which really appeals to me, is the free networking opportunity that the entrepreneur gets from working alongside other entrepreneurs,” she continued. “Co-working spaces are a breeding ground for innovation, simply because they are full of people with ideas, who are crazy enough to try to make them happen.” Macaulay was able to get most of the startup capital for CapitalSquare from her family after much time studying the market and running the numbers. “You have to prove that your idea will work because nobody, not even family, wants to put their hard-earned money into something that isn’t worth it.” She added that the best part of being an entrepreneur is having control over her life, despite the fact that all hours are office hours for the self-employed.


However, Macaulay noted that the negative side is not having a regular, guiltfree paycheck.“I say ‘guilt-free’ because it’s hard not to feel guilty when you’re paying yourself and the business is having a bad month. And yes, you do have to pay yourself (even if it’s something small), especially if you don’t have a day job.” •




Empowering yourself with interpersonal skills By Goke Ilesanmi



WAS held up in traffic jam one day, and as I was thinking about how I could wriggle my way out, a hawker came close to me and rudely knocked on my window glass. I thought he wanted to draw my attention to something on my car, so I wound down. To my amazement, he said he had been signalling to me for some minutes to buy something from him but I did not look at him. That was why he had to knock on my glass like that. I looked at him angrily and then told him to leave. Shortly after, another hawker came towards me in the traffic jam, bowed head in greeting and smiled, and I waved at him. Later on, he showed concern about the terrible traffic hold-up and suggested to me alternative roads that I could take next time and we started interacting. Before long, I asked him the prices of what he was selling and bought things from him because of his interpersonal skills, a kind of social credibility needed in selling and marketing.

Importance of interaction Ability to interact and commu-

nicate with others is very important if we hope to succeed in whatever we do. Strong interpersonal skills accelerate human success. This is because the way we are perceived by people around us plays a major role in our daily happiness at home, in the office; and also determines our career future among other things. So, no matter how hard we work or brilliant we are, if we cannot relate well with the people around us, our chances of success may be negatively affected. It is noteworthy that interpersonal skills, otherwise called soft skills, communication skills, life skills, social skills or people skills, are so natural that we tend to take them for granted, especially that we never consider how we communicate with other people at times. The good news is that we can develop these skills with minimal efforts.

Emphasis In this column last week, I stressed the need for job-seekers and others to always emphasise their unique selling points. For instance, organisations that have adopted the modern method of emotional intelligence assessment in their recruitment process are basically looking for interpersonal skills, even though consciously or unconsciously almost all employers stress these skills in their employment adverts, thus, “Applicants must

possess strong interpersonal skills”. According to SkillsYouNeed, organisations emphasise these attributes because they want people who will work well in a team and are able to communicate effectively with colleagues, customers and others. Interpersonal skills are not just important in the workplace, our personal and social lives can also benefit from better interpersonal skills. People with good interpersonal skills are usually seen as confident, charismatic, optimistic and calm.

Common error One error that is very common in interpersonal relationships is to think that it is very simple. Dr. Brenda Shoshanna, an author, a psychologist and relationship expert, says cultivating what one hopes will be a successful relationship requires hard work and most people think that relationships exist to make them happy. Despite all the training in life, we often fail to learn how to build a relationship in a way that brings out the best in us. But it is a must that we should endeavour to take our relationships to the next level. The fact is that conflict is inevitable when people interact and it is important that we should know how to handle such conflict. Azriel Winnett, a relationship management expert says, “But when handled properly, conflict need not drive the parties further apart. On the contrary, it could bring them closer together.”

Your ego On what inhibits the harmony that we seek so much and deprives us of the peaceful co-existence that is missing in our workplace and social environment, the answer is the three-letter word called “EGO”. Is the Ego really so bad? It is not always bad. For instance, if by ‘ego’ we mean ‘self-esteem’, it is indispensable. It is believed that we cannot start loving others until we love ourselves first. That is perfectly true if we are talking about the right kind of self-love. Winnett says, “But if my Ego means my needs, my honour, my sensitivities, always come first (and probably middle and last), boy, we’re playing with dynamite!”

Way out However, the good news is that there are several concrete things you can do to improve your social skills and become closer to your colleagues, all of which will ultimately help you succeed in your endeavours. The first of these is to endeavour to smile. Only few people want to be around someone who always frowns. Therefore, be physically friendly with your co-workers and people around you. This will attract people to you. Another thing is to show appreciation. Find one positive thing about people you work with and let them hear it. Be generous with praise and kind words of encouragement. “Say thanks when someone helps you. Make colleagues

‘Say thanks when someone helps you. Make colleagues feel welcome when they call or stop by your office. If you let others know that they are appreciated, they’ll want to give you their best’

feel welcome when they call or stop by your office. If you let others know that they are appreciated, they’ll want to give you their best,” says Dr. Loren Ekroth, a specialist in human communication.

Proficiency of communication Practising effective listening and communication is another strategy. Listening is a way of demonstrating that you intend to hear and understand another person’s point of view. It means restating, in your own words, what the other person has said. People will appreciate the fact that you always listen to what they have to say. You should also pay close attention to both what you say and how you say it. Being a clear and effective communicator helps you avoid misunderstandings with others. Verbal eloquence projects an image of intelligence and maturity, irrespective of your age.

Harmony and humour Another thing you can do to enhance your interpersonal skills is to create an environment that encourages others to work together. You should also take a step beyond simply bringing people together and become someone who resolves conflicts when they arise. You should also try to be funny or clever. People are naturally drawn to a person that can make them laugh. Therefore, exploit your sense of humour as an effective tool to lower barriers and gain people’s affection.

Final words If you can do all these, you will be able to accelerate your pace to success through effective interpersonal skills.


Implementing business plan and strategy in your workplace


LANNING is very critical to business success. So also is strategy. In short, these two words are believed to be interchangeable or at least go together like Siamese twins. Little wonder that we have the phrase “strategic planning”. What is a business plan? A business plan is a formal document that articulates the direction of a business in a bid to accomplish its most important goal, that is, profitability. Profit does not come by accident. So, by writing and following a business plan, you can definitely increase the possibility of achieving profitability. Whether you want to start a business or grow one, attract investors or obtain a loan, attempting to do it without a well-composed business plan is like a stranger going to a place without prior direction. Or better still, it is like a ship without a rudder (which controls its direction). Let me also illustrate it as a motivational speaker. It is like having a dream without an action plan. The dream cannot become a goal that can be achieved.

Research To be successful in business, you need to research and write your business plan; master the key components of a successful plan; understand all your financing options; and streamline the process using easy-to-use templates.

By Goke Ilesanmi

A business plan is used for many purposes, that is, as a development tool, a management and planning guide, a mission statement, a sales document, etc., and is read by several different audiences. Therefore, you need to structure the components of your business plan for the greatest impact; anticipate all questions that business plan reviewers will ask; and critique and package your business plan for winning results.

A professional Balanko-Dickson, a third-generation entrepreneur, Licensed Professional Business Coach and founding member of the Professional Business Coaches Alliance, who has clients throughout Canada, the United States, South Africa and the United Kingdom says developing a detailed business plan will provide you with an opportunity to shape a powerful business development strategy. He stresses that a business plan has an equation structure of Goals + Research+ Strategy.

Paradox In what seems like a contrary and paradoxical view, Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, Canada and author of Play-

ing to Win: How Strategy Really Works, says, “I must have heard the words we ‘need to create a strategic plan’ at least an order of magnitude more times than I have heard ‘we need to create a strategy’. This is because most people see strategy as an exercise in producing a planning document. In this conception, strategy is manifested as a long list of initiatives with timeframes associated and resources assigned. Somewhat intriguingly, at least to me, the initiatives are themselves often called strategies. That is, each different initiative is a strategy and the plan is an organised list of the strategies.”

Distinction Martin says strategic plan of this sort is not different from a budget. He stresses that many people with whom he works find it hard to distinguish between the two and wonder why a company needs to have both. Martin adds that he thinks they are right to wonder this way. In his words, “The vast majority of strategic plans that I have seen over 30 years of working in the strategy realm are simply budgets with lots of explanatory words attached. This may be the case because the finance function is deeply involved in the strategy process in most organisations. But it is also the cause of the deep antipathy I see, especially amongst line executives, toward strategic

planning. I know very few who look forward with joy to the commencement of the next strategic planning cycle.”

Breaking free We need to break free of this obsession with planning if must make strategy more interesting as well as different from a budget. Strategy is not planning — it is the making of an integrated set of choices that collectively position a firm in its industry so as to create a sustainable advantage relative to competition and deliver superior financial returns, argues Martin. He adds that once this is made clear to line managers, they will recognise that strategy is not just fancily-worded budgeting and they get much more interested in it. The fact remains that it is difficult to execute a strategy without initiatives, investments and budgeting. But Martin is quick to add that what you need to get managers focused on before you start on those things is the strategy that will make these initiatives coherent. “That strategy is a singular thing; there is one strategy for a given business — not a set of strategies. It is one integrated set of choices: what is our winning aspiration; where will we play; how will we win; what capabilities need to be in place; and what management systems must be instituted?” he submits rather rhetorically.

Useful guide That strategy guides you as to what initiatives are sensible and capable of producing the desired result. Martin says such a strategy actually makes planning easy. There are fewer fights about which initiatives should and should not make the list, because the strategy allows you to easily determine what is important or not. According to him, this conception of strategy also helps define the length of your strategic plan.

Last note There is no disputing the fact that this paradoxical analysis and definition of strategy can be rejected by those who have spent all their lifetime developing traditional strategic plans, especially that there seems to be a thin line of meaning between planning and strategy as explained by Martin. •GOKE ILESANMI, Managing Consultant/CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is an International Platinum Columnist, Certified Public Speaker/MC, Communication Specialist, Motivational Speaker and Career Management Coach. He is also a Book Reviewer, Biographer and Editorial Consultant. Tel: 08055068773; 08187499425 Email: Website:









• Asiwaju Tinubu

• Fashola

• Hamzat

• Ikuforiji

• Ambode

• Banire

• Pitan

• Dabiri-Erewa

Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola will bow out of office next year after completing his two terms of eight years. The succession battle is gaining momentum. Governorship aspirants on the platforms of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP) have begun consultations. Group Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU examines the issues that will shape the election in the Centre of Excellence.


AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) will complete his second term in office next year. Ahead of the next governorship election, the two major political partiesthe ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-have returned to the drawing board. Eyes are on the parties as they prepare for the primaries. More importantly, Lagosians will also beam a searchlight on the aspirants gearing up to succeed the governor. By 2015, the progressive bloc will have dominated power in the Centre of Excellence for 16 years. As the APC seeks the renewal of the mandate, the achievements of former Governor Bola Tinubu and his successor, Fashola, would be the party’s armour. While the PDP and the LP would be soliciting for votes, based on their promises to Lagosians, the APC, now a tested party, will request for a fresh mandate by tendering the feats of the two governors and making new promises. In the APC, there is no shortage of competent politicians and technocrats to take over from Fashola. The aspirants include Senator Ganiyu Solomon, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, Hon. Yemi Ikuforiji, Dr. Leke Pitan, Senator Gbenga Ashafa and Mr. Gbolahan Lawal. Others are Hon. Abike DabiriErewa, Mr. Ayo Gbeleyi, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and Mr. Akinwumi Ambode. Of the 10 contenders, nine are disciples of the National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinibu, and beneficiaries of his political philanthropy. PDP aspirants include Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, Minister of State for Defence, former Health Commissioner Dr. Segun Ogundimu, and Chief Tunde Daramola.

Who succeeds Fashola?

Party sources said that the camp of the party leader, Commodore Olabode George (rtd), may sponsor a candidate who will slug it out with these aspirants at the primaries. In the LP, Lagos politician Mr. Jimi Agbaje may be the candidate, if he does not defect to the PDP. Other smaller parties may field candidates for the poll. But, their impact will not be felt. The task before the APC is raising another competent politician and astute administrator as Fashola. Tinubu and Fashola have set enviable standards and, for Lagosians to vote for continuity, the flag bearer must have a track record of performance, integrity and honour. Since Lagos State was created in 1967, Lagosians have participated in seven governorship elections - 1979, 1983, 1991, 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2011. In those polls, except that of 1991, Lagosians voted along similar and predictable lines. The 1991 exception was due to the inability of the progressives in the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) to put their house in order. Many issues will shape the contest. The first is the incumbency factor. The size and strength of the parties and their perception by the people will also play a role. The APC controls the House of Assembly, which is made up of 40 members, and 57 local councils. The three senators and 24 members of the House of Representatives belong to the ruling party. But, next year, there will be a clash of incumbency power and federal might, which the PDP usually relies upon in the Southwest. In 2015, indigeneship will not be a factor in the megacity, unlike 2007. But,

‘It is a non-issue. Christians and Muslims in Lagos State have co-existed harmoniously without friction. We have had more Muslims governors than Christian governors, but it is mere coincidence. In the Southwest, religion has never shaped our politics’ religion and zoning may be weak factors. In the last one year, some Christian leaders have been calling for a Christian governor, although they acknowledge that the two Muslim governors -- Tinubu and Fashola -whose wives are committed Christians, have never marginalised any religious sect in governance. There is no evidence that the Christian leaders agitating for a Christian governor enjoy the active support of their congregations, whose main spiritual motive is the kingdom of God and not any political kingdom on earth. Reflecting on the agitation, APC chieftain Oludare Raji, a House of Representatives aspirant in Osodi/Isolo Constituency, said: “It is a non-issue. Christians and Muslims in Lagos State have co-existed harmoniously without friction. We have had more Muslim governors than Christian gover-

nors, but it is mere coincidence. In the Southwest, religion has never shaped our politics.” Raji, the former Secretary of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), said that Lagosians looked forward to a successor who will sustain the tempo of performance, and not a governor thrown up by a religious sect. “Lagos is home to many Nigerians. They come here and they don’t return. There is population explosion. Many youths are looking for jobs in Lagos and there is pressure on social amenities, schools, water, and roads. There is the security challenge. Lagos needs a governor who will be a problem solver and not a religious irredentist or bigot,” he added. During electioneering, the lessons of the mystery of Lagos politics is always lost on the aspirants. Historically, it is difficult to predict that a particular aspirant will emerge as the flag bearer of any political party. Lagos State is dynamic. Therefore, the contest is always unpredictable. The history of governorship contest in Lagos is replete with the emergence of candidates who were never in reckoning before the polls. In 1979, Alhaji Lateef Jakande became the candidate of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN). The ambition of other aspirants, including Chief Adeniran Ogunsanya, who later became the National Chairman of the defunct Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP), the late Alhaji Ganiyu Dawodu and the late Chief Akanbi Onitiri, crumbled. Onitiri was a favoured for the job. But, he was lured into the NPP by people who promised to make him the presidential candidate,

after convincing him that Zik would not run. He later died in an auto crash. In the Third Republic, Chief Dapo Sarumi and the late Prof. Femi Agbalajobi struggled for the ticket. They were banned by the military government. In the subsequent shadow contest between Prince Abiodun Ogunleye, the candidate of the Jakande Group, and Yomi Edu, who was backed by the Primose, Edu won. But, he lost to the less popular National Republican Convention (NRC) candidate, Sir Michael Otedola, at the election. In 1999, Tinubu was warming up for the Senate. But, he was advised to vie for the governorship by the Afenifere leaders -- to the consternation of the late Dawodu, who favoured the late Mr. Funso Williams for the slot. If Dawodu, fondly referred to as the god of Lagos, had signified his intention to run, he would have emerged as the candidate. Tinubu became the candidate. During the election, he defeated the PDP candidate, Dapo Sarumi. In 2007, the AC had 14 aspirants, including Agbaje, Ogunleye, Solomon, Oyinlomo Danmole, Tola Kasali, Tokunbo Afikuyomi, Femi Pedro, Tunde Fanimokun, Bayo Ajisebutu, Kaoli Olusanya, Omotilewa AroLambo, Remi Adikwu-Bakare, and Fashola. At the primaries, the former Chief of Staff secured the ticket. In 2011, Fashola was retained as the candidate of the ACN. He beat the PDP candidate, Dr. Ade Dosunmu, who was principally sponsored by George. That year, the LP was briefly promoted by some aggrieved ACN leaders loyal to Fashola. The rebellion was short-lived. Since then, the party has remained on •Continued on page 44



POLITICS Bayelsa State All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain Comrade Timi Frank spoke with JOHN OFIKHENUA, on the activities of the party in the oil-rich state and preparations for the national convention.

PDP ‘can’t win Bayelsa’

• Frank


AS APC found its feet in Bayelsa State? Well, all I can say is that the APC is very strong in Bayelsa because that is where I come from. That is where is former Governor Timipre Sylva also comes from. I think that, with the kind of foundation we are laying in Bayelsa, by the grace of God, come 2015, we have a better stand than ever in Bayelsa. How can you have a strong APC in Bayelsa where the incumbent, president comes from ? Whether the incumbent, president is from Bayelsa or not does not stop the electoral process. It does not stop

the people at the grassroots to decide what they want. I can tell you that, with what on ground, it is not going to be easy for the PDP in the state to just rig the election. The truth is that, if it is going to be by one man, one vote, the President will lose in Bayelsa in 2015. I will tell you very clearly that there are more aggrieved people than Timi Frank in Bayelsa. There are so many people that are aggrieved in Bayelsa, but the problem is that it is not everyone of them that have the opportunity I have to air their view. It is not all of them that have the resources to come out and speak their minds. And it is not everybody that has the guts to come out and express himself. Some of them believe that they don’t need to shout and that they don’t need to talk, but on the day of election, the day that their votes will count, if truly that their votes will count, that is the day you will see their grievances. So, I have no fear that the President is from Bayelsa because his presidency has no impact in Bayelsa. The people of Bayelsa have not felt the dividends of the President. So, I can tell you clearly that, being the

President today does not mean that he is going to win Bayelsa. It depends on what we are offering Bayelsa and it depends on what we are offering the people of Niger Delta that will determine the fate of the APC in Bayelsa or in the Niger Delta. What are the people’s expectations that President Jonathan has not met in Bayelsa? The people expected so much from him. They believe that the President of this country, being the son of Bayelsa and Niger Delta, they should have benefitted from his government in many ways or the other as it has happened in other areas where the people felt the impact of the President because he came from their state or zone. But, in this case, there is nothing to show that Bayelsa State has produced the President. Go to Bayelsa today. There is no federal presence in Bayelsa. I can tell you that every development that is going on in Bayelsa State is done by the state government. Anyone can prove me wrong by saying that the Federal Government has started or completed one project under Jonathan that will

be given to the people of Bayelsa. So, what is the impact? Even, in my own Odi community in the Kolopokuma Local Government, we are all aware that there was a court judgment that was given that Federal Government should pay N37 billion to the Odi community. Under Jonathan Government as a Bayelsan, we expected that, since that judgement came; the Odi people did not beg him for money since a competent court of justice gave them a judgement, he should have obeyed and by now paid the compensation to the Odi people. But as we speak, the same Federal Government under Jonathan went to seek stay of execution on that same case. And the court still told the government to go ahead and pay the money. The same government again refused and went for an appeal. For God sake, how do you want an Odi man or woman to be happy with him because he is from Bayelsa . How did you conduct the APC congress in Bayelsa State ? Well, the congress in Bayelsa went very well. Bayelsa is one of the states where we sat down we choose to come together, we choose to follow the

Who succeeds Fashola?

he was being considered for the post in 2007, it leaked out. The following day, he was surprised when party followers invaded his residence, hailing him as the governor. On the advice of his wife, he travelled abroad. Reflecting on that episode, a first class monarch in Lagos described him as a “run away governor.” Cardoso has never nursed any political ambition. But, some party leaders believe that he will make a good governor.

•Continued from page 43

the waiting list as a borrowed platform. For the APC, the slogan is continuity. In fact, it has kicked off preparations for the next election with the successful conduct of its state congress last weekend. The Chairman, Chief Oladele Ajomale, said that his priority is to mobilise Lagosians to endorse his party’s candidate at the poll. Many defectors from the PDP, including Dr. Yomi Finnih and Dr. Aganga Williams, witnessed the congress. From 1999 to 2011, the selection process in the progressive camp followed a similar pattern. However, times are changing. Certain forces are emerging to press for internal democracy. It is indisputable that the culture of imposition is being resisted. The advocates of guided primaries are being challenged. This is a major challenge. However, when the party opted for direct primaries at its inaugural ward congress in Lagos, it was chaotic. Party leaders immediately retraced their steps. In subsequent local government and state congresses, consensus was adopted and there was peace. Another issue that may shape the contest is zoning. But, there are puzzles: Should zoning be based on the five divisions of Lagos, Ikeja, Epe, Badagry and Ikorodu? Should it be based on the three senatorial districts? Analysts have questioned the merit of the rotational formula in a state where people of all tribes cohabit peacefully. Those canvassing zoning based on the three senatorial districts lack convincing argument to support it. The critics of the idea point out that many residents and indigenes of the West District have enjoyed political opportunities in the Central and East districts and vice versa. The first civilian governor, Jakande, son of the Oluwo of Lagos, is from the Central District, although he lives in Ilupeju, West District. His grandfather was from Omu-Aran, Kwara State. His deputy, Alhaji Rafiu Jafojo, hails from Ile-Ife. The Second elected Governor, Otedola, hails from Epe, East District. The third, Tinubu is from the Central District. But, he represented the West in the Senate in the Third Republic. The fourth, Fashola, is from the Central. In 2007, Ikorodu elders, led by an

proper democratic process to elect ward and local government officers and so on. We did this in a very quiet manner without crisis. I can tell you clearly that what we did in Bayelsa is something you expect every zone to do. What are we even fighting for? It is in areas where you see interests and so on. But, I don’t need to fight to get structure with my former governor who is the leader of the party in the state or any other person who is also a leader of the party. I don’t even need to fight with anybody and I think by the grace of God, what I am looking for is different from what my former governor is looking for. It is also different from what the some other person is looking for. Today, I am working to become the National Youth Leader of the APC. That is my problem. So, that is all I am concentrating on right now. I am making a lot of consultations to see how the party can zone the national youth leadership to the Southsouth to enable me run as the national youth leader of the party.


• Ashafa

eminent lawyer, Babatunde Benson (SAN), pressed for power shift to Ikorodu, East District, claiming that, out of the five divisions, only Ikorodu and Badagry have not produced the governor. It was a legitimate crusade. However, zoning can be manipulated, undermined and subverted, if it is projected as a strong factor. In 2003, Afikuyomi, a senator from Lagos Central, emerged as the AD senatorial candidate for Lagos West. In 2007, Solomon from Mushin, Lagos West, claimed that he hailed from Ipakodo, Ikorodu, to benefit from the agitation for power shift. His paternal grandparents had their roots there. In 2011, Ikuforiji from Epe, Lagos East, won election into the House of Assembly in Ikeja Constituency, Lagos West District. Perhaps, the strongest factor is mutual agreement among the party leaders. A party chieftain said that some forces in the ruling party are canvassing the doctrine of mutual consent by the controlling leadership. “The party expects brainstorming session involving Tinubu, Fashola, Ajomale and his executive committee, party elders, and members of the Gubernatorial Advisory Council. These eminent leaders will vet the aspirants, moderate the selection process and ensure that the right candidate emerges,” he added.

The aspirants

Despite the feeling that the APC has zoned the ticket to the Lagos East, aspirants are coming from the three zones as a matter of fundamental right. It is not clear whether the proposed guidelines for the primaries would translate the imaginary zoning into re-

• Solomon


Solomon The only party chieftain who has publicly declared his interest is Solomon. He is son of the eminent politician, the late Chief R.B. Solomon, a Second Republic leader of the UPN and an ally of Jakande. The senator is a former Chairman of Mushin Local Government Area and member of the House of Representatives. Solomon is very popular. He is a crowd puller in Mushin and Lagos West. He became a senator in 2007 when Tinubu declined to contest for the Senate. He was reelected as senator in 2011. Two days ago, Solomon set up his campaign office at Ikeja. The event was witnessed by his supporters.

Pitan He is a successful medical doctor from Agbowa, Epe Division. He served as Commissioner for Health and Education for eight years in Tinubu Administration. A disciple of the party leader, the easy-going politician contributed to the success of the Tinubu Administration. He is also popular at home. Many youths see him as a role model, mentor and father figure. He is intelligent and hardworking.

Ashafa Ashafa is a retired Permanent Secretary from Ibeju-Lekki. He became a senator in 2011. When he was the Permanent Secretary, Land Bureau, he did not abuse the privilege. He did not soil his hand. As a senator, he has set up some empowerment programmes for the benefit of his district.

• Gbajabiamila

Ikuforiji A native of Epe, Ikuforiji is described as a loyal politician. He became a member of the House of Assembly in 2003. He was re-elected in 2007 and 2011. He is the longest serving Speaker of the House. He has had the privilege of representing two constituencies in two separate districts in the House of Assembly. Ikuforiji is answering charges of corruption in the court. His supporters allege that he was framed up because he has a governorship ambition.

Ambode Ambode is a technocrat from Epe. At 21, he obtained a degree in Accounting from the University of Lagos, Akoka. At 24, he earned a Masters Degree and qualified as a chartered accountant. He has worked in over 15 councils as a treasurer before he was transferred to the state civil service. He was the Auditor-General for Local Governments. In 2012, the Fullbright scholar retired voluntarily as the Accountant-General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, at 49. He was the first Permanent Secretary to have done so in the history of the Lagos civil service. When the Federal Government withheld allocations to Lagos councils, Ambode designed the blueprint for the financial survival of the councils. His colleagues in the civil service describe him as a man of character and competence.

Cardoso Eyes are also on the brilliant technocrat and former Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Yemi Cardoso. He is not a politician. When

Hamzat is the Commissioner for Works. He is the son of the party leader, the Olu of Afowora, Ogun State, Oba Olatunji Hamzat. His father was a legislator and commissioner in the Second Republic. His mother is from Lagos State. Hamzat, who holds a doctorate degree, is an easy-going professional and good manager of men and resources. He is very close to Fashola, who has confidence in his ability.

Banire Banire is the Interim APC Legal Adviser. He holds a doctorate degree in Law from the University of Lagos, where he was a teacher before he was appointed commissioner. He spent 12 years in the Lagos State Executive Council as Special Adviser, Commissioner for Transport and Commissioner for Environment. He is from Mushin, Lagos West.

Dabiri-Erewa Dabiri-Erewa is a household name in Nigeria. She is a broadcaster. By next year, she would have spent 12 years in the House of Representatives. She was first elected to represent Ikorodu Constituency in 2003. She was re-elected in 2007 and 2011. In the Lower Chamber, Dabiri-Erewa is not a bench warmer. She is the Chairperson of the Diaspora Committee. She is very popular in her district and beyond. She may have been drafted into the race by the agitators for power shift in Ikorodu.

Gbolahan Gbolahan is the Commissioner for Agriculture. He is a retired police officer. He was the chief security officer to Tinubu.

Gbeleyi Gbeleyi is the Commissioner for Finance. He is an associate of the governor.

Gbajabiamila Gbajabiamila is the Minority Leader in the House of Representatives. The lawyer is a firebrand legislator from Surulere Constituency. He is seen as intelligent, bold and courageous.



POLITICS The Chairman of Fayemi Campaign Organisation, Hon. Bimbo Daramola, spoke with EMMANUEL OLADESU on the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s preparation for the June 21 governorship election in Ekiti State and issues that will shape the exercise.

‘PDP can’t bounce back in Ekiti’


HAT are the issues that will shape Ekiti governorship election? There are a number of issues. The performance of Governor Kayode Fayemi is the main issue. That is the first thing of substance. That will be the thrust of the campaign. We are going to have a campaign that will be issue-driven and agenda setting. My candidate , the campaign organisation and, by extension, the people are not just angling for a second term for the sake of second term. In the last three and half years, Governor Kayode Fayemi has laid a good template. That is an issue that would shape the campaign and the election . I know that the opposition is also there rearing their heads. As a political party, they want to expand their territory and I am inclined to assume that, between 2003 and 2007, they were in power and the train that moved from Lagos hit Edo , ran through Ondo and berth at Ekiti and Ekiti and then, moved to Oyo and eventually closed in on Ogun State. You will also agree with me that, may be, it may not be nice that one of us who used to be a member of the family said he would be at the ballot for this election. All of these will shape this election by all intent and purposes. There is nothing you can do about that. You cannot run away from these facts. Elections are won on the basis of political parties and driven by individuals and the people ultimately have their way and every other thing will key into this. In the last registration, Ekiti APC registered about 200,000. Do you think that your candidate stands a chance of defeating the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party? The APC registered members in excess of 200,000 and the total registered voters in Ekiti is about 649,000. Elections are won on the basis of so many factors. It would have been a completely different thing, if we did not have an incumbent or all the candidates are running as fresh candidates. But, the truth of the matter is that the strength of the party is a factor. But, strength means nothing. It is just like trying to ascribe power to the size of a dinosaur, which today is facing extinction because the size of dinosaur may not be helpful. They have said that the

PDP is the largest party in Africa and all that jargon. But, we also know that the party is depreciating and decimating as we speak . I don’t want to bench mark the success of our elections on the fact that we are driven by population. Dr. Kayode Fayemi has been able to do many things for Ekiti in three and half years . I have said that at different times that up to now, there is no one coming into the election with tangible assets as my candidate. He is not coming into the election with promissory notes. He is coming into the election to say that he has done some things and that he will do more, if re-elected. You do not mouth reputation. You earn reputation and the performance and reputation of delivery and good governance have added value tangibly to the lives of Ekiti people . It is something on the streets that no one can deny and I will expect that those people who are direct beneficiaries of the impact of his good governance in the past three and half years will not fold their hands and entrust their fate and fortune into unsteady and shaken hands. They will rather entrust their fate and fortune into a steady hands and consolidate on the good work in the past three and half years. Why is the governor insisting on second term in office? There is no insistence on second term. We are saying, if you have a family or mechanic who has been attending to you or a mechanic who has been fixing your car over the ages and he has been doing it well, it is likely that you will trust him much more when challenges arise. My candidate has tried in the last three and half years to justify the mandate the people gave him in 2007 . My candidate and my party are products of adversity . We are all students of history. We all know how we got to this point. Thank God, today, my candidate has turned our adversity to prosperity. What he has done justifies the fact that people were behind and beside him during the period of adversity and travail. I am sure all of those things will come into reckoning. I don’t think the people will suffer selective amnesia. It is the officials that suffer amnesia, not the people. If the people suffer amnesia, nobody will give credit to Chief Obafemi Awolowo today for his free education programme. Why is the governor expressing

‘It will be in the interest of President Goodluck Jonathan and his party to ensure that they play fair and ensure that the will of the people prevails in the election. It will be the fairest thing to do’ •Daramola

fears about rigging? I am not aware that my governor is expressing fears. In any case, there is the fear of the unknown. As human beings, we wake up , step out of our homes , committing our lives into the hand of God. There is always the fear of the shadowy. But, the truth of the matter is that we have to confront our fears because we will soon know that they do not exist .We have seen it before. Don’t forget that we are Ekiti people, that we do not brook cheating, we do not brook injustice. Dr. Kayode Fayemi was not in office when Ekiti people stood by him head to head, toe-to toe and did not blink. We were not in government. But, we pursued the mandate and, by the grace of God, it was eventually delivered into our hands. He has treated that mandate with so much sanctity. The recognition of that alone will aid the resolve of our people to stand beside him and by him to ensure that, no matter what the electoral marauders are trying to do, they will not succeed. In concrete terms, what are the fears? The fear is not be too far-fetched. We have seen the seeming incompetence and lack of capacity of some of the institutions responsible for the conduct of elections in the country. We have seen time and time again how INEC has been apologising to Nigerians for the failure in Anambra and Delta. It will be in the interest of President Goodluck Jonathan and his party to ensure that they play fair and ensure that the will of the people prevails in

APC chieftain advocates politics without bitterness


AGOS State All Progressives Congress Hon. Kola Okesanjo has advocated for politics of peace and accommodation as the country prepares for 2015 general elections. He said political thuggery is an illwind that does not blow anybody any good. Okesanjo spoke with reporters in Lagos on the recent APC ward and council congresses. He said although politics could be challenging as a result of conflicting interests, political differences should be settled amicably. He said: “I’m optimistic that our leader will look into it and all affected members will be accommodated. I do know that a peace committee will be set up to reconcile the aggrieved members.” The politician chieftain pleaded with APC members to maintain peace and resist any incitement against the party. He added: “It is important too that we de-emphasize politics of winnertakes-all. It is not good enough win-

ners must show magnanimity by embracing everybody, which I think is healthy for our collective interest. We must do everything to disallow politics of bitterness, realising that APC is a party for all and designed to cater for all interests.” Okesanjo enjoined members to show greater commitment to the APC, saying it is the party that will save the nation. He said: “APC is a party for the people and the momentum is waxing stronger across nations. From 2015, we hope to see the enthronement of democracy and development which will be fostered through our great party that is sure to win and form the next government in the country, so as members we must continue to be dedicated and loyal to the leadership and the party’s core ideals. APC will transform the nation.” He commended former Lagos State Governor Lateef Jakande for the courage and tolerance exhibited during the last ward congress, describing him as

an elder statesmen of repute and transparent political figure worthy of emulation.

the election. It will be the fairest thing to do. We know that this country is been tugged out at every corner, regardless of the talking session in Abuja . The true test of the direction of the conference will be determined by elections in Ekiti because the election is about allowing the people to exercise their civic responsibility. What do you think was responsible for the high number of aspirants in the PDP, ahead of the primaries? It is a sad spectacle and I am too sure this is one of the eternal legacies of the Fayemi Administration. By the grace of God, before the end of the second term of Governor Fayemi, those aspiring to Okebadeke in Ekiti State will not find it very comfortable anymore. Dr Fayemi would have sufficiently raised the standard such that anybody that aspires to lead Ekiti State will, first of all, benchmark himself. People will point to him that, having seen the legacy and credential that your predecessor has left, you are or not competent to fit into these shoes. Some of the things they have said about Governor Fayemi is that he is not governor ‘jule’ or a governor who goes to eat ‘bole’ on the street, market place or doing things that are populist. He is not building stomach infrastructure. He has no character of a governor who goes to the streets to buy bole and groundnut from the woman on the street. That may not be bad. But, can you compare that to a governor who

ensures that 25,000 senior citizens get a stipend of N5,000 monthly and subsidies their healthcare. In the long run, people are better off than a governor given to emotional sentiments and goes to the street to say how much is your ‘bole’ and pays N5,000 for it and that is where it ends. You don’t wish to just be a leader. You must earn it. You must possess some qualities. One of them is the clear vision of where you want to take your followership to. You must have an agenda that will be driven by the people. The leader must take the lead. This is a governor that provided 30,000 laptops for students and another 18,000 laptops for their teachers and trained them. This is because he knows that there is no profession that does not have ICT components in it. The world is not waiting on Ekiti and we cannot afford to play catch-up anymore. Governance all over the world has a goal and the ultimate destination is to ensure that the quality of life of the people gets better. That is the essence of governance. Anything that is short of that is defeatist. If a governor has imbibed that and manifested that sufficiently enough and the people are saying, if we have entrusted our mandate into your hands for three and half years and it turned out this well, you deserve another term. For instance, the Ikogosi Spring laid prostrate for 21 years under the successive governments. It never caught their attention. It took Dr. Kayode Fayemi to reverse the trend and created jobs for people. Ikogosi t played host to the Nigerian Media Merit Award. In December, last year, 20,000 people went to the place. If everyone of them spent N200, that would have developed the economy of Ikogosi, which eventually would have robbed off on the economy of the state. This is what a leader should do. But, the only governor who had the mind that something good could come out of Ikogosi was Otunba Niyi Adebayo. If your child has performed well, the next thing is to promote him to the next class. We have a candidate the Ekiti people believe have earned it. The opposition is saying that the governor has been completing the projects of the previous administration. What will the governor do differently in his second tenure, if re-elected at the poll. The argument is a bad one. You spent public money to repair roads in Ekiti and you didn’t finish the roads and another governor came out to do the right thing. Is that not a laudable achievement?

•House of Representatives member Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa ( middle), Mrs Martha Alade (left) with winners of the Girls in ICT Day at Sheraton Hotel,Lagos, Ikeja.




‘Environmental sanitation, personal hygiene ’ll prevent epidemic outbreak’


OW can epidemic outbreak contained? It can be checked through environmental sanitation and personal hygiene, says consultant public physician, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Dr Sofela Oridota According to him, outbreak of epidemics will be a thing of the past if Nigerians clean their environment and live a healthy life. He said epidemic of cholera, Lassa fever, SARRS and other haemorragic fevers are epidemics that can be prevented. Nigeria, he said, can contain those epidemics caused by poor personal hygiene and environmental sanitation by being conscious of filthy environment and making changes in lifestyle. He said incidences of epidemics were few in the past because people took cleanli-

•Oridota By Wale Adepoju

ness seriously. Oridota identified lifestyle as the main cause of diseases. “Our ways of life predisposes us to these diseases,” he added. He said he will not advise vaccination for the treatment

of cholera because if it does not kill people, other preventable diseases such as diarrhea or dysentery would. Personal hygiene if maintained, he said, can prevent deaths from diseases. “People come down with Lassa fever because they expose the food to a certain rat which defecate on it. But if food is covered it will be impossible to have the disease. Hygiene is key to prevent some diseases,” he added. Oridota said about 70 per cent of deaths are caused by ignorance and poverty. He said surveillance should be increased to track Ebola disease. He said there are other epidemics growing in the society from lifestyle diseases. Oridota said epidemics depend on people’s hygiene and their lifestyle. He identified the agent,

host and environment as three key factors that can predispose people to diseases. He said the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) had developed a manual for viral haemorrhagic fevers, adding that health workers and family members of the patients sick of Ebola should have no direct contact with their body, fluid and other secretion. “People can incubate Ebola from three to 21 days and still look okay,” he said. The public health physician said if people don’t touch the dead, dead animals or eat fruits eating halfway by bats which carry Ebola virus they would not contact the disease. He said there can be contact tracing to curtail the spread of the disease.

•Health Mission Co-ordinator, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr Dolapo Fasawe, Mrs Pauline Edokpaye (left) and another goitre patient from Badagry awaiting their turn at the ongoing free surgical intervention at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja. PHOTO: OYEYEMI GBENGA-MUSTAPHA.

Why young people are excluded from AIDS response


OW does the Federal Government policy affect adolescent and young people in their perception of HIV/ AIDS? A survey conducted by Population Council (PC) has shown that the adolescents and young people have been neglected in HIV and AIDS response. At a media-research advocacy exchange programme in

By Oyeyemi GbengaMustapha and Wale Adepoju

Lagos, Country Director, Population Council, Dr Babatunde Ahonsi decried the country’s neglect of the adolescent and young people from national response to HIV and AIDS. He said the government’s HIV/AIDS programme was not young people friendly

because they were not being carried along. “The way adolescent and young people responded to issues of HIV and AIDS was different from that of adults, as such the programme should ensure they are carried along,” he added. Ahonsi said HIV and AIDS cannot be tackled without first addressing the challenges of young people.

He called for a more inclusive HIV/AIDS programme for young people. Ahonsi said his organisation has been conducting research across the world to improve policies, programmes and products in HIV and AIDS, poverty, gender and youth, and reproductive health. “We conduct research every two years on the subject,” he added.

DENTAL TALK with Dr Samuel Awosolu 08108155239 (SMS Only); email-

Emergencies and first aid series (2)


HE series of tips for readers, mothers and health workers in the community to deal with dental health emergencies where there is no available dentist or the nearest dentist, is some way off. As stated in the first part, most dental clinics do not operate on weekends and some public holidays or late in the evenings. The service available, if any, is often at the teaching hospitals or Federal Medical centres assuming they are not on some industrial action...cheeky as that may sound, that is the reality of the moment. The on-call dentist may be overwhelmed with more urgent and serious situations like maxillofacial trauma and injuries. THRUSH Thrush is caused by a fungus, a yeast by the name- Candida, there are so many sub-specie the commonest being the albican specie. The Candida yeast is found as a regular resident of the oral cavity in about half of the population. It is also found in the vagina canal. When ordinarily present it does not cause any disease unless the individual is ill or the immune system is compromised by a chronic condition, the overwhelming of the immune protective system allows the fungi to cause disease/infection. Excessive use of antibiotics is another cause, poor nutrition or malnutrition especially in children is another condition whereby Candida infection can occur. In babies, infection with Candida may make suckling/feeding very difficult and uncomfortable. Candida infection appears as a whitish coat on the tongue which may easily be scraped off or not, depending on the type and clinical presentation. Candida infections occur more readily in people with Human immunodeficiency virus (AIDS) infection or people wearing dentures, artificial teeth. These are signs to look out for: *White patches on the tongue, cheek, roof of the mouth, palate. A gentle wipe of the whitish coated area, if there is no bleeding, it is likely to be just old milk curds. If there is any bleeding, in all likelihood, it is thrush. The child finds feeding or suckling a mission and difficult/uncomfortable. In the foregoing, there is always an underlying problem to enable thrush to grow. It stands to reason that for the problem to be solved, if it is malnutrition the feeding habits should be improved, if diabetes mellitus, please consult your physician. If on antibiotic medication, consult the physician to decide whether to stop the medication in the interim or not. If due to the denture problems the denture may be remade, cleaned with a soft firm brush or detergent, mild one. Thrush being a fungal infection is not amenable to antibiotics; it could in fact make the situation worse. The white patches could be covered with nystatin drops available at most pharmacies, where not available, a gential violet (GV) solution can be used to coat the tongue. The nipple of a breast feeding mother may be affected by candidasis, the nipples should be treated in the same way or it can result in a cycle of infection. Soft food should be consumed; likewise a lot of fluids need to be taken. White patches may appear on the roof of the mouth, cheek of an adult which may later become sore and red, should this not get better with treatment, other measures such as stopping habits like smoking whether pipes, cigarettes or any other form of tobacco should be taken. Dentures, should they be the cause, will be adjusted by the Dentist through the laboratory technologist. •See you next week

‘Donate blood voluntarily’


• From left: Chairman, Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria, National Sickle Cell Centre, Prof Olu Akinyanju; Director, Disease Control, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr Jemilade Longe and Director, MTN Foundation, Mr Dennis Okoro during the certificate award ceremony of the 16th Genetic Counsellors on Sickle Cell Disorder sponsored by MTN Foundation in Lagos.


ENOTYPE Foundation, a nongovernmental organisation has partnered with the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Committee (LSBTC) on voluntary blood donation. According to the Executive Director of the NGO, Mrs. Doris Gbemiloye, the partnering was borne out of the passion to help Lagos State improve on its voluntary blood donors. She spoke during a voluntary blood donation drive organised by LSBTC in collaboration with the NGO at the

By Olatunde Odebiyi

MRC hall of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH). She said the NGO is targeted at taking care of sickle cell disordered patients and counseling them on how to stay healthy. The Executive Secretary of LSBTC, Dr. Modupe Olaiya represented by Dr. Alori Samuel noted that if Nigerians would imbibe the regular habit of voluntary blood donation, there would be reduction in the death rate that relates to loss of blood.



The Midweek Magazine


Amid cheers by family members, friends and associates, renowned architect Sir Gabriel Oladipupo Ajayi walked into the hall of the Civic Centre in Lagos for his 60th birthday celebration. He was accompanied by his wife, Lady Alaba, for the twin-event, which also featured a book presentation. EVELYN OSAGIE and ADEIFE ADEBIYI report.

Celebrating a man of architecture


S the band began to play, ushers decked in traditional short-styled Iro and Buba with matching Suku hairstyles bid guests a warm welcome to the ornate hall of the Civic Centre, Lagos. It was the birthday celebration and book presentation of famous architect and illustrious son of IlupejuEkiti in Ekiti State, Sir Gabriel Oladipupo Ajayi. He arrived at the venue accompanied by his wife, Lady Alaba. He was dressed in an Aso-Oke Agbada; on his neck and wrist were royal beads crafted stylishly with a gold pendant in the middle. The event was spiced with interesting activities, including the presentation of Amazing World of Architecture, an architectural compendium. The book identifies the author’s passion for creativity to illuminate, inspire and motivate. It was published by My Heritage Books. According to the Publisher, Mr Oluneye Oluwole, the celebrator is “a guru in architecture, arts and nature lover, and an unrepentant romantic” that is worthy of celebration. The 232-page compendium also captures the world’s most iconic buildings, superb photography and practical lessons in architecture. It was reviewed by the pioneer and immediate past Vice Chancellor, Afe Babalola University, Prof Sidi Osho. According to her, the book focuses on “a Man”, “an Artist”, “an Architect”, and “a Builder”. “Amazing World of Architecture is a story of the successful journey of hard work, commitment, professionalism, achievements and contributions to national and environmental development. It takes the reader on an architectural journey, to exotic and interesting parts of the world, showcasing several masterpieces and brings the reader back to Nigeria, where other masterpieces are found. “Architecture is all around us and the book portrays the author as not only an excellent architect, but a builder exhibiting commitment and professionalism. The book identifies the author’s passion for creation to illuminate, inspire, create and motivate,” she said. The President, Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON), Umaru Aliyu, described it as “an inspiring documentation of architectural data in the annals of architecture in Nigeria”. The event also featured a short footage by the celebrant’s children on the behavioural patterns of their father, which portrayed him as a disciplinarian and workaholic who loves to sacrifice his food and rest to pursue his passion. The footage, however, ended with the words: “Daddy, learn to take a rest; you are getting old”. In another footage, his wife also eulogised him, saying he is a caring father and brother,”who is passionate about his work and family and a role model to his children”. Yinka Ayefele thrilled guests with his fantastic music. Men and women in matching outfits and gele in red and gold thronged the venue to celebrate the architect. It drew Nigeria’s crème de la crème. The event, chaired by Chief Felix Fagbohungbe (SAN), was atteneded by past governors from Ekiti and Ogun states, captains of industries, business tycoons, the academia, family and friends. They included Ekiti State Governor Dr Kayode Fayemi, Chief Niyi Adebayo, Chief Olusegun Osoba, Asiwaju of Ile-Ife Chief Oyekunle Alex-Duduyemi and his wife. They described him as a force in the world of architecture, praising him for his tenacity and forthrightness. Born in Ilupeju-Ekiti, the celebrator obtained his West African School Certificate in 1975 with Grade One result. After a stint in banking, he proceeded to the former University of Ife, (now ObafemiAwolowo University), Ile-Ife, where he graduated with Bachelors and Masters in Architecture in 1982 and 1984. His career began in 1984 with the Lagos State Development Property Corporation as a Senior Architect and through hard work, dedication and excellence, Ajayi became a Principal Architect. In 1987, he established his company, Spatial Design Consults, an architectural design and construction firm, with the objective to produce generation of architects. Fayemi commended the trail-blazing achievements of his kinsman, for adding another feather to the cap of Ekiti indigenes. A lover of books and a prolific writer, he said he would donate copies of the book to architectural, environmental sciences and engineering departments in all state-owned higher institutions, saying it is in line with his support of academic excellence in the state. Chief Duduyemi described the celebrator as a “man of integrity”. “I have known him for some years and he has been a son that is consistent, full of integrity; he is very

•Sir Ajayi and wife, Lady Alaba

•Chief Osoba

•Sir Gabriel showcasing his book

‘I dream architecture. It is a way of life which dictates the mood of the individual and nation. It has rhythm. Architecture is interesting and fulfilling. I could have gone into politics but as for me, architecture is love, architecture is romantic, and architecture is music. I intend to leave a name behind in my profession as well as contribute positively to the lives of the coming generation of architects’

•Dr Fayemi

loyal and supportive. I confer on him the membership of my family. From when he left the University of Ife, he has always been on my right hand. He is our in-law. I treat him as an in-law, nephew and supporter. Architect Dipo is different. When I knew him as an undergraduate at the Univer-

sity of Ife, he was doing part-time teaching to keep up with finances at the university. And since then, I started giving him a little job, he has grown up to be one of my best supporters in the industry,” he said. For the celebrator, architecture is life. While urging youths to use their talents for the progress of humanity, he said, despite his humble childhood, hard work, dedication and determination are his driving force to success. According to him, his firm would be collaborating with universities to affect the lives of architects. He said: “I dream architecture. It is a way of life which dictates the mood of the individual and nation. It has rhythm. Architecture is interesting and fulfilling. I could have gone into politics, but as for me, architecture is love, architecture is romantic, and architecture is music. I intend to leave a name behind in my profession as well as contribute positively to the lives of the coming generation of architects.”



The Midweek Magazine



N Yoruba mythology, a name is given to symbolise circumstances of birth in a home, posterity, sense of character and projection into the future. The author, Oba Adedapo Adewale Tejuoso, added Oranmiyan to his coronation title, and the governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, heralded his political prowess with the name Oranmiyan. Both leaders today have changed the course of history, adding value to lives of the people in their respective domain. And that is the premise on which this historical book will radiate. The word Oranmiyan and Oranyan are used interchangeably to underscore the intonation of the Yoruba dialect of undiluted Oyo and others forms of Yoruba language. It also reinforces the connection of both Oyo and Ile Ife to the story line. The 212-page book is divided into two main chapters. The origin of the Yoruba and Egba roots traced. Appendix takes major segments of the book providing basis for the authenticity of the Oba Adedapo Tejuoso, the Osile Oke Ona’s storyline. Pointedly too, it acts as the major plank of the title of the book. The chapters are sub divided into the following headings, brief history of Oke – Ona Egba, Mythological Kings, Queen of Sheba, A Lesson for Yoruba Leaders from Yoruba history. Others are Oranmiyan Movement, Traditional Heritage, A Lesson from Japanese History, Nigerian Women Award, Biography of Chief Mrs Bisoye Tejuoso, A Brief Citation of Oba Dr Adedapo Tejuoso, and Photo Panorama. The heights of the book are locked in the sub headings on, Oranmiyan: Ile Ife Involvement, Oranmiyan: Oyo’s Involvement, Oranmiyan Oko’s Oke Ona Egba’s Involvement. The last part of the content are an extract from a book Omoluwabi, And the King Praise God and lastly, Kings’ Day of Praise. The book will go down in history as a compendium linking tradition and modernity to underscore the mythology surrounding the status of Oranmiyan in Yorubaland. Oranmiyan was the progenitor of the Oko, present day Oke Ona Egba, he reigned in Oko and moved the seat of government of Yorubaland there for a while, pages 37 and 179. The obelisk monument in Ile Ife had resemblance with the Washington monument obelisk. That the Alaafin of Oyo, Alake of Egba and Owa Obokun of Ijesaland and other major Obas in Yorubaland cannot properly be installed until the sword of state was brought from Ile Ife, page 50. 1903 landmark event on the clarification of 22 great obas wearing of beaded crown in Yorubaland finally put in perspective the authority of the Ooni of Ife , as the undisputed leader of Yoruba obas as well as the pre-eminence role of Ile Ife as the spiritual head of Yoruba nation, pages 71 to 78 makes an interesting read. The Yorubas link to the Middle East, precisely Egypt was noted by two distinct features, the writings on scroll in the Holy Bible in reference to the Egyptian writings of hieroglyphics page as well as “Ife Marble” sculptures and those seen in the Egyptian court of the British museum, pages 7, 8 and 46. It is noteworthy that this historical publication equally substantiated Oranmiyan as a king in Ile Ife, Oko in Egbaland, Oyo Ile, and Oyo Ajaka, with influence on the entire Oyo Empire in the days of yore. These claims support the efficacy of Reverend Johnson’s record on Yoruba history, pages 14 and 179. Pages 56 to 66 was an expose of the founders of Yoruba nation from Oduduwa, to Oranmiyan, the remarkable roles of Moremi, the two sons of Oranyan, Ajaka and Sango were exhaustively highlighted. Going by the analysis of the book, the Egba roots were traced to August 5 1830 when warriors and their families settled in Abeokuta under the Olumo rock. A lesson for Yoruba leaders from historical perspective is quite instructive for new crop of leaders, who must eschew bitterness and be united for the common good of the people, pages 86 to 88.

from Japan, who had almost the same attributes with the Yoruba nation. With Yoruba people level of education and civilisation in all spheres, the author believes, his beloved race can make it. For his passionate love for her late mother , an industrialist per excellence, Oba Adedapo Tejuoso, the Osile Oke Ona Of Egba, devoted a chapter to eulogise his mother, the Iyalode of Egbaland, late Chief (Mrs.) Bisoye Tejuoso, the first woman industrialist in Nigeria, “.... an enterprising woman, wealthy in her modest form, respectable and living a comfortable life...” . If one had listened to the lyrics of evergreen songs of legendary Chief Ebenezer Obey in the 70’s, the apt description and contributions of Madam Tejuoso would be well appreciated on pages 102-109. To further justify the title of the book, the celebration of Oranmiyan festival brought into fore the cherished cultural heritage of an average Yoruba. Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade’s goodwill message on the celebration of Oranmiyan festival contextualised this essence “ one can celebrate Oranmiyan without reference and obeisance to the Opa Oranmiyan domiciled in Ile Ife, the source...the underpinnings of our civilisation, history and cultural heritage have been the tradition of tolerance, openness to new ideas, respect for ancient wisdom, intellectual pursuit and abhorrence of violence. The Yoruba people are loving testimony to the noble tradition of blending the old and the new.” (page 139-143). There lies the traditional heritage of the Yorubas of the South western Nigeria and beyond.


Royal tunes for the legend Title: Author: Page: Publisher: Reviewer:

ORANMIYAN: WHAT IS IN A NAME?: Osile, Oke – Ona, Egba’s Involvement. Oba Adedapo Adewale Tejuoso 212 Pumark Nigeria limited Qasim Olalere Akinreti

BOOK REVIEW The story of Oranmiyan movement revived by Rauf Aregbesola, the present governor of Osun State brought into the fore the achievement and focus of King Oranmiyan in Yoruba history . This consummate in the six -point agenda of the Oranmiyan group namely, banish hunger, poverty, unemployment, promote functional education, restoring healthy living and enhance communal peace and progress. The absolute love and commitment to a race by good leadership are great lessons the Yoruba land could learn

The language is simple, fluid and self explanatory. It helps the reader to follow the sequence of historical facts and reinforce the authority of the author as a quintessential Yoruba Oba imbued with candour and grace of royalty. His use of proverbs, or local idioms of Yoruba Language, pieced with appropriate translation in English, enhanced the quality of the publication for children yet unborn to tap from Oba Adedapo Tejuoso’s, logical analysis and writing prowess. As a medical doctor and traditional ruler of note, he has surely raised the bar in contributing his quota to the literary world.

Aesthetics Here, effective use of picture both coloured and white pictures to sign post and enhance the quality of the publication as historical reference piece. The opening coloured picture on the cover page lifted up the beauty of the book, while the relevant pictures therein confirme the uniqueness of the book. The quality of the print and lettering generally are commendable, makes the book pleasurable to read.

Shortfalls The most prominent shortfalls of the book are arrangement of contents, the inclusions of invitation letters and award ceremonies. At best they could be edited for the usage of the book. The appendix at the opening pages and within the book should have come at the end of the chapters. The referencing does not follow the APA style.

Recommendation For anyone genuinely interested in the authentic story of Yorubaland and the per-eminent role of Oranmiyan in annals of Yoruba, must get a copy of this book, read and digest the rich contents. It’s classical work of arts which generations of Nigerians and more importantly historians and researchers will find worthy of reading and suing for research work on Yoruba history.

Redemption of Africa (ll) (A review of Wole Soyinka’s Harmattan Haze on an African Spring)


OLITICS of exclusion, intra and intercountry boundary problems, lust for power, warped ideology, etc. are identified as the heart of the crises plaguing the continent in the book. While underscoring the place of “strict adherence to democratic justice” in resolving most of the myriads of convulsions threatening the continent, the blind defence of these European-created boundaries of death certainly demand interrogation: “Is it truly in the interest of the occupants of that continent that the present boundaries are being consolidated, defended, held so inviolate that the population of the continent is routinely decimated, millions maimed and incapacitated for life, vast hectares of farm land rendered useless by liberally sown anti-personnel mines? Youths are robbed of their innocence and their humanity, as the continent becomes the corrupted playground of boy soldiers. In short, what price is worth paying for the illusion of boundaries and ‘sovereignty’?” To clear any misconception, the playwright-historian is not advocating the disintegration of the present nation entities. In fact, a proper interrogation could even

By Soyombo Opeyemi

BOOK REVIEW lead to the opposite - amalgamation. The point is where such horrendous human conflict is traceable to this product of European fictioning, as in the case of Sudan, “Where this is seen clearly to be the case, and internal instability of a costly dimension evidently derives from such impositions, common sense urges that, at the very least, the basis for such amalgamations be revisited with a view to ascertaining where precisely lies the will of the people themselves, acting in freedom.” The criminality of the Janjaweed, under the banner of impunity, really troubled the human rights activist and he devoted a lot of attention to it. South Sudan eventually gained its independence after the publication of this book but then what does one make of the current internecine upheavals in the new country? I think the answer to the situation could be located in Soyinka’s lecture during his investiture as Awo Laureate on March 7, 2013: WINDING DOWN HISTORY: RELIGION AND NATION,

POWER AND FREEDOM. One then comes to the conclusion that, whereas there are no absolutes in any propositions, it seems the path of “democratic justice” , as enunciated by the author, can be the best of all the alternatives as a way of restoring our humanity in Africa. The sanctity of the rule of law, constitutional provisions that safeguard the interest of minorities and entrenchment of democratic norms such as free and fair elections, all within the structures of government most suitable for different countries based on their cultural, economic and socio-political realities - federal, confederal or unitary. But admittedly, these can only be achieved through interrogation of the present in an atmosphere perfumed with burning passion for justice. Restructuring, either of the structures of government, forms of government or power relations, seems inevitable across the African continent. If I may add in passing; in Nigeria, for instance, the present unitary system disguised as federalism must be dumped without further ado. The aim of dividing the country into three regions, each with a regional council in 1947, according to the then

•Prof Soyinka

governor of colonial Nigeria, Sir Arthur Richards, was “To create a political system… within which the diverse elements, may progress at varying speeds, amicably and smoothly, towards a more closely integrated economic, social and political unity, without sacrificing the prin•Continued on page 50





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Micah Ekpe the legend: 50 years after


T is said that Greatness is of three types – the one somebody is born into, like Royalty, the one that is entrusted on without one necessarily working for it and the greatness one achieves by dent of hard-work. Micah Okoye Ndibe Ekpe, Ezenwa 1 of Enugwu Ukwu na Umunri belongs to the last category as he rose from a very humble beginning to become the President General of the entire Enugwu Ukwu community in the former Northern Region of Nigeria. In Uruekwo, one of the 18 villages in Enugwu Ukwu, Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State, the name MICAH EKPE is highly revered, recognized and appreciated for good and noble deeds and famed philanthropy. Your father was a good man, he did this or that for me, he assisted us in one project or another, or he led us well, was a ready and willing response to any of his children by the generality of Enugwu Ukwu people and beyond who had any association with him. These testimonies are evidenced by the statement by Albert Paye – “what we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, but what we have done for others and the word remains and is immortal”. The tremendous goodwill that reverberated from his memory has been the leading and guiding light for all his children, opening doors of opportunities for them. After all the Holy book says in Proverbs 20 v 7 “The Righteous is working in his integrity, happy are his sons after him” Micah Okoye Ndibe Ekpe, was born in 1914. As the first son had the responsibility to assist his parents in their farm work and also cater for his younger ones. He was privileged to be sent to Central School Abagana for his primary school education, a rare opportunity in those days. Soon after his primary education, the problem of what

•Continued from page 48 ciples and ideals in their divergent ways of life.” Inherent in this submission was federalism. Again at the Ibadan General Conference, preparatory to the promulgation of Macpherson Constitution of 1951, the question on the structure of Nigeria was asked: “Do we wish to see a fully centralised system with all legislative and executive powers concentrated at the centre, or do we wish to develop a federal system under which each different region of the country would exercise a measure of internal autonomy?” The London Conference of 1953 and Lagos Conference of 1954 that followed emphasised a fullblown federal constitution, which was later captured in the Lyttleton Constitution of 1954 and Independence Constitution of 1960… Now that history has come full circle in Nigeria, we need to return to the bequest of our founding fathers - federalism. In Harmattan Haze on an African Spring, Wole Soyinka (WS) also holds that the redemption of African spirituality, indeed, Africa and the world lies in the embrace of the doctrines of Orisa. “Thus, for all seekers after peace and security of true community, and the space of serenity that enables the quest after Truth... we urge yet again the simple path that was travelled from the soil of the Yoruba, across the Atlantic landmass to contiguous nations, across the hostile oceans to the edge of the world in the Americas - Go to the Orisa, learn from the Orisa, and be wise.” What WS presented in this book is an exegesis of Orisa worship. The Babalawo (traditional healer/diviner), the equivalent of a Bishop or Imam is “the wistful embodiment of all that is missing in the political life of a continent.” Ifa, the equivalent of Bible or Koran, according to

The late Ekpe From Sam Ekpe

MEMORIAL to do to sustain his parents and siblings arose and he had to locate to Agbani to participate in Palm oil trade which seemed a thriving business in those days. He joined his brothers, friends and associates in Agbani including John Nwokedi and Obed Okonkwo who were already pioneers in the business and resident there. Micah was still doing business at Agbani when a fortuitous circumstance arose. One of his relations Ekwenugwo Okenwa who was then resident in Kano had died from an attack of meningitis. The mother of the deceased due to a very high regard for Micah’s trustworthiness and honesty confided that it was only Micah that she could trust to travel to Kano and evacuate her late son’s property home Micah did just that.

While in Kano for this emergency assignment, he saw business opportunity in the ancient city and stayed back soon after the funeral to extend the frontiers of the palm oil trading business. He then formed a company which supplied palm oil to a Kano based soap factory Niger Soap Factory owned by some Lebanese nationals. Supply of Palm oil transported by train from Enugu and Agbani through his suppliers Obed Okonkwo, John Nwokedi, Michael Okafor (Dogo) and Augustine Ujuagu all of blessed memory to the Kano Soap Factory became his main business. Micah’s status in business grew tremendously and he bought and built houses in Kano, Nguru and Enugu. He also as a natural leader of men organized the Enugwu Ukwu community in Kano in particular and the entire Northern Nigeria generally towards development projects at home. His residence at No.37 Aba road, Sabon Gari Kano became the first port of call by any visiting Enugwu Ukwu indigene to the North. In the 10 laws of leadership articulated by Bill Newmer, Micah combined Vision, Wisdom, Development of friendships, Courage, Humility, Executive Capacity and Inspirational Power, to offer leadership to the Igbos in Kano. He rose to become the President of the defunct Enugwu Ukwu Patriotic Union (EPU), Kano branch and later President General of the Union in the entire Northern Region of Nigeria, positions he held until his voluntary relocation to Enugu in 1953. On his leaving the North, he was succeeded in his Kano branch seat by Chief A. N. Onwudinjo and the Northern Region portfolio by Chief F.G.N. Okoye both of blessed memory. He, along with the late Okonkwo (Okonkwo Kano) and others led the Igbos resident in Kano in their self defence during the Kano Riots of 1953. It was after this ugly episode that he relocated with his family to Enugu capital of Eastern Nigerian, naming his then 3 months old son Chukwudozie (may the Lord settle the problem between the Igbos and their Northern

Redemption of Africa (ll) WS, “emphasises for us the perpetual elasticity of knowledge. Ifa’s tenets are governed by a frank acknowledgment of the fact that the definition of Truth is a goal that is constantly being sought by humanity, that existence itself is a passage to ultimate truth, and that claimants to possession of the definitiveness of knowledge are, in fact, the greatest obstacles to the attainment of Truth.” He rejects the tag of paganism often placed on believers of Orisa by Christianity and Islam and cautioned that these traditional religions should not be conflated with cults. “The accommodative spirit of the Yoruba gods (Ogun, Esu, Oya, Sopona, Sango, etc) remains the eternal bequest to a world that is riven by the spirit of intolerance, of xenophobia and suspicion,” he submits. WS spoke of the “beneficent gods and their potencies, their curative and fortifying interventions…the combative, even malevolent, who can be invoked to work against the enemy,” citing the reference by a former head of state after a visit to Mandela in prison to the potency of these traditional powers: “Where is our egbe? Where is our onde? Where is our famed juju to take out these perpetrators of hideous injustice on our own soil?” Rightly or wrongly, the question cannot escape the attention of a reader, let alone a reviewer: Why did these traditional powers not work against the intruders, including their religions on the continent of Africa? The dramatist is a faithful of the Orisa but is he a worshiper in any shrine? This certainly is another conundrum. In summary, we cannot but agree with our erudite scholar that religion should be an

evocation and constitute “the spice of life, not the trigger of strife.” The culture icon made a strong case for the efficacy and potency of traditional medicine, citing a haunting instance where the latter had come to the rescue of orthodox/ western medicine. Harmattan Haze on an African Spring is a treasure trove, controversial to boot in some aspects. Finally, WS urged that the questioning of cultures and social norms within the concept of what is globally acceptable or fundamental human rights is a categorical imperative. Cultural relativism or respect for other cultures should be within such a context. You cannot say because in your own culture, the toe of the first born must be cut or that girls must not go to school, therefore I have to respect such. Of course, this lucubration cannot but contain some errors - the ritual every reviewer must perform. “African past and present” is given as “African past and presence” on page 19. Berlin Treaty of Partition of Africa took place in 1885, not 1881 as provided on page 50. “ one of my favourite” should have been “favourites” on page 98; “it serves” is typed as “it serve” on page 196. Through the exploration in Harmattan Haze on an African Spring, Prof Wole Soyinka, my intellectual avatar, has once again reiterated the immensity and polyvalence of his knowledge. He has sown a seed on a fertile ground, which should sprout to produce “a new breed of explorers for the relay race towards a deeply craved Age of Universal Understanding - African inspired.” •Soyombo, is an Abeokuta-based journalist

hosts). Micah’s decision to leave Kano and return to the East after the 1953 Kano Riots is very historic and of great significance. This was the first move by an industrious Igbo businessman to abandon his thriving business in Northern Nigeria to return to safety in Eastern Nigeria. This movement has remained a recurrent feature in the life of Igbos resident in the Northern part of Nigeria. The pertinent question asked then in 1953 and still being asked today in 2014, more than 50 years after, is why should Nigerian citizens not be free to live and practice their trade in every part of the country they call their own? If this matter is not satisfactorily addressed, will it not be advisable that Nigeria should be a Confederation of Six geo-political Regions instead of the so-called Federation in which many of her citizens are massacred on regular basis. It is very clear that the Nigerian Federation as presently constituted is just not working. There is so much hatred, bitterness, religious intolerance, malice, ill-will, ethnic jingoism, mutual suspicion and mistrust among the constituent ethnic groups in the country. This time that President Jonathan has convoked a National Conference is very opportune to discuss this nagging problem which has stunted the growth and development of Nigeria in the past 100 years On his return to his No.23 Udi Road, Asata Enugu, he engaged in some businesses including transport and cement sales supplied by Nigerian Cement Company (NIGERCEM) Nkalagu of which he was a shareholder. As an ardent Christian, Micah worshipped his creator to the best of his ability, assisting in the growth and development of the Anglican Faith in Enugwu Ukwu. He served as the Treasurer of Immanuel Anglican Church, Enugwu Ukwu until his death. Soon after the 1962 general return in Enugwu Ukwu, his illness deteriorated and on July 6, 1963, this excellent specimen of humanity, this philanthropist per excellence, this trail blazer in human development, with monumental achievements packed within his 49 years of life passed on. He is survived by seven sons, five daughters, many grand and great grand children all contributing their quota to the country’s social, political and economic development. A 50th year remembrance service will be held in honour at St Andrew’s Anglican Church, Enugwu Ukwu, Anambra State on Easter Monday April 21, 2014 after which the Micah Ekpe foundation for assistance to the less privileged in the society will be launched.…To live in the minds of those we leave behind is not to die.



Poet unveils blog

S part of activities marking her birthday, educationa and poet, Viola Akhigbe unveiled her new blog, featuring past poems and reports on education, inspiration, news and events, but with focus on heralding greatness through words. The poet, who is a regular contributor to The Midweek Magazine of THE NATION newspaper, displayed her talent and passion for word art with her very first post on the blog being a birthday poem titled CELEBRATE LIFE. Given the quality of the poem, CELEBRATE LIFE has since become the default birthday message in her circle of friends. With more inspiring poetry such as THANK YOU!, EDUCATION TO WIN, THE EDUCATION ACTION, and the recent couple’s delight, I’VE FOUND LOVE, seems to be well on its way to being recognised as a true global brand and reputable online hub for wholesome poetry, with a message for everyone.

‘Nigeria-Turkish Cultural Festival Will Project Cultural Heritage’


From Bukola Amusan,Abuja

HE Vice Chancellor, Nigeria Turkish Nile University, Professor Huseyin Sert said that the Nigeria-Turkish Cultural Festival will project the rich cultural heritage of both countries to the world. Sert who spoke at fourth edition of the “NigeriaTurkish Friendship Cultural Festival” at the university in Abuja, said Nigeria and Turkey have lots of cultural similarities which will benefit both countries. He added that the festival was an opportunity for both countries to build stronger relationships as well as showcase their cultural potentials. “Culture is the whole essence of man’s existence, so we need to remind ourselves constantly of our norms and values.






•National Leader, All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (middle); Chairman, Amuwo Odofin Local Government, Lagos State, Comrade Ayodele Adewale and Princess Maria Amor Torres, Founder and President, “We Care for Humanity”, an affiliate of the United Nations, during Princess Torres working visit to Asiwaju Tinubu’s Bourdillon, Ikoyi, Lagos home... on Monday.

•From left: Mrs Rosemary Simangele Zulu-Odukoya; Senior Pastor of Fountain of Life Church Pastor Taiwo Odukoya; Chief Executive Officer of Echoes of Mercy Hope Foundation Girls Home, Mrs Fola Soyebo and her husband Olujimi Soyebo at the dedication of the home for teen girls in PHOTO: NNEKA NWANERI Maryland, Lagos...yesterday.

•Senior Public Relation Officer, Julius Berger Nigeria (JBN), Grace Ayoola (right) presenting a mosquito net on behalf of Julius Berger to a nursing mother at Kubwa General Hospital, Abuja . With them is Head of Nursing Unit, Kubwa General Hospital, Lamin Makama. PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

•Ekiti State Governor’s wife Erelu Bisi Fayemi (right) inaugurating some motorcycles donated to the Efon Alaye Local Goverment chapter of the All Progressives Congress by an indigene, Mr. Emmanuel Ajayi (second left) during her empowerment visit to farmsteads in the local government. With them are government officials

•All Progressives Congress chieftain and Founder AKD Movement, Mr Adekunle Disu (middle) with members of the movement during the party’s congress at the APC Secretariat, Ogba, Ikeja. PHOTO: DAYO ADEWUNMI

•Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture and Co.operatives, Dr. Yakub Olajide Basorun (middle) speaking at the closing ceremony of the maiden edition of the Naija Food Fiesta in Lagos. With him are Managing Director, ARESVEEPEE Limited, Ms Kemi Koyejo and General Manager, KESKESE Limited, Mr. Kayode Idowu

•President, Rotary Club of Ogba, Lagos, Mr Samson Omodara (second right); Mr Titus Nwagwu (left); Mr Chidozie Mba (second left); Protocol officer, Pacelli School for the Blind are Partially Sighted , Rev Sr Mariam Therese Imegbu and Kola Okunola, when the club donated some items to the school.

•General Secretary/CEO, Bible Society of Nigeria (BSN), Dare Ajiboye (middle) speaking during the unveiling of Igede and Ebira Bibles and Bibles in English and three major Nigerian languages at a news conference to mark Nigeria’s centenary in Lagos. With him are Assistant General Secretary, Publising (BSN), Pastor Victor Oluwadamilare (left) and Deputy Manager, Church/Public Relation, Mr Benjamin Mordi •Managing Director, Noah’s Ark Communications Limited, Mr. Lanre Adisa (left) receiving the Outstanding Young Agency of the Decade Award from Mr. Jimi Awosika, Managing Director, Insight Communications Limited at the Marketing Edge Magazine’s 10th Anniversary and award ceremony in Lagos.

•Special Adviser on Education to Lagos State Governor, Otunba Fatai Olukoga (third left) receiving an award of excellence from the National President, Mocped Alumni Association, Mr Idris Salami at Alausa, Ikeja. With them are Director, Agency for Mass Literary, Mrs. Fola Amore (second right); Executive Secretary, Lagos State Scholarship PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES Board, Mrs Yetunde Jegede (second left) and Director of Accounts Mr Abiodun Ojo.




New investments in Egbin power plant hit N7.3b


HE new investors in Egbin Power plant have invested over N7.3billion between November 1, 2013 and now to turn the company around, the Managing Director, Egbin Electricity Power Plc, Mike Uzoigwe, has said. He told the House of Representatives Committee on Commercialisation and Privatisation on an oversight function, that another $4million would be required for the overhaul of the plant. The Head of Public Communications, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Chigbo Anichebe, who made this known in a statement yesterday, explained that since the take-over in November last year, the company has embarked on major improvements which include the repair of unit 4, Numbers 5 and 6 HP Heaters, as well as the replacement of water cooling

• Firm decries poor remittance from market operation From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

inlet line fittings. Others are the repairs of three boiler water wall tube rupture, replacement of lighting bulbs inside the power plant, and a scheduled major overhaul of all units from 2014, running upto to 2016, among others. Uzoigwe gave a breakdown of the overhaul schedule as follows: Unit 1: March, 2015, Unit 2: October, 2015, Unit 3: July, 2015, Unit 4: October, 2014, Unit 5: January, 2016 and Unit 6, April 2016. The committee, however, praised the Nigerian engineers at the company for their ingenuity to keep the plant functional despite challenges in the operations of

the plant. Its Chairman, Hon. Khadija Bukar Abba-Ibrahim, noted that despite the obsolete equipment and poor funding, the Nigerian engineers were able to operate the plants to give maximum services to Nigerians before and after the privatisation. She said the Committee would engage other members of the National Assembly to ensure the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) so that the current challenges in gas supply to power companies are addressed to ensure steady power supply in the country. Uzoigwe decried the low remittance to the company from the Market Operator

and urged the lawmakers to urgently intervene to make the electricity market attractive for investment. He decried the situation whereby only a fraction of what is due to the company is remitted, saying of the N13billion acruing to firm only N6.5bn was received, and that out of what was received, the company was owing the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) N5.3billion while it had spent N7.35billion on staff salaries and renovations. Uzoigwe also called on the lawmakers to intervene to ensure that the entitlements of the former workers of the PHCN were fully paid as all remittances to that effect were understood to have been made to the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) by the relevant government agencies.

EPA: African leaders support Nigeria’s no deal position


• Resolve to protect continent’s economy

FRICAN Trade Minis ters and experts on Trade and Regional Integration are aligned with Nigeria’s position on the trade liberalisation deal with the European Union under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), saying the European Union’s position, if adopted, will have long-term negative impact on the continent’s efforts towards industrialisation and job creation. The ministers spoke yesterday during the Extra-Ordinary Session of the Conference of African Union (AU) Ministers of Trade in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, convened to discuss Africa’s common position ahead of the October 1 deadline for signing of the EPA with EU; the establishment of the Common Free Trade Area (CFTA) by 2015; extension of African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) by the American Government for 15 more years, and Africa’s strategic response to World Trade Organisation negotiations, among others. While reiterating Nigeria’s position on EPA, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investmen,Olusegun Aganga, said: “Nigeria’s po-

By Simeon Ebulu

sition on EPA is very clear. Africa is on the rise. It is a very big and strategic market for any trading partner. That is what the EU wants from us but Africa must jealously protect what it has. In a statement, the Senior Special Assistant (Corporate Communication) to the Minister, Mrs. Yemi Kolapo, quoted Aganga as urging African Trade Ministers to leverage “our abundant natural resources and large market to develop our industries; create jobs for our people; increase intra-African trade and achieve regional integration. We must not be in a hurry to give away what we have. We must not sign an agreement without first of all carrying out a robust economic analysis of the overall impact the agreement will have on the region, our children and future generations”. Zambian Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Mr. Robert Sichinga, said he agreed with Nigeria’s position, noting that rather than jeopardising their industrialisation and job creation drive by hastily signing the EPA, African countries

should work towards enhancing regional integration and intra-African Trade through value addition of their abundant raw materials, “especially in the areas where they have competitive and comparative advantage”. He said: “Just like Nigeria has pointed out, before we sign the EPA, we should consider the impact on our children and the future of the continent in terms of industrialisation, job creation and regional integration. I want to state that as long as we have not appended our signatures to the agreement, then there is no agreement. Also, I believe that it is better not to sign an agreement at all than to sign a bad one.” The AU Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Mr. Fatima Haram, also agreed that signing the EPA would have a negative impact on Africa’s industrialisation, job creation and regional integration of African countries. Haram said: “Just as Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, has pointed out, industrialisation is an issue that is very critical to the economic and political survival of African

• Aganga

countries. If we sign the EPA as it is today, it is going to be difficult for us to integrate because of different Custom Areas. “Let us be realistic and look at our statistics. The population of Africa is growing very rapidly. Statistics shows that more than 50 per cent of our population are between 18 and 30 years. If we sign the EPA, how do we create the jobs that we require for our growing population; how do we stop the illegal migration of our youths to developed countries?” Similarly, the Minister of Trade and Private Sector Promotion, Republic of Niger, Mr. Alma Oumarou, said there was the need for African countries to evaluate the impact of EPA before signing.

Dangote joins Bill Gates, others in top world’s 25 businessmen

• Dangote


ARELY a week after he was ranked among the 100 most influential personalities in the world by the renowned Time magazine, a leading business broadcast organisation, CNBC has ranked the foremost entrepreneur and Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, as one of the 25 people who have had most profound impact on business and finance, worldwide. Forbes had earlier named him as the second most pow-

erful blackman, coming only after the United States President, Barack Obama and the 64th most powerful in the world in the ranking of the movers and shakers of the world. CNBC ranked Dangote as 23th among the first 25 people who have impacted the business world most since 1989, the year CNBC went live. In the list, Steve Jobs led the pack followed by world richest, Bill Gates. “They have disrupted industries, sparked change and exercised an influence far beyond their own companies,” the medium said. The South Africa based broadcast medium said: “As CNBC embarks on its second quarter-century, it faces a world completely altered from when it started. Then, the Dow was

below 2,400, Wal-Mart didn’t make the list of America’s 500 largest companies and there was no World Wide Web. “Only four U.S. companies have annual revenue of more than $50 billion. Today there are more than 50, including upstarts such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google. No dictionary contained the words “ecommerce” or “app.” A blog was still archaic slang for a servant boy.” It described the 25 men and women from different parts of the world and across different industries as having had “for better or worse, been the rebels, icons and leaders in the vanguard of that change”. “Here is our ranked list of the 25 people we judge to have had the most profound

impact on business and finance since 1989, the year CNBC went live. They have disrupted industries, sparked change and exercised an influence far beyond their own companies.” As CNBC embarks on its second quarter-century, it faces a world altered from when it started. Then, the Dow was below 2,400, WalMart didn’t make the list of America’s 500 largest companies and there was no World Wide Web. Only four U.S. companies had annual revenue of more than $50 billion. Today, there are more than 50, including upstarts such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google. No dictionary contained the words “e-commerce” or “app.” A blog was still archaic slang for a servant boy.









FBN Holdings declares N36b dividend

BN Holdings Plc, the holding company for First Bank of Ni-

geria and other subsidiaries, yesterday released its much-awaited audited report and accounts with a recommendation that about N36 billion be distributed to shareholders as cash dividend. The audited report for the year ended December 31, 2013 highlighted FBN Holdings’ leading position in the banking industry but it also showed that the impact of the general cost headwinds in the banking industry was relatively more pronounced on the leading bank. The report showed that gross earnings rose from N370.2 billion in 2012 to N395.9 billion in 2013, the highest in the banking industry. Net interest income improved slightly from N226.6 billion to N230.1 billion while non-interest income dipped from N73.9 billion to N67 billion. Operating income stood at N296.1 billion in 2013 as against N301.1 billion in 2012. While the group moderated its operating expenses from N193.5 billion to N185 billion, profit before tax dropped marginally by 2.8 per cent from N93.9 billion to N91.3 billion. Profit after tax followed the trend at N70.6 billion in 2013 as against N76.8 billion in 2012. The dividend recommendation triggered a scramble for shares of FBN Holdings at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). With a dividend per share of N1.10, the dividend recommendation represents a dividend yield of more than 8.5 per cent on FBN Holdings’ opening price yesterday, a yield most analysts considered attractive.

•Leads banking industry with N396b earnings By Taofik Salako Capital Market Editor

While the overall market situation at the stock market indicated a bearish pricing trend, FBN Holdings played a contrarian stock with the highest gain during the trading session. FBN Holdings’ market consideration rose by 8.30 per cent to close at N13.96 per share. Many analysts said they expected share price rally to continue. The benchmark index at the NSE, the All Share Index (ASI), dropped by 0.31 per cent yesterday. Other high Other highlights of the audited reports showed stronger balance sheet. Total assets of N3.9 trillion, an increase of about 20 per cent on N3.2 trillion recorded in the previous year. Customer deposit rose by 22.3 per cent from N2.4 trillion to N2.9 trillion while customer loans and advances grew by 14.8 per cent to N1.8 trillion as against N1.5 trillion. Shareholders’ funds also improved from N441.3 billion to N471.8 billion. Chief executive officer, FBN Holdings, Bello Maccido, said the group’s performance was impacted negatively by the reduction in income profile due to the revision in banking charges by the Central Bank of Nigeria noting that the prevalent theme over the course of 2013 was one of moderate economic growth within the context of significant regulatory changes in our sector. According to him, the financial performance was impacted largely due to revised banking charges

while the increase in the cash reserve ratio(CRR)impacted the overall performance. He however highlighted major initiatives being taken by the group to break barriers and sustain improved performance. “The scale and scope of our business, brand portfolio, geographic reach coupled with the diversity of our business portfolio creates highly-valuable scale benefits that are difficult to replicate. The diversification and strong natural synergies, in turn, reduce risk and improve the quality of our earnings,” Maccido said. According to him, with the recent acquisition of ICB banks across four West African countries, the acquisition of Oasis Insurance and ongoing effort to strengthen the investment banking and asset management business through the acquisition of a merchant banking license, the group is on track to deliver on its promises to its various stakeholders. “As we look ahead to the future, we will continue to enhance the contribution of the non-bank subsidiaries to the group through deepening market penetration in each of our business lines, investments in other growing sub-sectors of financial services and driving crosssell and synergy realisation across the group and consolidating our position as the leading commercial banking franchise in Sub Saharan Africa,” Maccido said. He said the group will in the years ahead be focusing on growing its retail assets, expanding penetration

in the commercial customer segment, building full-fledged transaction banking capabilities, expanding revenue lines within ebusiness, transforming the branches to being more sales oriented as well as improving productivity of the sales force; all of which will improve aggregate yields on customer assets and drive nonfunded income growth. He said the group will continue

to implement measures to address the headwinds to revenues noting that the group has made progress with respect to managing the cost base in a more prudent manner, with underlying cost trends now positive. “We will focus on rationalising unprofitable branches, which should drive some reduction in maintenance and personnel costs, tightening the expenditure approval and procurement process further as well as exploring ways of optimising the balance sheet structure,” Maccido said.

Ogun eyes multi-billion investments


OLLOWING the huge success recorded during the inaugural edition of the Ogun State Investors’ Forum in 2012, the second edition has been scheduled to hold from May 21-22, 2014. The theme for this year’s edition is “Agriculture and Urban development.” Senator Ibikunle Amosun, the Ogun State governor, disclosed this in his office, yesterday. The choice of the theme, Amosun explained, is based on the fact that both agriculture, one of the cardinal points of his administration, and urban development, are interwoven, giving the State a comparative advantage over other states of the federation. The governor reiterated that to succeed as a State, it is imperative that there must be an improvement in agriculture, amongst other things. The governor disclosed that the fallout of the maiden edition of the Investors’ forum has been quite encouraging, serving as an impetus

From Muyiwa Lucas, Abeokuta

for the State to continue to march towards and consolidating its ambition of being the hub of industrialisation in the country and the West Coast region. For instance, after the maiden edition, 44 new companies, whose investment portfolio stands at an average of $50 million, and a cumulative investment of $500 million, have berthed in the State, thus creating employment for the people. The multiplier effect of this is that since last year, the State has maintained an average of N3 billion as monthly internally generated revenue (IGR), compared to the N730 million monthly IGR the administration met on assumption of office in 2011. And for this, the governor takes delight. “It tells us that we are beginning to grow the economy of our State and that is our vision for Ogun State, where we see a Dubai in the making,” Amosun said.




Lagos records 67 % in Q1 budget performance


AGOS State has recorded a 67 per cent performance in the first quarter of its 2014 budget implementation, the Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has said. The state government is currently running a N489.69 billion budget for the fiscal year, geared towards completing on-going projects and ensuring continuous development of the state. Fashola, who made this known yesterday shortly after the first quarter budget review, said the budget performance for this year’s first quarter was better than that oflast year. He said in the first quarter of 2013, we were at 61 per cent, “but I can report today that for this year, we are at 67 per cent. So we have moved up. If that is any indication of what will happen this year, it will mean that we should expect a better overall performance than last year’s 85 percent.” He said there are so many dynamics that lie ahead, like the Ramadan, elections, rain and others. “I think that for us to improve on the budget performance against this period last year, it defines the character of this government to deliver on its promises.” On the need to improve on the infrastructure, the governor said, “the general infrastructure deficit in Lagos will take some time to bridge. And one don’t provide infrastructure in a vacuum; it is meant for the people. We haven’t had a population deficit. So as population is growing, infrastructure development stopped. “Population hasn’t slowed down; it is quite a battle ahead. Many more classrooms, more rails, ferry termi-

Rewane: CBN to adjust naira


HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may depress the value of the naira relative to the US dollar very soon, the Executive Officer, Financial Derivatives Company, Bismak Rewane, has said. Speaking yesterday at the Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC) learning series with the theme: ‘The Rebased GDP’, he painted a prosperous outlook for the economy, but cautioned that the CBN would be left with no alternative than to adjust upward the exchange rate band from the present region of N155 N160, to $1to N160 /N165. According to Rewane, “stability has endured in the money market, the CBN would be compelled by fundamentals of the market to adjust currency exchange band. There is need for an adjustment in the currency value. “We need a depreciation of the currency because anything less than 10 per cent is not a devaluation but a depreciation. The adjust-

By Miriam Ekene-Okoro

nals and also understand that these are depreciable assets. As one build then you maintain them. Some of the roads we are repairing today were built 30 years ago. It is an ongoing thing. Every nation must continue to undertake this. “Nothing is different, is work that never finish. You know the infrastructural changes that is taken place to drive your phone, android and others. The needs of the people are changing and the designs have to change. “That was why we open the right of way for the benefit of the people. Development comes from different sources, they come from internally generated Revenue and they also

• Fashola come from the federation account and this has dropped by about 25 percent since last year. Things aren’t the same way they used to be. It is a question of what Lagosians want to buy and not whether they have paid enough, what services do they want. If what we hear outside is anything to go by, first of all, it is important to salute them on the choice they make.”

DMO to issue bonds,T-Bills worth $1.15t


HE Debt Management Office (DMO) is to issue bonds and treasury bills (T-Bills) worth N1.15 trillion within this quarter. Currencies Analyst at Ecobank Nigeria, Olakunle Ezun who stated this in a report titled, ‘Middle Africa Market Update on Fixed Income’ released yesterday, said 16 per cent of the securities to be issued will come as bonds, while the remainder will be T-Bills. He however said the bond component for the second quarter will be slightly lower than that of the first quarter ended March 31. Already the DMO has raised N50 billion through two offerings (both re-openings) in April at 13.5 per cent for Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) 2016 bond, and 14.2 per cent for FGN March 2024

By Collins Nweze

bond. He said the DMO allotted N82.8 billion of the13.5 per cent FGN August 2016 offerings on a non-competitive basis. Ezun said successful bids for the 13.5 per cent FGN August 2016 and the FGN March 2024 were allotted at 13.14 per cent and 13.1 per cent respectively. This showed that the bonds were oversubscribed. He explained that renewed interest in government securities is driven by improved short term naira and inflation outlook, adding that this has helped pushed yields down by 75 to 100 basis points across maturities. Investors remain cautious about taking long term positions due to the normalisation of US monetary policy.

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

Date 28-04-2012 “


O/PRICE 12.89 0.60 4.10 2.31 1.90 1.49 8.81 1.37 0.69 2.21

C/PRICE 13.96 0.63 4.30 2.42 1.99 1.56 9.21 1.41 0.71 2.25


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












EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency


CHANGE 1.07 0.03 0.20 0.11 0.09 0.07 0.40 0.04 0.02 0.04


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 29-4-14


O/PRICE 2.43 122.10 3.88 1.31 1.11 27.20 4.79 1.03 37.00 3.52

C/PRICE 2.31 116.10 3.69 1.25 1.06 26.02 4.65 1.00 36.02 3.43

CHANGE -0.12 -6.00 -0.19 -0.06 -0.05 -1.18 -0.14 -0.03 -0.98 -0.09

Giving the ratioanle for the award, Chairman, Osun State Council of the NUJ, Biodun Olalere, described the bank as a lender with the most reliable electronic payment platforms in the state. The bank’s Regional Executive in charge of Osun State, Ayoyemi Dairo, expressed the bank’s gratitude to the union for bestowing the honour on the bank. He promised that the lender would continue to support productive economic activities in the state.

KYE Bank Plc has won the ‘Best Bank in Electronic Payment’ and ‘Support for Indigenous Companies’ award at the first Osun Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) awards held in Osogbo at the weekend. Skye Bank won in the corporate award category, and was the only company so recognised and honoured by the NUJ. Other awardees were distinguished individuals who have positively impacted lives and the economy of the state.

MANAGED FUNDS Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33

ment we are talking about is moving the band from N150 to N160, to N155 to 165 to a dollar. So if you have a three per cent movement, its not going to destroy the country.” He said the beneficiaries of the currency adjustment will include, exporters, farmers, states and the Federal Government, while the likely losers would be importers and consumers that would bear the brunt arising from expected price increase. Rewane’s prediction of CBN’s future action is predicated on next month’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, before the new CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele assumes office. He predicted that the MPC parameters will be maintained “in the face of stability and clam that has been brought to bear in the market, but whether they like it or not, the currency will be adjusted sooner or later”

Skye Bank wins ‘Best Bank in e-Payment’


From Nduka Chiejina (Asst. Editor), Abuja

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


1.2719 1.3210 0.9270 1.1677


1.2834 1.3210 0.9446 1.1677



Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012







Fed Govt to file fresh evidence against Ndume From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja



HE Federal Government is to call additional witnesses and produce more evidence in support of its case against a senator from Borno State, Aliyu Ndume. Ndume is standing trial before a Federal High Court in Abuja on allegation that he has a link with the insurgent group, Boko Haram. The Federal Government’s plan to add fresh evidence and call more witnesses was contained in a motion filed by the office of the Attorney Gener-

al of the Federation (AGF). Yesterday, a lawyer from the AGF’s office, E. Orji, urged the court to allow him file additional proof of evidence against Ndume. “The application is intended to give the accused a fair hearing and also the right to cross-examine the witness and contradict the evidence that shall be given. “We urge this court to grant this motion and dismiss the the accused’s counter affidavit because it is intended to clog the wheel of justice,” he said. Ndume opposed the government’s plan and urged the court to turn down the request to file additional proof

of evidence and call additional witnesses against him. His lawyer, I. A. Kaigama, told the court that the motion will overreach the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which set aside the admission, by the trial court, of some evidence, including compact discs (CDs) and call log, earlier tendered by the prosecution. “The motion constitutes a gross abuse of the process of the court and should be refused. The application has no fact to convince the court to grant it. “Bringing additional evidence will amount to unfair trial for the accused,” Kaigama said. Justice Gabriel Kolawole fixed May 27 for ruling.

Two herdsmen remanded for ‘robbery’


N Ilorin Magistrate’s Court in Kwara State remanded yesterday two herdsmen, Usman Umaru (30) and Abubakar Mohammodu (36) for alleged robbery. The prosecutor, Ms Foluke Makosi, alleged that the accused terrorised residents on the Bode-Saadu-Jebba road

in Moro Local Government Area. She said the police intercepted the accused after a robbery in the area. The prosecutor said Umaru was injured. She added that a locally made single barrel gun, a cutlass, two live cartridges, one torchlight and unexpended cartridges were

recovered. The prosecutor alleged that Umaru had during investigation confessed that he, Mohammodu and five others, now at large, terrorised people in the area. The Magistrate, Joel Michael, remanded the accused in prison and adjourned the matter till May 12.

Bauchi needs N1.2b for education


AUCHI State Governor Isa Yuguda said yesterday the state needs N1.2 billion to transform the education sector. He asked teachers in primary and secondary schools to rededicate themselves to their duties. The governor challenged civil servants to reconsider taking up teaching appointments or teach for at least


From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi

four hours as part of their contribution to the development of education Yuguda spoke when he received 26,000 text books donated by Standards Plus Books, a Los Angeles based publishing company in California, United States of America. The books will be shared

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

Some of the governor’s personal aides refused to leave their office when the news of the strange pot reached them. Nobody was ready to comment on the incident.

PDP governors postpone Bauchi meeting

HE meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum earlier slated for May 8 and 9 in Bauchi, Bauchi State, has been postponed.


among primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.

Strange pot found near Suswam’s office

MYSTERIOUS pot was discovered yesterday near the office of Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam. This caused panic among staff and security personnel. The pot, which was discovered at 4am, contained palm oil, pork and kola nut.



A statement by Akwa Ibom State Governor and Chairman of the Forum Godswill Akpabio said the postponement was to enable the governors attend the World Economic Summit in

Abuja between May 6 and 8. The statement regretted any inconvenience the postponement may have caused. Akpabio said a new date would be communicated to them in due course.

Mrs. Orekoya for burial

HE funeral programme for Mrs. Regina Aderemilekun Orekoya, mother of the President, PEARL Awards Nigeria, Tayo Orekoya begins today with a commendation service at St. John’s Anglican Church, Igbein, Abeokuta at noon. She died on January 23 at 78. Service of songs/ lying in state will hold at 1, Orekoya Close, Oloke Village Road, Onikolobo, Abeokuta by 5pm. Her body will leave Abeokuta for Ipara-Remo tomorrow and lie in state at Ile Lamasa Royal Compound, Ipara-Remo. Another commendation

service will be held on the same day at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, IparaRemo at noon. A wake will hold at 2, Orekoya drive, off Allwell Street, Ayegbami, Isara – Remo at 3pm.


On Friday, the service at St John’s Anglican Church, Odemo Road, Isara – Remo will start by 10am. Internment follows at her home. Guests will be entertained at St. Peters Primary School Grounds, Odemo Road, Isara – Remo.

Ex-perm sec passes on

RETIRED Permanent Secretary in the old Western Region, Otunba Olufunminiyi Adekunle Osibogun, is dead. A statement by Baagbimo of Ijebu, Chief Fassy Yusuf, said the deceased, a former Chairman, Federal Public Complaints Commission in Ogun State died on Sunday. He was 93. The former Otunba Ajana of Ijebuland was until his death the first Vice Chairman of the Council of Otunbas of Ijebuland. He is survived by a wife, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, including the Chairman of Space FM, Ibadan and WTS Broadcasting, Lagos, Otunba Ayodeji Osibogun.



NEWS Nigerian pleads guilty in U.S. to aiding al Qaeda A NIGERIAN citizen pleaded guilty yesterday to U.S. charges of providing material support to an al Qaeda affiliate, and participating in its media and recruitment campaigns. Lawal Olaniyi Babafemi, 33, appearing before a federal judge in Brooklyn, New York, pleaded guilty to providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. The plea came ahead of a July 14 trial date and followed a Nigerian court’s decision in August to grant a U.S. request for Babafemi’s extradition. Prosecutors said that, from January 2010 to August 2011, Babafemi traveled from Nigeria to Yemen twice to meet with leaders of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, known as AQAP. “The defendant traveled to Yemen to put himself at the disposal of a violent terrorist organization that has repeatedly demonstrated its determination to inflict bodily and economic harm on the United States and its citizens,” Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement. The U.S. government said Babafemi worked on AQAP’s media operations, including the publication of its magazine, called “Inspire.” The group’s leadership, including Anwar al-Awlaki, paid Babafemi almost $9,000 to recruit English-speaking people from Nigeria, prosecutors said. Awlaki, a U.S. citizen born in New Mexico, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011. An indictment unsealed in February 2013 charged Babafemi, also known as “Ayatollah Mustapha,” with four counts including conspiracy to provide material support to AQAP, and use of firearms. U.S. District Judge John Gleeson scheduled sentencing for August 27. Babafemi faces a maximum of 30 years in prison.

‘I didn’t call for full emergency’ AKWA Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio yesterday denied calling for complete emergency rule in the three northern eastern states of Borno Yobe and Adamawa. Akpabio, in a statement by Commissioner for Information and Communications Aniekan Umanah, said: “At no time did Governor Akpabio offer such an advice nor granted an interview on the issue.” He said: “Matters of emergency rule are vested in the President and no governor has any say on such decision, as it is the prerogative of Mr President and the Senate. “The allegation is a calculated attempt to malign Akpabio’s person and office. The governor was one of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors, who applauded the President for retaining democratic structures in the affected states, and could therefore not work against the continuation of the democratic structures in the states. “Akpabio sympathises with victims of the insurgencies and prays for an end to the security challenges facing the nation. “

Conference Committee denounces immunity clause for President, Governors, others


ATIONAL Conference Committee on Politics and Governance has recommended the removal of Section 305 on Immunity clause from the Nigerian constitution. Chairman of the Committee, Prof. Jerry Gana said the Committee was concerned about the abuse of office by public office holders and the corruption that goes with it. He said the Committee was of the opinion that a message should be sent to Nigerians and office holders that no one is above the law. He said: “We took decision on the Immunity clause and it was a clear consensus, so that in the interest of zero to elegance for corruption, to promote good governance, to promote transparency and discipline. “The fact that we don’t want people going around that the government being above the law, the issue of Immunity clause should be removed from our constitution. “This is not yet the decision of the conference though, but this

•Committee considers modified Presidential system of government From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assitant Editor aid Dele Anofi, Abuja

is what we are presenting to the plenary”. Saying that the Committee was unanimous in its decision, Gana explained that there was no need for voice vote for the decision to scale through, “I must say that the entire members of the committee went along with the decision, we had no reason to divide the Committee because it was a consensus. “People yielded to the force of argument, which is what should happen. Everybody was for removal but initially some people felt that it should partial, while others felt that it should be total. “But the weight of the opinion is total because we want to send a very clear message that we should promote zero toler-

ance for corruption. “There shouldn’t be any kind of legislative or executive impunity again. “We must do the rule of law, that is how democracy should be. We are convinced as a committee that the Conference should send a clear message to Nigerians that no one is above the law,” he added. Similarly, the Committee on Political Restructuring and Forms of Government has set up a sub-committee that would come out with the most suitable type of government for the country. At the continued debate on the subject yesterday, members argued on the propriety of Presidential, Parliamentary, modified Presidential (French model). However, when it became apparent that a consensus would not be reached, Co-Chairman,

Mohammed Kumaila suggested entrusting a sub committee with the responsibility of examining all the options and come out with the best form that would meet the aspirations of Nigerians. Former governor Abdulkadir Kure advocated for a hybrid system with the French model whereby there would be a President and a Prime Minister that would emerge from different regions in the country. According to him, Presidential system has failed many African States as the poorest and

most corrupt countries in the world, made up oof mosly African countries practice Presidential system of government. He said some State institutions should be strengthened under the system like the police, Code of Conduct Commission (CDC), anti-graft agencies, the Civil service, judiciary and the Orientation agency among others. Sen Saidu Dansadau said though he would have preferred Presidential system but that the attitude of Nigerians should be of utmost concern to the Committee .

FEC meeting put off for Sambo’s brother


HE weekly Federal Executive Council meeting will not hold today. It was cancelled yesterday by the president as a mark of respect for Vice President Namadi Sambo’s late brother, Yusuf. Yusuf died in a road accident in Abuja on Sunday. In a statement by Sam Nwaobasi, who is Special Assistant (Media) to the Secretary

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, the President said the cancellation is to allow Council members attend the three-day prayer for the deceased holding in Abuja today. It reads: “His Excellency, Goodluck Ebere Jonathan, GCFR, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has directed that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) will not meet tomorrow, 30th April, 2014, to enable Council members attend the three day prayer for the late Captain Yusuf Sabo Sambo, the younger brother of the Vice President.”

Strange helicopter lands at Govt House Enugu From Chris Oji, Enugu

A Delta State Deputy Governor Prof Amos Utuama (SAN) addressing traders at the Udu Harbour Market… yesterday. With him are the Transition Committee Chairman for Udu Local Government Area, Raymond Edijala (left) and Chairman, State Waste Management Board Olori Magege.


Oshiomhole, Akpabio, Uduaghan condole with Sambo over brother’s death

DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole has commiserated with VicePresident Namadi Sambo on the death of his younger brother, Captain Sabo Sambo, who died on Sunday in an accident in Abuja. In a condolence letter to the vice-president, Oshiomhole said: “I learnt with great shock the news of the death in a road accident in Abuja of Your Excellency’s younger brother, Captain Sabo Sambo, on Sunday, April 27, 2014. I offer the condolences of the good people and Government of Edo State as well as my personal commiseration over the sad loss. This trying period, no doubt, calls for a renewed faith in the glory and Majesty of Almighty Allah, from whom we all come and to whom we will all return. “I appreciate the pain of the sudden departure of such a close and dear brother and confidante, particularly at a time when his care and support are direly needed by his immediate and extended family, his community and professional colleagues. “We, however, take consolation in the fact that Capt Sambo lived a fulfilled life and served

•Fayemi sends condolence letter to vice-president From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti and Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia

the nation diligently as a thoroughbred pilot. He would be sorely missed not only by the aviation industry but also by the many he touched with his generosity and kindness. “Our supplication is for Almighty Allah to, in His infinite mercy, receive his soul with His love and forgiveness and bless him with al-jannah firdausi. “We also pray Almighty Allah to give Your Excellency and the entire Sambo family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss of such an amiable personality.” Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio has condoled with the family of Vice-President Sambo on the death of his immediate younger brother, Capt Yusuf Sambo, on Sunday. The governor, on Monday, paid a condolence visit to the vice-president at his Aguda House, Presidential Villa, Abuja. Akpabio said: “On behalf of the people of Akwa Ibom State,

I commiserate with you on the sudden and unfortunate departure of your brother, whose death occurred Sunday, which is not something we all wished for. “Your heart is broken and your family feels the great loss. You are not alone in your misery. We share your pains and sorrows, for God gives and takes and we cannot question the will of God or ask Him why this is happening because God decides who comes into this world and who He decides to take. “We pray God should accept him in Paradise and we pray that God console you and the entire family, give you the fortitude to bear the loss. We also pray that this untimely death would no longer happen again to the family.” Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan also consoled with the family. The governor said the late Capt Sambo impacted positively on the Aviation sector, his family and the country. He prayed God to console and strengthen the family.

A former Information Minister, Prof. Jerry Gana, who represented the Northern Economic Summit Group (NESG), also condoled with the family. Prof Gana described Capt Sambo’s death as shocking. The former minister said the North was mourning with the family. He prayed God to comfort the family and give its members the fortitude to bear the loss. Sambo expressed appreciation to who condoled with the family. The vice-president said God gives and takes. He prayed Allah to receive his brother’s soul in al-jannah firdaous and grant journey mercies to his visitors. Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi commiserated with the vice-president on the death of Captain Yusuf Sambo (rtd). In a statement yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olayinka Oyebode, the governor described the death of Yusuf, 58, as tragic and heartrending.

STRANGE helicopter landed yesterday at the Government House, Enugu, triggering off confusion. The Government House security, upon sighting it, surrounded the helicopter which landed without notice. A statement from the Chief press secretary, Chukwudi Achife said: “At about 10.30 am today, a helicopter bearing the markings of Aero Contractors landed without permission at the Governor’s lodge. “The mission of the visitors was unknown to the government. After preliminary inquiries,the Chief Security Officer to the Governor Mr Fidelis Ogarebe, handed the three occupants of the aircraft -two pilots and one Engineer - over to the State Police Command for further investigations. But The Nation enquiries indicated that the helicopter mistakenly landed on the Governor’s Lodge field.

Thanksgiving/ Fund raising


HE fourth thanksgiving service and fund-raising of St. Hosea Olugbesan Cathedral Christ Church of Cherubim and Seraphim, Opposite Lister Four, behind Kiibati Church, Opere, Ibadan, holds at the church’s auditorium on May 4. It promises to be spiritually rewarding as the guest speaker, an anointed man of God, alongside a ministering pastor, will be in attendance to share the word of God.




80-year-old is Fayose’s running mate


IGHTY-YEAR-OLD Pa Joshua Olusola Ojo Eleka is the Ekiti State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) deputy governorship candidate, a statement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said yesterday. The statement by Mrs. Augusta C. Ogakwu, Secretary to the Commission, on behalf of the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), said 18 parties had been registered to participate in the June 21 election. According to the list, Dr. Kayode Fayemi (PhD and 49 years) is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Prof. Modupe Adelabu (PHD and 63) is his deputy. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has former governor Ayo Fayose (53 and HND), as candidate while his running mate is Mr. Joshua Olusola-Ojo,(80 and Grade 11 Certificate). For the Labour Party (LP),

Tomorrow is public holiday •Senator Chris Ngige and other leaders of Anambra All Progressives Congress (APC) voting at the state congress...yesterday

Second Niger Bridge: Fed Govt assures of timely completion


HE Federal Government has assured that the Second Niger Bridge will be completed on schedule. It debunked speculation that work has been suspended following non-compliance with environmental laws. A statement by the Federal Ministry of Works, said: “Contrary to reports, work on the Second River Niger Bridge continues according to schedule. ‘’We will ensure a timely completion of the bridge, which is being executed under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement for a concessionaire period of 25

From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

years through the Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) model. “The ministry is working with the Julius Berger-NSIA Motorways Investment Company (JB-NMIC) Consortium, the preferred bidder, to ensure the timely execution of the project. “In fact, under an Early Works Arrangement, the nominated EPC contractor, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, has commenced full mobilisation to site and timely execution of scheduled activities is anticipated. The JB-NMIC Consor-

tium has assured that compliance with environmental laws is a priority and that Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) is an intrinsic part of the Early Works, which is being carried out in compliance with environmental laws.” The statement said it was emphasised at the groundbreaking ceremony that the project was part of the transformation agenda of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration. It again assured the people of the Southeast and Nigerias of the Federal Government’s resolve to actualise the Second Niger Bridge.’’

Jonathan sacks political adviser Gulak


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan sacked yesterday his Special Adviser on Political Matters, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak. The government announced his sack in a three-paragraph statement by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati. No reason was given for the termination of the appointment. The statement reads: “President Goodluck Jonathan has terminated the appointment of his Special Adviser (Political), Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, with immediate effect. “President Jonathan thanks Alhaji Gulak for his services to the present administration and wishes him success in his future endeavours. “A replacement for Alhaji Gulak will be announced in due course.” There was jubilation last night in Adamawa State over the sack of Gulak. Scores of residents in Yola, the state capital, and Gulak, the home town of the sacked aide, said Gulak deserved the boot because of his lack of political valour to the President. Governor Murtala Nyako said he sympathised with the sacked presidential aide.

•Jubilation in Adamawa From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja and Barnabas Manyam, Yola

The governor noted that it was a lesson for Gulak and others like him that it is always good to avoid “political rascality”. Nyako said he was uncomfortable with the reported jubilation by the people of Gulak in Madagali Local Government Area. The governor hoped that Gulak would have learnt a lesson from the transient nature of power. Nyako, who spoke through his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Mallam Ahmad I. Sajoh, regretted that Gulak was supposed to be an adviser to the President

but became the self-made spokesman of the Presidency, insulting and vilifying elderly people he perceived to be the President’s enemies. “But today, the real presidential spokesman has spoken by showing the exit route to him (Gulak) unceremoniously,” Nyako said. The governor described the people’s celebration of Gulak’s removal as a pity and a lesson to those in the corridors of power. Some politicians told our reporter last night in Yola that the Presidency did the right thing because the sack of Gulak would reduce the number of those overheating the polity.


HE Federal Government has declared tomorrow, May 1, as public holiday to mark this year’s Workers’ Day. Interior Minister Abba Moro announced the holiday in a statement yesterday in Abuja by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Fatima Bamidele. Moro congratulated workers for their resilience and commitment in the face of obvious challenges of daily living. The minister urged them to support the present government to improve the work environment and living conditions of workers.

Lagos businessman Maduka for burial


HE remains of Anthony Chuks Maduka, who died on April 14 at 51, will be buried on May 9 in his village, Nri, in Aniocha Local Government Area Anambra State A Christian wake keep will hold on May 1 by 2pm at his Lagos residence, Shasa, in Alimosho Local Government Area. On May 9 there will be a lying –in-state at Robert Obiadana Maduka’s compound, in Agbadani Village, Nri. Thereafter, a Requiem Mass will follow at St. Mary’s Eucharistic parish Nri, at 10a.m Interment follows after at Obiadana Maduka’s compound. An outing mass will hold on May. 11

Two Akure chiefs jailed for environmental offences


MAGISTRATE’s Court sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, sentenced yesterday two chiefs, Ayokunle Omolade and B.O Omolewa, to one year imprisonment each for violating environmental laws. The chiefs were arraigned for failing to provide sanitary dustbins in their homes and put their kitchens, toilets and bathrooms in order.

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

They pleaded “not guilty”. There was a mild drama in the court room as Omolade, who looked frail, went on his knees in the witness box, weeping and begging the court for mercy. He said: “Your Lordship, I know I am guilty and I am aware that no sinner will go unpunished. Kindly pardon me. I have been

on the sick bed at the State Specialist Hospital for some days now. I promise to make amends.” The Chief Magistrate, Olayinka Omole, who read out the penalties for the offences from the State Environmental Law Book, sentenced the chiefs to one year imprisonment each, with an option of N36,000 and N25,000 fines.

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

the list affirmed Mr Opeyemi Bamidele, (51 and lawyer), as candidate. He has Mrs Bolanle Bruce, (47 and Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism) as his running mate. The Accord Party has Mr Kole Ajayi, (46 and lawyer) as candidate while his deputy is Mr Akinyemi Adeola (41 and and The list also included those of the Action Alliance (AA); Citizens Popular Party (CPP); Social Democratic

Party (SDP); the KOWA Party and the National Conscience Party (NCP). Others included the Mega Progressive Peoples Party,(MPPP); the United Democratic Party,(UDP) ; Allied Congress Party of Nigeria,(ACPN); the African Democratic Congress,(ADC); African Peoples Alliance, (APA); and the Progressive Peoples Alliance, (PPA). According to INEC, the parties still has up till May 18, to substitute the names of either the candidates or running mate. PUBLIC NOTICE OKEKE I formerly known and addressed as MISS OKEKE EVAN NNEKA, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS ONYEANUSI EVAN NNEKA. All former documents remain valid. Yabatech and general public should please take note.




Senators demand military action to rescue abducted school girls Continued from page 8

is conducive, terrorism and insurgency cannot succeed. “But once it takes root, let’s take note it’s not going to wind up tomorrow morning and my worry is that we should not allow it to get to a level where it becomes a permanent feature in this country. Unless we nip it in the bud now, it will get to that level. “If we need foreign assistance, the nation should not be ashamed to ask, because the world is such a small global village now that getting assistance for one action or the other is not a shameful thing. It is international cooperation and if we have to, let us go for it.” Senators mostly from the affected areas spoke on the insurgency. Senator Ahmed Zannah (Borno Central) said even though he had constantly updated the military about the movement of the terrorists who abducted the girls, all his intelligence reports were not acted upon. He gave a graphic account of how the insurgents had been moving the girls from one place to another since the abduction. Zannah said: “Since the beginning of this siege, I kept mute on this issue as far as press releases and press interviews are concerned. “I have been constantly in touch with the security agencies, telling them the developments, the movement of the girls from one place to the other and then the splitting of the girls and eventually the marriage of these girls by the insurgents. “What bothers me most is that whenever I inform where these are, after two to three days, they will be moved from that place to another and still, I will go back and inform them that see, this is what is happening.

“I lost hope two days ago when I found out that some of them were moved to Chad and Cameroon. “Actually, some of them move through the Mandara mountain that is in Gwoza and some of them are just a stone throw from their barracks, even now as I am talking to you, in Cameroon because it is in Kolofata, which is in Cameroon about 15 kilometers or even less to the borders because one of the insurgents called somebody in Bama and said I just got married and said I am now settling in Kolofata’. “Then three or four days ago, some Fulani men reported that they saw some girls being taken by boats into the Island in Lake Chad and that some of them happened to be between Marte and Mungonu, maybe. “Maybe, those ones might still be within Nigeria, but that is the current and new base of the insurgents. They just took over that place less than a week and that village is called Chikungudua. The place is the constituency of Senator Maina Mai’ji Lawan. “But I informed the security agents about the situation and from that place, they can just go into the lake and go to either Chad or Cameroon because it is very open, there are no weeds in the lake and so they can go anywhere. “They have snatched all the boats around that area, including the one for NNPC, and so they are free to go anywhere without being chased by anybody. “There are about 40 islands there and they have ejected most of the occupants of the island and they have occupied the islands. “What is most disturbing is that hitherto, Sambisa was their base and is well known to the military and Nigerian security. The senator spoke of how he

discovered that the terrorists were moving out of Sambisa forest. Even before then, I had been discussing with the military and they said they were going to attack that place, about 15 or 20 days ago, I don’t know what delayed them,” he said, adding: “But, eventually when they launched the attack, all the insurgents had already gone out of the place. So, I don’t know what is happening. “Even before then, I even told them about the shrubs in Northern Borno where they stayed last year till after the rainy season. “Since rainy season is approaching, I told them that these people will leave Sambisa and other areas and go to that shrub but it seems there is no much presence of military around that area up till now and they are now much moving into those shrubs. “And when they go in, the shrub has some canopy whereby the ground is empty and you cannot see any human or animal movement under that canopy even with aircraft. “It is the same place where they hid last year and came out after the rainy season without any challenge, they came into the hinterland. “I don’t know if the military can take very serious and willing action in this matter but if there is no way to fight them, I think we are wasting our time. It all depends on their willingness. “I was interviewed by the press on whether if the state of emergency was extended, the military would succeed and I said ‘yes, if there was willingness, they will’. He went on: “Their number is not all that much as being touted and without cooperation from certain group of people within the security agencies, there is no way these people will survive like this. “But when we talk, they will say we are against them; we are ex-

posing them; we are demoralising their troops. These are the facts.” “So, unless there is spirit of seriousness on the part of our military, we have no hope of getting those girls; even if we are going to get them, we are going to get them in trickles; maybe getting two, three, four, and five. They are now scattered. So it is not possible for us to get 50, 60,100 in one particular position. This is the position as at today.” Senator Ali Ndume, (Borno South) noted that the girls would have been rescued if the Federal Government is serious and with proper equipment for the military. Ndume, who was apparently emotional during his contribution to the debate said: “The 53 girls we have were those that escaped. We have to speak the truth. “I am a little bit emotional because you cannot understand what we are going through until you visit these areas. The only place there is relative peace is where there are civilian JTF. “The military deployed there are doing their best, but I cannot ask any of them to do more than what they are doing. You need to see their equipment and there is no motivation. “Whenever we go there, we buy food. As days go by, most of these girls are divided and forcefully married out. How they do that and where they passed remain a mystery. “I appreciate the motion but there is no action. We speak to commanders on ground and their complaints are the same: no motivation. “Their number is few and there is no equipment to match their opponents. Every time we budget trillions of naira for defence but I have not seen any new equipment on ground. The armoured vehicles are those of

1950s.” Chairman, Senate Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South), noted that the situation was degenerating as a result of internal sabotage Abaribe said: “In what way would somebody get information, give to the security and nothing happens. There must be internal sabotage; we cannot run away from that. “While we ponder about this, I joined Nenadi Usman to think about these children and the fact that a few things have happened in the world, people have disappeared and we saw the frantic efforts by those countries to get to the root of the matter to the extent that some people resigned. What manner of ineptitude is this? “I don’t want to add to what others have said but I want to say that no matter what happens, the buck lies on someone’s table. We are ill-equipped. Have we motivated our security agents enough? “They are doing their best. With all due respect, has the President visited Borno? We want to see our President visit the place and restore confidence in the people. There is no how you can get information from people who feel they are neglected.” Senator Mohammed Magoro (Kebbi South) urged the Federal Government to call up reservists to boost the manpower of the military. He said: “For Nigeria to win the war against insurgents, we must recall the nation’s military reserves, including retired soldiers if need be. Also, neighbouring countries are aiding insurgents. I stand here to say that they are aiding and abetting what is going in the country. If it means revisiting the budgets, we will do so to ensure that we win this war.”

Senator Ehigie Uzamere (Edo South) accused local collaborators in the community of aiding and abetting the kidnap of the girls from a predominantly Christian community. “We must renegotiate the corporate existence of Nigeria,” he said. Senator Ayogu Eze (Enugu North) urged the Federal Government to summon the ambassadors of Chad, Cameroon and Niger to brief her on what their governments are doing in the circumstance. Eze added: “Something has gone wrong with professionalism and unless we arrest the drift, these people are not doing enough.”

North rejects Niger Delta’s claims to oil resources Continued from page 8

what the hidden agenda are with respect to the Conference. On this score, the tell-tale signs of his secret ambitions are unmistakable.” It alleged that President Goodluck Jonathan’s supporters have missed no opportunity to remind everyone that he is the first democratically-elected president of Nigeria who is both from an ethnic minority and the oil rich Niger Delta. “Both facts are pregnant with significance for what he might want to do, particularly in the light of the endless agitation by people from that part of the country to confiscate all revenue accruing from oil exploitation for themselves alone,” it said.


Kenya: Kenyatta signs polygamy law


ENYA’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed into law a controversial marriage bill legalising polygamy. It brings civil law, where a man was only allowed one wife, into line with customary law, where some cultures allow multiple partners. Controversy surrounded an amendment to the bill, supported by many male MPs, allowing men to take more wives without consulting existing spouses. Traditionally, first wives are supposed to give prior approval. Last month, female MPs walked out of parliament in disgust after their male counter-


parts voted through the amendment. They argued that a decision to take on another wife would affect the whole family, including the financial position of other spouses. The bill was also opposed by Christian leaders who urged the president not to sign it into law, saying it undermined Christian principles of marriage and family. The marriage legislation has been under discussion for several years and some initial proposals were scrapped at committee stages. It has abolished the practice of unofficial traditional marriages which were never registered and could be ended without any

legal divorce proceedings. But plans to ban the payment of bride prices were dropped although a person must be 18 to marry and this now applies to all cultures. MPs did reject the committee amendment which said a woman should only be entitled to 30% of matrimonial property after death or divorce. The law now allows for equal property and inheritance rights - previously a woman had to prove her contribution to the couple’s wealth. However, the BBC’s Frenny Jowi in the capital, Nairobi, says this aspect of the legislation could create chaos in polygamous marriages. The law stipulates that a wife

Ukraine : Pro-Russia activists seize Luhansk HQ

A •Kenyatta

is entitled to an equal share of whatever the couple acquired during their marriage but in the case of multiple partners it is going to be difficult to determine what each spouse is entitled to if one of them divorces or their husband dies, she says.

Russia EU names 15 new targets for sanctions

HE European Union yesterday released the names of 15 new people it is targeting for sanctions because of their roles in the Ukraine crisis. The list includes Gen. Valery Gerasimov, chief of the Russian General Staff and first deputy defense minister, and Lt. Gen. Igor Sergun, identified as head of GRU, the Russian military intelligence agency. The decision taken by the EU governments’ ambassadors in Brussels brings the total number of Russians or pro-Russian individuals in Ukraine targeted by the EU’s sanctions to 48. Any bank accounts or other economic assets the sanctioned individuals hold in EU member countries are now supposed to be frozen, and they will no longer be al-

lowed to travel to the EU’s 28 member states. The EU move comes after the U.S. decided to broaden its own sanctions to include seven Russian government officials and 17 companies with links to Russian President Vladimir Putin. -Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, who was appointed by Putin to manage the integration of Crimea into Russia. -Oleg Belaventsev, Putin’s plenipotentiary representative in Crimea. -Oleg Savelyev, Russia’s minister for Crimean affairs. -Sergei Menyailo, acting governor of the Crimean city of Sevastopol, home port of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. -Olga Kovatidi, member of the Russian Federation Council for

Crimea. -Ludmila Shvetsova, deputy chairman of the Russian State Duma, said to be responsible for introducing legislation to annex Crimea, according to the EU’s Official Journal, which published the list. -Sergei Neverov, deputy chairman of the Russian State Duma, also said to be “responsible for initiating legislation to integrate Crimea.” -German Prokopiv, a leader of the pro-Russian insurgency in Luhansk who took part in the seizure of the regional office of the Ukrainian Security Service. -Valeriy Bolotov, another leader of pro-Russian forces in Luhansk. -Andriy Purgin, head of the separatist “Donetsk Republic” in eastern Ukraine and an active or-

ganizer of separatist actions. -Denys Pushylin, another leader of the “Donetsk Republic,” who participated in the seizure and occupation of the regional administration building. Also a spokesman for the insurgents. -Sergei Tsyplakov, one of the leaders of the People’s Militia of Donbas, a group involved in seizing several state buildings in Donetsk region. -Igor Strelkov, said by the EU’s Official Journal to be on the staff of the Russian military intelligence agency GRU. He is believed to have coordinated several of the armed pro-Russian actions in eastern Ukraine, and to be an assistant on security matters to Sergey Aksyonov, prime minister of Russia-annexed Crimea.

LARGE crowd of pro-Russian activists has stormed the regional administration’s headquarters in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk. A few dozen men, some reportedly armed with metal bars, smashed windows and doors to break into the building. Activists shouting “Referendum Russia” later flew a Russian flag over it. Earlier, Russia criticised sanctions imposed by the US and EU on individuals and companies over their alleged actions aimed at destabilising Ukraine. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the US had “essentially lowered an ‘Iron Curtain’” by targeting Russia’s hightech sector. Mr Ryabkov also said the EU should be ashamed of extending its own sanctions and was “under Washington’s thumb”.


South Korea president in ferry disaster apology

OUTH Korean President Park Geun-hye has apologised over the ferry disaster, in a statement to cabinet shown on national television. Ms Park said that the government had failed to prevent the disaster and bungled its emergency response. Her apology comes amid ongoing work to retrieve bodies from the sunken hull. The ferry sank with 476 people aboard - most of them high school students and teachers - off South Korea on 16 April. A total of 174 were rescued. The remainder have been confirmed dead or missing presumed drowned. Officials have retrieved almost 200 bodies and divers are continuing to search for those still unaccounted for. “I don’t know how to apologise for the failure to prevent this accident, and for the insufficient first response,” Ms Park said in the statement. I am sorry to the

people and heavy-hearted that many precious lives were lost.” Ms Park’s apology comes amid mounting public anger and criticism over the disaster. Most of those on board were on a trip from Danwon high school in Ansan, south of Seoul. President Park had earlier paid her respects at a memorial altar set up near the school. Local media reports said she was heckled by angry family members. Attention has focused on why so few people were evacuated from the stricken vessel, and on the possibly negligence of the captain and crew. On Sunday, South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hongwon offered his resignation over the disaster. In her statement, Ms Park said she would create a new government agency to handle largescale accidents, Yonhap news agency reported.




Alves ´surprised´ by support in racism row

D Madrid crushes Bayern 4-0


EAL Madrid booked their place in the Champions League final beating outgoing champions Bayern Munich with an emphatic 4-0 score in the Allianz Arena. The Spaniards, coming from their 1-0 victory in Madrid a week ago, took a double lead with two Sergio Ramos goals in the 15th and 18th minute and, with the Germans increasingly

in difficulty, it was Ronaldo who netted a third following a swift counter-attack. Ronaldo added a fourth from a freekick in the last minute of the game. The Portuguese striker became the first player to score 15 goals (16 with his second goal Tuesday evening) in the competition. Bayern Munich lost the chance to become the first team in a quarter century to be crowned

European champions in successive seasons. The last club to manage was Milan in 1989 and 1990. Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti played in both those finals. Real Madrid’s opponents will be known tonight when Chelsea hosts Atletico Madrid. The first leg match ended 0-0. If Atletico wins, the Lisbon final on 24 May will be between clubs from the same town.

Ronaldo breaks Messi’s CL goal record


RISTIANO Ronaldo has broken Lionel Messi's goals record for a single Champions League season following his double strike in Real Madrid 4-0 victory over Bayern Munich. The 29-year-old's goal in Tuesday's semi-final second-leg clash with the Bavarians at the Allianz Arena took his tally for the 2013-14 season to 16. Ronaldo has now netted two more than Messi's previous


record, with the Argentine registering 14 times in 11 games during the 2011-12 tournament. Remarkably, the Portuguese has bettered the Barcelona forward's tally in just 10 outings this term, having missed the group game at home to Galatasaray. No player has ever scored at such a rate in Europe's premier club cup competition. Messi's average during his record-breaking 2011-12 season

was a goal every 70.71 minutes, while Ruud van Nistelrooy was even more prolific during Manchester United's run to the quarter-finals in 2003. The Dutchman netted 12 times in total, giving him an average of a goal every 57 minutes. Ronaldo, 29, has hit double figures in the Champions League in three consecutive seasons after netting 12 and 10 strikes in 2012-13 and 2011-12 respectively.

Xavi Alonso to miss final

AVI Alonso will not play in the Champions League final as Real Madrid knocked out Bayern Munich after he picked up a booking in the semi-final second leg. The midfielder, 32, was one of three Blancos players that went into the tie a yellow card away from being ruled out of the showpiece event alongside Sergio Ramos and Asier Illarramendi. A needless challenge on Bayern

midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger in the 38th minute was enough for the referee to reach into his pocket and punish Alonso, despite pleas from Luka Modric for leniency. Madrid led Bayern 4-0 on aggregate at half-time after Sergio Ramos scored twice early on and Cristiano Ronaldo added another to leave Pep Guardiola's men looking destined to exit the competition.

The winner of Real MadridBayern will face either Atletico Madrid or Chelsea, who are level on 0-0 with the second leg to be played on Wednesday. Alonso won the Champions League before, against current coach Carlo Ancelotti, when he lifted the elite European trophy with Liverpool in 2005 after scoring the equaliser in the 3-3 result which ended in a penalty shootout victory to the English side.

Golden Eaglets to play Egypt in friendlies


HE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Egyptian Football Association have firmed up arrangements for the U-17 National Teams of both countries to play a series of international friendlies in Nigeria and Egypt. NFF's Director of Competitions, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi said on Tuesday that the Eaglets, who finished in third place at the WAFU B U-17 Tournament which ended in Togo at the weekend, would host the first two matches in Nigeria on 28th and


30th May, 2014. "The two teams will meet again in two more friendly encounters in Egypt during July, but we have not set the dates for those matches," Sanusi said. Emmanuel Amuneke's wards also won the Fair Play Award at the West African championship in Togo, with Goalkeeper Amos Benjaming emerging the best of the six-nation contest. Nigeria was the only team that did not lose a match in regulation time at the competition, failing to reach the final only after penalty shoot-

out defeat by Benin Republic. The reigning world champions will, in July, take on the winner of a preliminary fixture between Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi, as the race for the 2015 African U-17 Championship in Niger hots up.


Super Falcons tame Lionesses

HE Super Falcons of Nigeria on Tuesday defeated their Cameroonians counterparts 10 in an international friendly match played inside the FIFA goal project National Stadium package B Abuja. Asisat Oshoala got the only goal for Falcons in the 85th minute to put smiles in the faces of supporters who filled the FIFA goal project pitch to

support the Super Falcons. "I am very happy to score the only goal for my team, the match was very tough but we are happy we got victory at last" an elated Oshoala said. In a post match chat coach Okon said he was happy his girls created scoring opportunity but added that he and his assistants will work on finishing for the girls. "As you can see, we are in the

process of rebuilding a new team and I think the reason behind the struggling to get the victory today was that the girls did not play to the instruction as per converting chances. Our task now is to work on converting our chances. "There are no matches that are simple you must labour to win matches and I am happy that our labour did not go in vain" he said.

ANI Alves has been "surprised" by the amount of support he has received after being subjected to racism in Barcelona's visit to Villarreal. During Barca's 3-2 win at El Madrigal on Sunday, a banana was thrown from the crowd at the feet of the Brazilian as he prepared to take a corner. In response, Alves peeled the fruit and took a bite before taking the set-piece, gaining worldwide praise for his handling of the situation. Players from all around the world tweeted to show their support in the aftermath, with FIFA president Sepp Blatter also condemning the actions of the fan, who has subsequently been given a life ban by Villarreal. And in an interview with Radio Globo, Brazil international Alves said the

backing he had received had come as a shock. "I was surprised by everyone's support," he stated. "It was something I did without thinking about the impact. "The world has evolved and we have to evolve with it. "If I could, I would put the supporter's photo on the internet to embarrass him." Alves also hit out at the state of Spanish society, as well as FIFA, who he believes have focused too much recently on the way Barca conduct their business at youth level. "There is racism (in Spain) against foreigners," he added. "They sell the country as first world, but in some things they're backward. "FIFA should worry about more important things than La Masia. They should pay more attention to more serious things."

Inter hit with partial stadium closure


NTER'S Curva Nord stand will be closed for the next two Serie A matches following "discriminatory chants" in the 0-0 draw with Napoli. The punishment was confirmed in a statement from the league's governing body on Tuesday, following the April 26 meeting between the two sides. Inter have been fined •50,000 for the incident, while a section of the ground will be closed for their final home game of the season - against Lazio on May

10 - as well as the opening home fixture of the 2014-15 season. Elsewhere, Roma have been fined •15,000 after a section of their support threw missiles in the direction of the Milan fans in the game between the two sides on April 25. Roma won 2-0 in the Stadio Olimpico, but the actions of their fans have been punished by the league. Milan have also been sanctioned after their supporters retaliated and threw a missile back, with the club handed a •4,000 penalty.

Reus and Schmelzer happy at Dortmund


E R M A N Y internationals Marco Reus and Marcel Schmelzer have reiterated that they are happy at Borussia Dortmund, with their comments coming as Die Schwarzgelben are reportedly set to offer Reus a new contract. Reus, 24, is under contract until 2017, but the Dortmundborn forward is reported to have a 35 million euro release clause that would allow him to leave. In recent weeks, he has excelled in a new role in central midfield and has been one of the key factors in the club's recent revival in form. Reus has been involved in 42 goals in 40 appearances for Dortmund this season, and currently tops the kicker magazine rankings for the best player of the Bundesliga season ahead of Bayern duo Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery. With pundits tipping him to play a major role at the World

Cup, German tabloid Bild reported that Dortmund are set to offer a deal that would make him their top earner and erase the release clause in his existing deal, signed in 2012. "I don't say anything about the contents of contracts, but I don't have to emphasise every time just how fine in feel at Dortmund," Reus told the paper on Tuesday. Left-back Schmelzer has been another player linked with a move, with media reports in England suggesting he could be on the way to Liverpool. On Monday, Schmelzer, who is set to return from a thigh injury that has sidelined him since mid-March, told Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung that he had no plans to leave the German Cup finalists. "Of course, it is nice to hear that top clubs are interested in me," he said. "But I am under contract here until 2017. I feel very -- no, very, very -good here."

Villarreal ban banana-throwing fan


ILLARREAL have issued a life ban to the fan, who threw a banana at Barcelona full-back Daniel Alves on Sunday. The Castello-based club identified the man using CCTV less than 24 hours after he threw a banana onto the pitch towards Alves, who was preparing to take a corner. While Alves responded with a smile on his face, peeling the banana and consuming it before taking the set piece, Villarreal immediately treated the incident very seriously, launching an investigation to identify the

man, before revoking his season ticket on Monday and banning him from their stadium for the rest of his life. "Villarreal would like to make it clear that the club deeply regrets and condemns the incident that happened yesterday during the match against Barcelona in which a fan threw an object onto the pitch at El Madrigal," a statement from Villarreal read. "Thanks to the security forces and the invaluable assistance of the Villarreal faithful, the club has already identified the culprit”.

Tevez ´in good shape´ after knee injury


UVENTUS striker Carlos Tevez feels "in good shape" after a niggling knee injury, but says becoming Serie A's top scorer is not a priority. Tevez had struggled with the problem in recent weeks, but looked sharp in Monday's 3-1 win at Sassuolo, playing an instrumental role in Juve's firsthalf equaliser before striking the crossbar in the second half with a curling effort. Ten minutes before the break, the Argentina international unleashed a shot from just outside the area that took a slight deflection off the boot of Sassuolo defender Alessandro Longhi and flew into the net. The strike has since been credited by the league as a Longhi own goal, which leaves Tevez's tally at 18 for the season - three behind Torino's Ciro Immobile. But the former Manchester City man insists individual accolades are not his motivation as Juve stand two points away from claiming a third consecutive Scudetto. "The problem was in my knee, and it was giving me a bit of pain, but now I feel in good shape," he said. "What's important is that the team play well and win, not me scoring. "I'd prefer the Scudetto than becoming Serie A's top scorer that's what excites me. "We're nearly there, but it's still not won yet. "Nothing's changed for me. I've always looked to score and help out the team." Antonio Conte's men host Benfica in the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg on Thursday, seeking to overturn a 2-1 deficit.

Kaka wants to stay at Milan


AKA has reiterated his desire to remain at San Siro in a bid to help Milan recover from a poor campaign this time out. The club struggled with inconsistent form in the first half of the season, leading to the departure of coach Massimiliano Allegri in January. He was replaced by club legend Clarence Seedorf and the Dutchman's arrival has seen an upturn in fortunes, with Milan currently 10th in the table, one point shy of sixth spot, which is likely to be enough for a UEFA Europa League berth. And Kaka wants to play a role in what he hopes will be the club's revival next season. "I personally have done well but it hasn't been enough in the general context," he told Tika Taka. "I can improve for next year and my intention is to stay. "I do not even want to remain anxious and wait too long, the fans can rest easy because there are no games or anything, it will be a personal choice and that of my family, but the biggest desire is to stay." Up next for Seedorf's side is the Milan derby against Inter on Sunday, with a trip to Atalanta and a home tie against Sassuolo also still to come.



VOL.9 NO.2834

‘In short, it is like saying that the country is now being stretched beyond its elasticity and when that happens, the possibility of breaking apart becomes very real like the dawn of another day’



OR all Nigerians, this year’s Easter was foreshadowed by sorrow, gloom and anxiety. A few days before Good Friday, there was a bomb blast at Nyanya Motor Park in our nation’s capital at rush hour. The blast left in its wake, death, injury and massive destruction of properties. The anarchists followed up the bombing in Abuja with other acts of infamy in the North East, the most reprehensible being the abduction of secondary school girls in Chibok, Borno State. Our thoughts and prayers go to those affected by these needless acts of savagery. Our thoughts and prayers also go to their families. We stand united in grief with the families of these hapless school girls in their hour of pain, agony and anxiety. We call on their kidnappers to immediately release them unconditionally. There is no doubt that our nation is at war. The enemy has clearly and unequivocally served the nation notice of its vile intentions. Therefore, a clear, unambiguous and decisive military response from the government, beyond the imposition of a state of emergency, is urgently required in this circumstance. This is an option we must consider now. It is obvious that we are dealing with insurgents and well funded nihilists, who are determined to violently trample upon the secularity of the Nigerian State and destroy the country. A modern, vibrant, progressive, multi-ethnic, multireligious Nigeria is an anathema to them. Because they are fired by zealotry and extremism, they are not likely to be swayed by overtures of any kind. We must, henceforth, shift from fighting terrorism to fighting insurgency. Our emphasis must, therefore, be on winning the hearts and minds of the communities in the immediate theatres of conflict. The full might and strength of our security services must now be deployed to confront this scourge and we expect our security services to rapidly reorient their assets and capabilities to overcome this difficult challenge. And this must be done within the shortest possible time frame with minimal casualties. Let me emphasise that for them to achieve this they require the cooperation of all and sundry. The Government must do all it can to immediately identify the sponsors and the source of funds to the terrorists and the insurgents. In this connection, nobody who is implicated, no matter how highly placed, should be treated as a sacred cow. On our part as federal legislators, we will continue to co-operate and work


Boko Haram requires decisive military response

The enemy has clearly and unequivocally served the nation notice of its vile intentions. Therefore, a clear, unambiguous and decisive military response from the government, beyond the imposition of a state of emergency, is urgently required in this circumstance. This is an option we must consider now. •Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau

with all arms of government and the people to bring this unwarranted assault on our peace and unity to a swift end. We will activate and deploy every possible constitutional legislative instrument in aid of the war against terror. Every concerted effort must be made to bring this reign of terror to a decisive end. The breadth and scope of this assault on the Nigerian State makes for somber reading; places of worship have been violated; pupils have been brutally murdered en masse in their dormitories; school girls have been brutalised and kidnapped from their schools; police stations and army barracks have been attacked and incinerated; lives and properties have been destroyed and whole communities uprooted and made refugees in their own country.

RIPPLES Brazil 2014: KESHI INSISTS ON AGBIM; wants CHAN to flop at the World Cup

Hmmmm, that ‘BASKET’?


T looked like a classic case of raw emotionalism as President Goodluck Jonathan, ironically, made what may be considered an insensitive statement in connection with the death of Capt. Yusuf Sabo Sambo, who was Vice-President Namadi Sambo’s immediate younger brother. The late Capt. Sambo, aged 58, died in a car accident in Abuja on April 27. Reports said his car ran into a tree and burst into flames; and that he was survived by his wife, three daughters and 10 siblings. Really sad! He was described as a seasoned pilot who had worked for the former Nigeria Airways and the Presidential Air Fleet. According to Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice-President, Malam Umar Sani, who announced his death, “He has since been buried at the Apo cemetery, Abuja, according to Islamic rites. He was buried in the presence of former military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar and several other dignitaries and sympathisers.” Perhaps expectedly, Jonathan, accompanied by his wife, Patience, showed up at the vicepresident’s official residence, Akinola Aguda

The tragedy is that at a time of grave national emergency like this when every Nigerian should stand in unity and openly rebuke evil, some of our countrymen and women, unfortunately, only see this as an opportunity for partisan politics. Appallingly, rather than condemn in the strongest possible terms, they have resorted to destructive partisan diatribes that can only demoralise our troops and the nation and encourage the insurgents. When a nation is faced with clear and present danger, what is required is a bipartisan approach and a show of support for the government and the security services. In other democracies where terrorism has been confronted with substantial success, bipartisan support for the govern-


ment’s counter insurgency policy and war efforts have proved vital to lasting success. We must recognise these attacks as an egregious assault on the Nigerian way of life and a signal threat to her corporate existence. We must not quibble, nor speak along party lines. We must speak out as Nigerians, and collectively, we must flash a powerful signal against terror. Our instinctive patriotism should be on display and we must rally bipartisan support for the government to confront terror. This was what the Americans and the British did in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the 7/7 London Bombings. It is dispiriting that at the peak of bombings, abductions and senseless killings by insurgents, rather than stand together as Nigerians, some people are speaking along party lines, scheming and viewing anarchy from the prisms of partisanship. This is condemnable and totally unacceptable. We should not sell the truth to serve the hour. And the truth is that Boko Haram has declared war, not just on the present government, but on any government founded on the principles of democracy, secularity and tolerance. I do not by any means seek to discourage debate, nor do I abhor constructive criticisms. But the print and electronic media are daily inundated with criticisms so destructive that, at times, one is left to wonder whether the insurgents are now the heroes while those fighting them are the villains. The times do not warrant this kind of devious and divisive politicking. The impression must not be given that anybody who gives his life fighting insurgency has died in vain. The time has come for us to stand shoulder to shoulder as we confront this evil. As Nigerians, we must all unite across party lines with the sole aim of fighting and defeating our common enemy. If the enemy of unity, peace and progress prevails, there will be no political parties, except the party of hate, of intolerance, of anarchy, and of backwardness and bigotry and this must not stand. That is not a prospect that I or any other Nigerian would wish our dear country. I, therefore, call on every Nigerian to be patriotic, patient, prayerful and hopeful. There is no way a strange and anarchic ideology, not supported by any of the faiths to which we subscribe, will overcome the civilised and collective resolve of Nigerians. In spite of all these, I re-emphasise my stand that we should not foreclose the avenue for dialogue as a means of finding a lasting solution to the current acts of terrorism and insurgency. •Senate President David Mark’s opening remarks at the resumption of plenary yesterday.


•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

And Jonathan wept

Nigerians, faced with such information, are likely to be confused, not knowing whether to cry or laugh. Surely, Jonathan could have expressed his sorrow without sounding tragically theatrical. His unguarded statement, not to call it ridiculous, can be effortlessly identified for what it is, particularly against the background of the horrendous incidents of April 14 and 15. Nigerians most likely regard those days as by far sadder for the country, and incomparable with Capt. Sambo’s exit. Specifically, those dates refer to the Boko Haram bombing of Nyanya Motor Park in the federal capital, Abuja, which consumed, at least, 75 lives and injured 164 people; and the Islamist group’s abduction of over 200 students at the Girls Senior Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, most of them still missing. Sadly, in both instances, Jonathan did not speak of these evident tragedies, which were unmistakably of greater social significance, in such superlative terms as he did in the case of Capt. Sambo’s death. The president’s absurd expression at the vice-president’s residence showed how not to weep.

House, to offer his condolences. Not surprisingly, he said all the soothing words, stressing particularly that “death is a journey everybody must make.” Sounding like a priest at a funeral service, he added, “We are all mere mortals. All of us are from the Earth; we must all go back to the Earth. We do not know the timing of this journey all of us must make. This world is a place where we come to play our different roles. He (Yusuf) left too early. Maybe he left when the ovation was loudest. He left at a time we needed him most. But there is nothing we can do.” However, it was certainly unexpected of Jonathan to introduce thoughtlessly exaggerated language in the context. He was quoted as saying that the day Capt. Sambo died was one of the saddest days for the country. It was a good example of a vacuous utterance, and it is easy to imagine that many

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The Nation April 30, 2014