Page 1

Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

IFC to float $1b naira bond NEWS

Page 54

•Nigeria gets $1.5b investments

53% makes six credits in WASSCE results •WAEC laments effect of insecurity


Page 10

VOL. 8, NO. 2570 THURSDAY, AUGUST 8, 2013




•After months of investigations, The Nation reveals the missing link in the 2011 rape video erroneously tagged ‘Abia rape video’. We unravel the victim’s identity, the Rivers State scene of the crime and how the victim was infected with HIV, which claimed •SEE PAGES 25-27 the life of the child she was carrying.

APC’s joke irks Presidency, PDP From Gbade Ogunwale and Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja


HE Presidency and the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) appear to be flying off the handle over the All Progressives Congress (APC’s) joke on President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP. Interim chairman of the APC, Chief Bisi Akande had, in a lighter mood, extended invitation to Jonathan to join the APC if he was tired of the myriad of crises rocking the ruling party. Akande spoke at the inaugural meeting of the APC Interim National Executive Committee in Abuja on Tuesday where he went jocular on basic issues in party politics. But the Senior Special Assistant to the Continued on page 2

Court frees Rivers House Leader Lloyd From Rosemary Nwisi, Port Harcourt


USTICE Latan Nyordee of a Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt, the state capital, yesterday admitted the detained Leader of the House of Assembly, Chidi Lloyd, to bail in the sum of N10 million. Lloyd, a member representing Emuoha Local Government Area, is slammed with a six-count charge of conspiracy to murder, attempted murder, intention to cause grievous harm, assault occasioning harm, causing grievous harm and malicious damage (of government property), following the Continued on page 2

•General Service Officers (GSO) stand outside the burning Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya…yesterday. A massive fire shut down the airport with flights diverted to regional cities as firefighters battled to put out the blaze in East Africa’s biggest transport hub. Story on page 61 PHOTO: AFP

War crimes: Fed Govt backs ICC probe of Boko Haram Army, police to respond to security challenge at Sallah

T •Boko Haram Chief Shekau

HE Federal Government will support the investigation of Boko Haram — the Islamic fundamentalist sect whose insurgency has claimed many lives—by the International Criminal Court (ICC), it was learnt yesterday. The ICC at the weekend said the insurgents were committing crimes against humanity for which their leaders will stand trial. Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, in a report issued on Monday, said: “Infor-

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

mation available provides a reasonable basis to believe that since July 2009, Boko Haram has launched widespread and systematic attack that has resulted in the killing of more than 1,200 Christians and Muslim civilians in different locations throughout Nigeria.” If the ICC’s plans succed, Boko Haram leaders will face trial before the court, which sits at The Hague.

Among those tried and convicted for war crimes by the court is former Liberia President Charles Taylor. A source in the Presidency said: “The Federal Government will support any plan by ICC to check the activities of Boko Haram. The ICC is a global court and we subscribe to it as a nation. This is not the first time that leaders involved in genocide or violent crimes would be tried by the court. “Our backing for ICC is without prejudice to the ongoing dialogue with the

sect.” Responding to a question, the source added: “If necessary, we will make relevant records or reports available to the court.” Also yesterday, it was learnt that the Special Forces clashed with Boko Haram to prevent members of the sect from regrouping to launch attacks on Borno State. The Defence Headquarters has relaxed the 24-hour curfew in Potiskum. Continued on page 2





•President Goodluck Jonathan (sixth right) with Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (fifth right) and his wife Abimbola (fourth right),during the President’s condolence visit to the governor over the passage of his father, the late Pa Ademola Fashola at the Lagos House, Marina…yesterday. With them are (from left): Special Adviser to the President on Inter-Party Affairs Senator Ben Obi, Information Minister Labaran Maku, Chief Imam of Abuja Isa Mohammed, Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Maduekwe, Trade and Investment Minister Dr. Olusegun Aganga, Justice Minister and AttorneyGeneral Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), Sports Minister Bolaji Abdullahi, Chairman of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) Mr. Ezekiel Adeniji, and the Secretary to the Lagos State Government Mrs. Oluranti Adebule

Court frees Rivers House Leader Lloyd Continued from page 1

July 9 fracas at the legislative house. Nyordee granted him bail with N10 million, and three sureties in like sum. The sureties must be resident in Port Harcourt. Two of the sureties, the judge said, must own landed property in Port Harcourt. The other must be a civil servant not lower than grade level 16, and must be confirmed by the head of the state’s civil service. The residential addresses of the sureties must be verified by the senior registrar of the court before he (Lloyd) would be allowed to go home. The accused person was shortly sent back to prison custody, pending the fulfilment of his bail conditions. There were reports that Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) operatives were at the court to rearrest Lloyd. Youths and Lloyds’ supporters flooded the court as the rumour went round the High Court complex after the sitting. But an EFCC official in Port Harcourt office denied knowl-

APC’s joke irks Presidency, PDP

Rivers Assembly urges judiciary to protect democracy


WENTY-SIX members of the Rivers State House of Assembly loyal to Governor Rotimi Amaechi gave yesterday an indication that House Leader Chidi Llyod might be flown abroad for treatment. They said his health had deteriorated. They plan to approach the court to vary his bail condition and release his international passport. They described the granting of bail to Lloyd, a lawyer who represents Emohua Constituency, as a step in the right direction, but urged the judiciary to continue to protect Nigeria’s democracy, resisting pressure from powerful interests. They admonished the judiciary to always apply the spirit of the law to ensure the survival of the nation’s democracy. Speaking yesterday in Port Harcourt on be-

edge of plans to arrest Lloyd. “I don’t know what you are talking about. As you can see, I am answering you from the office. I was not at the court and I don’t know what you mean,” he said. This is the second time in three days that the embattled lawmaker has been granted bail. A State Divisional High Court in Ahoada East Local Government Area, presided over by Justice Charles Wali on Monday, granted him bail in the sum of

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

half of the pro-Amaechi lawmakers, Deputy Speaker Leyii Kwanee urged well-meaning and non-partisan Nigerians to intervene in the Rivers political crisis and reconcile all the parties in the interest of the nation. The lawmakers said: “By granting bail to the leader of the Rivers Assembly, the judiciary has demonstrated that it is committed to the survival of democracy in Nigeria. “The judiciary must always resist attempt by any interest to influence it in any case that borders on the rule of law and the survival of democracy. “If the private physician of Hon. Lloyd is unable to do anything about his deteriorating health condition, the House will approach the court to change the condition that Hon. Lloyd should deContinued on page 60

N5million and one surety in like sum. The surety, the Judge said, must own a landed property within the jurisdiction of the High Court. Mr. Justice Wali ordered that Lloyd be released from detention with immediate effect, and that he should surrender the photocopy of his international passport to the Court registrar. He also made an order of injunction restraining the police

from further arresting and detaining him, pending the determination of his substantive suit. Mr. Justice Wali’s order, however, did not hold water as the police refused to let him go on Tuesday, but chose to produce him before Justice Nyordee (amidst heavy security), who ordered him remanded in prison custody till yesterday. Lloyd went to the court to enforce his fundamental human Continued on page 60

•Abati: Jonathan loyal to his party Continued from page 1

President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe and the PDP have gone bellicose over the joke. In a statement yesterday, Okupe retorted that the invitation to Jonathan was enough proof that the APC lacked the human resource to provide good and effective governance for the nation and would always have to depend on the PDP for leadership in all ramifications. Okupe said: “While it is not out of place for political parties to make overtures to those they believe have the capacity to assist them gain greater acceptability among the electorate, it is noteworthy that this invitation is being extended to a sitting President who was elected on the platform of another political party and whose unquestionable performance in the last two years have often been derided by this same political cynics. “It is noteworthy that in extending its invitation to the President, the National Chairman of the APC made reference to what he called “crisis

rocking the PDP”; forgetting that the real test of leadership is not in running away from crisis but in resolving them firmly and fairly. “The very nature of democratic politics envisages conflict of ideas, interests and aspirations which must be aggregated for the overall good of the public and which all true leaders must be mentally and emotionally prepared to tackle. “This is why Mr President has continued to pursue the Transformation Agenda with zeal, focus and unequalled determination despite the enormous security challenges mostly orchestrated by elements in the opposition political party who had hoped that the ship of the Nigerian nation would not stay afloat under the first President ever produced from a minority ethnic group. “Unlike the APC whose chairman confessed, was just putting together its manifestoes and leadership structure, the PDP which produced the President has pursued and currently executing a definite blue print to take Nigeria out of Continued on page 60

War crimes: Fed Govt backs ICC probe of Boko Haram Continued from page 1

According to highly-placed sources, who spoke in confidence, the clashes with Boko Haram, which led to the death of more than 35 people, became inevitable as a result of intelligence reports. The source said: “The Special Forces had to engage Boko Haram in direct confrontation because in the course of trailing members of the sect, the straying ones tried to settle in some places and plan to launch deadly attacks on troops. “They even attempted to overrun a police station and Army posts. We have no choice than to repel them and assert the control of the Special Forces in the emergency areas. “The troops have tried as much as possible to abide by the rules of engagement but the fleeing insurgents are still bent on reprisals. This is why we need to rout them out. “They have been regrouping to attack some areas in Borno and Yobe states especially during the Sallah festival.” The troops are said to have been reinforced to curtail these insurgents in Borno and Yobe. “We still have some challenges in Gomiri, Yobe State, but we are addressing these,” a source said. The relaxation of the curfew in Potiskum followed the completion of house to house search in the town. The restriction of movement in

Army, police to respond to security challenge at Sallah


NSPECTOR-GENERAL of Police Mohammed Abubakar yesterday ordered water-tight security across the country. The Army also pledged to continuously rise up to challenge insecurity anywhere in the country. Abubakar directed all zonal Assistant Inspectors-General of Police and Commissioners of Police to ensure increased security surveillance, patrols and tactical police presence on major highways, places of worship, recreation parks and other sensitive, strategic and vulnerable places within their areas of jurisdiction. A statement by Deputy Force spokesman, Frank Mba, yesterday added that Commissioners of Police had been directed to deploy their personnel to guarantee free-flow of traffic and safe passage for travellers and other road users. He said: “Highway patrol teams, working in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies, are equally directed to take adequate measures in preventing road accidents and rendering assistance to travelers, particularly those in distress. “Muslim faithful across the country are, therefore, enjoined to celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Fitri with the reassurance that the police are working to guarantee an all-round the town will now be between 10pm and 6am, which is the same time with other parts of the state. “We imposed the curfew based on intelligence report that Boko Haram members wanted

From Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja

security during the period of festivities and even thereafter. “The IGP assures the public especially, worshippers, travellers and all well-meaning citizens that the Nigeria Police will continue to discharge its constitutional responsibility of providing adequate security for all”. The nation’s chief police officer advised Nigerians to be security conscious at all times and to report every suspicious move by individuals or groups to the police or other security agencies. “The IGP equally used the opportunity provided by the Sallah celebration to convey his goodwill and that of the entire officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force to all Muslims in Nigeria. “While reminding every Muslim faithful of the significance of the season, the IGP enjoined them to emulate and imbibe the worthy virtues, principles and teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammed. “He called on all Nigerians, irrespective of their religious leanings and inclinations, to be tolerant and open-minded to issues of forgiveness, national peace and co-existence.

to do massive bombing in various quarters in Potiskum. “We resorted to house to house search in the town which has just been concluded,” another source said. When contacted, the Director

“He called on religious leaders to encourage their followers to respect the nation’s diversities and see it as the strength of the country’s unity and a medium for development. Army spokesman, Brigadier General Ibrahim Attahiru said the Army would remain eternally vigilant, with the view to reducing vulnerability of the citizenry through proactive measures already in place. Gen. Attahiru said: “This is aimed at preventing the spread of terrorism to other parts of the country. This proactive measures have yielded results with the recent arrest in Lagos and Ogun States of 42 suspected terrorists. “I therefore wish to reassure Nigerians that the Army will continue to constantly review it’s strategies towards greater sophistication in tackling the security challenges facing the country. “This will be achieved through effective collaboration with other security agencies in order to defeat terrorists and other criminal elements and ensure the safety of lives and property of law abiding citizens. “To this end, the Army calls for the support of all good citizens in its fight against terrorism by providing information through

of Defence Information, BrigGen. Chris Olukolade, said: “It is true that the curfew in Potiskum has been relaxed because the purpose of the house-tohouse search has been achieved.”

Continued on page 60

The police and the Borno State government said seven policemen were killed in last weekend’s Bama Mobile Police Base station attacks. Three other policemen were reported missing Continued on page 60

•Defence Chief Vice Admiral Ola-Ibrahim

Prayer for Pa Fashola today THE third-day fidau (prayer) for the late Pa Ademola Fashola, father of Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola, will hold today at Ladipo Labinjo Crescent, off Bode Thomas Street, Surulere at 4p.m.

ADVERT HOTLINES: 08023006969, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678






How corruption is

•President, Dangote Group of Companies Aliko Dangote (left) discussing with the Kogi State Secretary to the State Government Prof Olugbemiro Jegede at an event held in Lokoja.

U.S. Consul General Jeffrey Hawkins yesterday had an interactive session with the civil society at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA). His speech details America’s commitment to Nigeria, the fight against terrorism, aid and many more


•From left: Nasarawa State Governor Tanko Al-Makura, Secretary, Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) Mr John Kennedy Okpara and NCPC Central Zone Commissioner Mrs Helen Oghoro when they visited the governor in Lafia...yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

•UK pop singer, Alexandra Burke (left) and Princess Fifi Ejindu at the London African Fashion Week sponsored by Globacom.

•From left: Chairman, Guinness Nigeria Plc Babatunde Savage, British Deputy High Commissioner Peter Carter and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Guinness Nigeria Seni Adetu when the British Deputy High Commissioner visited the company’s Harp Brewery in Ogba, Lagos... on Tuesday.

HE U.S. Government and American people are interested in your success because we recognise Nigeria as a strategic center of gravity in its own right. But we also recognise some broader truths. Across the continent, communities are struggling: to find productive paths for growing youth populations; to defeat corruption; to turn a corner in improving governance, infrastructure and public health; to hold together different faiths and regions and to take on the drivers of extremism. In other words, Nigeria’s challenges are Africa’s challenges. And if we can help Nigeria chart a secure, prosperous and democratic course, then Nigeria’s successes can be Africa’s as well — successes we can measure in improved lives, livelihoods and leadership in the region. Next week will mark a milestone in this important bilateral relationship. On August 15, in Abuja, I will join a senior U.S. delegation led by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Wendy Sherman – one of our highestranking diplomats – the next meeting of our U.S.-Nigeria Bi-National Commission. The BNC is our flagship strategic dialogue to expand mutual cooperation and build partnerships for tangible progress on critical issues of mutual interest. The U.S. Government maintains a limited number of Binational Commission relationships with nations demonstrating a high degree of friendship, trust, and cooperation. As one of our most important partners in Africa, Nigeria is one of those nations. Created in 2010, the BNC is composed of five working groups, which collectively address issues of governance and democracy, regional security, energy and investment, agriculture, and the Niger Delta. The BNC’s working groups have met periodically over the past three years in Abuja, Washington, and most recently in Port Harcourt last October, when we convened the Niger Delta Working Group. Next week’s meeting in Abuja will involve the Regional Security Working Group. While the discussions next week will thus be largely focused on security-related issues, the participants will take into account the many critical aspects of U.S.-Nigerian relations: trade and development links that are creating new jobs here and in the United States; partnerships that promote stability throughout Sub-Saharan Africa; and the shared imperative of defeating violent extremism – not merely through the disciplined use of force, but also through a sustained effort to deliver good governance. We intend to include Nigerian civil society in this dialogue as much as possible, because you deserve to play a central role in shaping the public discourse. Three years after its inception, we can proudly say that the BNC has grown

Hawkins (left), Campaign for Democracy (CD) President Dr. Joe OkeiOdumakin (second left), U.S. Consulate Political Officer Mr. Ben Lazarus and Public Affairs Officer Mrs Dehab Ghebreab during the Consulate’s meeting with civil society groups at the NIIA, Lagos... yesterday.

into a forum for frank conversations to keep our bilateral relations on track; into a convening point for the many committed actors in both our governments; and into an expansive dialogue to turn common cause into creative thinking and coordinated action. While the U.S.-Nigerian relationship is extremely broad, if someone were to ask me to name the area of the relationship of which I am most proud, there would be no doubt in my mind: it is our people-to-people relationships. Over 1.5 million Nigerians live in the United States, while an estimated 31,000 U.S. citizens live in Nigeria. Thousands of Nigerians come to the U.S. every year as immigrants, tourists, students, and workers. Our robust exchange programs also play a central role in expanding these ties. Over 7,000 bright young Nigerians are pursuing higher education at universities across the U.S. And for those Nigerians who wish to visit the United States, my goal is to make the visa application process as painless and pleasant as possible. That’s why, in the last year, we have invested in new staff, installed new equipment, and overhauled our processes. I’m happy to say that the wait time for a Non-Immigrant Visa appointment is now just a fraction of what it once was. We can always improve more, but I am proud of the work we have done to better serve visa applicants and American citizens in Nigeria. And speaking of welcoming Nigerians to the United States, in 2014 we are looking forward to inviting a very special set of Nigerian guests to our country. President Obama recently announced that the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders will select 500 young Africans with a track record of leadership and service to their communities, and send them to top American universities for trainings in entrepreneurship, management and leadership. Following the trainings, fellows will be connected with internship and job opportunities at top companies working in Africa, such as Microsoft and Ethiopian Airlines. I am sure there are future Washington Fellows in the audience today. We will announce the application information in the coming months, and we encourage all interested Nigerians aged 25-35 to apply. Not all of our youth programs are grand in scale. Sometimes the smaller, targeted activities we undertake yield real dividends for the United States and for the Nigerian people. A great




s ‘killing’ Nigeria, by U.S. Consul General ‘in Nigeria Corruption diverts financial resources from building roads, and bridges, curtailing the development of infrastructure that is needed to make Nigeria more competitive. It drains the federal treasury of funds that could do wonders.

example of this is the Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative. Each year, a handful of young officers at the Consulate mentor and support fifteen young Nigerians who have ideas for community service projects. The results regularly astound me. The Carrington fellows have touched the lives of tens of thousands of their fellows Nigerians, and they have themselves developed into more capable and confident leaders. Through their work with the Carrington Fellows, the Consulate’s young officers are learning a hugely important lesson in diplomacy: the only way to truly understand a place is to form real friendships with its people. The Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative and our other people-topeople programs are vehicles for promoting these important interactions. I invite all interested Nigerians, especially young people, to apply for Fulbright and Humphrey fellowship programs, participate in our public affairs events, and take advantage of our Consulate’s Information Resource Center. When you use our resources to develop yourself into a more effective leader, we benefit just as much as you do. NOTHER demonstration of our commitment to Nigeria is our significant financial assistance to improve the lives of average Nigerians, most of which is provided through non-government entities. For example, since 2004, the American people have invested over 3 billion of their tax dollars into combating HIV/AIDS in Nigeria. We support anti-retroviral treatments for over 400,000 Nigerians, as well as over 250,000 orphans and vulnerable children impacted by the disease. Since 2010, we have made testing and counseling possible for over 2 million others. This year’s U.S. Foreign Assistance to Nigeria is $697 million, of which about $400 million is dedicated to fighting HIV/AIDS or other health programming. We are proud of the help that we have been able to provide, and we will continue to work with our NGO, private sector and government partners in Nigeria to support policies that help steer the country down the path to stability and prosperity. As you know, when we talk about Mission Nigeria, we’re referring to both the Embassy in Abuja and the Consulate General in Lagos. I sometimes like to joke with my colleagues at Embassy Abuja that we in Lagos got the better end of the deal. Lagos is


the most populous city in Sub-Saharan Africa, it is a major hub for the oil and gas, finance, ICT and entertainment industries, and it is booming. To me, Lagos represents the enormous economic potential of Nigeria. American companies are increasingly taking advantage of the opportunities to be found in Lagos in particular and in Nigeria as a whole. Nigeria is now the second most popular destination for U.S. Foreign Direct Investment in Africa. Many of the leading U.S.-based global corporations have big footprints here: General Electric, Coca Cola, Pepsi, Procter and Gamble, and Pfizer, to name just a few. And of course, companies like Chevron, ExxonMobil are key players in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, which is the sixth largest exporter of oil to the United States. It is squarely in the interest of the United States to see that Nigeria becomes an even more attractive place to do business for these companies and for the businesses that are yet to arrive. Nigeria’s population is expected to double within thirty or forty years, meaning tens of millions of young people will be entering the labour market in the coming decades. Nigeria desperately needs the investments that can provide jobs for this burgeoning youth population. Yet the economic growth and investment necessary are hindered by one especially pernicious phenomenon: corruption. Corruption in Nigeria diverts financial resources from building roads, and bridges, curtailing the development of infrastructure that is needed to make Nigeria more competitive. It drains the federal treasury of funds that could do wonders in expanding and improving the education provided to millions of Nigerian children, which in turn would enhance Nigeria’s economic future. And corruption forestalls additional spending on medical clinics and preventive health care – spending that countless studies have shown reap long-term economic rewards for a country when properly implemented. In short, corruption is a scourge that undermines virtually everything that could move Nigeria towards a brighter economic future. While we recognise that fighting corruption is primarily a Nigerian problem that requires Nigerians solutions, the U.S. Government is partnering with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to provide technical assistance in anti-corruption efforts. We also regularly hear from civil society leaders regarding their concerns on this issue. As you

all know so well, this is a complicated, tremendously difficult issue to solve. Civil society, the media, NGOs, are key watchdogs on this issue. We are open to dialoguing with government and civil society about ways that the United States can be a good partner to Nigeria as it takes on this issue. Another major long-term challenge to Nigeria has been power generation. My friends in the private sector regularly tell me that solving Nigeria’s electricity woes would unleash enormous levels of economic growth that would benefit both our countries. For this reason, and because of our historic friendship, Nigeria has been named a focus country in President Obama’s Power Africa initiative. OWER Africa aims to double the number of Sub-Saharan African households with access to electricity. The U.S. will put $7 billion of its own money into the initiative, but our contribution alone will not be sufficient to make up the energy deficit in Sub-Saharan Africa. Our resources are designed to incentivize the private sector to get involved. And it’s working. We have recorded over $9 billion in initial commitments from private companies; General Electric plans to invest over $1 billion in Nigeria, and Heirs Holdings, which is based here in Ikoyi, is pledging $2.5 billion. We’re also working to support the Jonathan Administration to ensure that the power sector reform process is a success. Helping to light up Nigeria makes sense for the United States economically, and it’s also the right thing for us to do as a friend to this great nation. There are not many countries with which the United States shares a relationship as deep and multi-faceted as the one we have with Nigeria. And that brings me back to the one of the primary reasons I am addressing you today: the forthcoming meeting of the U.S.-Nigeria Bi-National Commission meeting in Abuja on regional security. During the meetings, we plan to reaffirm our joint commitment and partnership to work with the Government of Nigeria toward lasting security in northern Nigeria – with a particular focus on human rights. The last meeting of the BNC took place in October 2012 in Port Harcourt; it brought together politicians, technocrats, and civil society leaders to devise creative solutions to the challenges of unemployment and environmental degradation in the Niger Delta. The U.S. has been working since to put into place a programme that will encourage citizens and governments in the South-South to work towards bet-


ter governance. Ultimately, the results of this effort will depend even more on you – Nigeria’s citizens and civil society – than on us. We value the role that Nigeria plays in preserving stability on the African continent. Nigeria is the largest contributor to peace keeping operations in Africa, and the 4th largest contributor to peace keeping operations globally. Nigeria plays a major role ECOWAS, and it led the sub-region’s response to the military coup in Mali and the political crisis in Cote d’Ivoire. Despite the demands on its security forces at home, Nigeria has been a key contributor to the United Nations peace keeping force in Mali. The United States recognises the sacrifices that Nigerian troops are making to ensure stability in West Africa, and we deeply appreciate those efforts. We are working hard to support Nigeria as it supports stability in Africa. The U.S. Government is investing considerable resources to provide cutting-edge equipment and specialised training for Nigeria’s peace-keeping units. We also include Nigeria in our International Military Education and Training programme, which provides Nigerian military officers with some of the same training and best practices that our own officers are exposed to. Our security cooperation stems in part from the recognition that our countries face a shared threat in the form of terrorism. We condemn in the strongest terms the extremist attacks currently being carried out in Northeast Nigeria that have claimed the lives of countless innocent civilians and members of Nigerian security forces. We stand forthright with the Government and people of Nigeria in opposing those who seek to harm innocents. As our two governments discuss security issues during the Bi-National Commission, we urge Nigerians, regardless of geographic location, to recognise that insecurity affects the entire county. Boko Haram attacks deter investment and trade, even here in the Southwest. We urge all Nigerians to engage on issues of security, regardless of your state of origin. We call on the Nigerian Government and our friends in civil society to promote efforts to address the underlying drivers of instability. Addressing insecurity in the Northeast and elsewhere will require providing real alternatives to those most at risk of radicalization. It is our belief that long-term stability and prosperity can be achieved only when respect for human rights, rule of law, and security are available to all Nigerians.

Over the past decade, the United States has learned many hard lessons about fighting terrorists and carrying out protracted counter-insurgency operations. We have learned the importance of protecting civilian populations and ensuring that human rights are respected. We have learned the necessity of establishing trust with local communities. And we have learned that constant effort is needed to inculcate these considerations into our brave men and women who go into harm’s way to keep us safe. ECAUSE we believe these les sons are important to any mili tary battling extremist insurgents, we incorporate them into the training programmes that we provide to Nigerian units. We look forward to continuing the dialogue with the Government of Nigeria on this important issue, just as we look forward to identifying additional areas where we can cooperate in the fight against extremist violence. While the fight against extremists dominates newspaper headlines and is a challenge that both our countries face, there is no single issue that defines our relationship. As I have described today, the ties between Nigeria and the United States are deep and multi-faceted, and they will remain so. I would like to leave you with a personal story that captures why I am so optimistic about the relationship between our two countries. This past March I was traveling through Southeast Nigeria, and I was invited to dinner at the home of a respected elder statesman. The living room was packed with his friends, colleagues, and leaders from nearby communities. I told the assembled crowd that one of the main reasons for my trip was to meet with U.S. citizens and hear their ideas about how the U.S. Consulate could better serve them. I decided to take a quick poll: I asked the room of about forty people if there were any Greencard holders or U.S. citizens present. To my astonishment, half the room put up a hand. Some were doctors, lawyers or engineers who were home on vacation. Others were entrepreneurs who decided to return home to invest in their communities. There were civil society members committed to positive social change in their country of birth. Nearly all of them had prospered in the United States and were interested in using their talents and expertise to benefit Nigeria. We swapped stories about my home state of California and joked about the joys and challenges of living in Nigeria. Of course, these Nigerians and Nigerian-Americans showered me with the Nigerian hospitality that I have come to so appreciate. I left that dinner with the sense that the U.S.-Nigerian relationship goes far beyond anything that can be cobbled together by diplomats or politicians – it is a relationship sustained by two peoples deeply connected to each other, and it is a relationship that will continue to yield tremendous value for our two countries. In closing, let me commend you for the work that you have done and continue to do to enhance human rights and good governance. Civil society has a vital role to play and should be allowed space in shaping the national discourse. You can advance national conversations about security, human rights, democracy promotion, poverty reduction, and trade and investment in Nigeria, and we strongly encourage you to pursue every opportunity to do so. Nigeria’s greatest strengths are both its national unity and its great diversity. When leaders across Nigeria’s ethnic, religious, regional and political divides work together, there is no obstacle or problem they cannot address and overcome.




NEWS Army pledges prompt response to security challenges From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja


HE authorities of the Nigerian Army have pledged prompt response to national security challenges, particularly from insurgent groups. Briefing reporters yesterday, its spokesman Briga. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru said the Army would remain eternally vigilant, with the view to reducing vulnerability of the citizenry through proactive measures already in place. Attahiru said: “This is aimed at preventing the spread of terrorism to other parts of the country. This proactive measures have yielded results with the recent arrest in Lagos and Ogun states of 42 suspected terrorists. “I therefore wish to reassure Nigerians that the Army will continue to constantly review it’s strategies towards greater sophistication in tackling the security challenges facing the country. “This will be achieved through effective collaboration with other security agencies in order to defeat terrorists and other criminal elements and ensure the safety of lives and property of law abiding citizens. “To this end, the Army calls for the support of all good citizens in its fight against terrorism by providing information through the Army alert system”. He gave the following telephone hotlines: 08160030300, 07053333123 and 08191555888 for distress calls or for passing information. Similarly, Attahiru provided three e-mail addresses for the same purpose thus:, and nigerianarmytips

Glo X Factor: First evictee leaves Friday


OLLOWERS of Glo X Factor singing reality TV show will find out on Friday which of the Top nine contestants will first go home. Last Friday, none of the contestants was evicted as the judges voted to keep Vicky and SmoothBoiz, who scored the least votes. The Top nine acts competing for the ultimate prize of N24 million and a recording contract with Sony Music are Eshum and Symphony from Ghana and Nigeria’s Ankara Boi, Pheel, Princess Pat, DJ Switch, Vicky, DNA Twins and SmoothBoiz. Glo ambassador and alternative-soul singer, Bez, is scheduled to perform at the Result Show. Globacom said the public can find out who the first evictee will be as well as watch Bez’s performance on the X Factor show on major television channels After the eviction, the remaining eight contestants will perform for public votes and viewers can watch the performance at 7.00 p.m. on Saturday on television.

Shettima, Ribadu urge Muslims to pray for Nigeria to overcome security challenges


HE 2011 presidential candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, yesterday urged Muslims to live with the lessons of the Holy month of Ramadan. In a Sallah message by his media aide, Abdulaziz Abdulaziz, the former EFCC chairman said: “The lessons of piety, compassion and tolerance learnt from the month-long worship should not be discarded with the passage of the month. “The essence of the Ramadan fasting was to cleanse both body and soul. Leaving behind the teachings of Ramadan once the worship is over defeats the purpose of the worship. “I urge Muslims to translate the virtues of piety and tolerance from Ramadan to the larger Nigerian society so as to deepen religious tolerance, understanding and charity for the needy.” The statement also quoted

From: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

Ribadu as “urging Muslim faithful to use the occasion of the Eid-el-fitr to pray for the country to overcome security and other challenges currently facing it.” Borno State Governor Alhaji Kashim Shettima urged Muslims to “let’s work hard to sustain emerging peace in Borno” In a Sallah message through his Special Adviser on Communications, Alhaji Isa Gusau, the governor urged all citizens to firmly contribute in respective ways to sustain the peace emerging in Borno State especially in the face of recent incidents. The statement said: “Alhamdulillah, we thank Allah for the successful completion of the Ramadan fast and for the Eid festival. “We also thank our good citizens who must have devoted their times to offering prayers for the attainment

‘We must never be deterred by incidents because there is no alternative to the return of peace. I pray that we celebrate the Sallah in peace and harmony.’ of peace in Borno and the rest of Nigeria. Alhamdulillah, their prayers are Insha Allah being answered because peace is evidently returning to the state even though we have had some recent incidents. “The Government is encouraged by the fact that citizens have remained undaunted despite the incidents as they are speedily returning to hitherto deserted areas, Insha Allah, we will remain rooted in our commitment to work for the attainment of peace in our dear Borno State and Nigeria at

large . “We are bound by constitutional, moral and spiritual obligations to ensure the safety of our citizens and their property and we shall continue to hold these obligations. “We, however, need continued support of our dear citizens whose roles in our desperate search for peace is crucial. “We will need our citizens to remain dedicated in prayers, cooperative with security bodies, communally vigilant; we urge parents to carry on with guiding their children and wards to be of good and lawful behaviors; we urge citizens to avoid spreading of rumour which can cause false alarms that could lead to general panic and breaches of security while we should all promote peace through making reasonable utterances in private discussions and public discourse. “We should at all times re-

alize, that the search for peace is a shared obligation between leaders and the led since peace is basic to our continued existence as individuals and as a society. “We must never be deterred by incidents because there is no alternative to the return of peace. I pray that we celebrate the Sallah in peace and harmony. “I call on all of us to be kind to our neighbours, relatives, friends and the needy by extending gestures to them in the spirit behind the Ramadan and the Eid-il-fitr. We must be our brother’s keepers to attract compassion from our creator and fellow humans from whom we may also find ourselves in need. “Let us always remember that Borno is our collective heritage, it is our home as residents and we have a duty to contribute to its stability, more so that we will, by so doing, work for our own progress as a people.”

Policeman caught on video extorting N25,000 dismissed AGOS Police yesterday dismissed a police sergeant, , caught on video extorting N25,000 from a motorist in the metropolis. Chris Omeleze, and an unidentified man were caught in the video. The man was filmed pleading with the policemen to accept N2,000 for a traffic offence. But he refused. The sergeant said the car must be impounded because the driver would not ‘cooperate.’ He also spoke to another policeman on the telephone. The policeman was arrested on Tuesday ostensibly on the order of Inspector General of Police Mohammed Abubakar, who reportedly saw the video on the Internet. It was learnt that Lagos police chief Umar Manko ordered that the sergeant should face an orderly room trial. It was learnt that a police panel found the sergeant guilty of misconduct and recommended him for dismissal. Manko accepted and fired him. .Police spokesperson Ngozi Braide said the police was disappointed with the sergeant’s unprofessional behaviour. After spending 21 years in the force. Braide said members of the public should make the habit of reporting such cases of extortion to the police backed with evidence “The video was well detailed and we were able to locate the sergeant. The video was enough evidence and after facing an orderly room trial, he was dismissed. “The police will not condone such behaviour and members of the public are advised to always report such cases.”


•Avation Minister Princess Stella Oduah; Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA), Capt Fola Akinkuotu (left); Managing Director, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria , (FAAN) , Mr George Uriesi and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, Dr George Oti, during the minister’s inspection of Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja PHOTO:ISAAC AYODELE

President didn’t ask for breakfast session with me, says IBB


X-PRESIDENT Ibrahim Babangida yesterday said there was no time President Goodluck Jonathan requested for a breakfast session with him in Minna as part of the concluding Ramadan festival. He said there was no strain in the relationship between him and the President. Gen. Babangida, who made the clarification in a statement made available to reporters by his office in Abuja, said he would be more than willing to have unconditional breakfast meeting or any other meeting for that matter with the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. The statement said: “The attention of General Ibrahim Babangida, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has been drawn to a newspaper publication stating that the former President turned down a breakfast invitation from His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, President

•Ex-President: I ‘ve no strained relationship with Jonathan From: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces. To state the obvious, the said report is utterly false. “Former President Ibrahim Babangida, in his usual humility respects the person and office of the President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR. “There was no time that the President requested for a breakfast meeting with General IBB, let alone turned down by the former President. “In fact, former President Babangida had visited President Goodluck Jonathan more than twice since his assumption of office, meetings which afforded the two leaders the opportunity to brainstorm on the chal-

lenges confronting the country. “It is, therefore, very unfair to the persons of former President Ibrahim Babangida and President Goodluck Jonathan to be portrayed as if there was bad blood between them. “Having served this country before and knowing the enormity of the challenges of governance, General Ibrahim Babangida will be more than willing to have unconditional breakfast meeting or any other meeting for that matter with the President. “ While General IBB will be looking forward to any of such invitation now and in the near future, it is important and appropriate on the part of the media to always cross-check their facts

correctly before going around town with sensational headlines at the detriment of bona fide citizens of Nigeria, especially that of the President. “As a trained officer of the Nigeria military, the former President is equipped with discipline and patriotism to constituted authorities at different levels of government. “Given this orientation therefore, General IBB will honour an invitation from his Ward Councillor without equivocation, let alone an invitation from the number one citizen of Nigeria. “If there was any reason to refuse any invitation, General IBB will, in his humble manner, formally inform his host or guest the reason why. The publication under reference therefore is utterly out of place and a concocted one aimed at putting the two elder statesmen in bad light. “We hope the media will take correction and reflect these views accordingly and with similar prominence.”



C ITYBEATS 'Pa Fashola, a role model' My story, by suspected robbery kingpin ‘My father didn't S care about me. All he

By Adebisi Onanuga THE Lagos State branch of a socialcultural group, The Wappa Wanno Union of Edo State, has described the late Alhaji Ibrahim Ademola Fashola as a role model for discipline and hard work. This was contained in a letter sent to the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola to commiserate with him over the loss of his father. In a statement signed by the group's president, Chief Egietseme Idiyen, the union said it received the news of the sudden demise of the patriarch of the Fashola family with shock and sadness. It, however, thanked God that he lived to a ripe age of 80 years and led an exemplary and fulfilled life worthy of emulation. It said that the late Fashola would be solely missed by all. The union urged the Fashola family to take solace in the Almighty Allah. It also urged Governor Fashola not to be deterred by the loss in pursuit of his laudable goals for Lagosians who also shared the grief with him at this moment.

Group holds career empowerment By Sampson Unamka THE Purpose Power and Lifestyle Design (PPLD) International, an empowerment organisation, will begin its "Power Up" programme from August 13 at its Amuwo Odofin, Lagos training centre. The training is designed for success-driven individuals who desire to expedite the process of distinguishing themselves in their businesses, careers and lives. The body's founder, Mr Tunde Makun, said: "If you want to experience life at a whole new level of energy, effectiveness and competence, then you need the coming training. It will give you the focus, energy and clarity to move forward with whatever is important to you in life." Being a purpose-driven programme, he said, it promises to equip participants with the ability to think, speak, feel, believe, relate and act differently with new possibilities for achieving results, adding that it is a six-week programme. Makun said class attendance is important for the six in-class sessions, while assignment completions and active participation in all games, activities and exercises are vital parts of the curriculum.

Bakare advises college alumni By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie THE 2013 Legacy Youth Fellowship camping of the Latter Rain Assembly (LRA), which began on Wednesday, will end tomorrow. Pastor Tunde Bakare, Serving Overseer of the church, disclosed that it did not hold at Queen's College (QC), Yaba, Lagos, as previously scheduled because the school's facilities did not meet expected standards. He charged the ex-students of the school in his congregation to go back and invest in their alma mater, saying: "Let all who attended QC go back to build that school. We like to keep standards. All of the students of QC should go back and remove the removable and rebuild the school." Bakare, who is an old student of Lisabi Grammar School, Abeokuta, Ogun State, said its alumni raised N70 million for their alma mater, adding that he had been invited to deliver the 70th anniversary lecture of the school, entitled: "The Role of Old Students in the Development of Education."

USPECTED South west robbery kingpin, Abiodun Ogunjobi, aka Abey Godogodo, yesterday blamed his criminal escapades on lack of parental care and proper upbringing. He spoke to reporters at the Lagos State Police Command Headquarters, Ikeja, after he was discharged from hospital, where he had been receving treatment. He was arrested on August 1. Godogodo who gave residents of Lagos, Oyo, Ogun and Ekiti States sleepless nights for over 14 years led most of the bank robberies and other deadly highway attacks in recent times. The 36-year-old suspect said he was the eldest of his parents' children, adding: "My father is a wayward man. He is a drug addict and a gambler. My mother was a sicker; she died after giving birth to my youngest brother. But my father, who got married to another woman, didn't bother to take care of me. As a little child, I struggled through primary school, picking bottles, iron and rubbers from refuse dumps. "The little money I made was what I used in paying my school fees in primary school after which I went into the business fully. As a little boy, I was sleeping on the streets and my father didn't care about me. All he cared about was to

cared about was to gamble with his money and smoke hard drugs’ By Jude Isiguzo

gamble with his money and smoke hard drugs. Gradually, I started stealing and when I grew up, I started robbing people at Gatankowa market, Iyana-Ipaja. In 1999, I was arrested and sent to prison for fighting. When I came back, some of the boys who were operating with me then had become big-time robbers. I joined them and in one of our operations, some vigilance men that accosted us in Ogun State shot me in the eye." He spoke further: "I ended up losing one of my eyes. After that incident, I became very • Godogodo ... on parade after his arrest careful. I did not socialise, drink, smoke or go after women. I lived a lonely life as an armed robber. I saw the police are accusing me of. People like me bethat thing as a weakness that could give away a tough cause I am not greedy. I make sure everybody gets man. I had three children from three women. I ran his own share after any successful operation. All I away from my other wives because the police wanted want now is for the police to give me a second to use them to arrest me. chance. I will assist them to arrest all the robbers in "I didn't participate in all the robbery operations Lagos and South West."


AGOS State Commissioner of Police, Mr Umar Manko, yesterday set up a panel to investigate the circumstances behind the shooting of innocent citizens by a drunk policeman. The committee will also investigate how the policeman attached to Mobile 17, Akure, Ondo State capital, sneaked into Lagos with riffle.

CITYBEATS LINE: 07059022999

Killer policeman for trial By Jude Isiguzo A police source told The Nation that the killer policeman had fled, but that his Squadron Commander had been ordered to spot him out and recover the AK 47 rifle he escaped

with. When contacted, Lagos State Police Spokeswoman, Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP) confirmed that Manko had constituted a committee to look into the issue and had also got the assurance of Mopol 17 Command to hunt for the

killer policeman. Three men and a pregnant woman were shot by the suspect, Corporal Mohammed Abubakar, attached to MOPOL 17, Akure, at Diamond Estate, Festac Town, following an argument over who to be served first at a fast-food joint.

'Don't suspend rehabilitation of Lagos slums'


COALITION of 20 civil society organisations under the auspices of Centre for Public Opinion Monitoring (CENPOM) has appealed to the Lagos State House of Assembly to intervene in the planned suspension of the rehabilitation of Lagos slums by the World Bank. The group stormed the assembly in a peaceful protest yesterday. In a petition addressed to the Speaker

•We'll look into it, Ikuforiji assures protesters By Oziegbe Okoeki of the House and signed by the coalition's coordinator, Tosin Adeyanju, the group said it was protesting on behalf of the poor communities after it learnt of the plans by the World Bank to cancel the project and use its funds for a less-

important project. The statement read in part, "Our attention has been drawn to the plight of slum dwellers in Lagos State, particularly in areas like Amukoko, Ajegunle, Agege, Badia, Ijeshatedo, Iwaya, Ilaje, Bariga and Makoko, who are the beneficiaries of a World Bank funded programme tagged 'Lagos Metropolitan Devel-

Land grabbing: Fashola, Akiolu warn monarchs


OVERNOR Babatunde Fashola and Oba Rilwan Akiolu of Lagos, have warned traditional rulers to steer clear of land grabbing or settling land-related disputes through the use of dangerous weapons. The monarch, who is the permanent chairman of Lagos State Council of Obas, in February, warned all traditional rulers to desist from involving themselves in land disputes. He also warned all those dropping his name as having interest in various cases relating to land to desist forthwith or face the full weight of the law. The Lagos monarch reacted to recent reports in some national dailies, where some people allegedly dropped his name in a certain disputed land at Park View Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos. Fashola, in a letter addressed to Oba Akiolu, which was titled: "Incidence of land grabbing in Lagos," called on the monarch to "quickly address this emerging trend with a view to nipping it in the bud promptly." Fashola said his attention had been brought to high incidence of armed land grabbing and attempt to settle disputes relating to land by force through the use of cutlass, machetes and other dangerous weapons in vari-

ous communities in the state. "I am therefore writing to enlist your support to urgently convene a meeting in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and all Obas in the state; the Commissioner of Police; Commissioner for Rural Development; Permanent Secretary, Lands Bureau, all Local Government Chairmen and chairmen of Communities Development Authorities (CDAs)," Fashola said. • Oba Akiolu

opment and Governance Project' worth 200 million dollars, designed to upgrade the low level of the human, social and infrastructural base of the communities. "Our investigation reveals that the initial delay in the take-off of the project was caused by disagreements between the Lagos State Government and the World Bank on content of the project and procurement issues. This, in turn, delayed accessing parts of the funds early, but the nine slums have started to feel the impact of the project." "While we commend the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola on the efforts to mitigate the pains of the inhabitants of the areas, particularly the Bayida East affected by the demolition, the governor should accelerate the rehabilitation and resettlement of the displaced persons and payment of compensation to those affected. We want the governor to commence engagement process with the World Bank and the Federal Ministry of Finance to forestall the cancellation of the project," the group said. The Speaker, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, promised that the House would address the situation with immediate effect.

Power problem worries engineers


HE Dean, Faculty of Engineering, University of Lagos, Prof Omotayo Fakinlede, has condemned the current state of the nation as regards the authorities' failure to channel sustainable source of power supply for the country. Fakinlede, who was guest speaker at the Nigerian Society of Engineers' annual public lecture held in Lagos, stressed the need for Nigeria to halt over-dependence on oil and seek other means of generating power for the country. He explained that the level of development of any nation can easily

By Temitayo Ayetoto be measured by the amount of electricity it consumes, adding that the largest consumers of electricity in the world are the most developed countries. He said the solution to Nigeria's problem is to make fundamental changes to accelerate power generation and develop all available sources of energy production as coal, solar energy, wind and other energy sources. The Lagos branch chairperson of the Society, Mrs Yetunde Holloway,

praised the four award recipients on the occasion - Engr Otis Anyaeji, Mr Babatunde Adesina Sodade; Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Engr Ganiyu Abiodun Johnson and Engr. Babtunde Johnson - for the honour. The Society's president, Engr Mustapha Balarabe Shehu, who was represented by Engr (Mrs) Magaret Oguntala, praised the branch for its continued efforts to improve the profession and pleaded with members, including the state government, to support the development of its secretariat.



NEWS PA IBRAHIM ADEMOLA FASHOLA (1933 - 2013) Tambuwal commiserates with Fashola


PEAKER of the House of Representatives Aminu Tambuwal has commiserated with Governor Babatunde Fashola on the death of his father, Pa Ademola Fashola. He said the governor should see the death as an act of God. In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Public

Affairs, Imam Imam, he described the death of Pa Fashola as a sad loss not only to the governor’s immediate family, but also to the entire nation. He prayed that God would console ,Fashola and his family and grant the deceased eternal rest in Jannat-al-Firdaus.

Lagos APC: a great loss


HE Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has expressed its deep sense of loss at the death of Pa Ademola Fashola, the father of Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola. The party sees the death as a great loss to the country. In a statement by the inter-

Jonathan, ministers visit Fashola

From Dele Anofi, Abuja

im Publicity Secretary, Joe Igbokwe, the party said Pa Fashola has left an indelible footprint in the dynamic Lagos State Governor, who has lifted the country from the pit of decay and bad governance. It prayed God to grant Pa Fashola eternal rest in paradise and the family the fortitude to bear the loss.


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday led a top delegation comprising members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on a visit to the Marina, Lagos home of Governor Babatunde Fashola. They were there to commiserate with him on the death of his father, Alhaji Ademola Fashola. The President was accompanied by the Minister of Information Labaran Maku, Petroleum Minister Diezani

By Miriam Ekene-Okoro

Allison-Madueke, Minister of Trade and Investment Olusegun Aganga, AttorneyGeneral of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC) Bolaji Abdullahi, Special Adviser to the President on Inter- Party Affairs Senator Ben Obi, Chief Imam of the Abuja Central Mosque,

Chime consoles governor


NUGU State Governor Sullivan Chime has commiserated with his Lagos State counterpart, Governor Babatunde Fashola, on the death of his father, Alhaji Ademola Fashola. Chime, in a condolence message by his Chief Press Secretary, Chukwudi Achife, described the death of Pa Fashola

From Chris Oji, Enugu

as sad. He expressed gratitude to God for his exemplary life. While praying for the repose of the deceased’s soul, the governor extended his condolences to other members of the Fashola family and Lagosians. He urged them to bear the loss with fortitude and thanksgiving.

NGF secretariat sad over loss


HE Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) secretariat has condoled with the Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola on the death of his father, Pa Ademola Fashola. A statement by the DirectorGeneral of the secretariat, A. B. Okauru, reads: “On behalf of the workers of the NGF secretariat, I write to condole with Your Excellency on the demise

Boroffice mourns


ENATOR Ajayi Boroffice has commiserated with Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola and Lagosians on the death of his father, Pa Ademola Fashola. He urged the governor not to be sad over the death of his father, adding that he should rather draw strength from it

and move on. Boroffice described Pa Fashola as a man, who contributed his own quota to humanity by giving Lagosians an illustrious, brilliant and hard working governor. He prayed God to give the Fashola family the fortitude to bear the loss.

ACN Southwest consoles family


HE defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Southwest has condoled with Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola on the death of his father, Pa Ademola Fashola. In a statement yesterday by

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

the Director of Publicity, Mr. Ayo Afolabi, it expressed its heartfelt condolences to the governor and the Fashola family on the death of their patriarch.

Ahmed commiserates with Fashola


WARA State Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed has commiserated with his Lagos State counterpart, Governor Babatunde Fashola, on the death of his father, Pa Ibrahim, Ademola Fashola. In a condolence message by

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

his Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Abdulwahab Oba, Governor Ahmed said although Pa Fashola did not die young, his demise was a painful loss as Governor Fashola would miss his wise counsel.

‘He lived a worthy life’


HE Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Abdulazeez Arisekola Alao, CON, has expressed heartfelt condolence to the Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola on the death of his fa-

ther, Alhaji Ademola Fashola. He said although death was the inevitable end of every mortal, Governor Fashola should take consolation that his father lived a worthy life.

Igbinedion mourns


X-Edo State Governor Chief Lucky Igbinedion has mourned the death of Pa Ademola Fashola, the father of Lagos State Governor

Babatunde Fashola. He described him as “a devout Muslim whose death during the Holy month of Ramadan signifies his closeness to His Creator.”

He added: “It is painful that he had to leave at this time. He lived to a ripe age, but most especially, he replaced himself 10 folds before departing. You (Governor Fashola) and your siblings are still with us. Many people didn’t have the opportunity of replacing themselves before departing the world. “As we mourn the passing away of our father, we also have to rejoice and thank God for the life he spent. I believe that Almighty Allah, who brought him and took him at this time, would also provide for the family and cushion the pains that his death may have caused. I also pray that all the holes that his death must have caused, may Almighty Allah fill them. “On behalf of the good people of Nigeria, I express condolences to the Lagos State Governor, his wife, siblings, government and Lagosians. I pray that God will give you the fortitude to bear the loss.” Governor Fashola, who received the President and his entourage in his living room, thanked him for sending the Minister of Sports and Chairman of the NSC to represent him at his father’s funeral.

Commissioner mourns

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

of your beloved father, Alhaji Abdulrasheed Ademola Fashola, who died on August 5. “We are saddened by this irreplaceable loss and pray for you, your family and Lagosians at this period of grief. God will comfort you and grant you the grace to bear this loss and strength to remain steadfast.”

Alhaji Musa Mohammed, among others. Jonathan said he felt a great deal of responsibility to pay the governor a visit for the first time in his Marina home to sympathise with him. He said: “When we heard about the death of the Lagos State Governor’s father, Alhaja Fashola, we felt sad because I know that this is the period we need his presence most, especially as a parent that will assist in handling a number of responsibilities. That was why I told my Chief of Staff that we must pay the Lagos State Governor and his wife a visit. “Immediately I heard the news that your father has passed on, I called your phone and I was told that you were airborne, returning from Saudi Arabia where you had gone for Umrah, the lesser hajj. It is a sad event for you to have lost your father at this time. But we must also thank God for the life he lived.” Jonathan, who later signed the condolence register, however, urged the Fashola family to take consolation that their father lived a fulfilled life and gave his children the right training to become the best.


ELTA State Commissioner for Information Chike Ogeah has commiserated with Governor Babatunde Fashola on the passing on of his father, Pa Ibrahim Ademola Fashola. He said he mourned Pa Fashola because he was an encyclopedia of knowledge and because he spared no effort in instilling discipline in his children and their friends.

•The late Pa Fashola

Makinde, Kalu, Sosan, Belgore, Dabiri condole with Lagos governor M

ETHODIST Church Prelate Dr. Sunday Makinde, ex-Abia State Governor Orji Uzor Kalu, former Lagos State Deputy Governor Sarah Sosan and All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain in Kwara State, Dele Belgore, have condoled with Governor Babatunde Fashola on the death of his father, Pa Ademola Fashola. Also, House of Representatives members Abike Dabiri, Lanre Odubote and former Lagos State Polytechnic Rector, Mr. Olawumi Gasper, commiserated with him. Lagos State Commissioner for Housing, Bosun Jeje and Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Lateef Raji, thanked the Almighty Allah for the life of the deceased.

By Emmanuel Oladesu

They prayed for the repose of his soul. Dabiri said: “He was a great father, who put his children on the path of hard work. He brought them up to have faith in God. He was a father to many of us, giving us words of wisdom and advice. No doubt, he died a fulfilled man. May his soul rest in peace.” Kalu, in a statement by his media aide, Oyekunle Oyewumi, said Fashola would miss his father’s advice. He prayed for the repose of his soul. Gasper, an engineer, said Lagos State enjoyed the greatest gift from the de-

ceased through the performance of his son as a model governor held in high esteem nationwide. He said the professional status and public acts of Governor Fashola attested to his fine upbringing by a disciplined father, who did not spare the rod to spoil the child. Gasper added: “The death of Pa Fashola is a great loss to many of us in Lagos State. He is being mourned for his good work as a father, a mentor and a role model. Many parents pray to be like him because he lived a fulfilled life and was survived by good children, who have affected the society in a positive manner.” Mrs. Sosan said: “We have

Lagos Deputy Governor, APC senators AGOS State Deputy console Fashola Governor, Mrs. Ade-


joke Orelope-Adefulire and the All Progressives Congress (APC) senators have condoled with the Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola and the family on the death of their father, Alhaji Ibrahim Ademola Fashola.

By Miriam Ekene-Okoro

Mrs. Orelope-Adefulire, in a statement by her Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Tunde Abatan, expressed shock at the demise of 80year-old Pa Fashola, whom she described as a great sup-

‘Pa Fashola died fulfilled’


ORMER President, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) said Pa Ibrahim Ademola Fashola, father of Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola, died a fulfilled man because he

By Dada Aladelokun

left behind worthy children of noble character and robust accomplishments. He made the remark yesterday in his condolence letter to Governor Fashola on the death of his father.

porter and an adviser of the current administration in Lagos. “Papa was always available to offer advice on issues relating to governance and welfare of Lagosians. He was frank in his discussion, telling us what he felt we were not doing right or what the people expected from us.” Senators Gbenga Ashafa and Ganiyu Olanrewaju Solomon, APC lawmakers representing Lagos East and Lagos West, consoled the Fashola family. Ashafa described the late Alhaji Ademola as cool and calm with a rare humility and a high sense of discipline.

lost a true, honest, steadfast, committed and an elder statesman worthy of respect.” Belgore (SAN) sympathised with his learned friend, Governor Fashola (SAN), urging him to seek solace that his father did not depart without a memorial. He said his success as a governor translated into success for the deceased in his old age. Belgore added: “Pa Fashola’s life is worthy of celebration. I pray for the repose of his soul.”

NURTW: death shocking


AGOS State Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Tajudeen Agbede has described the death of Governor Babatunde Fashola’s father, Alhaji Ibrahim Ademola Fashola, as shoking. He said NURTW commiserated with the governor on the death of his father and wished him eternal rest.

Senator consoles Fashola


ENATOR Ifeanyi Okowa, who represents Delta North, has commiserated with Governor Babatunde Fashola on the death of his father, Alhaji Ademola Fashola. He described the death as a huge loss to the country.



NEWS Court dismisses suit against Ondo PDP Executive Committee From Damisi Ojo, Akure


N Akure High Court has dismissed a suit filed by a faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State led by Prof. Olu Agbi. The court presided over by Justice C.T. Ajama upheld the election of the State Executive Committee (SEC) headed by Mr. Ebenezer Alabi. Agbi’s group demanded the cancellation of March 2012 State Congress, which produced the Alabi-led SEC. The court dismissed the suit on the grounds of incompetence, while the Writ of Summon was grossly defective because the names of the parties to the suit were not signed Besides, the contempt charges against nine members of the Old Caretaker Committee of the party for conducting the 2012 congresses in the state were dismissed. Justice Ajama said the court found out that the parties sought to be committed for contempt were not personally served as required by law. In its reaction, PDP through the state Publicity Secretary, Wale Ozogoro, urged members to embrace peace so that the party could move forward. The statement reads: “The effort of an acclaimed group within the PDP led by Prof. Agbi, a surrogate of the Ondo State Governor Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, who had sworn to truncate ward, local and state congresses of our party held in March 2012, which produced the current state executive members, has come to an end as an Ondo State High Court presided over by Justice C.T. Ajama dismissed the suit this morning.”

Osun receives 46 destitute From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo


OSUN State Government yesterday received another 46 destitute, including two children, evacuated from Lagos State. The Special Adviser to Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Youths, Sports and Special Needs, Mr. Biyi Odunlade, on behalf of the state received the destitute with a promise to begin rehabilitation process and eventual re-integration with their families. The destitute were immediately taken to the National Youth Development Centre, Ode-Omu, where, according to the Special Adviser, the process of rehabilitation and eventual re-integration with their families would begin.

Ondo NLC, Mimiko at war over mass sack T HE leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Ondo State and the Governor Olusegun Mimiko administration are at war over the retrenchment of 10,000 local government workers. The NLC leaders accused the government of deliberately sacking their colleagues on the pretext of being ghost workers. The national and state leadership of the NLC mobilised workers to the campaign rallies of Dr. Mimiko before last year’s governorship election. At a news conference yesterday, organised by leaders of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Joint Negotiation Council (JNC), Trade Union’s Congress

From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

(TUC), Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and chaired by the NLC state Chairman, Mrs. Bosede Daramola, they faulted a report credited to the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, on the affairs of the local governments in the state. Akinmade was quoted as saying that the government has saved N500 million monthly following the verification exercise it embarked upon, which resulted in the sacking of those the government tagged “ghost workers” in the councils. Besides, the commissioner

claimed that workers had been paid June and July salary. But the NLC chairman said the purported statement of Mimiko’s aide was deceitful, misinformed and an attempt to praise- sing the government. She said workers in the councils were yet to receive their March salary, adding that no civil servant in the state had received salary for June and July. Mrs. Daramola said: “After the verification exercise in the state service, including the councils, primary and secondary schools, to our dismay, only yesterday, the government-owned newspaper reported that Ondo State Government has raked in a

•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola (right) receiving an award from the President, Muslim Corpers’ Association of Nigeria (MCAN), Mr. Issa Abdullahi, during a dinner organised by the governor at the Government House, Osogbo.

whopping N500 million monthly following the discovery of over 10,000 ghost workers in the local government service. “It is amazing that government spokesperson could said that we have 10,000 ghost workers in the local government service of Ondo State. “The report of a committee set up by the government and headed by Deji Falae, which the Commissioner for Information made reference to, declared all workers employed between 2009 to date as ghost workers. “Not only this, 3,200 senior workers were declared as ghost workers, which include the NULGE state Chairman. As I speak today, the senior workers labelled as ghost workers have been cleared. I still don’t know who is fooling who? “In the report, the government spokesperson said that the June and July salaries have been paid, but as at today, the salaries of local government workers have not been paid. Cheque has not been written not to talk of issuance of cheque or paying to the accounts of the workers. I don’t know the magical hands the government is using. “The statement of the Commissioner for Information in the newspaper report reads: ‘You can imagine people collecting salary for workers in schools that are not in existence at all. Some workers have not been to their offices in the councils in the last four years.’ “My question is that if they are workers, can they be ghosts? To my understand, ghost is invisible, they are not human beings, so if there are sharp practices anywhere, it is quite different from saying that they are ghost workers.”

Lecturer’s home, cars torched in Oyo


WO cars belonging to a senior lecturer in the Department of Agricultural Education, Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo town, Mr. Ayo Alaka, were torched yesterday morning by suspected arsonists. They are a Toyota Camry with registration number FST 524 AV and an Honda Civic with number plate CV 315 APP. A portion of the fence in the lecturer’s home was also

From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo

torched. Alaka lives at Araromi in Oyo-East Local Government Area of Oyo State. Addressing reporters in his home, he said he and his family were already asleep when the incident occurred around midnight. Said he: “Neighbours woke me and my family up by hurling stones at the gate of my home. When I opened the door,

I saw my two vehicles on fire. I became jittery and worried. I alerted my family and we ran towards the backyard fence. I climbed it and lifted my children to the other side. In the process, I sustained injuries.” Mr. Alaka said the whole building could have been set ablaze but for the assistance of neighbours, who forced the gate open with axes and cutlasses and put out the fire. He went on: “The interven-

tion of neighbours saved the building from being razed by fire. “Police from the Durbar Division have come to inspect my home and have taken away remnants of the bread soaked with petrol and other inflammables, which were used to carry out the arson. Men of the fire service also responded quickly to my distress call.” Mr. Alaka alleged that he suspected foul play.

Appeal Court affirms Ekiti monarch’s reign


HE Appeal Court sitting in Ado- Ekiti yesterday affirmed the installation of Oba Samuel Fadahunsi as the Onijan of IjanEkiti in Gbonyin Local Government. The appeal judgment was an affirmation of the decision of the lower Court delivered on November 28, 2008 by the present Chief Judge of Ekiti State,

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

Justice Ayodeji Daramola, which upheld the installation of the monarch. The Justice Moshood Oredola three-member panel unanimously dismissed the appeal filed by the Afayagbekun and Arobiogbon ruling houses of Ogbon Omo quarters. They held that the custom

and tradition of the town were adhered to in selecting and installing Oba Fadahunsi. The panel awarded N50,000.00 as cost against the appellants. The judgment averred that the oral and documentary evidence provided by the respondent, Oba Fadahunsi, were “credible and had probative value”, as opposed to

the claims of the appellants. The judge said given available documents and evidence, the Ekiti State Chieftaincy Law duly recognised Otutubiosun Ruling House as part of the ruling houses in Ijan-Ekiti. He held that the selection and emergence of Oba Fadahunsi as the Onijan agreed with the available law of the state.

Six teenage gamblers set ablaze in Ogun •Police arrest suspect From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

SIX teenage gamblers have been allegedly set ablaze at Ita Balogun Compound in Ago-Oko area of Abeokuta by a man identified as Agba. They are Saburi Seteolu, Raheem Bello, Tunde Adesanya, Suleiman Adebesin, Azeez Alabi and Kola Sodehinde. The police, have however, arrested the suspect. The Nation learnt that the suspect, on sighting the victims gambling on top of an uncompleted one storey building, dashed to his apartment, reached for a keg filled with petrol and poured it on them. It was further learnt that the victims’ bodies caught fire easily as they were smoking Indian hemp when the suspect poured petrol on them. They were enveloped in flames and shouted for help. A source close to the suspect, Agba, said he allegedly poured petrol on the victims because he was annoyed that they were gambling in an uncompleted building, having warned them repeatedly to stop the act. Police spokesman Mr. Olumuyiwa Adejobi told reporters that the alleged offence was committed on Tuesday. He said: “According to the information available to us, the suspect had an argument with the youths before he poured petrol on them. “For now, we cannot ascertain other circumstances that led to the incident, but we have the suspect in our custody and we are working hard to unravel what caused the incident.” Adejobi added that Police Commissioner Mr. Ikemefuna Okoye has ordered investigation into the matter. He said the suspect would soon be charged to court.

Farmers warn Assembly From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

THE Association of Livestock Owners and Feed Suppliers in Oyo State has warned the state House of Assembly not to pass the ‘Oyo State Animal Farm, Hatchery and Feed Mill Registration bill 2013’, saying the bill, if passed, would bring undue hardship on its members The bill, which has passed through its second reading, was forwarded to the Assembly for approval recently by the government to introduce tax and formally regularise the activities of livestock farmers in the state.




‘Why Nigeria’s Constitution is defective’

Customs to prosecute Malian, Guineans for ivory tusks importation By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor


•Dignitaries hail ex-NADECO chieftain Sekoni at 70


HE 1999 Constitution has several defects which make it unqualified for a progressive document for nation-building, a Nigerian academic in Scotland, Dr Babafemi Folorunso, has said. The expert in Cultural Studies spoke yesterday at the 70th birthday and book presentation of The Nation columnist and former English Language lecturer, Prof Ropo Sekoni. The birthday lecture, with the theme: Make or Break: The Imperative of Cultural Democracy in Nigeria, was held at the highbrow MUSON Centre, Lagos. Dr Folorunso noted that the constitution has “several inadequacies and defects,” including rewarding what he called “backward thinking” instead of reprimanding it. The lecturer, who was Sekoni’s student at the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, said the constitution’s defects, among others, include its claims to being federal, which is only in name. He said the national document vests so much power in one man, the President, though it ought to have devolved power. “These powers are widely

‘Nigerians waited 14 years for APC’ From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti


KITI State House of Assembly Speaker Adewale Omirin has said the All Progressives Congress (APC) was the party Nigerians had been waiting for since 1999. Reacting yesterday to the registration of the new party, Omirin described the registration of the new party as the best thing to happen in Nigeria in the past 14 years. The APC was registerd last week by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after the constituent parties had met the prescribed registration conditions. The Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Information and Civic Orientation, Adeyinka Adeloye, who spoke on behalf of the Speaker, described the progressive party as an omen of a better future for the country. He said the APC would give Nigeria a better alternative to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the federal level. The Speaker said the Ekiti State House of Assembly saw the APC as the coming together of people of like minds, adding that the achievements of its governors were testimonies to what to expect, if Nigerians entrusted political mandate to it. Omirin was confident that the APC would provide the expected political leadership the country deserves. He hailed the INEC for approving the merger in line with the provision of the constitution.

•From left: Lt.-Gen. Akinrinade (rtd.), Prof Sekoni, his wife, Banke and Mr Alake...yesterday By Nneka Nwaneri

abused in Nigeria,” he said, calling for a comprehensive reform of the nation’s various sectors. Folorunso added: “Nigeria needs a new constitutional settlement, the aim of which should be to achieve public good and make the state more legible to the citizens.” It was not all an intellectual exercise. There were banters and encomiums. Dignitaries extolled the virtues of the former member of defunct National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) and prodemocracy activist. The dignitaries included Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi; former Ekiti State governor, Otunba Niyi Adebayo;

former NADECO chieftain, Rear Admiral Ndubisi Kanu (rtd); representative of Osun State governor, Mr Muyiwa Oge; Chief Olu Falomo, Mr Jimi Agbaje, Prof Tola Badejo, Chief Bode Akindele, Prof Akin Oyebode, Mrs Hasfat AbiolaConstello, Ambassador Dapo Fafowora, Dr Amos Akingba and Chief Olu Falomo. The Nation Editorial Board members was led by the Managing Director, Mr Victor Ifijeh with Editorial Board Chairman, Mr Sam Omatseye; Editorial Board members - Mr Abimbola Olakunle, Steve Osuji, Femi Orebe, Sanya Oni, Gbolade Omonijo, Segun Onayagbolu and the Editor, Mr Gbenga Omotoso. The “birthday boy” received torrents of tributes and encomi-

ums from notable men. They included former NADECO chieftain , Gen. Alani Akinrinade, who chaired the occasion; former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who was represented by former Lagos State Information Commissioner, Mr Dele Alake, and many others. They described Sekoni as one of the prominent heady players in the struggle for democracy. Folorunsho expressed concern on how to improve Nigeria’s education. He said: “I argue, therefore, for full control of primary and secondary education by the federating states, meaning a complete withdrawal of the Federal Government from these two levels of education provision. There should be a universal and com-

pulsory primary education throughout Nigeria, where no Nigerian child should leave formal education until he or she is 16 years of age. “Thus, the Federal Government can and should transfer the ownership and control of such schools it currently owns to the local governments, where they are situated. Schools belonging to religious bodies should be transferred to the management of local governments on certain terms. That way, parents could be prosecuted for neglect when they prevent their children from having education. “If at anytime the government feels compelled to support any aspect of primary and secondary education, it can and should do so through special programmes.”

Clark: Nigeria doesn’t need armed revolution A FORMER Federal Commissioner, Chief Edwin Clark, has said Nigeria needs a revolution that should be devoid of arms. Instead, he said, the nation requires a revolution for unity love among the various ethnic and religious groups in the land. The elderstatesman noted that if Nigerians would come together and work for the good of the country, the nation would experience the desired development. Clark spoke yesterday when he received the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Youth Transformation Movement and its amalgamated groups. He said: “If there is going to be a change in the lives of our people for more development, the rural areas should be de-

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

veloped; there should be enough light for the people to do whatever business they want to do; there should be enough food for them to eat, not importation of rice. “Nigeria is a great country. If that is done, I know a revolution is in practice. Some countries, including Singapore, encourage people to love one another, work together and believe in one another. “If we can do that and there is an improvement in Nigeria and an improvement in the life style of our people; if the standard of living of the people improves; if everybody is educated, that is the revolution.

There’s nothing more than that. “The military type of revolution is not what we want. Let’s love one another, have regards for each other. Let’s respect those who are called; let’s support our leaders. This is because, when it is your turn; if God puts you there, nobody can stop you. Today, you are in; somebody is out; tomorrow that person will be in and you will be out. That is what we want.” The Ijaw chief, who went down memory lane, noted that the foundation of the country was built on unity and oneness. He said: “I remember that this country, even during the military era, when I was Federal Commissioner for Education; when I was Commissioner for Finance in the Mid-

FEC meeting cancelled From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja


West and when I was also a Minister of Information, even the military exercised the unity of this country more than the civilians. “Before the Civil War, many of them fought, not to bring down an enemy but to bring Nigeria together. That was why Gen. Yakubu Gowon (former Head of State) said it was a police action and not a war.”

WAEC releases ‘inconclusive’ 2013 WASSCE results •Development blamed on North’s insecurity


HE West African Examination Council (WAEC) yesterday said it could not compute the percentage of candidates who made a credit pass in English language, Mathematics and three other subjects because of the security challenges in the North. Releasing the details of the results of the May/June West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) at the council’s headquarters in Yaba, Lagos, WAEC’s Head of the Nigerian National Office Mr Charles Eguridu said some of the scripts were hijacked and eventually stolen by insurgents. The WAEC chief explained that the insurgents waylaid the council’s officials during the examinations. The development has made it difficult for the examinations body to compare this year’s results with the previous years’ figures. But Eguridu said there was an improvement in this year’s results over the previous years’ figures. He said: “We are unable to provide statistics of candidates who obtained five subjects, including English language and Mathematics at this time. This is because many candidates in the Northeast have partial results at the moment, due to the security challenges

HE Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Command, Ikeja, Lagos Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) yesterday handed over a Malian and two Guineans to the National Environmental and Regulatory Enforcement Agency (NESREA) for prosecution. The foreigners allegedly attempted to import 17 wraps of elephant tusks made into hand bangles as well as other ivory products concealed in two bags by the Malian. The Malian, the NCS said, was identified as Diakite Mamadon with passport number BA0640102; the two Guineans are Kaba Aboubacar, with passport number R0239865 and Sidime Yacouba, with passport number R0275919. The Guineans were arrested with eight suitcases containing 43 elephant tusks, 443 ivory bangles and 360 ivory sticks. In a statement yesterday in Ikeja, Lagos, the spokesman of the Airport Command of the NCS Mrs Thelma Williams said the suspects and the elephant tusk products have been handed over to NESREA for prosecution. She explained that if not for the diligence and sharp reflexes of officers and men of the NCS at the MMIA command, the prohibited items would have been imported into the country against global practice of protecting the endangered wild life species from extinction. The NCS spokesperson said the handing over of the suspects was a follow-up to weeks of investigation by NCS officials.

By Adegunle Olugbamila, Education Reporter

encountered there during the conduct of the examination, particularly loss of scripts.” Giving a breakdown of the results, the WAEC chief said 1,689,188 candidates registered for the examination of which 1,671,268, consisting 920,416 males and 750,852 females sat for the examination. Eguridu said 1,543,683 (91.33 per cent) have their results fully released, while 145,505 (8.2 per cent) still have a few of their subjects still being processed because of errors traceable to candidates and their schools in the registration or writing examination. He said: “Of the total number of candidates that sat for the examination, 889,636 (53.23 per cent) obtained six credits and above; 1,074,065 (62.26 per cent) obtained five credits and above. Besides, 1,225,591 candidates (73.33 per cent) obtained credits or above in four subjects, while 1,353,273 (80.97 per cent) obtained credits and above in three subjects. “A total of 1,465,581 candidates (87.69 per cent) obtained credits and above in two subjects.”


HE regular Wednesday meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), which the President or Vice President usually presides over, could not hold yesterday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and head of the council’s secretariat, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, late Tuesday, issued a circular to the various ministries on the cancellation of yesterday’s meeting. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati said that the weekly meeting was suspended yesterday because some Muslim cabinet members had travelled to their states for the Eid-el-Fitri. According to him, some other council members also went to Saudi Arabia to take part in this year’s lesser Hajj. He explained that it was the cabinet members’ constitutional rights to carry out their religious obligations. President Jonathan was in Lagos yesterday to condole with Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN); Vice President Namadi Sambo, who went to Saudi Arabia for Umrah (lesser Hajj), returned to Nigeria Tuesday night.





IPMAN faults claims of kerosene scarcity

States’, FCT’s external debts hit $2.6b, says DMO From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

By Emeka Ugwuanyi


EROSINE is not in short supply, the In dependent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has said. Its National Secretary, Mike Osatuyi, told reporters yesterday that those pedling the rumour were mischievous, and expressed the group’s displeasure over the undue concern the false alarm about kerosene scarcity has caused. He said the National Executive Committee of IPMAN is unhappy with publications calling for the removal of the leadership of the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). He said IPMAN has investigated the matter, and confirmed that those spreading the news on kerosene scarcity are paid agents planning to disrupt the serenity marketers have been enjoying for some period in the downstream sector. “IPMAN controls over 85 per cent of Nigeria’s petroleum products retailing, which makes our association a dominant player in the Nigerian downstream market,” he said, adding that IPMAN is in a vantage position to talk authoritatively on the petroleum products supply and retailing chain in Nigeria. Nigeria has been enjoying consistent supply of petroleum products in the system for a long time arising largely from the activities of NNPC/ PPMC, and contributions from other marketers, he stated.

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$107/barrel Cocoa-$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE -N10.6 trillion JSE -Z5.112trillion NYSE -$10.84 trillion LSE -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -9% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending -22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $48b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472

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

• Okonjo-Iweala


HE 36 states and the Federal Capital Terri tory (FCT) are indebted to foreign creditors

to the tune of $2.641 billion as at June 30, 2013, The Nation has learnt. The debts comprise multilateral loans entered into by the various state governments, according to information sourced from the official website of the Debt Management Office. They exclude arrears owed to the Federal Government as at 30th June 2013. According to the information, the external debt owed by the Federal Government in the period stood at $4.279billion.

Lagos State topped the chart with an external debt profile of $856.53 million, while Borno and Delta have the least external debt profile of $14.34million and $18.85 million respectively. Lagos is followed in the second place by Kaduna with an external debt profile of $225.62 million; Cross River State has N115.01 million and Ogun $105.92 million. The external debt profile of the states according to the DMO is as follows; (Abia $35.249 million); (Adamawa, $29.808million); (Akwa Ibom, $59.786 million); (Anambra, $27.312 million); (Bauchi $66.033); (Bayelsa

27.677 million); (Benue $29.032 million); (Borno $14.343 million); and (Delta, $18.853 million). The others are, (Ebonyi, $41.461 million); (Edo $42.521 million); (Ekiti $35.283 million); (Enugu $51.895 million); (Gombe $32.065 million); (Imo $51.255 milliom); (Jigawa $33.414 million); (Kaduna $225.617 millin); (Kano $61.842 million); (Katsina $72.527 million). The list also includes (Kebbi, $46.335 million); (Kogi $33.723 million); (Kwara $45.229 million); (Nassarawa $36.369 million); (Niger $30.970 million); (Ogun $105.922); (Ondo

•Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson (right) presenting an instrument of transfer to the Managing Director of P & R International Ltd, Mr. Yaron Pinchas (middle) after signing a partnership agreement with the firm for the establishment of aquaculture fish farm, cold storage facility and fish processing plant at the Government House, Yenagoa. With them is Deputy Governor Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John-Jonah.

‘Oil output may rise to 2.5m bpd’


IGERIA’s oil produc tion is set to rise to 2.5 million bopd in the next two weeks as repairs are completed on a major pipeline, a spokeswoman for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, or NNPC, said in a statement. “In a fortnight, repair works on the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) which has a daily capacity of 150,000 [bopd] is expected to be fully completed. On completion, daily average crude

oil production is expected to increase to 2.50 [million bopd]” she said. Shell Petroleum Development Company shut the pipeline in April to remove crude oil theft connections and investigate suspected oil theft leaks. The pipeline’s closure caused SPDC to declare force majeure on its exports of Bonny Light crude oil. Shell declined to comment on when repairs to the pipeline would be completed. Widespread incidences of oil

theft and vandalism significantly dented Nigeria’s oil production in the first quarter of the year. According to NNPC, output in the first quarter fluctuated between 2.1 million and 2.3 million bopd, well below the forecast production level of 2.48 million bopd. According to Nigeria’s submissions to OPEC, its production this year has been even lower. OPEC figures show Nigeria’s output averaged 1.9 million bopd in the first quarter, and was just 1.7 million bopd in June. However, incidences of oil

theft have decreased significantly and production volumes have improved since June, thanks to a joint effort by the oil ministry, NNPC and international oil majors operating in the country. The spokeswoman added that the country’s production should increase further to 2.55 million bbl a day of oil and condensate for the rest of the year. “All that is required is to continue the fight against pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft to achieve this target,” she said.

CBN removes exclusivity agreement with Money of youths in busiHE Central Bank of Transfer Organisations activities ness. Nigeria (CBN) has re


moved the exclusivity agreements which Money Transfer Organisations (MTOs) signed with Nigerian banks. In addition, the apex bank said it will continue to do all that’s needful to ensure that the charges are effectively moderated. The CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who stated this when he addressed Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship in Abuja, said the apex bank was “working towards eliminating rigidities accountable for high remittance charges having established that over 15 per cent of diaspora remittances is

• Guidelines to improve remittance services coming From Nduka Chiejina (Asst. Editor)

for educational purposes of the youths, while 12 per cent supports new businesses in which youths are engaged as either owners or employees.” Represented by the Director, Development Finance of the CBN, Paul Eluhaiwe, Sanusi, said the bank is now in the process of formulating guidelines to improve remittance services delivery environment in Nigeria, adding that an in-

tegral part of the bank’s financial inclusion strategy, “is the establishment of Entrepreneurial Development Centres (EDCs) across the country.” He said this is a critical component since it has been established that “poor income is a key contributory factor to financial exclusion in Nigeria.” He said the EDC initiative will provide empowerment opportunities for the youth to encourage their entrepreneurial endeavors and promote job creation through the

He said through the EDCs, the apex bank has counseled over 100,000 entrepreneurs, trained over 41,000 and facilitated access-to-finance for more than 1,000, thereby keeping their visions of owning thriving enterprises alive. For the women and mothers of the youths, Sanusi said the CBN, “has set a target of ensuring that financial exclusion among women is reduced from 54 per cent to 20 per cent by 2020,” because for a society to grow, women who typically constitute half the population must be elevated and provided with equal opportunities.

$51.830 million); (Osun $62.341 million); (Oyo $74.376 million). The rest are (Plateau $22.340); (Rivers $38.434 million); (Sokoto $42.677 million); (Taraba $22.986 million); (Yobe $31.889 million); (Zamfara $29.461 million) and the FCT $38.396 million.

Content Board concerned over Total’s Egina project By Emeka Ugwuanyi


HE Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), said it is concerned about the implementation of the provisions of Nigerian Content Act in Total’s Egina field’s floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel project. The NCDMB in a letter to the Managing Director of Total Upstream Nigeria Limited highlighted the need for Total to advise Samsung Heavy industries (SHI), the company that won the contract to construct the FPSO to comply strictly with the directives from the board on the packages (activities) that should be done in-country. The Board stated that employment projections and capacity building, which it submitted to the government were based on the calculations anchored on the packages that should be carried out in Nigeria, which must not be thwarted. The packages stipulated the quantum of jobs that should be done in different fabrication yards in the country depending on the facilities they have and competence. For instance, Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL), was slated to carry out between 1,500mt and 3000mt worth of fabrication job but Samsung wants to do 10,000mt fabrication job there.

Nigeria, US partner on food production From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano


IDAN Makama Na tional Museum Kano and Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, USA is to hold a collaborative programme, that will bring youths together from both countries, to be focused be on food production. The programme, with the theme ‘’Cultural Cuisine’’ A shared Culinary Experience is jointly developed by the two institutions under a United States sponsored programme of ‘’Museum Connect’’. Among others the objective of the programme is to connect youths from Nigeria and the United States through Cultural Exchange with emphasis on food production and consumption.















Now that Ramadan is over ... •Muslims should not return to any bad habit that they jettisoned during the fasting


FTER a month-long ascetic life and spiritual renaissance as directed by Allah, the Ramadan celebration of Eid-el-Fitri holds today. The word Eid is an Arabic which means festival while fitr means charity. It is one of the two festivals of high Islamic importance. Today, as usual, is an occasion of bliss and thanksgiving that holds on the first day of the 10th month of Islamic lunar calendar, with expectations of illimitable happiness for devotees. We expect all good Muslims throughout the world to seize the occasion, to once again, reiterate their renewed commitment to Allah’s commandments: And their preparedness to live with adherents of other religions in peace. Muslims and their well wishers should not indulge in depraved or obnoxious conducts. The celebration should be modest. We expect them to take advantage of the day to demonstrate sensitivity to the feelings of those around them. That is why the lessons of the holy month must reflect in the way all Muslims relate with friends, non-Muslims inclusive. Muslims, whose fast is based on imaan (sincerity), should truly expect rewardIhtisaab, from Allah. They are assured that their past sins will be forgiven. Allah surely multiplies the rewards of fasting beyond human comprehension. But can it be assumed that all Muslims that fasted have that element of sincerity? Not when some, hiding under the guise of Islam, senselessly bomb and kill others. We

have other questions for those types of Muslims: Did they perform their fast with true belief and full surrender to Allah? Are they positively inclined towards fellow human beings? Can they confidently say that Ramadan has cleansed them of their prior weaknesses and cruelties? The pious habit of Qur’an recitation should not stop after Ramadan. We enjoin all faithful to be resolute in their positive resolve and to also pray to Allah to give them the grace not to be good Muslims only during Ramadan period. The Holy Spirit-filled environment of unity and spiritual rebirth of the month should be sustained beyond 30 days, not only among Muslims but also among adherents of other religions in the country. Every human being is expected to be his brother’s keeper and should cultivate and indulge in things that would make the community and the entire world one peaceful place for all to live in. In the spirit of Ramadan, we call on governments, institutions and the people to have an attitudinal change that would not negate the commandments of Allah. The unscrupulous conducts and actions usually preceding the holy month of Ramadan, especially by the Boko Haram Islamic fundamentalists, have taken the country nowhere. What should be done now is to continue to practice and sustain the pious preaching learnt during Ramadan for the sake of humanity. The insecurity inflicted on the nation by the Boko Haram and others through sui-

cide bombings is barbaric. It negates the preaching of Islam as a religion of peace. The criminality of Boko Haram insurgents is a dent on the image of Islam and that of reasonable/law-abiding Muslims in the country who are averse to their obstreperous acts. Moving Nigeria forward entails not disturbing the peace of the nation but being good ambassadors of Islam in deeds and speeches wherever we live in the country or anywhere in the world. That is the greatest respect that all Muslims can pay to Allah and Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), His messenger, as we celebrate the end of fast today.

‘Every human being is expected to be his brother’s keeper and should cultivate and indulge in things that would make the community and the entire world one peaceful place for all to live in. In the spirit of Ramadan, we call on governments, institutions and the people to have an attitudinal change that would not negate the commandments of Allah’

Tin god •Akpabio’s treatment of people indicating interest in certain public offices gives cause for concern


ELEBRATED British playwright, George Bernard Shaw had the likes of Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State in mind when he wrote ages ago that the only lesson man learns from history is that he never learns from history. Or, how else does one interpret the recent gangster-like method of removing the former Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Umana Okon Umana, from office. According to newspaper reports, plain clothed security men barricaded the former SSG’s office, moved from one office to the other, locked the doors and checked the hand bags of staff of the of-

‘Not too long ago, Governor Akpabio embarked on an elaborate charade to recall Senator Alloysius Etuk from the Ikot-Ekpene senatorial district. The senator’s ‘crime’ was that he openly declared his interest to seek re-election in 2015. Akpabio would have none of that. That is the same seat he is eyeing after his eight-year gubernatorial sojourn. And as he (Akpabio) unashamedly disclosed to a shocked audience, the senator didn’t win the party’s primaries, he it was, who substituted the name of Senator Etuk for the real winner’

fice before ordering them to leave. Umana’s crime, as defined by Akpabio, was the former’s‘effrontery’ in declaring his ambition to govern the state in 2015. After what he described as due consultations with stakeholders across the state, the former SSG declared: “I have decided to make public my intention to run for the office of governor of the state …” Akpabio, the all-knowing governor who sees himself as the best thing that has happened to the hapless state, would have nothing of that. How could anyone harbour such an ambition without his blessing? He sees it as part of his remit to decide who will take over from him at the end of his tenure in 2015. Akpabio not only knows what is good for the state, only he is imbued with the wisdom to determine the ambition of his people. In the infallible wisdom of the governor, Umana would do well as Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. So he offered him what many would consider a juicy job. The oracle had spoken! To the surprise of Akpabio, the former SSG turned down the NDDC job. Hence, this resort to executive lawlessness! Keen watchers of the politics of the state will recall that Akpabio’s predecessor, Obong Victor Attah, did not send security agents after Akpabio when he indicated interest in succeeding Attah in 2007. Although Attah preferred his son-in-law to Akpabio for the gubernatorial seat, he never went as far as humiliating Akpabio or throwing decency to the winds as Akpabio has done in this instance. If the governor feels the former SSG’s public declaration to contest for the gov-

ernorship of the state could distract him from his official duties, the next line of action is not a wanton display of raw power. There are accepted civilised ways of reliving a high public officer of his job. Governor Akpabio must be worried about what is increasingly becoming his trademark and should therefore be concerned about the verdict of history. When his former deputy, Nsima Ekere openly voiced a similar interest in governing the state come 2015, Akpabio forced him to resign his position as deputy governor of the state. Not too long ago, Governor Akpabio embarked on an elaborate charade to recall Senator Alloysius Etuk from the IkotEkpene senatorial district. The senator’s ‘crime’ was that he openly declared his interest to seek re-election in 2015. Akpabio would have none of that. That is the same seat he is eyeing after his eight-year gubernatorial sojourn. And as he (Akpabio) unashamedly disclosed to a shocked audience, the senator didn’t win the party’s primaries, he it was, who substituted the name of Senator Etuk for the real winner. In other words, the governor rigged his party’s primaries in favour of another candidate! The clowning in Akwa Ibom State has again brought to the fore the quality of people that have been thrown up since the commencement of civilian rule in 1999. As the nation moves towards the crucial 2015 elections, the political parties should be reminded of the need for internal democracy. Persons to be presented for public office must be fit and proper persons: in learning and character.

Zimbabwe shows how to steal an election


HAT IS a free and fair election? Some observers of the balloting completed last week in Zimbabwe came away saying it wasn’t nearly as violent and tumultuous as the 2008 vote, which forced President Robert Mugabe into an uneasy power-sharing arrangement with a rival, Morgan Tsvangirai. The former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, head of an African Union mission, said the latest balloting was free and fair “from the campaigning point of view,” although there were “incidents that could have been avoided.” The Southern African Development Community, which had 562 observers, called the elections “free and peaceful,” but noted that it is too early to call them fair. The elections certainly were not fair. Official results released Saturday gave Mr. Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe since 1980, 61 percent of the vote, and Mr. Tsvangirai 33 percent, with 6 percent going to other parties. Mr. Tsvangirai called the vote “fraudulent and stolen” and demanded a new election be held. There is good reason for his party, the Movement for Democratic Change, to cry foul. Observers reported that far too many voters were given election day “assistance,” which may have swayed their choices. There was a mysterious surplus of ballots and allegations of votes being cast on behalf of deceased voters and active voters being omitted wholesale from the rolls. It seems that Mr. Mugabe learned lessons from the last election and set out this time to win in a way that would not bring international criticism. Above all, the voting was kept relatively calm. The fix was put in behind closed doors. We fear Mr. Mugabe is not alone in practicing this method. Autocrats around the world seem to be passing around a playbook that shows how to rig elections quietly. It is not hard to guess what’s in this playbook. First, take control of the state media and exclude your opponents well before the voting. Then, seize control of the election machinery itself and make sure that your rigged triumph is plausible (in other words, not 99 percent). Third, avoid any signs of voter intimidation that can be recorded by a camera. Last, declare that the people have spoken, and do not look back. Even in these restrictive conditions, civil society groups sometimes gain a foothold, with results that show weakening support for the powers that be. Certainly, Mr. Mugabe has not eliminated the opposition. The recent vote in Cambodia, too, exposed a growing and powerful civil society despite Hun Sen’s victory. President Vladimir Putin of Russia won his reelection in 2012 but has been unable to stamp out simmering discontent. Often, the losers in these contests reveal more about the true state of affairs than the winners. Everyone who cares about democracy ought to be on the lookout for subtle methods of stealing an election. Both the United States and the United Kingdom properly criticized Mr. Mugabe for tilting the playing field. The ultimate goal of democracy is to build a vibrant civil society that connects the rulers and the ruled. It starts with respect at the ballot box. – Washington Post

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi •Editor, Online Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli •Managing Editor Waheed Odusile •Deputy Editor Lawal Ogienagbon •Deputy Editor (News) Adeniyi Adesina •Deputy Editor (Nation’s Capital) Yomi Odunuga •Group Political Editor Emmanuel Oladesu •Group Business Editor Ayodele Aminu •Sport Editor Ade Ojeikere •Editorial Page Editor Sanya Oni

• Executive Director (Finance & Administration) Ade Odunewu • Gen. Manager (Training and Development) Soji Omotunde •Chief Internal Auditor Toke Folorunsho •Senior Manager (sales) Akeem Shoge •Advert Manager Robinson Osirike •IT Manager Bolarinwa Meekness •Press Manager Udensi Chikaodi •Manager, Corporate Marketing Hameed Odejayi • Manager (Admin) Folake Adeoye





IR: The British people without consulting us amalgamated diverse ethnic groups together and christened the union Nigeria. So, a revered northern monarch called the union the mistake of 1914; and, Chief Awolowo referred to Nigeria as a mere geographical expression. Since Nigeria came into being, we have always been conscious of our ethnic origins. In the 1950s, during our struggle for political emancipation, the northerners wanted to secede over the nine point programme. More so, the political parties that existed in pre-independence era and first republic were ethnic-based political parties. They were not na-


Why Nigeria remains backward tional in out-look. The AG was to the Yorubas what NCNC was to the Igbos, while NPC was owned by the northerners. When the intractable crisis in the western region prompted and motivated the five majors to topple the regime of Sir Tafawa Balewa, it was branded an Igbo coup. Conse-

quently, a counter-coup happened some six months, later; and, the Hausa-Fulani carried out a genocidal decimation of the Igbo population in the north. This led to the 30-month Civil War, at the end of which Yakubu Gowon declared that neither side emerged as the winner in the Nigerian-Biafrian

civil war. It was no victor and no vanquished. He formulated some programmes, like the NYSC that will help us to achieve national integration and cohesion. But, true peace and unity has continued to elude us since then. We are retrogressing in Nigeria because the issue of ethnic origin is

On the death of three journalists


IR: On Friday August 1, three officials of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) went the way of all flesh from a fatal auto crash. The road mishap that claimed the lives of the three journalists and left 10 others injured, occurred along Ilesha-Ibadan expressway, when one of the rear tyres of the bus conveying them to Ibadan and Lagos reportedly burst, causing it to veer off the road and somersault several times before crashing into the bush. The sad incident came as a great shock to Nigerians, as the media practitioners were returning home from Abuja to reunite with their different families, after attending a meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the NUJ. For the three newsmen, it was clearly a case of dying in active service to humanity. They died while fighting the cause of their colleagues in the pen profession. As a matter of fact, they wanted an improved working condition for Nigerian journalists. But alas, in the process of the struggle, they died! The three of them – Adolphus Okonkwo, Olatunde Oluwanike and Kafayat Odunsi must never be forgotten and the cause for which they died must continually be pursued with every vigour and vehemence. The torrents of reactions and

condolence messages from prominent Nigerians and various groups in the country evidently showed how painful the incident was to all and sundry. There is no gainsaying the fact that Nigerian roads are death traps. Out of 193 countries ranked by World Health Organisation (WHO) in its research, Nigeria came 192, making it the second worst country globally in terms of number of deaths triggered off by road accidents. This was as quoted by the Chief Executive of Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Mr. Osita

Chidoka from a report of the WHO. Official statistics from the FRSC equally showed that an average of 11 people were killed in road accidents daily across Nigeria in 2012, and this translates to over 4,000 deaths. A total of 20, 752 people also sustained different degrees of injuries, an indication that an average of 56 people, were injured in road accidents on daily basis last year. I think something radical has to be done to reduce the rate at which precious lives are being lost via avoidable auto crash. Motorists must equally learn to be very

cautious and mindful of others road users while driving. About 24 years ago at a tender age and in 2011, I lost my beloved father and uncle respectively to motor mishap. Less than a week before the accident that took the lives of these three fellow journalists, God actually saved my life from a similar incident around the same IleshaIbadan highway, where one of the back tyres of the car I was driving with my neighbour inside blew out and it almost somersaulted. • Michael Jegede, Lagos

one of the factors that determine those who will occupy exalted positions in our super-structure. When merit is sacrificed on the altar of ethnic origin and religion, backwardness is guaranteed. Nigeria moves in circles as old and tired and incompetent people are recycled into power in order to ensure balance of power among the ethnic groups that make up Nigeria. Is Nigeria being led by her first eleven? Mediocre leadership yields infrastructural decay, dysfunctional educational system and others. Were Obama to be living in Kenya, the Kikuyu and Luo ethnic rivalry would deny him the opportunity of actualizing his political ambitions and aspirations. Americans de-emphasize their differences, but have been harnessing their diversities and potentials to achieve economic prosperity and technological advancement. It is apparent that Nigeria is not practicing true federalism. The pseudo and lop-sided federalism we are practicing cannot cater to the exigencies of the time and our peculiar problems. This pseudofederalism accounts for our stunted national development. • Chiedu Uche Okoye, Uruowulu-Obosi, Anambra State.

Merger jinx may have been broken but…


IR: To protect your privacy, remote images are blocked in this message. Display images History of democracy in Nigeria has shown that it is not easy for opposition parties to form a strong mega party to tame activities of the leading party in power. Since 1999 when democracy returned to Nigeria, opposition parties have failed to form a formidable party, and this has given the leading party opportunity to foist second class leadership on the country. Although it was jubilation galore across the nation especially among the opposition party members when INEC pronounced the

registration of APC, the jinx may have been broken and the sky clearer, but the reality is that it is not yet Uhuru. A mere merger constituting members from different political parties is not enough. The agitation or desperation to win 2015 presidential election after the merger is still not the best way out of our mess. If the new party is out to meet the aspirations of the Nigerian people, there is urgent need to work on their manifestos, internal democracy and to eschew the politics of imposition and then convince Nigerians that the new party can make the difference.

There are still bridges to cross. What do we say about the clash of interests among party leaders in the past that has led to failure and death of some political parties? For a successful taming and annihilation of a party that is controlling government at the centre, the opposition party must unite. Individual or personal interest should not be allowed at all. The lingering and heartbreaking issue in the land is no longer the name of your party. It is not the acronyms or how popular the party is across the globe. Nigerians right from the Second

Republic till this moment has fallen victim of the big party. Yes! It is not the name but the individual that would bring succour to the downtrodden; not the thief that would acquire wealth for his immediate family but the servant that show concern for this dying generation. Nigerians are clamouring for quality of leadership, a leadership that cares and they yearn for the political party that produces the personality. • Alifia Sunday Ibadan.




Financing development in Nigeria


INCE the discovery of oil in large quantities, particularly since 1970, the question of taxation has not always been in the front burner of discussion but with the inevitable decline in oil and gas receipts, we must begin to discuss alternative sources of revenue in this country. First of all, it is not healthy to depend on what amounts to collection of commission from oil companies by the national government and sharing it down the line to the states and local governments. This comprador capitalism is not healthy. The side effect of this mode of financing development is the rampant corruption in the country because the ordinary people are not feeling the pinch of taxation. Oil and gas money apparently do not come from people’s pocket so they are not in a position to protest against embezzlement at all levels. The inevitability of decline in national revenue arising from stealing of crude oil and under-declaring of production by multinationals as well as sabotage of gas and oil pipelines by criminals parading themselves as militants and finally the development of shale gas in the United States and Canada and possibly in Europe and Asia will no doubt have serious consequences on national revenue in Nigeria. This may save us from the curse of oil which has ruined the mentality of our leaders and the psyche of our people. The days of cheap money may be coming to an end. This should not be a cause of worry for the ordinary people; in fact we should look forward to it. Since 1956 when oil was discovered in Oloibiri, the present day Bayelsa State, we have not really exploited to the full, the use of oil for our national development but now that the days of cheap money is coming to an end and we have still not industrialised our economy or developed necessary infrastructure for an industrial take-off, we have now to begin to look at alternative sources of financing for development. Apart from a few people who are employed in the private and public sectors and who have taxes deducted at source from their salaries, most people in Nigeria do not pay taxes. This may sound unbelievable that there are billionaires in Nigeria who are in self-employment who pay no taxes. Taxing these people is a veritable source of revenue for development if government is serious about its responsibilities. There are two ways by which taxes can be collected – this could be in direct or poll taxes on income but since this is going to be difficult because of our poor statistics and limited commercial intelligence and the unfairness of levying uniform taxes on all. It may be wiser to rely on consumer taxes as well as property taxes. Consumer taxes can be imposed on everything that we buy especially in shops, restaurants, pharmacies, and other such organised places. Property taxes can be levied as the name implies on all landed properties in the country. Lagos state calls


HAD always looked forward to meeting someone from Maiduguri, the epicentre of the activities of Boko Haram in Borno State. What will the person look like? Will he look terrified? Will he bear visible scars (not necessarily from personal attacks) of the Boko Haram insurgency? And most importantly, will he be willing to relive his experience in the sect’s enclave. Yes, whether we like it or not, Maiduguri has become Boko Haram’s enclave because it holds sway there. For many of us down South, Maiduguri or any of those places where Boko Haram rules are not where we want to visit even when the opportunity arises to do so, with little or no cost to us. As journalists, we literally run away when we are told to come and go to Maduguri on assignment. With mouths wide open, we look at the person talking to us with eyes that that say : old boy na now I know say you no like me. It is as if the person suggesting that we should go to Maiduguri wants us dead. On such occasion, we tend to forget that there are people living, schooling or working in the town. This is why I had been anxious to meet someone from there. The good Lord answered my prayer a few weeks ago when I met a female student from the beleaguered city. If I had not been told that she is from Maiduguri, I wouldn’t have known that she is from there because there were no telltale signs of the trouble over there on her. She looked every bit like any of the girls you run into on the streets of Lagos daily. With a shiny, ebony black skin, Jennifer, let’s just call her that, did not carry the burden of coming from a place like

this land use levy. It is not a popular way of taxes but it is necessary, I applaud Lagos state for this innovation which if I must say comes directly from Canada. I also recommend this land use taxes to all states of the federation and the federal capital territory in Abuja. The caveat is that this is a state tax and not a federal tax and on no account should the federal government meddle in raising property taxes. In any case, any sensible person knows that the federal government in Nigeria is the most powerful federal government in the world and our president enjoys untrammelled power that is not comparable to any president in any place in the world and we do not want to increase this power. One hopes that the discussion on the constitution would severely devolve power from the centre to the states and the regions. Other taxes that should be raised are excise duties on industrial products manufactured in the country and my suggestion is that these excise duties should no longer belong in the province of the federal government. They should be state taxes in order to boost the revenue of the state so that development can be local rather than being sucked into the Aegean stable of the corruption at the centre. The federal government of course will continue to collect custom duties as well as mineral taxes and in this regard, it may be useful to have a profound discussion on mineral rights including oil and gas. The time may already have come to find a way out of the stealing going on in the oil-producing areas by resolving the question of ownership in favour of the oil and gas and mineral producing areas of the country. The federal government will therefore be in a position to impose any percentage of tax ranging from 0-100% on mineral production. Nobody likes to pay taxes and this is not a unique foible of Nigerians, it is universal but payment of taxes is necessary. There can be no democratic representation without taxes. We cannot have government of the people, for the people, by the people without the responsibilities that go with it in terms of sustaining the government through taxes and there can be no room for the people as stakeholders unless they pay taxes and the only way by which the people can take possession and own the government and be observant about what is going on is if they pay taxes to sustain the government. Hence, payment of taxes is good for the people because this is the only way they can rein in corruption through their oversight of government expenditure. All our cry of corruption will remain futile cry unless we are involved in funding the government but as of now, only a few taxpayers can legitimately shout foul when corruption is exposed. The others feel that government money is nobody’s money and can be stolen at will. In the 1960s, during the height of the Agbekoya rebellion in the old west-

ern region, the reason why the rebellion was widespread was because people were called upon to pay taxes particularly in the rural areas. The people were not opposed to paying taxes, what Tafa Adeoye and his people complained about was that Jide money was being Osuntokun collected without commensurate development. In order to stop this bush fire from spreading, the government in the western region had to suspend the poll tax. This may not be the experience in the north where Jangali or cattle tax has been paid from time immemorial. What the history of taxation teaches us in Nigeria is that government must respond to the developmental needs of the people if there is going to be peace and the reason why we still have peace in spite of apparent lack of development and positive government response to our developmental need is because by and large, most Nigerians are not paying taxes. I call on our governments at the local, state and federal government levels to begin to educate our people about the need to pay taxes if we want development. This is the time to do this so that it is a gradual process rather than wait until the hydrocarbon market collapses before we embark on fire brigade method of levying taxes that will be needed to fund government operations. A stitch in time saves nine, if we do nothing now, we may not be able to do it when the time comes.

‘What the history of taxation teaches us in Nigeria is that government must respond to the developmental needs of the people if there is going to be peace and the reason why we still have peace in spite of apparent lack of development and positive government response to our developmental need is because by and large, most Nigerians are not paying taxes’

Boko Haram: A Maiduguri resident’s first - hand account Maiduguri on her face at all. Instead, she smiled knowingly as Adeniyi Adesina, the Deputy Editor (News) of this paper, and I chatted with her. She pardoned our benign ignorance as we regaled her with how we believe that Maiduguri must be looking like now with Boko Haram ruling the place. Jennifer laughed and laughed, saying in between her laughter that things are not like that at all. Maiduguri, she told us is ‘’peaceful’’. ‘’Peaceful’’, Niyi and I shouted, adding : ‘’With all that we have been hearing that place cannot be peaceful’’. ‘’In fact, the peace of Maiduguri had long been shattered’’, I added for effect. The girl looked at me and laughed, wondering what could be wrong with this man who, as the Yoruba would say, ‘’wants to know a child more than the mother’’ Our encounter with Jennifer was an eye - opener of sorts for Niyi and I about how little we know of what is really happening in Maiduguri besides the Boko Haram insurgency, which has been dominating reports from there in the past four years. Is Maiduguri that safe for habitation that a girl like Jennifer could come from there and be bold enough to engage Niyi and I in discussion about her much beloved town. Even though, Jennifer says she is from Biu, on the outskirts of Maiduguri, she stays more in the Borno State capital than in her home town. As a reporter, my mind kept going back to that encounter with

‘Our encounter with Jennifer was an eye - opener about how little we know of what is really happening in Maiduguri besides the Boko Haram insurgency, which has been dominating reports from there in the past four years’

Jennifer. Is it that Maiduguri is safe and we are painting a different picture of a ravaged town in Lagos? How do we get her to put this in writing? The reporter in me wanted a story as told by her in order to put a human face to the Maiduguri conundrum. But I could not do that without her permission. To use her story without her consent will be a breach of trust and confidence. Because of the confidence Jennifer has in this paper, she has agreed to tell her story herself soon. Niyi and I were able to convince her that it would take people like her to come out and talk for Nigerians to know that things are not as bad as they believe in Maiduguri. ‘’If you don’t talk, we, like most Nigerians, will continue to believe that Maiduguri is a no go area. But you have just come from the place, looking good, well kept and healthy. There cannot be a better poster child for Maiduguri, at least for now, than you’’, we told her. This was all Jennifer needed to open up during our private discussion later . “ efore the death of Moham med Yusuf, the sect’s founder, in 2009, Maiduguri was peaceful’’, she bagan. ‘’There was cordial relationship between Muslims and Christians. Life went on smoothly. People went about their businesses without being molested. There were no fears of any attack. Things changed after the death of Mohammed Yusuf. His followers wanted to avenge his death because they believe that he was killed by security men. That was when this problem started. People started staying away from the streets to avoid being attacked or caught in the crossfire of attacks. ‘’In the heat of this, the government imposed curfew on Maiduguri. Even before the curfew, by 6 p.m., you won’t find people on


the streets. Many would have returned home. I attend the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), The campus is peaceful. We go for our lectures regularly without any cause for alarm. Students are in school; even those from the South are among us. We relate very well. We don’t have any reason to fear for Boko Haram. You can’t even know a Boko Haram member. You may even be living with a member of Boko Haram without knowing. There is nothing to distinguish a Boko Haram member from other people. ‘’Before Mohammed Yusuf’s death, you could know a Boko Haram member by his dressing. Then, they wore long beards and their trousers were not full length. I don’t remember the kind of dress they wore. The university is on Maiduguri - Bama road, but there is no problem on campus. Lectures are going on. It s difficult to know who a Boko Haram member is. Even, they can be among soldiers and policemen. If you inform the police or the army about any Boko Haram member, you may be looking for trouble because you will be found out and killed. Now, they don’t dress like they used to do while Mohammed Yusuf was alive. So, you cannot tell who is a Boko Haram member or not. But the town is generally peaceful. Women go to the market; children go to school. If Boko Haram attacks anywhere there must be reason for it’’. ‘’Is it then safe for me to visit Maiduguri?’’ I asked. ‘’Yes’’, she answered, ‘’as long as you don’t go and report any Boko Haram member to the police’’, and we burst into laughter. You will soon meet Jennifer, mind you, not that Jennifer, in this paper.

Lawal Ogienagbon SMS ONLY: 08099400204

Wild, wild Wike They call him Nyesom Wike and he is the Minister of State for Education, a position he got, courtesy of Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi when the going was good between them. In their party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), nobody can become minister in a state without the governor’s nod. So, it amounts to empty boast, today, by Wike that Amaechi had no input in how he became minister. He can tell that to the Marines. Wike spoke like that because of the rift between him and Amaechi. We can understand that. Shouldn’t he have limited himself to that statement instead of pouring invectives on Amaechi? You don’t address a governor like that no matter your grievances. What reconciliation are we then talking about if Wike can be al lowed to shoot his mouth in public like that? His masters had better call him to order. CORRECTION Paragraph 9, lines 10 - 17 of last week’s column titled: The Sanusi - CBN years should have read : In one fell swoop, Erastus Akingbola (Intercontinental), Okey Nwosu (Finbank), Sebastian Adigwe (Afribank), Mrs Cecilia Ibru (Oceanic) and Bartholomew Ebong (Union) were sent packing by Sanusi (not Soludo as published) . The error is regretted.





HE image of President Jonathan behind the wheel of land-mover to mark the kick off of work on the long abandoned Lagos-Ibadan expressway was not only insensitive but equally an assault on the sensibilities of Nigerians who had been at one time or the other marooned on that road for hours, sometimes days or have lost loved ones in the harvest of deaths occasioned by PDP 14 years of misrule, of corruption and of abandoned projects spread across the nation. That the collapsed Lagos-Ibadan expressway has been the most visible is because of its impact on our overall socio-economic development. It is only in this part of the world that politicians behave as if they are doing those who elected them a favour. Tragically, PDP that should be apologizing to Nigerians, victims of the party’s inept leadership, has been celebrating what was nothing but a ‘Sagamu charade’, as another manifestation of President Jonathan transformation agenda. The party has now said, through Caesar Okeke, its acting secretary, that the flag-off was a demonstration of President Jonathan’s love for the people of South-west as the exercise has ‘‘put the lie’ to the insinuation of marginalization against South-west by the Jonathan administration’. But PDP forgets that the people of South-west, like their true representatives, the ACN governors that snubbed the Sagamu charade, have the capacity to interpret even the motive behind greetings. These are highly principled and proud people who at the height of intimidation and oppression by federal government backed Akintola NNDP’s ‘Ijoba Tulasi’ (government by force) loudly proclaimed ‘if you see my hand, you cannot see my heart’. They can differentiate between those who treat them with contempt and those who treat them with respect. Not even the Works Minister, Mike Onolememen’s statement that federal government renewed interest on the road was informed by the fact that “It is a major artery that connects Lagos, major Nigerian seaports, to other states of the federation and forms not only a part of the Trans-Saharan Highway that links Lagos on the Atlantic Ocean to Algiers on the Mediterranean Sea but also part of the Trans-African Highway”, has stopped the celebration of the absurd by PDP buccaneers who assumed the abandonment of this all important road for 14 years hurt the South-west more. But the truth of the matter is that the South-west that has many alternative interstate roads through Agege, Ota, Ikorodu, Epe,


President Jonathan Sagamu road-show Sagamu, Ijebu-Ode to Ibadan, Abeokuta and Ilaro; is not the greatest victim of federal government 14 years of insensitivity. Those hit most are other Nigerians from South-south, South-east, North-central and North-west that have no alternative to traversing through the road to ferry their goods from the country’s major port and the nation’s economic nerve centre. Governor Fashola of Lagos recently observed that ‘all manner of things happen in an election season’. But let us pretend we don’t know the president is a veteran of politics of subterfuge, politics of trade-off, that the flag off of work was motivated by politics of 2015, and that the acting PDP scribe was right about the president’s new found love for South-west. The problem however is that judging from PDP antecedents and the numerous abandoned projects all over the country; successful completion of the road in spite of the flagoff with fanfare is not assured. Indeed the only thing that appears certain in spite of PDP fraudulent celebration of yet to be implemented transformation agenda is that relief for motorists that ply Lagos-Ibadan expressway is a forlorn hope. The reasons are apparent. First, we have passed through this same road before. Obasanjo, Jonathan’s godfather once embarked on similar road show when he flagged off with fanfare, the Ibadan-Ilorin expressway in 2001. Last week, after 13 years of politics of ‘motion without movement’, the current PDP minister of works assured Nige-

N my writings, I have always been guided by Alex Haley’s immortal words, which he also modified into his personal motto, “Find the Good and Praise It”. The late Haley, bestselling author of ‘’Roots”” and ‘’Malcolm x”, who lived his life by these six words, profoundly believed that a lot of things could be wrong with something, but, if you look hard enough, you could find the good in it. And the good that you find is what you should comment about and praise it for. So, for me, as much as I could, I try to find the good and praise it. This encourages people, especially political and corporate leadership, to do more in the quest to uplift the society that we live in. Two years ago, an obviously elated Senator Abiola Ajimobi, at his inauguration as Governor of Oyo State, declared that the journey to restoration had begun. “Today, we begin the journey to restore efficient infrastructure in place of the year-long decay, restore integrity in our public institutions that have been perennially abused and compromised, restore the faith of our people in government, as against the regime of widespread scepticism and fright in the institution of government… The priorities of this administration shall thus be human capital development, healthcare delivery, infrastructure development, integration revitalization, development of agriculture and the agroallied industry, improved security and good governance,’’ he had said. A content analysis of this narrative however revealed nothing new or different from similar promises made and largely unfulfilled by past leaders in Oyo State. Therefore, there was nothing really to be excited about as we had heard even better nourished and sugar-coated words in the past without any concrete corresponding action towards the fulfilment of such promises made to the people. Often times, elected office holders recognize the need for certain drastic reforms which initially would be a painful and an unpopular measure, but would rather shy away from taking such risks for fear of being defeated when seeking reelection, believing that such suicide move could sound the death knell of their political career. This was the case with past political leaders in Oyo State, the late Bola Ige administration being an exception. They lacked the political will to face the urgent challenge of transformation. These past leaders did not have the guts to effect change that would have ensured a better and robust life for the citizenry, but were more interested in selfishly sustaining their political relevance. They therefore woefully failed what the Americans call the Political Courage Test. When Senator Ajimobi came into office, Ibadan, the state capital was like a shanty town, with crudely built shacks littering almost every available space in the ancient city touted to be one of the largest and dirtiest cities in Africa. It

rians that efforts ‘are being made to complete the Oyo-Ogbomosho portion of the road.’ There were other road shows by successive PDP work ministers. Adeseye Ogunlewe flagged off the rehabilitation and reconstruction of this same Lagos-Ibadan expressway shortly before the 2003 election. Under Tony Anenih currently the chairman of Nigeria Ports Authority and chairman of PDP (BOT) as Minister of Works, over N300b budgetary allocation for roads construction, brought little relief to road users. There was also the road show by the current minster of petroleum that had, as minister of works, wept and sobbed like a baby while supervising the suffering of motorists on the collapsed SagamuOre Benin expressway. The revered Oba of Benin who did not want his palace desecrated was said to have barred one PDP minister of works from entering his palace. One other reason to assume the whole flag off was a political gimmick or a publicity stunt that is not likely to end the nightmares of motorists plying the Lagos-Ibadan expressway anytime soon can be deduced from the candor of the president who has already indirectly hinted that the funds to construct the road are not readily available. The president is more cautious than his PDP riotous merchants and celebrants. This is understandable. He already has his cup full. The Presidential Projects Assessment Committee (PPAC) he set up in March 2011, to look into cases of abandoned federal government projects claimed that there were

11,886 abandoned projects that will cost an estimated N7.78 trillion to complete. The Institute of Project Management of Nigeria (IPMN) and the president’s Special Assistant on Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Professor Sylvester Monye have given the breakdown and the spread of some of the projects to the public. They include the 400 metre long Utor bridge along Asaba-EbuUromi road awarded in 2006 but abandoned in 2009, Ikorodu-Sagamu road and Lagos-Otta road project awarded in 2001 but abandoned by both Impresit Bakolori PLC and Julius Berger because of ‘inadequate funding,’; the 36 kilometres Bodo-Bonny road in Rivers awarded in 2002; the abandoned 285 NNDC projects and 1,994 rural electrification projects among many others spread around the various geo-political zones of the country. Experts have claimed that ‘it will take more than five years budgeting about N1.5trillion annually to complete these abandoned projects’, if government does not add new ones. But , as recently argued by Nasir El Rufai, ex minister for Abuja federal territory, “rather than these figures compelling the government to accelerate… the government would rather continue the weekly charade of awarding new contracts or re-awarding old ones at higher prices during its weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meetings.” To many cynics and government critics, it is only logical to assume the Lagos-Ibadan expressway flag-off perfectly fits into this charade conceived in the main to raise money for 2015 which has already taken on the character of ‘do or die election’ as evidenced by the on-going PDP’s vicious intra-party battles. Government’s failure to give sufficient information on the contract is further fueling this suspicion. For instance the public would like to be assured that N1.3b rate for a kilometre of road is competitive. And if according to the minister of works, “government concession agreement with Messrs BiCourtney to develop …, a distance of approximately 105 kilometres under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement” was at a cost of N98.5b in 2009, they want to know why 127 kilometres is now costing N167 billion. Although the money is not even there to start with, but a gloomier prospect is the project getting stagnated after the election, to be followed by an upward review of cost by a 100 percent as recently witnessed by the stagnated vice president’s official mansion and the abandoned Lagos-Otta road.

Ajimobi and the audacity to transform By Gbenga Ogunremi therefore became imperative to put in place a transformation agenda that is proactive and at the same time drastic if he was to achieve any meaningful infrastructural development. Driven by a political will that is resilient and irrepressible, Ajimobi set about the onerous task by putting in place a virile agenda that would correct the ills of the past and strategically reposition Oyo State for greater social and economic prosperity which ultimately benefits the people of all classes in the society. The uncompromising implementation of the reformation agenda was meant to present an environment that would eventually become a veritable investment destination. This could only mean one thing: that Ibadan, the state capital and its environs must transform from what Prof. J.P. Clark described as a “running splash of rust and gold, flung and scattered among seven hills like a broken china in the sun”. However, the first six months of the administration was a little on the quiet side as no concrete and visible infrastructural development was in place. This naturally gave the opposition the needed strength to vehemently criticize the administration as incompetent and unfortunately, majority of the people latched onto it. This was a period when a great deal of unpleasant insinuations about the governor and his government rent the air. Even journalists did not help matters then, so much that at a point, the governor, in response to a question that bordered on ineptitude, pointedly told reporters that he did not sign for 100 days or six months, but for four years. Twenty four months later, intensive implementation of the agenda has yielded and is still yielding great fruits. Transformation and reformation is now a big reality. Ibadan and its environs are now like one huge construction site. Roads are being constructed, reconstructed, rehabilitated, dualised or expanded all over the state. A flyover, the first to be constructed by any democratically elected government, has been commissioned, while about 10 bridges have been built and well over 40 rivers, canals and streams have been dredged. For a fact, at the last count, over 250 infrastructure development projects covering roads, bridges, health centres, neighbourhood markets, dredging of rivers and canals have been executed by the government, while other neighbourhood markets, an ultra modern business complex expected to accommodate over 4000 shops, 20 warehouses, banks, clinics, etc. at Samonda and other projects, are at various stages of completion.

Two years on, people now sing a new song. Ajimobi has exceeded all expectations. He has achieved the set goals of his administration in two years. No governor before him achieved half of what he has accomplished in two years. These are some of the ‘lyrics’ of the new song. The shanties, the shacks have all but vanished from the Ibadan environmental space, something hitherto seen as impossible to achieve, and now replaced by a serene and deeply aesthetic environment like never before. The newlook Iwo Road inter-change and other major streets in the metropolis are now neat and beautifully adorned with flowers and functional street lights. If Oyo State in general and Ibadan, the state capital in particular, is looking this good now, one could then imagine how incredible the outlook would be by the end of the governor’s first term in office. There is no doubt that the reforms must have brought with it a lot of hardship, especially to the masses; they should however be comforted by the reasoning that the gains of reforms are permanent and far outweigh the pains that are very temporary. Ajimobi and his team may have proved to all and sundry that where there is a political will, there is always a way. The audacity to transform, the boldness to reform, not minding whose ox is gored in the process, could no doubt be politically suicidal, but Ajimobi realised that the penalties for ignoring such challenge are huge and which at some point in the near future may have become unsustainable and unrecoverable. He must keep up the good work; sustain the good flow of political intelligence and good governance which ultimately brings about social stability, political accountability, effective development and equitable distribution of resources. • Ogunremi was Chief Press Secretary to Governor Niyi Adebayo of Ekiti State.

‘The shanties, the shacks have all but vanished from the Ibadan environmental space, something hitherto seen as impossible to achieve, and now replaced by a serene and deeply aesthetic environment like never before’





ROM time to time – quite often these days – being a citizen of Nigeria can be a weird experience. On such occasions, as one reads, listens to, or watches news of Nigeria on television or the internet, one almost has to pinch oneself to make sure one is not going through some sort of dream. It is weird. The trouble is that Nigeria is often operating on a wave-length different from that of the rest of the world. We Nigerians don’t often see reality the way the rest of mankind see it. We don’t even see our own country the way the rest of the world see it. Yes, it is weird – and it is very sad. Only recently, news media all over the world carried news of a research on Nigeria – a research done by some researchers linked to the United States Strategic Institute and Army War College system – the sources of much of the strategic planning by the United States government. The research analyzes Nigeria, and comes to the assessment that Nigeria is winding towards its end. The assessment contains such troubling statements as the following: “Nigeria is beset by chronic internal strife and unstable governments, corruption, poor human development and (poor) human rights records, and is a hub for international crime”. “Nigeria’s unity is threatened by disruptive forces that come from within its own borders”. “The forces that balance Nigerian unity are fragile and may fatally fracture Nigeria’s polity and state integrity”. “The existence of Nigeria as a unified state is in jeopardy”. Wow!!! While mulling over this report, the world is reminded of another report from about the same sources – the report which was published in about 2005, and in which it was predicted that Nigeria could break up in about 15 years. Of course, the likelihood is that most Nigerians have forgotten about that older report. And then, a few days ago, something tremendously damaging to the already shredded image of Nigeria came – unexpectedly – out of Africa. The African Union set up an observer team to go and observe the Zimbabwe general election due this week, and appointed Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, to lead it; and Zimbabwe government officials responded violently against the appointment of Obasanjo. Sure, this was against Obasanjo in person – but indirectly, and very significantly, it was a blast against Nigeria and Nigeria’s place in Africa.


HE healthcare portfolio of Delta State has witnessed a steady and upward boost since its inception on August 27, 1991. The progress recorded in the health care sector in the past 22 years, especially since 1999 can be described as phenomenonal. The sector, particularly witnessed fundamental policy engineering under the administration of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan with focus on enhanced healthcare delivery in the state. Today, Delta State stands out as one of the healthcare-conscious states in the federation on account of the accessibility of healthcare facilities to its citizens both in the urban and rural areas. Delta State, pursuant to one of Uduaghan administration’s three point agenda of human capital development, was the first among the 36 states of the federation to introduce and successfully implement the free maternal health care and the free rural scheme now being studied for implementation by some other states. This is in keeping with MDG goals. The state today boasts of six central hospitals, one General Hospital each in the 25 local government areas of the state, and comprehensive health centres spread across the states as well as primary health centres in almost every community in the state. It also boasts of a world class Oghara University Teaching Hospital, which ranks as one of the best in Africa with state-of-the-art facilities. To ensure adequate manpower for the sector, government under the Uduaghan administration has established a number of Nursing and Midwifery schools as well as a school of Health Technology across the three senatorial districts of the state. As an icing on the cake of its healthcare policies, the Uduaghan administration introduced the free rural health programme which ensures that health care delivery (men, materials and accessories) are moved from one rural area to another, dispensing quality healthcare service, covering all ailments, including surgeries, to all Deltans-young and old. Tens of thousand of Deltans have re-

What’s happening to Nigeria? For some time in the past decade, most of Africa, and most of the wider world, regarded Nigeria as the pillar of order and security on the African continent. That image, most people would agree, was well deserved. In West Africa, Nigeria was the big force that made possible the creation of ECOWAS and its military arm, ECOMOG. In Africa itself, Nigeria was the biggest factor in the creation of the African Union in 2002. And in many of the troubled countries of West Africa and other parts of Africa since the late 1990s, Africa’s, and the world’s, efforts for peace have depended very mightily on Nigeria’s power and resources. Naturally, Nigeria has the right to expect a lot of prestige in Africa and the world for these contributions. And whether one likes Obasanjo or not, it is not easy to deny that he has been the most important Nigerian personage in all these West African and African contributions by Nigeria – the hero of the prestige that Nigeria achieved in the world for some time. To find, now, that a lot of Africans do not want Obasanjo to touch their country ought to be a shock to us Nigerians. The Zimbabweans list many instances in which, according to them, Obasanjo’s leadership of peace teams or observer teams has resulted in much trouble – because Obasanjo has usually tended to go with his own undemocratic and rigid presumptions, and has often thereby caused more difficulties. Really! So now, all that this man, and all that Nigeria, has done for Africa has been washed down the drain – all because we cannot resist the urge to take the character of Nigeria’s politics with us wherever we go in Africa. Is all this really happening? In short, the world is telling us – the world has been telling us for some time – that the moral and political monstrosity that we have built in Nigeria and that we call a country, has no place or chance among civilized humanity. Even our own Black African kith and kin are now telling us the same thing. Gradually, inexorably, the predictions against Nigeria’s place in the world, and against Nigeria’s continued existence, are becoming selffulfilling prophecies. They never cease to come, these dolorous prophecies. Both from among perceptive Nigerians and from the rest of the world, they never cease to come. Some years ago, the best

known Nigerian writer in the world, Wole Soyinka, said: “If nothing happens, I can’t guarantee what the people will do. I don’t rule out Nigeria breaking up. That is what happens to a failed state”. In a celebration by some Nigerians in the United States a few years ago, a celebration to which some august non-Nigerians were invited, a former United States ambassador to Nigeria delivered a lover’s rebuke to Nigeria. He said that in spite of Nigeria’s great population, oil wealth, and past contributions to peace-making and peace-keeping on the African continent, Nigeria was fast becoming irrelevant to his country, the United States, and to the world. And nothing says it more powerfully than the fact that two succeeding United States Presidents (George W. Bush and Barak Obama, the latter a son of Black Africa) visited Nigeria about three times altogether, and at none of those times was Nigeria (the home of about one-quarter of all of Black Africans) included in their itinerary. The greatest pity in the circumstance is that Nigeria does not take any notice of all these happenings. Nigerians do not care. For our political leaders, it is politics as usual. Today, every politician is scampering around, in preparation for the election of 2015 – even though it seems more and more unlikely that Nigeria will be in existence by 2015. In all the hurrying around, the quest is for power and more power – and, in the political culture of Nigeria, money and more money. There is a National Assembly to which every section of Nigeria elects some representatives; but one hardly ever hears the meaningful voices of the various sections of Nigeria in the counsels of the National Assembly. A friend told me recently that every morning, when the President of the Senate comes to take his seat, the Senators line up for him to pass – like a king inspecting a Guard of Honour. Why? Because the Senators are competing to show their faces to the Senate President – so as to win his favour and thus get appointed by him onto the most lucrative committees of Senate, or onto high-yielding delegations! The soul of the system is one’s self and one’s personal gain. The health and future of the country are not worth any consideration. In the context of Nigeria, a lot of decent folks have retreated downwards with Nigeria into a den

Uduaghan: Combating poverty with health-care By Ejiro Idama ceived effective healthcare service from this programme since inception with many immensely relieved, as well as enjoy the care at the hands of medical experts who run the motorized ultra modem clinics. Some evidence of the success of the Delta government healthcare programme is from the several testimonies of those it has impacted the most – the people. For instance, there was case of Ogechukwu Monye 24, in Oshimili North local government area, from Ibusa, who regained her sight after she was treated by the medical team on the rural health programme which was widely published. After her miraculous healing, the 24 year old said, “As you can see me now, I can see with both eyes. I am short of words to express my sincere gratitude to the state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan for making it possible for me to see again and for saving the lives of many people like me. Only God will sufficiently reward and strengthen them”. Another example is the case of an 85 years old peasant farmer, Raphael Enebeli, from Emuhu, Ika South local government area. He was successfully operated of cataract and Hernia. Pa Enebeli while reliving his happiness said, “My family will forever remain grateful to Governor Uduaghan for saving lives. May God continue to guide him and protect him as he pilots the affairs of the state”. Mary Igbiwie, 42 years, from Kolokolo, Warri North local government area though resides in Agbor, said “I was married for

many years but could not bear children due to fibroid. I had no money to go for the surgery. I managed to get pregnant after a long time but since I had my child 11 years ago, I could not conceive again. I was advised to go for surgery to enable me conceive again but could not afford N150,000 charged in a hospital in Benin-city, Edo State and N120,000 in another hospital in Warri”. “When I heard of the state free rural health scheme, I did not believe that such expensive surgery could be done free of charge. I finally trapped them at Kwale. Initially I was afraid but the medical team calmed me down. They were very humane and kind hearted. The surgery was done successfully. God will bless Uduaghan for me”. There are plethora of cases similar to Mrs Igbinu Chinyere Nwaogu, 37 from Omumu, Ika South local government area. She was operated of fibroid. Earlier she could not afford N80,000 bill before help came through rural healthcare programme of Uduaghan. There were many more. Among these were Ugochi Nwose 36, from Okpanam, Oshimili North local government area who contended with acute waist pain and serial miscarriage linked with fibroid and Ngozi Nmose, from Ewuru-Agbor who got the fibroid which plagued her for years removed. Rosemary Obuseh lived with fibroid due to her inability to afford N100,000, before the regime of free rural healthcare. Suzana Ozorji, 55, from Emu-Obodeti had carried virginal prolepsics for 24 years. She said, “sometimes I noticed that my womb was always coming out, I used my hand to push it back whenever it happened. My family could nor afford the cost of corrective surgery over

Gbogun gboro of darkness and barbarism. There is no hope that Nigeria will ever tackle any of its debilitating and fissiparous problems seriously. Leading Nigerians are just too busy scrambling and hustling for power and wealth to even notice that their country has any problems. And too many among the masses of Nigerians are just too submissive, or simply too hopeful of some share in the big men’s loot, to stand up and insist on solutions to their country’s problems. It is impossible to say what the future holds in store. But the omens don’t look good.

‘Leading Nigerians are just too busy scrambling and hustling for power and wealth to even notice that their country has any problems. And too many among the masses of Nigerians are just too submissive, or simply too hopeful of some share in the big men’s loot, to stand up and insist on solutions to their country’s problems’ the years. The Uduaghan rural health team did the surgery for me free of charge”. They all said in their testimonies: “if we were to pay money, it wouldn’t have been this quick and easy. God will bless our governor, bless his family, everything he touches and all the people working with him” In the explanation of Dr. (Mrs) Akpe, Aghogho, a member of the medical team, over 60 persons had undergone surgeries at the Mobile Field Hospital between 2011 and 2013, since the scheme commenced out of which 38 cases were cataract extractions, hemorrhage (pile) and lymphoma. She also added that major surgeries close to 15 were referred to the central hospitals. It is also true and I agree with Mrs Esewezie, wife of the Ika South transition committee chairman, who observed that records have shown that since the inception of this scheme mobidity and life expectancy have improved in the state. Good life is here. Overall, I want to say that Delta State under the watch of Uduaghan has in the past 56 years established herself as pace setter in Nigerian health sector through the initiation and implementation of sound, people oriented health policy. Idama, lives in Delta State

‘Over 60 persons had undergone surgeries at the Mobile Field Hospital between 2011 and 2013, since the scheme commenced out of which 38 cases were cataract extractions, hemorrhage (pile) and lymphoma. She also added that major surgeries close to 15 were referred to the central hospitals’




No short cut to success, says Fashola •Governor inaugurates 1,000 future entrepreneurs


HE truth to white collar jobs with suits and ties are going out fashion because our economy is changing". With these words, Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola urged his audience comprising graduates and pupils to be prepared create their own jobs. It was at the First Lagos State Enterprise Day. The day is set aside to address entrepreneurship development among technical college pupils. It brings them in contact with entrepreneurs in order to inculcate in them the experiences of building sustainable businesses after graduation. Over 1,000 students and ex-students of technical colleges, several entrepreneurs, captains of industry and government officials were in attendance. Fashola said the nation’s future was in building a productive economy where more Nigerians would do things with their hands instead of depending wholly on importation. The days of white-collar jobs with suits and ties, he said, were gone, adding that the alternative rests in building a productive economy. He said: “Nigeria was essentially a trading economy. The companies were not owned by Nigerians. Nigerians were merely employed in those companies who needed a large army of workers, storekeepers, accountants, gatekeepers, book-keepers, clerks, secretaries and so on; all that have changed now,” he said. Counselling the young on how to

Stories by Okwy IroegbuChikezie Asst.Editor

run a successful business, the governor, said the only way was to be hardworking and honest. “Of course, there are issues of good and bad business models. You can choose to run your business by cutting corners to make quick money. Such business does not last. Or you can choose to run it prudently and honestly, paying your tax and fulfilling all the obligations required of such business; and you can be sure to build a lasting and successful business,” he stated. He said the ethics required in building a successful and sustainable business were embedded in the students’ business enterprise training, stressing that “there are no short cuts in this journey to success. There will be quick stops when you reassess and re-energise, but there will be no short cuts. The road to success is hard and winding and only those with the right attitude, with the right mental framework succeed.” Fashola advised the youths to be innovative and embrace change in the running of their businesses, pointing out that without introducing new ways of doing things in their businesses, changing methods and continually learning new techniques and new tools of trade, the business stood in danger of being wiped out by competition “At the time our ancestors were doing business, they kept all their

•Fashola with the students at the event.

records or ledgers, there were no computers, there were no air conditioners, they used fans. You are the generation that has almost everything, speed, efficiency, i-phones, data, you now have a global search engine, and you can find anything in the world. So you will have no reason to let the past generations defeat you,” he said. Fashola said government was positioning the economy to respond to the needs of technical school graduates, saying that the government would also issue them contracts for the renovation and maintenance of public building in the state, including schools, hospitals, maternal and childcare centres, stadia and others under the office of the State’s Facility Management. Mrs. Helen Jemirigbe, a director at the Industrial Training Fund, ITF, who represented the Director-General of Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (N.E.C.A), said the association decided to partner with the Lagos State Government “because the state stands out with several firsts, which it has scored, especially in what it has been doing in education.” NECA, she said, would soon sign a

Experts score Sure-P low



courage them from crime. He said: “Manufacturers who have good quality paints will triple their capacity. It would be better to engage our youths in this manner than to make them sweep the streets. The programme will include training and re-training them and this will lead to young people having additional skills, earning decent pay and less dependent on their families for upkeep.” Principal Partner, J. Ajayi Patunola & Co, a firm of estate surveyors and valuers, Dr Patunola-Ajayi, said the Sure-P Fund would be better directed into infrastructure. He said were there are infrastructure, the youths would be removed from the un-employment market. Any other programme by govern-

ment may just not be enough, he said. On the critical infrastructure to be provided, he said electricity ranked top as it would enable not only smallscale industries to thrive but also artisans. Patunola-Ajayi said: “Government should not create ad hoc programmes with the fund because if there is constant electricity for instance, youth unemployment would be reduced to at least 65 per cent.” Patunola-Ajayi also advocated encouraging indigenous building materials’firms, noting that the government that created the enabling policy for them to operate will create employment and stimulate the construction industry, which is a huge employer of labour.

Close Up unveils N2b promo


LOSE Up Nigeria has begun a promo to appreciate its customers’ support over the years. The promo,which is worth over N2 billion, will reward over 94 million consumers nationwide, said Unilever Nigeria, the manufacturer of the toothpaste brand. The promo, scheduled to run from August till December 2013, will give consumers who buy the Big family size Close Up toothpaste tube an extra 30 grammes for free at the same price. Consumers, who buy the New

15gramme sachet, will get an extra 50 per cent for same price. Unveiling the promo in Lagos, Brand Building Director, Unilever Nigeria, David Okeme, said: “This promo goes to show our appreciation to the vast individuals and families that make up the Naija we love. The romance between the Close up and our consumers have waxed stronger over the years and the massive support we have received has contributed immensely to making the Close Up brand Nigeria’s

number one. Category Manager, Oral Care, Oiza Gyang, said, Close Up had been busy in engaging and connecting with various levels of the community. Dexter Adeola, Brand Manager, Close Up said: “We are excited about this promo as we get to reach every Nigerian individual and family we cater to. Our gesture goes to show that we take the recent awards we have received recently seriously.”

in productive economic activities. “This effort has seen the commencement of the creation of a critical mass of competent and skilled youths with strong entrepreneurial spirit, managerial and technical knowledge that will start, grow micro-enterprises into small and medium enterprises, all towards enhancing the growth of the private sector. The aim is to enable young people to own their businesses and grow these businesses through mentorship.” “Technical colleges have already imbibed the entrepreneurial culture as embedded in their curriculum. Today in the technical colleges, vocational skill trades are sufficiently infused with entrepreneurial elements that have harnessed the power of entrepreneurial competences including innovation and creativity among students of the colleges, thus preparing them to become self-reliant and competitive in the new dynamic and globalised world,” he said.

Review Conditional Cash Transfer, NAPEP told



XPERTS have criticised the management of the Subsidy Reinvestment & Empowerment Programme (Sure-P Fund). The fund is made up of a share of the savings from the reduction of subsidies on petroleum products. The savings are to be invested in schemes that will cushion the effect of subsidy removal of the people. The Federal Government’s portion of the savings is invested in critical infrastructure and social safety net programmes that will benefit the people. A former Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr Remi Omotoso, said the programme could have added more value by collaborating with firms, such as paint manufacturers to engage young people to paint houses for individuals or for the government in big housing projects. He argued that the tripartite arrangement has the capacity to take millions of youths from the streets, lift companies and also encourage economic growth. Landlords, he noted, would be encouraged to repaint their houses as it will cost less and youths also would be gainfully employed to dis-

Memorandum of Understanding to work with the state at the Technical College, Ikorodu. Executive Secretary, Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB) Mr. Olawumi Gasper, said the government placed emphasis on curriculum re-alignment in the technical colleges and vocational centres, thereby highlighting the importance of entrepreneurship, capacity building, involvement of industries and public private partnerships in technical and vocational education for meeting emerging needs of a global economy. He said the government mainstreamed entrepreneurship education into its technical and vocational education, noting that one of the achievements of the government “is achieving social inclusion through the infusion of entrepreneurship education in the technical colleges, thus enabling the marginalised groups, especially girls and the poor, to engage actively

O reduce poverty, African Heritage Institution (AfriHeritage) has urged the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) to review the impact of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) so that it can achieve its objectives. Associate fellows of AfriHeritage gave the advice at a seminar to disseminate the institution’s findings on state’s social protection programmes in Nigeria. CCT is a social protection programme that transfers cash to households with children and young family members based on the premise that they will spend it on health, education or other services that policymakers consider of public interest. The Executive Director of the institution, Dr. Ifediora Amobi, said the study on CCT was embarked upon as

part of the contributions of the institution to ensure that the government runs evidence-based policies. According to him, contrary to the reports from the NAPEP, reports from the researchers suggest that the programme is not functioning as it should to. The Assistant Director, NAPEP, Mrs. Victoria Adeosun, said the agency had been doing its best to reduce poverty in the country, citing the introduction of tricycles popularly known as ‘Keke NAPEP’ as a good example. She said the Federal Government could not fight poverty alone, hence there is need for the state governments to collaborate with the government at the centre to fight the scourge.

NACCIMA visits Niger


HE Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has gone on a four-day trade mission to Niamey, the Niger Republic capital to strengthen trade ties. The delegation, led by NACCIMA’s National President, Alhaji Muhammad Abubakar visited the country for trade and business–to-business meetings. The focus of the delegation, according to a statement from the chamber, is various sectors. The delegation focused on real estate, transport & logistics (Inland Dry Port), agriculture, road construction, petroleum marketing, textiles and food processing during the visit. The delegation visited the Niger Republic Ministers of External Affairs, Cooperation and Diaspora,

Bazoum Mohammed; his counterpart in the Ministry of Commerce and Private Sector Development, Saley Saidou and the Minister of Health, Lawali Chaibu . The delegation met with the Permanent Secretaries of the Ministries of Energy and Petroleum; Solid Minerals and Industries and the Director-General of Housing Development Corporation (Sonuci). On the delegation were - Ahmad Rabiu, a National Vice President of NACCIMA, Emeka Unachukwu, President, Port-Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Elder Mike Fowowe, President, Ibadan Chamber of Commerce, Umar Farouk Rabiu, President Kano Chamber of Commerce and Dr Abdul Alimi, President, Kaduna Chamber of Commerce.

Sports firm promotes workers


OTSPORTS Nigeria Limited, a sports media marketing and production company, has promoted some workers and appointed new ones. In a statement, the company’s Chief Executive, Mr Taye Ige said Daniel Adeniran was promoted

General Manager. Sina Alaye is now manager, media and will oversee the public relations, media and compliance units of the company. Mobolaji Akintade is moving from PromoWorld Limited to HotSports to work in the marketing department.






IJGS on the threshold of renewal

The tenure of Prof Samuel Aje, Director-General of the Nigeria French Language Village (NFLV) in Badagry, Lagos, ended last week amid agitations by the workers. Will the struggle continue despite his exit? KOFOWOROLA BELO-OSAGIE and ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA report.

WITH an alumni association that boasts of distinguished professionals, including eight who bagged PhD in Sciences same year, the Ijebu-Jesa Grammar School (IJGS) in Oriade Local Government of Osun State is planning to celebrate its Diamond Jubilee in style - in two years time. -Page 26

‘Hike in fees non-negotiable’

THE Vice-Chancellor, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), Ondo State, Prof Olufemi Mimiko has confirmed a fee increment from the 2013/2014 Session... -Page 27

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

•Entrance of the Nigeria French Language Village

Facing reality in Togo


“BEFORE we left Nigeria, we were told during orientation that things are very cheap here. In fact, we were told not to take food items, toiletries and anything we may need because we would get them cheaper in Togo. On getting here, most of us were disappointed because we had been poorly-oriented. The situation of things in Togo is not as we were told. Apart from the fact that things are relatively expensive here, the lifestyle is totally different. Most Nigerian students are finding it difficult to stand on their feet financially in Togo.”

-Page 29


French Village DG’s tenure ends amid crisis

FTER a two-term tenure of 10 years, Prof Samuel Aje, last week, bowed out of office as Director-General of the Nigerian French Language Village (NFLV) in Ajara, Badagry, Lagos. Running the centre, where French students from different universities and colleges of education undergo the compulsory immersion programme to improve their proficiency in the language was not a tea party for him. His tenure was a mixed bag of successes and challenges. Aje developed new postgraduate programmes, ensured enhanced collaborations with foreign institutions, smoothened the administration process, created new departments and increased duration of training for students, among others. He faced challenges in getting universities to comply with the Federal Government’s regulations on immersion programmes; fund-

They said we were awarding contracts arbitrarily. I know some people engage in running people down. You don't award contracts without due process. When the EFCC saw it, they said the writer of the petition must – Aje be stupid ing and managing workers. Workers' agitation for reforms A week before Aje's tenure ended, leaders of the unions of teaching and non-teaching staff

We pray government to implement the single term of five years for any director of the Nigerian French Language Village from now on. Some of the causes of the problems we have been having can be traced to the long stay in office – Workers addressed reporters. They appealed to the Minister of Education, Prof Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa'i, to implement a single term of five years for the inter-university centre and revert to the title of 'Direc-

tor' which used to be the designation for whoever headed the Village. They alleged that it was changed to 'Director-General' by Aje. “We pray government to implement the single term of five years for any director of the Nigerian French Language Village from now on. Some of the causes of the problems we have been having can be traced to the long stay in office which leads to inefficiency and mediocrity. For instance, for the 22 years of existence of this institution, just two persons ruled over it, a situation that gives way to the excesses we experienced in the hand of the last one," the workers said in a statement jointly signed by Comrade Olayiwola Simeon, leader of the academic workers' union, and his non-academic counterpart, Hammed Oladipupo Wahab. •Continued on page 26




IJGS on the threshold of renewal •Lauds Governor Aregbesola’s gesture


in his lifetime. "Today, Ijebu-Jesa Grammar School has, in its kit, a newly -refurbished science laboratory block thanks to the generosity of the present government of the State of Osun under Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola. Endowed with the progressive ideas, he responded promptly and completed the renovation of the dilapidated building within three weeks. "The governor embarked on the project in response to the passionate plea advocated by one of the old student of IJGS based in the United States, Mr Bayo Adanri. He used his influence and contacts as a Rotarian, in the procurement of science equipment which now adorns the renovated science laboratory. "It is envisaged that IJGS will live up to expectation by producing her quota of future medical personnel, science technologists and researchers in service to humanity,” he said. Aloba also praised an American citizen, who on seeing photographs of the school online sent 25 dollars as his widow's mite. Principal of the school, Mr Yemi Ayeni acknowledged government's kind gesture and pledged to recruit science teachers especially in Physics, where the school presently suffers a shortage. He called on old students to join the ongoing crusade to restore the school's fortune, especially in equipping the renovated laboratory with ICT facilities. The IJGS national president Elder Mathew Komolafe who officially inaugurated the project, urged the students and management to make good use of it to improve their performance in major examinations.


• Simeon

• Hammed

"Concerning the five years tenure, government decides it; just like the vice chancellors and not I,” he said. On the claim that he introduced the title of Director-General, instead of Director, Aje said it was not within his powers to do so. "How can I introduce a title and it will be accepted like that? I was not the one." Explaining how the title came about, the Registrar, Mr Remi Fatuase, who was present at the interview, said: "There was a Governing Council meeting held where it was decided that the head should be called the Director-General, and not Director. Today, we have director of works and services, director of medical services, director of sports and ser-

vices. So the chief executive will be the director of directors. Therefore, instead of calling the chief executive, director of directors, we thought it wise to use director-general. That was how the word DG came about." On the allegation of fraud, Aje said when he heard those claims three years ago, he saw them as a distraction to take away from the good work he was doing. He said though he was invited by the EFCC, nothing was found against him. "They said we were awarding contracts arbitrarily; I know some people engage in running people down. You don't award contracts without due process. When the EFCC saw it, they said the writer of the petition must be stupid. You award through diligence. Firstly,

you advertised the job; people will then apply to indicate interest after which the committee looks at it if you are qualified. It is the committee that invites the qualified ones and it is open to the public with the figure announced. On non-promotion, Aje said the National Universities Commissin (NUC) stopped the centre from appointing professors. "Some of those petitions stated that we did not promote them to be professors. In 2003 when I got here there was not a single professor. However, in 2004, I appointed a professor. I reported that we have gotten a professor of our own, with pride. Then the executive secretary of NUC, Prof Okebukola said I do not have right to appoint a professor, that was how I stopped it. He said having appointed one, I should not go further to appoint another because we had three due for professorship. By statute, we cannot appoint a professor here. No administration can please everybody, even as a parent, you can’t please all your children. Any administrator that wants to please everybody can’t succeed,” he said.

•Some members of the Ijebu-Jesa Grammar School Old Students Association (IJGSOSA). From left: Dr Sola Famuyide, National General Secretary; Elder Komolafe, National President; Mr T.I Asebu, executive member; Chief Olu Osewa of Iwoye-Ijesa; Mr Adanri (foreground), Mr Aloba (extreme right), with Mr Duro Abimbola from the United Kingdom

•A display of retort stands, one of the laboratory equipment, in the refurbished lab.

French Village DG’s tenure ends amid crisis •Continued from page 25 The workers are seeking, among others, a new Governing Council and the passage into law of an Act for the over two decade-old institution. In the past four years, the workers engaged Aje in a face-off over alleged poor management, misappropriation of funds, victimisation and non-promotion of academic staff, among others. They also submitted a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The Federal Ministry of Education which then had Dr Sam Egwu as minister raised two panels to look into the workers’ allegations. Their demands were reflected in the report of a visitation panel headed by Prof Olu Olorunda that probed the village’s activities between 2004 and 2010. In the report released in June, 2011 and titled: “Views of the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the Visitation Panel Report into the Affairs of the Nigeria French Language Village AjaraBadagry, Lagos State, 2004-2010" the panel noted tension between workers and the Aje-led management. The panel absolved Aje of allegations of non-promotion of staff, non-payment of allowance and the running of the Village’s ventures. It described Aje’s leadership style as rigid. "It is the opinion of the visitation panel that the Director-General should have been more flexible in entertaining professional advice as that could have given the principal officers a sense of belonging. On several occasions, the DirectorGeneral needed to have accommo-

dated the views of his principal officers on issues relating to award of contracts and employment. He also needed to have exhibited adequate transparency on those issues." The panel also noted that its findings were not “substantially different” from the observations and opinions of the investigation panel earlier set up by the second regular (Governing) Council in 2007, saying Aje's leadership style needed to be adjusted and his inter-personal relationship with staff improved upon. It urged the Council to henceforth beam its searchlight on the DG's further activities and might recommend necessary sanctions. "The Visitor accepts recommendation (i) and frowns at the leadership style of the Director-General and his inability to properly administer the village. Council is therefore directed to monitor him closely on good governance or reassess his continued stay in the village and report to the ministry for further necessary action.” Aje's defence Defending himself at a briefing last Wednesday, Aje said it was not true that he is unwilling to go. On the workers' demand that the government should restrict the DG’s tenure to a single term of five years, Aje said it is for the government, not workers to decide.

By Adegunle Olugbamila

ITH an alumni association that boasts of distinguished professionals, including eight who bagged PhD in Sciences same year, the Ijebu-Jesa Grammar School (IJGS) in Oriade Local Government of Osun State is planning to celebrate its Diamond Jubilee in style - in two years time. However, ahead of the landmark anniversary, the old students have started making efforts to restore the school's lost glory. The national coordinator of IJGS Old Students Association, Mr Bola Aloba in a statement made available to The Nation, regretted the obnoxious government policies that saw most of the mission schools claimed by the government. This, he said led to IJGS losing its dominance in the sciences and subsequently the science laboratory, and its boarding system, which he regarded as the greatest blow because it resulted in the disappearance of group study, the norm among boarders back then. But with the rehabilitation of the school's science laboratory by Governor Rauf Aregbesola, Aloba said there is hope for the school. He said: "It is gratifying, however, to report today that a new dawn has arrived at Ijebu-Jesa Grammar School. IJGS is now ready to repeat the feat it achieved when its gate was besieged with science - inclined entrants seeking admission to savour the benefits of being within the walls of the school." Aloba praised the governor for responding promptly when an old student drew his attention to the poor state of the school. The coordinator likened Aregbesola's gesture and his giant stride in the education sector in Osun State, to wonders performed by the late sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo

Some of those petitions stated that we did not promote them to be professors. In 2003 when I got here there was not a single professor. However, in 2004, I appointed a professor. I reported that we have gotten a professor of our own, with pride. Then the executive secretary of NUC, Prof Okebukola said I do not have right to appoint a professor, that was how I stopped it




Three pupils for Turkish debate

Lawmakers demand exam analysis


HE Committee on Education, Science and Technology of the Lagos State House of Assembly has requested that the Lagos State Examination Board to provide the analysis carried out on the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) from 20102012. The request came as a result of reports reaching the members from their constituencies and a meeting with the board's management on Friday at the Lateef Jakande auditorium of the Assembly Complex. The Chairman, Mrs Wahab Alawiye-King, told the management that ''Report reaching us is that often times there are mix-up in students’ results; students who did not register for some subjects get results and the ones that registered don't get any; they usually have 'AB' against their names which means -Absent.'' Another member of the committee, Mrs Adebimpe Akinsola, said she witnessed such errors by the board as a teacher. "My students experienced it when I was teaching French in both junior and senior secondary schools before I became an Honourable member, and this is a very terrible thing. It has been on for so long and something has to be done about it,” she said. The Vice Chairman of the committee, Mrs Gbolahan Yishawu pointed out that ''after the exams an extensive analysis should be done to assist the board plan and manage the coming year's exam.'' In his response, a top management staff of the Board, Mr. A.O. Hassan said the board has improved this year compared to the past.



By Oziegbe Okoeki

• From left: Proprietor, Pacific Comprehensive College, Mr Omosomon Idowu Remigious; Former Deputy Rector, Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) and guest speaker, Mr Bashorun Nurudeen, and chairman of the event, Mr M.O. Okolo, discussing at the school’s valedictory.

Tuition fee hike non-negotiable, says AAUA VC T HE Vice-Chancellor, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), Ondo State, Prof Olufemi Mimiko has confirmed a fee increment from the 2013/2014 Session. Though silent on the percentage, he however said the university would still remain among institutions that charge the most reasonable fees in the country. Mimiko, who gave the assurance while speaking with reporters, said the university would institute a scholarship scheme to take care of genuinely indigent students. The university, established about 14 years ago by the administration of the late Chief Adebayo Adefarati, charges an average of N25, 000 as school fees per session, which Mimiko said is no longer sustainable. "I am constrained to say that the N25, 000 charged as tuition fee is

quite low. I have told the students that it is not politically correct in this part of the world to charge high school fees. "Indeed, the Visitor to the University, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, has made it clear to us in the last budget presentation that he did not want any person to drop out of school by reason of inability to pay tuition and he instructed that we should just sustain that little amount that we charge. "But we are getting to a point that it may be inevitable to do a markup as it were. We used the opportunity of the last Convocation to share this idea with parents during the elaborate Parents’ Forum. And the

the most of the opportunity by excelling in the examination. The 44 students were drawn from each of the wards in Irepodudun and Orolu local government areas of the state. Olajoku said he was motivated to assist the students to meet their educational needs, given their poor

background and the need to compliment Aregbesola's effort, especially in the provision of educational infrastructure and instructional materials. The aide praised the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chairman in the local government, Abayomi Ayodeji, for assisting in identify-

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

parents endorsed it. "We have also spoken to the students' leadership that most likely in the new academic session, we're going to be asking students to pay a little more to enable us to strengthen our ability to deliver some very critical infrastructural projects on campus, he said" The VC said the institution would float a scholarship scheme that would be robust enough to take care of all indigent students. "We have started the process. In fact, our plan is to launch the scholarship scheme before the introduction of the new fee regime. I am confident that at the end of the day, no indigent student will drop out of school because of the scholarship scheme,” he said.

Aregbesola's aide lifts indigent students

SENIOR Special Assistant to the Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Mr Kareem Folawiyo Olajoku, has enjoined the indigent students he provided with free forms for the November/December West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) to make

ing deserving beneficiaries. Responding, some of the beneficiaries thanked Olajoku and pledged to excel. One of them, Miss Mutiyatu Ganiyu, said: "Hon. Olajoku is kind-hearted man, and I promise not to disappoint him."

HREE pupils from public schools in Rivers State will represent Nigeria at the EURASIAN International Debate Competition in Turkey between August 27 and September 3. Rivers State was nominated to represent Nigeria by the President's School Debate Programme for the excellent performance of its representatives at the inter-school debate competition. The pupils traveling to Turkey are Konya Faith from Government Girls Secondary School, Oromenike, Port Harcourt; Owaji-Ino Richard from Model Girls Secondary School, Rumueme and Cornerstone Jeremiah Udeme from Community Secondary School, Amadi-Ama, Port Harcourt. The Rivers State Commissioner for Education, Dame Alice LawrenceNemi who received the pupils in her office said the government's investment in the education is now yielding positive results. She expressed confidence in their ability to excel in Turkey because of their level of preparedness.

Nigeria hosts scout confab


IGERIA will play host to the 10th Africa Regional Conference of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), the largest voluntary movement dedicated to the development girls and young women in the world from 11-17 next week. The conference which opens at the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) Pavillion in Agidingbi, Lagos, has as theme: "African Young Women: Soaring towards Excellence." A statement from the WAGGGS however noted that the remaining activities including workshops, consultations, exhibition, elections of the Africa committee members, and others will hold at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja. Youth delegates for the conference are expected to arrive on Saturday for a Regional Youth Consultation on Sunday. The statement said the aim of the organisation is to empower girls to change the world. "With 10 million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from 145 countries across the world, our mission is to enable girls and young women to develop their fullest potential as responsible citizens of the world.”

Lagos floats Enterprise Day


HE Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB) has integrated an Enterprise Day into the curriculum of technical colleges. Governor Babatunde Fashola said the initiative, which held at the NECA House, Agidingbi, will stimulate the youths to creatively contribute to national development. The Governor said the Enterprise Day which will hold annually, will address the issues of entrepreneurship development among technical college students by bringing them in contact with the entrepreneurs for networking sessions aimed at mentoring them to start businesses after graduation. Fashola assured students of the five Government Technical Colleges (GTC) and vocational centres that attended the event of the veracity of Technical and Vocational Education (TVE). Responding to a question by one of the students who sought to "know the status of technical education in relation to formal education," Fashola said neither is greater than the other but enjoy a symbiotic relationship. He said: "Technical and theoreti-

By Adegunle Olugbamila

cal education are two parallel lines. The originators did them in order to respond to our different abilities. There are people who are good at writing but they cannot speak. There are people who are also good at speaking, yet they cannot write. There are people who are good at thinking concepts out but cannot build. "But we need the constant handshake between these two in the society to get things done. Technical education recognises that there are people who can fix things with their hands. How far you go depends on you because like the school certificate, it entitles you to go to university if you so wish. You are the only one who can limit yourself." Responding to another student who asked of the state's plans to check unemployment of technical colleges graduates, Fashola who noted that 6, 000 of such passed out last year alone, said the state cannot employ them all. However, for those who graduated and fully qualified, Fashola promised that the government will reward them with contracts to renovate and maintain public buildings in schools, hospitals,

• From left: Mr Olawumi Gasper, Executive Secretary, LASTVEB; Laolu Oguntuyi, Director Technical and Vocational Services LASTVEB, Mr Pabby, Dangote Group Human Resources Officer

maternal and childcare centres, stadiums, among others. Special Adviser on Commerce and Industry, Mr Seye Oladejo, said rising unemployment especially among youths is not unique to Nigeria. He said though,

developed countries appear to have attained their peak, the next bus stop is Africa, Nigeria and nay Lagos the nation's commercial heartbeat. "All over the world young people cannot find work. It is not

in Nigeria alone. The difference is that those economies we knew have reached their peak. The new frontier is Africa. The largest market in Africa is Nigeria. The biggest market in Nigeria is here in Lagos,” he said. Earlier in her welcome address, the Commissioner for Education,








Pupil thrills audience with ITTLE Mesoma Nwankwo Igbo News stunned guests at the gradua-


•Mesoma (middle) reading the news at the Notre Dame graduation

Wellspring celebrates WASSCE result T HE 2013 Valedictory Service/ Prize giving of Wellspring College, Omole Phase 2, gave the Principal, Mrs Oluwayemisi Oloriade the opportunity to celebrate the school's performance in the 2012 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). In her speech, Mrs Oloriade said the school recorded 100 per cent credit passes in 65 per cent of the 20 subjects written by its SS3 candidates. Only Mathematics recorded 54 per cent and she promised parents that performance in the subject will be better this year. She said: "In the midst of dwindling academic performance across the country, analysis of the 2012 WAEC result of the school shows 100 per cent credit in 13 subjects (Literature, Commerce, Physics, Agricul-

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

tural Science, Technical Drawing, Accounts, Christian Religious Knowledge, French, Visual Arts, Government, Food and Nutrition, Music and Geography) above 90 per cent in four subjects (English Language, Biology, Economics and Yoruba) 89 per cent in Igbo Language, 87 per cent in Chemistry and 54 per cent in Mathematics. By the grace of God, the result of Mathematics in the just concluded 2013 WAEC examination will be very impressive." Pupils from other classes defied the rain to present cultural songs and dances to bid their beloved SS3 seniors farewell at the event. The

graduands, looking resplendent in black suits and blue sashes draped across their shoulders also joined in the dancing. Some of them stood out during the programme, including a set of triplets, Chimdike Okebugwu and his sisters, Ihunayachi and Olumachi. They are the first set of triplets siblings to graduate from the 10-year old school. In an interview with The Nation, the trio said they have gained admission to study in different universities in Ghana. Overall best graduand, Oluwatobiloba Alatise also stood out for his brilliance. The teenager told The Nation that he was leaving Wellspring very motivated to be the Valedictorian of the Covenant University(CU), Ota, where he has been accepted to study Accounting.

Graduands challenged to be problem solvers


MIDST prayers, thanksgiving and admonitions, the 2013 graduating class of Trinity College (TRICOL) Ofada, Ogun State were treated to an elaborate send-off ceremony with the school management charging the graduands to distinguish themselves in character and academics. Speaking at the event, the 13th in the school's history, a member of the TRICOL Board, Prof Mbang Femi Oyewo who represented the chairman, Mr. Samuel Olatunji described the 2013 set as a set of favour. Delivering her lecture titled: How excellent is your God Emmanuel, Prof Femi-Oyewo urged the graduands to improve on the training they acquired from the school.

She said: "You have been well trained and equipped to go out and be great. Be conscious of what you do and always consolidate on the foundation that you have been brought up with." By the time the Executive Director, Mrs Folasade Phillips finished speaking on "Hints for Navigating the future successfully", the 112 graduands knew the importance of vision and planning. She said, "You must have vision and pray that the vision be clear. See it, write it down and run with it. Be determined where you want to be in the next five to 15 years. Have a long term plan and put strategies for achieving the plan," she said. She advised the graduands to be

thrifty with the time spent in unproductive ventures. "Your success depends largely on how you manage your time. Do not spend hours watching television, home movies, playing video games or going from one party to another. Spend valuable time to accomplish what is important," she said. When it came to reward time, Amajuoritse Okojie, the valedictorian, stole the show. Amaju also recorded a remarkable feat in music having passed grades 15 of the examinations conducted by the Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON) and the Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), London with distinction.

tion of the Notre Dame Nursery and Primary School, Enugu with her fluent delivery of “The news in Igbo language.” The school featured the ‘broadcast’ during the 2013 graduation to encourage parents and guardians to speak their local languages to their wards. Mesoma and her peers were dressed in the traditional Igbo attire for the part, and they did not exhibit any childish behaviour. The six-year old primary one pupil was splendid to watch as she fluently read the two-page type written news items with accurate pronunciations of the Igbo words. Although Mesoma was the lead newscaster, the other three were no pushovers as they also read fluently in Igbo. Mesoma was outstanding, however, and the ovation she received from her audience was deafening. Parents and guests could not hold back from spraying her with naira notes. They were impressed by her confidence and the way she used proverbs to drive home the message to all. Many of the parents were ashamed


HE 11th valedictory service of Westminster College, Idimu Lagos, was a blend of joy and jubilation as it celebrated its outgoing pupils who have successfully completed the six long but challenging years of secondary education. Speaking at the event, the officiating minister, Rev Chuks Emueme, advised the graduands to make good use of what they have acquired. "You have received from your parents, teachers, and friends what can make you greater tomorrow and the extent of your greatness will depend on what you do with what you have received. Do not live on the margin. Do not be contended with the minimum requirement, always strive for a better life, always have the desire to make greater things come. "You have come to the end of yet another stage of your development and a new one is about to begin. The choice you make has a great impact in your life. Always dare to be different because you are a special creature for God," he added. The school's chairman Board of Governors, Deacon Gamaliel Onosode pin-pointed corruption as a major problem in Nigeria and encouraged the school leavers to desist from it. "One of the problems we are facing in Nigeria today is corruption. It is being driven by greed either for


By Medinat Kanabe

become employers of labour." She told the graduands that as they have moved to higher levels in their academics the sky is their limit. She also advised them not to join bad gangs. "As you lay your bed so shall you lie on it. Make hay why the sun shines," she said. The best outgoing SS3 pupil, Abisola Olaleye said being focused and family assistance made her the best. She said: "When I felt down and discouraged, they stood by me. My family made it possible." The 15 year-old said she has been dreaming of graduating as the best student for six years which made her work harder. Abisola, who wants to study Medicine at the University of Lagos, (UNILAG), advised other pupils to set a goal for themselves, plan towards it and aim to be the best.

of themselves as they could not read what Mesoma and her team read. Even the school's headmistress, Sister Martina Akhibi was impressed. The chairman of the occasion could not hide his elation as he embraced the kids one after the other and made a cash donation to each of them. Appreciating the kids later, the headmistress, Rev. Sister Martina Akhibi thanked the parents for making "us a choice and entrusting us with your children." Akhibi congratulated the pupils for their respective performance and thanked them for embracing the inner qualities of Notre Dame School. She congratulated the graduands of primary 6 and nursery 3 upon achieving the success and told the other pupils to copy the good works of others and set the pace. "Your predecessors lifted high the name of Notre Dame School and over 90 per cent of them are in reputable schools," she said.

Westminster graduands ready for challenges

Proprietress praises vocational studies

HE proprietress, Fortlad Schools, Mushin, Mrs Susan Omosule, has praised the introduction of vocational studies into the curriculum of secondary schools in Nigeria, saying it has started to yield positive results in her schools. She made the remark at the annual graduation of the school at its Mushin premises. She said: "We have started vocational studies. Our pupils now do fashion designing, catering, and other vocations that will make them entrepreneurs. This will prepare them not only for external examinations but make them grow into total children. "It is our aim that any child leaving this school will be well equipped with a vocation that will make them entrepreneurs. Many graduates are roaming the streets looking for jobs but if they were trained aside academics when they graduate, they can do something with their hands and

From Chris Oji, Enugu

•Mrs Omosule and the Fortlad graduands cutting the graduation cake

By Jane Chijioke

money or power and those who are driven by it present themselves a disgrace in the society. Do not take a kobo more than you honestly earn in order to live well. You do not need to steal or cheat anyone of anything. God wants us to live well. He has equipped every one of us to live a life that glorifies Him. “The school has equipped you with knowledge and attitude; we want everyone of you when you have completed your formal education to become one of those leaders that will be good representatives of Jesus Christ," he said. The graduands were honoured with prizes and they rendered their farewell song. The best graduating pupil of the set, Toluwani Ijabodede in an interview said: "It has not been easy on me but it is something worth doing. I studied hard, listened in class, read my books and I did not play too much neither do I have time for the internet. Earlier, the school's Managing Director, Chief J.M Barovbe, advised the graduands to manage their priorities and make choices that will help them fulfil their purpose on earth.


Exit of a ‘gifted’ students’ leader

Wedding bell tolls for students

Page 31

Page 34




0805-450-3104 email: THURSDAY, AUGUST 8, 2013



Before they left for their compulsory one-year programme at the Centre Internationale de Recherche et d’Etude des Langues (CIREL) in Lomé, Togo, students of French Language in Nigerian universities were told sweet stories about the country. Now they know better, JOHNPAUL NNAMDI, who has completed his programme, reports.

Facing reality in Togo “B

EFORE we left Nigeria, we were told during orientation that things are very cheap here. In fact, we were told not to take food items, toiletries and anything we may need because we would get them cheaper in Togo. On getting here, most of us were disappointed because we had been poorly-oriented. The situation of things in Togo is not as we were told. Apart from the fact that things are relatively expensive here, the lifestyle is totally different. Most Nigerian students are finding it difficult to stand on their feet financially in Togo.” Those were the words of Yusuf Castro, a 300-Level student of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (ABU), one of the students undergoing the compulsory one-year French study at Village du Benin, Togo. Every year, French students in universities across Africa are sent for compulsory study in Francophone countries to learn more about the language. The programme is part of the courses they take in their third year before they are awarded the Bachelor’s degree in French. At the time of this report, students from about 19 Nigerian universities were undergoing the programme at the Centre Internationale de Recherche et d’Etude des Langues (CIREL), Village du Benin, Togo. Unlike their counterparts from other countries, they are not finding it so smooth. Since their arrival in Togo, they have been facing one challenge or the other. Their complaint borders on poor welfare being received from the officials of the Nigerian Embassy in Togo, who they said are making them go through hardship. Yusuf said his colleagues had never enjoyed any comfort since they arrived in Togo. “For instance, we are not allowed to own certain electronic devices in the hostel; otherwise, we will have to pay extra fees. Our welfare is not being attended to because the Nigerian government has done virtually nothing to ensure we are comfortable here. Unlike our Ghanaian colleagues, who get bursary payment from their government and embassy, most Nigerian students are left to their fate because they don’t enjoy any of such benefits,” he said. To escape hardship, CAMPUSLIFE learnt that some of the female students have taken up jobs in hotels, which may possibly force them into prostitution. Our correspondent gathered that lectur-

•Some foreign students discussing at the entrance of the French Language school

‘Our welfare is not being attended to because the Nigerian government has done virtually nothing to ensure we are comfortable here. Unlike our Ghanaian colleagues, who get bursary payment from their government and embassy, most Nigerian students are left to their fate because they don’t enjoy any of such benefits’ ers and heads of French departments from Equatorial Guinea, Niger and Ghana regularly visit their students to ensure their

wellbeing and safety. Also, the countries’ embassy officials are said to be frequently in touch with their compatriots. But their

Nigerian colleagues do not enjoy such treatment from their country’s officials. “We are in touch with our lecturers and embassy officials from time to time,” Harriet Adarku, 300-Level Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana told CAMPUSLIFE. He added: “This gives us a sense of belonging. And we are not under pressure because we talk to our lecturers when they come around and frequently have meetings with our ambassador. Through such forum, we explain our challenges to them. Given that we are studying abroad, we get bur•Continued on page 30

•College boils over planned fee hike-P32•Rector canvasses stable tenure for ministers -P33




Pushing Out

The fifth columnist agenda



FTER the publication of my piece, Here we go again (July 4, 2013) which focused on the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike; I got a SMS from a reader. The content of the message showed that this was an informed reader who is familiar with the issue on ground. It turned out I was right as the author of the message was a retired senior university administrator. Her point was straight and point blank: ASUU members should show us that they are more committed to excellence than the pockets of their members “who already earn quite decent allowances and address the issue of cancelled lectures/missing examination scripts and results and outdated course contents”. Having been in the system and seen the rot therein, she felt the ivory tower Augean stable must first be cleaned from within while other issues are resolved. “I think we should first enthrone discipline, then rebuild our moral fabric and inculcate into our children and youths via indoctrination our cherished values of hard work, integrity, good names and contentment; rather than dubious activities and wealth! This, hopefully, may result in a change of attitude and moral regeneration. To me, Nigeria of today is a lost cause; there is no aspect of our national life that is not tainted…!” We spent close to 30 minutes on the phone discussing how we got where we are presently, and believe me, it was quite a depressing discussion as the tone of her message rightly pointed out. After I hung up I reflected deeply on the discussion and started giving the fifth columnist agenda that has been touted by some analysts - and is gradually gaining currency – some thought. Is it possible that there is a fifth columnist operating behind the scene to ensure that tertiary education collapses in Nigeria? Is there a diabolical grand plan to ensure mediocrity thrives in the country? Is there a connection with politics? Why will we keep revisiting the same is-

Agbo Agbo 08116759750 (SMS only)


sues year in year out? Is it possible –as some have insinuated – that proprietors of private universities may have a hand in this? Questions, questions and more questions. Let’s begin unraveling the dilemma this way. The current ASUU/FG face off - after a short truce - shows that the incessant battles of the two parties that have practically ruined Nigeria’s tertiary education system should not be viewed as ordinary. There is something that more than meets the eyes behind it. It seems to me – just like the fifth columnist theorists argue - that there is a systematic design to destroy Nigeria by way of “strikes” in the education sector. This design is being implemented consciously or unconsciously by both parties. Look at it closely, how is it that the sector is constantly under threat of strikes? Between 1988 when ASUU was formed and 2013, (a period of 25 years), ASUU and the Federal Government have battled 10 “strikes”. Cumulatively, close to four academic sessions have been lost! When we add that of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), the Non- Academic Staff Union (NASU), the polytechnics and colleges of education unions, a bigger picture will begin to emerge. The impact of these “strikes” on scholarship is enormous as the university calendar has been permanently distorted. No public university in Nigeria today has a calendar. NYSC members are mainly products of private universities or those from the public university who would have hurriedly written their examinations during the intermittent interregnum between the parties before another “strike” commences. It is ,therefore, a common sight to see universities run on adhoc basis or on auto pilot as the next day is unpredictable. Students no longer graduate

Facing reality in Togo •Continued on page 30

sary and allowances that help us take care of some essential needs here.” On their arrival in Togo, the Nigerian students were received by Ambassador Matthew Adoli, who allegedly told the participants that there was no welfare package for them. But the students were assured of the embassy’s support to ensure their safety. The students said they had written several letters to the embassy regarding their welfare and safety, but nothing came out of the correspondences. A student, who did not mention his name, said: “When we arrived here for our studies, the first port of call was the Nigerian Embassy to make our presence known. We were addressed by Ambassador Adoli, who welcomed us and told us there was no welfare package for Nigerian students studying in Togo. Nevertheless, our data were collected and the Ambassador assured us that he would reach out to the government back home and our various state governments to help us with bursary payment. This is over five months now and we have not heard anything from the embassy.” With no manna from the embassy, some of the students have resorted to menial jobs to fend for themselves while others depend on their families back home since they cannot abandon their study. Gloria Okoye, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), thinks the Federal Government is insensitive to the plight of students abroad. “Students here are exposed to harsh condition. Being identified as

a Nigerian here has its good and bad sides. Foodstuff is expensive here and the Togolese would not hesitate to increase the price if they find out that one is a Nigerian. But, at times, they treat us specially and everyone would want to be your friend and even go as far as getting you gifts to remember them,” she said. Despite the hardship, some students still find their stay in Togo memorable amid trying to improve on their knowledge of French. They created time to familiarise themselves with speakers of the language among the natives. Sunday Achimugu, 300-Level student of ABU, Zaria said he had made it a habit to make friends with Togolese. Gloria said: “Leaving for Togo, my expectation was to improve my French accent. So far, I have improved on it through meeting people, making friends, attending church activities and joining several associations. My level of adaptation is quite rapid because I see the Togolese as humans but it is just the language that makes us different.” Terry Ekweogu, 300-Level student of Imo State University (IMSU), said: “I feel secure here because the security and law enforcement agencies are dedicated and are not corrupt. Motorists obey traffic rules even in the absence of traffic wardens. One doesn’t have to spend money on gas or kerosene because electricity is stable here. I have improved on my French by reading books written in the language.” No official of the Nigerian Embassy in Togo was willing to speak to CAMPUSLIFE when contacted.

on schedule. Above all, the so-called graduates of this strike prone universities are often half-baked – what should we be expecting anyway? I got the shocker of my life when I read the report credited to the Minister of Labour, Chukwuemeka Wogu, that the agreement government consciously reached with ASUU using experts in its fold is impossible to implement! Why did the government sign the agreement in the first place? Can you believe that! This goes to show how government, both consciously or otherwise has been fuelling ASUU strikes and by extension destroying the universities and Nigeria’s future. How could a Minister say that he “inherited the agreement” as if government is no longer a continuum? If you follow the trajectory of leadership in Nigeria closely you’ll find this line of reasoning with those in government telling us, for instance, that the crisis in the power sector did not start with “this administration”. Please let somebody shout it loud and clear at the Eagle Square or the market square or wherever that leadership is about providing solutions and not identifying problems! Another painful scenario is that each time there is this battle called “strike”; both parties are adamant, unyielding and unconcerned about the damage that is visited on the education system and the students. Is Nigeria so poor that government has no money to fund the universities to the required standard? Nigeria is very rich and has what it takes to equip the universities and pay lecturers commensurate remuneration. Ghana did it and today we flock there in droves to have quality education. It is to our collective shame that the wealth of the country is being wasted while education upon which a brighter future is built is being systematically destroyed – we let it pass as is characteristic of Nigeria. In situations like this, I am less interested in who is right or wrong in this matter. Both parties have contributed immensely to the impasse we’re facing. Every now and then, there is a “strike” that is followed by agreements that are not meant to be kept by government we step back to decay. We should all be concerned because once education, the bedrock of any modern civilization is destroyed, the country is finished. Why can those in and out of authority not see this? If they don’t see it we are already seeing it because we are left to grapple with mediocrity and a citizenry that is gradually bereft of

knowledge needed to pilot the affairs of the country. This is already happening in many sectors as I have argued on this page. Some concerned Nigerians have already raised the alarm that we do not have professionals in certain critical areas of the economy; what this portends is that the country will be unable to manage itself. And because nature abhors a vacuum, foreigners will naturally flock into the country, to take over the positions that Nigerians can’t fill. The foreigners will preside over and direct how the huge untapped natural resources of the country are exploited. Nigerians will be sideliners, with no power to dictate how the wealth of their nation is exploited or used. This is already happening in the oil sector for any discerning eye to see. It gives insight into where the assault on education will lead us to. It would be naïve for any right thinking individual to assume that these “strikes” are ordinary. Far from it; the country is being blindfolded to produce what a colleague termed Mumu citizenry who are not expected to see the light. And the only way to do it is to destroy education. There is nowhere in the world where the sort of “strikes” occurring in Nigeria have been witnessed. Go and conduct your research and find out. Elsewhere in the world, strikes are part and parcel of social re-engineering that workers employ to get their dues when the controllers of economic capital fail to be sensitive to their plight (we saw the miners’ strike in South Africa recently which led to a more humane working condition). The controllers could be foreigners, national governments or indigenous capitalist entrepreneurs. Thus, when there is a strike, the owners of the capital, being aware that they stand to lose if the strike lingers, would do everything to address the workers’ grievances and demands so that production can continue. Most of the time, they will give in to the demands as a way of assuaging the aggrieved workers, if possible on permanent basis. That is how strikes are handled in sane climes. It is disheartening to keep writing on the same issues week in and out, but write we must because we interact with the products of our universities and know too well that most university graduates can’t write simple application letter for jobs! It sounds incredible, but it’s true. They can’t stand job interview in their field of study. That is the extent this madness has taken Nigeria and still government and ASUU don’t seem to appreciate it.

Israel Oyinlola is a 400-Level Electrical and Engineering student of the Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUT MINNA). The whizz kid is the founder of, a social network site, where students and lecturers from diverse backgrounds share ideas on research works. He tells DAVID OSU (400-Level Urban and Regional Planning) how he plans to redefine social media to create a new Nigeria.

‘Internet crimes can only be reduced’


HEN did you develop the flair for the computer that has now consumed

you? I started computer programming when I was 16 out of curiosity to know how it works. As I was making findings, I was developing a flair for computer programming. I can now perform up to 10 programmes coding in different frameworks. What prompted the creation of and what impact do you hope to achieve with it? was born out of my desire to redefine the social media to make it real. With this, I seek to eradicate the famous method of predefined connection system that is being used today such as “follow button” or the “add as friend” button. I hope to achieve the dream of having a structured social media that is real. My website makes it easy for me to be a mentor to someone that is a

friend to someone else, a fan of another person and a critic of yet another. This is not being done presently. What is the sponsorship and partnership base of does not have any sponsor. I look forward to a time when people would partner and sponsor the project to promote researches. Do you see impacting negatively on students who have the craze for social networking media? The aim of is to increase the value and results one gets for every time on the web. Unlike the other social network sites with predefined connection system, they add themselves as friends and follow one another. How many students are friends of their lecturers on Facebook or Twitter? In fact, will help students that are positive-minded and inquisitive in any area of inter-


est. With the rate of internet fraud and hacking, don’t you think the menace poses a threat to internet business in Nigeria? I really think these bad guys should be engaged by the government to use their knowledge in hacking for positive end, instead of being sent to prison. Also, software researchers and developers must find a way to engage these brains productively. I believe internet crimes cannot be eradicated; it can only be reduced. In other countries, youths are leading in using information technology to change the world but this is not the case in Nigeria. What are the impediments? The challenge we have here is foundation. We grow up in noisy neighbourhoods, where children play with sand and vehicle tyres. The environment has an influence on kids. •Continued on page 36




Exit of a ‘gifted’ students’ leader The Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), community in Ondo State woke up last Thursday to the sad news of the death of Segun Ewegbemi, the Deputy Senate President of its Students’ Union Government (SUG). TAIWO ADEBULU reports.


HEN Segun Michael Ewegbemi, 21, posted a picture of himself on Facebook last March with a tag “departure”, he never knew he would depart to the great beyond a few months after. The 400-level Political Science student of the Adekunle Ajasin University in Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), Ondo State, uploaded the picture after a retreat he attended with the Vice Chancellor, Prof Femi Mimiko, at the National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA) in Ondo town. Last Thursday, Segun died after a protracted battle with a skin disease suspected to be Pellagra, which left his skin peeled from head to toe. Before his death, the late Segun, who was fondly called Uncle Shege, was the Deputy Senate President of the Students’ Union Government (SUG). Pellagra, according to Wikipedia, is a vitamin deficiency disease commonly caused by a chronic lack of niacin (vitamin B3) in the diet. A deficiency of the amino acid lysine can lead to a deficiency of niacin. Pellagra is classically described by four ds: diarrheoa, dermatitis, dementia and death. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that the late Segun underwent different tests but a source said doctors could not unravel the cause of the

infection. The deceased was said to have been taken home from school due to the deteriorating state of his health before he was transferred to the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH) in IleIfe, Osun State where he died. Our correspondent gathered that the late Segun passed on around 5pm. His remains were moved to Okitipupa on Friday for burial in his family’s compound. He hailed from Erinje Town in Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State. He started his political journey in secondary school when he was elected as the president of Students’ Representative Council in Methodist High School, Okitipupa in 2007. After his admission into AAUA, he was elected to represent Political Science Constituency in the Students’ Representative Council (SRC). He was later elected the Deputy Senate President. The SRC Senate President, Odunayo Kowe, 400-Level Biochemistry, said he was going through terrible moment after learning of his deputy’s demise. “I am going through a terrible moment. I just came back from a protest we held in Akure when a colleague called to ask when last I saw Segun. Members still visited him on his sick bed recently. But as I was about calling him, I got a call from his mother, breaking the news of his death.”

Tunde Ogunleye, a coursemate and close friend to the deceased, said Segun’s death was devastating and shocking. The SUG president, Julius Adeniyi, 400-Level English Education, described Segun’s death as a sad occurrence. He said: “Honestly, I received the news of the DSP’s death with a heavy heart. I cherished and loved him a lot. It is painful losing such a promising young man to the cold hands of death.” Temitope Ewegbemi, the deceased’s cousin, described the late Segun as intelligent, easy going, friendly and humble. Idris Alabi, a graduate of Counselling from the university, said: “I got to know him during my final year in school when we were both elected into the SRC. He was full of ideas, innovation and creativity. He had so much to give to the world but death deprived him of the opportunity.” The Dean of Students Affair, Prof Yemisi Adebowale, was shocked when Segun’s death was broken to her. She said the deceased was close to her. “I expected him to recover from the sickness so that he could join his colleagues on resumption. But the news of his death came as a rude shock. It is a big blow to the Students’ Union and the university.”

•The late Segun

Should a girl marry at 13? Students, who spoke to WHYTE HABEEB (Law, University of Ilorin), condemned the proposed legislation stipulating that a girl-child can marry at 13.


T what age should a girlchild marry? The 1999 Constitution stipulates in Section 29 (1) (a) that a girl that is 18 is free to marry. But for some lawmakers, the age should be brought down to 13, with the proponents clamouring for the removal of Section 29 (4) (b) that states that “any woman that is married shall be deemed to be of full age.” The bill to institutionalise underage marriage was sponsored by Senator Sani Yarima, a former governor of Zamfara State. Widespread condemnation trailed reports that the Senate had passed the legislation with many rights activists calling for revocation of the law. Clearing the air, Senate President David Mark said the upper chamber did not enact such law. But proponents of the law would not back down, insisting that there was nothing wrong in a girl of 13 getting married. They cited countries, such as the United States, United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia where age stipulation for a girl-child to marry starts from 14. The question is: should a girlchild, who should be in school, be forced to marry at the age of 13? Students argue that the proposed legislation would enslave the female child and draw the nation back to the Stone Age. Dapo Ipoola, 400-Level Zoology, University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), said early marriage was another way of reintroducing slave trade. He said: “It is time for the Nigeria government to respect the rights of the girlchild. Instead of making law that would channel people’s energy




Students say ‘no’ to underage marriage towards a productive end, our lawmakers are making efforts to reintroduce slave trade using the girl-child as a bargaining chip.” Saleem Amubikan, who recently graduated from Law at UNILORIN, said: “I have followed the debate on the floor of the Senate on girl-child marriage; I must say the move is uncivilised and inhuman and must not be allowed to stand. Under age marriage is a violation of Section 23 of the Child Rights Act and it undermines equal opportunity of a girl-child with the other gender. If the likes of Dora Akinyuli had been forced into marriage in their teens, would they have been respected voices in the so-

ciety today?” Abimbola Sholola, 200-Level Sociology student, is disappointed with the Senate for allowing the debate in the first instance. “It shows our senators don’t have conscience but only have interest in destroying our future. A girl-child needs education; she needs to read books and not to cook for shameless old men. If my father had given me out to a man at an early age, I wouldn’t have this opportunity to acquire university education,” she quipped. For Dare Oladotun, 400-Level Agricultural Science, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria re-

mains a theatre for irrational drama. If the nation is blessed with good leaders, he said, the number of children roaming the streets in search of daily bread would have reduced. He added that the proposed law would only compound the woes of Nigerian children. Odunayo Whyte, 200-Level Business Education, Federal College of Education in Abeokuta, Ogun State, s a i d t h e d e b a t e showed that a girl-child is an endangered species in Nigeria. “Early marriage is capable of making girls vulnerable to vesico vaginal fistula (vvf). Medical experts have said the disease is common among girls

lured into early marriages. Why would our lawmakers encourage this? A girl must have equal opportunity as the male gender. A girl-child must get education and be empowered,” she said. “Preparing for a marriage starts with getting a sound education both in the university and at home. But if a girl-child is denied these rights, then there is no need giving birth to her in the first place,” Oladele Olaniyan, 400-Level Business Administration, Olabisi Onabanjo University in Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State said. Hameed Muritala, 400-Level Mass Communication, UNILORIN, blamed the mass hysteria against the proposed law on media reportage. He said: “My own opinion is that the media should be faulted in the way the issue is being reported to the public. We have many unqualified journalists sensationalising the issue. But then, I urge Senator Yarima not to hide behind the façade of religion to push his personal interest over collective wishes. I do not support early marriage because it poses dangers to our society.” Oluwaseyi Adebanjo, 300-Level Law, UNILORIN believes such law slows down a nation’s development. He said: “Protecting the rights of women will empower them to realise their full potentials. It will also improve the quality of life for all because when you educate a woman, you have succeeded in educating a nation. Investment in the girl child will make a society achieve growth and development because economy would be strengthened.”




•Otufodunrin (left) joined by McCobin (right) and Thomas (second left) to present cash prizes and flight tickets to the winners of the essay contest


TUDENTS from various higher institutions, last Thursday, stormed the corporate headquarters of The Nation, to participate in an entrepreneurship seminar organised by the African Liberty Organisation (ALO) in collaboration with the newspaper and the Network For Free Society. The event, which was held in the newsroom, also featured a book presentation and award of cash prizes to winners of The Nation/ essay contest. Mentoring the participants included the president of Students For Liberty (SFL), Alexander McCobin, who came from the United States, The Nation’s Online Editor, Mr Lekan Otufodunrin and the Director of Outreach, African Liberty Organisation, Mr Adedayo Thomas. Dignitaries at the seminar included the Education Secretary of Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Area, Mr Adewale Alausa among others. Welcoming the students, Wale

•Participants in a group photograph with the speakers

Building young entrepreneurs From Modiu Olaguro and Abibat Awo


Ajetunmobi, CAMPUSLIFE Editor, explained the activities of the organisation, urging the participants to use the opportunity to network with their peers from across the world to promote freedom and entrepreneurship. Speaking on the core values of SFL and McCobin said groups are global network of youths promoting capacity free enterprise and economic liberty without border. “We have the responsibility to promote the virtues of liberty and free enterprise via global and regional partnerships with students for a common goal of promoting and sustaining liberty. The libertarian spirit has been recognised and felt across the world

•Essay winners get prizes through the Students For Liberty activities in Venezuela and Turkey. Through the active involvement of the libertarians, the status quo is being changed in Egypt,” he said. Otufodunrin advised the students to make meaningful contribution to the society, advising that there was need for them to go a step further by harnessing the business part of using Facebook and Twitter for personal empowerment and development of the economy. Presenting the book titled: Politicians, dependence, and the bubble that broke the world economy, Alexander said the aim of the work was to support free enterprise in Nigeria and change the belief of people about capitalism. Edited by Tom Palmer, Vice President for International Programmes at the

College boils over planned fee hike


TUDENTS of Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo State, have protested against a planned tuition fee increment. The school was said to have made the proposal through a memo. The memo, CAMPUSLIFE gathered, suggested 200-Level students would pay N55,000 as against N16,650 paid last session; 300Level, N48,000 against N17,000 last year. Demonstrating against the fee regime, students barricaded the school’s main gate to register their displeasure. They made bonfires with tyres to prevent lecturers from gaining entrance into the college, a development which disrupted academic activities in the campus. In their thousands, they went to the palace of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, to urge him to prevail on the management to drop the proposed fee increment. But the protesters were told the traditional ruler was not around. They later mobilised themselves

•The ViceChancellor, Lagos State University (LASU), Prof John Obafunwa (right) with his deputy (Academics), Prof Sena Bakre, when they led top management staff of the university and press men on a tour of some of ongoing projects in the university. PHOTO: ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA

From Lanre Okulaja

OYO and stormed the Isokun campus, where the college’s school of Vocational and Technical Education is located, chasing lecturers away from the lecture room. It took the intervention of the Oyo State Joint Task Force, codenamed Operation Burst and riot policemen to restore order on the campus. The security operatives guided Mr Nathaniel Adegbite of the Department of Educational Management to address the students and asked them what they wanted. Students responded that they wanted to know the reasons behind the school fee hike, calling for the reinstatement of Students’ Union Government (SUG) to champion their cause and welfare. The protest took another dimension last Wednesday, when they vent their spleen on the campus. They gave the management ultimatum to rescind its decision. To prevent breakdown of law and order, riot policemen were

invited to disperse the growing crowd of protesters. The policemen shot sporadically into the air to scare the students. In the ensuing melee, some students sustained various degrees of injury. Mumeen Isiaka, a 100-Level English and Political Science student was seriously injured. It was gathered that he is receiving treatment at Momoh Memorial Hospital, Oyo. The victim was not allowed to speak to CAMPUSLIFE. A student, who pleaded anonymity, said the policemen came to the college’s hostel and asked him to identify some students. “I replied that I am not a student; so they allowed me to go,” he said. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that some students were arrested by the security operatives. Unity Hostel in the college was also raided by the policemen. The school has been shut down and students were told to vacate the campus until further notice. Efforts to speak with the college’s Public Relation Officer (PRO) and Dean of Students’ Affairs were futile at the time of this report.

Atlas Economic Research Foundation, the 180 page book is divided into four sections, endnotes and featured essays by foremost political economists including David Betto, Piercamillo Falasca, David Green, Aristides Hatzis, Johan Norberg, Tom Palmer and Micheal Tanner. Palmer, in his introductory essay, pointed out that the book was intended for those who preferred to ask hard questions and to pursue them with open minds, stressing that history, economics, sociology, political science and mathematics should be tools to understand welfare states rather than emotional responses or conspiracy theories. The programme also featured oneon-one interaction, where Thomas


said the platform was to share ideas, create policies on economic prosperity and engendering intellectual entrepreneurship among the youths and students. He stressed the need for graduates to be creative and cultivate the habit of saving in order not to be perfect designers of curriculum vitae. At the end of the seminar, cash prizes were presented to the winners of the essay competition. Yusuf Oguntoyinbo, a student of the Federal University of Technology, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), won $1,000 for coming first in the contest. Also, Joseph Timothy, from Ekiti State University (EKSU) and Denis Eze, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), who were first and second runners up, were presented with $700 and $500 respectively. The winners were also given full scholarship and return tickets to the Students and Young Professional African Liberty Academy (SYPALA) conference holding in Kenya next week.

Court reinstates expelled students

WO students expelled from Landmark University, last December, for “complicity in stealing”, have been recalled. The students, Joy Ogharanduku and Emmanuel Idama, who were handcuffed and detained for over 48 hours after preliminary investigation, got their lawyer, Mr Lanre Badmus, to write the management over the infringement on their fundamental right. The school did not respond to their lawyer’s letter. Instead, the management expelled the students in January. The students sued the university at the Federal High Court, Ilorin, praying for their reinstatement and enforcement of their fundamental

From Matthew Ajakaiye

ILORIN right. A counter affidavit was filed by Mr I.T David on behalf of the university, in which the management refuted all allegations. The case was heard on June 9, 2013. After two adjournments, the court delivered its judgment last Friday, condemning the university for violating the fundamental rights of the students by detaining them for two days. The judge ordered the reinstatement of the students immediately and asked the management to pay the students N100,000 each as damages for the infringement of their rights.

CAMPUSLIFE student is Nokia ambassador


CAMPUSLIFE correspondent from the University of Ibadan (UI), Adebisi Adeniji, has been selected as a Nokia ambassador. The 300-Level student of Communication and Language Arts was part of the four-student team selected from the premier university to join other students on other campuses in projecting the Nokia brand among youths in the country. Nokia is one of the world’s top mobile phone brands. Other students selected from the UI are Paul Alasiri, 400-Level Electrical Engineering, Mercy Emmanuel, 300Level Law and Rapheal Akinbowale, 300-Level Philosophy. The team will be responsible for organising events on the campus to promote Nokia initiatives for the youths and phone brands. Adebisi, who is also a blogger and Chief Executive Officer of ElPosh Events, a 15-member ushering out-

•Adebisi From Dauda Salaudeen

UI fit, told CAMPUSLIFE that she would bring her skill as a writer and entrepreneur to bear to effectively project the image of the brand and re-orientate the youths towards positive values.




Strike: Southwest SUGs back lecturers


•Prof Onu (left) receiving an award of excellence from Principal of the college, Mr Abiodun Fabiyi

Rector canvasses stable tenure for ministers


HE Rector, Federal Polytechnic in Oko (OKO POLY), Anambra State, Prof Godwin Onu, has called for a longer tenure for education ministers in order to consolidate the gains of Vocational and Entrepreneurial Studies. Delivering a paper on the impact of entrepreneurial education in a developing nation at the Federal Government College in Warri, Delta State, Prof Onu said the nation had witnessed several education policy sumersaults because of unstable tenure of education ministers. He said the entrepreneurial and vocational studies curriculum introduced by the education ministry was to set the pace for speedy development of the economy, adding that the curriculum may suffer setback if the tenure of education ministers is not guaranteed to carry out proper implementation of the policy. Onu said a situation where graduates were trained only on theory portended grave danger

From Anthonia Anochilionye

OKO POLY for the country, urging various government and private sector organisations to make funds available for vocational training of undergraduates. He noted that professionals working in some multinational companies in Nigeria were not university graduates as people perceived them to be competent artisans who had received practical vocational training in their fields and brought into the country to drive the economy. Emphasising on plans put in place for vocational training, Onu said OKO POLY had started certification training for artisans in areas such as mechanical engineering, electrical work, fashion designing, catering, bakery, arts and craft, electronic repair and maintenances among others. He also said that innovative courses such as Mechatronics Engineering, Alternative and Renew-

able Energy Technology, Nano Science and Technology, Aviation, Marine Science and Pharmaceutical Science had been introduced in the institution to cater for the needs of the economy. According to Onu, “Vocational and Entrepreneurial education is that study which creates room for self employment and employment of others. “We cannot afford to lag behind developing economies. The Asian Tigers had developed their entrepreneurship and it is being used to drive the economy to a highly competitive level ahead of other nations. “Nigeria is a capitalist economy that needs such skills and training to drive its economy. We are bracing up for the best and we have also developed the ICT base that will help us impact the training effectively.” He charged the trainees to make judicious use of the skills and equip themselves for a productive future.

French govt honours don


HE French government has honoured a lecturer of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Prof Paul Modum, with a French national award of the Palmes Academique, which means Order of Academic Palms. The don was awarded because of dedication to promoting French language and culture. Prof Modum, who is the first lecturer to be honoured, received the title from the Consul-General of French embassy, Mr Francois Sastourne, at the Princess Alexandra Unity Hall and Theatre, UNN. Speaking, Sastourne said the French government was pleased to honour Modum because of his unrelenting promotion of the study of French language in Nigeria. Facing Modum, the envoy said: “Generations of students studied under you, many of who now occupy very important positions in the society today. You contributed to their growth by exposing them to have contact with French language and its literature. “You have also opened the doors of the sophisticated world culture, which in other words could be called the francophone world, to hundreds of young people, who by this opportunity are now well informed. For this singular act, we say thank you Paul Modum. We are impressed by this effort.” Accepting the honour, Prof Modum noted that his decision to study French language in 1962 was borne out of his love for languages

•Sastourne presenting the award certificate to Prof Modum at the ceremony From Inya Agha

UNN and not because he had no alternatives. He recalled how he turned down an offer to study Law at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) but opted to study languages at the University of Ibadan (UI). He urged the French government to bring back scholarship given to students to study the language for one year in France and other francophone countries. He said the gesture would enable them gain exposure and master the language and its culture. He thanked the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Bartho Okolo, for enhancing the academic and aesthetic standard of the university, a development he

said had impacted positively on the academic and social wellbeing of staff and students. Earlier, Prof Okolo said the award was a reflection of the value of excellence for which the university was reputed. Palmes Academique award is an Order of Chivalry of France for academics, cultural and educational figures. It was originally founded by Emperor Napoléon to honour distinguished members of the University of Paris. It was changed, however, redefined by an order of President René Coty on October 4, 1955. Afterwards, the French government has used the award to honour individuals who have made significant contribution to the promotion of French language and culture.

ISSATISFIED with the activities of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), presidents of Students’ Union Government (SUG) in universities from the Southwest converged on the University of Ibadan (UI) to deliberate on the disagreement between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government. The meeting, which lasted for four hours, was hosted by the UI Students’ Union president, Babatunde Badmus. After analysing the ASUU’s demands and the government’s response, the union presidents back the lecturers, calling on the government to increase funding of university education. It should be recalled that NANS, in a statement, expressed chided the striking lecturers for going on strike, adding that the ASUU was not considerate. The SUG presidents accused NANS of negligence of duty, saying the officials of apex students’ body were errand boys for politicians. The union leaders said NANS had derailed. In a communiqué signed after the meeting, the union presidents, under the aegis of Forum of University Students’ Presidents (FOUP), South West zone, said: “We have painstakingly assessed the level of rot in the education sector and also deliberated on the demands of ASUU demands. We want to state clearly that the Federal Government is insensitive given the amount

From Dhikru Akinola

OAU wealth it has at its disposal. “Nigeria is capable of providing free and quality education to the citizens from primary to tertiary institutions, but government not only pays lip service to education, it has also been the cause of the decay in the education section. This is why we support ASUU’s demand for adequate funding of education. They called on the Inspector General of Police to order the release of 45 students of the University of Uyo (UNIUYO) detained in connection with riot that engulfed the institution recently. They also demanded restoration of students’ union in institutions such as the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, and Ekiti State University (EKSU) among others. At the meeting which took place at the Kunle Adepeju Students’ Union Building, included Tope Adesipo, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Oluwafemi Adeniyi, Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Omojola Ayokunle, Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Chris Ayorinde, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ibirogba Samuel, representative of OAU and Akintorinwa Olabanji, representative of EKSU.

Ex-students’ leaders praise lawmaker


OR speaking against the crisis rocking the Rivers State House of Assembly, the lawmaker representing Osun East Senatorial District in the Senate, Babajide Omoworare, has been seen as a bastion of hope by some former students’ leaders. The ex-students’ leaders of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, under the umbrella of Progressive ex-OAU Student Leaders, praised Omoworare, for standing against the Senate President David Mark, by faulting his ruling on a voice vote and called for division in the parliament with a view to decide on the crisis. The ex-students said voice vite for such crucial decision was becoming oldfashion and could make the parliament to lose its authority on national matters. Members of the parliament, especially the minority members were urged not to keep silent in the face of threat if they must play their role to uphold democratic ideals. It would be recalled that the Senate was unable to reach a consensus on resolution urging the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Abubakar to take measures to address crisis rocking the Rivers State. Governor Rotimi Amaechi is calling for redeployment of the state’s Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu. According to a release made available to CAMPUSLIFE by the group’s coordinator, Yemi Abiona, the senator’s action

•Omoworare From Abibat Awo

OAU was confirmed the culture of vibrancy known with OAU “as a breeding ground for sound and qualitative leadership.” “We may not understand the impact of this daring stance by the senator but clearly we recognise the fact that only political leaders who do not have skeletons in their cupboard could challenge the authorities of the Senate President who is seen as a tingod. We salute the courage of other senators, who neglected party divides and other interests to stand on the side of conscience and democracy with their votes during the division”. “A critical look at Omoworare shows his commitment to education as a weapon of change and he has never hesitated to contribute meaningfully to the reform of education in his constituency. We are very proud of him as an alumnus of our great university and hope Nigeria can breed more of him in our efforts to change the leadership orientation of this country,” the statement said.

NCC donates laptops to poly


HE Federal Polytechnic in Oko (OKO POLY), Anambra State, has received 110 laptops from the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC). Member representing Ogbaru Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Victor Afam Ogene, recommended the institution for the donation. The Rector, Prof Godwin Onu, who disclosed the development last week, thanked the commission for complementing the efforts of his administration’s effort in driving the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the

From Anthonia Anochilionye

OKO POLY polytechnic. He also praised Ogene for proposing the institution to the donor. Onu promised that the computers would be used in line with the ICT policy of his administration, adding that the use of power point to deliver had been adopted by the institution. He said some lecturers had been given the laptops to aid their teaching method and stated that with this latest gesture from NCC, the institution would grow faster.



CAMPUS LIFE The students’ Union Government of the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) has held a seminar for female students on how they can help fight corruption. TOLULOPE OGUNLEYE (HND II Computer Science) reports.

Girls as change agents


O mark the Students’ Union Government (SUG) week, the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) union held a seminar for female students, whose conduct, it believed, could help in stemming corruption in the country. The seminar, with the theme: “Ladies as panacea to curbing Nigeria’s corruption”, was attended by the Registrar, Mrs Olufunke Ige; Revd. Adetutu Olusanya, Assistant General Overseer of Living Stone Christian Centre, and Mrs. DawoduOsoala as speakers. Mrs. Ige said women were endowed with potentials, which must be exploited to make a difference in the society. She said the likes of the late Margaret Thatcher and the late Mother Teresa were personalities who made a difference in their immediate environment without waiting for a nudge from the other gender to serve. Mrs. Ige said women could help in reducing corruption by changing the orientation of public servants through personal examples. She advised the girls not to compromise their feminine values and

•Mrs Ige, flanked by Mrs Dawodu-Osoala (left) and Rev. Olusanya, speaking to the participants

society standards for vanity, urging them to educate the younger ones on the evils of corruption. Mrs. Dawodu-Osola, who spoke on the Role of a good Muslim woman in the family, said a good Muslim woman must know the teachings of Islam and observe the five daily prayer. She spoke on indecent dressing as the cause of many ills in the society, sensitising the participants on the use of hijab as a sign of modesty and piety. She also talked about how the girls could build a good home, emphasising its importance to res-

toration of good values in the society. Speaking on the Role of a lady in curbing corruption in Nigeria, Rev. Olusanya said women must be born again to create a good family, which she said was the first step in rebuilding a society. Noting that charity begins at home, Rev Olusanya said if parents could inculcate in their children the teachings of the scripture, the children would not derail as they grew older. She told the participants to be of good behaviour to serve as example to men to pro-

mote integrity and spirituality. The seminar also featured a cooking contest, where six students from different departments engaged themselves on ways to cook delicious foods. The contestants included Siminat Kazeem, ND II Science Laboratory Technology, Kafilat Oguntona, HND II Mass Communication and Chidima Ezirim, HND 1 Agric and Bioenvironmental Engineering. Others are Nkechi Kachikwu, ND II Science Laboratory Technology, Doris Eleodimuo, ND 1 Sci-

ence Laboratory Technology and Esther Okunnibor, HND II Hotel Management Technology (HND2). Esther Okunnibor won the contest. Vice President of the Students’ Union, Rukayat Onasanya, said the aim of the event was to prepare girls as agent of change. She said the cooking contest was to let them know that food was essential in making a good home. Other dignitaries present at the seminar included the Assistant Dea n, S t u d ent s’ A f f a i r s, M r Fapounda Adebayo.

Some students are catching fun despite the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). CHARLES UDENZE and OBIANUJU ASOUZU (500-Level Environmental and Resource Management) report the weddings of two CAMPUSLIFE correspondents of the University of Calabar (UNICAL).


HE ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which has paralysed academic activities in many institutions, could not stop the ceremony. From different places, students of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) returned to the campus penultimate Saturday to witness the union of two of their colleagues. The university community stood still as Louis Edet, a former CAMPUSLIFE correspondent from the university, took Esther Asuquo, a graduate of Social Works, to the altar in a holy matrimony that took place at the Chapel of Redemption Church on the campus. At Onitsha, Anambra State, last Saturday, Chinenye Okonkwo, another CAMPUSLIFE correspondent in UNICAL, got married to Mr Chike Amaonye in a colourful ceremony at the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity. Louis, who graduated from Policy Studies and Administration and a former coordinator of Echo Press, a campus magazine, is a postgraduate student of Industrial Sociology. The ceremony started at 11am with the officiating ministers, Reverend Nsa Eyo, the chaplain of Chapel of Redemption, Reverend Ogbonna Onyenweake and Pastor Sunday Charles, leading the praise songs. The church choir entertained the guests including Hon Luke Onofiok, member of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, who chaired the occasion, Mr Godwin Mbeke, and Mr Edet Effiong among others with gospel music. Also, the UNICAL Students’ Union Government (SUG) presi-

•Louis and Esther with students after the church service

Wedding bell tolls for students •CAMPUSLIFE’s correspondents wed •Chinenye and Chike

dent, Bassey Eka, led other officials to the event. After exhortation and sermon by the clerics, Louis and Esther were pronounced husband and wife amid applause by the congregation. The bridegroom thanked the students and staff for defying the ASUU strike to honour the couple. He described the day as “a very special day in my life”, thanking

Esther for accepting to marry him. Bassey said the union officials were at the ceremony to honour an “Aluta soldier”, who he said used his pen and knowledge to promote students’ welfare. At Onitsha, Chinenye was ushered into the expansive church auditorium by beautifully-dressed flower girls in sea green and gold attires. She walked to the altar in

measured steps to meet her heartthrob. The holy mass started at 11:30am, with over 12 priests joining the Archbishop of Onitsha Diocese, Most Reverend Valerian Okeke, to officiate the ceremony, which coincided with the inauguration of the Holy Family Society in the Basilica. In his sermon, Okeke admonished the couple to be open and love each other as Christ loved the world, saying marriage does not harbour secrets. He urged the couple to emulate Mary and Joseph, who the cleric said had the best family. At 12:45pm, Chinenye was pronounced the wife of Chike by Archbishop Okeke. After the solemnisation, Chinenye threw her bridal bouquet among her friends to bid them farewell. After the mass, the couple hosted the guests at Shanahan Hall within the Basilica. With beautifully arranged tables and chairs, the hall was draped in green, purple and

gold ribbons. All the guests stood on their feet at the sight of the couple, who danced into the hall. Later the couple cut the wedding cake followed by the toast and presentation of gifts. Beaming with smile, the bride’s mother, Lady Elizabeth, said: “I give God the glory for everything. It is indeed a great day for me to witness my daughter’s wedding. I pray God to bless the union with fruits of marriage.” The groom’s mother, Lolo Cecilia Amaonye (KSM), said she was proud of her daughter in-law. “May God bless the day my son met her. She is a bundle of joy and creativity to our family. God will give them good children and bless their home,” she said. Chinenye, who described the wedding as “a dream come true”, said: “I give God the glory and appreciate everyone that made this day wonderful.” Her hubby, Chike, in his vote of thanks, appreciated the guests for gracing the wedding.




Of Yarima’s bill and the girl-child

By Uche Anichebe


RANTED, no nation is perfect. The type of leadership a nation gets has an influence on the progress or otherwise of the nation. Also, it is one of the yardsticks for measuring decency or immorality of the nation. Shrewdness in decision making, foresight in progressive resolutions and respect for people’s views on laws and governance are attributes of a decent nation. A few days ago, there was public outcry over a proposed law the Senate entertained, which is not in tandem with the citizens’ wishes. The proponents of the bill were seeking to get constitutional authority to force the girl-child into


N Nigeria, employers have a way of engaging workers without paying commensurate wages. The underpaid employees are called “casual workers”. It may be trite to say that most casual workers in Nigeria are shortchanged by their employers in terms of right to certain benefits and allowances. Even with the meagre pay package, the “casual work” they do is not guaranteed. Any attempt by these socalled casual workers to demand for certain rights to enhance his or her welfare become issues that may result in dismissal. This is the reality of employment in Nigeria and some parts of Africa. As Nigerians continue to suffer in the name of casual work, some analysts have blamed the government for its failure to effectively address unemployment rate, which is put at 71 per cent. Every year, thousands of graduates are churned out by higher institutions, but the youths are not productively engaged. Ones that eventually get employed are left with option to work as a “casual staff” or its modified form known as “contract staff”. I read in National Impact magazine last month, where the disengaged downstream employees of

marriage at the age of 13. I watched the debates and drama on the floor of the upper chamber of the National Assembly. Unable to decipher the reason behind the move, I was compelled to question the audacity of Senator Ahmad Sani Yarima and his cotravellers in promoting a bill which will compel my younger sister in JSS 3 to marry, perhaps, an illiterate man at the age when she should be struggling to stabilise her life, at least academically. By entertaining the debate, in the first instance, the Senate took the nation back to an era defined by barbarism and unconventional civilisation. How does it sound for a nation that prides itself as a giant to be contending and debating the removal or retention of a preposterous law, which runs afoul with the rights of a girl-child? Yarima and his co-travellers remind me of some characters in Hollywood movies I watched lately. Indeed, they bear direct resemblance with the characters that, for one reason or another, fell into a slumber only to wake up centuries later when the society had advanced into civilisation. Dazed by the reality of the present period, their decisions and thoughts are not in tandem with the aspiration of the present society and the people. Rather than adapt to the new ways,

Did it ever cross their minds that the bill, if passed, could result to a decline in girl-child education? Since the controversy started, my mind raced back to the thoughts of a distant relative, a woman, who I call Aunty. She used to tell me the stories of her life, which were filled with tales of unaccomplished dream. Aunty married at a tender age, when she was still nurturing the desire to become a civil engineer. She objected, but of course, the will of her guardians prevailed. She recounted then that older relatives forced her to smile and dance, even when as the marriage cut her dream short. She had dropped out of school. She could not be an engineer again because she married in her teenage years. The husband died and as a widow, she haboured regrets over botched dreams and marital disappointment. She also died and took the regrets to the grave. As an adult and a lady, who has been influenced by education, I am wise and have deeper understanding of life unlike when I was a child. I can take a decision in life which outcome I am solely responsible. And it is my submission that all teenage girls deserve the care of childhood, and the natural privilege of savouring every stage of their lives. They deserve the simple memory of childhood. They deserve

to be nurtured as children and grow to fully realise their being at an age of maturity - the age of wisdom. Let no one force them into early marriage. The advocates of this ridiculous bill predicate their reason on religious teachings. However, our leaders must at all times be reminded that religion is a private affair. The Senate must always remember that Nigeria is a mixture of several ethnic nationalities; hence, its resolutions and decision must, at all times, be devoid of wishes or religious teachings of a tribe or a religious group. This, once again, brings a thorny issue of Sovereign National Conference (SNC) to the fore. There have been agitations from various quarters that we need a roundtable discussion on Nigeria’s sustainability. No time could be more apt than now to discuss the union properly. In the light of our language difference and cultural heterogeneity, it is my submission that Nigeria must be federalised now rather than later if we must not allow issues such as girl-child marriage to divide us. But until we have SNC, someone should nudge Yerima and his co-travellers to wake up from the medieval time and live in a civilised society. Uche, 500-Level Law, UNZIK

Justice for disengaged workers defunct Chevron Oil Nigeria Plc accused Chevron Corporation of duplicity and greed in computation of their severance payment arising from Chevron’s sale of its downstream operation in 2009, notwithstanding the recorded windfall profit it realised from its downstream asset sales in Nigeria. According to the report, Chevron did everything possible to avoid decent severance payments for the employees that spent years of their lives working for the firm. This drama resulted to weeks of strike by the employees during which they carried placards with inscriptions, such as “Chevron is fuelling death in Nigeria’. The poser for the authority is: will this inhuman treatment of Nigerians stop? What is the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) doing? What has been the role of the Minister of Labour and Productivity to address the injustice? We may not be surprised to learn that nobody is doing anything because Nigerian laws are not being respected even by foreigners. The disengaged Chevron employees alleged that it was the firm’s duplicity that made it to lose


By Opeoluwa Sonuga

they tried to take the whole society back to medieval times of barbarity. Truly, the foregoing depicts Yerima and his supporters; they have lost touch of the need of the present Nigeria and indeed, the aspiration of the people are grossly incompatible with theirs. It was said that the said proposed law had been part of the Constitution, but concealed by tissues of sections and subsections. But must a sufferer of leprosy refuse medication because he has lived with his ailment for a long time? I wonder if the supporters of the bill ever considered the short and long term consequences of their views on the girl child, especially in the light of the present awareness it has created. Did they consider the health hazard constituted by girl child marriage? Do they know of rectovaginal fistula and vesico vaginal fistula (VVF), which are medical consequences of early marriage? Do they feel the agony the sufferers of the ailments? Did they put into consideration the psychological implication of a teenager marrying to an old man? Did they put in prospective the fact that the controversial bill can promote child sale, trafficking and abuse? Are they unaware that the bill can increase the depraved libido of sexual perverts and pedophiles?

reputable companies that indicated interest in the buying of its downstream interest and settled for a rather unknown company as its choice in a deal initially reported to be $1 billion but was later put at $800 million. The report also hinted that the company that bought Chevron downstream interest had been sanctioned by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which barred it from getting loans from the country’s financial institutions due to its bad debt. Also, the disengaged downstream employees of defunct Chevron Oil Nigeria Plc alleged that Chevron’s action to short-change them was in line with the firm’s notorious attitude to suffer vulnerable and weak stakeholders, especially in Nigeria, where bribery and corruption is the order of the day. In the United States, reports had it that a community near San Francisco where 70 per cent of the population are either black or Latino, Chevron caused almost 1,000 people to be hospitalised as its refinery exploded, spewing poisonous hydrocarbons across the city and forced thousands to remain indoors. In a legal action brought against

it in Ecuador, a community won $19.04 billion judgment against Chevron after a court found the oil company guilty of dumping toxic waste into Amazon waterways for a period of 26 years. From Ecuador to Nigeria, Chevron lacks respect for community development. The degradation being experienced in the Niger Delta is a case study. Chevron is one of the multinational oil companies listed among the 14 worst corporate evildoers in the United States. To the heart of the matter, I am of the opinion that the disengaged downstream employees of Chevron would have been employers of labour if they were properly paid before they were sacked; perhaps, some of the affected workers would have used their gratuities to open small and medium scale businesses that would boost the local economy. Since their case has been filed at the industrial court and waiting to be heard in October, let the workers keep on praying for justice to prevail. We must call on the NLC, Trade Union Congress (TUC), the Federal Government and well meaning Nigerians to rise in defence of these

In my thinking… UST thinking that the demise of the Things Fall Apart genius, who could also be described as the au-

thor and finisher of Okonkwo’s fate, did not signal an end to the Nigerian literature. Instead, it has given the upcoming generation of writers a good opportunity to delve more into the intricacies of altitude and attitude in our literature. Just thinking that Prof Chinua Achebe could be described as an unusual eagle with African blood and Nigerian foresight, who soared to the summit of destiny but not in sudden flight, rather through a

painstaking journey. Just thinking that it is a grave irony that today’s youths are in a hurry to achieve success, alas not through hard work but via shortcut. Just thinking about the immortal words of Henry Miller, who said: “In this age which believes that there is a shortcut to everything, the greatest lesson to be learned is that the most difficult ways is, in the long run, the easiest.” Just thinking that if Nelson Mandela was reading this, he wouldn’t hesitate to say that’s what keeps me going? Just thinking that if the offer of

an American rap sensation, 50 Cent, to buy the copyright of the wordings of Prof Chinua Achebe’s pillar of success and Africa’s pride, Things Fall Apart, was not more than all the financial rewards the writer made from the sales of that world’s bestseller at a single time? If we were in Achebe’s shoes, would we not have banished our success story to the belly of history by readily signing the mouthwatering deal the rappers offered? Just thinking that in life, as students and youths, there we will always believe in false solutions to our problems and challenges, but

By Mark Orgu workers and to address inhumane treatment being meted out to Nigerians by foreign and indigenous firms in the name of labour. Nigerians can no longer be slaves in their country. Countrymen, let us all condemn this act and ensure the future of our youths, especially the graduates seeking employment in these companies is not jeopardised. Mark, 300-Level Business Education, School of Technical Education, YABATECH if only we endure a little, we shall realise that what seems a challenge was a change that changes outlook and the solution was just a little patience to let the clouds lift up and clarity come down. Just thinking, again, about John Maxwell and one of his inspiring quotes that states: “A difficult time can be more readily endured if we retain the conviction that our existence holds a purpose, a cause to pursue, a person to love and a goal to achieve.” Just thinking how our nation will have been better if our fellow citizens and leaders were thinking something better. Opeoluwa, 400-Level Law, OAU, Ile-Ife



CAMPUS LIFE UNICAL ready for WAUG, pan-African debate


HE West African Universities Games (WAUG) and pan-African Debate Competition (PADC) are two contests to be hosted by the University of Calabar (UNICAL) this year. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof James Epoke, has expressed the institution’s readiness to host the events, a feat which no higher institution has achieved. Prof Epoke spoke when the editorial crew of Campuslight, a campus newspaper, visited him in his office to present another edition of the magazine to him. The crew was led by Emmanuel Shebbs, a graduate of the university. According to the VC, the university has decided to host the events to make Nigeria proud and promote sound educational values in Nigeria. Annually, UNICAL represents Nigeria in the PADC, which had been hosted by countries, such as South Africa, among others. After last year’s edition, UNICAL bidded alongside Cameroon to host the contest on behalf of Nigeria. The university eventually won the bid.

From Joy Riman

UNICAL Prof Epoke said: “Well, it is actually a great event but we are equal to the task. We don’t want to go out there to ask students to pay certain amount of money in a way of generating funds. We are hosting the event on behalf of Nigeria, so we are involving the Federal Government in this project even though we are reaching out to sponsors. We are lucky to have Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, an elder statesman, as chairman of the Governing Council. I believe the event will bring glory to Nigeria.” On WAUG, the VC said the hosting right was given to the university this year because of its performance in the last year’s edition, which was held at the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN). He said: “The preference was given to UNICAL because of its location. Calabar as a city is a tourist site in Nigeria, known for its serenity, calmness and peace. These features make people to be interested in coming here. We have been consulting and we hope our consultants would

•Prof Epoke receiving a copy of the magazine from Emmanuel and Charles Udenze in his office

get sponsorships for us. It is good for the image of the university and that of the country.”

On and Off Campus By Solomon Izekor 08061522600

While presenting the Campuslight magazine to the VC, Emmanuel, the Editor, noted that the magazine was championing effective information dissemination within the university. Prof Epoke, while receiving the

copy of the magazine, praised the editorial crew for the success story, urging them to continue “the good work”. He said his administration would support the good initiative that would promote teaching and learning within the university.

‘Internet crimes can only be reduced’ •Continued from page 29

Imagine a three-year old having access to a computer and eight-year old following video documentaries on researches in developed countries. This is why they achieve a lot. If we develop the habit here, there is nothing we won’t be able to do. How do you combine managing the website and your academic goals? It has not been easy but I think one aspiration should come first. There were times I would be working on programmes instead to study. At such times, wisdom was used to allocate time on each activity. My academic is not excellent but it is ok. But I believe if I don’t build my dreams now, I will spend the rest of my lives building someone else’s dreams. At what stage would you say you’ve attained real success?

I will achieve success with my activities on at a point when people adopt the platform to channel information to other parties within the social spaces. What factors have been militating against the smooth running of I think the product has good acceptance rate except that we are having hard time getting the message out to people. Publicity is a challenge for us because it involves spending times 10,000 of our development cost. Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years? I see myself running a world class software company and churning out business solutions, forensic and anti-virus software. Also, we should have an operating system for computers and phones built by zeeders.

Applicants lament screening test


HE first post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), under Prof Abdulganiyu Ambali as ViceChancellor of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), was held penultimate Monday. The results were released a few hours after the exercise. Thousands of applicants besieged the computer-based test (CBT) centre, the venue of the test, to participate in the process. For the first time, the university lowered its cut-off mark to 180, which gave many candidates the opportunity to write the entrance test after paying between N2,000 and N4,000 for the exercise. The Students’ Union Government (SUG) members were on hand to ensure the success of the process. The union officials were led by the President, Hameed Lawal. The candidates moved into the

From Ibrahim Alamu

UNILORIN CBT centre in batches to write the test. Abdulazeez Popoola, an applicant from Abeokuta, said: “Majority of the questions I answered were basically on Biology, which I never did in UTME. I had expected the school to give us a test based on the subjects we did in UTME. This is not the best way to test candidates’ ability.” CAMPUSLIFE gathered that a large number of candidates got less than 50 per cent pass mark, a failure which many of the applicants attributed to the format the university used in testing them. Many of the candidates, who wanted to study social science courses, complained that they were tested in science-based subjects than general questions. Meanwhile, the university is yet to set its cut-off mark for the postUTME.



CAMPUS LIFE Corrupt practices will no longer be tolerated in tertiary institutions. In the new dispensation, lecturers can be prosecuted for failing to complete their syllabus, reports KOFOWOROLA BELO-OSAGIE.


College holds maiden convocation


HAT corruption has permeated the fabric of the Nigerian society is no longer news. Like other sectors, the education sector is not beyond its reach and effect. Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Dr Ekpo Nta said in an interview that the extent of corrupt practices in institutions has given the agency a cause for concern, particularly given the important socialization role formal educational institutions are meant to play. Explaining the agency has been besieged by petitions of corrupt practices in tertiary institutions, the ICPC boss said investigating and prosecuting corrupt practices is not enough. He said the war will be more effectively won if fraud is prevented in the first place. To this end he said the agency has produced two vital documents which are expected will greatly help curb corruption. The documents are: the University System Study and Review (USSR), a template that prescribes steps to prevent corruption in universities; and the National Values Curriculum (NVC), which has been infused into the school curricula at the basic and senior secondary education levels, as well as that of the Colleges of Education. The chairman added that the NVC will also be infused into the curricula of universities and polytechnics. Nta said the potential of ICPC's prevention mandate to save cost and reduce losses of national and institutional resources to corruption is part of what inspired the agency to design templates to nip corruption in educational institutions. Wit the USSR template, which was developed with the help of Prof Olu Aina, a commissioner with ICPC following empirical investigations into administrative processes in three universities (University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye and Salem University, Lokoja), Nta said corrupt practices should be expected to reduce

OAU tops web rankings


HE Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, is on top of the latest rankings of the best universities in Nigeria and eighth in Africa. According to the rankings computed by the Cybermetrics Lab of Spain, the research council that manages the Webometric world rankings of universities, OAU leads the ranking of 125 institutions rated in Nigeria. Nine other institutions in the top 10 of the rankings released on Monday are: Auchi Polytechnic, University of Ibadan, University of Lagos, University of Nigeria, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Yaba College of Technology, University of Benin, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and the University of Ilorin. A release by the Public Relations Officer of OAU, Mr Abiodun Olarewaju, noted that while the university has maintained its position as the first in Nigeria, it has moved up seven places in Africa in the latest rankings.

• From left: Mr Elvis Oglafa, Nta and Prof Aina, member, ICPC and Chairman ICPC /NUC committee on Illegal Universities.

War against corruption gets to schools

in schools. The template has eight sections that deal with Admission, Enrolment and Registration of Courses (section 1); Examination Administration, Award of Degrees and Graduation of Students (Section 2); Teaching and Learning Services and Facilities (Section 3); Appointments, Promotion and Discipline of Staff (Section 4); Departmental Administration and Faculty Governance (Section 5); Contract Award (Section 6); Financial Management (Section 7); and Research and Research Administration (Section 8). Each section lists the corrupt practices associated with the subjects they discuss, and roles the tertiary institutions, National Universities Commission (NUC), the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and the ICPC should play to prevent corruption from occurring, which Nta believes will be more profitable for all parties involved. Nta said in the forward of the template: "'Prevention is better than cure,' so goes the old adage. In our efforts to combat this unwholesome phenomenon in our tertiary institutions, we also subscribe to this adage. It is far cheaper to prevent an act of corruption than to clean up the consequences of the mess created. It is in this context that this template has been prepared to accompany the main re-

port of the pilot phase and the Template for Conducting System Study and Review in Universities." For instance, to prevent examination malpractice covered in Section 2 of the document, universities are expected to install CCTV cameras in examination halls; print question papers on the day of the examination to reduce leakages; use of CBT; carefully select people of integrity to handle examinations among others. The NUC is expected to dutifully carry out its oversight functions; while ICPC could help by re-orienting students about the merits and demerits of examination malpractices. Section three, which covers the teaching and learning facilities, lists delay in take-off of lectures and non-completion of syllabus by lecturers as a corrupt practice. Others are: Non-adherence to students/lecturer ratio results in overcrowding of classes; and lack of commitment to work by the lecturers, leading to absenteeism and non-preparation for lectures. Nta said once the template is in use in schools, the ICPC would prosecute academic and non-academic workers that perpetrate the infractions. The ICPC chair also noted that the agency is interested in follow up visits to the ones done by the

‘We will go round the institutions without prior notice and when we come around, we will like to see the equipment the NUC accreditation marked as seen. If the otherwise is discovered, we will treat it as a very serious infraction meant to deceive’

NUC to cross-check claims made by universities to gain accreditation for their programmes. "We have started a procedure of beginning to collect visitation reports of the NUC used for accreditation. We will go round the institutions without prior notice and when we come around, we will like to see the equipment the NUC accreditation marked as seen. If the otherwise is discovered, we will treat it as a very serious infraction meant to deceive. We cannot leave the responsibility of making universities attractive to universities alone. We must address the issues ourselves," he said. Throwing light on the NVC, Nta said the curricula deals with 12 value themes that have been infused into the select subjects taught in primary and secondary schools. The values are: honesty, discipline, justice, right attitude to work, citizens' rights and duties, national consciousness, contentment, courage, regard and concern for the interest of others, role of the family, religious and spiritual values, and Nigerian traditional values. The values will be taught in subjects such as English, Business Studies, Christian Religious Studies, Islamic Studies, Social Studies, and Civic Education at the Basic Education level (Primary 1-JSS3), while at the senior secondary level, they will be taught the national values in Book Keeping, CRS, IS, History and Food and Nutrition. Nta said the NVC has been hailed internationally as Nigeria is one of the first countries to come up with a document to prevent corruption. "Nigeria has been invited to make a presentation at the UN office in Vienna on the National Value Curriculum. It has been described as a good model of prevention," he said.

• From left: Executive Director, the Dave Omokaro Foundation (DOF), Dr Emem Omokaro; Director-General, Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), Dr Gloria Elemo, and DOF Director, Prof Princewill Alozie at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the promotion of health and nutrition of senior citizens.

THE maiden convocation of the pioneer private college of education in Osun State, Assanusiyyah College of Education (ASSCOED) comes up next Wednesday, in Odeomu, a statement from the institution has said. The convocation, a joint graduation for the 2008-2013 sets of graduates from the Schools of Sciences; Languages; Vocational and Technical Education as well as Arts and Social Sciences will be presided over by the Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola. Former Vice-Chancellor of University of Ilorin, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede will deliver the Convocation Lecture while the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), Prof. Muhammed Ibn Junaid will present certificates and prizes at the event. Frontline traditional rulers including the Alayegun of Odeomu, Alhaji Abdulhameed Oke; Alapetu of Ipetumodu, Oba James Adegoke; among others will be honoured for their selfless services to the institution at the event.

IBBU VC visits monarch THE management of the Ibrahim Badamosi University (IBBU), Lapai in Niger State has visited the Etsu Lapai, Alhaji Umaru Bago III to enhance harmonious relationship between the institution and its host community. Speaking during the visit, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Ibrahim Kolo, praised the Lapai Emirate for promoting a peaceful atmosphere for the university to thrive. Prof Kolo informed the Etsu Lapai of important developments in the university, including its membership of the Association of African Universities, the take-off of the Institute of Maritime Studies next month, and plans by the Niger State government to establish a Medical School on the university's main campus. He sought greater collaborations with the emirate, especially regarding the release of land for the medical school and other infrastructure.

Orientation for Nigerian students STUDENTS resuming in various universities in the United States were privileged to benefit from an orientation programme organised by The EducationUSA office at the Public Affairs Section of United States Consulate General, Lagos recently. The students, some of whom have scholarships to attend prestigious universities like Harvard, MIT, Duke, University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, University of California at Berkley and Tufts University, learnt about succeeding as an undergraduate and graduate student and returning to Nigeria to contribute to nation building from Nigerians who are alumni of US universities. A statement by the EducationUSA noted that in the past three years, students in Lagos and environs "have obtained over $7,000,000 in scholarships to study in the United States". The EducationUSA office offers Nigerian students access to accurate, comprehensive and current information about educational institutions in the United States.





Graduands certificates ready GRANDUATES of the Adeyemi College of Education (ACE), Ondo, from the 2006/2007 to 2009/2010 academic sessions can now visit the college to collect their certificates. A circular from the Division of Academic Affairs (DAA) noted that the management has approved the issuance of the certificates.

Ex-unionist's scorecard THE outgone Chairman, Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union COEASU), ACE chapter, Mr Smart Olugbeko, has presented 53 achievements of his four-year tenure. Olugbeko, who is now the national-vice chairman of COEASU, presented the scorecard during the inauguration of the newly-elected executives of the union. In a compendium titled: 'Landmarks,' Olugbeko noted that the union during his tenure became virile and viable, renewing members' confidence. He added that this confidence led to an array of achievements which includes building of COEASU secretariat, payment of productivity allowance, promotion of members, and scholarship scheme for students, among others. He expressed appreciation to the management under the leadership of Prof Adeyemi Idowu, which donated N2.3 million to the union to carry out some of its activities.

Aturu for Council THE alumni association of ACE has nominated Bamidele Aturu as its representative on the college's Governing Council. The nomination contained in a letter to Aturu signed by the Registrar and Secretary to Council, Mr Felix Aderinboye, stated that the expanded national executive of the alumni association nominated the legal luminary to the old students on the Council. Mr Aturu, a principal counsel of Bamidele Aturu & Co passed through the college in the 80s. As a student, Aturu was the president of the Students Union in the 1985/1986 academic session. He was the vice-president, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) during the same period. His tenure is noted for its vibrant students' unionism that was devoid of hooliganism and rascality.

APPROACHING DEADLINES FELLOWSHIPS UNESCO/Japan Young Researchers' Fellowships Programme (UNESCO/ KeizoObuchi Research Fellowships Programme) •Why? The concrete nature of the proposed project's contribution to the fields listed in paragraph D.1 above; its innovative, original aspects; and the scope and purpose of the research project. The candidate should demonstrate the reasons the theoretical and practical knowledge or training acquired at the host institution would be beneficial to her/his on-going research project. •What? The expected results or impact of the research project being undertaken. •How? Describe the proposed arrangements for conducting the research. •Where? The proposed country where research will be undertaken (one to two countries maximum) and the name and address of the host institute.


OW research output has been identified as one major reason why many African universities are yet to attain the world-class status. To reverse the trend, Dr Paul Effah, former Executive Secretary, National Council for Tertiary Education, Ghana, said there must be a reawakening and new orientation towards academic research which must be contextualised to align with individual university mandate. Effah spoke while delivering the eighth convocation lecture of the Covenant University (CU), Ota Ogun State. The lecture held, at the university chapel was titled: Repositioning African Universities for excellence- Theoretical and practical perspectives. He said: "A 2009 UNESCO Science Report indicates that sub-Saharan Africa's share of world researchers was 0.8 or 71.7 researchers per million population. The corresponding figures for Asia and North America were 38.2 per cent and 660.2 and 26.8 per cent and 4,653.2 respectively." Effah said it is about time universities in Africa established criteria that will align with their mandates and key indicators upon which they can assess themselves based on laid down guidelines by their managements or Governing Councils. The charge, Effah argued, is against the backdrop of many research works carried out in Africa, which might not be directly addressing local challenges or the mandates of the university that executed them because such researches are being substantially funded by western donors.

•When? The timeframe explicitly stating the proposed starting date and the suggested duration of research which should be of three months minimum and nine months maximum. • How much? A detailed budget estimate indicating the resources required for the candidate to undertake the proposed research. The amount should be determined according to the proposed duration and place of research (between US$6,000 to US$10,000). The amount should not exceed US$10,000. All figures must be shown in US dollars and must be included on a separate page. The amount indicated should cover, exclusively, the international or domestic travel costs for the approved itinerary and personal subsistence abroad, etc. (The object of this Programme is to provide research fellowships so it is considered that in most cases tuition fees will not apply). Applicants should be realistic in compiling their proposed budgets, and consider that an average of US$1,000/US$1,800 per month for accommodation and meals (including local transportation and incidentals) should not be exceeded. Applications

where funds requested are judged to be excessive in relation to the objectives and importance of the project are likely to be considered for a smaller grant. (Note: The following costs are not eligible: computer or equipment purchases; publication costs; attendance at conferences, unless a case can be made that such attendance is an integral part of the research and would make a direct and significant contribution to the outcome of the development of the research project.) UNESCO and Japan attach the greatest importance to originality and quality. Consideration will be given only to well-planned research proposals which demonstrate innovation, imagination and relevance, and which promise to contribute to knowledge in the four specific areas mentioned in paragraph D.1 above. Files which are incomplete or which are received after the deadline for application, as well as applications that do not meet the requirements mentioned above, will not be taken into consideration. Facilities offered by Japan/UNESCO

The Fellowships financed by Japan and administered by UNESCO will consist of the following: •A maximum amount between US$6,000 to US$10,000 will be awarded to selected candidates. The amount, to be paid in two or three instalments, is intended to cover research costs only, and will not be negotiable. • No other costs will be considered and grants will be neither extended nor renewed. Selection of Beneficiaries A Selection Committee made up of experts in the four areas listed above will make recommendations for the final decision of the Director-General of UNESCO. Applications will be judged on the basis of the merit of each application and of its pertinence to the UNESCO/Japan Young Researchers' Fellowship Programme Selected candidates will receive a Letter of Award. Candidates who have not been informed of their selection by 8 January 2014 should consider that their applications have not been approved in the selection process.

Africa suffers low research output By Adegunle Olugbamila

"One worrying aspect of research in African universities is that most of the research is financed by foreign donors who invariably dictate the terms of the research. This was confirmed in a study undertaken at the University of Ghana in 2010 by the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration which indicated that about 90 per cent of research funds in the university were from international agencies or collaborative efforts with other institutions abroad. "A related issue to externally drawn research agenda is the whole question of dissemination of research results which often is not made available to African governments and institutions for implementation. Another is that the ex-

ternal partners always become principal researchers with the contributions of the local counterparts hardly acknowledged." Aside seeking more research funding, and infusing indigenous knowledge into research Dr Effah frowned against the practice where academics are saddled with administrative work which he said could hamper them from carrying out research. He also spoke against too much of teaching at the undergraduate level, leaving little room for research, as well as lecturers who hop from one university to another teaching on part-time or full-time basis without substantial time for research. On how African universities can be repositioned for excellence, Effah said the need to restructure governance in Africa is paramount as many of the ills plaguing African

universities are a reflection of poor governance at all levels politically. Quoting a researcher, Burton Clark who identified three models of university governance - European, British and American, Effah urged Africa to develop her own model approximating some of the ideals such as participatory approach, autonomy, and distributive authority among others in the three aforementioned models. "Without a corps of dedicated and committed leaders, men and women of vision, action and character, growth and development will continue to elude Africa. The challenge is for African universities to strive to turn out African leaders to transform the continent and take her to the next level of development," Effah concluded.

FUTA plans food revolution


•Prof Daramola

HE Vice-Chancellor of Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Prof Biyi Daramola, has said the institution is on the threshold of emerging the African Regional Centre with support of the governments of African countries and the World Bank. He said the institution is hosting the N1.2 billion World Bank grant for the centre of excellence in food production and security. With this development, Prof Daramola said the university

•Students of Enterpreneurship Development, a pre-retirement course organised by the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), Badagry, at their graduation at the college auditorium.

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

might provoke a revolution in Nigeria's agricultural productivity that would make the country fully secured in food production and sufficiency. Daramola, who made the disclosure during the fifth FUTA Registry annual lecture held at the main auditorium of the institution, said the institution and Multi Trex Integrated Foods, has entered into partnership on cocoa processing for export and local consumption. According to Daramola, the partnership will create an enduring mutually beneficial relationship between the university, Multi Trex and end users. He said the institution is committed to conducting high impact research into food production, processing, packaging and storage. The Vice-Chancellor said the development was aimed at boosting the nation's food production out put, generating income for the institutions as well as serving as a training ground for the younger generation. At the event, the President of Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Mr Femi Adesina; former Vice-Chancellor University of Ibadan, Prof Olufemi Bamiro; the immediate past Ondo State Head of Service (HoS) Mrs Kosemani Kolawole; and Managing Director, Multi Trex Integrated Foods Plc, Mr Dimeji Owofemi were honoured with the FUTA registry award for distinguishing themselves in their various callings.









Best pupil gets scholarship


ASTER Bamigboye Emmanuel, overall best graduating pupil of Livingstone College, Ikorodu, for the 2012/2013 academic session, has been offered a scholarship to study in any university of his choice in the United Kingdom or the United States. The scholarship was given to Emmanuel by a travel agencyFemmirate Travels at the college's 2013 valedictory and prize giving day held for its Senior Secondary 3 pupils at the Ikorodu Town Hall, Lagos. The agency's ticketing executive, Mrs Aderayo Adenola, said the scholarship would cover accommodation, feeding and other academic expenses apart from school fees. The 16-year old beneficiary expressed his delight and advised his juniors to always respect constituted authority. "I feel very happy to be the overall best student. Although I did not know before, I just came here and discovered that I am the best overall student. My advice to my junior ones in the school is that they should always obey the school's rules and regula-

By Ibrahim Yusuff

tions. They should not think they know more than their teachers. Speaking at the event, the Deputy Director, Lagos State Ministry of Establishment, Training and Pension, Mrs Funlola Ariremako, described youthful age as a period of “battle” for the youths. She, therefore, urged the graduating pupils to take this phase of life very serious and prepare for their future. Her words: "Your youthful age is very important. You must not toy with this age. It is the age of permanence and battle, therefore you must lay a good foundation for yourselves because whatever you do now will determine your future. Do not make a wrong choice now that you are still young and when you gain admission into the university, pursue God first." In addition, the founder and chairman of the school's Governing Council, Dr Kola Olusola-Christwealth, in his message tagged: 'Determination Wins' also advised the graduands to be determined, courageous and bold to achieve their set goals.

School gets NANS Excellence award

• Adeogun surrounded by the graduands


Ajeromi Ifelodun celebrates 2nd valedictory

T is rare to see public schools organise valedictory services. However, the Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Education Authority (LGEA), in Lagos State demonstrated the possibility with the second annual valedictory ser-

By Sampson Unamka

vice/merit award that featured graduands from 71 public primary schools penultimate Tuesday. The event also witnessed the official launch of the LGEA magazine,


LOSE monitoring of activities of schools nationwide to maintain quality assurance is one of the major concerns of the executive council of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS). One of the latest schools that has been found worthy of recognition by NANS is Towergate Private Schools, Ipaja, Lagos. As a result, the Students’ body has bestowed its Excellence Award on the school. This disclosure was made by the school’s proprietor, Mrs Funmilayo Owode at the 2013 valedictory/ graduation which held last week. According to her, the national executive council of NANS which visited the school said it has been monitoring schools that are doing well nationwide, noting that Tower Gate met all the criteria used. Owode said: "We were surprised when the national executive body of NANS came to our school a few months ago. The leadership of NANS asked us to summon the students to an assembly where they announced that Towergate Private School has won NANS award of ex-

•The graduands By Adegunle Olugbamila

cellence for its outstanding performance and in recognition of its immense contribution towards the development of primary and secondary education in Nigeria. NANS enjoined the pupils to emulate the old students of the school who are flying the school's

flag very high in virtually all the public and private universities in the country, both morally and academically. They said it is uncommon for such a school which is just 11-years old to have made such an impact across the federation. Mrs Owode implored the 84

graduating SS3 and JSS3 pupils to imbibe the virtues of good character, hard work and excellence. The chairman of the occasion, Mr. Asuoha Cyprian, advised parents to see the task of giving qualitative education to their children an important one.

called "THE GONG" At the NUT Hall, in Ajegunle where the event was held, the council's Education Secretary, Adewale Adeogun, explained the reason for the programme. He said: “It is a way to give our children a sense of belonging. Most people believe it is always private schools that celebrate with and this is one of the reasons many parents prefer their children in private schools because at the end of every session, you see them being celebrated." Adeogun said the practice would continue as long as he remains in that position, adding that he hopes his successor would also continue. Ten pupils were given awards and prizes for their outstanding performance in a special examination conducted by Adeogun after the Lagos State placement test. "There was this placement examination conducted by the Lagos State government. At the end of the examination, I arranged another examination for these children to be able to know their quality and from it I was able to discover 25 best pupils all of whom I took on an excursion. “During the excursion, I promised them a reward if they did well at the end of the session. From the number, I brought out the best 10 pupils from the 71 schools in Ajegunle and environs" Adeogun said. A member of the House of Assembly, Ajeromi Ifelodun Constitution II Habubaq Ladi Balogun presented the cash reward in form of scholarships. While the best three received N50,000, the remaining seven got N10,000. The amount will be given annually.

Gowon, dons counsel against cultism


• Mr Olaoluwa Oguntuyi supports his daughter, Demilade, as she receives a prize for her role as the Assistant Senior Prefect from Mrs Idowu Kehinde, Proprietress of Boldamide Montessori School, Ilasa, Lagos.

ORMER Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) and two university teachers have urged students to shun all forms of cultism in higher institutions nationwide. Gowon and the dons spoke at the valedictory service/prize-giving day of Good Shepherd Schools, Meiran, Lagos, last week. Gowon, who was represented by the new Secretary-General/ Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bible Society of Nigeria, Rev Richard Ajiboye, said it was sad that cultism had risen in the nation's tertiary institutions and urged students going into the institutions after leaving secondary school to desist from anti-social activities which could ruin their future. Speaking further, he said youths were the leaders of tomorrow and as such should lay good example for themselves at the tertiary level. He, however, urged the

By Oluwayemisi Awe

graduands to be good ambassadors of the school wherever they find themselves, while ensuring they sustain the values inculcated into them by their alma mater. "The school has put in you good morals and ethics. When you leave here, remember what you have been taught and be good ambassadors of the school. The school has taught you in the way of the Lord. Those of you going into higher institutions, cultism reigns; so, be careful and don't be lost in the crowd. Know that you have been built morally, academically and spiritually," said Ajiboye. Speaking on the occasion, guest speaker, Dr Chris Agulonu of the Department of Philosophy, University of Ibadan, and Prof Yemisi Obashoro of the Department of Adult Education, appealed to the graduands to be well-behaved .





Child Right Act: How relevant?


HE Senate sparked a row over under-age marriage recently by voting for the retention of Section 29 (a) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which states that "A woman who is married is of age." In trying to exonerate themselves Kofoworola of blame, the lawmakers explained that the Child Rights Act outlaws under-age marriage and makes it unlawful for any child to be married off before attaining 18 years of age. 08054503077 (SMS only) However, the whole issue makes it imperative for us to closely examine the implementation of the so-called Child Rights Act in our country. The Act, which issues from the Child Rights Convention, provides for the civil, economic, education, social welfare of the child among others. In Nigeria, though the Federal Government has adopted the Act, it is only effective in 24 states. Twelve states are yet to adopt the Act. What are these states waiting for? In the states where they have been adopted, what difference has it made in the lives of children? How well has the Child Rights Act protected children less than 18? These are the questions begging for answers. Let us set aside the under-age marriage issue and examine other areas of the Act that are being disregarded. Under the Act, the children have a right to education. In the version adopted by the Lagos State government, no child below 18 should be employed as a house maid. Yet, many are not in school because they are domestic servants in the households of supposedly well-educated workingclass families, most of who likely have condemned Senator Sani Ahmed Yerima for marrying a 13-year old Egyptian. In their homes, they do not think there is anything wrong with employing nine, 10-year olds to clean, cook and care for their wards. I attended a graduation in one hotel in Ikeja recently where I noticed a young girl, between 10 and 12 years old, standing by the wall, holding a baby. She was apparently mandated by her mistress to stay there and rock the baby to sleep. She looked forlorn; her hair unkempt. She was dressed too simple for an occasion of that nature. Not far from where she stood, sat some of the Primary six graduates. They looked smart in black suits and shirts; and the girls had their hair braided with extensions. Those children couldn't have been much younger than the maid. I tried to think of what was going through her mind as she watched those better dressed children who are more fortunate than her because of her lowly birth. The Child Rights Act is in place in Lagos, but that girl is not benefiting from it. I was in a salon on another day fixing my hair when a girl came in to fix hers. Her arrival was noisy because she was chased into the salon by another girl of about the same age. The second girl, called Taiye, was the chaperon. When she left, the first girl, Moji (not real name) told us that Taiye was not in school, but her twin, who stays with their mother, attends school. After a while, Taiye returned to check on Moji but left when she saw the girl was not done yet. She returned shortly again with a directive to remain in the salon until Moji finished her hair. While she waited, she busied herself weaving discarded hair extensions she picked from the salon floor. She laughed playfully as she showed the hairdresser what she was doing. Taiye is another girl who ought to be in school; but she acts as chaperon to a girl her age. Of what use is the Child Rights Act to her? Do her guardians even know that they are infringing on her human rights by not sending her to school? However, Taiye's fate is still better than Eno Bassey, an 11-year old from Akwa Ibom who I read is battling for her life at the Burns and Trauma Unit of the Gbagada General Hospital. She was set on fire by her mistress for stealing a piece of meat. The so-called madam 'imported' Eno and one Happiness from Akwa Ibom State to serve as domestic helps. It is a shame that being a nurse, who is educated and knows the value of good health, did not stop the Madam from attempting to burn Eno alive. It was the neighbours who put out the fire after the girl ran out and rushed her to the hospital. They could not carry her easily because her skin was falling off. At the hospital the diagnosis was 95 degree burns. Eno suffered severe injuries to her private part and needs multiple surgeries. A nurse at the hospital said it is a miracle she survived. Again, I ask, what has the Child Rights Act done to save Eno? When we think of the rights of children, we should not only happily demonise old men that marry under-age girls. We should also regard educated bankers, lawyers, respected teachers, doctors and other professionals who employ children as maids as evil doers. They are as guilty as the child rapists, denying children a right to education; overworking them; abusing them physically and verbally; and neglecting their need for love and care.


• Ms Azeez (middle) presents a plaque to the Tutor-General/Permanent Secretary, Education District I, Mrs Modupeola David (right), the Director of School Administration, Mrs Ify Uzondu (left) and principal, teachers and pupils of Dairy Farm Senior Secondary School, Agege, at the event

Pupils perform with Nollywood greats I F a ticket had been attached to attending the Governor's Education Award organised by the Lagos Eko Project at the Havens, Ikeja recently, it would have been worth every penny for those who attended. Even Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola was impressed by the show-stopping performance of public secondary school pupils who anchored the event and presented choreographies, one of which featured notable Nollywood actors and actresses of the Yoruba genre. The venue was tastefully decorated; and despite its size and the large audience, the professionally set stage was visible to all via various large screens that dotted the hall. The duo of Temitope Ejide and Omowunmi Shadare, the two comperes, as well as Innocent Momodu, who gave the welcome address, showed their potential as future show hosts despite they are just SS3 pupils who won the Lagos State Schools debate last month. Highlight of the event was the performance by comedienne, Princess, who sang rhymes and poems that reminded the top government functionaries, tutors-general, permanent secretaries, principals, and teachers in attendance of their


By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

memorable school days. She ushered in a cast of Nollywood artistes, including Doris Simeon, Mama Awero, Femi Branaird, Adebayo Salami, Femi Adebayo, Fathia Balogun, Afeez Adetoro popularly known as Saka, who sang and danced to the classic Yoruba songs, Eko Dara pupo and Bata mi a dun ko ko ka. In his speech, Fashola praised the pupils and the actors for their efforts. He underscored the need to invest in education. "Up until the very last minute, one remarkable event has been that the entire proceedings has been championed and controlled by the students. If we give them a chance; if we guide them from the back and steer them in the right direction, they will not only take care of themselves; they will take care of us," he said. Fashola presented cheques of N256 million to 128 junior and senior secondary schools that improved academically and made judicious use of Eko Project grants, a world bank assisted initiative that provides direct funding to schools for infrastructural upgrade and

training. Each school got N2 million to use on any project of their choice. The governor said the award was instituted three years ago to encourage healthy rivalry among schools. In her speech, Ms Ronke Azeez, Special Adviser and Coordinator of the Lagos Eko Project, said the awards has stimulated the interest of schools in striving for excellence. "The Governor's Education Award has accelerated changes in different schools. Everybody wants to win; everybody wants to strive for excellence. The award is evidencebased. It needs data; it needs information. As a result, our schools have become a rich resource for data," she said. She added that recipients were chosen using two major criteria, namely: Students Achievement Scores, which considered performance in the WASSCE, Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), and Standardised Students Assessment tests conducted by Eko Project. The second criterion focused on School Level measures, which considered school grant management, and school initiatives like extracurricular activities; school environment; students representative councils; parents forum; and innovations.

Speller plays governor's role

AST Monday 15-year-old Olajuwon Boadley acted as the One Day Governor of Lagos State after emerging winner of the 13th edition of the Lagos State Spelling Bee competition. The SS2 pupil of Omole Senior Grammar School, Ojodu started his busy day with breakfast at the State House in Marina. His itinerary for the day included visits to corporate organisations such as, Etisalat, Dufil Prima Foods, makers of Indomie, the Lagos Television (LTV), the Lagos State House of Assembly, among others. At Etisalat, where 'Governor' Boadley was received by Mr Ibrahim Dipo, he learnt all about the communications company and was told Etisalat will continue to support the Lagos State government. Mr Deepak Singhal, Managing Director, Dufil Prima Foods Plc, a major sponsor of the spelling Bee competition, was on hand to receive Governor Boadley, who thanked the organisation for supporting the competition. The Governor, who was accompanied by members of his 'cabinet' (winners of various competitions),

By Medinat Kanabe

said the contest would encourage other children to work harder to make impact. He sought the support from other firms for education programmes initiated by the government. "I would also like to use this medium to implore other corporate organisations to partner with the government so as to ensure that there is a continuous boost in the educational sector in Nigeria," he said. In his address, Singhal said the firm was proud to be associated with children, who are leaders of tomorrow, especially those that distinguish themselves. He said: "Exceptional achievement like this encourages us to do more in ensuring the growth and secured future of the Nigerian child. That is why we partnered the Lagos State government on the Spelling Bee Competition, which has been a success story for seven years. We would definitely not relent in impacting children positively." At the Lagos State Ministry of Education, Boadley spoke of plans to ensure that public schools record

75 per cent pass in external examinations. "Eko project ended this year but I will try to make sure that there is continuity in the project to keep up the standard that it has brought in Lagos State educational system," he said. He thanked the ministry and the New Era Foundation, saying without them, there would be no One Day governor. The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs Omolara Erogbogbo, praised the pupils and their teachers and presented the governor with an IPAD and a travelling bag on behalf of the ministry. Other cabinet members were Abdulrahman Abolaji (Deputy Governor), the first JSS3 pupil to emerge among the top three in the spelling competition; Ejime Marvellous (Speaker, House of Assembly) and second runner up in the competition, Ejide Temitope (Commissioner for Education), Ajimati Samuel (Information and Strategy), Tijani Toyeeb (Works and Infrastructure), Olajide Olayinka (Secretary to the State Government), and Isreal Okoduwa (Science and Technology).

‘When we think of the rights of children, we should not only happily demonise old men that marry under-age girls. We should also regard educated bankers, lawyers, respected teachers, doctors and other professionals who employ children as maids as evil doers. They are as guilty as the child rapists, denying children a right to education; overworking them; abusing them physically and verbally; and neglecting their need for love and care’





L-R: Hon. Olowosaye, Hon. Basanya, Pastor Aiyetoba, Chief Basorun, Chief Olowu , Mr. Oduborisa at the ceremony in Igbogbo-Bayeku LCDA, Lagos.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) was inaugurated yesterday in Lagos in 20 Local Government Areas (LGA) and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDA). EMMANUEL OLADESU, AUGUSTINE AVWODE and MUSA ODOSHIMOKHE capture the excitement of the party faithful at the hoisting of the party’s flags by its grassroots leaders.

Ajomale: APC has brighter future in Lagos T

HE All Progressives Party (APC) was inaugurated yesterday in Lagos across the 57 councils with carnivals. The members of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and a section of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) were in one accord as they held the first inaugural meetings. A party chieftain, Otunba Oladele Ajomale, hailed the registration of the party, saying that it has the strength and support base to confront the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He also said that the party has a brighter future in Lagos State, stressing that it is the heritage of the progressives in the country. Ajomale urged Lagosians to embrace the party and actualise their political dreams under its platform in the future electoral contests. He spoke in Isolo during the inauguration of the party by the grassroots leaders of the party. The highlights were the lowering of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) flags and hoisting of the APC flags by the chieftains. took place simultaneously across the 57 councils in the state. The inauguration will be trailed by the setting up of the leadership structures at the ward, local government and state levels. Ajomale, who had flagged off the party last week at the state level, recalled that the merger leaders made enormous sacri-

‘APC has a brighter future in Lagos State and it will continue to form the progressive governments in the state. The party has antecedent and its leaders have pedigree. They are politicians who will never disappoint the people’ •Ajomale

fices for the country. He said that Nigerians now have a credible alternative platform to endorse, following their disenchantment with the ruling peoples democratic Party (PDP). “APC has a brighter future in Lagos State and it will continue to form the progressive governments in the state. The party has antecedent and its leaders have pedi-

gree. They are politicians who will never disappoint the people”, he added. In Kosofe Council, members converged at the former campaign office of the former federal legislator, Hon. Dotun Animasahun, chanting party songs and jubilating. The chairman of the council Hon. Afolabi Sofola, said that the registration of the APC by the Independent National

Electoral Commission (INEC) is a pointer to the fact that change is imminent in Nigeria. He told the cheering crowd that God has disappointed the saboteurs who attempted to frustrate its registration. Sofola urged the faithful to ensure the survival of the party by supporting its leadership to achieve its goal of enthroning a credible government at the centre. “We are not in ACN, CPC, ANPP and APGA now. We are in the APC. We should not relate with ourselves as members of the defunct parties”, he counseled. Sofola added: “Change has come to Nigeria with the registration of the APC. And by the grace of God, APC will actualize it for our people. APC means salvation for Nigeria and Nigerians. God disappointed the saboteurs, who never wanted the INEC to register the APC. Now, there is no more ACN, no more ANPP or the CPC. We also have the APGAPGA with us. Go back from here and tell people to join the APC, mobilize people, preach to them and bring them on board”. The chairman of the defunct ACN in the council, Mr. Samuel Oreoluwa, described the ceremony as a landmark. “It is good that APC is inaugurated in this council eight days after its registration by the INEC”, he said. “Today is a memorable day. APC has come to stay. We are happy because the attempt to block its registration did not materialise. I call on all of you to spread the good news. We are going to ensure •Continued on page 44




Amid funfair, APC takes off in Lagos •Continued from page 43

that the APC takes Nigerians to the promise land. I can tell you that God is happy with APC and the leadership of the party will not disappoint the country”, Oreoluwa added. MEMBER of the APC Joint Inter-Party Merger Committee, Mrs Lucy Ajayi, lauded the support of the women for the party, charging them not to waiver in their spirit. Ajayi called for an aggressive membership drive in Lagos, enjoining the people to encourage mass defection from tne PDP to the APC. She said the 14 years of the PDP misrule has positioned the country very far from prosperity. “Our women, our mothers have been fantastic. The support they have been given to the party has been fantastic and I want to urge all of you not to relent now. The APC has been registered and that calls for more dedication. I know our women will do more, especially in the market places. They will sell this party to their friends and may God crown our efforts with success”, she said. In Ikosi-Osheri Council,former Lagos State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Rotimi Agunsoye urged the party supporters to proceed to the future with optimism. Addressing party supporters during the hoisting of the party’s flag, he said the obituary of PDP had been announced. He said the key to the liberation of the masses from poverty is the intelligent voting. “APC must form the next government. We give glory to God who gave our leaders across the nation the wisdom to achieve this. The leaders have made it possible to have a new party, I will say this is a new beginning in our country. In the past 53 years, our great country does not know how to crawl, let alone how to walk. We have been in this problem for so long and all you can only attribute to the country is always in negative. It is as if God is annoyed with this nation, but with this new party, there is a new beginning for the country. “Now, the people must speak with a united voice, APC need your support to actualize the dream to liberate the people from poverty. They must speak with one voice to regain their freedom, show support to the party and get those who have enslaved us over the years out of governance”. A huge crowd witnessed the flag of the party in Igbogbo/ Bayeku LCDA. They converged on the party secretariat at Igbogbo, Ikorodu Division. A party elder, Chief Olorunfunmi Basorun, described the APC as a medicine to cure the illness slowing down the nation’s progress. He said the PDP has ruined the country, urging Nigerians to take their destiny in their hand. Basorun urged the party faithful to invite more people into the movement for change. “There is absence of good governance to take care of Nigerians. For now, we are in a trap of corruption, insecurity, epileptic power supply and so many bad things. The APC is the vehicle for change. We will drive away the PDP from power at the next election and we will implement our programmes that will have direct impact on the long-suffering masses.”


The party leader urged the would-be aspirants to push their agenda in civilised manner, saying anyone chosen as the party’s flag bearer would be supported by all. Another chieftain, Chief Dele Olowu, said the PDP is in trouble. He praised the former governor of Lagos, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, for championing the cause for change. He noted that, when the idea of the new party was conceived, there were insinuations that Tinubu would use the structure for personal ambition. “When the APC structure was unveiled and the names of the national officers were announced, no portfolio was assigned against Asiwaju’s name. This shows that he is more concerned about change and not any ambition,” Olowu said. The council chairman, Hon. Gbenga Basanya, said the slogan of the new party indicated that APC is not for a particular group of people or section of the country. “We are seeking change in all aspect of our national for good and we have the conviction that APC will form the Federal Government in 2015 without losing state and parliamentary elections,” he said. Hoisting the APC’s flag, Basorun urged the people to drive out the agents of retrogression from power. “APC has come to promote your wishes and aspiration for progressive country”, he told the crowd. Other party leaders at the event included Pastor Ola Aiyetoba, Elder Olatunji Daodu, Mr. Hamid Oduborisa and Hon. Rotimi Olowonisaiye” In Mushin Council, the chairman, Babatunde Adepitan, saod that the days of the PDP are numbered in Aso Rock. he said APC will fight poverty and entrench transparency and accountability in public life. Adepitan said, if Nigerians can give the new party a chance, the myriad of problems confronting the nation will be solved. “We shall sweep poverty, corruption, sickness, ineptitude, and inefficiency away from this country. The logo of our party remains the broom, which must be tied together before it can function properly,” the chairman said. Adepitan described APC as a formidable progressive platform, urging the people to have confidence and trust in the organisation. He said the party will be a credible alternative for the oppressed to express themselves, urging the members to remain united. “We must be ready like never before to preach peace, oneness, love, internal cohesion and loyalty. We must avoid grouping, faction or association within the new party. Once again we must avoid anything that can cause division in our party. Like a new baby, we must be ready and willing to enthusiastically welcome this new party into our midst. “Let me use this opportunity to assure you that APC does not discriminate against color, creed, sex, tribe, race, profession or educational background, it is a party for all Nigerians.We need leaders that are dedicated, forthright, diligent, focused, knowledgeable and result oriented, purpose driven and bold. Each one should tell the other that APC has arrived; hence all unserious, unpopular, incapable parties should leave the way.”

• Iru-Victoria Island LCDA Chairman Prince Abayomi Daramola (second right), Hon Yomi Olubajo; APC Chairman Alhaji Adisa Sekoni, the Vice-Chairman, Hon. Segun Ajiboye, and Mr. Tunde Fasanya cutting the APC cake.

From right: The Chairman of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Kosofe Local Government Area, Mr Samuel Oreoluwa, Kosofe Local Government Chairman Hon. AfolabiSofola , APC Joint Inter-Party Merger Committee member, Mrs Lucy Ajayi (back row), and a party chieftain, Prince Busayo Adebayo, at the ceremony. PHOTO : AUGUSTINE AVWODE

• The Chairman of Amuwo Odofin Local Government, Comrade Ayodele Adewale (middle), hoisting APC flag at the party secretariat, 3rd Avenue, Festac Town. With him are the former Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN Hon. Abayomi Kiyomi and other party leaders.

• House of Representatives member from Epe Constituency Hon. Lanre Odubote (middle) holding the party flag PHOTO: MUSA ODOSHIMOKHE at his constituency office. With him are other local leaders of the party.





Ministry seeks WHO’s help on college T

HE Federal Ministry of Health has sought the assistance of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in making the Federal College of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (FEDCAM) an international institution. It is seeking WHO’s advice on the current modern world best practices on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). This is contained in a report by the 10man Interim Administrative Team set up by the Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu, to oversee the day-to-day administration of the college when it was shut. The Emmanuel Otu-led committee presented its report at a special meeting the minister held with stakeholders on the reorganisation of the college. In attendance were Prof Magnus Atilade; Dr Joe Sodipo; Prof Osmond Onyeka; Dr Paul Orji; Dr Titi Oduye; Dr Ranti Ogun; Dr Bade Adewale; Dr Peter Kachi; officials of Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) including its Registrar; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH); Director, Hospital Services; Head Legal Services, FMOH. Otu said while awaiting WHO’s response, efforts are being made to involve other relevant stakeholders like the Medical and Dental Council (MDCN) to help the country set up a complementary and alternative college that will meet with international best practices. “For FEDCAM to be properly re-established, we recommend an approved mandate, setting out guidelines for its operations; a bill on its formation sent to Parliament and sponsored by the Ministry; MDCN, the current regulatory body for CAM has to be involved in setting out an ideal school curriculum; National Board on Technical Education accreditation for

How to combat cold


HERE is need to manage cold effectively to prevent it from becoming complicated upper tract infections, such as pneumonia and bronchitis, during the rainy season, an expert has said. The General Manager, Aviation Medical Clinic, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Dr Morenike Kukoyi said during such period, it is common to catch cold. She described cold as an infectious discharge from the nose, saying: “The discharge is ‘very clear and watery’ but when there is a bacterial infection, it becomes yellowish. It could be infective or non-infective. When it is infectious it is known as flu or influenza, but when it is not, it is known as an allergy.” Dr Kukoyi said cold and flu viruses were spread by droplets, which are air borne infections that are coughed or sneezed out by those infected. “Sneezing or coughing produces more droplets and helps spread the infection. Touching infected surfaces, such as door handles or shaking hands, could transmit the virus either from hand to mouth, nose or eyes.” Kukoyi said: “There is not much difference between cold and flu because cold is as a result of a viral infection which makes it communicable to others and each year thousands of people die of complications following flu. Cold and flu share some of the symptoms -sneezing, coughing, sore throat, but are caused by different viruses. “Cold is the irritation of the nasal passage with production of mucus. For a period of one or two years it may be one virus that roams around the environment and it takes about 12 to 24 months for the development of a new virus. The symptoms of cold can range from a sore throat, running noise, sneezing, cough, mild fever, tiredness and headache. “And it could last for one or two days while some could last for up to two weeks. People with serious chest complications, such as pneumonia and bronchitis are more at risk.” She said children are more at risk of the infection, especially those with low immunity,

Medical Council to train natural health practitioners HE Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) has been urged to conduct a training for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) practitioners with 10 years experience and above. This was part of the resolution adopted by the Association of Physicians of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (APCAM) at a meeting in Ikeja, Lagos, following the resolution of the crisis rocking the group. The crisis was resolved by Health Minister Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu at a stakeholders’ meeting in Abuja. Briefing his colleagues on the outcome of the meeting, a Chiropractor, Prof Magnus Atilade, said it was gladdening that the Federal College of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (FEDCAM) would soon be reopened, adding: “ The World Health Organisation (WHO) would soon send a document stating the requirements for setting up and running a standard college of complementary and alternative medicine to the Federal Government as requested by it.” The stakeholders comprising members of APCAM; National Complementary and


Alternative Medicine Association (NACAMA); All Nigeria Homeopathic Medical Association (ANHMA) and a representative of MDCN, Dr Victor Gbenro resolved that there were need to upgrade practitioners’ training beforere registration by the MDCN using the Grand father clause. They resolved that Atilade should be CAM’s leader and spokesman. It was also agreed that the following practitioners should be on CAM’s board: Atilade, Dr Olufemi Bankole, Dr Titi Oduye, Dr Peter Kachi, Dr Bade Adewale, Prof Osmond Onyeka, Prof Joseph Akpa, Dr Idowu Ogunkoya, Dr Celestine Dike, Dr Henry Nwachukwu and Dr Amadi Godspower. The group said Akpa should be registered by MDCN unconditionally. The ministerial committee to push CAM’s re-opening, the group said, shall comprise Atilade as Chairman, Oduye, secretary, Kachi, Bankole and Adewale, members. Atilade (Manipulative Medicine/Chiropractor); Bankole (Osteopath); Kachi (Homeopath); Oduye (Naturopath); Adewale (Acupuncurist) each representing the basic disciplines in CAM were selected to implement the resolution.

Stories by Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha

He added that it should be noted that all the Commercial bank accounts of FEDCAM have been closed on the directive of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), all financial transactions by FEDCAM is carried out through the GIFMIS accounts domiciled by OAGF. The deputy director, in the ministry said: “The administrative team has accomplished the verification of the appointment of about 132 staff as being bonafide; harmonisation/settlement of some outstanding debts; resolve the accommodation status of FEDCAM; all legal issues confronting FEDCAM has been addressed with

the college, if its certificate are to be of National Diploma status; approval of Federal Ministry of Education to set up the college and establishment of an ideal college premises and identification of appropriate professionals that will serve as lecturers in the college, as well as the employment of an appropriate professional to head the college.

123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 •Dr Kukoyi By Inimfon Otung

diabetes, asthma, or effects of medical treatments and other childhood diseases. They easily contract or even spread the causal agents, especially when they cough, for they use that same hand to shake other people and also to eat, and some mothers don’t wash those hands. On best ways to overcome the conditions, she said: “In order to prevent getting a cold or flu, individuals should endeavour to have personal hygiene, and a well ventilated area, stay away from people infected with the virus, covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing and then washing the hands regularly. “Maintaining a good dietary balance is another way of preventing cold or flu so that the immunity of one’s body is kept high as the body defense mechanism (white blood cells). “An individual can also treat cold or flu by taking natural antibiotics such as garlic or ginger, menthol leaf, plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, honey to help relieve the fever or pain, get plenty of rest as well, don’t smoke or drink alcohol, eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables to boost your immunity,” said Mrs Kukoyi.

due consultation with the Legal department of the Ministry of Health. Also, “All contract staff have been disengaged following the directives of the ministry since no clinical or academic activities was ongoing; shut down the FEDCAM outstation office in Akure, Ondo State; and all property conveyed to the Headquatre in Abuja; staff salary has been paid up to May this year. Salary payment is being made through the Government Integrated Financial Information Management System (GIFMIS) from the office of the Accountant General of the Federation.” The delegates discussed issues ranging from the type of qualifications/certification to be issued by the college; minimum entry qualifications; the curriculum for training; the qualifications expected of the Faculty (minimum qualifications of trainers); the expected roles of alternative medical practitioners in the Nigerian healthcare system; career prospects of products of the college; licensing and regulation of alternative medical practitioners in Nigeria. When reopened, it is hoped that the college will train and award certificates and diploma, in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) to make them qualify as therapists. It will take a year to obtain the certificate and two years to obtain diploma. The meeting ended with the inauguration of a committee to finalise work on: reopening of FEDCAM, Abuja, Lagos and Enugu and polishing the curriculum for CAM. The Minister recalled that the National University Commission (NUC) shut down the college on September 24, 2010 on the allegation that it was awading degrees without due accreditation by NUC. “As a result of this development, the then Minister of State for Health, Alhaji Suleiman Bello, directed that a ministerial committee be constituted to investigate and ascertain the reasons for the closure and to advise the ministry accordingly.

Ways to prevent cancer, by experts


NTEGRATIVE and traditional medicine practitioners have said cancer can be prevented. It could be prevented by eating naturally grown plants such as fruits and vegetables and engaging in physical activities, among others, they said. Integrative practitioners are those who have understanding and flair for both natural and alternative medicine. They include Energy medicine practitioners, naturopaths, iridologists, chiropractors, among others. According to the Chairman, Lagos State Traditional Medicine Board (LSTMB), Dr Bunmi Omoseyindemi, cancer was not common in Nigeria until recently because of sedentary lifestyle and environmental pollution. Dr Omoseyindemi, who spoke during a two-day maiden wellness retreat on cancer organised by the Natural Integrated Medicine Practitioners Association (NIMPA) in Lagos, urged Nigerians to go back to nature and its essence to reduce disease burdens in the country, “Many diseases, especially cancer, can be prevented through integrated medicine, such as chiropractic, acupuncture and colour therapy, among others. He identified second-hand household equipment and electronics with high radiation as cancer triggers, which pollute the environment because of their strong radiations and other dangerous emissions. He said findings showed that most prostate cancer patients who had surgery die shortly after it, stressing that natural medicine have proved useful in the prevention and management of the disease. He added that people should go back to nature and natural cure for serious ailments that have

By Wale Adepoju

defied orthodox cure. For their practice to be accepted, he said: “Traditional and integrative medicine practitioners should ensure what they are doing is evidence-based to demonstrate that they know what they are offering.” Dr Omoseyindemi said the Lagos State Government has set up a committee to look into traditional medicine research, adding that it would be carried out at the Department of Pharmacognocy, Lagos State University (LASU). NIMPA President Dr Isaac Ayodele said healthy lifestyle is important in the prevention of the disease. “A century ago, one in 33 people developed cancer. But today, in five people you have one person with the disease. “Cancer is expensive to manage, a patient may need N50 million to do chemotherapy and to live through the disease. Most orthodox medicine practitioners often use chemotherapy to kill cancer cells. They also use radiation to burn the cancer cells and surgery to remove the affected part of the body. But this is still not adequate as patients don’t enjoy total cure.” He said: “Cancer sufferers should connect with nature. They will get better, despite living with cancer. Such people need to try other alternative ways of healing because cancer is a problem with a solution. It is not a death sentence,” he said. Registrar, LSTMB, Dr Bodunrin Oluwa, said there should be knowledge transfer to develop the capacity of practitioners. He said more programmes need to be organised to keep the practitioners abreast of developments in the sector.





Treatment of breast cancer in Alternative Medicine(1)


EING the text of a presentation by Femi Kusa at the maiden seminar of the College of Integrative Medicine,Lagos, founded to train members of the national integrative medicine practitioners association (NIMPA) and held at the Water Parks Hotel, Toyin Street, Lagos, on August 1 and 2, 2013. Somewhere in London City, flickers of hope have lit up the gloomy world of a Nigerian couple who went to England in January this year in search of a cure for stage 1V colon cancer. The tumour had spread to the liver, lung and kidney. The husband is the one challenged. They live with one of their relations in London. Every day, for two weeks in one month, he goes to hospital for chemotherapy and radiotherapy. He was weak and thin, and, like his wife, did not think he could survive this last stage of colon cancer. Well, it is still too early to conclude he will. But, like his wife, his doctors, and his siblings who have seen him recently, he is hopeful. For only last month, a new scan report suggested that the colon cancer had shrunken by about 25 per cent. The shrinkage occurred in the two months preceeding the new scan, suggesting that the progress in his condition may be due in part, if not exclusively, to an aggressive detoxification of his system with a wide range of cleansing and cancer fighting herbs. I have not sighted this couple. But we speak every morning on the telephone. They were linked up to me by Mrs. Sola Sowemimo, a lawyer, for advice on detoxification with herbs. The wife gets the whole complement of herbs and food supplements that I suggest from a health food store in London as advised, disperses them as cleansing teas by the hour, with one hour's break in between for water to rehydrate and flush the system. The herbs include: (1) Wheat grass juice (2) Pau d' Arco powder tea (3) Stinging nettle root (4) Calamus root powder (5) Parseley leaf powder For now, I will limit the number of herbs we are using to these five. But be certain that OXYGEN is included. I will speak later about the need for Oxygen supplements in the treatment of serious health conditions. Now, I will briefly speak about the relevance of the five above. In Bill Henderson's book, CANCER FREE, which I will mention later, he says: "Lot of people have been cured of all sorts of cancer by drinking Pan d'Arco tea (also known as Taheobo). Roger Delong is a retired airline pilot who cured himself of cancer using Pan d'Arco tea. He was so convinced it would help people that he set up a simple inexpensive way for cancer patients to get it. For several years, Roger imported it by the ton and sold it (he even gave away to those who couldn't afford it.) He doesn't do that any more but he does have a website with lots of information and a couple of sources he trusts. Roger's website is: Anne Wigmore taught the world about wheat grass. In her country, Luthania, her grandfather treated soldier's injuries in World War 1 with the juice of wheat grass and other herbs. When she lived in Boston Massachusetts, with parents, a doctor in the neighbourhood who had breast cancer fasted, cured herself of it, fasting on wheatgrass juice. So, when Anne Wigmore developed colon cancer, she fasted on wheatgrass sprout juice, and cured the cancer. Her story afterwards is a remarkable one as a natural health frontier extension worker. Our therapy goals with these herbs was clearance with chemotherapy drug residues and other toxins from the liver, kidneys, colon, blood and lymph, elimination of bacteria, viruses, fungi (especially cardida and mold) and other yeast. SOMEWHERE in Lagos, Nigeria, another Nigerian couple once terrified by cancer is radiating joy in the hope of triumph over breast cancer. Again, Mrs. Sola Sowemimo provided the link of this couple to me. As a child, Mrs. Sowemimo experienced the helpful role of herbs in the health challenges her parents sometimes faced as they aged. As a woman, wife and mother, she has ridden over many a health challenge herself using herbs and Alternative Medicine- personal and family and made lifestyle changes, especially dietary. So, she never tires of finding links to Alternative Medicine help for people around her who suffer from one health impairment, or the other. The woman in this case is a top income bracket accountant who has a cancerous tumour growing in one breast. When I met her, I was amazed by her unraffleness. Often, when I advise a cancer challenged person of dietary and lifestyle changes, detoxification and nutrition, in particular, I strive not to mention the word cancer. That word is caustic to the brain of many sufferers, enrobes their minds in fear and steals their self confidence. Yet a positive attitude and confidence that all would soon be well is the first major step to be taken on the road to recovery. For we are like magnets. We attract our environment; including our health status through what we generate within... hope of triumph, or fear of defeat. Orthodox medicine gives up too easily here in my view. Alternative medicine, the incorrigible optimist,

‘Yet a positive attitude and confidence that all would soon be well is the first major step to be taken on the road to recovery. For we are like magnets. We attract our environment; including our health status through what we generate within... hope of triumph, or fear of defeat. Orthodox medicine gives up too easily here in my view. Alternative medicine, the incorrigible optimist, fights to the end’ fights to the end. Before Orthodox Medicine, the woman is draped in fear of death. She is told her ovaries have to be blasted. For the woman who would like to have a child, that's depressing news. And when the patient is told her breast has to go, a part of her Will to live is crumbled. Yet, as we shall see in this presentation, a successful breast cancer therapy goes beyond chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. It involves removing the poisons which poisoned the body, healing the injuries the cancer has caused, boosting the immune system so it doesn't happen again, and changing one's lifestyle. This woman in Lagos mentions the word cancer so freely, so unemotionally, without fear, sure that she would regain her life, that I found myself no longer inhibited by my own concern to shroud a gruesome picture from her gaze. She fits the cancer survivor model of BILL HENDERSON, author of the book CANCER FREE, Subtitled: YOUR GUIDE TO GENTLE, NONTOXIC HEALING The book is an angry, helpful record of the politics orthodox medicine allegedly plays with the lives and pockets of cancer-challenged people, a long list of cancer survivors in a world in which medicine suggests that cancer is incurable, a warehouse of Alternative. Medicine protocols which the survivors of cancer report helped them surmount the scourge, a compendium of websites filled with cancer survivor stories and ideas which the challenged person can employ to fight out his or her own cancer. Understandably, Bill Henderson's wife died of breast cancer, mangled, as he describes her body, by radiation and chemotherapy, whereas, as he says in his book, other people survived their cancers using non invasive, non-toxic natural medicines which her doctors kept away from her, either in professional ignorance or deliberately. Thus, in his opinion, after a cancer - challenged person has adopted that positive attitude for survival, and found an "advocate", someone who reinforces this attitude all the time, the next step, the third, is to find a doctor knowledgeable in Alternative or Complementary or Integrative Medicine protocols, and then expand one's knowledge about various protocols and where they can be found. The book provides these abundantly with surprising records of cancer reemissions in between three and six months!

e-mail: or

This accountant has in her husband a wonderful "Advocate" who backs his faith in a healing with lots of money. He even once asked me if they could try to make a baby, as they did not have one yet. Of course, I advised against it. For her breast cancer may be estrogen driven, and blood level of estrogen, a major female hormone, may rise dangerously in support on this cancer during pregnancy when estrogen level is highest. She rejected surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. We discussed, and embarked on Alternative Medicine therapies, the objectives or therapy goals of which include: • Detoxification of heavy metals, toxic metabolic waste, microbial toxins, et.c. •pH balance through mineralisation to alkalise the toxic, acidic internal environment • Oxygenation to improve metabolism and normalise microform population. • Clearance of free radicals with antioxidants • Immune boosting • Improvement of blood circulation • Essential fatty Acid (EFA) protection for the fatty breast structure • Systemic enzymes to dissolve the tumour We were making progress. The lump was getting smaller. Then, one day, we both developed telepathic brain waves independent of each other. I wanted to expose her to the work of Dr.Marx Gerson, that German doctor who cured many cases of cancer and other degenerative diseases using fruit and vegetable juices in the diet, and organic coffee enemas for detoxification. I also wished that she would be able to attend Dr. Gerson's clinic in Mexico if she could finance it. Unknown to me, she and her husband had done an internet check to confirm the therapies she was undergoing, which I had said would be based on Dr. Gerson's ideas, she was undergoing and, in the process, had run into the Dr Gerson therapy and clinic. The next time we met, I was surprised when she announced that she had, indeed, been in touch with the Gerson Clinic, they approved of the ongoing therapies, were satisfied there had been no radiation or chemotherapy intervention, advised that certain laboratory tests be done, the results of which suggested there was hope for healing. Before you could call Jack Robinson, husband and wife were in Mexico. One day, they will share their experiences. CANCER IS NO MYSTERY OR DISEASE BUT A REACTION, AND IS DEFEATABLE Bill Henderson's book is just one of many which document the stories of people who conquered cancer through protocols described by orthodox or mainstream medicine as " unproven" remedies "unproven" in this context mean the protocols have not been subject to clinical research and application which validate therapeutic or curative activities ascribed to them. Unproven protocols which work, nevertheless, teach us one lesson in Alternative Medicine. That lesson is that cancer is no mystery; it is defeatable. We only need to know its cause or combination of causes and find answers to them, or take a blind plumage into an uncharted wilderness. In this regard, I share the view of many people, including Bill. Henderson, that cancer is not a disease, but a reaction or resultant on the right side of a biochemical equation. That is, if normal body biochemistry is 2+2 =4, then a 2+5 = 7, equation will be an abnormality which may produce a cancer cells. Restoring the body to normal equation will involve a rewriting of the equation. Just this, is the problem of medicine today. It doesn't re-write the inputs of an equation to arrive at a correct resultant; rather it battles the resultant. In high school "O" Level Chemistry in the 1960s, I was taught that water is produced by reacting two atoms of hydrogen (H2) and two of oxygen (O2) under the right amounts of temperature and pressure in the following equations (1) H2 +O2 =H2O. But this equation is not balanced, and will produce problems. The balanced equation is H2 + O2 = 2H2O. In this equation, the input balances the resultant.

‘Bill Henderson's book is just one of many which document the stories of people who conquered cancer through protocols described by orthodox or mainstream medicine as " unproven" remedies "unproven" in this context mean the protocols have not been subject to clinical research and application which validate therapeutic or curative activities ascribed to them’

Tel: 08116759749, 08034004247, 07025077303



e-Business E-mail:-


To cut the costs of doing business; some firms, including telecoms giants, are building their own data centres. LUCAS AJANAKU writes on the benefits and challenges of the concept.

Here comes pill for high business cost


E is determined to reduce operating cost (Opex) by about 50 per cent. To actualise his dream, his firm is building a data centre in Agbara, Ogun State. Chief Executive Officer of Venema Advies Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of the Venema Advies Group, Dick Venema, said energy expenditures account for almost 80 per cent of firms’ information communications technology (ICT) Opex. He said: “The cost saving is achieved from a company’s own in-house infrastructure. A firm can reduce its cost by between 40 and 50 per cent because, first of all, it is shared power. That is, infrastructure is shared, culminating in reduction in energy cost. He stressed, ‘’in Nigeria, it is estimated that power accounts for about 80 per cent of operating costs. So, in the data centre, everybody shares power facilities. Everybody shares UPS and the broadband facilities. Ultimately, this dovetails into substantial redution in cost. Indeed, the cost saving element could be more than 40-50 per cent,” he said. Like a damned river suddenly losing its fetters, international IT firms are opening up data centres in the country.Vodacom Nigeria Business, Business Connexion, telecoms firms such as Globacom, MTN and other firms have opened data centre shops. Even those not having data centres in the country such as Oracle Corporation have offshore data centres where their clients in the country host their data. A data centre, according to Wikipedia, is “a facility used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems. It generally includes redundant or backup power supplies, redundant data communications connections, environmental controls (such as air conditioning, fire suppression) and security devices.” According to experts, the future of data market in Nigeria will develop fast, especially when it is considered that the economy is growing at six per cent yearly. Its market will grow twice that number. Though it is a foreign technology, Nigerians are gaining more knowledge about it. The market will grow by about 12 per cent yearly and in the next five years, it will notch between 60-70 per cent. But it’s cumbersome to put a figure to how much the technology will add to the national gross domestci product (GDP). “It is pretty difficult to say because everything is so concentrated on the data centre. It is not known how many people will

• Data centre

• Jenkins

start programming mobile application because it is now available in Nigeria. It is difficult to calculate how much the data business will add to the GDP but around that technology, people from all over Nigeria will start programming application and earn money. It is difficult to estimate the number but this will be in several hundreds of million of dollars,” he told The Nation. He said data centres will continue to be at the heart of businesses as email, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) programme and everybody settles online. Nigeria has about 119 million mobile phone subscribers. With the expansion in the subscriber number is also the expansion in mobile braodband as people move their lives, from wallet (mobile money) to e-health, e-education and others to their mobile phones. “Everybody is busy with one’s


traditional system server and inhouse devices. This will change radically. The growth of mobile devices, mobile telephony (remember that the total connected mobile telephone lines in Nigeria is about 120 million, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)). ‘’This is a tremendous growth opportunity for data centre business. Tied to this is the boom in mobile internet and the rising market of mobile applications developers,” the data centre expert said, adding that the push of the Communications Technology Ministry at building software incubation centres in the country would also add a fresh fillip to the boom in data centres in the country. According to a senior banker, banks have been facing financial difficulty in building data centres. “To build a data centre, we will need a minimum of

‘Location is very important in building data centre. During an extensive risk analysis, you will see that not every location is suitable for a data center. For instance, Lekki is flood-prone. Sometimes it is just not good enough to be very close to the city’ N300million. What the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is encouraging us to do is infrastructure sharing. In Spain, I saw a massive data centre built which all the banks are sharing,” the bank chief said. Another variant of data centre services is cloud data centre. It is constructed for a different purpose; created at a different time than the traditional data center and built to a different scale. The cloud data centre has different costs than the traditional data center (such as buying land and construction). Group Executive, Business Development, Director BCX Group, John Jenkins, said the uptake of the technology in the country is improving. “We were surprised to see very significant demand for cloud services in large enterprise customers. Larger Nigerian enterprises are clearly leapfrogging their le-

thargic global competitors by going directly to cloud based IT service models and not taking the traditional long voyage to cloud adoption,” he said. He said the technology is built on IT infrastructure, virtualisation tools and automation applications and of course the Internet. “So, if Nigeria is willing to get behind cloud services in a way that they take the lead in West Africa and further, Nigeria will develop world-class network engineers, systems integrators and application developers. I cannot see why Nigeria cannot compete globally when it has the right location, lots of entrepreneurship, submarine cable bandwidth, competitive labour rates and a supportive government and labour legislation,” he said. But security has been an issue for these technologies. Opinions are divided over thie matter. Jenkins said: “All of the same threats still exist, malware and phishing attacks among others, for which companies must deploy security solutions to defend against. Still, this doesn’t mean that data security should be completely ignored when migrating. “The justified concern about security stems from the fact that most providers are Internet Service Providers and free services companies who enable IT services where security is the responsibility of the client.” Venema said security does not have to be a problem as long as the appropriate decisions from the engineering phase to the execution of the data centre are taken. “You have to calculate risks. But essentially for our data centre, physical security is the most important for the people we will host their services. It is important that they develop resilient security system so that all online transaction will be protected. ‘’I advise banks and other fianancial institutions to look to the PCID system certfification. I advise Nigerian programmers to take the issue of security seriously in the course of designing their programmes. There is enough information now availalble for people to write secure software and deploy secure payment system. So, I think Nigeria can make the difference,” he said. Former Country Manager, Micorosoft Anglophone West Africa, Emmanuel Onyeje, and Oracle Corporation, Country Manager, Layo Ajayi, argue said there is no need to fear. He added that as long as people open email addresses and use same platfrom and exchange information, there is a measure of data storage in the virtual space. But as operators scramble to build more data centres, Venema warns: “Location is very important in building data centre. During an extensive risk analysis, you will see that not every location is suitable for a data centre. For instance, Lekki in Lagos is flood-prone. Sometimes it is just not good enough to be very close to the city.” He blamed the telcos for investing in data centre businesses, saying they lack the technical knowhow to run them.




Poor services: Group seeks N5000 compensation T for subscribers HE National Association of Telecoms Susbcribers (NATCOM) has written to the Association of Licensed Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ALTON) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) seeking N5,000 compensation for subscribers over low quality services. President of NATCOMS Deolu Ogunbanjo said about 12 years after the global system for mobile (GSM) communications made its debut, the operators were not offering services commensurate to the profit they are making. The letter addressed to the chairman of ALTON, Gbenga Adebayo, and copied NCC’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Eugene Juwah, said the op-

Stories by Lucas Ajanaku

erators had failed to provide efficient services to subscribers. In a swift reaction, Adebayo described the letter as a clear manifestation of the ignorance of NATCOMS about the dynamics of the industry. Adebayo, who spoke with The Nation, said the NATCOMS president failed to take into cognisance the operating environment. “We are looking at the letter. But my first impulse is that the letter appears to show that NATCOMS which claims to represent the interest of the subscrib-

ers does not understand the dynamics and reality of the operating environment. Regulation and infrastructure are part of the harsh operating environment. Asking for N5000 compensation for the subscribers at this time shows clearly that NATCOMS does not realise the dynamics of these factors,” he said. In the letter, NATCOMS said: “The introduction of GSM in Nigeria in 2001 has brought about positive changes for individuals, corporate organisations, government at all levels and the country at large. It has saved thousands of lives in emergency, created and still

creating jobs, eased communications within families, work places and across nations. It has brought Direct Foreign Investment (DFI) and boosted the nation’s Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” NATCOMS noted. In spite of these advantages, the group said “the quality of service (QoS) profile that describes the performance evaluation of the system from the consumer perspective, using specific parameters has been poor.” NATCOMS identified these services parameters as call failure rate, call drop rate, call set-up rate, call completion rate, billing accuracy, voice quality, network

outages/downtimes, spectrum efficiency, international roaming, traffic channel congestion, and others, arguing that the operators have failed to deliver on all. Some of the operators’ network deficiencies include “dialing a number between five and 10 times before getting connected /not-connected, dialing several times and still getting a ‘call failed’ message, moving from one place to the other in search of network signal before receiving or making calls,” adding that a subscriber would be lucky if both caller and recipient hear each other without voice-breaks. “Often times, the caller /recipient may hear the recipient /caller, while the caller /recipient cannot hear. Yet this incomplete call is paid for,” the letter read.

MTN offers free cataract surgery


NDIGENES of Delta State will be benefiting from MTN Foundation’s Eyesight Restoration Intervention Scheme, (MTNF EyeRIS), where 10,000 people will be screened for cataracts and other ocular diseases in the state and its environs during a three weeks span, a statement from the telco has announced. At a ceremony to kick-start the programme held at the Central Hospital, Agbor, MTNF Director, Mr. Akinwale Goodluck, represented by the Executive Secretary of the MTN Foundation, Nonny Ugboma, lamented that a lot of

cases of blindness and visual impairment in the country are preventable. “This programme is our contribution to curb blindness in Nigeria. We flagged off the project in Osun in April and we are happy to bring the project here to provide the much needed help for the less privileged,” he said. The project, which is endorsed by the Federal Ministry of Health is being implemented in partnership with the Eye Foundation Centre for Prevention of Blindness (EFCPB) and in collaboration with Delta State Ministry of Health.

Fed Govt, Microsoft partner on ICT development


ICROSOFT Nigeria has reiterated the company’s commitment to collaborating with the Federal Government and other stakeholders in the Information Technology (IT) industry to put structure in place to further aid the development of the sector. National Technology Officer, Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, Olayinka Oni, disclosed this at the Lagos Business School where he addressed the Executive MBA class as a guest speaker. While delivering his keynote address titled ‘Nigeria in the Information Age: The Role and Capacity of Government’, Oni said

for Africa to improve its economic and global competitiveness, it is pertinent to place ICT at the nerve centre of its activities. Oni praised the strides taken by the present administration in advancing ICT, one of which is the inauguration of the Broadband Council to drive the implementation of the recently-approved National Broadband Plan 2013-2018 by the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson. He also praised the funding of Incubation Centres created solely to foster innovation and the development of locally relevant apps by people with great ideas but without the wherewithal to execute.

Etisalat launches Mobile Assistant for busy execs


TISALAT Nigeria has launched Mobile Assistant, which it said will add value to the services it provides for its customers. Acording to a statement, the new service provides flexibility for busy executives by allowing their incoming mobile calls to be taken by a secretary or an assistant, who can also screen these calls to determine how important they are before transferring the call to the boss who cannot afford to miss important calls despite his busy schedules. Director, Business Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Lucas Dada said: “We take pride to delight our customers with innovative products and services to make their lives easier and simpler. We realize that the needs of our customers are ever growing and as such we have to come up with unique packages to match these needs. The

Mobile Assistant is yet another innovative service from Etisalat that seeks to delight our customers by providing them with unique offerings that will further affirm Etisalat’s position as the most customer focused company in the telecommunication sector.” Explaining the mechanics of this service, Dada stated that “when a call comes through to your mobile, it can be transferred to your assistant’s phone. Your assistant may be able to handle the call for you thereby freeing up your time. It is therefore a service that allows an Executive’s incoming mobile calls to be handled by a secretary or an assistant” he explained. He added that Etisalat had designed the service to enable the assistant or secretary pass the call back to the executive depending on the importance of the call by performing a mid-call transfer simply by pressing the star (*) key.

Firm develops radio frequency identification tracker


N indigenous information technology (IT) firm, HaynesWorth International Limited, said it is the sole and legitimate copyright owner of the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tracker solution used in the offshore oil and gas industry. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the firm, Joseph Afenikhena Imonikhe, said it has completed all the necessary obligations to secure the copyright of the product through the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC). “Haynes-Worth International Lim-

ited was confirmed as the copyright owner of the RFID tracker in the oil industry in Africa. This was duly granted to us on July 18 by the NCC,” he was quoted as saying in statement he endorsed. Imonikhe said the RFID tracker specifically developed for the oil industry is the latest evolution in automated data capture technology, adding that it is a solution for the offshore oil and gas sector, effectively securing the pipelines and their maintenance while it still ensures cost-effective real-time visibility of assets, asset location, with the most minimal human efforts.

•Lagos State Commissioner, Ministry of Science and Technology, Mr Fatai Mabadeje (right) with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Nike Animashaun, during a press conference at Abat Centre, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.

Why public communication project was delayed, by chinese firm


HINESE equipment vendor, ZTE, has said the National Public Service Communication System (NPSCS) was not completed on schedule because of difficulties in getting land for the erection of base transmission stations (BTS) and problems with Customs. Deputy Managing Director, ZTE Nigeria Limited, Brielle Gao, said during a visit to the Matori, Lagos Corporate office of Vintage Press Ltd, publishers of The Nation that it was a relief the project has now been delivered to the government. The project, she added, has helped to provide answers to some security questions in the country. “We are buidling a completely secure security platform for the Federal Government across the nation.

The project has about 700 BTS as component. The BTS will provide the platform for the whole country. The implementation was slightly delayed because of issues on securing land for the BTS and customs. The contract was awarded by the Federal Government and it has been handed over to the government,” she said. Gao dispelled insuinations that the security solutions installed by the firm in the country were of obsolete technology, adding that over the years, ZTE has built a reputation for providing security solutions to more than 40 countries across the world. She said the allegation was baseless as there is no evidence to substantiate the claim. “ZTE is a global security solutions provider. One of our best selling so-

lutions is the security solutions we provide to the world. This system is called the global trunkey system. It has been sucessfully implemented in more than 40 countries around the world including Nigeria. ZTE is worried about the misinformation making the rounds about the quality of our solutions. We may be forced to take legal action against those peddling the rumour because they don’t have the evidence but just spreading rumours all over the town. “All the solutions that we have provided for Nigeria is the same provided all over the world in recent time. In China, it is the same thing. If you go to Ghana, Senegal and some other African countries where we have this security communications project, all the projects are the same,” she said.

‘Multiple tax regime hurting investment in IT sector’


PERATORS in the information communications technology (ICT) sector have called on the Federal Government to come out with a unified tax policy to stimulate further flow of investment into the economy. They also want government at all levels to streamline the process of grantng right of way (RoW) to telecoms companies so that capacities could be boosted and service quality improved. These are some of the decisions arrived at during the roundtable discussions organised by the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) to chat a way for successful implementation of the National Brodaband Plan 20132018, at Golden Gate Restaurant, Ikoyi, Lagos over the weekend.

President of ATCON, Lanre Ajayi, said there was need to have a unified tax policy regime in place so that prospective investors would be confident to invest on the infrastructure needed to improve broadband availability and depth in the country. The forum also unanimously agreed that the funding policy of the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) should be made more flexible because under the current dispensation, operators hardly get funding from the agency. The agency was advised to shift its focus away from award of contracts. He added that the Fund was not addressing the operations expendi-

ture (opex) but capital expenditure (capex) of services providers. ATCON also stressed the need for the regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to put mechanisms in place to encourage the sharing of optic fibre cables by the operators instead of each struggling to dig and lay theirs. “The Connect Nigeria Fund should provide money for people that want to roll out brodaband services. The Federal Government should also grant tax holidays to firms that wish to provide broadband services as it did for global system for mobile (GSM) communications operators while the NCC must step up action against anti-competitive practices,” ATCON said.











NEWS Agency inaugurates Taraba officials From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo


HE Taraba State chap ter of Child Protection Network (CPN) has sworn in its Exco officials. The inauguration ceremony was held at Jalingo Motel, Jalingo, the state capital, at the end of a two-day workshop on Child Protection Violation. CPN is a community surveillance mechanism to monitor, document and respond to incidences of violence, abuse and exploitation against children. Its membership comprises people who have volunteered to advocate for child’s protection in various fields. The inaugural workshop was organised by the United Nations Children’s Funds (UNICEF) and the Taraba Ministry of Women Affairs and Child Development. The officials are: Mrs. Isuwatu D. Balutu (Coordinator), Abdulrahman S. T. Aluga (Secretary) and Fanen Ihyongo (Public Relations Officer, PRO). Others are: Arisim Victor (Financial Secretary), Zainab I. Abdullahi (Treasurer), Beatrice Linus Dung (Assistant Secretary), Usman Saidu Gassol (Ex-Official) and Elizabeth J. Joshua (ExOfficial).

One killed as hunters shoot vigilantes in Kogi T

HE hunter became the hunted in Yagba West Local Government of Kogi State on Monday when one of the two vigilance groups deployed to a crime zone was killed by the bullets of another. The victim was reportedly mistaken for one ofthe robbers at the scene of the crime. One vigilante was killed and two others were badly injured. Eyewitnesses of the tragedy, which occurred between Okunran and Okoloke communities, claimed that incident followed a tip-off that robbers were operating on the Egbe-Pategi Federal Road. The robbers were said to be dispossessing travellers of their valuables. Following the tip-off, it was gathered that a distress call from the vigilantes in

•Two in hospital

Okoloke was made to the Local Government Area, which mobilised more vigilantes from neighbouring Odo-Ere, the council headquarters, and Egbe, the commercial nerve of the localgovernment. Twelve vigilantes immediately reported to the Police Divisional Office at Odo-Ere before embarking on the rescue mission. The Media Assistant to Governor Idris Wada on Research and Documentation, Mr Ralph Agbana, who hails from the council, confirmed the incident to reporters. He explained that as part of their strategies, the local government vigilantes, who arrived at the scene,

split into two groups of six preparatory to engaging the robbers. He said: “On their way, they met a car driven by one of the victims of the robbers. He narrated his ordeal to the vigilantes that the robbers were still operating. A group of vigilantes then entered the car and told the occupants to lead them to the scene. “But as soon as the robbers sighted the same car they had robbed, they carted away. The vigilantes fired at the robbers but their efforts were too late as they disappeared into the bushes. “As the vigilantes restrategised to ambush the robbers, another set of six hunters - four Hausa and

two indigenes from Okoloke - joined forces with the other vigilantes to dislodge the robbers. But they claimed nothave heard about the deployment of vigilantes from the local government and opened fire on them (local government vigilantes) having been caught off-guard. “Those hunters, who misfired, were not registered community/local government vigilantes.” One of the victims, Abayomi Sunday, was said to have died instantly from the bullets that hit him on the head. His two other colleagues, Bamidele Olayemi and Dele Asebiobirin, however, survived with bullet wounds on their legs and thighs. They are said to be responding to treatment at the ECWA Hospital, Egbe.

By Tonia ‘Diyan

JUMIA, an online retail store, is celebrating its first year of online retail in Nigeria, and in maintaining its foothold as Nigeria’s No 1 shopping destination. It has introduced 16 more cash-on-delivery locations in Lagos. Few days ago, JUMIA was nominated for two awards at the World Retail Awards which will hold later this year in Salle Wagram, Paris,France. The first one is: Pure Play Retailer of the Year and the second is: Best New Retail Launch.

US/Nigeria Commission’s conference to hold in Abuja By Uyoatta Eshiet

Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun (right) presenting the state’s plaque to Mr. Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo, popularly called D’Banj, during his visit to the Governor’s Office in Abeokuta ...yesterday.

Nigeria, U.S partner on food production From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano


HE Gidan Makama Na tional Museum in Kano and Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in the United States (U.S) will hold a collaborative programme for Nigerian and American youths, mainly students. The programme, which will focus on food production, has as its theme: Cultural Cuisine. A shared culinary experience is being jointly developed by the two institutions under a U.S-sponsored programme of “Museum Connect”. A statement by the Communication Coordinator of the National Commission for Museum and Monuments, Mr Dominic Yerima said the objective of the programme, among others, is to connect youths from Nigeria and the U.S through a cultural exchange with emphasis on food production and consumption. During the programme, both museums will engage the youths in food production from farm to the table. The participants are between 14 and 17 years. They will grow and harvest a variety of food crops as well as hold cooking workshops to create their own recipes. The Director-General of the National Commission for Museum and Monuments, Alhaji Yusuf Abdullahi, said: “Through the process, the students and other participants will learn about their local foods and their nutritional values as well as see their food in global perspectives.”

Jumia introduces 16 more outlets in Lagos

This year’s United States (US)/Nigeria Bi–National Commission (BNC) conference will hold in Abuja next week, the United Consul-General, Jeffery Hawkins, has said. Hawkins addressed the civil society, union officials, academics, religious leaders, reporters, business leaders and others yesterday at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos. He said the bi-national commission is America’s flagship strategic dialogue to expand mutual cooperation and build partnerships for tangible progress on critical issues of mutual interest. The envoy said the US Government maintains a limited number of binational commissions with nations demonstrating a high degree of friendship, trust and cooperation.

‘Autonomy best for local govt’ From Vincent Ohonbamu, Gombe

Kano shuts down 69 private schools HE Kano State Government’s Task Force on Private Schools has shut down 19 schools indefinitely. Fifty others were suspended for allegedly refusing to comply with the regulations guiding the operations of private schools in the state. The Chairman of the Task Force on Private Schools,


From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

Alhaji Baba Umar spoke yesterday in Kano on the government’s action. He said despite operating in an unsuitable environment, like garages and makeshift structures, some of the schools’ proprietors still increased fees. He also said despite col-

lecting verification forms since June, last year. Majority of the proprietors did not return the forms to the task force, thereby making it difficult to ascertain the number of private schools in the state. Umar noted that the refusal of some proprietors to follow due process forced the task force to close down in-

definitely 19 of the defaulting schools, while 50 others were suspended, pending their compliance with the rules and regulations on private schools in the state, According to him, the task force, which was inaugurated last year by Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, is not out to witch-hunt anybody but to ensure sanity in the system.

Activist to Sultan: call Yerima to order HE Chairperson of the Akasoba Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ACPCR), Queen Akasoba DukeAbiola, the Akasoba of Kalabari, has urged the Sultan of Sokoto to caution Senator Sani Yerima. The senator has come under heavy criticisms for being in the forefront of endorsing marriage to “under age girls”. Queen Duke-Abiola spoke as the special guest of the


Global Women Arise Forum in Melbourne, Australia. She said: “There exists under the Nigerian constitution irrefutable presumption that a 10-year-old boy is biologically unfit to be a father. Why then must a seven-year-old girl be considered old enough to be a wife and mother? What is good for the goose is also sauce for the gander.” The ACPCR chairperson noted that most other climes “would view Yerima’s sub-

mission as an endorsement of statutory rape. Or, how ridiculous would it be to parade a seven-year-old child as the First Lady of a country because she is married to a president?” She added: “We note that Yerima is neither a Muslim scholar nor an Imam. By ridiculing a particular religion, Yerima has deliberately breached the constitutional protocol and acted ultra vires for his own selfish reasons and


personal political aggrandisement”.

THE Chairman of Shongom Local Government Area of Gombe State, Mr. Peter Pero, yesterday said local governments would perform better than they are presently, if they are granted autonomy. The council chairman urged the National Assembly to support the legislation for local governments’ autonomy. He, however, expressed the fear that some local government chairmen might mismanage the resources at their disposal when the financial autonomy is approved. Pero said: “If granted, the autonomy will go a long way in solving our problems. But there are some things to be considered. Some local governments may not manage their resources very well. Above all, I stand for autonomy.” The council chief spoke after inspecting some projects being executed by his administration.




IFC to launch $1b Nigeria’s Naira bond issue


HE International Finance Corporation (IFC) plans to launch the first long-term Nigerian domestic Naira-denominated bond issuance programme that will enable the Breton Woods institution to raise up to $1 billion through series of local-currency bonds. Vice president and treasurer, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Mr. Jingdong Hua, disclosed this yesterday at the Nigerian Debt Capital Market Conference organized by IFC, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and National Pension Commission (Pencom) in Lagos. Hua said IFC intends to build on the success of its maiden Naira-denominated issue to institute a long-term Naira-denominated domestic bond issuance programme as part of efforts consolidate its financing activities in Nigeria and help in the development of the domestic capital market. IFC, a member of the World Bank, had in February 2013 raised N12 billion or $76.3 million through first-ever localcurrency bond by a non-resident issuer in Nigeria. According to him, long-term Naira-denominated bond issuance programme would enable IFC to source and provide more amenable funds to Nigerian companies as local-currency issue will eliminate fluctuations and concerns related to foreign exchange and allow companies to focus on optimization of their operations. He said IFC would work closely with SEC to develop the necessary framework that will facilitate the long-term bond issuance programme

•Sovereign Wealth Fund to make first investments this month By Taofik Salako

noting that commendable regulatory initiatives by SEC have engendered market development. “A vibrant, local-currency capital market is essential for any country to achieve its full economic potential, and a cornerstone of our strategy to help countries achieve sustainable growth. Our desire to put in place a programme for regular Naira-denominated issuances reflects IFC’s commitment to the domestic capital markets in Nigeria, and our growing investment to support private sector development in the country,” Hua said. He highlighted the importance of Nigeria as a leading emerging African economy and focus of IFC’s investments pointing out that IFC’s committed portfolio in Nigeria stands at $1.5 billion, the largest country portfolio in Africa and the eighth-largest globally. Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Arunma Oteh, reiterated the commitment of the apex capital market regulator to sustaining reforms that will continue to enhance the development of Nigerian capital market. She said IFC has made commendable contributions to the development of the Nigerian market noting that the planned regular domestic issuances by an international, triple-A rated issuer like IFC will further expand opportunities for investors as well as

increase access to finance for Nigerian businesses. Country Manager, Nigeria, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Mr. Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor, meanwhile challenged Nigerian fund managers to go beyond risk considerations and extend the reach of their investments with a view to providing funds to projects that could help stimulate the corporate operating environment and thus provide long-term basis for the growth of funds under management. Meanwhile, managing director, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Mr. Uche Orji, said the NSIA, which manages Nigeria’s sovereign wealth fund, will make two of its first investments this month, thus entering a new phase after it had used initial period to develop an investment decision procedure in line with the international best practice. “We are on the verge of making two of our first commitments before the end of the month,” Orji said. He outlined that NSIA has grouped its funds into three categories- Stabilization Fund, Infrastructure Fund and Future Generation Fund, with a view to cater for the immediate and future developmental projects. He however stressed that sovereign wealth funds would be invested under strictly investment-decision consideration of risk and return noting that the funds are meant to stimulate growth as well as provide returns to the contributing federating units. Orji said NSIA will also need to lead in terms of best practices and rigorous investment appraisals in order to engender confidence of other sovereign wealth managers to partner with it on Nigerian investments.





CBN debits N1tr from banking system


HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday removed an estimated N1 trillion from the banking system, causing interbank lending rates to spike by seven percentage points from Tuesday’s close. However, the transaction failed to lift the naira. Reuters said interbank lending rates rose to around 19 per cent, up from around 12 per cent at Tuesday’s close, after the CBN debited lenders accounts to meet a hike in the Cash Reserve Ratio on public sector deposits to 50 per cent, from 12 per cent. The bank said it would impose the requirement two weeks ago to tighten liquidity and support the naira.

But the naira fell slightly against the dollar, closing at 160.10 to the dollar on the interbank market, weaker than the 159.65 to the dollar it closed at on the previous day. Dealers said this was because banks had already sold their dollar positions to meet the new requirement ahead, of Wednesday, so the impact had already been priced in. “The CBN finally debited our accounts today, draining the market of liquidity and the overnight rate went up to 19 per cent,” one dealer said. Traders said many lenders had already sold down liquid assets and dollars to replenish their cash balances in preparation for the with-

drawal. “The market had priced the effect of the huge cash withdrawal since the announcement two weeks ago, while fresh dollar demand and lack of dollar flows are expected to push down the value of the naira next week,” another dealer said. Nigeria is a growing destination for foreign investors, but it remains vulnerable to capital flight. Efforts to defend the naira helped shrink foreign reserves to $46.96 billion by end July, from $48 billion in June. On the bi-weekly foreign exchange auction, the CBN sold $248.45 million at 155.75 to the dollar, compared with $285 million sold at the same rate on Monday. The bank has spent billions of dol-

lars of foreign reserves over the past two months on keeping the naira within its target corridor of plus or minus three per cent around 155 to the dollar. The secured Open Buy back (OBB) rose to 18 per cent from 11.5 percent on Friday, six percentage point higher than the central bank’s benchmark interest rate. •CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido

Keystone Bank offers holiday EYSTONE Bank Limited has banking reiterated its commitment to


providing convenient and reliable services to all customers of the bank through the bank’s online and alternative channels during the public holiday marking this year’s Eidel-Fitri celebration. In a statement, the bank said the offer allows customers of the bank to transact business with ease via internet facility designed to meet the needs of its customers. It said that during the holidays, customers can review and verify their transactions, transfer funds, buy recharge cards and pay utility bills. Also, customers will have the opportunity to verify the status of their cheques and print account statements.

Skye Bank strengthens retail unit


KYE Bank Plc has expressed commitment to drive its retail banking unit and improve customer services to enhance growth. Speaking at a media parley in Lagos, the bank’s General Manager, Retail Banking, Mrs Arinola KolaDaisi said retail business is important for all banks and has become more critical with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) increasing the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) from 12 per cent to 50 per cent. She said the policy will reduce funds available for banks to lend, adding that the way out remains deepening retail banking. She said the bank is committed to meeting the financial needs of its customers adding that the strength of retail banking is in numbers. “We are educating illiterate and rural dwellers to have bank accounts. And by the time you do that in mil-

Stories by Collins Nweze

lion places, you will have the level of profitability you deserve. Retail banking requires very good branch network, we are in every state, even though there are more number of branches in some states, but there is no state where we do not have presence,” she said. Kola-Daisi explained that the lender had over time, shown strong commitment to retail businesses, prompting it to set up a retail unit that is committed to banking the grassroots. She said the bank also operates in the investment banking, retail banking, corporate banking and in the public sectors of the economy. It also has a very good relationship in Federal and State levels in almost all the states of the federation. She said the drive for retail banking is something the bank has been

pursuing for a very long time. “We did not want retail to be mixed with commercial and consumer banking. It is something that has been there for us for a long time, but now it is even more important. We want to deliver value to the retail customers,” she said. Kola-Daisi also said the bank is also looking at the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) even as it is advising SMEs to properly structure their businesses to attract loans from banks. She said the bank is also committed to consumer lending and where applicable, the borrower’s salary can serve as collateral. “Payments can be stretched overtime. The control element is the salary which must be regular. And for SMEs businesses, we get them to submit account statement for six months, and then from there we begin processing the loans,” she said.

UBA Foundation embarks on CSR


BA Foundation, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has donated two incubators to teaching hospitals in the country. In a statement, the bank said the gesture is aimed at reducing child mortality in the country. The facilities were given to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH). The incubators were received by the Chief Medical Director of UBTH,


Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Offered ($) 350m 350m 350m



Current Market 5495.33 N552.20

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

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

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012



O/PRICE 13.31 11.99 0.52 1.78 0.88 4.45 72.00 4.50 0.84 2.52

C/PRICE 14.64 13.18 0.57 1.95 0.96 4.80 77.40 4.80 0.89 2.67

CHANGE 1.33 1.19 0.05 0.17 0.08 0.35 5.40 0.30 0.05 0.15


O/PRICE 0.90 0.76 0.81 4.59 1.20 12.50 0.74 8.85 0.56 53.90

C/PRICE 0.81 0.69 0.74 4.20 1.10 11.58 0.70 8.43 0.54 52.19

Current Before

Current After

CUV Start %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51













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


July ’11





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%

July ’12

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days


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

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7

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

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

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


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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%


CHANGE 0.09 0.07 0.07 0.39 0.10 0.92 0.04 0.42 0.02 1.71

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m


LOSERS AS AT 7-08-13


Amount Demanded ($) 150m 138m 113m

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

OBB Rate Call Rate

Prof. Micheal Ibadin and other principal officers of the hospital. Managing Director, UBA Foundation, Ms Ijeoma Aso said: “It is our hope that this gesture will help save babies born premature in the Benin area. It follows from the donation of incubators made by us to the Lagos University Hospital (LUTH} last year”. Prof. Ibadin commended UBA Foundation for the gesture and promised the incubators will be put to good use.



Initial Quotation Price N8250.00 N1000.00

Divisional Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Mohammed Ciroma said customers who want to experience banking from the comfort of their home or while abroad during the public holidays can do so using the internet banking platform. “With the internet banking, you can, enjoy the convenience of managing your finances quickly and easily at a time that suits you during the Eidel-Fitri celebration,” he said. He advised the bank’s customers to also make use of the bank’s Verve Card and Naira Master Debit Card during the holidays.”The card facilitates access to banking services via alternative channels,” he said.

Offer Price

Bid Price


Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833




NEWS Shawall 1st, 1434AH



(Taqabalallah mina waminkum)

Eid-el-Fitr: Jonathan, Aregbesola, Chime, Oshiomhole, Yero others greet Muslims


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday felicitates with Nigerians on the celebration of Eid-il-Fitr. The president assured that his administration would continue to build on the firm foundations for sustainable national development which has been established in key areas. He listed the key areas as public infrastructure, power supply, roads, transportation, aviation, agriculture, education, healthcare, youth employment and electoral reform. This was contained in his message to congratulate Nigerians of the Islamic faith, who successfully completed the month-long Ramadan fast. Jonathan thanked Muslims in the country, who responded to calls by him and other leaders for special prayers during the Ramadan for greater peace, security and progress in Nigeria. President Jonathan urged other elected officials at all levels of governance to avoid overheating the polity with unnecessary ethnic and political intrigues. He urged them to give the highest priority to fulfilling their promises of better living conditions for the electorate before turning their minds to plans and permutations for future elections. Joining the president to felicitate with Muslims were Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole; his Enugu, Ogun and

By Tajudeen Adebanjo, Chris Oji, Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Yusufu Aminu Idegu,

Plateau counterparts - Sullivan Chime, Ibikunle Amosun and Jonah Jang. Also, Osun, Kaduna and governors; Rauf Aregbesola, Mukthar Ramalan Yero and Kayode Fayemi congratulated Muslims. Oshiomhole prayed God to accept the supplications of the faithful during the Ramadan and bestow unparalleled blessings on the people. “The Ramadan fast, he said, has afforded us the opportunity to reconnect with our creator and extend the hand of fellowship to our fellow men. However, as we celebrate, we should not forget the lessons learnt, to wit, the spirit of piety, alms-giving, of compassion and love for fellow men.” Chime urged Nigerians to use the occasion of the Eid-il-Fitri celebrations to rededicate themselves to values and virtues to promote peace and unity in the country. The governor said the celebrations offered Nigerians the opportunity to reflect on Allah’s love and compassion for mankind adding that they should extend the same attitude to one another. He commended Muslims in Enugu State for the contributions they have continued to make towards the rapid devel-

opment of the state especially in their respect for the rule of law and pursuit of peaceful coexistence with their neighbours and people of other religious persuasions. Jang admonished Muslims to sustain the lessons of sacrifice, discipline and love learnt during the period of Ramadan beyond the month. Doing those virtues, he said, would promote the prevailing peace in the state He called on Nigerians not to allow religion to divide the country but to stand up for the promotion and dignity of humanity as well as mutual respect for one another’s faith. He, therefore called on religious leaders to preach to the followers the true ideals of their faith. Amosun restated that attributes such as the fear of God, discipline, study of the holy Quran, alms giving, compassion, tolerance and fulfilment of civic obligations exhibited by the faithful during the holy month were deeply inspiring. He urged all adherents of Islam to continue to abide by the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad after the holy month so that they would receive more reward from the Almighty Allah. “We must also pray fervently for Nigeria so that the current challenges can become a stepping-stone to greatness,” he said. Aregbesola said what the





nation needs at this crucial stage of development is a committed leadership, which is driven by honest and open desire to lead the country out of its present socio-political dilemma. He identified corruption, unemployment and insecurity among myriads of problems militating against the nation’s growth and development. The governor said political leaders and followers, religious leaders and their adherents must come together and forge a harmonious relationship for the love of their coun-

try, saying according to Prophet Muhammad (SAW), the love of one’s country is a vital part of faith. “Leaders of our country need to redirect their programmes and policies for the betterment of our people. Corruption, the bane of our under development, is a cancerous tumour in the body of a nation. “If not cured, it will fester, like we are witnessing today, and destroy the entire system. No nation, whose people thrive in corruption, develops. Hence, we must kill this endemic ailment before it destroys us all,”

he said. Yero called on Muslims to uphold the spirit of brotherhood as enjoined by Allah in the Qur’an through promotion of peace, unity and progress. “Islam is indeed a religion of peace and the true essence of the religion is to unite the entire mankind in love and harmony. “It is, therefore, a duty on all Muslims to make sacrifices towards ensuring peaceful and harmonious co-existence with adherents of other faith just like the holy Prophet Muohammad (PBUH) has set example for us during his lifetime. “We must all continue to pray and work hard towards building a peaceful, united and prosperous Nigeria.” Fayemi said the spiritual renewal and rejuvenation gained by Muslims during the month of Ramadan would engender a better relationship with the Almighty Allah. He used the opportunity to enjoin Nigerians to live together in peace and tolerate one another as preached by the major religions. The governor also called for a halt to violence and killings being witnessed in some parts of the country stressing that no religion accepts unlawful killing of people. He commended Muslims for living in peace with adherents of other religions, noting that the prevailing peace being enjoyed in the state has assisted his administration to record success in virtually all sectors. He noted that prayers offered by Muslims had assisted his administration in no small promising to always partner adherents of the Islamic faith in the efforts to take Ekiti to greater heights.

Mark, NSGF, Senators, ACF preach unity


RESIDENT of the Senate, David Mark, his Deputy Ike Ekweremadu, Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF), Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and some senators have commended the Muslims for their steadfastness and prayers for sustenance of peace and unity in the country. Mark called for harmonious relationship and mutual coexistence between and among different ethnic groups in the country. He said: “The Almighty God did not make mistake by putting different ethnic and religious groups together to form a one united nation called Nigeria. It is therefore incumbent on us to work towards the peace and unity that would engender progress in the country. “We have come a long way as a people binded by common

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Sanni Onogu, Tony Akowe, Gbenga Omokhunu, Grace Obike, Jide Orintunsin

destiny; we can do better by being our brothers’ keeper at all times and making our society a better place for all. “All hands must therefore be on deck to stop these ugly trends of violence and crisis of various degrees that have tended to tear our nation apart.” NSGF enjoined Muslims to sustain the ideals of the month of Ramadan beyond the the period. Its chairman and Governor of Niger State, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu urged Muslims to remain steadfast in the worship of Allah and to follow the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad

as they did during the month of Ramadan. Aliyu tasked Muslims to continue to uphold the ideals of piety, patience, tolerance, perseverance, humility and self denial which were observed vigorously during the month of Ramadan. The forum called on Nigerians to use the period to pray to Allah to provide solution to the security challenges facing the nation. Also the Speaker of Niger State House of Assembly Barrister Adamu Usman enjoined Muslims to uphold the lessons learnt even after the Ramadan as enshrined in the Holy Quran and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad. He stressed that, the good acts and behaviors observed during the Ramadan should be sustained and entrenched in their

daily life. Ekweremadu urged the Muslim to carry over the lessons and virtues imbibed during the holy month of Ramadan to every aspect of their lives in order to move the nation forward. He said: “We are blessed as a nation for having religious and cultural orientations that teach us to place general good above personal interest, forgive and reconcile when we are hurt, show love and kindness to all, live holy, and to be our brother’s keeper. “I have no doubt whatsoever that we will get to the Promise Land sooner than expected if only we will put these virtuous orientations and injunctions to work and emulate the lives of the holy prophets.” The Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Sena-

Muslim group hails Fed Govt on terror fight


FOREMOST Islamic Organisation, Nawair-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria and Overseas, has praised the Federal Government for its committed fight against insurgency. It said the government has taken “bold steps so far to end the ungodly and inhuman activities of the Boko Haram sect.” A statement by its President Alhaji Rasaki Oladejo, the group urged the government to pay more attention to the security of lives and property.

By Joseph Jibueze

“We call on the government not to relent until the sect is stamped out from the land. “The sect has done incalculable damage to the image of Islam and as such all Muslims should support the Federal Government in eliminating all traces of the faceless organisation,” Oladejo said. Nawair-Ud-Deen rejoiced with Muslims worldwide on the occasion of Eld-il-Fitr, urging them to uphold the tenets of Islam and remain

steadfast in their belief in the oneness of Allah. “The gains and closeness of Allah which was obtained in Ramadan should be maintained year round. Muslims should continue to love one another and be at peace with their neighbours regardless of religious affiliation. “We use the opportunity of the Sallah to commend the National Assembly for making gay marriage a criminal offence in Nigeria,” the group said. •Oladejo

tor ‘Gbenga Bareehu Ashafa enjoined the faithful to always imbibe good character, despite the conclusion of the Ramadan fasting. According to him, “Those things that are forbidden during ramadan, such as keeping malice, dishonesty, violence among others, should not become our ways of life even after the conclusion of the holy month. At the same time, the virtues that are encouraged such as comporting ourselves and being generous to kits and kin should not be discontinued.” Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed has urged FCT residents to be peace ambassadors as exemplified by the holy month of Ramadan. Mohammed said the peaceful conduct of all residents during the Ramadan should transcend beyond the holy month by creating an atmosphere that would promote unity in diversity across the country. He reiterated that it is only through peace and stability that Nigeria can achieve sustainable development in all spheres. He further urged residents to continue to preach the gospel of peace as well as be their brother’s keeper He urged Muslims to use the occasion to reflect on the lessons learnt during the month of Ramadan and continue to imbibe its teaching’s that are primarily premised on selflessness, sacrifice, patience, modesty and spir-

ituality. He also enjoined Muslims to use the period to pray for the nation as it strives to become one of the best twenty developed countries of the World. The ACF on its part ask Muslims in the country to make the spirit of purification, forgiveness and mercy associated with fasting to prevail in their daily lives to the glory of God and for humanity.

Fashola urges peace AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola also urged Muslims join the rest of their counterparts worldwide to celebrate the end of Ramadan fast. He urged peace, love and unity among Nigerians, saying all and sundry must join hands to repair the fabric of love and oneness that binds us together. Fashola said Nigerians must close ranks and refuse to accommodate the machinations of those who seek to profit from their pains or widen the lines of division. The nation, he said, has sadly, witnessed the escalation of division and insecurity of recent, declared, “But we must work together to bring an end to that”, adding, “We are all members of one nation and in spite of our diversity; we are bound by a common humanity”.



Arewa/Southsouth Youths decr y media attacks on Akpabio

HE Arewa Young Professionals has dissociated itself and other progress minded youths from a statement credited to a group, just as it described as naked mischief, attention seeking and blackmail, the purported call by a faceless group that President Goodluck Jonathan should be careful with the alleged anti Jonathan antics of the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Governor of AkwaIbom State, Chief Godswill Akpabio through a purported statement issued by a faceless group which calls itself “Northern Emancipation Network” and published in the Punch of August 7, 2013 with the title, “Beware of Akpabio, Youths Tell Jonathan.”


The group warned them against setting the north against the south saying"whosoever Galadanchi really is, he should not trifle with the honoured name of the North in his cheap, dishonourable and obnoxious political brinkmanship. We have youths in the North who have paid their dues in service to the North and who can defend the interest of the North when the need arises. We have elders who tread where angels fear to tread in defence of the north. These we know and we do not jobbers to toil with our names. Also the South-South Youth Assembly (SSYA) has said that the recent media attacks on the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Godswill Akpabio by a faceless group in Kaduna named “Northern Emancipation Network” was the handiwork of political jobbers who did not wish President Goodluck Jonathan well.

According to a release signed by Mallam Shehu Usman and Alhaji Mohammed Tambuwal, president and secretary respectively, " the news report claimed that the coordinator of the group, an unknown Mallam Usman Galadanchi, warned President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, to beware of Governor Akpabio stating “We have watched In a statement released in Port-Harcourt and signed by Akpabio’s actions and are now convinced that he does the President, Comrade Ben Jaja and Secretary, Mr Jonot mean well for President Jonathan and the President seph Tenelaibe, the group strongly condemned a story must caution him before he destroys his goodwill.” planted in The Punch newspaper of Wednesday, August 7, 2013, titled “Beware of Akpabio, youths tell Jonathan” The release added that "this work of mischief by political and said it was curious that only the reporter of The desperadoes apparently masquerading for certain vest- Punch newspaper covered the so-called “briefing in ed interests in political circles, illogically tried to blame Kaduna.” Governor Akpabio for the crisis in the Governor’s Forum and for the reported face-off between President Goodluck According to SSYA, the so-called Northern Emancipation Jonathan and Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State Network represents an assemblage of persons who are among other equally ridiculous and infantile allegations." rattled by chief Akpabio’s strong message of political equity and are therefore bent on causing a rift between Adding that "to begin with we all know that there is no him and President Goodluck Jonathan through sponsored group like Northern Emancipation Network because the media attacks. North has never been in bondage and does not need emancipation. Even the name of Mallam Usman “We condemn in very strong terms this sponsored Galadanchi is unknown and we suspect it to be the pen attacks on Governor Akpabio, who has emerged as the name of a political jobber who was not bold enough to use face of good governance in Nigeria through the provision his real name." of unprecedented infrastructural facilities in Akwa Ibom State. The group stated further that "We see their actions as political banditry because Governor Godswill Akpabio has “The SSYA is not surprised that this faceless group proven to be a true friend of the North by his actions and which we understand is being sponsored by political ophis words. His Chief Security Officer is from the North ponents of President Jonathan, is not comfortable with (Kano). His Aide de Camp is from the North (Kano). His the role of Governor Akpabio in galvanizing support for orderly is from the North (Niger State). He has an excel- President Jonathan and singing the song of one Nigeria lent relationship with the Muslims in his state and has with political equity and have resorted to sponsored included them in all welfare programmes extended to attacks to create a rift and leave the President vulnerable Christians in the state." to their political antics. Akpabio, the group stressed," has been consistent in his support and loyalty to the Presidency of Dr Goodluck Jonathan, and he was one of the earliest believers in Dr Jonathan and one of the first to begin and extensive campaign for him to run in 2011. Where was one Galadanchi then?" We are at a loss as to how Governor Akpabio could be blamed for the alleged rift between President Jonathan and Governor Amaechi. Both are adults who relate on both personal and official levels. And how could he have caused the problem in the Governors’ Forum when he did not seek any office but only supported one of the candidates?

“But let it be known that Mr. President knows who his political allies are. He also knows his political opponents. He does not need this unsolicited and mischievous political advice from a faceless group who do not mean well for Nigeria,” the group stated. The SSYA advised the Akwa Ibom State Governor not to be deterred by the antics of political jobbers but to remain focused in the arduous task of strengthening their party, the PDP, and said recent developments in the polity has made the work of Chief Akpabio as the Chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum more imperative.




NEWS 30 children escape death in building collapse

‘Call Wike to order’ From Shola O’Neil, South/ South Regional Editor


From Precious Dikewoha, Port Harcourt


HIRTY children narrowly escaped death yesterday when an uncompleted three-storey building under which they were studying collapsed. The building on Elelewo Road in Akpajo community of Rivers State reportedly collapsed around 10.30 am. There was no casualty. The kids were said to be on the holiday lesson organised by Olacine Educational Centre, which was using the ground floor of the building. When The Nation arrived the scene, the main entrance to the compound was locked; there was nobody to brief the reporter. However, a neighbour, Michael Oyiri, said he watched the children run for safety. “I was watching the whole thing through my fence. The

Rivers panel may visit lawmaker From Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt


HE Judicial Commission of Enquiry investigating the fracas in the Rivers State House of Assembly on July 9 and 10 may visit London to hear from the injured lawmaker, Michael Chinda. The Chairman, Justice Biobele Georgewill, yesterday said: “Where necessary, we may visit London to hear from the lawmaker because we want to be fair to all the parties.” Georgewill added that the job of the commission would not be complete, if the views of both parties were not taken. He also extended the date of submission of memoranda till next week and advised those who cannot burn theirs into CDs to submit hard copies. Before adjourning its sitting till August 12, other members of the eight-man judicial commission assured all parties of fair play.

Group chides Accord chieftain From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan


GROUP, Oyo Patriotic Frontiers, has faulted the statement credited to an Accord Party chieftain, Bisi Ilaka, about the senator representing Oyo Central, Ayoade Adeseun. In a communiqué by its president, Abdulganiyu Yusuff and Secretary Ayinla Kolawole, the group urged Ilaka to reconnect with his constituencies so as to know the development brought by Adeseun. The group said the senator has not only given credible and commendable representations to the district but has also contributed to the development of the senatorial district through various developmental project such as provision of boreholes, construction of classrooms, provision of solar powered light and establishment of skill acquisition centres in some part of the district.

•The collapsed building...yesterday.

luck that the kids had is that the building started collapsing from the back of the third floor. “The owner of the building had asked everybody to va-


cate the compound for fear that government might take over the building because its erection lacked due process,” he said. Jacob Nduda, an engineer,

who said he had worked on the site with the owner of the building said the woman might have gone into hiding. He revealed that the soil where the building was locat-

ed was not tested by experts before the engineers were asked to go the site. Efforts to reach the landlady failed.

Civil servants sabotaging my efforts, says Dickson B AYELSA State Governor Seriake Dickson yesterday lampooned some civil servants, lamenting their involvement in wage bill fraud. The governor said such civil servants were bent on sabotaging his administration’s efforts to prune the state’s high wage bill. Despite his efforts, he said the payrolls were still fraught with malpractices. The governor spoke in Yenagoa at the 15th edition of his monthly transparency press briefing. He insisted that the payrolls were still unclean. Dickson had at the inception of his administration embarked on an exercise to trim the N5billion wage bill inherited from his predecessor. While the efforts yielded some positive results, it was later discovered that the wage bill manipulation by civil servants had reared its ugly head again. The governor observed that some employees were still collecting salaries from two pay points. He lamented that civil servants who were due for retirement were still receiving salaries. Dickson said the monthly wage bill for civil servants

From Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa

was about N4billion, describing it as astronomical for the state. He said he would reduce the wage bill to enable him employ young persons. The governor said: It is criminal to bloat the civil service payroll to make quick money. “People who are supposed to retire are still in various ministries collecting double salaries monthly.” Dickson was reacting to an allegation that some employees in the Ministry of Transport were collecting double salaries. The allegation caused a stir at the Banquet Hall, the venue of the event.


The Commissioner for Transport, Mrs. Marie Ebikaki, was rattled by the accusation. But she immediately defended her ministry, insisting that her payroll was clean. The Deputy Governor, John Jonah, who reeled out details of allocation and expenditure for last month said the government received N17.96billion. Jonah said N3.96 billion was used to pay civil servants. He said the Internally Generated Revenue was N658.39million, adding that the total bank savings for the month was N19.96billion. As part of the briefing, the government signed business agreements with three foreign firms to build two fish

farms and an international golf course in Yenagoa. The projects are expected to be completed in 12 months. The governor said the fish farm project upon completion would increase the state’s revenue profile and create employment. Stressing the need for diversification from oil and gas, Dickson said investment in the agricultural sector, especially in aquaculture, remained one of the cardinal programmes of his Restoration Agenda. He said: “We want to be No 1 as far as aquaculture is concerned not only in this country but in our continent and beyond because we have the climate. “As you know, our government is serious about broadening the base of our economy because that is the right thing to do.”

Woman knocked down

HIT-AND-RUN vehicle yesterday in Port Harcourt crushed to death a middle-aged woman believed to be a road sweeper attached to the Rivers State Environmental Sanitation Authority. An eyewitness said the woman was sweeping the road leading to the popular Rumuomasi market junction when an oncoming vehicle from the Port Harcourt end of Aba Road

From Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt

rammed into her. The witness said the driver did not stop after knocking down the woman. The incident caused scare among other road sweepers as they stopped work. The body was evacuated by sympathisers and taken to an undisclosed morgue.

Ex-militants threaten to attack opposition leaders


PPOSITION party leaders are in trouble if they fail to stop “their persistent verbal attacks on President Goodluck Jonathan, ex-militants warned yesterday. They said: “If these attacks are issue-based, no problem. If they are party-based, it’s okay. But we will retaliate in any form possible when it is personal, sectional, diminishing and unprovoked on Goodluck Jonathan.” The former militants also lamented the scarcity of kerosene in the country, accusing the Pipeline and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) of ineptitude. They blamed the persistent unavailability of the product on the failure of PPMC to in-

•Lament scarcity of kerosene •Threaten to shutdown National Assembly From Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa

crease supply in the country. They alleged that the scarcity was a deliberate attempt to sabotage the Jonathan administration. The ex-militants threatened to organise a protest to shut down the National Assembly. They also mentioned “unwarranted attacks and insults on President Goodluck Jonathan” by opposition groups as one of the reasons for their protest. The ex-militants, under the aegis of the Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiatives (LPCDI), however, said their planned protest

would be peaceful. They called for an independent investigation into the cases of persistent scarcity of kerosene. In a statement by their President and Secretary, Wilson Reuben and Ezekiel Akpasibewei, the ex-militants said the protest is being organised in partnership with civil liberty groups. They said: “The scarcity of petroleum products, especially kerosene, across the country is a national embarrassment. “Preliminary investigations have shown that the scarcity is man-made and a deliberate act of sabotage on the

transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan in the oil and gas sector. “Where are the huge kerosene allocations to the Niger Delta states and the other parts of the country? What happened to the huge importation quota for kerosene? “Why is it that only the Northwest has regular and well circulated kerosene? Why are the Southwest and Southsouth regions deprived of the product? “Why is it that kerosene, when available, is sold at exorbitant prices instead of the approved official pump price of N50 per litre? Why is kerosene, when available, only found in private petrol stations rather than at every petrol station?”

HE Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Public Service Matters, Andrew Uchendu, has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to call the Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, to order. Uchendu said Wike’s comments were unbecoming of a minister and capable of destroying the nation’s democracy. Wike, who spoke at the Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI) event in Obio/ Akpo Local Government Area, was quoted as saying: “We will make sure they will not sleep again, as they are sleeping now. “They will not sleep with their two eyes closed. One eye will be open because they know there is danger.” The lawmaker, who represents Ikwerre-Emohua Federal Constituency, said: “I am surprised that the Presidency has not called this minister to order. “How can a minister threaten that he will ensure that a state does not sleep? This cannot be in the interest of Mr. President, Governor Rotimi Amaechi and the people. Perhaps it is in the interest of Nyesom Wike for there to be problem in the state. “There are people like us who are loyal to the President but unhappy with how Wike is conducting himself. He should be cautioned about his reckless utterances. I am disappointed because there is no minister anywhere who will engage in such conduct,” he added.

Kidnappers reduce ransom to N15m From Osagie Otabor, Benin


IDNAPPERS of three women primary school teachers in Edo State have reduced their ransom to N5million per teacher from an initial N20million per teachers. It was gathered that the kidnappers have given spouses of the victims till tomorrow to pay up or face the inevitable. Patience Osadolor, Momodu Aisha and Patience Oroghene were abducted at Orhogbua Primary School at Ekehuan Community in Ovia North East Local Government Area. A ransom of N50million was demanded but was later increased to N60million before the reduction to N15million. One of the victim’s husband, Momodu, was yesterday given N15,000 by the Management of Bendel Newspapers Company, publisher of the Nigerian Observer, where he works. The women wing of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday protested the abduction and demanded the teachers’ release. Chairperson of the NLC Women Committee Mrs. Caroline Aikoriogbe described the abduction as a reflection of the level of degeneration in the society. She said: “Without women, there will be no nation and the kidnap of the three teachers is a thing that must be condemned by all. “We are all mothers and even the abductors should realise our role in the society.”




Govt denies ordering looting of plaza


UTHORITIES of Onitsha North Local Government Area of Anambra State yesterday denied ordering anybody to loot or demolish the Mokwe Plaza and Park at Ose Okwodu, Onitsha. Council Chairman Idu Okosi decried the news report that he ordered the looting of the 100-shop plaza. On Tuesday, a mob invaded the plaza and looted the shops, chasing away the traders. The traders alleged that the looting was done in connivance with the police and Okosi. Okosi was alleged to be carrying out the

•Says only hotel was ordered for demolition From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Onitsha

instructions of Governor Peter Obi. The plaza is owned by Bonaventure Mokwe, who is also the owner of Upper Class Hotel, Onitsha. The hotel was demolished last Friday on Obi’s orders because two fresh human heads, two AK47 rifles, three loaded cartridges as well as a military cap were allegedly discovered in it. But Okosi denied ever

being directed by the governor to send anybody to loot the plaza or demolish it. He insisted that Obi only ordered that the hotel be demolished. The Chairman said: "What? Who told you that? It is not true because I have never been to the plaza and park and I don't know where it is. I have never been there, please. "We are not demolishing any plaza, please and be informed that nobody has given any instruction for any

plaza to be demolished. Any person trying such is a robber. Kindly take note. "Anybody doing that is on his or her own because the governor did not give me any instruction on that and I have not given anybody such instruction, please. "Governor Obi ordered the demolition of the hotel and that is what I know and I know nothing about the plaza. Please, count me out of the plaza and park because I don't know anything about it."

Kalu can't criticise Orji


EPUTY National Chairman of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) Ogbushi Benjamin Oborota has said former Abia State Governor Orji Uzor Kalu lacks the moral standing to criticise his successor, Theodore Orji. Oborota said in a statement in Abuja yesterday that it was disappointing that the former governor would "descend so low to believe that top government officials were under the thumb of a group such as the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB)." He said Kalu should desist from using the media to run down a sitting government.

Abia gets Acting Chief Judge From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia


N Acting Chief Judge for Abia State has been sworn in by Governor Theodore Orji. Justice Stella Nwakanma replaces Justice Shedrack Nwanosike, who is retiring. Justice Nwakanma becomes the fifth acting chief judge to be appointed from December 2010 when the last substantive Chief Judge, Justice Sunday Imo, retired. Speaking at the swearing-in at the Executive Council Chambers, Gov-

ernment House, Umuahia, Orji said the government followed the extant laws in filling the vacant position. He congratulated Justice Nwakanma and assured her that his administration would support her. The governor said his administration was not playing politics on the appointment of a substantive chief judge. He called on the judiciary to put its house in order to resolve any conflict so that a substantive chief judge can be appointed.

PDP accuses APGA of shady deals


•Orji congratulating Justice Nwakanma after her swearing in...yesterday.

PDP backs two Anambra factional chairmen


HE crisis rocking the Anambra State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took a new twist yesterday with the national leadership of the party seeming to recognise two factional chairmen. This followed the disqualification of three of the 17 governorship aspirants for the November 16 election. It was gathered that the three aspirants were disqualified for improper tax documentation and other inadequacies. The party is yet to officially release their names. Some aspirants were shocked yesterday at the screening when they learnt there was no authentic

•Three aspirants disqualified From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

chairman. They needed clarification after discovering from the records of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), a letter signed by the National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. In the letter, Tukur submitted the name of Ejike Oguebego as the chairman and urged the commission to recognise him as such. But, in a July 30 statement by the Acting National Publicity Secretary, Tony Okeke, the party leadership recognised Ken Emeakayi. Okeke said the party took the decision to back

Emeakayi, after consultations with major stakeholders in the state. The statement added that the decision was borne out of the desire to have a strong and united party to reposition the PDP for the election. "All members of our party in Anambra State are hereby directed to work with Emeakayi towards achieving victory in the governorship election in the state," the statement added. One of the aspirants, who spoke to our correspondent shortly after the screening, expressed disappointment with Tukur's action. The aspirant, who

pleaded for anonymity, said: "We were all shocked when the legal department of the INEC showed us a letter signed by the national chairman recognising Oguebego as the authentic chairman of the Anambra chapter of the PDP. "But it was the same PDP National Working Committee, just about a week ago, that informed the world that Emeakayi remained the authentic chairman of the Anambra chapter. Now, what do we make of this confusion?" Incidentally, Tukur was not at yesterday's session of the screening at the national secretariat. He is said to be away on lesser Hajj.

Robbers kill policemen in Akwa Ibom, Edo


UNMEN yesterday shot dead a policeman in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital. The robbers in an attempt to snatch a Toyota Camry opened fire on the policeman, who tried to stop them. The robbers went away with the policeman’s rifle. According to eyewitnesses, the robbers were six and each of them had an AK47 rifle with them. One of the eyewitnesses said: “The robbers are young boys. They opened fire on the policeman who tried to stop them from snatching somebody’scar. You can see that the policeman in the pool of his own

•Rifle stolen From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo , Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia and Osagie Otabor, Benin

blood on the ground. “They even went away with his rifle. Why kill an innocent man for God’s sake? These robbers must be arrested.” The incident occurred on Abak road by the traffic light in front of St Patrick Primary School in Iboko Offot. When our correspondent visited, the policeman was seen on the floor in the pool of his blood. His body was later evacuated into a wait-

ing police patrol van. There was traffic jam on Abak road as a result of the incident. The police immediately launched a stopand-search. Police spokesman Etim Dickson, confirmed the incident but gave no further details as to the identity of the policeman. “Yes, one of our colleagues was shot dead today along Abak road,” he said. In Edo State, gunmen yesterday killed two policemen on the Benin-Auchi Expressway. A civilian was also killed in the attack. The incident was said to have occurred at about

4:30pm when four suspected robbers in a red Volkswagen Passat trying to overtake a police patrol van opened fire on them, killing two of them instantly. A stray bullet hit a passer-by in the head. The bodies of the victims were taken to the Central Hospital mortuary. Police sources said policemen have been drafted to the scene to search for the fleeing gunmen. Police spokesman Moses Eguavoen could not be reached for comments but sources said the Commissioner of Police, Folusho Adebanjo, has visited the scene.

HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State yes-

terday alleged that the State Independent Electoral Commission (ANSIEC) favoured All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidates in the forthcoming local government elections. The PDP Chairman, Ken Emeakayi, made the allegation at a stakeholders meeting organised by the electoral body in Awka, the state capital. But the Acting Chairman of ANSIEC, Sylvester Okonkwo, debunked the claim, adding that whoever

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

made such an allegation made it to boast his or her ego. He said: "Nobody has written any result in favour of any party. I will never write result for anybody in this election; people can say anything to boost their ego that is the last thing this commission will do." An APGA chieftain, Emeka Meze, warned the PDP to stop maligning APGA, adding that if the party had a problem with its members, they should reconcile the way APGA did.

Two remanded for murder


N Abakaliki Magistrate's Court has remanded two suspects in prison custody for alleged murder. Kalu Agwu of Ekoli-Edda, Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, was killed on July 24, during the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) councillorship primaries. The prosecution witness, Ekpo Otu, said Nnachi Chima and Kalu Udu are on trial for a four-count charge of possession of illegal weapons and killing of Agwu. Otu opposed the application of the defence counsel that the case be transferred to Owutu-Edda Magisterial District, where the crime

From Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki

was committed. Counsel to the accused Emma Okporie prayed the court to strike out the charge as the court was not competent to handle the matter. He said the alleged crime was committed at EkoliEdda, which is within Owutu-Edaa Magisterial District. The Magistrate, Mrs. Sandra Elechi, rejected the defence counsel's application for the case to be transferred. She ordered that the suspects be remanded at the Abakaliki Federal Prisons and adjourned the case indefinitely.

Ngige condoles with Fashola


ORMER Anambra State Governor and the Senator representing Anambra Central, Chris Ngige, has described the death of the father of Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola as the exit of a man of peace. Pa. Ademola Fashola died on Monday. He was 80. The senator described Pa Fashola as a man, who exhibited fairness and equity in all his dealings. Ngige said he remembered with nostalgia his few meetings with the deceased at state and family functions. He said: “In him you could see the satisfaction of a parent, who has given a good replication and gift to the people of Lagos State.” He asked the governor to take heart and lead other members of the family to remember that his father loved died during Ramadan. Ngige urged the Fashola family to bear the pain with equanimity and gratitude to God.



NEWS APC’s joke on Jonathan irks Presidency, PDP Continued from page 2

the woods of economic stagnation and social deprivation, with verifiable degrees of success in the last two years” The President’s publicist added that the APCs invitation to the President was the party’s open declaration of its unpreparedness, adding that “it should be apparent to Nigerians that this new political party is directionless, lacking substance, and without a clear purposeful leadership”. Echoing Okupe, the PDP, in a separate statement, said the invitation to the President suggested that the APC does not have a presidential material in its fold. The statement, signed by the party’s Acting Publicity Secretary, Mr. Tony Okeke interpreted the action of the opposition party to mean that the party did not believe in the ability of its own leaders to pi-

lot the affairs of the nation. The statement reads: “The attention of the leadership of the PDP has been drawn to the call by proponents of the opposition APC for President Goodluck Jonathan to join their fold. “By so doing, the APC has clearly admitted that it has looked within itself and discovered the bitter truth that it has no presidential material. “By calling President Goodluck Jonathan to join it, the APC has shown that it has no confidence in the leadership abilities of its prominent leaders such as General Muhammadu Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. “The party has looked inwards and has realised the bitter truth that none of those in its fold has the required credentials, charisma and competence to be president hence they have been seeking to poach from the PDP.

“The APC has clearly vindicated the PDP by openly showing that it is a confused and clueless party, lacking in ideology and in dire need of leadership. It is only a gathering of confused persons that will at one moment falsely condemn somebody as inept and incompetent and the next moment they are begging the same person to come and join them”. Also yesterday, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, viewed the invitation as a compliment. He told State House correspondents in Abuja that the APC’s invitation of Jonathan by Chief Akande has shown the leaders of the opposition party recognised the fact that Jonathan is presently the best man for the job. Ruling out the possibility of President Jonathan joining the APC, Abati criticised the party

leaders for forming a party only to realise later that they do not have a credible candidate. He said: “I think it (the APC’s invitation) is a compliment. What Chief Akande has said in essence is that President Jonathan is the best man for the job.” “They formed a party only to realise they don’t have a candidate. We thank him for his acknowledgment of the President’s leadership qualities, but he (the President) is happy where he is.” “We thank Chief Akande for his expression of confidence in President Jonathan’s credibility but the President is happy where he is, as a member and leader of the PDP to which he remains loyal, and under the umbrella of which he is leading a transformation agenda for the betterment of the lives of Nigerians.” Abati said.

Fed Govt backs ICC probe of Boko Haram Continued from page 2

after the Boko Haram gunmen launched attacks at the station at 6.45am on Sunday. Borno State Deputy Governor Zanna Mustapha and Commissioner of Police Lawal Tanko visited the injured at the University of Maiduguri Teaching

Hospital (UMTH), yesterday. Police Chief Tanko said contrary to the Joint Task Force (JTF) statement that one policeman and two soldiers were killed in the attacks, seven policemen were killed, three missing and five injured. Three soldiers were also injured. Tanko said: “Your Excellency,

these are the five policemen admitted into this hospital as a result of the injuries they sustained in the Bama Boko Haram attacks on our station last Sunday. We confirm that seven were killed while repelling the gunmen from torching our Bama Moile Police Base on Bama-Gwoza Road at about 6am.”

He said the police authorities and family members of the missing policemen were yet to find their whereabouts and safety. While sympathising with the wounded and injured policemen and soldiers, Mustapha donated a cash of N2.65 million to the eight patients.

MASSOB, police differ on arrest of militants


EVEN members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) were yesterday allegedly killed by the police. They also claimed that over 100 of its members were arrested. This was contained in a statement in Onitsha, by MASSOB, signed by Mazi Chris Mocha, media assistant to Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, leader of the

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Onitsha and Okungbowa Aiwerie,


group. But the Anambra State Police spokesman Emeka Chukwuemeka, said he was not aware of the raid. Delta police said only four MASSOB members were arrested. MASSOB accused Delta State Policemen of shooting seven of its members in two separate raids

allegedly carried out jointly on Tuesday and Wednesday by antiriot policemen and local vigilance operatives in Onitsha. It alleged that the raid, which started at Upper Iweka in Onitsha, on Monday, with the alleged arrest and detention of a MASSOB chieftain, Ndubuisi Nwosu, believed to be cooling off in Cell 4 at the Anambra State Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Headquarters, Awkuzu,

spread to Delta State where this latest onslaught allegedly took place. MASSOB demanded that its arrested members be released or charged to court. The group also asked for the bodies of those who died. But Delta Police said it arrested only four members of MASSOB at a hideout in OminiUgboma community, Oshimili South in Asaba.

Army, police to respond to security challenge at Sallah Continued from page 2

the Army alert system”. He gave the following telephone hotlines: 08160030300, 07053333123 and 08191555888 for distress calls or for passing information. The spokesman added that the Army has started the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act by setting up a

unit for access of information on its operations by members of the public. He alerted members of the public to a fake Facebook account opened by some criminal elements through which the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika is purportedly soliciting financial assistance from members of the public.

Court frees Rivers House Leader Lloyd Continued from page 2

rights, having been detained by the police for over two weeks and the fact that his health condition was failing. He accused the police of torturing him and infringing on his rights. He sued them for N50 billion damages in the same court. Lloyd was scheduled to appear before Mr. Justice Nyordee on Tuesday for his formal arraignment and plea in the six-count charge against him before Justice Wali granted him bail. The lawmaker pleaded not guilty to the charges. His bail application was moved by Nwofor and the court adjourned for ruling. The prosecution now led by the Attorney-General (A-G) and Commissioner for Justice Worgu Boms, had after taking over the prosecution from the police, applied for the withdrawal and striking out of the Police counter affidavit filed in respect of the motion for bail. His request was

granted. He did not raise any objection against the bail application, and have nothing before the court against the move. In his ruling, Justice Nyordee, held that the essence of bail was to grant temporary freedom to an accused person in a criminal trial to enable him prepare for his defence. He upheld the arguments of the defence lawyer Beluolisa Nwofor (SAN), in his motion for bail that the six-count charge contained bailable felonies. Nwofor expressed joy that his client had finally regained freedom. He promised to facilitate the fulfilment of the conditions to enable him go home. He, however, kicked against Lloyd surrendering his travel passport to the court and applied that the court accepts photocopy. The court insisted that he must deposit the passport. Nwafor filed an application for dismissal of the suit, which the court adjourned till November 21 for hearing on the motion.

Rivers Assembly urges judiciary to protect democracy Continued from page 2

posit his international passport so that he can proceed overseas for medical check-up. “We frown at the attitude of the powers-that-be that are using every might at their dispos-

al to deal with Hon. Lloyd, including the use of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which is not relevant to the issue, in order to achieve conviction of the Assembly’s leader.”




Kenya fire: Airport reopens for domestic, cargo flights


SMALL fire that an under-resourced fire brigade reacted slowly to swelled into a raging inferno that engulfed the arrival hall at Kenya’s main international airport yesterday, an official said, shutting down East Africa’s largest airport and forcing the cancellation of dozens of flights. By late Wednesday, the airport re-opened for domestic and cargo flights, an official said. The massive, early-morning fire sent billows of black smoke high into Nairobi’s sky. The blaze burned for more than four hours before officials declared it contained, and flames continued to burn two more hours after that. No serious injuries were reported. Two people were treated for smoke inhalation from the fire, which began a bit before 5 a.m. and turned airport banks and foreign exchange bureaus into black char. The fire gutted Jomo Kenyatta International Airport’s arrival hall, where passengers pass through immigration and retrieve their luggage. The fire did not damage the domestic or departure terminals, which are separated from the arrivals hall by a road. “It was huge, the smoke billowing, and it didn’t seem to be stopping,” said Barry Fisher, who had hoped to fly to Ethiopia on Wednesday morning. Nairobi is the capital of

East Africa’s largest economy, but it lies in a region where public sector services like police and fire units are hobbled by small budgets, corrupt money managers and outdated or no equipment. Nairobi’s most respected paper, The Daily Nation, reported last month that Nairobi County doesn’t have a single working fire engine. One engine, the paper said, was auctioned off in 2009 because the county hadn’t paid a $100 repair bill. Many of the responding units to Wednesday’s fire were from private security firms. An Associated Press reporter on the scene saw uniformed officers line up with buckets in hand, apparently to battle the blaze. A top government official at the site of the fire said an initial assessment showed that a complacent response helped a small fire grow into an uncontrollable inferno. Some airport fire engines weren’t filled with water and others didn’t have personnel to drive them, said the official, who insisted on anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to release details of an ongoing investigation. Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta visited the scene and expressed concern over disrupted travel plans. A presidential statement said the cause of the fire is being investigated and that “there is no reason to speculate at this point.”

•Onlookers watch as black smoke billows from the international arrival unit of the airport ... yesterday. PHOTO: AP

•A soldier stands among the debris ... yesterday. PHOTO: AP

Court confirms Mali runoff Sunday

US Senator calls Morsy’s ouster a ‘coup’



NITED STATES (U.S.) Sen. John McCain says this summer’s ouster of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy was “a coup,” a description that goes against the statements so far from the Obama administration. The White House has


avoided using that term for the Egyptian military’s ouster of Morsy. “We have said we share the democratic aspirations and criticism of the Morsy government that led millions of Egyptians into the streets ... . We’ve also said that the circumstances of (Morsy’s) removal was a coup,” McCain told reporters in Cairo on Tuesday. McCain also referred to the ouster as a “coup” in July, but he chose to reiterate that description on Egyptian soil at a time when the country is roiling with unrest and violence in the ouster’s aftermath. He and Sen. Lindsey Graham, both Republicans, met with officials there to press for a quick return to civilian

life. The senators were visiting the country for the first time since its president was removed from office. McCain said they were not in Egypt to dwell on the past but to help the country move forward in a peaceful, democratic manner. He and Graham also urged the government’s release of political prisoners. Egyptian politics a regional concern Graham said violence will destroy a future for Egypt, but he expressed optimism. U.S. aid to the country is one of the best investments in the world, he added. The stalemate puts Washington in a difficult spot. While widely labeled a coup, the Obama administration has refused to refer

to Morsy’s ouster as such. If the United States formally calls the move a coup, it would have to cut off $1.3 billion in aid. And that “would limit our ability to have the kind of relationship we think we need with the Egyptian armed forces,” Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said. The United States helps Egypt because it’s one of only two Arab countries — along with Jordan — that have made peace with Israel. If Washington pulls its aid, it could affect prospects for peace in the Middle East. Egypt explained: 6 key questions In the past 30 years, only Israel has received more U.S. aid than Egypt.

Syrian troops kill more than 60 in some wearing camouflage YRIAN troops ambushed a large group desert ambush gear with their weapons scat-

of rebels yesterdday trudging through what once was a secret route through a desert road northeast of Damascus, killing more than 60 fighters in a barrage of machine gun fire and leaving their bodies in the sand. State television claimed those killed came from an alQaida-linked group that has joined the battle against President Bashar Assad, whose troops are trying to drive opposition forces from areas surrounding his seat of power in the capital. There were conflicting re-

ports on the attack in Adra, which lies on a supply route between Damascus and rebelheld areas to the east that is often the scene of heavy clashes between the two sides. The dawn attack dealt another heavy blow to opposition troops following a string of recent regime successes. Syrian troops have been on the offensive in the past few months in an attempt to clear out Damascus suburbs held by opposition fighters. Syrian state-run media showed footage of bloodied corpses lying on the ground,

tered around in the sand. One picture showed gas masks next to the weapons. The state-run SANA news agency said “dozens” of rebels were killed in the ambush as they were on their way to attack an army post near Damascus. SANA identified the dead as members of the al-Qaida-linked Jabhat al-Nusra, and said some were foreign fighters. Some activists disputed the account, saying those killed were Syrian fighters from a mix of brigades delivering aid to besieged areas.

•President Bashar


ALI’s constitutional court has confirmed the country’s former prime minister was ahead in the first round of voting in closely watched presidential elections and dismissed complaints of irregularities. The court said Wednesday that it ruled that nearly a dozen allegations of voting irregularities were without merit. The announcement paves the way for the runoff vote to take place as scheduled on Sunday. The court says Ibrahim Boubacar Keita received 39.79 percent of the vote, while his opponent Soumaila Cisse took 19.70 percent. Keita, known by his initials “IBK,” cemented his front-runner status after winning endorsements from the vast majority of also-rans. Mali’s presidential election is critical to restoring a democratically elected government after a coup so that more than $4 billion in promised aid by international donors can be disbursed.

Another U.S. drone kills 7 in Yemen, militants plots foiled


SUSPECTED U.S. drone strike killed seven alleged al-Qaida militants yesterday in southern Yemen, security officials and residents said, as the Arab nation remained on high alert following threats of a terror attack targeting Western of government interests. It was the fifth strike in less than two weeks in Yemen, which has emerged as the focus of fears of an attack that has led the United States to temporarily shut down 19 diplomatic posts in the Middle East and Africa, and to evacuate staff from the embassy in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa. The drone strike killed the militants in Shabwa province, setting two vehicles on fire, security officials said. All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were

not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. Residents in the province’s Markha area, who also declined to be identified, fearing retaliation, said they saw several bodies on fire in two burning cars. Meanwhile, an Associated Press reporter in Sanaa said a drone has been buzzing overhead for most of the day. Authorities have set up checkpoints across Sanaa, searching cars and individuals. Top government officials, along with military and security commanders, were told to stay vigilant and limit their movements. While the United States acknowledges its drone program in Yemen, it does not confirm individual strikes or release information on how many have been carried out.




Britain and Spain to defuse Gibraltar


RITAIN and Spain agreed yesterday to work together to calm tempers over the contested British overseas territory of Gibraltar, after the Spanish government threatened to restrict access to the territory. A centuries-old conflict over the British outpost boiled over in late July when boats from Gibraltar dumped concrete blocks into the sea to make a reef, and Spain created long delays at the border days later, with lengthy car checks. The row escalated so

quickly that some believe the Spanish government is using it as a distraction from woes at home, where the ruling party has been embroiled in a corruption scandal and the economy is in a long recession. Both sides have now said they will try to find a solution to the spat. Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy talked by telephone on Wednesday. "Mr Rajoy agreed that he did not want the issue to become an obstacle in the bilat-

eral relations and that we needed to find a way to deescalate the issue," Cameron's office said in a statement. Rajoy emphasized the friendly relations between the two countries, his office said in a statement, and said the countries' foreign ministries would work together to resolve the differences. Spain had threatened to impose harsher measures on travellers to the territory on the country's southern tip, including a 50-euro ($66.60) border-crossing fee. It also raised the prospect of tax investigations into the thou-

sands of Gibraltarians who own property in Spain. Madrid did not refer to extra measures on Wednesday and it was not clear whether Spain would relax its border controls. Spaniards and Gibraltarians travelling to and from the British outpost for work or as tourists have faced queues that were sometimes several hours long. Cameron's office said Spain had committed to reducing border measures, but later statements from Rajoy's office and the Spanish foreign ministry did not confirm that. They focused instead on Spain's right to carry out checks to crack down on smuggling and avoid tax fraud. The 1.2-km border between Spain and Gibraltar, home to

close to 30,000 people, has been a frequent source of conflict with Britain in its three centuries of sovereignty over the territory. Extensive border controls have been turned on and off before - General Francisco Franco closed the border in 1969 and it wasn't reopened until 1982, seven years after his death. Other restrictions over British flights' access to Gibraltar from a Spanish stopover have also frequently made daily life difficult for citizens and travellers. Until an agreement struck seven years ago with Spain's previous Socialist government, which also softened the country's stance on sovereignty discussions, Gibraltarians often had to have two mobile phones, as their international dialling code was not recognised by Spain's system.

Obama cancels summit with Putin


N a rare diplomatic rebuke, President Barack Obama yesterday canceled his Moscow summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The decision reflected both U.S. anger over Russia’s harboring of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and growing frustration within the Obama administration over what it sees as Moscow’s stubborn-

ness on other key issues, including missile defense and human rights. Obama will still attend the Group of 20 economic summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, but a top White House official said the president had no plans to hold one-on-one talks with Putin while there. Instead of visiting Putin in Moscow, the president will add a stop in Sweden to his early September travel itinerary.

•President Clinton and daughter Chelsea, middle, gesture after purifying a bucket of dirty water to safe drinking water Monday Aug. 5, at Group Scolaire Camp Kanombe outside the capital Kigali. President Clinton was on a two-day visit to the central African country as part of his African tour which took him to Malawi and South Africa. Looking on is Dr Greg Alllgood of World Vision, second right, and Allison Tummon Kamphuis, second left,from Proctor & Gamble as well as school children from rural Rwanda. President Clinton also launched a malnutrition drive together with the government of Rwanda and World Food Programme before departing for South Africa. PHOTO: AP

•Obama and Putin



Syrian army kills 62 rebels


IXTY-two rebel fighters were killed in a Syrian army ambush at dawn on Wednesday near the town of Adra, east of Damascus, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group opposed to President Bashar al-Assad, said. The state news agency SANA did not give a death toll for the ambush but said the rebels were from the al Qaeda-linked alNusra Front. It said all the rebels were killed and machineguns and rocketpropelled grenades confiscated. SANA said the “terrorists” included non-Syrians and the Observatory said that eight rebels were still unaccounted for after the attack, which happened west of an industrial area east of Adra.

North Korea lifts ban on industrial complex


FTER months of failed negotiations and halted operations, North Korea has lifted the ban on South Koreans entering Kaesong Industrial Complex and will hold talks with its southern counterpart over the resumption of activities there. The North’s offer to negotiate comes just in time – South Korea was on the cusp of shuttering the plant for good. The potential reopening of the complex, which symbolized the last vestige of inter-Korean activity, may portend the softening of relations between the two rivals after a year of tensions driven by the North’s nuclear ambitions.

Egypt says diplomacy has failed to GYPT’s prime minis- resolve crisis government and supporters ter says the decision to of ousted President

clear two Muslim Brotherhood-led sit-ins is “irreversible.” The announcement by Hazem el-Beblawi made on state television yesterday comes after the presidency said diplomatic efforts to peacefully resolve the standoff between the country’s military-backed interim government and the Brotherhood have failed. Neither announcement said what the interim leadership’s next step would be, but hinted that a forceful breakup of the

sit-ins may be imminent. In the past week, authorities have outlined plans to break up two major sit-ins in Cairo by Morsi’s supporters. Diplomatic efforts were largely centered on finding a compromise in order to avert the use of force against the sit-ins. The statement from interim President Adly Mansour’s office follows a flurry of diplomatic visits over the past two weeks by envoys from the United States, the European Union and Arab Gulf states to defuse the crisis between the

Mohammed Morsi, a longtime Brotherhood member. “These efforts did not achieve the success that was hoped for, despite full support provided by the Egyptian government,” the presidency said. “The state of Egypt appreciates the efforts of friendly nations and understands the reasons why they did not achieve their desired objectives, and holds the Muslim Brotherhood fully responsible for the failure of these efforts.” The Brotherhood could not be immediately reached for comment.

al-Qaeda leader urged affiliate to ‘do something’


MESSAGE from al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri to his second in command in Yemen told him to “do something,” causing U.S. and Yemeni officials to fear imminent terrorist action, CNN has repoted. For weeks, U.S. and Yemeni officials watched a rising stream of intelligence about the possibility of a major terrorist attack in Yemen but grew increasingly alarmed after intercepting a message within the past several days said to be from al-Zawahiri, who is believed to be in Pakistan. The message was sent to Nasir al-Wuhayshi, the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the terror group’s Yemeni affiliate. U.S. intelligence believes al-Wuhayshi has recently been appointed

the overall terror organization’s No. 2 leader. U.S. officials cautioned that there may be multiple sources of intelligence including intercepts of electronic information from phone calls, web postings, but also interrogation of cou-

riers or other operatives. The United States has heightened its security stance by issuing a worldwide travel alert and closing a number of embassies and consulates over a large area of the Middle East and Africa this week.

Ghana: Apex Court to rule on poll challenge August 29


HANA’s Supreme Court said yesterday it will rule by August 29 on an opposition challenge to the result of December’s presidential election that was won by incumbent John Mahama. Justice William Atuguba, presiding over the closing arguments in the high profile and protracted election dispute, told a packed

court that he would issue the verdict 15 days after a further hearing due on August 14. Opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo has challenged the outcome of the 2012 poll. He claims that the ruling NDC party tampered with results to boost Mahama’s share of the vote to 50.7 percent, handing him a firstround victory.





Glo NPL: LMC adjusts fixtures

Ikpeba tips Emenike, Mikel L A

FRICA Footballer of 1997 Victor Ikpeba has tipped Emmanuel Emenike and Mikel Obi to be crowned the continent’s best player this year. Ikpeba said with the performance of the Super Eagles at the 2013 Nations Cup, Chelsea stars Victor Moses and Mikel Obi as well as Emmanuel Emenike and Sunday Mba will be among the top favourites to

win the prestigious African gong. "I think it’s time for Nigeria to win the Africa player of the year after our winning of AFCON 2013. And I think four players Victor Moses, Mikel Obi, Emmanuel Emenike and Sunday Mba can win the title," he said. However, ‘The Prince of Monaco’, as Ikpeba is fondly called, was quick to warn that the players must

sustain the tempo at their clubs. "Winning the Nations Cup is not enough for you to win the Africa footballer of the year, so I must warn these players that they need to continue the good run in their clubs," said Ikpeba, who is on the technical committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Previous Nigeria winners of the CAF Award were Nwankwo Kanu,

Emmanuel Amuneke and Rashidi Yekini. The Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) have fixed January 9 for the CAF Award gala. Lagos has been picked as host city for the gala, a strong signal that the award may be coming back to Nigeria after Kanu last won it in 2000. Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure is the current Africa Footballer of the Year.


beautiful combination with Spanish mate Joan Verdú. Both players have formed a synergy in the Real Betis squad that has been described as perfect in the last few games together. Igiebor’s quality and tactical discipline has made the former Warri Wolves’ midfielder an indispensable figure in Bertis midfield. He said: "I have always said I love playing alongside Verdú. We play the same kind of football, we are able

to understand each other well and make a perfect blend. In the field of play the feeling is very good. I am not particular about my goal but having a good game. "Playing against Fulham is an honour. They are a good team. They were a good test for us. Fulham played with their best team. Though it was tough and we had to give our best. We are still growing as a team, but with time we will get there,” he said.


S •Onazi

setting their sights on a top three finish in Serie A. “I know where we want to go, but the results on the field will decide if we deserve it or not, says Claudio Marchetti, the team goalkeeper. “Of course this squad is strong, but there are other teams who have also


strengthened their ranks, so it will be a great battle. “We know what our strengths are and where we need to improve, so with that attitude we can fight anyone. “President Claudio Lotito told me he wants to take Lazio back up to the top level and I am convinced we’ll get there.

Sunshine lifts suspension on Eagles’ duo


UNSHINE Stars have lifted the suspension placed on Super Eagles' duo of Ebenezer Odunlami and Solomon Kwambe a top official of the club has told NationSport. Odunlami and Kwambe were both suspended last weekend by the Akure Gunners for skipping training sessions prior to the

From Tunde Liadi, Owerri club's league tie against Gombe United at the Pantami Stadium. The club subsequently lost 0-2. The Coordinator of the Ondo State Football Agency(OSFA), Mike Idoko who announced the lift of the suspension said that the decision was reached after a

crucial meeting between the technical crew, the players and OSFA. Idoko reckoned that everything had been resolved and that the players have since resumed training session ahead of this weekend’s tie with Dolphins of Port Harcourt in Akure. "I can tell you that we have lifted the suspension placed on them after a consultative

African Footballer of the Year, while Egypt’s Mohammed Aboutreika was adjudged the best player on the continent who is based at home. A total 13 award categories winners will be announced at the event. The categories include the prestigious African Footballer of the Year, National team of the Year and Coach of the Year.


Onazi targets UEFA Champions League UPER Eagles’ midfielder, Ogenyi Onazi will be looking to play with European big boys this season, as the Rome side targets a place in the UEFA Champions League. Lazio will again be in the Europa League this term, but the Coppa Italia champions are

A statement from the office of the Chief Operating Officer says the new dates took consideration of the remaining Federation Cup matches and sought the understanding of the Clubs, their players and Match Officials. According to the adjusted fixtures the normal League games will resume on August 11 with Week 24 matches while the 2012/13 is now expected to end on October 13 when Week 38 games will played.

Nigeria hosts CAF awards January HE annual Confederation of African Football (CAF) awards night will be staged in Lagos, Nigeria, on January 9. CAF announced on their website that Lagos will host the event for the second time after it first did so in 2009. Manchester City star and Cote d’Ivoire international Yaya Toure is the reigning

Igiebor: I like partnering Verdu UPER Eagles midfielder, Nosa Igiebor has admitted that playing alongside teammate; Joan Verdu gives him great pleasure. Igiebor has been active for the Spanish La Liga side in completing a great preseason, as he has maintained a starting spot in the Pepe Mel Betis tutored side. The Nigerian scored Betis’ equaliser against Fulham in a pre-season game, after a

EAGUE Management Company (LMC) has announced minor changes in the the on-going Glo Premier League season to accommodate unforeseen developments in the calendar. In the new schedule, dates for all existing fixtures have been moved to the immediate next fixture date beginning with the Week 24 matches earlier scheduled for Wednesday, August 7 which will now hold on August 10 & 11.

meeting we had. It was communication gap that caused the whole problem and we have admonished both players to make their impact felt. "They have since resumed training and we are hoping for the best in our subsequent matches especially our home game against Dolphins this weekend," Idoko said.

NOC endorses Nigeria Sports Award •Sports Radio 88.9 FM now Official Media Partner


HE Nigerian Olympic Committee (NOC) has endorsed and ready to partner with the Nigerian Sports Award as a very credible award for recognizing and rewarding outstanding Nigerian sports men and women in the various sporting events including football, athletics, basketball etc. This was disclosed by Mr. Kayode Idowu, General Manager- Unmissable Incentives Limited, organisers of the award on Tuesday August 6, 2013 during a live interview on the popular Television Sports programme, ‘Sports Tonight’ anchored by prominent Sports Broadcaster Toyin Ibitoye on Channels Television. He stated that NOC has concluded arrangements to host the IOC Annual Trophy with the Nigerian Sports Award and will be presenting the 2013 IOC Trophy to the deserving winner at the event in November. The IOC Trophy is an award given every year for various member countries to confer on

deserving persons, clubs, institutions, athletes, coaches, sponsors, administrators etc who have contributed to the promotion of OLYMPISM and left a LEGACY in their respective territories Idowu noted that the IOC award comes with different themes from year to year and the 2013 edition is in honour of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics in celebration of the 150 years anniversary of his birth Kayode Idowu noted that the Nigerian Olympic Committee (NOC) has been very supportive to the Nigerian Sports Award. He mentioned that the President of the Nigerian Olympic Committee Alhaji Sani Ndanusa was present at the first edition of the award. Speaking earlier during the press conference to flag off the second edition of the award, the Secretary General of the Nigerian Olympic Committee. Mr. Tunde Popoola (NOC Secretary General) applauded the organisers and the credibility of the award panel.




IRST, a confession. I am the least qualified to write the obituary of this great man, whose departure was as quiet and graceful as the life he led. His voice was loud, not in physical terms, but in the literary sense, as expressed in the evergreen column he wrote to whip indolent leaders, keep the ordinary man in high spirits and illuminate the dark alley of a political scene that we had. The late Hadj Alade Idowu Odunewu passed on without drama in Lagos on July 25. He was 85. There was a rain of tributes –from the President, governors and many eminent citizens, including frontline journalists who knew him intimately as I never did. But, thanks to Mr Lanre Idowu, one of the few remaining links between the old and the new schools of Nigerian journalism, I had an opportunity to contribute to “Nigerian columnists and their art”, a collection of articles he edited to mark the late Hadj Odunewu’s 80th birthday in 2009. Here are excerpts from my contribution, which I reproduce as a mark of my admiration for one of journalism’s greats:

TODAY IN THE NATION ‘Our encounter with Jennifer was an eye - opener about how little we know of what is really happening in Maiduguri besides the Boko Haram insurgency, which has been dominating reports from there in the past four years’’ VOL. 8, NO. 2,571




•Winner, DAME Award for Informed Commentary

Allah-De: A master’s passage

The columnist’s agenda For the Nigerian journalist, working could be like warring. Everyday could be like going to battle. It is not enough to be a good reporter, writer or editor; one must also be blessed with sharp instincts to know what to do at any time. But the journalist is only experiencing what others in the society are also feeling. The slight difference, however, is that for the journalist, the shoe pinches more because of the peculiarity of the trade. Practising journalism under the military was, at best, a dangerous pastime and, at worst, a suicide mission. What else was to be expected? The military were not responsible to anybody. They ruled like lords, by orders and decrees, not by law and constitutionalism. In fact, every time a new military regime mounted the throne, the Constitution became the first casualty. Then, decrees were spawned like mushrooms in the rains. It is, however, noteworthy to say that even as the risks mount, the courage to go on thickens. So, Nigerian journalists have not been found wanting in the discharge of their duties. They were there at the vanguard of the battle for Independence. They were there in those heady days of military rule; even in the days of Sani Abacha, the despot who seized the nation by the throat and turned Nigeria into a leper among decent countries. Many journalists fled into exile; the unlucky ones got clamped into jail without trial. The more the world rose to condemn the flagrant abuse of rights in Nigeria, the tougher the General became. He entertained no intellectual discourse. He rarely spoke –when he did, it was in an opaque manner that betrayed neither rhyme nor reason –. To escape the Abacha plague, journalists as creative as ever – unleashed a new genre. Welcome guerilla journalism! Many publications sprang from underground, their ad-

•The late Hadj Odunewu dresses unknown by the authorities; their writers faceless but fiery fellows whose pens dripped with a deep passion for a great country. Anyway, Abacha died on June 8, 1998 mysteriously. With the return of democracy, the atmosphere lost most of its smudge. This is not to say, however, that all is well. No. The Obasanjo presidency was always being nudged to perform. The criticisms, the administration believed, were harsh. The catand-mouse relationship got to a crescendo when it was clear that former President Olusegun Obasanjo might not call it a day on May 29, 2007 at the end of his two-term eightyear tenure. The third term scheme collapsed –thanks to a vigilant press which saw far ahead what the plot meant for the country’s future. Most Nigerian newspapers do not interpret the news. They are satisfied with a simple presentation of events which form the ingredients of the meal that the columnist brings to the table. So, many look up to the columnist’s analyses and interpretation of news as it breaks. A good column should be like a soothing balm, giving hope where there seems to be despair. In it must be found the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. It must be exciting. It must be humorous, with a sting in the

tail. And it must give the reader something to remember. Most Nigerian columnists are gripped by politics, which is in all areas of our national life. One cannot blame them. Why? The political scene is a vast canvass of all that is good and bad, hot and cold, fair and foul. It is a kingdom of light and darkness, both rolled into one. Therefore, no matter how insulated from politics a public commentator may want to be, the environment gets him entangled in it. Politics shapes our lives. Many columns have made remarkable impacts on their readers. Consider Olatunji Dare’s Matters Arising, one of the longest running columns in The Guardian. Many years after it stopped running, many are still enamoured of the column’s style – witty, breezy, yet deep and, sometimes, downright hilarious, full of friendly punches that evoked tears and laughter at the same time. The articles have been compiled into a book of the same title, Matters Arising. Happily for the reader, Olatunji Dare has started writing again; every Tuesday in The Nation. Columns are not ordinarily expected to sell newspapers. Not so for Matters Arising. It helped to boost the sale of The Guardian on Tuesdays. The Gbolabo Ogunsanwo column in The Sunday Times was, also, a crowd puller. Femi Ogunsanwo (1978) describes it as “by far the most popular column ever written by a Nigerian journalist”. The column was so popular that when the writer went on leave, readers demanded his return. Life with Gbolabo Ogunsanwo resurrected in The Comet. It retained its huge appeal, though it was not regular. Then, it disappeared and never returned. The paper itself was rested about one year ago. Even now, many are still talking about the column. Several attempts to bring it back remain unsuccessful . Gbolabo Ogunsanwo’s column was only one of the many the Sunday Times was proud and lucky to have. There were other first class writers. In fact, in Femi Ogunsanwo’s Sunday Times (The first 25 years), they occupy the fifth chapter where they are referred to as “The five powerful columnists”.



‘HEAVY’ matter lands in the stomach (make that mind) of an elder with a gentle, intelligent thud. This, of course, is by no means the wise word of Hardball, no; it is the profound saying of Yoruba sages of ages gone by. So why are we rummaging the archive for ancient sayings? Simple, we want to brooch the very sensitive matters of marriage and divorce and bearing in mind that Nigeria’s super star actress, our own Funke Akindele (of Jenifa fame) recently married and recently divorced, it is only meet to let this issue land in the bowels of Hardball with an indulgent thud. Let’s face it, man and woman marriage (yes we must make that distinction) is getting to be a tough proposition in this digital age. Surely, marriage as we used to know it – the holy matrimony of man and woman coming under oath to live together, no matter the weather till death part them – may well need to be re-tinkered for the modern man. It is either man has upped his game or he has reached the end of his tether.

Divorce made simple For instance, our maker did not configure man to sleep with fellow man or to be joined in matrimony. But today’s man has reconfigured himself to co-habit with fellow man and be joined together as man and ‘wife’ or maife if you prefer. Shall we then say that at this evolutionary juncture of man, the traditional marriage has become an analogue concept if not doomed entirely? And remember that even for the best of us marriages can sometimes be trying; so many marriages are actually being endured as one or even both parties seem to live in perpetual hurt. Though most unmarried people who are of marriage age would do nigh anything to get their own life partner, but the obverse is that many in a marriage relationship wished they could get a break from it or just break it up entirely. A family friend, (a cou-

ple), have been considering an idea Hardball finds novel which entails taking a break from wedlock, something like ‘marriage leave’. Marriage in its traditional form is truly endangered and statistics are grim. It is said that about 50 per cent of couples in the U.S. are likely to get divorced. About 11 percent of adult population is assumed to be currently divorced and 25 per cent of couples will get into at least one divorce in their lifetime. Britain is said to have the highest rate of divorce in the European Union with about 2.8 breakups in every 1000 couples. The Australian Institute of Family Studies has found a growing trend of more divorces after 20 years of marriage which was a rarity hitherto. So far, we have been speaking about citizens Joe and Jane. Celebrities as you know are in this plane but they are not of this world.


Here they are: Ebenezer Williams (Abiodun Aloba), who is described as “the first great” columnist of the Sunday Times. His column ran continuously from December 23, 1953, to October 1, 1960, according to the book, which states: “In terms of longevity and popularity, four other writers qualify for the Sunday Times hall of fame of great columnists: Peter Pan (Peter Enahoro), Allade (Alade Odunewu), Sad Sam (Sam Amuka) and Gbolabo Ogunsanwo). All these columnists were also editors of the Sunday Times.” Several new columnists have since mounted the stage, plying their trade in a no less engaging manner. Unlike in those days, many editors do not write columns, apparently believing that this area of journalism should be left for editorial writers and others who belong to the academic community, but not necessarily journalists. Among the new columnists are the youthful writers in Thisday: Simon Kolawole, Kayode “The Marxist’ Komolafe and Ijeoma Nwogwugu. There are in The Sun Louis Odion (Bottomline), Amanze Obi (Broken Tongues), Funke Egbemode and Femi Adesina. The Punch has Azubuike Ishiekwene’s Viewpoint. There are in The Nation on Sunday Palladium, deep and punchy, written by Idowu Akinlotan. Tatalo Alamu, scholarly, witty, hilarious and dramatic, also appears on Sunday. Dan Agbese’s column in Newswatch is delightful for its incisiveness and humour. So are Yakubu Mohammed’s (Newswatch) and Ray Ekpu’s (Newswatch). In fact, many knew Ekpu, Agbese and Mohammed more as columnists than as directors of the magazine. There is also Muhammed Haruna, the former editor of New Nigerian whose column is run by The Nation and Daily Trust. His is easily the most recognisable voice from the North. In fact, many call him the “star of the North”. The Candido column ran for years in New Nigerian. An incisive comment on people and events, the column appeared for more than 30 years. There is a striking difference between today’s columnists and the old hands. Unlike the new kids on the block, the old-timers did not only inform and educate, they entertained as well, and went beyond that to make clinical predictions that came to pass. I recall how Allah-de, writing in The Comet, predicted that the newly appointed Eagles coach, Dutchman Bonfere Jo, would not last. A few days after, the coach was fired. Talk about the columnist as an oracle! Besides, there was humour. You read the late Aig-Imokhuede’s Notebook in Vanguard and laughed all day. Such columnists are hard to come by now. To the charge that columnists do not see anything good in government, my response is that since they are part of the society, their thoughts and actions are not insulated from the experience of the society. They, through their writings, embark on an idealistic battle for the utopian. They never achieve this, but along the line, society is enriched and the future has a past to refer to - thanks to the columnists. •For comments, send SMS to 08111813080

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above They do everything to death and that is exactly what they have done to your good old marriage. Super celebrity, Sinead O’Connor’s marriage lasted 18 days; Britney Spears’ lasted 50 days; Kim Kardashian’s was on for only 72 days and our own Funke Akindele’s, lasted about 14 months. Remember these are not mere mortals like you and I, these are otherworldly denizens living in a realm probably near the clouds. Just one awkward, offhand sentence on the World Wide Web and its all over: so simple, so uncomplicated way to untie that troublesome marriage knot. But for those who still care, there is some succour yet to be found in the story of St. Rita of Cascia. She is the obscure patron saint of abuse victims, impossible causes and marriage difficulties. She conquered a tortuous marriage with prayer and fasting and by “living a life exemplified by patience, kindness and humility.” Though obscure, she is still there interceding for troubled souls.

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. Port Harcourt Office: 12/14, Njemanze Street, Mile 1, Diobu, PH. 08023595790. WEBSITE: E-mail: ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

Aug 08, 2013