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VOL. 8, NO. 2577 THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH
APC governors oppose autonomy for local govts From Sanni Onogu, Lafia
HE policy position of the All Progressives Congress (APC) began to unfold yesterday as its governors opposed local governments autonomy. The governors also said the power to alter the revenue allocation formula, which is vested in the President, should be transferred to the National Assembly. The 11 governors met under the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital. The House of RepresenContinued on page 2
•T AKING A ST AND: Oshiomhole speaking...yesterday. With him (from left) are: Fashola, Shettima, Yari, Amosun, Al-Makura, Fayemi, Aregbesola, AJimobi and •TAKING STAND: PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE Madumere.
JTF kills Boko Haram chief Shekau’s deputy, 17 others 24 suspects arrested
FIRE IN EGYPT
From Yusuf Alli and Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja and Isma’il Alfa Abdulrahim, Maiduguri
HE Defence Headquarters yesterday said that a Boko Haram commander, Momodu Bama, who was said to be the second-in-command to the leader of the sect, Imam Abubakar Shekau and 17 others, had been killed in a shoot-out between Special Forces and the insurgents. Besides, 24 members of the sect were arrested by the troops. Bama was one of the 19 leaders of Boko Haram declared wanted by the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno State on November 23, last year. There was no independent confirmation of He is known to be Bama’s death night. vicious and last But it was heartless with a learnt that the penchant for commander’s was takpersonally body en away by slaughtering...his the insurvictims. Momodu gents. cording Bama has been a toAacstatement most wanted by the Directerrorist with a tor of Information at the De-
N25million bounty placed on his head
Continued on page 2
•Reporters run for cover during clashes between Muslim Brotherhood supporters of Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi, and police in Cairo…yesterday
260 shot dead in Egypt
•An injured Egyptian boy...yesterday
•CITYBEATS P10 •SPORTS P23 •N/HEALTH P45 •POLITICS P43 •E-BUSINESS P49
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
NEWS APC governors oppose autonomy for councils Continued from page 1
•Women and children protesting against Child Marriage at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre in Abeokuta…yesterday PHOTO: NAN
2015: Amaechi has not declared ambition, says Rivers
IVERS State Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi has not declared intention to run for any position in 2015, the state government said yesterday. It explained that those alleging that the governor is nursing such ambition are mischievous. The government also accused the Federal Government of imposing Police Commissioner Mbu Joseph Mbu on Rivers people, in spite of the resolutions of the Senate and the House of Representatives that he should be redeployed. Rivers Commissioner for Information and Communications Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, who spoke on behalf of the government, said: “The Federal Government has imposed Mbu on us (Rivers people). He is not doing what he is expected to do as a professional police officer, but taking sides in the political crisis. “Insecurity began in Rivers State shortly after Mbu arrived. Four Thais are still in the den of kidnappers, which Rivers State was not experiencing before Mbu’s arrival. The commissioner of police is not protecting lives and property of Rivers people.
From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
“President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Amaechi are talking and will eventually reconcile. Governor Amaechi is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and he does not plan to move to another party. “It is mischief to say that Governor Amaechi has vice-presidential ambition. Some people want to be mischievous and you cannot stop them. I wish them luck. If Governor Amaechi has intention to run as vice president, he will declare it. As at today (yesterday), Governor Amaechi has not declared intention to run.” The commissioner stated also that the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) chairman remained focused on his transformation agenda. She urged Rivers people to keep supporting him. Commissioner for Employment Generation and Empowerment Dr. Ipalibo Harry said 35,000 people had so far been employed by the Amaechi administration. He said more would be taken off the job queue. The National Councillors Forum of Nigeria, Rivers chapter,
urged President Goodluck Jonathan to sack the Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, over his “unguarded” utterances, which it said bordered on breaching peace, incitement and partisan campaign. But, the PDP in the state passed a vote of confidence on Wike. It said having watched his activities since 2011 when was appointed minister, it was satisfied with the manner Wike was running the party’s affairs. The councillors, yesterday in Port Harcourt, through their Chairman, Lesor Nwigbaranee, who was accompanied by the Publicity Secretary, Dagogo Humphrey, said Wike had been making utterances likely to breach the peace. They said it was shocking for the minister to ask his supporters to fight Amaechi’s loyalists, to make the state ungovernable, make life uncomfortable for the governor and that the governor and his supporters would not sleep with his two eyes closed, except they beg Wike. The councillors said: “Wike recently donated his six months’ salary to one of the exmilitant leaders and organised ex-militants to protest on the streets of Port Harcourt, thereby giving the impression to oth-
er militants that their activities are approved by the powers that be and encouraging kidnapping. “We frown at a situation where the minister has brazenly declared his ambition to be the governor of the state in 2015 and has gone ahead to campaign for the office, in flagrant disregard of INEC’s regulations. “The honourable action expected of Wike is to resign, to enable him to further his ambition. In the absence of that, President Jonathan should sack him. No past president had allowed his ministers to combine their ministerial work with ambition. “We are not against the minister of state for education’s political ambition, as a citizen of the country, which is allowed by the constitution, but he should not hide behind his ministerial position and that of the Federal Government to threaten the peace and security of Rivers State.” The councillors also stated that the people, other Nigerians and the international community were watching the “rascally” behaviour of Wike, wondering why President Jonathan could still be retaining him.
Boko Haram chief Shekau’s deputy killed Continued from page 1
fence Headquarters, Brig.Gen. Chris Olukolade, Shekau’s deputy was killed along the “Bama corridor”. He was described as an expert in manning anti-aircraft guns for Boko Haram. The statement said: “As troops intensify pursuit of terrorists, who have been unleashing mayhem in Borno and Yobe communities, the death of Momodu Bama, said to be the second-in-command to the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, has been confirmed by other arrested terrorists. “This followed encounters with the terrorists around the Bama corridor. “Momodu Bama has been personally leading the attacks against troops and innocent citizens in the communities of Yobe and Adamawa. “A specialist in manning the anti-aircraft guns of the group, he is known to be vicious and heartless with a penchant for personally
slaughtering and executing his victims. “Momodu Bama has been a most wanted terrorist with a N25million bounty already placed on his head. “Others that died in the operation include Bama’s father, Alhaji Abatcha Flatari, who is also one of the spiritual guiding lights of the outlawed terrorists group. 17 other terrorists also lost their lives in the encounter while 24 were arrested. “The troops are continuing the pursuit of the terrorists while intensifying aggressive aerial and land patrols to ensure better security cover for the communities, especially in the two states.” Shedding more light on the encounters with Boko Haram members, a top source added: “The second-in-command to Boko Haram leader and 17 others were actually killed between Sunday and Monday in Bama corridor. “What happened was that after they attacked Bama Continued on page 58
•A JTF poster declaring Shekau, Bama and other Boko Haram leaders wanted
tatives voted for councils’ autonomy in the proposed amendment to the Constitution. Apart from host Governor Tanko Al-Makura, the meeting was attended by Governors Kashim Shettima (Borno), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Abdulazeez Yari (Zamfara), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) and Adams Oshiomhole (Edo). Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha was represented by his deputy Prince Eze Madumere. Yobe State Governor Ibrahim Geidam, who is away in Saudi Arabia for the lesser hajj, sent an apology. Fayemi read the communiqué of the meeting, saying: “The Forum commits itself to the process of APC party formation and consolidation, in line with the on-going efforts of the interim national leadership and with the understanding of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) as it affects the development of healthy relationship among the members of the APC. “The PGF discussed constitutional amendment extensively and resolved that the issue of Local Government Administration, recognising the fact that Federalism is the basis of our sovereignty, is a matter within the purview of the Federating Unit and every attempt to legislate by the National Assembly on any aspect of Local Government Administration will tilt the country towards a unitary state. This will undermine and weaken the fundamental principles of our federalism. “The Forum deliberated on revenue allocation and notes that in spite of recommenda-
tions made to the Presidency, no effect has been given to the extant proposals on the need to give more funds to the states and local governments because that is where the citizens reside. “The PGF further recommends that the powers to alter the revenue allocation formula currently with the Presidency should be vested in the National Assembly henceforth. Fayemi said the meeting also discussed a number of national issues in the on-going “dialogue to salvage the nation, proffer practical solutions on moving Nigeria forward as well as strategies to complement efforts of the interim national executives to strengthen the party” . The Forum praised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for rising to the occasion by registering the APC in the overall national interest. It, however, hoped that such “nationalistic and patriotic position of INEC” shall continue to guide its conduct with respect to its statutory mandate. The Forum expressed confidence in the interim national executive of the APC “in its on-going efforts to reposition the party as a credible alternative to the teeming Nigerians that are yearning for change”. Other decisions reached include: “The Forum condemns the killing of security operatives at Lakyo by the outlawed Ombatse militia and commends the Nasarawa State Government for the proactive steps taken in instituting a Judicial Commission of Inquiry with a view to bringing to book the perpetrators of this dastardly act. “The Forum condemns Continued on page 58
NBA to Obi: ban MASSOB •Group did not attack lawyer, says Uwazuruike
HE Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Onitsha branch, yesterday urged Anambra State Governor Peter Obi to proscribe the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB). The NBA said the activities of commercial motorcyclists also known as Okada be banned. The lawyers spoke in a communique issued at the end of an emergency meeting in Onitsha. Its chairman Mr. B. C. Maduechesi said it was necessary to ban MASSOB because of the unscrupulous activities of the group in recent times including the attack and assault on Onitsha NBA Secretary, Onyechi Ononye and his wife. They were also dispossessed of their personal effects by those they identified as MASSOB members, the NBA alleged. The NBA warned its members to desist from being registered members of MASSOB but to restrict their relationship with MASSOB to only lawyer/client level, warning that any member found associating with MASSOB beyond lawyer/client level would be sanctioned. But MASSOB leader Ralph Uwazuruike, told reporters that those who attacked the
From odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Onitsha
NBA scribe and his wife could not be MASSOB members because attacking people was not part of their struggle. He challenged the NBA to produce evidence of the identities of the attackers if they were sure. He added that MASSOB would not hesitate to deal ruthlessly with any member found involved in such act. He did not speak on the call by NBA for the banning of Okada. The NBA insisted on official protest to the government to enforce the ban on commercial motorcycle business which is dominated by MASSOB members. The NBA said it would channel its grievances to the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the lawyers’ body for onward transmission to the presidency and Continued on page 58
ADVERT HOTLINES: 08023006969, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
Nigeria... • Bayelsa State Governor and Chairman, PDP Reconciliation Committee Seriake Dickson (right) speaking at a news conference on the committee's meeting with Chairmen, Secretaries and other executives of Non-PDP controlled states in Abuja...yesterday. With him are Secretary of the Committee, Ambassador Umar Damagun and a member , Senator Ibrahim Mantu.
Violence in Nigeria has of late been synonymous with Boko Haram, even though there are pockets of other violent acts carried out by other groups. Year in, year out, the Federal Government, with assistance from foreign governments, has tried to cage Boko Haram and other violent tendencies, but till now, the circle of violence has not been circumvented.
A teacher peering into a deserted student hostel on August 6 in the Government Secondary School , Mamudo, Yobe State where Boko Haram gunmen launched gun and explosives attacks on student hostels on July 6, killing 41 students and a teacher. PHOTOS: AFP
W •From left: Assistant Defence Attache, Chinese Embassy Maj. Pu lin; Director, Political Section Yonghua Ding;Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity Dr Reuben Abati; Deputy Chief of Mission, Chinese Embassy Mr Zhang Bin; Ms Li Xue of the embassy and the Deputy Director, Protocol, State House Mr Nura Rimi, during the visit of the Chinese Deputy Chief of Mission to the Presidential Villa in Abuja... on Tuesday. PHOTO: NAN
HAT began as dawn prayers at a mosque in northeastern Nigeria ended in a gruesome massacre Sunday as militants brandishing automatic weapons killed 44 worshipers in the country’s troubled Borno State. It’s not clear who’s behind the attack, but many Nigerians will suspect that the militant group Boko Haram, which has wreaked havoc in the region for several years, are the perpetrators. The Nigerian government is struggling to control the bloodshed between the mainly Muslim north and Christian south that has claimed at least 2,800 lives since Boko Haram came to prominence in 2009, according to Human Rights Watch.
Who are Boko Haram?
•From left: Consultant Gynaecologist, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital Prof. Osaretin Odidi; President, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Dr Osahon Enabulele; Chairman, Rivers NMA Dr Ibitrokoemi Korubo and Chairman, Bayelsa NMA Dr James Omietimi at the 2013 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Rivers NMA in Port Harcourt...yesterday.
•From left: General Manager, Sales, MTN Adekunle Adebiyi, Gneral Manager, Development Richard Iweanoge, Human Resources Executive Mrs. Amina Oyagbola, Sales and Distribution Executive Omatsola Barrow and Customer Servive Relations Executive Akin Braithwaite at the launch of MTN VTU Plus Electronic Recharge Services in Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: JOHN EBHOTA
Boko Haram means “Western education is a sin.” The group’s ambitions range from the stricter enforcement of Sharia law — which is derived from the Koran as the “world of God” — across the predominantly Muslim north of Nigeria, to the total destruction of the Nigerian state and its government. Armed militant groups in Nigeria’s northeastern region are nothing new, but Boko Haram has taken the violence to unprecedented levels since 2009, murdering and kidnapping Westerners and bombing schools and churches. The country’s immense oil wealth is concentrated in the south, while the predominantly Muslim north remains extremely poor. There were riots and accusations of vote-rigging when former military ruler Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, much of the north’s favored candidate for president, lost to Goodluck Jonathan, who hails from the south, in the 2011 national election. In mid-May the Nigerian government declared a state of emergency in three northeastern states — Adamawawa, Yobe and Borno state — and created the Joint Task Force wing of the military to try to stamp out the insurgency. A media blackout has also ensued, which ensures that communications in and out of the remote area are nearly impossible and that the Nigerian military can operate out of the media spotlight. The military has been accused of committing atrocities against civilians by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. The government acknowledged “that there has been prob-
lems,” but said it’s working to control itself.
Is the violence a purely sectarian dispute? While it’s easy to frame the violence as Christians versus Muslims, it’s much more than sectarian. Boko Haram will attack other Muslims when they feel they’re not adhering to strict Sharia law. Meanwhile, the Joint Task Force’s actions in the region aren’t winning them any fans — and there’s also the vigilante thugs who stop and search cars entering northeastern cities like Maiduguri.
Why has Boko Haram attacked mosques in the past? Boko Haram doesn’t view all Muslims as supporters and allies — and there have been suggestions that the group is attacking certain mosques because members of that mosque have assisted the Joint Task Force in tracking members of the militant group. Although the northern populace mostly abhors the violence, there is considerable local sympathy and support for Sharia law, seen by many as the only way to put an end to what is widely regarded as a corrupt and inept government. Northern Nigeria has some of the worst human development indicators in the world — and as the military struggles to stop the spread of attacks from Boko Haram’s base in the northeast, the militant group is winning perhaps its most important battle: making Nigerians question the competency of their government.
Could the violence spread to other countries? It already has — Boko Haram is active in neighboring Cameroon, where a French family was kidnapped in February. And in a video released this weekend, the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, said: “Our strength and firepower is bigger than that of Nigeria. Nigeria is no longer a big deal to us, as far as we are concerned. We will now comfortably confront the United States of America.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
What’s behind wave of violence?
• A deserted student hostel on August 6, whose six occupants were shot dead in the Government Secondary School , Mamudo,Yobe State by Boko Haram gunmen.
The cog in the wheel of emergency rule
HREE months have gone by since emergency rule was declared in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states. The fourth month begins today. For Borno, emeregency is no stranger. This is the second time the state capital, Maiduguri and some of its local government areas are witnessing emergency rule. For some parts of the state, however, they are experiencing it for the first time. The emergency rule imposed by the Federal Government is an effort to end the terror attacks by the Islamist group popularly known as Boko
Why isn’t the international community stepping in? The U.S. designated the leader of Boko Haram as a terrorist and put a $7 million bounty on his head, in ad-
Haram, which has been blamed for most of the violent killings since 2009. Civilian JTF have been of help in Maiduguri metropolis, but secret killing is still on in the other local government areas. A resident of Biu, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said strangers are often seen in some local government areas. He said: “The situation has become worse, especially when people cannot get in touch with relatives or security personnel. Most times when attacks are made, it takes time for the
security agents to be alerted and even when they have been alerted, they arrived late.” But, residents believe the military has contributed to the ‘failure’ of emergency rule to resolve insurgency in Maiduguri and other parts of Borno State. A source said: “Secondly, corruption by some of the military men have been observed on the road to Maiduguri; at the check points. Most times, drivers give money and then pass without being checked in some of the check points. A situation where a driver does not give the bribe, the passengers have no option than to be
delayed. When they are not checked, they enter the city freely with all sorts of ammunition unknown to the soldiers at the checking point.” A traveller, who identified herself as Esther, witnessed such act. She said: “I was ashamed on my way to Maiduguri when some kilometres to the town, we were asked to stop only for our driver to give N100 to the soldier. The soldier went to his colleague and got N50, which he returned to our driver. How will peace be restored in Maiduguri while some of the soldiers at checked point are violating their code of ethics?”
dition to providing technical and financial support to the Nigerian teams fighting on the ground. But there’s a growing international reluctance to put boots on the ground unless there’s a direct national se-
curity threat to the West, like in the case of the French intervention in Mali earlier this year. Why is Nigeria so important to the region and rest of the world?
What’s the role of oil? Nigeria, with nearly 175 million people, is considered the political and economic powerhouse of West Africa. Rich in oil, the country is a
By Hellen Wakawa
The assassination of the principal of Godiya Private Secondary School and his two children, after their house was set ablaze, has left doubt in the minds of the residents of Biu over the usefulness of emergency rule. Some indigenes said the principal and his children were shut death at 9pm by unknown gun men. They said the security agents were not around to see the flames of fire from far. They said the cut of GSM network contributed to the iability to alert security agents. The way things are now insurgency may live longer than emergency rule. key U.S. partner and has a massive banking sector. China is the biggest trade partner for Africa, and Nigeria is the hub of global business in the region.
Vigilantes battle extremists amid fear of abuses
HE battered old car, cutlasses and nail-studded clubs poking out of its windows, careens down the road and squeals to a stop. Its young occupants pile out, shouting with glee, and set up a roadblock. "Get down!" ''Open the trunk!" ''What's in that parcel?" They yell as a line of stopped cars and minivan taxis forms that will become nearly two kilometres (a mile) long. They are part of a vigilante force that has arisen here as a backlash against Boko Haram, the Islamic extremist network responsible for 1,700 deaths in Nigeria since 2010, according to a count by The Associated Press. They call themselves the "Civilian Joint Task Force" and claim credit for thousands of arrests in Maiduguri, where Boko Haram started. Many residents welcome the vigilantes and credit them for some of the relative peace that has returned to Maiduguri. Others find their existence troubling and worry that they may perpetrate human rights abuses. "Boko Haram has no mercy for us, so we have no mercy for them," Usman Adamu, 30, told AP. The vigilantes' emergence over the
past six weeks reflects the twists and turns the battle against Islamic extremist violence is taking in Africa's most populous country, where the 160 million people are divided about equally between Muslims and Christians. Many vigilante recruits are themselves Muslims - an indication that Boko Haram's appeal is far from universal. Officials say the extremists have killed more Muslims than Christians. Though Christians started the first vigilante groups, they have quickly become outnumbered by Muslims equally afraid of the extremists. On Sunday, suspected Boko Haram attackers crept into a mosque in Konduga town, 35 kilometres (22 miles) from Maiduguri, and gunned down 47 people, the local chief told the AP. In an apparent simultaneous attack on a village 5 kilometres (3 miles) outside the city, another 12 civilians were killed, he said. Boko Haram has attacked other mosques and Muslim clerics who criticize its actions as un-Islamic. The vigilantes have won the blessing of the military, and take their name from the military Joint Task
Force charged with hunting down the Islamic extremists. Garba Madu, a middle-aged chief of the civilian force in this city's Moduganari neighbourhood, said the movement was well qualified to take on Boko Haram. "We know who these people are because they have been terrorizing us for years, so we are best placed to sniff them out," he said. "For the past five years we have been under serious attack: Our wives, younger brothers and other family members have been killed." He said his group had arrested three suspected Boko Haram members in the immediate environs and "countless others" elsewhere. The civilian movement is growing and expanding into other towns, with military encouragement. Madu, the vigilantes' neighbourhood chief, said the military gave the recruits food and juices to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, and the governor of Borno state, where Maiduguri is located, gave a civilian task force commander a shopping bag full of cash for the holiday. At some checkpoints, the vigilantes are on the road while soldiers keep an eye on them from behind
sandbags. The vigilantes are supposed to hand over suspects to the military or police. But that does not always happen and there are fears they kill some suspects. "We cannot arrest until we confirm (that they are Boko Haram). We cannot kill until we confirm," said recruit Elias Idriss. Some worry that the vigilantes may carry out extrajudicial killings and other abuses. "It's a double-edged sword," said Shehu Sani, head of the Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria based in the northern city of Kaduna. "On the one side it could be seen as a people's resistance to terrorism and on the other side it could be seen as a proxy force used by the army and the government to prosecute the war on terror and commit heinous human rights violations to which actors cannot be traced and can act with impunity." Sani warned that other youth organizations created by politicians and the military have "turned into uncontrollable monsters." Asked about fears that the rise of the Civilian Joint Task Force will lead
to abuses, Zanna Mustapha, deputy governor of Borno state, noted that the vigilante group "has been welcomed by everyone including the military and the government." He said authorities are aware of abuses, such as the burning down of a senior politician's home. The vigilantes acted after the military refused to arrest him, saying they had no evidence he was supporting Boko Haram. "We had to call in their leaders and talk to them, and they agreed what they had done was not right," Mustapha said, adding the vigilantes are "much more organized now." Asked about indications they have also killed suspects, Mustapha suggested this was not surprising in a country where a suspected thief can be lynched. "The simple issue is terrorists," he said. "It is not acceptable, but these Boko Haram, they will not spare you, they will kill you, and those who are now arresting them feel that if you find someone with arms ... " With that, he threw up his hands to suggest that anything could happen. •Culled from AP
THE NATION THURSDAY AUGUST 15, 2013
NEWS Obama, Jonathan to meet in Washington
From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
NITED States President Barack Obama and President Goodluck Jonathan are scheduled to meet in Washington DC on the sideline of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly meeting in September. The US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Wendy Sherman, addressed State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Jonathan at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. Sherman said she came to deliver a letter from Obama to Jonathan. The US official, who is leading a delegation to the USNigeria Bi-National Commission meeting in Abuja today, said: “I have given him a letter from President Barack Obama and he was gracious enough to accept it. We look forward to working further on the basis of the letter. “Our presidents will likely meet soon. I will leave that announcement to the President of the United States and the President of Nigeria.”
•President Goodluck Jonathan (right) presenting a souvenir to U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Wiendy Sherman, during a delegate’s courtesy visit to the President at the Presidential Villa, in Abuja...yesterday
Nyako: why Jang can’t lead NGF
From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
DAMAWA State Governor Murtala Nyako yesterday faulted the call for the factional Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang as well as NGF Chairman and Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi, to step down. Addressing State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa yesterday, Nyako said Jang needs not step down from the position because he got 16 votes to Amaechi’s 19 votes. The governor also highlighted some of the criteria the forum expected its chairman to have. He said: “In democracy, when you have an issue to discuss, the election in the governors’ forum has become an issue; it shouldn’t be an issue. When you say 16, 17, 18, 19, or 20, even someone who is in elementary school knows which is a higher figure. “If one group got 19 votes, the other one got 16, what are we saying? In a democracy, even in the eyes of the people in elementary school, they know that 19 is higher than 16. It shouldn’t be turned into a controversy. “What could be related to that is that it could not be the figure. We could all agree that whoever got 19 has won the election. We have already in the governors’ forum established certain criteria for the leadership. “We say first, he must be somebody we trust. I would like to have a leader of the forum who, when he is with the President in the small room talking about Adamawa State, he can put in a good word for Adamawa State. It should not be someone who will aggravate issues in the eyes of Mr President. That element of trust must be there. If I vote for somebody it must be somebody I could trust.”
We’ve achieved a lot with state of emergency, says minister
From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
HE Federal Government has assessed the three months of state of emergency rule in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states and said it has achieved so much. The Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Obada, told State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja that the threat to Nigeria’s unity has been halted by the state of emergency declaration. She said: “Today, like you said, marks three months when Mr. President declared the state of emergency in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno states. A lot has been achieved in these three months. “It has halted the threat to Nigeria’s unity. The unity of this country is paramount and Mr. President, as the leader of this country, has ensured that the unity of this country is preserved and protected. “The territorial integrity of our country and the usurpation of the authority of the Nigerian state, if you will recall, you heard that the insurgents were already hoisting their flags over some of the areas, especially in Borno. They stopped at Birni Butu. We thank God for that...”
Activists lash Okonjo-Iweala over ASUU’s N92b request
PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN.
HE Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved N8.68 billion for the printing and distribution of textbooks as well as library materials for public primary schools’ classes one to six and junior secondary schools. The Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, addressed State House correspondents in Abuja at the end of the FEC meeting, presided over by President
From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
Goodluck Jonathan. The weekly briefing was also attended by some ministers, including Labaran Maku (Information); Prof Ruqayyatu Rufai (Education) and Bala Mohammed of the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Wike said the contract, to be completed in six weeks, would be funded from the
utilisation of the 15 per cent and two per cent consolidated revenue fund provided as the intervention fund for the procurement of instruction materials to enhance the Universal Basic Education (UBE) in public schools. The fund was approved by council at its 26th meeting in 2008. He said: “To sustain the laudable project and to attain the 1:1 book ration for core subjects in all public
primary schools across the 36 states and the FCT, the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) intends to procure additional primaries one to six textbooks in maths, English language, Basic Science and Technology and Social Studies as well as Junior Secondary School (JSS) library resource materials for distribution to 36 states and the FCT to address the shortfalls.”
el-Rufai to Jonathan: you can’t insult APC leaders
FORMER Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, yesterday supported the Interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande, that President Goodluck Jonathan is a kindergarten leader. el-Rufai said Jonathan has no right to insult APC leaders for criticising his administration. The former FCT minister noted that Dr Jonathan has been lying to Nigerians on his administration’s achievements. In a statement in Abuja by his spokesman, Muyiwa Adekeye, the former minister said: “I still recall how one of my sons behaved before going into kindergarten. He did not know how to share toys or food. He threw tantrums whenever he failed to get his way or insulted his siblings or
From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
CIVIL rights organisation, Anti-Corruption Network (ACN), yesterday urged the Federal Government to release the N92 billion the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) demanded or face nationwide unrest. The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was quoted as saying that the Federal Government does not have the fund. The group gave the government next Monday as the deadline to settle the striking university teachers or face a nationwide protest of students and youths. The group’s Director Outreach Services, Chief Timi Frank, who led other activists at a media briefing yesterday in Abuja, threatened that “state and Federal Ministries of Education would be occupied by civil society organisations and students next Monday”. “Okonjo-Iweala said Nigeria doesn’t have N92 billion to settle the agitation of the ASUU. It is an insult to Nigerian students and youths. President Jonathan must sack her, or we will mobilise Nigerians and lead protests,” he said.
FEC approves N8.68b for public primary schools, JSS books
Sambo challenges ex-minister to publish Kaduna debt profile
From Yusuf Alli, Abuja
ICE President Namadi Sambo last night challenged former minister of the Federal Capital Teritorry (FCT), Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, to publish the debt profile of Kaduna State when he (Sambo) was the governor. He said contrary to el-Rufai’s insinuations in a statement, he is incorruptible. Sambo, who made the clarifications in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Alhaji Umar Sani, accused el-Rufai of “pursuit of strategic political interest.” The statement said: “While it is not in the character of the Vice-President to trade words or join issues with anyone, the compelling need to set the records straight has necessitated that clarity of the issues raised be proffered for posterity. From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
sulked whenever he was criticised. But with years of parental effort at home and intervention of handlers in nursery school, our son learnt the virtues of sharing, inclusion and getting along with those he disagreed with. I guess this is the
experience of many parents. “I have always wondered what manner of person would resort to abuse, bigotry and division when his or her conduct and utterances are interrogated, instead of simply responding in a civilised language. “APC Chairman Bisi Akande’s characterisation of
Jonathan as a kindergarten president explained everything. Surrounded with equally parochial, morally-flexible handlers, one is bound to read the kind of falsehood that emanates from the likes of Reuben Abati from time to time. “It was Aeschylus, the ancient Greek dramatist, who said: ‘In war, truth is the first casualty’. Thank God! Despite the provocations of the Dokubo-Asaris and the Edwin Clarks, Nigeria is not at war. But the Presidency and presidential hangers-on have distorted democratic politics into some sort of warfare. “President Jonathan’s response to an interview I granted at the weekend is indicative that truth has become a casualty in his shoddy attempt to belittle the salient issues concerning Nigeria, which I spoke about. The weighty fact is that the President is the promoter and apostle of ethnic and religious division of Nigeria, purely for political gains!”
Lack of tools hampers NDLEA’s operations
ACK of funds and modern equipment as well as inadequate workers are among the problems hampering the smooth operations of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), it was learnt yesterday. The challenges, if not addressed, will have negative effects on the nation’s economy, national security and the future of Nigeria. The Director-General of NDLEA, Mr Femi Ajayi, spoke on the agency’s challenges and the way forward in a lecture he delivered on: The Role of NDLEA on Secu-
By Uyoatta Eshiete
rity and Sustainable Development, at the business meeting of the Rotary Club International, Ikoyi, Lagos. He blamed Nigerians for not showing enough interest in the fight against the illicit drugs, warning that no one is safe from their effects. The NDLEA chief said hard drugs have too many negative effects on the economy, which the citizens need to tackle with seriousness. According to him, drug abuse is everyone’s headache and drug trafficking everyone’s nightmare.
Ajayi said the agency, despite its importance, lacks adequate funds to achieve the needed successes in its operations. He said operatives of the agency do manual frisking of people at the airports because they lack modern equipment for the job. The NDLEA chief urgde the Rotarians and other well-meaning Nigerians to partner the agency to enable it achieve its goals. Ajayi said though the non-users and traffickers of drugs may feel they are not affected directly, the next victim of drug users may be
anybody’s son, daughter or other relations. He said drug money, which he described as the dirty proceeds of drug trafficking, would ruin the economy, if allowed to enter the financial system of the country through laundering by couriers and barons. The agency’s director-general added that this has a destructive effect on governance. According to him, drug money can be used to corrupt law enforcement agencies, compromise top government officials, sponsor political instability or even topple democratic administrations.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
NEWS ‘Nigeria needs functional citizens’
Church to Jonathan: brace for Nigeria’s challenges
From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo
FORMER Nigerian Ambassador to The Gambia, Dr. Moses Oyedele Ogunlola, has said the country is in need of educated people. He added that the citizens should not just be technicallycompetent and capable of using their intellect, but should also have learnt the meaning of being functional and disciplined human beings. Dr. Ogunlola spoke yesterday at a forum in Oyo town. He said over the years, it has become clear that man has responsibilities to his community, which in turn creates a platform for the individuals within it. His words: “Unfortunately, the nation’s educational system is so flawed that the educated ones show little or no appreciation to the society.”
From Damisi Ojo, Akure
HE Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) of the Diocese of Idoani in Ondo State yesterday urged President Goodluck Jonathan to brace for the task of confronting the challenges facing the nation. It said Nigerians were still together only by the power of God, despite the activities of the Boko Haram, which had been perceived as driven by a motive to islamise the country. In a communiqué after its first session of the second synod, held at St Paul’s Church, Idogun in Ose Local Government Area of the state, the Diocesan Bishop, Rt. Revd. Ezekiel Dahunsi, flayed the culture of impunity and corruption. •From left: Comedian Stanley Chibunna, aka Funny Bone, Harrison, Awodunmila Akinmayokun (MAY D), Julius Agwu, Kingsley Okonkwo aka KC and Ogbonna Abovi aka Bovi, during a news conference to herald Agwu’s forthcoming London, Manchester and Abuja Crack ya ribs 2013 edition.
PDP crisis: Obasanjo’s peace moves deadlocked
OVES to restore peace to the crisis-ridden Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) failed on Tuesday night, as ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and the 23 governors could not reach compromise on all issues. The governors were divided on all issues, especially on the removal of the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and the crisis in the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF). Governors Rotimi Amaechi and Jonah Jang said they were not ready to forego their claim to the NGF chairmanship. While Jang adopted an evasive ploy by saying he was still consulting, Amaechi told the session that only those who elected him could ask him to step down. Amaechi added that most of
From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
those who elected him are not members of the PDP Governors Forum. But the ex-President might go into another round of meeting with the governors to resolve the crisis. The time of the third session was unknown last night. Investigation by our correspondent showed that the knotty issues were the fate of Tukur, NGF crisis, handing over of party structure in the state to governors, automatic ticket for President Goodluck Jonathan and others. A source said: “Many governors wanted Tukur to step aside to rebuild the party ahead of the 2015 poll, but a few others opposed the idea. “Those who wanted Tukur to remain in office opted for a
safety net by suggesting that President Jonathan should be allowed to determine Tukur’s fate. “Some governors, however, warned that with Tukur in charge, PDP might be on the edge for 2015 poll. “On the NGF crisis, neither Amaechi nor Jang was ready to step down. Each governor also took a position along the divide. There was no consensus on what to do.” The source quoted Amaechi as saying: ‘I did not elect myself. If those who elected me ask me to step down, I will do so.’ “Jang said he would consult widely on the suggestion and get back as appropriate. It shows that the NGF crisis may persist.” Responding to a question, the source said: “The governors disagreed with the automatic ticket proposal of the Tukur-led PDP National Working Com-
mittee. “Instead, they said the President, governors, members of the National Assembly and state Houses of Assembly must undergo free and fair primaries to earn ticket to contest in 2015. “They said unless there is internal democracy in PDP, the crisis rocking the party cannot end.” But the governors asked the PDP leadership to allow them to be leaders of the party at the state level. Their agitation was in contrast to the position of the party. Another source added: “They wanted the party to hand over its structure to them at the state level. But the party is circumspect that if it does that, the governors will impose their stooges as candidates in 2015. “From the look of things, ex-
From Yusuf Alli, Abuja
scam. Investigation showed that the aggrieved had made up their minds to deal with Saraki, leading to the digging up of the records on how the Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria (SGBN) went under. The threats led to the engineering of some petitions against the ex-governor, with some interest groups used as a shield. A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “Initially, the grilling of Saraki was assumed to be politically- motivated, but this theory was dismissed in some quarters, in view of the recent political rapprochement between him and the President. “The President had met with Saraki on how to resolve the crises within the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). “But it is clearer now that some forces in government, who were hurt by Saraki’s whistle-blowing on fuel subsidy, decided to deal with him. “They chose to ask the EFCC to revisit the failure of SGBN to prove that the exgovernor was not a hero he
had assumed to be. “Another angle to it is the fact that Governor AbdulFatai Ahmed of Kwara State had not been supportive of the forces against Governor Rotimi Amaechi. And since the governor worked with the SGBN, these forces opted to join issues with Saraki to send a signal to the governor that his former office is being probed.” A source close to Saraki, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said it was amazing that the government was investigating the ex-governor on a matter already decided by the court. The source said: “The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was the complainant and it asked SGBN to recapitalise within a day. When SGBN could not meet up following the short notice, it went to court. The court ordered CBN to restore SGBN’s licence. “While SGBN was asked to pay N1 billion to resume operation, the CBN came up with N25 billion recapitalisation policy. “SGBN opted to source for N25 billion to recapitalise. But midway, the CBN initiated another policy of re-
HE Federal Government yesterday said it has developed a new teacher education curriculum in line with the present needs of the education system. The Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’i, told reporters in Abuja that the new curriculum for teachers was part of the four-year strategic plan for the development of the education sector. “We recognise the importance of teachers in the quality of education delivery. “It is one of the reasons that a framework on national systems is being developed on the Teacher Development Needs Assessment and the Teacher Professional Development. “This will help us to be aware of our teacher needs, fill the gaps and enhance the professional development of our teachers,” she said.
Police storm court to re-arrest Amaechi’s supporter
Saraki’s grilling linked to fuel subsidy scandal expose
ARELY 24 hours after he was granted bail, the grilling of ex-Governor Bukola Saraki by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is generating ripples. The ex-governor’s questioning may not have been unconnected with his whistle-blowing on the N2.7 billion fuel subsidy scandal. It was learnt that some government forces, who were angry over the expose, which Saraki led in the Senate, were behind the petitions sent to the anti-graft agency. Some senators are said to be unhappy about the development, which they fear may affect the quality of legislative input. It was gathered that the aggrieved forces were unhappy that Saraki had tried to prove that he had a clean record by raising the alarm over the fuel subsidy scam. The Nation learnt that in the past one year, some individuals in government had been complaining about the attitude of the ex-governor, especially the role he played in “overstretching” the President Goodluck Jonathan administration on the subsidy
President Obasanjo and the governors might hold a third session to take decisions on the issues raised by the aggrieved governors of the party, including the crisis of confidence in the NGF and the increasing oil theft, which has affected the nation’s revenue profile. “I think they are trying to allow the tension to calm down. The President might attend the third session.” The issues rocking the party are division within PDP leadership; disagreement between some governors and Alhaji Tukur; the crisis in the NGF; crises in some states; Anambra governorship poll; Rivers crisis; reconciliation within the party; and the alarm raised by five North’s governors on how to keep the party intact and win 2015 poll.
Fed Govt develops curriculum
F •Dr. Saraki
gional banking with N10 billion recapitalisation and SGBN became Heritage Bank. “Even with the transformation into Heritage Bank, the shareholders in the defunct SGBN still have their shares intact. “We cannot understand why the ex-governor is being haunted.” Some senators, who spoke with our correspondent, faulted Saraki’s grilling. A senator said: “We learnt that he is being interrogated over SGBN due to his exposure of the fuel subsidy scam. This development will affect legislative input.” Another senator added: “We knew what we went through during the fuel subsidy scandal palaver. I am not surprised if Saraki is made a scapegoat because the revelations affected powerful interests.”
From Yusuf Alli and Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja
OR about three hours, plain-clothes policemen laid siege to the Abuja Chief Magistrate’s Court 9 to re-arrest a suspect, Charles Amoefule, one of Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s supporters. Amoefule, the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Omuma Local Government Area of Rivers State, was arrested last week with the Assistant Secretary of Rivers PDP, Leo Anyanwu. The two suspects, who were picked up for alleged sedition, were brought from Port Harcourt and kept at Kuje Medium Prison, Abuja. Amoefule was charged before the Abuja Chief Magistrate’s Court in Wuse Zone 2. Anyanwu is expected to face trial at a similar Chief Magistrate’s Court in Wuse Zone 6. Amoefule was arraigned before the Chief Magistrate’s Court 9 in Wuse Zone 2 amid tight security. The charge preferred by the police as contained in the First Information Report by Inspector Ibrahim Azo, reads: “Criminal conspiracy, false statement in declaration, which by law receivable in evidence false, impersonation, inciting disturbance and criminal intimidation contrary to sections 97, 164, 179, 114, and 397(b) of the Penal Code. “Charles Amoefule, Godwin Onwukwe and Leo Anyanwu now at large conspired among yourselves and caused announcement to be made on Radio 92.3 Nigeria Info and Rhythm 97.7 FM Abuja that the State Executive Council of PDP, Rivers State has been dissolved and reconstituted and you Charles Amoefule is now elected as state chairman of the party. “The information, which you know to be false and misleading, leading to inciting disturbance in Rivers State, resulted in breakdown of law.” The First Information Report (FIR) was brought in last Friday. Bail was not given to the accused. They filed a motion for bail, which was supposed to be moved yesterday. But the police prosecutor brought an application that he would want to terminate the FIR because of the sister case in Zone 6. The court transferred the case, terminating the FIR and discharging the accused. Following representations by the defence counsel, Mr. Ricky Tarfa (SAN), the Chief Magistrate, Anthony Ogboi Enahoro, discharged the accused.
THE NATION THURSDAY AUGUST 15, 2013
•Senator Oluremi Tinubu (middle) with youths in Lagos Central Senatorial District during an empowerment and skill aquisition programme in Yaba Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Lagos.
al-Mustapha: Lagos files 14-ground appeal at Supreme Court
HE Lagos State government has filed a six-ground appeal at the Supreme Court against the Court of Appeal’s acquittal of Major Hamza Al-Mustapha in the murder of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola. The state also filed eight grounds of appeal against the discharge Mr. Lateef Shofolahan, the deceased’s Personal Assistant (PA). Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Ade Ipaye filed the appeals. Lagos is seeking a court order setting aside the Appeal Court judgment. It said the lower court erred when it held that there were contradictions that rendered the testimony of the second prosecution witness inconsistent and unreliable. It said there was evidence on the record of appeal that the second prosecution witness explained the immaterial differences in his evidence during examination and crossexamination. Lagos said the court erred in law when it held that there were material contradictions that rendered the testimony of the third prosecution witness unreliable and asserted that the witness gave graphic and detailed evidence of conspiracy to and the murder of Alhaja Abiola, adding that his testimony was neither denied nor discredited during crossexamination. It argued that the lower court erred to have held that “there is nothing to show that the appellant did or
’Appeal can consume APC’
FORMER Commissioner of Police, Ibrahim Babankowa, yesterday said the Lagos State Government’s appeal against the acquittal of Major Hamza Al-Mustapha in the murder of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola “has the potential of consuming” the All Progressives Congress (APC). He urged the Lagos State Government to withdraw it. Speaking with reporters at his Kano home, Babankowa said: “The appeal has the capacity to rekindle distrust between the Hausa/Fulani extraction on one side and the Yoruba on the other. “The way the North received al-Mustapha on his home-coming and the highly-placed individuals that received him is instructive that the region and the silent majority are solidly sympathetic to him. “From what I have seen so far, I have no doubt that Lagos’ steps would harm relationships across borders as regards the interpretation and understanding of laymen, who are the majority here.” Although Babankowa admitted that the decision of the Lagos State Government might be to satisfy the Abiola family, he cautioned that “while doing so, conscious steps should be applied to avoid harming the larger interest”. By Adebisi Onanuga and Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
omit to do any act for the purpose of enabling or aiding another person to commit the offence with which he is charged. There is no evidence that the appellant counselled or procured any other person to commit the offence for which he was charged”. Lagos said: “Section seven of the
Obadare: Osun gets funeral panel
From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo
HE Osun State government has set up a 14-man committee for the funeral of the founder of the World Soul-winning Evangelistic Mission (WOSEM), Prophet Timothy Obadare. The committee is chaired by the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Culture and Tourism, Sikiru Ayedun. Ayedun yesterday presented a cheque of the government’s N35 million donation for the funeral to the late Obadare’s family. He said N15 million was for the building of a mausoleum, N10 million for logistics and N10 million for intervention work at the funeral venue to accommodate guests. Ayedun said the late evangelist’s remains would arrive in the state today and would be received by government officials at Asejire by 12 noon. He said the body would be taken to Owena and Akure, the Ondo State capital. The body will be brought to the Osogbo City Stadium tomorrow, where a service will be held. Afterwards, it will be taken to Ilesa for the lying-in-state. The final ceremony will hold in Ilesa on Saturday. Defending the government’s donation, the Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Dr. Wale Bolorunduro, who is a member of the burial committee, said the late Obadare was not just an icon but an institution and a blessing to the world. He said the government decided to immortalise him because he was a link between the present and the future. Bolorunduro said the government’s gesture would boost tourism.
Criminal Code identifies circumstances where a person may be held liable for committing an offence. There was concrete evidence (both oral and documentary) before the court indicating the participation of the second and third prosecution witnesses and the respondent in the alleged crimes.” In the sixth ground, it said the Appeal Court erred when it held that “there is no evidence, whether
direct or circumstantial, which points to the commission of the murder by the appellant. This is because, as observed in the treatment of Issue No. 1, couched by me, the prosecution witnesses fielded by the prosecution were not reliable and the evidence elicited by them, as well as the documentary evidence tendered by the fourth prosecution witness, leaves much to be desired. No cogent or com-
Rampage on Akure/Owo road
N unidentified man was yesterday killed by a trailer at AyedeOgbese, Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State. It was learnt that the accident occurred around 9am. Youths in the community barricaded the Akure/Owo expressway and set up bonfires to vent their anger. They said many accidents would be prevented, if speed
He said: “I have seen the grounds of appeal by the Lagos State Government and it would be safe to say that it is trying to exhaust all legal means to satisfy the Abiola family, in particular, and the Yoruba race in general, but the danger inherent in such judicial expedition is the risk of its relationship with our people.” Babankowa, who discovered the body of former Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa in Ogun while serving in the police force, was among the officers that destroyed the Kalakuta Republic of the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti. On the APC’s strength, Babankowa said: “The days of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are numbered and we are waiting patiently for the right time to kick it out of power. “We are doing our best to knit together a strong and united opposition party and we are equally conscious of saboteurs, who feel threatened by the growing strength of the mega opposition party across the country. “PDP has nothing to show for the period it dominated the political turf and we believe the time is ripe to call its bluff and save the system from further bastardisation.”
pelling evidence was adduced by the prosecution”. Lagos said there is uncontroverted evidence by the second prosecution witness and concurrence by the first defence witness that he was the leader of the strike force set up by the military regime of the late General Sanni Abacha. It said the second prosecution witness admitted that he was instructed by the first defence witness to eliminate the late Alhaja Abiola because of her opposition against the regime. Lagos said: “The first defence witness provided logistics for the killing of the deceased in Lagos. The third prosecution witness was assigned as a driver to the second prosecution witness because of his knowledge of Lagos and the third prosecution witness gave graphic evidence of how he drove the second prosecution witness to the scene of the crime, where he allegedly shot the deceased severally”. An Assistant Chief State Counsel, Obafemi Adamson, in a seven-paragraph affidavit in support of the motion for leave to appeal, said the notice of appeal questions the correctness of the lower court’s decision on the alleged contradictions in the testimony of the second and third prosecution witnesses and the “failure” of the Appeal Court to act on undisturbed factual findings of the court. It said the grounds of appeal raise fundamental and arguable issues for determination at the apex court.
From Damisi Ojo,Akure
breakers were built on the road. The protest caused a gridlock on the road and motorists were stranded for hours. The youths sang anti-government songs and accused the government of insensitivity to the poor condition of the road. It was gathered that the tra-
ditional ruler of the town, the Alayede of AyedeOgbese, Oba Iseoluwa, paid N150,000 to a contractor to build speed breakers on the road, but the project was stopped two weeks ago by the Ministry of Works on grounds that speed breakers were not approved for the road. The youths ignored the presence of security operatives and insisted that they
would not leave the road until speed breakers are built. An official of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) confirmed the incident. He said motorists have been advised to use alternative routes. Yesterday’s accident occurred a few days after a man, simply identified as Mikel, was crushed to death by a truck on the Benin-Ore road.
Letters academy holds convocation today
HE Nigerian Academy of Letters (NAL) will hold its 15th annual convocation today at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Main Auditorium. It has the theme: Nigeria’s cultural tapestry. Time is 11am. A statement by NAL Secretary Prof. Dele Layiwola said the convocation would have three segments: a lecture, investiture of new fellows and
By Joseph Jibueze
a scientific session at which papers on the theme would be presented and discussed. Prof. Ayodeji Olukoju will deliver the convocation lecture, entitled: Nigeria’s cultural tapestry and the challenge of development. Those to be honoured as fellows are: Prof. Richard Olaniyan (History, Obafemi Awolowo University); Prof.
‘Regular fellows are scholars, who have been professors for at least 10 years and are not only distinguished, but also current in terms of research and publications’ Is-haq Oloyede (Islamics, University of Ilorin) and Prof.
Eno-Abasi Urua (Linguistics, University of Uyo). NAL said its members are scholars, who have been professors for at least five years in various branches of the humanities. “Regular fellows are scholars, who have been professors for at least 10 years and are not only distinguished, but also current in terms of research and publications,” the statement added.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
Police justify raid on Ogun lawmaker’s father’s house •’We found cultists’
HE police yesterday explained why they stormed the Omu-Ijebu home of the father of an Ogun State lawmaker, Mr. Remmy Hazzan (Odogbolu Constituency). Men of the Ogun Command, led by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations) Muhammad Abdulkadir, last weekend stormed Hazzan's father's home in search of suspected cultists. The lawmaker alleged that the raid was politically-motivated. But, in a statement, police spokesman Olumuyiwa Adejobi urged the public to disregard Hazzan's claims. Adejobi said a raid was conducted on Pa Hazzan's home, following intelligence reports that it harbours suspected cultists. He said the raid was to rid the area of cultists and crime. Adejobi said: "The Ogun State Police Command refutes Hazzan's claims that the raid conducted on his father's Omu-Ijebu home was politically-motivated. The command has declared war on cultists and hoodlums, particu-
From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
larly in Ijebu and Sagamu axis, to stop criminal activities. "The command, in conjunction with other security agencies, has been flushing out hoodlums and cultists in the past one month and the raids were coordinated by DCP Abdulkadri. Of those arrested, 29 suspected cultists have been arraigned. "The command sets the records straight that the lawmaker's father's house harbours suspected cultists, including Hazzan's younger brothers, who were arrested in the past for their involvement in many disturbances in Ijebu last year. "Hazzan's brothers confessed to belonging to the Eiye Confraternity, but they were not met in the house during the raid. The command urges the public to disregard the lawmaker's sentiment of being politically harassed and support the police's effort to rid Ogun of hoodlums as the raid on black spots and criminals' hideouts continue."
Family sues Italian
HE Alakija family in Lagos has filed a suit against an Italian, Stephano Onnis, at a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos for allegedly defrauding a Nigerian firm, Dys Trocca Valsesia (DTV) & Company Limited. The plaintiffs - Olawole Alakija and Mrs. Dora Alakija - who are DTV's major shareholders, alleged that after the expiration of the appointment of Onnis as the acting managing director, he continued to illegally occupy the position. Guido Giachetti, Ernest Aisuebeogun, Anthony Kalu, Deloitee Corporate Services Limited and Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) are the other defendants. In the supporting affidavit, the family alleged that Onnis, while acting as the sole Director of DTV without owning a single share, purportedly reconstituted the Board of Directors of the company and appointed other persons as Directors without following the procedure laid down in DTV's Articles
of Association and in the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA). The plaintiffs averred that the defendants (apart from CAC) have been illegally expending the funds of the company on businesses not in line with its core business. They are seeking an order setting aside all actions taken by Onnis and other purported Directors so far and another order restraining them from further parading themselves as Directors of the company. Also, DTV's Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Adetokunbo Alakija, has petitioned Lagos State Chief Judge Justice Ayotunde Philips on the alleged abuse of judicial powers by a Chief Magistrate. Alakija, in the petition through his lawyer, Deji Sasegbon (SAN), wants Justice Philips to investigate the circumstances leading to how the Magistrate struck out a criminal charge brought before her. Onnis and Monta were charged in a criminal matter for making false statements to the police.
‘Stop castigating Fashola’
CHIEFTAIN of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Isolo Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos State, Mr. Hakeem Adelabu-Soule, has cautioned those castigating Governor Babatunde Fashola on the return of destitute persons to their states. He said the issue should not be politicised because Lagos State, the Centre of Excellence, which provides a means of livelihood for almost one quarter of Nigerians, should not be turned into a dump site where miscreants would be allowed to impede
development. Adelabu-Soule said the governor should be praised, instead of being criticised, for the laudable programmes of his administration. He added: "It is a routine administrative process that when you have destitute persons around, after taking care of them, you return them to their states of origin and reunite them with their people. "I remind people that the Fashola administration did not promise to make life easy for all Nigerians, so people cannot just migrate enmasse to Lagos whenever they have problems in their states."
From Yomi Odunuga, Abuja
•Amosun (middle); his deputy, Prince Segun Adesegun and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Country Representative, Ms. Jean Gough...yesterday.
Children's growth vital, says Amosun
GUN State Governor Ibikunle Amosun has said his administration's policies are aimed at guaranteeing a brighter future for children. He said his administration's Five Cardinal Programmes, comprising affordable and qualitative education; efficient healthcare delivery, increased agricultural production/ industrialisation; affordable housing and urban renewal; and rural and infrastructural development/employment generation, would help children grow into responsible adults. Amosun spoke in Abeokuta, the state capital, while hosting
From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
the 14th edition of the Zonal Network for Children (ZNC) meeting, organised by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The theme of the meeting is: "Fulfilling the Rights of Children: Our Responsibility". Amosun said children are crucial for the continuity of families, the society and the nation and should be protected. He urged individuals and corporate organisations to reach out to the less-privileged children." Amosun said: "For us in
Ogun, the survival and nurturing of children will continue to receive maximum attention. We are aware that these children will inevitably inherit our place as parents, public officials, CEOs, traditional and religious leaders, among others, and we must protect them from societal ills. "This is why our efforts are geared, not only towards meeting our immediate needs, but providing the necessary ambience for the positive development of our children. "Millions of children, especially in developing countries, have limited or no
access to quality education and good health care services. Those lucky to live beyond age five are mostly subjected to child labour and inhuman treatment. "It is unfortunate that the future might remain bleak for this vulnerable lot, if urgent steps are not taken to avert the looming disaster. It is for this reason that governments at the state and federal levels are working hard to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). "The goals unanimously set by UNICEF and scores of countries across the world have a direct impact on the future of our children."
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
CITYBEATS Family of five Row dies in fire over teen's death H
CITYBEATS LINE: 08023247888
By Precious Igbonwelundu
AN early morning fire yesterday consumed a family of five, including two teenagers, at Shagari Estate, Ipaja, a Lagos suburb. The fire, which was said to have started at about 2am, at C89, Koda Street, Mosan Okun-Ola Local Council Development Area (LCDA), raged for several hours. Various rescue agencies joined hands to douse it. The building is reportedly owned by a woman identified as Mama Nurse. One of the victims was said to have just returned from Dubai. The Director, Lagos State Fire Service, Rasaq Fadipe, said it took the combined efforts of the Ikotun and Agege Fire Service Stations to quench the inferno. He said: "We were alerted that there was a fire on the premises and on arrival, we discovered the fire was very serious. Initially, a truck from Ikotun Fire Station was deployed, but when we saw the seriousness of the fire, an Agege Fire Service truck was also brought into the scene. Each of the trucks contained 10, 000 litres of water. "The affected building is a three-bedroom flat attached to a main building. We prevented the inferno from escalating and spreading to the main building. In the course of our operations, five bodies already consumed by the fire were recovered. They included two children, between ages five and 15." Although the cause of the fire could not be readily ascertained, Fadipe said: "The fire can be attributed to candle light because there was no electricity and we learnt the family had lit a candle and went to sleep. The bodies were handed over to the police." The spokesman of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Southwest, Ibrahim Farinloye, and General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Femi Osayintolu, also confirmed the incident and the casualty figure. The police Public Relations Officer (PRO), Ngozi Braide, could not be reached for comments.
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OW did Jannifer Onyeche die in a factory where she started working barely two weeks before her death? This is the puzzle her family wants resolved amid controversy over the cause of her death. The company claims she was electrocuted, but the autopsy report said she died of asphyxia. Asphyxia is described as an extreme condition caused by lack of oxygen and excess carbon dioxide in the blood, produced by interference with respiration or insufficient oxygen in the air or suffocation. Jennifer, 17, died on July 24 at a juice-making factory in Alapere, near Ketu, a Lagos surburb. She was yet to collect her first monthly N12, 000 salary. The family told The Nation yesterday that the contradictory stories they were told by the management of the factory and the "shabby manner" the Alapere Police Division handled the case showed that there are still mysteries to be unravelled. During a visit to the family’s Solomon Street, Alapere home, the Oynyeches expressed disappointment at the way the police were handling the matter. They accused the police of not allowing them see their daughter until one week after her death. Thus, they suspected a conspiracy between the police and the company. The mother, Mrs Joyce Onyeche, said that on that fateful day, four young women knocked on her door at 4.40 pm, explaining: "When I
• The late Jennifer By Precious Igbonwelundu
opened the door, they told me that my daughter had suffered a serious electric shock. I followed them with one of our neighbours. "When we got there, I did not see the four ladies again. I saw the secretary and asked for my daughter. I was told she had been taken to the General Hospital, Gbagada. Immediately, my neighbour and I went to the hospital, searched everywhere, including the children's ward; my daughter was nowhere there. Then I called to tell my husband who suggested that we should take the search to the General Hospital Ikeja and the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). We still did not find her." Frustrated by the fruitlessness of their search, the couple made to return home. Along the way, they went back to the company's premises, from where they were led to Fine Day Hospital. "At the hospital," the woman said, "I sighted an ambulance outside the hospital with two policemen. It did not occur to me my daughter could be there because they told me she was still alive. A doctor asked, “Why are you just coming now?” My neighbour replied
• The company’s premises ... yesterday
‘They accused the police of not allowing them see their daughter until one week after her death. Thus, they suspected a conspiracy between the police and the company that we were not told she was there; then I knew something was wrong. I cried and asked them to open the ambulance for me to see my daughter, but they refused. "Then, the policemen came and took us to his station, where my neighbour was forced to sign some papers, despite his insistence on waiting for my husband. I was crying outside. The ambulance disappeared, so we were not allowed to see her body. People around there suspected a foul play. My husband came and demanded to see Jennifer. Some policemen said she had been taken to a mortuary and that my neighbour (her brother) had signed the papers. They said they would take us to the mortuary to see her." The late teenager's sister, Nke Olanite said: "I went with my brother (deceased's father)
to the police station the next day, but the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) said he would not take us to the mortuary because he needed to get a coroner’s report from the court for autopsy. We were not satisfied with his explanation and so, we wrote to State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti. "The SCID officers took us to the factory for investigation and it was then that we were allowed to see Jennifer, a week after her death. Some said Jennifer might have fallen; some said they heard a loud cry. Another story said the machine she was operating shocked her. They said from the bruises she sustained on her finger and ear, she possibly did not switch off the machine before starting it. When we asked for the autopsy, the IPO only wrote the report on a paper for us." Contrary to the claim by the
factory’s management that Jennifer might have died from electrocution, the report by Dr O.O. Lawal of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) Pathology Department said her death was caused by asphyxia. Although Jennifer was buried on August 7 in Delta State, the family has urged the government to ensure that justice prevails. Her father, Friday Onyeche, who acknowledged that the factory's owner had visited the family and also gave them N150, 000 for her burial, said they were still in shock over her death. "My daughter was an intelligent and very friendly girl. She was the prefect in the school where she graduated from. She wrote this last university admission examination and was awaiting admission; that was why she took up the job. If only I had stopped her from that work…! "Some officials of the Lagos State Government (Public Advice Centre) came here but because we were afraid of the police, we told them we didn’t want any case. But now, we know better. Let them assist us get justice done."
Police adopt robots to detect bombs
UNDREDS of Lagosians gathered yesterday on the parade ground of the Police College, Ikeja, Lagos to catch a glimpse of the new robots that will assist anti-bomb policemen. The robots were being remotely controlled by some officers from the Police AntiBomb Unit. They gathered explosives from a supposed crime scene and put same into detonating baskets. The police officers carried out the display to showcase the knowledge they acquired from their recent Basic Explosive Ordinance Device Course. It was the Course 16A graduation ceremony. The EOD (Anti-Bomb) Commander, Abdulmajid Ali, a Commissioner (CP), said the essence of the exercise was to protect human lives and strengthen security. Ali told the graduands that the course conferred on them a new status as Anti-Bomb Technicians and Investigators as well as qualifies them in handling explosives, with versed knowledge in Improvised Explosives Devices (IEDs).
By Ebele Boniface
He said there were challenging tasks ahead, reminding them that as professionals, they would be called upon to offer solutions, adding that they could not afford to fail. The commissioner the command had been networking with police commands, Joint Task Forces across the nation and had painstakingly investigated and uncovered clandestine plots to cause mayhem at some strategic places across the country, where large caches of explosives. He urged Nigerians to support the command with useful information, especially whenever strange objects are found. The Assistant InspectorGeneral (AIG) Zone II, Mamman Tsafe, who represented the Inspector General (IGP) Muhammed Abubakar, said the impact of the EOD unit "will now be fully felt." Tsafe said, "We are not saying that the equipment are enough, but the judicious utilisation of the available equipment will go a long way in solving problems of terrorism in the country."
• L-R: Assistant Commander (Operations), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Lagos State, Elizabeth Akinde; Coordinator, Special Marshal & Partnership, George Babatunde Benson; Commander Charles Akpabio, and Ikotun Unit Commander, Chiwendu Iwuoha ... at the monthly meeting for performance review hosted by the unit. PHOTO: ADEJO DAVID
Crisis rocks Ondo community
NDIGENES and residents of Irun Akoko in Akoko North West Local Government Area of Ondo State, have urged Governor Olusegun Mimiko to intervene in the crisis rocking the community. They implored the governor to call some trouble makers to order. A community leader, who pleaded anonymity for fear of reprisals, said the community had been thrown into confusion since the demise of its monarch in 2011, when a sec-
tion of the town decided to break away and form another community. "It is unheard-of that the people of a community that has existed for centuries will suddenly wake up one day and take up arms against one another. These people are determined to cause trouble in this town if they are not immediately called to order," he said. A youth leader, Ige Osho, alleged that a prominent woman leader of the Labour Party (LP) in the town was using her in-
fluence to cause disaffection among the people. He said the woman had boasted that she would ensure that the government splits the town into two. In June, it took police intervention to prevent a total breakdown of peace and order in the town during a ceremony held to start the new yam season. A fresh meeting called by the Office of the Deputy Governor to resolve the crisis failed to hold last Saturday because the other party refused to attend.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
Naira heads for three-week low
HE naira headed for its weakest level against the dollar since July 23 as demand increased before the Central Bank’s second foreign-exchange auction of the week. The currency yesterday retreated 0.2 per cent to N160.85 per dollar, the lowest on a closing basis in more than three weeks. It weakened 2.9 per cent this year, the worst in West Africa after the Ghanaian cedi and Liberian dollar, among 24 of the continent’s currencies tracked by Bloomberg. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold $221.6 million on August 12, the lowest since May 15. The regulator is the biggest supplier of the dollarn and offers foreign exchange at a target of plus or minus three per cent of N155 per dollar. “Importers that couldn’t meet their demand for dollars at the auction are resorting to the interbank market, thereby putting the naira under pressure at that window,” Kunle Ezun, an analyst at Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, (ETI), said in Lagos, yesterday that an increase in CBN’s supply will reduce the pressure. The CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee left its benchmark interest rate at a record 12 per cent for an 11th consecutive meeting on July 23 to protect the naira. It introduced a 50 per cent cash reserve requirement on public-sector funds after warning about the risk of excess liquidity. Yields on Nigeria’s $500 million Eurobonds due January 2021 were little changed at 5.48 per cent. Borrowing costs on local-currency debt due January 2022 rose six basis points, or 0.06 percentage point, to 13.09 per cent on Tuesday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Ghana’s cedi was unchanged at 2.0950 per dollar in the capital, Accra.
CBN spends N250b on naira
HE Central Bank of Ni geria (CBN) spent N250 billion to on the nation’s currency in 2012, the Deputy Governor, Operations, at the apex bank, Tunde Lemo, has said. Lemo, who spoke at the Marble Arch Hotels in Awka, the Anambra State’s capital on the proposed implementation of the cashlite policy, said the money went into processing, transportation, storage and destruction of old naira notes. He said the cost which stood at N114.5 billion in 2009, has continued to rise until last year when the cashless policy was introduced by the CBN in Lagos, adding that the cost of producing and managing the naira has become too huge for the country to bear. The Deputy Governor, who was represented by a Deputy Manager, BabatundeAjioye, spoke at a forum to sensitize stakeholders in Anambra State on the proposed implementation of the cashlite policy of the CBN scheduled to start in Anambra and five other states by October, 2013. He listed reduction in crimes, like armed robbery, kidnappings targeted at cash, reduction in election rigging which is perpetrated with the use of cash; elimination of cash shortages; inefficient revenue management and cut in corruption levels, as some of the
• New notes coming From NwanosikeOnu, Awka
benefits of the cashless regime. He said since the cashless policy was introduced in Lagos State , the state’s revenue projections has increased tremendously, while the state’s cost of generating revenue had also dropped significantly. Earlier, the Branch Controller of the apex bank in Awka, Azubuike Okoro, said the choice of Anambra as one of the first set of states to commence the cashless policy, was based on its high cash transactions, arguing that introducing the policy would not pose much problem because of the high literacy and innumeracy level in the state. He said: ”Anambra people have over the years been operating cashless schemes in doing their businesses, that is why there is no longer news of highway bus robberies anymore because the traders no longer carry cash to markets outside the state for their transactions.” ”We are targeting Onitsha ,Nnewi, Ekwulobia and Umunze for market mobilization because of the heavy use of cash in those cities and towns,” he said. Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria will take de-
livery of new naira notes before the end of September for circulation, the Deputy Director, Operations, Dr Tunde Lemo, has said. The apex bank had earlier said that new naira notes would be in circulation by June, and that the smaller denomination notes (N5, N10, N20, and N50) would be reprinted on paper. Lemo, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Abuja, said: “We are going to take delivery of the new notes from this month of August,” adding that the process will be completed before the end of September. He said the public will get a large quantity of the new notes to replace the old and mutilated ones, “particularly the higher denomination notes in the first instance, then later, the lower denominations.’’ On the scarcity of the lower denomination notes, Lemo blamed commercial banks for what he called “poor circulation.’’ “For the lower denomination; I think the banks are really the ones that are really not allowing the lower denomination in circulation, largely, because of the carrying cost. “Most people don’t require small denomination. But for buying things in the market, if you look at the veracity, you find out that the N50 circulate
more than the smaller ones,’’ he said. Meanwhile, Lemo has urged law enforcement agencies to arrest all illegal hawkers of new naira notes. He also called on commercial banks to keep watchful eyes on their staff to avoid being used as conduit for illegal transfer of new notes to unauthorised hands. Lemo said this should be done to ensure effective protection of the currency from abuse. “We have done all we can do in the sense that we have criminalised this in the 2007 Act. It is clear that if you hawk notes, if you abuse the currency, it is a criminal offence and it is punishable. “We expect law enforcement agencies to do the arrest. We don’t have power to arrest. We know it is going on,’’ he said. Lemo said commercial banks should “dispense and pay their customers with new notes’’. He said the apex bank had carried out sensitisation campaigns to inform the public and warn them about the dangers of patronising hawkers. “I think that is the limit the central bank can go,’’ the deputy governor said. NAN reports that new naira notes are sold at Dei Dei along Kubwa Express Road, Abuja, as well as other locations across the country. •DirectorGeneral, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Alhaji Bature Masari, presenting cash award of N500,000 to the Nigerian team that won the Students for Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE) World Cup 2013 competition in Abuja …yesterday
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 -N12.1 trillion JSE -Z5.112trillion NYSE -$10.84 trillion LSE -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -8.4% 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 $46.9b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472
11 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
Reps back withdrawal of public sector funds from banks T HE House of Repre sentatives has de fended the withdrawal of public sector funds from commercial banks by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) The House Committee on Banking and Currency, noted that it has been vindicated on the issue that has been its major concern since its inauguration two years ago. Its Chairman, Jones Chukwudi Onyereri, said the argument in support of the withdrawal of public sector funds from commercial banks, was for the banks to focus on their core banking
From Dele Anofi, Abuja
functions. In a statement yesterday, Onyereri explained that the withdrawal of the funds will force banks to look for alternative sources of funds, which will in turn lead to offering of better incentives to the public, including higher deposit rates and an increase in private sector lending. “The Committee therefore sees the recent policy decision by CBN to increase the Cash Reserve Ratio
(CRR) for public sector deposit in banks to 50 per cent as a step in the right direction. “Though it is the Committee’s goal to see to a total withdrawal of public sector funds from the commercial banks, the Committee applauds the CBN for taking this important step, and for seeing the benefit in the Committee’s stance on this matter and the obvious added value such action will bring to the private sector. He said the Committee believes that in the long term,
the action will bring the much-needed respite to the consumers from high bank charges, lack of banking incentives and high interest rates. “The over reliance of our commercial banks on public sector funds has led to a total neglect of the private sector by the banks, as they see the public sector fund as a cash cow, which has resulted in a decline in their entrepreneurial drive,” he said. He said the Committee was ready to continue to work with the CBN and other financial bodies to improve lending to the private sector at reduced rates.
World Bank approves $200m for Fadama
HE World Bank has ex tended the execution of Fadama III programme in Nigeria from three to four years, with the approval of $200 million in June, the South -West Fadama Zonal Coordinator, Rasaq Salau, has said. Salau told the News Agency of Nigeria in IleOluji Local Government Area of Ondo State, yesterday that although the approval was signed in June, its full implementation would begin in January, 2014. He said the states participating in the programme will concentrate on the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government, stating that the programme will involve people who are into production, as well as those adding value by way of branding and packaging of their crops. Salau said the Federal Government is determined to stop rice importation by 2015, adding that the Minister of Agriculture has been urged to ensure that only quality rice is produced.
MTN’s half-year profit hits $6.5b
TN Group’s firsthalf profit, rose by 22 per cent, exceeding estimates, after subscriber numbers increased in fast-growing markets, including Nigeria and Ghana. The Johannesburg-based company said in a statement yesterday, that sales advanced 9.8 per cent to $6.5 billion. So-called headline earnings per share, which exclude one-time items, were 6.54 rand for the six months through June, compared with 5.36 rand a year earlier, thus beating the 6.49 rand median profit estimate by four analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Total subscribers increased 6.5 per cent to 201.5 million, supported by 7.8 million net additions in Nigeria and further growth in smaller African markets, such as Sudan and Ivory Coast. However, South African customer numbers declined slightly after weak consumer spending and tough competition hampered the business in Africa’s largest economy. MTN plans to add 21.1 million subscribers in the full year, saying it would lower its cost base in South Africa in order to compete with aggressive rivals, Chief Financial Officer Brett Goschen told reporters at a press conference. Savings will probably come from a reduction in distribution and procurement costs, while the company is reviewing its headcount, he said.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
BUSINESS NEWS New revenue formula: RMAFC meets Gowon
HE Revenue Mobili sation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has started consultation with former elder statesmen in continuation of its advocacy and mass mobilisation on the ongoing review of the existing Revenue Allocation Formula. The consultations took off yesterday with a visit to former Head of State General Yakubu Gowon (Rtd) in Abuja. The Chairman of the commission, Elias Mbam, led the delegation which included other members and senior officials of the commission. Mbam, who addressed reporters at the end of the visit, said the aim of the meeting was to enable the commission to tap from the wealth of experience of former leaders, and also get their input into the proposed revenue formula. He said it has become expedient for the commission to widen the scope of its consultation with critical stakeholders to promote national buy-in. Mbam said the commission has so far held consultative meetings with critical stakeholders, such as members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm, the three levels of government, comprising governors, speakers of state Houses of Assembly, Chief Judge, as well as local council chairmen and
From Nduka Chiejina, (Asst. Editor), Abuja
their counsellors. Earlier, Mbam told Gowon that the Commission would also pay similar visits to his successors, to get their views on the exercise to enrich the evolving formula. Responding, Gowon thanked members of the commission for the visit and assured them of his continued support for the commission on its quest to get a new revenue formula for the country. He said an equitable revenue sharing formula would ensure even development of the country, promote national unity, cohesion and peaceful coexistence.
• From left: Hetal Shah of Mara Foundation, Chief Executive Officer, Bluebird Capital, Mr Peter Owunna, Vice President, Pan African Youth Council, Mr Ndaba Mandela, President, Mara Foundation Group, Ashish j Thakkar, Special Adviser to the President on Youth Empowerment, Ambassador Obinna Adim, Chairman Fortis Mobile Money Plc, Felix Achibiri, and President, MTV Networks Africa, Alex Okosi, after a collaborative session on Mentorship programme for Nigerian Youths at the State House, Abuja.
Banks urged to create fund for tourism
ONEY Deposit Banks have been urged to create a special fund to develop the tourism sector. The Chairman, Tourism Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Larry SegunLean, said this would provide an opportunity for investors and other stakeholders to invest meaningfully in the industry He told The Nation that when banks start getting involved in tourism development, it would not only guarantee massive employment for the teeming Nigerians youths, but will also create an environment that
By Ambrose Nnaji
people would have money to save, adding that the retail banking would thrive more than what it is today because all classes of citizens have access to savings and services of the banks. He urged the government to be proactive with regards to tourism development, and provide the needed atmosphere that would enable practitioners and tourists to take advantage of the abundant resources in the country, saying that tourism should be seen as a way forward towards economic development of the nation
He said: “We need funding for tourism so that everybody would be engaged. When people are meaningfully engaged, they can be taxable, it would help revenue generation for the government, people can pay taxes when they play their role in national development, and taxation becomes relevant for everybody.” Sugun, said that banks have the basic role to play in financing major infrastructural projects, such as airports, the transportation system, including the railway line, adding that every aspect of tourism, including the crea-
tive industry in the tourism sub-sector requires finance. “We are inviting the banks to come and be part of tourism development in identifying with projects that are necessary for funding. They should create a desk in the banking sector which can be considered as tourism desk where projects that are tourism related are considered for funding,”he said. “We should be able to have integrated transport system that when a tourist visits the country, he would have no problem taking off from the airport, either by train or road.” He urged banks to get in-
• CBN Governor, Sanusi
volved in tourism related infrastructure because when a tourist visits, he wants an experience that is interesting and hassle free.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
COMMENTARY FROM OTHER LANDS
For justice’s sake
•Lagos State government’s decision to challenge the Appeal Court’s verdict on AlMustapha is commendable
HE decision of the Lagos State government to approach the nation’s apex court, the Supreme Court, for a review of the Court of Appeal’s decision that discharged and acquitted Major Hamza Al-Mustapha and Mr. Lateef Sofolahan, over the alleged murder of Mrs. Kudirat Abiola is a welcome development. We identify with the sound reasons for this action as offered by the state attorney-general and commissioner for justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, that the ‘step will ensure that all issues are fully articulated and the victim’s family, the defendants and the society are not deprived of the last opportunity provided by the constitution for the resolution of the case’. We urge the attorney-general and his legal team to ensure that they put their best foot forward in this final appeal, so that all parties will feel enamoured to accept the decision of the apex court. The prosecution must also appreciate that, as things are, Nigerians feel scandalised that despite a public confession that Mrs. Abiola was murdered in cold blood by agents of the state, the persons charged with the murder have been discharged and acquitted. That decision, for an ordinary man, no doubt gives a further impression that the state is determined to cover up and protect the perpetrators of the heinous crime. To soothe the sociological scare on the society arising from the murder, it is very important that all the gaping holes are
covered so that the decision of the final court in the land would be acceptable. As the matter proceeds to the final court, it is also hoped that the defence team is not allowed to resort to the kind of shenanigans that saw a straightforward matter of murder trial turned into a circus show. We recall that the defence team of the acquitted twosome tried all tricks in the world to ensure that the matter was delayed for years, and had no qualms to tar the integrity of any judge they figured was willing to put the accused through an expeditious trial. While we await the judicial process to take its final course, it is important to condemn the show of shame that was led by Mr. Frederick Fasheun of the Oodu’a Peoples Congress, and his completely misguided likes. We recall that even before the acquittal, Fasehun and other hawks like him led the unfounded claim that Al-Mustapha was being victimised through his self-inflicted prolonged trial for the murder of Mrs. Abiola, without offering any scintilla of evidence. That reprehensible conduct had been furthered since the release of Al-Mustapha, with some state governors according the tainted fellow what is akin to a state visit. To show how far the moral value of our country has sunk, Al-Mustapha has been received in palaces and celebrated as if he is a new folk hero. Yet there is no doubt that Al-Mustapha served one of the most repressive regimes that this country has been unfortunate to
experience. Even those campaigning in favour of, and now celebrating his innocence, will be dishonest if they pretend that they were not aware that Al-Mustapha as a major, ran rough shod over generals and his other superiors in the military, and supervised the most dehumanising regime of terror under the late General Sani Abacha. We are therefore surprised that after such a dishonourable tour of duty, Major AlMustapha would, in the eyes of some people, appear to be worthy of any decent company, not to talk of celebration. We urge the Supreme Court to rein in for contempt, any such meddlesomeness while the matter is before them.
‘The prosecution must also appreciate that, as things are, Nigerians feel scandalised that despite a public confession that Mrs. Abiola was murdered in cold blood by agents of the state, the persons charged with the murder have been discharged and acquitted. That decision, for an ordinary man, no doubt gives a further impression that the state is determined to cover up and protect the perpetrators of the heinous crime’
Shekau’s challenge •Unites States should translate its promise to help Nigeria fight Boko Haram into action
HE virulent influence of Boko Haram seems inexorable even though growing national and global concerns against its scourge have been without empirical dividend. Why did we say this? Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram’s leader, looks not deterred by the global terrorist tag and a bounty of $7million placed on his head by the United States (US). Not even the ongoing state of emergency and military operations in some parts of the north where the sect’s activities are more pronounced has slowed him and his men down. The religious reprobate, who over time has held the country under siege, is still
‘We know that the Boko Haram matter has been riddled with shoddy intelligence gathering by the country’s security agencies, but this is why an effective international intervention from the US would come handy. The Shekau challenge should act as wake-up call on the US. She needs to act and not bluster on the Boko Haram-inflicted insecurity, in the interests of the two countries’
threatening fire and brimstone from his hideout in a recently released Agence France Presse (AFP) video footage. He dared Presidents Barack Obama of United States, Francois Hollande of France and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to a contest. In Shekau’s imprudent view, the leaders of these powerful countries are “no match” for him. He reportedly affirmed his culpability in recent killings that occurred in some parts of the north. His statement, unfortunately, came while the nation groans over news reports that 44 people were again killed last Sunday in a mosque while praying in Konduga, 35 kilometres from Maiduguri, Borno State capital. Maiduguri is the epicentre of the sect’s activities since 2009 when its vicious acts became manifest. Boko Haram is responsible for several deadly raids over the past months, including the attack on the police and the military in Malam Fatori and Bama and the ones in Baga and Gamboru Ngala, near the country’s border with Cameroun. The Boko Haram insurgency is estimated to have claimed more than 3,600 lives since 2009. In an obvious reference to the generally held view that he suffered serious gunshot wounds during an attack on his hideout and is probably dead by now; Shekau vivaciously declared in the video: “You have not killed Shekau.” We consider as alarming Shekau’s claim that the launch of military operations by the Federal Government after its declared state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states on May 14, ‘cannot’ impede the activities of the sect. His call for support from some
countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, in the sect’s bid to enthrone an Islamic state in the nation is damning. This thinking should be addressed by the nation’s security chiefs. The Shekau video boast and his sect’s growing activities cast aspersion on the effectiveness of the state of emergency and viability of intelligence gathering in the land. This is not the first time he would release video recordings anytime the sect strikes against the society, without any serious security intelligence clue on the matter. In January, 2012, just immediately after the Madalla bombing, Shekau emerged in a 15minute video to say that the security agencies could not overcome his group. He also rejected government’s amnesty offer which, according to him, lacks Islamic ingredients. The US has publicly professed its voluntary determination to help the country combat terrorist acts of the Boko Haram. But till date, the positive result of such an important promise is yet to be felt. Could it be that the US was just blustering, or what could have been amiss? We know that the Boko Haram matter has been riddled with shoddy intelligence gathering by the country’s security agencies, but this is why an effective international intervention from the US would come handy. The Shekau challenge should act as wakeup call on the US. She needs to act and not bluster on the Boko Haram-inflicted insecurity, in the interests of the two countries.
Start talks with Iran
T HIS first news conference since taking office, Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, declared his willingness to negotiate with the United States. Speaking on Tuesday, he insisted he is ready to enter “serious and substantive” talks about Iran’s disputed nuclear program and said a solution can be reached only through “talks, not threats.”He added, “If the United States shows goodwill and mutual respect, the way for interaction will be open.” These are only words, and whether there is any meaning behind them is not clear. It does seem that after eight years of the fiery Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president, Mr. Rouhani is attempting to change the tone. He is not a reformer, but he is a centrist, and his election victory, as well as his early statements, could signal a new course, somewhat different from the bitter confrontations of recent years. Mr. Rouhani defeated a slate of more conservative candidates. He has talked of expanding civil liberties and freeing some political prisoners. He has appointed some technocrats to his cabinet and has suggested he may lift or ease Internet censorship, which has been heavy and heavyhanded. “Gone are the days when a wall could be built around the country,” he said, according to the Economist. “Today there are no more walls.” All well and good. But the United States and its partners who want Iran to stop enriching uranium for a potential nuclear weapons program can ill afford to see Mr. Rouhani through rose-colored glasses. The Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, remains the true center of power and controls Iran’s nuclear program. The Revolutionary Guard Corps is still a major force, up to its eyeballs in Syria and supplying Hezbollah. Mr. Rouhani, an experienced operator in Iran’s elite jockeying, will have all of them breathing down his neck in the months ahead. Nonetheless, the West should resume negotiations soon to explore the depth of Mr. Rouhani’s seriousness and whether his election has come with room to maneuver. The White House reacted positively to the new president’s overtures, and the European Union’s senior foreign policy official, Catherine Ashton, called on Mr. Rouhani to agree to a new round of talks as soon as possible. Mr. Rouhani’s priorities may well be at home, where Iran’s economy is crumbling. He will undoubtedly be eager to ease strict international sanctions, yet it is not clear whether or how quickly he can or wants to change course on Iran’s nuclear program. The Western powers should swallow hard and show up ready to talk. Mr. Rouhani’s demand for mutual respect is not unreasonable. Those talks must proceed with urgency, however. As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Wednesday, “while everybody is busy talking to him, he’ll be busy enriching uranium.” Mr. Netanyahu, in fact, claimed that the Iranian nuclear program has accelerated. At about the same time, the publication IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly revealed the previously undisclosed location of a new Iranian facility that could be used to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles. Certainly international sanctions must remain in place absent genuine evidence that Iran has abandoned its nuclear weapons ambitions. No amount of sweet talk can change that. – Washington Post
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THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
CARTOON & LETTERS
IR: “So far in the history of the world, there have never been enough mature people in the right places’’ George Chrisholm It is side-splitting and devastating, how Nyesom Wike, Minister of State for Education has brought opprobrium on the enviable position he is occupying. The blooper he exhibited recently at Obio/Akpo Local Government Area, where he said he will make life miserable and dangerous for the government and people of Rivers State was reprehensible and lugubrious. His boasting that “we will make sure they will not sleep again, as they are sleeping now. They will not sleep with their two
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Wike: Minister or militant?
eyes closed. One eye will be open because they know there is danger” was not expected from a responsible public officer of this great nation, which prides itself as the giant of Africa and pride of black race on earth. It is propagation and exposition of nuisance value and precarious
liability, which is not marketable in this present dispensation. Politics apart, there is an acceptable conduct and code of ethics expected from a minister of this great nation for that matter. I wonder what other evidence the Inspector General of Police, Muhammad Abubakar needs to
invite him for interrogation on the security risk and the danger his utterance portend to national peace and unity. No matter the level of political differences and disagreements between him and the state government, he should be reminded that he is a public
and better for them. Earlier, the Governor had brainstormed with chairmen and secretaries of Community Development Associations (CDA’s) in the state along the line of the eight points agenda of his administration. Little did I know that the decision made at that meeting will have far-reaching benefits on the lives of the citizens as the governor would later hand over the cheques totaling N300 million to execute several
developmental projects. After presenting the cheques to the benefiting communities, the governor admonished them to make judicious use of the funds to fast-track the development of rural areas and prevent undue migration to the urban areas of the state. This was not the case in the past, particularly before Fayemi’s administration where the rural dwellers found it difficult to execute projects that would benefit them and make them less
dependent on the state capital. Some might ask: what is the big deal about the cheque presentation to the rural communities? The answer is – it will enhance their rapid development. And if it is that simple, why did it not occur to the previous administration? Moreover, Fayemi’s 5km road projects in every local government have been completed all in the bid to encourage aggressive rural development in Ekiti. Certainly, rural areas in Ekiti state have never had it so good and this giant step to improve standard of living of the people in the grassroots must be lauded by lovers of development. When these projects like civic centres, modern markets, palaces, drainages, cottage hospitals etc are completed, value is being added to rural populace who should also enjoy dividends of democracy. • Odewale Sina, Ido-Ile, Ekiti
Kudos to Fayemi on rural development
IR: I write to commend Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, for putting rural communities on the track of development since his coming to office in October 2010. On Thursday, July 4, the heaven opened up in Oye-Ekiti in a downpour that lasted for two hours. It was the day Fayemi presented cheques totaling 300million naira to 82 communities in the state to carry out various projects that would make life easier
EDITOR’S MAIL BAG
When Akpabio came under fire
IR: Gov. Godswill Akpabio has done creditably well in his six years in office, and this is recognised nationwide with accolades and awards from different institutions, groups, traditional and political leaders. But his power of hiring and equally firing is taking the shine
off him of late. With the recent sack of his former Secretary to the State Government Obong Umana Okon Umana and last year’s sacking of his former Deputy Governor Nsima Ekere, all for allegedly nursing ambitions to inherit his hot seat. This has seen the Governor being criticised at various fronts.
That reminds us of the proverbial saying that life is like a goalkeeper, people will hail and cherish you for the tremendous saves you have made, but the one silly mistake you make will be forever remembered and reference. • Diana-Abasi Alphonsus Udoh Copenhagen, Denmark
servant; for him to desecrate public office and sink into political frivolities is not acceptable. Why is it that President Jonathan has not taken any drastic step to stem the negative tides in Rivers State if not that he that pays the piper and hence dictating the tunes of this minister appointed by him? If the President wants to convince the Nigerian public of his nonculpability in this case of absurdity, he should sanction his erring minister. I had followed his works as minister of state for education responsible for Federal Unity Schools. I enjoyed how he had been on the necks of the unity school principals to get them to be above the board, and to be financially responsible and accountable. Events unfolding in recent times show that the minister has since kicked off the 2015 rat race. If the ambition of Wike is to set Rivers State on fire and make life unbearable by mobilizing exmilitants to unleash mayhem on the people, then good luck to him. But he should by now tender his letter of resignation honourably before the President wakes up from his slumber and spit him out of his cabinet unceremoniously. His shift of attention from his primary assignment has rubbed off on the masses negatively by allowing the predators among the Unity School Principals to cheat on the poor masses. The educational sector needs an indomitable, committed, socially responsible and emotionally intelligent officer to take charge; not an individual encumbered with other things. • Pastor Mark Debo Taiwo [JP], Takie, Ogbomoso.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
Welcoming the APC
HE emergence of the APC is good for Nigeria because it provides our people a viable alternative to the PDP government that has been in power for more than 14 years. Most Western democracies operate a two-party system i.e. there is always a party in government and another one in opposition keeping the one in government on its toes and providing a standing alternative to the government in power. This is the essence of democracy in many Western countries. There are of course countries in continental Europe like Germany and France where as a result of their culture, coalition governments of sometimes two or three parties seem to be the rule because of the intense factionalization in those countries. It reminds me of what General Charles De Gaulle used to say about French men that if you lock two French men in a room and ask them to form a political party; they are likely to come out with three political parties. In the history of Nigeria, the first time we ever had a semblance of a two-party system was during the Babangida era when two parties: the SDP and the NRC were decreed into being. Although we tend to criticize the military for all our problems, the imposition of the two-party system by General Babangida at that time was a master stroke. This was the system that gave us the best election that we have ever had and that produced MKO Abiola as the President that was never sworn in. Hopefully, the emergence of the APC will lead to credible elections 2015. At least we now have a choice of two national parties; one that has been in power for 14 years and for which we have nothing to show for it, and another that is ready to take power and has some credentials especially judging from the performance of some components of it in the South-west and in the Northeast. The assemblage of seasoned politicians with credibility like Buhari and Tinubu and others should give the APC some leverage with the Nigerian voters. A lot of work of course has to be done in fashioning out a manifesto that is at least left of centre and that would be totally opposed to the abysmal corruption that the PDP has elevated to a philosophy of government. The two main planks of the APC for now are firmly rooted in the South-west and the North generally so demography favors the APC come 2015. Democracy is about oneman vote and with the lack of performance of the PDP generally, it should be possible for Buhari, Tinubu and other APC leaders to mobilize support in the North and in the Southwest and also because the PDP itself is collapsing from inside, it will not be impossible to get the other parts of the country to join a winning band-wagon. All these of course are predicated on the kind of candidates the APC is able to choose for its presidential ticket. I speak as
HE economy is a reflection of a country’s development. If a country is doing well, it shows in its economy and if it is otherwise, it also shows. So, the economy is the pivot on which every other thing rests, especially the core elements of the economy, such as manufacturing, banking, finance and insurance, transport, oil and gas and human development. Every nation strives for a productive economy and not a consuming economy because of its derivative benefits. In a productive economy, the per capital income is good and the people live well. A nation’s economy says a lot about it. Its strength and ‘’vulnerabilities’’, to borrow the word of the all - knowing Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo - Iweala, are the determinants of how well an economy is doing. How well is our economy doing? Okonjo - Iweala answered this question in an interview in ThisDay on Sunday four days ago. Her answer : ‘’Our economy is strong, with vulnerabilities’’. Yes, we are all vulnerable in one way or the other; so in that wise, Madam Minister was not saying anything. What she should have told us in simple and plain language is either that the economy is doing well or it is not doing well. Rather than do that, she chose to talk from both sides of the mouth. That same Sunday, the African Development Bank (AfDB), answered the same question and chose to shoot straight from the hip. Without mincing words like Okonjo - Iweala, AfDB said the Nigerian economy did not do well last year, quoting its African Economic Outlook (AEO) report. The government fought back swiftly, dismissing the report as ‘’false and political’’. Can AfDB play politics with such matters? What will be its gain in being political
an outsider, if Buhari and Tinubu are able to control their personal ambitions and to look for a younger combination of credible people to run on the APC platform, the party stands a good chance of winning. The party should avoid anything that may make it look like a tribal or a religious coalition or party because its opponents would definitely exploit this if there is a tendency of the party in that direction. As for the Yoruba people, they now have a choice to make. The PDP used to appeal to some elements in the South-west by suggesting that the people would reap a lot of democratic dividends if they belong to the mainstream. The APC being a national party and more ideologically in tune with Yoruba political tradition should give the South-west the opportunity of genuinely belonging in the mainstream of Nigerian politics just as was the case with the SDP. The kind of mainstream offered by PDP has been found out to be totally not in consonance with Yoruba political tradition. After all, Obasanjo as president dragged the Yorubas into the so-called mainstream and they have nothing to show for it. The collapsed infrastructure in the South-west is a testimony to the PDP's misrule even under Obasanjo. I would like to point out that what is good for Nigeria should be good for the Yoruba people. The Yoruba people do not want to be favored over others and they do not want to be discriminated against. Rather, what they want is equitable representation of all groups at all levels. Any fair assessment of the present regime cannot but come to the conclusion of total marginalization of the Yoruba people and the South-west. A situation in which the first 10 positions in the country do not have a single Yoruba among them is totally unacceptable for a people constituting about 40 million of Nigerians. The strength of the APC in the South-west is directly related to this marginalization. Secondly, the performance of the former ACN governors particularly in the upliftment of the infrastructure of the area is a strong testimony of what APC when it controls the federal government will do in the South-west. The PDP used to control the South-west before now and people should be reminded that their governors did virtually nothing for the people. In fact, people are now asking why it has been relatively easy for the ACN in the South-west to transform the infrastructure in the area while their predecessors were not able to do much. Just go to Ibadan, Abeokuta, Ado-Ekiti, Osogbo and Benin City and see what has been accomplished. These are the issues. Yoruba people are highly educated people and they like to play politics of issues not of personalities. Even though leaders like Tinubu, Akande, Osoba, Adeniyi
Adebayo, Kayode Fayemi, Amosun, A j i m o b i , Aregbesola and others are good mobilizers, but mobilization alone would not do unless there are issues around which people can be mobilized and the main issue in the SouthJide west is the non-perOsuntokun formance of the PDP and the marginalization of the Yoruba people. It is not just the leaders in the South-west who are saying this, ordinary commuters on the dilapidated roads and those who need power to run their small businesses and those who need security in their homes and on the streets are grumbling loudly and who do they blame, they blame the PDP federal government and this is rightly so. The issue is not about Tinubu delivering the South-west or Buhari delivering the North. In fact, nobody can deliver anybody. The point is the disenchantment, disillusionment and dissatisfaction of the people with what is going on. If the PDP were wise, they should quickly realize that the issue is not about personalities but about programs and performance so any campaign based on discrediting Tinubu, Buhari and other leaders of the APC would not wash. This question of issues will also resonate I must say among other Nigerians even in the South-south not to talk about the South-east. It is unfortunate that politics in Nigeria is based on the coalition of ethnic groups against other ethnic groups. One hopes that 2015 would usher in the same kind of movement that produced the same result of the election of a Muslim-Muslim ticket of MKO Abiola and Babagana Kingibe in 1993. As for the Labour Party in Ondo being a vanguard for the division of the South-west in 2015, I do not see that happening. The Labour Party in Ondo is built around the charismatic leadership of Olusegun Mimiko, a young man that I admire very much. But this is a flash in the pan when Mimiko finishes his second term, the Labour Party will be swept out of the South-west. There have been instances of political parties built around a one-man charismatic leadership in the past.
‘It’s the economy, stupid’ in a report that covers all countries on the continent? Our government is alleging that AfDB was biased against it when statistics showed otherwise. The only basis on which it can sustain the bias argument is to prove that the statistics used is not correct. If the government cannot do that, the best it can do in the circumstance is to look through that report once again and see how it can work with it to improve the economy. There is no need to grandstand over this very serious issue if the government has the interest of the governed at heart. Even in the United States (US). which is far developed than Nigeria, the issue of the economy is taken seriously. This was why in 1992, former President Bill Clinton, who was then campaigning for office, focused on reviving the ailing American economy. The catch phrase of his campaign, coined by master strategist James Carville, was : ‘’It’s the economy, stupid’’. Till today, whether in America or any other country for that matter, it’s still the economy, stupid. The AfDB as the continent’s leading financial institution owes it a duty to make its owner member - states to be alive to their responsibilities whenever their economies are not doing well. If it does not do that, it means that it is not doing its job. What then will be the essence of having the AfDB if it cannot comment on the economies of countries under its purview? If the government must know, the AfDB is not there to make life comfortable for countries on the continent whose economies are not doing fine. No, its job is not to praise sing governments, but to ensure that they do the right thing for their people by developing a robust economy. An economy can
only become strong when it is properly managed and those at the helm are not stealing as some leaders are doing in Africa. We are where we are today in Africa because of the thieves in power on the continent. Many of them know next to nothing about the economy, so they find the criticism of their economic policies hard to swallow. As I said, the AfDB was only doing its job by presenting its report on the African economy and a wise government will take a look at the document and make amends where necessary. It is not for the government to bellyache and impute motives to what the bank did. Despite the bank’s low rating of our economy, it noted that the future is bright if we do the right things. So, it was not condemnation all the way as government officials have been painting it. The AfDB noted that the economic growth last year did not translate into job creation and poverty alleviation, adding that unemployment rose from 21 percent in 2010 to 24 percent in 2011. ‘ The report said : ‘’The Nigerian economy slowed down from 7.4 % growth in 2011 to 6.6 % in 2012. The oil sector continues to drive the economy, with average growth of about 8 %, compared to -0.35 % for the non - oil sector. Agriculture and the oil and gas sector continue to dominate economic activities in Nigeria. The fiscal consolidation stance of the government has helped to contain fiscal deficit below 3.0 % of gross domestic product (GDP). This, coupled with the tight monetary policy stance of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), helped to keep inflation at around 12.0 % in 2012. Short and mid - term downside risks include security challenges
arising from religious conflicts in some states, costs associated with flooding, slower global economic growth (particularly in the United States and China) and the sovereign debt crisis in the euro area. The AfDB could not have done that because it is supposed to aid the growth of the same economy. o, it refrained from throw ing the baby away with the bathwater in its assessment. Proffering the way out, it said : ‘’There is a high need to diversify the Nigerian economy into the non - oil sector. This will help expand the sources of growth and make it broad based, both socially and geographically. Further development of agriculture, manufacturing and services could broaden growth, create employment and reduce poverty’’. Monday, Mr Labaran Maku, Information Minister, faulted the AfDB report, saying it was based on old data. ‘’The AfDB report based on 1996 - 2010 statistics is therefore behind time and does not reflect the real achievements/ results of this administration in tackling poverty and unemployment in Nigeria in the last three years. This government has undertaken significant policy reforms targeted at addressing the challenges identified in the report. These policy interventions have contributed positively to turning things around beyond the picture painted in the report. Poverty is a national challenge that transcends the whole country cutting across party divides. In reality, the responsibility of fighting poverty does not rest solely with the Federal Government. States and local governments share in this responsibility too. Dealing with poverty as a partisan phenomenon will be trivialising the problem’’. This is
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the problem with our leaders. They view every criticism from the political prism. They see nothing constructive in any criticism of their policies and actions. Their belief is that their political foes sponsor such criticisms against them. Unfortunately, this is the light in which the government is seeing the AfDB report. It is imputing political motive to the AfDB action. I will not be surprised if the government accuses the opposition of sponsoring the report instead of taking a critical look at it in order to make use of the salient findings therein. Will we ever grow if we continue to think like this? May God give us leaders with large hearts, who will not see every criticism as a ploy to bring them down. By the way, Mr Maku, where are the jobs?
‘AfDB is not there to make life comfortable for countries on the continent whose economies are not doing fine’
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
HIEF Bisi Akande, the interim chairman of newly registered APC, must by now be wondering what he said about an elected president to warrant the verbal assault from President Jonathan’s combative media aides. He must be having a nostalgic craving for the old constitutional monarchy of his people where leaders earned their positions, answerable to the people and can be told to abdicate if they betray the trust of the people. Part of what may be agitating his mind could also be whether we have not made a mistake to trade the old reliable system for the current variant of PDP democracy where losers resort to self-help and where might is right. The old man had incurred the wrath of the angry and combative media experts when he last week stated that ‘following two meetings he had with the president since 2011 and two other long telephone conversation on two other different occasions to discuss serious challenges facing the country, he came to the conclusion that the president has reduced governance to kindergarten level and that he is not serious-minded.’ He also accused him handling national issues with levity as well as of embarking on witch-hunt of political enemies citing the cases of Asiwaju Tinubu who was dragged before the Code of Conduct Bureau, even while the president has refused to declare his own assets and Rotimi Amaechi, who was being persecuted because of what the chief described as ‘his insistence that the allocation of the country must be judiciously shared among local, state and the federal governments.’ The above is what the president aides dismissed as “an unguarded and intemperate outburst, not only an unbecoming lack of respect for the person and office of the President of his country, but also a complete disregard for the patriotic feelings of the millions of Nigerians who voted for President Jonathan and who continue to appreciate his sincere efforts to positively transform the nation.’ He was also accused of ‘rudely and falsely describing President Jonathan as a ‘kindergarten’ leader who treats national issues with levity’. It doesn’t matter whether there is an element of truth in this claim for the president who has not found time to publicly address the ongoing ASUU strike or thought it necessary as the father of all in the on-going intra-party crisis in Rivers to call to order rascals who claimed to be fighting his family’s wars. They also did not forget to warn “Chief Akande and his fellow-travellers to remember that there are laws against
Akande and Jonathan’s combative aides libel and defamation of character in this country even if there are no legal impediments to indecorous, hypocritical and unpatriotic vituperations.” As a final shot, they said “It is certainly rude, ill-mannered, uncharitable and hypocritical for Chief Akande to falsely and cavalierly allege that a President who toils tirelessly every day of the week, evolving and implementing workable solutions to Nigeria’s problems, is handling national issues with levity.’ For maximum effect they cited one of the president major achievements- ‘his well acclaimed deft handling of the insurgency.’ And for accusing Jonathan of playing ethnic and religious politics in order to divert attention from his bad governance, the media aides have also taken a swipe at El-Rufai, a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory. They dismissed him as a ‘serial liar.’ They want Nigerians to note that El-Rufai ‘profaned the name of Jesus Christ on Twitter by tweeting a joke which is too indecent to mention in the presence of civilized persons’. And to demonstrate that President Jonathan does not play religious and ethnic politics, they called attention to the president who ‘though a Christian took part in the just-concluded Ramadan fast and broke his fast with Muslim faithful every evening.’ Besides they cited ‘the quantum of funds that Jonathan had spent on education specifically tailored for Islamic itinerant scholars known as the almajiris,’ to demonstrate his tolerance of all religions. The PDP through its acting secretary Okeke also descended heavily on Chief Akande claim-
S we trudge towards 2014, the critical question every Nigerian ought to ponder conscientiously include whether we should step into that epoch transformed beyond President Goodluck Jonathan’s imagination as a new nation with new structures, new aspirations, new thinking and, therefore, a brand new constitution. Or shall we enter the era as discordant as we are today, encumbered and impaired by colonial and neo-colonial cobwebs, which make us not only a perennial volcano but also a hapless, incorrigible laughing stock of the African continent? I know that Pastor Enoch Adeboye is passionate about praying for Nigeria, and we are quite appreciative, but for how long will the man of God continue to do so for a nation that cannot foresee trouble or its source and pre-empt it? I raised this point because, considering the Boko Haram security challenge facing us today, no one seems to bother as to whether, in all sincerity, looking at Nigeria’s standing but informal army of Almajiris, which Bishop Matthew Kukah estimated (The Nation, 1/5/2011) at between 12-15 million from where Maitatsine obviously recruited his members in 1983 and from where Mohammed Yussuf and Abubarkar Shekau recruited their followers, and from where ambitious politicians also recruit thugs and all-- whether it will be well with Nigeria as we enter 2014—whether seeing elements of MASSOB milling around and bidding their time, and seeing the OPC in sidon dey look posture it will still be well with Nigeria tomorrow. Although these other groups are yet to wear the toga of real militants, can it be said that they pose no imminent danger, considering the fact that a new government may emerge tomorrow to provoke and push them to the wall like in the case of Boko Haram whose leader Yussuf was controversially murdered by security men? If in actual fact these groups do pose some threat, must we wait until we are overtaken by the imperative of another amnesty situation before we engage them in talks? Why must we be in the habit of shouting ‘hold’ only when the shot has left the gun? Why won’t we for once make hay while the sun shines? Like the Almajiri, which we are told is part of the people’s culture in the North, are MASSOB and OPC et al people’s culture? Certainly not. Then, why not start the inexorable national conference gradually by opening a dialogue window for such groups as a necessary prelude to a holistic national confab? If we could not decisively rein in the Niger Delta militants, is it the MASSOB, OPC et al that we will be able to rein in when push comes to shove? Early last June, the US State Department put attractive price tags on a number of leading terrorists, including the Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, but up to now these elements are still at large. Understandably, the highest price tag of $7million was placed on Abubakar Shekau, who recently posted a message on the internet calling on Muslims
ing that ‘the main agenda of Akande and other prominent members of the APC were to liquidate the nation’s economy’. He did not say how but added that ‘Akande and El-Rufai were aggrieved because of the refusal of the President to join the APC when he was invited’. I suspect a tinge of blackmail is allowed here to justify the righteous indignation of the president’s media aides and PDP. President Ebele Jonathan has for over two years worked under severe strains. The thankless albeit a privileged job of paddling the affairs of our great nation has started to take its toll. Watching him closely during his last visit to his godfather, ex-President Obasanjo in Abeokuta, the scars have become very visible. He is fast aging, while some of his ministers, special advisers, and some rabble rousers who claim to be the president co-crusaders are developing rosy cheeks and rotund faces. The angry media aides have been called upon to assuage the president’s apparent feelings of despondency, celebrate his self-acclaimed giant strides, and insulate him from the offensive actions of some of his PDP feral party members. They are also aware the president as a toy in the hands of PDP political warlords is called upon to take responsibility for the mundane, the ludicrous and outright invidious actions of PDP unruly family members. But the media experts are equally aware that the opposition is the weakest link. For instance it was not the president but PDP that influenced the emergence of Ahmadu Alli as chairman of PDP as well as his chairman-
ship of PPRA. Yet his presidency suffered collateral damage when the later was accused of presiding over the loss of about N1.7 trillion in phantom fuel subsidy. When poor Nigerians were indirectly called upon to pay through taxation, which experts said best described the fuel pump price increase, the president took direct responsibility. When his economic advisers misinformed millions of his admirers who gave him a landslide victory that the price increase would affect only the middle class car owners and the wealthy Lagos residents, the president alone faced the outrage of commuters, petty business owners and 140 millions Nigerians that the minister for power claimed have no access to electricity. When overzealous police officers under the police commissioner Joseph Mbu shut down a section of Port Harcourt where the first lady has her mansion erected, making it impossible for even the governor to move, the president is called upon to check the excesses of his unelected wife. When the governor of Balyelsa appointed the president’s wife, Dr Patience Jonathan, a permanent secretary to operate from the presidency in Abuja, the president was accused of nepotism. Even when Bipi the leader of a gang of five that illegally attempted to take over Rivers State House of Assembly proclaimed the first lady a messiah for whom he was prepared to lay down his life, the president was the one accused of blasphemy by his fellow Christians. As we can see from the account of how Nyesom Wike emerged as a minister, infiltration of the president’s cabinet by leaders of the South-south militants as well as the North-east Boko Haram was the handiwork of PDP. But as I said on this page last week, both Doyin Okupe and Ahmed Gulak failed to protect the president from bad press because instead of focusing on improving the quality of their product, they adopted an outdated media model of leaving the substance to chase the shadows. The product and its qualities contribute to the making of a successful brand. The decision by Reuben Abati to now join and invigorate the efforts of the duo will not make the press legitimize President Jonathan’s assault on the spirit of the constitution. It is also not likely that angry verbal assault on Chief Akande by combative media aides while ignoring the important issues he had raised will suddenly lead to a change of fortune for a government that has not only failed to meet the aspirations of the people, but generally considered as very corrupt by both national and international press.
Almajiri: A blessing or curse to Nigeria? By Godwin Nzeakah around the world to join the struggle to create an Islamic state in Nigeria. Although Shekau’s message appeared to be directed to the outside world, his real target was and still remains Nigerians, especially those in the northern states together with their large population of Almajiris and other Islamic fundamentalist groups, who tend to be easily moved, excited and influenced by the negative heroism and heroics of any religious lunatic fringe in the area, especially those embroiled already in a running confrontation with government. Therefore, given the fact that religion, as Marx observed, is the opium of the people, if there be any time in Nigeria that the activities of members of the Almajiri institution, as well as those that groom, indoctrinate or mentor them, should be closely watched and tackled this is it. But instead of doing this, the Federal Government seems rather to be enamoured of overindulging or pampering the North by investing scanty resources in building schools and other facilities for a denominational institution which is not only outside both the exclusive and concurrent constitutional lists, but also economically unproductive and, therefore, deserving of nothing but discouragement. Bishop Kukah only stopped short of calling for the abolition of the Almajiri when he rhetorically asked The Guardian’s reporter in a recent interview whether Nigerians have ever pondered why the North has become so combustible. Asked Dr. Kukah, “where did it come from? Is there any connection between Boko Haram and the other forms of violent protests that preceded it, whether it is Maitatsine or whatever? Can we explain why this Boko Haram is dominant in Maiduguri, Yobe and not Sokoto or Kebbi? …If these things were about religion and Muslims trying to expand the frontier of Islam, which type of a stupid man will be fighting inside his own house and hope to conquer other people? … I think we see Boko Haram as simply what government can and cannot do. Goodluck Jonathan is not a magician and he certainly does not have more than two eyes, yet a lot of the discussions have been narrowed down to him, merely to politics”. Kukah concluded that what we are witnessing today are the sins we committed during our transition. “We ought to have concluded discussion about constitution before we enacted a new government, but the Nigerian political elite largely made up of the other carpet
baggers, who are also with the military, simply wanted the military to hand over very quickly the keys of the kingdom...” Democracy, the Bishop said, is not just about the distribution of resources. It is not just about building roads, building houses and building hospitals; it is much more than that. Finally, he said that the indivisibility of Nigeria, in principle, was almost unquestionable, but also warned that “it is not something we could assume because it has to be met by a range of other factors—factors which, unexpectedly, were superbly summed up 34 years ago in about 83 words by a scion of the Caliphate and first executive President of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Shagari. According to him, “we accept the concept of federalism because under the Nigerian situation, only a federal set up could cope with the problem of ethnic and other differences. But we want to make the federal system work properly as truly federal system—that is to allow the various components of the federation true autonomy in their own ways to run their own affairs while at the same time regarding themselves as part of a team working for the general good of the nation.” I cannot agree more. In a true federal system created by national dialogue, a framework for Sharia practice without tears could be worked out for states that want it while the problem of Almajiri could be made to fall squarely on the second and third tiers of government with the federal government only giving subsidiary help, since the issue bothers completely on local culture. • Nzeakah writes from Ota, Ogun State.
In a true federal system created by national dialogue, a framework for Sharia practice without tears could be worked out for states that want it while the problem of Almajiri could be made to fall squarely on the second and third tiers of government with the federal government only giving subsidiary help, since the issue bothers completely on local culture.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
STARTED my message of last week with the frustrating statement: “Being a citizen of Nigeria can often be a weird experience”. Today, I expand that statement. For any people or nation large or small, being a part of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is more than a weird experience. It can often be a debilitating experience. It ought not to be so; but it is so. Nigeria makes everything weaker and poorer. As someone put it some time ago, Nigeria is the only place where gold rusts. One can see it in every direction one cares to turn. I turn around and look at the late 1950s, the years when I was a young adult and a university undergraduate. And then I compare with the Nigeria of today. The contrast is so staggering that it can give a person a heart attack. Today, one hardly sees the spirit of enterprise and pride in Nigeria anywhere. What one sees most of the time is the spirit of hustling – a kind of soul-destroying hankering after some share in the petroleum money. You can see it on most faces. In the 1950s, life was joy and pride to live. Aside from the usual noise of politics and the politicians, society was bouncing in all directions. In all parts of our country, our farmers were blazing the trail to our country’s prosperity. Yoruba farmers led the pack. Countless thousands of them retreated into the deeper forests of the Yoruba farmlands and hacked out small cocoa plantations. Soon, they became the most productive African farmers on the African continent. Their cocoa exports became the largest source of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings, and the main provider of funds for the ambitious development programmes of the Western Region – Nigeria’s pace-setter region of that era. Farmers in the Eastern Region, led by Igbo farmers, poured out large quantities of palm oil and palm kernels to add to our country’s exports. Farmers in the large expanse of our Northern Region, led by the Hausa farmers, became the largest producers of groundnuts for the world market. Pictures of the groundnut pyramids in the city of Kano stood on our school walls all over Nigeria, and added enormously to our pride – the children of the great world power that was on the rise in Africa. In the schools in those days, our children had a litany that they memorized and proudly recited: Nigeria is the largest producer of this product in the world. Nigeria is the largest producer of that product in the world. Nigeria is the largest producer... The three regions of our federation were engaged in a spirited rivalry in those years. Each region was led by a group of patriots, some of whom served in elective positions, and the others in civil service positions. None
HE statement issued by Reuben Abati the official spokesperson for the presidency on August 11, criticizing the interim chairman of the APC, Chief Bisi Akande for describing the Jonathan government as a “kindergarten presidency”, is paltry, whining and falls in the category of world class political tantrums. In a most predictable fashion, the rabid nature of the reaction confirms the truth that Nigeria is being run by little minds and irritants. This kind of rascally mindset displayed by the minders of the Presidency continues to contribute greatly to the unravelling of a government spinning out of control. Those of us opportune to have read the statement from the presidency now realize the office of the spokesman has shifted from being the mouthpiece of serious governance to that of the National Cry-baby. Their statutory task, that of serious governance, they did not address at all. They insist on telling us what they should tell themselves. Thus, their eagerness to assume the role of the country’s top complainant is predictable. Instead of trying to minimize op-
‘They reacted so vehemently to the Akande statement for two reasons. First, the truth hurts. Second, they are afraid of the APC and seek to intimidate it. However, they might as well stop on the second point. With the fate of the nation at stake, the incompetent will not be able to intimidate into silence the committed’
Can we build a workable Nigeria? of them thought that public office was the route to personal wealth; and all of them were eager to make great names for themselves and establish great heritages. Naturally, I knew my own Western Region the most. From all accounts, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and his team were giving us in the Western Region the most far-sighted, most sagacious, and most productive government, not only in Nigeria but in all of Africa. In our region’s Civil Service, a man named Chief Simeon Adebo, head of the Civil Service, was giving us one of the most professional, and one of the most dependable, governmental bureaucracies in the world. In nearly all areas of development, our Western Region was flying on eagle’s wings. We young people proudly called our Region “First in Africa”. But keeping in the front was by no means easy. The Eastern Region was chasing our Western Region very hard and very creditably. And though the Northern Region was starting with a handicap – low levels of education – it too was running unbelievably fast. For 500 years, the Blackman had suffered a poor image in the world. Here now came, at last, a Blackman’s county, Nigeria, to wash away that image. But today, all of that has crashed and vanished. On the faces of Nigerians, one doesn’t see the same confidence, the same push, the same resolve, the same air of the conqueror that one used to see. Most Nigerians are now slinking around to find some way to steal or to defraud, or some clever way to dissemble their act of begging, or actually begging shamelessly. Nigeria is back where the Blackman has been for five-hundred years among the races of the world – at the bottom. Why? What went wrong? We love power. We love riches. We love to acquire power and wealth, but we do not have any noble purposes for either. We would twist and distort political and societal order in order to grab power and wealth. But we have no noble purposes that we want to use the power and the wealth for. In our hands, power and wealth tend to become agencies of destruction. Look thoughtfully at the history of our country from 1952 to 1962, and then from 1962 to date, and you will see what I mean. Our British colonial overlords gave us some limited self –government in 1952, with continued su-
pervision by British officials. As I said earlier on, our leaders (our Awolowos, Ahmadu Bellos and Azikiwes) made it work wonderfully. Their success was proof that this is something we can make a success of. Our sensible next step should have been to spread power out some more by giving the minorities in each a region a region of their own. But, even without our doing that, we were achieving considerable success. However, there was a safeguard – the continued presence of the British, which made sure that nobody could seek to grab more power than was provided for in the system. But, as soon as the British left in late 1960, the persons in control of the Federal Government wanted more powers. They now saw the regional governments as obstructions to the exercise of full federal power. And since then, the Federal Government has relentlessly grabbed power and rendered all sections of Nigeria subdued and impotent. Even our present president, President Goodluck Jonathan, himself from one of the most defiant peripheries of Nigeria, is enjoying reigning in the midst of the federal control of all power and the federally-generated chaos, corruption and poverty. In the 1950s, we lived to see our many peoples dipping deep into the resources of their culture to give our country prosperity and pride. By crushing and subduing our peoples, we have killed the spirit and the possibility of prosperity in our country. We can, if we try sincerely and hard, return to the possibilities that we had in the 1950s. But we are never likely to do that. The ones who want power at all costs are too good at manipulating the rest of us, and the rest of us are too lacking in perception to free ourselves from being manipulated. For instance, just look at our two large nations – the Yoruba and the Igbo. In all conceivable aspects of development and modernization, these two nations want, fundamentally, the same things in this world. Yet, the two are ever working against each other in the affairs of Nigeria – rather than working together and giving most of the rest of us the leadership we need to reorganize our country and return to orderliness and progress. Dr. Pius Ezeife recently said one of the truest and saddest things ever said in Nigerian politics. He said,“As a civil
Gbogun gboro servant in Lagos, I observed the Nigerian politics and found Igbo and Yoruba going parallel lines in Nigeria politics. And as parallel lines, they will remain parallel slaves in Nigeria politics”. Many of us, different nations that desire a rational and workable federation for Nigeria, prefer to operate as parallel lines – and as parallel lines, we shall remain parallel paupers, beggars and slaves in a chaotic and poverty-ridden Nigeria. The answer is self-evident. We have to work together – work together not to get power for anybody or any group, but to put our country back on the path of order, sanity and prosperity in the world. We can do this. And if we are absolutely disinclined to do it, then, in the name of humanity, let us do the other self-respecting thing – namely, agree to part ways peacefully.
‘We can, if we try sincerely and hard, return to the possibilities that we had in the 1950s. But we are never likely to do that. The ones who want power at all costs are too good at manipulating the rest of us, and the rest of us are too lacking in perception to free ourselves from being manipulated.’
In defence of Chief Akande: By Sunday Akin Dare position criticism by providing the nation with decent governance, their strategy is to complain that the opposition complains too much. The performance of government, upon which the great fate of the nation hangs, is immaterial to them. In fact, the nation and its multitudes be damned as far as they are concerned. After all, the same President on live television told Nigerians he does not give a damn about some of the things that affects them. They claim that Chief Akande disrespected the office of the presidency with his remarks. In truth, Akande was merely exercising his democratic rights to speak about the dire state of this government. Not only was he exercising his democratic rights, he had a moral duty to criticize this government for it is government in ruins, a stumbling, bumbling mash of self-seekers, opportunists and the myopic. What Akande said of them was mild compared to what the average person says of this government on a daily basis. If the office of the presidency is to respond to every harsh criticism levied at it, that office shall be a busy one. It will have to issue 150 million press statements aimed at almost every Nigerian, including half the members of the very inner circle of this very government. Nigerians are now used to the countless insulting press statements and reactions from the duo of Abati and Okupe. They reacted so vehemently to the Akande statement for two reasons. First, the truth hurts. Second, they are afraid of the APC and seek to intimidate it. However, they might as well stop on the second point. With the fate of the nation at stake,
the incompetent will not be able to intimidate into silence the committed. Let us add two other important points. If they want people to honour the office of the presidency, they should practice what they preach. The people who most dishonour that office are those who currently occupy it. The way this entire government goes about its job embarrasses and burdens the nation. There is nothing important that they do right and nothing they somehow accidentally get right that is important. They are the party and government of partying and flashy public events. When it comes to policies for the people they grow tired and disappear from view. Thus, why must the people, who are the bosses in a democracy, respect the elected public servant when it is clear that the person they elected does not respect them? Wisdom says that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander. In this instance, what the presidency feels is fair treatment of the public, the public has every right say it is also fair treatment for the presidency. Let the hired criers cry on. The average people are in their humble homes crying. Those who cause their suffering might as well join in. When the government starts implementing people oriented policies and tackle the problems that confront us as a nation, then we will rejoice and the criticism will cease. Also, they need to understand the function of government. Those now in charge of running government don’t even understand their role and proper limits. They should return to school. The response to the Akande statement should not have come from the presidency. Akande is the leader of an opposition party, a partisan
political figure. If they saw fit to reply, the response should have come from the PDP’s over-exercised mouth. Those who run the highest office of our national government do seem like children who dropped and broke a glass then simply cry when someone points out what they have done. Instead of crying, they should clean the mess they made. Until Reuben and the Presidency he fanatically seeks to defend accept they owe Nigerians plenty of performance and explanation, they will continue to languish in immaturity, selfdelusion and hence rightly called a kindergarten government. The same right my brother Reuben Abati exercised in telling Akande off is what Akande also exercised in telling the President some bitter truth. Akande has spoken for millions of Nigerians and it is well within his right.
‘Those who run the highest office of our national government do seem like children who dropped and broke a glass then simply cry when someone points out what they have done. Instead of crying, they should clean the mess they made’
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
‘Uncontrolled imports affecting local industries’
HE increased dumping of roofing materials from Asian countries, especially China, into the market is undermining the competitiveness of the nation’s distressed manufacturing sector, operator have said. The Marketing Director of Nigerite Nigeria Limited, Mr Toyin Gbede, said a viable manufacturing sector is the mainstay of most developed and developing economy. He said this was why China manufacturing index remains one of the most important indicators of either growth or contraction of its economy. He said: “When a nation opens its economy to unrestricted importation of products which hitherto are manufactured by its local players, or could be manufactured through right incentives, without well thought out protection policy for such players, it puts them in great disadvantage, especially in a situation such as in Nigeria, where every manufacturer has to provide basic infrastructure such as water, electricity, access roads by its self.” He said, this is made worse where such economy becomes a dumping ground for substandard products as in Nigeria. He told The Nation that the market is filled with substandard roofing products, especially from the Far East and, therefore, impossible for genuine building manufacturers to compete on price with such products. Gbede observed that due to severe economic situation the nation is going through, our economy is becom-
By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst. Editor ing more and more price sensitive with people caring less about quality. According to him, the implication is very simple to imagine, because more and more manufacturers are closing down or downsizing to reduce overhead, and this is worsening unemployment situation by the day. Furthermore, the Nigerite boss said when some people have no jobs because of government’s bad economic policies, they will go into crime. Besides ensuring that prices of local products compete favourably with imported goods, the government should provide adequate and functional infrastructure, he added. Mostly affected is the roofing material sector with various materials flooding the local market daily. Al-
though the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has absolved itself of blame, some local manufacturers and distributors blame regulatory bodies and other government’s agencies for shirking their responsibilities. Also speaking the Head of Inspectorate and Compliance Directorate, SON,Mr Bede Obayi, said the agency has stand ards for the two popular roofing sheets, which are the aluminum and galvanised steel roofing sheets. He said: “We have Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS) 488 of 2010 for aluminum roofing sheets and NIS 180, 2013 for galvanised steel roofing sheets. What that means is that SON has taken a proactive measure to ensure that these products are appropriately monitored by way of compliance which are specified in the various standards for each product.” “We set up SONCAP and MANCAP for imported and locally
produced products and offices in 29 states, where they carry out certification, routine and surveillance visits to ensure that the quality of locally made products are controlled. “Subsequently, we make sure that that company continues to produce according to the requirements of the standards; that is how we monitor the local product. For the imported ones, we apply the SONCAP principle, a strategy we have designed under the Inspectorate and Compliance Unit to monitor the borders and warehouses.” He added that SON had to review the standards of roofing sheets to ensure that they are of good qualities. He said: “We reviewed the standard minimum thickness to .15 for the or-
dinary grade, .20 for the premium grades and .30 and above for special grade used for special projects. In this scenario, opportunity is given to everybody to buy what they can afford and at the best quality. He claimed the alleged dumping of substandard materials is made worse because the agency has been excluded from the ports which accounts for over 85 per cent of imported materials. China’s population of 1.6 billion, no doubt, needs new trading routes for industrial goods, and Nigeria which is the most populous black nation, with a capacity to absorb many of these goods, is a target by the Chinese authorities, especially with our porous borders and weak regulatory authorities.
Dangote seeks more support for the Private Sector
HE President/CEO of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, said he decided to venture into the construction of a refinery and fertiliser plant as part of his contributions to reducing unemployment in the country. Dangote stated this in Lagos while addressing members of a business group which paid him a visit. He said the task of growing the nation’s economy rests more on the private sector and urged other investors to lend the government a helping hand in this direction. He said: “The responsibility of government is more of providing the enabling environment through the right policies and infrastructure provisions for the private sector to thrive.” He commended the current administration for focusing on issues that would help the private sector perform optimally as enshrined in
the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan, Dangote said no government can succeed without the input of the private sector. He also praised the Federal Government for listening to the private sector and intervening in some critical areas of attention such as the backward integration policy which started with the cement sector and now being extended to agriculture. “Nigeria has the resources and the market for any company to survive. I have always said it that Nigeria is a good place to invest. We have all in abundance. God has blessed this country,” he said. Expressing optimism in Nigeria’s economic revival through the private sector, he said the current challenges facing the country will soon be a thing of the past. The Dangote Group, he promised, will invest more in Nigeria and create more jobs.
SMEDAN, Japanese firm partner on Vehicle Recycling Plant
•Director-General Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in Computer Village discussing with phone vendors.
‘Shea butter export can boost Nigeria’s non-oil earnings by $2b ‘ E
XPERTS yesterday in Abuja said that the export of processed Shea butter could boost Nigeria’s nonoil earnings by $2billion annually. They gave the figure at a briefing on the forthcoming 6th International Shea Industry Conference organised by the Global Shea Alliance (GSA).The Global Shea Alliance is the coordinating body for the development of the shea butter industry worldwide. The conference is an annual gathering of producers, exporters, wholesalers, retailers and other stakeholders in the shea butter industry. The Director-General of the Niger State Commodity and Export Promotion Agency, Mr Mohammed Kontagora, who is also a member of GSA said that Nigeria’s potential in the sector was largely untapped. He said that Nigeria, which presently accounts for 57 per cent of the global shea value put at about $4 billion dollars, could address its challenge of poverty through shea butter export.“Nigeria stands a better chance of improving its economy through the processing and sale of shea butter.“ The current global shea value stands
at more than $3.8 billion. “Shea butter has the potential to eradicate poverty, this is the sector I believe we all have to go back to,” he said.Kontagora said that there was no other genuine means of enhancing the rural economies of communities that had comparative advantage in shea butter production. He added that there was no better option to rural women empowerment than in the promotion of shea butter as a food and cosmetic product.On the export capacity of Nigeria, the DG said that more than 50,000 tonnes of the product could be exported from the country per year.He, however, bemoaned the lack of adequate statistics on shea butter production, noting that it was one of the factors militating against the development of the sector in Nigeria. Earlier in her address, the President of Alliance, Mrs Eugenia Akuete, solicited the support of government and other stakeholders for the development of the sector in Nigeria.She said that the growth of the sector could em-
power more women to contribute to the wellbeing of the families and those of their local comm-unities.“Women collect nuts across the Savannah area stretching from Senegal to Uganda and South Sudan.“Millions of women make shea butter that millions more in West Africa consume daily in food and skin care products.“The Shea has tremendous impact on local economies, for every one dollar of shea exported, local villages receive an additional 50 per cent of income,” she said. On her part, an executive committee member of the alliance, Mrs Salima Makama, pleaded for support and publicity for the forth-coming conference. She said that the conference would create opportunities for Nigeria and Africa to develop the local shea butter industry and open new economic opportunities for its citizens. Makama urged states with comparative advantage in shea butter production to take a cue from the Niger State Government’s shea development road map.
HE Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and the Kaiho Sangyo Japan have begun discussions on the proposal for conversion of the Industrial Development Centre (IDC) at the Idu Industrial Layout, Abuja, to a vehicle recycling plant. The Centre is one of the 23 established by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment as a business incubation center and Industrial Park, but have remained largely under-utilized over the years. The proposed vehicle recycling plant is expected to recycle entirely endof-life vehicles to be turned into three kinds of steel namely, metal, aluminum and copper, which will then be converted into motor body and spare parts in the nearest future. Speaking on behalf of Kaiho Sangyo Japan, the Project Consultant and Team Leader, Mr. Masayoshi Matsushita said that while he was working with United Nation Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Nigeria, he noticed that a lot of dead and abandoned vehicles littered most nooks and crannies of the country and they were an eyesore and could contaminate the environment. “I saw the waste emanating from these end-of-life vehicles hanging around the whole place, I decided that something good could come out of these comatose automobiles which cumulatively numbered about 400,000 in the whole country and about 8000 in the FCT alone. We went into partnership with the Abuja Investment Company on the development of this project. With the help of UNIDO and JICA, we were able to come up with this company to delve into automobile recycling of ELVs”, said Matsushita.
ABUCCIMA to provide exotic tents for 8th Trade Fair, says D-G
HE Abuja Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agri culture (ABUCCIMA) says it will provide “exotic tents’’ for ex hibitors at the forthcoming Eight Abuja International Trade Fair. The fair will hold between Sept. 26 and Oct. 10 at the Jeremiah Useni International Trade Fair Complex, Airport Road, Abuja. The DirectorGeneral of the Chamber, Mr Joe Wenegieme, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Abuja. He said the tents, measuring 2,125 square metres and with capacity to accommodate 156 exhibitors, would be brought from China. “We have bought these exotic exhibition tents from China; we will be clearing them very soon. I have received the bill of laden from the supplier. “Unlike previous years when exhibitors were made to construct their own temporary wooden stands, we have placed orders for exotic exhibition tents from China. Wenegieme described as encouraging, responses from countries, state governments, corporate oganisations and other prospective participants to the chamber’s invitation.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
Summer school is an euphemism for holiday coaching during the long vacation. Many schools are into this practice, which has caught on, but is it of benefit to pupils? Isn’t summer school more hype than substance?
•Pupils of Summer Rain Schools during their summer class
Catching the summer school bug O
NCE upon a time, pupils longed for the long holidays. Then it was time for visits to the village to stay with grandma or to another town to see uncles or cousins. Pupils shut their books; school bags, uniforms and other supplies are stored at the back of the wardrobe until the last days of the holidays. During the vacation, they had lots of time on their hands to play. Rising and bed times were adjusted by parents so children can spend more time in front of the TV, playing computer games or outside playing football or any other game that catches their fancy. By the time schools resume, pupils’ hands are so stiff that they spend the first few days of the first term getting used to writing again. However, times have changed. Though the long holidays are still
By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie, Adegunle Olugbamila, Medinat Kanabe, Sampson Unamka, Jane Chijioke and Eniola Osidein
part of the school calendar, many more pupils are spending it in school. Summer school, whatever that means, organised during the holidays, are becoming more popular with each passing session; and many more parents and pri-
vate schools are embracing the phenomenon.
Schools: Increased enrolment targets Schools vary the programmes they offer during summer school, mixing academics with recreation so that pupils are more relaxed. Checks by The Nation showed that schools charged from as low as N2,000 to as high as N60,000 de-
In the primary section we involved them in debate, story-telling, dance, choreography and talks about themselves. We have pupils from other schools whose parents want to try us before their children resume so they can change them to our school; this is an opportunity
First class get Fayemi scholarship -Page 27
pending on their neighbourhood. Many of the schools that charge low fees offer little beyond academics; those that charge more, provide a variety of programmes to keep the pupils excited like excursion, sports, swimming, art and craft, catering, music, Information Communication Technology (ICT); and other vocational training. Schools are not just organising the summer school programme to provide parents with places to keep
Kano shuts 60 private schools
THE Kano State Government Task Force on Private Schools has shut down 19 schools indefinitely, while 50 others were suspended for their refusal to comply with the rules and regulations guiding the operations of private schools in the state. -Page 28
All for charity -Page 29
their children or make extra cash. Many are adopting it as a strategy to increase enrolment in the new session and to prevent the poaching of their pupils by rivals. A teacher in a private school in Ojo, a Lagos suburb, told The Nation that teachers are encouraged to give their best to attract new intakes. "One thing about summer coaching is that every school get students who are not only their own but from other schools. Here, we don't charge beyond N2,000; but most importantly, we encourage our teachers to be in attendance and give their best during lessons. I can tell you categorically that each summer coaching, we get between five and six pupils from other schools into this place," he said. Another teacher, who teaches •Continued on page 26
•A 10-page section on campus news, people etc
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
EDUCATION Benue adult literacy teachers paid N500 monthly
• Chairman, World Board, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), Mrs Nadine El-Achy (left) presenting an award to the Chairperson, Africa Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma at the opening ceremony of the 10th Africa Regional Conference of (WAGGGS) at the NUT Pavillion, Agidingbi, Lagos. With them is the Chairman, African Region, WAGGGS, Mrs. Helinoro Rakotomalala (middle).
•Continued from page 25 Accounts in another secondary school, told of how his school won a pupil from a high flying competitor. He said the pupil enrolled for the summer in his school because of proximity to his home. He (the pupil) was won over after he (teacher) taught him Book Keeping. The teacher said: "When I finished the lesson, this boy asked me how I got the skill to teach in such a way that he understood perfectly. He said even though his school charges very high tuition, yet pupils do not enjoy that kind of attention from their teachers, and many of them had even started complaining. "The next day, this boy brought his mother to our school insisting he would love to switch over to our school. His argument was that he wanted to study Accounting in the university and would therefore find me a good companion. The mother did not have a choice but to allow it because the father lives in the U.S." Mrs Victoria Alabi, the Head Teacher of New Covenant Schools, Surulere, said the summer school allows parents thinking of changing their children’s schools opportunity to test the waters. "In the primary section we involved them in debate, story-telling, dance, choreography and talks about themselves. We have pupils from other schools whose parents want to try us before their children resume so they can change them to our school; this is an opportunity. Right now we have a child like that here whose parents want us to evaluate him," she said. Da'wah Schools in Jakande Estate, Isolo, Lagos, has started organising summer schools to protect its pupil population. Its Head Teacher, Afolabi Abdulkabi said of the initiative: "What gave birth to summer lesson at Da'wah is when we discovered that during the two months break, our pupils go to other
TAKEHOLDERS who attended a meeting organised by the Agency for Adult and Non Formal Education (ANFEA) were shocked to learn that facilitators who teach literacy to adults, are paid N500 as salary. The shocking revelation came from no less a person than the Benue State Governor, Mr Gabriel Suswam, who was represented by the Commissioner for Education Dr Elizabeth Ugor. Suswam said it was disheartening that the facilitators were paid so poorly when the minimum amount which local government councils in Benue should pay them is N6,000. He added that education is a collective responsibility and charged stakeholders to brace up for the
From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi
challenges ahead. In her welcome speech, Executive Director, Benue State Agency for Adult and Non Formal Education, Mrs. Becky Ortese, said the training of 111 facilitators organised by UNESCO and the MDGs Office has broadened their knowledge so that they can impact positively. She commended Suswam and the Commissioner for the support to the agency but called for more assistance in the areas of logistics, employment of new facilitators and funds to fulfil its mandate to the illiterates in Benue state. The Executive Secretary, National Commission for Mass Education, Alahji Jibrin Paiko , said they are over 40 million illiterates in Nigeria.
Catching the summer school bug schools for lessons which may be substandard making it difficult to cope with them when they resume. In other to bridge this gap, we introduced the summer lesson." The school, he said, charges between N2,000 and N2,500 for the exercise. "It used to be both recreational and academics when we had fulltime fine arts and computer teacher, but since our fine arts and computer teachers are now on part time basis and have other engagements during the break, we didn't include the recreational aspect in it this year," he said. Beyond increasing enrolment, schools also said they do summer programmes to prepare pupils for the new session. While some focus on academics, others make it more relaxed. The Principal of the Summer Rain Secondary School in Isolo, Lagos, Mr Walter Lawrence, said the pupils prepare for the next class and have fun as well. "We want the children to have knowledge of what they will be taught in their next class and improve their knowledge on what they have been taught. The summer school is majorly for academics but we always add fun for them, especially the pupils who come from other schools to attend our lesson. We have a get together at the end to show them that they are welcomed anytime and we are accommodating," he said. At Supreme Educational Foundation (SEF) in Magodo, Lagos, which fee is high for the five-week programme given its elitist status, pupils engage in a variety of activities including swimming competitions, sports, excursion and some academics. A teacher at the school, Mr Kayode Abatan said many of the pupils participate in the programme, which is now in its third week.
"Many of our pupils are participating in swimming and sports competitions. They are also going on excursion to such places as Silverbird Galleria, National Theatre, and others. We have many of our pupils attending and even those from other schools. It is less of academics and more relaxed,” he said. Mr Kayode Oni, Principal of Queensland Secondary School, Okota, a Lagos suburb, said his school's programme is relaxed. "We cannot close up the school so we must come up with a programme that will keep the school alive and the pupils want us to keep their mental state active. We organise the programme in a relaxed mood, not the kind of programme we organise during the normal school session. They study under a more relaxed atmosphere and interact with one another," he said.
Parents: No worries about baby sitters or mischief The Summer School comes at extra cost to the parents, but they do not seem to mind. For them, especially those employed in the formal sector, enrolling their children in summer schools frees them from the worries of keeping the younger ones productively engaged and reduces time spent making mischief. Mrs Nonye Orakwe said her children are in school during the holidays because there is no one to stay with them when she and her husband are at work. "After the lesson one of my children goes to the crèche while the other stays with someone," she said. Mr Okafor Igwe, a parent said children should not be left alone during the holidays because they are vulnerable. He said: ''The dangers of leaving
• Pupils of Geoann Private School, Ijede, Ikorodu during a sewing practical class.
children all by themselves at home when the parents leave for work can be very alarming because then you cannot monitor their moves; the kind of films they watch, the friends they hang out with and also other unpleasant behaviours that children exhibit. To avoid this you send them to lesson because an idle man is the devil’s workshop.” It is not only because of safe keeping that Mrs Orakwe patronises the summer school, which also serves to keep her older son off the couch watching TV. She said: "I allow them to attend the lesson because when my son wakes up every morning, he wants to watch cartoons but since I have made it mandatory that when he wakes up he goes to the lesson, he has adjusted. He used to forget what was taught in school but these days, he remembers well because there is a follow up. I don't have a house helps to they must attend the summer lesson. They are only at home when I am at home." Madam Perpetual Odumegwu also thinks summer schools are more beneficial than leaving children to watch TV. "It makes the children refresh their brains. It also keeps them busy instead of being at home watching television. One day I visited my uncle; his daughter was on holidays and watching the television. She said: ‘Mummy is there is no Mercy Johnson in this film, I won’t watch oh.’ And when she saw Mercy Johnson, she was so happy. If she was in school for a summer coaching, she won’t be talking about Mercy Johnson," she said. For another parent, who simply identified himself as Mr Kolawole, attending summer school means his two sons will spend less time playing computer games on his cell phones. "Since the long vacation began, I noticed that every morning, my two cell phones quickly run out of bars. Initially, I felt something was wrong with my phones. I was already thinking of taking it to a technician when I realised that it was the two phones that were running down together. I found out that my two sons usually pretended to be asleep at night, while exploring the games on my phones until dawn," he said. Though Mrs Chinwe Ome does not like summer school, said she enrolled two of her five children to have some respite while they are away. "I do not like summer coaching because I believe the holiday is meant for resting. They can do their revision at home. I have five children but the two who are boys are attending the summer lesson because they give me problems. When they are gone to the lesson, the girls have a quiet house to themselves to do their reading," she said.
Like Mrs Orakwe, many parents are also concerned about keeping their children academically fresh for a new session. Mrs Chinyere Akano believes the holidays are long enough for pupils to forget what they learnt while the school was in session. "The holiday is a long one. I do not want them at home because they will forget what they learnt before the holiday. I want them to warm their brains up. They still have enough time to play because they have two weeks break from the lesson before school resumes. They also only attend the lessons from 9 to 12 so they have time to play after lesson. We also hope to travel when the lesson is over," she said. Even if children must be in school for the holidays, Mrs Bola Ogunwemimo, a parent, argues that the summer school should be more of vocational studies than academic. "If I have my way, I think I will make it compulsory for summer lessons to dwell more on vocational studies rather than academics because during the school period academic is given preference and they even do after school lessons; so why will they still dwell on it? They should use this holiday period to focus more on developing the children skilfully and I also want schools to incorporate excursion and travels, take the children to places as part of the holiday fun," she said.
Children and summer school Pupils quite enjoy summer school than regular school for various reasons. Apart from the recreation infused into the programme, some said the rules are more relaxed. Amaka John, a Senior Secondary (SS3) pupil of Ghazlak College, in Mafoluku, Oshodi, Lagos said they do no home works during the programme. "Since there is no homework to tackle, I think there is more time to get to understand and improve. Summer lessons can give you the opportunity to make significant changes to enhance your academic performance. My challenge so far has been on Maths, English and Biology and since I started this coaching I think they are becoming clearer to me," she said. Uche Percy, a Primary Six pupil of Tender Divine Seeds School, Okota said the teachers have more time for the pupils, adding that they don't flog during the programme. "They do not beat us in summer school but they give us punishment. If they give you mathematics to solve in summer school and you don't understand, they will take out time and make sure you get it right. But in normal school, they won't spend as much time spent in summer school," he said.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
Fayemi rewards six first class graduates with foreign scholarship IX exceptional graduates of Ekiti origin have received funding support from Governor Kayode Fayemi for postgraduate studies in some leading universities in the United Kingdom, United States and China. The six first class graduates, who are the first set of beneficiaries of Fayemi Scholars, an education funding platform organised by the governor, include: Omowumi Odetola who graduated with a First Class in Law from the University of Ibadan and was among the best at the Nigeria Law School; Banke Olabintan a first class graduate of Law from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; Bunmi Alonge (History and International Relations, OAU) and Segun Aluko a graduate of Babcock University, IlishanRemo. Others are Temitope Omotosho (Mechanical Engineering, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology
• Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, University of Benin, Senator Effiong Bob (left) discussing with Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State, during the Eid-el-fitri holidays in Abuja
Ogbomoso) and Michael Ogunlade (HND/B.Sc Electronics Engineering from the Federal Polytechnic Ado Ekiti and Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti). Speaking at the official presentation of the young scholars in AdoEkiti last Thursday, Fayemi said the six beneficiaries were chosen from a pool of applicants who approached government for support; adding that their selection is based on merit and good character. The governor assured them that his administration would sustain the initiative yearly despite limited resources. He explained that his administration in the last three years has worked assiduously to put the state's education sector on the right footing with a view to raising a generation of young Ekiti people who have the right skills and mindset to accelerate sustainable development in the state.
Inferior institutions are threats to production of French teachers
F universities were to comply with the Federal Government directive that all French Language students undergo their Language Immersion Programme (LID), the Nigeria French Language Village (NFLV) will be the hub of French Language studies in Nigeria. However, Prof Samuel Aje, who ended his tenure as the DirectorGeneral of NFLV July 31, said in an interview that he battled all his tenure getting heads of languages departments to obey this regulation. On the contrary, he claimed that many departmental heads, especially of southern institutions, take their students to inferior immersion institutions across the border, where they get equally inferior training at the end of which they are not confident to teach the subject in the classroom. Aje alleged that the departmental heads patronise inferior institutions for selfish financial reasons. He said: "It's true we have these institutions and we can't deny the fact that some people have their own personal interests. When students come here, we engage them in serious business - work and academic activities. But elsewhere, they only engage them barely three hours of lecture a day.
By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
"Yet in those places, they pay about three to four times what they pay here. Their academic level is so poor that they can't near our products. It's not that I don't know those institutions. In fact, there was a time the Federal Government directed that all language university as far as French is concerned should take place in the Nigerian French Language Village. The Minister of Education directed that letters should be sent to all vice-chancellors and provosts of colleges of education. The letters actually went, but on receiving that letter, Nigerians being who they are, devised another method to it. "If they were to have 50 students, they will end up leaving 10 here and taking 40 out of the borders and they will tell the vice chancellors that they are taking them to the NFLV. And with the mentality of a typical Nigerian, once he/she crosses a stream not wider than a table, he has gone overseas. "When they get there, they (students) now discover that what they are being given is inferior. We have seen cases of students who go there and spend two to three weeks, and when they see that what they are
being offered is not worth it, they run back to us to plead that they want to be here. But by the data we have before us, they are not supposed to be here. These are some of the challenges we are going through. "If I compile their lists, the list of these institutions, the options are their certificate won't be recognized. But who are paying for this? It is the students, who would have wasted that language immersion year." The implication of patronising inferior language immersion institutions is a time-bomb Aje said is waiting to detonate as it means Nigeria lacks the quality and quantity of French teachers to fulfil the requirement of the National Policy on Education (NPE) which stipulates that all pupils should learn French between Primary Four and JSS3. "I think they are destroying the future of these youths. When you ask them to go and teach French, you see them start pleading whereas they have a degree in French. It is because the standard is low and the foundation is weak. The NPE stipulates that French is the second official language of our country and that French must be taught from primary four compulsorily and up to JSS3.
While lamenting the impairment of moral compass of young people, the governor said it is worrisome that the state's famed love for knowledge has been eroded as youths now embrace short-term pleasures. Fayemi, who had earlier attended a programme commemorating the 50th anniversary of the death of foremost indigenous novelist, Daniel Fagunwa in Akure, urged the young generation to take a cue from the deep conviction and sense of purpose of Fagunwa who after dying 50 years ago, still evokes great passion and commitment to his ideals by countless people many of whom never met him alive. Giving the vote of thanks on behalf of the six scholars, Ms Olabintan said it was a great privilege for them to be the first set of beneficiaries of the funding support. She promised that they would study and make Ekiti State proud by being the best among equals.
‘I think they are destroying the future of these youths. When you ask them to go and teach French, you see them start pleading whereas they have a degree in French’ • Aje
However, records indicate that we do not have enough teachers. The only way to get teachers is by turning out NCE or degree graduates in French. When teachers are employed, they do not want to teach French because they do not have the ability to do so. "The solution, is to bring the attention of the government to it that many vice-chancellors were made to believe that they are taking their student to French Village not knowing they have taken them elsewhere," he said. Aje said the problem may not be solved until the Federal Government makes it mandatory for tertiary institutions to patronise only the NFLV for the immersion programme; while the National
Universities Commission should be mandated to apply strict sanctions, including de-accrediting the programmes of erring universities. He also noted that many of the institutions that patronise inferior institutions across the border are mostly from the southern part of the country. "What we have decided to do is to go out for advocacy to all the ViceChancellors and Provosts of colleges of education in Nigeria. This, I have been able to do. I have covered all the institutions in the Southwest, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Enugu, Imo and Ebonyi dtates. We still have the Southsouth to cover. But we don't seem to have problems with institutions from the North," he said.
"Now that I am 60 years, I am adding to what I have done to glorify God in line with what my mother did while alive. I have equally unveiled the Louis Carter Foundation to streamline my charity in various levels with a team specifically
charged with managing it for posterity sake. I have instructed my children, eight of them, to continuously pay money into it as a legacy for me whether alive or dead. So the cash will continue to flow into the foundation."
Philanthropist donates school structures
O mark his 60th birthday, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Louis Carter Group Limited, Chief Louis Izuchukwu Onwugbenu, will hand over a three-storey school building for St Louis Nwafor Uruagu Primary School, Uruagu, Nnewi in Anambra State to Bishop of Nnewi Diocese, Most Reverend Hillary Okeke today. The school is among those that the administration of Governor Peter Obi handed over to the Catholic mission. Thanking the donor, head teacher of the school, Mrs Chibundu Onwurah, said the one-storey building that the school used before the new structure and the land where it was located were courtesy of Onwuegbenu. She said the over 800 pupils and 39 teachers of the school have benefitted a lot from Onwugbenu's philanthropy, adding that he has purchased another three-storey building for a secondary school for the area since there is none in the locality. The Manager of the school and
From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi
Parish Priest of St Louis Catholic Church, Uruagu Nnewi, Rev Fr Mike Onuchukwu, said the church and school were built by Onwugbenu 10 years ago and the additional structures for the nursery/primary and secondary sections are his way of thanking God for keeping him. In his remarks, Onwugbenu whose foundation caters for the education of less privileged and disadvantaged people in the society, said the first set of pupils of the secondary school who are brilliant would study free. "Because I know the essence of education and I know the pains of parents who cannot afford their children's education, the first set of bright students in the St Louis Secondary School, Uruagu Nnewi will study for free, no matter their number from JSS 1-3, at least for now. They would go through a screening to be administered by the Board of Trustees of the Louis Carter Foundation. "I bought the land and built St
• The three-storey building
Louis Nursery/ Primary School since 1998, and now the St Louis Secondary School. I have bought the land and the building that will be remodeled into an ultra modern school. This three-storey building is for the secondary school.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
EDUCATION Kano shuts 60 private schools
HE Kano State Government Task Force on Private Schools has shut down 19 schools indefinitely, while 50 others were suspended for their refusal to comply with the rules and regulations guiding the operations of private schools in the state. The chairman of the task force, Alhaji Baba Umar, who clamped down on the schools last week, lamented that despite operating in unconducive environments, like garages and makeshift structures, some of the proprietors still went ahead to hike fees.
‘The task force is not out to witch hunt anybody, be you Christian or Muslim, but to ensure sanity in the system. Eighty-five per cent of over 4,000 private schools in Kano are operating in uncondusive environment, which calls for concern’
He also said most of the proprietors who collected verification forms since June last year, are yet to return them to the task force, thereby making it difficult to ascertain the number of private schools operating in the state. He said many proprietors have defaulted on mandatory 10 per cent levy of their fees per term introduced by the immediate past administration, to serve as part of their contribution to the development of the state. Umar said the task force, which was inaugurated by Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso last year, seeks to regulate the system better. "The task force is not out to witch hunt anybody, be you Christian or Muslim, but to ensure sanity in the system. Eighty-five per cent of over 4,000 private schools in Kano are operating in uncondusive environment, which calls for concern. The situation prompted the task force to embark on supervision of the erring private schools, resulting in the closure and suspension of some of them,” he said. The chairman warned that if any of the schools should re-open, they will not only face prosecution but their names will be forwarded to the state Ministry of Justice for appropriate sanctions.
From Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki
issuing appointment letters to successful candidates in my school. Surprisingly, my name is not on the list. It had been omitted at the Commission. What baffles me is how the Commission altered the list from the Federal Ministry of Education. This alteration was done right inside the office of the Commissioner representing Ebonyi, Enugu and Anambra states. It was there that my name was replaced with a non part-time teacher in the slot for Ebonyi State," he stated in the petition. Okolie, who told The Nation he has been teaching in the school since last year, expressed regret that the FCSC omitted his name after teaching the pupils with the little stipend the PTA paid. "Now that we should enjoy the fruit of our labour, they have removed our names and replaced it with their own people who have not taught in the school or anywhere else for that matter. Most of these people they used to replace us are not even from Ebonyi State," he lamented.
College rewards serial winner with scholarship
UTHORITIES of the Adeyemi College of Education (ACE), Ondo State, have awarded a scholarship to a secondary school pupil, Master Babatunde Isaac Ademusire for his brilliant performance in various competitions. Ademusire is a pupil of the Adeyemi College of Education Demonstration Secondary School, Ondo (ACEDSSO), which is owned by the college. He was recommended by the principal of the school, Mr. E.O Owasoyo, for the scholarship which will cover the 2013/2014 academic session. In a letter dated July 22 and addressed to the Chairman of the ACEDSSO Management Board, Owasoyo stated that Ademusire won the 2013 Ondo State final of the Science Teachers' Association
From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
Teachers allege sharp practices ART-TIME teachers at the Federal Government Girls’ College (FGGC), Ezzamgbo in Ebonyi State, have accused officials of the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) of substituting their names in the ongoing regularisation of the employment of part-time teachers of Federal Government Colleges, a.k.a Unity Schools nationwide. In a petition to Governor Martin Elechi, one of the teachers, Okolie Anthony Chukwuemeka, said after numerous examinations, verifications and documentation, the Federal Ministry of Education (FME), Abuja forwarded the names of 10 teachers in the school to the Commission for approval in line with the Federal Government's decision to employ part-time teachers teaching in all the 104 Unity Schools. Okolie, who teaches ICT, said that in May, he was ordered by the principal of the school to forward the phone numbers and emails of the 10 part-time teachers to the FCSC and the FME in Abuja for easier communication when their appointment letters were ready. "However, the FCSC has begun
From Damisi Ojo, Akure
of Nigeria (STAN) Science Quiz/ Projects competition which has qualified him for the final holding this week in Akwa Ibom. The SS2 pupil also came among the top 10 in the 2013 Cowbell National Secondary School Mathematics Competition (NASSMAC) and performed creditably in the Federal Road Safety Corps essay competition. Speaking on the award, the ACE Provost, Prof Adeyemi Idowu, praised the pupil and management of the school for the exploits. He said the college decided to give Ademusire a scholarship to boost his morale and encourage others to emulate him. He pledged the college's support to the school in its effort at providing qualitative education.
• Pupils of Golden City Academy, Mararaba, Nasarawa State, at their graduation
150 pupils graduate in style
HE premises of the African Church Model College, Ifako-Ijaiye wore a cheerful look for the 13th valedictory service held penultimate Thursday. The school hall was decorated with blue and white drapes with a touch of gold. The graduating pupils looked smart in navy blue blazer suits, white shirts and red ties. The girls styled their hair beautifully and the boys had nice hair cuts. Their teachers wore black suits, dark blue shirts and wine ties. Parents were not left out as they were attired in their best traditional and English apparels. The principal of the school, Mr Olanrewaju Ogunkola, gave glory to God for making the event a reality. He said the graduands should be celebrated for their doggedness and determination even in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
By Bukunmi Ogundare
He thanked parents for their belief and contribution to the growth of the school. He also urged them to counsel and not leave their wards on their own as they are vulnerable to outside influences. The guest speaker, Ven. Kayode Odusola, told the graduands to be conscious of the decisions they make as it will be recorded as part of their story. "Life is like a book and it can only be interesting if we read it in chapters; so your life in this school is getting to a close and you are about to open a new chapter of your life. Be cautious of how you open the next chapter because you are moving to experience new set of situations in life," he said. Ven. Odusola urged the pupils to remember their alma mater, embrace hard work and move closer
to God in their quest for greatness in life. He thanked God for the success recorded in the school since Ogunkola took over as principal, including recording 95 per cent pass in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). Prizes were presented to the best pupils from JSS1-SS3, with many parents applauding because of their wards' performance. The programme, officiated by Mr. Richard Aganga and Mr Toba Odelade, also featured presentations by the school choir and the Igbo and Yoruba cultural groups, news broadcast from the school press club and the launch of the school magazine. After prayers for the school and the outgoing pupils by the School Chaplain Rev S.O. Olanloye, the programme ended with the recessional Hymn, I am pressing on.
‘Make excellence your watchword’
ROF Grace Otinwa of the Faculty of Education, University of Lagos (UNILAG), has advised the graduating pupils of the International School, University of Lagos ((ISL) to imbibe the qualities of excellence needed for a bright future. Delivering a farewell lecture, themed: Preparing Excellent Youths for the Future during the school's valedictory service at the UNILAG Multipurpose Hall, she defined excellence as the quality of being outstanding. She admonished the graduands to seek God's excellent spirit, gratitude and integrity as they are major virtues needed in the society. To live fulfilled lives, Prof Otinwa counselled the pupils to pay attention to making their active years count. ''You have three seasons in life: the learning season, the earning season and when these two seasons are properly utilised, you become fulfilled and your resting season would be at ease. Your starting point of achievement is your commitment to excellence. Your approach to knowledge must change. Your ability to learn, grow and fulfill your potential is unlimited," she said. Attributing part of pupils' failure in life to parents, she urged them to spend quality time and live an exemplary life to motivate the children. “Parents, you should be able to identify the strength and weakness of your children. When you spend good time with them, it will help
By Jane Chijioke
in reforming their lives. Be willing to correct their wrongs, guide, counsel and pray for them,” she said. The principal of the school, Mrs Adaora Ojo counseled the graduands to endure obstacles that they may face in life as the road to success is not easy. ''To succeed in life there are a lot of odds to contend with. Your victory depends on one attribute which is endurance. You must be prepared to endure any hardship. There must be disappointment and
challenges along the way. Do not be distracted from the goals that you have set for yourself. “You must bear in mind that it is when you are confronted with challenges and you are able to overcome them that you become men and women of strength and character," she said. On behalf of the graduands, Abe Adedoyin and Abimbola Adedoyin, thanked the teachers and parents for their support and encouragement, which they believe will help direct their path as they advance in life.
• Pupils of Summit Spring Academy, Igando, at the first graduation and end of year party of the school. PHOTO: DAVID ADEJO
Corps member’s passion for kids
At the mercy of ASUU strike Page 31
*CAMPUSES *NEWS *PEOPLE *KUDOS& KNOCKS *GRANTS
CAMPUS LIFE 0805-450-3104 email: email@example.com THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
Students and beauty queens from three higher institutions in Plateau State dropped their academics to engage in charity to save the lives of an ailing colleague, Sylvia Gowal, and orphans. GOTODOK LENGSHAK and SULEIMAN DUTSE (300-Level Production, Nigerian Television Authority Television College, Jos) report.
•Rotmwa washing a vehicle’s tyre to raise funds for Sylvia’s operation and orphanage
All for charity •Students raise funds for colleague, others
HEY are beauty queens and students of various higher institutions in Plateau State. They also have kind hearts. They dropped their classroom work for charity in aid of an ailing colleague. They were a spectacle to behold on Yakubu Gowon Way and Domkat Bali Road in Jos, the Plateau State capital, for two days. They came from the University of Jos (UNIJOS), Plateau State Polytechnic (PLASPOLY) and the National Television Authority (NTA) Television College (TV COLLEGE) to wash cars to help orphans and an indigent colleague. Under the banner of “The Friends
PHOTO: SULEIMAN DUTSE
of Sylvia,” the girls took over the Blue Whales Carwash and the Ultimate Carwash for two days. They took on the venture to raise money for their colleague, Miss Sylvia Gowal, ND II Public Administration, PLASPOLY. Sylvia’s family could not get the N2 million needed for her operation, having been diagnosed of avascular necrosis in her left femur, an ailment that has left her bedridden. Her education has also been put on hold. Tagged “Help Sylvia walk again” and held in conjunction with the She Diamond Modelling Agency, hundreds of students and youths volunteered to do the menial job. As they washed cars, music blared from a ‘cor-
ner to entertain their ‘customers. According to the initiator of the campaign, Mr Awal Gowal, Sylvia’s brother, the move became imperative to correct the left hip that has kept his sister at home for two years. Awal told CAMPUSLIFE that since May 2009, when Sylvia was diagnosed of the ailment, the family had been working hard to raise the funds needed for the operation but enough money was not realised. “We had to seek for help elsewhere and brought up this concept to raise the needed money. We created the Friends of Sylvia group on Facebook to draw the attention of students and the public to our plight. We sought for
assistance to help organise campaigns to raise funds because we don’t want to beg,” Awal said. In no time, members of the group grew, with scores of students in Plateau State offering to help. “We had to again look at how we can channel this active group of people to be productive to meet the target of N2 million we need for the operation. So, we thought of washing cars to raise the funds,” Awal added. Amaka Osigwe, 300-Level Mass Communication, UNIJOS, a volunteer, said the group opted for car washing after the publicity on social media drew many students to the group. •Continued on page 30
•Man nabbed for transformer distruption-P32•Fear grips students as exam begins -P33
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
A voice from Pushing the street Out
ROTESTERS in the Middle East made history in 2011 when they toppled dictator after dictator in what is now referred to as the Arab Spring. From Tunisia, where it started, it spread to Egypt, Libya, Syria and other Arab countries giving voices to people who have hitherto had their voices muffled for decades. The voices came in different forms and shades, the biggest ever line up of Arabic rappers and the spirit and resilience of the Cairo youth made Friday, November 4, 2011 a special day as it brought together political dissidents rappers from Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan on Egyptian soil in order to remind the world that the struggle for freedom of expression and speech in the Middle East has just begun. In setting up the event, the organisers from ‘Turntables in the Camps and Immortal Entertainment’, wanted to remind their compatriots of the need for change in Egypt due to the persistence of corruption within the regime and the tight military control of all public events. As is the case with events of such nature that bring youths together, the authorities were jittery. At the scheduled hour of the start of the event, the Interior Minister ordered the Gezirah Youth Club in Cairo - who had lent its facilities to the organisers - to shut the gates and cancel the concert. As a result of this the organisers were forced to take the concert to different locations across Cairo which turned out to be a huge success as the domino effects led to the toppling of the regime of Hosni Mubarak. Egyptians are back on the streets again speaking in a showdown between the government and supporters of ousted President Muhammed Morsi. Everywhere we go the street has its own voice, it could be informed or uninformed, controlled or uncontrolled. But in the end, it speaks one way or another. We witnessed these voices after the annulment of the June 12, 1993 elections and the Occupy Nigeria movement against the hike in fuel price two years ago. In 1989, Nigerians trooped out in their millions in a spontaneous re-
Agbo Agbo 08116759750 (SMS only)
•firstname.lastname@example.org action against former military President Ibrahim Babangida’s Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP). The voices from the streets forced him to give his SAP a “human face” less than a month after the demonstrations. I had an encounter last week which reminded me that the street still speaks today. I had gone to fix my car when one of my mechanics came to inquire if I still have the old tyres he replaced for me after buying new ones; I answered in the affirmative and asked what he wants to do with the old tyres. “I want to sell them” was his reply; I smiled inwardly and bemoaned our penchant for tokunbo things. That was when the story started rolling in. A month ago, my mechanic sold his tokunbo car to pay the school fees of two of his children in the university – one, a student of Usmanu Dan Fodio University, Sokoto and the other of Federal University of Technology, Minna - and now they are home doing nothing, so he’s raising money again to prepare for their return back to school hence the request for the old tyres. I was really impressed and took him aside so that we could discuss. I told him I was surprised that he could sell his car to pay his children school fees given the fact that most of those in his line of trade do not have long term vision because they live for the day. He told me it would be foolish of him having served “rich” and educated people in Adeniyi Jones Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos not to know the importance of education. “Sir, from my contact with my customers, and having observed their lifestyles I know education is very important that is why I’m challenged to give my children what I never had; if it’s even possible for me to sell myself I will to ensure
All for charity •Continued on page 30
She said: “We do not have money to give, but we can use our strength to work and contribute to efforts to make our sister walk again. This is so pathetic and I am calling on well meaning and kind-hearted Nigerians to do more in this regard as it might be someone close to anyone of us, who might be in need in future.” Alex Bot, 400-Level Television Production Department, TV COLLEGE, believes youths could make money from their sweat since nobody was ready to save the girl’s life. “We will make Sylvia walk again,” he vowed. Miss Rotmwa Gonchen, a beauty queen and founder of She Diamonds Modelling Agency, led a group of models to the streets of Jos, washing cars to raise funds in support of orphans and destitute. Gloria Semlek, former Face of Unity, her successor, Miss Nanbam Bess, Miss Timbyn Dala, Miss UNIJOS, Elizabeth Uja,
former Miss UNIJOS, and Chaliya Kapyil, former Miss Plateau, among others took part in the venture. Rotmwa, a student of TV COLLEGE, said the agency supported the campaign because it believed in engaging in charity work to help the needy. “When you look at orphanage homes across the country, you will agree that there is the need for support from the public. There are children there with bright future but they lack the basic support and this explains why we are carrying this exercise for purely charity purpose,” she said. Over 300 vehicles were washed during the two-day exercise. But the volunteers could only raise N1 million for their ailing colleague. Gillian Actor, whose car was washed, said she had never met ladies with such humility, despite their beauty.
•The students during the exercise at the Blue Whales Carwash along Yakubu Gowon Way
they have a bright future. But I cannot understand why they keep sending them home all the time”. I had to explain, in layman’s term, the deadlock between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government regarding the current strike. When I pointed out that the government said it does not have the money to fund education the way ASUU wanted he was instantly taken aback as I saw it written over him as he tried to process what I just said. “Why would the government filled with many educated people not know the importance of education when an illiterate like myself can sell my car to pay my children’s school fees?”, was his question to me. I told him I wish I could give him a straight forward answer, but I couldn’t. We have thousands of parents like my mechanic who have staked all to give their wards a future they never had with the anticipation that with sound education they may be able to break new grounds, but unfortunately, the goal post keeps shifting as the elites keep finding means to solve their problems to the detriment of the sector. The voice of my mechanic is being echoed by other indigent parents who just want a future of less pain and despair for their wards; but we can all see that things are changing rapidly as Nigeria is on the route to a fullyfledged capitalist society where everyman is now for himself. And just like he pointed out, how could so many educated people in government not see the importance of education to development? Perhaps, just like I pointed out last week, maybe a fifth columnist is at work. Though the voice of my mechanic and the thousands of other voices I have not yet encountered may be muffled for now, they would not remain so for ever. No analyst predicted what happened in the Arab world in 2011, it started when a young Tunisian street vendor, Tarek al-Tayeb Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire on December 17, 2010, in protest of the confiscation of his wares and the harassment and humiliation that he reported was inflicted on him by a municipal official and her aides. His act became a catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution and the wider Arab Spring, inciting demonstrations and riots
throughout Tunisia in protest of social and political issues in the country. The public’s anger and violence intensified following Bouazizi’s death, leading thenPresident Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to step down on January 14, 2011, after 23 years in power. But all we keep hearing is that it can never happen in Nigeria. Will anyone had predicted five years ago that we would be dealing with the Boko Haram security challenge today? Those playing politics and toying with the future of law abiding Nigerians who just want to live decent and honourable lives should not miss the point that the street is speaking, even though it is muffled for now. Re- The fifth columnist agenda Who is a fool? Tell me where you expect the likes of Obasanjo, Atiku and their ilk to get students into their universities if the federal ones are working? Do you need to be told that some of these ASUU members are feeding fat from all these? There is no problem in any form once Nigeria can boast of retired generals who are donating billions of naira to unnecessary causes and not to education. We have National Assembly members who are only interested in reviewing their salaries and allowances upward otherwise no bill would be passed. What a pity! Akinlayo A. I wonder why we have not revisited the ownership and structure of the universities as the cause of the problem. Attitude of academic staff is another issue. Students, Research and HR development are no longer the objective and one wonders about internal accounting and independent financial auditing of the university system. 08065724207 Sir, you hit the bull’s eye on the fifth columnist. The Federal Government is only ensuring compliance with the directives/dictates of the Bretton Woods institutions –that is, to ensure the death of universities and also the production of low cadre manpower. This has been ASUU’s grouse and war with government. I’m sure if all Nigerians join in the struggle, we will save the nation from bounty hunters who do not have any sense of nationalism. Come to think of it, what was the university like when most of these people in government were students? But now government cannot fund education!
He lost an eye while he was in primary school. After a few years in secondary school, Sunday Adeniyi became blind. His challenge continues in university, where funding is threatening his education. SIKIRU AKINOLA (400-Level Political Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife) writes.
Challenges of a blind student
had the most shocking experience the day I was writing my common entrance examination. As I was writing the paper, I discovered my sight was getting dull. I could not finish the first paper when the second one started. This was in 1999. But in 2004, my two eyes stopped seeing anything again.” These are the words of Sunday Adeniyi, a 25-year-old student of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Ile-Ife, Osun State, whose education is being threatened by lack of fund and a broken home. The 100-Level student of the Department of Linguistics and African Languages believes he would not be suffering if his parents were still married. “At present, I am having a very great challenge with my education. My department was created recently and no visually-impaired student had been admitted here, so there are no facilities that may aid my learning given my condition. My classmates have not been helpful. Anytime I call on them for assistance, especially to read, they would feel like explaining some subjects to me would make them to be dull. Whenever I call on them, some run away as if I am a plague,” Adeniyi told CAMPUSLIFE in an emotion-laden voice. He narrated how he lost his sight.
It started in 1992 with one eye and in 2004, he became blind. He said: “I may abandon my education if there is no enough money to continue. This challenge has made life unbearable for me. My father is really trying his best but things are expensive. This is why most of us don’t further our education.” He said there was a day he could not attend a class because of N40. “That day I was totally cashstrapped and there was no one to take me to the venue of the lecture. I tried to walk down to the bus stop to get a bike but that was impossible because I had no cash.” He got a fairly-used laptop when he was admitted into the university but “the thing has been developing different faults since I bought it; in fact, it is a challenge for me because it is depriving me of preparing well for tests and examinations.” Adeniyi explained how his mother abandoned him because of his condition. “I am suffering from a broken home, which makes my condition worse. My mother left in 1990. She left me before I started having challenges with my left eye and when she learnt of my situation, she got involved and took me to the hospital. But later, she stopped and finally divorced my dad.” He said the visual problem, which eventually led to the loss of
his sight, was detected by his teacher when he was in Primary 1. He said: “We have been moving from one hospital to another since 1992 when my teacher informed my parents that something was wrong with my sight. We tried our best to prevent the affected left eye from extending to the right and I managed to finish my primary education with my right eye.” He wondered why many people run away from him, saying some people see blindness as a communicable disease and do not like to associate with him. He said: “Most times, I feel bad with the way people treat me. People steal my things and that is always painful. Each time I am treated badly, it reminds me of my condition. I am made to remember that it is because I cannot see; that is why people take my things anyhow.” He urged the public to come to his aid to enable him to complete his education.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
CAMPUS LIFE Law students of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (UDUS) are worried by the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike, which could prevent them from being mobilised for their Law School programme. IBRAHIM JATTO (400-Level Zoology) and HALIMAH AKANBI (200-Level Law) write.
•The UDUS Faculty of Law’s entrance
OR final year Law students of Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (UDUS), the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike came at a wrong time. The strike has put them on a tight corner because it may jeopardise their chances of going to the Law School this year. If by the end of this month ASUU does not call of the strike, the students will have to wait for another one year before going to the Nigerian Law School. The Law School opens in October every year and the names of students must get to the authorities at least four weeks before posting. But with no end in sight of the ASUU strike, the students are jittery because they do not want to waste a year at home doing nothing. In a Save Our Soul (SoS), they have cried out to the management and the UDUS chapter of ASUU to consider their plight and allow them to write their second semes-
At the mercy of ASUU strike ter examination so as to be part of the students proceeding to the Law School in October. The ASUU began an indefinite strike on July 1, to demand the implementation of the 2009 agreement with the Federal Government. Before the strike, the university had witnessed an unsteady academic calendar. In May, a violent midnight demonstration by students protesting epileptic power supply led to the destruction of a part of the Vice-Chancellor’s residence. The management closed the campus for more than four weeks over the strike. The incident occured a few days to the start of the second semester examination. The campus was re-opened on June 19 and examination started five
days after, before the ASUU strike disrupted the exercise. The final year Law Students’ papers were rushed for them to meet up with the Law School admission period. When the lecturers declared indefinite strike, the students had four more papers to write. Initially, the Law students had a six-month abridged period to run their LLB programme in order to meet up with the admission into the Law School. Six weeks into the strike, the prospect of the students of making it to the Law School seems uncertain. To the beleaguered students, the situation is frustrating. They appealed to the university to consider their future and allow them to complete the remaining four papers.
Unlike their counterparts in the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, and the University of Lagos (UNILAG) whose examination were not affected by the strike, the students may not be mobilised for the Bar programmes, if by the first week of September, their names did not get to the Registrar of the Law School. Mustapha Aliero, a student, wondered why the local chapter of ASUU would make “an unkind decision” not to allow them write the remaining papers. “I don’t understand the whole logic behind the stance of ASUU in this school. The UNIZIK made sacrifice for their students and UNILAG ensured that its students completed their exams before joining the strike. Why is ours different?” he querried.
Abdulkadir Monsoor said: “If we are not mobilised like our colleagues in other schools, the development may affect the performance of students in the Law School. The situation must be looked into.” Rafat Damilola urged ASUU to call off the strike, advising the lecturers to employ other means in agitating for their demands in the interest of the students. Will the school allow the students to finish their examination? The Dean of the Faculty, Prof M.L Ahmadu, could not be reached for comment because of his recent appointment as the Deputy ViceChancellor on academics. However, there are indications that the faculty may look into the students’ case after the Ramadan fasting. Still unsure of what may happen, the students did not leave the campus as no one knows whether they could be called on to write the papers.
Residents of Apete, one of the host communities of The Polytechnic, Ibadan (IBADAN POLY), could not contain their joy as government asked a contractor to reconstruct the bridge connecting the community to the school. OMOLARA OMONIYI (HND 1 Mass Communication) reports.
Relief as work begins on community bridge
HE residents of Apete in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, have cause to smile. Members of the neighbourhood, which are mostly students of The Polytechnic, Ibadan (IBADAN POLY), heaved a sigh of relief when the government mobilised a contractor to reconstruct the bridge linking the community to the institution and some secondary schools. Apete Bridge, a pedestrian flyover at the back of the campus, collapsed after a severe flood that ravaged some parts of Ibadan last year. The incident, which left Apete isolated for days, resulted in the death of some polytechnic students and lecturers, while property worth millions were destroyed. Activities in the area were disrupted after the bridge was washed away by the flood. The polytechnic students could not go for lectures while pupils trekked
a long distance to school through the Ajibode route, which is about 30 minutes journey. Cab drivers cashed in on the situation to exploit students, who spent up to N1,000 to go to school daily. To relieve the community of the stress, residents contributed money to construct a wooden bridge for pedestrian use. Vehicles were not allowed to use the wooden structure; they are parked at one end of the bridge while the owners crossed to the other end. The situation heightened theft in the area as vehicle gadgets including radio and side mirrors were stolen. Soon, the wooden bridge became fragile, a development that made the residents to panic. It was seen as an impending disaster if nothing was done. Some leaders of the community sent a saveour-soul (SoS) to the government. A few weeks later, the govern-
•Pupils and the polytechnic students crossing the weak wooden structure. Inset: Construction work on the new bridge
ment mobilised Nairda Construction Company to start work on the collapsed bridge. When construction equipment were brought to the site, people trooped out to welcome the engineers. They praised Governor Abiola Ajimobi for averting a
disaster in the community. Work has started on the concrete bridge. Aishat Salami, HND 1 Mass Communication, described the bridge reconstruction as timely. She said: “I am very happy. I never imagined that the bridge
would be constructed before my graduation. Passing through the wooden bridge was a hell of experience because it is very weak. I urge the contractor to step up its effort and complete the bridge before the wooden bridge becomes impassable.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
•Abuluya flanked by the Nollywood actors France (left) and Wilson (right)
TUDENTS of Nacabs Polytechnic in Akwanga, have collaborated with Nollywood to promote peace in Nasarawa State. The partnership followed the killing of some security operatives by the Ombatse cult about two months ago. The collaboration led to the production of a movie titled True Reflection. The movie was produced to douse tension and improve inter-community relations in the state. The polytechnic’s proprietor, Mr.
•The thespians on set
Poly promotes peace with drama From Dayo Ojerinde and Biodun Oyebade
AKWANGA David Abuluya, said the institution allowed the students to work together with the Nollywood actors because the state was known for peace, saying the school was ready to tackle anything that could cause crisis. Abuluya said the partnership
was the institutiuon’s own way of contributing to the development of the state. The Head of Mass Communication department, Ms Oyebade Adeyemi, said the students’ participation in the project would expose them to the world of theatre and make them ambassadors of peace and unity anywhere they find themselves.
Imoke inaugurates VC’s lodge
77th inaugural lecture at UNN
HE President of Nigerian Mathematical Society (NMS), Prof Micah Osilike, has urged government at all levels to provide adequate facilities for tackling poor academic performance in public schools particularly, at the primary level. He said the move would make education in rural environment attractive. Osilike spoke at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) while delivering an inaugural lecture titled: Fixed-point Theory and applications: Contributions from behind closed doors. The ceremony, which was held in Princess Alexandra Hall, marked the 77th inaugural lecture in the university. Welcoming lecturers to the event, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics), Prof Polycarp Chigbu, who represented the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Bartho Okolo, said the university’s inaugural lecture was always seen as “academic festival” which prompted education stakeholders to always send delegates to the university to deliberate on ways to improve education in the country. Osilike pointed out that the inability of parents to support the effort of teachers remained the reason behind the failure of students in mathematics in secondary level, saying many parents believed the buck stopped at the government’s table. He said it had become necessary for parents to carry out their duties on their wards, while urging the government to remove politics from educa-
MIDDLE-AGE man has been arrested by policemen attached to the Divisional Police Command in Owerri, Imo State for allegedly tampering with the transformer of the Bishop’s Court. The Bishop’s Court is an area populated by students of the Imo State University (IMSU). Power supply has been irregular in the
The movie preached unity between various ethnic groups in the state. It was directed by Smart Conrad of Graceland Multimedia Consult and featured notable thespians such as Emmanuel France, Harrison Wilson, Vincent Kanayo and some Mass Communication students of the polytechnic. Speaking to the students, France said movie practitioners were mir-
ror of the society, urging the students to emulate them to promote peace and security of lives and property. He noted the film production would be a stepping stone for them to achieve great things in future. Wilson said the movie actors were willing to partner with the polytechnic to restore peace. He praised Abuluya for financing the project, while urging him to continue to promote peace in the state. He also praised staff and students for their contribution to the success of the project.
•Osilike displaying the award given to him by his Master’s students after the lecture From Oladele Oge
UNN tion to achieve best result in education. Acknowledging the role of computer in understanding mathematics, he said there was nothing secret about the development, charging students to utilise every means they had to propagate knowledge. He recommended group debate among the pupils from primary to secondary level if scope of mathematics must be fully grasped and appreciated. He said the method would help the country to meet its demand in educa-
tion sector. He advised that undergraduates must be exposed to regular workshop and training as part of their general studies to promote practical experience that will strengthen their understanding of the subject in solving problems. Osilike thanked members of the university’s Governing Council for approval of the lecture as well their support. He urged the university lecturers to co-operate with one another to achieve the administration’s objectives. The lecture was well attended by lecturers and students within and outside the country.
ROSS River State Governor Liyel Imoke has inaugurated the renovated Vice-Chancellor’s lodge. The building, which is on MCC road in Calabar, the state capital, was abandoned 13 years ago. The event started by 4:30pm, with the Public Relations Officer of the university, Mr Eyo Bassey, welcoming dignitaries. They included former pro-chancellor, Dr Rolland Ehigiamusoe, former Vice-Chancellor, Prof Kelvin Ita, Cross River State Commissioner for Education, Prof Offiong Offiong and former coordinator of Centre for General Studies, Dr Ndubuisi Osuagwu. Others are members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), led by its chairman Dr James Okpiliya, their counterparts in Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) and Students’ Union Government (SUG) officials led by the president, Bassey Eka. The Deputy Governor, Effiom Cobham, who represented Imoke, was welcomed by the cultural troupe of UNICAL International Secondary School. After prayer by Dean, Students’ Affairs’ Division, Prof Eyong Eyong, Vice-Chancellor Prof James Epoke thanked members of the immediate past Governing Council of the institution for their support and approval of the reconstruction of the lodge. He also praised members of the present council for ensuring the project was completed on time. While cutting the ribbon to officially open the building, Cobham noted that the reconstruction
Man nabbed for transformer disruption From Chidiebere Enyia
IMSU neighbourhood in recent times. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that the suspect sprinkled a powdery substance on the transformer and tried to disrupt its function
because the residents allegedly refused to allow him to take charge of its service and maintenance. Our correspondent gathered that the suspect had been exploiting the residents through the service of the transformer. A student, who is a resi-
dent in the area, said: “He collected money from the landlords and students for the maintenance. But when he could not do it properly, we terminated the relationship, which made him to threaten to switch off the transformer. But policemen came in and he was arrested for tam-
From Charles Udenze and Emmanuel Shebbs
UNICAL project was a mark of true and exemplary leadership of the university authorities. After the inauguration Prof Epoke led dignitaries into the building. The white one-storey building is a seven-bedroom duplex. Attached to the main building at the back are two chalets with one bedroom flat each. On the side is a guest quarter for visitors. The lodge sits on about three plots of land. Prof Florence Anijobi, Dean of the Faculty Education, said she was excited by the renovation of the facility. The Director of Works, who oversaw the reconstruction project, said: “It is a comfortable place for the VC to stay. It is a product of collaboration of the Works department and the Physical Planning Unit. It is not my own effort. The status of the university has been elevated to the level it ought to be”. Prof Epoke said: “The council felt that this kind of edifice the university owns could not be left fallow as it has been for 13 years. When the last council sat, we decided that there was no need to rent an apartment for the VC when the university has an official house. This place is like the government house of the university and I believe that it will dignify the university.” Bassey noted that the VC lodge was a product of a good intension. The union praised the VC for carrying students along in the scheme of things. pering with our transformer.” One of the off-campus hostels’ presidents, Chima Amadi, told CAMPUSLIFE: “This will serve as a lesson to others, who want to be exploiting students living off-campus. Thank God that the police waded into the matter.” Efforts made by our correspondent to reach the police for comment were futile.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
CAMPUS LIFE Youths tasked on productivity
•Anyakoha (left) receiving a gift from Prof Chigbu after the lecture
Why Home Economics is important, by don A
PROFESSOR of Home Economics, Elizabeth Anyakoha, of the faculty of education, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), has called for the industrialisation of Home Economics to promote indigenous skill. Such gesture, she said, would create employment for graduates. Prof Anyakoha was delivering the 76th inaugural lecture entitled: Advancing a framework for showcasing family concerns: Challenging the challenges. The lecture was held in the university’s Princess Alexandra Hall. Declaring the event open, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Barth Okolo, represented by his deputy on Academics, Prof Polycarp Chigbu, said a lot of research works were done out through modern technology. Excellent re-
From Oladele Oge
UNN search work, he said was difficult to achieve, advising researchers to add touches of intellectuals to their works. Prof Anyakoha said growth in different areas of the economy posed challenges to the development of home economics, which she said was aiming to revive occupational health education. She, however, revealed that the department’s activities had been promoted internationally, which made many of its research works to be used for book publication overseas without royalty.
The lecturer regretted that the basic quota for admission had stagnated the expansion of the department to produce manpower for national research work and the labour market. She was confident that if home economics was given proper attention by the government, it could be used to combat insecurity by engaging the youths in productive ventures. She added that computer knowledge of students and staff coupled with provision of steady power supply participated by the government to carry out research work would support the initiative of the department to produce needed manpower for the country’s development. The lecture was well attended by scholars within and outside the state including staff and students of the university.
•Students caught for examination misconduct discussing their fate From Emeka Onwudinjo
OKO POLY munication, said final year students were not spared from expulsion or withdrawal. He urged the management to reconsider its stance on the withdrawal policy. He said: “The management should take its time to listen to the affected students and know the reason why they could not improve on their academic performance. Some of them may have good reasons. For some it could be financial challenges or illness. Asking them to leave the institution would make their lives miserable.” Another student, who craved for anonymity, said: “Personally, it does not go down well with me. I would prefer that the school should suspend the affected students for one or two years or at best repeat the class than expelling them outright. Some of the students may not grab the subjects being taught in the
class, which may have been the reason they failed. I take myself as an example. In my secondary school days, I was a bad student in Biology because the teacher teaching the subject was not doing it well. The subject’s teacher used to call me a fool. This was why I did not go for science-oriented discipline. “Sometimes, students are blessed with intelligence and capacity to excel in any chosen career but if there is no good teacher, they are bound to be weak in the discipline. I believe if a teacher teaches a student very well, nothing will prevent the student from passing the exam.” Other students, who spoke to CAMPUSLIFE, praised Prof Onu for putting a stop to the sales of handouts and textbook in the institution, a development that made some lecturers to be extorting students.
From Richard Adura-Ilesanmi
AAUA achieve their potential here on earth, while fixing their focus on the ultimate price of salvation. Alabi said: “It is not a call to material things. Chapter two of the book begins with an admonition that the greatest step to greatness is the salvation of one’s soul, and this should be the first thing that one needs to focus on if he wants to be great in life.” The reviewer said the work was reader-friendly and would contribute to spiritual growth. He recommended the book to the public. In his address, chairman of the occasion, Mr Lanre Ogidan, said while other youths devoted their time to frivolities, the author was busy putting materials together to write the book. While congratulating Ayobami for the success of the book, Ogidan called on young people to engage intellectual ventures that would make them better citizens. The author’s parents, Mr and Mrs Ayo Ogedengbe, were happy on the honour brought them by their son. “We are glad that our son is doing this while we are alive,” the father said. The Ondo State Director of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr Bode Famose, and a journalist, Mr Williams Olufunmi, who were at the event, challenged youths on productivity.
‘It is not a call to material things. Chapter two of the book begins with an admonition that the greatest step to greatness is the salvation of one’s soul, and this should be the first thing that one needs to focus on if he wants to be great in life’
Students bar staff
Fear grips students as exam begins TUDENTS of the Federal Polytechnic in Oko (OKO POLY), Anambra State, are jittery as the semester examination begins, following the suspension of their lecturers’ strike. The lecturers’ resumption followed the suspension of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) strike. The students’ fears may be informed by the expulsion of those caught cheating in the last semester examination. Also, some students, who did not meet the minimum pass mark required in various departments for promotion, were advised to withdraw. Others were transferred to less competitive departments. More than 40 students were asked to withdraw or repeat in the Mass Communication department. The Rector, Prof Godwin Onu, has reiterated commitment to make the institution excel, deploring conducts that may adversely affect the polytechnic. The Head of Mass Communication department, Mr G.O Ibe, has urged students to take their studies seriously ahead of the exam. He noted that rather than devote their time to books, students wasted time chatting on social media networks such as Facebook, 2go and Whatsapp. Reacting to the development, Nelson Nwamara, HND 1 Mass Com-
OUTHS have been urged to unleash their creative skills to create intellectual works that will turn around their generation. This charge came at a public presentation of a book titled My time to reign written by Ayobami Ogedengbe, a graduate of Microbiology. The event was held at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre in Akure, the Ondo State capital. According to Ayobami, the 87page book merges physical and spiritual principles, which he saod could make readers productive if motivation sections of the book were applied to life. The writer said he was inspired and pushed by God to write the book, saying: “When God called me, I had a mandate and he told me that He never call his people to seek him in vain. That is why I know that because I have Christ in me which is the hope of my glory, it is actually my time to reign.” The author pointed out that the book explained some fundamental factors upon which the greatness of man was based. He praised his parents for supporting the publication. Reviewing the book, an ace broadcaster, Mr Steve Alabi, said the book was made up of four chapters broken into shorter sections. He said it was a book of faith that would help readers
TUDENTS of the Federal College of Education in Pankshin, Plateau State, have protested the non-release of the result of the Students Union Government (SUG) election. They barricaded the gates, preventing the staff from leaving. The SUG election was held penultimate weekend. The election result was suspended by the management due to alleged irregularities that marred the presidential election. All the gates of the college were blocked by the irate students, who
OAU tops web rankings
HE Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Ile-Ife, Osun State, has been named top of the latest rankings of the best university in Nigeria and the 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 125 institutions rated in Nigeria. Others in the top 10 of the rankings released last Monday are The Federal Polytechnic, Auchi
From Vivian Gyang COE PANKSHIN were chanting solidarity songs. Members of staff were forced to go back to their offices until late in the night, while others, who could not bear the delay, found their ways home through bush and farmlands as the protesters refused to open the COE PANKSHIN gates despite pleas from passersby. When CAMPUSLIFE visited the campus, there was anxiety over the planned post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Exam (UTME) screening scheduled to commence last week. Although there was no official announcement for the postponement of the exercise, but the applicants and staff could not move near the college for fear of being attacked by the demonstrators. From Sikiru Akinola
OAU (AUCHI POLY), University of Ibadan (UI), University of Lagos (UNILAG), University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUUNAB), Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), University of Benin (UNIBEN), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria and the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN). A release by OAU’s Public Relations Officer of institution, Mr Abiodun Olarewaju, said while the university has maintained its position as the first in Nigeria, it has moved up seven places in Africa in the latest rankings. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Bamitale Omole, attributed the feat to the unparalleled research output, administrative acumen, technical know-how of workers and focused leadership.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
HE is passionate about the future of Nigeria. In what could be described as a demonstration of love for and belief in Nigeria’s capabilities, Doyinsola Ogunye has been championing what she calls Kids Clean Club, which she started in 2009 as a 200Level Law student of the University of Lagos (UNILAG). Though undergoing the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), she has developed a greater passion for children. On what inspired her care for children, Doyinsola said: “I moved from an area in Lagos to another area where cleanliness was not a virtue. I started talking to elderly people about making the environment clean but it was challenging for me because a few of them were ready to change. So I saw children as an alternative in making the community clean. I would organise environmental games and the kids loved the experience. Then I started teaching them about physical cleanliness and virtues of dignity, integrity and environmental consciousness.” Doyinsola believes children are dependable partners for anyone seeking change. She said: “Kids are the future, which is why I love working with them. The passion motivates me to do more.” Through her activities, Doyinsola set up the Mental and Environmental Development Initiative for Children (MEDIC), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), in order to affect positive transformation and development of the child. She made the Kids Clean Club a subprogramme of the NGO, which was established to create awareness on effects of pollution and global warming among children and how they can make a change in their environment. “We also go a step further to teach them about patriotism, etiquette, motivation, dignity, integrity, savings, and at the same time harness their God-given talents,” she enthused. On how she was able to deal with her studies with the initiative as
She is making a difference by engaging kids on cleanliness and virtue of integrity. Doyinsola Ogunye, a Corps member, set up Mental and Environmental Development Initiative for Children (MEDIC), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), to make chuildren better persons. ABIBAT AWO writes.
Corps member’s passion for kids
•Doyinsola with her kids after a cleaning exercise
Law requires utmost attention, she said when it was time for academic work, she devoted time to it. “During holiday and strike period, I
would use the opportunity to rally kids and teach them about Nigeria and how they can make a positive impact in their own little way to
move Nigeria forward ‘because they love Nigeria’. “I had a lot of volunteers when I embarked on my projects, most of
which were carried out when schools were on holiday; so it was easy to manage.” According to her, the major challenge was getting people to understand the project and also getting them to fall in love with Nigeria. It was difficult at the beginning, she said, but gradually people saw hope in the country through the activities of the kids. “This is basically what nation building is all about. Our challenge remains funding, mobility and logistics,” she added. Doyinsola noted that the club had engaged children from primary to secondary school. “We have also celebrated days such as Earth Day with the Cypress Spring School in Ajah, Lagos, Recycling Awareness Day (RAD2) at Victoria Garden City Park, Ajah and Recycling Awareness Day (RAD1) at Lekki Phase 1 Community Garden. I also took children on a visit to Silverbird Galleria on Independence Day, where they spread massage of love about Nigeria,” she noted. Others programmes of the NGO included Global Hand Washing Day, where children were taught personal hygiene at Oniru Estate in Lekki Lagos, environmental sanitation workshop held every month end, and Tree Planting Day, which was attended by Oba of Owode, Owode Ajah. She said: “My vision is to ensure a cleaner, habitable and united world, where children are the purifiers and the spearhead of moral revolution. In the next five years, the kids’ club would have sensitised over two million children through media and social networking sites with members spearheading environmental projects for the love of the country. We would also have had a Kids Garden and Urban Park, where the children can learn about recycling, climate change and build a nation where the children will express patriotism and defend the country in every respect. “I do not intend to stop this project even if I am employed because it is a part of me. I try my best to impact lives every day. It is not a job, it is a passion.”
To drive Nigeria’s development through innovation and youth entrepreneurship, over 1,000 students from various higher institutions have participated in a road walk to sensitise the youth. WALE AJETUNMOBI writes.
•Some of the students during the exercise
•Participants in group photograph after the walk
HEY came from different locations, and converged on the expansive parking lot of Oceanview Restaurant behind Eko Hotel and Suites for a race. Over 1,000 students from 30 tertiary institutions participated in a walk tagged “The walk for my Nigeria.” It was organised by Enactus, a nongovernmental organisation (NGO). Chanting the slogan: “My Nigeria …It’s up to me, it’s up to you; join the movement”, they swarmed major roads on Victoria Island with their gospel: mobilising students to work together and be part of a positive social change.
A walk for progress The initiative was designed to challenge youths about the social, economic and environmental difficulties facing communities across Nigeria. The students believe that young people are endowed with the potential to proffer creative solutions to problems. The participants also campaigned for unhindered access to water and education, youth and women empowerment, agricultural and rural
development, climate change and environmental sustainability. Clad in branded Enactus T-shirts, they walked from Oceanview to the Bar Beach stretch of Ahmadu Bello Way, sensitising the public with inspirational stories of young Nigerians championing the cause of social change in rural communities. They spoke of the project’s goals and provided the basic foundation needed for technological innovations that
would drive development through the innovation summit. They also provided the information and technical expertise required for innovative youths to take their business ideas to the next level. The participants also passed through Adeola Odeku Road and Akin Adesola Way before they returned to their take-off point, where they were addressed by the organisers.
Through the exercise, Enactus sought to promote participatory change and the spirit of volunteerism in communities and inspire a new generation of committed youths willing to contribute their energy and resources to improve the quality of lives of others around them. The students, despite their cultural, tribal and religious diversities, shared the same purpose - to work together to be the change they want to see in their country. By assisting people in need in rural communities of Nigeria, irrespective of •Continued on page 36
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
State of public schools’ hostels
H my God! But this is not what we bargained for.” That was the exclamation of a student on entering a hostel’s toilet in one of the public varsities. The complainant was not a fresher, but what must have made him to decry the sorry state of the hostel’s toilet? Was it what he bargained for? Upon gaining admission into a higher institution, a prospective student would definitely imagine how life on campus would be. He would fantasise about campus activities, both academic and social. He would also give some moments to how life in the school’s hostel would be, having heard a lot about campus life. As a fresher, he would be preoccupied with thoughts of meeting various characters, most especially, those with whom he would live in the same room as roommates. The wonderful time he would have, those he would be assigned the same room with — the good; the fear of the possibility of living with the bad, and the risk in being with the ugly would occupy his thought. Despite these realities, everybody still wants to experience life on campus. But would the condition of the hostel life and its environment be fair to student? Getting close to some schools’ hostels, one is welcomed by grass
OR a long time, the status of Higher National Diploma (HND) holders has always been considered inferior in every facet of our national life. Everywhere and in every thing, they were relegated. In the labour market, HND holders are made to regret having pursued such a programme. If we deny knowledge of this ugly trend in the wheel of national development, then we are entangled in the web of self-deception. A lot of damage has been done to Nigeria which may not be conveniently recorded on paper. Aside stringent and competitive admission guidelines, which have alienated many applicants and frustrated their ambition to be admitted into the university, several other academic injuries have been visited on polytechnic students through this ugly trend. It is no surprise that we now have a steady decline in technical education as a result of loss of confidence in HND programmes. The situation
By Habeeb Whyte
T is said that blood is thicker than water. And this is what defines and binds us as humans. For some, blood means a family of wealth and privileges. And for others, it is a life of servitude and penury. A man should take pride in his legacy. However, he should be reminded that legacy in his place of origin is the only real wealth he can lay claim to. These days, I find it hard to shake off the feeling that our democracy has
from which an awful odour is oozing. Some schools’ toilet walls have been covered with all sorts of graffiti, some of which are written with faeces. Moving into the hostel room to discover the number of students allocated the same room is another thing that makes one unhappy. A standard room of four students may be assigned five to seven students. And this is common in boys’ hostels. Most university hostels lack the basic amenities necessary for the survival of the students living in them, thereby making academic environment unaccommodating for students to achieve success. Poor power and water supply has become a tradition on campus, which has made some impatient students to stage violent protests to disrupt academic activities. Those that attended the public institutions in 70’s and 80’s would be in a better position to tell the story of the dwindling glory of tertiary institution’s hostels. The deplorable state of the toilets and bathrooms is now stale news to the public. While the poor management of these facilities by the authorities and Students’ Affairs Units makes them to deteriorate to a horrendous state, most of the facilities are hardly renovated even after realising huge sum from the rent of the hostels. This decay has resulted in an unhygienic environ-
ment, and thus a threat to the health of students. Nevertheless, most students still prefer to stay in hostels rather than off-campus. This is because of the experience it affords them, which ranges from learning how to live with people of different characters and philosophies diplomatically, and how to manage limited resources. The cogent reason that makes students to want to live in school hostels is that, it stokes their interest to study hard. Thus being in an environment where one always sees his fellow students going in and out of library makes him equally to study consciously. And even the most unserious student would be moved. In other words, it brings about encouragement and motivation for a student. In addition, school hostels are affordable and secure for students, except in institution where security is weak. The National Universities Commission (NUC) and other boards overseeing tertiary institutions should henceforth include adequate students’ accommodation facilities as one of the requirements for giving any higher institution a license to operate. Every institution should have an accommodation for at least 80 per cent of its students. They must also have provision to expand the capacity with growth in students’ population.
Though it is not compulsory that students should live in the school hostels, a comfortable and conducive option should be provided for the interested ones. The nature of the environment in which a human being grows up contributes to his behavior. Three to six years study duration is enough time to imbibe good attitude as character. And hostels have mixtures of good and bad attitudes; depending on the standard it is kept. A ghetto-like hostel has a high tendency of producing uncultured graduates. But neat, uncongested, conducive and secure hostels with necessary amenities create an enabling environment for improved academic performance. Graduates of high respect, patriotism and good-naturedness are produced from this system. However, if the government and the school authorities are incapable of providing these facilities for students, then the private sector should be allowed to do it. While strict measures should be put in place with the view to ensure that best services are made available to students in terms of rate affordability. An ideal school hostel provides a platform for improved experience on interpersonal relationship, exchange of ideas and innovations and an environment for productive brainstorming among students with the ultimate goal of excellent academic performance. It
By Kingsley Amatanweze is a brooding nest for future leaders of different professions, and should be made capable for that responsibility. The sorry state and miserable situations in school halls should be brought to an end. The clamour for the adoption of global best practice should also be extended to the management of the hostels. The government and elite should make the hostels to be like a place they would like their own children to live in. Thus, the glory of the public schools’ hostels must be restored to produce goodnature future leaders for the country. Kingsley, 400-Level Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, UNN
On disparity between BSc. and HND has increased the rate of unemployment of HND degree holders in the country. While there had been several attempts to eliminate this discrimination, the boldest step taken so far is the one credited to the regime of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. In 2005, he set up committees to review the ugly trend, with a view to ending it. Also, at the meeting of the National Universities Commission (NUC) on June 16, 2009, a decision to eliminate the disparity was reached. This was to take effect from that same year but the then Head of Service of the Federation, Mr Stephen Oronsaye, shocked the nation by flagrantly refusing to pass a circular to that effect. “BSc. is not equivalent to HND,” he said. This statement shocked many Nilost its values. Thanks to the vicious daddies and mommies at the helm of affairs. They are the set of leaders who practise a brand of politics that goes hand-in-hand with greed for filthy lucre. The evil they commit is never lost; each act has a root just like a tree and every little evil they sow will, in time, bear fruits. I can’t help feeling that the politics of today has arrested development of the nation. It is not surprising that a huge gap exists between our professed ideals as a people and the reality we witness every day. That gap has been in existence since Nigeria’s birth. Civil war have been fought, laws passed, systems deregulated, unions organised and mass protests staged to bring promises and practice into alignment. However, all the good efforts have been interrupted by bad deeds of people refer to here as “oga at the top”. The real trouble lies in the gap between the magnitude of our challenges and the pettiness of our politics, and the ease with which we are distracted by frivolities and our chronic avoidance of tough decisions; our seeming inability to build a consensus to tackle common problem. Politics should also be views from
gerians, especially the chairman, National Association of Technologists in Engineering (NATE), Sir Leo Okereke. Okereke through the NATE General Secretary, Mr Akeem Adeniji, wrote an open letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, on Oronsaye’s utterances. Up till now, nothing has been done to correct the anomaly. It is high time we made reason and not sentiment to drive our education policies. We must discountenance the fact that a BSc. degree holder is better than a polytechnic graduate. Come to think of it, how befitting is the superlative adjective “best” to describe BSc. certificate? Is it really the best for a developing nation such as Nigeria? Have we forgotten the fact that a square and a rhombus of equal side have equal area despite the difference in their shapes and angular configu-
ration? Can the neutrality of an atom be possible if either of the protons or elections is missing? For God sake, BSc and HND are just like two vectors of equal magnitude and direction differing only in nomenclature and unit. The BSc. certificate can only be the best in a country where white papers, lengthy theories, esoteric formula and equations are able to erect structures, run turbines and distribute power without the pragmatic involvement of technologists. But, of what relevance are the gigantic theories and formulae to Nigeria without application? What is the significance of the Euler’s theories of buckling load to Nigeria when buildings and other structures keep collapsing? How can we appreciate the concepts of metallurgical studies when the Ajaokuta Steel Company has been in indefinite coma; or the
Wanted: A new order a moral prism. Therefore, it must be subjected to moral imperatives and absolutes. This is why it is the business of everyone. We do not need to waste time and wait for dues ex machina to balance idealism and realism; to distinguish between what can be and what cannot be compromised. If we keep on playing up lackadaisical attitude to issues affecting us or we lose interest in our politics, we will lose everything. For it is the pursuit of inconsequential materials that keeps us from finding new ways to tackle challenges we face as a country. But then, there is a medicine that can cure Nigeria’s present predicament if administered properly. This medicine was developed from the books of history that records Nigeria’s existence as a country. History has it that Nigeria is a country blessed with many potential and great people. Our history is replete with great leaders, who assumed position at early age. History has it that Gen. Muritala Mohammed was in his early 30’s when he ruled Nigeria before he
was assassinated. It was also recorded that Gen. Yakubu Gowon was in his late 20’s when he climbed the ladder of Nigeria’s leadership. Ditto Obasanjo. Whether these are true or not is not my concern. My view is that the country has had it fairly good under in terms of governance under youthful leaders. It shows the youths are endowed with practical ideas to govern the country. Nowadays, are there youths with gut to rule the country? Are there young people with enthusiasm for genuine leadership and not for the love of the national cake? Are there youths with business idea to elevate the economy other than ones with primordial zeal to loot treasury? What are the youths doing to help in the fight against corruption in the country? I learnt that an individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. It can be well argued that the youths are
Delta Steel Company, which has been in partial paralysis? It is the technologists that can make all these sectors work. I will encourage all polytechnic and monotechnic students and graduates not to give up on their dreams to give Nigeria a turn-around in technology. The disparity between their certificate and the BSc. should not be a setback to be committed to excellence and hard work. Hopefully, the story will change. Lastly, I wish to appeal that technically-minded citizens should be actively involved in key decision affecting education and civil service. The top policy makers in Nigeria are the oxygen that keeps the combustion of this ugly trend on. It is high time we chose the correct drill bits for the correct holes, because until the rotten tooth is pulled, the mouth will continue to chew with caution. doing their best through various initiatives. But being busy is not the same as accomplishing something. Today youths are only finding their way to politicians that would use them as tool of destructive venture. Afterwards, they give bogus awards to their paymasters for looting their country’s treasury and milking the entire citizens dry. This is not to say there are no good youths. Some are doing pretty fine by pursuing developmental goals and never compromise standards. They all exist around us, whether for good or for bad. It is time for the youths to wake up to the reality and forget the theories of the elite. It is time for us to act what we preach. It is time for us to stand up for the country. It is time for us to come together and support good initiative that will promote good cause of this noble country. It is time to create the real order, which is “change”. We are the true leaders and it is through us that a progressive leadership can emerge. The real time for sacrifice is now. The law of sacrifice is uniform through •Continued on page 36
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
CAMPUS LIFE Do’s, don’ts in mission varsities
ISSION universities like other higher institutions in the country have a set of rules that governs the activities of students. While these rules and regulations vary from one university to the other, authorities in mission universities also adopted measures to punish defaulters to deter others. CAMPUSLIFE highlights some of the don’ts in three mission universities: Bowen University in Iwo, Osun State • Students are not allowed to own camera phones and PC tablets such as I-Pad. • Hair styles of female students must be neck length and must match with the natural color of hair. • Male students must wear ties and stockings to class. • Students must attend compulsory chapel services on Wednesday, Thursday and twice on Sunday. • All students are not allowed to leave the school premises without
•Babacock University junction From Akpan Samuel and Nwosu Sonia
exeat and they are only allowed to leave once a month. Babcock University in Ilishan,
Ogun State • Students are not allowed to eat meat, fish and turkey. • Students are not allowed to wear jeans in the school. • Female students are not allowed
On and Off Campus By Solomon Izekor 08061522600
to wear trousers on campus. • Students must attend compulsory church service on Saturdays. • Students are not allowed to drink Coke or Pepsi. • No buying and selling is al-
lowed in school premises. • Students must not leave the school premises without school permit. • Only Corporate dressing is allowed in school premises. • Only cafeteria food is allowed in school premises. • No cooking is allowed in hostels or school. Covenant University in Ota, Ogun State • Students are not allowed to own phones. • Students are not allowed to wear jeans in the school. • Students must attend compulsory chapel services on Tuesdays for senior levels and Thursdays for junior levels as well as Sundays. • Male students are meant to wear ties to classes and all students must be dressed corporately. • Halls are locked by 10pm and lights in the hostels are to be switched off at 12 midnight. • Students must not leave the school premises without school permit. • Female students are not allowed to use any hair color different from the color of their hair. • All students are expected to sign the roll-call before 12 midnight every day.
Group to take students on tour
N promotion of tourism and to educate students on African culture, Eclectic Tourism, a students’ body, has organised a weekend tour to Lagos State tourist sites and entertainment centres. According to the organisers, the expedition is aimed at uniting youths in Nigeria, Ghana, Togo and Benin Republic through tourism. Eclectic Tourism is a division of Eclectic Entertainment established to promote understanding among the youths. The body had organised similar excursions to places such as Badagry, Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana, Abuja and Calabar in the past. The three-day tour begins on August 30 and will end on September 1. Interested students are expected to register with N20,000, which includes feeding and accommodation. Elabor Eromosele, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Eclectic
From Idris Akinpelu
UNILAG Entertainment and graduate of International Relations from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, said the trip would also feature an educative seminar that would take place in the Banquet Hall of Eagles Park Hotel, Ikeja. The participants would be initially be hosted at Prince of Anthony Hotel, where they would attend a dinner and fashion show before embarking on the tour. They will also visit the palace of the Oba of Lagos, Ghana High Commission, Palms Shopping Mall, Silverbird Cinemas, La Champagne Tropicana, Lekki Conservation Centre, National Museum, and the National Arts Theatre among others. Eromosele added that the group had partnered some firms to make the expedition successful.
Wanted: A new order
•Continued from page 35
out the world. To be effective, it demands the sacrifice of the bravest and the most spotless. It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face was stained with dust, sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions. The man, who makes himself available for a worthy cause; who understands the triumph of achievement, and who, if he fails,
dares to re-work plans for another result. The dream of our departed nationalists, who fought for Nigeria’s independence from the British imperialists, must be achieved. They had envisioned a nation that must be anchored on egalitarianism, justice, fairness and good governance. It is our duty to make change our new order of pursuit. We must arise and obey the call to serve with heart and might so that we can build a nation where peace and justice shall reign. Habeeb, 500-Level Law, UNILORIN
A walk for progress •Continued from page 34
tribe and religion, Enactus students have themselves imbibed the values of true leadership, thereby providing a ray of hope for others. Enactus, formally known as Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE), is a global network of youths seeking to improve quality of life of people around the world by teaching them the principles and values of free market economics and entrepreneurship. It started operations in Nigeria in 2001 and has mobilised over 8,000 students from 44 universities and polytechnics nationwide to execute several community projects to educate, empower and transform the lives of people. Each year, the students gather to
present their projects, the best among which is taken to international challenge where students from other countries also present their projects. In the last few years, Enactus students have made the country proud in the Enactus World Cup Competition by showcasing projects that have placed Nigeria among the top of four of 45 countries participating in the project around the world. In 2008, Nigerian students emerged second in the contest held in Singapore. Last July, not less than 30 universities and polytechnics competed in the Enactus national competition, which students of Kaduna State Polytechnic won. In September, they will represent Nigeria in the Enactus World Cup Challenge coming up in Cancun, Mexico from September 29 to October 1.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
Ex-unionist criticises politicians’ interference on unionism
FORMER President of the National Association of Ondo State Students (NAOSS), Comrade Temidayo Temola, has attributed the failure of Students' Unionism to remain committed to national development to the frequent interference of politicians into the affairs of the body. Temola, who spoke at the inauguration of new NAOSS executives in Akure, the Ondo State capital, said in addition to representing the interest of students in various campuses across the country, student unions also have roles in nation building. However, he said politicians who aim to retain power at all cost, have distracted these unions from fulfilling this role by invading the nation's higher institutions and forcing unpopular candidates on the
From Leke Akeredolu, Akure
students. Speaking on the history of students' unionism in Nigeria, Temola said it can be divided into two phases: pre-independence and postindependence. He said in both eras, students helped to fight for Nigeria's democracy. He said: "Pre-independence student leaders later emerged as nationalist leaders. They fought along
with others to gain independence for Nigeria. Majority of them were radical in nature and were also ideological in thought, action and perception. The second phase, which was the post-indepedence; students' union played a major role in sustaining Nigeria’s democracy and rescuing power from the military government. Some of them were harassed, jailed and killed." Temola lamented that such leaders are lacking today.
"But what do we have today? Students have been caged by politicians; they hardly criticise government's unpopular policies. I am not advising them to be violent, but they should always ensure that they contribute to issues that will make the nation remain united and bring transformation," he said. He charged the new NAOSS executives to engage in constructive criticism when the need arises. The new NAOSS President, Comrade Awodola Afolayan urged the state government to increase the money being paid as bursary. Afolayan said that the N10,000 being paid to students can no longer cater for their needs because of the poor economic situation of the country.
12 get Nutrition scholarship
Post-UTME holds THOUSANDS of candidates from all nooks and crannies of Nigeria participated in the 2013/2014 postUnified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) of the Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti held recently. The screening, which was done online, was praised by Mr Abayomi Ayansola, a representative of the National Universities Commission (NUC), who monitored the exercise. "I am impressed," he said. The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof Patrick Oladipo Aina said EKSU embarked on computerbased screening for the admission seekers to enable them adapt to the university's ICT culture. Speaking shortly after inspecting some of the screening centres Prof Aina said he was impressed by the peaceful conduct of the exercise. He urged the candidates to behave well if eventually admitted.
VC counsels affiliate colleges
WELVE Nutrition and Dietetics masters' students are the latest recipients of the 2012/2013 Indomie M.sc Nutrition Scholarship Awards. The initiative, which is a partnership between Dufil Prima Foods Plc and the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), saw 12 post graduate students from various universities across Nigeria emerge as beneficiaries of the scholarship. They include Babatunde Folashade (FUNAAB); Folarin Oluyemisi (FUNAAB); Abiade Funmilayo (FUNAAB); Ogunjobi Oluwatoyin (FUNAAB) ; Popoola Kabirat (FUNAAB) ;Fadare Olumuyiwa (FUNAAB) ; Obanla Funke (FUNAAB) ; Oshungunna Bolanle (FUNAAB) ; Maxwell Yemmy (University of Ibadan) ; Abraham Achadu (Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria) ; Junaidu Sani (Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria) and Ogunbunmi Omotayo (University of Ibadan). Speaking during the award presentation which took place at the company's corporate head office in Surulere, Lagos, the Public Relations Manager, Dufil Prima Foods Plc, Mr. Tope Ashiwaju, said the rationale behind the scheme is based on the company's desire to breed a team of seasoned professionals that can impact the society on nutrition consciousness. “Aside from the company's desire to impact positively on the health sector, owing to the fact that a lot of sicknesses and diseases are caused by malnutrition and intake of the wrong diet, Dufil Prima Foods Plc in the nearest future hopes to become one of the largest health-friendly food company in Nigeria, and if this dream is to become a reality, the organisation would need the services of well trained nutritionists and dietitians, which we hope this initiative will go a long way in achieving.” Coordinator of the scholarship scheme, Prof Tunde Oguntona, of the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, FUNAAB, said 160 students from the six geo political zones applied for the scholarship. However, he said the 12 recipients were the best of the lot that met the stipulated criteria. Oguntona said to qualify, applicants who must be Nigerians, must have gained admission to study for an M.Sc Nutrition and Dietetics in select Nigerian universities. He praised the sponsors for filling a critical need in the nutrition sector.
• From Left: Baale, Registrar BSN, Yvette Baker, Mrs Bouwer and MD/CEO Blueflower Limited, Chido Nwakanma during a press briefing on the visiting BSN CEO and External Examiners.
‘Action Learning provides superior education’
DUCATION can be put to more productive uses if the concept of Action Learning is introduced from the elementary level, says Country Manager of Business School Netherlands (BSN), Mr Lere Baale. Speaking at a briefing held at the BSN Nigeria office in Lagos when the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the institution, Mrs Juanita Bouwer, visited Nigeria as part of the institution's 25th anniversary celebrations, Baale said the concept of Action Learning is superior because it stipulates practical utilisation of knowledge to solve problems unlike conventional education which only impacts technical skills on learners. "We need to put a system in place for primary schools that teaches people how to use the action methodology, that is why don't just read for the purpose of knowledge alone; let people apply their knowledge right from primary school; let them
By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
report their experiences, let them physically evaluate what they need to improve even when they are the best," he said. Explaining the efficacy of Action Learning education using the MBA programme run by BSN, Baale said students begin using the knowledge and skills they gain while on the programme as they are required to solve various problems - at least eight - in the organisations they work. As a result, Baale said their organisations grow, while they (the students) earn promotions. In addition to technical skills, Bale said that Action Learning imbues students with the creative, conceptual and human skills to solve problems and grow businesses, which are lacking in the traditional MBA. "The Action Learning MBA programme is not like when you finish you start to see the impact. By
the time you spend a quarter you start to solve problems. There are about eight issues that would have been addressed during the two-year progarmme and that is what is called Action Learning. Repetition is one of the core processes of learning," he said. Attesting to the impact of Action Learning, Mr Rafiu Adedotun who just earned his MBA from BSN, said he was able to solve multiple problems for his employer, NNPC, in the areas of Marketing, ICT, and Human Resources. He said: "The experience has been very wonderful. What Action Learning teaches you is to look at yourself and solve problems using existing infrastructure. When you have to do this, it makes you think harder and use your insight to solve problems. It is a continuous thing. As you are trying this, you are looking at the result and thinking of other solutions to it."
• From left: Public Relations Manager, Dufil Prima Foods Plc, Mr Ashiwaju; MSC Nutrition student, FUNAAB, Folashade Babatope; Chief Executive Officer, Dufil Prima Foods Plc, Mr. Deepak Singhal and Prof Oguntona, during the presentation of cheques to the recipients of the Indomine MSC Nutrition Scholarship
INSTITUTIONS running programmes in affiliation with EKSU have been asked to work in tandem with the renewed vision of the university. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Aina said this during an interaction with Provosts of Colleges of Education affiliated to the institution. He said the university would not tolerate any action either by students or members of staff which could derail its vision and mission. Aina specifically stressed that standard must be maintained in academic and all spheres of human endeavours on campus. During the interaction, a considerable number of issues bordering on school fees, discipline, accreditation, examination results and issuance of certificates were deliberated on. Provosts in attendance included the Provost, Kwara State College of Education, Oro, Dr. A.T Oyatoye; the Provost, Kwara State College of Education, Ilorin, Dr I.S Opobiyi; the Provost, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Otto, Ijanikin, Mr Bashorun Olalekan; the Provost, Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo, Mr G.O Oyewusi; and the Provost, Michael Otedola College of Primary Education, Epe, Prof. Olu Akeusola.
NGO donates 40 laptops A NON-Governmental Organisation (NGO) known as AMA Foundation, has donated 40 laptops to EKSU. The donation is part of the foundation's education support programme on Information Communication Technology (ICT) to select tertiary institutions, one of which is EKSU. Presenting the laptops to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Aina, the representative of the Foundation, Mr Ikechukwu Onochie said the university was chosen because of its progress in all spheres, which include having all its academic programmes accredited by the NUC. He added that the second stage of the prograrmme would be the establishment of a well- furnished ICT centre in the university. Thanking the foundation, Aina said the laptops would complement his efforts in transforming the university into a world-class institution. He added that one of the effects of the university's investment in ICT was the improvement in its recent Webometric ranking to 19th position in Nigeria. The ViceChancellor added that Google Africa was in the fnal stages of partnering with EKSU to provide Internet connectivity on campus
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
CAMPUS LIFE SCHOLARSHIPS
Ojerinde praises varsity THE Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof Dibu Ojerinde, has praised the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB) for the assistance it extended to the board during the conduct of the first Dual-Based Test and Computer Based Test held of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinaiton (UTME) in April and May. "It is on record that our modest effort is the first of its kind in a large-scale public examination in Nigeria and we are happy that your partnership with us forms the bedrock on which the success achieved was built," he wrote. Commenting on the letter, the Deputy VC (Academic) Prof Toyin Arowolo, said the establishment of the 500-seater ICT laboratory was a good initiative. The 500seater Computer laboratory was described as a as a challenge to other universities to build their eexamination centres, for effective conduct of the Computer-Based Tests (CBT).
Quality of work okayed THE quality of work, team spirit, honesty and transparency exhibited by the FUNAAB has been praised by the Project Director of a foundation – Cassava: Adding Value to Africa (C:AVA), Prof Andrew Westby of the Natural Resources Institute (NRI), United Kingdom. Westby gave the commendation at a meeting with the ViceChancellor, Prof Olusola Oyewole, when he visited for the proposal writing phase of the Cassava project the foundation is running with the university. Westby said the collaboration and support enjoyed from the university translated into the many successes recorded by C:AVA in the areas of developing Cassava SME, as well as positively affecting the lives of many African families. He said: "Sincerely speaking, you have our full support and I hope that as we have done in the last few years, we can use the collaboration that we have on C:AVA as a building block, to build other things as well." Responding, Oyewole praised the Nigerian team for turning C:AVA into a national project. Earlier, the C:AVA project manager in Africa, Dr Kolawole Adebayo, said as part of the criteria for the C:AVA Project Phase II, FUNAAB was selected to provide institutional leadership after a due diligence exercise was conducted by the foundation and the university was found worthy to be the grantee.
APPROACHING DEADLINES SCHOLARSHIPS AND RELATED OPPORTUNITIES FOR NIGERIANS. 2013/2014 NNPC/ESSO National Post-graduate Scholarship Awards In continuation of efforts to provide opportunities for developing careers in the petroleum industry, Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited (EEPNL) is offering Scholarships to outstanding Nigerian graduates wishing to pursue Post-graduate studies in the under listed disciplines:
1. Geosciences 2. Engineering (Petroleum, Mechanical, Chemical, Electrical, Electronics, Civil/Structural, Marine and Sub Sea) Eligibility: 1. Must be a graduate from a Nigerian University 2. Must possess a Bachelor's degree with a minimum of second class upper division in any of the listed Engineering and Geosciences disciplines. 3. Must have provisional ad-
mission into an accredited Nigerian University for Postgraduate studies (M.Sc or M.Eng) in the 2013/ 2014 academic session. The NNPC/Esso scholarship award supports payment of tuition, books, accommodation and living expenses for the selected course of study and for a maximum duration of two (2) years. METHOD OF APPLICATION If you are qualified and interested, please read carefully through the "How it works" section then proceed to apply via the "Apply Now"
Applications not received by Thursday, 22nd of August 2013 will not be accepted. Names of the short-listed candidates for the qualifying test will be published in national dailies. Shortlisted candidates will also be contacted with details of the screening test via SMS text and email.
Resolve ASUU strike now, Apostolic Faith pleads
HE District Superintendent West and Central Africa Headquarters, Apostolic Faith Church, Evangelist Emmanuel Bayo Adeniran, has called on the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to reach a compromise so that the union can call off its nearly two-month-old strike. Rev Adeniran, who noted that strikes, especially within the nation's education sector, has become a recurring decimal, warned government on the negative example it is setting for the younger generation. Adeniran handed out the warning at the weekend during the Apostolic
By Adegunle Olugbamila
Faith 2013 concert, held at the church’s national headquarters in Igbesa, Ogun State. Adeniran said there is no way the society can continue to enjoy relative peace when youths who supposedly should be in school studying, are idle. Adeniran said: "The fact is that when this (strike) happens, there is a great challenge to the nation on what example we set for the younger ones. Two, when all the students are out of schools, we have an army of idle hands that can become potential workshops for the devil. And then that increases crimes in our society.
"The best way to solve this problem is for stakeholders to engage on collective bargaining that will respect all concerned parties, and bring peace and harmony into our institutions. “I am pleading with the government, ASUU and other stakeholders. Peaceful environment is not only good for our education system, it's also good for our nation. And the more we move together to ensure we have in an environment that promotes peace, the better for us as a nation. I know that government and ASUU will play responsible roles and soon peace will come into our educational system,” he said. On June 1, ASUU proceeded on an
indefinite strike over the Federal Government’s failure to fulfill some components of the 2009 agreement it signed with the union.
Senator seeks improved funding for FCT Schools From Bukola Amusan, Abuja
• From left: Principal, Government Technical College Ikorodu Lagos, Mrs Elizabeth Babalola; Executive Secretary, Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB), Mr Olawunmi Gasper, Commissioner for Education, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye; Director-General, Nigerian Employers Consultative Association(NECA) Mr Segun Oshinowo, NECA Director, Technical Support Development programme, Mrs Helen Jemerigbe; and Director Industrial Training Fund (ITF) Ayo Alabi at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between ITF-NECA and the Lagos State Ministry of Education at the secretariat Alausa, Ikeja …on Tuesday. PHOTO: ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA
Edo varsity gets N500m for facilities
OVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has approved N500 million for the Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma to upgrade its facilities. Speaking at the inauguration of the eight-member Governing Council of the university chaired by Prof Greg Akenzua, Oshiomhole said the money would be paid in instalments, between this month and October. He said the Governing Council would decide how best to put the money to use, noting that he expects value for every kobo spent. Oshiomhole said: "There are a lot of challenges in Ambrose Alli University which is why I appreciate your acceptance of this appoint-
section at the sidebar of this website and submit as instructed. Shortlisted candidates should be prepared to take a screening test to be held on September 7, 2013; strict compliance with our guidelines is advisable. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
From, Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin
ment. There are issues of funding, management, transparency, and accurate record keeping. I am aware that the Vice-Chancellor has been dealing with these, but some of them are beyond his competence. “For institutions to drive change which has become a permanent feature in the lives of nations and institutions, you have to find the courage to take decisions that may be painful to some but beneficial to the institution. "There are current issues that AAU has to address. One of them is the lopsided appointment. There are so many non-academic staff, non-research staff; and yet you do not have enough academic staff. Even if we
have all the money we need, we are obliged to use these resources judiciously,” he said. Oshiomhole stressed the importance of accountability to the new council. “Regardless of what we have to say, we all can do better in respect of the funding of universities; not only about funding but management. I pray that God will use us to make a difference and increase the funding, but not just increasing the funding alone, but being sure that every additional kobo we spend, we get a value for it. “As a demonstration of my renewed confidence on your leadership of AAU, we will begin from this month, over the next few months, believing you know best to utilise it," he said.
The governor expressed total confidence in the new council, describing it as a group comprising "seasoned academics, administrators, people who have demonstrated passion for quality education." Responding, Prof Akenzua, on behalf of others, pledged the council's determination to reposition the university and justify the confidence reposed in them by the governor. "You have identified finance as the bane of the university system, I want to assure that whatever funds made available will be spent judiciously,” Akenzua said. Other members of the Council are: Prof Thomas Audu, Prof Tom Imobighe, Dr Andrew Isegwe, Dr Andrew Okwilagbe, Dame Esohe Jacobs, Prince Tony Omoaghe and Dr Godswill Ogboghodo.
HAIRMAN, Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Smart Adeyemi, has called for improved funding of education in the FCT, a sector which he described as critical. The lawmaker made these remarks during the committee's oversight visit to the FCT College of Education, Zuba. Adeyemi, who also revealed that the enabling law for the college has now been passed by the National Assembly, praised the Secretary for Education for improving the college academic standard. The committee equally visited the permanent site of the college where ongoing projects were inspected. They include the School of Technical and Vocational Education, library complex and the School of Education. While pledging more funds in the 2014 budget to enable the completion of the projects, Adeyemi sought ideal building designs for future structures which according to him, will reveal its status as a tertiary institution located in the FCT. He argued that future structures in the Abuja should be of worldclass standard to reflect the status of FCT as the capital of Nigeria. Speaking earlier while receiving the committee, the Provost of the institution, Prof Tijanni Ismail, noted that the college had all its courses accredited by the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), adding that management also enjoys a cordial relationship with the students, and unions. With the successful passage of the enabling law, Prof Ismail hopes the college will henceforth carry out its statutory responsibilities.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
Principal pleads review of child marriage law
HE Principal of AnsaruDeen Girls High School Surulere, Lagos, Mrs Fatima Ajani, has appealed to the Senate to review the section in the Nigeria Constitution that condones child marriage. Mrs Ajani made the appeal at the school's valedictory service. If expunged, Ajani said it will further sustain girl-child education in the country. According to her, it is inhuman for anyone to force minors to become mothers when they are still under the tutelage of their parents who will raise them to become responsible adults. She wondered what a minor knows about parenting a child when she is a child who needs to be trained and nurtured to become a mother. Addressing the graduands, Mrs Ajani implored them to uphold the values and virtues that make up for a safer and peaceful society. The fun-filled ceremony which featured seminar and comedy, among other activities, had par-
By Adeola Ogunlade
ents, staff and pupils gathered at the school hall to celebrate the graduands, especially nine who stood out among the lot across Basis Six up to Senior Secondary School classes. The best outgoing pupil, Akinsanme Zianat Abike, urged her juniors to be prayerful, hardworking and obey civil instruction given to them by the school authority. When asked how she excelled among her peers, she said: "Throughout my stay in this school, I was always prayerful; besides, I'm an avid reader and with obedience to my teachers, God crowned my effort with success."
• A cross section of graduating pupils of Divinewill International Schools (Turaya/Luboro), Mowe, Ogun State during their graduation
Private poly opens in Offa
N September, the first private polytechnic in Northern Nigeria, Graceland Polytechnic, will come on board, its Proprietress Mrs Ayodele Oyeleke has said.
Addressing the 10 graduating pupils of Oyeleke Memorial College Offa, Mrs Oyeleke said this year's set of graduands will be the last to graduate from the present site as the
institution will be converted to a private polytechnic following an approval from the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), the regulatory body for polytechnics. She added that existing pupils of the full boarding school will be moved to a facility in the Government Reservation Area (GRA) Offa which, would henceforth be the new abode of the college. Mrs Oyeleke, who said she would also be the proprietress of the new institution, thanked parents and workers for supporting the college in the 2012/2013 academic session. She charged the graduating pupils to be well behaved, godly and good ambassadors of their alma mater. The guest speaker, Prof Abimbola Adesanoye advised parents to give
Sex Education to children to reduce the menace of H.I.V/Aids and unwanted pregnancy. He urged parents not to shy away from this subject as ignorance on the part of many school children has been claiming their lives. Adesanoye also advised the parents to visit the school regularly so they can contribute significantly to the academic progress of their wards. “They must not leave their responsibilities for the school to perform,” he said. Adesanoye also said since the upbringing of the children is a shared responsibility, the government, parents, teachers, churches and peergroups all have important roles to play in the training of the children.
Babcock High School holds 18th graduation
T • Pupils of Satoif Montessori School presenting the Yoruba cultural dance at the event.
School owner gives account to parents
HE first graduation and prizegiving of Satoif Montessori School, Itele-Ota, Ogun State offered the right avenue for stocktaking. Most importantly, it was for parents to give their assessment of the school. The proprietress, Mrs Toyin Adamolekun praised parents who entrusted their care and upbringing of their children with the school. Mrs Adamolekun said the school will continue to uphold the right values, and ncourage excellence and competition by rewarding those that distinguish themselves. "This school was founded because of the compassion we have for the young ones. Many kids roam the streets today without aim because they are neglected and uncared for. We develop the child academically, morally and socially so that they are useful to the society when they grow up. When you take a look at the facilities that we have and the fees we charge, it is obvious that we are here to serve the children. We are celebrating them today; we are rewarding those that distinguished themselves and also graduating the first set of pupils from the nursery to primary class," she said. She enjoined parents to invest more in their childrenToyin . "If you give them (children) educa-
By Alade Abiodun
tion without taking care of their moral, social and spiritual aspect they will lag behind. When parents neglect their wards, the children learn from the society and most often, they pick the wrong influence and become vagabonds. "So many schools are after the money but we are after service. We also created a parents forum, where we educate the parents on what they need to know about their children and encouraged them to dedicate time for them as it helps us to get the best from them," she said. One of the parents who also doubled at the Mother of the Day, Mrs Adebolanle Adekunle, said: "Sincerely, we are happy and proud with the passion and commitment of the school in training our children. The environment is conducive with good teachers dedicated to the training of the children. Little wonder my daughter is always longing to be in the school even during the summer coaching. Another parent, Mrs Felicia Agbonigiator added that the school is living up to its name. "So far, Satoif is doing great, setting a standard in Montessori school. The best legacy parents can give their children is education and Satoif is helping us to achieve that,” she said.
“The school ensures your child comes home with load of assignments so you do not have a choice but to go through their work. So the school is helping us to be engaged with our children. Parental care is important to complement what the school is doing," she noted.
HE 18th Graduation and Award of Babcock University High School (BUHS) IlishanRemo, Ogun State at the school’s new Olu-Efuntade Hall. The outgoing pupils, resplendent in their graduation outfits, presented a song at the event. Prizes and awards were presented to pupils who distinguished themselves in all the classes. Education Director, West Central Africa Division of the Seventh - Day Adventist Church Prof Ikonne Chiemela who was the guest speaker presented a keynote address on The contribution of infrastructure, diet and environment to academic success. Chimela pinpointed infrastructure, diet and environment as three factors which could influence a parent’s choice of enrolling their
•Cross section of Babcock University High School graduands at the event.
By Sampson Unamka
wards in a school. He said: "Infrastructure, diet and environment are among the features that influence the choice of a school by parents and their children. The reason is that these features have been conclusively shown to either strengthen or weaken academic success.” He urged parents to give their wards the best they can afford. "Education is the master key to all forms of human development. It could therefore be considered as child abuse when parents send their children to schools in substandard environment. Our children are our greatest treasure and we should give them the education that will holistically empower them to reach the peak of their potential,” he said.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
Report sexual abuse, pupils told
OLICE officers, social workers, health officers and counsellors have taught pupils attending primary and junior secondary schools under the Agege Local Government Education Authority (LGEA) how to manage sexual abuse. The professionals gave expert advice to the young ones at the Education Week organised by the LGEA. The pupils were told not to endure sexual abuse even on the threat of death but cry out for help and seek medical treatment. Leading the talks was Dr Josephine Effah-Chukwuma, Executive Director, Project Alert on Violence Against Women and Consultant to Justice for All project of the United ingdom (UK) -funded DFID. In addition to giving them hotlines they could call to ask for help, she told them they could get free and prompt medical attention if sexually assaulted at the Mirabel Centre of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital. "If you go to Isokoko (Police Station) right with a child who has been sexually-assualted, they will take the complaints and send you to LASUTH. Treatment there is free. If you go there, they will attend to you promptly and the child will be counseled," she said.
By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
To check the activities of rapists, Dr Effah-Chukwuma underscored the importance of reporting them so, they can be punished under the law. "We must protect our children; but we must name and shame the perpetrators. We must stop this," she said. Explaining the dangers of child abuse, Ms Hamzat Adebowale of the State Social Welfare/Family Support Unit, Ministry of Youth and Sports, said such children are not able to function well in school. As a result, she said abuse must not be tolerated. "Any child that is abused should report. When a child is being abused physically, sexually… it demoralises the child. Abuse also comes in form of maltreatment and neglect," she said. On her part, Sgt Pat Osifo, a police officer attached to the Family Support Unit of Isokoko Police Station, Agege, counselled the pupils not to be afraid to come to the police. "The Police is your friend. If you go out and someone touches you, tell your parents. If they don't listen, tell your teacher. Your teacher will take you to FSU," she said. Sgt Osifo also told them to make reports on the behalf of other abused children.
"There are some of your neighbours; they ought to be in school but they do not go to school. They brought them from the village to enslave them. You can report to us so we can help them," she said. In an interview, Education Secretary of Agege LGEA, Mr Olalekan Majiyagbe said the authority decided to make the Health Education seminar part of Education Week because of the prevalence of child abuse cases that had come to their notice. "What motivated us is because of the pathetic situation we find ourselves whereby we hear stories about sexual harassment, abuse, violence; a father having sexual intercourse with the children; all those nonsense. And it is becoming rampant. We may find it difficult to capture the elders but now that we have captured the pupils, we are now grooming them to show resistance; to protect themselves; to cry out. As stakeholders, we asked the counselors, the social welfare officers, the NGOs to come to our aid," he said. Other programmes that featured during the Week included the presentation of educational materials to orphans; public lecture; distribution of generator, computer, school uniforms and sandals to pupils; health walk and festival of arts and culture.
•The pupils performing at the event.
Mind Builders School exploits talents
IFTED hands", the theme of the 2013 concert and Prize Giving day of Mind Builders School, Omole branch came to play as the pupils entertained parents and well-wishers with various presentations that displayed their singing, dancing and acting talents. There were ballet dances, drama, instrumentals, among others presentations which got the parents applauding. In her speech, the Education Director, Mrs Bolajoko Falore counseled parents to celebrate the non academic talents their wards exhibit. "Academic brilliance is not the
By Eniola Osidein
only gift that children have but most parents focus on it with passion forgetting that there are many other gifts," she said. Speaking similarly, the school's Administrator, Mr Olatunde Opeyemi urged parents to give their wards the opportunity to exhibit their talents as all children are gifted. He said: ''A lot of these children have potentials in them which we need to un-leash and build. Gone are the days when we believe everything is about reading, pass examination. There are some people that are perfect in music, creative arts and some in the area of football. Let us expose
them so that in the future they would have something to fall back at, even if there is no job. ". Awards were presented to pupils in all the classes - from the playgroups to primary for their outstanding academic performances. The parents and teachers were not left out as some were honoured for their support and commitment to the school. The Parent of the year was given to Mrs Olubukola Arikawe, Executive Director, Field partners limited and Managing Director of clean Academy. The event was sponsored by Ayoola food ltd the maker of poundo yam.
Ghana Ministry accredits Webster varsity
HANA'S Ministry of Higher Education has accredited Webster University's new campus in Accra, Ghana, following a rigorous review. The university is now in the process of securing approval for the Ghana location from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), United States. Once approved, Webster University graduates from Ghana will earn degrees recognised by both U.S.
and Ghanaian accreditors. Webster University has selected graduate and undergraduate programmes for the Ghana campus based on interest of students and employers in the region. The first graduate programme will be a Master of Business Administration and undergraduate programmes include international business, international relations, and media communications. "As a truly global university, Webster has embraced the ideals
and impact of globalism over nearly a century of growth," said Webster's President Elizabeth J. "Beth" Stroble. "Our history of meeting unmet needs by taking education to where it is most needed now takes root in Ghana. We look forward to partnering with Ghanaians to build the capacity for individuals and communities there and across the Webster global network to prosper in an increasingly connected world," she added.
Talent hunting in the summer
HAVE always thought the holidays should be a time for
relaxation and learning for school children - but another type of learning, not the regular book Kofoworola work. Many times, I have envisioned Belo-Osagie sending my wards to centres to email@example.com learn baking, music, sports, 08054503077 (SMS only) sewing, and other skills during the holidays rather than have them sit at home and waste the whole day in front of the TV or visiting friends or playing. Each holiday, they would learn a different skill - that is how it played in my head - so that by the time they are through with secondary school, they can bake, sew, swim, or undertake other worthwhile vocations. In the days when I dreamed those dreams, there were no summer schools during the holidays, only lessons. Since schools are increasingly organising programmes for the holidays, it should provide ample opportunities for them to teach pupils life skills that will help them survive in the tough economic terrain that we find ourselves. Academic work is important; but during the holidays, it should take the back seat, particularly for learners who do not have problems. For schools, the motive for organising these programmes should not necessarily be to increase their intake, but to seriously discover and begin nurturing the talents of our young ones. The time is also ripe for more private organisations to invest in this area of education. It could be in form of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives that would focus on imbuing pupils with specific skills - carpentry, swimming, art and craft, catering, dancing, sports, music, engineering, science, name it. These vocational programmes could also be run by businesses, with the services paid for by parents who can afford it. Such organisations could also take some pupils on scholarship. The programme can be enriched with general knowledge subjects like etiquette, how to apply First Aid, traffic rules, health education and public speaking. Projects in the various skills could also be part of the curriculum for the participants to undertake such that at the end of the initiative, an exhibition is organised where pupils can showcase their new skills. I am sure such programmes will be a joy to watch. Parents would be glad to see their wards dancing, singing, acting, and playing instruments; or be filled with pride as they look at artworks, clothes, food, and the like prepared by their children.
‘The time is also ripe for more private organisations to invest in this area of education. It could be in form of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives that would focus on imbuing pupils with specific skills - carpentry, swimming, art and craft, catering, dancing, sports, music, engineering, science, name it’
From my Inbox Re: They came for me (Thursday, August 01, 2013) Professional guardians and teachers aren't the only people natural at parenting children. Other professionals are natural too. I am a lawyer and great expert at parenting kids that love to learn too. I like your write up all the same because I experienced it all in the boarding school in my days. I knew how I felt when "they came for me" and when nobody did (between 1984 and 1990). From Mrs Chigozie Ifeoma Nwagbara, LLM, Self-published Law author, FCT. I really loved your article today. It reminded me of my boarding school days over 20 years ago and my daughter who is boarding now and calls to find out if I am coming to visit. In my days, there was no phone; you guessed till you saw your parents. I loved boarding and still think it was one of the most exciting and best parts of my schooling period. Keep up the good work. Dr Mrs Ugboma Re: A woman's dream (Thursday, May 30, 2013) Ma, I was touched when I read the newspaper concerning your dreams for Nigeria. I cannot donated money to support but God Almighty will continue to bless you; your purse will never run dry; he will protect, guide, provide for you and He will give you long life to see your dreams come to reality. Don be discouraged and don't stop because winners never give up and I know you are one. God will provide people who will help you and I will always pray for you so that God will give you strength and courage to continue. Your source of income will be like the ocean; it will never run dry. You are blessed. I am a student (SSS).
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
All Progressives Congress (APC) Interim Deputy National Secretary Mallam Nasir elRufai was a guest of Kaduna based Liberty Radio, where he spoke on a number of issues. Correspondent TONY AKOWE monitored the programme.
Why PDP is jittery, by el-Rufai Y OU recently expressed the fear that Nigeria was sitting on a time bomb. What exactly do you mean? Nigeria has a population of about 170 million and every year, about six million babies are born. What this means, as far as policy making is concerned, is that within the next 20 years, those babies will need at least three million jobs. From the six million, one million will die from avoidable illnesses. Any responsible government should be thinking of these challenges. My concern is that not much is being done and the environment is not condusive at all. Electricity supply is going down and industries are dying while competition from China is killing the little industrial base that we have and our leaders are not making the environment attractive for investors. We have a large population of young people that are not educated. We have about 15 million almajiri in the North and there are those who feel too big to remain in the farm and are migrating to the urban centres. The security challenges we are currently facing is related to these explosions of uneducated and unemployable young people who are feeling hopeless and this is the time bomb we are sitting on, which is already steering us in the face in many parts of the country. Unless we have a responsible government that will begin to create a new environment of opportunity and hope for these people, we will all be in danger. When the explosion comes, many of us, including those who are not guilty will suffer for it. What we are seeing in Boko Haram, militancy, kidnapping is just an indication of the likely future problem that we will face, if we don’t do something and the time to do it is now. You were quoted as saying that the ruling party, the PDP, was more afraid of Gen. Buhari than God. Yes, I said the PDP is more afraid of Gen. Buhari than God. The PDP has evolved from a party that is trying to be democratic in its practices and to have decency in its governance to one that has become a danger to the people of Nigeria and the only person they are afraid of, who is their nightmare, is Gen. Buhari. So, anytime Buhari makes a statement or does anything, the PDP machine will be at work to twist whatever he says in other to destroy his character and give the impression that he is a religious and ethnic zealot. There is nothing, by way of fact, that shows that Gen. Buhari is that kind of person. Buhari has been in public life for so long that, if he was a religious bigot, or ethnic surrogate, it would have been clear. There is no way a man will rise to the position of a Major General in the Army and people will not know his preference for his ethnicity or religion or attained the position he has attained in life without people knowing he has all these qualities. The truth is that the PDP is scared of Buhari‘s integrity and his track record of doing the right thing and ensuring that people are brought to justice when they break the law. They are scared of that day when he will become President because they are afraid that he will call them and ask them the source of their unexplainable wealth. They have tried everything possible to paint the man black and they are not even afraid that one day, they will stand before God and defend their action. That is why I say they are afraid of him more than God. What do you mean by describing the PDP as a toxic party? A party that has earned the highest oil revenue in Nigeria‘s history, but has converted this oil revenue to personal wealth when our schools have remained closed and our educational system collapsing, our hospitals not functioning and fly abroad for medical treatment and send their children to school abroad, is a danger to the Nigerian nation. PDP has become a virus that is infecting and destroying the country and because they are not doing anything productive, they have changed our politics to that of ethnicity and religion; to divert attention from their incompetence, lack of capacity and their looting of the treasury. So, PDP has become a clear and present danger to the existence of Nigeria as a nation and the prosperity of its people. So, it is a toxic party and should be destroyed. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has registered the All Progressives Congress (APC). What are your plans for the future? First, we must give credit where it is due. INEC under Jega and his commissioners did very well by registering the APC. Some people says they didn’t have any choice in the matter because the APC met the requirement. But I am aware that they were under considerable pressure and all kinds of things were being sponsored by the PDP to delay or even scuttle the registration of the party. The fact that for once, it exercised its independence, we should commend it. I hope it’s a sign of great things to come and a foundation for further works to ensure that we have credible
leadership in 2014/2015. As a party, we recognise that even though we have acceptance across the country, we cannot take the support of the people for granted. The only way the party will continue to earn the confidence of the Nigerian people is to be internally democratic and be an open platform for anyone who wants to join the party to do so. It should have internal rules such that anyone who wants to contest election and has the support of members of the party should be able to do so. We will not be a party where people will win election and the list is changed like is happening in the PDP. This is my promise on behalf of the NEC, that we will have an internally democratic party, and that the members will decide the executive as well as candidates for election. That is the only way to go about it because anything short of that will be another PDP and God forbids because we don’t want that. The interest shown by Nigerians in the APC will be sustained if we behave and conduct ourselves differently from that toxic party called the PDP. Our leaders are conscious of that and have made a lot of personal sacrifice to ensure that we get to where we are and our duty as Interim Executive is to sustain that tradition and build on it. A committee has been set up under the Deputy National Chairman, North, Aminu Masari to look at all the issues and come out with strategies and guidelines that will ensure that internal democracy in the party is secured. We will not be a party of godfathers; we will not allow a few people determine what the party will be and will be a true party for the people. But some believe that the APC is a marriage of convenience, alleging cracks within the party. I do not see any crack within the APC. The leadership is united in giving up whatever personal ambition or interest they may have to save Nigeria. Gen. Buhari gave up his own. The CPC was established largely for Buhari’s presidential ambition, but he gave it up for a larger party in which today, he is not even a member yet because the CPC has dissolved and we now have the APC that is yet to register anybody as members. That is the type of attitude Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has taken to get us to where we are not. Those who were predicting that we will not be registered have seen that the party has been registered. People thought that when forming the interim leadership, the party will collapse. We have passed that stage and now, they are predicting other forms of doom. I want to assure you that we will overcome all that because, this party is beyond one or two men. It is true that the founders and the moving spirit behind the party remain Buhari and Tinubu. The leadership of the ANPP joined later because we have been working on this since the end of 2011. It is now a depersonalised party and not a Buhari or Tinubu or Ali Modu Sherif’s personal ownership, but a party of the people and when we register the members, they are going to
‘PDP has become a virus that is infecting and destroying the country and because they are not doing anything productive, they have changed our politics to that of ethnicity and religion; to divert attention from their incompetence, lack of capacity and their looting of the treasury’
be the ones that will decide the leadership of the party and its candidates for election. The Anambra election is the first major test for the APC. How do you intend to handle this? The Anambra election is very important to us and for several reasons. We already have an APC state in Imo State under Governor Rochas Okorocha and we hope to present a credible candidate in Anambra State for the election. As far as I know, there are only two party members who have so far expressed interest. They are the Deputy National Chairman, South, Senator Anie Okonkwo and Senator Chris Ngige who is a former governor of the state. The people know how much work he did for the state. The party will treat Anambra State as a special case and register members there and conduct primaries and whoever emerges as the candidate will get the ticket. There is no plan to impose anyone by the party. My appeal is for all members in Anambra to be prepared of an announcement by the NEC to register and turn up for the primaries and vote for the person of their choice. We will set up a committee to screen all the aspirants and ensure they meet the guidelines of the APC. We will all be in Anambra during the election. I will be in Anambra to be a polling unit agent if necessary to ensure that we are not cheated during the election. That is the plan for Anambra and we are taking it very serious. We know that we have to submit the name of a candidate by September 6 and the election is November 16 and we will all be there and by God’s grace, Anambra will be the second state in the South East to join the APC train and save it from backwardness and retrogression because All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) under Governor Peter Obi is an agent of the PDP. Recently, a high powered delegation of APC leaders visited Gen. Babangida. What was it about? Let me clarify something here. We did not visit former President Babangida as APC. Myself, former Speaker Aminu Masari and Senator Nazif Suleiman had already fixed an appointment to see him before the APC registration. It is part of the consultations that we have been carrying out, discussing with many leaders across the north. We have visited Audu Ogbe, a former Chairman of the PDP and now a member of the APC, we visited Gambo Jimeta, former Inspector General of Police, former Governor Boni Haruna of Adamawa State and many others for guidance on how to go about discharging our duty as officials of the party. Masari is the deputy national chairman, north and the entire north is his constituency and I have been appointed the interim deputy national secretary, the entire country is my constituency. So, we felt that Babangida is one of the important stakeholders in this country that we need to talk to and tell them about the APC and seek their support for the party. As we were arriving Babangida’s residence a large media delegation that had come with the NECO board to pay him a courtesy call were there. We didn’t speak to them and they didn’t speak to us, but they made a big issue out of it. We were all APC, but we did not go there in our APC capacity. Some of us have a relationship with him dating back to 1989. We do not agree on all issues. I have criticised him on his handling of certain issues like the June 12 election and I still tell him that what happened was wrong. But that does not mean we cannot consult him. In politics, we have to talk to everybody and anyone who feels that Babangida is not important in Nigeria politics is joking. He is an important stakeholder and we will continue to engage him. Doyin Okupe said recently that he would change his father’s name, if the APC lasts more than one year . I feel sorry for my brother Doyin. I don’t know the level to which people can be desperate when they are in need of economic rehabilitation. I want to assure him that he should start thinking of his new name because he will certainly change his name. After one year, in July 2014, I am going to call him and insist that he changes his name and if he doesn’t, I will give him a name of my choice. The APC is here to stay. The out pouring of support from the Nigerian people towards the party is so clear that I know we are here to stay. Not only are we going to outlive the PDP, we will get Doyin to change his name. There is the saying that those who left the PDP and joined the APC did so because of their hatred for Jonathan as a minority… That is nonsense. One of the misfortunes of the Jonathan presidency is the deliberate infusion of religion and ethnicity into Nigerian politics and that is unfortunate. For someone coming from a minority ethnic group, the best bet is for him to de-emphasis that and make the whole of Nigeria his constituency. Unfortunately, Jonathan’s political handlers thought that if they introduce religion, they will be able to divide the north and take the Christian part of the north to vote for Jonathan and if they introduce ethnicity, they will be able to get the whole of the south. That was their winning strategy as espoused by neigbour to neigbour. They are now surprise that after dividing the country, they are now finding it difficult to get the cooperation of everyone. The danger of division is that you defeat social trust which makes it very difficult for you to govern and they are still playing this game. If Jonathan is from a minority tribe, how did he get elected? Did he get elected by the Ijaw nation alone or did he get elected by other Nigerians? How can anybody start arguing that? You are shooting yourself on the foot because if all decide to be sectional, Jonathan cannot even win election outside Bayelsa State. Outside of Bayelsa State, there is nowhere Ijaws are not a minority in Nigeria. When EK Clark and Jonathan play this ethnic card, is it because they don’t have a better story? If you are performing the work of the people, why do you refer to that? It is one of the tragedies of Jonathan’s leadership that whoever inherit the leadership from him will have to first spend the first one or two years repairing the relationship between the various ethnic and religious groups because everything has been reduced to these two things and it is very unfortunate. Politics is not about religion or ethnicity, but about delivering services to the people.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
POLITICS In this piece, NGWU NWEZE writes on the governorship ambition of the prominent banker and businessman, Chief Willie Obiano, and what it portends for Anambra State.
Deconstructing Peter Odili at 65 Former Rivers State Governor Peter Odili is 65 years old today. JAMES UME revisits his tenure as the governor and statesman providing inspiration for the younger generation on the slippery political field.
Obiano: Seeking power D for public good
S the political rain-clouds gather in Anambra State, ahead of the November governorship elections, the already heated race recently witnessed a rupture, with the grand entry of Chief WilliemObiano, the colourful banker and oil industry chieftain, whose emergence has totally altered the political equation in the state. The reason is not fare fetched. ChiefObiano carries a spark that lights up any arena he enters like a burst of fireflies in a dark, moonless night. The Aguleri High Chief who is also famously known as Akpokuedike Aguleri comes almost fully made with a rare combination of solid intellect and a common touch that makes many leaders wince with envy. His sartorial style and regal elegance easily stand him out in any crowd. His infectious humour and kindred spirit strikes instant connectivity with anyone that comes his way regardless of age or class. Obiano is nuanced, passionate and full of zest. In a nutshell, the Aguleri high chief has managed to squeeze into one personality, as much complexity as simplicity. True, no one is born a king; but Chief Obiano’s leadership inclinations and abilities seem rather inherent. He radiates magnetic warmth that does not only draw people to him, but makes them willing to go the extra mile for him. It was perhaps this rare quality more than anything else that made his Aguleri people to bestow on him the title of Akpokuedike, which can be loosely translated as “the buzz of the warrior.” Obiano has the natural proclivity of an astute administrator and a man with an infinite business savvy. Until recently, Chief Obiano was the number two man at Fidelity Bank Plc, as the Executive Director in charge of Business Banking after a glittering banking career that saw him rise through the ranks. Before his retirement, he headed virtually every important segment of the bank including corporate banking, non-bank financial institutions, treasury, foreign operations, oil and gas financing, telecommunications, aviation and several other businesses where he showed tremendous leadership skills and a rare people’s touch. Before he joined Fidelity Bank, Obiano had had an auspicious beginning at First Bank Nigeria and Texaco Nigeria Plc where he distinguished himself as the Chief Internal Auditor for years, driving change and initiating programmes that earned him the accolade of the top management of the global conglomerate. At Fidelity, what mostly stood Chief Obiano out was his rare human touch; a deep connection with the people which resonated throughout the bank and a large reservoir of knowledge of the subtleties of banking and a keen sense of the present and how it connects to the future, which most bankers who have fallen by the way side never seemed to have. Obiano knew banking well enough to know that the banker’s reputation is like a house of straws; one bad move and all the years of struggle would go up in a plume of smoke. But Obiano left Fidelity on a high. Not one shred of scandal trailed his years as a top-flight banker. He was well loved by the ordinary staff and respected by the management and the board. At the bank’s annual dinners and social events, Akpokue Aguleri, as he was fondly called by friends and colleagues always stood out. Being a man of style, his remarkable haircut and aristocratic fashion taste always marked him out in the crowd. Smiling comes easy to Chief Obiano as does his hearty gentleman laughter that draws instant fellow feelings from the people around him.
AkpokudikeAguleri’s entry into the muddy waters of Anambraguber race did not come to many people who know him as a surprise. Close friends and interested observers always knew that his extra-ordinary people skill and leadership acumen would find him out. A close friend once told this writer that ChiefObiano had confided in him that the only way he would contest a political office was if his people invited him to represent them. It is evident therefore, that Obiano’s momentous entry into the race under the APGA platform was not spurred by any vaunting ambition, but one that is borne out of a desire to serve his people of Anambra North, who have never had a shot at the state house in Awka. Indeed there has been a legitimate clamour for fairness and equity in the political governance of Anambra State which has tended to preclude the people of Anambra North from the office of the number one citizen of the state since Anambra came into existence. This glaring injustice has grown in its lingering gravity in the acclaimed tradition of all injustices that do not lend themselves to peaceful burial. It is perhaps in realization of the grotesque obviousness of this imbalance in power that the ebullient governor Peter Obi of Anambra State is rumoured to have declared his intention to deploy his enormous goodwill with the people and ensure that a candidate from the neglected Anambra North succeeds him in office. That way, the genuine cries and supplications of the people would be pointedly assuaged. Against this backdrop therefore, Willie Obiano’s candidacy is a bold answer to the clamor among his people for their best and brightest sons and daughters to file out for the highest office in the state. But people who should know are fully aware that Obiano is not just in the race to
‘Willie Obiano’s candidacy is a bold answer to the clamor among his people for their best and brightest sons and daughters to file out for the highest office in the state. But people who should know are fully aware that Obiano is not just in the race to multiply the options of the electorates’
multiply the options of the electorates. AkpokuedikeAguleri never goes into any venture without adequate risk assessment and strenuous preparation. Indeed Obiano is fully prepared for the battle. What most friends and associates always marvel at is his astonishing brilliance for someone with his exceptional social skills. Obiano holds a Second Class Upper Division in Accounting from the University of Lagos and an MBA in Marketing from the same school. He is a class member of the Harvard Business School and Stanford University, both in the USA. He is also both Fellow and patron of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). In the course of his career, Obiano attended numerous courses including Credit and Trade Services at Citi Bank, New York, Treasury and Money Market at Northwest London, Emerging Markets at FIM Bank, Malta and Managing Integration Process at Houston Texas, USA in 2006. Obiano is a bridge builder of sorts. His extensive contacts are almost infinite; spreading from an eclectic number of serving and retired top military brass, para-military and royal fathers to professionals like doctors, lawyers, fellow bankers and brilliant architects and engineers, among others. Obiano has immense goodwill among donor agencies and portfolio investors in the USA and Europe which he put to enormous use in the service of Fidelity Bank when the bank had successive public offers to rustle up fresh funds. It is believed that these same contacts will be useful when he assumes office as governor. Not surprising, Chief Obiano has been a recipient of many awards and honours in recognition of his eternal warmth, public spirit, candour and generous contributions to society. In May 2012, Obiano received the honour of the 1stUSAfrica’s Distinguished Banker of the Year award in Houston, Texas, USA. In addition to being honoured by the people of Aguleri as the Akpokuedike of Aguleri Kingdom, Chief Obiano also holds the revered title of Otunba Atayase of Ilemeso-Ekiti in Ekiti State. This later recognition from Oba David Adegboyega Oyewunmi (Fasemi II) of Ilemeso-Ekiti underscores his bridge-building capacity and a natural inclination to bond with people from diverse cultures. It is partly for this reason and everything else that the Board of Governors and Trustees of Wisconsin International University, USA, also conferred on him the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership, honoriscausa, late last year. It was a richly deserved honour for someone who has made his mark as a thoroughbred professional and as a man of means. AkpokueAguleri is also deeply connected with the clergy and the church. Obiano is a devout Catholic whose commitment to the church is deep. It is perhaps ironic that a man with his high social skills and a profound love for tradition is also deeply involved with the church. It is all part of the high art of personality code-mixing which Obiano has perfected in his simple but complex personality. Obiano’s involvement with the church began rather early. Following his early education in mission schools, Chief Obiano has never really strayed too far from the church. His keen interest in the church of Jesus Christ has led him into accepting different roles in the service of God including but not restricted to being the patron of Catholic Women Association, Missionary of St. Paul’s Society, Catholic Women’s Organisation, Catholic Laity Council of Nigeria and the Grand Pillar of St. Gerald Catholic Church, among others.
EMOCRACY would lose its defining egalitarianism, if it forecloseds the benefit of hearing the other side. The absence of this feature would have consigned many of the adherents of this unique Grecian totem to fates worse than death. It is this redeeming dimension that the former governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Otunuya Odili keyed into in his recent autobiography: “Conscience And History - My Story,” where he brushed away the fog and told the story of his stewardship, aspiration to the presidency, how some ‘trusted’ forces scuttled it and more. Today, the ex-governor turns 65. At the level of small talk, you could hardly get the better of Odili. But for a scientist, a sturdy doctor of human medicine more at home with analysis and action, this trend of dialogue palls easily. His affable disposition belies an inner steel that has enabled him ride out one of the most compelling and intriguing political saga of recent times. The man who swapped his stethoscope for the political podium has certainly proved that both medicine and politics fundamentally address human development? Up close, the vibration of energy he emits is reminiscent of that from an active volcano. In a sense, he is one. But this dimension could only fairly be applied to the customary intensity of his mission focus. Is Odili by any chance on the Vatican’s radar as that conservative Roman Catholic Church vanguard shops for new candidates for sainthood in its more recent effort. He is not. But significantly, the stern, quiet-spoken doctor has not been heard pitching for that esoteric privilege. But buffeted by the circumstances of his political ascendancy, challenged - fairly and often unfairly - the medicine man trained in Nigeria and UK stands tall and holds firm. According to the English sage, George Bernard Shaw, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” True to type, Odili, simply never bordered with finding himself. He bought unstintingly into Shaw’s insight and simply created himself. Apparently this Shawian philosophy formed his navigational Northern Star and a key vehicle of his life’s odyssey. Over the years, he has evolved a style that uses reasoned facts and perhaps alarming frankness to set his political agenda, provoke enemies and court genuine friends. Perhaps, this derives from his professional training. A doctor of human medicine can’t afford undue sentimentality. The healing turf requires a scientific approach to navigate its exacting arena safely. Notwithstanding the often incendiary animosity targeting him and which peaked during his legitimate presidential quest, it cannot be denied that the depth and sweep of his contributions to the medical - and for good measure political ferment, bespeak the eloquence of old school discipline, commitment and panache. These ingredients that define professionalism, for some reasons, are largely missing in current political engagements and discourse. Against this backdrop, Nigerians should then appreciate professionals and politicians who by sheer vision, dint of self-discipline and diligent application of the power of thought have achieved that delicate, firm balance between reasoned governance positions that leverages society and humdrum perspectives that diminish and stunt. Amidst contrived political chaos, human misery and governance deficits that continue to define our democracy, many Nigerians are wont to lose faith in the polity. This may be understandable. But history shows that mere loss of faith, a pathway to surrender is taking the easy course. The path of courage is to interrogate the policies, concepts, leadership vision or visionlessness and sociopolitical triggers that generate regression using reasoned, temperate logic and candour. Next is to offer alternative governance vision to resolve extant human development and socio-economic challenges. In seeking the presidency, Odili consciously sought to change his milieu. His detractors of course would violently disagree. They are entitled to their views. Tracking back, Odili, born August 15, 1948, in the Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State is the thirteenth governor of the state from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007. He is a member of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He graduated from the Medical School of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and pursued post-graduate work in Tropical Medicine at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom. In 1988/89, he was elected member and leader of Rivers State Delegates to the Constituent Assembly and in 1992, was elected as the deputy governor of the state. After the Third Republic ended, he was again elected to the National Constitutional Conference and became the Conference Committee Chairman on State Creation. He thereafter became the National Secretary of the defunct Democratic Party of Nigeria (DPN). He was elected governor of Rivers State in April 1999, and re-elected in April 2003. In June 2008, Odili had cause to defend his record before the Rivers State Truth and Reconciliation Commission, denying the charges that had been made against him. Then in March 2009, the same Truth and Reconciliation Commission, headed by retired Supreme Court Justice Kayode Eso largely exonerated Odili and blamed the crisis during his period of office on both the state and the federal governments, particularly the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo. The report further outlined interwoven problems of governance, chieftaincy tussles, cultism, politics of acrimony and insurgency. In November 2006 he announced that he would run for president in the 2007 election under the ruling PDP. However a day before the PDP’s presidential primaries held on December 16, 2006, Odili stepped down from the contest, paving the way for fellow governor Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to emerge as the party’s flag bearer. He captured the gripping story in his autobiography, a must read. In this riveting literary work under reference Odili captures the core of the puzzling script that brazenly derailed his presidential quest in 2007: “What was the genesis of the fight against the possibility of an Odili presidency? Who was threatened by that possibility and why? Whose decision and when was it made to stop Odili by all means possible? Who was the fulcrum of the execution of that decision? “How come that for seven and half years nothing was raised by the EFCC or any relevant agency against Odili’s government in Rivers State and suddenly on the ‘eve’ of the PDP presidential primaries all conceivable vile allegations were unleashed? When did we Nigerians acquire such meteoric and forensic expertise and competence to produce a report within 36 hours of instruction to investigate? Just in time for the date line-December 16, 2006. These are questions yawning for answers. God’s time will tell.” • Dr Odili
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
NATURAL HEALTH THE NATION
What have the lines on your palms got to do with your health? A lot, says palmists, who note that every line has its importance. OYEYEMI GBENGA-MUSTAPHA reports.
‘Your health in your palm’
OUR life and your health are in your hands. Your hands, the lines, shape, nails and colours all indicate various things that greatly influence you, especially health wise, in palmistry. According to a palmist, Dr Theopgilus Lambo, the science of palmistry has nothing to do with astrology, divination or necromancy or fortune telling. It is another branch of scientific Art which physicians have been using to diagnose health conditions in human body. He said palmistry is simply the science of the symbolic markings in the hand. “You will see signs like triangles, circles, islands, stars, and cross, moles, squares and rectangles on the palm. These are of further importance. If the date, time or place of birth of a person is not known accurately, palmistry is an excellent method to answer his questions. “Before the discovery of Stethoscope and thermometer, physicians rely on the physical examinations of the eyes, the tongue, the nails and throat of their clients and pulse to arrive at a reasonable diagnosis while some could read these health conditions on the palms of their clients.” Dr Lambo said: “It is known that in 3000 BC, the Emperor of China used his thumb print when sealing documents. Today, in our much civilised society, we still often find many reputable and respected establishments, such as finance houses, the judiciary, government agencies and embassies requesting people to thumb print, especially where legal documents involving attestation of signatures are required. Those who could not read or write could use their finger prints even to open Bank accounts and today, every country require individual’s thumb prints in-order to obtain International passports.” He went on: “The Art of Palmistry has been in existence since the beginning of human civilisation as evidenced by the discoveries of archeological relics of human palms, carved from stones, wood, ivory and some carved out on the walls and rocks of caves of the Stone Age people. Information on the laws and practice of hand reading has been found in Vedic scripts, in early Semitic writings and its mention in the Bible, especially the Book of Job 37:7 has been a subject of great debate and controversy among intellectuals and theologians.” The son of the late foremost psychiatrist, Prof Adeoye Lambo, said: “Man has always yearned to know in advance what his future will be like. He is eager to know his longevity, family life, career, and health in advance. A palmist is able to tell with good accuracy the incidences of a person’s past life, and those that will occur there from. Forewarned is forearmed, goes a saying. So if one can get an idea of the dangers, and opportunities beforehand, why must one not take the benefit from it? This thinking has inspired the further investigation into the intricacies of palmistry.” He said further: “There are seven kinds of hands in the study of palmistry, such as elementary hand, square hand, conic hand and philosophic hand etc. the line of head will give different result in a conical shape of hand than an elementary hand. The good headline in a conic hand indicates good brain power and photographic memory. While a head line in a square hand indicates a practical approach of character and the head line in an elementary hand makes one emotionless and less fertility of brain even in some cases they know only manual work and no imagination. So to speak the people with elementary hand are only for food and sleeping. They are not worthy in the society. The esoteric study of palm reading is so fascinating those if one goes through this science cannot but research it further. If the head line bifurcates at its end the person will have a capacity to playing and toying with the human being. “The life line on the palm indicates the health, force and longevity of life. The heart line can
1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567 1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567memory loss, 1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567 headaches, speech 1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567 and 1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567impediments, difficulties. 1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567respiratory Those with square 1234567890123456789012345678901212 1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567 123456789012345678901234567palms and short 1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567fingers (Sensation 1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567types) can have trouble 1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567 with skin, teeth, knees, 1234567890123456789012345678901212 deafness, 1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567 123456789012345678901234567ligaments, gout, 1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567rheumatism, paralysis, hardening of 1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567 1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567the 1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567hemorrhoids,arteries, and 1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567 varicose veins. 1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567 “Individuals with 1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567 rectangular palms and 1234567890123456789012345678901212 fingers (Intuitive 1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567 123456789012345678901234567short types) are generally 1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567 1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567healthy types, but 1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567prone to blood 1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567disorders, liver 1234567890123456789012345678901212 diabetes, 1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567 123456789012345678901234567trouble, stroke, high blood 1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567 1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567pressure, heart failure, 1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567and problems with 1234567890123456789012345678901212 thighs, throat, and 1234567890123456789012345678901212 123456789012345678901234567 123456789012345678901234567hips, head injuries. Some of their greatest 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 This also tells your self confidence and courage. challenges result from overindulging in food 123456789012345678901234 and drink. Folks with rectangular palms and we have to be very careful while doing palm 123456789012345678901234 But fingers (Feeling types) may have stomach reading as the head line is available in 123456789012345678901234 everybody’s hand since the same head line will long and colon problems, reproductive issues, 123456789012345678901234 venereal diseases, challenges with bodily fluids, give you the same result with different kind 123456789012345678901234 not and foot problems.” hands.” 123456789012345678901234 ofHe He also explained: “The Nails also reveal a lot said: “The thumb is a very important feature 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 of the hands because without it, no matter what about health conditions of every individual. There 123456789012345678901234 qualities are found in the rest of the hand, there are various types of nails found on each individual. 123456789012345678901234 When nerve centers are operating in a healthy would be neither driving force to push those 123456789012345678901234 way, nails appear smooth textured, pink, and clear. qualities forward, nor any logic or reasoning 123456789012345678901234 When nerve centres are impaired, this leaves an that willpower. There are basically 123456789012345678901234 behind impression on the nail texture and color that must different types Health Lines that could 123456789012345678901234 twelve be read accordingly. A very fine and healthy be found on the palm and there are some people 123456789012345678901234 person will tend to have fine and healthy nails, 123456789012345678901234 who do not have health line on their palms. These 123456789012345678901234 groups of people are credited with good health while a coarse person will have coarse or fluted 123456789012345678901234 (vertical ridges) nails. The more the nails appear their life time. 123456789012345678901234 throughout to be fluted, the more the nervous system is “The palmist looks for the shape; the length 123456789012345678901234 affected. Fluting naturally occurs more with aging. the thickness of the Health line to determine 123456789012345678901234 and “People with Type A personalities tend to have health condition of the individual client since 123456789012345678901234 the large moons. Small moons are normal, while No each line reveal certain health condition. There 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 moons often correspond to low blood pressure generally about twelve major health lines 123456789012345678901234 are a slower metabolism. There are various types depending on the length of the line, its thickness, 123456789012345678901234 it’s position whether in slanting position or or of nails but the most common ones are: The 123456789012345678901234 Narrow nail; The Square-Ended nail, The Bulbous whether straight or bent. The Palmist knowing 123456789012345678901234 nail, The Curved nail, The Conical Nail. The all these positions represent will be able to 123456789012345678901234 what science of Chiromancy (Palmistry) have come a match the client’s health line with his health line reveal your affection towards others. It also says you what extent you are getting love and affection from others. Similarly the line of head can easily predict you whether you will have severe headache, madness, suicidal tendency etc.
chart and come up with a fairly accurate diagnosis.” He explained: “People with square palms and long fingers (Thinking types) have potential problems with their nervous system, bronchial system, and thyroid gland, as well as issues with
Need protein? Try mushrooms
USHROOMS can ensure good health and general wellbeing, the DirectorGeneral, Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), Lagos, Dr Gloria Elemo, has said. According to her, mushrooms can boost people’s immune system and support the nutritional and dietary needs of mother and child, the vulnerable group. Mrs Elemo spoke during a visit by the Gains from the Losses of Root and Tuber Crops (GRATITUDE) project partners from Agricultural and Research Institute, Thailand and Hanoi University of Science and Technology, Vietnam. She said the idea was to make mushroom popular as a major source of protein. She said: “It helps in weight management because substituting red meat with mushrooms can help enhance weight loss. Studies have shown that its consumption was associated with better diet quality and improved nutrition. Consuming dried mushroom extract was found to be as effective as taking supplemental vitamin D2 or D3 for increasing vitamin D levels (25hydroxyvitamin D). “It has hypoglycemic and possible anti-
By Wale Adepoju
depressant effects, protects your liver and kidneys, increases blood flow, helps normalise your cholesterol levels, and has been used to treat Hepatitis B. It also has potent anti-inflammatory characteristics that may be helpful for those suffering from asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, renal failure and stroke.” The institute, she said, was asked by the European Union (EU) to do research and development on edible mushroom cultivation technology and domestication. “We are glad to partner with GRATITUDE project, sponsored by the EU,” she added. She said: “For the past few months, FIIRO has worked on the use of cassava peel, yam peel and cassava stalk as substitute to produce edible mushroom. The results obtained have particularly been very good. Training is currently being run on mushroom production in the institute. FIIRO has acquired equipment for production of compost material for mushroom cultivation and dehumidifier for environment conditioning, among other things. “To reduce investment on mushroom
long way and in-order for any country to develop scientifically and utilize all the good things and knowledge which nature has provided we will continue to inhibit our evolutionary development through our dogmatic approach to doctrines and beliefs.”
123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 123456789012345678901234 • Mushrooms
production, a thatched roof mushroom house has been developed to grow mushrooms and train entrepreneurs. This implies that mushroom cultivation can easily be set up in the rural areas at low cost and technology made simple. “Recently, a consultant was also engaged to train researchers on the best practices in mushroom cultivation.” Mrs Elemo said: “The institute is collaborateing with some universities, polytechnics, research institutes, government agencies, non-governmental organisations and industries with the aim of industrialising the country through research and commercialisation of our research outputs to create jobs.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
Treatment of breast cancer in Alternative Medicine (2)
EING the second part in the serialisation of the text of a presentation by FEMI KUSA at the maiden seminar of the College of Integrative Medicine, held at the Water Parks, Toyin Street, Lagos, on August 1 and 2, this year. The college was founded to train members of the National Integrative Medicine Practitioners Association (NIMPA). In the first part published last Thursday, two promising case studies provided the grounds for hope that herbs and nutritional supplements, used alone or as an adjunct in orthodox cancer therapies, can bring about a cancer cure. In one of these cases, stage iv colon cancer which had spread to the liver, lung and kidney shrank by 25 per cent within two months of the introduction of alternative medicine therapies to conventional therapy. In the second case, breast cancer shrank significantly.
Some popular suggestions on why cancer strikes The list is too long for all of them to be mentioned in an exercise such as this. Some of the common or popular ones are: • Deoxygenation of blood lymph and tissue, • Cell damage during cell division, • Energy or voltage loss within the cells, • Free radical damage of cells, • Antioxidant deficiency, • Nutritional deficiencies, • Abnormally high microbial population, • Sub-optimally functioning or weak liver, • Immune depletion, • Pathological hatred, • Pharmaceutical food supplements, • Heavy metal toxicity and poisoning, • Chemical and pesticide poisoning, • Estrogenation, • Potassium deficiency and elevation of sodium in the blood, • Hypothyroidism or low thyroid function, • Systemic Enzymes deficiency, • Excessive Consumption of animal protein, • Consumption of white sugar, •Deficiency of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
Deoxygenation We need oxygen to live. Old high school education teaches that the air is composed of about 21 per cent of oxygen and 79 per cent other gases. Yet, a recent study of air trapped in antartic ice ages ago suggests oxygen air content as high as 38 per cent at that time. Could the air oxygen content be going down? Since oxygen is the most important element for human survival, could a deficiency be related to the upsurge of degenerative diseases, including breast cancer, the green plants, through photosynthesis, store oxygen for human consumption ... in green leafy vegetable and herbs, for example. But many people in this part of the world do not consume adequate amounts of vegetables every day. When they do at all, the vegetables may have lost vital nutrients through overcooking or long storage or the use of fertiliser in growing them. Besides, the soil on which they grew may have been overcultivated and malnourished. Rain water in clean cities is oxygen - rich. But municipal water supply from which many people derive their drinking water has been chlorinated to kill germs and, thus, is deoxygenated. In 1969, the Guinness Book of Records found the people of OKINAWA in Japan to be the longest living people on earth. They were healthy and agile in body and spirit. Their longevity and health secret turned out to be their water. It was neither chlorinated nor flouridised. It was alkaline. Most of our bottled water in Nigeria is acidic on the pH scale. Sachet or so-called "pure water" is terribly acidic. The cells are weakened and damaged by acidiosis. In Okinawa, the drinking water passes through coral reefs which alkalize it. Alkaline water washes acids out of the body. Soon, the world knew of CORAL CALCIUM from Okinawa which was said, like coral, alkalized water to help fight cancer, even cure it. Today, alkaline water pots and other means of alkalizing drinking water sell well in Nigeria. So, does coral calcium. The lungs provide the body with oxygen through breathing. But many people do not exercise themselves physically well enough, to get enough oxygen into their systems by maximally using their lungs. As a matter of fact, it has been scientifically determined that many people use less than 70 per cent capacity of their lungs every day. The picture of oxygen supply to the body appears gloomier under industrialisation and urbanisation. Lagos and other Nigerian cities are filled with smoking vehicles, electricity generator fumes, and smoke from firewood, refuse and bush burning, among other environmental oxygen depletors. If you walk on some streets in Lagos, during municipal electricity failure, you may almost choke from the smoke of generators. Traffic jams pump smoke into our lungs. I got introduced to superior oxygen capsules, as VITALAIRE was then called, when my office at the then THE COMET newspaper was about an arm's stretch from the expressway. My table got filled with SOOT every morning. A test revealed oxygen depletion in the brain. A worldwide study of major cities suggests oxygen concentrations in and around them at about 30 per cent below normal levels. If we add to these environmental assaults the disappearance of the green belt and the replacement of vegetation by concrete and steel, we observe a critical disturbance of a Creation Plan anchored on the Law of Balance. This law upholds the smallest and the biggest entities
in Creation, from the atoms in our bodies and the pages of these newspapers and the solar systems to the gigantic Universe. By this law, plant removes carbon dioxide, destructive of human life, from the atmosphere during the day and gives us life-preserving oxygen in return, and in such quantum as is sufficient for us at night when they like us, consume oxygen and give off carbon dioxide. When concrete and metal replace green vegetation, the air we breathe to live healthily is no longer fully supportive of life. One marker of inadequate level of oxygenation besides susceptibility to constant infections is tiredness. Another is pain. Yet another could be headache or yawning all the time. Overcrowding in buses and bedrooms worsens matters. It may be good to keep an indoor green plant indoor during the day and take it out at sunset when it uses oxygen, like us, and releases carbon dioxide which we do not need. The implication of deoxygenation of the air is that less oxygen gets into the body. Without enough oxygen, metabolism is sluggish, waste accumulates, the internal environment becomes toxic, micro-organisms, especially Candida and other yeast cells, proliferate, since they enjoy anaerobic environment, and compound the toxin level with their own wastes. The cells battle to survive in this environment. Some adapt to the oxygen - deficient environment by becoming anaerobic (not dependent on oxygen), like the microforms proliferating in it. Their aerobic respiration produce energy and lactic acid, whereas aerobic respiration produces heat, energy, water and carbon dioxide, which is excreted through exhalation. This anaerobic process goes on for many years before counter strikes in the cells which have become too weak to protect themselves against acid and other poisoning germs. As germs love weak, toxic cells, this may account for why candida, bacteria, viruses and mold have been found in the carcerous breast tissue. Italian Dr. Tullio Simoncini, who injects sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) into breast cancer to make the toxin-filled cells alkaline and inhospitable for these germs, has documented some of his experiences in a book titled: CANCER IS A FUNGUS. More information about this work, courtesy Bill Henderson, in his book, CANCER FREE, can be obtained from www.curenaturalicancro.com Some Nigerian doctors have followed Dr. Solocini's work. But he has not disclosed to any of them who have linked up with him exactly how he delivers this stuff into the cancerous breast. When I discussed with one of them the dressing of breast cancer sores, especially the awfully smelling ones, saying I often suggest the spraying of Forever Living Products (FLP) Aloe First after cleaning, he said he uses Baking Soda Powder to dress the sores after cleaning them.
Oxygenation If deoxygenation causes cancer, how can we oxygenate to prevent it and to reverse it? An Alternative Medicine practitioner treating breast cancer, or any cancer for that matter, may wish to imagine that cancerous cells are filled with candida, a fungus, and other yeast, and then decide on oxygenation therapies to kill them off and free the cells of these unfriendly inhabitants which are driving them wild and making them to behave abnormally. In Europe, some practitioners put their patients in the Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber, in what is known as the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT), to make them breathe pure oxygen in a sealed chamber. I do not know if HBOT is available in Nigeria. But we have options. One of them is OxyLife's 35 per cent Food grade Hydrogen Peroxide which is valuable in the treatment of many diseases, including cancer. I use it prophylacticaly once in a while. Hydrogen peroxide Therapy is controversial. The mainstream medical profession does not want to hear of it. Its position is understandable. For hydrogen peroxide, if misused, can become a double edged sword. One blade kills diseases as fire destroys dry bush. The other blade can damage the cells through oxidative hydroxyl impact. But the hydrogen peroxide used for Therapy is not the common one used as mouth wash. It is the 35 per cent home grade hydrogen peroxide. Madison Cabanaugh exhumed hydrogen peroxide from the dustbin of orthodox medicine and handed it,
like a jewel, to alternative Medicine with his book titled: ONE MINUTE CURE FOR ALL DISEASES. In this book, he shows that if the human cell is about 75 per cent water, and if this water is two atoms of hydrogen and oxygen, oxygen must account for not less than 33 per cent of this water content. Oxygen from other sources must make oxygen account for about 50 per cent of the cell. Oxygen depletion, therefore, must cause health problems. Although hydrogen peroxide therapy is widely criticised in the orthodox medical profession Dr. Lance Moriaty, medical director of a clinic in Nairobi, Kenya, reports that one in eight of his HIV/AIDS patients on hydrogen peroxide therapy become healed. In a study, out of 52 HIV/AIDS patients given hydrogen peroxide, 30 received immediate remission while 22 reported increased energy and well being. Says Dr. Moriaty: "People come back to life ... it blows my mind". There is also, a food supplement named SUPERIOR OXYGEN. It comes encapsulated, and has just been repacked and re-named VITALAIRE. What a more appropriate and less scary named! The base is potassium permanganate, to which are complexed many oxygen-yielding food grade substances. Some of these compounds include magnesium peroxide, astragalus, hypoxis, vitamin D3, calcium ascorbate, calcium phosphate, B vitamins, citrus bioflavonoids etc. It is a portable oxygen or a home oxygen therapy designed to address, among other issues, shortness of breadth, weakness, sleep apnea, daytime sleepiness, loud snoring, all of which signify insufficiency of oxygen in the body. An oxygen therapy featured one way or the other in both cases cited above. Green plants, as stated, earlier are also minute sources of oxygen. On the market today are single plant products such as Chlorella, Spirulina, Parseley, Barley grass, Wheat Grass, and alfalfa. Among many others. There is as well the conglome merits greens products in which about 40 green plants are ground to powder and taken with meals or as tea or with fruit or vegetable juice. They offer the advantage of providing the body with Chlorophyll which detoxifies the system. And recharges the blood. Chlorophyll and heamoglobin have the same basic structure ... Hydrogen, carbon, oxygen and nitrogen. They differ only in their central atoms. In chlorophyll, the central atom in magnesium. In heamoglobin, it is iron. When we take a green drink; the body replaces the magnesium with iron to recharge the blood. And since the healthy and radiant blood is indispensable for good health, it is important in breast cancer therapy. Thus, liquid chlorophyll features prominently in the two cases mentioned above.
Caution with Oxygen Oxygen is a double-edged sword. Just as too little of it can compromise health, too much of it is bad and can cause oxidative stress and damage. For singlet oxygen atoms can attach to metals in the body such as iron, copper and manganese and oxidize them and causing them to rust. This is preventable if an oxygen therapy includes antioxidant food supplements such as vitamins A, C and E, Grape Seed Extract, alpha lipoic acid, Co Enzyme Q10,Selenium, Zinc, Gluthathione and the likes of them. They are all meant to be present in the diet. A dietary lifestyle change in breast cancer therapy should focus on the restoration of healthy raw diet which produces them abundantly. A raw diet in breast cancer therapy is a serious business. A time table is involved. If the patient's energy can support it, Stanley Burough's LEMONADE DIET is suggested. Thus is not the typical Nigerian carbonhydrate filled diet. Cancer cells love sugar, and they must be denied sugar, unless sugar is going to be used to lure them to their graves. There are some doctors who do this. They give the patient sugar in the cancer cells open up to "drink" the sugar. But this sugar is a "Trojan Horse" food. As they open up happily, the doctor administers drugs which kill these cells. Before they can close their receptors for sugar intake, they have taken in the drugs with the sugar. A raw diet, on the other hand, is a raw diet. In the Lemonade Diet, for example, LIME or LEMON at one tablespoonful is added to capsule of CAYENNE and one tablespoonful of MAPLE SYRUP. The lime or lemon is a reducing agent. The cayenne drives blood circulation and drives the lime or lemon into the cell. The Maple Syrup provides energy. The patient adds one glass of water to this mixture which he drinks three or four times a day for anything from seven days to 28 days, depending on his energy and capacity to fast. Many people worry at first that they will miss food. But they soon learn it is beautiful to give up cooked food, if only for a while. I later modified this diet to fit the needs of some people who adopted it. This reducing diet literally melts all the toxins crystals in the body. When toxins build up, the body turns them into crystals and plugs them into apertures or pores in organs through which fluids flow. If these pores get blocked thereby, organs get stiff. Imagine a stiff joint and arthritis. When the crystals meet, they release toxins into the blood. The liver, kidneys and skin and the bowels are to eliminate them. But, in a cancer situation, these organs are already weakened; perhaps from the toxins menacing the system, antioxidants can be added to the therapy to neutralise them. The time table I often suggest runs on the hour. A herbal drink such as vegetable juice or Lemonade Diet may be taken at 7a.m followed by Water at 8am and another juice drink at 9am and water at 10am. In the London case, the patient shifted from wheatgrass juice, stinging Nettle, Root Juice, Calamus Root juice, Parseley Root Juice, Carrot Root Juice and water by the hour. It is during the water sessions that water soluble vitamins and other food supplements are taken.
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Tel: 08116759749, 08034004247, 07025077303
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
Nigeria awaits WHO report on guinea worm status A I
Mold toxin tied to AIDS epidemic
S Nigeria guinea worm free? The answer will be known in a few days when the World Health Organisation (WHO) releases its report on the country’s guinea worm status following a verification. WHO’s International Certification Team was in Nigeria for two weeks, in June, to verify the Federal Ministry of Health’s report that the country is guinea worm free. After going round the states which normally record cases, the team did not find a single case. It was impressed but Nigeria, which last recorded a guinea worm case in 2008 was put on surveillance. Speaking on the awaited report, the National Coordinator, Nigeria Guinea worm Eradication Programme (NIGEP), Mrs Ifeoma Anagbogu, said: “Nigeria is sure to obtain the certificate because the WHO-certification team was in the country for more than two weeks and went round the states to verify the claim of non-existence of the disease for more than four years as the last case of guinea worm was reported on November 11, 2008. They found none. “The visit of the team is in tandem with the resolve by many organisations, including The Global 2000 programme of the Carter Centre of Emory University, UNICEF, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to help the last five countries in the world Sudan, Ghana, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria to eradicate the disease. Since 1986, when an estimated 3.5 million people were infected annually, the campaign has eliminated much of the disease. The affected countries are aiming to eliminate guinea worm disease as soon as possible. “NIGEP is still encouraging people to search and report cases of guinea worm. They will be rewarded with N25, 000 cash for any confirmed case, while people could also call on a toll-free line: 0800 100 1000. Global eradication effort will make guinea worm the second disease to be eradicated; the first being small pox. The eradication of guinea worm disease campaign began in 1988. “At the inception of the eradication programme in 1988, 653,620 guinea worm cases were identified in 5,879 villages across the country. While it ravaged, guinea worm contributed to rural poverty depressingly affecting agricultural production, incapacitating the affected people and causing school absenteeism in children.” The Assistant National Coordinator of NIGEP and a member of the steering committee on eradication of guinea worm in Nigeria, Mr Babatunde Tokoya, said with concerted effort transmission of the disease has been
A child being treated for guinea worm disease
What is Guinea worm ?
RACUNCULIASIS, more commonly known as Guinea worm disease (GWD), is a preventable infection caused by the parasite Dracunculus medinensis. Infection affects poor communities in remote parts of Nigeria that do not have safe water to drink. How does Guinea worm disease spread? Approximately one year after a person drinks contaminated water, the adult female guinea worm emerges from the skin of the infected person. Persons with worms protruding through the skin may enter sources of drinking water and unwittingly allow the worm to release larvae into the water. These larvae are ingested by microscopic copepods (tiny “water fleas”) that live in these water sources. Persons become infected by drinking water containing the water fleas harboring the Guinea worm larvae.
How widespread is the problem? In 1986, the disease afflicted an estimated 3.5 million people a year in 21 countries in Africa and Asia. Today, thanks to the work of The Carter Center and its partners — including the countries themselves — the incidence of Guinea worm has been reduced by more than 99 per cent. Guinea worm disease incapacitates victims for extended periods of time making them unable to work or grow enough food to feed their families or attend school. How the disease is treated and infection is prevented? There is no known curative medicine or vaccine to prevent Guinea worm disease. Traditional removal of a Guinea worm consists of winding the worm — up to three feet (one metre) long — around a small stick and manually extracting it — a
slow, painful process that often takes weeks. The skin lesions often develop secondary bacterial infections, which exacerbate the suffering and prolong the period of disability. The best way to stop Guinea worm disease is to prevent people from entering sources of drinking water with an active infection and to educate households to always use cloth filters to sieve out tiny water fleas carrying infective larvae. Educating communities about Guinea worm prevention is vital to stopping the spread of the disease. Guinea worm disease is set to become the second human disease in history, after smallpox, to be eradicated. It will be the first parasitic disease to be eradicated and the first disease to be eradicated without the use of a vaccine or medical treatment.
By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha
ported in Nigeria. “From December 2008 till date – 52 months – Nigeria has maintained a zero guinea worm status. Nigeria marked the 2013 National GWD eradication. That was the last enlighten campaign before the visit of the international certification team to the country in June,” he noted. Any country that succeeds in
eradicating guinea worm must receive the WHO certification, making it authentic that such country has truly eradicated the disease. Since 2008, when the last case of the disease was recorded, Nigeria has not received the certification, which implies that the country’s claim to have eradicated guinea worm does not have the WHO backing.”
interrupted and the ailment eliminated. According to Tokoya, 653,620 cases were identified at the inception in 1998 in 5,879 villages across Nigeria, “The last case was reported on November 11, 2008. In 2008, 38 guinea worm cases were re-
1,000 women get free cervical cancer screening
O fewer than 1,000 women have been screened freely for cervical cancer in Lagos. The exercise, which was organised by Providing Early Attention for Cervical Cancer Everywhere (PEACE) Campaign, an initiative of Women of Global Impact (WGI), in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Health, was to reduce cancer burden in the country. The founder, PEACE campaign, Bishop Peace Okonkwo, said the target was to screen
By Wale Adepoju
10,000 women nationwide. She said the disease was decreasing due to more awareness, adding that 5,500 women have been screened in the programme, which is in its 12th series. Mrs Okonkwo said: “Cancer is not a death sentence because people can actually live through it, if it is detected early and treated promptly.” She identified ignorance and fear as the killer of women and not the cancer itself, stressing that
when it is detected early it can be treated. “But most women would wait until it’s fully blown before seeking help. It is God who gave the doctors knowledge to treat the sick, so if their faith can carry it, they should seek medical help without delay,” she said. The programme, she said, has been organised in Festac, Mushin and Egbe/Idimu. Also, Surulere, Dopemu, Ojodu Berger; Obanikoro, all in Lagos State and Ogbunike and Obosi, in Anambra State; Ibadan in Oyo State and
Magboro, Ogun State. Bishop Okonkwo said more than 6,000 people had general check up while 4,000 children were dewormed. PEACE Campaign coordinator, Mrs Oluwayomi Uteh, said there were over 150 volunteers from different fields of medicine working with the team to bring relief to women and children. She said the exercise will take place next month in Ilaro in Ogun State and Akure, Ondo State. “We are taking the screening to the grassroots,” she added.
FLATOXINS — poisons produced by fungi that grow on moldy peanuts and corn — may be worsening Africa’s AIDS epidemic by helping to suppress the immune systems of newly-infected people, a new study has found. The study, by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and published recently in the World Mycotoxin Journal, measured blood levels of aflatoxins and H.I.V. in 314 Ghanaians who had never taken antiviral drugs. The more aflatoxins they had, the more likely they were to have high blood levels of H.I.V. — even those with higher levels of CD4 blood cells, meaning they had not been infected long and were not yet eligible for tripletherapy cocktails under the latest World Health Organisation guidelines. The toxins, produced by aspergillus fungi that grow on damp grains, nuts and beans, are so common as to be almost unavoidable in humid climates, but so dangerous that federal law limits concentrations in food to 20 parts per billion. American peanut-butter makers are always on the watch for them. Ground peanuts are a staple food of West Africa. In high doses, aflatoxins can be deadly. A 2004 outbreak in Kenya killed 125 people; samples of moldy corn had up to 8,000 parts per billion. Regular exposure to low doses can cause liver cancer. The authors suggested that aflatoxins either contribute proteins that help H.I.V. reproduce or somehow lessen the numbers of the white blood cells that the virus targets, making its attack on the immune system more potent. www.nytimes.com
Chevron praised for role against HIV/AIDS
HEVRON Nigeria Limited (CNL) has been praised for its leading role in the fight against HIV/AIDS. At a Special Summit of the African Union on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Abuja, President Goodluck Jonathan praised Chevron’s Social Investment initiatives and the company’s exhibition booth. In attendance were other Presidents, Heads of government and major stakeholders who had gathered to review the status of the commitment made by African governments to invest in the various national responses to HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other Related Infectious Diseases (ORID). In 2008, Chevron invested $30 million (utilised over three years) as the inaugural Corporate Champion of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, a U.S. non-profit established to encourage individuals, corporations and charities to provide support to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. This investment helped to support programs in Angola, Nigeria, South Africa, Thailand and other countries. In addition, Chevron directed a total of $25million between 2011 and 2013 to the Global Fund for the fight against these diseases. The Chairman and Managing Director, Mr Andrew Fawthrop, said the company invests in programmes aimed at improving access to health care to support the countries and communities where it operates.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
Hole in the heart girl, gets N1.5m for surgery
HERE is hope for baby Sumayah Dali, who has a hole in the heart. She has received N1,592,000 from the Monday Ubani Foundation founded by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja Branch chairman, Mr Monday Ubani, to take care of the underpriviledged and the needy. The amount is part of the N2 million she needs for a corrective surgery at Fortis Hospital, Gurgaun, New Delhi, India. Ubani presented the cheque to her parents at the studio of Star FM at Alausa, Ikeja last Friday. Her father Ismail Dali is a refrigerator repairer and the mother, a sewing mistress. The Ubani Foundation is jointly being administered with the radio station. Ubani said the money was donated by Nigerians who listened to the station’s programme. Ubani, who described the gesture as a yearly event, said the Foundation in conjunction with the radio station donated N1.5 million to the victims of the June 3, 2012 Dana Air crash at Iju Ishaga. He said the Foundation
•Baby Dali By Adebisi Onanuga
also donated cash, goods, materials and drugs to Ikorodu flood victims three years ago. Ubani spoke of his plan to touch more lives next year. He said: “A total sum of N1,922,000:00 was raised, out of which N1,592,000:00 was given to Sumayah while the remaining N350,000.00 was shared among other incapacitated Nigerians, many of whom are blind and some others with sundry health issues. Ismail and Zainab said their travail started last year shortly after the birth of their
daughter. The couple had taken Sumayah, who at birth on July 28, 2012, weighed about 3kg, to the Igbogbo Health Centre, Ikorodu, for inoculation 10 days after her birth. The mother said 41 days after, they went back to the health centre when it was noticed that the girl was not growing, adding that as at today the baby weighs less than 3kg far below what a newly born baby would weigh. She said they were referred to the General Hospital, Ijede and later the Paediatric Centre at Agbala, Sabo Ikorodu where series of medication were administered on the baby without any improvement but rather ,“the weight continue to drop” she added. At the General Hospital, Ikorodu, the doctors conducted series of test, gave her oxygen to breath and finally referred her to Gbagada General Hospital to do “Echocardiogram test” which revealed that the baby has a hole in the heart. She said since then they had been running all over the place looking for assistance to save their baby.
•From left; Deputy Director, Safeguard, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) Prof Olukayode Taiwo; Environmental and Safety Officer Mrs. Adenike Oginni; Dr Mike Dibor of Hope Worldwide Nigeria and Aderonke Omorhirhi, Social Safeguard Officer, LAMATA, at a seminar on health, safety and environment for workers and artisans.
Experts warn of rising hepatitis cases
ANY Nigerians are living with liver and heartburn diseases, two major gastrointestinal ailments, an expert, Dr Sylvester Nwokediuko, has said. Nwokediuko, a consultant gastroenterologist, at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu, quoting the World Health Organisation (WHO), said: “Two billion people have the disease globally, 350 million of them have chronic infection of Hepatitis; close to 20 million of them have chronic Hepatitis B in Nigeria.” He spoke at the sixth scientific conference and annual general meeting (AGM) of the Society for Gastroenterology and Hepatology of Nigeria (SOGHIN). It was organised in partnership with Reckitt Benckiser with the theme The Burden of gastrointestinal and liver diseases in Nigeria. He said: “From this figure we found those who develop liver cirrhosis and liver cancer, which are dangerous diseases that make patients present late.”
By Wale Adepoju
Nwokediuko identified diabetes, abuse of drugs and alcohol as factors that can injure the liver. He said there is vaccine for the prevention of Hepatitis B, which is included in the government’s immunisation prgramme. “But Nigerians cannot readily access this. Parents should make effort to get their child immunised.” he said. He said most people contracted Hepatitis B at a very young age. “This can be from mother to child or among children at home or in school. “The virus is transmitted through blood or blood products, especially when someone receives unscreened blood during transfusion or during surgery. It may also be as a result of contaminated syringe,” Nwokediuko said. He said treating Hepatis B is expensive as it runs for about a year. “And the cost of curing a patient may run into N2 million. He urged the Federal Gov-
ernment to subsidise the cost of treatment so that it can be accessible and affordable to the poor. Professor in Gastroenterology at Ege University School of Medicine, Bornova, Izmir, Turkey, Serhat Bor said one in five people in his community has GERD. He urged the Federal Government, “to train more gastroenterologists to quash the disease, which is responsible for chronic cough and nausea. “I think Nigeria has about 60 gastroenterologists but Turkey with a population of about 76 million has over 1,000 of them. I will recommend that Nigeria have at least 2,000 gastroenterologists.” Bor said there was need for government to also provide more endoscopic centres, diagnostic laboratories and sophisticated equipment to tackle gastrointestinal diseases. He identified obesity and lifestyle such as consumption of alcohol, especially alcoholic drinks, ingestion of analgestics or brittle bone diseases’ (osteoporosis) drugs and smoking as risk factors.
•From left: Chairman, Pfizer Cardiovascular Scientific Advisory Board Prof Oladipo Akinkugbe; guest speaker and Professor of Medicine and Chief of Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, University of Tennessee Health Service Centre, Memphis, TN, U.S. Prof. Samuel Dagogo-Jack and Country Manager, Pfizer Nigeria and East Africa, Mr. Carl Engleman, at the sixth edition of the Cardiovascular Summit organised by Pfizer Nigeria and East Africa (NEAR) in Lagos.
Wild polio virus prevalent in Nigeria, say pharmacists
IGERIA is the biggest exporter of wild oral polio virus in the world, President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) Olumide Akintayo has said. Akintayo, spoke with reporters in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, said in other climes 80 per cent of immunisation endeavours were conducted within the confines of community pharmacists. The community pharmacist, he said was the first port of call where people access health care. Akintayo said: “The virus
From left: Trade Marketing Manager, Reckitt Benckiser, Abimbola Olanrewaju, Bor and Nwokediuko at the event.
From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
accounts for 40 per cent of child and maternal mortality in Nigeria and India. Why? Because government is shortchanging pharmacists and other cadres of health care providers who have the expertise that can help reduce the trend.” The PSN president said: “Today, one out of 100 children less than one die. Less than three weeks ago they still identified three new episodes of wild polio virus in Nigeria.” On president Goodluck Jonathan’s war against fake and counterfeit drugs, the pharmacist said: “Nothing has changed. The status quo ante is maintained. Government must work its talk. It is no use setting up regulatory agencies that are not well funded to carry out their mandate. “The problem of drug faking has assumed a large dimension in this land. I have been saying this that there are security dimensions to curbing the menace. “There are less than 4,000 registered pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers including patent medicine drug sellers. But I can confirm that we have over two million different layers who sell drugs.” He attributed the Nigerian sordid health care delivery to the relegation of pharmacists and other health professionals
to the backburner of things. He said: “So what we have at all levels of health planning and designing in this country is that the government reckons with the input of only one profession and the result is what we are all contending with. “We live in a country where the constitution says you shall not legislate against privileges that can be enjoyed by any citizen of Nigeria. What is being done is outright discrimination against privileges meant for the Nigerian citizens. “If President Jonathan wants to begin to solve the problems in health care, the time is now to take stock and find out why did Ali Pate resign? He was frustrated by the bureaucracy of that ministry. Our people will continue to suffer except our government is bold enough to do the right thing. “Pharmacists are not in any form of popularity contest with doctors. I do know that constitutional imperatives are very clear. There are conditions precedent in the 1999 Constitution for you to be a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “It is not my business if anybody appoints a doctor as his minister, all we are saying here is that government needs to be very careful in the way it runs health care endeavours. The health sector is a peculiar one. It is a multi-disciplinary sector. There is an array of various health care providers.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
e-Business E-mail:- firstname.lastname@example.org
Subscribers go through a lot in operators’ hands. Rather than be seen as kings of customers, they are poorly treated. For long, they have suffered in silence over the poor Internet and other data services provided by operators.They do not get the required speed from the service nor enjoy the full value of the package. But when subscribers complain, it is only about poor voice services. LUCAS AJANAKU reports.
Subscribers’ Internet services blues
HE coming of the internet turned the world into a global village. In realisation of this fact, Chief Executive Officer, SO4 Engineering, Soji Oluwasuyi, designs his works and sends to his clients in Port Harcourt, Bayelsa, Abuja and other parts of the country through the internet. He does this at a cybercafe in his neighbourhood until he was embarrassed by security men who claimed they were looking for advance fee fraudsters in the cybercafe. He promptly bought a modem valued at N4999 from one of the service providers and signed onto a data bundle plan of N6,000 monthly. “I needed to send a drawing to a client in Abuja. I tried several times to send the material but it was fruitless. I called my service provider to complain but was assured that my problem would be solved. The problem lingered for three days until I was forced to explore the cybercafe option in the adjoining street,” he said. Muyiwa, a Lagos based journalist has a similar story to tell. Muyiwa, who subscribers to the only surviving code division multpile access (CDMA) operator in the country, was upbeat when he got the modem. He was encouraged to buy the modem because his colleagues in the office had vouched for the integrity of the service provider. “I got the modem. Initially it was working but suddenly, its services went down. I was using the modem of one of the GSM operators. The problem I had with the GSM was that network can only be assessed in my office. And I like to work as much as I could from home but there is usually no network service in my area. So, my colleagues recommended this to me, I bought it only to get my fingers burnt,” he lamented. Oluwasuyi and Muyiwa are but few of several data subscribers in the country who subscribe to data plans, pay from their nostrils but never get the speed and bandwidth promised by the service providers. When there is outage due to no cause of the subscribers, they are usually not compensated for the downtime. Again, when subscribers take up bundle plans and buy a particular number of megabytes (megs) but due to low usage, they were not able to exhaust the meg, such megs are rarely rolled over when the subscribers renew the contract at the end of the contract terms. However, when a subscriber uses up the megs purchased, the operator does not blink an eye lid before snaping its services. President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS), Deolu Ogunbanjo, lamented the exploitative situation, adding that in an ideal setting, people should not pay for services not rendered. “It is worriosme. Unfortunately, between 80 and 90 per cent of complaints is for voice calls. Twelve years after the telecoms revolution, focus is still on voice clarity but because less than 20 per cent of subscribers actually get dongles, attention has not been on the quality of data services. From our findings, only one of out every ten complaints is about data services. Again, many subscribers now prefer phones that are internet-enabled, regardless of whether they are literate or not. “But it is worrisome because when you now complain, the operators will tell you that a committee has been set up on the implementation of the national broadband policy of the Federal Government. They will enjoin the subscriber to wait and things would get better,” he said. He said the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) should compel the operators to create a special icon on their website so that complaints could be lodged there. “NCC should encourage operators to put proper consumer management in place. It should not take an operator up to 24 hours to address subscriber’s complain but it takes weeks in the country,” he
said. Telecoms operators agree that subscribers should not pay for services not rendered. President of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, said: “Subscribers should not be charged for unsused data subscription period.
Charges should be based on actual consumption and not expiry dates. However, subscribers should pay attention to the details of the subscription that they make. Some of those details are stated in terms which most people either don’t read or do not understand if they read.”
‘Subscribers should not be charged for unsused data subscription period. Charges should be based on actual consumption and not expiry dates. However, subscribers should pay attention to the details of the subscription that they make’ - ALTON
‘Unfortunately, between 80 and 90 per cent of complaints is for voice calls. Twelve years after the telecoms revolution, focus is still on voice clarity but because less than 20 per cent of subscribers actually get dongles, attention has not been on the quality of data services. -NATCOMS
The Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) said the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) is another window of opportunity opened to the subscribers to ditch an ineffiecient operator. President of the group, Lanre Ajayi, agreed that subscribers have been having issues with the data services which have not been addressed. “The good thing is that there is MNP. The only limiting factor could be the terminal head of the dongle but what is common now are dongles with generic terminal. That means the only thing to change is the SIM card. Competition will enthrone quality service delivery,” he said. He advised subscribers to always read the terms of contract before siging it. According to him, it is not wise for a subscriber to agree to a term that allows him/her to forfeit his unused megabyte. “Then the NCC must keep deepening the competition space for the subscribers,” he said. President, Nigeria Internet Group (NIG), Bayo Banjo, said unless the Federal Government steps in, subscribers will continue to graon. According to him, the cost of bandwidth is too high and only the rich can afford it. “The cost of badwidth is too expensive. Bandwidth is technically free but the cost of transportation. The Federal Government should subsidise the cost of bandwidth. It could use its amortised cable, SAT 3 or NigComSat to crash the high cost of bandwidth in the country,” he said, adding that in South Korea, internet is free except in homes. “What the companies are doing is that they are sharing. Service will remain bad because the average Nigerian cannot afford the cost of bandwidth. That is the cause. Government should subsidise bandwidth so that when the customer base becomes large, there will be economies of scale. MainOne has promised that if it attains certain level of volume, it would bring the cost of one meg to $25 per month which translates to N3000 for one meg. The firm needs that volume, so what people are doing now, if you look at Mobitel, Spectranet, they are giving you one meg at 10,000 per month but in truth, it is really not one meg they are giving. That explains why you have the slow speed,” he said. An operator, who craved anonymity, said the harsh operating environment has added to the woes of the telecoms sector. According to him, cables are wilfully vandalised by people who feel they could make money out of the copper which is not there. He said businesses have to pay for two optic fibre cables (OFCs) so that they could have redundant capacities, adding that in most cases, the two cables get vandalised. “At Saka Tinubu, OFCs were damaged due to ongoing road construction. Services would naturally be disrupted. The cost of energy is another crushing cost. We spend heavily on running generators. The Federal Government continues to make empty promises about the power sector. So, it is really challenging doing business in Nigeria,” he said. MyBrodaband defined the internet as the worldwide interconnection of individual networks operated by government, industry, academia, and private parties. Originally, the Internet served to interconnect laboratories engaged in government research, and since 1994 it has been expanded to serve millions of users and a multitude of purposes in all parts of the world.
‘ The cost of energy is another crushing cost. We spend heavily on running generators. The Federal Government continues to make empty promises about the power sector. So, it is really challenging doing business in Nigeria’ - Operator
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15 , 2013
Experts warn Fed Govt against outsourcing national security
HE Federal Government has been cautioned against contracting national security to foreigners. Information Communication Technology (ICT) experts said to do so would be counter-productive as no foreigner could love Nigeria more than Nigerians. A specialist in Secure Information Flow, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom (UK), Dr. Adedayo Adetoye, lamented that Nigeria has become used to awarding national security projects to international companies, he said, issues relating to national security should be taken away from foreign companies, especially when there are competent indigenous firms to do the job.
Stories by Lucas Ajanaku
“We have a culture of awarding national projects to foreign companies. National security cannot be outsourced (and) only vetted indigenes can be allowed to operate this (as is done everywhere in the world). We urgently need to start developing our national cyber security capability. Otherwise we will be at a grave disadvantage against other nation states,” he said. President, Nigeria Internet Group (NIG), Bayo Banjo, said farming out the surveillance of the country’s cyber space to a foreign company is absolutely unpatriotic. Banjo who is also the former vice president of Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), lamented that the Federal Government’s decision was
unncessary because there were qualified Nigerians to do the job. He spoke in Lagos while Adetoye spoke in Iloko, Ijesha, Osun State, venue of the just-concluded International Conference of the Nigerian Computer Society (NCS) on Resolving & Managing Regional and Global Conflicts: The Role of Information Technology. Adetoye said the nature of conflict has become increasingly non-conventional and ‘assymetric’ with state rising against non-state and proxies such as Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, Hezbollah and others. According to him, it has also assumed the conventional military intervention against insurgency such as is happening in Iraq, Afghanistan and other parts of the world while some states have risen against their citizens as is happen-
ing in Tunisia and Egypt. He identified threat drivers to include ‘global population pressures and changing demographics, limited energy and other resources, failed and failing states, ideology and identity, perceived inequality, poverty and illiteracy, easier global access to (mis)information, connectivity and interdependency. Speaking on the role of technology, he said technology cannot resolve conflicts, arguing that solution will often be solved on the political turf. “Technology can be used to predict, exacerbate, enable, or dampen conflicts. It could help gather intelligence by law enforcement officers and counter terrorists’ activities and detect previously unknown valid patterns in large data sets in the area of money transfers, com-
munications, travel, immigration and mobile communication records, social media,” he said. He added that IT could also facilitate the identification of terrorist activities, predict and detect fraud and crime, track terrorists, help in redictive policing and dentify threats to national security. He urged the government to develop a legal framework for checks and balances, take advantage of local expertise and in diaspora to formulate our national security strategy, adding that there was for government to engage the cademia and groups such as NCS to move the nation forward. “Academics and professional bodies need to start training a crop of students to positions for this crucial national need,” he said.
Glo introduces youth-friendly package
LOBACOM has launched ‘Glo bounce’, a new package targeted at empowering youths in tertiary institutions across the country. It explained that it is one of the programmes slated for the celebration of its 10 th year anniversary. The new package which has been designed to fit into the lifestyle use of the teeming Nigerian youths offers unlimited access to the internet and affordable call rates both to Glo lines and other networks. The ‘Glo bounce’ package offers
By Temitayo Ayetoto
5kobo per secs, an equivalent of #3 per minutes call rates for Glo to Glo network, 12kobo per secs flat rate to other networks, free 30megabytes as a bonus for every recharge of 200 and above, free night calls from 12a.m. to 5a.m., unlimited free SMS on each SMS you send coupled with free ring back tune for a month.*170*4# and *170*9# are codes to migrate to Glo bounce and campus zone rate respectively.
ASUS commits 3% of revenue to R&D
AIWANESE original equipment manufacturer (OEM), ASUS, said it commits about three per cent of its annual revenue to research and development (R&D) with a view to maintaining its leadership position in the industry. CEO of the firm, Jerry Shen, said the firm is preoccupied with churning out products that are unique and have traansformed the personal computer (PC) industry. “Everyone at ASUS is fully dedicated to design thinking, and we will maintain our search for the incredible as we continue to bring endless possibilities to customers
worldwide,” he said in a statement. According to him, the firm is a worldwide top-three consumer notebook vendor and maker of the world’s best-selling motherboards. He listed some of its products to include the Eee PC which later gave way to the netbook product category, that was at a time rivals felt the innovation was a cheap toy. “The first batch that hit the Taiwanese stores was sold in 30 minutes. The Eee PC went on to become the “most wanted Christmas gift,” it added. This innovation led to virtually every PC vendor – except Apple –to start making their own version of the Eee PC.
Firm unveils 3D printing machine
N indigenous integrated information technology firm, Multinational Concepts Limited, has unveiled a 3 D printing machine which it said will make going to South Africa and other parts of the world to print, a waste of time. Speaking at the unveiling of the machine in Lagos, Chairman/Chief Executive Oficer of the firm, Andrew Esuabanga, said the machine could save up to 60 per cent of production cost because it will block the waste occasioned by preparing make ready.
According to him, the machine replaces digital press which could not manage colours. He said the machine could print variable data in bulk while all the prints could be customised. “This is the newest priniting technology in West Africa. It is a heavy duty digital press that will change the game of printing in the country, it will reduce cost and add value to the quality of cutomers’ works. Nigerians should stop going to South Africa and other counries to print. We can do it here,” he said.
Samsung Galaxy S4: Unique but…
HE new Samsung Galaxy S4 contains certain features that naturally endears it to the user. One of such is Snap and Shot feature which allow users to capture prizeless moments. Another fascinating feature is the Dual Shot, which ensures users never miss out on a group photo again. The frontal camera automatically takes a shot of the person snapping a group photograph such that his/her stampsize photo can be subsequently superimposed into the group shot. known as Life Companion, GS4 peeps into the future and furnishes consumers with feature constantly imagined would make for a more fulfilling mobile experience. The S Translator features ease travellers’ worries by translating languages into English, rendering the pocket-size dictionary superfluous on trips. The S Pause feature is another unique function of the device. It automatically pauses whatever the user may be watch-
ing once eyes are off the screen. So if a user falls asleep while watching a movie or suffer any other form of distraction, the S Pause halts the video and readies it for playing once eyes are back on the screen. In design, the Galaxy S4 is similar to that of the S3 at first glance. But on further inspection, the differences are quite glaring. First, the S4 is noticeably slimmer than its predecessor, despite its 5-inch screen. Its AMOLED screen allows for rich colours and razor sharp images with a resolution of 1080x1920 pixels, giving room for high definition videos on the device. In applications, the S Health app tracks user’s steps, calories, sleep, and even diet, thereby monitoring and managing one’s heart rate. It has a standard 24-month warranty extended to cover accidental damage to the device by the user, the user is surely in for a big buy. This includes two screens and two water damages.
•From left: Juwah and Mba during the visit
NCC, NBC to collaborate on digital broadcasting
HE Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) have pledged to work together to realise the 2015 deadline set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to complete migration from analogue to digital broadcasting. They also resolved to explore ways of resolving issues that have to do with frequency allocation before such issues get escalated to the attention of the Frequency Management Council (FMC), a body which both bodies belong. This move, they say, will enable them to deliver the dividends of modern technology to the Nigerian people. The agencies reached agreement when NBC’s Director General, Emeka Mba, visited NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman Eugene Juwah, in Abuja. Congratulating Mba on his appointment, Juwah said: “We – NCC and NBC – have always been sister regulators and our roles will become more intertwined because of development in technology. These days it’s either you broad-
cast through the internet or through the other traditional channels that we were used to.’’ He noted that the importance of the regulatory responsibilities of the two agencies makes it overriding for them to always look for avenues of cooperation so that important issues can be resolved before being escalated to platforms like the, which they both belong to. Juwah said it was important for the two bodies to work towards achieving the transition timeline which he said the country was running out of time to achieve. “It is not a question of fighting for turf but to do things properly so that people can know that we are working well in Nigeria for the good of those who need our services,’’ Juwah was quoted as saying in a statement. Mba agreed with Juwah that technology was shrinking the two agencies into one, adding that the development has made it more imperative that they synergise.
Mba said: “We have to find ways to work together for the benefits of the Nigerian consumers. There is the need to work together, not just work together but to build more respect for one another, and develop stronger relationship. Because more and more, as we go forward with digitisation and what this new ecosystem will bring for the sector, you will find telcos who want to be broadcasters and broadcasters who want to be telecos. The two agencies share very unique responsibilities together. While we deal with content, programming in the broadcast sector, you will agree that technology is muddling the differences, bringing the two industries together.’’ Mba also noted that as the country pursues the digitisation process, it has become more expedient for the two agencies to create stronger bonds so as to overcome every hurdle on the way, stressing that the future of the two industries will not be about frequency but about quality service to the consumers.
African women least in global internet usage
EW women in developing countries use internet compared to their male counterparts, latest statistics from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has shown. On regional basis, the report showed that Africa recorded 140 million users while Arab States recorded 141 million users. Asia & Pacific has 1,269 million users; Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)-145 million users. The Americas has the highest with 585 million users while Europe re-
corded 467 million users. “The increase in the number of mobile cell phones in the world has been impressive. The 6.8 billion subscribers are approaching the 7.1 billion world population,” ITU noted, adding that it is an extra-ordinary growth. According to ITU, globally, more men use internet than women with 37 per cent of women globally connecting online, compared with 41 per cent of men. It shows that “in the developing world, there are 826 million
women (29 per cent) compared to 980 million men (33 per cent). This represents 154 million more men than women using the Internet. In the developed countries the gender divide among Internet users is small: 475 million female users and 483 million male users (74 per cent against 80 per cent). The global telecommunication body is however optimistic that as time advances, more people would have a mobile phone in the world average penetration rate currently stands at 96.2 per cent.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
Chimamanda leads writers to literary evening NIGERIA’S celebrated international writer Chimamanda Adichie will on Friday lead a team of international literary writers to this year’s Literary Evening. The event, which holds at the Lagos Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, will bring to a close 10 days of tutorials for creative writers. The evening will be spiced up with a performance by KCee of the Limpopo fame. Other writers expected include Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina, who won the Caine Prize for his short story ‘Discovering Home’ in 2002; Aslak Sira Myhre, the director for the House of Literature in Oslo and Eghosa Imasuen, a Nigerian writer and medical doctor and author of ‘Fine Boys’.
Multinational gets partner in Nigeria By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie
A MULTINATIONAL company, Fotile Kitchen Ware Company Limited, has appointed QMB Builders’ Mart as its partner in Nigeria. With this, QMB Builders’ Mart now has the franchise to market and distribute the kitchen appliances manufactured by Fotile Kitchen Ware Company Limited. Chief Executive Officer of QMB Builders’ Mart, Mrs. Toro Biobaku, said: “At the point of disengagement, the former supplier assessed all its distributors in terms of organisation, credibility, sales record and future plans to get the company that can best represent them nationwide. After looking at everything, vis a vis the potential of the product, who has the right value, then he approached us to take over from him. FOTILE has now signed an exclusive franchise with us this year.” Some of the kitchen appliances include, hardware like kitchenhood for extraction of oil and smoke; burners, microwave, oven, sterilisers, hotplates, among others. “These appliances are suitable for our style of cooking with oil and fries. They are better than the Euro-American appliances that are not suited for our way of cooking. The hood, for instance has two types. There is one that is selfrecycling and does not require drilling of the wall to install. It has a special auto filter that separates oil from smoke and processes the air/ odour and releases clean air. After about three to four months, you can take out the filter, wash and return it to the hood. They come in different sizes. They are suitable for residential buildings. The second type of hood is the traditional type that requires the drilling of a hole in the wall.”
How Ombatse killed my seven-year-old son, by witness
HE Commission of Enquiry probing the killing of security personnel in Nasarawa State was on Tuesday told how members of the Ombatse group allegedly killed a seven-year-old boy. A witness, who was called by the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Socio-Cultural Association, Alhaji Sule Mohammed Lawal, spoke on the incident when he was led in evidence by the association’s counsel, Abubakar Abubakar Dogara. Lawal said the attack took place around 1am in January at his home at Ruwan Doma in Kokona Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. The 40-year-old witness said he passed out after receiving severe machete cuts on his head, hands, legs and back, allegedly from Ombatse members. Lawal, who spoke through the panel’s interpreter, said he regained consciousness in the hospital at Keffi the next day. He said only one of his three sons and his wives escaped the attack while the other received machete cuts. The herdsman said 45 of his cows were also killed by the invaders. Lawal said: “I was lying down inside my house in Ruwan Doma at Bassa in Agwada Development Area when a boy raised my mosquito net around 1am. The boy’s name is Maye; he is from the Eggon tribe. I asked him: ‘Why are you here at this time?’ He ran away. “I recognised Maye because I was not asleep when he raised
Nigerian Society for the Blind holds White Cane Day Sunday
From Sanni Onogu, Abuja
my sleeping mosquito net. I then stood up and ran towards my cows. When I got there, I saw people killing my cows with machetes. I ran back to the house and woke my wives and told them to run for their safety. “I then took my three male children on my motorcycle and attempted to move but Maye and the other boys stopped me. “Then I asked Maye: ‘Are you with them too?’ They started cutting me with their machetes and I fell down. They cut my head, hands, legs and all over my body. “One of my children, Salihu, was killed on the spot. He was seven years old. His brother, Saleh, who is 10 years old, was also cut in several places.” The witness became overwhelmed with emotions inside the witness box as he presented Saleh to the commission for identification. Both Lawal and Saleh removed their clothes and showed their scars to the panel members. Saleh had a deep horizontal scar on his right cheek and his right hand was twisted. Besides Lawal, other people at the panel shed tears. Lawal added: “I was taken to a hospital in Keffi, where I regained consciousness the next day. “It was my neighbours from Bassa who buried my son. I did not see his body. My wives and one of my sons escaped the attack. I also lost 45 cows to the attackers.”
•Saleh at the panel in Lafia..
Another witness, Saleh Wakili, told the panel yesterday how the Ombatse group allegedly arrested and killed five of his cousins. Wakili, a Fulani herdsman, said: “They first arrested my cousin and tied him to the tree. Later, they arrested four of my cousins. When they came towards me, I drew my machete. They cleared the way for me, and I ran away. “When an Inspector of Police from Barkin Abdullahi (BAD) police outpost accompanied me to the spot of the
PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE
incident, we saw that they had slaughtered my cousins, moved the bodies into the bush and covered them with straws and grasses. “We brought the bodies to the Specialist Hospital in Lafia. They were later released to us for burial.” Governor Tanko al-Makura constituted the panel following the killing of over 50 policemen and operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) in an ambush allegedly by members of the Ombatse Group in Lakyo village, on May 7.
‘Teachers need technology for growth’
Chairman, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG MAN) Chief Bunim Olaopa (right) presenting an Award of Exellence to the DirectorGeneral, National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Dr. Paul Orhii for his contribution to the growth of the pharmaceutical industries at the PMGMAN Recognition Day in Lagos.
PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS
‘Let prisoners vote for their leaders’
NON Governmental Organisation, Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) has filed a suit seeking to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow prisoners vote during elections. A statement in Abuja by the National Coordinator of LEDAP, Chino Obiagwu, called for the registration of every Nigerian prisoner above the age of 18, adding that they have the right to vote and to participate freely in the government of Nigeria. LEDAP filed a suit at the Federal High Court Abuja, pursuant to Section 14 (2) (c) of the Constitution, Section 12 (1) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and Article 13 of the African charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. LEDAP further seeks an order of the court to compel INEC to register the names of all prisoners in Nigeria in the voters’ register. The suit also urges INEC to set up voting units in all prisons and detention centres, provide polling centers and facilities to enable registered prisoners to vote in 2015 and in subsequent elections.
HE Nigerian Society for the Blind will hold the eighth edition of its White Cane Day and public enlightenment programme on Sunday. Its Chairperson, Mrs Biola Abgaje, said: “Our White Cane Day is an annual charity and public enlightenment programme. It is a platform where we raise funds for the training and rehabilitation of the visually-impaired in our society. This is a task we have successfully carried out in the last 58 years. It is also to draw the attention of the public to the plight of the blind and the partially-sighted in our society so that everyone can lend a helping hand.” She said some people do not assist the visually-challenged, adding that such people tend to treat them as unwanted persons. The society’s chairperson noted that in other countries, people know their responsibility to the blind, because of media enlightenment. Mrs Agbaje said the White Cane is a universal symbol for the visually-challenged people, adding: “It’s our responsibility to lend a helping hand in crossing the road, warning them of obstacles or dangers ahead, assisting in getting in and out of public transportation. The list of support needed from the public is endless.” She thanked public-spirited individuals, companies and government parastatals for supporting the society over the years. “The Babatunde Fashola administration (in Lagos State) has been a great contributor to the development and growth of the society.” Mrs Agbaje sought more government support for the society’s events.
From Frank Ikpefan, Abuja
The case is before Justice Abdu Kafarati of Court 2, and is adjourned till October for hearing. The statement reads: “LEDAP is passionate about the cause of prisoners because they seem to be one of the most marginalised groups in Nigeria. “LEDAP’s insistence on their right to vote is premised on the fact that the policies and laws made by elected leaders and government affect their daily lives and there is no constitutional/other legislative restriction prohibiting them from voting; yet no effort has been made by the government/ INEC to avail them their right to vote. “LEDAP is glad that it is no longer a lone voice in this cause; commends Prof. Odinkalu and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for the courage to speak up and call upon other public right defenders to do same. LEDAP wishes to state categorically that it firmly stood for and on ‘Prisoners’ Right to Vote! Let them vote.”
IGERIA needs to continue training its teachers in new frontiers of science and mathematics to provide intellectual capacity for the nation’s growth, the Director-General of the National Teachers’ Institute (NTI), Ladan Sharehu, has said. Sharehu spoke in Kaduna after a workshop on: Strengthening Mathematics and Science Education (SMASE). He said: “No nation can progress and develop without science and technology. The basis is to adequately train teachers of science and mathematics to improve their capacity and make them better.” The NTI chief urged teachers to make their state governments “understand why you need to continue going to school and improve your capacity”. According to him, an effective teacher education programme can address issues and the concerns of the society. Sharehu, however, regretted that achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015 might be difficult. He said the new curriculum for teacher education, which was developed by the National Commission for Colleges of Education, would address teachers’ sundry concerns.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
Suswam to declare for Benue Northeast senatorial seat
Death toll in Niger road crash hits 30
HE Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NISEMA) has said the death toll in the petrol tanker crash at Birnin Maza village in Lapai Local Government Area of the state Niger has risen to 30, from the eight reported last Friday. The Special Adviser to the Governor on Emergency Matters and the Officer-inCharge of the agency, Alhaji Mohammed Shaba said additional 22 people, including some villagers and some injured victims, have died. Two Toyota commuter buses ran into the petrol tanker, which fell at the village, near Lapai, because of the bad portions of the Lapai-Lambatta-Abuja Road. The crash caused a fire that led to the initial death of eight
From Jide Orintunsin, Minna
people. Several others, including villagers who were scooping fuel from the tanker, were burnt to death. Shaba said the agency learnt that the death toll had increased. He said: “We later learnt that 12 other villagers were also killed by the inferno and were buried by the villagers. Five other burnt bodies of the villagers were also discovered after the tanker was lifted by a heavy crane deployed to clear the road. This increased the death toll to 25 by Monday evening. “The latest information that reached us was that five other injured persons had died at General Hospital Minna,
Federal Medical Centre, Bida, and Ahmadu Bello Teaching Hospital, Zaria, from various degrees of injury. This pushed the death toll to 30, as at today (Wednesday).” The agency chief blamed the rise in the death toll to greed among some villagers, who he said were scooping fuel from the tanker when it went on flames. Shaba said: “We have been advising our people to stop scooping fuel from fallen tankers, because of the danger in such illegal act. “Several Nigerians have died in such incidents across the country.” The agency chief said NISEMA would settle the hospital bills of those receiving treatment in the three hospitals. He promised that the agen-
cy would make a case to the government to present some relief to the families of the deceased persons. The governor’s aide urged the Federal Government to rehabilitate the Abuja-Lambatta-Lapai-Bida-Mokwa Road. He said: “At the moment, the road is a death trap for commuters. Auto accidents are common, just like the rate of armed robbery has reached an alarming level on the road.” Shaba advised drivers plying the road to be cautious on the road to save the lives of their passengers and their own. Most of the victims were given a mass burial near the scene of the accident, after consultation with the Emir of Lapai, Alhaji Umar Bago.
Boko Haram killings: JNI seeks blockade of small arms
HE umbrella Muslim body in the North, the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), yesterday urged the Federal Government to curtail the spread of small arms and light weapons in the country. It said this would end terrorist attacks in parts of the country. The JNI gave the suggestion in its reaction to the killings in Bama, Malam Fatori and Konduga, near Maiduguri, the Borno State capital. Several people were killed in the attacks. The group called for investigations to end similar terror attacks on innocent people. In a statement by its Secretary-General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu Aliyu, the Muslim body restated its call for the restoration of the Global System of Mobile communi-
attack is utterly condemnable in its entirety, especially considering that over 50 persons were killed and the sacred month of Ramadan had just ended! “As with previous cases, the sporadic gun shots that ensued after the attacks and the burning of houses were worrisome; they call for immediate investigation that must bring an end to these repeated acts of terror on innocent souls. “We are indeed perplexed that with the state of emergency currently in place at Borno State and with the visible security checkpoints at every nook and cranny of the state, it is hardly believable that such dastardly acts could still occur unabated. Hence, the JNI is seriously perturbed by it and calls for a curtailment to the proliferation of small arms. “In as much as there is need
for restraint and caution on the part of security men in the affected areas, we are interested in knowing how the perpetrators gained access to the cordoned areas with such explosives and guns. Who were they? Why were they not prevented or arrested? What were the motives behind such repeated orchestrated heinous acts? Indeed, there is much more than meets the eye! “In the light of the above, we call on governments at all levels to ...stop these evil acts of unleashing terror on innocent and peace-loving souls by restoring law and order. “Above all, the restoration of use of GSM in Borno State should be a topmost priority. This is to facilitate security alert in situations where insecurity has wrecked unprecedented havoc against innocent citizens...”
Offa rerun: PDP, KWASIEC plan to destabilise FORMER Chairman of KWASIEC is showing disreOffa Local Governcouncil, says ex-chair spect to the law establishing ment Area of Kwara
State, Prince Saheed Popoola, yesterday dismissed the August 31 date announced by the State Independent Electoral Commission (KWASIEC) for the rerun in the local government. He described the date as illegal and a plot to destabilise the council. Popoola, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), noted that the KWASIEC Law prescribes a notice of 150 days must be given before a council election could be held. In a statement yesterday, the former council chairman wondered why KWASIEC was violating the law, when his election was nullified in February the commission did give adequate notice. He said KWASIEC violats
From Tony Akowe, Kaduna
cation (GSM) services in Borno State. It noted that this would enable the residents to alert security agencies in case of security breaches or emergencies. The statement reads: “...The Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), under the leadership of Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, JNI, received with consternation the senseless killings that occurred at police and military formations in Bama, Malam Fatori, Borno State, which were climaxed with senseless killings of innocent worshippers during early dawn prayers at a mosque in Konduga village, some kilometres from Maiduguri, Borno State. “The barbaric, callous, obscure and incomprehensible
•‘18 days’ notice for another legal tango
the law, it showed that the PDP leadership in Kwara State plan “to perpetually make Offa unstable because it has been an unyielding stronghold of the opposition”. The statement reads: “This is to alert the world to the illegality the KWASIEC, obviously acting in connivance with the PDP leadership in Kwara State, wishes to perpetrate in Offa Local Government just to impose a PDP government on the council. “In a widely circulated press statement on Monday, we stated that the PDP had concluded plans to railroad the KWASIEC into holding a fresh election into Offa LG any moment from now – that, in
purported fulfilment of the court judgment which had since February called for a rerun. “Because we knew the evil plots by the PDP we had drawn the attention of KWASIEC and the party to the provisions of the KWASIEC Law, which provide for 150 days notice before an election is conducted. And for abundance of caution, we reminded them that this cannot be retroactive; that is, they cannot start counting from February. Rather than respect the law, KWASIEC, true to our expose, addressed a press briefing on Tuesday to announce that election into the council will hold on August 31. “This suggests that
From Tony Akowe, Kaduna
eratives, especially the antibomb unit of the military were dispatched to the scene. “They were able to open the box and confirmed that it was a box containing the personal effects of someone on his way to the market and the vehicle he boarded mistakenly dropped the box and people started panicking. “The immediate response of the government and the security agents to the incident
it, and may well be acting a script. The consequence is clear: we will challenge this in the law court. Indeed, it is our suspicion that the leadership of the PDP in Kwara and KWASIEC are bent on destabilising Offa, which has been a pain in their neck. This flows from the fact that the only reason the court nullified the last local government election was primarily because of insufficient notification! “So, whose interest is KWASIEC serving by going the same route? Having said, the people of Offa will always vote to keep their independence and dignity. They will, any day, say a big no to membership of a rapacious anti-development political dynasty, which sees Kwara as a family estate.”
Kaduna douses bomb scare tension
HE Kaduna State Government yesterday doused the tension in the Kaduna metropolis following a bomb threat near the State Office of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). The incident caused a scare within the metropolis. The Director-General to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Ahmed Maiyaki, told reporters that security agents
were mobilised to the scene to ensure the security of life and property. He said: “This afternoon (yesterday), rumour went round about a bomb in a box. This turned out to be false. As a state, since the inception of the present administration, we have taken security very seriously. So, immediately the story came, security op-
is a clear indication of how prepared the government is towards addressing issues of security challenges in the state because the leadership in Kaduna State has placed high priority on security. “It also shows how prepared the security agents are in responding and addressing issues of security affecting the people of Kaduna state as well as responding the issues of terror”.
From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi
ENUE State Governor Gabriel Suswam may this weekend declare for the Benue North East senatorial seat in Katsina Ala, the senatorial headquarters of Zone A. Suswam’s planned declaration, it was learnt, is not unconnected with the recent Kwande Day declaration by Kwande United Progressive Organisation (KWUPO), on August 10. Kwande, a group among the Tiv, is seeking the senatorial seat to be for one of its members. Suswam has shown he is interested in the seat, he has not declared his ambition publicly. He seems to have been testing the waters through
his foot-soldiers under the aegis of the Zone A Solidarity Movement for Suswam 2015, headed by Ayom Mar. During the Kwande Day celebration last weekend, KWUPO President Dr Tarkula Tarnande argued that although his area was giving up on the governorship for fairness and equity, it would pursue the senatorial seat. According to him, the senatorial seat, which all other sections in the zone have occupied, should be occupied by a Kwande indigene in 2015. Barely 24 hours after the group’s agitation, another group, which has been urging Suswam to challenge incumbent Senator Barnabas Gemade, announced that it would inaugurate its ward coordinators this weekend. Suswam is expected to use the occasion to formally declare his ambition for the Senate seat in 2015.
Anayaoku’s biography for launch PICTORIAL biogratoday phy of former
Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, titled: “Footprints of An Iconic Diplomat”, will be launched today at the Shell Hall MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos. A statement by Leverage Multi Global Concept said the event would be chaired by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, and
President Goodluck Jonathan as special guest of honour. Other a guests expected at the ceremony are: Former South African President Thabo Mbeki; Anambra State Governor Peter Obi and his Lagos State counterpart, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), among other governors, ministers, traditional and religious leaders.
Gombe ASUU condoles with NUJ
HE Gombe State University (GSU) branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has condoled with the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on the death of its members in an auto crash in Osun State two weeks ago. In a joint statement by the ASUU GSU Chairman, Comrade Umar Adamu and the Secretary, Comrade Lawal A. Oladimeji, the union described the death of the
From Vincent Ohonbamu, Gombe
three journalists as a serious loss, not only to the NUJ but also to the labour movement. It prayed God for the repose of the souls of the deceased and to grant their families the fortitude to bear the loss. ASUU hailed Nigerian journalists for their doggedness in discharging their responsibilities, despite the poor conditions of service.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 14-08-13
Downtrend continues, as equities lose N154b
HE downtrend that has dominated trans actions at the stock market this month worsened yesterday as equities lost N154 billion to widespread price adjustments, the highest daily loss so far this month. With nearly two decliners for every three price changes, aggregate market value of all quoted shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) dwindled to N11.750 trillion as against its opening value of N11.904 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI), the common value-based index that tracks all equities, also reflected the capital depreciation with a loss of 1.29 per cent from 37,589.60 points to 37,103.67 points. Consequently, average year-to-date return at the NSE dropped to 32.14 per cent. While the market was overtly on the downbeat with several losses across subgroups, losses by highly
By Taofik Salako
capitalised stocks worsened the negative market situation. Nestle Nigeria, NSE’s highest-priced stock, led the decliners with a loss of N70 to close at N930. Julius Berger Nigeria followed with a loss of N4.56 to close at N72.84 while PZ Cussons Nigeria dropped by N3.82 to close at N40.18 per share. Also, Nigerian Breweries lost N2.99 to close at N167. Forte Oil declined by 74 kobo to close at N38.91. FBN Holdings lost64 kobo to close at N16.10. Dangote Cement slipped by 50 kobo to N193.50. International Breweries dropped by 43 kobo to close at N21.50. Portland Paints and Products dwindled by 40 kobo to close at N5.56 while Union Bank of Nigeria lost 39 kobo to close at N10.71 per share. Meanwhile, UAC of Nigeria led the contrarian stocks on the gainers’ list, adding N2.01 to close at N57.01. Champion Breweries followed with a gain of N1.77
to close at N19.48. Presco rose by N1 to close at N37. Ecobank Transnational Incorporated chalked up 20 kobo to close at N14.70. Honeywell Flour Mills rose by 15 kobo to close at N3.20 while Diamond Bank added 10 kobo to close at N6.70 per share. Turnover rose above recent average as investors offloaded large volume of shares of Zenith Bank Plc. Investors struck 439 deals for 246.06 million ordinary shares of Zenith Bank valued at N5.17 billion. FBN Holdings placed a distant second on the activity chart with a turnover of 35.26 million shares valued at N581.11 million in 523 deals. United Bank for Africa followed with a turnover of 20.92 million shares worth N158 million in 278 deals. Total turnover stood at 438.98 million shares worth N7.41 billion in 5,096 deals. Banking subgroup contributed 321.84 million shares valued at N5.85 billion in 1,902 deals.
Why we acquired UAC Registrars, by APR
FRICA Prudential Registrars (APR) Plc decided to acquire UAC Registrars because of the immense synergies that the acquisition would add to APR’s quest to maintain leadership in the rapidly consolidating share registration industry. Managing director, Africa Prudential Registrars (APR) Plc, Mr. Peter Ashade said the UAC Registrars’ proven track record in the industry and its quality customer service and timely response to market trends made it an attractive acquisition target. According to him, the ground-breaking deal will integrate the resources of both companies and drive the deployment of even more robust information
technology platforms to further reduce operating expenses and increase overall profitability. He noted that UAC Registrars currently manages the registers of six companies including UAC of Nigeria Plc pointing out that the acquisition will open up new opportunities for the emergent entity in Nigeria and across the African continent. Ashade said APR has continuously demonstrated leadership in the share registration industry with cutting edge technologies and products. “In addition to championing the consolidation of Nigeria’s share registration industry, we are also driving improved service de-
livery in the country’s capital markets, and opening up new frontiers to deliver value-added returns to investors. We complement traditional registration with e-share registration. This has helped grow our clientele base from 17 companies at the end of 2006 to over 32 in 2013,” Ashade said. Citing its landmark as the first share registration company to be listed on the NSE, he pointed out that APR has been a pacesetter in the introduction of technology to the conventional share registration market and was the first company to launch an online real-time share registration portal in Nigeria. According to him, the company has succeeded in making registration quicker and easier through the use of innovative interactive systems that enable shareholders, stockbrokers and client companies to monitor their portfolio remotely.
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 14-08-13
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
MONEY LINK Leasing firms target capital market for funds
OMPANIES in leasing business should con sider raising funds from the capital market to finance their enterprises, Chairman, Equipment Leasing Association of Nigeria (ELAN), Keinde Lawanson has said. He spoke at the Vendors/Lessors Business forum organised by ELAN in Lagos. He said for such capital raising to be successful and sustainable, operators have to prevail on the National Assembly to pass the enabling laws to guide the operations of leasing business in the country. He said enacting the enabling laws will also enable multilateral agencies like the World Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC), African Development Bank (AfDB) among others to grant loans to leasing firms.
Stories by Collins Nweze
He said globally, leasing is one of the most vibrant and dynamic industries facilitating the finance of equipment that enhance productive capacity, creating employment and fostering economic growth. According to him, leasing encompasses all range of assets from automobiles, computers, telecom equipment, and medical equipment to power plants and explorative machinery. He said the contribution of leasing to economic development takes place through access to finance particularly to the small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), increase in domestic capital base, financial product innovation and development of secondary market. He said vendors play impor-
tant role in the leasing industry as the subject matter in any lease transaction is the equipment. “The vendor is expected to treat the lessor as partner not just another buyer. This involves ensuring that the asset is of the right quality and price, as well as provision of other add-on incentives such as trade credit and creation of secondary market for returned assets from off lease or repossession due to default,” he said. He said leasing remains a major driver of equipment sales, adding that vendor leasing programme is being used globally as a sale-aid strategy and in some cases representing about 35 per cent of sales volume. Many manufacturers and vendors such as Toyota, Honda, HP and General Electric (GE), have set up subsidiaries solely for leasing out their products.
AIZ Bank Plc has grown its capital base from N5 billion to about N10 billion. Following the growth, the lender said it would apply to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for national banking licence to enable it expand its operations to other states of federation. In a statement, Head, Corporate Communications Department of the bank, Idris Salihu said the lender has also joined commercial banks in processing foreign exchange (forex) transactions. By that, it can now process forex transactions for eligible Bureau de Change (BDCs) at the CBN. It said the bank will commence bidding for its BDC customers from all branches by first week of next month. The statement also
FRINVEST West Africa Plc has forecast a 20 per cent drop in financial exclusion rate by
2020. According to a ‘Special Report on Nigerian Banking Sector 2013’ released by the firm, the financial exclusion rate is expected to drop to the target rate from 46.3 per cent at present. This, it attributed to high unemployment rate, which was 23.9 per cent as at 2012, low per capital income and poor level of general awareness. Other factors include proximity and accessibility issues and the cumbersome account opening requirements and procedures. “We believe the
PPLICATIONS for United State’s home loans fell to their lowest level in more than a month despite a slight decline in interest rates, data from an industry group showed. According to Bloomberg, the Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, slipped 4.7 per cent in the week ended August 9. That was the largest decline since the week ending June 28. The gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, fell 5.4 per cent, resuming a downward trend that was interrupted with a slight rise the prior week. A five-basis-point dip in 30-year
•CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
management cost. Similarly, cash has been identified as an integral element that fuels several social vices and crimes in Nigeria, the report noted.
3-Year 5-Year 5-Year
35m 35m 35m
11.039 12.23 13.19
19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016
WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 350m 150m 350m 138m 350m 113m
MANAGED FUNDS Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20
OBB Rate Call Rate
Price Loss 2754.67 447.80
PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year
Amount 30m 46.7m 50m
Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34
Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012
GAINERS AS AT 14-0-13
SYMBOL TRANSEXPR CHAMPION MULTITREX JOSBREW VONO WAPIC HONYFLOUR CUSTODYINS UACN
0.80 17.71 0.55 0.89 0.57 0.75 3.05 1.45 55.00
0.88 19.48 0.60 0.97 0.62 0.81 3.20 1.51 57.01
EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency
INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%
CHANGE 0.08 1.77 0.05 0.08 0.06 0.15 0.06 2.01 1.00
Year Start Offer
C u r r e n t CUV Start After %
147.6000 239.4810 212.4997
149.7100 244.0123 207.9023
150.7100 245.6422 209.2910
-2.11 -2.57 -1.51
Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N) Parallel Market 153.0000
NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N)
DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11
Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%
9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%
JOHNHOLT IKEJAHOTEL COURTVILLE PZ NEM ETERNA NESTLE PORTPAINT MANSARD JBERGER
O/PRICE 1.28 0.87 0.79 44.00 0.70 3.15 1000.00 5.96 2.26 77.40
1.16 0.79 0.72 40.18 0.64 2.91 930.00 5.56 2.11 72.84
0.12 0.08 0.07 3.82 0.06 0.24 70.00 0.40 0.15 4.56
NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days
Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250
Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%
Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m
Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7
Date 2-7-12 27-6-12 22-6-12
CAPITAL MARKET INDEX
NSE CAP Index
27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37
28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16
% Change -1.44% -1.44%
MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name
LOSERS AS AT 14-08-13
mortgage rates to 4.56 per cent was not enough to lure potential buyers into the market. While the rate was the lowest since the week ending June 21, it was still well above the year’s low of 3.61 per cent. Interest rates began a sharp rise in late May after the Federal Reserve signaled it could begin scaling back its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases by the end of the year. Those purchases have helped keep mortgage rates low. Cuts to the purchases could sap the strength of the housing recovery. Refinancing demand also fell, with the refinance index down 4.4 per cent to 2,145.3. The refinance share of total mortgage activity was unchanged at 63 per cent. The survey covers over 75 per cent of United States retail residential mortgage applications, according to MBA.
FGN BONDS Tenor
added that the bank has also commenced over- the- counter transactions of Personal Travel Allowance and Business Travel Allowance sales at all its branches. Jaiz Bank Plc obtained a regional banking license to operate as a non-interest bank on November 11, 2011 and began full operations as the first noninterest bank in Nigeria on January 6, last year with three branches in Abuja Federal Capital Territory, Kaduna and Kano. The bank has since expanded its branches to 10 with additional branches in Gombe, Maiduguri, Katsina and additional branches in Abuja and Kano.
US mortgage applications drop despite rate decline
Afrinvest forecasts 20% drop in financial exclusion rate financial inclusion will broaden the range of service offerings, providing access to credit, insurance, mortgage and pension, as more deposits migrate from the informal to the formal sector. It said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced agent banking in 2012 to provide financial services to customers by a third party, on behalf of a licenced deposit taking financial institutions or mobile money agents,” it said. It added that the cashless Lagos implementation revealed that cash transaction represented about 99 per cent of customers’ activity in Nigerian banks. This presents a major challenge of high cash
Jaiz Bank eyes national banking licence
ARM AGGRESSIVE GROWTH 9.17 9.08 KAKAWA GUARANTEED 1.00 1.00 STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE INVE 140.65 140.16 AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND 161.03 159.36 LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL 0.80 0.78 BGL SAPPHIRE FUND 1.16 1.16 BGL NUBIAN FUND 1.18 1.16 FBN MONEY MARKET FUND 100.00 100.00 FBN FIXED INCOME FUND 1,000.00 1,000.00 NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. 1,799.14 1,797.09 PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND 14.73 14.01 CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST 1.39 1.33 CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST 1.87 1.80 STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY 11.386.29 11,045.54 • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUNDARM AGGRESSIVE • OPEN BUY BACK
Previous 04 July, 2012
Current 07, Aug, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
Don’t drag judiciary into politics, says Rivers CJ
HE Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Iche Ndu, has appealed to politicians to keep the judiciary out of the political crisis rocking the state. Ndu, who will be retiring on Monday, spoke when members of the judiciary press corps/crime reporters visited him at the High Court complex in Port Harcourt, the state capital yesterday. The CJ was reacting to the publication credited to the media adviser of the factional PDP Chairman Felix Obuah, Jerry Needam, on the bail granted to the embattled House leader, Chidi Lloyd. Nedam had, in the statement, accused Ndu of bias and influencing the admission to bail. It further stated that the state PDP had petitioned the National Judicial Council (NJC). Ndu, who spoke through the
From Rosemary Nwisi, Port Harcourt
Chief Registrar, Leonard Adoki, said: “We should not be drawn into politics. The judiciary is independent of the functions of the executive and the legislature. “Even if there is a crisis among the other arms of government, the judiciary is independent and not a part of it. The Chief Judge cannot take sides, he cannot be bias. “It is the duty of the CJ to assign the matter brought to him for that purpose to any judge. The judge is independent; he is master of his court, he cannot be influenced by any other judge and the powers of the judge presiding over a matter are equal to the power of the CJ in his own court.” Justice Daisy Wotube Okocha has been named as the CJ.
Freed kidnap victim hospitalised
NE of the kidnapped primary school teachers Mrs Patience Osadolor, who was released on Monday, has been hospitalised. Family sources said she was taken to the hospital because of the treatment meted out to her by the kidnappers. Mrs. Osadolor was abducted with two other teachers at Orhogbua Primary School in Ekenwan Village. They spent 14 days in captivity and were released after
From Osagie Otabor, Benin
a yet to be disclosed sum was paid as ransom. Another victim, Patience Okosheme, described their place of captivity as impenetrable. She said: “Where we were kept even the police and soldiers cannot get there. Those kidnappers can be used by the government in other areas. The government should give them the amnesty it promised them.”
Senator cautions Wike
•Vote of confidence in minister
LAWMAKER, Senator Wilson Ake, has cautioned the Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, not to allow his political ambition to destabilise Rivers State. Ake, who represents Rivers West Senatorial District, spoke yesterday in Port Harcourt. The lawmaker said even though Wike has the right to contest for any political position, such should not be allowed to cause tension and destabilise the peace of the state. He said: “I am not against anybody showing interest in any position in whatever form. There is no law against it. We only have moral and political understanding by allowing people to restrict their interest. “The issue is that if you are showing any interest to be governor, you shouldn’t cause problems. “You shouldn’t make ordinary citizens, who are not politicians, to suffer.” The Chairman, Senate Committee on Labour and
From Precious Dikewoha, Port Harcourt
Employment, however, said the National Assembly was on recess, adding that when it résumés, it would take a position on the matter. A faction of the state Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has passed a vote of confidence in Wike. The party said it has watched his activities from 2011 when he was appointed Minister of State for Education and is satisfied with the manner he has continued to pilot the affairs of the party. In a statement by Jerry Needam, special adviser on Media to the State Chairman, Felix Obuah, PDP said Wike’s support has ensured the success and growth of the party, a record that cannot be faulted or challenged by anyone in the area. “It is in the light of this that the party appeals to President Goodluck Jonathan to trust and encourage him even with higher responsibilities in acknowledgement of his contributions to the Party and sustenance of our democracy.”
•The Recovery 1..at the event
Barge carrying stolen crude oil grounded •Six suspects arrested
HE mystery surrounding a vessel carrying stolen crude oil which reportedly sank on the Odioma waterways, Brass Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, was unravelled yesterday by the Central Naval Command (CNC). It was gathered from the CNC’s Forward Operation Base, FORMOSO, Brass Island, that the vessel ran aground, contrary to reports that it sank with the stolen crude oil. A naval patrol team was said to have first sighted the grounded vessel on sea surveillance. The vessel, a selfpropelled barge christened MV LILA, was said to be moving from Odioma to the St. Nicholas River, when it ran aground. It was learnt that the Commander, FORMOSO, Navy Captain Bala Idris, ordered the naval gunboat, NNS Bomadi, to impound and search the vessel. The search revealed that the barge was carrrying an unknown quantity of products suspected to be stolen crude oil. The operatives also found out that the crew
NOSDRA launches oil spill cleaning vessel
HE National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) has acquired a vessel to check the spread of oil spill and its effects. The boat was inaugurated in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on Tuesday by the Minister of Environment, Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafia. The Director-General /Chief Executive of NOSDRA, Peter Idabor, said the “Nigerian National Oil Spill Rapid Response Vessel” (Recovery 1), would clean up oil spills and support operations on the waterways. Idabor said the locally-made Pollutant Catamaran (POLLCAT) has the capability to trace oil spill deep offshore up to 60 nautical miles. He said the acquisition was in response to the requirement of the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP), which requested for strategic prepositioning of oil spill response equipment and materials stockpiled by memFrom Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa
abandoned it and fled into the community. But the flag Officer Commanding, CNC, Rear Admiral Sidi-Ali Usman, said the gunboat was ordered to lay ambush for the owners of the abandoned vessel. The strategy, according to him, paid off as a tugboat christened, MV St. Victoria, later emerged apparently to tow the grounded barge. “The tugboat was impounded about two nautical miles off St. Nicholas
From Rosemary Nwisi, Port Harcourt
bers, including Nigeria. Idabor said: “The POLLCAT is powered by two 3.55hp diesel engines with an oil recovery speed of six knots; an oil recovery rate of an astonishing 50 tonnes per hour when at full capacity. “It also has a 600kg, seven metres long deck crane, a boom deployment reel for containment of spilled oil, an oil transfer pump capacity of 90 cubic metres per hour in addition to on-board oil recovery tanks with total capacity of about 48 tonnes. “The Hull form is an asymmetric catamaran with a zero relative velocity(ZRV), mopping system suspended between the hulls. “The propylene mops rotate to suit the forwarded speed of the vessel, effectively sitting in the water and soaking up the oil spills.”
River. The arrest was effected by NNS BOMADI due to its suspicious presence within the vicinity,” he said. Usman said six suspects were arrested on the tugboat. “Somebody must have contracted the tugboat; it would have been a different thing if we were not able to find anybody. “We were not deceived, even with the abandonment. We quickly instructed that they would be within the area.” Usman added: “FOB FOR-
MOSO is making relentless efforts to ensure that the barge is salvaged. “This will prevent the likelihood of oil spillage and consequential damage to the environment. Similarly investigations into the source of the suspected stolen petroleum product in the barge have begun. “This account illustrates the determined effort of the Navy and the Central Naval Command to eliminate oil theft, illegal bunkering and other illegalities in the maritime environment.”
Ex-UNIBEN don docked for alleged bribery
FORMER Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Law in the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Okogeri Isu-Ochiora, has been arraigned before an Ekiadolor Magistrate’s Court for allegedly collecting N100,000 from a student to facilitate her transfer to another faculty. The offence was committed on December 31, last year, when the accused was a member of the Intra-Faculty Transfer Board. Isu- Ochiora was charged for fraud, an offence punishable under Section 98(b)(11) of the Criminal Code. A witness, Edoseghe Oghogho Idahosa, who is the Head of the University’s Intelligence Unit in the Security Department, told the court that the accused received the money from the student, who wanted to transfer from the
From Osagie Otabor, Benin
Faculty of Arts to the Faculty of Law. Led by the State Counsel, Kenneth Ugiagbe, Edoseghe said they went into action, following intelligent reports and asked the student to play along. He said: “I confronted the accused about the money allegedly given to him by the
student and ordered that his vehicle be searched. “He became shocked and dumfounded. I also cleared the way to enable him park his car at the security office but he sped off.” He said they pursued him with a motor bike to where the accused dropped the money in an exhaust pipe of an abandoned truck in a
petrol station inside the school and drove off. The witness said the accused was apprehended near the fire-service station on the campus and taken to the security post for interrogation and N17, 000 was recovered from him while the N100, 000 was recovered from where it was hidden. The case was adjourned till August 21.
Bayelsa: no anointed IYC candidates
HE Bayelsa State Government yesterday said it has no anointed candidates for the postponed elections into the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC). “Government wishes to reiterate that it has no interest in the politics of the IYC, neither is government interested in any aspirant. “All aspirants are Ijaw youths. Therefore, government wishes all of them the best in their aspirations to serve the Ijaw nation,” the Commissioner for Culture and Ijaw National Af-
From Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa
fairs said in Yenagoa. The government also praised the intervention of the Ijaw National Affairs in the crisis, which led to the postponement of the elections. Tuodolor said such mediation would create a peaceful atmosphere for a free and fair election. But he warned aspirants not to play politics with Ijaw struggle by politicising the council.
THE NATION THURSDAY AUGUST 15, 2013
Girl beheaded in Abia •Suspect arrested •Communal clash looms
HE beheading of a 17year-old girl, Chioma Emeka Ikwuagwu, by unknown killers has caused tension between Ameke and Ukome communities in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State. The late Chioma hails from Ameke but lived with her parents at Ukome, where she was killed. The bereaved community of Ameke is said to have given Ukome three days to produce their daughter. The notice expired on July 30, thus creating apprehension in Ukome community. Sources at Ukome said the deceased, who was an SSS3 student of Holy Rosary College, Umuahia, was the first of five children. Her father, Emeka Ikwuagwu, told reporters that on July 26, he went to collect some corn from one of his farm while his wife, Akunna, led some people to weed their other farm. Ikwuagwu said Chioma brought food to the farm for her mother and the workers at noon. He said: “She was asked to go to another farm to collect some vegetables for use later that evening and she never came back. It was the last time she was seen alive. “When she did not return, her mother went in search of her, only to discover blood everywhere at the farm and she alerted me. “I immediately organised a search party to look for her around the farm and her lifeless body was found at a nearby spot with palm
fronds covering her. “When we found her, her jeans were drawn down close to her lap, she clutched tightly to her underwear with one hand with machete cuts on her other arm. Her head had been cut off. “We left the body like that so that the police could see it. They (police) came on Saturday morning to remove the body and deposited it at the City Gate Mortuary, Umuahia, after the Federal Medical Centre rejected it.” A source said upon hearing the news, Ukome youths searched the bush for the killers. He said: “They didn’t find anything. The father was compelled by tradition to report the incident to his kinsmen at Ameke, which he did. “On July 28, they marched on Ukome with wooden gongs and symbolic palm fronds, which they handed down to Ukome people, demanding their daughter or her killers.” It was gathered that a suspect has been arrested. The man is said to have threatened the family over a piece of land because of a piece of land willed to Ikwuagwu by his late grandmother. Police spokesman Geoffrey Ogbonna said the command was aware of the matter, but that they are still waiting for full details before starting investigations.
•Udenwa at the ceremony...yesterday
Udenwa hoists APC flag in Imo
T was a gathering of political bigwigs yesterday in Owerri, the Imo State capital, as the flag of the newly registered All Progressives Congress (APC) was hoisted in place of the flag of the now defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The ceremony, which was performed by former Governor Achike Udenwa, attracted members of all the merged parties who converged on the ACN secretariat. The former governor, who was accompanied by other ACN leaders, said the ceremony was beyond the lowering and hoisting of the party flags. He said it signifies “growth from one phase to another in our political history”. Udenwa said: “Before the lowering of the ACN flag it was the best organised and disciplined party in the state and I
Collapsed bridge cuts off communities
OCIO-ECONOMIC activities have been paralysed in six communities in Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, following the collapse of the 40-year-old popular Eguho Ebonyi Bridge after a downpour that lasted three days. The colonial-time bridge, which was rebuilt in 1973 after it was destroyed during the Civil War, connects about six communities and is also a ring route to Amegunze in Enugu State.
From Ugochukwu UgojiEke, Umuahia
From Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki
The new Eguho Ebonyi Bridge under construction beside the old bridge was among the 19 bridges of unity embarked upon by the Martin Elechi administration since 2008, but has suffered a setback due to the death of the contractor and poor design. An indigene, Julius Nworpkor, lamented that the failure of the bridge has caused hardship for commuters.
Nwokpor, who is also a member representing Ishielu South Constituency in the House of Assembly, pleaded with the people to be patient as the government will speed up action on the new bridge , which is to be completed next year. Commissioner for Works and Transport Chukwuma Nwandiugo said the government would start restoration of the bridge. He said the new bridge beside the failed metal bridge
would have been completed before now, but for poor design. “This was among the bridges started around 2008. The contractor did a very bad job and it has to do with the design of the foundation. “When I assumed office, I discovered that the foundation of the bridge was not sufficient to carry the load we anticipated. We had to demolish the pillars and when the rain stops work will resume,” Nwandiugo said.
‘Police stray bullet’ kills man in Aba
ESIDENTS of Obiorah Street by Ngwa Road in Aba, Abia State yesterday protested the killing of a 26-year-old man, who was hit by a policeman’s stray bullet. The policeman, indentified as Corporal Paul Ebenezer, works at Eziama Divisional Police Station, Aba North Local Government Area. Sources said the victim, Friday Dimafor, was in a club meeting at 18, Obiorah Street, when Ebenezer’s bullet aimed at an escaping Indian hemp suspect, pierced through a hole and hit him. The residents blamed the police for the victim’s death, saying he would have been saved if he had been given a quick medical attention. It was gathered that the hospital where he was taken to asked for a police report.
From Sunny Nwankwo, Aba
A member of the group, Samuel Uche, said: “We, Obinwanne Royal Clubmembers, were at our meeting when we saw police-
men dragging a suspect, who later escaped. “It was when they were shooting sporadically that a stray bullet hit Friday.” Uche said the officers were from Eziama Police Division and wondered how the po-
licemen could come to a jurisdiction that is under Ndiegoro Division. Police spokesman Geoffrey Ogbonna said the officers have been arrested and were being interrogated.
Anambra: PDP clears Uba, 11 others
HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has cleared 15 governorship aspirants for the August 24 primaries in Anambra
State. This was after the Anambra Screening Panel cleared Ugochukwu Okeke and Tony Nwoye to join 13 others earlier cleared by the Aminu Wali-led screening committee last week. Briefing reporters at the PDP secretariat, Chairman of the screening appeal panel Mahmoud Shinkafi said two of the aspirants, Sylvester Okonkwo and Damien Onwuanyim Afamefuna were disqualified on tax issues. Prominent among the aspirants are Senator Andy Uba, Nicholas Ukachukwu, Akachukwu
From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja
Nwankpo, Obinna Uzor, Charles Odunukwe, Jerry Ugokwe, Senator Emmanuel Anosike and Mrs. Josephine Anenih, among others. Nine aspirants failed the first hurdle as they could not pay the N10 million nomination fee. They were consequently excluded from the screening. Zoning and consensus option are the two contentious issues that have pitted the party leadership against the aspirants. A committee that conducted one of the parallel ward congresses in Anambra submitted its report to the national leadership yesterday.
From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri
charge you to take the discipline to the new party.” Debunking rumours of possible hijack of the APC structure in the state, the former governor said no one has been anointed or appointed leaders of the party at any level. He said: “We only have the interim management committee set up at the national and state level, which is charged with the registration of members and organisation of congress, no leader has emerged yet we should go back to our wards and mobilise for the party. “Please disregard rumours that they have allocated positions. If that is done without our knowledge it will be reallocated, if anyone does anything unconstitutional or anything we did not sit down to agree on, we will upturn it.”
Obi launches project
NAMBRA State Governor Peter Obi launched yesterday the Afor Ukpor-Umunuko- Nza Ozubulu Road. Obi said a lot of work had been done on the road. He said his administration spent over N12 billion on various projects in Nnewi South. The Commissioner for Works, Callistus Ilozumba, said the 21-kilometre road cost the state N3 billion. He said IDC was handling the job with full compliments of design. He called on the people to take ownership of the project and monitor it religiously.
Iwuanyanwu faulted on comments
HE National Publicity Secretary of the All Peoples Progressive Alliance, formerly the Progressive Peoples Alliance, Vitalis Ajumbe, has faulted the comments by Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu that the Southeast should wait beyond 2015 for the presidency. Ajumbe said it was unbelievable that Iwuanyanwu could make such a self-centered assertion when the Igbo were calling for Igbo presidency in
2015. In a statement, he said: “APPA as a party is disappointed with the remarks emanating from one of the supposed Southeast leaders.”
EKWEMUO I, formerly known and addressed as Kenneth Ekwemuo, now wish to be known and addressed as Kenneth Ibuoka. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
NEWS APC governors oppose autonomy for councils Continued from page 2
unreservedly the repression in Egypt, following the unconstitutional ouster of a democratically-elected government and calls on the International community to ensure speedy resolution of the crisis.” Elaborating on the position of the governors on council autonomy, Oshiomhole said: “We are in a federal system. The basis of our federation is the states, not local governments, and we are not going to reinvent the wheel in Nigeria. “To legislate on autonomy can be handled by state governments that believe in it. You can’t impose one drug that cures all ailments. The fact of our diversity itself suggests that it is better to allow certain issues to be dealt with at the level of state governments. “If Nasarawa State, for example, feels that it wants to give additional responsibilities to the local governments, the Nasarawa State House of Assembly should have the power to so legislate. That power should not reside in Abuja. That is the issue. Who decides what is the issue? “Abuja should not be the one prescribing one drug for every Nigerian ailment. We have Houses of Assembly and they are just as responsible as their counterparts in Abuja. That is the point we are making.” He added: “But I also want to say that too often we forget how we got to where we are. In the name of autonomy in the past, some local governments were unable or unwilling to pay salaries of primary school teachers, such that in some states’ teachers were not paid for about five months.
“The result was that in those states, teachers were on strike endlessly. Part of the intervention now is to insist that local governments must give priority to the payment of primary school teachers’ salaries. If that means intervention, it is a progressive intervention. “So, autonomy is not an end in itself; it is about the purpose of autonomy and the character of that autonomy and you cannot be autonomous from your own people. “The Federal Government must recognise that we are in a federation. The Edo State House of Assembly can decide to legislate and give more powers, money and responsibilities to local governments. It has the power to do so. That power should not reside in Abuja. That is the point we are making.” Fashola, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, urged the proponents of local government autonomy to reread their Constitution. He said: “I think the first thing to say is to identify with the position taken by the governor of Edo State. But perhaps as we discuss this, it is for us to understand the Constitution which guarantees a system of democratically elected local governments by laws made by the State Houses of Assembly for the purposes of ensuring that that system works. “It also provides that it is the states that create the local governments, first by holding a referendum, secondly by enacting a law and thereafter sending the list to the National Assembly. “Some of the things we are saying here is that remove that listing from inside the Constitution because if the local governments are created by the state, why should
they seek autonomy from an agency or an institution that did not create them? “The parents should decide whether their children will go out at night and not to go and ask the neighbour next door to give them permission to enable their children go out at night.” Fayemi said:”We condemn unreservedly what happened in Borno State. We have been in Borno State in solidarity with our colleague there and the people of Borno State. “The responsibility that we have is not just to verbalise our abhorrence of what has been happening there. We also take other measures, like supporting the provision of relief materials and also working at various levels to insist on a security cum economic strategy that will ultimately put paid to this carnage going on in that part of the country.” On how the newly registered APC hopes to overome the rivalry among the merging parties, Fayemi said: “We don’t want to go into any defensive position about that. But you recall that in our statement we stressed one point: accommodation and tolerance of all interested parties who have joined in consummating this merger. “So, we are not going to go on a finger pointing spree. Those matters are still matters that we are consistently working on to provide ac-
commodation. This is a process. “It is not an event and it is natural that it will take us time in order to fully bring everybody together. But what is clear is that there is no single party in this merger that is repudiating what has been done. “There may be local dynamics and local realities to the merger that we must respond and attend to on the ground and I can assure you that it is something that is going on in all our states.” Shettima added that the APC places premium on internal democracy. He said: “Another issue has to be internal democracy. In our party, we do not take every voice of dissent as treason. So, such disagreements are inevitable in a political process. “It is very much welcome but the most important thing is that we are determined to redefine the meaning and concept or modern governance in this country and we are going to change the face of politics in Nigeria.” Al-Makura said: “We have one goal, one mission and one vision and that is to salvage this country from the ruling party and also look at the avenue and vehicle for implementing these good policies, that is, through our own ideology, philosophy of social democracy which promotes social justice, transparency, accountability and the rule of law.”
Continued from page 2
had gone beyond the control of the state government. MASSOB Director of Information, Uchenna Madu said: “NBA alleged that MASSOB molested their members but we stand to say that those who molested their members were not our members. Are
Shekau’s deputy killed Continued from page 2
town, we launched counterattacks. It was in the process of trailing them that troops engaged the insurgents in some encounters which led to the death of the 18, including Momodu Bama and his father. “We did not even know that Momodu Bama was shot dead in the crossfire until we started interrogating the arrested suspects who confirmed it to us. They gave us sufficient testimony to reach our conclusion.” Asked if the military had retrieved Bama’s body, the source said: “As usual of the sect, they took away the corpse of Momodu Bama.” Bama was one of the 19 leaders of Boko Haram declared wanted by the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno State on November 23, 2012. A N25million ransom was placed on him by the JTF. Others were four members of the Shurra Committee of the sect, including, Shekau (N50million); Habibu Yusuf (a.k.a Asalafi) N25million; Khalid Albarnawai( N25million); and Mohammed Zangina (N25million). The Boko Haram Commanders are Abu Saad (N10million); Abba Kaka (N10million); Abdulmalik Bama (N10million) Umar Fulata(N10million); Alhaji Mustapha (Massa) Ibrahim (N10million); Abubakar Suleiman-Habu (a.k.a Khalid) N10million; Hassan Jazair N10million; Ali Jalingo
NBA to Obi: ban MASSOB National Assembly for effective clampdown on MASSOB activities in the state since they are aware that so many lives have been lost as a result of MASSOB’s nefarious activities which it alleged
we so stupid and callous that we shall bite the hands that assisted us in legal matters? “MASSOB has a very good relationship with Southeast NBA for being sympathetic to our cause. Every effort we made to meet with the leadership of Onitsha NBA in or-
(N10million); Alhaji Musa Modu (N10million); Bashir Aketa (N10million); Abba Goroma(N10million); Ibrahim Bashir (N10million); Abubakar Zakariya (N10million); and Tukur Ahmed Mohammed (N10million). In Maiduguri, JTF also confirmed Bama’s killing. JTF spokesman Lt. Col. Sagir Musa told reporters that the person killed by security forces in neighbouring Adamawa State was not Momodu Bama as claimed. “It is either the suspect adopted the name of Momodu Bama, a popular Boko Haram operation officer and the second-in-command to Shekau, or the task force could not ascertain his real identity. “On the contrary, we killed Bama and his father, Abatcha Flatari, a Boko Haram spiritual leader, on August 4 during a counter-insurgency operation at Bama.” He added that “it took over a week to ascertain their identities”. A JTF statement said Bama, also called “Abu Saad” by sect members, was “one of the most vicious and heartless killers in the group with penchant for slaughtering his victims”. “He had a bounty of 25 million naira placed on him by the JTF and the said Momodu Bama’s father, Abatcha Flatari was one of the spiritual leaders of Boko Haram in charge of indoctrinating children who are mainly abducted to serve as foot soldiers.”
der to ascertain and verify their allegation against MASSOB was frustrated. With the hurry the NBA is prosecuting MASSOB on this matter, we suspect they are being used by our enemies to tarnish our image”.
Your Sexual Health & You: Novelty Tips, Questions & Answers
have never had sex before and I am 31 years old. I always hear people talk about how great sex is but I am okay with not having sex and I don’t feel like anything is missing in my life. Must one have sex? - Agnes You mustn’t have sex if you don’t want to. It is a personal choice. But if you are in a romantic relationship with someone, it will become an issue eventually especially if you really want the relationship to go somewhere. By the way are you saying that at 31, you have never had the desire for sex? Are you sure you are human? Every normal person out there harbors sexual desire, just like the desire to eat, sleep, breathe etc. Well, if you are wondering what it feels like, yes sex is great. It is a wonderful experience, especially if you care about the person you are involved with. Sex enables a couple bond and care more about one another. It is a form of physical and emotional commitment. In terms of its biological benefits, sex relieves stress and frustration and improves our quality of life. It also reduces anxiety and floods our brains with endorphins, a chemical responsible for our happiness. In addition, sex boosts the immune system and relieves pain/depression, meaning that we don’t always need drugs to soothe our emotional lows. And it enables us sleep better. Regular intimacy also reduces the risk of prostate cancer in men and that’s not all. Sex is an effective means of forging lasting partnerships with loved ones and if you ever intend to have children at some point in your life, you will need to have sex first – Uche I am 59years old and my wife is much younger. Everything is fine except that I am no longer as crazy about sex as I used to be. Once a month is even okay but for my 34 year old wife, that is not enough. What can I do about this without taking drugs? I am on other medication and doctors say that I cannot take aphrodisiacs. Thanks – Samuel
Dear Samuel, as men get older, the testosterone levels in their bodies decrease and this affects their desire for sex. Testosterone is the hormone responsible for sexual desire amongst other things. So if you want to increase the testosterone levels in your body without taking drugs, you can do that by using the On for Him Testosterone Cream. You apply it on certain areas of your skin to naturally boost your hormonal levels. But for men with similar problems who can take drugs, then they can use the Max for Men Testosterone Booster. It works faster – Uche I am female experiencing low sexual desire after the birth of my last child. I won’t even remember if I don’t have sex for six months. This is not good for my marriage. What do I need to fix this – Ogo Hello Ogo, there is a new libido enhancer for women called the Pink Elevate Libido Enhancer. It is taken once a day and will help revive your desire for intimacy. Use it with the Horny Honey Arousal gel for even better results – Uche I have been using the Exploding Thunder supplement for my weak erection and I have been quite happy with the results. When I heard of the new supplement Power Zen and how it gives hard erections and also stops premature ejaculation amongst other things, I had to give it a try. And all I can say is wow! Where did you get that things? It is on another level – Hard Man Thanks Hard Man. Power Zen gives hard erections, enlarges the penis, stops premature ejaculation and increases semen quantity and thickness. Yes it is on a different level and I am glad you experienced it for yourself – Uche That’s it for today. Zee Virtual Media has resumed work after our one week break. Adults in need of these treatments/ novelties can call us now on 07086754515 or 08027901621 or place their orders online at www.zeevirtualmedia.com. For enquiries, send your emails to email@example.com - Uche Edochie, MD, Zee Virtual Media.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
FOREIGN NEWS TURMOIL IN EGYPT
Egypt declares national emergency, scores killed
GYPT has declared a month-long state of emergency after scores of people were killed when security forces stormed protest camps in Cairo. The camps had been occupied by supporters of former president Mohammed Morsi, who was deposed in early July. The Interior Minister says 260 people have been killed. But the Muslim Brotherhood, which was behind the protests, says more than 2,000 died including 43 policemen, two major generals and colonels. Also the newly appointed Interim Vice President, former Atomic Energy Commissioner El-Baradei has also resigned his appointment. The state of emergency is scheduled to last for a month. It imposes a curfew in Cairo and several other provinces between 19:00 local time (17:00 GMT) and 06:00. The measure was taken because the “security and order of the nation face danger due to deliberate sabotage, and attacks on public and private buildings and the loss of life by extremist groups,” the presidency said in a statement. In the wake of the violence, Vice-President Mohammed El Baradei has announced his resignation from the interim government. Armoured bulldozers moved deep into the main protest camp outside Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque shortly after dawn on Wednesday morning. Officials say another protest camp, at Nahda Square, has been cleared and a mopping-up operation in the surrounding streets was under way. Reporters described wounded protesters being treated next to the dead in makeshift field hospitals. The 17-year-old daughter of leading Muslim Brotherhood figure Mohamed elBeltagy was among the dead, reports say. Asmaa elBeltagy was shot in the back and chest, her brother said. Shortly before seven in the
•Thousands injured morning, from a street corner near the Rabaa mosque encampment, I watched the raid begin. An armoured military bulldozer drove down towards the barricades on the edges of the encampment. The bulldozer pushed its way through rows of bricks and sandbags. Pro-Morsi protesters responded by throwing stones and burning tyres. At the same time, riot police in armoured personnel carriers advanced through nearby streets. For more than two hours I heard the crack of live ammunition. The sharp bangs were accompanied by the deeper thud of tear gas explosions. For a while, it was hard to breathe without a gas mask. Some local residents held handkerchiefs to their faces - and watched the police deployment from their balconies. The White House condemned the bloodshed, saying it “runs directly counter to the pledges by the interim government to pursue recon-
•Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood supporters run from police in a street leading to Rabaa al-Adawiya protest camp in Cairo ... yesterday. PHOTO: AFP
ciliation”. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged “all Egyptians to concentrate their efforts on promoting genuinely inclusive reconciliation”, his spokesman Martin Nesirky said. There are also reports of unrest elsewhere in Egypt. About 35 people have died in clashes in the province of Fayoum, south of Cairo, Reuters news agency says. At least five people have been killed in the province of Suez, according to the health ministry. Clashes have also been re-
Two journalists killed
VETERAN Sky News cameraman has been shot and killed while covering the violence in Cairo, the broadcaster has said. Sixty-one-year-old Mick Deane had worked for Sky for 15 years. He was married with two sons. Head of Sky News John Ryley paid tribute to an “experienced journalist” and “much-loved colleague”. Deane - who was born in Hannover, Germany - had been part of Sky News’ team covering the clashes with Middle East correspondent Sam Kiley. None of the other team members had been hurt, the broadcaster said. In a statement Mr Ryley said: “Everyone at Sky News is shocked and saddened by Mick’s death. “He was a talented and experienced journalist who had worked with Sky News for many years. The loss of a much-loved colleague will be deeply felt across Sky News.” He added: “Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family. We will give them our full support at this extremely difficult time.” Prime Minister David Cameron paid tribute to the journalist on Twitter, saying: “I am saddened to hear of the death of cameraman Mick Deane... My thoughts are with his
family and the Sky News team.” Sky’s foreign affairs editor Tim Marshall described Deane as “a friend, brave as a lion but what a heart… what a human being”. “He was a friend. Our hearts go out to his family. He died doing what he’d been doing so brilliantly for decades.” Other former colleagues of the cameraman also sent their condolences with one producer, Neil Mann, saying: “Mick Deane was one of the nicest people I’ve ever worked with on the ground. Really helped me in my career, a great guy and brilliant cameraman.” And Sky News presenter Kay Burley said: “My heart breaks for the family of our friend Mick Deane killed today in Cairo. A true gentlemen. It was an honour to have known him.” Reports suggested a second journalist, 26year-old Habiba Ahmed Abd Elaziz from Egypt, had also been killed in the disturbances. Her employer, Gulf news organisation Xpress, said she had gone to her home country on annual leave and had not been working on an official assignment. According to the International Federation of Journalists, 121 journalists and media workers were violently killed around the world in 2012 - one of the trade’s bloodiest years.
UN probes North Korea arms’ shipment
N officials have begun inspecting an arms shipment found on a North Korean ship, Panama’s security minister says.The Chong Chon Gang was seized last month on the Panama Canal. Inspectors
looking for drugs found Cuban arms and two Sovietmade MiG-21 fighter jets. Cuba says the weapons were being sent to North Korea for refurbishment. UN experts will prepare a report for the UN Security
New Zealand woman ‘drove and texted while asleep’
ported in the northern provinces of Alexandria and Beheira, and the central provinces of Assiut and Menya. Hundreds are said to have gathered outside the governor’s office in Aswan in the south State news agency Mena says three churches were attacked, one in the city of Sohag with a large number of Coptic Christian residents. It is still unclear how many casualties were caught up in the two Cairo operations. Figures differ widely and have been impossible to verify independently.
EW Zealand police are seeking an order to stop a woman from driving, amid concerns that she had driven hundreds of miles while asleep, even sending text messages along the way. Friends of the woman alerted the police, saying that she has a highly unusual sleep disorder. She was found slumped at the wheel at a house she once lived in, and told police she had no memory of her trip. Police said most of the text messages she had sent were incoherent. A sleep expert told the BBC that although her story stretched credulity to the limits, it was not impossible. Dr Neil Stanley said that while there had been cases of “sleep driving”, “sleep texting” is not so common. “If she could drive while asleep then it’s possible she could also send texts while asleep,” he said.
Council, which must decide whether the shipment violates a ban on arms transfers to North Korea. The UN team will spend four days interviewing the 35 North Korean crew, antidrug prosecutor Javier Caraballo told the Associated Press news agency.
HAD has suspended all operations of a Chinese state-run oil firm for causing environmental damage, Chad’s oil minister has told the BBC. Djerassem Le Bemadjiel said the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) was to blame for an oil spill in several sites near a forest. He said the situation was
Charity closes operations in Somalia over attacks
EDICAL charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) is closing all its programmes in Somalia after 22 years working in the war-torn country. It said in a statement that the decision had been taken because of “extreme attacks on its staff”. It said armed groups and civilian leaders increasingly “support, tolerate or condone the killing, assaulting, and abducting of
humanitarian aid workers”. More than 1,500 staff have provided a range of services across Somalia. MSF pulling out of Somalia is the equivalent - in most ordinary countries - of shutting down the entire national health service overnight. In many parts of the country there is simply no other health provision. Hundreds of thousands of people will lose the most basic of services.
•Muslim brotherhood supporters of Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi evacuate a wounded man during clashes with riot police at Cairo ... yesterday. PHOTO: AFP
Minister laments India submarine blast
NDIAN Defence Minister AK Antony has described two huge explosions and a fire on an Indian submarine berthed at a Mumbai dockyard as a “shocking tragedy”. Navy chiefs earlier warned the families of 18 sailors on board the submerged vessel to “prepare for the worst” after the two near-simultaneous explosions. Mr Antony offered “heartfelt condolences” to relatives of the dead. It is not clear what caused the blasts. Sabotage has not been ruled out. “A board of inquiry will cover the entire spectrum of the incident, we cannot rule out sabotage at this stage but all the indicators at this point do not support that theory,” navy chief Admiral DK Joshi said.
Chad suspends China firm for oil spill
“intolerable” but did not make it not clear how long the suspension would last. The company also runs an oil refinery in the capital, N’Djamena. Chad became an oil-producing nation in 2003 with the completion of a $4bn (£2.6bn) pipeline linking its oilfields to terminals on the Atlantic coast. LOSS OF TITLE DOCUMENT This is to inform the general public of the loss of title document allocated to Late Pa Bisiriyu Ademola Falaja for 2 bedroom flat on Blk 1, Flat 5 Q close 23 Road, Festac Town Lagos.The said document got lost in transit and all effort to trace it, prove abortive. If found, contact Adekunle Alade Falaja of No. Awolaja Street. Akoka Yaba, Federal Housing Authority or the nearest police station
The oil minister took the decision after officials visited Koudalwa, some 200km (125 miles) south of N’Djamena, where CNPC was exploring for oil, the AFP news agency reports. “It’s a very serious situation, it’s intolerable,” Mr Le Bemadjiel told the BBC French Service, describing how trees had been destroyed.
KESHINRO I formerly known and addressed as Lookman Lolade Keshinro and Keshinro Lukman Adisa now wish to be known and addressed as Keshinro Lukman Lolade Adisa. All former documents remain valid general public take note
LOSS OF DOCUMENT We, Casi properties limited hereby notify the general public that letter of allocation issued to us by LSDPC on Block 8, Flat 2, Femi Okunnu Housing Estate, Lekki IV Lagos got lost on transit and all efforts to locate it proved abortive.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
SPORT EXTRA EGUAVOEN TO NIGERIAN PLAYERS
Prepare for retirement now
ORMER Super Eagles’ Captain and Chief Coach, Austin Eguavoen has advised Nigerian players to prepare for the future now that they are hale and healthy and making huge sums of money in foreign currencies. The Technical Adviser of the City of David Football Club advocated a pension scheme to be introduced for retired players so that they can find something to fall on after retirement. He also urged the players to invest in properties and other viable businesses that could later sustain them when their legs become weak and tired to play the game again. He stressed that there is no way that the Government will be able to provide employment or funds for all retired players as most of them do not even have the qualification to work at most of the government establishments. Eguavoen then supported the Sport Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi who recently revealed out that it was not the duty of the National Sports Commission to also provide for the needs of the retired footballers and sportsmen and women in the country at the detriment of sports development in the country. Abdullahi had said that the major duty of the NSC is to promote sports from the grassroots and develop sports in the country and not to do more than that. “The minister is right in a
From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja way, it is not the ministers duty or the federal government’s duty to take care of retired players but having served and worked, we do not do anything apart from football and we do not do any other thing. So there are better way to put it, if I seek for a job today it depends on my qualification and say for example to work for the NFF and I am not a graduate I might not be given a job that is suitable to me. So, there should be positions for those who are not graduates and also positions for those who are graduates as well,” “Maybe you joined Sunshine
Malawi fires Nigeria warning
•Pips Rwanda 1-0 •Expels players for smoking marijuana, drinking
ALAWI defeated Rwanda 1-0 in an international friendly played on Wednesday August 14, 2013. A 30th minute goal from Atusaye Nyondo separated the two sides. Malawi, who according to reports that reached futaa.com earlier, are not in unity as they get set for the second leg World Cup qualifier against Nigeria in Calabar on September 7, 2013, will now see Wednesday's victory as a boost. They trail Nigeria who top the qualifiers group F on nine points. Nigeria need at least a draw to advance to the final stage of the qualifiers.
LOBI STARS 1 SUNSHINE STARS 0
Injuries responsible for our loss—Amoo
EAD coach of Sunshine Stars, Fatai Folorunsho Amoo has blamed their 0-1 loss to Lobi Stars to injuries to some of their established players that featured in their last home game and fatigue as reasons for the blip at the Emmanuel Akume Atongo Stadium, Katsina Ala yesterday. Terkaa Melai converted the only goal of the matchday 25 encounter in the added minute of the first half and Lobi held on stoutly to the lone goal to record a famous victory and thus added a vital push towards their race for survival. Speaking with NationSport shortly after the match coach Amoo stated that the inability of Ajani Ibrahim, Dele Olorundare, Alaba Adeniyi and Ikenna Paul who all featured prominently in their 3-0 defeat of Dolphins last Sunday contributed to their loss at Katsina Ala. Though, Amoo faulted the referee’s decision to award a penalty of that calibre, he nonetheless reckoned that the referee’s decision was final during a goal mouth scramble. He blamed his players for not stepping up their game in the second half to get the equaliser. “We lost 0-1 but our four key players that couldn’t make it to this game affected our game. Though I still questioned the spot kick awarded but the referee’s decision would be final during a goal mouth scramble. We paid for our inability to raise the game in
at the age of eighteen and you end up playing five clubs within the country and you hit thirty five, so all the money put together will be enough for you to do something. It’s just about planning and letting people know how things should be run”, Ikpeba disclosed. Several Nigeria players have been thrown into penury after a buoyant playing career which has prompted some Nigerians to advocate for the Federal government to have a program for them, a call that informed the minister saying that it is not the responsibility of the ministry to take care of retired players
From Tunde Liadi,Owerri the second half and we gave to many room to the home team from playing their normal game. “Dele Olorundare, Alaba Adeniyi, Ajani Ibrahim and Ikenna Paul all played at home against Dolphins but they couldn’t travel because they suffered knocks in the last game. Those that took their places tried their best but it was not enough to earn us a point,” Amoo lamented.
Meanwhile, reports reaching futaa.com indicate that there is no unity in Malawi national team as they get set for the second leg World Cup qualifier against Nigeria in Calabar on September 7, 2013. The Flames beat Rwanda 1-0 in an international friendly with several of the key players not part of the team due to disciplinary measures slammed on them by the Football Association of Malawi (FAM). Reports in Malawi say the dropped player were not invited due to gross misconduct while in Zambia for the 2013 COSAFA Cup last month. According to Nyasa Times, the players were involved in smoking of marijuana, drinking and womanizing. They were consequently fined two thousand dollars each but have since refused to pay the fine. Coach Tom Saintfiet on Tuesday confirmed the ugly incident and said the matter has been handed over to FAM and the Sports ministry. "Some players were involved in serious disciplinary issues, but we are treating it as father and son issue. Suffice to say discipline is of paramount importance and we are not going to compromise on issues of discipline," Saintfiet was quoted as saying on Nyasa Times.
Okagbare must remain focused — Coach Onumaegbu, a retired
athletics coach, has urged Blessing Okagbare to put behind her the disappointment of her sixth position finish in the 100m event, and focus on her other events. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Okagbare had ended up in the sixth position of the 100m event in the ongoing 2013 World Athletics Championships in Moscow. Onumaegbu told NAN on Tuesday in Lagos on telephone that if she had participated in the 100m event before the long jump, the result would have been different. He added that she would have to be professional in her approach in her buildup for her other events in the championships. ``The 100 metres should have come before the long jump, it is better to do the sprint before the long jump. She has to show how dedicated she is in her approach to the other events ahead of her; and possibly pick up more
medals,” he said. The retired coach also decried the undue burden of expectation that was placed on her shoulders by the leadership of the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN), and blamed them for her inconsistencies. ``It is quite unfortunate and the blame falls squarely on the leadership of the AFN who have over relied on her to deliver the goods. Other athletes are being overlooked it should not be so, emphasis should not be on her alone,’’Onumaegbu said. Meanwhile, Sule Oladimeji, a long jump coach, noted that the long jump event might have weakened Okagbare, but refused to blame her 100m loss on that. ``The long jump might have taken a bit of steam from her, but that will not be the sole reason for her poor performance in the 100m race. Sometimes it is not just the form of an athlete but luck that can lead to an athlete’s success in a race,” he said.
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
Eagles defeat Bafana 2—0 U
CHE Nwofor rose from the bench at half time, and scored twice in 18 minutes to give the Super Eagles of Nigeria a 2-0 win over a disappointing South Africa in the Mandela Challenge match played at the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban on Wednesday. Nwofor had come on in place
of Shola Ameobi, who was handed his second cap by Stephen Keshi. The Super Eagles had dominated the first half of the game, but did not create any clear cut chance that would have yielded a goal. Academical of Portugal midfielder, John Ogu, had posed the biggest threat for the
South Africans, as his two shots from long range were the bright moments for the Super Eagles. The South Africans had their own chances too, as they caught the Eagles out twice, and got behind the defence, only to find Austin Ejide capable. Then came the second half. Nwofor scored with
virtually his first touch of the ball, as he compensated for an earlier miss with an audacious back heel that sailed in for the first goal. Ahmed Musa should have created a third when he cut in from the left with minutes left on the game, but opted to shoot rather than feed a lurking Brown Ideye.
Victory: Honour for Mandela, say Moses
HELSEA and Nigerian forward, Victor Moses has described the 2-0 victory over South Africa yesterday as an honour to former President Nelson Mandela. Speaking after the match organized between Nigeria and South Africa to identify with the former South Africa leader, Moses expressed satisfaction being part of the encounter, saying it is a venture worth taking. “I am happy to be part of this great match. It is really an honour to Nelson Mandela and
By Innocent Amomoh i am proud to be here,” he said. Asked if the substitution made by Coach Stephen Keshi which saw him replace Victor Nsofor transformed the game in the second half, Moses simply said: “We did very well in the first half though we lost a lot of chances, but in the second half we did better by converting the chances.” He however said he is looking forward to the start of the England Premier League with Chelsea few weeks from now.
NFF queries Manu over MRI test
OLDEN Eaglets’ head coach Manu Garba has drawn the ire of the NFF following the inability of some of his players to scale through the recent MRI test conducted in Abuja last weekend. A source at the NFF Secretariat in Abuja told NationSport that the President had ordered that a query be issued to the coach for regularly embarrassing the country with the ages of the players he has been selecting. "this
From Andrew Abah, Abuja is the third time he is embarrassing the country with the players he is selecting for the team. 12 players failed the first test, and two of the players also failed the test at the Africa tournament in Morocco early this year. Now another set are failing another test, we are no longer comfortable with his style. He has one or two things to tell the Federation" he concluded.
ETISALAT FCB U-17 SCHOOL CUP
Keke, Anthony Village High Schools qualify for finals
A •Uche Nwafor (l) of Nigeria celebrates his goal with teammate Nnamdi Oduamadi (r)during 2013 Nelson Mandela Challenge football match between South Africa and Nigeria
2014 WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS
Nigeria sends security guarantee, plan to FIFA
HE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Office of the InspectorGeneral of Police, Federal Republic of Nigeria on Wednesday dispatched to world football-governing body, FIFA, a detailed security guarantee and comprehensive plan for security for next month’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match between the Super Eagles and Flames of Malawi in Calabar. In the letter of security guarantee signed on the IGP’s behalf by Deputy InspectorGeneral of Police Philemon I. Leha, the Nigeria Police assured “all stakeholders and lovers of football that the Force will provide adequate security to ensure a conducive environment before, during and after the match between Nigeria and Malawi scheduled for 7th September, 2013 at the U. J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar, Cross River State.” The 12,000-capacity stadium has hosted several international matches involving Nigeria in the past, including previous 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Namibia and Kenya, as well as 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Rwanda and Liberia. But the
Football Association of Malawi, inexplicably, scurried to FIFA to express unfounded fears. NFF’s Acting General Secretary, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme, alongside Secretary of the NFF Security Committee, Dr. Christian Emeruwa, spent the better part of Wednesday at the Force Headquarters perfecting the security guarantee with top officers. The guarantee explained that apart from routine police lead escorts and back-up vehicles for both teams and match officials from point of arrival to point of departure, all hotels and training grounds to be used would be
adequately fortified; anti-bomb squad would be deployed to sweep and maintain all hotels and training pitches; anti-bomb squad would sweep and secure the entire stadium along with Police elite squad (Police Mobile Force/Counter Terrorist Unit); adequate security would be provided on match day in the entire vicinity of the stadium and hotels of teams and match officials and; there would be police escorts for teams and match officials to and from stadium on match day, among other measures. The letter also informed FIFA that ACP Gideon Akinsola, FIFA
National Security Officer in Nigeria, would be on duty at the big match. Next month’s game has assumed some importance as only two points separate the Super Eagles from the Flames at the top of Group F, with the Eagles needing only a draw to reach the 10-team final elimination round and the Malawians needing a win. FIFA had written to the Nigeria Football Federation on Monday to provide a letter of security guarantee from the appropriate authority in Nigeria as well as a detailed security plan for the qualifying match.
Akpala close to Boemen exit
HE arrival of Argentine striker Franco Di Santo at German side, Werder Bremen has further pushed Nigeria’s Joseph Akpala closer to the exit doors of his Bundesliga outfit. Bremen on Wednesday confirmed the signing of the Argentinean international on a free transfer from English club Wigan Athletic. The deal was confirmed by Bremen's Sport Manager,
Thomas Eichin, on the club’s official website as the 24-yearold attacker was handed a threeyear deal with the club from the banks of the Weser. The scenario does not augur well for Akpala who has struggled to impress since arriving from Club Brugge in Belgium. Already their suggestion that the Eagles striker may be heading to Turkey to try out his luck while other reports are
favouring a loan deal to a lower German side for the Nigerian forward. Meanwhile Bremne are full of praises for their latest acquisition describing him as the perfect quality they have been searching for -We had been in the hunt for a robust striker with experience in a big league. We are very confident that we have found a good solution in Franco Di Santo.
FTER a thrilling semi final game, Keke High School, IfakoIjaiye and Anthony Village Senior High School have booked places in the finals of the maiden edition of the Etisalat FC Barcelona Under 17 football competitions. Both schools located on the Mainland Lagos fought spiritedly to reach the finals which took place today at the Campos Mini Stadium, Lagos Island yesterday. Keke High School defeated Akande Dahunsi Senior Memorial High School, Ikoyi 2 – 1, while Anthony Village High School edged past Magbo Alade Senior Grammar School, Ibeju Lekki in a nail biting game that ended 1 – 0. They will now lock horns in the final match, slated for Saturday, 17 August. The eventual winner of the competition will go home with a cash prize of N1million Education grant for their school and a trip to the United Arab Emirates for the team. Speaking at the end of the match, Director, Brands and Communications, Etisalat Nigeria, Enitan Denloye, expressed satisfaction with the level of talent displayed thus far in the competition, adding that he was confident that the competition will impact positively on the lives of the students. He also urged players and coaches of both Akande Dahunsi Senior Memorial High School and Magbon Alade Senior Grammar Schools to see the defeat at the Semi Finals as a learning curve and a
By Bolaji Aluko-Olokun and Jeremiah Babatunde springboard to build on for better performances in the next edition of the competition. A total of 16 secondary schools took part in the Etisalat FC Barcelona U-17 School’s Cup designed to discover future talents for the country. Akande Dahunsi Senior Memorial High School, Ikoyi and Magbo Alade Senior Grammar School, Ibeju Lekki will compete in the third place play-off before the final game on Saturday. RESULTS OF FIRENDLY MATCHES Japan 2 - 4 Uruguay Korea Republic 0 - 0 Peru Egypt 3 - 0 Uganda Finland 2 - 0 Slovenia Chile 6 - 0 Iraq Sweden 4 - 2 Norway Romania 1 - 1 Slovakia Ukraine 2 - 0 Israel Colombia 1 - 0 Serbia Turkey 2 - 2 Ghana Liechtenstein 2 - 3 Croatia Hungary 1 - 1 Czech Austria 0 - 2 Greece Bosnia-Herzegovina 3 - 4 USA Switzerland 1 - 0 Brazil Poland 3 - 2 Denmark Germany 3 - 3 Paraguay Wales 0 - 0 Ireland Republic Macedonia FYR 2 - 0 Bulgaria Italy 1 - 2 Argentina England 3 - 2 Scotland Belgium 0 - 0 France
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
THE NATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
C OMMENT & D EB ATE EBA
NEW political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), a broad coalition of three political parties, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), and the All Nigerian Peoples’ Party (ANPP), has emerged on the Nigerian political scene. The registration of the new party by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after some disturbing hesitation and delay is commendable. It allayed widespread concerns that, under pressure by the PDP, the ruling party, the new party may not be registered. That would have been tragic. If there was such pressure from any political quarters, the INEC chose very wisely to reject it. In doing so, the INEC has restored public confidence in its electoral impartiality, vital in a democratic state. The emergence of this broad coalition of parties has generated some expectations and euphoria in Nigeria’s politics, particularly among the various opposition parties that have now merged and their supporters. The new party’s leaders are up beat about its electoral future. Many believe it is now time for change in the country, and that the new party may provide a credible alternative to the PDP Federal Government. Since the return of the country to civilian rule in 1999, the PDP has been in power, a total of 14 years. At the federal level at least, Nigeria was beginning to look increasingly like a one party state, or a one party dictatorship. After 14 years in power, the PDP Federal Government had become increasingly lethargic and complacent. That was partly because it did not have to contend with any serious opposition to its hold on power. The various opposition parties were too weak on their own to successfully challenge the electoral dominance of the PDP, itself an amalgam of various and often conflicting political tendencies. From that perspective, the emergence of a new broad coalition of parties should be considered a positive development in Nigerian politics. Nigeria needs a united, strong, and credible opposition party to check the excesses of the PDP Federal Government and make it more accountable and transparent. This has nothing to do with the performance or non-performance of the PDP Federal Government. Rather, it has to do with the fact that democracies function better where the opposition party has an electoral chance of replacing the ruling party in government. Even if the PDP Federal Government were doing quite well, it would still be necessary to have a strong opposition party that can present a clear alternative in policy choices to the nation. That is the essence of a true democracy. But will this new political alliance work? Does the emergence of the APC present the nation with the prospect of its becoming an alternative government? Can the APC seri-
RIPPLES PLAYERS OFFICIALS GET LIFE BAN FOR MATCH FIXING–News
This BAN won’t work. NFF doesn’t KEEP RECORDS
TOMORROW IN THE NATION ‘It is also not likely that angry verbal assault on Chief Akande by combative media aides while ignoring the important issues he had raised will suddenly lead to a change of fortune for a government that has not only failed to meet the aspirations of the people, but generally considered as very corrupt by both national and international press.’ JIDE OL UW AJUYIT AN OLUW UWAJUYIT AJUYITAN
FROM THE SUMMIT firstname.lastname@example.org
APC: What prospects?
ously challenge the dominance of the PDP in the 2015 federal elections? The APC must face the fact that the PDP is still quite formidable. As the ruling party, it has enormous financial resources that it can use to influence the outcome of the elections. The new opposition cannot match these vast PDP resources. The president’s powers of patronage are quite enormous and he will use some of this to win votes in critical areas at the 2015 elections. In recent weeks, President Jonathan has been going up and down the country with some political goodies to mobilise support for his government. At this point, one can only speculate about the political future of the new alliance, as there are far too many imponderables and uncertainties in the political equation. To start with, the history of political grand alliances in Nigeria has not been a happy one. Grand coalitions are not new in Nigeria’s political history. Even the PDP itself is a kind of grand political alliance welding both the progressives and the conservatives together. From 1959, Nigeria has been governed, except under military rule, by grand party coalitions. Even during the current civilian dispensation, at least two such alli-
OW, a great headline is made of this: “Jang-led NGF meets in Abuja.” This was cast by a national newspaper last Monday and it spontaneously tickled my fancy whereupon I had immediately adopted it as cannon for Hardball’s fodder. Many had accused Hardball of being near misanthropic toward Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State but how can one possibly help that with the man availing us a headline like this in addition to other freebies. So if the NGF (Nigerian Governors Forum) faction led by Jang meets in Abuja and the story comes out sounding like jangled NGF, Hardball can hardly be blamed if a power drama suddenly becomes eerily onomatopoeic. Now jangled as we know it, means when objects strike or are struck together and they make ringing and irritating noise. Thus when Jang gathers a horde of 15 fellows who are supposed to be governors and they claim to represent the majority of Nigeria’s 36 governors and they meet and purport to take deep-reaching decisions that include constitutional amendment then dear readers, it will only be appropriate to say that they are jangling, not meeting. Let’s recall quickly that the NGF has been an object of intense politicking and feuding among the ruling elite of the Peoples
ances among the opposition parties have been formed to dislodge the PDP from power. But, except the PDP, which is panNigeria, the other coalitions or alliances have all failed. This is because Nigeria has for long been dominated by regional or tribal parties, a situation that reflects the tribal political structure of the country. Such regional political parties have block, or ‘captive’ votes that they can trade off with other parties in a coalition such as the APC. The logic of Nigerian politics has been that regionally, or tribally based political parties, cannot win federal elections on their own and need to enter into some form of political alliance with other equally regionally based parties. It was this situation that led to the formation of two grand party alliances in 1964 in the run-up to the federal elections. The NPC and the regionally based National Democratic Party (that had replaced the AG in the West) entered into an alliance, while the NCNC and the rump of the AG formed the United Progressive Grand Alliance (UPGA). But these opposition alliances collapse when they lose elections because they are not really bound together by common values or policies, but by regional political interests, of which the most important is the capture of political power at the centre. The APC alliance will probably hold until after the 2015 presidential elections. If it loses that election it will probably collapse and the constituting parties will revert to their regional political stronghold. If it wins this will be a major feat. But the emergence of the APC is merely the first step in a long political journey. It will encounter many formidable challenges. A lot still has to be done by the alliance to dislodge the PDP from power. The alliance must avoid a descent into playing the regional card or pursuing regional interests as this will weaken the resolve and unity of the party. It is clear that the APC has some con-
flicting and contradictory tendencies in its fold. It is a coalition of both the progressives and the conservatives. Some of the politicians who have now embraced the APC worked actively in the past with the military. Their credentials as progressives are somewhat suspect. Many of them have no electoral appeal or credibility and could even prove to be an electoral liability to the new party. The major historical tragedy of the progressives in Nigeria is their inability to stay and stand the heat together. This was the case in 1993 when Abiola won the presidential elections on the platform of the SDP. When the military annulled the election many of those in the SDP, who had worked with Abiola, simply walked away and left him in the lurch. As a new coalition of parties, the APC should begin to mobilise the electorate at grass roots level for support and build strong party structures all over the country. Every hamlet, village, and towns must be involved in the mobilisation, and be made to believe that peaceful change, through elections, is possible in Nigeria. This is particularly vital in the North where federal elections are usually won or lost in the country. No political party has ever won federal elections in the country without getting the overwhelming political support and votes in the North. Obasanjo lost in the SW in 1999 but won the presidential elections with the backing of the North. That is where the major electoral battle is to be won. Now, this should lead the APC to present a credible Northern candidate in the 2015 presidential elections. Zoning of political offices, though deplorable, is a reality in Nigerian politics. It cannot be ignored. But such a candidate must be a youthful and visionary candidate that can swing the votes in the North and win the presidential elections for the APC. The party should avoid bringing in yesterday’s stodgy men who have little or nothing to offer the country. The party must also spell out in clear terms why it is different from the PDP, the ruling party, and why it deserves the broad support of the electorate. The public would like to know how the APC is going to tackle such prevailing critical challenges as mass corruption, state of insecurity, infrastructure deficit, poor health and education service deliveries, and the growing rate of unemployment in the country. These are some of the key economic problems facing the country. To have any chance of winning the 2015 presidential elections the APC must offer a credible alternative to the blundering and inept PDP Federal Government. • For comments, send SMS to 08054503031
•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above
Jang-led NGF meets!
the watching world saw or even think. They paid a courtesy call on the president who not minding the stench of their affair, received them with fanfare in a naked endorsement of perfidy. Egged on, they quickly set up a counter-secretariat and ever since, the jang-ling body has continued to pretend to meet as if all was well. Their meetings have not only constituted an irritating noise, it has continued to evolve into a repudiation of all decency, a national shame and an assault on the Nigerian psyche. If our governors, our prime leaders of the moment could before our eyes and the eyes of the world, enact a lie, insist on the lie, propagate the lie, live the lie and spend our resources on the lie, then that acutely portends doom. When such a woebegone body now seeks to amend our constitution then they really have carried the sacrifice past its destination, as the saying goes. It may well be time for all to challenge this charade and tell them that enough is enough. We must take an especial note that top on the outcome of the meeting of this Jang-led NGF is that the, “the forum constituted a five-man committee to streamline the proposed constitution amendment.” This abominable group deigns to make constitution for Nigerians! This joke surely jangles.
Democratic Party (PDP) since last year. The leaders of PDP had tried to stop Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi, the incumbent chairman of the NGF from seeking a second term in office for obvious political calculations that point towards the 2015 presidential poll. But Amaechi would not budge; he had gone into the election against his party’s candidate, Jang. He trounced him by 19 votes to 16 in a keenly contested, free and fair poll conducted by people of no mean status than governors. Since they could not have their way, the Jang-led (!) group turned it into a mudfight – what Lagosians would call roforofo fight. Of course not many who are used to winning by hook or crook (like the PDP) would live down the fact that one jug-headed governor had taken them apart. This is the genesis of this now famous Jang-led NGF which is fastidiously engaged in this mock parade. They held a press conference quickly claiming victory, not minding what Nigerians and
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