ID (Independent Democrats)
THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
Anambra governorship: APGA disqualifies Soludo, five others
HE ambition of former Central Bank (CBN) governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo to succeed Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State is in tatters after the ruling party in the state, All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), yesterday disqualified him from the race. Soludo, who recently defected from the PDP to APGA to seek the governorship ticket, said he would abide by the party’s decision.
Vincent IKUOMOLA, Abuja and Nwanosike ONU, Awka
Also disqualified by the APGA Screening Committee were five other aspirantsEmmanuel Nweke, Ogbuefi Tony Nnaechetta, Chinedu Francis Idigo, Dr. Chike Obidigbo, and Oseloka Obaze, the immediate past Secretary to the State Government. The party said they all fell
short of its expectation. But the screening panel, headed by Alhaji Tayo Sowunmi, cleared seven aspirants for the primaries. They are: Hon. Chukwuemeka Emmanuel Nwogbo, Paul Odenigbo, Hon. Uche Lillian Ekwunife, Chief Willie Obiano, John Nwosu, John Okechukwu Emeka and Nwachi Patrick Obianwu. With Alhaji Sowunmi in the screening panel were Mr.
Ifeanyi Mbaeri and Chief Onwuka Ukwa. Grounds for the disqualification, according to sources, ranged from non-presentation of voters card to lack of evidence of financial strength to execute the campaign and inability to submit tax clearance. Another disqualified aspirant, Idigo, expressed shock at his fate. He promised to make a fresh presentation to the committee today. “ The outcome of the screening came as a surprise to me, but I am going to prepare my appeal
immediately and submit to the Appeal Panel,” he said. The appeal panel will sit today and tomorrow at the party’s headquarters in Abuja. Soludo said his motive for joining APGA was to help build it into a formidable political party and vowed to keep his eyes on that objective. The former CBN governor, who reacted through his media aide, Bonaventure Melah, explained that though he was yet to find out the criteria for disqualifying him, he would abide by the decision of the party. He said: “Our attention has been drawn to the news that the APGA three-man screening panel for gubernatorial aspirants has not cleared Professor Chukwuma Soludo and five other aspirants. “ I called to inform him of the development and he had a good laugh. Without knowing the reason for the decision, he stated that he accepts what-
ever decision the party takes.” The entry of Soludo and former executive Director, Fidelity Bank,Chief Willie Obiano into the race had caused excitement within the party. Obiano, from Aguleri in Anambra North Senatorial zone, is believed to be close to Governor Peter Obi. Observers in the state describe him as the aspirant to watch. Soludo’s defection to APGA had sparked speculations in the state that he was the anointed candidate of Gov Obi but this lasted only a few days before the coming of Obiano. Many believe that he, more than any other aspirant in the party, holds the ace. He is from Anambra North where Governor Obi insists his successor must come from. That part of the state is yet to produce the governor since its inception. Speaking recently on his ambition, Soludo told reporters at his Isuofia home town that he came out to continue from where Obi would be stopping, following pressure from the people of the state.
Rivers Crisis: Court voids Amaechi’s Commission of Enquiry •PDP lauds verdict •Governor’s camp declines comment
T •President Goodluck Jonathan (middle) juggling a Sucket Electric Footbal presented to him by Uncharted Play Group during a courtesy call at the Presidential Villa yesterday. With him are Vice President Namadi Sambo (second left); the Minister of Trade and Investment, Segun Aganga (fourth left); the Minister of Works, Mike Onolomemen (right); the father of the Investor, Dr Mathew Idoni (left); Nigerian United State Investor, Miss Jessica Mathew (third right) and a member of the group, Oscar Salguero. PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN
ORMER military President General Ibrahim Babangida yesterday rubbished the fears that Nigeria might cease to exist by 2015. He dismissed such fears as a wishful thinking that will never come to pass. Speaking in his Minna country home with reporters ahead of his 72nd birthday today, the former Nigerian leader said that such a prediction “will make Nigeria to emerge stronger and more united come 2015.” He said the current security challenge in the country is not even sufficient to cause Nigeria’s disintegration, saying, “We are only crying wolf when there is no cause for it. “Folks, forget about disintegration in 2015. I can’t see it happening. A country that will disintegrate, you will know it. It is not something that happens in one or two months. The disin-
HE Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt yesterday annulled the Justice Biobele Georgewill Judicial Commission of Enquiry probing the July 9 and 10 fracas in the state House of Assembly. The court branded the commission of enquiry unconsti-
2015: Nigeria won’t break up, says IBB Jide ORINTUNSIN, Minna, Onyedi OJIABOR and Sanni ONOGU, Abuja
tegration of Nigeria is just out of question,” he said. He was of the opinion that the motive behind the prediction was to instil fears in Nigerians. His words: ”People say all sorts of things to instil fear in others. If the majority of the people believe in the unity of the country, then why do they worry about someone saying it will disintegrate? I know it wouldn’t. People are just crying wolf. “Nigeria is one of the amazing countries we have in the world. If you live outside Nigeria and you hear and listen about the happenings in the country, you will think the world is coming to an end, only for you to come to the country
and see the people, they are happy, laughing, attending football matches and doing other things. That is Nigeria for you.” He asked the media to “stop giving prominence “ to such misgivings. “The fact is that the struggles and challenges currently facing the country will end up making her a great nation,” he added. Babangida also ruled out violence in the 2015 election because, as he put it, “2015 election will come and go. “There are people assigned the responsibility for the election. The politicians, the followers who will vote, aspirants seeking people’s mandate, they are all in place. It is not a rat race.” He however advised that electorate to elect leaders
with good credentials who believe in the Project Nigeria and have her interest at heart during the next general elections. “What we need are leaders who have good understanding of what we want to achieve and look for people who share the same view and work with them,” he said, naming former President Olusegun Obasanjo as one of the leaders who have the interest of the nation at heart. “My boss, General Obasanjo, there is one thing that we cannot take away from him; he believes in the unity of the country. You can’t take it away, and this is what we all believe in. “So, anyone who believes in the unity of this country at any level, I think should be the leaders to vote for.” President Goodluck
50 die in Egyptian bloodbath on Islamists’ ‘Day of Rage’
SLAMIST protests descended into a bloodbath across Egypt yesterday, with around 50 killed in Cairo alone on a “Day of Rage” called by followers of ousted President Mohamed Mursi to denounce a crackdown by the armybacked government. As automatic gunfire echoed across Cairo, the standoff seemed to be sliding ever faster towards armed confrontation, evoking past conflict between militant Islamists and the state in the most populous Arab nation. According to reports by Reuters, more than 40 people were also killed in provincial cities, taking the overall toll close to 100, although the intense shooting eventually died down in Cairo at dusk as a curfew began. While Western governments urged restraint after hundreds died when security forces cleared protest camps two days ago, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah endorsed the government’s tactics against the Muslim Brotherhood, saying on Friday his nation stood with Egypt in its battle against “terrorism”. Army helicopters hovered low over supporters of Mursi’s Brotherhood in Ramses Square, the theatre of much of yesterday’s bloodshed in Cairo, black smoke billowing from at
least one huge blaze which lit up the night sky after sundown. A witness saw the bodies of 27 people, apparently hit by gunfire and birdshot, wrapped in white sheets in a mosque. Another said security forces opened fire from numerous directions when a police station was attacked. A security official said 24 policemen had been killed and 15 police stations attacked since late Thursday, underlining the increasing ferocity of the violence. Egyptian state media have hardened their rhetoric against the Brotherhood - which ruled Egypt for a year until the army removed Mursi on July 3 - invoking language used to describe militant groups such as al Qaeda and suggesting there is little hope of a political resolution to the crisis. “Egypt fighting terrorism,” said a logo on state television. Showing no sign of wanting to back down, the Brotherhood announced a further week of nationwide protests. Islamists have periodically been in conflict with the Egyptian military for decades. Nationalist General Gamal Abdel Nasser staged a crackdown on the Brotherhood in the 1950s and another followed before and after the 1981 assassination of President Anwar Sadat by fundamentalist officers. In the 1990s militants waged a bloody campaign for an Islamic state.
Jonathan, in a goodwill message to Gen. Babangida, wished him a happy birthday. He praised the former military ruler for a life of outstanding accomplishments. A similar message came from the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) which said his untiring efforts at preserving the unity of the nation remained unrivalled. Babangida’s life, according to the governors, “symbolises statesmanship, patriotism, vision and courage.” Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, who spoke for his colleagues, said the former military leader excelled in his chosen profession and went on to preside over Africa’s most influential country during which period he showed rare vision, courage and exemplary leadership. The forum then prayed God to grant IBB excellent health, courage and many more years of selfless service to Nigeria and humanity. Senate President David Mark, in a separate message, described Babangida as a “quintessential statesman” whose leadership quality remains a reference point in the contemporary history of Nigeria. “Babangida remains a true statesman and a nationalist who believes in one indivisible, united, peaceful and progressive Nigeria,” he said.
Rosemary NWISI, Port Harcourt
tutional and ordered it to stop sitting forthwith. Besides, it restrained the governor and the state’s Attorney-General for themselves and as representatives of the government from receiving, accepting or howsoever implementing any report or recommendation from the judicial commission of enquiry. Justice Iyayi Lanmikaran, in granting the two reliefs sought by the applicant, Mr. Victor Ihunwo, one of the five antiAmaechi members of the State Assembly, held that the executive has no right to dabble into the affairs of the legislature under the 1999 Constitution. The panel was set up by Governor Rotimi Amaechi to probe the fracas which was sparked when the five assemblymen who were on suspension stormed the House to impeach Speaker Otelamaba Dan Amachree and install their own speaker in Mr. Evans Bipi. The attempt was resisted by the majority of the lawmakers who are on the side of the governor in the crisis that has polarised the PDP in the state. Justice Lanmikaran also faulted part of the commission’s terms of reference which, according to her, infringes on criminal issues that ought to be handled by regular courts. Counsel to the commission, Mr. Olusola Dare said: “It’s the court’s decision; we have accepted the judgment. “The Judge has delivered her judgement. Everybody is bound by the judgment. “The only thing applicable now is for us to decide the next line of action. We accept the judgment for now. He said he would consult with his clients first to know whether the case would go on appeal. The applicant, Ihunwo, lauded the court’s judgment and said “God has vindicated me.” Restating his reasons for going to court in the first instance, Ihunwo said: •Continued on Page 4
THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
BOUT 15 more groups have applied to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for registration as political parties. The development is already generating anxiety in the commission with officials worried stiff by the huge cost of conducting the 2015 polls if all the parties have to participate. They fear that the nature of the electoral process may turn out to be unnecessarily cumbersome and in effect confuse voters. But INEC is looking up to the National Assembly to effect amendments to the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act for new guidelines to limit the number of parties that can appear on ballot papers. INEC records show that 63 political parties had participated in the 2011 poll at one level or the other. Of the 63, only 20 contested the presidential poll which was won by President Goodluck Jonathan. But about 11 of the 63 parties met the requirement of Section 7 of the Electoral Act by winning at least a seat in the National Assembly. Armed with the law, INEC wielded the big stick by deregistering 25 of the 63 parties. Investigation by our correspondent however revealed that in spite of the de-registration of some parties, applications for new ones are flooding INEC on a daily basis. It was learnt that while the increasing number of applications could be attributed to internal crises in some parties, the immediate factor might be the high stake for presidential seat in 2015. Some of the applications have been traced to disenchanted members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It was gathered that some politicians, who are trying to unseat President Jonathan, have resorted to formation of parties in case they are sidelined in their present parties. Some politicians were also said to be indulging in party formation as a result of a hidden agenda to distort the electoral process. There were fears that those de-registered in the past are taking advantage of the law to form new parties. But the development is giving INEC some concerns, especially the likelihood of unwieldy number of parties on the ballot paper. A National Commissioner, who spoke in confidence, said: “It is amazing that we are getting applications on a daily basis for registration of new parties. As I am talking to you, we have about 10 to 15 applications pending before the commission. “Yet, we have no cause to deny these new parties registration as long as they meet the requirements. “After the 2011 poll, we toned down the number of parties to 25 in line with Section 78 of the Electoral Act, but the number is going up. “Since the registration of the All Progressives Congress (APC ), we have been getting an application every week.” Responding to a question, the commissioner added: “It makes the number of parties unwieldy and the cost of printing the ballot papers and conducting the 2015 poll will be higher at a period the nation is experiencing revenue shortfall. “We are concerned too that unmanageable number of parties might make the electoral process cumbersome because voters might become con-
THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
2015: 15 more parties seek registration
•INEC worried by cost, unwieldy number of parties •Seeks new laws to limit number of parties on ballot papers Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation fused. You can imagine a presidential ballot with 150 or 200 candidates.” The source said the National Assembly “might need to assist this electoral commission to put in some checks. “This is necessary now that the nation is undergoing constitution review. Even the law on de-registration of parties is being challenged and we have conflicting judgments from four courts. Three of the judgments were in favour of INEC, one against.” The source added that INEC believes that the nation needs a law which would set criteria for parties before they can participate in any election or be on the ballot paper. “For instance, there are many parties in Germany and France but there are minimum criteria you must meet to contest presidential election or get on the ballot paper. We should be able to set the minimum conditions for getting on the ballot papers. “We may need to revisit the Electoral Act which says the registration of new political parties ceases six months before an election. If we do not review the law, more parties will register eight months before 2015 poll. “These are some of the electoral challenges before the
2015 poll. With good laws, we can overcome these challenges. We can register 1,000 parties but those to be on the ballot might be 10 or 20 depending on criteria.” Parties are usually registered in compliance with Section 222 of the 1999 Constitution and Section 78 of the Electoral Act. Section 222 of the constitution says “No Association by whatever name called shall function as a political party unless: a. the names and addresses of its national officers are registered with the Independent National Electoral Commission; b. the membership of the association is opened to every citizen of Nigeria irrespective of his place of origin, circumstance of birth, sex, religion or ethnic grouping c. a copy of its constitution is registered in the principal office of INEC in such form as may be prescribed by INEC d. any alteration in its registered constitution is also registered in the principal office of INEC within 30 days of the making of such alteration e. the name of the association, its symbol or logo does not contain any ethnic or religious connotation or give the appearance that the activities of the association are confined to a part only of the geographical area of Nigeria and f. the headquarters of the association is situated in the Fed-
eral Capital Territory, Abuja Section 78 of the Electoral Act reads: “A political association that complies with the provision of the constitution and this Act for the purposes of registration shall be registered as a political party. Provided that such application for registration as a political party shall be duly submitted to the Commission not later than 6 months before a general election.
“The Commission shall, on receipt of the documents in fulfillment of the conditions stipulated by the Constitution, immediately issue the applicant with a letter of acknowledgement stating that all the necessary documents have been submitted to the Commission. “If the association has not fulfilled all the conditions under the section, the Commis-
sion shall within 30 days from the receipt of its application notify the association in writing, stating the reasons for non-registration. “A political association that meets the conditions stipulated in the constitution and this Act shall be registered by the Commission as a political party within 30 days from the date of receipt of the application, and if after the 30 days such association is not registered by the Commission, unless the Commission informs the association to the contrary, it shall be deemed to have
•Suspected pipeline vandals arrested by men of the Nigerian Navy at Majidun, Lagos State yesterday.
Navy arrests five suspected pipeline vandals with 126 jerrycans of PMS
EN of the Nigerian Navy attached to the NN Ship BEECROFT, Apapa, Lagos yesterday arrested five suspected pipeline vandals who were allegedly siphoning petroleum products from a vandalised pipeline at Majidun, Ikorodu. After an engagement in a shootout at about midday on Friday, the Navy was able to recover a total of 126 kegs of illegally refined premium motor spirit (PMS), as well as four stick boats used by the perpetrators. The arrest of the suspects at Ikorodu, The Nation learnt, was barely few weeks after some vandals were intercepted at the Festac area, although they fled and aban-
•Suspects include nursing mother Precious IGBOWELUNDU
doned their boats and products they collected with polythene bags. While parading the suspects, including a nursing mother, Commander NNS Beecroft, Commodore Chris Ezekobe, said the suspects were among several others who had allegedly converted Majidun area into a safe haven for their criminal activities. Ezekobe explained that the arrest was sequel to an intelligence report that vandals were operating in the area, following which a team of naval operatives mounted surveillance. He said: “Yesterday morn-
ing, at about 11:45 pm, our men stormed the water front at Majidun area of Ikorodu. At the sight of military men, the vandals opened fire and the situation got volatile, though no casualty was recorded. “In the exchange of gun fire, some of the vandals abandoned their syphoned products and fled. “We observed that the villagers were aiding and abeiting the illicit business, hence we have planned to carry out a joint raid in the area with a view to arresting those involved.” He further explained that the ongoing raid on vandals was in line with the Chief of Naval
Staff’s zero tolerance for illegal bunkering and pipeline vandalism. However, the suspects denied the allegation, saying they were only at the scene for their daily bread. The nursing mother, who gave her name as Elizabeth Akinbotu, claimed she was around the area to fetch firewood when the operatives stormed it. She alleged that she was arrested in her bid to escape in one of the boats. “I did not know. I was fetching firewood in the bush and people were fighting on the road. As they were fighting, I jumped into the boat and the naval personnel arrested me. “I do not sell firewood, but one old woman in my area at Ikorodu, who sells firewood,
asked me to help her fetch them around Majidun. “It was around 6 pm and the boat wanted to fall into the river. I was with one of my senior sisters, but she was able to escape. I have a four-monthold baby and I sell soft drinks and snacks,” she said. Also arrested were two brothers Segun Ogunsemore (22) and Muni Ogunsemore (20) who claimed they were only going to check their fish nets when they were apprehended. Their claims, according to Ezekobe, would be determined at the end of preliminary investigation, just as he warned vandals to stay clear of the command’s jurisdiction or have same fate befall them.
Court voids Amaechi’s Commission of Enquiry
•Continued from Page 2
“Chibuike Amaechi, governor of the state, is an interested party. So, as an interested party, he cannot be a judge in his own case. As a result, we know that we cannot get any good judgment from the panel he has set up. “Some members of the panel are somehow related to him, e.g Agbaraosimili who has total loyalty to the chief of staff and the governor. “This matter concerns the legislative arm of government and on no account can the Executive come in to settle our internal wrangling. “It behoves on us to settle our matters by ourselves, and by this judgement, God has vindicated us.” Asked if the PDP crisis could ever end, he said: “I can’t say that we, the five law makers loyal to Evans Bipi, are not ready for peace. What has happened today is a proof to
the world that we are ready for peace. His counsel, Dike Udenna, said: “The incident we are talking about happened in the hallowed chambers of the Rivers State House of Assembly. By the doctrine of separation of power, the legislative arm of government is different and distinct from the executive arm. The Executive cannot now rise up to set up an enquiry to investigate the internal workings of the other arm of government.” The State’s Attorney General and Commisioner for Justice declined comment on the verdict. The Obuah faction of the PDP in the state lauded the ruling with Mr. Jerry Needam, Special Adviser on Media to the Chairman, Hon Felix Obuah, saying the nullification of the commission has “vindicated the position of the party that the setting up of the
Commission ab initio was illintended and had no other motive than to witch-hunt perceived opponents of Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi who is also a party in the crisis.” The party hailed the courage displayed by the judiciary to “insist on the truth and the fact that Gov Amaechi who was physically present at the scene of the incident and fully took part in the fracas cannot deny being part of the crisis and therefore cannot turn round to investigate the matter in whatever guise, as that would amount to a breach of natural justice to be a judge in one’s own case. “We are happy and wish to express our renewed confidence in the Nigerian judiciary to uphold justice in the face of intimidation and wanton display of power. “Particularly noteworthy is the recognition of the fact that
the state legislature is a separate arm of government as significant as both the executive and the judiciary and must not be hijacked by either of the arms.” It wondered why individual members of the dissolved commission of enquiry accepted to serve in such a body “which it described as a tool for indictment of opponents and probably, also aimed to rubbish the hard earned reputation of the members of the panel.” A member of the House of Representatives from the state, Chief Andrew Uchendu, however expressed shock at the court’s decision. Uchendu, Chairman of the House Committee on Public Service Matters, said the state government reserved the right to look at the logic and basis on which the ruling was made and decide if it should accept or appeal the ruling.
Wanosike Samuel, Secretary-General of Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI), which has the Minister of State for Education Nyesom Wike as patron, described the ruling as a testament to the fact that the judiciary remains the last hope of the common man. “The judiciary has always stood by the people of Rivers State and has always come to their rescue. We are happy and we congratulate the entire people of the state for this well delivered judgment,” he said. Earlier in the week, the commission had summoned the Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike; Chief Felix Obuah; and the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Joseph Mbu, to appear before it to respond to allegations against them. Other persons summoned by the commission include lawmakers opposed to Governor Amaechi.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
2015: North’s battle against Jonathan takes new turn
ROMINENT Northern politicians are the brains behind the newly registered Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) in what is the clearest indication yet from the North about its intention to give President Goodluck Jonathan a run for his money in the 2015 presidential race. The PDM was registered yesterday alongside Independent Democrats (ID) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), 24 hours after news broke of the filing of an application for registration by the group founded by the late General Shehu Yar’Adua. Top on the list of the major promoters of the newly registered PDM is Alhaji Bashir Yusuf Ibrahima who is also a member of the Northern Political Leaders’ Forum(NPLF) led by ex-Minister Adamu Ciroma. He is the protem National Chairman of the party. Some former ministers in the cabinet of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and serving senators and members of the House of Representatives are also said to be bankrolling the PDM.
Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
•INEC okays party linked to Atiku, Ciroma, Yar’Adua •Key northern leaders, ex-ministers, senators queue behind PDM
NPLF’s scribe to lead new party A
LHAJI Bashir Yusuf was Secretary of the NPLF under the Ciroma leadership. He was also a one-time Political Adviser to ex-VP Atiku and served as his agent during the PDP presidential primary in January 2011. It was also learnt that ex-Minister of Education, Prof. Babalola Borishade, might head the think-tank team of the PDM. A source close to the group said: “The PDM is a platform for freedom from the stranglehold of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). We are providing Nigerians an alternative platform to make their choice. If President Goodluck Jonathan wants to keep the PDP to himself, let him do so now that there is an alternative. “This is why ex-ministers, key Northern leaders, senators and members of the House of Representatives are queuing behind this new party. “The real battle for 2015 poll has started; the PDM will work with like minds to give Nigerians an alternative in 2015.” Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who was initially mentioned as one of the promoters of the party said on Thursday he remained in the PDP, but said he could not stand in the way of any of his
supporters who might want to join the PDM. Its registration has the potential to be a major political changer as many aggrieved members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from
Responding to a question, the source said: “When we get to the appropriate stage, we may work with parties of like minds, including the All Progressives Congress (APC), to effect a change in 2015. “We will ensure that all Nigerians are carried along irrespective of tribe or religion.” On the speculations that Borishade is actively involved in driving the strategy of the new party, the source added: “Borishade had always been the strategist to the PDM before ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo snatched him from Atiku. “It was Atiku that lost Borishade to Obasanjo. Now the PDM has regained Borishade.” Alhaji Yusuf, who spoke briefly with our correspondent last night, said: “The registration is a good development. Politics in Nigeria will never be the same again. “The PDM is the real alternative Nigerians are waiting for because I have no doubt in my mind that it will challenge the present decadent order and try to fix Nigeria for all of us, not for sections, religions or tribes, but for all of us.” the North are likely to defect to the new party. Confirming the registration of the PDM and ID yesterday, INEC Secretary, Mrs. A.C. Ogakwu, said: “The Independent National Electoral Com-
mission (INEC) has registered two new political parties in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended) and the Electoral Act 2010 (as
Amended). “The newly registered parties are the Independent Democrats (ID) and the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM). “The constitution, manifesto, logo/flag and list of national executive ffficers of each party have also been approved by the commission.” The commission last night posted on its website the names of officials of the new parties as follows: PDM- National Chairman, Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim; National Secretary, Dr. Joseph O. Akinwumi; National Treasurer, Gagogo Emmanuel; National Financial Secretary, Aku Cecilia Betzom; and National Legal Adviser, Barr. Kabiru Umaru Dodo. ID:National Chairman, Edozie Madu; National Secretary, Tobi Adeniyi; National Treasurer, Ahanmisi Izegwuma Abigail; National Financial Secretary, Whetode Desire; and National Legal Adviser, Charles Ibeh.
Rights groups to drag Egypt to ICC
ENERAL Abdel Fattah Sisi of Egypt and mem bers of the Adly Monsour-led Interim Government may likely face the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the killing of hundreds of protesters, if the threats of some human rights groups are anything to go by. At a press briefing in Lagos, the Nigerian Civil Society Coalition Against Coup and Militarisation of Politics in Africa strongly condemned the “brutal, inhuman, barbaric, cold-blood murder of innocent citizens in Egypt.” Comrade Buna Isiak of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) and Comrade Ibuchukwu Ezike of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) who read the statement described the killings in Egypt as genocide. “We are holding General Abdel Fattah Sisi responsible for the genocide of innocent African citizens. We are working with international human rights lawyers to get the ICC to initiate a process of investigation and indictment of General Sisi and his co-collaborators in the illegitimate interim government. “We also deplore the criminal silence of the US, EU and other countries over the appropriate labelling of the events in Egypt as a coup d’etat. This is very disappointing, but not entirely out of character when it comes to these countries dealing with Africa. Africa is inhabited by people and not guinea pigs that could be used for all sorts of stupid and inhuman experiment by the socalled purveyors of civilized ideals of democracy and development who live by what they sometimes not preach. The whole world is watching,” the group said. According to them, the event in Egypt is an ongoing effort to build a broad based and formidable movement against anti-people and regressive elements in the African society who are determined to
Tajudeen ADEBANJO consign Africa to the dustbin of history when many of their contemporaries in Asia have turned the page against underdevelopment, poverty and military dictatorship and have been deservedly welcome into the comity of progressive, developed and powerful countries in the world. “Egypt, the group said, set a bad precedent in the full glare of global media when its criminally minded military violently hacked down more than 2000 innocent citizens who were exercising their globally respected rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association. “The event in Egypt is reminiscent of our own struggle against regressive forces in the military who tried to subvert the popular will of Nigerians with the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential elections won by the late Chief MKO Abiola. ”With a benefit of hindsight, the Nigerian military seems to be more civilised when their action is put side by side with the brutal massacre of more than 2000 protesters, mostly youths, children and women by the Egyptian military. “While welcoming the civilised response of the African Union (AU) countries in condemning the coup, we believe they should do more to halt the ongoing genocide. Africa has truly come of age. We call on all progressive elements in Africa and the world to condemn this murder of innocent, defenceless citizens in Egypt. Today it is Egypt, we are not sure where next. “We condemn strongly the declaration of the state of emergency by the usurping junta. Emergency rule has no place in a democratic or democratising dispensation.” They group joined the United Nations to call for the immediate reinstatement of the legitimate elected president of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi.
•Tanko Dada, Chairman, Niger State Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, presenting a birthday card to Gen. Ibrahim Babangida...yesterday
Presidency gives FAAN 48 hours to remove tankers from Lagos airport T
HE Federal Government yesterday issued a 48hour ultimatum to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to relocate fuel tankers out of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, citing anxiety over safety and security concerns occasioned by the threat of Boko Haram. To ensure compliance, all security agencies attached to the airport, including State Security Services ( SSS), Nigerian Air Force and others have been mobilised to ensure the fuel tankers are removed out of the airport before Wednesday, as they constitute an infraction to operations at the terminal. Briefing newsmen yesterday, the Director of Aviation Safety, FAAN, Mr. Wendel Ogunedo, said there was no going back on the relocation of the fuel tankers, many of which have broken down and could be a vulnerable target by people with sinister motives. He said the FAAN, acting on the orders of the presidency, would not like to see the fuel tankers along the way into the
Kelvin OSA OKUNBOR
international terminal, as any spillage of inflammable liquid, including aviation fuel, could do incalculable damage to installations and houses as well as houses around the airport. Ogunedo said a new place had been provided by the FAAN for the tanker drivers to operate from. He said the presence of the tanker drivers around the airport was a great disservice to the transformation going on around the airport. The Regional Manager, South West of the FAAN, Mr. Edward Olarerin also said since 2005, the authority had been meeting with the affected parties on how to find a lasting solution to the problem. He said efforts to relocate the tanker drivers in the past had not yielded positive results. He said some of the trucks that had been abandoned at the airport were not meant for lift-
ing aviation fuel, raising concerns why owners of such trucks would abandon them for many years. Olarerin said the FAAN would not tolerate “a situation where trucks that are no more useful should be dumped on the access way to the airport.” He said in 2005, about 111 trucks were impounded by the FAAN. Speaking on behalf of the Petroluem Tanker Drivers (PTD), an arm of the NUPENG, the Assistant Secretary of the Lagos Zonal Command, Comrade Tayo Aboyeji, said his members “are willing to relocate on the condition that the FAAN provides the necessary facilities, including toilet and rest rooms.” He appealed for an 48-hour extension of the ultimatum given them to relocate to enable tanker drivers adjust to the new arrangement. He commended the FAAN for the space provided them to operate from, affirming that if
the authority in the past had provided such facility, the matter would have been resolved. The relocation of the tanker drivers is coming on the heels of the planned commissioning of the extended wings of the airport billed for next week by the Vice President, Alhaji Namani Sambo. The FAAN boss said: ”All security agencies have been briefed and mandated to comply with the relocation of the tanker drivers in view of the serious security concerns raised over the trucks around the airport. “If there is a fuel spillage or an inferno arising therefrom, the incident would be serious.” An official of the State Security Services said the government directed the relocation of the fuel tankers as a follow-up to the alert raised from a confessional statement of a Boko Haram suspect which indicated that the fuel trucks at the Lagos airport could be a likely target of attacks.
THE NATION, SATURDAY,AUGUST 17, 2013
Rivers crisis: ‘Wike’s grandstanding is for political relevance’
HE representative of the Rivers West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Wilson Ake, has described the “unguarded” utterances of the Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, as grandstanding for political relevance. He also stated that some persons from Rivers State allowed themselves to be used, a situation he described as very unfortunate and shocking. Ake, who is also the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity, stated these yesterday in an interview in Port Harcourt, expressed displeasure over the refusal of the Federal Government to redeploy the Rivers Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu. He noted that the self-acclaimed “Speaker” of the Rivers House of Assembly, Evans Bipi, who represents the Ogu/Bolo constituency, was simply displaying ignorance by publicly announcing that the key of the Assembly was in his pocket and they could sit at anytime, despite taking over of the functions of the House by the National Assembly. Wike, a former Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt and the Director-General of the Amaechi Campaign Organisation in 2011, is an Ikwerre like Governor Rotimi Amaechi who is also the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF). The Minister of State for Education, who is also the grand patron of the Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI), two weeks ago in Port Harcourt at a GDI
Bisi OLANIYI, Port Harcourt event, publicly stated that he would make Rivers State ungovernable and life uncomfortable for Amaechi, unless he begs him. The senator said: “I am not against Wike’s governorship ambition in 2015 or anybody showing interest in any position. There is no law against it. We only have moral and political understanding that allows people to indicate their interests, according to the dictates of the moment. “If you are interested in a political office, you should not cause mayhem or problems for people, especially with Wike’s declaration that people will no longer be sleeping with their eyes closed because of danger. It is condemnable. “When Amaechi was contesting, he was not the only person. People showed interest, but the understanding was there, like an unwritten rule, for positions to go elsewhere, not to be retained in the same place. “All of us are reasonable about it because we want peace in Rivers State. We want everybody to have a sense of belonging. That is why we feel that no matter how good you are, you should allow others to partake. Wike’s ambition is not wrong, but the way he is going about it is heating up the polity. “The crisis is because of political interest. All the grandstanding is for political relevance. Peace will definitely come. The only concern is that anybody who has gone too far, how does he retrace his steps?
“If they did not allow themselves to be used, all these things (crises) would not have happened. We must always put the interest of the state first because the state is bigger than individuals.” Wike, who responded through the Secretary-General of the GDI, Samuel Nwanosike, described Ake’s allegations as laughable and senseless. He said: “Wilson Ake is angry because his elder brother (Chief Godspower Ake) was sacked as Rivers State PDP Chairman by an Abuja High Court in April. What else do you expect from a drowning man? “Ake has never moved any motion in the Senate. He has not represented his senatorial district well. His allegations
Franca OCHIGBO, Abuja and response architecture with particular reference to flood, mitigation and prevention. “With the report being finalized and the disaster risk reduction action plan in its final stage, we are in better position now as a country and as an agency to push forward the collaboration between EU and Nigeria. “We hope your visit today will enable you to see some of our efforts in emergency preparedness and the reality on ground, therefore the mission is expected to address certain areas. “The areas are the identification of lesson learnt from the 2012 flooding, risk assess-
HE Central Bank of Ni geria (CBN) yesterday set up guidelines for the management of the N220 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Development Fund it launched on Thursday. In a circular, the CBN said the fund will be managed by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). However, the CBN will commence the management of the fund pending the establishment/appointment of the SPV or managing agent. It said a large number of un-served and under-served clients exist in the Nigerian MSME sub-sector. It said to address the funding requirements of this critical segment of the economy, 80:20 ratio for on-lending to micro enterprises and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) re-
ment and mapping with specific focus on the hydrological risk and related individual hazards, including emergency planning and procedure, coordination and communication between different regional stakeholders. “Another critical area is the information management specifically related to the procedure and early warning system with a great possibility of another flooding in 2013. You will agree with me that early warning time is important.” Sidi appealed for speedy action and drive from the assistance of the EU, thereby hoping the support and commitment will be sustained and be of mutual benefit between the two countries.
NITAD to honour Aregbesola, Aliyu, Obi, Shema
HE 21st edition of the Annual Trainers’ Con ference of the Nigerian Institute of Training and Development (NITAD) with the theme, “Learning and Development: A Tool for Developing Future Workforce” holds between August 20 and 22 in Abuja. The nation’s foremost learning and development institute has admitted four governors into the body of the institute’s honorary fellowship. They are Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola of the Osun State, Dr. Muazu Babangida
He declared that it was still unsafe for the Rivers lawmakers to be allowed to sit, stating that it would amount to taking a big risk. The senator noted that taking over the Rivers Assembly by the National Assembly was to prevent additional problems by letting the tempers calm down and people begin to talk to one another for reason to prevail, maintaining that it was not an indefinite take over. He said: “The Senate carried out investigation, to know what led to the crisis before taking a position. Two heads are better than one. The Senate and the House of Representatives declared that the Commissioner of Police should give way to ensure peace in Rivers State.
“If we desire peace in Rivers State, the first person to be sent away is Mbu because his actions were very obvious and everybody saw that he was playing politics out of the whole thing and condemned the Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, quite enough for him to be asked to go.” “The National Assembly members are on long recess. By the time we come back, decision will be taken on the issue because we are the largest representatives of the people who gather together in one place. If 439 persons took a decision, a reasonable person should look at it critically. It is very unfortunate that the IGP is yet to redeploy Mbu.”
CBN sets operating rules for N220b MSME fund
NEMA, E U to tackle 2013 flooding HE Director General, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Mohummed Sani Sidi, said yesterday that the agency is partnering state governors on creating channels to stall the upcoming 2013 flooding from destroying lives and property. He said this during the European Union Technical Assistance Mission to Nigeria led by Mr. Kimmo Tuominem in Abuja, stating that the agency has sent out an early warning sign to all the states of the federation and is delighted that a lot of states are putting measures in place to ensure safety when the flooding begins. He said: “In the conduct of the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) that was carried out during the 2012 flooding, the EU gave its maximum support and are still ready to assist the Nigerian government in the area of disaster risk management. “The mission of the EU today is a further testimony and affirmation of the commitment of the union to partner the agency and other development partners in building capacity and strengthening the institutional structure and procedure for emergency management and response for Nigeria. “It is hoped that the EU will identify gaps that may not have been adequately addressed and has since been improving the preparedness
are laughable and senseless. “When Wike supported Amaechi in 2007 and ensured his re-election in 2011 as chairman of his campaign organisation, the minister was not abused. Wike is standing for Rivers people and cannot be intimidated. “Whenever President Goodluck Jonathan declares his intention to seek re-election, Wike and most Niger Deltans will support their kinsman who is doing well. The senator should retrace his steps.” Ake also stated that with the July 9 fracas in the hallowed chambers of the Rivers House of Assembly, it would not be ideal for the members to sit now, to avoid a breakdown of law and order.
Aliyu of Niger State, Mr. Peter Obi of Anambra State and Sarkin Yakin Hausa, Barrister Shehu Shema of Kastina State. The prestigious award, according to Mr. Soji Akinyemi, the Public Relations Officer of the institute, will be conferred on the recipients at a gala nite slated for Reiz Continental Hotel, Abuja. Dignitaries from the fields of learning and development and other areas of human endeavour will grace the occasion.
Collins NWEZE spectively has been designed. The CBN said women’s access to financial services should increase by 15 per cent annually in order to eliminate gender disparity. It also said to achieve this, 60 per cent, N132 billion, of the fund has been earmarked for providing financial services to women. The regulator said in operating the fund, special consideration will be given to institutions that will provide financial services to graduates of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Entrepreneurship Development Centres (EDCs). Also, 10 per cent of the fund will be earmarked for
social and developmental objectives as grants, N11 billion; Interest Drawback Program, N6.60 billion; Managing Agent’s (MA) Operational Expenses N4.4 billion. However, MA is expected to generate income from its operational activities to fund its future expenses on a sustainable basis. The CBN explained that N6.6 billion earmarked for Interest Drawback will be used to settle the rebates to financial institution’s customers under the fund who repay their loans as and when due while the N11.0 billion for grants will fund programmes that are aimed at developing the MSME sub-sector. However, 90 per cent of
the fund, amounting to N198 billion, will be utilised for the provision of direct on-lending facilities to participating financial institutions. It said participating financial institutions can only finance agricultural value chain activities; trade and general commerce; cottage industries; artisans, among others. The banking watchdog said to ensure that productive sectors of the economy continue to attract more financing necessary for employment creation and diversification of the country’s economic base, a maximum of 10 per cent of the commercial component of the fund will be channelled to trading and commerce.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
Government, democracy and anarchy
basic definition of government in Political Science is that a government is any government that can legiti mately and consistently maintain law and order, and control the use of physical force within its given territorial area It follows therefore that this week’s carnage in Egypt, ancient land of the Pharaohs and the slaughter of demonstrators and supporters of deposed President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood , a bloody spectacle brought to the rooms and privacy of a global internet and TV audience, should provide food for thought today. This is because in just one day which was Wednesday, the Health Ministry in Egypt announced that over 500 Egyptians had been killed with over 40 Police officers included. The frighteningly bloody scenario vividly showed a live tragedy of the use of violence and force to establish law and order by a diarchy of an Interim Egyptian government that claimed to have legitimacy and authority which those it had to disperse, members of the Muslim Brotherhood equally claimed it did not have. In effect then, in Egypt this week, a violent contest ensued for the soul and possession of the powers and might of the Pharaohs who once ruled Egypt with a mighty hand, and it was a spectacle that would have made the ancient rulers tremble in their graves, given the way and manner Egyptians were mowed down with tanks, guns and ammunitions by the government of the day in its resolve to assert its authority, and prevent a descent to anarchy in Egypt. But then, was Egypt on the way to anarchy with the way the Morsi supporters were behaving or did the government overreach itself in the way it ordered the clamp down and the bloody removal of Morsi supporters? These are the questions begging for answers now and in the immediate future or perhaps eternity. Who knows? Such answers must anyway include speculations on Egypt’s immediate past especially the Housni Mubarak era and its closure by the Cairo Street demonstrations two years ago. We ask loudly, would Mubarak have ordered the sort of clamp down we saw last Wednesday? With the benefit of hindsight it is now clear that the US must have shown a red card to Mubarak that made him go peacefully by resigning and suffering the humiliation of being brought to trial in a cage and on his sick bed . But where was the US last week? Of course US President Barak Obama was on vacation and he issued a statement from there. Yet, the angry mobs of the Morsi supporters were still busy setting fire to government buildings in Egypt and the toll of the dead Egyptians was rising. In his speech the US President said America cannot decide the future of Egypt as that is for the Egyptian people to decide. Which sums up the kernel of US policy on the Middle East and Egypt and that is to promote democracy and step aside once the situation gets murky and bloody, especially with the death of the US ambassador in Benghazi still very much in mind. Which also inadvertently but inevitably opens the way for Islamic parties to fill the vacuum created by US dithering, volte face and lack of commitment to its allies in the Middle East. The truth the Americans must face is that anywhere they
support democracy in the Middle East, anti American sentiments centered around US support for Israel against the Palestinians and the building on the occupied territories, will make the Islamist parties to win democratic elections in such places. It is apparent that the US is feeling the heat in this regard and that explains why it closed so many embassies all over the Middle East on security grounds last week towards the end of Ramadan based on information it intercepted on the plans of the leaders of Al Qada to cause mass terror in the region at the end of Ramadan. One cannot but recall US relations with the Shah of Iran and how similar it was to the fate that befell Housni Mubarak of Egypt and US withdrawal of support at the last minute in 2011. In the Shah’s case he was lucky to flee and go into exile. But at an interview later, he said he could have stayed if he wanted but he did not want any more bloodshed and that paved the way for the return of Ayatollan Ruhollah Khomeini who was in exile in Paris, France. Given what happened to Egyptians supporting Morsi this week, one must commend the Shah’s humanity and respect for human lives. Yet, the Shah’s departure ended any hope of democracy in Iran and brought in a theocracy that called the US ‘the Great Satan’ and waged war globally against the interests of the US and its allies. Similarly the US through the war on terror eliminated Sadam Hussein in Iraq, planted democracy and got Shiite Muslims who are in majority in terms of population into power and Iraq’s government became ipso facto a stooge of Teheran, while the Sunnis who were in power under Saddam but are a minority in Iraq, have been blowing up anyone and everything in Iraq ever since. Apparently and on the surface, the Americans hardly do any diligent cost benefit analysis of their foreign forays to plant democracy, but just jump in when there are demonstrations and jump ship when demonstrators face the fire power of the sit tight tyrants they want out of power, as the Egyptians are learning at very high human and mortal costs. Nigeria should learn a lot from the Egyptian debacle which
The truth the Americans must face is that anywhere they support democracy in the Middle East, anti American sentiments centered around US support for Israel against the Palestinians and the building on the occupied territories, will make the Islamist parties to win democratic elections in such places
has led to the Interim government in Egypt declaring a one month curfew and a state of emergency. The problem with Egypt is that the army is the political organ giving the orders while the Police is the organ pulling the trigger. It is a fascinating situation really. The army cannot come in because of US funding for Egypt’s huge military apparatus. But according to Obama the US has canceled a scheduled military exercise for next month with the Egyptian army. This is meant to deter the army from joining the police in killing Morsi supporters but it may backfire if the army decides to really bare its fangs and join the foray, once it knows that the US funds are not coming anyway , and that will make Egypt’s volatile politics even more costly and bloody in terms of human lives. The lesson for Nigeria ironically is with regard to Boko Haram, the state of emergency in some North Eastern states and the situation in Rivers State. This week Boko Haram killed over 40 people worshipping in a mosque and on Thursday the CNN showed the Head of Boko Haram mocking Nigeria and its army whose spokesman reportedly said the Boko Haram leader had been killed together with his father who provided spiritual leadership to the terrorist group. What is clear is that the Boko Haram leader’s video and the killing of innocent Nigerians in mosques and churches portray Nigeria as a nation in a state of anarchy that Egypt was going before the clamp down or even after . In Nigeria election is not due till 2015 yet the political system is overheated with an arrogant and impudent Boko Haram challenge that mocks the nation and the strength of its army on global TV while claiming that it has subdued Nigeria and is now after the US. Nigeria should not be allowed to go the way of Egypt before the 2015 elections. Yet if you look again at the Rivers’ state political and security dispute between the Commissioner of Police and the Governor of the State, it is a lesson in a descent to anarchy. This is because the Police have withdrawn police protection for the Governor who does not trust the Police Commissioner and thinks he should be redeployed. But the PC’s boss, the Inspector General of Police has said that the PC is a professional doing his job and that speaks volumes on the security situation of the state and the safety of the governor himself .With what legitimate force can the Governor assert his authority and legitimacy in ruling the state outside the police? None to me and that is really dangerous in a state that abounds with deadly militant groups and well armed youths. There may not be anarchy yet in Rivers state, but it is already getting to that, and that, compounded with the video of a taunting Boko Haram leader, make us look as a nation like a rudderless ship lost on the high seas certainly around Port Harcourt, and that too, really, is a huge pity.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
Sowing the seed of discontent
ERIOUSLY, all this malarkey about power shift and the region entitled to occupy the presidency in 2015 is not only out of order but really, really reckless. For a nation that prides itself as the unifying presence in Africa, for a country whose white stripe on the flag represents the desire for peace and unity, the recent obsession by the political class on this issue stands as a stark contradiction. As a supposedly unified group of people, the concept of being a Nigerian is meant to be more superior to any given ethnic, regional or tribal concern. As one nation, we are supposed to place the interest of Nigeria above and beyond any sectarian and parochial interest. But from all indications, Nigerians seems blasé about the fact that their future could invariably be navigating towards a very dangerous trend, towards a form of tribal politics. The continuing barney on who or which tribe or region has more right to be in the presidency is honestly, really, really ridiculous. It is astonishing that we can talk about the unity of Nigeria and equal opportunity on the one hand and turn around to demand for the zoning of political positions in the same breath. How on earth can Nigeria achieve political stability when several regions are wrangling for political power and are using regional and tribal sentiment as a tool to acquire it? How do we expect the unity of this nation to be certified if there remains in our psyche an irrational element that can be exploited and influenced in a manner that does not benefit us as a nation? I really do honestly believe that this ‘my turn, your turn’ zoning issue exemplifies perfectly the source of the Nigerian crisis. To continue bickering on political entitlements of regions in this country is, without a doubt, a manifestation of all that is wrong with Nigeria. For heaven’s sake, at what point do we as country men and women become blind to the thought of our regions and tribes, when we know that we are supposed to be Nigerians first? Nobody is saying that we should not take pride in where we come from, our identities or who we are, but at some point in our existence as a nation, we have to think; really think about what is in the best interest of this poor nation. It is amazing and horrible that day in, day out politicians on television, in print media and interviews continue to overtly debate the issue of zonal, tribal and regional politics with all conviction without seeming to give a toss that the consequence of their declarations is one that is fast sowing the seed of discontent and further polarizing the nation. We continue to hear debates from South-South elders; Northern elders, Middle belt elders, regional forums and all sorts of political alliances about which part of the country has the most valid claim for the presidency come 2015. At the end of the day, there can be only one president and that president is naturally going to come from only one region, only one tribe and belong to only one religion. Now, because of the combative atmosphere of regional and tribal politics that has already been set by the politicians, the regions that eventually lose out in the skirmish are bound to feel short-changed and angered. Is this what we envisage for the progress of our democracy and the harmony of our country? Do our politicians not see that the remnant of discontent and fall-out from the regional political claims they are making
Ogochukwu Ikeje firstname.lastname@example.org 08084235961 (SMS only)
E makes headlines. This Wednesday was no exception. The papers hit the streets with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s outburst at a number of Nigeria’s public figures whom he effectively dismissed as failures. Former Delta State Governor James Ibori was one of them. So was ex-governor of Bayelsa State Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, as was former Speaker, House of Representatives Salisu Buhari. Ex-governor of Edo State Lucky Igbinedion was another, as were former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and ex-governor of Lagos State Bola Tinubu. In age Obasanjo categorized them as the younger generation. In governance or leadership he dubbed them failures, lacking in morals and integrity. As he named them, he took a bit of time to hint at their ‘sins’ and their ultimate comeuppance. The former president started by drawing some comparisons. “During my administration as president, we had some people who were under 50 years in leadership positions. One of them was James Ibori; where is he today? One of them was Alamieyeseigha, where is he today? Lucky Igbinedion; where is he today? The youngest was the Speaker, Buhari; you can still recall what happened to him. You said Bola Tinubu is your master. What Buhari did
holds the promise of evolving into more inter-tribal hate? Do they not appreciate the fact that our revival will only come about when we arrive at a time where leadership in this country is earned on qualifications, competence and character as opposed to tribe, religion, region and personal interest? I do believe that every objective and fair minded person in this country, no matter their tribe, would relish a setting where they could vote for their political leaders based on whether those potential leaders honestly have the intent and ability to rectify the pandemonium in our power sector, create jobs for us, grow our economy, flush out corruption, resurrect our education sector and make Nigeria a better place than it is now; not because of where they come from. If those that have the clout and opportunity to speak on our behalf continue to allow the sort of regional and tribal entitlement calls they have been bellowing out to continue and deepen, without considering the consequence for the nation as a whole, they would be doing this country greater damage than has already been done. Despite all of our past and present problems and with the exception of the religious extremist behemoth that has recently reared its ugly head, Nigeria has known the worth of relative peace. From what we have seen in the history of our Continent, tribal, ethnic and regional dichotomy is the surest way of guaranteeing a nation’s fragmentation. We only need to look at the accounts of countries like Sudan, Rwanda, Kenya and Somalia in order to fully understand the damage ethnicity, tribalism and regionalism can cause and the importance of social cohesion and triviality of ethnic and regional identity in relation to national identity. The genocide in Rwanda was probably one of the severest in global history and, of course, one cannot ever envisage such a calamity taking place in this country, by the Grace of the Almighty. However what happened in Rwanda must stand as a lesson and a testament to the rest of the world, Africans especially. There was a time in Rwanda where the topic of ethnicity, tribe and region was treated in
It is amazing and horrible that day in, day out politicians on television, in print media and interviews continue to overtly debate the issue of zonal, tribal and regional politics with all conviction without seeming to give a toss that the consequence of their declarations is one that is fast sowing the seed of discontent and further polarizing the nation
much the same way we treat the topic in this country. Without anticipating the danger of this, Rwandans allowed that sore to fester and fester, chafe and putrefy until it erupted in the tragedy we witnessed in 1994. The Rwandan misfortune began with civil strife that occurred because the different ethnicity could not agree on how they were going to share their countries resources among the different ethnic arrangements and tribal boundaries and it ended with the mass murder of an estimated 800,000 people. Today as a result of their nightmare, if a Rwandan was asked which tribe they belong to, they would always answer that they are Rwandan; never a tribe, only Rwandan. It really is tragic that it took so much pain and bloodshed for them to embrace that reality. While other instances may not be as grave as that of Rwanda, other examples of the consequence of tribal and regional dichotomy can be seen from the situation in Kenya. From a country that held so much potential, allegiance to tribal and regional identities have become so deeply rooted in the body politic of Kenya, that the politics in the country today has been reduced to a tribal democracy which is so bunched according to ethnic lines that each tribe and ethnic group has been forced to establish its own party. If Nigerians really desire to continue as one people and not tempt fate in the irresponsible way that we have been doing in the last 50 years, we must stop nurturing the growth of this ethnic and regional trend that has the potential of jeopardizing our democracy and fragmenting our existence. Each and every one of us in this country deals with the same problems and challenges. The vast majority of us are trying to feed our families, bring up our children, go to school, find jobs and sleep soundly at night. When we have no security, it is not because we belong to a certain religion. When we are confronted with rising fuel and market prices, it is not due to the fact that we come from a particular region. When our most basic needs are not satisfied, it is not because we are members of a certain tribe; it is because those in leadership, despite where they come from have not provided it. Nigeria is what we have; it is ultimately what we are. We cannot afford to let politicians use our diversity as a tool against our social cohesion in the guise of regional politics. We just cannot afford to do that. Nigeria has been through enough already. It has been dragged through a civil war, been exposed to religious and sectarian massacres, its image has been desecrated globally. Those of us who form her should embrace unity in the interest of her advancement, stability and wellbeing. Our forefathers did a lot of positive things for this country, but they did also allow differences in tribe and region. The present crop of leaders must not continue with this trend, because by advancing the cause of regional politics that they are doing now, they are really doing nothing more than sowing the seed of discontent for Nigeria.
Why Mt. Obasanjo erupts was not anything worse than what Bola Tinubu did.” Obasanjo was speaking on Tuesday at a forum in University of Ibadan. On Wednesday morning it was the headline, and predictably, many have returned fire. Some dismissed the Egba chief as impertinent and meddlesome, preferring to spot the speck in other people’s eyes while paying no attention whatsoever to the log in his. Others pointed out that, as lawyers say, he had no locus standi to point the finger of accusation on the people he named as failures. As performance goes, Obasanjo was told that he was not qualified to criticise those he picked on, being no better than them. What I find puzzling about the man is his logic and generalisations. His current exertions betray a conclusion that anyone below 50 years is unfit for public office. Judging from his Ibadan salvos, Obasanjo tended to suggest that Atiku and others failed because they were young or younger than the former presi-
dent and his generation. This is worrying. How old was Obasanjo himself when he became Head of State? As a renowned traveller, he surely would have shaken presidential hands younger than 50. I am sure he will remember that Bill Clinton made it to the White House at age 46. Barack Obama was inaugurated president at 48. What about David Cameron? What is it about youth that Obasanjo does not like? There is another interesting side of the man: his eruptions. If there is anything we remember him for, it is his penchant for picking a fight. And he does it to such great effect, throwing his weight and his words into it. He has battled Atiku. He has tackled President Goodluck Jonathan. He has locked horns with IBB. There are many, many others, and each time, he comes to the battle line with weighty accusations, dismissing his opponents and making them look small and inconsequential, especially to him. What gives Obasanjo such confidence and
This is worrying. How old was Obasanjo himself when he became Head of State? As a renowned traveller, he surely would have shaken presidential hands younger than 50. I am sure he will remember that Bill Clinton made it to the White House at age 46. Barack Obama was inaugurated president at 48. What about David Cameron? What is it about youth that Obasanjo does not like?
airs? Why is everybody else wrong and he alone right? In truth, he knows that we adore him perhaps even more than we hate him. We search hard and long to find something great his administration left for Nigerians, yet the impression is too often created that he holds the compass to our destination. As the state governors’ crisis persists, worryingly, Obasanjo has been reported as the man to foster the much-needed peace and unity. It has also been said, according to reports, that he is the man to dissuade First Lady Patience Jonathan from meddling in state governments’ affairs, especially Rivers’. Even the feuding governors themselves have reportedly blamed their plight on the former president, whom they accuse of abandoning their party and leaving it rudderless. I read something that amounted to saying, ‘All this calamity would not have befallen the party if Baba had not looked away’. Curiously, even the international community seems to believe that Obasanjo is not only a beacon in Nigeria but is also indeed the light in the rest of Africa. How many times has he been begged to mediate in crisis beyond Nigeria? And how many times has the man gladly obliged? Obasanjo has shown up in East Africa. In Ghana Obasanjo has appeared to teach them to conduct free and fair elections. In Senegal, where Abdoulaye Wade, then 86 years old last hear, was angling to return to office a third time, much to the anger of his people, Obasanjo also materialised to shape things up. Beyond Africa, Obasanjo is still wooed. Why shouldn’t Mt. Obasanjo erupt?
See KNUCKLEHEAD on Page 57
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Davis with some of the Almajiri
‘My love for Almajiri’
An Almajiri studying
THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
‘ ’ Top & bottom: Some of the Almajiri
Olatunji OLOLADE, Assistant Editor
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THE NATION, Saturday, AUGUST 17, 2013
I wish the ﬁrst coup never happened -Ex-Science & Tech Minister Gen. Momah Former Minister of Science and Technology, Major General Sam Momah (rtd), is currently the object of public attention on account of his new book, Nigeria Beyond Divorce. The book, whose launch was meant to commemorate his 70th birthday, among other things, warns that Nigeria could once again be sitting on the edge of the precipice. The former Director of Strategy at the Nigerian War College, Adjutant-General of the Nigerian Army, Commandant at the Training and Doctrine Command of the Nigerian Army, ex-member of the Provisional Ruling Council, and Minister of Science and Technology under three different military regimes, spoke with PAUL UKPABIO on his life at 70 and some issues raised in the book. hat is it like to be a retired MajorGeneral at 70 in Nigeria?
I will say that it is not the best. One had hoped that things would improve. However, I think there has to be rain before sunshine. We are going through a process that will usher in better times. On the whole, I am thanking God that I am alive to see my 70th birthday. I hope that we as a nation will live to see better times in Nigeria too. What has been the feedback from readers and government quarters since your book, Nigeria Beyond Divorce, was launched? The response has been quite good. People think •Gen. Momah much of it. The rating is high. We believe that the book should be in every school library, could get to before we decide not to descend further and particularly the higher institutions of learning and ofﬁces for sprout again. We shouldn't get to a total decay before we do policy makers. I believe that politicians need to have it, and that. We have got to the point where we should sprout. those who are particular about the future of Nigeria. It is Anything worse than the situation we presently are, will spell needed for the furtherance of the development of our country. disaster for the country. The book is making waves and I believe that Nigerians What were the challenges you encountered in putting should read the book because it contains more than what is together your latest book? expected. It is a foresighted book which narrates to us what Essentially, the challenge I faced was the fact that I had to will take us into the ﬁrst world. I believe it should be what we source my books from abroad. Most of them were from are aiming for, because if Singapore can make it within two outside the country. Of course, I had to use the Internet to ﬁsh decades from third world to ﬁrst world, I don't see why out some of the information. The challenge also involved Nigeria cannot make it in a few years from now. travelling out of the country a lot. My happiness is that at 70, I You said that Nigeria will rise soon in spite of the myriad felt the need to give back to the country. The country has been of problems it is facing. How sure are you? good to me. I have beneﬁted from this country, and I felt that I Well, we don't have any other choice. Nigeria, a country of should leave something behind as a legacy to Nigerians, 160-170 million people, is bursting at its seams. Therefore, we especially the younger Nigerians, so that they can see how the cannot continue to decay. There should be a limit that we country started, put their heads together and see how they can achieve more for the country. Again, in Nigeria Beyond Divorce, you gave a template on The country has been kind of how Nigeria can move fast and become a super power. Do you think the present crop of Nigerian leaders will buy this drifting. Nothing seems to be idea? consistent, and we are everywhere, Well, I don't see why they shouldn't. My ideas are not the ﬁnal panacea to Nigeria's problems. I believe, however, that yet nowhere. Issues ought to be they are issues that can be discussed and maybe one or two brought to bear on our utmost amendments to what I have put down, and therefore, move the country forward. That is because right now, there is no needs at this time or we just template as a national policy to move the country forward. miscarry. What we seem to There is no national policy or a national guide. There is nothing we can all look at holistically to use to address the presently have is that, government country’s problems, and also use to move the country is concentrating on everything with forward. For instance, if presently we have 10 problems, we can pick the result that not much concrete one and treat it within a period of time. If it is corruption, leadership, insecurity, federal character, lack of infrastructure achievement is made
like roads or power, whatever the problems are, let us look at them, and decide on which one we can treat within which period, based on what we have. That is what is called strategy: using what you have to get what you need. We seem to be doing everything and achieving nothing at the end of the day. For instance, by the end of Year 2014 and 2015, we should have faced the issue of power and achieve satisfaction. The local, state and federal government should work together, pursue it and achieve a minimum of 20,000 mega watts of electricity for the country within that period. This is the way I think we should plan. Ensuring steady power supply for the country was part of the previous government’s seven-point agenda. Do you see any indication in that direction? I don't see development moves. The country has been kind of drifting. Nothing seems to be consistent, and we are everywhere, yet nowhere. Issues ought to be brought to bear on our utmost needs at this time or we just miscarry. What we seem to presently have is that, government is concentrating on everything with the result that not much concrete achievement is made. Government effort is being thinly spread everywhere, therefore, no focus and there is little achievement. You once prepared a 100 days roadmap to transform Nigerian road network, but the dream didn't come true because you were not made the Works Minister. What was that roadmap about, and how can the current minister make use of it? hat I had in mind when I was hinted that I might be the Minister of Works then was that I would shift the country from the practice of direct contracting of roads in Nigeria to the system of construction of roads with the use of direct labour. I believe that Nigeria has the potential to use its own manpower and its own local resources to develop its own country. We shouldn't depend on foreigners all the time for the development of our own country and the use of imported items. So, my plan was that I would buy the construction equipment from abroad and then mobilise all Nigerian engineers and do most of the construction of roads with direct labour. The engineers would not be paid salaries but would be paid according to what they generate. For instance, an X road will be allocated for a particular amount of money. The engineers are then paid according to the number of roads they generate. They will construct roads according to the designs made available. With that, people will earn more money and we will build more roads. But what is killing us now is that we spend so much time negotiating the contract for building the roads. After that, a fault is noticed somewhere and the contract is re-negotiated again and again. Essentially, the contract system has not worked in Nigeria because of obvious reasons. I would say that the present Minister of Works should look at that aspect. The President too should look in that direction because we must make use of our engineers. Our engineers are suffering. They are not working at all. We must mobilise them. We must get them to work. We cannot train thousands of engineers and abandon them. Many of them are now selling rice or ﬁrewood. It is a shame. Your two books, Global Disorder and The New World Order, were assessed by St Clement University in Australia and the institution went ahead to award you a Ph. D in Strategic Studies and International Affairs in 1996. So, you are not just a general, but also a doctor. Which do you think ﬁts your personality better? I must say that the military career has made me what I am. The Ph.D is an appendage that just came my way. So, I will say that the military gave me the opportunity of a career. I am not an academic person per se. During my military career, I happened to have stumbled into some other things and was awarded a Ph. D. But that is where that ends. I am a military person; the doctor aspect is just complimentary. Will you say that democracy as we practise it here has favoured us?
THE NATION, Saturday, AUGUST 17, 2013
•Gen. Momah It has not worked. Our democracy should be a guided one. Our democracy should not be made to ﬁt like that of the Westminster or that of Washington, where democracy is heavily practised. We have not got to that level yet. So, I think that we should own up that we are not as developed as those countries in the west, and allow our democracy to be guided in the sense that, we concentrate on things that need to be done to let it move and grow. Our democracy should be guided in the sense that allows us to do a few things which need be done, to make things work. We need a democracy that is peculiar to us: a democracy that is guided. For instance, we could have elders who meet from time to time to advise the government on things that go wrong; a sort of council of elders. At election periods, those elders will be the ones to appoint the chairman of an electoral body. They will be the champion of the cause of the nation. It may not look democratic, but we need it because we are still growing. We are just about growing. How will the National Assembly and the royal fathers work in that kind of arrangement? The council of elders is not going to be making laws. Being the conscience of the nation, they are bound to come up with results. The people will be behind them. The people will be able to identify them because of their respectability while they were in service. That will give them the power because people know who they are. Therefore, whatever they say will be the conscience of the nation, because they will be talking for the nation as a whole. That will help guide our democracy to a safe landing each time we have a problem. At 70, you have been in government and out of government. What is your greatest fear for Nigeria? y fear is that as Nigerians, we are not as patriotic as we should be. We love to reap from Nigeria, but we do not want to sow. We want to reap here but do not want to sow here. We must learn to give more and take less from our country. My fear is that nobody really wants to say he owns Nigeria, but everybody wants to say he is part of Nigeria; nobody cares what becomes of Nigeria except to take their own booty from it. They are looking at Nigeria as a war booty where everybody rushes to get whatever they can, or like a sinking sheep from which everybody wants to take what they can get before it ﬁnally sinks, which is too bad a mentality. That is why my last book, Nigeria Beyond Divorce, is positive. Nigeria cannot disintegrate anymore. We are beyond it. If we can live together for 100 years, then we must try and remain together. We must look at countries that have disintegrated and learn from their experiences. Such countries have had very bad experiences. If we do anything that leads us to disintegration, it could cause civil war for another 50 years. A case in point is Somalia, which is presently involved in civil war. Sudan started in 1955 and is still not over yet. That is almost 50 years. We can also talk about Eritrea, Ethiopia and all other such countries in Africa. So, we must not cause anything that will destabilise Nigeria because it will not just end in two or three years. It may be a battle that will last for the next 40 or 50 years. It could be a battle that you will ﬁnd out that your next door neighbour is an enemy. There will be boundary problems too and all such problems will emanate. So, it will be chaotic. We should therefore try to do everything to avoid such problem. We should do everything possible to remain together. What we have to do is to ensure that the progressive forces provide the leadership in Nigeria. They should get together and produce the leadership. When they do this, then we will be on the move. And when we call them progressives, they should not just be so in words but in actions. We should give Nigeria more and take less. We should have conﬁdence in the country. We should not because the Central Intelligence Agency said Nigeria will disintegrate in 2015, and then everybody starts panicking. We should not let an outsider determine our faith. We should know what we want and stick to what we want. An outsider shouldn't be the one to tell us what we
want. That seems to be our weakness. And the government is not even working to improve the psyche of the people. There is need for use of propaganda to whip up the issues and realities of being a Nigerian and there should be same in government. That is, there should be a pattern in government that reﬂects this. That is because, when we continue to talk about state of origin, federal character, then of course, we are creating division. There should be a way of managing together. Federal character should be there, state of origin should be there, but there should be a way of balancing these with other issues so that it does not tilt to one side. People should not feel that they gain more by being this or by being that, or feel that they lose by being this or by being that. So one could take that to mean you are against civil war and disintegration of the country? Of course, war does not solve any problem but compounds it. War leads to another war and then bitterness. We fought the civil war and today we are still ﬁghting indirectly. Boko Haram is there. If wars were good and solve all crises once and for all, it would have been okay. But they don't. So, we have to avoid war because one war brings more wars and of course, more disasters. How can Nigeria beneﬁt from the experiences of Brazil, Singapore and Japan? Nigeria should emulate those countries because these are countries that were at one time at par with Nigeria in terms of development. If we work hard, we can still catch up with this set of countries. Nigeria has the potential to do so. All is not lost; we should just guide our loins and get ready to work. Not only enjoying, but work as well. Nigerians love to enjoy. We don't need to enjoy all through the weekend, partying. There is need for sober reﬂections. The oil is not selling as much as it used to. We have lost in the range of N700 billion in the last three months or so of our income. Soon, our income may shrink to 50% or less. So how do we solve the problem? We have to diversify the economy and see how we can use other sources to manage the economy. And all that boils down to more work. There is need for everyone to be ready for more work. Oil is getting to a point where we may have to drink it or use it, because nobody wants to buy. So we must be very careful. Gone are the times when we were being pampered with oil. We must start looking at other sources of foreign exchange, and compete with outsiders; not a Hausa man competing with a Yoruba man or Igbo man, but competing against a Canadian, a Ghanaian, because that is where we are heading to. The race is on. How were you able to build a family of four medical doctors and a computer engineer and how come none of your children is a soldier? My children went to fairly good schools. When I was in the army, I restricted them from going to command secondary schools, because I didn't want them to have anything to do with the army. The army is good, but I believe that one army experience is good enough for a lifetime. I escaped being shot during the war. There was a time I was sprayed with bullets.
So there are times when I reﬂect and remember that I could have long been dead. My career had not been a straight line graph. I have had turbulent moments. It is not a very wonderful career in a developing country, but it has its attractions. I tried to direct my kids towards professional courses such as Medicine, Architecture, and Engineering. That was the kind of guideline I gave them. Three of my boys went to Kings College. The girl went to Queens College. They all performed well there. They were always among the ﬁrst three and they felt that anybody who is good should be a doctor and study Medicine. I didn't ask them to ﬁll Medicine in their forms. In fact, I didn't want the girl to do Medicine because I realised that the amount of stress in the study of Medicine is enormous. The boys were virtually reading 24 hours of the day. I felt then that my daughter shouldn't go through that stress. But she insisted that she wanted to do it, that she was good and was even the senior prefect of her school; that if she didn't do Medicine, it would look as if I downgraded her. But I am happy about it. However, the truth now is that some of them are not even interested in practising Medicine. They are looking at doing other things. What moral lessons did you groom them with? I guess that must have been peace of mind. They looked at the way I lived with their mother. The family union has always been there. We’ve lived in total love. We believe and live like good Christians, with the fear of God in our mind. That was how they were brought up. There was nothing else than that. They knew they just had to succeed. What was your biggest regret in the army? know what that should be. That has been the civil war. I wish it never happened. Of course, it happened because of the ﬁrst coup. I wish the ﬁrst coup never happened. I wish that Nigeria managed and corrected itself. If we had done so, we could have been like Brazil or Singapore or continue to thrive like India. Pakistan which went through military coups, look at them, they are confused and chaotic. So, the ﬁrst coup was unfortunate. I hope we had learnt our lesson from there and picked up. We should put that behind us and move forward. Do you regret not being made the head of Army Corps of Engineers, and if that had happened, would you have made a different impact? There is no need to regret because not being the Commander of Army Corps of Engineers was what made me to become the Minister of Science and Technology. That was how it happened. Somebody was trying to push me out of the system, but that then made me to start writing my ﬁrst book. That was because I suddenly realised that my career was more or less coming to an end. So, I asked myself, if I retired as a Brigadier, what would I have achieved in life? I thought I should retire at a much higher rank. So, when I saw that somebody was about to stiﬂe my career for no reason, I decided then to write a book and leave a legacy. I was at the War College as a teaching director when I started to write. That period gave me an opportunity to sit down late at night to write my ﬁrst book, Global Disorder. It was that book that got me into the limelight. It made me to realise my potential and, of course, it made way for me to become a minister. I was already in the Supreme Military Council. From there, I became a minister. Your last word… I believe that there has to be a rescue mission to get the country back on it toes and in line with other countries. And therefore, at the age of 70, I feel that all I can offer Nigeria is just advice. We shouldn’t stay back and see a lovely country like this break up or go to the abyss. I felt I should put my thoughts in writing and for the sake of posterity, so that I would be able to highlight our problems and make us ﬁnd solutions to them. Nigeria requires a complete overhaul or restructuring. Our present system really cannot hold anymore. So, what we are doing now is palliative and custody. I believe that there is a need to diagnose the problems of Nigeria as it is and be able to proffer some solutions that will stimulate discussions and get us somewhere.
We need a democracy that is peculiar to us: a democracy that is guided. For instance, we could have elders who meet from time to time to advise the government on things that go wrong; a sort of council of elders. At election periods, those elders will be the ones to appoint the chairman of an electoral body. They will be the champion of the cause of the nation. It may not look democratic, but we need it because we are still growing
THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
Lagos brothels expel underage prostitutes, issue code of conduct to others
Suspected sex workers doing their thing A suspected teenage sex worker
CHIOMA AJUNWA REVEALS
FIX T Sat. 1 U R E S 7 Aug ust 20 Liver Norwicpool v Stoke 13 h v Ev Su West nderland v F erton Brom ulh West v Southa am Arsen Ham v Car mpton Sw al v Asto diff Sundaansea v Ma n Villa Crysta y 18 Aug n Utd u l Palac e v T st 2013 Mond Chelsea v Hottenham ay u Man C 19 Augus ll t ity v N ewcas2013 tle
Glass House WITH AMINU MAIGARI
THE NATION SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
With KAYODE ALFRED
THE NATION SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
THE NATION SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
FORTUNE& I Paul UKPABIO
THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
Premature ejaculation: All you need to know
ELLO Aunty Deola, please I have had the problem of premature ejaculation for years now thinking it is caused by the watery sperm in me, please what can I do to get over both - Dayo from Osun Hi madam I’m Wilben from Calabar I’m married but I can’t satisfy my spouse because of quick ejaculation, I do plan sometimes to visit one of the herbal doctors for herbal medicine but I’m worried maybe their medicine may have bad effect probably in the future, so I’m confused but I want to satisfy my spouse so that she will not look out for it. I don’t know how many times I have treated this issue on this page, but I’m not tired of treating it. Premature ejaculation, or PE, affects a broad range of men worldwide. PE is when a man climaxes before he wants to — it is not measured by a time limit. Although PE is common, it is by no means incurable, nor is it a serious sexual condition. Read on for helpful hints and tips about how to fight against PE. 1. Understand that premature ejaculation is very common. Dr. Kinsey, the famed (or infamous) American sex researcher, was reputed to have conducted a study in which 75% of subjects climaxed before they wanted to.That’s three out of every four males. So if you think, you’re alone in the woods, think again. PE affects a wide range of men. On a biological side note, the idea of PE makes evolutionary sense. If you come to a climax easier, you have a better chance of depositing your sperm. Early man lived in a precarious environment with lots of dangers and distractions, making the quick transfer of sperm into the vagina a beneficial trait. 2. Try Kegel exercises. Named after Arnold Kegel, these exercises help condition and strengthen the pubococcygeus, or PC, muscle. When you’re urinating, you contract the PC muscle in
order to stop mid-stream. Exercising this muscle is relatively easy and discreet. Hold your PC muscle for 10 seconds at a time. Try 10 of these per day, anywhere from behind the wheel to behind the desk. 3. Use a condom. Condoms reduce sensation to the penis, making overstimulation less of a problem. Avoid condoms with lubricants that impart different sensations, like tingling or warm sensation. It goes without saying, but the more stimulation, the likelier premature ejaculation becomes. Condoms come in all different kinds of materials. 4.Breathe well and fully. Any of the body organs requires full energy to perform its task and so this is true in the case of reproductive organs as well. Taking big breaths might help suppress the ejaculatory response, and it’s perfectly normal to be breathing hard when you’re getting down and dirty. 5. Communicate with your sexual partner. Communication in any relationship is key, but communication in sex is just as important. Talk to your partner about premature ejaculation, and if you’re ashamed or embarrassed, be thankful you don’t have delayed or retarded ejaculation, which is a condition whereby a male cannot come to orgasm despite sexual desire. Seriously, count your blessings! Let your partner know when you believe to be near climax and pull out. This would be an awesome opportunity to pleasure your partner, whether manually or orally. When you think your penis is again ready for stimulation, continue coitus. Let your partner know when you are nearing climax and plan to pull out. 6. Distract yourself. Your mind is an intensely powerful and suggestive tool, so why not use it to your advantage? If it’s possible to think yourself into orgasm using nothing more than your mind, why shouldn’t it be possible to think yourself out of an orgasm? Before climax, think of something embarrassing, shameful, or familial. It may be weird, but thinking about your par-
Will he be faithful to me since I am not ...? H
e is a graduate and am in year one. He is 26 years and I am 17 years. He said he loves me and I believe him. I told him I don’t want sex until I am married and he said he won’t even touch me except I want him to. My problem is that I don’t know if he will be faithful to me since I am not offering him any sexual pleasure. I am ready to leave him at any moment he ask me for sex because I can’t just give my pride away and that was what broke- up the relationships I’ve ever had. I need your advice ma. You’re indeed like a mother to many teens like me. God bless you ma. Hi darling. I’m happy you’re holding on to your virginity till you get married. Actually, there’s no point in pleasing any guy against your will until you’re ready. Now, we’ve just talked about you. You’re just 17 and you’re a young women. Women may stay off sex for years and may not feel like they’re missing anything. That’s the makeup of most women. But not men. Yes, this guy may love you enough to leave you till you’re ready, but this is a 26-year-old man we’re talking about here! If he’s already sexually active, he will wait until you (YOU with emphasis) are ready. More than that; he’ll wait until
you’re married. But he may not wait that long for sex with other women. Too many girls are on offer and they won’t need to be asked before they give it to him, they knowingly settle for someone any guy willing to have sex without talking about marriage. So make up your mind here: it’s either you accept the fact that he won’t disturb you, but he night go after other girls while keeping you till the wedding night or you say goodbye to this relationship. On the other side however, if he’s a born-again Christian or a committed Muslim, he will wait body, mind and soul for you till you both consummate your beautiful rrlationship on your wedding night. From you to me Good afternoon madam, l enjoy reading your Saturday page ‘Hearts’. Well done. This last Saturday, l read about d woman who wrote ‘My husband has other women maybe because I’m not good in bed’. Please can I have her phone no just to share experiences. I work with women organization. Thanks. Mrs. Ehinmowo.08081456612. P.S: For certain reasons, I’m sorry I won’t be able to give you her telephone number, but I’m publishing this because I bet there are so many women out there who may benefit from your wealth of experience. Please make it a free service to them. Thanks.
Ways to spice up marriage Get busy anywhere but your bed: Using the dining room table for something other than dining adds variety, but there’s another reason to ditch the bedroom. Try spontaneous hugging: Try this hug hint: Sneak up behind your husband and wrap your arms around him. Men have breast receptors’ all over their bodies. Your chest feels great against his back - it’s a big turn-on. Use the past as an aphrodisiac: Not a fan of talking dirty? Take a stroll down your shared sexual memory lane with your husband instead. “All it has to be is, ‘Remember when you did X?’” says Paget. It’s likely to get you a repeat performance. Surprise him in the shower: Kids are unlikely to be suspicious of Mom and Dad being in the bathroom together in the Build anticipation: As your husband is walking out the door in the morning, tell him what you can’t wait to do with him that night. Use code words so your kids won’t understand. The two of you will feel excited all day. Recreate your first dates: Bring back the initial lust you felt by revisiting the spots you went to in the beginning of your relationship. Or if you’ve moved since then, at least bring back that level of creativity when you go out. The key is to pay that much attention to your mate. Ignore the clock: Stop viewing sex as a nighttime activity; you may be too tired to do it then anyway! Fooling around on a Saturday afternoon while your child takes a nap can be very steamy. Get him in a lip lock: Everyday intimate gestures are key to a sizzling sex life and kissing is the number-one thing that turns women on. Pull him close and say, I adore kissing you.
•Dr. Martins Oni (in glasses), Director-General, Police Assistance Committee (PAC) praying to declare open a one-day security seminar organised by the PAC in partnership with Senate Committee on Police Affairs and other security agencies in Abuja
ents may help keep you from climaxing. That’s because in most people, incestuous thoughts kill the sex drive. Think about something plain weird. Whether it’s cobwebs, a physical copy of a book, or a kite flying through the air, it may be good enough to distract you. Just don’t tell your partner you’re imagining spiders while you’re having sex. Some things are best not shared. 7. Try out different sex positions. This is not only fun, it may be fruitful: you might find that a certain sexual position gives you more time without a climax. Your partner has the opportunity to explore their likes and dislikes at the same time. Many men find that having the woman on top can help with their PE. Missionary position, where the man is on top, may make PE worse. Purchase a book about sex positions, and methodically try positions that you and your partner find intriguing. It will spice up your sex life and maybe even yield a position that truly works for you. 8. If you are still having problems with PE, talk to your doctor about the drugs you can use which helps delay ejaculation. 9. Don’t have unrealistic expectations from yourself. Don’t measure, focus on pleasure. There is no specific definition of PE in terms of minutes and seconds. The stress that you put on yourself is not psychologically healthy, and it may even exacerbate PE. Have a healthy conversation with your sexual partner and discuss your options. Remember, sex is supposed to be fun.
How can I tame my stubborn 5-year-old son?
lease ma, how best can one tame stubborn children, my boy of five plus is too stubborn but brilliant. -Uche IB. Dear Uche, children are a handful but they are very special gifts we all desire from God. Yes, at certain ages - ages which I like to describe as ‘the discovery stage’ – kids are aware of what they want and what they don’t want. You may want to serve them custard for instance and they tell you they want corn-flakes. You call that stubbornness but they call it self-assertion. From the period they begin to crawl and move on their own, they start enjoying freedom of movement and trying to stop them will elicit some kind of protests. Then by ages 4 through 5 to 8, they know by instinct that you cannot wield the stick and they still have some kind of immunity, so, they use their stubbornness to great advantage over you. Do you see 10 year olds arguing with their parents and being really stubborn? Below, I have helped you get some tips on how to deal with this young man trying his remote control on your superiority and trying to see how far he can get with you: Story-telling: Try story-time to help them wind down. This works especially well with strongwilled kids, who may have a hard time relaxing enough on their own especially at bed time. Play the “yes” game. Ask your child questions that will prompt him to answer “yes” at least three times in a row, such as “Wow, you’re having a great time playing with those toys, aren’t you?” (Yep!) “What eating this now and eating that other
one next time? Would that be fun? “Do you have strength to move that bag from the floor? Can you show me?” The “yeses” help break down your child’s resistance, and he also feels like he’s been heard and understood. Offer options. Gently guide him toward the next step with two choices, such as “Do you want to dry yourself off with the towel or should I help you?” Don’t announce that bathtime is over; simply start the process. Move seamlessly through the gettingready-for-bed routine, offering two options at a time along the way, such as “Which book should we read before bed—X or Y?” If your child balks at the choices— ”Neither! I’m not going to bed!”—respond calmly, “That wasn’t one of the choices. Did you want this book or that one?” Repeat calmly as needed. Stubborn kids hate hearing parents sound like broken records, and they usually give in. If they don’t, simply say “Okay, I guess you’ve chosen not to have a book tonight. Good night, sweetie! We’ll try again tomorrow night!” Lightsout. And don’t give in, even if your kid puts up a fuss. Sticking to your word practically guarantees you won’t have a repeat episode tomorrow night. Establish a connection. Before actually moving your kids toward the direction you want, use a technique psychotherapist Susan Stiffelman calls “Connect Before You Direct.” Take a few minutes to sit beside your child and show interest in the game he’s playing or TV show he’s watching. Ask a few well-placed questions or say something supportive like “I can see why you like this show—it’s really funny!” When kids feel connected to you, they’re much more likely to do what you ask next.
•Prince and Mrs. Temitope Ogunbanke shortly after their wedding at Immanuel Anglican Church, Asi-Ibadan, Oyo State
THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
OW, with the benefit of hindsight, I believe I should have listened to my mother before marrying Vero. She had taken one look at her, the first day I brought her home to meet my family and my mother, in her characteristically blunt manner had given her verdict. “This one will give you trouble in future. Her eyes are too sharp and they are all over the place!” I did not understand then what she meant. To me, madly in love and deaf to all reasoning, Vero was the ideal woman I had been searching for all my life. She was a heady mix of beauty, grace and charisma. She was brilliant too. At the time we met, Vero had just entered the university. She had wanted to study Banking and Finance but she could not make the cut-off point for that course so she settled for Business Administration instead. This was how I met Vero who was just 20 years old then. It was the Christmas holiday season and I had gone to my village in the East to visit my parents and family members and reconnect with old friends. A few days after Xmas, I was driving to a neighboring village to see an aunt who lived there. I remember it was a market day. Along the way, I saw two girls with heavy loads on their heads. One of them looked familiar. She turned out to be Grace, a friend of one of my younger sisters. She told me that her sister who lived with her husband in the village I was heading to, had just given birth and she was staying with her to help with the baby. “Our mother has travelled abroad to do omugwo for another of our sisters. I’m the only one left to help her,” she explained. After she had introduced her companion, I offered to give them a ride as the sun was hot that day. “Come in let me give you girls a ride home,” I said. I felt an immediate attraction to Vero that day. So much so that I made enquiries
I knew you would be back! That girl must be something for this is the first time in history you are visiting me twice in the same week since you left for the city! So, shall we go and see her father and fix a date for the Igba Nwku (engagement)?
A tenant’s dilemma (1)
about her from my aunt on arriving at her place. “That must be the daughter of Mazi Polynus. They live at the other side of the village near the primary school. I know her family very well,” my Aunty, who was like a walking encyclopedia with info on nearly every family in the village and environs informed me. Then looking at me with her crafty eyes, she demanded: “But why do you ask?” “Nothing Aunty. I was just...” I started to say but she cut me off. “Ekene! You think I was
born yesterday? When a young man starts asking after a girl, there’s always something involved! Especially during this season when city dwellers like you come home to search for wives. Do you like her?” she bluntly asked. That was one thing she shared in common with my mother, who was her elder sister- a sharp and blunt tongue. They never minced words and always said whatever was in their minds, a trait that regularly put both of them in one trouble or the other. I did not say anything but
just smiled at her. I gave her the gifts I brought her and her family and after spending some time chatting with my cousins who were around, left for home. On my way back, I purposely drove by the primary school with the hope of seeing Vero whose house was close by. I didn’t see her then but I was not worried. I knew where she lived and I knew I could always see her with the help of her friend Grace. A few days later, I returned to my Aunty’s village ostensibly to hang out with my cousins, Charlie and
Jude. But my aunt was not fooled. Giving me a sly look as I came down from my car, she stated: “I knew you would be back! That girl must be something for this is the first time in history you are visiting me twice in the same week since you left for the city! So, shall we go and see her father and fix a date for the Igba Nwku (engagement)?” she added teasingly. “Ah! Aunty! Not so fast! We’ve not reached that stage yet!” I protested, laughing. My aunt was something else. She was already talking about engagement when I had not even made my intentions known to the girl in question, I thought as I went into the house to greet her husband... *** I wanted to see Vero again before leaving for my base in the city. So, some days after the New Year festivities, I sent for her friend Grace. She agreed, after a hefty bribe from me, to arrange a meeting with her friend. There was a popular eatery and joint in her village that was always filled with revellers particularly during festive periods like the Xmas season. That was where I met up with her and Grace. That day, we spoke for long and I got to know her better. Some days later, before traveling back to Lagos, I saw Vero once more. We exchanged contacts and I promised to call regularly when she returned to school. I kept to my words. Besides phone calls, I would pay her
visits in school whenever I had any spare time. By this time I had fallen in love with Vero and I had made up my mind that she was going to be my wife in the future. Infact, I was even ready to marry her while she was still in school. I was that desperate to make her mine as I did not want another man to take her from me. “My parents want me to finish with my education before thinking of marriage,” she told me when I broached the idea of our tying the knot before her graduation. It was the experience of one of her sisters, she explained that made her father especially take that stand. “One of my elder sisters got married when she was still in school some years back,” she stated. The husband promised she would continue with her schooling after the ceremony but things didn’t work out that way. She got pregnant almost immediately and due to the stress of coping with the pregnancy and her studies, the husband told her to stop school for a while.” Ten years and four children later, the sister was yet to conclude her degree programme, she pointed out. Though disappointed, I agreed to respect her parents’ wishes for her. So, I waited patiently till her graduation... •To be continued •Names have been changed to protect the identities of the individuals in the story. •Send comments/suggestions to 08023201831(sms only) or email@example.com
Patience Edirin Saduwa Curbing rural-urban drift, the Iloko-Ijesha way
On Saturday 08023201831 (sms only)
WAS out of town recently to attend a workshop under the auspices of the UNDP and IPCR (the Institute of Policy and Conflict Resolution). Two things stood out for me in the training workshop for media practitioners. First was the focus of the programme which was on conflict sensitive reporting in the media, a subject which I believe is quite timely considering all the crisis and conflicts in different parts of the country that seem to defy all solutions. Another was the location of the workshop which was in Iloko-Ijesha, a community tucked away in the backwoods of Osun State, off the highway to Ile-Ife. ‘Why are they holding the
workshop in such a rural place?’ was the first thought that came to my mind when I got the invitation to attend the workshop. But Emmanuel Mamman, an affable staff of the IPCR had a tangible explanation for choosing such a venue. “We know you journalists are very restless people...you are always moving all over the place for news and information. So, we want to put you in a very quiet and secluded place so you will not be distracted!” he stated. The plans of the organisers to ‘cage’ us seemed to work. For the four days or so the programme lasted, we were fully engaged with little or no room for any restless, ‘kurukere waka’. And it was mostly thanks to the venue
or should I say the village of Iloko- Ijesha. Actually, though I had never been there before, I knew of the community by reputation. There’s a very popular school there built by the monarch of the community, the late banker, businessman and philanthropist, Oba Oladele Olashore and I know a couple whose daughter attended the school some years back. So, I was looking forward to seeing the top class secondary school that has attracted the patronage of wealthy Nigerian parents who can afford the steep fees. But I was in for a pleasant surprise. It turned out that there was more to Iloko than just the famous institution. There was the hotel we were accommodated in for instance also built by Oba Olashore. Picture an imposing, beautifully designed edifice with all the decor and fittings of a swanky hotel in any top city in the country and you get an idea of what the place looked like. It was that impressive more so that it was built smack in the middle of the ‘bush’, in a very rural setting.
“The owner must have spent ‘serious’ money here. This is a multi-million naira investment,” Sam, a colleague from another newspaper said on the evening of our arrival as we took stock of our surroundings. I could not agree more. It was not just the hotel or the school that had the imprints of the late monarch. A walk round the community showed more of the impact that the astute businessman had on the place. In fact, to say he solely propelled the community from a rustic backwater to national and international recognition would be stating the obvious. As a resident of the village put it succinctly: “Who knew Iloko before? It used to be real bush here! It was the late Oba that transformed this place, making us enjoy so many things today!” Some of these ‘goodies’ Iloko residents are enjoying courtesy of their largehearted townsman include tarred roads, electricity, a church, a Model College, a stadium that could rival those in any city and other amenities. The late king, though ob-
viously very wealthy, was not the richest Nigerian. There are many around us with more money than him. But rather than spend his wealth on himself and immediate family alone as some do, his generous heart propelled him to invest in his community in terms of infrastructure, human development and job creation. There’s nothing you have in the city that is lacking in this community. Add the serene, peaceful environment, fresh food and fresh, unpolluted air, among other perks of rural life to that and you have a conducive environment to live and work. We need more places like this unique community so as to reduce the constant migration of rural dwellers to the cities in search of work. Due to this mass migration, most of our cities including the purposely built showpiece called Abuja, are congested and practically ‘bursting’, leading to too much pressure on the available infrastructure that was not built with so many millions of people in mind in the first place. Lagos is a typical case. This is one place that needs to be
given a ‘special city status’ because of its unique situation as the honey-pot of the country, attracting hundreds of thousands of migrants each year. Many of these abandoned their livelihoods such as farming and trading in their communities, with the erroneous belief that they would make it faster in the city. And what happens on their arrival? Unable to find meaningful work due to lack of any reasonable skill, no decent accommodation because of high rents and faced with high cost of living, many end up broke and frustrated. And in desperation, some take to crime and other anti-social behaviours. Some even end up on the streets as destitutes, creating problems for the government already struggling to cope with so many demands on its resources. It makes sense therefore for more investment to be made in our rural communities to curb this constant drift to the cities by those who falsely believe they can only ‘make it’ in life when they are in Abuja, Lagos, PortHarcourt, Kano and other large cities in the country.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
Fatima Pilgrimage Ground
OTARY Interna tional held its an nual convention in Lisbon recently. The event brought 19,000 Rotarians, family members of Rotarians and friends of Rotary worldwide into the Portuguese capital. As often the case, many participants arrived days or even weeks before the main event and many stayed some extra days to savour all that the country and its inhabitants offered. A number seized the opportunity of the trip to visit Spain, Italy and other Shengen countries. On arrival at the Lisbon airport, there is a tourism desk like in many countries. This desk offers help regarding hotel accommodations, mode of transportation to destination, currency exchange related matters, eateries and shopping centres. Approaching the Lisbon airport from the Mediterranean from the air, a beautifully planned city, Lisbon, spreads out. Lisbon, a city that derived its name from Alis Ubbo or Olissipo, the names the Phoenicians called it originally, is rich in Roman history ranging from Julius Ceaser through to the moors. King Afonso Henriques VI was the first king of Portugal. The 15th and 16th centuries were the most prosperous periods in the history of Lisbon, coinciding with the reign of the Avis dynasty. It was under these monarchs that the great sea voyages of discovery were undertaken that made
From UJA EMMANUEL, who was in Portugal
the country a world power and Lisbon a strategic point on trade routes. This was the era of great seafarers like Vasco Da Gama. A major event in the history of Lisbon was the earthquake which devastated the city on November 1, 1755, killing an estimated 60,000 inhabitants. This caused the Marquis of Pombal, King Jose 1’s Secretary of State, a fervent follower of enlightened rationalism, to order its reconstruction with the application of new town planning. This was the beginning of the rectilinear plotting of streets, uniform land spaces for buildings and layouts, a new approach to urban planning which was to spread all over Europe. And so Lisbon, with a population of 2.5million inhabitants, has beautifully laid out streets, wide open spaces, parks, gardens and condominiums. As recent as 1995, the old sea port of Oriente, a county of Lisbon, was completely knocked down and rebuilt
with a state-of-the-art underground train station, a beautiful shopping mall
named after Vasco Da Gama, a convention centre big enough to host 50,000
In Portugal, every tour centre encourages the visitor to attend at least one Fado concert. Fado music is to Portugal what jazz music is to the USA
participants and not less than 10 five-star hotels. This was the venue of the Rotary International convention. All along the beach line are eateries owned by Portuguese, Mosabequans, Brazilians and a host of other Portuguese speaking immigrants. Your guess is as good as anybody’s, sea foods ranging from octopus through to lobsters are proudly served. This reporter gathered that Portugal has a total popula-
tion of a little above 10million people. There is a deliberate plan in the infrastructural development of the Portuguese cities. Towering condominiums are preferred for accommodating people. This makes for large populations to be accommodated in a relatively small portion of land. Then these concentrations of people are provided with big shopping malls, big parks and gardens, well plotted road networks and properly designated worship places. The Portuguese are 90 per cent Catholics. This way, people don’t need to travel too long distances to visit markets, schools, churches or other social facilities. This saves them a lot of resources. Their farmlands and vineyards stretch for miles. In Portugal, every tour centre encourages the visitor to attend at least one Fado concert. Fado music is to Portugal what jazz music is to the USA. Fado is Portugal’s most genuine form of popular song, though it has always been more associated with Lisbon and Coimbra than the rest of the country. The words of Fados, which are like mirrors of the soul, are mostly concerned with feelings such as pain, desperation or sadness, but also happiness and good cheer. The Portuguese are proud of the wines they produce, and so, virtually on all their guided tours, they include some meals
THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013 served with at least one of their many wines. The tours include the historical Lisbon tour which allows one for a fee of 38 euros per person to tour Lisbon, a city of 2,500 years history. This takes one through Tagus River, the Moorish quarter of Alfama which survived the earthquake and Belem, home of the shipyards where in the 15th century the Portuguese Caravelas (sailing boats) departed to find maritime ways to Africa, Asia and Brazil. That you could say was the beginning of globalization. Other tours are : the Lisbon and Tagus River, the Sintra and Es’tori coastline, Lisbon culture, the Arrabida and Southern plains, Evora and Monsaraz. One of the most fulfilling and thrilling tours is the Silver Coast and Shrine of Fatima. This takes one to North West along the coast line areas of Portugal along the Atlantic Ocean, through the 12th century fortress of Obidos, with its white washed and well preserved houses. The town of Obidos has kept its traditions, monuments and well-kept cobblestone streets allowing visitors to travel to the past to see its small churches, small shops and original bars. Many visitors ended their visit to Obidos with a well-deserved famous liquor “Ginginha” served in a chocolate made cup. From Obidos, the tour moves to Nazare, a still very active fishing village. The village of Nazare is famous for its past tradition of having its fishing boats pulled out of the ocean to the beach by a pair of bulls helped by the fishermen,
Hadur offers Rome, Israel in a pilgrimage
•Oriente Train Station
wives and children. Another famous tradition of Nazare is the traditional female outfits that include seven skirts dressed simultaneously. After lunch at Nazare, a stop is made at Fatima. Fatima is the famous pilgrimage site, well known for its Roman Catholic Shrine and Basilica. Fatima is recognized by the Vatican as a site where the Virgin Mary was seen by three little shepherds. The Rotary convention was loaded with inspiring speakers which included the Liberian born 2011
Nobel Peace Laureate, Leymah Gbowee, and many musical groups like the Tuna Academia, a group of university students in traditional dress who play guitar and sing serenades traditional to Spain and Portugal. On the entertainment list was the record-breaking classical crossover quartet II Divo who drew standing ovation with every number rendered. Other groups included Orquestra Metropolitan de Lisboa, Fernando Varela, Hayley Westenra, 2 Cellos and the St. Dominic’s Gospel Choir.
Haifa, the beautiful Baha’I Gardens to view the unique design, combining geometrical shapes and exquisite detailing with loving conservation of natural and historic landscape features. The pilgrims would then continue for a scenic drive of the Carmel. There will be an overnight stay at Tiberius. Other itinerary of the pilgrims will include trip across the Sea and a drive around the western shores to visit the pilgrim shrines of the NW shores.There will be a visit to the Mt.of Beatitudes, the scene of the Sermon on the Mount. There will also be a visit to Nazareth and an overnight stay at Bethlehem. At Bethlehem, the pil-
grims will visit the Basilica of the Nativity where there will be the opportunity to kneel at the birthplace of Christ in the Grotto of Nativity. Before living Bethlehem, there will be a visit to the Fields of the Shepherds where the angel of Lord proclaimed the birth of the Messiah, the saviour of the world. There will also be a trip to Jerusalem, including a tour of the Mount of Olives from where Jesus ascended to heaven after his resurrection from the mount. There is a magnificent view over all ancient and modern Jerusalem, the centre of the biblical world. The upper Room also in Jerusalem will be on the card.
Lagos to harmonise hotel, tourism taxes
•Monument to the Discoveries
Remlords wins Travellers’ Award
T the Abuja Bantaba event, Remlords Tours received the award for the best ground handler in Nigeria. The award was in recognition of the pace setting effort of its domestic tourism business,while most operators concentrated on outbound tours. In the past one year, Remlords Global Satellite Account ( GSA) for Arik Air in Calabar launched an online portal for domestic tourism with Cross River as a pivot. The portal, “Experience Cross River”, has been driving tourists into Cross River and its environs. As destination managers, Remlords markets Cross River State with its endowed rich cultural heritage. The major focus is the Obudu Mountain Resort which is the winner of the Naija 7 Wonders. Remlords promotes one of Cross River State largest tourism events – The Carnival Calabar, Africa’s largest street party. As the best ground handler in Nigeria,Remlords has the best airport pick-up and dropoff service in the major airports with choice cars to meet clients’ choices, styles and budgets. They also offer intercity and intra-city car hire ser-
ADUR Travel and Tour has unfolded its eight-day package for religious pilgrimage to Israel. The pilgrimage is for those interested in a private spiritual experience. Hadur also said it has a two in one package that involves a tour of Israel and Rome all in a single pilgrimage. In a release, the head of the travel agency, Mrs. Funke Taiwo, said the tour will start on October 31 and end of November 7. “Our Israel is aimed at putting together a tour offering a rewarding spiritual pilgrimage packages. It offers a less stressful, easy to manage pilgrimage. It is packaged in such a way that each day counts and the pilgrims have once in a life time spiritual experience,” she said. According to the release, the pilgrimage kicks off on October 31 with the arrival of the pilgrims at the Ben Gurion International Airport. After the reception at the airport, the group will visit the local basilica built on the location of Simon the Tanner’s house where the impure animals’ vision took place. The second day starts with a drive to the Yardenit Baptism site located on the banks of the Jordan River. There is also a drive to
vices for both individuals and corporate organizations in Lagos, Abuja, Warri, Port Harcourt, Uyo and Calabar. While receiving the award in Abuja, the Chairman of Remlords who also is the National President of the National Association of Tour Operators, NATOP, had this to say.” We are very happy to be recognised for what we have been doing. The success of our project and its acceptance gives us joy.Experience Cross River is an online travel portal giving direct access to bookings and payments to hotels, airlines, tour packages
and car hire service.” In partnership with organizations such as Aero Contractors, Arik, Naija 7 Wonders, NDTC, Cross River Hoteliers’ Association, Obudu Mountain Resort and so on, we have recorded over 2,000 tourist arrivals and over 500 international visitors to Cross River State in just a year. As the lead marketer of Obudu Mountain Resort, Experience Cross River takes care of clients’ needs at the most affordable rate with discount covering accommodation, ground transport, tour and so on. Experience Cross River, within the space of a year, plays host as organizing company to several conferences and international workshops among which was the 6th AMAGE (African Middle East Association of Gastroenterology). With strong partnership with major hotels in Calabar with international standard services, Experience Cross River gives amazing discount on hotel bookings in Cross River State. Moreso, the presence of Experience Cross River is mostly felt from arrival at the airport with well-trained meet-andgreet personnel and welltrained chauffeurs with the UN •Nkeriuwen Onung, CEO, Decade of Safety Certificate.” Remlords
AGOS State government has promised to harmonise the taxes paid by hospitality and tourism outfits in Lagos to be a one-stop activity. This promise was made this week during a stakeholders’ meeting between the Lagos State government through the Ministry of Tourism and Inter-governmental Affairs and Hospitality and other tourism outfit owners. According to the Commissioner of of Tourism and Intergovernmental Relations, Mr. Disun Holloway, a situation where tourism outfit owners are inundated by officials from different tiers of government does not augur well for the sector. He said he will engage in dialogue with the other state commissioners involved in collecting or
implementing one state law or the other in the hospitality outfits in Lagos. Disun was reacting to the complaint of tourism stakeholders over multiple taxation in the state. The meeting was called by the state ministry to dialogue with tourism outfit owners in the state in the light of the pronouncement by the Supreme Court that the hotel registration, classification and grading was the responsibility of the states. In his speech on the occasion, Holloway said the state government’s aim was to build the industry. He said: “With determination to enhance wealth while creating job opportunities, the ministry has, in the past, engaged organisations in leisure and resort development to fashion out a template for the rapid transformation of tourism sector. “Following the Supreme
Court ruling, putting to rest the contention between the Lagos State government and the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation(NTDC), Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola inaugurated two committees to enhance best practices in Lagos. “The two, Hotel Grading and Classification Ratification and Appeal Committee and Classification Review Committee, comprising more of private investors, was inaugurated only last month to ensure proper grading and classifications in the state. “We in Lagos State sees the Supreme Court judgment as a victory for the tenets of federalism and an opportunity to eradicate multiplicity of taxations and regulations, thereby enabling states to take charge and properly plan for the hospitality industry in their respective territories.”
•From left: Mr. Holloway; Mrs. Aduke Gomez, a Senior Assistant to the Lagos State Governor; and Mr. Ashamu Fadipe, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Inter-governmental Relations
THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
FAMIL Y HEAL TH AMILY HEALTH
THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
Dwelling according to knowledge (3)
ear Reader, You are welcome, this week, to another exciting time in the presence of the Lord. My focus is still on Dwelling According to Knowledge. Last week, I unveiled the duties of the men. This week, I shall be sharing with you the Duties Of The Women. To the wives we read: Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord (Colossians 3:18). That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed (Titus 2:4-5). Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything (Ephesians 5:22-24). The woman’s primary responsibility, after the Lord, is to her husband and children. The woman received the title of “help meet” in Genesis 2, which clearly established her role in the family as one of a support to her husband. The Bible specifically demands of the woman submission in all things. In dwelling according to knowledge, a woman must recognise and put to use the knowledge of her placement in
Health Matters With DR MIKE OYAKHIRE 08170268670
email: firstname.lastname@example.org Continued from last week
Common causes of seizures and epilepsy Many factors have been identified as etiological for epilepsy, depending on the type. It has earlier been mentioned that some individuals are born with reduced threshold for aggregates of neuronal excitation to become excitable by normal and abnormal neuronal firing, while that for inhibition is actually elevated, This also partly explains why a medication like Tegretol for instance will control epilepsy in one individual while in another person of the same age, biological sex and body mass index (BMI) twice the same dose will be required to produce favorable outcome. Doctors therefore use their professional discretion to titrate anti seizure drugs used for the purpose of aborting attacks and carefully select the ones needed for maintenance. In general some of the causes are as enumerated below; First year of life Problems that will give rise to convulsion in infancy may actually have begun in the mother (while child was still in the womb) Particularly in the third trimester(last three months of pregnancy), any febrile illness from viral and bacterial infections such as Hepatitis B, Syphilis, HIV/AIDS particularly with organopathies (evidence of disseminated disease) severe maternal malarial parasitaemia Drug use and abuse during pregnancy—alcohol (withdrawal), coccaine, caffeine, Meatabolic diseases affecting mother…. Such as Diabetes mellitus, Hypertension, Preeclampsia, Eclampsia(pregnancy associated seizure disorder with or without elevated blood pressure ) Underage pregnancies, Grand multiparity (successful pregnancies up to five or more), old primigravid (getting pregnant at age 35and older), multiple pregnancy(twins, triplets, quadruplets ,quintuplets, etc especially with use of fertility enhancing drugs and assisted reproductive technology(ART) Obstetric complications(problems in pregnancy severe enough to require medical intervention outside of routine antenatal care) leading to instrumental deliveries. Bleeding problems in pregnancy such as major degree Placenta praevia, abruptio Placentae( premature separation of a normally situated placenta) All sorts of problems associated with disproportion –feto pelvic (FPD), cephalopelvic (CPD), premature, prelabour rupture of membranes (PPROM)—burst and leakage of liquor before actual labour begins creates an unprotected passageway for ascending infection right up to the fetus, Trial of labour with excessive use of Oxytocin, popularly referred to as hot ‘injection Babies born small for date, Small for age, with low APGAR scores (babies unable to cry, grip a finger, breathe spontaneously as he takes the first breathe outside mothers womb, babies born to un booked, malnourished mothers. Trauma …birth injuries involving the head, neck and trunk, in half of cases affect the rest of the central nervous system, but manifestation may not be immediate. Metabolic disorders
the family, in order to enjoy a successful family. The idea of submission is a stumbling block to many women, because they equate submission with inferiority. Men and women are created equally by God, but for the purpose of His plan of redemption, God has assigned to each of them differing roles to carry out. God has clearly called the wife to submit to her own husband. That is God’s design ordained for her blessings. The matter of submission is very clearly indicated in the verses quoted above. The wife is to submit to her husband. The manner of submission is as unto the Lord, and the motive is God’s design to make the husband the head of the wife. The model is the way the Church submits to Christ, and the extent is in everything. That is God’s design for the woman in the family set-up. A man of wisdom once said, “When purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable.” The reason women find it difficult to be submissive is because they do not know the motive for submission and the manner in which submission is to be rendered. Ephesians 5:23 clearly points out the motive for submission: For the husband is the head of the wife. That’s God’s design, that’s the divine plan. Just as a body submits to the brain located in the head by design, so the wife should submit to the husband, who is the head. When you see a body that does not respond to the head, you see a deformity and something that is not normal. You see a dysfunctional person. The same is true in marriage. Where a wife does not submit to her husband, there is distortion, deformity, and dysfunction. God has designed that the body responds to the head, and the husband is the head of the wife. In the same verse 23, we see the model of submission: “As Christ is the head of the church.” In other words, a woman is to submit to her husband as the Church submits to Christ. With the same complete, non-grudging, joyful and willing heart that the Church has in obeying Christ, the wife is to
submit to her husband, in order to enjoy success in her family. Women should seek the Lord diligently and strive to be chaste in conduct, behaviour and dressing. The woman has the duty to pursue opportunities to serve in appropriate capacities and pursue those skills necessary for homemaking (Proverbs 31:10-30). Sarah was found pleasing to the Lord because of her submission to Abraham. Consequently, she became the mother of many nations. The woman was created to support man in his endeavours and bear children to fill the earth. No matter the position of a virtuous woman, she is always productive and she works with her hands. She is creative and industrious. If a woman is not productive, she will invariably be burdensome to her spouse and the society at large. If you are not born again, you don’t have what it takes to fulfill your duties as a woman. If you are ready to be born again, please say this simple prayer with me, in faith: Dear Lord Jesus, I come to You today. I believe You died and rose again for my sake. Forgive me of my sins, take over my life, make me Your child and let Your peace reign over my life. Thank you for saving me. Now I know I am born again. Congratulations, you are now born again! I believe that you will begin to experience the reality of the price that Jesus paid for your sins at Calvary. All round rest and peace are guaranteed you in Jesus’ Name! Call or write, and share your testimonies with me through: E-mail: email@example.com Tel. No: 08141320204; 07026385437; 07094254102 For more insight, these books authored by me are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all Living Faith Churches and other leading Christian bookstores: Marriage Covenant, Making Marriage Work, Single With A Difference, Building A Successful Family, and Success In Marriage (Co-Authored with Bishop David Oyedepo).
Common diseases of children Seizure syndrome, epilepsy and epilepticus in status such as Hypoglycemia leading to low blood sugar could occur in children born to diabetic mothers. They may also occur on their own as part of inherited disorders arising from errors of metabolism. Hypoglycemia could also arise in concert with hypocalcemia, as secondary complications of birth trauma Infections of the brain—meningitis, infestation by cysts of tape worms(cysticercus) Infections from the eyes, ear and mouth spreading into the brain CNS abnormalities - include medical conditions of the head, neck and brain present at birth –hydrocephalus, when eyes are set low , chin receding or unusually small, head flat like bread loaf, or had shaped like electric bulb, sometimes with a horn pointing upwards at the point of glabella , double heads, or collapsed scalp where eyes stick out like a frog - all these should warrant special attention, because, the brain substance itself may have taken it’s own share of the congenital abnormality—even those found down below at the genital region. Others: Seizures due to inborn errors of metabolism •Convulsion in the first few days of life may arise in families known to have other inherited brain disorders as can be demonstrated via procedures using genetic linkage analysis •Vitamin B deficiency such as Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) deficiency and abuse of multivitamin supplements. •Babies of mothers using drugs such as cocaine, heroin, or ethanol apart from damage to the brain, these babies are also at very high risks of developing drug-withdrawal seizures in the first few days after delivery. Adolescence Many of the conditions capable of causing seizures in early childhood can also give rise to seizures and epilepsy in older children up to the age of 14, many of these can still be traced back. In this period and most of the teen years, accidents from various sources can affect the brain and cause permanent damage. Acquired conditions of the central nervous system(CNS ):- head trauma, infections – fungal, viral .-encephalitis, parasitic infections such as cysticercosis, brain tumors, congenital CNS abnormalities, use of hard drugs(Indian hemp, cocaine, heroin alcohol(abuse and withdrawal). Stress is diabetogenic and can induce hyperglycemia to blood levels outside the capacity of endogenous insulin. Stress on it’s own can cause direct insult by its effect on the cholinergic pathways, particularly in young teenagers using combination of hard drugs—they first stimulate the CNS and then depress the neurons. Up to ten years or more may pass before the first attack of seizure and the more severe the injury ,the higher is the risk of developing epilepsy later in life. Metabolic disturbances such as electrolyte imbalance, hypo- or hyperglycemia, renal failure, and hepatic failure may cause seizures at any age. Similarly, endocrine disorders and problems of abnormal hemoglobin and many other systemic diseases may cause seizures over a broad age range. Febrile Seizures Febrile seizures may be defined clinically as seizures associated with fevers but without evidence of infection of the brain and its branches of nerves. Though an overall prevalence of 3–5% has been reported, this is likely to be higher in some parts of the world, such as Africa, Asia and Latin America. Febrile illness occurs more in males than females, infection common cause. Family history of febrile seizures or epilepsy is often present
though recall is always a problem. Usually occurring between 3 months and 6years of age, peak incidence is between and include 18 and 24 months. Absence of previous attack, may be helpful in the diagnosis and management-if one remembers to ask .There is associated delay in milestones of development - smiling to mother, holding neck erect sitting, crawling all coming late compared to other children of the same or other families How do they present?-pattern recognition. Two main types have been observed ; Typical form of febrile seizure has a duration usually less than ten minutes, may occur once and is never experienced again for rest of the child’s life . Atypical febrile seizures type on the other hand lasts more than 15 minutes and several episodes may occur in a 24 hour period; affected kids are usually less than I year old on the average and, risk of epilepsy later is real. Most patients have a family history of convulsion and in a few cases of epilepsy. Some groups use the words simple and complex to describe typical and febrile seizures respectively. Febrile convulsion may begin with what appears to be mild fever in association with malaria. Its commonly seen with other common childhood infections of the ear, nose throat, and with gastroenteritis, measles, meningitis, and eyes, and then without warning, the picture changes very quickly as the child stretches out (usually generalized, tonic-clonic seizure )during a febrile illness with eyes rolling upwards ,face turned to one side (contralleteral gaze). The seizure is likely to occur during the rising phase of the temperature chart of a febrile illness such as malaria, typhoid or bronchopneumonia An episode of febrile convulsion is most likely to be missed in cases where subclinical doses of drugs are given and other forms of management are poor due to poverty . Watch the child closely during the periods of temperature spike when the child wants to be left alone, he is hot to touch, skin is dry, eyes are glassy and face is dull. Status Epilepticus This condition is usually diagnosed when a seizure attack continues for about half an hour or more without the patient regaining consciousness. It is usually a medical emergency because in a small but significant number of cases, patients quickly go into respiratory arrest and consequently respiratory failure. They can also develop renal shut down and eventually kidney failure from the ceaseless muscle contractions and breakdown of muscle protein. When a child who is convulsing ceaselessly not making urine in between attacks, you should worry about kidney shut down Brain death is almost inevitable if the convulsion continues without proper medical attention In such situations, there are a few things you can do before the Doctor arrives or before you get to the Hospital, as packaged under the acronym ABC- ensure patient has enough air going in and coming out – an individual usually breathes in oxygen and sends out carbon dioxide, whereas too much oxygen can damage brain structures, retaining carbon dioxide patient is far more dangerous. The brain substance in itself does not produce pain and so patient may die by simply from going into deep sleep. To be continued
FAMIL Y HEAL TH AMILY HEALTH
THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
The Catholicity of mania M
ANIA is a catholic condition because ev erybody goes in and out of it in a continual flux that depends on many factors such as biologic condition, environmental influences, relationships, needs and wants. Mania or insanity is difficult to define and as the Yoruba put it: “ori e ko pe”, the mind or brain is not complete or correct. Something missing in the mind makes the mind unable to judge the difference between opposites and opposing factors: right from wrong, good from evil, safety from danger; and to exercise disordered ego. Every now and then a judgement component of the mind escapes or is stolen by some force (evil or dominant) and a person exhibits unlimited ego. The catholicity of mania makes it often a folly to preoccupy oneself with another person’s mania or manic episode without moral clinical mandate. Psychotherapy, drugs, electroconvulsive shock therapy,
and other human devices are often or routinely applied to treat mania and manic episodes. Spiritual healing is often unrecognized but continual connectivity with the awesome source of our brains and minds is a sure source of balance and good judgement. Mania surely is characterized by a lack of reason and wisdom. Any passion, emotion, activity, expression of life, and relationship can reach manic level. Thus we can refer to a person as a sex maniac, control freak, workaholic, religious fanatic, kleptomaniac (compulsive thief), etc. Every form of mania, can be expressed in diversity. For example kleptomaniacs may include persons who compulsively steal attractive insignificant objects, important public funds, intellectual property; other person’s rights or freedoms; other person’s merits, credits, rewards, or honours; other person’s peace or privacy; etc. Modern realities make tra-
ditional concepts of mania obsolete. The availability of powerful technologies makes it possible for individuals to be able to experience addictive powers and enlarged egos independently. It is no more necessary to go to an asylum to find a maniac. Everybody in real life can easily go in and out of mania continuously and the greater the possibility of a flattered ego, the greater the possibility of a person manifesting manic episodes in various measures. Power is always a double edged sword and most people do not realize this. The ego can be enhanced unto good or evil. The modern man, with increasing advancement of science and technology, is becoming more and more powerful and easily a power-fool when lacking connectivity with the source of humanity’s brain and mind. Break, distortion, or lack of such connectivity is the mother of follies and results in lack of good judgement. In modern societies, mania will abound and medical research
or intervention directed at mania would often be futile if humans with physical powers are devoid of spiritual balance. We become dangerous to ourselves and dangerous to other persons when we do not consider how powerful we are and how unnecessary it is to always exercise power. The person who drills a pinhole through the wall to insert a spy ware and listen to all his neighbours’ conversations or watches his neighbours eating and drinking and having sex may think modern technology is wonderful. The serial stalker taking cell phone pictures or sound recordings, the compulsive social media escapist, the quick businessman that floods the market with health hazards for more money - are possibly examples of modern mania. The modern maniac does not belong to the asylum. The world itself has become the asylum where he or she can freely express mania and look normal. Mania is also difficult to define because of the concepts of
relativity capabilities and relative bests. Every human being with his or her ego is dependent on his or her own biologic make up, mental capacity and mental development, physical capability and physical development, spiritual capacity and spiritual development, experience, environmental connections and influences, relationships, history, geography, and time. Perhaps the most misjudged “mad man” ever was Jesus Christ. It is well recorded he was considered mad. In the same vain, it may be difficult to understand persons and personalities from just a human point of view no matter how great our power of intelligence, information gathering, study, human knowledge, or human understanding.
Group gives 9000 people free medical service
OT less than nine thousand adults and Children received free medical services in Lagos during the recently concluded Ramadan fasting. The Islamic Medical Association of Nigeria (IMAN), Lagos State branch attended to over five thousand adults and four thousand Children during seven outings. The adults were screened for hypertension, diabetes and HIV and there was also free drugs. There was health talk and special consultations in dental, orthopedic, gynaecology and optical consultations. All the 4,000 children were dewormed and some of them had consultations with the doctors. In his remark on the success of the programme, the State Chairman of the group, Dr Sola Labinjo said the medical team which included consultants, doctors, nurses, medical students, laboratory scientists and other health
Risikat RAMONI workers, were at seven locations. They are, Abule Ijesha, Idi Araba, Abesan Estate in Ipaja, Ikoyi prisons, Oshodi and other communities. Labinjo said the mini dental clinic at each of the outing did dental counselling/consultations, examinations, treatment and extractions if necessary. He added that free eye glasses were given to those with optical challenges and there will be a free cataract surgery for those diagnosed with the ailment. The family health physician added that as for those who are HIV positive,they were referred to centres where they can have continuous treatment, counselling and support. He also said the hypertensive and diabetic were adequately counselled and given advise on the need for a lifestyle change to live longer. He quickly added that there will be a free cervical cancer screening for people after Ramadan as the activities of the group goes beyond the Holy month.
Tips for healthy eyes
OUR eyes are an impor tant part of your body. Here are some steps for maintaining a good and healthy eyes. •Have a dilated eye exam: You might think your vision is fine or that your eyes are healthy, but visiting your eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to really be sure. When it comes to common vision problems, some people don’t realise they could see better with glasses or contact lenses. During a comprehensive dilated eye exam, your eye care professional places drops in your eyes to dilate, or
widen, the pupil to allow more light to enter the eye the same way an open door lets more light into a dark room. This enables your eye care professional to get a good look at the back of the eyes and examine them for any signs of damage or disease. Your eye care professional is the only one who can determine if your eyes are healthy. •Your family’s eye health history: Talk to your family members about their eye health background. It’s important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with a disease or condition since many are he-
reditary. This will help to determine if you are at higher risk for developing an eye disease or condition. •Eat right to protect your sight: You’ve heard carrots are good for your eyes. But eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, or collard greens is important for keeping your eyes healthy, too. There are eye health benefits from eating fish high in omega3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut. •Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing diabetes and other systemic conditions, which can lead to vision loss, such as diabetic eye disease or glaucoma. •Wear protective eyewear. Wear protective eyewear when playing sports or doing activities around the home. Protective eyewear includes safety glasses and goggles, safety shields, and eye guards specially designed to provide the correct protection for a certain activity. Quit smoking or never start: Smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body. Research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness. •Give your eyes a rest: If you spend a lot of time at the computer or focusing on any one thing, you sometimes forget to blink and your eyes can get fatigued. Try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. This can help reduce eyestrain. Source: HealthyVision
EPATITIS is an inflammation of the liver. Un less further qualified, the term is usually taken to refer to a virus infection of the liver; also known as “infectious hepatitis”. Hepatitis is also (occasionally) a result of a bacterial, protozoan or other microbial infection. There is also Toxic hepatitis which is caused by poisoning of the liver with various chemicals (such as industrial solvents), drugs, or (very rarely) general anaesthetics. Virus hepatitis occurs in two basic forms, one of which is called infectious hepatitis (or hepatitis A) and the other, serum hepatitis (or hepatitis B), which is also “infectious”. It is fairly certain that these two conditions, although clinically similar, are caused by different viruses and the modes of transmission are different. In Hepatitis B, transmission is mainly by the injection or transfusion of contaminated blood or blood products, or by accidental skin pricks or other injuries caused by contaminated needles or other sharp objects. Transmission also occurs from inadequately sterilized hypodermic needles, syringes, surgical and dental instruments, tattooing instruments and razors. Hepatitis B is also common among narcotic addicts and others who use unsterile syringes for drug injections. The virus which causes hepatitis A, by contrast, is mostly transmitted in the faeces. Although it can be spread by blood transfusion, the main route is from infective faeces to the mouth via the hands or objects contaminated with the faeces. The patient with hepatitis may notice little or nothing wrong, but in more severe cases, the patient will have fever, headache, nausea and vomiting, a severe loss of appetite and aching in the muscles. Then jaundice, caused by an accumulation of yellow bile pigment in the blood, appears after a few days or, in some cases, a week or two from the onset of the symptoms. The liver may become enlarged and tender and may develop cirrhosis. The conditions may lead to death from liver failure. In Holistic Lifecare, hepatitis patients are
Medically, mania can be treated or treatment attempts can be made at the level of psychotherapy, drug therapy, or electroconvulsive therapy. All these procedure are delicate and unpredictable clinical processes. The most important process for each and every one of us is perhaps recognizing how powerful we are as human beings in modern times and how much we need to bring to our best both the spiritual and the physical aspects of our being. Dr. ’Bola John is a biomedical scientist based in Nigeria and in the USA. For any comments or questions on this column, please Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07028338910 strongly advised to have adequate bed rest, with proper care in the handling of infected excreta. Alcoholic beverages should be strictly avoided. The holistic remedy being suggested for total cure of Hepatitis is a combination of natural extracts of Eugenia caryophylatta, Musa cavendichii, Citrus lemonis, Euphorbia unispina and Capsicum frutescens,. For further information and consultation on Holistic Lifecare research and services, especially on Blood Infections, Infertility, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Chronic Debilitating Conditions as well as mental and social problems, please call on: 0803-330-3897 or visit: Mosebolatan Holistic Lifecare Centre, Adeyalo Layout, Ogbere-Tioya, Off Olorunsogo Express Bridge, Ibadan. Website: www.holisticlifecare.com. Distance is no barrier, we can send remedies by courier if need be. We also have facilities for accommodation, admission and hospitalization in a serene and homely environment.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
Only in Naija…
O doubt, we are in a country of anything goes. Some years back, when we were rated as the hap piest gathering of people in the world, it was not for any special reason other than the way we giggle over the putrefying mess that defines official inaction and everyday living in this nation - the most populous of Africa's black race. Regular readers of this page would readily agree that Knucklehead does not particularly fancy the wily old fox from Owu, former President Olusegun Obasanjo. And so when he, in what has become a commonplace ritual, fired his verbal canon on Tuesday at a summit on sustainable development in Ibadan, many would have concluded that I would join the band wagon of those who will pick offence against his latest vituperation. Well, I am not. This time, Obasanjo was right in all matters particular as some would put. My only fear is that, in our haste to hang him in the sun to dry, we may end up not appreciating his courage in telling the truth to power. Doing that, I must point out, will be deleterious to the growth of this nation. And if we are all agreed that this country needs to be cleansed of ancestral 'curses' and 'jinxed' patrimony, the canticles of this old war horse should be taken seriously. As a thoroughbred Yoruba, I know it's sacrilegious to call the elderly, no matter how senile, a liar. In fact, we were brought up to understand that elders don't lie even as they are the only breed licenced to be economical with the truth. It is for that reason that the young ones are encouraged to commend the elderly for daring to release an utterly discomfiting offensive fart in the middle of a family. You are admonished to tolerate their indiscretion and temporarily suck in the foul smell. They can't be wrong and their words are, we were also told, soaked with wisdom. In Obasanjo's case, he is not just an elder but also a statesman. He is therefore one of the living elder-statesmen of the Yoruba stock today. Instead of vilifying him, especially for his indelible contributions to the jinxing of Nigeria, we should worship him for the privilege of drinking from his fountain of wisdom. It's just that if he had foresight in place of hindsight, his long years in power ought to have left Nigeria better than the cursed years that he and his lieutenants, including a merry band of bandits in power, bequeathed to us. Instead of this mortifying angst over what some describe as a hollow patter, we should apply the same wisdom ingrained in us by the elderly to sieve the truth. At least, we ought to know that, oftentimes, the truth we seek is wreathed in tissues of lies. And so, we ask, why knock our heads in anger over the deliberate taunts of a whiny old man whose self-perpetuation agenda was collectively frustrated? For those who have followed Gen. Matthew Aremu Okikiola Olusegun Obasanjo's trajectory with painstaking incredulity, it did not come as a surprise that integrity takes a completely different meaning in his lexicon. 'Baba', as his sycophantic admirers use to call him, was known for convivial interactions with hapless foes, even while planning to whack them with a political sledgehammer. I doubt if Nigerian citizens are surprised that a spent gadfly like OBJ and a grandmaster at recycling faded talents has also elected to blame the younger breed of modern-day leaders for the country's depressing woes. If he had blamed himself or the gang of military interventionists that held the nation by the jugular for the better part of its chequered history, that would have been the shocker of the century. If he had not directed his poisoned darts at notable sworn enemies like former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and ex-Bayelsa State Governor Diepreye Alamiyeiseigha, then that would not be the vintage Ebora of Owu that most hate to love. If he had indicted his governmens (first as military ruler and later, as a democratically elected president) for the tragic combustions in a country that freely fritter its natural resources, that would have been tantamount to carrying Continued from Back Page they will visit the EFCC cell. You need to see the retinue of hangers-on who accompany our leaders on trips within the country not to talk about overseas? Most times these other people are part of the Federal Government delegations. And it is not unique to Nigeria. What this translates to is that cash is provided for this group while outside the country. I like the suggestion that the players should apologise to Nigerians for the show-of-shame in Namibia. I look forward to other decisions, which will be advisory, but I hope that NFF and, indeed, the National Sports Commission (NSC) will stick with the panel’s recommendations. We don’t want a repeat of what happened in Windhoek. Tears for Okagbare I wish I had access to Blessing Okagbare for 10 minutes. I will tell her to stick with the long jump. I will urge her to concentrate on running the 200 metres, if she insists on participating in the women sprint events. Okagbare is a slow starter, like Usian Bolt. But, unlike Bolt, who has the capacity to catch
patriotism beyond its reducible minimum. Why should anyone expect him to point a loaded gun at himself and dare to pull the trigger? Senility may be a disturbing health condition for the aged but it is not anywhere near stupidity. C'mon, let's be fair to this man! We may quarrel with his style of using some persons as his toothpicks of abuse. We may not like the way he wields his selective tar brush. We may even pooh-pooh his sanctimonious arrogance, knowing that he remains a major part of the country's multidimensional crises. What we cannot ignore is the truth wreathed in his latest outburst. For Knucklehead, especially in this period of frustrating leadership chaos, it is important to note that someone like Obasanjo has thrown a challenge at the people to get back their country from the vagabonds in power. He has told citizens to free themselves, take action and stop the whining while the rot deepens. Listen to him: "The whole thing is not just about leadership. If we talk about good leadership, you should also talk about good followers. If you talk about human rights, you should also talk about human duties and obligations. It is sad that after 53 years of independence, we have no leader that we can commend. Then, we are jinxed and cursed; we should all go to hell. The problem in Africa is that when one person takes over, he would not see any good thing that his predecessor did. Let us condemn, but with caution." Surely, good citizens should not follow 'Baba' into the hellhole created by his political cohorts. It has been said that people only get the kind of leaders they deserve. If the followers that Obasanjo gleefully talk down on had not been a laid back, see-no-evil, do-nothing and condescending lot, maybe the story would have been different today. Many years of leadership abuse have made most followers to believe that it is a norm for the man on the throne to steal the treasury blind and leave them with the crumbs. Some would even worship at his feet, forgetting that the true power lies with them and not the one that was twice given the privilege of being first among equals. Buried in Obasanjo's words is the bitter truth of how and why we found ourselves in this mess. Because we allowed this bunch of power grabbers to toy with our 'human rights, duties and obligations' for so many years, we have given the likes of Obasanjo incredible opportunities to fart in our midst with pomp and ceremony while we applaud the 'kind gesture'. Perhaps, as followers, if we had insisted on probity, accountability and thorough scrutiny of some per-
For those who have followed Gen. Matthew Aremu Okikiola Olusegun Obasanjo's trajectory with painstaking incredulity, it did not come as a surprise that integrity takes a completely different meaning in his lexicon. 'Baba', as his sycophantic admirers use to call him, was known for convivial interactions with hapless foes, even while planning to whack them with a political sledgehammer
Yomi Odunuga E-mail:yomi.odunuga @thenationonlineng.net SMS only: 07028006913
sons, they would not be the ones to teach us the meaning of integrity, based on selective amnesia. If we had not looked the other way while they pillaged the treasury with ignominy, they wouldn't have had the liberty to twist the truth and carpet the few ones they offered as sacrificial lambs to justify their fight against corruption. If they had been forced out of office for flagrant abuse of the Constitution by withholding billions of naira meant for local government councils in a state, even in total disregard of a Supreme Court ruling, they would not be the ones posturing about integrity in governance. But with followers like us, why won't some persons stand at rooftops, offering to give us what they really don't have? It is, indeed, banal to lay the blame of this national rot at the door post of the younger generation. In any case, how old was 'elder' Obasanjo when he became Head of State in February 1996? And when he came up again in 1999, what difference did he make with his grey hair. Anyway, Nigerians who have refused to be 'cursed' and 'jinxed' are beginning to ask questions on the social media after the rant. My good friend, Afolabi Gambari observed: "One man ruled a country TWICE for a cumulative 11 years and eight months in a country of over 160 million people; thereby depriving millions of compatriots the opportunity to rule in their lifetimes. He could say, "That's my own destiny and there's nothing any one can do to change it." Absolutely right, isn't he? Two days ago, the man woke up and declared, characteristically: "My country is cursed and jinxed." He went further to blame every past leader but himself for the woes that have befallen his country. Yet, a whole 11 years and eight months rule out of 52 years of nationhood represents a HUGE chunk! And he wouldn't see it this way. Pity, isn't it? He could well be written off as a comedian. But, pray, this is absurd comedy!" Yet another, a man highly respected for his steadfastness in speaking truth to power, Richard Akinnola, noted: "In his usual puritanical, self-righteous bogey, OBJ in his yesterday's derisive treatise on bad leadership, refused to mention his own name and that of his daughter, Iyabo. Or how can someone who was broke when he came out of prison in 1998 become a billionaire in 2007?" More poignant is Emmanuel Ogbeche's troubling update on his Facebook account. His posers should serve as food for thought for anyone who truly believes in redeeming this nation. He wrote on his wall: "We are all taking parochial stance in the coming conflagration that threatens our country, hmmmmm. Fuming funny Kayode rants, some applaud, some hiss and we take entrenched positions. Now Oby Ezekwesili joins the fray and calls on government to arrest the kiss and tell bad boy; some are hailing, others snigger and we are cool. Shekau kills dozens in Borno, some thinks it's a divine mandate and silently wished him success, others are stupefied by the callousness of it and life goes on. Hmmmmm! Rwandan genocide had such red flags three clear years before it happened. May we not wait to become 'Iwenzis' ie cockroaches!" What is there to add really? Now, Obasanjo thinks we should all go to hell as if hell is that distant from the reality staring us in the face. Well, which other clime will tolerate this fart sauced with abundant salt from the butt of a perennial abuser of power and age? Only in Naija....
Snippets from probe panel up over a short distance, Okagbare needs at least 150 metres to outrun the pack. Over a short distance as the 100 meters, Okagbare gives up easily, especially if the eventual winner has zipped past the 50 metres mark. What is clear to discerning minds is that Okagbare can never win the 100 metres race in major international meets, except the smaller competitions, even though she has the potentials to do so. Those who win the big races have their schedules guided by their countries’ governments, making the lure for smaller races unattractive. The advantage in this strategy is that when they appear in any small meet, if the need arises, their events are staged at their behest. This is the missing link in Okagbare’s case, making it imperative for her to earn a living by running all through the year. I know that the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and the National Sports Commission (NSC), as well as Minister Abdullahi have
done their best for her, yet the Federal Government must make Okagbare a brand that the corporate world should tag to. I will suggest that a presidential night with Jonathan be organised, where the President will sell her as a Nigerian project, first to next year’s Commonwealth Games and then the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. At the presidential night, the President will advise the blue chip companies to invest in her and indeed other athletes. The President will also announce what these supportive firms will benefit from such an exercise. This presidential night could also be used by the President to reinvent the sports lottery project. But it should be held yearly, with the designated committees give account of their stewardship. Where they are found wanting, a new body is set up and the defaulters are made to face the wrath of the law. Okagbare needs help beyond the little that Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan is giving. In
America and Jamaica, Okagbare will be treated like the Super Eagles. I look forward to the day when Okagbare will win a big race. On that day, the world will be still for a few minutes, listening to our national anthem. Then the corporate giants will paint the picture of Okagbare in Nigeria’s colours on their products. Let them imagine watching her on television loosing up before taking her turn in the long jump, wearing warmers inscribed with their corporate logos. To stretch the argument further, let firms capture the setting where Okagbare emerges as the fastest woman in the world, wearing logos of their firms and talking to CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera etc on 30-minute shows. The marketing window on their products and/ or services is awesome. Not forgetting front page pictures in all the big newspapers. Such support will compel Okagbare to shun those small races that burn her out for the bigger ones. Need I say more?
THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
Encomiums galore as Osun bids Obadare farewell t was a hail of encomiums on Friday at the lying-in state ceremony for the founder of the World Soul Winning Evangelic Ministry (WOSEM), Prophet Timothy Obadare, in Osogbo, the Osun State capital. Speaking at the ceremony, which held at the Oshogbo Sports Stadium, Governor Rauf Aregbesola opened the floodgate of the encomiums, when he said Obadare’s works and deeds would forever remain evergreen in the history and lives of the people of the state. The remains of the spiritual icon arrived the venue of the lying-in-state ceremony in a long motorcade convoy from Akure, the Ondo State capital. The motorcade was received by the leadership and members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and hundreds of members of the ministry, including state government officials, led by the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Tourism and Culture, Alhaji Sikiru Ayedun. Represented by the State Head of Service, Mr. Yinka governor the Owoeye, charged Nigerians to emulate the late cleric for his good works, which he said had positively touched many lives. Aregbesola, who explained that there is no cause to mourn over the demise of the prophet, described him as a great man, whose spirit will always live in the memory of many, and the state in particular. He said: "His life should be a source of challenge for the people on the earth surface, particularly the younger generation. He is a rare gem and a gift to us all in the state. But as much as we love him, the owner of the beautiful rose has taken it away." Also speaking, the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Osun State, Superior Apostle Abraham Aladeseye, advised Nigerians not only to extol the virtues of late Obadare, but to demonstrate such virtues in their daily lives. He described the world renowned preacher as an example of Christ’s teachings and principles, saying that the only way to properly extol him is to live the gospel he preached, both in his sermons and lifestyle. Also, the National Publicity Secretary of the Christ Apos-
n Adesoji ADENIYI, Osogbo n tolic Church Supreme Council Worldwide, Pastor (Dr.) Olu Arijesudade, described Prophet Obadare was a rare gift to his generation, adding that he touched many lives with the gospel he preached. A son of the late WOSEM founder, Pastor Abraham Obadare, expressed gratitude to God for the gift of "a father who taught us to live in peace with everyone, to forgive everybody and most of all, to be heaven conscious." He thanked Osun State government and the people of the state for joining the family to bid his father farewell. The lying-in-state ceremony was graced by dignitaries from the political circles, ministers of God from all over the country and many of the public who turned up to bid Obadare a final farewell.
•L-R: Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, receiving the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship International, Nigeria’s Award from the former National President of the fellowship, Arc. Bunmi Adedeji, while the National President, Arc. Ifeanyi Odedo, looks on, during the opening of the 2013 Abeokuta Regional Convention of FGBMFI, Nigeria, in Abeokuta on Friday.
Police arrest two fake medical doctors WO fake medical doctors, who have been operating for over two years in Lagos, were on Friday paraded by the Police in Lagos. The fake doctors were nabbed by operatives from area 'E' Police Command Festac Town, Lagos, on July 19. Parading the two suspects yesterday, the Lagos Police Command spokesperson, Ngozi Braide, a deputy superintendent of Police, said, "a report was made to area 'E' Commander, an Assistant Commissioner and Police (ACP) Dan Okoro that some
n Ebele BONIFACE n pregnant women are being given unprofessional magical attention in Care Hospital, located at 1B Omotoba Street, Unity Estate, Iba, Lagos. “Based on the tip off, ACP Okoro and his special anti-crime squad stormed the hospital and arrested the fake resident doctor, Mr. Nwankwo Stephen and the fake medical director and specialist doctor, Gabriel Onyema Ihejiero. “The two fake doctors were subjected to thorough investiga-
Two killed, 16 injured in Ibadan auto crash
wo people were reported dead in an accident on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway on Friday. The accident occurred at the Ajanla Farm axis of the road near Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, at about 9 am. According to an eyewitness, the accident involved a fullyloaded commercial white Toyota Hiace bus, marked Lagos XA 889 SMK and an unregistered Liberty Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV). It was learnt that the SUV, which was heading towards Abuja from Lagos, overtook the bus dangerously, thereby forcing the bus to hit it from behind. The four occupants of the SUV were said to have escaped with minor injuries.
n Bisi OLADELE, Ibadan n Two of the occupants of the bus died before they could get help, leaving the rest with varying degrees of injuries. The accident caused serious traffic gridlock, forcing travelers and other road users to spend several hours in holdup. The eye- witness explained that men of the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) and the police later arrived the scene to rescue the injured. The two corpses were taken to State Hospital, Adeoyo, Ibadan, while the injured were taken to the University College Hospital (UCH) and a private hospital for treatment.
Boko Haram: Presidency issues 48-hour ultimatum to FAAN to relocate fuel tankers from MMIA he Federal Government yesterday issued a 48hour ultimatum to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria ( FAAN) to relocate fuel tankers out of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, citing anxiety over safety and security concerns occasioned by the threat of Boko Haram. To ensure compliance, all security agencies attached to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, including State Security Services ( SSS), Nigerian Air Force, and others have been mobilised to ensure the fuel tankers are removed from the airport before Wednesday. Briefing newsmen yesterday, the Director of Aviation Safety , FAAN, Mr Wendel Ogunedo
n Kelvin OSA Okunbor n , said there is no going back on the relocation of the fuel tankers, many of which have broken down and could be a vulnerable target by people with sinister motives. He said FAAN would not like to see the fuel tankers parked along the road leading into the international terminal, as any spillage of inflammable liquid, including aviation fuel, could do incalculable damage to installations and houses around the airport. Ogunedo said a new place has been provided by FAAN, for the tanker drivers to operate from, adding that refusal by the drivers to relocate would force government to push
them out of the place. He explained that the presence of the tanker drivers around the airport is a great disservice to the transformation going on around the airport, even as he urged the tanker drivers to comply with the ultimatum, promising that the grey areas would be sorted out. He assured that necessary logistics have been put in place to facilitate the relocation of the trucks to a designated area. Also speaking, the regional manager, South West of FAAN, Mr Edward Olarerin, said since 2005, the authority has been meeting with the affected parties on how to find a lasting solution to the problem.
tion until they confessed that they were fake. Both of them had not seen the four walls of any University, not to talk of medical school. The resident doctor's academic qualification is first school leaving certificate, while the medical director stopped at secondary school level before he proceeded to unrecognised herbalist home to study telepathy. “They not only diagnose and do delivery of pregnant women, they also act as surgeons, operating with bare hands and at times using hands to force a baby out of pregnant women.” The owner of the hospital is also said to own a pharmaceutical shop and an ultra-modern laboratory, allegedly being manned by unqualified technicians. Confessing their individual involvement in the crime, the first suspect, Nwankwo Stephen, aged 40 said, "I am from Ikwo Local Government Area, Ebonyi State. I am an auxiliary nurse I
am a school certificate holder. I did not go to university. The owner of the hospital employed me when government closed his hospital few years ago. I am the resident doctor. I diagnose, perform operation and help deliver babies. I have worked in the hospital for over three years. I have delivered over 200 pregnant women. I was the one who met the owner of the house and told him that his house is good for hospital, and he went into partnership with one Aboyemi. I have worked as an auxiliary nurse in Saint Mam's Hospital, Ondo State from 2010 to 2012. That was where I learnt nursing. “The director of the hospital employed three of us as doctors. Myself, one Dr. Vitalis and one fake Dr. Onyeura Ugochukwu a.k.a. Donten. I don't do operation. I only do delivery in the night hours. I am on permanent night duty. I have also worked at a hospital in Akure where I delivered 90 pregnant women.
Participate in politics, Archbishop advises Christians hristians in the country have been advised to be more active and assertive in politics. President of the Gospel Baptist Conference of Nigeria and Overseas, His Eminence, ArchBishop Magnus Atilade, gave the advice on Friday while speaking with newsmen. The briefing was part of activities to mark the 41st annual conference and session of the church. Arch-Bishop Atilade, who is also the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria [CAN] South-West, said the moral consciousness of man can be used by Christians to fight against the causes of insecurity. ‘’It can draw attention to such values as liberty, self-determination, and decency in living standards. Nobody is at peace, as there is panic and trepidation coupled with unrighteousness, insincerity of purpose, authoritarianism, human rights abuses, all due to loss of direction by the leadership.” He pointed out that this is why Christians must not sit on the fence, but participate actively and meaningfully in politics, in order to step into the judicial ordinance of the country and ensure that it firmly and
n Bode DUROJAIYE, Oyo n satisfactorily provides for public peace, morality, social justice and liberty under the law. ‘’Governance has to be re-invented with human development and equality at its core. More and more people in the country end up feeling ’ open’ and insecure, while social divisions have become greater and frustration has mounted. Hatred between rival, ethnic and religious groups has shown no sign of abating. Part of the problems has been non-compliance with the laws of God. It must be noted that as long as leadership and the people continue to ignore the laws of God and reluctant to seek His guidance, insecurity will continue to prosper.’’ Highlights of the week-long event include the conferment of Knighthood of Good Samaritans on two accomplished academics. They include a Professor Emeritus and renowned expert in Community and Primary Health Care with the Lagos State University College of Medicine, Professor Olusegun HumponuWusu and Professor Adejare Agboola, expert in plant physiology at the University of Abeokuta [UNAB].
Help save my community, monarch sends SOS to Ondo govt he regent of Irun Akoko community, in Akoko North West Local Government Area of Ondo State, Princess Oluremi Obideyi, has sent a save our soul message to the governor of the state, Dr. Segun Mimiko. The princess, who assumed the office after the demise of her father, late Oba Williams Adewusi in November 2011, urged the governor to intervene in the matter and restore peace to the town. According to her, a group of people within the town are making moves to cause disaffection and violence in the town. “I want to plead with Governor Mimiko, to please use his good offices to call these people to order. Their activities are targeted at causing disaffection and violence among my people. The elders have done their best to ensure that matters don’t get out of control, but I fear that they may not be able to do this for long.”
Lanlehin, others hail Olubadan n Oseheye OKWUOFU, Ibadan n
s Oba Samuel Osundiran Odulana, (Odugade 1), the Olubadan of Ibadanland, marks his six year on the throne, eminent indigenes of the ancient city, including the lawmaker representing Oyo South Senatorial District in the Upper Legislative Chamber, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin have extolled the virtues of the paramount ruler describing him as an uncommon blessing to humanity. Senator Lanlehin, through a statement issued by his media aide, Olawale Sadare, said that Oba Odugade was a rare gift, not only to Ibadanland or Yoruba race, but the entire human race in view of his astuteness, forthrightness and goodwill. "We have a rare combination of many great men in our Kabiyesi who has defied all odds to live a decent life, offer good leadership to his people, as well as serve God and humanity to a level where only few privileged individuals can go in life.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
Nasarawa killings: Witness recounts how 18 herdsmen were murdered witness at the Judicial Commission of Inquiry probing the killing of security personnel in Nasarawa State, on Friday narrated how 18 Fulani herdsmen were killed in the state. The incident was said to have taken place at Gburum-Gburum village in Doma Local Government Area of the state in January this year. The witness, Alhaji Kadade Adamu, spoke while being led in evidence by one of the counsels to the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Barr. Mohammed Danjuma. Adamu disclosed that the bodies of the 18 herdsmen, who were allegedly attacked and killed the Ombatse group, were also burnt by the assailants. He added that it was the Chief of Gburum-Gburum that provided accommodation for the wives and children of the deceased and other displaced persons in his palace after the incident, and added that the survivors, mostly women and children, were 66 in number. Adamu, 55, said: "I was called by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Nasarawa Eggon, that I was among those to visit the victims at GburumGburum. "Others on the delegation included the Area Commander of Akwanga, Chairman of Nasarawa Eggon Local Government Area, Mr. Habibu, Senator Solomon Ewuga and the Chairman of the Nasarawa State Chapter of MACBAN,
n Sanni ONOGU, Lafia n Mr. Bala. "When we got to GburumGburum, we were received by the Chief of the village who is Eggon by tribe. At GburumGburum, 66 persons, comprising Fulani women and children were brought out from the palace of the chief. I did not see any Fulani man among them. "The women told us that their husbands were killed and their bodies were burnt inside
•Commission slates security memoranda for hearing a burrow pit behind the house. He said when Senator Ewuga wept after he saw the plight of the women and children. Meanwhile, the Commission yesterday fixed dates to hear the three security memoranda before it. The three security memoranda include submissions made to the panel by the police, the State Security Service (SSS) and the Nasarawa State Gov-
ernment. The police, SSS and government memoranda would be presented on Monday 26, Tuesday 27, and Wednesday 28, August, 2013 respectively. This information was contained in the ‘Re-Scheduled Commission List’, signed by the Secretary to the Commission, Abubakar Sadiq Ishaq. Chairman of the panel, Justice Joseph Fola Gbadeyan, had
earlier stopped the circulation of the three documents to members of the public. Gbadeyan said the memoranda bordered on "state security" and therefore would be risky to give them to members of the public. He, however, asked lawyers who wish to cross-examine witnesses when they are being presented to approach the Secretary to the Commission.
• Candidates photocopying their documents during the post UME screening at the University of Abuja... Friday. Photo: NAN
Jigawa Dep Speaker, driver die in auto crash n Kolade ADEYEMI, Kano n igawa State have been thrown into mourning, following the death of the Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon Inuwa Sule Udi. Hon Sulr Udi, representing Ringim constituency at the State House of Assembly, died alongside his driver, Mallam Mascut Ringim, in an auto crash at Zakirai in Gabasawa Local Government Area of Kano, while returning to Dutse from Abuja on Thursday night. The Spokesman of the Udi family, Alhaji Balarabe Mohammed, told newsmen that the orderly to the late deputy speaker survived the accident. He said the late 47-year-old Udi and his driver died on the spot. Udi, according to the family spokesman, left behind four wives, 18 children and grandchildren. He said the remains of the
former legislator were buried on Friday in his home town, Ringim, according to Islamic rites. Many people within and around the state attended the burial and paid condolences to the family at his residence in Ringim. Prominent among the sym-
pathisers were the Speaker of the Jigawa House of Assembly, Alhaji Ahmed Adamu and the Chief of Staff, Government House, Dutse, Alhaji Aminu Ringim, who represented Governor Sule Lamido. Others were commissioners, local government chairmen and lawmakers.
In a related development, a former Commissioner of Information in the, Alhaji Salisu Ibrahim Dandoka, is dead. Alhaji Dandoka was said to have died during a brief illness at the Mallam Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital in Kano. Meanwhile, residents of Ringim have commended the
11 dead in Boko Haram’s Borno attack uspected Islamic militants on Thursday night attacked Damboa town,Borno State killing at least 11 people. Witnesses said gunmen shot civilians and police in Damboa, about 85km from the state capital, Maiduguri. The group was blamed for the deaths of 44 people in a mosque in the nearby town of Konduga last Sunday. Local official Ayamu Lawan Gwasha said security forces repelled gunmen who attacked the police station and a military post in
Damboa. Farmer Mustapha Aji said other militants gunned down civilians and firebombed about 20 homes. He told the Associated Press that residents had feared an attack following the deaths in Konduga and had asked for more security, but it hadn't yet arrived. Another witness, student Adamu Isah, blamed the attack on Boko Haram fighters. Details of the attack have been slow to emerge because of a communications
blackout imposed by the military. In May, Nigeria declared an emergency in Adamawa,Borno and Yobe states in order to battle the militants. On Wednesday the army said it had killed Boko Haram's second-incommand Momodu Bama, also known by his alias "Abu Saad". However, there has been no independent confirmation of his death and Boko Haram has not commented on the statement.
Kano University alumni slam ASSU over strike HE Alumni Association of Kano University of Technology (AAKUT) rose from its maiden Annual General Meeting (AGM), yesterday in Kano, and condemned the incessant industrial action by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), saying its negative impact on the nation’s education sector is grossly regrettable. Secretary of the Association, Alhaji Fahad Ibrahim Danladi, who spoke to newsmen at the Murtala Mohammed Library Complex, urged the leadership of ASUU to device other means of agitation, rather than mutilating academic
n Kolade ADEYEMI, Kano n calendar, a situation which he said contribute immensely to the continuous decline in the nation’s educational standard. Danladi noted that industrial action has never been a point for bargain in the developed world, adding that the academics should be more creative in fighting for their cause in this modern era. “Resort to industrial action as a means of arm twisting the federal Government overtime has not in any way yielded any positive result more especially now that downing of tools has be-
come a bandwagon in resolving industrial distribute in Nigeria,” Danladi stated. He added that, “We are talking of community of egg heads in Nigeria, I personally believe that their approach should be different from the current practice, which in my opinion, would refocus the strategy in industrial dispute. “Personally, I don’t subscribe to this whole concept of strike action that has been made notorious, it has not work out anything and I don’t think it’s a panacea to the lingering problem education in Nigeria.” According to him, Nigerian Students and their Parents are tied and done with
the several ASUU strikes maintaining that rather than addressing the problems it has continue to plunge the country educational sector to state of abyss contrary to the principles of development and sound educational system. “I’m saying with all modesty that the industrial actions of the ASUU has been detrimental to the nation educational sector and has not yielded any positive thing to show as such they should change tactics and adopt new measures that are going to help the education and give a positive direction to as how best things will be improved,” he stated.
effort of the Emir of Ringim for attending the funeral, despite his health condition. The mourners described late Inuwa Udi as a humble philanthropists who loved and cared for his people, fearing that his death will create a vacuum that will be difficult to fill in the town.
College of education, UniOsun to partner s part of its strategies to stimulate growth, the management of the Nana-Aisha Memorial College of Education, Ilorin, Kwara State, has sought cordial relationship with Osun State University, Osogbo, Osun State, to attract mutual benefits for the institutions. Speaking on behalf of the management of Nana-Aisha Memorial College of Education, the Proprietor of the College, Dr Abdul-Raheem Isha Adebayo who was represented by the Dean of School of Art and SocioSciences, Dr Joseph Ayodele Olawepo, lauded the giant stride achieved by UniOsun in the last few years of its establishment. He explained that NanaAisha Memorial College of Education is willing to collaborate with Osun State University in areas of academic advancement and other areas that can promote learning and affect the society positively. He added that as the proprietor of Nana-Aisha Memorial College of Education as well as the Nana-Aisha primary and secondary school in Ilorin, he would not rest in his oars in promoting qualitative education. Receiving the delegation from the Nana-Aisha Memorial College of Education, the ViceChancellor of UniOsun, Professor Bashiru Okeshina described the visit by the management of the College to the main campus of the university in Osogbo as significant. Professor Okesina who was supported by the management team of the university commended the management of Nana-Aisha Memorial College of Education for deeming it fit to collaborate with UniOsun and tasked the college authority to come up with a detail proposal and spell-out areas of collaboration.
THE NATION SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
Police in Imo nab suspected kidnappers of monarch's wife
Abia govt to train 40,000 artisans
ORTY thousand artisans and local entrepreneurs of Abia State origin are to be trained to perfect their skills in goods and craft productions that meet international standard. The artisans who hitherto lacked capacity building and skills to deliver good production lines would be exposed to 40 different specialised, identified and commercially viable areas to produce products that could be exported abroad. The artisans would be trained by international experts from the United States, Thailand, and South Africa and would be certificated by the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike. This was made known at the recent South-East, SouthSouth orientation programme for partners and stakeholders of the Global Export Market Access and Expo (GEMAEXPO) of the unifying Nigerian project in Umuahia. At the flag off of the programme, the wife of the state governor, Lady Mercy Odochi Orji said GEMAEXPO
Ugochukwu UGOJI-EKE, Umuahia would teach the young artisans and exporters modern dimension of international business transaction and to discover and understand the inherent opportunities in the global market and meet the expected standard therein. Lady Orji said the programme was aimed at replicating the Asian Tigers economic ingenuity and foresight by galvanising the artisans to exploits and produce crafts that would compete favourably in any economy in order to accelerate our own economic development. She commended the state governor, Chief Theodore Orji for making the state investors’ friendly, adding that some of the policies put in place and legacy projects going on are testimonies of the government commitment to restore the economic fortunes of Abia and for Aba to regain its lost glory as the Japan of Africa.
HE Imo State Police Command has said it has arrested the suspected abductors of the wife of the traditional ruler of Nkwumeto Autonomous Community, Ihite Uboma Council Area, Eze Basil Nwokeke. Debunking speculations that the kidnappers were still at large, the command, in a press release signed by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Joy Elemoko, disclosed that the suspects were tracked down while ne-
Okodili NDIDI, Owerri gotiating a ransom with the family of the victim. According to the release, three of the five suspects were arrested 48 hours after the incident, while one was killed during a gun duel with the police and the fifth suspect, whose name was given as Chizuru Nwagbisi escaped. “Contrary to reports in some quarters that the suspected gunmen who kid-
napped the wife of his Royal Highness, Eze Basil Nwokeke of Nkwumeto Autonomous Community, Ihitte Uboma Council Area, were yet to be arrested, the Imo police command wants to state that within 48 hours of the incident, the principal suspects were traced to their hideouts and arrested,” the release read in part. The fifth suspect, Chizuru Nwagbisi, popularly known as “Point One”, who escaped arrest has been warned to turn himself in at the near-
est police station, while members of the public have been urged to volunteer credible information that will lead to the arrest of the fleeing suspect. Expressing worry over the activities of criminals in the villages, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Muhammad Musa Katsina, warned that anyone who has knowledge of the whereabouts of any criminal, but fails to report it to the police would henceforth be treated as an accomplice.
'Why I'm running for Anambra governorship'
new entrant and member representing Awka-North and South at the Federal House of Representatives, Mr. Emeka Nwogbo, yesterday gave reasons why he intends to run for the next governorship of Anambra State on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). Nwogbo told The Nation that he wanted to move the state forward and create opportunities for the employment of graduating youths. Nwogbo said: “I have a comprehensive development plan in place. It is a collection of fresh ideas and actionable plans with measureable milestones achievable within appropriate time periods. There would be a deliberate effort to continue the simultaneous development of every sector.” “However, government must create a conducive environment for job creation. If elected, my government will develop a policy to attract more multinational companies to invest in our state, whilst equally assist-
Odogwu EMEKA ODOGWU, Onitsha ing small and medium scale businesses to grow and attain their ultimate potentials. We will do our best to develop technical partnerships with local and foreign agroallied companies to drive our agricultural revolution programme. “My government will create real and direct government jobs without over bloating the civil service. “My decision to contest is hinged on the need to fill a void I perceive the people of Anambra State worry about as the current administration reaches an end. That void is a container of many worries; poverty reduction, security, infrastructural development, job creation, fiscal responsibility, and effective governance. I have decided to contest because I believe that a government under my leadership will take bold initiatives with hands-on-deck approach and absolute commitment to work and address the yearnings of the people of Anambra State.”
LP loses at Edo council poll tribunal
DO State Local Government Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Benin City has struck out the suit brought by the candidate of the Labour Party, Kingsley Mustapha in the April 20 local government elections in the state. Mustapha had filed the suit against the election of Prince Hassan Kadiri of the then Action Congress of Nigeria over allegation of non-compliance with some sections of the Edo State Electoral Acts. The LP candidate had prayed the tribunal to cancel the election of Kadiri and ordered a fresh election. But the tribunal, headed by Justice Iyobosa Okungbowa
Osagie OTABOR, Benin held that the evidence of the petitioner’s witnesses were at variance and was not substantive enough to cancel the entire election. It struck out the petition and declared Kadiri as the duly elected chairman of Estako West. The tribunal also declared PDP councillorship candidate for ward three in Owan West, Nakis Alasa winner of the election over falsification of election result. It deducted some votes of the ACN candidate, Abass Ofere and ordered EDSIEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Abass.
•Dr Amadu Attai (left) and Dr Ani Asikpo at the inaugural meeting of the APC in Uyo… yesterday
HE Union Trade Center, UTC, Rwanda’s largest
shopping mall has voiced deep concern and disappointment that the Rwandan government is allegedly engineering a hostile takeover of the premier retail hub after it froze the bank accounts of UTC founder Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa. The Rwanda National Prosecuting Authority had on August 8th, instructed Ayabatwa’s bank, Access Bank LTD, to freeze
Rwanda's largest shopping mall faces threat of forcible takeover by govt Ayabatwa and his wife Nathalie Mukagatete’s 12 accounts, citing an “ongoing criminal investigation.” The firm stated in a release: “We believe the move is the first step toward a takeover of the UTC, one of Kigali’s largest privately owned and operated businesses.” The shopping mall, which opened in 2006, is a major commercial centre,
home to 81 shops, restaurants and other businesses. It is valued at $20 million (USD). Ayabatwa is the UTC founder and its largest shareholder. David Himbara, senior advisor to Ayabatwa and the UTC, called the bank account closure illegal, unethical and unprovoked. The government, Himbara said, neither notified Ayabatwa
Onitsha's dry taps set to run again 13 yrs after … as Anambra govt pays N1.8bn for water scheme
FTER 13 years of dry taps in Onitsha, the
town is set to experience free flow of water, courtesy of Governor Peter Obi’s administration which paid N1.8 billion to a South African Water company, PC Africa. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed at the Governor’s Lodge, Onitsha, after inspection tour of the major facility of Onitsha Water Scheme at Nkisi. Gov. Obi said that the choice of a foreign company was for a thorough job, as according to him, the company had done a job of such magnitude in different parts of the world. Obi, who said he decided to make full payment in order not to entertain excuses for non-performance or delays, however, apologised to
Odogwu EMEKA ODOGWU, Nnewi the people of the town for the late intervention, saying it was because things did not work out early as planned. Speaking earlier, the State Commissioner for Water Resources and Public Utilities, Dr. Emeka Nwankwu, lamented that Onitsha, with a population of four million was having potable water problem. He said that by 2006, when the Federal Government rehabilitated some water schemes in the country, Onitsha did not benefit because the government at that time was fighting the Federal Government. He said that when Obi became governor, he tried and was able to get the Federal Government to include it, but that the company handling
it, Funtai, in spite of receiving bridging lone from the state government to the tune of hundreds of millions of naira was not serious or technically deficient. He recalled all other efforts to resuscitate the scheme through partnership, which failed and that as a last resort, the government decided to do it directly with the full payment of N1.8 billion that would take care of the first phase, involving the restoration of the collapsed facilities. He said that about N10 billion would be required in the long run for expansion of the facilities to serve the entire Onitsha and its environs. Speaking on behalf of PC Africa, its managing director, Glenn Burton-Durham, said with the payment and cooperation of the people, the company would deliver within time.
of its plans to freeze the accounts nor did it allow for any legal recourse. “There is no basis for this illegal act,” Himbara said. “The government is abusing its own laws to stop independent investment and take over one of the country’s most successful privately owned businesses.” Himbara said the government has tried to allege that the UTC has been abandoned, citing a 2004 law that was enacted to address abandoned properties after the 1994 Rwanda genocide. That law, he said, gave the government the authority to seize property abandoned by individuals who fled the country during the tragedy. “The government’s allegations are ridiculous,” Himbara said. “The UTC opened 12 years after the genocide. It is an excellent corporate citizen with five shareholders. To suggest it has been abandoned by its owners is laughable at best.” Ayabatwa, who lives in South Africa, is a native Rwandan and successful Pan African businessman with interests throughout the continent in tobacco, cement, snack foods, tea, real estate and banking. He has invested millions of dollars in the Rwandan economy, provided scholarships to students and financed a local school, day care centrr and housing development.
THE NATION SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
Over 200 DPP members defect to PDP in Delta
OVER two hundred members of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), at the weekend defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Otorho Agbon, headquarters of Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State. Among those that defected were former candidate of the Democratic Peoples’ Party (DPP) who contested the 2011 Federal House of Representatives election in Ethiope Federal Constituency, Barrister Lovett Idisi, Blessing Ohwavborua and other members of the party.
Polycarp OROSEVWOTU, Warri The DPP defectors said they were once members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but left the party because of the manner the party was being run by some leaders of the party and said they have returned to their party. Speaking at the ceremony, Idisi said he was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before he left the party for DPP for personal reasons and incessant anointing of aspirants which
had never seen the light of the day. Idisi said: “I was a member of this family but left the party when l began to sense some foul play and most importantly, when l was anointed by a leader of the party, but later my hope was dashed after having anointed me as a candidate of the party for Ethiope East Federal Constituency. But when later realised my anointing was a mere dream, l had to leave the party. Now l have come back to where l belong.”
How Urhobo supported my govt —Gowon
HE former head of state, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) at the weekend in Ughelli, Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, commended Urhobo nation for her support to his administration while in office. Speaking at the palace of the Ughelli monarch, His Royal Majesty, Oharisi 111, Ovie of Ughelli Kingdom, Gowon who visited the palace in company of the former Minister of State for Education, Chief Kenneth Gbagi, said he was most grateful for the honour done him by HRM Oharisi III, on
Polycarp OROSEVWOTU, Warri behalf of the Urhobo people, Ughelli kingdom and also for all the support received from them during the traumatic period of his administration in trying to keep Nigeria one. Gowon said: “I am very grateful because I could not have done it alone. I asked for the assistance and help of the people and all Nigerians and your people here gave me that support. So, I will say it is not my achievement alone but the achievement of all the people of Nigeria
and your people contributed tremendously towards that. So thank you all very much indeed and God bless the good people of Ughelli kingdom.” “I am happy to meet the Ovie of Ughelli. I know Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi some time ago and he is a very committed fellow to me. I can assure you I never knew before now his love and commitment to me and Nigeria for which I really value. He is a man of great potentials and I wish him well in his career, although he is also into politics. I wish him well in all his future assignments
Imposition: Anambra youth council reads riot act to political parties
ATIONAL Youth Council of Nigeria, Anambra State chapter, yesterday at the end of its rally to mark the International Youth Day, read the riot act to political parties who have intentions to impose candidates as their standard bearers for the November 16, 2013 Anambra governorship election to have a rethink or face the wrath of the youths. State chairman of the youth council, Comrade Chibuzor Ekwenye who addressed newsmen at the end of the rally said the youths resolved to mobilise against any political parties that bring out a candidate
Odogwu EMEKA ODOGWU, Onitsha through the emasculation of the power of the people. “We have resolved to fight imposition and any political party with that intention or that produces a candidate through imposition would be resisted. Political parties should let their primaries be free and fair and be seen to be so in the state. “Apart from free and fair primaries, we are encouraging youths to disassociate themselves from thuggery and all acts of violence before, during and after the elections. Besides the main election,
primaries should be free and fair, that is our stand.” Ekwenye reminded that the polity is being heated up in Anambra State because of the fast approaching November 16th governorship election, as all political parties are gearing up for their primaries. “We, however, appeal that all the parties should shun violence and play according to the rules to avoid setting the state on fire. We want to categorically say that the trend, though is heating up the polity, is an indication that Anambra State is very active and aware politically. It shows that real democracy is practise in the state.”
Slain guber candidate's family faults Keyamo on compensation claim
AMILY of slain governorship candidate of the Citizens Popular Party CPP in Delta State, Chief Ogbe Onokpite, has faulted the counsel to the family, Mr. Festus Keyamo over claims that the human rights lawyer withdrew from the case of Onokpite’s murder because the family wanted compensation. Mr. Diemo Onokpite who spoke on behalf of the family told journalists that when Chief Ogbe Onokpite died, Keyamo stated on television that Chief Ogbe was murdered and that he would fight for justice and would not stop until he got justice, adding that the family of the slain politician was very happy on hearing this. Onokpite said the tempo which Keyamo started the
case had stopped, prompting the family to seek the service of another lawyer. He said: “When I called Keyamo severally, concerning the case on the next line of action, he told me that he had written a petition to the Presidency and the Inspector-General of Police on the issue. We later observed that Keyamo was not doing anything about the case and we were not aware of the reasons behind his withdrawal. “The family quickly hired another lawyer who then wrote fresh petitions via courier to Keyamo and notified him that he has written a fresh petition on the matter that he had sent it to him. Keyamo later received the fresh petition from the family lawyer and pictures of how Chief Ogbe was mur-
dered which was a good evidence for the case. After waiting for Keyamo’s action on the issue without result, we directed the family lawyer to act on his own which he did and we are still on the case up till date. Chief Ogbe case file is currently with the attorney general awaiting his advice.” Diemo pointed out that at no time did Onokpite family request for compensation on their murdered son and brother, adding that assuming they wanted compensation, they could have sued the police for compensation. Diemo advised Urhobo people to assess very well aspirants jostling for elective positions before voting for such persons, adding that most of them are pretenders.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
TOMORROWPUNCHLINE IN THE NATION
Trust the former president; he also seized the opportunity to sing his usual song of self-glorification: "In 1979, we had 20 new ships specially built for Nigeria. When I came back 20 years after, the national shipping line had liquidated
SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM VOL.7, NO. 2580
HAT exactly is happening to the Eco nomic and Financial Crimes Com mission these days? Under the leadership of the no-nonsense Nuhu Ribadu, during the President Olusegun Obasanjo years, the fear of the EFCC was the beginning of wisdom. Never mind the allegations that Ribadu unduly personalized the organization or went mostly after the President’s perceived enemies, the truth is that Ribadu brought a passion and commitment to the job that sent jitters down the spines of corrupt public officers. So taken in were members of the public with the Ribadu persona that when he was removed from office by President Umaru Yar’ Adua and replaced with another lawyer and crack anti-crime officer, Mrs Farida Waziri, nobody was prepared to give her the slightest iota of a chance. But Mrs Waziri proved to be no push over. Yes, she was not as dramatic or given to theatrics as Ribadu but she also brought a reasonable degree of commitment and determination to the job. She tried to create an EFCC that would operate in a structured, systematic manner independent of her personality. It was during her tenure that a leading member of the PDP, Chief Olabode George was successfully prosecuted and jailed. She also spearheaded the successful prosecution of some bank chief executives whose greed and sharp practices had resulted in the virtual collapse of the country’s financial system. Given her stout resistance to attempts by the then Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Michael Andoaaka, to bring the EFCC under the wings of his office, it was obvious that her days in office were numbered. When Mrs Waziri was inevitably shoved out of office, the appointment of Ibrahim Lamorde as her successor elicited quiet optimism and exuberant jubilation in some quarters. For Lamorde’s image was that of the nononsense, goal getting officer who was believed to have been the real brains behind Nuhu Ribadu’s audacious operations as the country’s anti-corruption Czar. But alas, it has all turned out to be an anti-climax of sorts. For, under its current leadership, the EFCC seems to have lapsed into a prolonged slumber only to wake up intermittently to cases of selective hyperactivity. Nothing better illustrates this perception than the recent travails of Senator Bukola Saraki, representing Kwara Central Senatorial District in the Senate. Now, I am not exactly enamoured of the politics of Bukola Saraki or even that of his family and their seeming feudal hold on the politics of the state. But whatever you think of Bukola Saraki and his politics, the objective analyst must still give him credit for helping to bring to the fore of public consciousness, the massive and atrocious fraud perpetrated in the oil industry in the name of fuel subsidy. As Chairman of the Senate Committee on
— Tunji Adegboyega
Larmode, EFCC and public perception
Environment and Ecology, Bukola Saraki initiated a motion in the Senate for investigation into the 2011 Appropriation Act for fuel subsidy. He argued that while N240 billion was budgeted for subsidy of petroleum products in 2011, the actual amount expended for this purpose was well above N1.2 trillion. If this anomaly was not frontally tackled, he reasoned, the purported fuel subsidy at N1.2 trillion would exceed the total capital budget of N1.1 billion in the 2012 fiscal year. Senator Saraki’s motion further observed that although the sum of N240 billion was budgeted to cover subsidy of petroleum products for the entire year of 2011, the sum of N991 billion had been spent as at August ending. He thus suggested the setting up of a committee to investigate how the subsidy regime was being managed, proffer solutions to the inexplicable astronomical rise in magnitude of the fuel subsidies and check the massive fraud associated with the scheme.
Of course, this motion raised public consciousness about the magnitude of the fraud associated with fuel subsidy, instigated a tremendous outcry and mass action by the civil society, led to intensive investigation of the entire scheme by the National Assembly and forced the EFCC to commence the prosecution of those firms that had benefitted from fuel subsidy payments while not supplying the country any oil. The funny thing is that the trial of these fuel subsidy criminals is being handled in a most tardy manner and proceeding at snails speed. Indeed, some of the indicted firms have reportedly been re-listed to participate, once again, in the fuel subsidy bonanza. Yet, as this charade goes on, the EFCC has summoned the energy to vigorously interrogate Senator Bukola Saraki over issues for which he had already been quizzed and cleared between 2004 and 2012 as regards his family’s dealings with Societe Generale Bank. Of course, the EFCC has a responsibility to carry out its duties without fear or favour. But it should also be mindful of public perception. Going soft on the oil subsidy criminals, while aggressively hounding the man who first drew attention to the entire fuel subsidy rot, sends a wrong signal and does its image little good. By the way, is it a coincidence that former Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa state and public officers loyal to Governor Rotimi Amaechi in Rivers State have, in recent times, attracted the search light of the EFCC? Is it a case of the voice of Jacob but the hand of Esau? Time will tell.
OBJ: Tantrums of a dying dinosaur Former President Olusegun Obasanjo never ceases to amaze. He must indeed be a man of formidable stamina and fortitude. Side-lined ignominiously by a President who practically rode to power on his back; subtly shoved out
of the Chairmanship of his party’s Board of Trustees; defenestrated by his state’s chapter of the party; humiliated by the recovery, one after the other, of the states he had ‘conquered’ for the PDP in the South West; disrobed in public as a blundering, cowardly soldier by General Alabi Isama, whose incisive, well researched and meticulously documented account of the civil war makes Obasanjo’s ‘My Command’ read like a boy scout venture and even humiliated in unspeakable terms by his own biological son, these certainly are not the best of times for OBJ. In spite of it all, the old soldier turned farmer and politician remains undaunted. Just back from Zimbabwe where, at the head of an African Union (AU) election observer team he characteristically sanctioned a widely flawed and condemned poll, he took to the podium in Ibadan to declaim self -righteously on the state of the nation at a seminar on sustainable development. You can trust Obasanjo. He has absolutely no hand in the country’s continuing travails with poverty, instability and underdevelopment. No, the blame in his view rests squarely on the younger generation such as Atiku Abubakar, Salisu Buhari, James Ibori, Diepriye Alamiseigha and Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Here was a man who presided over the affairs of this nation as a military Head of State over four decades ago but wilfully and deliberately handed over power to the most venal, depraved and visionless faction of the political class on his exit from power in 1979. The country is yet to recover from that monumental error of judgement. Was it the youths who forced him to embark on the illegal and immoral third term adventure – the most corrupt venture in this political dispensation and one that turned out to be an unmitigated debacle? Was it the youths that goaded his administration to engage in the horrendous misuse of the funds of the Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTDF) as revealed during his public tussle with Atiku? Was it the youths who made him declare that the Y2007 election would be a do-or-die affair; an election he went to rig most scandalously? Was it the youth that led him into the corruption ridden Transcorp venture in which he acquired substantial shares as a sitting President? Was it the youths who induced him to compel government business contractors to donate humongous sums to his private library project? Was it the youths who compelled him to look aside as his aides soiled their hands in the Halliburton scandal – an issue that has been swept under the carpet in Nigeria? Of course, we can go on and on. The point is that OBJ lacks the ethical integrity to question anybody’s morals. He is like Chichidodo, the bird in Ayi Kwei Armah’s novel who hates faeces but feeds on maggots! He deserves pity, not anger. His are the tantrums of a dying political dinosaur.
Ade Ojeikere on Saturday email@example.com 08111813079 - sms only
Snippets from probe panel
PORTS Minister Bolaji Abdullahi has changed the face of our football signifi cantly, with the uncanny manner in which he has resolved some knotty issues. He demystified FIFA, which had in the past being threatening Nigeria for government interference. A visit to Zurich and fruitful jaw-jaw sessions with Joseph Blatter and his lieutenants served as the platform for Abdullahi to understand and interpret FIFA’s tenets to avoid violations. We are no longer being threatened. There is stability. I wonder where all the court cases have gone. Abdullahi’s unbiased intervention in the crises-ridden Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is chiefly responsible for Nigeria’s symbolic victory at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. All the noise made by Super Eagles players and the coaches amount to hot air because Nigeria has fielded stronger teams than the wiry squad we took to South Africa in January. Those wobbling and fumbling Eagles failed because the NFF was a divided
house unlike what happened in South Africa. Those who hold contrary opinion to the fact that Abdullahi’s crafty handling of the NFF wahala contributed to the new dawn in the Eagles must tell this writer why the team couldn’t beat Kenya in Calabar? That was the team’s first game as African champions, yet the Eagles almost lost because the football fraternity was divided. But the issue today bothers on the farreaching decisions being peddled in the media by the probe panel constituted to find out the circumstances surrounding the bonus show-of-shame in Namibia, where the Eagles and officials refused to board the aircraft to South Africa en route Sao Paulo, Brazil for the 2013 Confederations Cup. We are being told that the players would have to choose between signing the code of conduct to remain in the team or quit, if they decide otherwise. What a brilliant decision by the panel. We are blessed with talents, but we should cultivate the habit of grooming young boys in the nurseries or academies, as we have chosen to call them here. Is there
any club in Europe without a code of conduct? Recall in 1996 how Super Eagles players were anxious to participate in the Africa Cup of Nations, which the late head of State Gen. Sani Abacha stopped Nigeria from attending due to political differences. I recall how the players were ready to storm South Africa from their bases in Europe to circumvent the late Abacha’s directives. So, who says that the players don’t need Nigeria to blossom? Playing for Nigeria is nobody’s birthright. Any player lucky to be selected should consider it as a privilege and must be prepared to abide by the directives. This code of conduct exists in all the clubs where our players earn a living. No one has refused to sign it. Why then would anyone refuse to sign ours? How many players in the present Eagles started playing in Europe without passing through our national teams? The decision to peg the match bonus at $5,000 is welcome. Is it not a shame that our players want to be paid $10,000 for beating
a team whose winning bonus is $85 each? If we pay $10,000 to beat minnows, how much shall we pay to pip big soccer nations, such as Brazil, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Holland etc? Shouldn’t there be a difference between what is paid as bonuses for qualifiers and the main tournament? Is this not what operates in their European clubs? Or would anyone of them say that what he earns as bonus for the domestic games is equivalent to what he gets for European competitions, such as UEFA Champions League, Europa Cup etc? Why must they now hold us hostage over bonuses? It is heartwarming to read that eggheads of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have been warned not to increase the bonuses from what has been stipulated. I just hope that subsequent sports ministers don’t play politics with the bonus issue by arbitrarily increasing it to score cheap praise. The talk by many that NFF takes along a horde of people is bunkum. NFF men dare not spend cash not budgeted for; otherwise,
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