Page 1

Nigeria’s truly national newspaper

IL O S IN M NEWS IR ON F PAGE 2 N TI IA O C LLU ER GE UN PO NIG PA 11 •Alleges council can’t be impartial, independent

Lawyer sues NJC in battle to stop Ibrahim Auta Panel


VOL. 7, NO. 1843 FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2011


al-Mustapha on Abiola: Ige made minister for role Abdulsalami said Obasanjo should die, ex-CSO alleges Nuhu Ribadu, Opadokun: it’s all lies


T was an anti-climax yesterday at the Lagos High Court. The former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the late General Sani Abacha, Hamza Al-Mustapha, killed the excitement of the crowd that besieged the court to see a video of some Yoruba leaders collecting cash from the government after Chief Moshood Abiola’s death. When the video tape (VHS) was played, it contained less than a minute’s clip of an encounter between some pro-democracy activists, led by the late Chief Abraham Adesanya, and some journalists, who asked him questions on their meeting with the then Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar. Most people, who had a hectic time entering the court because of the large crowd, were disappointed when the video ended. They had anticipated scenes that would support al-Mustapha’s claim that Yoruba leaders received money from the government and were happy when they emerged from the Presidential Villa. Easily identified in the video were the late Adesanya, Dr. Arthur Nwankwo of the then Eastern Mandate Union (EMU), who stood behind the late Adesanya and the late Chief

•al-Mustapha leaving the court amid tight security ... yesterday



Why did his video tape not I strongly refute this claim Adesanya ... once related to cover the scene where as false ... It was invented to me why he never went to money was being shared? build sympathy for his case Abuja with any bag ... – Opadokun – Ribadu – Odumakin By Eric Ikhilae, Judicial Correspondent

Bola Ige, who wore a blue guinea brocade. As against al-Mustapha’ claim, neither Adesanya nor Dr. Nwankwo looked happy while responding to questions from the journalists. Adesanya only smiled at the end of the interview when he said: “Journalists can

now disperse” and everyone laughed. In his testimony yesterday before the court in Igbosere, al-Mustapha claimed that the encounter in the video took place at the frontage of the Presidential Villa, Abuja. He could only identify the late Adesanya as the leader of the delegation and the late Ige in the video. He said the Yoruba leaders met with Gen.

Abubakar and then National Security Adviser Gen. Abdullahi Abubakar. He was not at the meeting, he said, because he had handed over to another CSO. al-Mustapha said he would have had more recordings, using the Close Circuit Television (CCTV), if Continued on page 2

How CJN stopped Sokoto Appeal Court’s verdict



ORE revelations emerged yesterday on how the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, stopped the Court of Appeal from delivering its verdict in the Sokoto State Governorship Election Petition Appeal. The said judgment was in an appeal filed by Alhaji Muhammadu Dingyadi of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), challenging

From Yomi Odunuga and Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

the suitability of Governor Aliyu Wamakko to contest on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2007 governorship election. Rather than abate, the controversy is growing on the circumstances surrounding the allegations and counter-allegations between the CJN and the President of the Court of Ap-

peal (PCA), Justice Isa Ayo Salami, on the matter. Two panels constituted by the National Judicial Council (NJC) have submitted their reports on the issue. They cleared Justice Salami of any wrong doing. The panel chaired by former PCA Justice Umar Abdullahi also absolved Justice Katsina-Alu of any attempt to influence Justice Salami to use his position to get judgment in favour of

Wamakko. Justice Salami had alleged that he was asked by Justice Katsina-Alu to either obtain judgment in favour of Wamako or disband the panel. But Justice Abdullahi’s panel said there was no proof that Justice KatsinaAlu attempted to influence the panel through Justice Salami. However, a copy of the letter sent by the CJN to the members of the Court of Continued on page 54







•Minister of Transport Idris Umar (middle), Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Seyi Sijuwade (left) and Managing Director, Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) Cao Baogang during the inspection of Railway Yards and Workshops at Ebute Metta Junction in Lagos ... yesterday

Kastina-Alu vs Salami: Lawyer cautions NJC


CTIVIST-lawyer Morakinyo Ogele has urged the National Judicial Council (NJC) to apply maximum caution in its handling of the face-off between Chief Justice of Nigeria Justice Aloysius Kastina-Alu and President of the Court of Appeal Isa Ayo Salami. He told The Nation yesterday that it was condemnable that the NJC inaugurated another panel to probe the matter and warned that prolonging the matter would expose the judicial system to international ridicule.

By Dada Aladelokun, Assistant Editor

His words: “The rate at which the NJC is blowing the matter of the duo may tarnish the image of the judiciary. The whole world will be mocking the judiciary system, if care is not taken.” Ogele added: “Since the Council has received the findings of the reconstituted panel, the NJC should take their findings as the truth without wasting time on further efforts.” Advising judges on their duties, Ogele said: “Our

judges should perform their constitutional roles without fear or favour so that the natural flow of justice will not be contaminated to the detriment of the institution.” On the likely negative effect of dragging the matter further, he said: “If care is not taken, all the judgments delivered by our various courts will henceforth be subjected to panel reviews. Therefore, the NJC should let sleeping dogs lie in the interest of the sanctity of our judicial system and the overall image of the nation at large.”

IGHTS activist Mohammed Kazeem has challenged the National Judicial Council (NJC) over the fresh panel raised to review the report of the Justice Umaru Abdullahi committee that probed the feud between Chief Justice of Nigeria Aloysius Katsina-Alu and Court of Appeal President Isa Ayo Salami. Kazeem, who is also a public analyst, in the writ of summons filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos, also sued Supreme Court Justice Dahiru Musdapher over his alleged role in the matter. The case was filed by Lagos lawyer Bamidele Aturu. The plaintiff urged the Court to declare that the NJC is not properly constituted and cannot be impartial and independent when the CJN single-handedly nominated 14 of the 25 members. The Court, said Kazeem, should declare the panel “illegal and unconstitutional as it violates section 36 of the constitution”. Besides, he is praying the court for an order restraining the defendants from taking any decision in respect of the report of Justice Abdullahi’s panel. Also joined as a defendant in the suit is the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, who is to head the NJC panel. Some stakeholders believe that the Auta Panel is “awkward” because it is unheard

Lawyer sues NJC in bid to stop Auta Panel From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

of in the judiciary for a junior judge to determine the fate of his superiors. They also believe that Justice Musdapher should not have sat on the council that considered the report of Justice Abdullahi’s panel and later constituted the Auta Panel. Justice Musdapher presided over the Supreme Court’s panel that sat on the Sokoto governorship legal tussle and he, specifically, delivered the interlocutory ruling that arrested the judgment before its eventual dismissal by another panel. He also gave evidence during the fact-findings carried out by Justice Abdullahi’s panel. It was gathered that when the Abdullahi Panel’s report was to be presented, some members of the NJC challenged the propriety of Justice Musdapher presiding over the council’s meeting when he also appeared before the Abdullahi Panel. The CJN had through a letter stopped the Appeal Court from delivering its judgment in an appeal filed by Alhaji Muhammadu Dingyadi of the Democratic People Party (DPP) against the 2007 election victory of Governor

Aliyu Magatarkarda Wamakko of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Justice Salami alleged that the CJN asked him to either influence the judgment in favour of Wamako or disband the Court of Appeal panel. The plaintiff is seeking the following reliefs: •by virtue of Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution, the current composition of the 1st defendant by which 14 members out of 25 were nominated by Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria, is not a body properly composed as to guarantee its impartiality and independence to be able to receive and act on the report of the Honourable Justice Umaru Abdullahi Committee; •the 2nd defendant is not competent to preside over the meeting of the 1st defendant to deliberate and consider the report of the Justice Umaru Abdullahi Committee into allegations of misconduct against the Chief Justice of Nigeria, the Honourable Justice Alloysius Katsina-Alu and the President of the Court of Appeal, the Honourable Justice Isa Ayo Salami, by virtue of Section 36 of the Constitution (as Continued on page 54

al-Mustapha on Abiola: Ige made minister for his role Continued from page 1

he was still the CSO. The former CSO, who testified at the resumption of his trial for the murder of the late Abiola’s wife, Alhaja Kudurat, in Lagos, accused former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Nuhu Ribadu of working to eliminate him and others at the beginning of the case in 1999. He is being tried with Lateef Shofolahan, an aide to the late Mrs Abiola. Al-Mustapha told the court that Ribadu, who he said led a team of policemen and other security operatives that brought them in from Lagos, was detailed to eliminate them. He recalled an instance at the Magistrate’s Court, Ikeja where, he said, there was an open disagreement between Ribadu and the then Lagos State Commissioner of Police (CP), Mike Okiro, on who should take their custody. al-Mustapha claimed that while Ribadu asked Okiro to yield them to him, the then CP refused, insisting that he could only do so, if there was a letter from Abuja conveying such an instruction. He said Okiro got transferred out of Lagos unceremoniously because he was sympathetic to their cause and accused Ribadu of subjecting them to undue torture and inhuman treatment to kill them. Ribadu denied it all last night, saying it was all inverted to draw sympathy. al-Mustapha also accused Gen. Abubakar of insisting in 1996 that former President Olusegun Obasanjo be killed over the 1995 alleged coup. He said at a meeting, Gen. Abubakar insisted that

Nuhu Ribadu, Opadokun: it’s all lies


ORMER Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu yesterday denied being part of any plot to kill Major Hamza al-Mustapha. Former Secretary of Afenifere, Mr Ayo Opadokun, also slammed al-Mustapha. Reacting to the allegations by the former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the late Gen. Sani Abacha at the court yesterday, Ribadu said he was the lead prosecutor, not an escort officer, as alleged by al-Mustapha. Ribadu, who made the clarifications in a statement in Abuja, asked alMustapha to keep his trial on the rails. The statement said: “My attention has been drawn to comments made in court today (yesterday) by the Chief Security Officer to the late General Sani Abacha, Obasanjo must be subjected to the law he made while in office as a military Head of State, making involvement in coup a treasonable offence punishable by death. The former Abacha aide said the occasion and where Gen. Abubakar allegedly described Obasanjo in uncomplimentary language were captured in a video, which he claimed to have handed to Obasanjo in 2001 through General Ibrahim Sabo, who he said was later compensated by Obasanjo. Justice Mojisola Dada admitted in evidence the 11page letter al-Mustapha claimed to have written to the late Ige in 2001. On the prompting of his lawyer, Olalekan Ojo, he read part of the letter, which he said was delivered to the late Attorney General of the Federation by his (al-Mustapha’s) lawyers then – the late Clement Akpamgbo (SAN) and Amobi Nzelu. In the letter, he accused the late Ige of being “unconsciously” used by the govern-

By Yusuf Alli and Emmanuel Oladesu

Mr. Hamza Al-Mustapha, claiming that as “escort officer”, I was recruited to assassinate him back in 1998. “I want to strongly refute this claim as false, and perhaps as invented to help build a constituency of concern and sympathy for his case. I was never a party to any such plot, and will never be associated in a scheme to perpetrate extra-judicial murder. “For the records, however, I was the lead state prosecutor (not escort officer) in all the cases of the 1998 trialists facing murder charges before they were handed over to the Lagos State government. I was also a passenger in the same Nigerian Air Force aircraft that conveyed them all (including General Bamaiyi,

Col. Bako and others) from Abuja to Lagos to begin trial. This would certainly not be a logical setting for assassination! “I think at this point, Mr. AlMustapha’s case is best served by keeping the substance of his murder case on the rails, and by shying away from the distraction of public performance.” Opadokun said: “I am reacting to the mischievious statement made by alMustapha about my leaders who are dead now, to ensure that mischief maker like al-Mustapha do not continue to misuse the freedom of speech and fair hearing which the leaders and I fought for. “The question is: Why did his video tape not cover the scene where money was being distributed? al-Mustapha is simply mischievious”.

ment to delay Abiola’s re- Abubakar’s emergence as lease. He also told the late Ige Abacha’s successor, despite in the letter that huge state not being the most qualified. “Gen. Abubakar, who inifunds were deployed to lobby some Yoruba leaders for tiated the whole thing, became the helping to douse the tension ignited SEE ALSO PAGE 5 Head of State. The by Abiola’s death. al-Mustapha told the late ambition of some people that Ige that his appointment as could not be fulfilled led us the AGF and Justice Minister into this. But God used me to was a compensation for his avert bloodbath in the counrole in the Abiola saga and try. Some of them insisted that he (Ige) was being used that Abiola must be shot the to persecute them. He added day Gen Abacha was murthat he sought the late AGF’s dered. I used my bodyguards assistance in ensuring that to protect him. I took him far they were fairly treated and away from the trouble spot to accorded the right to fair trial. the Gado Nasko Barracks. “Before they separated me al-Mustapha also accused Gen. Abubakar of being the from Abiola, I attached to architect of his misfortune, him a policeman named saying his (Abubakar’s) in- Zadok, a man I trusted betention was to either silence cause of his religious inclinahim or keep him perpetually tion. He was mainly in charge in custody because he pos- of Abiola’s feeding and ensesses a lot of information suring his wellbeing. “When there were threats, that could tear the country I changed places for Abiola; I apart. He said he was hated by moved him from where he others who were interested in was kept to the guest house power after Abacha’s death of the Commissioner of Pobecause of the role God lice, Abuja and also that of the helped him to play in Gen. Secretary to the Govern-

ment,” he said. al-Mustapha said because of his love for the late Abiola’s family, he declined an invitation by the government in 2002 to act as a state witness in the civil case filed by the family against the Federal Government, seeking compensation for the murder of its breadwinner. He denied committing conspiracy and murder as well as arming those who killed Mrs. Abiola – as alleged by the prosecution. The ex-CSO accused the state of inducing some of the prosecution witnesses to implicate him in their statement and testimonies. As early as 7 .30 am, the two corridors leading to the courtroom was filled with people anxious to see the video, which was admitted in evidence on Wednesday. By 10 am, the crowd had extended to the nearby Igbosere Road. The court’s main gate was closed. Security agents had a tough job controlling the restless crowd. They almost tore

down the door as they struggled to enter the courtroom, but for the security agents, mainly from the Prison Service. The court eventually began sitting at a little after 10 am. The case was called at 10. 12 am. Ojo, the lead defence lawyer, sought the permission of the court to play the video tape with the aid of the VHS playing device and two television sets – a 16 inches LG television and a 36 inches Samsung LCD plasma television - mounted in the court by the defence team. At the end of the about a minute’s video clip, most people in court remained expectant, anticipating a more detailed information of how money was actually shared. The video showed the late Adesanya responding to reporters’ questions on their encounter with the then Head of State the day after Abiola’s death. In the video, the late Adesanya was asked what consensus parties reached at the meeting. He, in turn, asked what they meant by consensus. The reporters asked what their new position was; he insisted that their (the then pro-democracy community’s) position had not changed, despite Abiola’s death. “There is no new position. We are still insisting on a government of national unity and a sovereign national conference. As far as we are concerned, we still want the government to convoke a sovereign national conference to fashion out a new constitution for the country. We also insisted on a government of national unity,” the late Adesanya said. Continued on page 54

ADVERT HOTLINES: 01-280668, 08070591302, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678



NEWS Jonathan greets Obama at 50

Osun election petitions scandal: NJC probes Naron, others

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja


•Invites Aregbesola’s lawyer •May probe call logs between Oyinlola’s counsel, tribunal judges


HE National Judicial Council (NJC) has summoned Mr. Ajibola Basiru, a counsel to the Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, over a petition against the First Osun State Governorship Petitions Tribunal. The tribunal, headed by Justice T.D. Naron, was embroiled in call logs controversy. Other members of the panel being investigated are: Justices Saasu Mohammed, J.N Akpughunum and A.T Badamasi. Despite Bashiru’s request for the tribunal members to disqualify themselves from the trial, the judges went ahead to deliver judgment on the case on July 15, 2008. Although the tribunal upheld the election of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, there had been an outstanding petition against it, over the scandal, before the NJC. The Council also received another petition against the judges on February 4, 2011 from Aregbesola’s lawyer, Mr. Ajibola Basiru. But in an August 1, 2011(NJC\6\3\l 0\1\002), signed by its Director (Admin) memo, E.I. Odukwu, the NJC asked Aregbesola’s lawyer to appear before it on August 10 and 11. The memo: Re: NJC Investigation Committee on Allegation against Hon. Justice Thomas Naron & 4 Ors, on Gubernatorial Election Tribunal, Osun State, reads: “I am directed to inform you that at the 55th Meeting of the National Judicial Council held on the 25th and 26th May, 2011, a Committee was set up to investigate the petition signed by your law-

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

yer on your behalf dated 4th February, 2011 against the Members of the First Panel of the Osun State Election Tribunal viz: Hon. Justices T.D. Naron, Sa’adu Mohammed, J.N. Akpughunum, A.T. Badamasi and J.E. Ekanem in respect of Petition No. OVIEPT/OS/107: Rauf Aregbesola & 2 Ors V. Olagunsoye Oyinlola & Ors. “In the light of the above, I am directed by the chairman to invite you to the sittings of the Committee taking place on the 10th and 11th August, 20l1. Venue is the National Judicial Council Building , Supreme Court Complex, Abuja . Time is 10.00 am daily. “You are expected to come along with all supporting documents, witnesses and counsel, if any. Please, accept the assurances of my high regards.” It was learnt that the NJC may probe alleged account of telephone conversations and text messages between Mr. Kunle Kalejaiye (SAN) and Justice Naron and Justice J.E Ekanem. The News magazine broke the story of the strange call logs, which generated much controversy. The revelation also led to a spate of petitions, which were supported with call logs of one of the GSM service providers, MTN. In one of the petitions to the NJC, two members of the tribunal, Justices Naron and Ekanem, were specifically mentioned.


The affected SMS and MMS of the judges were 08037035105; 08073160534 (belonging to Justice Naron); 08034105705 (belonging to Justice Ekanem); 08034062075 (belonging to Kunle Kalejaiye, SAN); 08034037521(belonging to Niyi Owolade-ex-Attorney-General of Osun State); and 08066572719(belonging to Sade Alaba Adewunmi—the Interpreter to the tribunal). One of the petitions said: “We know that judicial compromises have always been linked with bribery, corruption and some other forms of economic crimes and we strongly believe that a thorough investigation of the aforementioned persons is necessary in the light of the said revelations. “As a result of the explicit and detailed nature of the revelations of the telephone exchanges between Mr. Kunle Kalejaiye(SAN) and particularly Hon. Justices Thomas Naron and J.E. Ekanem, we strongly believe that the revelations ought not to be dismissed with a wave of hand but should be a launch pad for a very thorough, detailed and incisive investigation into the circumstance of the matter, particularly with a view to discovering commission of economic crimes by the dramatis personae in the revelation.


“We believe that your organisation is well-placed to receive from the relevant telecommunication operators, particularly MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, the official call logs, record of voice calls as well as actual text of the SMS messages of the telephone exchanges among the aforesaid persons, with a view to discovering commission of economic crimes and other corruption offences. “In order to ensure the preservation of the call details of the telephone numbers in issue and to prevent the course of justice from being perverted, we pray your organisation to immediately seek and obtain the transcripts of the voice calls, SMS and MMS of the above-named judges, particularly as regards 08037035105; 08073160534 (belonging to Justice Naron) ; 08034105705 (belonging to Justice Ekanem); 08034062075 (belonging to Kunle Kalejaiye, SAN); 08034037521(belonging to Niyi Owolade-AttorneyGeneral of Osun State); and 08066572719(belonging to Sade Alaba Adewunmi—Interpreter to the tribunal). “We believe that the allegations touch on the basis of rule of law and integrity of the judicial process, which is crucial to the war against economic crimes being waged by your organisation.”

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has felicitated with United States President Barack Obama who turned 50 yesterday. Jonathan, in a statement signed by his media aide, Dr. Reuben Abati extolled the American leader’s “epic” personal, national and international achievements. He said: “I write to felicitate with you and to wish you many more years of fulfillment and accomplishment. In a span of 50 years, you have recorded epic achievements against the odds at the personal, national and international spheres. “At this time, when our world is faced with sundry humanitarian and developmental challenges which require renewed resolve, steadfast leadership, and commitment to the highest ideals, I trust that you will continue to lead the United States (U.S.) in the vanguard of the quest for a more stable, prosperous, secure, just and equitable world.’

Makinde remains Methodist Prelate


IS Eminence Dr. Sunday Ola Makinde is to remain in office as Prelate, Methodist Church of Nigeria till 2013 when he will attain the mandatory retirement age of 70. In a release made available by the Church’s media and public relations officer, Rev Oladapo Daramola, the mandate to continue in office (having completed his first term of five years) was given by members of the Church’s highest organ, the Conference Connexional Council at its 17th meeting and the Bishops’ Consultative Forum (both acting on behalf of the Methodist Conference). The mandate overwhelming showed confidence and appreciation for the purposeful, transparent and visionary leadership the cleric has offered since ascending the office as Prelate in 2006. The meeting which ended last week in the ancient town of Umuahia, Abia State, also saw the reelection of Rev. Dr. Chibuzo Opoko as the Church’s Secretary of Conference, the creation of three new Dioceses comprising of Lagos North, Abia East and Ngbo, the election of Rev Joel Olu Akinola as (Bishop-elect of Lagos North Diocese) and Rev John Okorie as (Bishop-elect of Ngbo Diocese) as well as the translation of Rev. Alozie Anyanwu to the newly created Abia East Diocese. The Church, at a ceremony held at the Zion Methodist Church in Umuahia, ordained 83 ordinands as priests and three deaconesses.

Funding stalls Gurara Dam project From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja


• Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola watches as Owa Obokun of Ijesaland Oba Adekunle Aromolaran inaugurates a Suite at Iyemogun GRA, Ilesa, Osun State. Behind them is the Chairman, Grove Hill Suite, Air Vice Mashall Adekunle Nyanayo (rtd)...yesterday

ANAGING Director of Messrs Salini Nigeria Limited Piero Capitanio has described the non release of funds by the Federal Government as the major hindrance to the completion of the Gurara Dam project for which his firm was hired in 2007. The contract which was awarded for N90 billion has been moving at a very slow pace with no sign that it will be completed in the near future. About N54 billion has so far been disbursed for the project by the government. Capitanio made the disclosure during a tour of the dam by the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Reng Ochekpe in Kaduna, stating that when completed, the dam will supply over one billion cubic metres of water for domestic agricultural uses.



NEWS UBEC asked to release funds for teachers

Anyaoku for good governance lecture By Nneka Nwaneri


ORMER Commonwealth Secretary General Chief Emeka Anyaoku will be honoured at a lecture titled: ‘Good leadership in governance’. The event will also feature the presentation of his biography: The giant strides of a diplomat…The story of finesse and character. The event–the first annual lecture series of Youth Affairs International Foundation, will hold on August 9 at the Nigerian Institute for International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos. President of the foundation Johnson Ogbonna said Anyaoku was chosen because he is a worthy role model. “It is his antecedents and character that we make reference to. Anyaoku represents the fine example for millions of youth and the needs of our present generation. So, we need his story to challenge and inspire present and coming generations on good governance”. Former Head of State Gen Yakubu Gowon will be the chairman of the occasion. Others are the former of Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and a member of the House of Representatives, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

Lagos questions Fed Govt, Bi-Courtney demolition notice

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

O upgrade the knowledge, skills and quality of teachers, the Minister of State for Education, Mr. Ezenwo Wike has directed the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) to ensure prompt release of funds for the commencement of the 2011 teachers’ training nationwide. Wike gave the directive in Abuja yesterday at a one-day retreat on President Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda on Basic Education, charging the Executive Secretary of UBEC to closely supervise the training. He also appealed to state governments to key into the Transformation Agenda and endeavour to promptly meet the co-financial obligation to the UBEC scheme even as he expressed dissatisfaction that some states are yet to access the UBE grants that have been available to UBEC since 2008. “Such attitude and lack of commitment to the effective implementation of the UBEC scheme constitute a setback to Federal Government’s effort towards meet•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (middle); Minister of Transportation Senator Idris Umar (left) ing its obligation under the MDGs of providing uniafter receiving a gift from the governor when he visited the State House, Alausa, Ikeja...yesterday. With versal access to basic education for all by 2015,” he them is Transportation Commissioner Kayode Opeifa PHOTO:OMOSEHIN MOSES said.


NHF: ICPC recovers N724m from estate developers HE Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has recovered N724 million of the outstanding loans owed by estate developers under the National Housing Scheme funded by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN). ICPC Resident Media Consultant Folu Olamiti; who made this known yesterday, said about N35.2billion has so far been disbursed as loans to estate developers and Primary Mortgage Institutions (PMI). The recovery, he said, was a fallout of the intervention


From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

embarked upon by the ICPC to ensure that Nigerians own houses at affordable prices. In a statement in Abuja Olamiti said: “A report of the intervention carried out by ICPC further revealed “that the management of the FMBN is still working on the outstanding loans being owed by Estate Developers in the country.” “During the periods covered by the review, about N34.8 billion was received from NHF contributions while N13.5 billion was collected as Internal Generated

Revenue (IGR). In the same vein, N24.16 billion was disbursed as loans to Estate Developers and N11.4 billion to primary Mortgage Institutions (PMI) on behalf of NHF subscribers.” “The report further indicated that some estate developers interviewed in the course of the review, complained about the delay or non-release of the approved loans as well as the interest charged by FMBN. “These problems consequently resulted in total abandonment or non- completion of housing projects. As the housing units were uncompleted, the consequential ef-

By Miriam Ndikanwu


HE Lagos State Government has frowned on the marking of some properties within its territory for demolition by the Federal Government and Bi-Courtney Highway Services (BHS). In a public notice signed by the Permanent Secretary, Land Bureau, Hakeem MuriOkunola, the government described the move as illegal, stressing that the 1999 Constitution (Amendment 2011) and the Land Use Act “vest exclusive power of revocation of right of occupancy to any piece of Land within the state in the Governor of the state”. The notice dated yesterday said: “ It has come to our notice that some house owners or residents in the Ikosi GRA and its environs are being served with notices alleging that their properties fall within the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway expansion project site and are to be acquired and demolished. “Some of these properties have consequently been marked for demolition. Agents of the Federal Government have also been going around offering or negotiating compensation payable for the acquisition.” The state referred the Federal Government and BHS to Section 21 of the Federal Highways Act 1971 (Cap. F.13 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004), saying the law “merely vests power in the Minister of Works to authorise any person to enter upon any land in any locality needed for purpose of a Federal Highway…”.

fect was shifted upon the NHF subscribers who could not derive any benefits from their contributions in terms of purchasing the needed housing unit. “Other problems encountered by the management of FMBN included high indebtedness by the estate developers due to non-repayment of loans escalation in project cost, issues of interest waivers on loans already granted, lack of proper monitoring of projects location and proper financial records keeping and documentation. “Based on the findings of the commission, a joint meeting of stakeholders was held at the ICPC Headquarters

where it was agreed that a stakeholders’ committee on housing should be set up to look into the issues and problems raised in the Federal Government Housing Policy. “The stakeholders’ committee is made up of 18 members drawn from the Central Bank of Nigeria ; FMBN, Ministry of land, Housing and Urban development; Real Estate Developers Association, Federal Capital Development Authority and Nigerian Labour Congress. “Others are Mortgage bank Association of Nigerian, Surveyor General of the Federation and ICPC. The committee has already commenced its deliberation.”

Reps want budget proposals three months to year end From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin


•Niger State Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu presenting a souvenir to Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria Mr Chris Cooter when he visited the governor at the Government House, Minna

HE lawmaker representing Ilorin West/Asa in the House of Representatives, Alhaji Mashood Mustapha yesterday, said the House has come up with a legislative agenda to ensure accelerated implementation of budgets. Highlight of the agenda is a requirement for the submission of budget proposals by the executive three months to the end of every financial year. This, according to Mustapha, “will give us enough room to work on the budget, pass it to the executive for implementation in the first four weeks of the fiscal year.” The lawmaker told reporters in Ilorin, shortly after a thank you visit to his constituency for electing him that “we have come up with a legislative agenda for the next four years. The agenda is set out to see how things can be done appropriately for our people.” On the yet-to-be-constituted House committees, Mustapha said: “The Speaker and the leadership of the House have been working hard to put the committees in place. “The constitution of the House committees has taken this while because we have to get the right people in the right committees and this requires a lot of record taking and verification. I can tell you as soon as we reconvene from our recess, the committees will be constituted.”

Tinubu: no third term for Lagos council chiefs AGOS State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday released its guidelines for the October local government elections at its stakeholders meeting. At the meeting held at its secretariat, the party resolved to allow chairmen and councillors who are completing their tenure to go for a second term. However, it ruled out a third term opportunity for chairmen about to


By Emmanuel Oladesu, Deputy Political Editor

complete two terms. Party elders and leaders clarified that second term ticket was not a blanket offer, adding that chairmen who did not perform would not be picked. The meeting, attended by all the apex leaders of the party across the councils, was addressed by the National Leader, Senator Bola

Tinubu, who urged members to return home to prepare for the elections. At the meeting chaired by the party chairman, Otunba Oladele Ajomale, were Governor Babatunde Fashola, Pa Olatunji Hamzat, Pa Busura Alebiosu, Pa Akanni Seriki, Pa Akanni Suara, Pa Tajudeen Olusi, Pa Olorunfunmi Basorun, Cardinal James Odunmbaku, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, Mrs Folake

Sokunbi, Hon. Ademorin Kuye, Hon. Kayode Opeifa, Hon. Rotimi Agunsoye, Hon. Ebenezer Akinbolade, Hon. Kehinde BabalolaAdepoju, Primate Charles Odugbesi, Alhaji Mutiu Are, Chief Funso Ologunde, Comrade Joe Igbokwe, Chief Alabi Macfoy, Chief Lanre Rasak, Dr Tola Kasali, Hon. Lanre Odubote, Hon. Arole Fansy, Hon. Abiodun Mafe, Hon. Ayodele Adewale, Hon. Huntiyun Bamgbose, and Dr Augus-

tine Arogun. Asiwaju Tinubu, who spoke on the outcome of the party leaders’ meeting, which preceded the stakeholders’ meeting, urged members to get ready to battle the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the polls. He said the party had resolved to allow serving chairmen to renew their mandates because what is good for the goose is good for the gander.



NEWS Immunity clause: No hiding place for corrupt leaders, says SAN

Cause of helicopter crash, by NCAA chief B

AD weather may have been responsible for the crash of the Eccuriel helicopter belonging to OAS Helicopters, at Ife Odan Hills, Osun State, last Friday. The pilot and the two persengers on board,including Josephine Kuteyi, former Managing Director of Josepdam Sugar Company, Bacita, Kwara State, died in the crash. The Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr Harold Demuren, spoke at an aviation and maritime stakeholders’ meeting on the use of 406MHz beacon on aircraft and ships in Lagos. He noted that the weather in the area of the crash was foggy, blurring the vision of the pilot, who was on Visual Flight Rule (FVR). Demuren said in such a weather, it would be difficult for the pilot to see clearly. He said this might explain why the helicopter hit the hill and crashed in what he described as Control Flight Into Terrain (CFIT). The helicopter, with registration number 5N-BKA, crashed in the morning and, according to Demuren, it is difficult to survive on control flight into such a terrain. He said:“This particular accident

Kelvin Osa-Okunbor and Adline Atili

was a very unfortunate one. There was a very big hill and a big tree on top of it and the helicopter hit the hill. That was basically what happened. Weather has a finger in the accident. This particular flight was flying on Visual Flight Rule (VFR). Normally they don’t fly high in the sky. The weather is not clear; there was fog in the air. It was Control Flight Into Terrain (CFIT). Bad weather is our number one problem; we must continue to work at it. The CFIT was very bad and then it just smashed and everything scattered, so it was very bad. I want to wait for the report of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB)” The Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Muhammed Sani Sidi canvassed for sanctions against airline and maritime operators, who fail to install Beacon 406MHz on their aircraft or vessels, saying the problem of location detection in search and rescue operations could be mini-

mised if all stakeholders comply with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) directive that all aircraft and sea faring vessels be equipped with Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELT) beacons. But the NCAA Director General said all the aircraft operating in Nigeria have ELT, including those that were involved in accidents in recent times. “All the commercial aircraft operating in Nigeria today have Emergency Locator Transmitter. It is ICAO regulation and we enforce it.” Emergency location transmitters are part of the equipment for the improvement of search and rescue operations using space technology. Sidi said all stakeholders must not relent in the effort to put safety at the heart of their operations. He said Nigeria would be left behind by the progressive society if it does not abide by the international standard practices by adopting the 406MHz beacon. Sidi said:“It is pertinent to note that both the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organi-

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan


sation (IMO) have made it compulsory for all passenger aircraft and ships to carry the 406MHz beacon in order to facilitate search and rescue efforts in the event of any disaster.” He therefore, canvassed for the inspection, enforcement and imposition of a regime of sanctions on operators who fail to fit their aircraft or ships with the 406MHz beacons.

Adesanya never took bribe, says Odumakin


FENIFERE Renewal Group spokesman Yinka Odumakin yesterday said the late Yoruba leader, Pa Abraham Adesanya, never took any bribe from ex-Head of State Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar. Odumakin told our correspondent that the late Adesanya knew that a day like this would come and confided in him. He spoke against the backdrop of issues raised by Major Hamza al-Mustapha, the former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha. al-Mustapha and others are accused of killing wife of the late Chief Moshood Abiola. He said: “As far as I am concerned, Pa Adesanya never took any bribe from Gen. Abubakar to compromise the June 12 struggle. And till he died, he did not betray the June 12 struggle. “I also have Gen. Abubakar in writing, saying that a kobo did not exchange hands between him and Pa Adesanya, who survived a hail of bullets from al-Mustaphatrained goons. “In his tributes when Adesanya

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Abuja

died, Abdulsalami testified to Papa’s integrity and he declared that in all their encounters, Papa never asked for any favour for himself or asked for anything. “If Pa Adesanya did not sell out at the peak of the struggle when Abacha was in power for six years, what will make him betray the struggle after Abacha had died. It is only in a country like Nigeria that such a person like alMustapha will now be entertaining the public with these unfounded revelations. “Let’s all keep our powder dry, until this circus fully unfolds. By God’s grace, I was privy to most of these events. I worked closely with Abraham Adesanya and I still have a recollection of the things he confided in me about those last days of Abacha and his encounters with the powers that were. “As if Adesanya knew that a day like this will come, he once related to me why he never went to Abuja with any bag either while going in or out. He once told me

I also have Gen. Abubakar in writing, saying that a kobo did not exchange hands between him and Pa Adesanya, who survived a hail of bullets from alMustapha-trained goons

that the reason he never took even a pouch with him on all his visits to the villa is that ‘when you are frying pop corn for a blind man you have to be whistling, lest he mistakes your silence for munching. “I will wait till we see the content of the video before baring all! Yes, I will say what I know so that when I’m gone I will have people

to speak the truth they know about me when I’m ill-spoken of. “Yes, we must get to the root of this allegation but definitely it’s not going to be a defence for the murder allegation that Mustapha is facing!” To Odumakin, al-Mustapha is desperate to cling to any excuse to survive the murder charge against him. He added: “One of the hallmarks of his life was self-denial in the interest of the country. While he was alive, al-Mustapha and his late boss, Abacha, lied against him and detained him for four months after Mrs. Kudirat Abiola was killed. “They accused Pa Adesanya and his colleagues of killing Mrs. Kudirat. Until years later when these leaders were vindicated by Sgt. Rogers, who confessed that he killed Mrs. Kudirat based on the directive of al-Mustapha. “So, it is unfortunate now that al-Mustapha is in the dock to answer charges of murdering Kudirat. He has turned against Pa Adesanya, who cannot speak from his grave.”

•Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Nurudeen Mohammed (left), Ambassador Ade Adefuye, Ambassador Femi George, Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido, Foreign Affairs Minister, Gbenga Ashiru and Education Minister Prof Ruqqayya Ahmed when Lamido visited Foreign Affairs Ministry in Abuja... yesterday

A SENIOR Advocate (SAN), Chief Abiola Ayorinde, yesterday reminded corrupt leaders of the changing law of sovereign immunity, which shields heads of governments from prosecution. Denouncing embezzlement of public funds by corrupt leaders, Ayorinde said the time has come for African leaders to be stripped of their sovereign immunity law in foreign lands when the day of reckoning comes. Delivering a lecture entitled: Sovereign Immunity and the Trials of Agusto Pinochet, organised by the Law Student Society , University of Ibadan (UI) in honour of Mr. Adebayo Adenipekun (SAN), Ayorinde emphasised that the world has so far witnessed trials of war criminals , including the indictment of persons accused of financial crimes. Drawing attention to the trial of former Chilean leader, the late General Augusto Pinochet , the lecturer enumerated the evils of official corruption, including denying people basic amenities such as electricity, water, roads, hospitals and other infrastructural facilities and called on Nigerian leaders to learn from the Pinochet experience. “The world is also now witnessing trials and extradition of government leaders and Heads of state who commit financial crimes in their countries but seek to find safe

‘Ogun PDP chief didn’t forge document’ THE Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State, Chief Dayo Soremi, yesterday denied that he and four others forged a signature to facilitate the substitution of the candidate for Remo Federal Constituency, Dave Salako, in the April elections. Soremi said the reports that accused him and the others were a misrepresentation of the facts of the case, adding that the same police had in two different reports confirmed that the signature was Salako’s. The Police on Tuesday told an Abuja Senior Magistrate’s Court headed by Oyebola Oyewunmi, where Soremi and four others – Semiu Shodipo, the Ogun State PDP Secretary, Adeja Olokun, Abiodun Taiwo and Chief Olufemi Dehinsilu – are standing trial. At the resumption of the trial, A Chief Superintendent of Police, Adebowale Williams, reportedly told the court the handwriting analysis revealed that the purported signature of Salako on the letter of voluntary withdrawal submitted by Soremi and others to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not match his (Salako’s) true signature. But Soremi criticised the report, saying: “How could the same police which had in two different reports stated that the signature was Salako’s? The first was in a February 18, 2011 report signed by R. Onwuzuligbo, an Inspector in the office of the Commissioner of Police, Forensic Sciences Laboratory, Force C.I.D, Alagbon, stated inter alia that ‘In the process of scientific examination and comparison of the signature in the column of ‘Signature of candidate’ withdrawing on the document marked 1 in juxtaposition with the signatures in the relevant columns of documents marked ‘2’ and ‘3’ via video spectral comparator (VSC-5000) and other distinguish apparatus, I found features of identity between them.



NEWS No Boko Haram here, says Plateau police chief From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

THE Plateau State Commissioner of Police, Emmanuel Diipo Ayeni, yesterday said there was no presence of the Boko Haram religious sect in Jos, the state capital. Ayeni spoke in Jos when he visited the secretariat of the state chapter of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ). He said: “I have not seen any agent of Bokko Haram in Jos and I can place a reward for anyone to report to me if they find one. “The incident that took place last weekend in Jos was not a bomb blast; it was an improvised explosive device (IED) that anyone can make. It is not the same as bomb. The explosion had no effect on any life. But some sections of the media reported it as a bomb blast. I can confirm to you it wasn’t a bomb blast. “We are on red alert and we are working round the clock in search of criminals. We will do more in our operation if citizens, including journalists, volunteer information to the police.”

Two dead in Maiduguri explosion ACF urges sect to accept dialogue T T

WO people died yesterday in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, in another set of explosions. Two other people were injured. The explosions took place at about 8.20am on Baga Road, near the branch of a first generation bank. Pandemonium followed the explosions, believed to have been triggered by the Boko Haram. The residents were seen running helter-skelter. Confirming the incident, the Joint Task Force (JTF) spokesman, Lt. Col. Hassan Mohammed, said the dead and the injured were civilians. He said the dead were caught in the crossfire between the task force men and suspected Boko Haram sect

HE Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) yesterday urged the Boko Haram sect to accept government offer of dialogue to end the crisis in Borno. Its Chairman Aliko Mohammed spoke when he led a delegation of the forum to visit Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima at Government House, Maiduguri. He said: “You have spoken loud and clear; you have been heard. Please, stop firing your guns and killing people and come to the peace table now.” Mohammed praised Shettima for his efforts to dialogue with members of the sect, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. He said: “The delegation and the ACF have no doubt in their minds that the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation offer the only viable prospect of sustainable peace now and in future. “We have indeed no hesitation in endorsing the courageous From Abiodun Joseph, Maiduguri

members, adding that the injured were bystanders. Mohammed said the clash

occurred after six assailants from the sect detonated an explosion that blew up the median of a major Maiduguri road. Boko Haram, whose name

position taken by the governor on the issue and urge him to pursue it to its logical conclusion.” Mohammed told the governor that his success depended on trust and confidence, urging him to implement measures that would assure the insurgents of government’s good faith and their personal security. He said the visit was to condole with the government and the people over the death of many residents. “We came here in response to our own feelings of outrage and horror seeing how an otherwise common place quarrel between members of the same family has degenerated into a savage fight. “All northerners, all Nigerians and all people of goodwill everywhere are deeply saddened as the scenes of death and suffering in Maiduguri are flashed continuously over the world’s mass media channels,” Mohammed said. means “Western education is sacrilege” in the local Hausa language, is responsible for a rash of killings. Its targets have been security officers, local political lead-

Minister directs UBEC to release funds for teacher training From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja


Fed Govt’s agroindustrial centre opens in Anambra From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

THE Federal Government’s Agro-Industrial Centre in Mgbakwu, Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State has begun operation. A Federal Government delegation, led by King A.J. Turner, was at the Government House, Awka, yesterday to meet with the state government delegation, led by the Deputy Governor Emeka Sibeudu. King Turner, who is also the chairman, National Inland Waterways Authority, said Anambra was among the four states selected by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture for the agro projects. He praised the state government for the reception, promising that the agro projects would be executed to eradicate hunger in the state. He said: “I want to assure the people of Anambra State that my company will deliver the projects on schedule and the quality of agro services we shall render will also satisfy the Federal Government as well as the government and people of Anambra.” Sibeudu described the state as the nation’s number in commerce and trade. He said the main thrust of Anambra Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS) was to improve the living condition of the residents and poverty eradication. Sibeudu assured farmers that the government would give them the opportunities to increase their productivity. Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Godson Ezenagu said the project was Federal Government’s intervention scheme to ensure food security in the country. He expressed delight that Anambra was selected because of the commitment of the Peter Obi administration to improving agriculture.

ers and clerics. It has claimed responsibility for the bombing at the police headquarters in Abuja in June. Two people were confirmed dead in the attack.

•Wife of Osun State Governor, Alhaja Sherifat Aregbesola, cutting the tape to inaugurate two ambulances for Oriade and Boripe Local Governments at the Ministry of Health, Osogbo. With her are: Chairman, Caretaker Committe, Oriade Local Government, Mr Taiwo Fatiregun, and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Mrs Moji Oladipo (right).

ACN urges protection for Benue tribunal members T THE Benue State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday urged protection for members of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal. It noted that tighter security has become necessary because of previous threats to the chairman and other members of the tribunal. In a statement by its chairman, Comrade Abba Yaro, the party urged Governor Gabriel Suswam and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to respect the wishes of the people and “refrain from all forms of antics and tactics aimed at distracting the tribunal”. The statement reads: “The Chairman of the Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on July 25 announced in court that members of the tribunal were under severe threats and intimidation and subsequently adjourned sitting of the gover-

norship petitions. “Mindful of the provisions of Section 134(2) of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended, which require the tribunal to deliver its judgment in writing within 180 days from the date of filing of the petition: “We the leadership of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Benue State hereby call on: · “The President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, the Inspector-General of Police, all Securities Chiefs to urgently provide adequate security for the Chairman and Members of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Benue State to enable them resume sitting over the Governorship Petitions. · “The Police and other Security Agencies to properly investigate the allegations of threat by the members of the

Tribunal and the withdrawal of the former Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Daisy Okocha on grounds of threat to her life. · “The Judiciary to constitute an independent panel to look into the allegations of threat by its members; as acts of threat to a Judge is not only an attack to the individual Judge but to the entire Judicial System, a branch of Government that is essential to the growth and sustenance of our nascent democracy. · “The Nigerian Bar Association, the Judiciary and all Security Agencies not to allow criminals to control and undermine the Justice System; so as to promote public trust and confidence in the Judicial System. “We also wish to appeal to the Chairman and Members of the Governorship Election Pe-

tition Tribunal to consider the sui-generis nature of elections petitions and to promptly resume hearing in the petitions before the tribunal; to avoid being caught up with the time limit provided for under Section 134(2) of the Electoral Act for hearing and determination of all petitions. “We, therefore, urge Governor Suswam and the PDP to respect the wishes of the people of Benue State; to refrain from all forms of antics and tactics aimed at distracting the Tribunal but to defend the petitions against him within the ambit of the law. “Finally, we wish to reiterate our confidence in the ability of the Tribunal as presently constituted to do justice in the petitions before it. We also call on our Members and supporters to remain calm, law abiding and prayerful, while we await the just determination of our petition before the tribunal.”

‘N150b needed to resettle Abuja’s original inhabitants’


HE Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) needs about N150 billion to compensate and resettle Abuja indigenes, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Senator Bala Muhammed, has said. Mohammed spoke in Lagos yesterday when visited Lagos State Governor Baba-

From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

tunde Fashola for a partnership between the state and the FCTA. The minister said the FCTA was working with the private sector to provide basic infrastructure in new districts, including Katampe. Muhammed said Abuja and Lagos needed to share expe-

riences on metropolitan management for the mutual benefit of the residents. The minister noted that 90 per cent of those working in Abuja live outside the city, adding that the participation of the private sector in transportation would yield huge returns. He said though the Abuja Master Plan is on course, the FCT Administration was fac-

ing the challenge of an influx of people into the city because of the opportunities that abound in the FCT. Muhammed praised Fashola for looking inwards to solve the sundry challenges confronting Lagos. Fashola expressed appreciation for the minister’s observations, saying Lagos still needed more development to make it a city of pride for all.

HE Minister of State for Education, Mr. Ezenwo Wike, yesterday directed the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) to ensure prompt release of funds for this year’s teachers’ training to begin immediately. Wike spoke in Abuja at a one-day retreat on President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda as it relates to the Nigerian Basic Education Sub-Sector. He directed UBEC Executive Secretary to supervise the exercise. The minister noted that human capital development was among the key elements in the development of Nigeria’s social infrastructure and the education sector. Wike urged state governments to also key into the transformation agenda and meet the financial obligation to UBEC scheme.

NUJ expels eight members


HE national secretariat of the Nigeria Union of journalists (NUJ) has suspended eight members of the Katsina State Council of the union for their alleged role in the illegal sale of a bus belonging to the union and diverting the proceeds into their pockets. The members are: Abdulhamid Sabo; Mai’akwai Abubakar; Andy Asemota; Isa Idris; Sani Ahmed; Mu’azu Elazeh; Salisu El Mansur; and Babajare Ileleboye. The bus was donated by the Controller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Alhaji Abdullahi Inde Dikko, in April. In a statement yesterday, the NUJ National Secretary Shu’aibu Usman Leman said the bus was handed to the eight members when they visited the NCS chief in his house. “During investigation, the members agreed to have collected the bus from the CG of Customs but claimed that it was a personal gift meant for them. The CG had, however, informed the national secretariat that it was donated to the union and not any individual,” Leman said.



NEWS ACN chief to Mimiko: declare your second term plan

Protest in Ibadan over nominees

•Governor: God is the only determinant


UNDREDS of supporters of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Oyo State yesterday stormed the Secretariat Complex in Agodi, Ibadan, the state capital, to protest the list of commissioners-designate and caretaker committee chairmen submitted by Governor Abiola Ajimobi to the House of Assembly for screening. The protesters obstructed the free flow of traffic on Agodi, Bodija, Sango and Mokola roads. Singing solidarity songs, they accused the governor of betraying the ACN. They carried placards with inscriptions, such as: “Ajimobi, don’t destroy ACN,” “Ajimobi, you won governorship election through ACN and you must be loyal to the party,” “Ajimobi is turning to Accord Party and we will not accept that.” Others are: “We reject imposition of nominees,” “Ajimobi wants to kill ACN,” “We say no to Accord Party in ACN government,” etc. The gates of the Assembly were shut to prevent the protesters from going in. Security operatives had a hectic time controlling the traffic. Ajimobi yesterday sent a list of commissioner-nominees and interim chairmen for the 33 local government councils to the Speaker of the House,

From Damisi Ojo, Akure


•The protesters at the Assembly gate...yesterday

•Ajimobi: reformation attracts protests From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

Mrs. Monsurat Sunmonu. Names on the list had, for weeks, remained a matter of secrecy. Ajimobi had denied any rift between him and the leadership of the ACN over the delay in submitting the list to the House. When party members confirmed that the governor had submitted the list to the House and the names of their candidates were not included, they besieged the Assembly, with the aim of disrupting its sitting.

They accused Ajimobi of anti-party activities and betraying their trust. ACN Chairman in Egbeda Local Government, Alhaji Babatunde Asunmo, told reporters that the party was disappointed with the governor’s action. Asunmo said: “We don’t know the problem between him and the Accord Party. “He dropped the names of those who worked for him to become governor and chose opposition party members.” Justifying the government’s action, the governor’s media aide, Festus Adedayo, in a

statement, said: “The government welcomes the protest. That is the beauty of democracy. It is an indication that the government is making progress. “If partymen fronting for some patrons had not protested the nomination, it means something was terribly wrong with it. “If they feel the Governor’s Office, rather than their party leaders, is where the protest must be made, so be it. The governor is convinced more than ever before that he made the right choices. “If you want to reform so-

ciety, you must run against the mill and attract protests like this. “The protesters perhaps want us to return to the AlaoAkala government era, when the norm was to have funny characters in the cabinet, whose only qualification was their party tag, and who were more of liabilities than contributors to the growth of the state. “We do not want to recycle such drift. That is why arriving at this list took some time. “But the good thing about it is that the Assembly is deliberating on the list. The aggrieved persons can always forward their complaints to the House.”

Oyo workers resume strike over minimum wage


OR the second time in three weeks, Oyo State workers yesterday embarked on a strike over the payment of the minimum wage. Addressing workers at the Secretariat of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Ibadan, the state capital, yesterday, Comrades Nurudeen Arowolo (Joint Negotiation Committee), Bashir Olanrewaju (NLC) and Bayo Ajayi (Trade Union Congress) said the government reneged on its promise to adopt the Ekiti model of N13,400 by offering N10,200. Arowolo said: “Enough is enough; workers will not accept any imposition of a salary structure on them. There are

•Govt: it’s unwarranted From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

ways to go about it; we’re in a democracy. “Labour leaders met with Governor Abiola Ajimobi and he promised to adopt the Osun and Ekiti salary structure, which is N13,400, but when the government released the table this morning, what we saw was N10,200. “It is unfortunate that the government wants to consign its workforce to the league of states that are paying the worst salaries.” The angry workers went home immediately the strike was declared, paralysing government activities.

Ajimobi, who spoke through a statement by his media aide, Dr. Festus Adedayo, said the workers’ decision is suspicious. He said: “Firstly, the workers did not give the government any notice before embarking on this work-to-rule, which is a violation of the Labour Law. “Secondly, it is public knowledge that Oyo State is about the only state in Nigeria that has paid the N18,000 minimum wage across board for the month of May. We expected commendation from the public and our workers for this onerous feat, even when oilproducing states have not done that.

“Third, the state negotiating team has kept on discussing with Labour. The last meeting was on July 22, when government agreed to pay the N18,000 minimum wage as agreed upon by the Federal Government for workers from Level 1 – 6, and an agreement was reached with Labour that Levels 7 upwards would negotiate with their state governments on an accepted table. “At that meeting, even though the federal agreement said payment to Levels 1 – 6 should be paid in arrears from April and Level 7 upwards be paid from August, the Oyo State Government agreed to pay the N18,000 from July. “Because today is August 4 and government cannot fold its

arms and allow workers to suffer unduly, especially during this Ramadan period, it decided to pay July salary, pending the next meeting with labour leaders. “We are shocked that the labour leaders unilaterally took this action without recourse to due process and in defiance of the spirit of negotiation between us. “Why would Oyo workers go on strike to press for a wage increase that is supposed to take effect from August salary? “We plead with Labour to allow reason prevail. Workers generally should ask their leaders why they are always up in arms against the government.”


•No record of Oduduwa House sale From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

Oduduwa House on Victoria Island, Lagos, jointly owned by Ekiti and Ondo states. The sale was made when both states were under the control of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Fayemi said Governor Segun Mimiko had to buy back the Ondo State portion of the House when he discovered that the sale was not documented. “Our opponents did not add to the state’s assets, instead, they sold them. “Oduduwa House was sold under the PDP and we didn’t see the money paid in the records. Mimiko went to look

for money to buy back the Ondo property,” he said. On why Oni was not invited to defend himself by the Contract/Consultancy Review Committee (CCRC), which investigated contracts awarded by the deposed administration, Fayemi said the committee was not a Judicial Panel of Enquiry vested with such powers. He said: “Although Ekiti people did not elect me to spend time probing people, when legal processes are completed, Oni will be duly served. “Ekiti is No. 35 on the revenue ladder in the country and the same state was constructing roads into Kwara, Kogi, Osun states. Some of the roads

are not completed and we are paying debts on them till today. “This is an irresponsible use of resources; Ekiti has not gotten anything in return for this charity.” On local government reforms by his administration, Fayemi said nobody has been sacked as is being insinuated in some quarters, but council workers that were irregularly employed have been asked to present themselves for screening. On the controversy surrounding the site of the Federal University allocated to the state, he urged the Federal Government to respect the wish of Ekiti people to have the university sited in IkoleEkiti.

Ogun to pay N18,250 minimum wage


Ekiti has benefited nothing from Oni’s charity, says Fayemi OVERNOR Kayode Fayemi yesterday vowed to recover all assets allegedly stolen by past administrations in Ekiti State. He said no kobo belonging to the state would go unaccounted for. Fayemi, who spoke during a television interview in AdoEkiti, the state capital, said the ousted Segun Oni-led administration wasted enormous funds on the construction of roads into neighbouring states. He lamented that the state has not gotten anything in return for the “charity,” adding that Ekiti is still weighed down by debts incurred on such roads, some of which have not been completed. The governor said there was no record of the sale of

CHIEFTAIN of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ondo State, Dr. Tunji Abayomi, yesterday urged Governor Olusegun Mimiko to publicly declare his intention to run for a second term. In a statement in Akure, the state capital, Abayomi said: “Governor Mimiko is pretending to be unaware of the cacophonous wrong campaign to favour him for another term, even when there are serious doubts about his performance in office. “Mimiko has not told the people of Ondo State that he will not run for a second term; he only said he has no ambition to do so. “By his words, he opens a new road to the State House for laundering agents to plead with him to run, as if governorship is so cheap that he deserves to be appealed to to take up its challenge again.” Abayomi said the Labour Party-led administration has abandoned the rule of law by its failure to account for its expenditure in the last two years. “What we need is a clear affirmation from Governor Mimiko that he will limit himself to these four years of struggle for our people and forget about another undeserved tenure. “But before he gives up on that unwarranted four-year ambition pursuit, he should tell us how much of the common wealth he has used up, for what ends and at what season,” Abayomi said. Mimiko’s Chief Press Secretary Mr. Bisi Kolawoles said the governor has repeatedly pointed out that only God could determine what would happen. He said: “People of the state can testify to what the present administration has done in the last two years. “sThe achievements of the Mimiko-led administration cannot be compared with that of past administrations.”


Fayemi said PDP governors in eight states which enjoyed the same privilege had the final say on the location of the varsities. “Is it because I do not belong to the PDP? The power resides in the governor and you have to respect his authority, especially on a decision that is popular with the people of the state,” he added.

HE Ogun State Government yesterday said it would pay its workers a minimum wage of N18,250. The government, Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) agreed that the implementation of the new wage will commence from August 1. They also agreed on a table reflecting how the minimum wage will affect workers on other salary scales. The government’s team was led by the Head of Service, Princess Iyabo Odulate, while the Labour team consisted of Ogun NLC Chairman Akeem Ambali; TUC Chairman Seyi Adebanjo; JNC Chairman Sunday Adeegbe; and JNC Secretary Steve Modupe.



NEWS Oshiomhole cuts short trip to deal with strike From Osagie Otabor, Benin


DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole yesterday cut short his trip overseas to deal with the strike embarked upon by civil servants in the state. Workers had, on Wednesday, embarked on a solidarity strike to demand for teachers to be included in the new minimum wage package. Efforts by the government to engage the workers in a meeting was fruitless as the Labour leaders refused to honour the invitation. Oshiomhole, who alighted from an Arik Air commercial flight from Lagos at about 3pm, said he would comment later on the question of being betrayed by Organised Labour. The meeting between labour leaders and government officials, presided over by Deputy Governor Pius Odubu, ended in a deadlock yesterday. Sources said the government asked the striking workers to call off the strike but Labour insisted that its demands must be met. State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Emma Ademokun said the workers would remain at home, until their demands are met. He said the meeting ended in a deadlock because the government refused to accede to their demands.

Ondo, Delta Assemblies approve eight commissioners


HE Ondo State House of Assembly has confirmed the appointment of four former commissioners, whose names were presented to it last week by Governor Olusegun Mimiko. Also, Delta State House of Assembly okayed more commissioners-designate in Asaba, the capital. The confirmation of the appointments in Ondo was announced by Speaker Samuel Adesina yesterday at plenary after the report of the Select Committee was read and approved. The commissioners are Yele Ogundipe, formerly of the Finance Ministry, Gboye Adegbenro (Works);

Eyitayo Jegede (Justice) and Clement Faboyede (Community Development and Co-operatives). The Delta Assembly confirmed the appointments of four commissioners, whose names were forwarded to it by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan on Tuesday. The nominees are Mrs. Pat Ajudua; Kenneth Okpara; Christian Onogba and Tonye Timi. Also yesterday, the House confirmed three nominees for appointment as members of the state’s Direct Labour Agency (DLA). The nominees are Emmanuel Igbini; Michael Akpofure and Lucky Ayomanor.

N150b needed to clean up Ogoniland R ESPITE seems to be on the way of the people of Ogoniland in Rivers State after many years of agitation for redress on abuse of its environment. The Federal Government and oil giant, Shell, are expected to pump N150billion into the clean-up of the community. Though the final report on the environmental assessment of Ogoniland said it will take 25 to 30 years to clean up the community, it, however, stated that with a more focused approach, a major improvement is possible in five years. The report reads: “Full environmental restoration of Ogoniland will take an estimated 25 to 30 years. “This will be possible through a combination of modern technology to clean up contaminated land and waterways, backed up by practical action at the regulatory, operational and monitoring levels. “The happy news is that with a more focused approach it will be possible to attain major improvements in five years.” The report warned that there

•Exercise’ll take between 25-30years From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

is no single clean-up technique appropriate for the area but what is required is a combination of approaches. The final report of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) assessment report on Ogoniland, which was carried out at the instance of the Federal Government, was submitted to President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday. The report,according to Ibrahim Thiaw, Director, Division for Environmental Policy Implementation UNEP, also admitted adverse health consequences of spillages and other environmental damage to the communities. The committee also cited a case of Nsisioken-Ogale community in Eleme Local Government, where the people have being drinking water with benzene over 900 times

the set World Health Organisation guidelines. Thiaw said UNEP surveyed 122kms of pipeline rights of way, analysed more than 4,000 samples, including water drawn from 142 groundwater monitoring wells drilled specifically for the study, and soil extracted from 780 boreholes. The assessment team noted that 5,000 medial records were examined and it held 264 formal community meetings in Ogoninland within the two years of its work. The report recommends establishing three institutions to support a comprehensive environmental restoration exercise. Another significant recommendation is the call for reforms of environmental government regulation; monitoring and enforcement and improved practices by the oil industry. Also recommended is the creation of a Centre of Excel-

lence in Environmental Restoration in Ogoniland. The aim is to promote learning and benefit other communities impacted by oil contamination in the Niger Delta. President Jonathan called on the United Nations to give the Ogoniland situation the same attention granted communities ravaged by civil war. While assuring members of the committee and the people that the report would be examined, the President said government was going to discuss with Shell and other stakeholders on how to handle the report. “So, I believe in these days of environmental wars, the UN will come to our aid. “ The environmental challenges we have are critical because pollutants can migrate to other places we don’t expect. “So, in addition to helping us conduct this study, I call on UNEP to assist us to redress this problem. “It will not be easy to set up the institutions in the recommendation and run them and expect a good result without the assistance of the UN,” he said.

‘Fix Lagos-Ibadan Expressway’


HE Managing Director of Megamound Nigeria Limited, Otunba Olumide Osunsina, has urged the Federal Government to repair the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and save travellers avoidable stress and deaths. Osunsina spoke in Ibadan, Oyo State, at the innauguration of the new executives and fund raising for the Lawn Tenis Section of Ibadan Recreation Club. He said: “As at today, lives are being wantonly lost on that road; business activities are seriously hamperred, and it has become strenous to commute between Lagos and Ibadan.” Osunsina said the state of the road has affected the economy of Oyo State, adding that people who hitherto did business with the state were no longer doing so. He solicited the support of the elite for the government to fix the road. Osunsina said: “All of us sitting here can do it, if we decide to do it. Let us decide now to get it done, to make life better for our people. If that road is done, people can stay in Ibadan and work in Lagos. Investors from Lagos can also move into Ibadan to build houses and also invest in the economy. It will also boost trade within the Southwest geo-political zone.”

‘We’re ready for 2012 election in Edo’


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Edo State has said it is ready for the July 14, 2012 governorship election in the state. It said no party would contest against it next year, owing to the achievements of the Adams Oshiomholeled administration. The Chairman of the party, Thomas Okosun, said the party has been preparing for the election since it came to power in November 2008. He said: “It started when Governor Adams Oshiomhole was sworn-in. It is the manifestation of what the governor has achieved in the

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

state. It is very clear that our achievements will speak for us. You know the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has nothing to show for in the last 10 years. “Our achievements have been manifested. All we need is to present our report card for the people to judge. “We don’t know if any party will contest against us. Whether any party will contest against us is immaterial.” Okosun said elections into local councils would be conducted after the local government law has been amended to conform to the amended Electoral Act.

•Jonathan (right) greeting the President of the Supreme Council of Ogoniland Traditional Rulers, King GNK Gininwa, after the submission of the report...yesterday. With them (from right) are Bishop Mathew Kukah; Thiaw; UNEP representative in Nigeria Daodu Toure. PHOTO:STATE HOUSE

Akwa Ibom, labour unions still at loggerheads over minimum wage


HERE is tension between the Akwa Ibom State Government and the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) over the N18, 000 minimum wage. The government had approved the payment of the minimum wage to workers from Levels 1-6. Senior workers from Levels 7 -17 were not included. Shortly before his departure to the United States, Governor Godswill Akpabio said workers on Level 7 and above were already earning above N18, 000, saying there was no need for Labour to continue to dialogue with the government for more increase for these categories of workers. Akpabio reasoned that there is no economy, where every worker earns same salaries. But labour unions are accus-

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

ing the government of insincerity. State NLC Chairman Uyime Usoro accused the government of walking out on Labour, when the issue of how to implement the minimum wage was discussed at a meeting. Usoro said the government issued a “decree” on imple-


mentation of minimum wage for workers of Levels 1-6. According to Usoro, workers on 1-6 would reject government’s offer, saying what Labour negotiated for them was much higher than the peanuts offered by the Akpabio administration. He said workers on Levels 07-17 would begin a work-torule action should the government fail to yield to its de-

mand by paying the minimum wage. His words: “We reject the Greek level offer since what was given without an agreement can be taken away without any formality. “Workers should dedicate a day to fast and pray to God to touch our leaders to allow the crumbs from their tables to drop for the public servants to feed on.” Usoro said full scale strike would begin on August 12.

Delta, NAMA sign MoU

HE Delta State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to boost air traffic operations at the Asaba Airport. Under the agreement, NAMA is to deploy Air Traffic Controllers and Air Traffic Engineers to the airport for safety of flight operations while the government is to provide other logistics needed to enhance smooth services.

By Kelvin Osa- Okunbor

The airport’s Special Project Director, Ayemidejor Austine, said: “The signing today means that Asaba Airport is safe for landing.” NAMA chief Ibrahim Usman Auyo, who chaired the meeting, described the MoU between the parties as the first in Nigeria, promising that the agency would strive to provide quality air traffic services to airlines operating in the airport.




ACN seeks suspension of night travels by passenger buses T HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has urged relevant authorities to work with luxury bus operators to suspend night travels. The party was reacting to the death of 14 passengers as they were being attacked by armed robbers on the OkeneLokoja road on Tuesday. In a statement yesterday in Ado-Ekiti by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, ACN said suspending night journeys has become necessary to save Nigerians from similar armed robberies. The party said it was aware that the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has been advising travellers against night trips, because of their safety.

By Olamilekan Andu

It noted that it is necessary for the FRSC “to go a step further by working with the commuter bus operators to stop night travels until there is adequate security on the roads”. ACN urged the Federal Government to ensure the security of lives and property, saying security, along with welfare, is the raison d’etre of any government. The party noted that the same day the heartless robbers put the hapless passengers on harm’s way on the OkeneLokoja road, another group of armed robbers used explosives to blow up a bank

in Ilesha, Osun state, forcing all banks in the town to close shop. “These are just a few recent cases in a series of armed attacks against ordinary Nigerians across the country. No government worth its salt will sit back and allow armed gangs to take over its roads and towns, as if we are living in a failed state,” ACN said. It expressed shock at the horror of the incident on the Okene-Lokoja road, when passengers were made to lie face down on the road, only for oncoming vehicles to run over them. “A similar mass deaths, caused by robbers who at-

tacked a passenger bus, was said to have occurred in the past, even though it was denied by the authorities. Whatever happens, we should never allow this horrific incident to happen again in our country, even when we seem to have now become so numb that news of such deaths only dominate the media for a few days before disappearing from the headlines,” ACN said. The party praised Kogi State Governor Ibrahim Idris for visiting the survivors in the hospital and offering to foot their bills for their treatment. It said such show of concern by people in positions of authority could be a soothing balm at times like this. ACN also commiserated

ALGON pledges support for Ekiti monarchs’ chair By Dada Aladelokun



with the families of the victims, saying the only way to ensure they did not die in vain is to prevent a recurrence.

Fashola makes case for efficient rail network


UILDING new roads in the Centre of Excellence without complementing them with the rehabilitation and maintenance of an efficient rail network is like throwing money into the ocean, Governor Babatunde Fashola said yesterday. He made the remark while hosting the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, who led an entourage to the state to inspect the agencies under his ministry. Fashola told his guests at the Lagos House, Ikeja that the roads across the country were never designed for the kind of tonnage of goods they accommodate daily, especially from

the ports. “That explains the sorry state of the Apapa -Oshodi Expressway, which also serves five industrial estates namely. Apapa, Amuwo- Odofin, Isolo, Matori and Ilupeju. Non- industrialists are also making use of the roads importing rice, milk and so many other goods that hit the market’’, he added. He explained that with the best of efforts in building a road, the road is back in a state of disrepair, stressing that until the country gets the very heavy tonnage off the roads either intercity or intracity, Nigeria will simply be chasing shadows. Fashola said: “The people of

Lagos will support you to do the right thing to resuscitate the rail network so that petroleum cargo can pass through the rail system. Go to Apapa today, the rail tracks are still there. It is how to re-establish network that remains the challenge.” According to him, the step will eliminate tanker accidents and making life unbearable as well as containers falling off and endangering other road users. “We hope you will find the resources, energy and team with the same commitment that you have shown to deliver this rail network in the shortest possible time. No

road will last without a supporting rail network’’. The Governor also welcomed the understanding shown by the minister for a change in ethos and philosophy that host communities should benefit from facilities like airports and seaports that clearly impacts on infrastructure. The minister said be was excited by the level of cooperation between the state and the agencies and parastatals of the ministry in Lagos. He acknowledged a few challenges in the operation of the ports which had to do with administration, the security and a few other things.

“I believe that with further interaction and interface, we will resolve all contending issues particularly as it affects the railways and to some extent maritime Ports Authority, National Maritime Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Shippers Council’’. “It is really out of sense that for a government which is hosting very serious critical infrastructure and agencies like the Ports and such a government is not benefitting. I think it is a bit absurd and I want to assure you that we will look at the possibility of meandering through the various legislations, to look at ways to best assist Lagos to have some share of benefits’’.

HE chairman of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Ekiti State Chapter, Chief Joel Omoniyi has pledged the association’s support and cooperation with the newly appointed chairman of traditional rulers in the state, Oba Adedeji Gbadebo. A statement yesterday by the Special Assistant on Media to ALGON, Mr Gbenga Sodeinde, said the role of monarchs in community development was vital as they are more closer to the people, hence the need to ensure the joint efforts of the council chairmen and the traditional institution to bring dividends of democracy to the people at the grassroots The ALGON chairman therefore promised a good working relationship between the Council chairmen in the state and traditional institution so that the Governor Kayode Fayemi‘s efforts at ensuring speedy development in the state could be archived in time The Chairman Ekiti West, Hon. Sola Fakanle who expressed happiness that the local government has produced traditional rulers’ chairman, equally declared that with the emergence of Owa Oye of Okemesi as the chairman of Traditional rulers, “Ekiti State and traditional institution in the state will know it for peace and honour during his tenure because the Oba is noted for this”.



RAMADAN NEWS Don urges support for clerics From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo


USLIMS have been advised to join hands in fellowship with their leaders and the League of Alfas to fight the current rot facing Islam. They were also charged to submit themselves to the will of Allah throughout the month of Ramadan. The Chief Imam of the Federal Polytechnic Ede, Osun State, Dr Abdul Hammed Taofeek, gave the advice in Osogbo. Sheikh Hammed stated that it was unfortunate that some Muslims had failed in their primary role of doing good to others, particularly the less privileged in the society. He enjoined Muslims to embrace the virtues of fear of God, humility, honesty, selfless service to humanity and submission to the will of Allah. The Islamic scholar quoted Prophet Muhammed in one of his sayings that “O ye believers in Allah, good character makes one successful in this life and beyond” to buttress the virtue of goodness. He said: “Islamic organisations are not reaching to the people again in the propagation of Islam and this constitutes the greatest challenge to us Muslims across the country. And it is important that we strive to overcome this. “The most painful aspect of the situation in the country now is that most of the Islamic faithful have forgotten the purpose of being sent to this world and also forgotten that they would account for all their deeds to Almighty Allah on the Day of Judgment,” Toafeek lamented. He maintained that Muslims Ummah should abstain from anything evil and distance from a place that would not make them listen to the words of Allah. He then advised the Muslims to identify with some Islamic societies which demonstrate the fear of God, saying by doing so they would be joining hands in fellowship with other Muslims to lift the banner of Islam.

Pray for end to violence, Imoke urges Muslims C ROSS River State Governor, Liyel Imoke has urged Muslims to use the fasting season to pray for an end to violence in the country and for continued peaceful co-existence among sections of Nigeria. Governor Imoke, who described Ramadan as one of the most important religious acts of Muslims, observed that it was an august period for Muslims to rededicate themselves to the essential tenets of the Islamic faith He enjoined them to be prudent and discipline in all their private and public activities.

From Kunle Johnson, Calabar

The governor commiserated with the Hausa Community in the state over the death of their leader, Alhaji Sarki Lawan. He described the deceased as a brilliant community, political and religious leader who provided good leadership for his people for more than half a century. In a condolence message to the late Sarki Lawan family and the entire Hausa/Fulani Community, Imoke said the deceased devoted his life, talent and learning to the ser-

vice of his people. “He was able to forge a cohesive and harmonious community whose core values were hardwork, enterprise, peaceful living, commerce and Islam,” he said. The Governor maintained that apart from community development, the late Sarki Lawan had represented the Hausa/Fulani in the machinery of government in the state having been an elected councilor on several occasions. Governor Imoke, observed that the late Sarki Lawan’s diplomatic skills and bridgebuilding endeavours across


ethnics lines and service to humanity were partly responsible for the conferment of the “Ada adaha ke Efik Burutu” title on him by the Obong of Calabar several years ago, a title that gave him considerable leverage in the state.


Minister seeks prayers on security


HE Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade has charged all Muslims, to use the Ramadan to pray and work towards the restoration of peace and internal security in the country. Captain Olubolade, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, James Odaudu in Abuja, said “since the Ramadan is a period of personal purification and total submission to the will of the Almighty God, working for peace and security becomes necessary as Islam, like Christianity, is acknowledged as a religion of peace.” The Minister said that reg-

From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

ular breakdown of law and order leading to loss of innocent lives and properties cannot be the hallmark of a highly religious nation like Nigeria. He called on all well meaning Nigerians to embark on activities that advance the cause of peace across the country. He expressed the hope that the much desired spiritual cleansing of Nigeria will be ushered in by the Ramadan and wished all Muslims a successful and fulfilling fasting period.

•Founder and President of Fatima Charity Foundation (FCF) and widow of the late Kafaru Tinubu, Alhaja Bintu-Fatima (fourth right) assisted by members of FCF to present a key of new motorcycle to father of new born triplets, Mr David Ololowe at Oando Filling Station, Awolowo road, Ikoyi, Lagos ...yesterday PHOTO: TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO

Aregbesola’s wife rallies support for govt

ARG hails Muslims By Tajudeen Adebanjo


FENIFERE Renewal Group (ARG) has congratulated Yoruba Muslims for the opportunity of observing this year Ramadan. ARG cautioned Muslims not to see this year’s mandatory exercise as a mere ritual of abstinence from eating, drinking, and other mundane things but to observe it, religiously, as a spiritual rejuvenation, ably buoyed by the culture of seeking and living in peace among one another. Media/Publicity Secretary of the group, Kunle Famoriyo said Muslims should see the month as a period of reflection. “We need to review where we are coming from; where we are and where we are headed as a nation and a people, especially, now that the Nigerian nation gives so little in return for the people’s industry; and now that the morale of the ordinary Nigerian is with each passing day ebbing due to lack of basic amenities. “And to our government! Time is apt to, with dispatch; address the increasing political violence across the country,” he said. The group enjoined President Goodluck Jonathan and others who have been ‘called to serve’ to use the period of Ramadan to reflect on the essence of their mission, especially at this critical time in the nation’s history, bearing in mind that they will one day be called upon to render an account of how that trust has been executed. As a way out of the woods therefore, ARG asked the government, at its various tiers, to, without further delay, “address issues of bad governance and paranoid ideologies that are fast tending towards getting us separated, instead of getting us united. Undeniably, the time to talk is now! Now is the apposite time for the country’s component units to sit down and talk with regard to how they want to run their country!”

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

•Mrs Aregbesola


IFE of Osun State governor, Mrs Sherifat Aregbesola has called on Muslim faithful to pray for the success of the present administration in Osun State during the current fasting period. Mrs Aregbesola emphasised the need for Muslims in the state to be tolerant and work towards the unity and progress of the state. She noted that the holy period should be used to reflect on the ills in the society and pray for God’s wisdom to correct them. She appealed to the privileged members of the society to be humble and extend help

to the needy, saying associating with the poor is one of the lessons of the holy month. Mrs Aregbesola urged Muslim women to respect Allah’s command by doing His bidding and that of their husbands during and after the Ramadan fasting. “This fasting period is special for us women. It provides for us an opportunity to show our strength morally and spiritually and to support our husbands. By so doing, we will enjoy the bountiful reward Allah promised us in the holy month,” she stated. According to her, the essence of Ramadan is to test mankind’s rate of tolerance in an extreme situation, adding that the month provides ample opportunity for Muslims to enrich themselves spiritually. The governor’s wife who commissioned two ambu-

lances donated to two council areas of the state by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, urged council chiefs in the state to work with the state government in reducing maternal mortality rate across the state. The council areas that benefitted from the scheme were comprehensive Health centres in Oriade and Boripe Local Government of the state. While urging pregnant women to register for Antenatal treatment at appropriate health facilities, Mrs Aregbesola said it is unforgivable for women to lose their lives in the process of giving birth, when those lives can easily be saved by providing medical facilities to the people. “Any nation that fails to take special care of its women and children puts its future in jeopardy and stands the risk of extinction. “This is why this administration gave priority to the

health of women and children,” she added. She said among the reasons for high mortality rate are delays in getting expectant mothers to health facilities and poor referral systems, adding that such problems can be addressed through the provision of logistics like ambulance, which can easily convey pregnant women to clinics. She urged the council areas that benefitted from the donation to use the ambulances for the purpose they were meant for, pledging that other council areas would soon benefit from the Ministry’s gesture. Speaking at the commissioning, the Permanent secretary of the state ministry of health, Mrs Mojisola Oladipo, applauded the state government for prioritising the healthy living of the people, saying the presentation of the ambulances came at the right time.





IMF’s Lagarde faces probe


HRISTINE Lagarde, the head of the Inter national Monetary Fund (IMF), faces an investigation into claims she mishandled a dispute involving a supporter of President Nicolas Sarkozy when she served as French finance minister. The Cour de Justice de la Republique, which oversees ministers’ actions in office, backed a prosecutor’s recommendation to investigate Lagarde’s decision to seek arbitration to end the 15year-old dispute and her refusal to appeal the arbitration decision, Gerard Palisse, a member of the court, said yesterday. Palisse, in brief comments on the steps of the court building, wouldn’t specify the reasons for the ruling. The prosecutor of the Cour de Cassation, France’s top appeals court, said in a statement the probe would focus on allegations Lagarde was complicit in falsifying documents and misuse of state assets. Yves Repiquet, Lagarde’s lawyer, said in a statement she will be cleared and that “this procedure is in no way incompatible with her functions” as the IMF’s managing director. The decision comes after Lagarde, 55, took over in June as the IMF’s first female head, replacing Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Her predecessor, also a former French finance minister, resigned in May to fight charges including sexual assault and attempted rape. The IMF board is “confident” Lagarde “will be able to effectively carry out her duties as managing director.” In an e-mailed statement, the board said it had discussed the issue before selecting her in June and said it would be inappropriate to comment further on the pending legal case.

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$119.8/barrel Cocoa - $2,856/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢78.07.pound Gold -$1,161/troy ounce Rubber - ¢146.37/pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE

-N7.82 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -10.2% Treasury Bills -2.64% Normal lending -24% Prime lending -18% Savings rate -3% 91-day NTB -6.99% Time Deposit - 6% MPR -8% Foreign Reserve -$34.4bn FOREX CFA 0.281 • 210 £ 241.00 $ 150.00 ¥ 1.5652 SDR 241.5 RIYAL 39.3

We have huge infrastructure deficit in many of our countries. I believe the solution is to continue to grow world class capital markets. It is important because for us to deploy the wealth of our nation on investment, to realise our full potential, we can raise the funds we need for infrastructure from the capital market and transform our economy. -Aruma Oteh, DG SEC

Privatisation has failed, says Jonathan • President lashes private sector P RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday ad mitted that the nation’s privatisation programme, which began in 1999 has failed and called for sanctions against unserious investors. He also lamented failures of the private sector to turn around ailing government firms sold to them. The president said contrary to expectations that government firms will be better managed by the private sector, the reverse has been the case. He, therefore, advocated sanctions should be built into future privatisation agree-

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

ment to ensure that only serious investors are involved in the programme. Jonathan spoke at the inauguration of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) held at the vice president’s wing of the presidential Villa, Abuja. The inauguration of a new council was in consonance with the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) Act 1999.

Vice President Namadi Sambo is the Chairman of the council, which also has as members Finance Minister as vice chair, Attorney General of the Federation, Minister of Trade and Investment, Minister of National Planning and Secretary to Government of the Federation. Others are governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, NLC President, Chairman, National Association of Chamber of Commerce, Indus-

try, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) and BPE DG/Secretary. The president charged the new council to tackle lapses that had hindered the survival of privatised companies in the past. He also urged the council to ensure that appropriate monitoring mechanism is built into all future privatisation agreements. “We believe the private sector will handle things better that than the public sector. But the whole story about privatisation has not been as successful as Nigerians ex-

pected it to be. “The feeling is that a number of enterprises that have been privatised by the Federal Government are not doing too well. So, these are the kinds of areas the new council members should address their minds to, the ones that had been done and the new ones that are yet to be done. “In any agreement or arrangement you will have with the private sector that will take over assets of government, we must make sure that we build monitoring into it and there has to be some sanctions,” he said.

Lagos port gets kerosene


• Managing Director, Easyfuel, Mr Tayo Olajide (left), Mr Goodie Ibru, Deputy President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and Deputy Governor, Central Bank during LCCI’s stakeholders’ forum on cash withdrawal limit policy in Lagos.

CBN eyes N2tr pension fund to address infrastructure C

ENTRAL Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Gover nor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, yesterday stated that the unlocking of the N2trillion pension funds is the only way to solve the infrastructural problems in the country. Sanusi, while speaking during the unveiling of IO Furniture Limited in Lagos, said the apex bank has recorded considerable success through the N500billion intervention fund set aside to resuscitate certain critical sectors of the economy. He said meaningful progress would be recorded if the N2trillion pension funds can be unlocked and further subsidies re-

• Manufacturers get N199b

By Akinola Ajibade

leased to meet infrastructural needs of the country. The CBN chief said he bought the idea of extending credits to certain sectors of the economy due to their strategic importance, when the proposal came to him two years ago. He said CBN and the banks will not hesitate to patronise indigenous companies that produce quality products, adding that IO furniture has set the example of what a

company can do with the facility offered to it. He added that the rationale behind N500billion fund was to provide long-term facility to companies, stating that not many companies can borrow fund and pay back within a short period of time. “ Sometimes, I’ m amazed at the kind of commentaries being run on the pages of the newspapers about the performance of CBN. Some are saying the economy is not growing. I do not know how they arrived at that. We have done

a lot to fast-track the growth of the economy. We are giving money to the sectors that are critical and of immense values to the economy. However, CBN had to use its balance sheet in a manner that is intelligent enough to contribute to economic growth”, he said. Also, the Director, Development Finance Institution, CBN, Paul Nduka Eluhaiwe, said the apex bank has disbursed over N199billion out of the N200billion earmarked for the manufacturing sector. Eluhaiwe said only N300million remained undisbursed before he left Abuja for Lagos yesterday.

UN confirms massive oil pollution in Nigeria


IL giant Shell has had a disastrous impact on the human rights of the people living in the Niger Delta in Nigeria, said Amnesty International. It was responding to a United Nation (UN) report on the effects of oil pollution in Ogoniland in the Delta region. The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has also called for the creation of a $100 billion Environmental Restoration Fund for the Niger Delta. The report from the UN environment programme is the first of its kind in Nigeria and based on two years of in-depth

• ERA seeks creation of $100b fund scientific research. It found that oil contamination is widespread and severe, and that people in the Niger Delta have been exposed for decades. “This report proves Shell has had a terrible impact in Nigeria, but has got away with denying it for decades, falsely claiming they work to best international standards,” said Amnesty International Global Issues Director, Audrey Gaughran, who has researched the human rights impacts of pollution in the Delta. The report, which was conducted at the request of the Nigerian government and

paid for by Shell, provides irrefutable evidence of the devastating impact of oil pollution on people’s lives in the Delta – one of Africa’s most bio-diverse regions. It examines the damage to agriculture and fisheries, which has destroyed livelihoods and food sources. One of the most serious facts to come to light is the scale of contamination of drinking water, which has exposed communities to serious health risks. In one case water was found to contain a known carcinogen at levels 900 times above World Health Organisation guidelines.

UNEP has recommended emergency measures to alert communities to the danger. Meanwhile, ERA/FoEN in a statement issued in Lagos yesterday welcomed the report and said the Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland, despite its short comings, has not only vindicated its worst fears about the state of the environment in Ogoniland and the Niger Delta, but also showed Shell’s atrocious breach of minimum requirements of the Environmental Guidelines and Standards for Petroleum Industries in Nigeria (EGASPIN) and its own standards.

HREE ships laden with 15,000 tonnes of kerosene are expected to have sailed into the Lagos ports yesterday and today. This is contained in a report made available to reporters yesterday in Lagos by the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA). According to the report, the ships will berth at Ibafon and Capital terminals. It said the three ships were among the 69 expected at the Lagos ports between August 4 and 30. The report said 16 of the ships contained new and second-hand vehicles while others contained bulk wheat, general cargo, bulk cement, steel products, rice, containers, soda ash, base oil and fertiliser. It said the ships were expected to berth at Greenview Development Nigeria Ltd. Terminal, Five Star Loguistics Ltd terminal and APM Terminal. The other terminals are the Ports and Terminal Multiservices Ltd, Port and Cargo Services and the TinCan Island Container Terminal Ltd.

PENGASSAN threatens strike


ETROLEUM and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has threatened to embark on strike to exact the government’s commitment to end kidnapping and insecurity in the country. The association vowed to shut down all oil and gas installations and operations in Nigeria, if the governments at the federal and state levels do not evolve the political will to end the resurgence of kidnapping and insecurity in the country. PENGASSAN President, Comrade Babatunde Ogun, said the association had concluded plans to convene an emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting next week to ratify its decision to stop all exploration, exploitation, exportation and production activities of crude oil in the country.



BUSINESS NEWS S&P’s under pressure

Flight Schedule MONDAY - FRIDAY


TANDARD & Poor’s is in the spotlight again. The question facing the credit rating agency is whether it will downgrade the triple A credit rating of the US, or whether a tentative debt deal struck in Washington involving up to $2,400 billon in deficit cuts over the next decade will avert such a move. “Standard & Poor’s has been the most explicit about a downgrade,” said Eric Green, Director of US Rates Research at TD Securities. Moody’s Investors Service, S&P’s main rival in the rating business, has already indicated its topnotch ranking of the world’s biggest economy is safe for now. Moody’s said on Friday its “review for downgrade will more likely than not conclude with a confirmation of the AAA rating, albeit with a shift to a negative outlook.” But S&P has so far, not issued any statement. It said on Monday the review of the US triple A rating, which started on July 14, was continuing. Investors are unsure what the agency will do. The main reason for this uncertainty, is S&P’s comment in its review, that it is looking to prevent the levels of US debt relative to gross domestic product from rising too far. “We expect the debt trajectory to continue increasing in the medium term, if a medium term fiscal consolidation plan of $4 trillion is not agreed upon,” S&P, said.

Delta signs MoU with NAMA By Kelvin Osa- Okunbor


HE Delta State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to boost air traffic operations in the recently inaugurated multi-billion naira Asaba Airport . Under the agreement, NAMA will deploy Air Traffic Controllers and Air Traffic Engineers to the airport for safety of flight operations while the Delta State Government will provide other logistics needed to enhance smooth services. The agency had a fortnight ago, deployed the controllers and engineers to handle flight operations. The Special Project Director, Asaba Airport, Ayemidejor, who led the government delegation to NAMA’s Lagos head office for the signing of the MoU, described the event as an epoch making for both the state government and NAMA. ‘’The signing of the document today means that Asaba Airport is safe for landing and with this endorsement by NAMA, safety cannot be compromised ‘’, Ayemidejor declared shortly after signing the document.

Tax consultants meet Monday


AX consultants under the ae gis of the Mobile Advert As sociation of Nigeria/Loading and Offloading (MOAN/ LOLAN) will hold their general meeting in Lagos on Monday. A statement by the President of the association, Otunba Mike Osimen Eboziegbe, said the meeting would deliberate on all the issues affecting the collection of mobile advert rate in all the 774 councils in the country. The statement added that the meeting, scheduled to hold at Golden Destiny Hotel, Off Awoniyi Elomo Street, Off Osolo Way, Lagos, will begin at 8a.m, urging members of the group across the country to arrive on Sunday.

• From left: Group Managing Director, Oceanic Bank Plc, Mr John Aboh; Group Managing Director, Union Bank Plc, Mrs. Funke Osibodu and Director, Banking Supervision, Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Joe Adewole, during the Bankers Committee meeting in Abuja …on Tuesday.

Blueprint to enhance economic transformation coming


HE Federal Government is developing a new blueprint to increase the country’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDIs) to enhance economic growth and development, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga, said yesterday. He also said the Trade and Investment Ministry is willing to partner with Nigerian banks to attract FDI. Speaking at the opening ceremony of a three-day retreat for directors and heads of parastatal agencies under the ministry, Aganga said the government would focus on the development of seven key sectors, including agriculture, water resources and solid minerals because of their potential for economic growth. Other areas of interest are manufacturing, oil and gas, trade and commerce as well as culture and tourism, he said. Aganga said the ministry would work with manufacturers to remove

• Ministry partners banks on FDI From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

barriers to economic growth by enhanced generation of national and social wealth through greater export and import substitution. He added: “We also intend to achieve enhanced capacity for value addition-leading to industrialisation and employment opportunities by promoting private sector investment.’’ Aganga said the government would create “an enabling environment that allow for substantial improvement in efficiency, productivity and profitability. In a related development, Aganga said investment will go a long way in solving the problem of the country. He spoke during a courtesy visit by the management of Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc led by Sola David Borha in

Abuja. Aganga said: “The desire of the nation now is to employ 5,000 people, it is not all about money, it is about people and job creation. Government alone cannot create the kind of job the people need, which is why investors are important to us. “I want to partner with banks; I expect them to be far more proactive about this. I do not belief in conferences, I belief in attracting deep pocket and track record of investment. “The banks should use their relationships with local and foreign investors to bring investment into the country. I expect bankers to be proactive in engaging foreign investors to the benefit of the nation. “The Ministry will start capturing data of people investing in Nigeria, as that department will be created soon in the ministry.

Assets of eight banks hit N6.4tr


IGHT banks recorded growths of 12.3 per cent in their total assets last year, a report compiled by The Nation has revealed. In a sample of eight banks, total assets grew from N5.7trillion in 2009 to N6.4 trillion in 2010. The banks that pooled the assets are Wema Bank Plc, Ecobank Plc, First City Merchant Bank Plc, Sterling Bank Plc and Access Bank Plc. Others are Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Plc and Skye Bank Plc. The assets, under consideration include cash in hand and balances with held with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), treasury bills, dues from financial institutions, loans and advances to customers. Also included are on-lending facilities, insurance receivables, investment securities, and investment in sub-

By Akinola Ajibade

sidiaries. Others are investment in associates, investment in properties, properties and equipment, goodwill on consolidation, and deferred tax assets. While Wema Bank increased its total assets from N150, 936, 241, 000 in 2009 to N216, 984,401,000, Ecobank Nigeria Plc raised its assets from N355, 662,000.00 to N454, 239,000. FCMB’s assets rose from N462, 810,938,000 to N537, 945,452,000, while Sterling Bank’s assets moved up move from N221,318,165.00 to N227,111,049. Access Bank’ assets grew from N693, 783,938,000 to N804, 823,772,000; Guaranty Trust Bank’s assets increased from N1, 066 trillion in 2009 to N1, 512trillion, First Bank’s assets leapt from

N2.174trillion to N2.305trilliion, while Skye Bank’s assets shot up from N632.511 billion to N705.859billion. Commenting on the issue, the former President, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANNN), Dr Samuel Nzekwe, said the increase in the assets of banks was a reflection of good performance. Nzekwe said it is evident that the banks have done more businesses, based on the rise in the values of their assets. He said the eight rescued banks are gradually improving on their balance sheets, adding that the decision to liquidate them in the event of not being able to meet the September 30 deadline set for them was not in the best interest of the industry.

Funding stops work on Gurara Dam


NABILITY of the Federal Gov ernment to release funds has been the major hindrance for completion of the Gurara dam project that was awarded to Salini Nigeria Limited in 2001. The Managing Director, Salini Nigeria Limited, Piero Capitanio, whose company was awarded the contract, disclosed this yesterday during a tour of the dam by the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Reng Ochekpe in Kaduna.

From: Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

Capitanio lamented that the contract worth N90billion, is still moving at a very slow pace as work on the dam cannot be completed in the near future because of lack of fund from the government. Though, N54billion has so far been disbursed for the project by the government. He said when completed, the dam will supply over one billion cubic metres of water for domes-

tic use. He said: “N16 billion was appropriated in the 2010 budget for the project, but only one billion was released for the job, and no reason has been given. “We still have a lot outstanding. This year, N8billion was approved for work on site, we still have not seen anything yet. Our activities have been paralysed here, but we hope that the government will pay so our work will go on.

LAGOS – ABUJA Departure Arrival 1. Aero 06.50 08.10 2. Associated 07.00 09.30 3. Air Nigeria 07.00 08.20 4. IRS 07.00 08.20 5. Dana 07.02 08.22 6. Arik 07.15 08.15 7. Chanchangi 07.15 8. Air Nigeria 08.15 09.35 9. Dana 08.10 09.20 10. Aero 08.45 10.05 11. Arik 09.15 10.15 12. Chanchangi 10.00 11.00 13. IRS 11.15 12.35 14. Dana 12.06 12.26 15. Aero 12.20 13.30 16. Air Nigeria 13.25 14.45 17. Chanchangi 13.30 14.30 18. Arik 13.45 14.45 19. IRS 14.00 15.20 20. Aero 14.10 15.30 21. Air Nigeria 14.50 16.10 22. Dana 15.30 16.50 23. Chanchangi 15.30 16.30 24. Arik 15.50 16.50 25. Aero 16.00 17.20 26. IRS 16.30 17.50 27. Arik 16.50 17.50 28. Dana 17.10 18.30 29. Chanchangi 17.30 18.30 30. Air Nigeria 17.35 18.55 31. Air Nigeria (T/TH) 18.30 19.50 32. Arik 18.45 19.45 33. Aero 19.20 20.40 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

LAGOS – BENIN Arik 07.30 Associated 08.30 Aero 10.50 Arik 11.45 Associated 13.00 Aero 14.25 Arik 15.30 Associated 16.00

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

1. Arik 2. Aero 1. 2. 3. 4.

LAGOS – CALABAR 07.30 11.20 12.50 16.00 LAGOS – JOS 10.55 11.15

LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10

08.30 09.10 11.50 12.45 13.40 15.20 16.30 16.40 08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20 12.15 12.45 09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20

LAGOS – PORT HARCOURT (CIVIL) 1. Aero 07.15 08.35 2. Arik 07.15 08.35 3. Arik 09.00 10.20 4. Dana 09.27 10.40 5. Aero 10.50 12.30 6. Arik 11.40 13.00 7. Air Nigeria 12.00 13.10 8. IRS 13.30 15.00 9. Arik 14.00 15.20 10. Dana 15.03 16.20 11. Air Nigeria 16.00 17.10 12. Arik 16.10 17.30 13. Aero 16.15 17.30 14. Arik 17.10 18.30 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

LAGOS – OWERRI Aero 07.30 Arik 07.30 Air Nigeria 13.40 Arik 14.00 Arik 16.30

08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55

09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

LAGOS – KANO Air Nigeria 07.10 IRS 08.00 Dana 08.10 Arik 12.20 IRS 14.00 IRS 18.15

08.50 09.45 09.40 14.00 15.45 19.55

LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30

08.30 15.10 17.40

LAGOS – UYO 10.35


1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik 1. Dana

LAGOS – MAIDUGURI 1. IRS 11.15 13.15 2. Arik 15.50 18.00 LAGOS – ILORIN 1. Overland 07.15 2. Arik (M/T/TH/F) 17.30

08.00 18.00

LAGOS – ABUJA SAT/SUN Arik 7.15; 10.20; 2.20; 5.20pm – 7.30; 9.15; 10.20; 2.20; 4.50; 6.45 Aero 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 – 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 Air Nigeria 08.15; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30 – 08.15; 13.30; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30





• Oshiomhole

• Sylva

• Imoke

• Idris


• Nyako

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has just released the timetable for the next set of elections. The governors in five of the six states are doing all they can to return to office. What are their strategies? Who are their opponents? How do the parties stand? Group Political Editor BOLADE OMONIJO previews the governorship poll in the states.

Six governors and their 2012 agenda E

VERY play has its Acts and Scenes. There are stages and actors. Actresses, too. So it is with the electoral system of Nigeria. The reform process has taken different turns. This year’s elections provided the first test of the provisions of the electoral law and enabled stakeholders to review how far the electoral commission, the federal executive and legislature had gone in cleaning up the system and traveled the road that leads to credible polls. Already, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has set up a team to evaluate its and other institutions’ performance during the 2011 general elections. A high ranking official of INEC told The Nation that the national commissioners are determined to see Nigeria join the rank of countries conducting free and fair polls as soon as possible, hence the release on Wednesday of the time table of elections billed to take place mainly next year. The Edo election is scheduled for July 2012, a clear one year ahead even when section 30 of the Electoral Act mandates the commission to publish the Notice of Poll “not later than 60 days” before the tenure of the concerned public office holder expires. By the notice published, while the Kogi governorship election is billed for December 3 this year, Adamawa’s is fixed for January 14 next year. Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa and his opponents shall have their fate determined by the electorate on February 11, 2012, Wamakko of Sokoto takes his turn on March 10. Cross River State Governor Liyel Imoke shall have his renewal of term bid examined on April 14 while Comrade Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State shall face the electorate on July 14. The tenure of Governor Ibrahim Idris expires on April 4, 2012, but INEC wants his successor known four months ahead of the exit date. Idris, having served the maximum two terms allowed by law, is ineligible for the election. He, however, has interest in who emerges his successor. In the six governorship elections coming up next year, the governors are interested in tenure renewal. There is a controversy over whether they are eligible, morally and legally, to contest if the proposal to introduce a single term sails through the National and State Assemblies. It promises to be a thrilling, epic drama, with many pulsating moments.

Shape of the race Bayelsa: It’s Alaibe versus Sylva On the Bayelsa stage, there are two major actors. Expected to fly the flag of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is Governor Sylva while Chief Timi Alaibe is expected to feature as the flag bearer of the Labour Party. Alaibe’s


Expiration of term

Earliest date Latest date for election for election

Notice of election Not later than Election Date

Kogi Adamawa Bayelsa Sokoto C/River Edo

April 4, 2012 April 30, 2012 May 27, 2012 May 28, 2012 Aug 27, 2012 Nov. 12, 2012

Nov. 5, 2011 Nov 28, 2011 Dec. 7, 2011 Dec. 8, 2011 March 24, 12 June 16, 2012

August 7, 2011 August 30, 2011 Sept. 7, 2011 Sept 8, 2011 Dec. 23, 2011 March 16, 2012

March 5, 2012 March 31, 2012 April 27, 2012 April 28, 2012 July 26, 2012 Oct. 11, 2012

Dec 3, 2011 Jan 14, 2012 Feb. 11, 2012 March 10, 2012 April 14, 2012 July 14, 2012

How the parties stand Kogi Adamawa Bayelsa Sokoto Cross River Edo

PDP Strong Strong Strong Strong Strong Strong

ACN Strong Strong Weak Fair Weak Strong

ANPP Weak Weak Weak Fair Weak Weak

governorship ambition dates to 2000 when he started putting together a structure that he hoped to push aside Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha. It was a tough duel and it took the intervention of President Olusegun Obasanjo to separate the two men. The truce was the grand return of Alaibe to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) where he was the Managing Director and Chief Executive with a promise that he would have another shot in 2007. Alaibe lost that round to Alamieyeseigha. However, the game plan changed when Alamieyeseigha collapsed politically after he was indicted of corruption in London and removed from office. He was succeeded by his deputy, Goodluck Jonathan in 2005. Alaibe expected that the terms of the truce would be kept, but Jonathan as the incumbent governor chose to slug it out. Again, Alaibe was trounced in the internal duel to pick the PDP candidate, even after Jonathan, by sheer providence, was promoted to Vice-Presidential candidate. The man who won at the expense of Alaibe is Sylva who

CPC Weak Fair Weak Fair Weak Weak

DPP Weak Weak Weak Fair Weak Weak

LP Weak Weak Strong Weak Weak Weak

KOWA Weak Weak Weak Weak Weak Weak

had campaigned vigorously for the ex-NDDC chief four years earlier. A friendship that politics had put together had been torn asunder by electoral interest. The two men are at it again. They had been picked as governorship candidates by their parties and were to have tested their strength at the poll in April. The courts ruled that Sylva could enjoy the office for an extra year. They are unlikely to encounter much difficulty in the party primaries. If the last legislative elections were a guide to the likely performance of the two men, the duel would be given to Sylva. The PDP won all seats but three in the State House of Assembly . The LP was only able to manage to win one state seat. The PDP cleared all available Senate and House of Representatives seats. The victory is being queried by the opposition parties, but the results stand at the moment. Sylva is in control of the Bayelsa political space. Alaibe had counted on the support of President Jonathan, but, as leader of the ruling party, the Chief Executive of the federation

‘There is a controversy over whether they are eligible, morally and legally, to contest if the proposal to introduce a single term sails through the National and State Assemblies. It promises to be a thrilling, epic drama, with many pulsating moments’

chose to back his party’s official choice despite his frosty with Sylva. If the support continues, it will be difficult for Alaibe to emerge, despite his heavy war chest. Alaibe cannot be dismissed. The struggle for Bayelsa continues until February 12, 2012.

Kogi: Audu takes on Echocho? The Northcentral state is one where not is settled; nothing can be taken for granted. Alhaji Jubril Isah Echocho emerged the PDP candidate for governorship of the state following a rancorous primary election in January. Many of those who had contested for the ticket with him kicked. Former Attorney General of the Federation Bayo Ojo is one of them. He complained that guidelines released by the party were grossly violated, but chose not to pursue the matter. Others who contested for the single PDP ticket were Sola Akanmode, Abiodun Ojo, Philip Salau, Saliu Atawodi and Ogirmia Raji. The main contest was between Echocho and Isah Kutepa. Echocho got the endorsement of 361 delegates at the primary election while Kutepa was a close second with 303 votes. The battle dragged to the Wadata Plaza, Abuja headquarters of the PDP and the law courts. Echocho triumphed. Would he be second time lucky? Going by the verdict of the Supreme Court on the case filed by Dr. Andy Uba who presumed that he should be treated as the governor-in-waiting following the court verdict that the 2007 governorship poll in Anambra was conducted in error, Uba who had been declared winner by INEC held that his mandate should be recognized at the end of Governor Peter Obi’s first tenure. The apex court dismissed the plea and held that there was no election. In the ensuing election held last year, Uba was not even handed the PDP ticket. It went to Professor Charles Soludo. The same rule may apply in this case. The machinery for a fresh primary may be set by the PDP which would enable Echocho to test his strength. A former Executive Director of troubled Afribank, Echocho is said to have all the money required to lubricate the electoral machine. However, his opponents within and outside the party are expected to use an alleged pending case with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against him. Kutepa will press the necessary buttons. One factor that counted for Echocho the last time was the support of Governor Ibrahim •Continued on page 18




Why Ondo is rooting for ACN, by Anifowose Ondo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Chairman Mrs Jumoke Anifowose spoke with reporters on the Mimiko Administration and preparations for 2013 governorship polls. EMMANUEL OLADESU was there.


HAT is your assessment of the ACN in Ondo State? We are progressing very well. We are on the field talking to many people to join our party. We have our Mobilisation and Contact Committee on ground moving from one local government to another and encouraging the people of the state that ACN is the party of the moment in the Southwest. We are trying to convince them to see reason why they should not be an Island in south west. It is only Ondo state that is not being governed by an ACN governor. So, we want to be like our counterparts in the other parts of the south west. We are working very hard as I said. We are moving round to talk to people who we feel should be part and parcel of ACN in Ondo state. But can ACN dislodge Labour Party in the state? We are not comfortable at all with Labour Party government in Ondo state. The party has not impressed anybody because we don’t know what they are doing. The masses in the state are not happy with them. If you take a tour to the nooks and crannies of the state, you will see unhappiness on the faces of the masses. In the length and breadth of Ondo state, there is mass poverty. There is no conducive environment even to start your own business. Even the businesses that are ongoing, they have to pack up because their ware houses, stalls and other places where they are selling have been demolished by the government in power without any alternative given to them to manage the affairs of their business. So, so many things are just wrong. Where do I start from? Do I start from education where the government says it is building Mega Schools? And the money being used to build Mega Schools can be used to refurbish the existing ones which roofs are leaking. During this rainy season, some students virtually vacate their classrooms to manage in other classes. There are so many things wrong educationally. Or is the bursary and scholarship award that should be given to Ondo state students in tertiary institutions that are owed over two years’ arrears? And the government will come to the pages of newspapers to say they have paid these students. In interviews and press releases from these students, they have shouted that they have not been paid. So, who is the government deceiving? It is just propaganda on the pages of newspapers which I don’t think is necessary. If you are doing your work very well, your work will speak for you. It is not when you advertise or eulogise yourself on the pages of newspapers or on radio and tel-

•Continued from page 17

Idris whose associate, Hon. Clarence Olafemi, the erstwhile Speaker of the State Assembly is running with Echocho as would-be deputy governor. The other political party making waves in the state is the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Its rank and chances have been buoyed by the defection of former Governor Ibrahim Audu from the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) to the ACN. Is this a blessing or a curse? Audu is a crowd puller. His supporters have since swelled the rank of the ACN, but there are fears that the original members of the party may not readily support any move to cede the governorship ticket to the former governor. Before the Kogi poll was stopped along with four others, former Aso Villa chaplain Yusuf Obaje had been handed the ACN ticket. Also actively involved in the race was Chief Rotimi Obadofin. The buck may stop on the desk of the party’s national leaders. Other parties existing in the state include the CPC and ANPP, but their structures are very weak. What remains of the ANPP that ruled the state between 1999 and 2003 after Audu pulled out makes it too fragile. Echocho or Kutepa; Audu or Obaje? The picture will be clearer in the months ahead.

Oshiomhole set to re-enact form in Edo

• Mrs Anifowose

evision that people will know that you are working. Your work should speak for itself. The work of Chief Obafemi Awolowo continues till today to speak for itself. The work of my father-Ajasin- is speaking for him till today. I see no reason why any government should be eulogising itself. They are squandering money on unnecessary advertisements, the money that should be used for better programmes and for developmental projects for the progress of the state and which can better the life of the people of the state. But is the LP government not fighting the infrastructure battle enough? It is so funny particularly the OyemekunAdesida road that the last administration of Dr. Olusegun Agagu did, I don’t know what was wrong with it that they have demolished it. They demolish, reconstruct, demolish and reconstruct! They say they want to beautify it. We have gone abroad, we have not seen where flowers are being planted on commercial street where business activities are booming. Have they contacted Urban and Regional planners before embarking on their unnecessary beautification exercise? And where people are hungry, what would they do with beautification of streets! So, I cannot understand. It is commonsensical that you don’t plant flowers on such street

but they say they want to plant flowers. I then ask, for what purpose? On empty stomach? Which government are they expecting? Of course, ACN. People are calling me every day, they are sending messages to me praying that ACN government will come to displace the Labour Party government now on ground. They are not satisfied with the performance of the government. They are disappointed that the electioneering promises are not fulfilled. ACN has its manifesto. It has a grand plan for the whole of the south west. Of course, from education which we all know is the main stay of the south west. I mean, free, unadulterated education, which ACN will follow to the letter. We will not pronounce free education and do it half heartedly. Things will be done properly in the education sector. Health services too, at least I have had the advantage of visiting one of the caring hospitals that the government set up which is co-financed by the World Bank. The patients are using their covering clothes as bed sheets. As I keep telling people, what is worth doing, worth doing well. If we want to do it as an ACN government, we will make sure we do things properly. We will not allow patients to use their covering clothes as bed sheets. You can even contaminate the environment with such personal covering clothes. Why did ACN not perform well in the last general elections? ACN did not do well because we could not match the government money for money. They spent a whole lot of money. They spent over N3 billion. Some people even told me that they spent far more than that. They said the government spent up to N9.3 billion on that election. And a night before the election, each Local Government was given N250 million. I also experienced the money influence in my polling unit. But I did not allow the man that brought the money to utilise it. I drove him away and that was how I was able to win my polling unit. How many people could have the gut to shout, rave, create a scene and ward off such an intruder? That was exactly what happened. There was much money influence on the day of the election. And sadly and unfortunately, the security and INEC officials looked the other way because they think it was none of their business since there was no violence. They tuned away their eyes from the corrupt practices. What is your expectation about the 2013 governorship poll? Well, you know we are the only state now left out in the Southwest mainstream. So, all eyes are on Ondo state. So, vigilance is the

watchword. But we are going to do it and I am not going to divulge our strategy on the pages of the newspapers. It is a secret that is not yet for media consumption. The secret of my trade, I will not let out. As a woman chairman, what are the challenges? No, I won’t say I am overwhelmed because the people that are working with me have been very cooperative and very supportive. I want to say a very big thank you to them. They have been nice to me and I don’t even feel that I am a woman. And even despite the fact that I am a woman does not mean that I can not do what a man can do and even do it better. Even I keep on telling people what President Barack Obama said about his grand mother. Hear him: “I have been raised to understand that women are able to do all things that men can do and some things that men cannot do.” That is Obama talking about his grand mother. So, women are multi-talented. We can multi-task. Like when we are feeding our babies, we can as well be cooking in the kitchen. When we are cooking in the kitchen, we also have the capacity to be washing our babies’ napkins. So, we can juggle assignment. We can manage resources. In fact, we are better resources managers. Sure, we manage resources better than men. What is your assessment of women participation in politics I wont say we don’t have women in politics. May be we don’t have very many educated women, and women in executive cadres in politics. But we have quite a number of women in active politics now. And in my own position as a state Chairman of a national party, I keep encouraging more women to join active politics. Those of us who are active and educated should encourage our women folks to join politics. Women should be in politics so that we can have better society. We raise our children and our men to the level of whatever position they are. We are all born of women. Well, may be we can even have the first female governor in Ondo state by next year November. It is not impossible. Whether I am aspiring or not? I will say I am building my party in Ondo state. I want to make sure it has a firm root on the ground. So, until the party is very strong, I wont be able to answer your question whether I am aspiring or not. It is not impossible for a woman to emerge as the next Ondo state governor. What stops women from coming out to contest for it? It is not written on the faces of men that the position is their exclusive birth right.

Six governors and their 2012 agenda Adam Oshiomhole who assumed office in 2008 as the elected governor of the state on the platform of the ACN is the new strong man of Edo politics. To arrive at the point, he had to dethrone Chief Tony Anenih of the PDP. At the time that Oshiomhole assumed office following judicial intervention, the PDP was firmly in charge of the state. It had control of the legislature and the local government councils. Batons have since changed hands and ACN controls all the political structures in the state. Except for Edo Central where the PDP still holds sway, the whole state is now in the Oshiomhole bracket. There is little or no doubt that the ACN is set to overcome all opposition on its way to office next year.

Imoke rules the waves in Cross River The opposition in Cross River State is led by the ACN. However, its current form is nothing to worry Governor Liyel Imoke’s bid to return to the Calabar Government House. In the April elections, PDP almost swept away every obstacle on the way to its total dominance of the state. The ACN was only able to win one seat in the House of Assembly. This is obviously a measure of the strength

of the parties. The PDP ticket is obviously for the incumbent to keep and there is hardly anyone of stature available in the ranks of the opposition parties to pose any threat to the governor.

Adamawa: Nyako, Marwa, Gindir to square up at poll Before the five governors finally won their legal battle against the INEC bid t lump them with governors whose terms were up in April, Marcus Gindir had emerged the ACN candidate in Adamawa State. Former Lagos State Military Administrator Mohammed Buba Marwa had picked the CPC ticket following a defection from the PDP where he had irreconcilable differences with Governor Nyako. The governor had, after battles, succeeded in obtaining the PDP flag. But, things might have changed. The force against Nyako in the PDP is potent. He has to wrestle against Senator Jibril Aminu, Senator Paul Wampana, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. The array of forces appears indomitable. So, the first obstacle for the governor to scale will come from the PDP hierarchy. He will then, if he succeeds in scaling the hurdle face stiff challenge from Marwa who is making waves in the state and Gindir whose party

had a decent showing at the April polls. Gindir has the support of such leaders as Ibrahim Bapetel who was flag bearer of the party in 2007 and the 2008 rerun and e-Governor Boni Haruna. In Adamawa, it is too early and too close to call the governorship race.

Wamakko set to coast to victory in Sokoto The Sokoto race is fairly predictable. Form a fragile structure that Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko had in 2007 when he had incumbent Governor Attahiru Bafarawa who was promoter of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) to contend with, he now appears to be on a rollercoaster ride to power. His party, PDP, is not the only one in the state. There are the DPP, CAN to which Bafarawa now belongs, ANPP and CPC. However, the April legislative polls have exposed the standing of the opposition parties. The party won the three senatorial seats, all federal constituencies and all 30 state Assembly seats. Wamakko may just be awaiting coronation and fresh inauguration. If he wins, he would have been in office for five years and set for another term of six years if the Jonathan single-term proposal sails through.




Report of NBA Committee on crisis in the Judiciary Presented to the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Joseph Bodunrin Daudu (SAN) on July 8, 2011 at the NBA National Secretariat, Abuja

ent and effective NJC The NJC was first constituted in 2000 under the 1999 Constitution. It has been in operation for over twelve years. After its operation for that period, it is desirable that the NJC be radically reformed to make the Council independent and effective. Accordingly, NBA is advised to propose amendment to Para. 20 of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution as follows:

• Continued from yesterday

Para. 20


P to and including the tenure of Lord Francis Bacon, the Lord Chancellor of England in the 16th Century, the judiciary in England was perceived as corrupt just as the Nigerian judiciary is perceived today. The English people from all walks of life rose against the evil of corruption and fought to correct and eradicate this vice of the Judges. Bishop Hugh Latimer in his sermon ‘Omnes diligent munera’ delivered before the middle of the 16th Century in England said of bribes and judges: “They all love bribes. Bribery is a princely kind of thieving. They will be waged by the rich, either to give sentence against the poor, or to put off the poor man’s cause. This is the noble theft of princes and magistrates. They are bribe-takers. Nowadays they call them gentle rewards. Let them leave their colouring, and call them by their Christian name – bribes.” In Nigeria whether you call it public relations or lobbying, the bottom line is that it is Bribe and bribe is the end product of corruption. The era when the judges in England were generally perceived as corrupt came to an end in the year 1620 when the Lord Chancellor, Lord Francis Bacon, the Lord Viscount of St. Albans was prosecuted in the House of Lords by the House of Commons. He was convicted on his own confession on the 3rd of May, 1620. That was the day the House of Lords convicted the Lord Chancellor of England, and imposed a punitive sentence on him as a deterrent to his peers. The sentence read out by the Chief Justice of England stated: “That the Lord Viscount of St. Albans, Chancellor of England shall undergo a fine and ransom of £40,000. That he shall be imprisoned in the Tower during the King’s pleasure. That he shall forever be incapable of any office or place or employment in the State or Commonwealth. That he shall never sit in Parliament nor come within the verge of the Court.” Harsh, yes, we may say, but that was how strongly the people of England revolted against corruption and it taught a lesson that was clear. Bacon himself acknowledged this lesson when he remarked: “After this example, it is like that Judges will fly from anything that is in the likeness of corruption (though it were at a great distance) as from a serpent.” (Quotes from Lord Denning – Landmarks in the Law). (e) If the lesson of Lord Bacon’s conviction and sentence changed the English public perception of English judges as corrupt, the same lesson ought to be learnt by Nigerians and Nigerian judges who are the inheritors of the Common Law tradition of England under which Lord Bacon was convicted and sentenced. A rigorous disciplinary regime in the judiciary will go a long way in the fight against corruption in the judiciary. Harsh sanctions such as was done in Lord Bacon’s case will send the right message to the right quarters to demonstrate the people’s total condemnation of bribery in the judiciary as a way of life. Once the Nigerian people truly accept that corruption is an evil and is a dangerous crime and sin, then no Nigerian and in particular, no Lawyer will make the mistake the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo said he made when he joined a welcoming party to welcome home from prison, a jailed politician found guilty of crime and sentenced by a Court of law.

Committee’s recommendation On Appointment of Judges

•Justice Katsina-Alu

Having carefully examined the shortcomings in the process for the appointment of judicial officers nationwide, the Committee has come to the conclusion that the Nigerian Bar Association can and must make serious impact in the process of appointing judicial officers even under the existing provisions. The Bar must be sufficiently mobilized and directed not to stand idly by like a toothless bull dog wagging its tail while trespassers are opening the safe. The Bar should utilize existing inadequate and faulty procedures for the appointment of Judges within the present NJC Guidelines for appointment of Judges. The Bar can make headway which the country will appreciate now or in the future. Accordingly, the Committee recommends as follows: 1. NEC at the National level and the Branch Executives of the NBA branches in each of the six (6) geo-political zones in the country to immediately establish a purpose vehicle to be known as National Judicial Appointment Monitoring Group (NJAMG) for all appointments nationwide and the Zonal Judicial Appointment Monitoring Committee (ZJAMC) for each geo-political zone. The functions of the two purpose vehicles shall include: i) Responding through the NBA President to references made to the NBA in respect of applicants short-listed for appointment and advising him whether on the facts known to the Bar, the short-listed candidate is a fit and proper person for judicial appointment. ii) Making representation and or recommendation through the NBA representatives serving in Federal or State Judicial Service Commissions as to available and suitable candidates from the Bar and Law Faculties of Universities for the consideration of the Judicial Service Commissions. iii) Submitting to NJC through the NBA President representation or objection or opposition where the JSC recommends to the NJC, a candidate which the Bar reasonably considers unsuitable for appointment as a judicial officer. iv) Advising the NBA President on representations to the Senate and or Houses of Assembly where confirmation of such appointment of a judicial officer requires the consent or approval of either the Senate or the House of Assembly for such appointment and to appear and represent the NBA at confirmation hearings either at the Senate or the Houses of Assembly. v) Do such other things or take such other action including making representations to the appointing authorities on behalf of the Nigerian Bar Association on question of appointment of judicial officers. (2) NEC to take steps to bring to the at-

•Justice Salami

tention of Mr. President and the leadership of the National Assembly the need to review paragraphs 20 and 21 of the Third Schedule to the Constitution so as to make the NJC truly independent and to remove therefrom, the obnoxious proviso to paragraph 21 restricting the participation of NBA representatives in the NJC proceedings. (3) NBA as a matter of extreme urgency should make a strong and sustained case for the appointment of suitable and available candidates from the practicing Bar and the Academic Lawyers directly to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. (4) The NBA to look at the question of succession to the headship of Courts of Records in Nigeria and advise whether the present Constitutional provisions which leaves no room for the appointment of a head of Court from outside the Supreme Court or the judiciary in this day and age is the best and only way of succeeding to the position of CJN or headship of any court. (5) The Bar should set up a Committee to review the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at least in so far as it affects the judiciary and the administration of justice nationwide and to make recommendations for presentation to the Federal Government and other stakeholders. NBA work for and adopt as part of its fundamental policies: 1. Objective interpretation of the qualifying requirement for appointment as a judge/ justice in the Constitution to mean consecutive academic/ legal practice for the minimum number of years required. While appointment to the High Court Bench could be from the Bar, Magistracy or Ministry of Justice, applicants must show evidence of continuous relevant practice for the prescribed years. Secondment of Justices of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal to the High Court to serve as Chief Judge until the age of 65 when they return to their substantive positions in the Court from which they were seconded in the first place. Appointment to the bench should be based on merit, professionalism, competence, diligence, integrity and hard work. Need for more openness and transparency in appointment and discipline of Judges. Need for improved consultation arrangements in judicial appointments by involving the Nigerian Bar Association and civil society in judicial appointments to ensure that appointees have clean practice records. Need for an enhanced performance review to ensure that judicial officers do not take security of tenure as a license for indolence, ineptitude and corruption. Reform NJC and establish an independ-

The NJC shall comprise the following members to be appointed by the President subject to confirmation by the Senate. i) One retired CJN or retired Justice of the Supreme Court as Chairman. ii) Two retired justices of the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal. iii) One retired President of the Court of Appeal. iv) One retired Chief Judge of a State. v) One retired Grand Khadi vi) One retired President of the Customary Court of Appeal. vii) Five members of the NBA of not less than 15 years post call to the Bar to be nominated by the National Executive Committee of the NBA. viii) Two laymen of unquestionable character who retired from Public service with a rank of not less than a Director or from the Armed Forces. The proposed change in the composition of the Council will have the effect of: i) vesting discipline of judicial officers in the hands of non serving judicial officers; ii) making the NJC an independent disciplinary body free from influence, or control of serving judicial officers; iii) preventing a serving CJN from serving as Chairman of the Commission and thereby insulate the high office of the CJN from controversy; iv) relieving the CJN of the burden of nominating and/ or appointing members of the Commission; and v) leaving the selection of candidates for judicial appointment in the hands of competent, honest and trusted stakeholders in the legal profession.

Discipline - Recommendation

There must be in practice, an independent, fair, transparent and rigorous disciplinary mechanism for judges, while giving them the right to a fair hearing, legal representation and an appeal in any disciplinary matter. In this way, the country will be saved from having to leave the correction of wrong doing in the hands of those or friends of those who are accused of committing it. There is a need for discipline of judicial officers not to be too secretive. This will serve as caution to other judges, and give the public the sense of some accountability in the judiciary. The NJC must carry out initial rigorous investigation either by its members/or through appointed senior legal practitioners or other persons of integrity of all allegations against judicial officers. If the allegations have been investigated and in the view of the NJC ought to be dismissed, concrete reasons must be given for such.

PART V Legal Practitioners who promote corruption in a variety of ways

By its terms of reference, the Committee is mandated to look into the question as to Legal Practitioners who promote corruption in a variety of ways and to do other things that are necessarily incidental to the work of the Committee. The Committee hereby restates once more that throughout its work, not a single memo or response was received complaining of any act of corruption or any action which amounted to promotion of corruption against any Legal Practitioner. Although members have variously heard of the activities of Legal Practitioners with respect to corruption of Judges and Justices, the Committee cannot take a

•To be Continued











Karen Igho’s win •An unlikely Nigerian performance weaves a quintessentially Nigerian story


FTER several weeks, Big Brother Africa ended with dramatic wins. Nigerian Karen Igho, the fourth from this country to wield the garland since its inception, was predicted by many who saw her put up a daily potpourri of visceral honesty, edgy humour, fights and play as she jousted others for the top prize. She shared the prize with Wendall Parson, a white Zimbabwean who played a game of calculated retreat and poise. It was the first time two winners would emerge in the six seasons it has featured. This year’s edition has improved from its vintage past of raw nerves and sex, bathroom nudity and unrestrained words. In spite of what still are the imperfections of the show, there were visible attempts by the organisers to step it up in sensitivity to critics. Igho, rough-hewn with many tattoos, won for herself and country, and she carted in the sum of $200,000 (approximately N30 million).Big Brother Africa follows after reality television shows that have featured all over the world. Reality shows often are condemned for being canned.The participants are actors under the full glare of cameras. But in shows in which participants are exposed routinely to the world day and night, week in and week out, it is hard for the characters not to show their true colours. That is why inevitably persons snap, get into fights, deploy expletives in

unguarded moments, embarrass themselves. When they commit mistakes or fumble in play or word, they are forced to be who they are, either trying to repair their images or are defiant. In the story of Nigeria’s Karen Igho, she revealed that Big Brother participant story is part biography, part acting, part psychology study. The context is the gathering of young men and women on the continent. They come from different families, but also different cultures. Each person is aware that they want to win for themselves, but they also represent something larger than themselves: family, peers, country. So when they fight, they sometimes feel they are also defending their values, their countries, their families. Hence when the svelte model Vimbai had a rift with Karen, she made invocations of her home country Zimbabwe. When Karen put herself up for eviction, and her fellow Nigerian Vina saved her apologetically by reason of being a fellow national. It has also shown how close and accommodating African cultures are of themselves. The playmates exchanged yarns and whipped up curiosity from others about commonplaces of habits and customs in their own countries. In spite of the niceties of play, friendships and camaraderie, it was a game of winners and losers. So it brought out the primal spirit of humans: the backstabbing, the insidious manoeuvres. It reminds one and all

of the real story of life. When humans are huddled together and survival is at stake, friendship is sacrificed for individual triumph. As the audiences watched, they saw otherwise decent people collapse to petty lies and deceptive civilities. It is a show in which we could be looking at the same dramas in our families, workplaces, social groups, market associations, political parties. Yet it is also a contest of person and group, the individual understanding that the individual is alone if he or she loses. So they exploit the advantage of self and group to the advantage of self. That was why the story of Karen Igho thrilled many. Hers is a story of deprivation from birth and bareknuckle upbringing. She triumphed with humour and unpretentious hard work. It is a story we could use as a country.

‘This year’s edition has improved from its vintage past of raw nerves and sex, bathroom nudity and unrestrained words. In spite of what still are the imperfections of the show, there were visible attempts by the organisers to step it up in sensitivity to critics’

Edwin Ume-Ezeoke (1935-2011) •No comets as former speaker of House passes on at 75


HE death of Chief Edwin UmeEzeoke on August 1 in far-away India ought to elicit two quick posers from critical minds. The first is that, is there a difference between a full life and a fulfilled life? The second and related question is whether attaining high offices in life is an achievement in itself. Chief Ume-Ezeoke lived what may be considered a full life and by dint of hard work and political acuity he attained high office and was in public glare most of his life. At 44, in 1979, he became the Speaker of the House of Representatives, making him the number four person in the national order of precedence. He held the position for four years during the Second Republic. Another high point of UmeEzeoke’s life was being one of the founding fathers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by playing very active roles in the G-34 which became the nucleus of the PDP. Perhaps, not finding enough room in the emergent mega party, he left to facilitate the merger of the All Peoples Party (APP) and United Nigeria Democratic Party (UNDP) to form the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP). It was in the ANPP that Ume-Ezeoke spent the better part of his political life in the Fourth Republic, though without notable impact on the polity. He was deputy chairman of the Board of Trustees (BOT); acting chairman, BOT and eventually, national

chairman of the party for years. In 2007, still under the platform of the ANPP, he ran as running mate to the party’s candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd). For years, the ANPP under the chairmanship of Ume-Ezeoke failed to seize the opportunity of being Nigeria’s chief opposition party as well as the alternative to the PDP. Even though ANPP made deep inroad in the North by winning some states there, Ume-Ezeoke could not provide his party adequate leadership to consolidate and take its place in the sun. The denouement seemed to have come for ANPP when Ume-Ezeoke led a faction of the party to denounce its flag bearer’s challenge of the 2007 election in court. For a man who was running mate and leader, he chose to pally with the ruling PDP and preferred petty appointments in the so-called unity government of the party under the short-lived President Umaru Yar’Adua administration. That marked the decline and final crash of the party as Buhari left, obviously in anger, to start another party. The ANPP apparently lost its soul and anchored to the dust after the last election, as it did not win any state. Ume-Ezeoke was well educated, having started off from his Amichi, Nnewi South hometown. He attended St.Patrick’s, Calabar, for secondary school and then proceeded

to Northwestern Polytechnic (HSC) and Holbon College of Law, University of London where he obtained an LLB. He also attained a post- graduate diploma in law. He was a founding member of the Nigerian Legal Aid Association which was the forerunner of the Nigerian Legal Aid Council. Born on September 8, 1935, Ume-Ezeoke was awarded the national honour of the Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR). He lived a full life of political participation but chose to ride the opportunistic waves, shunning the high tides that change destinies and shape history. But he was a good man of simple mind.

‘For years, the ANPP under the chairmanship of UmeEzeoke failed to seize the opportunity of being Nigeria’s chief opposition party as well as the alternative to the PDP. Even though ANPP made deep inroad in the North by winning some states there, UmeEzeoke could not provide his party adequate leadership to consolidate and take its place in the sun... But he was a good man of simple mind’

Who will help the Syrians?


S many as 1,600 courageous Syrians have been slaughtered since pro-democracy demonstrations began in March. On Wednesday, after three days of shelling, President Bashar al-Assad ordered his military to storm Hama, the city where his father killed up to 20,000 people three decades ago. Where has the international community been? Shamefully paralyzed. On Wednesday, the United Nations Security Council finally issued a statement condemning “widespread violations of human rights and the use of force against civilians by the Syrian authorities” — but with no threat of sanctions. For two months, Russia, China, India, Brazil and South Africa had blocked any action at all. They have allowed Mr. Assad to believe that he can keep killing and pay no price. The statement, of course, is better than silence. We would like to believe that even this faint change of heart by Moscow — a long-time military supplier and patron — will grab Mr. Assad’s attention. But we suspect that he will instead focus on how Russia managed to water down the language in a ridiculous bid for even-handedness. The Security Council’s statement unfairly blames the protesters when it urges “all sides to act with utmost restraint, and to refrain from reprisals, including attacks against state institutions.” And it gives Mr. Assad — who needs to be gone — a lifeline by urging his government to implement its now thoroughly discredited “commitments” to reform. It is going to take a lot more pressure to persuade Mr. Assad that his time is up — or to persuade those enabling him to switch sides. The Council needs to impose tough sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes on Mr. Assad and all of his top aides. It should refer the Syrian leader and his thugs to the International Criminal Court for a war crimes investigation and direct states to halt investment in Syria’s government-run energy sector. More dithering will only mean more killings. The United States and the European Union have done a much better job, although not as clearly and swiftly as needed. They have imposed several rounds of travel bans and asset freezes on Mr. Assad and his henchmen — Europe added more names to its list on Monday. They need to ratchet up the pressure. One idea is for the top consumers of Syrian oil — Germany, Italy, France and the Netherlands — to stop buying it. The exports are small enough that a suspension would have little effect on world prices but would still have a big impact on Damascus. There should be no new investments in Syria’s energy sector. Turkey, once one of Syria’s closest allies and now a critic, needs to use all of its leverage. Washington, the European Union and Turkey should also be pressing the cowardly Arab League to stand with the Syrian people. On Tuesday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met Syrian opposition members. Washington and its allies should do all they can to help lay the groundwork for a democratic, post-Assad Syria. Right now, they need to marshal every possible diplomatic and economic pressure to help the Syrian people topple this brutal regime. • The New York

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi

• Controller (Finance & Administration) Ade Odunewu • Gen. Manager (Training and Development) Soji Omotunde

•Deputy Editor Lawal Ogienagbon

•Chief Internal Auditor Toke Folorunsho

•Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli

•Advert Manager Robinson Osirike

•Managing Editor Waheed Odusile

•IT Manager Bolarinwa Meekness

•Deputy Editor (News) Adeniyi Adesina •Group Political Editor Bolade Omonijo •Group Business Editor Ayodele Aminu •Abuja Bureau Chief Yomi Odunuga •Sport Editor Ade Ojeikere •Editorial Page Editor Sanya Oni

•Pre-Press Manager Chuks Bardi •Press Manager Udensi Chikaodi •Manager, Corporate Marketing Hameed Odejayi • Manager (Admin) Folake Adeoye





IR: For those of us, I mean the intellectuals from Bayelsa State, who know the antecedents of President Goodluck Jonathan, we are simply stupefied by the seeming undignifying drama surrounding the N18,000 minimum wage palaver. In fact, the recalcitrance built around the new national minimum wage has created spacious room for circumspection regarding the sincerity of President Goodluck Jonathan as the leader of Africa’s most populous nation. Let us first of all disabuse our minds about the gospel that the President is acting out a script given to him by the Nigerian Governors’ Forum that is not favourably disposed to the new pay regime for public sector workers in Nigeria! However, when it is carefully considered that Jonathan is one man we hitherto craved to become President through the ballot, one is saddened by the recent turn of events in the Presidency. Let me recall here that President Jonathan was the one who approved the N2,500 medical allowance for civil servants in Bayelsa State and through that approval, ended a three-year-long belligerence between the NLC and the TUC on the one hand, and the Alamieyeseigha-led administration on the other end in Bayelsa State. Jonathan also took the bull by the horn by offsetting the arrears arising from the approval, which amounted to N90,000 for every civil servant in the state. Prior to his assumption of office as governor of Bayelsa State on December 12, 2005, primary school teachers had been on an indefinite strike for almost six months, to protest against non-implementation of


Minimum wage: Who is misleading Mr. President?

promotions and the non-payment of salary arrears. It took Goodluck Jonathan just one month to pay off all the teachers’ entitlements and the chalkboard fraternity had no cause again to continue with their seven-month-old strike, having acceded to all their demands. This is why the President was supposedly taken for a labourfriendly president by everyone who was conversant with his strides in labour matters in Bayelsa State. But so far, his actions and utterances since this wage issue came up have not portrayed him as a labour-friendly president. Not a few are appalled at the President’s sudden change in attitude, especially on this contentious matter. If we must speak the honest, unadulterated truth, the Jonathan

Presidency has not been sincere with Nigerians. I believe strongly that the Jonathan administration has won more enemies than friends through its maladroit handling of the minimum wage issue. First, why did the President sign the National Minimum Wage Act if he knew that there was no provision for that in the 2011 Appropriation of the Federal Government? Such sloppiness has no room in statecraft. Now that the bill has been appropriately passed into law, nobody can therefore deign or feign ignorance, because doing so would amount to act of irresponsibility in public office. Two, the National Minimum Wage Act is now a law and ought not to be subjected to marathon debates or negotiations. Where were the Federal Government and

the Nigerian Governor’s Forum when the bill was before the National Assembly? Did the Federal Government deliberated or negotiated with Nigerians before it started paying alleged N16million to each of the 109 senators we have in this country every month? Does the Federal Government care that what Nigeria spends in one month to maintain one senator is more than what its neighbour, Ghana uses in paying a senator for four years? Having said that, I equally find it outrightly unacceptable, in fact, illegal, for the Federal Government to even be making contemplation to defer the implementation of the new minimum wage till January 2012 when there is no such provision in the Act. Equally unacceptable is government’s shifting-position that


• Dennis Alemu, Yenagoa.

The Boko Haram problem


IR: Recently l read a piece on the internet titled: “How 7 corps members turned Nigeria into Afghanistan”. This piece was trying to extrapolate how a hitherto subtle sect popularly known as Boko Haram has become a torn in the flesh of Nigeria and Nigerians. The issue of bomb blasts which has now become a routine has its genesis in a brawl between some police officers, mostly corporals and the religious

sect in Bauchi. The hassle led to the killing of some of the sect members. The immediate response of the Boko Haram sect was the bombing of the division’s police station. If at all we know that this latent turmoil which every one seems to have forgotten would lead to the deaths of many innocent citizens via bomb blasts affecting even the police headquarters, a thoughtful Nigeria would have prayed that the pandemonium should end at the initial

stage. But the law was not allowed to take its due course until Mohammed Yusuf, the sect leader, was killed by the police without any formal trial. It is obvious that the incompetence of the Nigerian police force actually goaded the rebellious sect into full criminal operations.. The issue of Boko Haram can be described as the latest in the series of the escalating rate of corruption and social discord experienced in the

UI lion scare: A joke taken too far! IR: Recently, there was a rather preposterous rumour in Ibadan that two lions had escaped from the University of Ibadan (UI) Zoological garden, after having allegedly wounded the security men, and were on the prowl to devour anybody. The manufacturers of the satanic joke, in an attempt to make their soup of lies palatable, mentioned certain names who had sighted the wild animals and those who had been injured. Like wild fire during the harmattan, the rumour gained mo-

the new salary scale is not meant for all categories of civil servants. This argument sounds not only hollow, provocative, jejune and vacuous but illogical for a top government team to voice that the N18,000 minimum wage is for only officers on levels 1 to 6. It is a pity that President Jonathan is starting his four-year presidency on such a very wrong note and I dare say this is a bad omen for Nigeria; it is a pointer to decipher what lies ahead. Mr. President, I sincerely love you as do many Nigerians. Please, unconditionally pay the new salary to the Nigerian workers. These greedy, idea-depleted politicians you have around you would destroy your Presidency. Sustain the goodwill you enjoy from Nigerians by paying this new salary. This is the only way Nigerians can continue to trust you as their own leader because trust is the only thing that keeps social relations in right alignment. This is no laughing matter!

mentum. Its speed was greatly accelerated by the mobile phone in the hands of the gullible that spread text messages around with thunderous speed. The university management quickly went on air to dispel the rumour, having confirmed that it was a ruse, but it kept on spreading. Investigation within the university campus revealed that the rumour started as a joke among some students who wanted to frighten their female friends, in order to raise a laugh. But some

people took it seriously and started passing the grotesque fabrication around until it spiralled out of control. Indeed, it was an expensive joke carried too far! The people must be circumspect with the kind of jokes they crack. Besides, recipients of information must make efforts to cross-check and double-check the veracity of information they receive before reacting. The UI Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole, who is a medical doctor by training, is more concerned about the safety of ev-

eryone on campus. Since his assumption of office, he has taken many precautionary steps regarding safety of lives. All the six lions in the zoological garden are safe and available for anyone to see for pleasure and leisure. Anyone seeking to become a professional jester should search for decent jokes and avoid ludicrous fabrication capable of terrifying the people. • Sunday Saanu, Media Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan.

country. For God sake, if programmes such as youth empowerment have been put in place, this country would have been peaceful over the years. Perhaps the issue of Boko Haram would not have surfaced. Just a forthnight ago, the government agreed to a dialogue with the Boko Haram sect after a proposed amnesty deal by Governor Shettima was thrown back at his face by the sect. it is apparent that the government usually responds to the people’s plights when such begins to threaten national security. In a nutshell, the scourge of corruption and social injustice which has led to high rates of poverty and unemployment is no doubt the remote cause of all the rebellious activities in the country. If the government does not tackle the problem of this country in good time, this country may fall into avoidable turmoil. They keep saying Nigerians are good people, law abiding and very patient just to lull the aggrieved youths. It is obvious that the level of frustration has gotten to the extreme and the time for action is imminent. • Esther Hephzibah Isiaka Bayero University Kano




The creeps in our worship houses (1)

Reality Bites L

(Desperate pastors, indigent followers and Islamic banking)

Olatunji Ololade

ET us rejoice with the owls. For our pastors have learnt to perform their oft ominous and maniacal hooting for them. Apology to the cleric whose gospel remain untainted; if he actually does exist. A great responsibility it must be for our pastors, this heartfelt crusade of theirs against the Islamic banking dream. A great responsibility it must be too for their Moslem counterparts, whose earnest resolve it is to defend the Islamic finance initiative. Men who expediently play dumb have suddenly found their voices. How convenient. Let me not dwell on the pros and cons of Islamic Banking for any proponent or cynic sufficiently concerned would have appropriately apprised himself with provisions and philosophy of the banking system by now. If not, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the CBN boss has definitely got more work cut out for him. The issue with Islamic banking is that there are hardly any issues with it – at least, not yet – save the name by which it is called. Bet if it was christened “Pentecostal banking” or “Vatican banking” there would be less hoopla about it. Agreed, the CBN boss has done quite little to sensitize Nigerians about the benefits accruable from the banking scheme but our selfstyled “men of God” have done

very little as well to orientate the average Nigerian particularly their active and latent “fishes” and flock; about the true nature of Islamic banking. That is quite understandable though, for these charlatans posing as vicegerents of God have unsurprisingly realized that with the advent and success of Islamic banking, they just might lose their much treasured hold on their freakishly docile and gullible flock. Predictably, they have mounted their “holy” and “moral” high grounds to remonstrate and condemn what they have discovered to be a plot by Sanusi and cohorts to Islamize about 150 million Nigerians and divide the country along religious lines. How desperate can they get? Sam Omatseye has said it all: “By opposing Islamic banking, they are supporting interests, the sin of capitalism. It is the supreme irony of clerics trying to go to war in defense of the worldly system. Friendship with the world, warns Paul in the Bible, is enmity with God.” This is one of certain areas Paul chose to speak truth to mankind but our pastors would never listen to him nor shall they ever heed the counsel of Omatseye. Left to them, the latter is “just one misguided journalist who believes that he can write whatever pleases him because he has a way with words.”

‘Pastors we have now are desperate to maintain the status quo whereby the average civil servant walks into a bank to seek and accept a loan of N250, 000 to be refunded as N400, 000, in six months’


OLITICS changes a man. It turns saints into sinners and ridicules the integrity of noble men. Thomas Jefferson, one of American’s finest presidents must have realized the fickle nature of politics when he said: “wise men must shun power (politics) to avoid its malevolent embrace”. Indeed those who cherish their integrity must steer clear of politics. This is because no matter how saintly one may appear, everything changes in waters of politics. That explains why we have good men turning into monsters as soon as they dabble into politics. When it comes to power and politics, history is replete with testimonies of men who started well but had an inglorious end. They came to power with a good name, but could not withstand the shenanigans of politics, so they fell on the wrong side of history. Nigeria’s gentle man president, Goodluck Jonathan is one of such men presently battling to find a balance between politics and reality. He wants to be a good man, but politics makes him a bad man. Like those who went before him, the president has metamorphosed from the good man that won the 2011 presidential election to a politician who says one thing and does the opposite. For a president who came to office on the premise that he was the best man for the job, Nigerians expected so much from Jonathan. They stood for hours under the scorching sun because they saw him as a different breed. But less than a year in the saddle, the president has given credence to the words of Shakespeare that “there is no art to find the mind’s construction on the face”.

‘For a president who came with a bag full of promises, many expected him to hit the ground running as he promised during his inauguration. But he disappointed. He was overwhelmed with the intrigues of politics that it took him over a month to nominate ministers’

This is me having my way with words: The furor orchestrated over Islamic banking reveals the desperation and appalling thoughtlessness of not a few clerics and selfstyled “critics” and “concerned” Nigerians. For all their criticisms of Islamic banking, the accruable benefits from the initiative seem lost on them. They would rather fish in the dark for economies in which the system has failed while conveniently leaving out the human factor and the fact that the system currently flourishes across Europe, Asia and America. They prefer the decadent banking culture we currently operate. As Omatseye rightly puts it, the history of our decadent banking culture originated from the CalvinistProtestant Christian doctrine. This doctrine as analyzed by Max Weber identifies Puritan ethics and ideas as prime heralds of capitalism even as religious devotion preaches rejection of worldly affairs, particularly the pursuit of material wealth. John Calvin and his followers had established a doctrine of double predestination, in which from the beginning, God chose some people for salvation and others for damnation. This same doctrine preached a conflicting canon of Puritanism for faith and profit. That dogma has been further perverted now, principally by Nigerian Pentecostal pastors. By their gospel, worldly success has become the major indicator of spirituality and “God’s grace” hence their subjugation of the divine spirit of the soul to the pursuit of riches. Thereby, they succeed in brainwashing daily, their oft submissive and unassuming “fishes” and flock, turning them into hapless preys in their pursuit of material wealth and paralysis of asceticism.

Their gospel of prosperity-at-allcosts wholly negates the doctrine of control by conscience which requires rigorous honesty. In simple terms, the Nigerian pastor vehemently contradicts and rejects the ascetic view that covetousness and lust for material wealth should be shunned as preached by both Jesus and Paul. He wholly disputes Baxter’s principle that the care for worldly riches should only lie on the shoulders of the saint like a light cloak, to be thrown aside at any moment. The Nigerian pastor swathes himself in that rapacious cloak which has today, become his iron cage. Diligently, he hoodwinks and charms his habitually gullible followers, leading them on by a leash, into his iron cage. Equally duplicitous and yet vulnerable to deceit, these loyal congregants pander to their gospel of prosperity thus substituting simplicity and honesty with a new brand of spirituality that invests materialism and covetousness with high moral significance. Both pastors and adherents rampantly engage in capitalistic pursuits not only for the expediency of making a living but in the expectation that such activity would amass for them a fortune. In this regard, they recklessly pray and intone: “It is my right to be rich. Heavenly father, you have promised me so. I bless you father because I am rich; because I am covered by the blood of Jesus.” A major effect of this belief is that the modern Christian seeks to accumulate wealth with an earnestness of purpose that ridicules the very foundations and admonitions of faith as illustrated by the case of few notable bank chiefs who were recently sacked and prosecuted for gross acts of financial fraud and abuse of office by the EFCC.

The beginning of our end By Vincent Nzemeke

Despite being a taciturn fellow, Jonathan anti-people actions are sufficient proofs that nothing will change in this country. It is business as usual. If you doubt take another look at his cabinet. Does it meet your expectations? Can you single out anyone from that obtuse conclave who can take Nigeria to the next level? For a president who came with a bag full of promises, many expected him to hit the ground running as he promised during his inauguration. But he disappointed. He was overwhelmed with the intrigues of politics that it took him over a month to nominate ministers. As if the delay was not enough heartache for longsuffering Nigerians, the president recently stirred the hornet’s nest with the proposed tenure elongation bill. Although he claims he will not benefit from the bill, the proposal appears to be a step in the wrong direction. There is absolutely no basis to assert that governors and presidents will achieve in six years what they cannot achieve in four years. Being the first bill to be initiated by Jonathan since he took over the reins, the tenure elongation bill contravenes the people’s expectations. It is a bill that will only serve the interest of the megalomaniacs in government circles. At a point when the Nigerian economy is threatening to collapse with workers and governors locking horns over a paltry N 18,000 minimum wage, tenure elongation should not even be on the president’s agenda. He is not talking about fixing roads that take more than they give or rehabilitating the ailing health sector. He has not thought of proposing a bill that will put our moribund schools in the right state and nip the menace of insecurity that threatens to divide the nations, yet he seeks tenure elongation. Will extending the tenure of the executives put an end to the epileptic power supply that we have now? Will it

Such an approach to monetary gain is strikingly encouraged by their uniformly fraudulent, greedy and indulgent pastors whose gospel of materialism constitutes a moral habitus that burdens the seeker and possessor of money with a bandit’s obligation towards his loot. Thus today, we have celebrity pastors ogling wealth like a filthy fantasy. Today, we have such pastors buying up every available hectare to build ostentatious worship houses and schools far out of reach of the commoner. Consequently, we have such clerics kicking frantically against Islamic banking. They claim it would encourage terrorism, Islamize the country and destroy it even as the world explores it and the Roman Catholic Church “admits that it may represent a possible cure for ailing markets.” Pastors we have now are hardly concerned with the merits of Islamic banking, just the demerits. Their ambition is to truncate the realization of the Islamic banking initiative via lies and uninformed analysis. Sitting comfortably in the filthy luxury they keep, they advise their adherents against the “perceived dangers of Islamic banking” even as such dangers are interpreted to mean interest-free banking for all irrespective of religious affiliation, among other benefits – even as the current banking system that persistently fails us all. Pastors we have now are desperate to maintain the status quo whereby the average civil servant walks into a bank to seek and accept a loan of N250, 000 to be refunded as N400, 000, in six months. Could this decadent, injudicious lot be “men of God?”

For SMS only 08038551123

provide jobs for the millions of unemployed youths roaming major cities in the country? Will it bring an end to the scarcity of kerosene and other basic needs of the people? Will it put food on the tables of the downtrodden and impoverished Nigerians? The argument that governors and presidents abandon governance for politicking in the third year of four year tenure is not tenable. Even if our governors stay in power for eternity, many of them will still not perform. It might even be worse than we have now because when a governor knows he is not entitled to another tenure, he would see being in government as a once in a life time opportunity. He will amass wealth for his generation yet unborn knowing that he may never return to that office again. Rather than seeking to elongate the tenure, what the president should be proposing is a bill that will restructure our electoral system. When we have a good electoral system, there will no way for governors and presidents who fail to meet the expectations of the people to be re-elected. As experienced in some states during the last election, there is no guarantee than an incumbent governor will be re-elected in a free and fair election if he has not performed. A six year single tenure will amount to six years of oppression. There are too many things begging for attention than tenure elongation. If the bill is passed, it will legalize corruption. It will mark the beginning of our end as a nation. • Vincent Nzemeke writes from Lagos

‘He is not talking about fixing roads that take more than they give or rehabilitating the ailing health sector. He has not thought of proposing a bill that will put our moribund schools in the right state and nip the menace of insecurity that threatens to divide the nations, yet he seeks tenure elongation’



EDITORIAL/OPINION ‘Religion is opium of the people’----Karl Marx S a muslim, one is faced with the question of what one’s opinion is on the issue of proposed introduction of Islamic banking in to the nation’s troubled banking sector. Mallam Lamido Sanusi Lamido, the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) in his usual haughty manner woke up one day and informed the citizens that islamic religious banking system’s introduction is a forgone conclusion. Initially, what I thought would happen is for the protagonists and the antagonists of the sysytem to come up with pros and cons regarding whether or not the system should be embraced. But the turn of events in the last few days is making one to be reasonably uncomfortable. One expects Lamido Sanusi to embark on sensitisation and educative campaign so that Nigerians, especially christians, that are wary of Islamic banking, will understand the concept better and realise that there is nothing evil about it. It was Allama Iqbal, one of the greatest Muslim thinkers of the last century who once espoused that: ‘intellect, culture and religion can do nothing unless interest-based system is demolished.’ This is meant to annihilate the economic persecution that is inherent in human societies. Iqbal through this position thrust forward the unassailable Islamic values of trustworthiness, justice and equity, fair dealing, truthfulness, honesty, fraternity, brotherhood and ascetic lifestyle among others. He believed that strict adherence to these values is undisputably a condition precedent for any Islamic economic system to thrive. If Lamido’s proposal must be in the national interest, it means it must within the Nigerian context be able to work parri passu with the conventional banking system which unlike the Islamic mode of banking gives interest charges serious priority. In today’s Nigeria, the conventional banks are paying interest to their depositors and charging interest from their borrowers under whatever guise. So, under the prevailing business ethics in the country, it is doubtful whether there is a person or institution that is prepared to take risk and provide finance on profit-loss basis. But even if there are people and institutions that are ready for such finance adventure, the



TRAIGHT to the point, no beating about the bush, here are five quick points President Goodluck Jonathan may wish to note as he goes about his tough task of running Nigeria: One: Still no clear vision: Late President Yar’adua told us about his 7-Point Agenda and deference to rule of law. We are still not sure what your agenda is. Make your vision sharper then let’s know the immediate, (quick wins), and medium and long term deliverables. Please give us timelines to hold on to especially on electricity and roads. It is very important too let us see you more on sites than with dignitaries. For instance, drive to Apapa, Ore road, Power plant sites, etc. Two: Six-year-single term: Good idea but bad timing. This term thing is the least of our worries now. Nor yours either. There are far more pressing matters even in the Constitution should you want to ply that bad road now. Three: Handling Boko Haram: Making peace with the sect is desirable but not at the expense of our Constitution or the rest of us. Beware of the precedents you set lest they haunt all of us in the years ahead. The sect must renounce violence, lay down their arms and give themselves up before amnesty. That is the correct, right and proper procedure to insist upon. Four: Labor talks: It is rather disappointing that this minimum wage thing is panning out this way. One thought a committee would have been set to work immediately the bill was signed into law. If Edo and Lagos states have implemented as reported, what is their model? FG ought to show the light in this matter for states to follow. We expect FG to go beyond this point and look ahead five to ten years. Five: Adoke Vs Farida: No respectable father condones, not to talk of watch as his children fight dirty in the public. It is your prerogative to re-appoint Mohammed Adoke, Minister for (in) Justice in spite of the reasoned protestations of right thinking Nigerians but your number one minister is not doing justice to that seat. Whatever the short comings of Madam Farida Waziri and her EFCC it is bound to be better than Adoke’s best efforts. He has proven beyond reasonable doubt, in the opinion or rightthinking Nigerians, that he is in gross deficit of noble intentions in matters of public interest and can never be trusted with that tiny delicate suckling called ‘justice’. There

Islamic banking and cynicism against Islam

•Lamido best way to go about it is to convince those in doubt, whether for political or religious reasons that their interests will not be eroded by the introduction of Islamic banking in the country. Rather than do this, one was astonished when the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria , SCSN, through its president, Ibrahim Datti Ahmed came out with a statement threatening fire and brimstone if the proposal on Islamic banking is not approved. It declared:

“Jaiz banking has come to be and there is nothing they (Christian leaders) can do about it. And if we have to go to war on this, we’ll go to war.” One is amazed that despite the high level of ruin and perfidy that war has inflicted on countries of the world, some Nigerian Muslims, whatever their grievances, are threatening to go to war. It is the beginning of war that one can predict; no one can predict its end. So, those who are drumming the beat of war should beware as they themselves will not be immune from its effect whenever it breaks out. Aside from this warning, it is sad and surprising that most of my fellow Muslim brothers from the north rather than engage in robust debate to drive home their religious point are always advocating the use of force that has come to make some people cynical and contemptuous of our esteemed Islamic religion. What could have necessitated jihad in a proposal as innocuous as the proposed introduction of Islamic banking in the country? Moreover, why is such coming up at this point in time? Will Islamic banking correct the anomalies in the nation’s banking sector if introduced? Lamido Sanusi has not done much of awareness to push the policy initiative. Many Nigerians irrespective of tribes are doubtful of his motive is altruistic, especially when his north-


(SMS O8055001684 email:

Five bullet points for the President must be something else Adoke can find to do other than strive to annoy us endlessly. These are five quick points to ponder. And for the road, we hope the NASS will get a draft of the 2012 budget when they resume from their incessant recess? If we don’t get a tough handle on our budget this four years would be wasted like most other PDP years preceding it.

provide explanations? Moron! 07031959044. Please tell them Osuji, there is no such thing like paradise and virgin for a suicide bomber but hell. I like your write up- Namiji, 08036800116 Mr. Osuji, your piece “Samanja Police” was the bomb. Intertwining clear-cut analyses with satirical humor was the bomb. Kudos Ona Edose, Benin, 07065408442.

Readers reactions Published below is a selection from the numerous letters from readers across Nigeria. For lack of space, we cannot publish all the letters. Let’s keep the debate going. Re: Samanja Police Mr. Steve, having read your Expresso in The Nation, I wept for the Police Force. I will be retiring from the Force at the end of this month (June) but nothing to show. The way the system is, if you don’t belong, you are nowhere. In the Force you must have connection. Wow! Thanks for speaking the ills of the Police. May God bless you, Amen. Garba L. 08081767426 Sir, I read with relish your Expresso column – Samanja Police. You got it exactly where I would except that you left out the fact that recruitment into the Force is reserved for the never do well relatives for the officers. Those who can’t seem to pass G.C.E of JAMB. – Nnanna 08133110855 Mr. Osuji, I just read your poisonous piece in The Nation captioned “Samanja Police”. So you now do hatchet job for CAN? In your unholy rush to describe a group of people as religious zealots you expressed a stench-filled dark side of yourself: your hatred of Islam and Muslims. And you say you are a journalist. When your people were bombing oil installations and kidnapping people, did you ask the rest of the Christian eggheads to

Re: Iwedike Vs. Diokpa Odogwu After reading your Expresso column of July 15, I felt obliged to appeal to our respected elderstates- man, Iwedike Sonny Odogwu to please forgive his Diokpa for whatever wrong committed. As we say in Yoruba land, when your whip a son with the right hand, you use the left to draw him near you. Biko, Pa Odogwu. – Barr. Ayo Olalere, Apete, Ibadan, 08058517680 Dear Steve, you hammered the nail on the head by condemning the running of Osun state government without commissioners. Rem acu teti gisti. Cheers- Oyesola, Ilesha 07032042714. Iwedike in the first place, has no hand in Robert being his Diokpa, therefore must restore him for posterity. Though pilots live as if there is no tomorrow, every family has its burden, Roberts is the Odogwu’s (Afamefuna). I want to know Robert’s wife’s role in the saga. Usually, first sons get on well with their mum. What’s mama’s role? Iwedike if you neglect Robert, you must care for your grand kids who bear your name. If you are blessed, your household must be blessed also, that’s what the bible teaches. Iwedike you will soon be with the Lord, put your house in order before leaving, after all you came with nothing and you ain’t going with anything but your works and service to humanity will you be remembered for. At

ern brothers, surprisingly including the Sultan of Sokoto, have come out to present the religious banking system to us as fait accompli. To me, Islam is a religion of peace and it shall remain so no matter what citizens of some countries or members of some ethnic groups are trying to negatively make it look like. It would have been nice for those who desire Islamic banking to use dialogue and robust argument to convince those that are still skeptical about the policy proposal. Religion is described by the legendary Karl Marx as the opium of the people and in a multi-religious society like ours, anything that will raise religious suspicion should be treated with circumspect and not handled with display of arrogance coloured in the robe of war. I hate when people of other religious beliefs think that being a Muslim is tantamount to being evil minded and having proclivity for violence. That is not true for especially in the western part of the country, there are examples of Muslims and Christians from the same family that peacefully co-habit. The successful implementation of Islamic banking in the nation is dependent on whether (in the north or south), we all are ready to make wealth through fair and not foul means that has become the true religion of the moment; whether we are not ready to live above our means and whether our quest for material things will not overshadow the Islamic and Christian doctrines of being our brother’s keeper. We need to know whether those protagonists of Islamic banking that made their wealth through interest,‘Riba,’ and the likes are going to return the surplus back to the state? Do they intend to build the Islamic banks with such funds considered as haram in Islam? Are they going to shun western influence with its capatalist aegis that currently forms the bedrock of virtually all economies of the world. The disagreement over introduction of Islamic banking should not be allowed to cause religious disaffection in the country because those vehemently canvassing for it can not sustain the principles and values that would promote its growth in the land as enshrined in the holy book. The hypocrisy and threat of war that have been creating so much aversion for Islam as a religion of peace must stop henceforth.

your funeral Diokpa will perform the rites and at 60, he should have learnt his lessons. Steve bravo for bringing this to the fore- Ken Odemene, Agege Lagos-08037250655 Re: Gov. Obi’s agonistes. Well done Steve. Whenever I travel through the South east my heart bleeds at the miles of cashew plantations lying waste- Okoye, 08037001839. Re: So there are elders in Borno You are obviously not from Borno but you aptly captured the problem. No further analogy is required on this issue. You have spoken the minds of all peace-loving citizens of Borno - Billal Tijjani, 08036157346. The preponderance of the Boko (nonsense) Haram in the North especially in Borno state portends a great danger to our dear nation’s unity and oneness. It is high time the issue was dealt with once and for all. To me, the panacea is the use of the combined efforts of all security forces to put the menace in check. The time to do it is now- Taiwo Osunsanya, 08073670327. Hi Steve, yes there are elders in Borno. The elders are the sponsors of Boko Haram killing squad. These are discredited elders who plan to distabilise Jonathan’s administration. More troups should be deployed to Borno till the next four years so that these disgruntled elders will not achieve their evil missionChris, 08023081494. 1. That the military remain in the Niger Delta, Abia and Plateau States does not bar Borno Elders from calling for the withdrawal of the military in Borno. We fail to understand the mindset of the military. When they encounter defeat in an assignment, the innocent civilians suffer. The fact is that soldiers are killing civilians and burning properties in Borno. This is the fact of the matter- Ozo Nnaka, 07084807505.

‘Beware of the precedents you set lest they haunt all of us in the years ahead. The sect must renounce violence, lay down their arms and give themselves up before amnesty. That is the correct, right and proper procedure to insist upon’









Flying Eagles should do more –Ike Shorounmu From Tunde Liadi, Owerri


HOUGH the Nigeria Under-20 team have chalked up maximum six points from the first two matches played at the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Colombia, the Flying Eagles have been charged to continue to gladden the hearts of Nigerians with further inspiring results in their subsequent matches. Making this known was the Former Super Eagles’ goaltender, Ike Shorounmu in a chat with NationSport on Thursday afternoon after the John Obuh-led Flying Eagles added Croatia to the growing list of conquests with a 5-2 spanking. Shorounmu, the current senior national team goalkeeper trainer encouraged the Under-20 team to always aim higher and forget about their two victories so that they do not get carried away by the scorelines and get distracted. “It is a thing of joy that we woke up this morning (yesterday) to hear the result of another memorable win for Nigeria. It was indeed awesome. I will advise them to continue to keep up the good work and not relent at all. They should not dwell too much on the two matches they have played but focus on the next task which is their tie with Saudi Arabia.” Shorounmu stressed.

•Ike Shorounmu


Ugbade advises adjustments in defence

•Praises team’s midfield and attack


HE Saudi ‘89 World Cup Nigeria U-20 team captain, Nduka Ugbade has warned that the Flying Eagles’ defence might turn out to be their weakest link as they strive to do a repeat of the Black Satellites of Ghana World Cup conquest two years ago. Though Ugbade commended the team for the emphatic win over Croatia, the former Super Eagles defender stressed that the Flying Eagles’ lack of coordination during set pieces and aerial ball situations could prove fatal when the team meets a better oppositions at the crucial stages

From Tunde Liadi, Owerri of the competition. “It was another fine game for the Flying Eagles. They were able to hold possession and control the outcome of the game. The only thing that must be corrected ahead of subsequent matches is to adjust the defensive structure and the positioning to eliminate the trend from the offensive pressure of the opponents. “Most of the crosses that came in from the flanks, especially against Croatia were not well dealt with. The corner and the free kicks gave the

defenders and even the keeper some problems. It was from these situations that they (Croats) got those two goals. The players must be open to correction. Obuh must talk on the need for them to know how best to defend set pieces. This will guard against conceding cheap goals. “On the whole our representatives acted on the important principle of football. They have been very compact in the midfield and the attack is another good link in the team. They didn’t create a lot of opportunities but they better utilized the few ones created.” Ugbade who also captained the Golden Eaglets to the historic Gold medal at China ’85 stated.

Nigeria U-20’s goals deluge delights home fans T HE fortunes of Nigeria’s Under-20 team have continued to look bright with their 5-2 victory over Croatia at the FIFA World Youth Championship in Colombia on Thursday morning to the delight of home fans that woke up early to watch the game. For a team that was unable to score in pre-tournament, ten goals in two matches sound like the stuff of dreams and it has taken the African champions into the company of favourites to win the competition. Olanrewaju Kayode doubled his goal tally with a strike on 25minutes before defender Terna Suswam struck a shot that beat the Croatian goalkeeper to nest gently in the back of the net for 20. Moments before half time, the Europeans struck home from Ivan Lendric after the Nigerians could not clear a free kick. It was the confidence they needed to start the second half and they applied pressure to unsettle the Nigerian defence. However, tournament revelation Ahmed Musa, who showed no signs of Ramadan strain, increased the Nigerians lead with his second of the competition. Andrej Kramaric responded for the Croatians with a

header from another free kick to keep the game exciting. Substitute Uche Nwofor, who was brought in for Edafe Egbedi, struck twice to put the game beyond the Croatians and to secure Nigeria’s top position in the group ahead of Saudi Arabia on goal difference. Nwofor, the top scorer at the African Youth Championship in April, showed great form to score twice in only his first game at this tournament to underline the the Flying Eagles’ strength going forward. It is their defence that they will worry about as they let in two goals against the taller Europeans via set pieces. The seeming ease of qualification for the second round by John Obuh’s boys is a huge contrast to that of the team led by Samson Siasia in 2009, which waited until their final group match to make an impression.

The team of 2009 lost their opening game 1-0 against Venezuela as well as 2-0 to Spain in the second match. A 5-0 victory over Tahiti in their final game was their saving grace which ensured the team qualified for the second round as one of the best third placed finishers. The side eventually crumbled 3-2 to Germany in the second round. Coach Obuh has said that his team will be wary of all opposition and will not be carried away by their impressive start. The manager has also tried to keep his boys away from scouts who have thronged the team’s base in Armenia in hopes of signing them for big European clubs. Obuh has told them to focus on winning the competition first and other good things will arrive as a result.

•John Obuh

spoke in Lagos, commended them for concentrating and playing cohesive football against Guatemala and Croatia teams which resulted in convincing victories in both matches. Jameel, therefore urged the team not to rest on their oars’ adding that the battle has just begun with their qualification for second round. He exhorted the team to work assiduously towards reaching the finals and winning the Cup for Nigeria. ‘This is the time for the coaching crew to correct lapses noticed in first two matches as they prepare for the elimination stages “ he added The GCOO then assured the team that Globacom as major partner and official sponsor of the National teams will continue to sponsor and encourage the national teams in their quest to win laurels for Nigeria in world football. The Flying Eagles are playing in Group D along with Croatia, Guatemala and Saudi –Arabia in the 17th edition of U-20 World Cup which kicked off in Colombia on 29th July and will end on 20th August, 2011. This is the eighth appearance of the Flying Eagles in the competition. Flying Eagles’ appearance at Colombia 2011 will be the team’s fourth successive trip to the FIFA U-20 World Cup finals. The last edition of the competition was held in Egypt where Black Meteors of Ghana won the cup; the first by any African country.

Obuh targets S top spot C

OACH JOHN Obuh has stated that the Flying Eagles will finish top of Group D in the U-20 World Cup after overpowering Croatia 5-2. Both Nigeria and Saudi Arabia have recorded six points apiece, but the African champions are top of the first round group, having scored more goals than their closest rivals. The Flying Eagles have scored 10 goals as against the eight by the Saudis. Both teams will clash early hours on Sunday morning in neighbouring Pereira to determine the overall winners of this section. A draw will see Nigeria finish top of Group D to meet the third best from Group B, E or F. “Armenia has been a very good hunting ground for us and so we will do everything to ensure we top our group and stay put in Armenia in the second round,” said Obuh. Two-goal hero Uche Nwofor agreed with his coach that the Flying Eagles will aim to top their group. “We want to beat Saudi Arabia even though we know that a draw will put us top of the group,” said Nwofor, who came off the bench to score twice against Croatia. “We want to go all the way in Colombia and so we will work on

getting the easier route in the knockout stage.” Olanrewaju Kayode put Nigeria in front after 25 minutes, and five minutes later Terna Suswan doubled the advantage with a rocket of a shot from outside the box that beat Croatia goalkeeper Matej Delac hollow. The Croats pulled a goal back through Ivan Lendric three minutes from halftime off a free kick. Nigerian top player Ahmed Musa then extended their lead on 62nd minute, only for Croatia to fight back four minutes later, again off a free kick, as Andrej Kramaric fired past goalkeeper Dami Paul. “I did not like the goals we conceded,” admitted coach Obuh. “But I was not worried because I knew we will win the game.” Nwofor, Goal King at the AYC in May, the came off the bench to grab a double, in the 69th and 73rd minutes. They were both a striker’s goals and showed that despite scoring 10 goals in two matches, the Flying eagles still have more in the tank. Croatia coach, Ivan Grnja, conceded Nigeria were the better team with their physical presence and speed. “Nigeria were strong and have some good players. We struggled physically and only about two, three of the players could cope with the pace and

power of the Nigerians,” said a subdued Grnja. However, the coach said they will fight on against Guatemala in the last group game. Croatia will be missing “a key player” Zvonko Pamic after he picked up his second booking on Wednesday.

Visa knocks out Igiebor from Eagles


OSA IGIEBOR would have featured in next week’s friendly against Ghana but for the difficulties of securing a UK visa for him in time. “Igiebor would have been picked for the London match but because of the difficulties we anticipated to get him a visa to the UK, we had to leave him out,” said NFF technical committee chairman, Chris Green. Super Eagles coach Samson Siasia has also confirmed in an exclusive interview with in Colombia that Igiebor is very much in his radar.Norway-based midfielder Igiebor has been the standout star for the country’s Olympic team. He was first called up by Siasia for the high-profile Argentina friendly in Abuja in June.

UPER EAGLES striker, Kalu Uche has joined Neuchatel Xamax on a two-year deal, claims the Swiss club on its official website. The Nigerian international drew attention to himself after the 2010 World Cup with goals against Greece and South Korea. A move outside Spain did not materialize after the world cup because interested clubs failed to meet Almeria’s 3.5 million euros valuation of the player. However, after Almeria’s relegation last season, Uche said he did not fancy playing in the second tier of Spanish Football. Swansea City, Leicester City and another Spanish team, Real Betis have also being linked with the 29 year-old in the past few days. Fulham and Wigan are the former

Enyimba man’s other admirers in England. Also joining the two-time Swiss Champion is Javier Arizmendi, who is moving from Getafe. According to the statement: “Neuchâtel Xamax announces the engagement of the attackers Kalu Uche and Javier Arizmendi. “After the World Champion M17 Haris Seferovic, Neuchâtel Xamax is pleased to announce two new recruits from the Spanish Liga. This is Kalu Uche (29) of Almeria and Getafe Javier Arizmendi (27). “The first named is the holder of the national team of Nigeria and has signed a two-year option. As for the now former Getafe player, he is the subject of a loan for one year. Neuchâtel Xamax wish them both a warm welcome”, the statement read.


PARTAK MOSCOW Technical Director, Valery Karpin has made statements about the transfer of Emmanuel Emenike to Soccerpress . ‘’First, Emenike must undergo a medical examination and then sign the contract. If all goes well, he will join the team on August 8 or 9, ‘’ says Valery Karpin. Spartak Moscow had been following Emenike since 2010, but Fenerbahce pulled a transfer coup by signing the player. As a result of the match fixing scandal in Turkey, Emenike wanted to get out of Turkey, and considered the offer from the Moscow based team.

Oparanozie optimistic on Falcons’ qualification


ELTA QUEENS striker Desire Oparanozie has promised to do her best to help Super Falcons qualify for the London 2012 Olympics. Opararnozie who arrived camp last night joined her teammates in this morning training, expressed disappointment at her performance at the just concluded women’s World Cup in Germany and appeals to Nigerians to put the world cup behind them and give the team full support when they take on Cameroon in the Olympic qualifiers at the end of this August. “I know Nigerians are sad about our world cup performance but i promise them that we will put smiles on their faces again by qualifying for the Olympics which will come next year. We are serious with our training because we will surely beat Cameroon” Oparanozie boasted.


Shortage of training kits hits Nigerian boxing camp •As NSC plans Nigeria/Ghana Friendly


•Nigeria's Terna Suswan, left, battle for the ball with Croatia's Dejan Glavica during a U-20 World Cup group D soccer match

Spartak Moscow to unveil Emenike next week



Glo commends team

AJOR partner of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and official sponsor of the national teams, Globacom, have commended the Flying Eagles for its outstanding performance at the ongoing FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia. The Group Chief Operating Officer of Globacom, Mohamed Jameel, who

Kalu Uche pens 2-year deal with Neuchatel Xamax

IGERIAN boxers are presently faced with shortage of training kits in their Edo State camp. The pugilists numbering 25 arrived the ancient city of Benin City towards preparation for the All Africa Games slated for Mozambique later in the year but were forced to wait on the National Sports Commission who had only delivered the first batch of kits for their training session. In a chat with the Nationsports on Thursday, National Boxing Coach, Obisia Nwakpa was of the opinion that the boxers have the wherewithal of performing well if all logistics were put in place by the appropriate body. He said: "Training is going on fine, the boys are up to date and are willing to learn new skills. Unfortunately we are managing training kits . It was just last week that they provided half of the kits while they pledged to give us the remaining kits next week when they come back from Abuja. Out of 33 training kits it is only punching bags that is available for now, We do not have power room in the gym, no enough gloves that can go round for the boxers, their personal kits have not arrived and many more. If we can get at least 20 out of 33 kits, we will manage it, long are the days of relying on names to win, now you have to work hard

By Stella Bamawo before reaching the medals chart”, he said. Meanwhile the rivalry between Nigerian boxers and Ghanaian counterpart will be kindled as the National Sports Commission (NSC) has revealed plans to organize boxing friendly with their West African neighbours in Nigeria. The international boxing friendly being packaged by the NSC in conjunction with Nigeria Boxing Federation is aimed at preparing the country representatives ahead of the forthcoming All African Games. According to the Zonal Coordinator of NSC South-South Zone, Jeremiah Akpabio he sad all arrangements towards the hosting of the friendly boxing event billed for August 9th, 2011 at the NSC Gymnasium, Etete G.R.A are being put in place. Akpabio noted that this friendly is necessary as part of the efforts by the Commission in ensuring that the Nigerian boxers are well prepared in which any noticeable lapses could be effectively corrected before embarking on the big battle at the Games in Maputo.


Kano Pillars get N30m lifeline From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano HE Kano State Government has released the sum of N30 million to offset the back log of arrears of four months’ salaries and nine match bonuses, owned to players of Kano Pillars Football Club. The players and officials, who have been living in penury in the last couple of months, went on wild jubilation as they queued up to receive their salaries and bonuses in cash at their secretariat. Kano Pillars’ General Manager, Alhaji Abba Galadima, who disclosed this while speaking to sports writers in Kano yesterday, said the state government has concluded arrangement to pay off all outstanding debts by instalments. Galadima said the financial situation of the Kano based football club would improve tremendously, especially now that the state government is demonstrating serious commitment to the welfare of officials and players of the football club. He commended Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso for wiping away the tears of the players, pointing out that the gesture of the state government would motivate them to achieve greater feat. According to him, fresh request would be made to the government for the release of more funds to enable the club discharge other financial obligations. As part of efforts to diversify the sources of income for Kano Pillars, the General Manager disclosed that a corporate organization had agreed to sponsor the club, while three other corporate organizations have had useful discussions with management of Pillars. A prolific striker of Kano Pillars and a former player of Kwara United, Nasiru Ali, who appeared excited, said they would work harder to ensure that they clinch a continental ticket, saying that the gesture came as a morale booster for them.


Annnaul report


Sylva advocates civil service reform Bayelsa



Police arrest alleged robbery kingpin

Institution’s new ways of creating jobs







Page 25


• Residents of Iyiowa Odekpe cross over a waterlogged terrain

More woes for flooded community R

ESIDENTS of Iyiowa Odekpe in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State have every reason to be sad. After it was reported that the floods which swept through the riverside community claimed seven school pupils, a family has reported that it lost three children to the waters, bringing the death toll to 10. Several residents were also left without shelter. But that is not all. The community is worried that in the process of mounting pillars holding up its high tension cables, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria


HE Vice Chancellor of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), Port Harcourt, Prof. Barineme Fakae, has urged Nigerians to pay more attention to agriculture, saying it will create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths. He also lamented the relegation of the sector to the background, which he said would have also been a major source of foreign exchange. Fakae stated this during the inauguration of the institution's Faculty of Agriculture building and •

Residents appeal for help Family reports more victims From Adimike George, Onitsha

(PHCN) blocked a major water channel. This, they said, caused the floods in the first place. The residents are just as disturbed that reptiles, especially dangerous snakes, have invaded the community. "At night we can hardly sleep as we keep

vigil to ensure that the snakes do not attack us while in bed," said Sir Peter Okala, spokesman of the Ogbaru Stakeholders' Forum (OSF). The residents have been appealing for help. None has come yet. In the community, there is an atmosphere of trauma, abandonment and being relentlessly

assaulted. Leaders of the community said the children lost to the floods would have been alive if it wasn't for the blocked water channel which caused the floods. They also said their community is denied power supply even though PHCN always over-bill the residents. They said it amounts to exploitation in addition to being denied. "Give us electricity or remove every PHCN installation in our area," they said. •Continued on Page 26

VC urges more focus on agriculture the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA) and the state University of Science and Technology (RSUST). He said many Nigerians have the wrong notion that agriculture is for the local people. That attitude, he said, must be changed. The Vice Chancellor also lauded the

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

management of RSSDA, for partnering with RSUST in the area of agriculture. He expressed gratitude to RSSDA for the endowment of a professorial chair in agriculture and the sponsorship of a scholarship scheme to diligent students in RSUST's Faculty of Agriculture. The Executive Director of RSSDA, Mr.

Noble Pepple, in his remarks, stated that the endowment of a professorial chair in agriculture is aimed at supporting research, teaching and academic excellence. He said the MoU between the agency and the state-owned university will help to make the state government’s vision of transforming •Continued on Page 26



More woes for flooded community •Continued from page 25

•Reptiles are said to attack residents from this swamp

UNN alumni source funds at 50th anniversary


T was a night of bliss. There was much to eat and drink. It was a gathering of schoolmates and their associates, professionals and prominent names in the world of politics, as well as boardroom gurus. They had one thing in common: they were essentially alumni of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and their friends. They converged in Lagos to raise funds for the prime institution which is commemorating its golden jubilee anniversary. In his opening speech, the national chairman of the organising committee, Dr. G.T.G Toby said: "Beyond the rare distinction of sharing this milestone with our dear country, Nigeria, we felt it necessary to adopt a phased approach to our celebration because the University of Nigeria is not just a child of Nigeria's independence. It symbolises, in so many ways, our country's dreams and aspirations at inception as a country. Its exceptionally rich history as an institution also speaks eloquently about strong fabric that holds us together as a country." The UNN alumni are sourcing N50b to address the common affliction that every tertiary institution in Nigeria is experiencing. They include deplorable infrastructure and woeful funding. Also speaking, the first Students’

Beyond the rare distinction of sharing this milestone with our dear country, Nigeria, we felt it necessary to adopt a phased approach to our celebration because the University of Nigeria is not just a child of Nigeria's independence

"We will no longer keep watch over for what we are being denied." Narrating their ordeal to reporters in Onitsha, Okala lamented that most houses in the area have been totally submerged in the flood waters which have yet to recede. The only solution is to reopen the water channel blocked by the PHCN, Okala said. The visibly troubled Okala disclosed that in order to access their homes, residents have had to construct a makeshift wooden gangplank, off which the school pupils slipped and drowned at the height of the floods. According to him, Iyiowa Odekpe residents have been having a terrible time coping with the reptiles. He said pythons have been attacking people and their poulty. He said: "There was an incident in which an elderly woman was nearly strangled by the snake if not for the help of neighbours who came to her rescue and killed the snake. It is that bad". Mr. Macbeth Okechukwu, who owns a poultry farm, said he has lost nearly all his birds to the reptiles, saying that at night he and some members of his family, armed with machetes, take turns

guarding the birds. He said they also managed to kill some of the snakes. Another resident, Lucky Owuama noted that despite the challenges posed by blocked water channel, the residents also grapple with total blackout for a stretch of time, and random billing, stressing that at the end of every month they are forced to pay between N5, 000 and N6, 000 per flat. "We have embarked on a peaceful demonstration to bring PHCN to look into our plight especially the issue of the water channel and random-billing but all we got were empty promises," he said. "Now we are appealing to the Federal Government and illustrious sons of Ogbaru to come to our aid before we are completely washed away by the raging flood. The authority should prevail on the PHCN to reopen the blocked water channel to avoid an epidemic and other disasters." Newsextra gathered that the residents have made representations to the State Assembly whose Speaker Princess Chinwe Nwabili hails from the community. She has promised to provide them with a transformer.

By Adejo David

Union president of the university, Prof. Benedict Chukwuka Ijomah who thanked the organisers for their contributions. Prof Ijomah urged the management to join the efforts of developing the institution. UNN is the first indigenous university in Nigeria whose motto is "to restore the dignity of man." The late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe Nigeria's first President and founder of the university had said that "this is a restitution of man's inalienable birthright to social equality, economic security, political freedom and religious tolerance. "This forms the basis of man's fundamental right without which there will be neither regard nor respect for human dignity." Also speaking at the event, the Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi said even though he is not a product of UNN, he would like to be associated with the institution. His state college of education is affiliated to the university. Fayemi noted that the country deserves a standard of learning which every government should aim to achieve. The governor pledged his support for the institution. The chairman of the fundraising committee, Prof. Pat Okedinachi Utomi called on well-meaning Nigerians to support the institution's quest to enhance its standard, infrastructure and social life. He maintained that similar events will take place at Abuja, Port Harcourt and the United States before the grand finale at the university main campus in October 2011. The N50b will translate to N1b for each of the years the university has been in existence. Since its inception, UNN has produced exceptional professionals who have made giant strides not just in Nigeria but also beyond. Prof Utomi promised that the fund-raising approach will achieve its goal, even as he demanded the unflinching support and commitment of every stakeholder

•From left: Prof Benedict Chukwuma Ijomah, Chief Ade Ojo, Governor Kayode Fayemi, Prof Pat Utomi and Sir Ben Okoronkwo at the event. PHOTO: ADEJO DAVID

VC urges more attention on griculture •Continued from page 25

the state a reality. Pepple said: "I believe that our focus on agriculture is both appropriate and timely. The capacity and power of agriculture to mitigate poverty by promoting food security, creating sustainable jobs and driving rural development is our universal claim." The executive director noted that RSSDA has made impact in some key development programmes, including Governor Rotimi Amaechi's special overseas scholarship

scheme. Pepple added that no fewer than 1000 indigenes of Rivers State are currently studying

Medicine, Information Communication Technology (ICT) and social sciences in the United Kingdom, Canada, Singapore, Ireland and India.





HE Enugu State Government has provided about N89m for the construction and renovation of buildings at the state Sports Council. Part of the money will also go into completion of work on an administrative block acquired from the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Company (NDIC). Briefing reporters at the end of the State Executive Council Meeting, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Chuks Ugwoke said the sum, N41, 593,937 will be used for the construction of an administrative block for the Ministry of Youth and Sports and a building to house two indoor halls as well as renovate offices at the state sports council.

Enugu votes N89m for facility upgrade From Chris Oji, Enugu

The remaining sum of N47, 516,730, he said, will be spent on the completion of the second arm of the building formerly owned by the defunct Cooperative and

Commerce Bank (CCB) whih will now be offices for some ministries, agencies and departments of government in the state. The project, according to the Commissioner, will be executed

The project, according to the Commissioner, will be executed through direct labour by the Project Development and Implementation office

through direct labour by the Project Development and Implementation office. Ugwoke who was accompanied by his counterparts from the Ministry of Local Government, Mr. Okey Ani, Water Resources, Mr. Kanayo Ajah and SPA Project Development and Implementation (PDI), Mr. Uchenna Nwobodo, told reporers that the Executive Council also approved the establishment of Service Charter Policy for the implementation of the State Public Service. He said that the service charter is the instrument of Servicom

designed to ensure best practices in service delivery in the civil service and elicit the trust of the citizens in government service. The council also approved that government, as shareholders, should enable the Polo Park Development Company to begin the installation of entertainment facilities at the Enugu Shopping Mall. He disclosed that although some of the tenants there will resume business in a matter of weeks, full commissioning of the shopping mall has been slated for October this year.

Our plans for Lagos councils, by aspirants


HE vice chairman of Oshodi/Isolo local government, Hon. Kayode Tinubu, has declared his intention to vie for the chairmanship in the next election. "I have paid my dues as the servant of Oshodi Local Government. I have served diligently and my pedigree and achievements speak for me. I have the experience and I have walked before party and community elders and leaders without compromising the cherished values of our party, the Action Congress of Nigeria," he said at a rally in the area. Also, a rights activist, Comrade Akeem Olalekan Dauda has released his manifesto as an aspirant for the chairmanship of Ikeja local government. "Time for positive change has come and there are better days ahead," he said, stressing that he would replicate the achievements of Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) at the grassroots. "Having painstakingly observed, researched and intervened practically along with like-minded progressives in the course of providing solutions to the varying problems which confront our people on daily basis, I have chosen to humbly and earnestly offer myself for the service of the good people of Ikeja local govenment," Dauda declared. In Kosofe Local Government, Fata Gbadebo, a chieftain of ACN, has unveiled his ambition, promising to fight the infrastructure battle. Tinubu, lawyer and educationist, stepped down for the out-going chairman, Hon. Afeez IpesaBalogun in 2004 and 2008 in

By Emmanuel Oladesu

accordance with the wish of elders, who had described him as a man of the future. He has been endorsed by the 'Social Democrats', a potent mobilisation group in the local branch of ACN. At the rally, which was witnessed by party elders, youths, market women and community leaders, House of Assembly member Hon. Lawrence Ayeni, former chairman of Osodi/Isolo and Agege local councils; Hon. Stephen Ogundipe and Solomon Aina, described him as the best man for the job. Ogundipe said: "We need prayers in Oshodi. We have gone to other councils and seen what is happening. We are not happy in Oshodi. As we go for election, I ask all of us to beware of money. It is the root of all evil. I was chairman of Agege council for one and half years. I can still walk free there. "If you want to serve, you must serve with diligence. Kayode Tinubu is accomodating. He worked harmoniously with the chairman and there was no feud. He has been asked to step down before. He did step down. It is time for others to step down for him. We want someone who has experience.

•Hon Tinubu flanked by Lagos State House of Assembly member, Hon Lawrence Ayeni (left), and Hon Sunday Akinwale at the rally Aina said: "Kayode Tinubu is the right man for the job. He is competent, cool-headed, highly intelligent and he is a man of integrity. He is not after money". Ayeni said that the time for the transformation of Osodi/Isolo local government has come, adding that Tinubu is the agent of that transformation. "He will not

If you want to serve, you must serve with diligence. Kayode Tinubu is accomodating. He worked harmoniously with the chairman and there was no feud. He has been asked to step down before. It is time for others to step down for him

disappoint our people. He is a man of honour and credibility", he added. Tinubu thanked the people for supporting his bid for the chairmanship. He urged his supporters to pray for his success and development of Oshodi in this period of Ramadan. He added: "We have been in the race for over 10 years. Our prayer in this month of Ramadan is that we should arrive at our destination. Our time has come in Oshodi. The people will be the focus of our developmental programmes. We will tar roads, bring relief and develop our communities. We will not disappoint the good people of Oshodi". Dauda's eight-point agenda encompasses qualitative and functional education, affordable health care delivery, provision of

Jonathan urged to make a mark From Adimike George, Onitsha

• Arinze


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has been urged to tackle the challenges facing the country and position it for development in the next four years. An industrialist Chief Obinna

Arinze made the call in Onitsha, the commercial capital of Anambra State, expressing confidence in the President's ability. Arinze, Chairman of Obitex Group of Industries, pointed out that Jonathan cannot afford to fail the nation. "I believe that God saves a nation when it is His wish," Arinze said. "I can tell you that the emergence of President Goodluck Jonathan as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate ushered in a breath of fresh air that we Nigerians have been yearning for. To say the fact, the emergence also was a clear sign of freedom for all Nigerians in all sectors of the economy, be it infrastructure, education, health, or constant power supply". He maintained that the massive support he got from Nigerians during his electioneering campaign is enough impetus for

Jonathan to reposition the country. "His reform will soon be felt by all in no distant time," Arinze said. He also commended the First Lady, Dame Dame Patience Jonathan who has been championing the cause of women, especially in playing more prominent roles in the administration of the country. "At a time," said the industrialist, "it seemed she was even faster in the campaign for the Nigerian women, urging them to come out and contest for various political offices". He described as unfortunate the

senseless killings in parts of the North after Jonathan was declared the winner and condemned the actions of "some miscreants hibernating under the guise of religious fanatics to unleash terror on the entire country, killing and destroying our collective property and at the same time, making a mess of themselves. I believe that the street urchins and their sponsors lacked the political will to rule the country. Just as I sympathise with the families who lost their loved ones in the mayhem, I also console President Jonathan on the wanton loss of lives

The massive support he got from Nigerians during his electioneering campaign is enough impetus for Jonathan to reposition the country. His reform will soon be felt by all in no distant time

infrastructure, commerce and trade development, sustainable agriculture and cooperative development, youth empowerment and sports development, environmental sustainability, culture and chieftaincy affairs. He said: "In line with the welfarist political philosophy of our esteemed leader and mentor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who laid a legacy of socio-economic transformation in Lagos State, and which is consolidated by Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN), and after critical appraisal of the challenges of governance in our local government, I hereby present my developmental programmes tagged: "My eight-point agenda" to further replicate the pace of transformation at the state level, for the benefit of our people". and property." Arinze equally condemned the attack on the nation by the Boko Haram sect, disclosing that its only objective is the disintegration of the country. He argued that the spate of bombing and indiscriminate killings perpetrated by the sect's members is against the teachings of the Quran and the belief of Islam, and advised that the solution to the security threat posed by the activities of the sect is to employ a non-religious approach in dealing with the insurgents. He noted that their attacks became fiercer after the presidential elections. He also suggested more radical and stringent measures to curb the increasing insecurity in the country, stressing that Nigerians are in despair as a result of the increasing destruction of lives and properties. Arinze urged Jonathan not to be cowed. He also wants him to remain focused, accommodate everybody, and avoid vindictiveness.



Amaechi urges union on growth

Sylva advocates civil service reform



ORRIED by lack of commitment on the part of civil servants in Bayelsa State civil service, coupled with their lackadaisical attitude to work, Governor Timipre Sylva has urged the newly sworn-in Head of Service, Mrs. Gloria Izonfo to instil discipline in the system. Governor Sylva, who gave the charge during the swearing-in of the state’s first female Head of Service at the Banquet Hall Government House, advised her to initiate reforms that would instil discipline in the service. He noted that the civil service in the state was yet to live up to what was expected of it, even as he advocated a

Cleric urges dialogue over Islamic banking


cleric, Special Apostle Israel S. Akinadewo has called on the Nigeria Inter-Regions Council (NIREC) to intervene in the ongoing controversy about the Islamic banking by initiating dialogue between the Christian and Muslim leaders. According to the Akinadewo who is the minister in charge of Motailatu Church Cherubim and Seraphim Worldwide (Sanctuary Parish) Alakuko, Lagos, the issue of Islamic banking has moved towards a dangerous dimension and only a genuine dialogue between leaders of the two religious could resolve it. In a press statement in Lagos the cleric noted that: “It is better for the Christian and Muslim leaders to dialogue on the issue of Islamic banking than to be beating the war drums.” The cleric said that at present, the Nigerian small and medium-scale businesses and enterprises needed a free-interest banking that would boost such businesses which will in turn elevate the economy of the nation. “Any country that neglects the small and medium-scale businesses that form the largest portion of the country’s entrepreneurs does so at its own peril. These small businesses

could not meet the requirements of accessing loans from the conventional banks, hence the need for interest-free banking. “The situation on ground is that the Muslims see the Islamic banking as their own baby that should serve their interest alone. That is the problem associated with Islamic banking which the Christians had foreseen,” Akinadewo noted, stressing that by naming it Islamic bank, Nigeria was already being divided or polarised along religious lines which should not be so. He suggested that a neutral name should be used to refer to the services of the bank, even as he opined that the composition of its board of directors should be based on financial expertise. He warned that a country like Nigeria could not afford to break up or destabilise. The cleric said that Nigerians, since the amalgamation of the various protectorates in 1914, had lived together in peace and love. This, he said, has lasted almost 100 years, warning that nobody should do anything that would affect the indivisibility entity of the country. He further advised that there was strength in the country’s diversity.


Bayelsa From Isaac Ombe

reform that would make it functional to help drive the vision of his administration. The Governor noted that the state’s civil servants do not report early to duty, adding that service rendered by the civil service must be commensurate with the salaries paid by government. “Head of Service, you are going to be on top of a civil service that I consider today not very functional. People don’t perform the job they are employed and paid to do. You must ensure that you make this civil service work by instilling discipline,” he said. He further pointed out that the civil service remained the engine room of any government that would want to succeed. He therefore called on all the senior civil servants to use their positions to improve the standards. While congratulating Mrs Izonfo for being the first woman to occupy the position, he urged her to come up with new reforms to improve the system. In a chat with Newsextra shortly after the ceremony, Mrs. Izonfo said she would work in line with the directive of the governor to build the capacity of the workers to enhance productivity.

•Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State (right) and the former Governor of the state Senator Nwabueze Ngige after the Mass to commemorate the 50th year of Bishop Otteh as a priest at the Basillica of the Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha


HE chairman of the Imo state Rescue Mission Local Government Committee, Chief Cyril .Y. Amako has assured that significant projects that would fast-track development of the rural areas would be executed as a deliberate policy to uplift the living standard of the people.


Cross River

• The founder of Pauline's Cancer Awareness Foundation, Godwin Agu (left) with members of the board of trustees during the foundation's public awareness on cancer of the blood at Ifako Ijaiye primary health centre, Lagos

Imo From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

Chief Amako gave the assurance while inaugurating the members of the Committee for Owerri West Local Government Area at the council’s secretariat. He said that enough funds would be committed to enhance health, education and security situations in the rural communities, while priority attention would be given to the provision of the basic facilities to appropriately serve the rural dwellers. Amako, who is the Special Adviser to Imo State Governor on State and Local Government Affairs, stressed that the committee must carry out its duties with utmost transparency and honesty in line with the corruption-free posture of the Rochas Okorocha-led administration. He disclosed that the renovation of infrastructure in the health and education sectors would commence soon in the various communities, even as he promised that all funds meant for such projects would be

judiciously used for the benefit of the masses. Chief Amako cautioned staff of the local government against truancy, even as he hinted that nobody would toy with their welfare as long as they performed their duties with dedication. In his speech, a member of the Local Government Development Committee and Chairman Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Imo State, Chief Fidel Onyeneke described the local government administration as the most sensitive since it touches directly on the lives of the rural areas where the greater population of the masses reside. Chief Onyeneke hailed the decision of the Imo State Government to give adequate attention to the rural dwellers through the upgrading of the basic health, education and security facilities available to them. He solicited the co-operation of the people to enable the committee to achieve the set objectives. Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary in charge of Owerri West, Mrs. Alma Eluwa urged the staff of the council to live above board in order to enhance administrative competence and productivity.

Globacom sponsors Ofala festival

From Kunle Johnson, Calabar

state to achieve some of the components of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) before 2015. The D-G contended that the state government is working assiduously to ensure the sustainability of the programme through timely provision of its annual counterpart funding of N100m which, according to him, is now being backed by a well-articulated legislation recently endorsed by the governor as part of efforts to legalise and strengthen the operations of the agency. He lamented that lack of awareness of the programme on the part of its prospective beneficiaries is one of the challenges hampering the attainment of 100 per cent coverage in the state, even as he stated that the agency is putting modalities on ground to embark on massive sensitisation of the public, especially at the remote parts of the state to allow for greater participation in its micro-projects programme.

IVERS State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi has called on members of the University of Port Harcourt Alumni Association, Port Harcourt branch to be part of development efforts of their alma mater. Governor Amaechi spoke when he hosted the July meeting of the Association at Government House Port Harcourt as an alumnus. He said the alumni association of the institution must evolve ways of complementing efforts of government and the University authority in the task of laying the foundation for an entrepreneurial university which the institution is noted for. Represented by the former Commissioner for Transport in the state, Mr. George Tolofari, the Governor charged the association to be part of the initiatives aimed at establishing academic structures and infrastructure for research and development of their alma mater. “Associations such as this should be involved in development efforts to advance the lofty ideals of their alma mater. When we come together, we think of how to reconstruct and rehabilitate ailing infrastructure. “The alumni association is also an avenue for

T •Abia State governor Theodore Orji presents a cheque to Dame Grace Esiaba Principal of Abayi Girls’ Secondary School. With them is Chief Sam Nwogu Chairman, Abia State OilProducing Areas Development Commission (ASOPADEC) during the grand finale of secondary schools’ quiz competition and prize-giving ceremony organised by ASOPADEC in Umuahia

‘How to tackle corruption, moral decadence’


HE Director-General of the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe has said that the task of fighting corruption and moral decadence in the land must not be left for the government alone. Runsewe spoke to The Nation in Lagos Like every ordinary Nigerian, he expressed sadness over the menace of corruption which he said had, for long, remained a stubborn enemy of the nation and its people. He added that “President Goodluck Jonathan has really shown Nigerians that there would not be room for any sacred cow. He announced openly that he would not settle for anything less than a free and fair election during the April polls. That was the first time any president would do that in the history of our country. “Also, any time the anti-graft agencies handle any case, no matter how highly placed the culprit is, the President has always maintained that he would never interfere in such a matter. He has always maintained that his administration would not support any corrupt act in any way. Ask most Nigerians; they will readily affirm the President’s stance. He has proved a model in the anti-corruption battle. But everyone must be involved.” Runsewe added: “In a recent trip I made abroad, I could see that out there, the efforts of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) under Mrs. Farida Waziri were already being felt, pointing to

Rivers networking. The opportunity of meeting in a forum could be used by members to explore employment opportunities,” he said. Governor Amaechi further assured them that he would not disappoint in rendering accountable leadership to the state. He urged the leadership of the association at the state and national levels to imbibe the virtue of love, honesty and hard-work in their relations with one another, even as he advised them to eschew bitterness and rancour in order to take the body to greater heights. The Port Harcourt branch of the Alumni

•Amaechi association is expected to host its National Convention coming up next month.

Imo plans massive development for rural areas

60 Cross River communities benefit from World Bank projects

IXTY communities across the 13 local government areas of Cross River State have benefited from the 140 World Bankassisted Community Development Projects (CDPs) which cost N476, 141,744. The Director-General of the State Community and Social Development Agency, Pastor Victor Ovat, who disclosed this to journalists in Calabar, maintained that out of 140 projects, 60 have been completed while the remaining 80 are at various stages of completion. The benefiting local government areas are Abi, Akamkpa, Akpabuyo, Bekwarra, Biase, Boki, Ikom, Obanliku, Obubra, Obudu, Odukpani, Yakurr and Yala while Bakassi, Calabar South, Calabar Municipality, Etung and Ogoja are to be incorporated in the next phase of the exercise. He also pointed out that the micro-projects which cut across the areas of education, environment, healthcare delivery service, socio-economic projects, water and sanitation as well as electricity will, on completion, contribute immensely to alleviating poverty among the rural populace while enabling the


By Dada Aladelokun

the fact that the efforts of the present administration against graft is no joke. One would realise the fact that the rate at which Nigerians were being deported from abroad has reduced drastically largely owing to the government’s anti-corruption war which is being felt across the globe. But I want to say that we must not be in a hurry to end corruption in a day. There is a process of going about it which we must be ready to follow to the letter.” Expressing his distaste at the progressive trend of moral decadence in the country, Runsewe said: “What is happening in terms of moral rectitude in our society is sickening. You now see men plaiting their hair and wearing ear-rings. Our parents must appreciate the fact that if every parent takes care of his ward, there will be less crime. By that, every parent will know where his child is and what he is doing at any given time. It is a w o r r y i n g situation that demands urgent •Runsewe attention.”

ELECOMMUNICATIONS giant, Globacom, has taken over the sponsorship of Ofala festival of Onitsha. The big sponsorship deal, which was sealed in Onitsha, is for three years. The 2012 edition of the festival is significant because the year marks the 10th coronation anniversary of the Obi of Onitsha Igwe Alfred Achebe. Igwe Achebe commended the national carrier for showing abiding faith in the


Lawmaker seeks speedy development THE Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District, Senator Hope Uzodimma has advocated the immediate convocation of an Orlu Development Summit as a means of addressing the developmental challenges which Orlu zone is experiencing. He said the summit would provide a paradigm shift and refocusing of the energy of the people towards the economic, educational and health development initiatives. Uzodimma made the call in an address he delivered at the 2011 annual Conference of Orlu Regional Assembly- USA (ORAUSA), a copy of which was made available to newsmen in Owerri, the Imo State capital. The Senator, whose address was entitled “Orlu Zone Must Make a Difference,” disclosed that the summit, which would have in attendance Orlu captains of industry, intelligentsia, technocrats, professionals, investors and foreign technical partners would chart a road map for the accelerated development of Orlu zone. He was of the view that if the summit is well planned and executed, it could produce the blueprint for the economic and social development of Orlu zone in the next 10 years.

Anambra From Adimike George, Onitsha

Nigerian people. The Obi, who made the commendation in his palace while signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the palace and the telecommunications outfit on the sponsorship of the age-long Ofala festival, noted that Globacom has demonstrated that “it cares about everything that is Nigerian.” Describing the sponsorship of the festival “as a marriage between the people of Onitsha and Globacom,” the Obi expressed confidence that the agreement would be of benefit to both parties. “Globacom has shown tremendous goodwill and as a people we are happy that the process which began a year ago is becoming fruitful today. We are looking forward to a rewarding and engaging long-time partnership. Globacom has demonstrated that it is truly a Nigerian company and has assured us that it will give international impetus to ofala festival without a change in the character of the festival,” the Obi said. Igwe Achebe observed that Nigerians from all walks of life had so many reasons to partner with Globacom which he described as “a company that retains all its profits here in Nigeria for the benefit of the people of Nigeria.” In his remarks at the ceremony, Globacom’s Regional Director, Marketing Communications (West Africa), Charles Jenarius assured that the company would make the Ofala festival the envy of all other festivals and the best in Black Africa. Jenarius added that taking into cognisance the importance of Ofala festival to the Onitsha people and the entire people of Anambra State, “Globacom will take this cherished cultural heritage to the next level and make it one that the international tourist community will look forward to.” Highlights of the ceremony were the signing of the MOU by the representatives of the Obi, Chief B. O. Adibua, the Ajie of Onitsha, and Chief N. Okafor, the Ojiede Eze of Onitsha, on behalf of the Onitsha monarch and Mr Charles Jenarius on behalf of Globacom and the registration of the Obi and his palace chiefs on the Globacom network.

• From left: FRSC Enugu sector commander, Mr Hyginus Fomsouk; Assistant Corps Marshal, Administration, Mr Adei Abu, and Corps Marshal, Mr Osita Chidoka, at an interactive session with FRSC zonal command officers in Enugu

NUJ seeks lawmakers’ intervention S a result of non-release of over on grants N300m take-off grants by the


Federal Government to Federal Polytechnic Oko in Anambra State, and Federal Polytechnic Nekede in Imo State, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has urged the National Assembly to intervene in the matter. Since the Federal Polytechnic Oko was established by the former Vice-President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme about 30 years ago, the institution has not been given any takeoff grant accorded to other federal institutions. Speaking during a courtesy call on the Rector of the institution Prof. Godwin Onu, the Anambra State Chairman of NUJ Mrs. Tochukwu Udorji – Omelu said that denying both institutions their take-off grants was the height of another marginalisation of the zone by the Federal Government. Udorji therefore urged the Senate President David Mark and the House of Representatives Speaker Hon. Mohammed Aminu Tambuwal to, as a matter of urgency, help the institutions get their grants from the Federal Government.

Anambra From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

“I don’t see the reason why other institutions in the land will be getting their take-off grants but when it comes to releasing such money to institutions in the Southeast, it becomes too problematic.” However, she commended the massive development going on in the institution since Prof. Onu came on board. She added that the institution had being lacking in infrastructural facilities. Rector Onu cried out that it was only Federal Polytechnic, Oko and Federal Polytechnic Nekede in the entire federation that had not received any take-off grants, a situation he described as unfortunate. Onu said that as a result, the situation had hampered more development in the institution, adding that what had been happening in the institution were through the internally-generated revenue (IGR) and some help from few individuals both from the state and outside the state.

•Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan addresses farm settlers when he visited the Delta State Farm Settlement, Mbiri





For 54 years, they walked together. Now Mrs Victoria Remi Ayida is gone, leaving the love of her life, Mr Allison Ayida, one of the ‘super’ perm secs, who held sway during the military era. Lagos rose for her funeral last Friday. NNEKA NWANERI was there.

•Ayida flanked by his children, Omatseyin and Mrs Alero Otobo

Farewell for Ayida’s ‘jewel of God’ H

E was overcome by grief and he broke down in tears. Allison Ayida’s tears were for his beloved wife, Victoria, who died at 81. It was at the funeral for Mrs Ayida, the woman they fondly called ‘jewel of God’, at Our Saviour Anglican Church, Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos. Ayida, a former “super” Permanent Secretary was surrounded by his children, friends and associates. People came from far and wide to sympathise with the Ayidas. Passersby watched as dainty cars conveying eminent personalties drove into the church. Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, decked in an Urhobo attire came with a retinue of aides.Uduaghan; former Head of Interim National Government (ING), Ernest Shonekan; former governor of Edo State, John Oyegun and wife of Lagos State governor, Dame Abimbola Fashola, took part in the Church service. The Vicar and Archdeacon of Ikoyi Anglican Communion, Ven Igein Isemede delivered the sermon. Quoting from John14:114, where Jesus assured his disciples that he was going to prepare a beautiful mansion for them, he sympathised with the widower, for losing his wife whom he married 54 years ago.

“He has known no other person in the last 54 years. But we assure you that the Lord will be there for you, providing for you. He will counsel you, strengthen you, see you through and give you comfort,” he said. The cleric recalled the deceased’s punctuality at morning devotional services, which she never missed with her husband. “She was involved in evangelism till the very end. We thank God for her life and that’s why since midweek, we’ve been celebrating her because she impacted and touched lives. Let’s see how God will speak to us through her life. Rev Isemede admonished the congregation to focus on their lives. “Funeral services are for the living because the dead are with Christ. John 14 says we should not be worried or upset when we lose our dear ones. Let’s remind ourselves that one day, it will happen to us. But let’s be assured that there is a beautiful mansion that we will regret not going there early enough. Jesus says he is the way, the truth and the life to that place. So, I request that you choose right,” he said. He likened what happened to the children of the deceased to that of the disciples, faced with the same situation when Christ was on the cross. He appealed to them to always find time to see their father now that their mother is gone.

Concluding, he prayed: “I pray that God consoles those who mourn, that your end shall be glorious and at the end of your lives, you are citizens of God’s family.” Women of the Friendship Bible Fellowship, clad in white dresses and blue headgear, gave a short presentation by singing their anthem to honour the deceased who was their national coordinator from inception in 1982 till her death. Through her inspiration, the widely read inspirational guide, “Everyday with Jesus” in England was introduced to Nigeria. Her remains were buried at the Ikoyi Vaults and Garden. The reception was held at the Marquee place, Tafawa Balawa Square. Others in attendance were: Deacon Gamaliel Onosode; the representatives of the Olu of Warri, Chief Rita Ogbebo; Chief Brown Mene, who delivered a message from the Gideon’s International and Chief Temisan Grant. Representatives of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse II, the Wasin of Ife, Chief Zacheus Olasode and the Loodoko Adimula of Ife, Chief Segun Arasanmi. The retired Bishop of Lokoja, Bishop George Bako; Felix Ohiwerei; the Chairman of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Otunba Subomi Balogun; Chairman, Lagos State

Board of Internal Revenue, Tunde Fowler and former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Ola Vincent were among other dignitaries present. The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, in his tribute said he was struck by her humility when he first met her. “I met her almost 23 years ago just as she was settling down in Nigeria. Even in those early days, a number of traits became apparent. One could tell that she had a gentle and humble spirit flowing from within. We pray that all those she left behind will follow her illustrious footsteps and vigorously maintain the Godly heritage she left behind, “he wrote. The widower wrote “Sweetie, I miss your gentle smile. I miss your laugh. I miss your loving reprimands, your untrammelled generosity, your unremitting prayers for us all; I recall our holiday walks and meals the past 30 years and more. I miss your constant acclamations of ‘my God is great’. Daily I come across treasures from you sprinkled across my home and my life, blessing me and mine, as you did to many others, over and over again over a life time saturated with faith •Continued on Page 30




Exit of a ‘Jewel of God’ •Continued from page 29

and love. I continue to say the prayers you taught me; and continue to still love you.” Jolomi Owojaiye, a relative, who claimed she lived virtually all her life with the Ayidas before she got married, wrote in her tribute: “She made a place for me in her heart, she was my faithful supporter in everything. She saw to my education, nourished and nutured me from a very young age. Her kindness and thoughtfulness were endearing. To celebrate her 40th wedding anniversary, she sponsored my husband and I on a tour to the Holy land, Israel, such was Grandma’s way of saying I love you.” Former managing director of Oceanic Bank, Cecilia Ibru, also wrote about the late Mrs Ayida. “A most dedicated loving wife, an exemplary helpmate, a wonderful and good mother-not only to her children, but also to many of us she adopted. A firm believer that she was, she has left us in Christ Jesus, the one she is sure is able to protect, guard and guide us and the work God has entrusted to her and even grow and expand it beyond her expectations to the glory of God,” she wrote.

•From left: Shonekan, Oyegun, Mrs Tinubu, Mrs Fashola and Uduaghan

•Daughter of the deceased, Gbubemi Ayida-Akerele and her husband Chris

•Children of the deceased (from left) Abi; Ete and Maje

•From left: Chief Grant, Chief Mene and Chief Lori Ogbebo •Otunba Balogun and his wife Tutu

• From left: Ex-Minister of Fforeign Affairs, Prof Bolaji Akinyemi and Mr and Mrs Lilian Fowler

•Mr Vincent

•Former Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Wale Edun PHOTOS: NNEKA NWANERI





Atani, in Ogbaru council area of Anambra State last weekend was a beehive as it hosted dignitaries from across the country during the 80th birthday anniversary of a foremost Constitutional Lawyer and former Minister of Education and Youth Development, Prof Ben Nwabueze. ADIMIKE GEORGE was there.

80 garlands for Nwabueze A LL routes last weekend led to the Atani community, in Ogbaru council area of Anambra State and country home of renowned constitutional lawyer and member of the former Presidential Advisory Council, Prof Ben Nwabueze. The event was the 80th birthday anniversary of the lawyer known for his outspokenness, which was used to present the latest work of the celebrator. The anniversary which was celebrated with pomp and colour attracted several dignitaries including the Anambra State Governor, Mr Peter Obi, who was the Chief Host of the occasion; the former Governor of Enugu State, Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo; the National Chairman of the All Nigeria Political Party (ANPP), Dr Ogbonnaya Onu; who was the chairman of the occasion, First Republic Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief M.T. Mbu; former Governor of Anambra State and Senator representing Anambra Central Senator Chris Ngige; Senator Ben Obi; the former chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr Dozie Ikedife, and the Rector, Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Prof Godwin Onu. Others were the Chairman of Anambra State Council of Traditional Rulers, Igwe Alfred Achebe; the Eze Uzu of Awka, Gibson Nwosu; Onyechi Ikeazu; the

•From left: Anambra State Governor Peter Obi; National Chairman of ANPP Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, and Nwabueze

Speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon. Chinwe Nwaebili, Hon Victor Ogene, among others. In his sermon at the Church Service marking the occasion, the Founder and leader of Christ Living Church, Most Revd Daddy Hezekiah applauded the virtues of Prof Nwabueze, who he said, was his lecturer many years ago in Zambia. Most Rev. Hezekiah also advised Christians not to be deceived by the suffocation of the world through what they receive in the internet and to fight against bribery and corruption. He prayed God to continue to grant the celebrator good health and sound mind. The celebrator bared it all at the presentation of his latest work entitled, Current Issues In the Workings of Constitutional De-

mocracy in Nigeria which was reviewed by the former Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka and former student of the celebrant, Prof Ilochi Okafor. Prof Okafor, said he was a student of Prof Nwabueze 45 years ago. He described him as the greatest Nigerian scholar living today, decrying that such virtue which people like the celebrator was known were fast eroding. He commended the celebrator for his outspokenness on national issues, describing knowing the celebrant a rare privilege. Governor Obi congratulated the celebrator. He urged people especially the youths to emulate Prof Nwabueze statesmanship. He prayed God grant him long life. He described the celebrator as a father who has trained his kids well and

should be receiving all the attention and the support of the people of the State. He noted that his administration would strive to restore the value system in the state. Ngige, whose arrival at the venue threw up the tempo of the celebration, described Prof Nwabueze as an erudite scholar and a man whose commitment towards the development of the country was total. He also prayed God to give him more time on earth. Hon Ogene also described the celebrant as a father who has championed the emancipation of the area and prayed God to keep strong for them. Senator Obi also said the celebrator was one in a million, adding that the presence of such persons of note at the occasion showed that Nwabueze has impacted positively

•Senator Chris Ngige (left) and former Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK) Prof Ilochi Okafor

on the society. Nwabueze, who was visibly elated at the turn out of the event, commended his students whom he said helped make the day a reality. He said that when he was 70, his students mounted pressure for detailed anniversary, which

he subdued as he thought that there was nothing to celebrate. He thanked God for keeping him alive 10 years after adding that when they insisted on the celebration of the 80th birthday anniversary, he knew he should be grateful to God.



• Out-going German Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Joachim Schmillen (left) being received by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, during a valedictory visit to the Minister in Abuja.

•Managing Director, Finbank Plc, Suzanne Iroche and Executive Chairman, Bua Group of Companies, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, during a courtesy visit to Bua Group corporate office in Lagos





•Dr Obaidullah (right) presenting certificate to Dr Kamil Oloso. With them is Alhaji Shuaib

All for the great pillar

•Dr Adnan

•Dr Mobolaji

Religious leaders, businessmen and renowned scholars converged on Lakeem Suites, Surulere, Lagos, for a workshop on Zakat. TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO was at the event orgnised by Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation in collaboration with Islamic Research and Training Institute of the Islamic Development Bank Group, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.


HEY were not more than 50 inside the hall, but no one entered without taking a bow judging by the calibre of personalities in attendance. They included leaders of various foremost organisations, business moguls, renowned scholars and respected academics in the country. It did not end there; economic experts from Saudi Arabia and Malaysia were on hand to rub minds with their Nigerian counterparts on the third pillar of Islam - Zakat. No doubt, the three-day workshop on Zakat that drew participants from across the country and addressed by local and international experts, was an eye opener to many. Participants critically and extensively discussed various issues on Zakat administration, vis-à-vis its collection and distribution, challenges and potential in alleviating endemic poverty. The event was jointly organised by a Nigerian Faith-based organisation, Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation (ZSF) and Islamic Research and Training Institute of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IRTI-IDB), Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The Secretary-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Dr AbdulLateef Adegbite billed to chair the event was absent. But in his message to the organisers and participants, he described the event as apt considering the increasing rate of poverty in the country. He said Zakat is an antidote to poverty. Welcoming the participants, Executive Director of ZSF, Alhaji Abdullahi Shuaib said the need to address the modern challenges facing Zakat Institutions in the country informed the workshop. Shuaib asserted that an efficient and effective management of Zakat will stimulate the economic growth of the country and by extension facilitate a sustainable socio-economic and spiritual well-being of our people. "It is pertinent to say that this event is timely and it came at a time that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)hasgrantedapprovalinprinciple (AIP) to JAIZ BANK to commence its banking services in line with CBN guidelines and global Islamic banking operations. While this is a welcome development as its being practised in developed countries, such as United Kingdom, Italy, and United States of America among others, it is also very important to mention that these services are not restricted to Muslims only. Rather, the window being opened is meant for who-

ever is interested to patronise the services of the bank as alternative to the conventional banking services. If the conventional banking services have failed to address our economic maladies, it is logical, therefore, to avail ourselves of solution proffered by Islamic banking services to avert such economic maladies and prevent corruption in the sector. "This workshop therefore is expected to assist in developing our capacity building in anticipation of • responsibilities as professional our administrators of Zakat and other Halal fund," he said. One of the guest speakers, Muhammad Akhyar Adnan congratulated the participants for being part of the historic event. Adnan, a Senior Lecturer at the International Islamic University Malaysia, gave a picture of the procedures of the Zakat Institutions in Malaysia. He said study shows that financial control practices of Zakat institutions in Malaysia are generally good. Future researchers, he said, may have interest in comparing Malaysian zakat institutions with practices in other countries. He stated that financial and technical support of international organisations through exchange programmes and internship will go a long way in developing the capacity of Zakat institutions in Nigeria Alsospeaking,DrAbdulHakeem Mobolaji from Fountain University, Osogbo, capital of Osun State, said four essentials of Zakat are legitimacy of wealth, sincerity of intention, altruistic motive and for Allah alone. Zakat, Mobolaji said, is the right of the poor from the wealth of the rich, a means of spiritual purification and a balance between economic and social life. "Zakat is a sacred religious duty and a veritable fiscal in-

strument for enhancing socioeconomic development of individuals and society. It is a social insurance scheme which equals none in the world; it is a blessing and growth enhancing. In a multi-religious state, it could face a number of challenges that require resoluteness and cooperation among Muslims to tackle," he said. Representative of IRTI-IDB, Dr Muhammed Obaidullahi said Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam, which has direct impact not only the relationship between man and Allah but also on the relationship between man and its society. "It is due to the fact that the payment of Zakat can be used as the parameter of the obedience of man to Allah and also can be used to share the wealth from the rich to the poor ones," Obaidullahi said. Given a supportive environment and the co-operation of all stakeholders, Zakat, the Arab scholar said, is a veritable means of wealth redistribution and poverty alleviation at any given time and place. He said ignorance among Muslims and non-Muslims is a great challenge to effective administration of Zakat and Sadaqat and indeed the practice of major Islamic rites in Nigeria. While thanking the participants, Chairman of the foundation, Prince Sulayman Olagunju called for the cooperation of Ulama in reaching out to wealthy Muslims and ensuring that they understand the importance of Zakat and Sadaqat as one of the veritable means of reducing the level of poverty in the country. Olagunju pledged continuous transparency and accountability on the part of ZSF administrators.

•Dr Tajudeen Yusuf

•Ustadh Jamiu Trimidhi

•Prof AbdulKareem Hussain flanked by Sheikh AbdulRahman Ahmad (left) and Sheikh Dhikrullahi Shafi’i

•Prince Olagunju

•Dr Abdulwasiu Gabadeen

•Sheikh Adangba


•From left: Mr Ismail Omikunle; Mr Muhammed Adedamola and Alhaji Qasim Badrudeen

•Hajia Fatima AbdulWahab (left) and Hajia Munirat Salith





Members of Rotary Club of Ikoyi gathered on Saturday, July 23, at the Golden Gate Restaurant, Ikoyi, Lagos to witness the change of baton from the club's 26th President, Rot Nike Maiyaki to Rot John Senaya as the 27th President. AMIDU ARIJE was there.

Change of baton at Rotary


N their beautiful attires, members, friends and relatives of the Rotary Club of Ikoyi entered the well decorated Fortune Hall of the Golden Gate Restaurant to witness the investiture ceremony of Rotarian John Senaya, who took over form Rotarian Nike Maiyaki. The ambience of the hall provided them the opportunity to exchange pleasantries as they welcome one another. Endless flashes from cameras of a battery of photojournalists taking pictures of groups and individuals, confirmed the magnitude of the event. To the members of the club, it was like yesterday they installed Maiyaki who was handing over to Senaya to direct the affairs of the club for the next one year. Aside being happy that they were witnesses to the change of leadership, they were also joyful that none of them was missing. Added to this was the cheering news that their club was rated as the best in the Rotary District. All these according to them, called for celebration as they displayed the trophy presented to the club by the district on the table for every-

one to see. When giving account of her stewardship, Maiyaki acknowledged the support of the members and associated its success to their commitment to the club. "In line with the theme for the past year 2010/2011 which was 'Building Communities, Bridging Continents' our club was able to give life to this theme by providing selfless service through provision of computers and training for teachers in our adopted village, Orofun, in Ibeju Lekki; provision of borehole for their school; renovation of a block of classroom in the same school; contributing to disaster relief and poverty alleviation through provision of micro credit facilities among others. Everything put together, our club came out as overall best out of eighty clubs in the District," she said. "This feat," she continued, would not have been possible without the contributions and support of all members of this great club, I appreciate you all and thank you," Maiyaki stated. The occasion was chaired by the Nigerian Ambassador to Ghana, Senator Musiliu

Obanikoro, while the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Channels Television, John Momoh, was the guest speaker. When it was time for the investiture, the out going president, Maiyaki, assisted by the chairman of the occasion, Senator Obanikoro, enrobed the new president, Rotarian Senaya, with the insignia of her office. In his acceptance speech, Senaya assured members of continuing from where past president stopped and promised to improve upon their record of best overall in the District. He described the past year as the best and thanked Maiyaki and her team for a job well done. "The past year 2010 /2011 has been the best so far in the history of the club. We have a lot to show for it. The awards, the pats on the back, but more importantly, the smiles on the faces of those communities we have touched through Rotary Service. The last year served as the kick we have always needed to move our club to great heights. "I congratulate my immediate past President for her

• Mrs Maiyaki decorating Senaya. With them are Chief Akomolede and Mrs Susan Omotosho

great achievement. I also thank her team and the entire membership for their support during the year," he said. Senaya added: "This Rotary year shall be looking within to embrace humanity. We shall gather all of our inner strength and apply it to our goals and objectives. We shall make our club an effective Rotary Club, touching the lives of our

community and making humanity the better for it." Explaining strategy for achieving these laudable objectives Senaya said: "Our club has put together a strategic plan for the achievement of our goals. Our mission is: 'to build and sustain a vibrant and effective mega club, which embraces and provides the true ideals of Rotary service to its community and

humanity. "Our Vision is to be the effective and number one club of choice with dynamic, actionoriented membership and programmes, whose contributions will improve lives in our community and communities worldwide." Guests and members who attended the event included: Rot Kola Akomolede, Rot Bidemi Alabi, Rot Amina Danesi and Rot Remi Akinterinwa

Rites for the late Managing Director, Aina-Marshall Establishment Nigeria Limited (AMEN C&F), Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Adelani Aina-Marshall, climaxed with a service in his honour at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Fountain of Life Sanctuary, Ikeja Lagos, writes NNEKA NWANERI.

Adieu to a loving dad T

HEIR exotic cars easily gave them out as the crème de la crème of the society. They made no noise, but their presence spoke volumes about them and what they had come to do. The compound of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), where they packed their cars, mostly black, was full. They were friends, associates and relatives of the pillar of Aina-Marshall family, Omo-Oba Marshall, who died in July this year of cardiac arrest, while driving at Ogba, Ikeja. They came to pay their last respect at the funeral service held in his honour. Dressed in purple Ankara, their gloomy faces depicted how sad they were for losing a dear one. Pastor Obafunso Ayinoluwa who delivered the sermon quoted from 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18, saying Christians should not grief for their dead loved ones. Friends of the late Ogun State born businessman described him as very exceptional having completed his secondary school education at the age of 16 in 1971. At 19, he was made a director in his father’s company- Alhaji Abudu Aina and Sons Ltd. He started his own company in 1978 at the age of 23.

One of those who missed him is his younger brother, Debo Aina, who described him as a fantastic fellow loved by everyone. “He was a pillar among his family and peers. That is why we are pained by his death. He was the only brother I had. Though he died young, he accomplished everything a man should have in life. He was a strong man. I know him well. If he knew he was going to die, he wouldn’t have gone out. Just like that, before he could get to the hospital, he died. He could not be stopped by anything. Despite all the challenges he faced, he never relented until death snatched him away,” he said. He encouraged his late brother’s wives to unite to raise his children and make them greater than their father. The first wife, Bimbo, went down the memory lane on how she met Marshall on April 9, 1979 and got married to him on September 20, 1980 after the birth of their daughter, Wande, in 1980. “Love is all we shared as we were younger. You gave me all I needed as a wife; you took me as your mother, sister and friend because we shared all our problems together. You taught me how to be strong and have faith. One thing I will be grateful

to you for is the way you raised our children the perfect way… you were a man of few words. You stood by me in all ways and gave me confidence in anything I do. You always told me to believe in what I believe. Even when things went wrong, you gave me courage and told me Mama Wande, I’m behind you.’ Who will I turn to now? Who can I call my husband?” she asked. His second wife, Bolajoko, who was yet to believe that her husband was dead, did not describe him as a perfect human, but one who tried his best to be perfect. “He lived a short, but fulfilled life. I remember him for being a man of many parts, a shinning star and a natural leader with human disposition. He was indeed, my worthy ally, and I am going to miss his laughter, vibrant attitude, wealth of knowledge and eagerness to help,” she said. His first daughter, Yewande Aderibigbe, said in the last five months, her father exemplified a man of unequalled strength, especially, in bearing illness and pains with patience and dignity. Dad was the most tenacious person I knew. He was ferocious, focused and fueled by the need to be his own man. He was an accomplished man in countless ways until the very end,’’ she said.

• The widows Bolajoko and Abimbola

•Children of the deceased




The excitement and the crowd that witnessed the wedding between Esther Oluwakemi Aina and Folarin Temitope Ogunsola at Emmanuel Anglican Church and the reception that followed at Anglican Nursery and Primary School, Igogo Ekiti, Ekiti State, underscored the point that the day of their union was made by the Lord. SULAIMAN SALAWUDEEN reports. •From left: Bride’s mum, Mrs Janet; the couple; flanked by Bride’s father, Dr Aina and Groom’s mother, Mrs Ogunsola

A day the Lord made T

HE bride, Esther Oluwakemi Aina, in her final year at the medical school, is the daughter of the Permanent Secretary, Ekiti State Ministry of Health, Dr Kolawole Aina, while the groom, an engineer, is the son of the immediate past Chief Judge of Osun State, the Late Justice Olaniyi Fasasi Ogunsola. Draped in black suit and flowing white wedding gown, the groom and bride swayed dance steps to the music supplied by the church choir. The pair just about to be joined in holy matrimony held to each other and exchanged looks with friends and family. Joy abound the service which held early in the day at Emmanuel Anglican Church Igogo Ekiti and dignitaries led by Ekiti State Commissioner for Health, Dr Wole Olugboji, and

wife of former Osun State Governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Mrs. Omolola Oyinlola, made a pronounced presence. The wedding ceremony started with a traditional engagement the day before at the residence of Dr and Mrs Aina in Igogo Ekiti, Ekiti State. The Bishop of the Ekiti Anglican Diocese, Rt. Rev Isaac Olatunde Olabowale, in his sermon taken from the book of Ephesians 5: 21 - 29, laid emphasis on submission of wives to their husbands. He said although the common thing is to hear people harp more on the submission of wife to husband, for a marriage to be successful, the two would have to submit to each other by being available to each other all the time. After the church service came a colourful reception at the open field of the Anglican

•Wife of former governor of Osun State, Mrs Oyinlola and Dr Olugboji

Nursery and Primary School, Igogo Ekiti where Halleluyah Singers from Ayedun-Ekiti supplied rich music for the colourful guests and dignitaries which included wife of the Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; Magistrates and Justices of the Osun State Judiciary including Chief Judge of Osun State, HonJustice Ojo

and Justice Oyejide Falola. The event had its male chairman in Dr Olugboji and its female chair in Mrs. Oyinlola,. After a minute silence in honour of the late Justice Olaniyi Ogunsola, father of the groom, Dr Olugboji in a speech dwelt on the sermon by Bishop Olabowale. He noted that the couple should make patience

their marriage guide. Mrs Oyinlola, who superintended the cutting of the wedding cake, prayed for the couple that as the cake was beautifully decorated, so also shall their lives and wedding be beautiful and their joy full. This was followed by ecstatic dancing and jubilations.

Wedding of lovebirds The ancient city of Ondo Town was alive last weekend when Dr Oluwaseun Adeola, son of the Permanent Secretary, Ondo State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Tunde Adeola, tied the nuptial knot with his heartthrob, Miss Mofesola Akinsunmi. LEKE AKEREDOLU writes.


•The couple

HE A-list of those at the event showed that the wedding was that of children of very important personalities. Prominent indigenes including the state Chairman of Labour Party (LP), Dr Olaiya Oni, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr Kola Ademujimi, commissioners, interim caretaker chairmen from the 18 council areas, traditional rulers, personnel of the Ondo State Civil Service and a host of others were among those who graced the occasion. Their wedding engagement took place at the Wesley University of Science and Technology, Ondo (WUSTO). As early as 7am, guests moved

to The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Power Sanctuary (Ondo Province 2), for the Solemnisation. In his sermon, the Area Pastor, Jesus House, Pastor Olujinmi Olusegun, traced the history of marriage to the Adam and Eve era when God encouraged them to “multiply.” Pastor Olusegun said it is the duty of the bride to make the home a “comfortable place” by submitting herself to her husband, in line with the injunctions of God. The cleric urged the groom not to make his wife a punching bag, no matter the provocation. He harped on the need for the families of the couple to

support them with prayers and allow them to understand each other. The groom’s father, Mr Adeola was full of joy on the occasion. He described the union as a sense of fulfillment. “We thank God for everything; an occasion like this is what one is praying for; that one should see the success of one’s children. And we thank God that we are witnessing this. I have a sense of fulfillment and I thank God for hearing our prayers to make the day a DDay for us,” he said. “What sustains a good marriage is for them to build their homes on God. Let them make God their

pillar, at the time of needs, plenty and want, they should run to God. There is nobody that is beyond temptation,” he added. Also speaking, Prince Iyantan urged the couple to build their marriage on the foundation of Christ, adding that “If it is built on the foundation of love, every challenge that normally comes the way of marriage will be consumed by the overbearing influence of love. “And if they have any problem, they should solve it between themselves. They should not allow third party to come in. They should be forgiving and tolerant of each other.’’




‘How to encourage small scale farmers’ A

DON, Prof Biyi Daramola, has said ag-riculture is in the hands of big business outfits. In an interview with The Nation, Daramola, who is of the Department of Agric Economics, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, said small scale farmers are behind large scale farmers in advancing commercial productivity frontier, the based on present trends. To produce the food to force down prices and meet the future demands of a growing population, the expert urged the government to support small scale farmers to reach productivity levels According to him, large-scale commercial farms have the advantages of being able to reap economies of scale, mobilise funds for investment, and to react to evolving market demand. While it is correct to emphasise large scale commercial farming, Daramola noted that history of farming reveals numerous episodes where there have been remarkable spurts of growth in agricultural output coming from small farms. According to him, when small farmers are given the incentives to produce more and the means to do so, they invest, innovate and respond to opportunities. He asked the government to review land legislation to grant farmers access to farmland to produce food. During a session on agriculture at the just

Stories by Daniel Essiet, Agric Correspondent

concluded World Economic Forum on Africa in South Africa, the Managing Director, First City Monument Bank, Mr Ladi Balogun, said the private sector and small-scale farmers have important roles to play. “I don’t think that the concern will be that big business will get the whole agricultural pie to itself. It is just not practical. It is not going to happen.” He said a lack of credible data on Africa’s agriculture sector is one of the private sector’s main concerns. “No big business likes to take an investment decision without the data. You will find that it will continue to be a challenge for big businesses to play across the spectrum in agriculture, simply because the information to make those decisions is not there.” He argued that the entry of large companies should be seen as a positive development. “We should welcome it, because the more people see that you can have credible companies going into this sector, the more capital... will start flowing in.” This, according to Balogun, will create employment and give smallholder farmers the opportunity to participate in outgrower schemes. “We should also remember what we are trying to achieve here. It is not necessarily to make millionaires out of every farmer. It is to remove poverty from the rural areas,” he added.

• Balogun

• Daramola

International consultant, Prof Johnson Ekpere, said small scale farmers provide almost 70 per cent of livelihoods and employment. According to him, small scale farmers can produce enough food for national consumption and export. He said a boost to small-scale farming could help to end hunger. Ekpere said small-scale farming can be extremely productive per hectare and address the challenge of food security According to him, investing in small-scale farming rather than investing in large-scale heavily mechanised plantations is really the

path the government must take to import total food production. While nations depend on large scale farmers for food, export earnings and other agribased raw materials, Ekpere said small scale farmers play a pivotal role when it comes to feeding the populace. According to him, if a proper system is put in place to support such farmers, the nation would become self food sufficient and an exporter. He called for government policies, which provide resources for supporting smallholder agri-sector.

Association seeks 25% budgetary allocation


HE Ijebu branch of the Nigerian Hunters and Farmers Association in Ogun State, otherwise known as Agbekoya Society, has called on the Federal Government to allocate 25 per cent of the national budget to agriculture. Chief Sesan Keshinro, the spokesman for the association,

made the call in Ijebu-Ode . He said the measure would not only help to boost food production, but would also make agriculture attractive to youths and reduce the rate of unemployment in the country. Keshinro also urged the government to provide loans and

other incentives to farmers to boost food production. The spokesman, who described the budget for the sector as “meagre”, stressed the need for the government to increase the allocation to prevent food scarcity. He criticised the government

for the money spent on the importation of food annually, saying the country was blessed with abundant natural resources to achieve increased food production. “Nigeria has good climate, fertile soil and adequate rainfall to achieve food security.

“It is a pity the government is spending so much money on food importation despite these abundant resources.” Keshinro criticised the government for not tapping into the abundant resources to promote agriculture

Falana charges students on perseverance


CTIVIST lawyer Mr. Femi Falana has advised students of Agric-Yes Farmers Institute, Araga, Epe, Lagos State, to be prepared for the challenges of agricultural production. Falana gave this advice while addressing the student farmers at the school auditorium. He said they should persevere and fulfill the objective of the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) in bringing back the past glory of Nigeria in

agricultural production. Falana emphasised that the student farmers should take the business of agriculture seriously without any shame and be proud of upholding the profession as farmers. He stressed that Nigeria is endowed with arable land, very fertile for agriculture and that with seriousness the goal of increased food security will be achieved. Citing Adamawa as example, Falana said: “Adamawa State

alone can feed Nigeria with rice. “Most food we eat in Lagos State come from the North and it shouldn’t be so. This must stop,” he stated. He advised them to accelerate domestic rice production and improve on processing to meet the quality standard. “We must tap into all the resources of our farmers across the nation and deliver a green revolution for rice production,’’ he advised. Falana stressed that the govern-

ment should promote agricultural production and enhance productivity. He challenged individuals and all the states of the federation to assist in food production and emulate the Lagos State Government Agric Youth Empowerment Programme (Agric-YES). Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Dr Yakub Olajide Basorun conducted Falana round the facilities.

• Falana

NGO canvasses improved nutritional governance


NON-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Development Communications Network, is pushing for nationwide consultation to improve food security and nutritional governance. Speaking in Lagos, the Executive Director, Mr Akin Jimoh, said the nation needs to improve countryled actions to prevent future food crises, eliminate hunger and ensure food security and nutrition for all. Addressing a media workshop on Essential of Vegetable Protein in Nutrition, Jimoh noted that food security exists when Nigerians have access to sufficient safe and nutritious food that meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. He said the government has not done enough to promote awareness on hunger and nutrition issues, maintaining that there is an urgent reason to mobilise the nation to face this situation and eradicate hunger. For this reason, he noted that his organisation is supporting the cam-

paign of getting more Nigerians to know that soy can be good for them and to produce more products from soy and improve bread by raising the protein content. The General Manager, Alltech Nutrients Limited, Silas Okuh, said his organisation is supporting entrepreneurs to transform US soy into nutritious bread and other foods on the shelves of the nation’s stores. He said his company is providing

the training, technical support and business introductions to enable Nigerians to take advantage of protein-rich soy. According to him, soy is a quality product and as far as the bread industry is concerned, this has improved the quality of bread. Okuh said they are working with bakeries and other organisations to help them understand the value and ease of use of soy to lead to diet improvement.

He said consumers of bread made with soy flour receive more protein and bakers who produce bread using soy flour have higher yields for a greater profit, and demand for soy increases. He said soy have more uses for fighting malnutrition and getting better health for Nigerians. Okuh said they will support the campaign to encourage more soybased meal options among school cafeterias and help ensure students

have more healthy meal options to choose from. To support a generation of healthy, active children, he noted that emphasis should be on nutritionally dense school meals that meet the needs of students. According to him, soyfoods have high quality protein to be the center piece of school meals for children who desire nutrient dense plant-based options.

High food prices cast pall on Ramadan


ISING food prices have cast a pall on Ramadan, the Muslim holy month. In most markets across the country, prices of foodstuffs and other essential commodities, in high demand continued to climb. One of the Islam faithful, Malam Usman Mohammed, who spoke with The Nation, complained about the continued rise in food prices of rice, beans, fruits, beverages, cooking oil. In Lagos, the prices of imported

food items such as frozen fish, and vegetable oil moved up by 10 per cent during the last few days. For example, the price of a 50-kilo bag of black-eyed beans, the main ingredient in the tasty deep-fried dumpling known as kosai, has shot up by 40 per cent. Eggs and chicken have gone up by a similar amount. Vegetables are also up by 60 percent. The price of yams - ordinarily eaten in large quantities during the month of fasting - is also up by 40

percent. The prices of a bag of the various brands of imported rice had gone up to between N8,000 and N10,000 some days ago depending on quality. A medium size measure of maize is now being sold for N130 as against the former price of N100, while the same measure of millet costs N120 as against N90 during the last few months. He attributed the hike in the cost of these items to the Ramadan fast

Mohammed said the prices of beans, fruits, beverages; cooking oil has driven a deep hole in household budgets. Some watchers associated it with N18,000 new minimum wage for workers. In Akwa Ibom, a 50 kg bag of Stallion rice now sells for N8,000 as against the old price of N7,500, while a 100 kg bag of brown beans sell for N17,000 as against N15,500 two months ago.






OOKING at the social concept of majority versus minority more critically, in any society, one might conclude, after all, that the difference is not much in the demographic figure as it is in the organisational function. The Almighty Allah alludes to this in Qur’an 2: 249 where He says: “...Many a small group has, by Allah’s grace, vanquished a mighty army. Allah is with the steadfast’’ Comparing the weight of the head with that of the body in any living organism, a careless observer may tend to classify the head as insignificant. Yet, the presumed massive flesh and bone of the body are controlled by the head. Thus, without the head which harbours the brain and serves as the engine room of the entire body, no nerve will be able to function at all. The above analogy is as fitting to Ondo State Muslim Community as a sceptre in the hands of a newly crowned king. Despite the familiarity of this columnist with Nigeria’s Southwest Muslims and their operations in the constituent six states, it became a pleasant surprise last week Thursday (July 28, 2011) when the structure of that community was found to have posed a new challenge to the Muslim communities in other states within the region. In a message from the community inviting yours sincerely to be a guest speaker at a seminar organised for the Chief Imams and Alfas in the state, I noticed that the name of the body was ‘ONDO STATE MUSLIM WELFARE BOARD’. Thinking it was an error, I called their link man, Alhaji Jamiu Ibidapo to clarify the fact of that name in order to bail me out of confusion. I had thought that they meant to write ONDO STATE MUSLIM PILGRIMS WELFARE BOARD and thus prepared to speak on Hajj. But the gentleman confirmed the earlier name saying as far as they (Muslims) in the State were concerned there is no difference between pilgrims and non-pilgrims in the welfare of the Muslims. The Chairman of the Board, Alhaji Ibrahim Jamiu, took time on my arrival in the State Capital (Akure) to spell out the details about how they arrived at the name. He emphasised the role of the State Governor in coining the name and in making the Board function as the umbrella body for the entire Muslims in the state. He showed me the prototype of the permanent Secretariat of the Board now under construction and confirmed to me that it would host all official functions of the Board as well as those of the entire Muslim societies in the state. When completed, the Board’s Secretariat will contain the necessary facilities like Mosque, a multipurpose hall, office complex, a clinic, and a study centre. The one day seminar organised for the Imams and Alfas was the initiative of the Chairman and members of his Board. But it enjoined the encouragement and support of Governor Olusegun Mimiko, who was present at the seminar with his Secretary to the State Government, his Special Adviser on Petroleum (a Muslim) and some Commissioners as well as the newly appointed Chairman of the Civil Service Commission who is also a Muslim. What became pleasantly surprising in all this was not about the name and the structure alone but the idea of organising a seminar for the Imams and Alfas which is perhaps the first of its type in the entire Southwest region. The Governor is generally acknowledged by the Muslim Ummah in the state as a doer of justice particularly in the religious sphere. He was said to be behind the sponsorship of 180 Muslims on pilgrimage in 2009 and 360 in 2010 a fit which never happened in the history of the state before he came on board. He also encouraged and sponsored the state’s contingent to the national qur’anic competition in 2010. These were besides the Ramadan Iftar and pre- Ramadan lectures in 2010 and 2011 which came in form of a seminar this year. As a columnist and preacher, I have ardently been an advocate of the idea of seminars and workshops for our Imams and Alfas with the intention of updating them in knowledge and experience. Ondo State is one of the foremost states in the Southwest with the most qualified Imams. Most of those Imams had trained and graduated from various universities 08051101861

Ondo Muslim community

• Crescent in the Arab world. They are not only well knowledgeable but also well exposed. Yet, they all turned up for the seminar and paid attentive hears to the lectures delivered. They did not feel too big or too knowledgeable to be tutored by persons who are not Imams. The two topics of the seminar were well thought out and timely. One is: ‘THE ROLE OF MUSLIM LEADERSHIP AND SCHOLARS/ORGANIZATION IN MOON SIGHTING IN NIGERIA’. The other is: ‘EFFECTIVE USE OF ELECTRONIC MEDIA IN PROPAGATING ISLAM IN A NON-ISLAMIC ENVIRONMENT’. I handled the latter. In the lecture, I traced the history of Islamic propagation in Nigeria especially in the Southwest prior to the technological inventions like microphone, radio, telegraph, telex, television and the internet. I recalled how the then Alfas used to go from village to village leaving their families behind for months calling people to the way of Allah. I also traced the history of the invention of some of the above mentioned devices and their usefulness for the propagation of Islam recalling that radio in particular was invented by an Italian electrical engineer, Guglielmo Marconi in 1895. This man developed an improved coherer and connected it to a rudimentary form of antenna, with its lower end grounded. He then developed improved spark

oscillators, connected to crude antennas. The transmitter was modulated with an ordinary telegraph key. The coherer at the receiver actuated a telegraphic instrument through a relay, which functioned as a crude amplifier. In 1896 he transmitted signals for a distance e of about 1.6 km and applied for his first British patent. In 1897 he transmitted signals from shore to a ship at sea 29 km away. And in 1899 he established commercial communication between England and France that operated in all types of weather. By 1901 he had sent signals to a distance covering 322 km and later in the same year, he succeeded in sending a single letter across the Atlantic Ocean. Today, we have an audio instrument called radio with various waves through that singular effort. Although the process of inventing television by an English electrical Engineer, Campbell-Swinton had begun in 1908, its effective transmission did not commence until the 1920s. As a matter of fact, the first commercial transmission through the television only came up in 1936. But it must be admitted that the invention of television was not by one single man. While Campbell-Swinton was making efforts towards achieving that, another physicist, Vladimir Kosma Zworrykin, a Russian born American who invented iconoscope camera tube was also busy along that line. But since our concern here is more about preaching through the electronic media and not invention, the details about how television came into existence may not be fully explored in this column today because of its little relevance. Another day will do when we may talk about other electronic inventions God willing. In the lecture, I told the audience that in the modern time, the best means of propagating Islam is through the mass media. And to do so, the messenger must match the message. An Islamic preacher is not an ordinary person. He stands out as a model in the society whose public appearance and conduct should preach Islam more than his words. Such a person must not only be an epitome of knowledge and information, he must also reflect the Qur’an and the Hadith in his day to day life. An Islamic preacher must not be a joker who will not be taken seriously by his audience. He must not appear like a ruffian who will be despised by the audience. He must not stammer in his preaching to avoid sending a wrong signal to the audience. He must be well

‘Now, the South West Muslim communities have a lesson to learn from the example of Ondo State Muslim Welfare Board. A board of that nature must not be for the pilgrims alone. It must be for the general welfare of all the Muslims in the state. The lesson to be learnt here is not for the Southwest, alone. All the states in the federation as well as the Federal Capital Territory have a lesson to learn from it’

familiar with the subject of his preaching to avoid slipping into unnecessary tautology. He must not be a praise singer who will be seen as an opportunistic sycophant. He must neither use foul language nor attack people of other religions. He must have a clear and be adequately audible voice. His preaching must be in the language understandable to his audience. He must always remember that he preaches to all categories of people some of whom are more knowledgeable than him and some of whom are totally ignorant. He must not talk to himself or a few people in his category in the process of wanting to display knowledge unnecessarily. He must allow for reasonable questions and be patient in answering such questions if only to enable him drive home his points. He must always remember that a preacher is like a refuse bin where all sorts of garbage are disposable. In preaching, the way words are put across is very important. But a speaker is more important than the words he dishes out. And the message disseminated through words is more important than the speaker. Islam, like man and even the entire universe, is born of words. When Allah wanted to create Adam, He consulted the Angels through words. And when the Angels objected to the idea, it was through words that He told them that He knew what they (the Angels) did not know. Consequently, He put a question to those Angels which they could not answer and commanded Adam to teach them. Thus, all the messages from Allah to all His messengers were through words. The summary of all this is that a preacher, like a messenger, must be as dignified as the message he wants to preach. The first Minister appointed by Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was that of Information. And the person appointed into that office was Bilal Bn Rabiah, a liberated black slave from Abyssinia. His duty as Minister of information was not only to call the faithful to prayer and ensure a good organisation of the Mosque but also to be the link man between the Prophet, as Head of State, and the Muslim Ummah. He informed the public of the Prophet’s activities and also informed the Prophet of the people’s expectation of the government. Today, those in the position of Bilal are the Muadhdhins who wake up people from their sleep, for Salat, very early in the morning everyday. Such people must not be anybody. They must be well trained and updated from time to time in order not to misrepresent Islam by boring or polluting the ears of the people who are just coming back into the world from their sleep. And their duty must not be limited to Mosque or Salat affairs alone. They are the megaphones of the Ummah serving under the leadership of the Imam. Next to the Imam, the Muadhdhin must be well trained just as the Mufassir. These are the three most important people within the Ummah who are dealing in knowledge. If they are left to be ignorant, the entire Ummah will surely be ignorant. Now, the South West Muslim communities have a lesson to learn from the example of Ondo State Muslim Welfare Board. A board of that nature must not be for the pilgrims alone. It must be for the general welfare of all the Muslims in the state. The lesson to be learnt here is not for the Southwest, alone. All the states in the federation as well as the Federal Capital Territory have a lesson to learn from it. Ondo and Ekiti are the only two states in the Southwest with Muslim minority. Yet their Islamic activities are constantly showing that they are functionally in the majority when compared to the other four states in the region. Just recently, Muslim pupils from the two states won the first three prices to the exclusion of all other states in the region in an annual essay competition organised for Senior Secondary Muslim Students in the South west. How else can one confirm seriousness? Islam is about knowledge. Anybody who claims to be a Muslim must always learn one good thing or another from those who possess knowledge. When it comes to Islamic administration, Ondo State Muslim Welfare Board has become a school from which the rest of the Southwest should endeavour to acquire some knowledge.





Police arrest robbery kingpin


robbery suspect who has allegedly been impersonating members of the National Assembly and head of other Federal Government departments, in a bid to allegedly rob operators of bureau de change has been arrested by the police. The suspect Princewill Arinze (aka) Nwobodo was paraded by Lagos State Police Command, Ikeja on Tuesday. Some of the victims were at the police headquarters to testify against the suspect whom the police described as highly connected to powerful and influential people in Abuja and Lagos. Police investigators noted that the development made his arrest before now almost impossible. According to preliminary investigations, the suspect allegedly poses as a Senator and calls operators of bureau de change to tell them that he wants to travel out of the country and would need a large amount of foreign currency. It was gathered that the suspect has allegedly been carrying out this act of criminality for a long time and was even arrested and charged to court but was granted bail. The Officer in Charge of SARS Mr Abba Kyari, a Superintendent of Police (SP) said that the suspect attempted to bribe his officers but he was advised to pay back the N20m which he allegedly had robbed his victims. Abba confirmed that his men have already

By Jude Isiguzo and Ebele Boniface

recovered N10m from the suspect. He also paraded a red Nissan Xtera Jeep which the suspect allegedly acquired with proceeds from robbery. Abba noted that the suspect had been involved in several robbery operations in the past and was once charged at Igbosere Magistrate’s Court. One of the victims, Alhaji Aliu Inusa a bureau de change operator at the local wing of the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja said: “This suspect is backed by certain powerful persons in the corridors of power. This is not his first time of robbing innocent people and anytime he is arrested he calls these people on phone and they will come to his rescue. Some of us have even accepted our fate until he was taken to Special AntiRobbery Squad. Majority of his victims are bureau de chance dealers.” He further said: “In November 2008 at a new generation bank at Adeniji Jones, the bank manager asked me to bring $30,000 to him. He wrote a cheque in my favour for the Naira equivalent. The cashier said he did not have enough cash and asked me to wait. After about one hour I was paid. I left for the Airport. On my way to the airport, I noticed a motorcycle following me behind. Princewill was at the back. They blocked me and ordered me to handover the bag I was carrying to them at

This suspect is backed by certain powerful persons in the corridors of power. This is not his first time of robbing innocent people and anytime he is arrested he calls these people on phone and they will come to his rescue. Some of us have even accepted our fate until he was taken to Special Anti-Robbery Squad. Majority of his victims are bureau de chance dealers


HREE undergraduate students have been arrested by the police in Ekiti State for allegedly killing a police corporal. The suspects Kolade Olajide Jimoh, (24) a 300level student of Medicine of Madonna University, Okija, Anambra State and a citizen of Imono Ekiti, Blessing Oworisi and Ogundare Ojo were arrested by policemen attached to Ologere Division of the Ekiti State Police Command, over the alleged murder of a Police Corporal during an operation. Kolade and his gang, it was gathered, stormed the Police Corporal’s home somewhere in Moferere Village where the latter’s attempt to engage the three-man gang ended in futility as he was shot to death. However, the Police Constable who has just been promoted to the rank of Corporal displayed a rare bravery as he aimed at a member of the gang before he bowed to death. Everyone around initially suspected that the gunmen were hired assassins. But they were proved wrong days later when policemen eventually arrested the three suspected members of the gang of which Kolade was said to be among. At first, Kolade denied culpability of the crime, claiming he was from a good Christian home. He claimed to have been away on the day the robbery operation took place and wondered why anyone would want to rope him into something he knew nothing about. He said: “On that fateful day, Blessing called me to say he needed money and was going to hustle. He told me he was with one Chisco and this man here (pointing to Ojo, one of the arrested suspects) later that day, at about 9:00 p.m. precisely. When I was with my girl friend, who is a student of University of Ibadan, I received a call from Blessing’s sister, one Tega, informing me that Blessing had sustained injury. I quickly went to meet him and took him to Sonta Hospital from where I discovered it was a gun shot. During the treatment, he told me that he, Chisco and Ojo went to hustle. He said Ojo wore a mask while Chisco drove the okada they used to rob.” When asked if he knew Blessing was a thief, he simply replied, “I never knew he is a robber.” Ojo said: “I swear that all I will tell you here is the truth. There is nobody that bears Chisco. Kolade uses that name for operation. In fact, we

• Princewill Arinze gunpoint. I handed over the bag containing N3m to Princewill. I reported the incident to the police. Later that day, my friend Nasiru came and told me that he was robbed by the same group.” Another victim Mohammed Galatu, a bureau de change operator at Victoria Island said that on March 29, 2011, the suspect called his brother, one Alhaji Kabiru that he wanted to buy $150,000. “My brother then called me but I was not able to do the business that day because the dollars I had were not enough.” He explained that on April 1, this year, his brother called him again and said that he should take $130,000 to the suspect at one new generation bank in Lekki area. “When I got there, I called Princewill and he told me to wait. When he got to the bank, he called me and asked me to come outside with the money. I went to meet him in his Range Rover Jeep. As I approached the jeep, he and his gang pushed me inside the jeep. One of them pointed a gun at me and ordered me to keep quiet or he would kill me and still collect my money.

“At this point, Princewill took over the steering of the vehicle and drove off. He drove to Lekki. He ordered me to put my head down. At this point, he pushed me out of the jeep at about 9:00 to 9:30 a.m. They were three in the vehicle. I later reported the robbery incident to policemen at Ajah Police Station. “The day Princewill robbed me at the bank, he came with armed mobile policemen and the police Sergeant Bassey who was working in the bank assisted them to carry me when he thought that the gang was operatives of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) because that was what they told him. When I saw the Sergeant at the police station, I told the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) that he was one of those who robbed me. He was arrested by men of SARS. It was during interrogation that he told the police investigators what the suspect told him and promised to help find the suspect.” It was gathered that after the police had released the Sergeant, he saw the suspect’s jeep at a shopping complex at Ajah. He waited for the suspect to come out from the shopping complex but it was his wife that came out. As she made to drive away in the SUV, the policeman moved forward and arrested her. She was taken to Ajah Police Station where she was forced to call her husband. When the suspect came to the police station to find out why his wife was being held, the police arrested him. On the contrary, the suspect who said he resides at 51 Road Victoria Garden City (VGC) said that he is a law-abiding citizen and has never been convicted for any crime. He said: “I have not been known for any violent character. Go round the world and see whether I have been convicted once. The fact that I was charged to court did not mean that I was charged for robbery.” He said he was detained for 82 hours at Ajah Police Station before he was transferred to SARS where he had been in their custody for two months. On whether he had anything to do with Kabiru, one of the victims, he said: “Yes I had mutual business transaction with him. I collected $130,000,000.”

Three students arrested over policeman’s death

• Kolade

By Titilayo Banjoko

were three that went for the operation that day; myself, Kolade here and Blessing who is in the hospital. I know I have reached the last bus-stop and there is no going back. So, why should I tell lies? On that day, we went on foot and not in a motorcycle as claimed by Kolade. We never intended to go to the policeman’s house. We first went to a compound. But on reaching there, we discovered that the power generating set that was initially on suddenly went off and while we were contemplating on how to go in, the light came on and went off again. Then, we sensed the person could be aware of our presence and I told them that we should leave.

“But Blessing said there was no way we could go home without anything and suggested we go to the next compound. We did not break in as the door was open and we saw a woman cooking in the corridor. We passed and went inside. I remained outside to keep watch on any intruder while both Blessing and Kolade went in. Then I heard a gun shot. I ran back, thinking of what next to do. Just then, “Kolade rushed out and said Blessing had been shot that we should escape. Quickly we started running. But we heard our names and we turned back. We saw Blessing running out with his hand on his stomach. When he got to where we were he said the man shot him but that he also got him. “At that point, I told them I could not go ahead with them. Just then, a motorcyclist stopped thinking we were passengers. Incidentally, the person recognised me and asked where I was going. I did not want him to know I was with the wounded Blessing and Kolade. I told the motorcyclist to carry them instead while I enter another one which came around.” Blessing’s girlfriend, Ofaleye Olasunkanmi a pre-degree student of the Federal College of Education Ado, corroborated Ojo’s claim when he told Newsextra that Kolade told her he spent about 16,000 on Blessing’s medication and wondered why he would say he never saw Blessing that day.

Explaining how they were eventually arrest, spokesman for the Ekiti Police Command, Mr Mohammed Jimoh, an Assistant Superintendent of Police said: “Driver of the patrol team advised Kolade to get another man that would assist him take take care of Blessing and he ended up taking him to Ojo’s house. When Ojo sighted the police van, he asked if he won’t be arrested and Kolade said no. So, together, they took Blessing to FMC Ado from where he was referred to the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital. “Meanwhile, when policemen attached to Ologere division were told that one of the robbery suspects that killed the Constable who just returned from a Corporal course left with bullet wounds, they went to Alafia Hospital. But when they got there, they were told they had been transferred to another hospital. They went to the fourth hospital before they were told Blessing had been transferred to OAUTH. “Thereafter, we contacted the Area Commander, Ile-Ife to be on the look out for any patient with bullet wounds.” This paid off as the following day; information about Blessing’s case was received. Consequent upon this, the police stormed the hospital. But the doctors, as reliably gathered, did not allow the policemen to take Blessing away as he was said to be breathing through a mechanical device. While at the hospital, they arrested Kolade and Ojo.

On that fateful day, Blessing called me to say he needed money and was going to hustle. He told me he was with one Chisco and this man here (pointing to Ojo, one of the arrested suspects) later that day, at about 9:00 p.m. precisely. When I was with my girl friend, who is a student of University of Ibadan, I received a call from Blessing’s sister, one Tega, informing me that Blessing had sustained injury





ORE efforts should be made to improve access to safe drinking water for all. That was the point Mr. Noel Oliver, Executive Director of Goldwater Quality Services Limited, makers of water accessories, stressed during the unveiling of the firm's water purifier in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Oliver also urged better sanitation as a way of avoiding a myriad of diseases. "There is a serious water problem in the world," said the Executive Director, who was accompanied by the firm's Business Development Director, Pastor Francis Ogah and Mr. Sanny Iyagba of the Business Development Unit. He said the pitcher water filter system effectively removes hundreds of water contaminants. He noted that through the use of the purifier, diarrhea and other water-borne diseases would be avoided, paving the way for the citizens' better health. Oliver said since people in the rural areas are the target of the water filter system, the government should partner with the company, to ensure that the real people benefit. More than one billion people in the developing world (Nigeria inclusive) have no safe drinking water or water for washing their food, hands and utensils before eating, while 2.4 billion have no adequate sanitation, it was said. The pathetic situation leads to such water-borne diseases as cholera, typhoid, and water-related diseases like malaria, yellow fever, river blindness, sleeping sickness, and a host of other ailments. "Improving access to clean water and sanitation will drastically reduce illness and death in poor countries," Oliver said. "Clean water supply reduces diarrhea-related deaths by up to 25 per cent, while improved sanitation reduces it by 32 per cent. "It is regrettably observed that trachoma, which is one of the most common causes of blindness in the developing world, is linked to extreme poverty, which has prevented many people to have access to good drinking water and sanitation. "It is triggered by bacteria that cause repeated conjunctivitis. It spreads quickly, especially where there is no good and reliable

• Mr. Noel Oliver, Executive Director of Goldwater Quality Services Limited (right) and Pastor Francis Ogah, Director, Business Development at the event.

'Everyone needs access to safe water' From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

water for people to wash their hands and faces regularly. Results have shown that there are six million new cases of these preventable diseases each year in Africa alone. Adequate and good water drinking habit and sanitation will help vulnerable people. "In the quest to overcome all these related

problems, the Goldwater Quality Services Limited, in partnership with one of the leading water filter manufacturing companies in the United States of America, Crystal Quest, with over 30 years experience in water filter business, is introducing the unique water purifier." The executive director added: "The filter is uniquely prepared to fit into the present re-

alities of water challenges that cut across the societal paradigm and to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). "The poor are being considered as major beneficiaries, as we have purposely rejected every design that will make the product unaffordable by them. Our desired goal is to ensure that every person, no matter the status in the society, must have access to good drinking water."

Nigeria to hold week in Brazil


OR one whole week, Nigeria will showcase its tourism potentials in Brazil, the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Chief Edem Duke has said The event will come up at the end of this month. The event is seen as part of the upswing in the country's tourism sector. Recently, the alluring Obudu Mountain Resort in Cross River State hosted the First Lady's retreat with governors' wives. The Minister was at the ranch. "Brazil has given Nigeria a place in their country that has not been utilised for 10 years at least," he said. According to the Minister, Brazil has a strong carnival culture and is looking to experience Nigeria's potentials for mutual benefits. Cross River State, with its strong tourism drive, distinct sites and a robust 32-day

Calabar Carnival, provides the ideal platform for synergy. Edem Duke, who spoke at the Gala Dinner which held on the last day of the five day First Ladies retreat, expressed "deep appreciation" to Nigeria's First Lady, Dame Goodluck Jonathan and other stakeholders for putting it together. "Her actions resonate with her husband President Goodluck Jonathan's transformation agenda," he said. He said the Jonathan administration has taken the initiative to bring the world's attention to the Obudu resort "for appreciation and patronage." The Obudu Mountain Resort is close to the Cameroon border in the north-eastern part of Cross River State, approximately 110km east of the town of Ogoja and 65km from the

Brazil has given Nigeria a place in their country that has not been utilised for 10 years at least...People from all over the world, travel to places like South Africa and Ghana to consummate their weddings. Why not Obudu

town of Obudu. It falls within the Obanliku Local Government area. Situated on a plateau on the Oshie ridge of the Sankwala Mountains, the resort is at an elevation of about 1,576 metres above sea level. It boasts a temperate climate and a landscape of rolling grassland and Montana forest. It is an area of idyllic tranquility, beautiful scenery and breathtaking views. Visitors to the resort also enjoy such tourist attractions as the waterfalls, grotto, birdwatching, horse riding, canopy walkway, monkey face-view, viewing and hiking up the Holy Mountain, and other fascinating features. It also boasts the cable car service, said to be the one of its kind in West Africa. Duke said newlyweds will find Obudu ideal for honeymoon. "People from all over the world, travel to places like South Africa and Ghana to consummate their weddings," he said. "Why not Obudu?" The minister said part of his tourism drive is to seek support to enlist tourism as a major plank of Nigeria's transformation agenda. He urged governors' wives and everyone else to encourage local tourism products by collating and making available a list of local arts and crafts products, which are unique to their states, to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. "We hope to empower people in

• Duke

this sector by providing employment for 10,000 people in the tourism and hospitality industry by 2013, 3,000 youths annually in Arts and Craft industry amongst, other things. The tourism industry is indeed a vibrant one, said the Minister and particularly beneficial to youths and women. If well harnessed, would most definitely be a major source of revenue generation apart from oil.

Senator donates to Muslims at Ramadan


ENATOR Philip Aduda has given out 400 bags of millet and 300 bags of sugar to Muslims in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to break their Ramadan fast. Aduda was represented at the distribution of the items by Mr. Dabara Audu John. The donated items were distributed to all the local governments in the FCT. "We are marking the time of fasting which our Muslim brothers and sisters have started,” he said. “As a nation, we are aligning with them to mark the fast by distributing these food items. "This will show oneness and unity. The recent crisis all over has been scary; we are using this medium to call on all Nigerians to unite, they should get closer to God, and as they continue in prayer and fasting, the prayer points should be unity and security for the

From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

nation. "As a matter of fact, this gift has been going on for the past ten years; with or without celebration these gifts are always going out. The gift items are not limited to People's Democratic Party (PDP). "Every Muslim is entitled to the gift, it does not matter your status. It is a humanitarian

activity. The bags of millet and sugar are channelled to the area council and they are distributed in accordance with the distribution of the wards, so that it will go down to the remotest place, even if it is very small. "This item is not a party item, it is for everyone. At the PDP party level we have somebody that liaises with all forms of people who we call the coordinator; so the party chairman at the local government level will work with

This will show oneness and unity. The recent crisis all over has been scary; we are using this medium to call on all Nigerians to unite, they should get closer to God, and as they continue in prayer and fasting, the prayer point should be unity and security for the nation

the coordinator, go to the wards and give out the items. "The people from the wards report to the local government and the local government report to the Senator’s office. A monitoring team is already in place that will go round after the sharing to confirm if they all got the items," he stressed. Newsextra spoke with one of the beneficiaries, Alhaji Adamu Ali from Abaji Area Council, who said Senator Aduda has been sharing such items for the past ten years. “As a matter of fact, it is one of the reasons we all voted for him as the Senator of the FCT; we have had people representing us at the national level but none has done what Senator Aduda has done. He started long before he became a senator, and still continues after his election,” he said.



Onu said it is the people's duty to seek out ways of creating the enabling environment to function optimally even in the face of adversities

• Participants at the event


ALLED the innovative and creative lecture series, it entails preparing students for a more productive postgraduation life. Upon graduation, engineers will be able to combine their knowledge in Mechanics, for instance, with Electronics. It gives them the benefit of two worlds. That is the idea behind the new lecture series in Oko Polytechnic, Anambra State. The school management said they want to produce not just entrepreneurs but great employers of labour. The lecture was well attended by captains of industry and university dons who sought to boost the students' morale as well as sharpen their interest. In an address to welcome participants, the Chairman of the Committee on innovation and creativity of the Polytechnic, Mrs. Rose Nwankwo said the topic of the lecture, Mechatronics (a combination of mechanics and electronics) and Skills for Creativity and Innovation for Alternative Energy Source, is apt and in keeping with the Federal Government's roadmap on power. "Every nation strives to achieve

Institution finds new ways to create jobs From Adimike George, Onitsha

economic self-reliance at one time or another," she said. "Nigeria as a nation is not an exception. Since independence in 1960, successive governments in the country have sought to achieve self-reliance by building an independent and industrial economy. In pursuing this objective, most governments choose the planning strategy. The belief was that consciously using development planning, the achievement of the envisaged economy would be realised." She recalled that in the 1980s the emphasis was on industrialisation, adding that the chosen strategy was import reduction or substitution, adding that like most times the development programmes were poorly implemented by policy makers and executors which she blamed for the non achievement of the desired results.

We thought it wise to embark on the exhibition of innovative output of institutes especially aimed at building up skills for creativity and innovation on Mechatronics and solar energy as an alternative energy sources "We thought it wise to embark on the exhibition of innovative output of institutes especially aimed at building up skills for creativity and innovation on Mechatronics and solar energy as an alternative energy sources," she said. “We shall be organising lectures of this nature yearly." The Rector of the Polytechnic, Professor Godwin Onu said: "There is no better time than now, given the state of the nation's economy and the myriad of other sociological problems for her to

Akwa Ibom to immortalise Essien-Igbokwe


HE Akwa Ibom State government has announced plans to give the late Lady of Songs, Christy EssienIgbokwe a befitting burial. Governor Godswill Akpabio announced this when a delegation of the national burial committee led by the former president, Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), Mr. Tony Okoroji paid him a visit at Government House, Uyo. The Governor said he was deeply touched by the visit of the delegation which he described as a show of love and compassion by colleagues of the departed icon. Akpabio noted that Essien Igbokwe was an ambassador for the state, whose is still held in high esteem even in death.

Govt to restructure women centre


From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

"You recall that the late entertainment icon made excellent performance which commanded respect for the average Akwa Ibom person and the country at large," he said. He sympathised with the immediate family of late Essien Igbokwe and the entire state, and enjoined the people to take solace in the fact that the deceased left an enduring legacy. The governor applauded PMAN's plans to give her a national burial. Okoroji, accompanied by Onyeka Onwenu as well as broadcaster, Mr. Bisi Olatilo, said the visit was to seek cooperation and support from the state government for a befitting national burial of the late

employ her finest brains to create novel ways and means of doing things in order to bring about swift advancement of our beloved nation." Onu said it is the people's duty to seek out ways of creating the enabling environment to function optimally even in the face of adversities. His words: "The multiplication of difficulties and the distractions occasioned by the quest for daily survival tend to leave us forlorn

and sap us of creative energy…Our consolation however lies in the fact that history is very charitable with instances where hard times had offered [the opportunity to blaze the trail through] creativity and innovation. We must aspire…once again with the strings of the Wright brothers in the invention of the aeroplane, Alexander Bells in the invention of the telephone, Michael Faraday who invented electricity and Bill Gates, the brain behind computer technology". The Rector said that in the last one year, his administration has been very innovative in piloting the affairs of the polytechnic, adding, "we have changed the face of the polytechnic, restructured the Exams and Records Unit, repositioned the Public Relations Unit, introduced new ways of information dissemination, introduced fish ponds at Ufuma campus, and currently recreating all aspects of Atani campus. A student of Public Administration, Miss Judith Okeke commended the management of the institution for the lectures. She described it as a step in the right direction, promising that the knowledge garnered from it would be put to a greater use.

• The late Essien-Igbokwe Essien Igbokwe. Mr. Okoroji said some of the states approached have indicated interest in assisting.

HE Federal Government has inaugurated a 12member committee to restructure and reposition the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD) for effectiveness. The Chairman of the Governing Council of the NCWD, Hajia Habibat Saidu who inaugrated the committee in Abuja, said despite the various efforts by her board towards repositioning the centre in the past year, poor budgetary provisions have been militating against the productivity of the organisation. She said some staff of the NCWD are either not well placed or are not well equipped for the jobs they are performing, hence the council resolved to reposition and restructure the centre to bring it up to international standard. "The aim is to rightsize the workforce and ensure that square

From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

pegs are put in square holes for efficiency, effectiveness and resource utilisation," she said. The terms of reference of the committee includes, among other things, to identify staffing, staff profiles and supporting staff strength and a comprehensive audit of the centre, their qualifications, ranks, roles and responsibilities. They are also expected to ensure the effective placement of the present staff strength in order to determine potential staff surpluses and deficits and for effective utilisation of same in the core departments. The Chairman of the Committee, Mohammed Abubakar from the Ministry of Women Affairs, assured that with adequate support, they will do their best to transform the centre. The Committee has seven days to carry out its functions.








e-mail: 08033349992 sms only


• Mega plaza car park.

When shoppers get stranded

A trend, which has developed with the sprouting of shopping malls is that of car parks. While The Palms opened its door with the provision of a massive car park, Mega Plaza, the oldest executive retail mall in the metropolis, added an exotic car park to its luxury outlet. But car parks remain a major issue to be addressed in many commercial areas, writes JANICE NKOLI IFEME.

Star product of the week

Fruits for the season Page 44

Replica engagement dress of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge Page 45





HOPS have gone beyond merely meeting purchasing needs. They serve much more than that. The concept of the present day store is an exciting one-stop shopping which presents the convenience and unique experience of retail, leisure, entertainment, movies, games and health. It is modelled in such a way that you drive in, park your car and walk around freely, taking a look at different items on display for sale. It is a domain where the shopper is king. Since you are about to spend your money, you need not just a conducive environment, but a secure place to ensure that your car is safe. Then you can shop with all your mind and money. With the development of shopping, malls now attach importance to car parks. As a result, shopping malls now add car parks for the comfort of shoppers. Of course, that means putting the shopper in a relaxed mood – your car secured, no issue of theft to worry about, beautiful environment to boost your morale, good music to tantalise your senses, and unique products to lure you to shop till you drop. This is what major shopping malls have succeeded in doing beckoning on you to go on a shopping spree and spoil yourself a little. In this arena, the spendthrift becomes the greatest delight of the shop keeper. Shopping centres, such as Trade fair, The Arena, The Palms, City Mall, E-Centre, Adeniran Ogunsaya Shopping Mall, Silverbird Galleria, and E- Centre and Spa, among others made provision for car parks. Awolowo Ultra-Modern Market, and

When shoppers get stranded Awolowo Model Market, Ojota also provided car parks where people could park and shop. Indeed, apt is the name of Park ‘n’ Shop. The Mega plaza, car park is an innovation to applaud. It is a four-storey edifice just for parking cars. This is attracting the rich and foreigners to the mall. Its General Manager, Mr Uri Sadan, stated the organisation’s reason for erecting the car park, saying “What matters to us is great service delivery to fulfill optimum satisfaction of our customers. That is what the mall is all about.” Explaining why a comprehensive car park was incorporated into the plan of The Arena, the ultra-modern shopping complex on the Oshodi-Ikeja Expressway, its General Manager, Kobus Steenekamp said: “This is our contribution to the development of shopping malls. Our car park is huge and comprehensive. Nigeria is a vast country with great human and material resources.” The Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping Complex, newly renovated, also provides shoppers with a comfortable car park. The Spar at Lekki has a large car park, just like City Mall, Onikan. However, the same cannot be said of such commercial areas in the metropolis as Computer Village, Awolowo Road, Allen Avenue, Opebi and Alade Shopping Mall, all in Ikeja. The look choked up. There are so many shops

and business outlets, but the absence of car parks restricts the flow of traffic. Here, only a few buildings have little spaces where people could park. In many cases, these spaces are usually not enough. Many of the premises accommodate several shops or companies with insufficient spaces for car parks. For instance, 45 Opebi Road occupies a small space, but houses over three popular clothing stores with little or no space for people to park. Commenting on shopping at Ikeja and Opebi, Guv’nor Ken Calebs-Olumese, proprietor of The Coliseum, a foremost niteclub in Africa, said: “It is very dangerous. You cannot walk through these parts comfortably. You will see okada (commercial motor cyclists) meandering in-between cars and passing through supposed walk ways. The Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) Chief Tony Okoroji, whose office is located in the area, said: “There are too many shops, but there is no where to park and shop. So, you get discouraged about it.” A former Ogun East Senator, Chief Biyi Durojaiye said: “My children will not let me shop around here o. There are no walk ways. If I fall down because I want to walk around the shops, what will I tell them?” Awolowo Road, Ikoyi has similar characteristics. The present administration in Lagos State

• Aswani Market car park.

• Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping Mall car park.

Fruits for the season

‘Recommended fruits for this season are bananas, oranges, watermelon, pineapple, garden egg, native pear, groundnut, apple etc. Some of them can be eaten alone, or with dishes, such as rice, spaghetti, macaroni etc ‘

Lots of people tend to shy away from eating fruits during the Ramadan because of the cost. Make this Ramadan a fruity one and add fruits to your meals, writes



ESEARCH has shown that diets rich in fruits can lower the risk of chronic illness, including high blood pressure,

diabetes, obesity and some cancers. It is recommended that one should eat fruits before meals, because their fibre and taste can satisfy the desires of eating and reducing intake of other foods during the meal. However, one can also opt for a fresh salad, soup or other liquids before the meal. It is essential to eat fruits during Ramadan to break the fast before the proper meal. But you can actually buy fruits that are in their seasons at affordable prices. So, while you fast and pray in this holy month, also consider your health as vital and give your body what it wants, not depriving yourself the vitamin and minerals it needs because, they go a long way in replenishing lost nutrients during this period. Fruits have antioxidants, which means protection. They have disease-fighting properties that protect cells from damaging. They also help keep the immune system healthy and reduce the risk for cancer, heart disease, stroke, heart attack. Such antioxidants include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, beta-carotene and lycopene.

has achieved a degree of sanity in the markets. In the past, markets, such as Aswani, Mushin and Oshodi, were notorious for traffic grid lock as a result of indiscriminate parking of cars and trading, but have been sanitised to a great extent, giving room for free flow of traffic. People could now park their cars in designated places close to the markets. Even Ikotun market has a car park. At Alaba International market, some outlets have spaces to accommodate cars. Many plazas also provide car parks as a profitable venture. The area worst hit is Lagos Island. It comprises many markets such as Balogun, Dosumu, Idumota, Gota and Ebute-Ero. The scarcity of car park is compounded by the many skyscrapers housing numerous establishments. There are just two car parks at Marina to meet the needs of this area. Another one was constructed by the United Bank for Africa (UBA) for its staff. A few others use their premises, which are never spacious enough as car parks. Another area which needs attention is Ladipo International Spare parts Market, Mushin. Its President-General, Comrade Daniel Nwafor, said the leadership has been working towards providing a well–managed car park, but has been unsuccessful so far in getting approval for land for that purpose. Away from the Centre of Excellence, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is another place where many shopping outlets were planned with car parks. Ceddi Plaza and Wuse Market stand out.

• Fruits

Antioxidants give fruits their colour. To remain healthy this period, choose fruits by their colour: Red (apples, cherries, red grapes, strawberries, tomatoes and water melons); orange-yellow (apricots, bananas, grapefruit and oranges); green (avocadoes and kiwi); blue-purple ( grapes, prunes and raisins). Fruits contain lots of water, minerals and vitamins, and during fasting, one is drained because one is not expected to take water. The first thing to help regain lost energy through out the day would be some fruits before the meal. So, even while you fast,

you still look nourished. Recommended fruits for this season are bananas, oranges, watermelon, pineapple, garden egg, native pear, groundnut, apple etc. Some of them can be eaten alone, or with dishes, such as rice, spaghetti, macaroni etc. The more variety one can add to fruit choices, the more nutrients one can consume. Oranges are in their season; you can get them easily and very cheap too. They can be seen more often in our neighbourhood. Five small sized oranges are sold for N100, while the big ones, you can buy three for the same price.

Water melon is never out of season, it comes in various sizes, ranging from the big to the small ones. The big ones are sold for between N200 and N300 at the popular Mile 12 and Ketu market. The small sizes are sold for between N80 and N150. Banana is also in its season, but may not be affordable for everyone now. But it is one fruit that is nourshing. It restores lost energy and sustains one for a long time. Sometimes, it is eaten alone. Bananas are sold for between N200 and N300 per bunch. Some big bunches are sold for as much as N600. Pineapple is another very common and affordable fruit in its season. You can find it in different sizes and prices too. The good thing is that you will always find them cheap now. Big sizes are sold for between N200 and N250, while small sizes are sold for between N50 and N80 at the Mile 12 and Ketu fruits markets. Garden egg is a fibre fruit. It is good for the period. It is sold for N50 for a small quantity and N100 for a large quantity. There are two types: white and Green. They are common. Markets such as Iyana-Iba, Mile 12, Ketu, Agbara, Ipaja, Ile Ekpo- Abule Egba, Ikeja under bridge, Adelabu Surulere, Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji Sunday, Egbeda, Oshodi, century, Isolo, Mowe, Ikorodu, Gbaja by Shitta etc offer a variety of fruits at affordable prices.




Replica engagement dress of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge

Shopping Right with

From my mailbox


E greatly appreciate those of you who made it a point to read us and especially to those who send their comments. Indeed, we are poised to serve you more and give you every valuable pieces of information on our finger tips. As we do first Friday of every month, here are some of your responses as space would enable us. Please bear with us if your comment is not published in this edition. Thanks a million, Janice.


It was quite interesting when I read your publication on classic wardrobe. I ask if you are a designer because you got all what wardrobe and fashion is about.Meanwhile, I cherish white and black in a fashion world more especially, when white is at the top and black down. And I believe that once this combination takes place, it would be unfashionable to put on a pair of shoes that is not white or black.. And a white or black belt will help to tell where you are going. Chukwudi Nwosu, Port Harcourt. Going for shopping is one of the most wonderful things I have ever experienced. Shopping for rainy /dry season is one of the favourite steps I consider as a shopper because it helps me a lot. Any of my shopping is equivalent to my taste. Olusegun Akande, Economics Department, University of Port Harcourt. Hi Janice, I like your article about shopping right.You are a woman of destiny with great ideas. I enjoy it so much.Please keep up your good work. God bless you. Samuel Mathew, Akwa Ibom State. Sister, you are doing a wonderful job, enlightening the society on shopping. Another thing that dazzles me is your charming and illuminating personality. Apostle Orion Essence, Harvest Time International, Bayelsa State. Dear Janice, I like what you are doing on Shopping because you open my eyes to sensitive issues I would have ignored under normal circumstances. People have written books on several subjects but not on Shopping. Your works has closed this vacuum. I realise that shopping is an important aspect of life and also has its own approach. Thanks for enlightening us on the right approach to shopping. Yetunde Olojede, Badagry Hi Janice, thanks for the useful tips on shopping. From you, I have really learnt that shopping is not just about spending but maintaining what one has. Kudos and keep it up. Joe, Lekki, Lagos Dear Lady Shopping, Going through your pages, I think you have redefined my idea of shopping. I never thought of it as a separate entity, but I think I have come to accept that indeed, it is an aspect of life that has not been delved into. Please keep it up.. Cynthia, Abuja

Buy a knockoff of Kate Middleton’s dress


DMIRERS have been looking up to Kate Middleton’s wardrobe for inspiration. Shops have been making huge sales out of replicas of the various dresses she has worn since her engagement to Prince William. Her wedding dress designed by Sarah Burton for Alexandrer Mc Queen goes on show at Buckingham Palace to the admiration of fans. The wedding dress was a model of simplicity, perfectly suited to the sweet and serene style of the woman who is Duchess of Cambridge and is destined to be the future Queen of England. Soon after her engagement to Prince William, the gown she wore during the announcement became the most wanted commodity. Fashion designers began to copy the style for their fashionista customers. launched a copy of the blue dress and one hour later, there was no stock left. The £16 dress by Tesco has been selling out online. Tesco’s buying director, Jan Marchan, said: “Kate Middleton looked extremely elegant in her choice of outfit and many women wanted to find a high street replica of this now iconic dress. The rate at which the dress sold out online is testament to how influential Kate’s style choices are”. The frock, aptly named “The Kate Dress,” debuted in Tesco stores and on its website retailing for just £16 ($26), it costs just a fraction of the original £399 ($634) navy blue silk jersey Issa dress that Middleton wore. Tesco’s version, fabricated by in-house label F&F, has a similar wrap neckline and fitted waist, but with a shorter hemline and shorter sleeves. It is available in UK sizes 8-22. British retailer Harvey Nicols told Vogue

By Janice Nkoli Ifeme

UK that the authentic Issa dress sold out within 24 hours of Middleton’s and Prince William’s announcement. “Since the announcement of the royal engagement, we have been inundated with requests regarding Issa,” Harvey Nichols’ buying director Averyl Oates told the magazine. You can shop for a replica of Kate Middleton’s Issa dress online. American retailer QVC unveiled an affordable replica of Middleton’s engagement ring. The real royal bauble, which was worn by the former Princess Diana after becoming engaged to Prince Charles in 1981, features a dazzling oval 18-carat blue sapphire encircled by a sparkling border of clear white diamonds. QVC’s “Princess Simulated Sapphire Ring” is a cheaper alternative, selling for just $39.54 (•28.80) on the company’s website. The ring is available in US sizes 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. The high street is awash with copies of Miss Middleton’s sapphire engagement ring and blue dress, proving that the demand to fulfill those wishing to copy her elegant style can be a lucrative business. When Catherine Middleton stepped out of the vintage Rolls Royce Phantom in her wedding gown, she stepped straight into the pages of fashion history, finally revealing her wedding dress to a waiting world audience, estimated at around two billion people. She carried a small bouquet of flowers which bore a secret love message to her husband. The wedding dress depicts nearly 200 years of British royal history. The heritage of the • Continued on Page46

I used to be extravagant when shopping. Your tips have really helped me. I tried them and they worked. Keep it up. Jeff, Asokoro Hi Janice, I am an avid reader of Shopping Right. It is helpful and beautiful like you. Warm regards, Dr Jim, Abuja Feed back on question

Dear Aunty Janice, Do you know the drugs for reducing fat and tommy?. I read your reply to other people’s questions in The Nation newspaper of March 5, 2010. I hope to see your reply please. Anonymous

Really dear, I would not recommend any drugs for you because I do not think it is the right way to reduce excess fat. Some of those drugs have side effects and should only be administered by a qualified doctor; that is for one who insists. I do not know your size, otherwise, I would have given you specific therapy. However, I would advice that you take in more of protein, fruits and vegetables and less starch. Do not eat too much. You must develop the urge to resist. Only take enough to sustain you. Go off sugar in any form and let your drink be just water and probably grape juice. It is something you have to take seriously. You just have to cut on your diet, though it should be balanced. This must be accompanied with series of exercises and you must make it a lifestyle and not something periodic. Cheers and keep fit.

Write to us, express your views, observations and experiences. Let’s have your comments about shopping. Your comments, questions and answers will be published first Friday of every month. With your full name and occupation, send e-mail to: SMS - 08033349992




Buy a knockoff of Kate Middleton’s dress • Continue from Page 45

arts and crafts tradition was incorporated into it. Its exquisite hand-embroidered and appliquéd lace, and emphasis on the best of British materials, brought back memories of Queen Victoria’s decision in 1840 that her bridal gown should promote the nation’s skills. The design, fabulous and fairytale was in tune with Ms Middleton’s desire that it combined tradition and modernity with the artistic vision that characterises Britain’s most famous fashion label, established by the late Lee Alexander McQueen, in 1994. It featured a strapless, Victorian-style corset, narrowed at the waist and padded at the hips - long a signature of the late couturier underneath a high-necked, long-sleeved, sculpted bodice in intricate lacework, handmade by the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace, and incorporating individual, hand-cut and embroidered flowers representing the rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock. The English Cluny lace was handworked in the Carrickmacross tradition, which originated in Ireland in the 1820’s, and was mixed with French Chantilly lace. The Royal School of Needlework worked closely with the Alexander McQueen atelier team, the hand-stitchers washing their hands every thirty minutes to keep the lace and threads pristine, and changing the nee-

dles every three hours. The lace was also used to trim the skirt, as well as the veil, which was made in layers of ivory silk tulle, and the ivory duchesse satin shoes. The main body of the dress was made in ivory and white satin gazar, using UK fabrics which had been specially sourced by Sarah Burton, with a long, full skirt designed to echo an opening flower, with soft pleats which unfolded to the floor, forming a Victorian-style semi-bustle at the back, and finishing in a short train measuring just under three metres. “It has been the experience of a lifetime to work with Catherine Middleton, to create her wedding dress, and I have enjoyed every minute of it,” Sarah Burton said. “Wait ‘til you see her,” Prince Harry had whispered to his brother, after casting a quick look over his shoulder. Her veil of ivory silk tulle was held in place by a Cartier ‘halo’ tiara, loaned by the Queen. Made in 1936, it was given to her on her 18th birthday, by her mother. The bride’s earrings, diamond-set oak leaves with a pavé diamond acorn in the centre, were inspired by the Middleton family’s new coat of arms, and made by Robinson Pelham, to echo the tiara. The bouquet spoke a message in the language of flowers. Designed by Shane Connolly, it featured blooms of significance to both families : Lily-of-the-valley - meaning return of happiness; Sweet

William - for gallantry; hyacinth - for constancy of love; ivy - for fidelity, marriage, wedded love, friendship and affection; and myrtle - the emblem of marriage and love. The myrtle stems sounded an echo through royal wedding history, and came from the evergreen shrub planted at Osborne House, Isle of Wight, by Queen

Victoria in 1845, while another sprig was from a plant grown from the myrtle used in the Queen’s wedding bouquet of 1947.The gown worn by Miss Philippa Middleton, the maid of honour, and the bride’s sister, was also designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander. • Sources: Sky News, BBC and Aljazeera

• Kate middleton’s wedding dress to go on display.












‘Godfathers have infiltrated NLC’ John Odah was asked to go on leave and later sacked as General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). He is contesting his removal, and has petitioned the National Executive Council (NEC) of NLC to reverse what he calls his ‘arbitrary’ sack. JOKE KUJENYA met him in Lagos.


T seems there is something you and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) are hiding over your feud. Is that a correct statement? You could be right if you feel that something is being hidden from Nigerians about this attempt to sack me. The only point I disagree with you is that it is both of us trying to hide something. It can only be the NLC that is trying to hide what got the better part of them to experiment with arbitrariness. But from your own position, how do you view what has happened? It is all politics. You won’t get the kind of truth you are looking for from the current NLC leadership. Otherwise, what is so difficult in NLC telling the world that I, John Odah, had done so, so and so? And that when they confronted me about it, my answers were not satisfactory and they, therefore, decided to get me out of the place in accordance with so, so and so provisions of our organisation. Now, that has not been the case. Instead of that, some characters went to a meeting of principal organs, fed them lies and they said they have sacked me. They went to the point of putting a disclaimer over something that is not a criminal case. When you put a disclaimer on even a messenger or cleaner in NLC, you are putting that disclaimer on NLC as a whole. That language is to say that you are going to fight? That language is to say that we are going to fight. I am not alone. In what form will this fight be? In as many forms as possible But you look too relaxed to fight Don’t worry. I am not too relaxed. I am just relaxed. That’s how I am. There is something surprising about the turn of events. That is why I asked you earlier about both sides not telling the truth. How could things turnout like this so quickly? I am a Sociologist. That means I know a bit of psychoanalysis. What I can see now tells me that Heaven knows no fury like somebody suspecting you of trying to block his way to a second term or to power in short. This is the only conclusion I can come to when I look at all the so-called reasons they keep giving for their ambition to sack me. Here, you are saying they are so desperate. But you are still determined to fight.


OMRADE Samson Ugwoke has emerged president of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) at SSANU’s 2 nd Triennial National Delegates’ Conference held at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kaduna State. He defeated three others in the election. He succeeds Comrade Promise Adewusi, who was in office for two terms. Ugwoke scored 197 votes to beat Dr. Citizen Ini Ekpo, who scored 40 votes Sydney Enyindah, got 91 and Nnabuihe John six. Comrade Bankole Emmanuel Abimbola is the National Deputy President. He scored 213 votes to beat Comrade Sokoh Glory, who had 102. Comrade Omeje Chike Peter emerged as National Vice President (East) with 201 votes. He defeated Alex Amuzie, who scored 23 votes and Nwagwu Oliver Chijike with 101 votes. National Vice President (West) Jimoh Alfred Ilesanmi scored 214 votes to emerge winner and Adefolalu Oriwaye Joseph scored 107 votes. Some officials, who emerged unopposed, are: Ojo Kayode Temitope, National Treasurer, Ibrahim Bello, National Trustee, Alfa Solomon, National Vice President (North),

What if they fight you back? First of all, you keep saying you, you. Don’t make it look like myself and some people. Look at it from a bigger picture. There are some principles involved in all these and I alone can’t be the defender of the principles. If I am the only defender, then something is wrong. I may be the victim today but tomorrow, it could be someone else. So, it has to be a collective fight, including you. I just want to correct that. I am not in Labour and I don’t know who is with you. What I am saying is don’t present it in your report as my fight with NLC people but a fight over principles of arbitrary sack. If you say it’s just me, then it is either I am wrong or they are wrong but for the progress of society, we are more interested in what went wrong rather than who went wrong. You are ready to fight even though you described them as desperate. So, it is like a fight-to-finish. I don’t think they can fight beyond the level they have gone already if you know what I have gone through in the last one year or so. And I can tell you there is nothing that has not been used against me in that office, from psychological to spiritual to blackmail to terrorism to organised lies. This attempted sack is the climax. How could that be and nobody heard about it outside NLC? Who told you people didn’t hear? Go to NLC and ask anybody there what had been happening to the General Secrecy in the last one year? People knew of course. People knew but as they say, what you see depends on where you were standing or where someone else asked you to stand. It depends on what you yourself can understand. The more you talk, the more confusing the issue. Because what you just alleged is different from what we heard about your illhealth and so on That is why I said it depends on what you yourself can understand. For example, what has spiritual warfare got to do with whether I collected bribe from a Chinese motor company, assuming there is anything like that? If the problem is about inflation of contract for renovation of NLC Headquarters, why is it impossible for anybody to bring out the papers, show the world where it was inflated and the evidence that I did it?

• Odah

Are there no elders in Labour? It seems they have not intervened and why are they not doing so? I believe everyone must have his or her own understanding of what is happening, his or her own sense of time and a sense of the politics of what is going on. And which godfather he or she presumes to be on rampage and whether he or she wishes to cross the path of that godfather. So, even in intervention, there are many things to consider. Do you also have godfathers in Labour? You think something like this will just begin to happen in a place like NLC? Then who is this godfather? You think I know the godfather? Godfathers are not known. That is why they are called godfathers because they never sleep. If this is the case, are you not afraid for yourself? You mean afraid for my life? Before you reach the position of General Secretary of NLC, you would have either conquered fear or come to an accommodation with it. As far as this current struggle is concerned, I can tell you that those who should know everything about it are absolutely aware of such details. Nobody can prevent my death at the

hour I am destined to die, it is to God Almighty I turn to in all these, not any human being. Do you see the NEC reversing what it has done? Especially when those whom you claim want you out are still at the helm of affairs? I think so. I have worked in NLC all my working life and no matter how powerful an individual or a few people may be, it is always difficult to mislead the organisation perpetually. The NLC has an inherently sound democratic culture of debate, of following the prescription of its constitution which Comrade Omar with the help of those aiding him, have so far succeeded in abusing. My hope is that if affiliates of Congress digest the content of my memorandum to the NEC, they will have a rethink and direct that the false steps they have been misled to take thus far concerning this matter be reversed. However, in the unlikely event that this does not happen, in the event it turns out that I am unrealistic in my expectation of the NEC of NLC doing what is right and proper after knowing the truth from my detailed explanation in my memo to them, then I will turn to other avenues.

My plans for SSANU, by president Ahile Tavershima Timothy, National Financial Secretary. Others are: Ekanem Ekanem Asuquo, National Internal Auditor, N.A.D. Aboribo, National Public Relations Officer, Nkwede Joseph, National Ex-officio and Barr. Kabiru Hadiza Dije, 1National women leader. Comrade Ugwoke described his election as divine, saying, “my election is God’s doing. It was a hotly contested election, the people have spoken. My presidency is a

divine project. As you can see, it was a landslide victory. What SSANU is looking for is who will deliver, not from where you come from.” He pointed out that the former President, Comrade Adewusi,has left a big shoe, and “SSANU needs someone who had courage, who is principled and has charisma to lead SSANU from where Adewusi left it.” Comrade Adewusi, he said, had done so well, taken SSANU from obscurity to lime-

light, adding that the person to take over from him must be of high quality and integrity. Ugwoke promised to run an all-inclusive administration, saying he would extend a hand of fellowship to those who contested with him to work together and build SSANU. The president pointed out that SSANU belongs to all, hence those who are willing and capable among them would be invited to work together.

8,053 apply for crop institute’s job


O fewer than 8,053 persons applied for employment during the recruitment by the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike, Abia State. The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that last year, the institute advertised for eligible candidates to fill some vacant positions. Some of the vacant positions included Senior Research Officer, Research Officer I, Research Officer II,

Information Officer, Admin Officer I, Admin Officer II, Teachers, and Metreologists I and II. Others are Higher Agriculture Superintendent, Senior Agriculture Superintendent, Accountants I and II, Senior Confidential Secretary and Confidential Secretary. A NAN correspondent who monitored the aptitude test, reports that some of the applicants were apprehensive due to the number of people who turned up.

Some of them wondered why the institute invited such a large number of people for the limited positions advertised. Meanwhile, a director in the institute told NAN on condition of anonymity, that the institute already knew those to be employed, saying the test was a mere formality. He explained that the institute wanted to use the test to regularise the appointments of its part-time workers.



LABOUR NHIS chief decries non-remittance of health insurance dues

Workers hail senators for sponsoring compensation bill T L

ABOUR has commended the Senate for the second reading of the bill for an Act on Occupational Safety and Health. The bill seeks to ensure payment of compensation to workers injured while on duty, and protect female bank workers from indecent exposure. President of the National Union of Chemical, Footwear, Rubber,Leather and Non-Metallic Products Employees (NUCFRLANPE), Comrade Boniface Isok, said it is a proworkers bill and sought for its quick passage. Another related bill is that for an Act to establish the Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria. Both bills have passed the second reading. The bills, sponsored by Senators Chris Anyanwu (APGA Imo) and Wilson Ake (PDP-Rivers), also seek to provide a safe work environment for employers. Isok quoted Anyanwu as saying that the bill is expected to make the work place safe and healthy so that workers can work hard and stay safe. He added that if it is truly geared at increasing the average life span of the workers, increase their productivity and make the products of labour more competitive in the world market, it has the full support of his union. While debating the bill, Anyanwu had said the bill would strictly regulate the workplace by compelling employers to take reasonable safety measures to ensure that they are not injured or killed while working. “The bill seeks to ensure that employees are not exposed to chemicals or elements that harm or kill them and that hazardous jobs are


• NLC president, Abdulwaheed Omar Stories by Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu

done with appropriate cover clothing, protective tools and equipment. “To ensure that each work place provides adequate hygienic conveniences and welfare facilities for employees and epidemics are not allowed to spread among the work force,’’ she said. Anyanwu said the framework for the implementation of the bill would be the Occupational Safety and Health Council. She added that the council would empower their inspectors to enter work places and conduct periodic inspections on safety

• Isok

standards with or without a warrant. The bill, when passed, will ensure that no foreign employer would lock up a Nigerian employee as was experienced with a Chinese factory in Ikorodu, Lagos State. The law, she added, would also protect female marketers in the banking sector, pregnant women and nursing mothers. On the effectiveness of the law, Anyanwu stressed that stiff penalties had been laid down for anyone who obstructed the smooth operation of the law by any mischief. She said the Nigerian factor has

been taken care of, and that the law has been given teeth to ensure that it will not be another law gathering dust on the shelves of law libraries. “There are stiff penalties for obstructing or hindering inspectors on duty, lying to them, misdirecting them or misinforming them.’’ After an elaborate debate on the two bills, which were taken simultaneously due to their similarities, the senators voted unanimously in their support. The Senate President, David Mark, referred both bills to the Senate Committees on Health, Labour and Establishment when the committees were constituted.

NUJ challenges Federation of African Journalists on members’ welfare

HE Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has challenged the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) to work towards improving the conditions of service of its members. NUJ President, Mallam Mohammed Garba, said journalists in Africa are faced with the problems of low wage and low level of technological development. He noted that payment of salaries and other allowances had become so irregular and far below acceptable standards. Garba explained that the unfortunate development, which had been worsened by the manner in which certain interest

groups had casualised employment in the industry, had contributed to rampant cases of corruption. He regretted that journalists in some establishments were made to work in very intolerable conditions that fell far below industry requirements, adding that many journalists were “hired and fired at the whims and caprices of such employers”. “The challenges have to be seriously addressed for the Nigerian press to be professionally alert to its responsibilities

and gain the respect it deserves,” he said. Garba said the union participated in drafting and signing the West African Journalists Association (WAJA) Standard Conditions of Service in 2004 to address some of the challenges. The draft, he added, covered areas such as trade union activities, ethics, salaries, promotion, recruitment and conditions of service, social benefits, training, resolution of disputes and reconciliation.

• Garba

Union seeks govt intervention in Dangote’s firm,community feud


OLLOWING the protracted feud between the management of Savannah Sugar Company, Yola and the host community, which may lead to the closure of the factory, the National Union of Food, Beverages and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE) has urged the Federal Government and the host state, Adamawa, to mediate a truce in the crisis. President, NUFBTE, Comrade Lateef Oyenekan, in a statement, said except there is urgent intervention in the crisis, it may lead to over 2,000 job losses as the owner threatens to shut down the factory. According to Oyenekan, the

owners of the company, Dangote Sugar PLC, has vowed not to acede to the demand of the host community, which allegedly demanded N480million before the factory could continue operation in the community. The NUFBTE President said the call became necessary in view of the fact that over 2,000 Nigerians may be thrown into the already saturated job market, if the host government and the Federal Government fail to prevail on the community to rescind its decision. “We are wooing foreign investors to come and invest in the Nigerian economy, yet even indig-

enous companies are faced with hostile attitude from host communities. Then, where is the incentive for investors? “Besides, we are talking about reducing unemployment, the factories that are supposed to provide jobs that will reduce tension in the country are not allowed to operate without let or hinderance. We need the political will to support the comatose industrial sector if we must achieve meaningful progress in the country” Oyenekan said. He stated further that government should, as a matter of urgency, deploy security operatives

to secure the factory against vandalisation. He also urged the Adamawa Emirate Council to prevail on Bachama paramount ruler and his subjects to embrace peace and allow progress in their community. Oyenekan said, “The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and other well meaning Northerners should intervene. It is also incumbent on us to mention that if their own son (Alhaji Aliko Dangote) can site factories in the Southern part of the country, why should he have problems in his own domain?

HE Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Mr Mohammed Dogo has decried the non-remittance of the five per cent deductions from the salaries of civil servants for the scheme. Dogo said that the non-remittance was hindering the effectiveness of the scheme. NHIS was established under Act 35 of 1999 to provide social health insurance where health care services for contributors are paid for from a common pool of funds contributed by beneficiaries. It is designed to accommodate the contributor, his or her spouse and four biological children under the age of 18 years. “Five years down the line, the agreement was that after two years of service, they should start making payments but they are not. “Now they are not paying and they are asking for more enhancement packages. So, how do we pay for more services when they are not paying?” he said. The executive secretary noted that in case the ongoing review of the NHIS medical package sailed through, the beneficiaries would have no any choice than to contribute for other services that would be included. “The financial mechanism of the formal sector is through contribution by employers and employees, which entails 15 per cent of basic salary. “The employer contributes 10 per cent of the 15 per cent and the employee contributes five per cent,” he explained. Dogo said only the Federal Government could determine what would happen to the arrears owed by the civil servants. “That is for the government to decide and not NHIS. “I am not saying that it is not affecting the service, but the people must realise that the present contribution cannot hold on for long.” It, however, provides for additional dependants who would be surcharged N9,000 per annum per person.

NDE partners Kogi on job creation


HE National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and the Kogi Government are creating 5,000 jobs in the next 12 months. The State Head of Service (HOS) Alhaji Isah Ichaba disclosed this at the opening ceremony of a fourday Train the Trainers Workshop for Enterprises Development Officers (EDO) of NDE from the Northern zone in Lokoja. Ichaba, who was represented by Elder Timothy Aliyu, Permanent Secretary, Establishments in his office, said unemployment was one of the most serious developmental problems facing the country since the mid-’80. He said considering the rate at which school leavers and graduates were being churned out yearly, the problem might deteriorate further if maximum support and encouragement were not given to NDE to train youths for self-employment. “Let me assure you that the collaboration between NDE and Kogi State Government in skills acquisition and resettlement will continue to be strengthened,” he said. He enjoined the participants to focus on their training. The Director-General of NDE, Malam Abubakar Mohammed, in his message said the workshops would run simultaneously in Lokoja and Asaba for Small-Scale Enterprises (SSE) officers from North and South.






•Cross section of NDLEA Cadet Officers at the closing ceremony of their induction training at Bauchi State Command in Bauchi ... yesterday


How CJN stopped Sokoto Appeal Court’s Judgment Continued from page 1

Appeal Panel was obtained by our Correspondent yesterday. The members of the panel were Justices Musa Dattijo Mohammed, Paul Galinje, John Inyang Okoro, Mas’oud Oredola and Regina O. Nwodo. The letter with double headings is entitled: “RE: Petition in respect of Appeal in Sokoto Governorship Appeals before Abuja and Sokoto Courts of Appeal;” and “RE: Petition Against the Honourable President of Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Isa Ayo Salami in respect of Governorship Election Appeals before the Court of Appeal Sokoto Division. The February 19th, 2010 letter reads: “forward herewith two petitions both of which dated 15th February, 2010 by one Yahaya Mahmood Esq, Principal Solicitor to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); and one Alfred N. Agu, Esq; Solicitor to Alhaji Aliyu Magatakarda Wamako on the above subject matter. The petitions are self explanatory. Your comments on same should reach my Chambers by 11 a.m on Monday the 22nd day of February, 2010. “Meanwhile, you are to ensure that further action on the Appeals is put on hold pending the determination of the serious allegations leveled against you and the President of the Court of Appeal, please.” Up till date, the judgment has been put on hold. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, which was pending for judgment at the Sokoto Court of Appeal. In a related development, concerned citizens have expressed disaffection with allegation that Justice Salami lied on oath when he, in a sworn affidavit, alleged the the CJN had asked him to influence the judgment in favour of Wamakko. Some stakeholders told our

What the NJC said on Sokoto verdict


HE conclusions of the National Judicial Council (NJC) committee in the petition in respect of the Appeal in the Sokoto governorship appeals before the Court of Appeal, sitting in Sokoto and Abuja are as follows: •There is no case of misconduct made against the Hon. President of the Court of Appeal in the petitions •The Committee finds that the Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria as Chairman of the National Judicial Council has no power to interfere with any proceedings in any Court as was done in this case. •That the Hon. President of the Court of Appeal put many matters in his reply to the petitions and since such matters are not

correspondents yesterday in Abuja that, in order to get to the root of the matter, there was a need for a proper appraisal of the position taken by the Hon. Justice Umaru Abdullahi’s panel report, especially “some paragraphs of the affidavit sworn to by both the CJN and the PCA.” The CJN in his affidavit sworn to on March 7, 2011 deposed on oath as follows:•”7(i) That I did not at any time whatsoever interfere in any form or manner with the Sokoto State Gubernatorial Election Petition Appeal. •(iii) That one of the complaints in the petitions was that the judgment about to be delivered bv the Court of Appeal in respect of the Sokoto State Gubernatorial Election Petition Appeal had leaked. •(vi) That I, therefore, called the Hon. President of the Court of Appeal by telephone to come to my Chambers. •(vii) That when Hon. President of the Court of Appeal came to my Chambers, in the presence of Hon. Justice Dahiru Musdapher, I told him I had received a complaint that the judgment to be delivered in respect of the Sokoto Gubernatorial Election Petition Appeal had leaked. •(viii) That the Hon. President of the Court of Appeal, Justice LA. Salami. 0 FR ad-

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

complaints falling under the petitions, we do not see the need to deal with them. •In regard to the petition dated 22/2/2009 which should read 22/2/2010 against the Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria by Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), the Committee finds that on the face of it there is no misconduct established against His Lordship. It was signed by: Hon. Justice B.O. Babalakin, JSC, CON, Chairman; Hon. Justice A.B. Wali, JSC, CON, member; Hon. Justice Anthony Iguh, JSC, CON, member; Hon. Justice E.O. Ayoola, JSC, CON, member; Hon. Justice M.M.A. Akanbi, PCA, CFR, member.

mitted that the judgment had leaked. •(ix) That I showed him the petitions I had received in respect of the Sokoto State Gubernatorial Election Petition Appeal and told him that the only way to maintain the integrity of the Court was to reconstitute the panel. as that was the proper cause of action to take. •(xvii) That the only step I took in my capacity as the Chairman, National Judicial Council, was to direct, vide letter No. NJC/CAIDM /IV 148 of 19th February, 2010, that the judgment that was to be delivered in the Sokoto Gubernatorial Election Petition Appeal ‘be put on hold’ pending the investigation of the petitions I had received. That I did not. in the letter under reference. direct the Panel on the Sokoto Gubernatorial Election Appeal not to deliver judgment.“ The depositions contained in the CJN’s affidavit were controverted by the PCA in his affidavit sworn to on the 31 of March, 2011:•(iii) That to my knowledge, there was no allegation of judgment leakage and no judgment, whether actual or leaked was shown to me by the Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria. •(iv) That with particular reference to the deposition in paragraph 7(viii) of the afore-

‘Ige made minister for role in Abiola saga’ Continued from page 2

On who would head the government, in view of Abiola’s death, the late Adesanaya said the head of their suggested national government was not decided. After that, he said “the press should disperse”, a statement that provoked laughter. In court were Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) founder Dr. Frederick Fasehun and former Eagles’ coach Fanny Amun. Led by security operatives through the court’s crowded corridors towards the courtroom, al-Mustapha stopped on seeing Fasehun and requested that he (Fasehun) and another unidentified old man be allowed in before him. The security personnel at the door

obliged al-Mustapha. While speaking with journalists after the court’s proceedings, Fasehun praised alMustapha for his “courage and dedication to the cause of truth”. He said al-Mustapha deserved to be praised for, according to him, bringing to light all that had been hidden. Fasehun, who until recently became a regular face at every hearing in the case, said what al-Mustapha said revealed that “those who we thought were representing us were actually doing something else”. He said that al-Mustapha could be kept in prison for about 13 years was a shame and an embarrassment to the country. Further hearing has been adjourned till Monday.

said affidavit of Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria, I did not admit (to the Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria) that the judgment in the Sokoto State Gubernatorial Appeal had leaked. •(v) The Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria actually instruct-ted me to direct the Panel of Justices hearing the Sokoto State Gubernatorial Appeal panel to dismiss the Appeal, which I told him I could not do. •(vii) The Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria instructed the Justices of the Court of Appeal in the Sokoto State Gubernatorial Appeal panel not to deliver judgment which had been reserved. •That it was on the 8th day of February, 2010 that the Honourable Chief Justice invited me to his office. •(vi) That each of the petitions Annexures 2 and 3 is dated ts” day of February, 2010, seven (7) days after the Hon. Chief Justice called me to his office in the presence of Hon. Justice Dahiru Musdapher. •(vii) That as at 8th day of February, 2010, there was no petition against me on any is-

sue. “ At page 96 Paragraph ‘U’ of the Report, it was found that there was no evidence of leakage of judgment that was about to be delivered in Sokoto Gubernatorial Appeal. It was also found that the petitions did not state that there was leakage of judgment. It was also established that the petitions upon which the CJN purported to have asked the PCA to disband the Sokoto State Appeal Panel was not in existence at the time the CJN called the President to his office and ‘advised’ him to disband the panel. In an affidavit he deposed to in a suit he filed against Katsina-Alu before the Federal High Court, Abuja, over the failed plan to elevate him to the Supreme Court, Salami had alleged that Katsina-Alu asked him to compromise the Court of Appeal’s verdict on the protracted Sokoto Governorship legal tussle by either disbanding the original panel, which he (KatsinaAlu) believed was about to give a verdict against the governor or to direct the panel to give judgment in the governor’s favour. He averred that •I have all along enjoyed my work as President of the Court of Appeal and did not have any issues or disagreement with the 1st defendant (Katsina-Alu) until the controversies over the gubernatorial election petition in Sokoto state came to light. •Following my appointment as the President of the Court of Appeal, I found among the pending election petition appeals, the Sokoto State Gubernatorial election petition appeal. •I set up panels of the Ap-

peal Court to dispose of the pending petitions including that of Sokoto. •I was however shocked when subsequent to the setting up of a panel on the Sokoto Gubernatorial election petition appeal, and after all parties had filed and exchange briefs, adopted same and judgment reserved, the (CJN) summoned me by telephone to his office in Abuja. •The (CJN) asked me to disband the panel I had set up for the appeal on the excuse that if the panel allowed the appeal and removed the Governor, the ripple effect would lead to a removal of our highly revered Sultan of Sokoto. •The (CJN) could not convince me on the logic predicating his reasoning more especially as the Sultan was not a party to the election petition and as there is no nexus between any of the parties and the Sultan, so I told him I would not disband the panel. •The 1st Defendant then said in the alternative that I should direct the panel of justices to decide against the Appellant. •To this again, I still said No. That I would not do anything to pervert the cause of justice. •When the matter came before the 3rd Defendant [NJC], the Committee set up to look into the complaint vindicated me and in clear terms told the CJN, he had no Constitutional and Statutory power to stop proceedings in any division of the Court of Appeal as he did. •Since then there has been no love lost between me and the 1st Defendant (CJN). •That the appeal in the Sokoto Gubernatorial election petition which was pending before the Sokoto Court of Appeal was eventually dismissed by the Supreme Court on 21st November, 2010 notwithstanding that the appeal was not before the Supreme Court.

Lawyer sues NJC in bid to stop Auta Panel Continued from page 2

amended); •the proceedings and the decisions of the 1st defendant taken at its meeting held at Abuja on July 25, 2011 whereas the 2nd defendant presided after testifying at the Justice Umaru Abdullahi committee are illegal and unconstitutional by virtue of section 36 of the Constitution; and •a declaration that the setting up of the Justice Ibrahim Auta Panel to make recommendation on the Justice Umaru Abdullahi Panel is illegal and unconstitutional as it violates Section 36 of the Constitution. Besides, the plaintiff is seeking an order restraining the

defendants from taking any decision in respect of the report of Honourable Justice Umaru Abdullahi commission. In his statement of claims, the plaintiff averred that “it was part of the terms of reference of the said Justice Umaru Abdullahi committee to investigate the allegations of impropriety levelled by the Peoples’ Democratic Party against the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Salami, pertaining to the decisions of the Court of Appeal in the Ekiti and Osun states governorship appeals which were decided respectively on October 15,

2010 and November 26, 2010. *That at the sitting of the said Justice Abdullahi committee, the 2nd defendant appeared as a witness and testified as to facts, ostensibly within his knowledge pursuant to which, inter alia, the said committee made its findings and recommendations. “…it is wrong for the said 2nd defendant (Musdapher) to be the one to preside subsequently on the meeting of the 1st defendant to take decisions on the report of the said Justice Abdullahi committee, he having testified in favour of one of the parties being investigated by the said committee.” No date has been fixed for the hearing.






Interbank transfers rise to N8.4 trillion


HE ongoing reform in the Nigerian payment system by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) emphasizing e-payment has pushed interbank transfers for June to N8.4 trillion. The interbank transfers and settlements rose by 7.6 per cent to N8.4 trillion from the May statistics. The value of cheques, cleared was N1.2 trillion, bringing the total transactions to N9.6 trillion. It also indicated a 3-month interval between changes in government revenue and financial system impact. Analysts expect an increase in payment and activity level by approximately 2.5 per cent in August 2011 and September. The total transaction volume represents 80.6 per cent of broad money supply (M2) in the system, analysts stated. The CBN, in unfolding its reform

Stories by Collins Nweze, Senior Correspondent

agenda, stressed that its priority is to refocus the payment system which is presently skewed in favour of cash-based transactions, as against the e-banking platform which the apex bank is promoting. The desire to reduce usage of cash is prompted by the apex bank’s policy that seeks to limit the daily cash withdrawal and lodgments in the financial services sector. Meanwhile, the sale of N89.73 billion in 91-day and 182-day treasury bills by Federal Government of Nigeria last month, has assisted the apex bank in its monetary tightening measures. The Debt Management Office, said it sold N44.3 billion of the 91-day paper and N45.40 billion of 182-day bill at marginal rates of 6.8 per cent and 7.79 percent, respectively. The apex

DMO Director-General, Abraham Nwankwo, said the Federal Government issues sovereign bonds monthly to support the local bond market create a benchmark for corporate issuance and fund its budget deficit. The units of sale are N1, 000 per unit subject to a minimum subscription of N10, 000 and in multiples of N1, 000 thereafter. These issuances, analysts said, were meant to hamper the effects of the N606 billion allocations from federal accounts to its three tiers of government for June which hit the respective accounts last week. The year-on-year headline inflation rate which stood at 12.4 per cent in June, declined to 11.3 per cent in April 2011 from 12.8 per cent in March 2011. Food inflation also declined to 10.7 per cent in April

bank issues treasury bills regularly as part of monetary control measures. Also, the Federal Government sold N70 billion ($458.7 million) in 3-, 5- and 10-year sovereign bonds on July 20. This was the nation’s seventh debt auction of the year, the Debt Management Office, has said. The DMO said it would sell N30 billion of the 3year, N15 billion of 5-year and N25 billion of 10-year papers, due to mature in 2014, 2015 and 2018 respectively. “All the papers are re-openings of previous issues and the results of the auction will be published the following day,” DMO said in a statement. The government agency issues sovereign bonds monthly to support the local bond market, create a benchmark for corporate issuance and fund its budget deficit.


next five years to provide another 10,000 housing units for the generality of Nigerians across the federation, accessible through the National Housing Fund Scheme of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria. We will continue to strive harder in the pursuit of our mission to ensure that our dream of a better housed Nigeria comes to fruition.” Mbaka added that with the continued support from their associates and supervisory bodies, and the co-operation from other players in the industry, his staff and management would continue to put in their best towards achieving this objective. He lauded the efforts of the FMBN towards ensuring that the Federal Government’s desire to make housing accessible to all is realised. “We would like to commend the Board and Management

Amount N

Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

MANAGED FUNDS Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20


OBB Rate Call Rate

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

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011






22.00 18.41 14.30 27.70 4.48 7.35 14.15 6.70 9.11 4.28

22.75 19.00 14.69 28.00 4.67 7.50 14.30 6.84 9.25 4.39

CHANGE +0.75 +0.59 +0.39 +0.30 +0.19 +0.15 +0.15 +0.14 +0.14 +0.11

LOSER AS AT 4-8-11





41.40 94.01 157.50 19.28 42.00 14.37 11.90 3.10 1.69 1.90

39.33 93.00 156.50 18.32 41.50 13.94 11.60 3.00 1.61 1.85

FRICAN Development Bank’s community based Rural Development Project (AfDP-CBARDP) has signed a N1.1billion contract for the provision of rural roads and water supply in Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna and Kwara. The projects are part of the organization's contribution to enhance food security and increase access to rural infrastructure. A breakdown of the contract showed that N165. 729 million is for the sinking150 boreholes with hand pumps at five projects located in the states. While N911. 741 million is earmarked for the construction and rehabilitation of 270 kilometers of access roads within the states. National Project Desk Officer, Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Arabi,

said the organization's goal is to reduce poverty through the upliftment of the people's living conditions in rural areas. He said the agreement signed is to benefit,135 communities as they will have access to clean and safe drinking water and reduce incidence of water borne diseases, as well as to further strengthen and contribute to the project capacity in achieving the set goals and objective of poverty reduction on sustainable basis. “Our action will facilitate attainment of Nigeria’s goals of reducing people without safe drinking water by 2015 and fast-tract achievement of the vision 202020 transformation agenda of the Federal Government of Nigeria”, he explained.



Offered ($) Demanded ($)



Sold ($)

Rate (N)

















EXHANGE RATE 30-05-11 Currency

Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %




















Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N)




Parallel Market









February ’11

May ’11





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.3%

% Change 0.26% 0.26%

Rate (Previous) 04 MAR, 2011 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250

Rate (Currency) 24, MAY, 2011 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 117.62 1,586.00 0.80 0.99 1,586.00 9.61 1.39 1.87 8,827.74 193.00

9.08 1.00 117.16 1,576.75 0.78 0.98 1,576.75 9.14 1.33 1.80 8,557.73 191.08



7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

3-08-11 N7.596tr 23,745.22




3-08-11 N7.616tr 23,808.68


CHANGE -2.07 -1.01 -1.00 -0.96 -0.50 -0.43 -0.30 -0.10 -0.08 -0.05

From Austine Tsenzughul Bauchi


Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%


of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria for their unrelenting efforts towards ensuring that the housing for all vision is kept alive. We would also want to specially commend the Managing Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Alhaji Gimba Ya’u Kumo, for his consistent efforts at developing the mortgage industry and the apt repositioning of the bank to enable it drive the much needed growth in the industry. “Our dream is to see a better housed Nigeria. One in which the average citizen will have unfettered access to owning his own home without facing seemingly unending hurdles and bureaucratic bottlenecks. We are committed to this dream and we will do everything we can to make sure it materializes,” Mbaka said.


from 12.2 per cent in March and February 2011. However, core inflation at 12.9 per cent in April was slightly higher than the 12.8 per cent in March 2011.

ADB signs N1b deal

Platinum Savings plans 10,000 housing units LATINUM Savings and Loans Limited has announced plans to finance the construction of 10,000 residential houses in the next five years in various parts of the country. The Managing Director/CEO of the mortgage bank, Emmanuel Mbaka, disclosed this during the inauguration of the bank’s head office building in Abuja. These will be in addition to the 5,000 houses the mortgage firm has already financed with support from the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN). Mbaka said the houses will be sold to eligible Nigerians under the National Housing Fund (NHF) scheme administered by the FMBN. “We want to assure you that this success story is only just beginning. We have as our goal for the

• CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi




04 MAR, 2011

07, MAR, 2011












Company Name CAPITAL OIL PLC Sector Totals

Quantity Traded 10,000 10,000

Value of Shares (N) 5,000.00 5,000.00

Quantity Traded 100,000 97,636 197,636

Value of Shares (N) 50,000.00 733,557.24 783,557.24

Quantity Traded 1,212 7.50 350,483 351,695

Value of Shares (N) 2,569.44 2,619,512.39 2,622,081.83

Quantity Traded 1,000 77,251 78,251

Value of Shares (N) 500.00 124,388.11 124,888.11

Quantity Traded 15,011,779 485,292 2,006,111 597,402 11,039,878 6,866,254 14,087,016 36,284,821 13,856,495 1,484,500 4,506,333 3,745,381 1,656,233 3,289,053 5,483 415,180 8,162,482 3,992,393 750,500 431,446 22,426,415 151,100,447

Value of Shares (N) 103,560,369.50 325,487.94 9,271,158.37 1,795,671.31 70,951,110.08 13,624,332.11 163,059,475.36 18,142,410.50 194,571,917.01 13,707,991.00 3,244,953.26 4,291,948.85 864,930.01 20,777,805.93 4,441.23 608,807.38 40,918,551.20 8,795,675.40 534,630.00 354,779.26 320,680,158.69 990,086,604.39


No of Deals 2 11 13

Quotation(N) 0.50 7.87


Quotation(N) 2.23 62


No of Deals 1 7 8


No of Deals 125 31 52 28 49 89 688 27 628 42 62 79 42 88 5 25 205 83 14 18 293 2,673


70 7 160 237

Quotation(N) 0.50 1.61

BANKING Quotation(N) 6.84 0.67 4.61 3.00 6.45 1.99 11.60 0.50 13.94 9.25 0.72 1.15 0.55 6.30 0.85 1.51 5.05 2.20 0.71 0.83 14.30

BREWERIES 240.00 6.10 93.00

153,475 11,005 1,439,464 1,603,944

36,828,726.79 64,236.65 134,171,661.60 171,064,625.04

1,305,054 123,868 365,760 134,620 1,929,302

29,434,555.96 968,315.00 43,868,867.34 6,170,926.66 80,442,664.96


37 23 20 44 124

22.75 8.00 120.00 45.80


Quotation(N) 9.34 28.55 1.38 10.53 1

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 82,670 737,431.60 67,177 1,887,014.50 11,000 14,520.00 1,044 10,450.44 1.23 50 58.50 161,941 2,649,475.04


2 5 7

0.50 3.18

3,150 44,200 47,350

1,575.00 140,638.00 142,213.00

NSE lifts suspension on five firms


HE Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday lifted the full suspension on four companies, leaving 20 others on full suspension. NSE also lifted technical suspension on a company, leaving eight companies on technical suspension. According to the list made available by the NSE, Omatek Ventures, P.S Mandrides and Company, Guinea Insurance and United Nigeria Textile, which were on full suspension, were all released following the submission of their audited reports, while Premier Breweries was released from technical suspension. The 20 companies remaining on full suspension are IPWA Plc, Premier Paints Plc, Nigerian Wire & Cable Plc, Union Dicon Salt Plc, Lennards Plc, Morrison Plc, Ikeja Hotel Plc, Aluminium Manufacturing Plc, Etranzact Plc, MTI Plc and First Assurance Plc. African Alliance Insurance Plc, Great Nigeria Insurance Plc, Standard Alliance Plc, Investment & Allied Assurance Plc, DFM Plc, DAAR Communication Plc, Resort Savings & Loans, W.A. Glass

Plc and Afroil Plc, are others Meanwhile, eight other companies remained on technical suspension for non-submission of their annual reports and accounts, including Hallmark Paper Plc, Costain Plc, G Cappa Plc, Roads Nigeria Plc, Neimeth Plc, Aso Savings & Loans Plc, Union Homes Savings and Poly Products Plc. On the trading floor of the exchange, investors traded 221.730 million shares worth N1.599 billion across 4,506 deals. The banking stocks as usual, were the most sought after with 151.100 million shares worth N990.087 million in 2,673 deals. The conglomerates sector followed by displacing the insurance sector to trade 27.720 million shares worth N80.021 million in 390 deals. This was boosted by the shares of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria contributing 94.74 per cent of the sector’s volume. The company traded 26.261 million shares worth N26.089 million in 215 deals at N1.02 per share. Other sectors with rela-


No of Deals 1 1

Quotation(N) 1.38

Quantity Traded 400 400

Value of Shares (N) 528.00 528.00

Company Name C&I LEASING PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 10 10


No of Deals 67 67

6.85 41.50 215 39.50 28.00

5,360 34,893.60 316,627 12,946,047.23 1.02 26,261,066 26,089,109.58 793,386 31,377,801.85 343,434 9,573,598.62 27,719,873 80,021,450.88


3 16 19

2.66 50.00

19,850 14,677 34,527

52,801.00 711,056.81 763,857.81


No of Deals 3 3

Quotation(N) 2.30

Quantity Traded 3,000 3,000

Value of Shares (N) 6,570.50 6,570.50


10 41 73 51 17 2 11 26 37 3 2 19 292

45.00 19.00 11.05 86.00 4.00 1.78 4.64 43.25 402.00 24.70 0.50 0.63

Quotation(N) 0.95 1.85 25.09 3.85 5 3.87

No of Deals 4 4

Quotation(N) 6.51

6,901 200,764 747,405 64,573 280,488 464 226,900 43,815 49,592 2,940 35,900 493,100 2,152,842

326,072.25 3,730,065.76 8,292,197.80 5,516,587.97 1,099,927.85 788.80 1,056,690.00 1,870,752.90 19,986,629.65 72,628.00 17,950.00 310,903.98 42,281,194.96

No of Deals 3 11 14

Quotation(N) 7.45 6.00

No of Deals 2 1 8 11

Quotation(N) 0.50 2.81 0.52

No of Deals


Quantity Traded 237,332 237,332

Value of Shares (N) 232,412.04 232,412.04

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,794,000 1,806,723.05 1,794,000 1,806,723.05

Quotation(N) 0.52

Quantity Traded 28,125 28,125

Value of Shares (N) 14,625.00 14,625.00

369,874 11,811 381,685

184,937.00 5,928.20 190,865.20

PACKAGING Quotation(N) 65 13.97

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 2.26 2,918,027 6,607,109.91 49,900 662,672.00 2,967,927 7,269,781.91


No of Deals 2 4 21 27 7 4 85 15 165

Quotation(N) 0.50 67.22 36.01 4.67 18.32 156.50 39.33 203.32

Quantity Traded 40,000 1,255 10,985 529,880 151,906 173,576 471,299 59,657 1,438,558

Value of Shares (N) 20,000.00 80,897.90 391,565.47 2,321,040.80 2,782,917.92 27,167,294.50 18,609,516.50 11,558,443.39 62,931,676.48

4,469 396,912 401,381

13,496.38 1,657,331.18 1,670,827.56


Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 256,092 1,667,164.92 256,092 1,667,164.92

Company Name No of Deals UNION HOMES REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRU Sector Totals 2

2 20 22

3.17 4.39 REAL ESTATE

Company Name No of Deals UACN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT CO. PLC 13 Sector Totals 13

Quotation(N) 19.00

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 224,459 4,141,430.33 224,459 4,141,430.33


Quantity Traded 50.00 24,000 24,000

Value of Shares (N) 1,200,000.00 1,200,000.00

Quantity Traded 48,000 48,000

Value of Shares (N) 24,000.00 24,000.00

Quantity Traded 5,108 5,108

Value of Shares (N) 2,911.56 2,911.56


Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 2,100 15,395.00 179,800 1,075,950.00 181,900 1,091,345.00 Quantity Traded 70,100 300 364,400 434,800

Value of Shares (N) 35,050.00 801.00 189,488.00 225,339.00

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares (N)

INSURANCE Company Name

Quotation(N) 1.04

0.50 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 10,000 9,100.00 437,471 795,518.92 58,976 1,415,533.00 442,961 1,678,255.77 1.47 10,200 14,994.00 10,122 37,248.96 969,730 3,950,650.65


3 2 5



Quotation(N) 0.99



629,567.85 944,780.96 760,022.00 86,914.50 250,220.90 20,172.50 250,900.00 10,000.00 328,428.50 8,582.00 6,575,940.03 438,650.25 517,719.38 5,750.00 1,298.00 131,578.50 18,000.00 10,978,525.37



934,303 939,145 265,700 173,829 176,630 0.50 40,345 0.50 501,800 20,000 646,657 17,164 12,631,758 869,301 308,814 11,500 2,596 263,157 36,000 17,838,699



0.67 1.00 2.88 0.50 1.37 1 2 0.50 0.52 0.50 0.52 0.51 1.67 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50



tively high volume were Insurance and The Foreign Listing sectors with 17.839 million share and 9.107 million shares respectively. On the price movement tables, the key indicators of the market dropped further with another 0.4 per cent each. Market capitalisation shed N20 billion to close at N7.596 trillion, while the All-Share-Index reduced by 63.46 points to close at 23,745.22 points. Also, yesterday’s transaction reflected price change of 44 companies with 21 appreciating, while the remaining 23 reduced in value. Leading the gainers table was Oceanic Bank with a gain of 4.55 per cent, followed by Eterna Oil, Law Union and Rock, Bank PHB and Ashaka cement with price gain of 4.24, 4.00, 3.77, 3.41. On the losers table, Oando led the list with a drop of 5.00 per cent followed by Fort Oil, RT Briscoe, Afribank and Unity Bank with price drop of 4.98 per cent, 4.73 per cent, 4.29 per cent and 4.05 per cent.

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire


No of Deals 1 1


No of Deals 3 3

Quotation(N) 0.50

TEXTILES Quotation(N) 0.59


Quotation(N) 55

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 14.69 9,107,136 130,359,849.30 9,107,136 130,359,849.30

Overall Totals







13 expelled MASSOB members arrested over clash with police

Ume-Ezeoke vowed to die in ANPP, says son


OLLOWING insinuations that the late former Chairman of All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP)Chief Edwin UmeEzeoke was dinning with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), his son, Chineme yesterday disclosed that his father had vowed never to leave the ANPP. He spoke in Abuja when the National Leadership of ANPP, led by Ogbonnaya Onu, visited the family. Chineme said his father was misunderstood on a number of national issues. Describing the former Speaker of the House of Representatives as a father, adviser and confidant, Chineme, who was the Special Adviser to late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on Civil Society, said Ume-Ezeoke was never accused by anyone or tribunal of corruption. He said despite moves by top politicians, his father refused to join another party. Chineme, who was full of emotion while welcoming the visiting party members, said the family is still in shock over the death of the ANPP chieftain, adding that: “We are still in shock over the death of our father. We are consoled by the fact that we believe that our father lived a very decent life. And we


From Gbenga Omokhunu, Sani Onogu (Abuja) and Onyedi Ojiabor

believe he was a good man who believed in this country. He believed in the unity of Nigeria. “He was not just a father; he was my adviser, my confidant. We are thank God that he lived a purposeful life. And his life touched many people. “Chief Ume-Ezeoke was greatly misunderstood on a number of national issues. But we his children can stand up and beat our chest with pride that nobody ever accused our father of being corrupt. “He was never indicted by any tribunal for corruption. We are assuring that you are going to emulate him. ANPP meant a lot to my father. “When his tenure ended as the ANPP National Chairman, I know the moves that were made for him to embrace another party, but he said he would die in ANPP. He has said it to my ears that he would never leave ANPP.” The National Chairman of ANPP, Ogbonnaya Onu, has expressed sadness over the death of his predecessor and advised the family to remain in unity. Onu described the late Ume-Ezeoke as a great politi-

•The late Ume-Ezeoke

cian, adding that the party will play an active role in his burial. He said: “It is with sorrow that we received the painful news of the transition of our former National Chairman, Chief Edwin Ume –Ezeoke. “He made important contributions to the development of our dear country. He became National Chairman at a time our great party had many challenges. He did his best to meet those challenges. Surely, as a political family, we shall continue to miss him. We urge you to please take heart. At all times, you can count on the goodwill and prayers of our members, especially at this hour of grief. “Kindly convey our condolences to your dear mother, brothers and sisters and all those who share with you the pain of his death. May his gentle soul find eternal repose in the bosom of our good Lord.”

NAMBRA State Police Command has arrested 13 expelled members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) in connection with last Tuesday’s clash with the police in Onitsha. Five persons were feared killed in the clash. Police spokesman, Emeka Chukwuemeka, during a telephone interview yesterday said the arrested members would be charged to court.

From Adimike George, Onitsha

Chukwuemeka said no policeman was killed in the clash and urged residents to report extortionists to the police. The erring MASSOB members were expelled on Monday by the leadership of the group. They had stormed the Ochanja Market, demanding money from the traders. Following the traders’ refusal to pay the money, the hoodlums used dangerous weap-

ons on them. In the ensuing confusion, the local vigilance group shot one of the hoodlums.,forcing the rest to retreat from the scene of the incident. The hoodlums later returned to the market to attack the traders but were overpowered by the police. Three of the fleeing hoodlums were reportedly killed in a shootout with soldiers. The traders hailed the leader of MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazurike, for expelling the hoodlums from the movement.

Akume condoles with family


ENATE Minority leader,George Akume, has condoled with the family of the late Ume-Ezeoke. He said: “May I, on behalf of the good people of Benue North – West Senatorial District and members of National Assembly Minority Parties express our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family of Chief Edwin Ume – Ezeoke over his death. Our condolences are also extended to his Party, the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), President Goodluck Jonathan, Speaker of House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal and the Governor and people of Anambra State. “The late Ume – Ezeoke had contributed immensely to the political development of this country; having served the Nation as a Speaker of the House of Representatives in the Second Republic and later as the National Chair-

man of the ANPP. At a very critical period of our political history during the administration of late President Yar’Adua, Ume – Ezeoke was one of the stabilising forces. “While we mourn his death, we urge the government of President Goodluck Jonathan to accord priority attention to the deplorable condition of the nation’s health sector in order to minimise the hardship experienced by the less priviledged majority of Nigerians who cannot afford to travel outside the country for medical attention. We have the resources to adequately provide our people here at home with the best medical care that can be found elsewhere in the world. “May the soul of Ume – Ezeoke find peace in the bosom of the Lord; and may his family be greatly consoled by the fact that he left enduring legacies for us to emulate.

He was a true democrat, says Minister


INISTER of the Federal Capital Territory ( FCT) Senator Bala Mohammed has described the late UmeEzeoke as a true democrat. The Minister, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Hazat Sule, said: “On behalf of myself and the FCT Administration, I express

From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

heartfelt condolences to the family of the late Chief Edwin Ume-Ezeoke” He described the late exSpeaker as a true democrat who has contributed to the political development of the country. Senator Mohammed said

Ume-Ezeoke distinguished himself as an astute politician and a refined bridge builder. He remarked that the new generation of politicians have a lot to learn from his selfless and uncommon contribution to the country. The Minister prayed for the repose of the soul of the deceased.

Ngige: he was courageous


FORMER Governor of Anambra State, Senator Chris Ngige, yesterday described the late former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Edwin Ume-Ezeoke as a courageous politician. Ngige said the former Speaker spent his time work-

ing for the unity of the nation. He said: “The death of former Speaker House of Representative, Chief Edwin Ume – Ezeoke came to me with a great shock and disbelief. This is because, I had about a month ago, met with this great politi-

Correction IN the story “Ex-ANPP chair Ume-Ezeoke is dead” published on page 2 of August 3, the statement, “The late Ume-Ezeoke was on a life support machine for about one week before his death,” is incorrect. We have discovered that the late Chief Ume-Ezeoke was not on life support at the hospital. Also, the statement was erroneously credited to Mr. Chike Izuore. The errors are regretted. -Editor

cal giant and his wife at Enugu International Airport and did chat together animatedly, without him showing any sign of indisposition. “Ume-Ezeoke, a Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives in the Second Republic was no doubt a political colossus who towered above his peers. “He was a courageous and astute politician, adopting the legendary Zik’s style of Politics – Fabian Tactics. He led the All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP) in this Fourth Republic and tried his best, in an effort to make it a leading opposition party.

• Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi; Chairman, Ekiti State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Chief Aaron Komolafe, and Executive Secretary, Nigeria Christians Pilgrims Commission, Mr. John-Kennedy Opara, during a visit to the Governor in Ado-Ekiti... yesterday


Dropped Ebonyi commissioner takes oath

OMRADE Jonah Egba whose screening was kept on hold by the Ebonyi State House of Assembly was yesterday sworn-in by Governor Martin Elechi. Egba, who was rescreened and cleared by the House of Assembly on Wednesday, was sworn in along side three new Special Advisers at Government House in Abakiliki. Egba was assigned to the Ministry of Inter Party Dialogue as commissioner. He was, last week, dropped by the State House of Assembly following his inability to recite correctly the National Anthem, National Pledge and present original certificate of his post graduate programme. His swearing in followed the decision of the House to refer his rescreening to the

From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakiliki

House Committee on Judiciary at the Assembly complex. The Special Advisers are Lawrence Nwaezza (Information Technology), Chinyere Alioke (Office of the Deputy Governor) and Anayo Ota (Special Adviser on Project Monitoring). Elechi urged them to be alive to their statutory responsibilities. He said: “I need to say with all seriousness that the assignment of the Commissioner for Inter Party Dialogue has become more important than we understood it initially because we tried to smoothen the terrain for the people in various parties to act in freedom and responsibility. But those in opposition thought we were

stupid and proceeded to do abominable things. “This time around we will ensure that there is freedom of action, that you don’t coarse anybody, neither shall we tolerate any abuses from any quarters whether you are in the party in power or in the opposition.” Elechi urged the commissioners to always attend the Executive Council meetings. He urged them to work towards achieving the goals and aspirations of his administration which is centered on rapid development, economic empowerment and attitudinal change. The exco comprise 20 commissioners, 10 Special Advisers and five Personal Assistants. Egba thanked the governor for the confidence reposed in him and promised to contribute to the development of the state.

Okorocha wants Nekede Poly reopened


OVERNOR Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has appealed to the authorities of Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Owerri, to re-open the institution. Okorocha, who made the appeal when the governing council of the institution visited him at Government House, promised to visit the institution to ascertain the facilities destroyed by students who

From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

embarked on a violent protest over alleged fees hike. He said the government would assist in the rebuilding process. The governor, however, canvassed regular interaction between management of tertiary institutions and students to bridge communication gap that often leads to protests. Okorocha said efforts would be intensified to un-

ravel the perpetrators of the violence. Leader of the delegation and chairman of the governing council of the institution, Mrs Josephine Akhigbe, assured of management of loyalty to the Okorocha-led administration. She said the governing council would key into the vision of the governor and contribute in executing the Rescue programmes of his administration.



FOREIGN NEWS Zambia opposition: president can’t run

Mubarak’s trial bad for Africa, says Obasanjo F

ORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday called for dignified treatment of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubak, saying as a former head of state, he was entitled to personal dignity befitting his status. Speaking in Mombasa, Kenya, where he is attending the African Leadership Conference, which is set to wind up today, Obasanjo said the treatment meted out to the former Egyptian leader was bad for the image of Africa as a continent. “Put him in a cage? It is not proper. He deserves a better treatment. This is not good for the image of Africa,”

Obasanjo told a gathering of African leaders, including former South African President Thabo Mbeki, and other governance experts gathered for the conference. Egypt has put its former President on trial for the killing of protesters calling for his resignation in late January to early February this year. Obasanjo, who had earlier addressed the African governance conference on the need for African governments to continue improving their governance ratings, also called on the African media to maintain high ethical

standards to gain credibility. He said the media in Africa could not claim a high moral ground and attempt to police good governance while still being held back by corruption within its ranks. The African leaders at the conference, including ministers, top civil society voices across the continent and African scholars, called for massive infrastructure improvements to put the continent on a faster lane for the achievement of its economic development goals. Speaking on the role of the media in advancing



continental development, Obasanjo said that from his knowledge of the Nigerian press, the media could not be trusted to champion governance.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde faces probe


HE Court of Justice of the Republic, a special tribunal qualified to judge the conduct of France’s government ministers while in office, said that the 55-year-old may have abused her position as finance minister in France to help a controversial businessman. Ms Lagarde is said to have allowed the equivalent of some £270 million to Bernard Tapie, a convicted football match fixer and tax dodger

who supported her governing UMP party. It comes after Dominque Strauss-Kahn, another senior French politician, was sacked as IMF chief following allegations that he raped a chambermaid in a New York hotel earlier this year. Ms Lagarde began campaigning to succeed Mr Strauss-Kahn soon after his arrest for a crime which could still land him 25 years in prison.

But now it is Ms Lagarde, a lawyer and retired synchronised swimming star, who is facing a criminal trial of her own, as well as a possible jail sentence. The scandal will not only pile further shame on France’s political class, but worry politicians and bankers desperately trying to resolve the global financial crisis. Mr Tapie, the former head of adidas in France, claims he was cheated out of millions by

Credit Lyonnais bank when the sports kit empire was sold in 1993. In 2007, Ms Largarde ended the epic dispute by ordering a panel of judges to arbitrate and, in turn, they awarded Tapie the damages. Opposition MPs were furious, with former presidential candidate Francois Bayrou accusing Ms Lagarde of “dipping into the taxpayers’ pocket for a private beneficiary.”

Syrian leader Assad advised to reconcile with opponents


USSIAN President Dmitry Medvedev made a new appeal to Syrian President Bashar alAssad on Thursday to carry out reforms and reconcile with his opponents, saying he risked a “sad fate” if he failed to do so. His comments, a day after Russia backed a United Nations Security Council statement condemning Damascus’ crackdown on protesters, underlined Russia’s hardening stance toward Assad’s government following new reports of

bloodshed. “He (Assad) needs to urgently carry out reforms, reconcile with the opposition, restore peace and set up a modern state,” Medvedev said in an interview with Russia’s Ekho Moskvy radio, Russia Today television and Georgia’s PIKTV. “If he fails to do this, he will face a sad fate,” he said in the southern Russian resort of Sochi. Moscow is wary of Western interference in the Arab world and harshly criticised the

scope of NATO’s bombing campaign in Libya, saying it violated action authorised by a U.N. Security Council resolution from which Russia abstained. Medvedev suggested in June Russia would not back a fullfledged U.N. council resolution on Syria, but has stopped short of threatening a veto. After days of hard bargaining, the Security Council agreed a formal statement on Wednesday condemning Damascus’ use of force, its first substantive

response to the five-monthold uprising in Syria, where rights groups say the death toll passes 1,600. Earlier on Thursday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry hailed the statement but reiterated its warning that outside powers must refrain from meddling in Syria’s internal affairs. “Moscow is convinced that a solution to the situation in that country must be brought about by the Syrians themselves without any outside interference,” the ministry said on its website.

Libyan rebels plan new push toward Tripoli


EBEL fighters in western Libya are regrouping for a major offensive and hope to reach Moammar Gadhafi’s stronghold, the capital of Tripoli, before the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in late August, a field commander said Thursday. The rebels in Libya’s western Nafusa mountain area are receiving reinforcements, including volunteers arriving from areas still under Gadhafi’s control, the commander, Muktar al-

Akhdar, told The Associated Press. He spoke after an hours-long strategy meeting of unit commanders in the garrison town of Zintan, base of the area’s rebel command. With fighting largely deadlocked for months, Libya’s rebels believe the Nafusa mountain front line is their best chance for striking the capital. But obstacles like land mines spotted in front line areas and gasoline shortages have impeded progress, al-Akhdar said. There is also the worry that

Gadhafi loyalists could infiltrate the ranks, he said. At times, shouting could be heard from the meeting room. The rebel’s military spokesman for the mountain area, Col. Jumma Ibrahim, was evasive when asked about a new push toward Tripoli, saying he was pleased with small territorial gains. Libya’s civil war erupted shortly after anti-regime protests swept across Libya in mid-February, and neither side has made significant gains for months. Gadhafi controls Tripoli on the Mediterranean

Nigeria’s oil clean-up could be ‘world’s HE restoration of biggest’, says UN Nigeria’s Ogoniland


region, which has been devastated by decades of oils spills, will require the world’s biggest clean-up according to a United Nations report. The restoration of Nigeria’s Ogoniland, which has been devastated by decades of oils spills, will require the world’s biggest oil clean up according to a UN report (Getty) The long awaited study from the United Nations Environment Programme

(UNEP) has found restoration of Ogoniland could take up to 30 years and will require an initial $1bn. The report says it will be the world’s most “wideranging and long-term oil clean-up” ever. In one community, at Nisisioken Ogale, families are drinking water from wells contaminated with benzene, a known carcinogen, at levels over 900 times above World Health

Organisation guidelines. The site is close to a Nigerian National Petroleum Company pipeline. The study was partly funded by Shell which has been operating in Nigeria for decades. Achim Steiner, UN UnderSecretary General and UNEP Executive Director, said the report provided the scientific basis on which a long overdue and concerted environmental restoration of Ogoniland can begin.

coast and towns around it, while rebels hold the east of the country and two pockets in the west — the Nafusa mountain range and the port city of Misrata. A week ago, the Nafusa rebels launched a limited offensive, descending from their mountain plateau into the coastal plain and seizing three small towns. However, the advance has since stalled, with Gadhafi’s forces entrenched in several towns blocking the way to Tripoli. CHANGE OF NAME SHODEINDE

I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Shodeinde Abosede Adepeju, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Uyanwanne Abosede Adepeju. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public is hereby advised to take note.

LOSS OF DOCUMENT The General Public is hereby notified that the original House Document belonging to ALHAJI SALEH.M. INUSA of PLOT 3277 AMINU KANO CRESCENT, MAITAMA, ABUJA was destroyed in a fire incident that set his house ablaze in his home town Taraba State in April 2011. The said document of PLOT 3277 AMINU KANO CRESCENT, MAITAMA ABUJA, was under Lock and Key as at the time of the fire incident and was destroyed.

AMBIA’S main opposition party says President Rupiah Banda is ineligible for re-election because both his parents were allegedly born outside the country. The Patriotic Front says Banda’s father was born in colonialera Nyasaland — modern-day Malawi — and says it took out an injunction yesterday to prohibit Banda from running in September’s election. Zambia’s constitution requires presidential candidates to have Zambian-born parents. The ruling Movement for Multi-Party Democracy dismissed the challenge, questioning why the opposition had not raised the issue during the last election. Banda, the former vice president, narrowly won a 2008 presidential poll forced by the death of president Levy Mwanawasa. Banda, who is in his 70s, was born before Zambia gained independence in 1964.

Gun evidence tendered in ex- Egyptian minister’s trial


UNS, ammunition casings and grenades allegedly used in attacks on Egyptian protesters earlier this year have been shown in court in the capital, Cairo. The boxes full of evidence were opened at the trial of exInterior Minister Habib al-Adly and six other officials. They are charged with killing demonstrators during the unrest that led to the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak in February. Mr Mubarak pleaded not guilty to the same charges on Wednesday. The former president is being tried along with his two sons, Alaa and Gamal. The three also deny separate charges of corruption. The charge of ordering the killing of protesters carries the death penalty.














N Tuesday August 2, the robbers struck again across three states: Edo, Kogi and Oshun, causing the untimely death of fifty Nigerians in Kogi, two in Edo, and three in Osun. The Kogi incident was a gruesome reminder of a similar occurrence about three years ago when armed robbers laid ambush for a luxury bus, forced passengers down, had them lie face down on the road while robbing them, and then abandoning them to their fate as another truck ran over them, killing them all. In the present case, a luxury bus and a truck ran over the innocent passengers in an eerily similar fashion. And they all died. The Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps in Kogi who confirmed the incident to reporters also observed that because of the way that the bodies of these innocent passengers trying to eke out a living while playing by the rules were mangled together, it was difficult to identify them or pick them up as individuals. Again these are fellow Nigerians, fathers, mothers, uncles, brothers, sisters and yes, sons and daughters of someone in this land. Their unidentifiable bodies were deposited in the morgue. It is not the first time; it will probably not be the last time. Where the security of citizens doesn’t matter to a government, such stories, while offensive to the civilised, is routine. So it is in Nigeria. About this time last year, our then third and fourth citizens were apparently moved by the rampant incidents of kidnappings. “No responsible government would allow these (kidnappings) to continue.” Those were the words of Mr. David Mark, the Senate President and the Number Three citizen of the nation. It apparently didn’t occur to him then that he was admitting being part of an irresponsible government. His then House counterpart, Speaker Dimeji Bankole, described the spate of kidnapping in the country as a “national embarrassment.” The fact that the Senate President admitted that a responsible government would not allow kidnappings to go on for so long is an admission that the government of which he is an integral part is grossly irresponsible. As I observed at that time “kidnapping did not start with the case of the four journalists. In all likelihood it is not going to end with this case either.” Events since then have borne me out. But who is listening? Certainly not the government! Kidnapping is still going on despite the threats of sanctions issued to assortments of people, including traditional rulers. It hasn’t stopped partly because the Federal Government that takes upon itself the responsibility to secure the entire nation through a unitary system of policing is too shortsighted, and too stubborn to admit that it has failed. Why, for the sake of decency, do we have to be treated as expendables by a government that is supposed to represent us?


Citizen insecurity

•Inspector General of Police Hafiz Ringim

In August 2007, armed robbers struck at First Bank, Ketu in Lagos. With two police stations nearby, they killed 12 people, maimed others, and escaped with their loot. The following are excerpts from my column on that tragic incident: “Every responsible government knows that security of the lives and property of citizens matters. It is the foremost raison d’etre of government. Citizens can eke out a living for themselves; they can provide their own basic needs of food, housing, and clothing without recourse to the state. This is the case in contemporary Nigeria despite the deceptive and hollow sloganeering about poverty alleviation. In the fifties and sixties “freedom for all life more abundant” was the rallying cry of the government of Western Nigeria. It encapsulated freedom from poverty, disease, ignorance and insecurity. It worked. We slept in corridors and open yards of our various compounds with our eyes fully closed. And the government had no oil

RIPPLES Abiola’s death: NAME YORUBA BRIBE TAKERS Afe Babalola tells al-Mustapha

Yes, name them... and their ADDRESSES too

NO. 1,843

‘We are content with swimming in the ocean of lies. Collectively, we help build up this mountain of woes. We laugh, joke and even cry at our own folly. We ascribe to fate what fate never wished for us. Simply put: we are our own enemies!’ YOMI ODUNUGA

‘The present structure of the Nigerian police has been operative for at least forty years with only cosmetic changes. In these years, it has performed woefully in the only responsibility it has—security of lives and property. For while it has been ossified in time, its nemesis—the tribe of hardened and violent criminals—keep innovating’ resources. The government then knew the psychology of our people. Nigerians, in general, and Westerners in particular, consider it demeaning to wait on government for their sustenance. But education is a tested means to a meal ticket. This was what government spearheaded, effectively providing security of meal ticket for all, making the phenomena of armed robbery a rarity. Is this too much to ask of contemporary Nigerian state? In the past decade, the answer that has come loud and clear from the state is “yes”. Action speaks louder than words and succeeding governments in this country have, through their actions, confirmed that citizens have no right to the security of their lives and property. Governments all over the world provide internal security through the police system. Each government adopts a system of policing that effectively secures its citizens. If one system fails, reason and enlightened self interest would suggest the need for change.



ANKER drivers under the aegis of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) may be on the warpath once again with the Lagos State Government. The state Ministry of Transportation had earlier given a two-day ultimatum to the drivers to remove their vehicles from where they were parked indiscriminately and unlawfully along the Mile 2 to Apapa Expressway. It was not the first time. If nothing concrete is done this time, it may not be the last. The state has had a running battle with tanker drivers whose intransigence has made driving and commuting on that busy and economically strategic road a nightmare. For failing to respect the deadline, the drivers watched as the state towed about 30 of their trucks into custody. By Wednesday, the effort of the drivers to retrieve their vehicles had still not succeeded, leading some members of NUPENG to make veiled warning about an impending strike that could affect the supply of petroleum products. The drivers’ argument seems to be that while they regretted the inconvenience to road users, since Lagos petroleum depot was

LASG versus tanker drivers one of the few still functioning in the country, they were themselves helpless to do anything about the illegal parking, given the number of trucks that converge on Lagos to lift fuel. What compounded the parking problem, the drivers said, was the bad state of the roads leading to the Ports and the depots. Indeed, the immediate reason for the veiled strike warning is that Lagos State has asked the drivers to pay fines and also present their tax clearance certificates before the vehicles are released. To pay fines, said some of the drivers, is tolerable, but to present tax clearance is difficult. But both the state and the harassed public seem to think the drivers have a choice. No matter how important their role in the economy is, argue the people, the law could not be bent to accommodate them without undermining good governance and the society. Lagos, of course, has the right to collect

This is why states move from centralised to regional to local and community policing. Only an insane person would stick to a practice that continually fails to yield desired results. A government that fits this description is simply indefensible. The present structure of the Nigerian police has been operative for at least forty years with only cosmetic changes. In these years, it has performed woefully in the only responsibility it has—security of lives and property. For while it has been ossified in time, its nemesis—the tribe of hardened and violent criminals—keep innovating. They not only acquire high-tech weaponry; they also acquire effective managerial skills. Having come to appreciate the significance of numbers, they now move about in scores in pursuit of their mission of spreading blood and tears. The police are no match because succeeding governments which have benefited from the inefficiency and ineptitude of an archaic police system has not deemed it fit to effect radical structural changes in the system. Any wonder that Nigeria has become an unlivable hell on earth for innocent and helpless citizens? And the citizens are helpless not only because they find themselves at the mercy of armed robbers, street urchins and political thugs (and now kidnappers) that harass and terrorise them. They are also helpless because they are unable to effect a change of government through their votes. It is a vicious circle. The government patronises the police because police authorities do its bidding at election time. The Federal Government is especially culpable in this. While its argument for refusing to allow state and community policing is that these levels of government will politicise the police, this is exactly what it has being doing since 1979. In the wisdom of our people, only a thief knows the most effective way to capture a thief. In other jurisdictions, governments are voted out of power for failure to secure citizens. Nigerians, ever so sensitive about their lives, are no different species but for the fact that Nigeria does not run a system of free and fair elections. In a society in which citizens are assured that their votes count, they would wait patiently till election time when they react with their vote.” For elections will be fought and won or lost on the basis of issues. Thus, one should expect that the issue of state and community police be integral to the positions of various political parties. At the very least, opposition parties would make it one of their most important electoral planks. Hopefully, we’ll get there some day. Meanwhile, citizen insecurity continues unabated and government isn’t worried about it. How sad! •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above taxes and sanitise road use. It also has the right to enact measures to discourage the flouting of road laws. But it must also use its discretion, given the general social and economic circumstances of the country, not to impose requirements that would aggravate the problem. If the drivers pay the fines and sign an undertaking not to break the law again, it should be enough to secure the release of their vehicles. The impression must never be given by either side that each of them needs arm-twisting to achieve results. However, the ding-dong over wrong parking and vehicle seizure has gone on for too long. Surely, both sides do not want to give the public the impression that government and union officials cannot reason their way out of the logjam. The two sides, possibly with top federal officials in attendance, should sit down to find a lasting, not temporary, solution to the recurring crisis. A permanent solution exists if officials try hard enough, if they understand the issues involved, and if they care about the peace, economic development and progress of the state and the country.

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. E-mail: Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

The Nation August 05, 2011  

The Nation August 05, 2011