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‘Why we killed our 70-year-old stepmother’

Ogun drags Daniel’s associate to EFCC over N35m govt property

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U-20 World Cup Oshiomhole to

Nigeria, Saudi Arabia striking Edo workers: in supremacy battle Page

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Nigeria’s truly national newspaper

VOL.05 N0. 1836

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

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Govt takes over Bank PHB, Afribank, Spring Bank Banks get new identities on Monday Why they were nationalised Page 3 Staff given option to resign Bank PHB

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Spring Bank

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ank PHB came into existence as the outcome of the merger between Habib Bank Limited and Platinum Bank. The union was the result of the consolidation of banks undertaken under the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. The exercise was midwife by the Professor Chukwuma Soludo; led Central Bank of Nigeria. Continued on Page 2

f the emerging banks from the consolidation, none has been as contentious as Spring Bank. Not so much on the basis of size but conflicting interests that gave birth to it. Since inception from the fusion of Omega Bank, Guardian Express Bank , Citizens Bank and African Continental Bank.

Cyril Chukwuma

Shola Ayodele

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Afribank

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he case of Afribank is rather pathetic. It used to be one of Nigeria's erstwhile 'big four banks.'. It had stood shoulder-toshoulder with FirstBank, Union Bank and United Bank for Africa. But over the years, it lost both its status and reputation. This necessitated the intervention by the Continued on Page 2

KAREN IGHO

Nebolisah Arah

IN THE NEWS

N10m recovered from police sergeant arrested for robbery

PENGASSAN threatens strike over kidnapping

He had completed his training programme for promotion to the rank of Inspector. Indeed, he had passed the exam and was waiting to be decorated. But the expectation of 38-year-old police sergeant, Onyeka Eboma, ended in a tragic anti-climax. He and four other members of a robbery gang allegedly led by him were arrested. Continued on Page 16

Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has threatened to go on strike to extract government’s commitment to end kidnapping and insecurity in the country. Continued on Page 7

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I miss my my real breasts!


2 NEWS

THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

UNAD students on the rampage The Ekiti State University (EKSU) formerly University of Ado Ekiti(UNAD) yesterday staged a protest over the decision of the institution to bar students who defaulted on the payment of their school fees from writing examination. The students, who were mainly on part time programmes in various departments and faculties, were planning to write their second semester examination before the authorities of the university decided to stop those who failed to pay their school fees in full. The protest suddenly turned violent with students throwing pebbles and harassing security officials of the institution who were directed to chase them out of the examination hall.

Dakingari denies rumour of missing N9b Kebbi State governor, Saidu Dakingari,

• M a m a has denied the rumour making the Virginia rounds in the state that N9 billion has •Mama Virginia's step sons who murdered her

‘Why we killed our 70-year-old stepmother’ I

N the company of her five sons and two stepsons, septuagenarian Virginia Ndubuisi bubbled with life, oblivious of the evil thoughts her stepsons nursed towards her. She had lived with Obinna and Ebuka after the death of their mother 23 years ago. She fed them, clothed them and treated them like her biological children. Like King Duncan in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, she had no way of seeing in their faces the evil their minds constructed. They struck before she suspected their motive and dispatched her to the world beyond. Ebuka, 25, claims he plotted the death of the 70-year-old woman alone, but the police insist after investigation that he acted in concert with Obinna, his 26-year-old elder brother. On account of the gruesome murder, the usually sleepy Akpo community in Aguata Local Government Area, Anambra State was in confusion when our correspondent visited during the week. The residents were too afraid to talk about the incident. Indeed, some of them who lived near the family house of the deceased had to relocate elsewhere for fear of being arrested. The two suspects have criminal history, having earlier been jailed at different times—Ebuka for stealing a generator and Obinna for stealing tiles. They were believed to have strangled the poor septuagenarian to death, after which they buried her in a shallow grave in a ban. Neighbours had raised the alarm when they could not find Virginia for a whole day. Some of her children had also gone to the police station to report that their mother was missing. But all the while, they thought she had only been kidnapped. But their anxiety worsened when they waited in vain for a

Nwanosike ONU, Awka

call from her abductors demanding a ransom. After killing the old woman, the two brothers allegedly removed the sum of N35, 000 she had kept for the family’s feeding and other needs and then burnt her Nokia handset. Ebuka admitted in a chat with our correspondent that he killed Virginia because she would not prevail on her Abujabased eldest son, Ogochukwu, to render financial assistance to him. He also accused the woman, who had nurtured him since he was three years old, of being wicked to him and his elder brother. Confirming the incident in a chat with our correspondent, the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Mr. Mike Okoli, said: “Two blood brothers killed their stepmother by strangling her. They buried her in a shallow grave in a ban in Akpo community in Aguata. “One of her sons had initially reported a case of missing person to the police at Umuchu Police Station. Since there was no other person with the woman in the house, Ebuka was arrested. “But we later discovered that Obinna instructed Ebuka to cook the blood so that they could use it to feed their pigs at home. “Both of them were transferred to the state CID in Awka. Given all the facts, we focused our discussion on Ebuka and suspected kidnap. But no call for ransom was made. “Given the scenario, I tried to play a psychological game by releasing Obinna, which was a ploy to pull the weight of suspicion. “After releasing him, his conscience

been stolen from government treasury, saying it was not true. In his word: “I don’t have N9 billion in the account because Kebbi State money is being used to execute projects and I am the only one who can sign out money from the state treasury. So, where is such money stolen from? Anybody saying this should come out with evidence. But as far as I am concerned, no money is missing from the Kebbi State account.”

Robbery scare in Osogbo There was an armed robbery scare in Osogbo, Osun State capital for many hours yesterday morning. As soon as the rumour of armed attack on some banks along Gbongan Road filtered into town, people began to run for safety. There was a heavy traffic jam at the Olaiya junction as many motorists disregarded the traffic light because they were trying to avoid the dare devil robbers running into them. All banks from Fagbewesa Street to Station and Igbona roads shut down immediately they received the news of their operations and locked up doors while their customers rushed out in fear.

Bank PHB CP, Muhtari Ibrahim of Anambra State

started pricking him. He called his stepbrother, Jude, and told him he dreamt that that Mama (Virginia) was buried somewhere in the ban. “They went there and opened the place only to discover the body of the woman. When police detectives went there and discovered the body, we brought Obinna back and confronted Ebuka who admitted that he killed the woman by strangling her. “We therefore exhumed the body with the help of a police pathologist who conducted the autopsy. “In his report, the pathologist said the act was not committed by one person. He said her head must have hit somewhere while her neck was twisted, which led to bloodstains on the wall and in the arena.” Okoli described the incident as a breakthrough in crime investigation not only in Anambra State but the entire nation, adding that the investigation was painstakingly done by the command. Okoli further said the police, having unravelled the mystery behind the sudden disappearance of the 70 year old woman, would use the case to serve as a deterrent to other evil doers in the state.

Continued from Page 1 Under its new name, the bank went through a series of transformation processes and rebranding. Francis Atuche, who assumed leadership of the entity, was himself a victim of the banking crisis that led to the intervention of the Central Bank in 2008. Atuche was succeeded by Cyril Chukwumah. It was believed that Chukwumah and his team had wrapped up an engagement with Habib Bank of Pakistan as core investor, before t he latest intervention by the NDIC.

Spring Bank Continued from Page 1 Ever since, there has been acrimony between the board and management. This affected the operation of the bank until the CBN took it over in 2008 and appointed Mrs. Shola Ayodele its chief executive. Until the NDIC intervention, efforts were still being made to secure a credible core investor.

Afribank

Continued from Page 1 CBN in 2008 and the appointment of Mr. Nebolisah Arah as its chief executive. For unexplained reasons, efforts made by interested suitors to recapitalise it could not materialise. With the NDIC decision, this first generation bank has now assumed a new name. With the name change, Afribank, as it were, has been consigned to history.


NEWS 3

THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

Single tenure: Jonathan’s men lobby senators, reps

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•Vice President Namadi Sambo (left), receiving a gift from the Cammandant, National Defence College (NDC), Rear Adm. Thomas Lokoson, at the graduation ceremony for NDC Course 19 in Abuja... yesterday PHOTO: NAN

S part of consensus building on single tenure proposal, some strategists of President Goodluck Jonathan have started lobbying members of the National Assembly. It was also learnt that the selling point of the Presidency is its readiness to ensure a rotational clause in the constitution, which will enable the six geopolitical zones to produce the nation’s President, while the senatorial districts in each state will have a shot at the governorship seat. But the government has identified the North and the South-West as regions where there might be opposition to single tenure. Investigation by our correspondent showed that the Presidency is still of the opinion that with far-reaching consultations, the National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly can be convinced to adopt the single tenure proposal. A reliable source said: “The

•Offer rotation clause as a bait Yusuf ALLI, Managing in the constitution for PresidenEditor, Northern Operation cy and governorship posts is the bait being offered by the Presigovernment believes that there dency to senators and members has been no superior argument of the House. The source said: “The Presiyet against the proposal that will enable it to drop the idea. dency has taken note of the agSo far, there is no going back itation of members of the National Assembly and State on the proposal. ”Already, some strategists of Houses of Assembly for rotathe President have been hold- tional clause in the constitution. “The government is also willing informal sessions with senators and members of the ing to concede to legislators House of Representatives on and ethnic nationalities seeking rotation of powers for the bill the tenure proposal. “These strategists met with to sail through.” But it was learnt that the onrepresentatives of some ethnic groups last weekend in Lagos. going preliminary consultaSo, the lobbying has started tions are meant to douse tenahead of the drafting and pres- sion, especially in the North and South-West over the single entation of the bill. “What the government is tenure proposal. According to findings, the doing is to clear the air on the sentiments being attached to government has been worried by the silence of leaders and the proposal.” It was gathered that the in- lawmakers from the North to clusion of a rotational clause the proposal. The source added: “The stocktaking has shown that the opposition to the single tenure may be more heightened in the North and in the South-West. “But the government will engage the leaders of these regions in wider consultations. dence. Do not forget that the adminisAt about the time the NDIC tration of a northern leader, the boss was speaking in Lagos, late Gen. Sani Abacha organthe Federal Government was ised a political conference in also giving its tacit approval 1994/95 where single tenure to the measures in Abula. was mooted. Addressing journalists in “The only assurance the Abuja yesterday, the Minister North is seeking is that the Presof State for Finance, Dr. Yeri- ident will not benefit from the ma Lawan Ngama, disclosed new tenure proposal. that the government had “The thinking in governthrown its weight behind ment is that once the North and NDIC’s decision “to organise the South-West embrace the and incorporate bridge banks proposal, the bill will sail that will take over these through.” banks.’’ A Senator, who spoke in conThe minister also disclosed fidence, said: “The government that all three banks will wear strategists have been reaching their new names on Monday. out to us but we have adopted a The bridge banks are Main- wait and see attitude. We have street Bank for Afribank, Key- been demanding for the constone Bank for Bank PhB and tents of the bill. Enterprise Bank Limited for “Actually, some of us believe Spring Bank. By this develop- that the tenure of executive ofment, “on Monday these fice holders should not exceed banks will metamorphose a six-year single tenure and that into new entities,” the minis- there should be rotation of the ter revealed. presidency among the six geoNgama said: ”The action political zones and governorwas taken after due consulta- ship among the senatorial distion by the NDIC with the fed- tricts in every state.” eral government.” He then described the action as representing an important mile- Fashola appoints stone in the process of stabinew GM for lising the affected banks. The action, the minister add- LASAA ed, “will enable these banks Miriam NDIKANWU to move forward with a more certain future and bring to cloAGOS State Governor, sure the banking crisis that Mr. Babatunde Raji started in 2008 in Nigeria.” Fashola (SAN) has apThe federal government, the minister pointed out, was proved the appointment of pleased the process of creat- Mr. George Kayode Noah as ing bridge bank to take over the Managing Director of Lathese three banks “has not re- gos State Signage and Adversulted and will not result in tising Agency (LASAA). The the loss of any depositors’ appointment takes immediate fund and, more importantly, effect. In a statement signed by the brings stability to the financial system.” He emphasised Assistant Director (Press and that that no depositor will Public Relations) in the Office of Head of Service, Mr. Dele lose one kobo. In addition thefederal gov- Balogun, Mr. Noah was until ernment has called on all min- his appointment the Managistries, departments and par- ing Director and Publisher of astatals banking with the af- Lagos Island News and Nigeria fected banks “to continue to Today Online. Mr. Noah, who is a 1980 transact their business with graduate of Political Science the respective bridge banks. Asked why the federal gov- from the University of Ibadan, ernment could not wait till the has had diverse and extensive September 30 deadline for the works and consulting experifull recapitalisation of the ence spanning over 30 years banks, the minister of state for in the media sector transcendfinance said it was better to ing advertising, marketing, pre-empt the banks than wait public relations and journalism. till September 30.

Bank PHB, Afribank, Spring T Bank nationalised HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday announced the revocation of the licenses of Afribank, Spring Bank and Bank PHB. The move, according to the Managing Director of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Ibrahim Umar, became necessary because the affected banks had failed to show enough commitment to the process of recapitalisation since new management teams were named in August 2009. The revocation came ahead of the September 30 deadline given rescued banks to recapitalise. Announcing the revocation during a press briefing in Lagos yesterday, Umar said the assets and liabilities of the operators of the three banks had been immediately taken over by bridge banks as part of efforts to ensure that the banks continued to operate under new identities. While MainStreet Bank Limited has been licenced to take over Afribank Nigeria Plc, Keystone Bank Limited has assumed the assets and liabilities of Bank PHB while Enterprise Bank Limited takes over Spring Bank Plc. The three bridge banks acquired the assets and liabilities through the purchase and assumption model earlier used by the apex bank when Chukwuma Soludo was the CBN governor. The three banks were among the 10 that failed the CBN stress test conducted in June 2009, following which Wema and Unity banks resolved their troubles. New core investors,Access Bank, had emerged for Intercontinental; First City Monument Bank for Finbank while Ecobank Transnational signed a merger agreement with Oceanic Bank International. Umar said while core investor had emerged for Union Bank, Equitorial Trust Bank was close to recapitalization. The executive managements of the affected banks appointed by the CBN on August 14, 2009 have now been transferred to the NDIC. They

Why govt took over the banks

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NDICATIONS emerged yesterday that the Federal Government took over the ownership of the three banks because efforts at recapitalising them were being frustrated by their previous owners. A competent source told The Nation in Abuja yesterday that the managements and names of the banks would be changed to prevent their previous owners from laying claim to them. The source said the nationalisation of the banks means that they have been technically liquidated. The source said: “The banks have been technically liquidated. Their previous owners cannot lay claims to them as they now belong to the Federal Government, although they can still go to the court to challenge the CBN and the Federal Government.” The NDIC is expected to buy each of the three banks for N1 and present a cheque in the amount to the CBN. Effectively, the banks will now be run by NDIC, which will appoint new managements and cut the staff strength to reduce costs. Already, an internal memo has been sent to the staff of the affected banks stating that those who want to resign would be given their severance packages. On the other hand, those who wish to stay have been asked to fill a new code of conduct form and return same to the Head of Human Resources within 24 hours. Sources told The Nation yesterday that President Goodluck Jonathan, the Minister

Akinola AJIBADE Lagos and Nduka CHIEJINA, Abuja

are now to work with the NDIC, while the brand names cease to exist and will be replaced with the new identies, the NDIC boss stated. The bridge banks are to run the banks until new investors are found for the three banks. This is expected to take as long as three years. “The corporation (NDIC) is encouraged by the provision of the bridge bank option in our law to resolve the problems in the banking sector,” Umar said. The bridge bank option, he continued, “is a veritable tool for enhancing depositor pro-

Ayo AMINU, Group Business Editor of Justice, Mohammed Adoke and the new Finance Minister, Ngozi OkonjoIweala were privy to the nationalisation of the three banks. The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, in exercising its powers under sections 38 sub-section (1) (c) and (39) 1 of the NDIC Act in consultation with the CBN and by a Purchase and Assumption agreement dated 5 August, 2011, notified the staff that all deposit liabilities, certain other liabilities and all assets of the banks effective form the 5th of August 2011, have been transferred to the bridge banks organised by the NDIC and licensed by the CBN to carry out banking business hitherto carried out by the acquired banks. It was gathered that all employees of the nationalised banks would initially be retained by the bridge banks on their existing terms of employment. Where any employee does not wish to resume in the employment, he or she will be entitled to obtain the full terminal benefits due under his or her existing terms of service. The NDIC has also issued a code of conduct for employees of the newly constituted bridge banks with all employees expected to sign within 24 Hours of receiving the notice.

tection and promoting confidence by ensuring seamless continuity of banking operations.” The bridge banks, Umar assured, will operate the banks until new investors are found to capitalise them in conjunction with the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). AMCON, he continued, is expected to open up negotiation with willing investors, adding that the action effectively resolves the crisis in the nation’s banking system, bringing certainty and stability into it. He also assured that no depositor would lose their money in the reform process.

A statement by the CBN also restated the apex bank’s support for the action of t he NDIC, which is in exercise of its statutory powers. The CBN also assured depositors of the bridge banks of the safety of their deposits and the seamless business continuity and “ability of the bridge banks to meet obligations to depositors and lender-creditors as they arise, by granting all waivers forbearances and exemptions necessary for their operations.” Also, the CBN announced the extension of the interbank guarantees of the bridge banks until December 31, 2011 to ensure their continued operation and customer confi-

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4 NEWS Declare your assets, ANPP tells Jonathan Gbenga OMOKHUNU, Abuja

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HE All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) yesterday asked President Goodluck Jonathan to follow the constitution and declare his assets. If Jonathan does so, ANPP said, it would help demonstrate that he sincerely believes in the rule of law. According to the statement signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Emma Eneukwu: “Our great Party is concerned as to whether Mr. President has declared his assets in accordance with the letters and spirit of the Constitution. “It is our view that this is a very important observance which would help demonstrate that he sincerely believes in the rule of law and the preservation of due process. “Our great party is of the opinion that even though Mr. President is not obliged to publicly declare his assets, by virtue of his esteemed office, he carries a moral burden to inform Nigerians that he has done so as proof of his commitment to leadership by example. “We, therefore, implore Mr. President to let Nigerians know if he has declared his assets as required by the supreme law of the land, considering that over two months have lapsed since his inauguration as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Commercial banks boost agriculture with N450b Olugbenga ADANIKIN, Abuja

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OMMERCIAL banks in the country under the aegis of the Central Bank of Nigeria have boosted the agricultural sector with a sum of N450 billion, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has said. The fund is to be administered by the Nigerian Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) to support farmers with soft loans in order to promote the agriculture industry. Adeshina spoke at a conference on Public Private Partnership on Cocoa organized by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in partnership with The Dutch Sustainable Trade (IDH) and United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) recently in Abuja. The minister who noted that cocoa and rice were initially excluded from the funds disclosed that efforts were made to convince the Central Bank Governor, Mallam Lamido Sanusi of the need to include the two crops because of their economic value. “Let me explain to you that there is a fund we have created which is N450 billion. It is not just for Cocoa. It is called (NIRSAL). Today we are having N450 billion available from all commercial banks to lend to agricul-

THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

Tenure palaver: Why INEC set poll dates for Kogi, Adamawa, Cross River, Bayelsa

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RESH facts emerged yesterday that despite tenure controversy, the Independent National Electoral Commission fixed dates for governorship poll in four states in deference to the judgment of the Court of Appeal. It was also learnt that INEC is still awaiting legal advice from its counsel on whether or not to proceed to the Supreme Court on the tenure of the governors of the affected four states. The governors are Ibrahim Idris (Kogi State); Murtala Nyako (Adamawa State); Timpre Sylva (Bayelsa State);

.Commission awaits legal advice on Supreme Court option Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

and Liyel Imoke (Cross River State). A Federal High Court in Abuja had stopped INEC from conducting governorship poll in the four states. The trial judge, Justice Adamu Bello, had ruled that the tenure of the governors would end in 2012 instead of 2011 as previously assumed by INEC. But INEC rejected the verdict of the court and headed for the Court of Appeal

where it lost to the governors. But while awaiting legal advice on Supreme Court option, INEC on Wednesday announced the time table for the governorship poll. A top source in the commission said: “In announcing the poll dates, we took into cognizance the fact that a judgment of the Court of Appeal is already subsisting in favour of the affected governors on their exit date. “As a law-abiding institution, we decided to abide by

the judgment of the Court of Appeal pending other legal decisions we may take.” Asked if the commission would go to the Supreme Court over the judgment of the Court of Appeal on the governors’ tenure, the source said consultations were on with the commission’s counsel. The source added: “Our consortium is made up of Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN); Mallam A.B. Mahmud (SAN) and Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN). “The lawyers felt strongly that the commission should challenge the judgment of the Court of Appeal at the Supreme Court and have the tenure controversy settled once and for all. “But the commission is insisting that the lawyers should make a formal presentation on all issues involved and the import of the decisions of the High

• Attahiru Jega Court and the Court of Appeal. “It is when the counsel have laid out the issues involved that INEC will decide whether to proceed to the Supreme Court or not. “So far, the lawyers have not done that. Actually, we have not given them any mandate to file any application at the Supreme Court. “That is not to say we will ignore their advice or presentation, which we are still awaiting.”

Minister cautions airline operators over service charge

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•Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State (m) cutting the tape to commission the Chief Chukwuemeka Wogu Guest Chalet at the Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies, while the Hon. Minister for Labour and Productivity, Chief Chukwuemeka Wogu (right) and Director General of the Institude, Dr. Niyi Olanrewaju (left), assist in Ilorin.....yesterday.

HE Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Adeaze Oduah, has directed airline operators to stop collecting the controversial N2, 500 passengers service charge. She disclosed this when the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) Director General, Mrs. Ifi Umenyi paid her a courtesy call in Abuja. She stated that Aviation will partner with CPC to ensure consumers have value for their money. She said: “The ministry has just inaugurated a committee to check the reason behind the collection of N2, 500 from pas-

Opadokun: el-Mustapha has a hidden agenda

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ORMER Secretary of Afenifere and National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Mr Ayo Opadokun yesterday described the former Chief Security Officer to the late Head of State Gen. Sani Abacha, Major Hamzat el-Mustapha as a liar who was bent on denting the hard-earned reputation of credible Yoruba leaders, who led the battle for the restoration of self rule in the country. He said his allegations against the late Afenifere leader, Senator Abraham Adesanya, and his deputy, Chief Bola Ige, were false, adding that the former CSO, who is currently standing trial over the alleged murder of Mrs Kudirat Abiola, has a hidden agenda. Opadokun also took exception to the remarks of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) founder, Dr Fredrick Fasheun, lamenting that he was behaving as someone who has lost capacity for rational and critical thinking. He said certain activities credited to Fasehun recently, especially his mobilisation of support for the Obasanjo Administration and el-Mustapha, were very disappointing, adding that he (Fasehun) swallowed the ‘’tissue of lies’’ reeled out by the murder suspect because he lacked the total understanding of how Afenufere operated in those dark days. Opadokun, who refrained from attacking the OPC lead-

Emmanuel OLADESU Deputy Political Editor er in deference to the Yoruba culture of giving respect to elders, stressed that Fasehun’s remarks were wrongly directed, maintaining that he was not an inner member of the umbrella pan-Yoruba sociopolitical group. He also frowned at the remarks credited to el-Mustapha’s counsel, Lekan Ojo, who he alleged also disparaged the character of credible Yoruba leaders while reacting to the ‘’false submission’’ made by his client. Opadokun told reporters in Lagos that el-Mustapha decided to play a clever game of diverting attention from his murder case to the innocent visit of Afenifere leaders to Aso Rock to score a political capital. He said the former CSO was ‘’illogical and insensible’’ by naming the dead as beneficiaries of his imaginary bribery scandal, adding that he deliberately omitted the names of others who accompanied them to Aso Rock because they are living souls who could easily expose his folly. Opadokun said: “Our leaders, Pa Abraham Adesanya and Chief Bola, are dead. There is need to correct this falsehood. If they were alive, they would probably ask me to make this reaction. How does the allegation against el-Mustapha

relate to the visit of NADECO leaders to Gen. Abdulsalami? “el-Mustapha has a hidden agenda. I owe it a duty to the memory of the dead to correct the misinformation. The video clip shows the visit of Afenifere leaders led by Pa Adesanya. With him were Chief Ige, Chief Arthur Nwankwo, Seanator Frank Okposo and me. It was seven days after I left detention. Chief Solomon Lar who led the G 34 had visited Gen. Abdulsalami and told him that three members of the group, Sule Lamido, Abubakar Rimi and Ayo Opadokun, were still in detention and that he should release them. That was how I was released. “The term of the visit was to tell Abdulsalami to set up a Government of Unity to convene a sovereign national conference. We told Gen. Abdulsalami that no NADECO member would accept ministerial appointment. I was approached. It was at the instance of Gen. Emmanuel Abisoye. I was invited. I told them that it was inconsistent with my antecedents and beliefs. ‘The second trip was after M.K.O Abiola had been killed in curious circumstances. We were on official assignment. The CSO to Gen. Abdulsalami, Major Gen. Leo Ajiborisa, said an air-

craft was waiting for us at the airport. We totally rejected it. We had also rejected Abacha’s aircraft. “Before then, Abiola had sent a letter to us through Chief Olu Akerele, Abuja Bureau Chief of National Concord. We decided that Pa Adesanya and Chief Ige should visit Abdulsalami. We returned that day. The remarks of el-Mustapha is unreasonable, unfair, wicked and it is a blatant lie.’’ Opadokun also queried the authenticity of the former CSO’s claim, saying that he could not show in the video where the leaders collected money. He said: “There was never a time we sacrificed the mandate of Abiola. We did not go there for gratification. We went there in our capacity as a serious pro-democracy platform that fought for the restoration of civil rule. el-Mustapha is misusing the freedom of speech that is guaranteed today in Nigeria. People like us, at the risk of our lives and professional careers, fought for freedom of expression. “He maligned the character of credible leaders for cheap publicity. When will he respond to the charges of murder against him? We should ask elMustapha and Col. Yakassai how Gen. Yar’adua died in Abakaliki Prison, because he was the CSO. If el-Mustapha has a problem with Abdulsalami, he should go and settle it.”

Franca OCHIGBO, Abuja

sengers by airline operators. After the finding, the public will hear from us. “The ministry of Aviation is keen on ensuring smooth operation of the sector. 1 am a consumer, and I still wear the shoes of a consumer. I know that it is important that consumers have value for their money. We must ensure that utmost priority is given to our consumers. “The aviation sector is prepared to give its full support to the people in terms of service to guarantee value for their money. The costs of spare parts, aviation fuel, and other associated services are becoming too high, and that may necessitate the sudden increase in fare,” she stressed. Oduah said the committee should be able to come up with the causes of the increasing cost in the sector and how government could moderate them. Ify Umenyi, CPC Director General, expressed worry over the unacceptable manner in which the airline operators treat the passengers. She said the issue of increasing airfare at will by airline operators was a major concern to the CPC. She urged the ministry to address the problem to avoid consumers paying for what they did not plan for. While stressing that the visit was to congratulate the minister for her performance in the sector since she assumed office, she urged her to address the issues of aviation fuel with a view to making air travel affordable to Nigerians Umenyi called on the minister to convene a high profile stakeholders meeting involving relevant ministries, department and agencies, including operators, to brainstorm and find lasting solutions to some nagging problems in the aviation sector. On the issue of flight cancellation Umenyi said consumers should be given at least 24 hours notice of cancellation of flight and that the concerned airline should facilitate a full and immediate refund.


NEWS 5

THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

Osun ACN lauds NJC’s decision to probe Justice Naron T

HE Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN) in Osun State has lauded the decision of the National Judicial Council to investigate allegations of fraud levelled against the Justice Thomas Naron Election Petition Tribunal. The tribunal first handled the petition of the Osun State ACN’s governorship candidate in the April 14, 2007 election, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, against the declaration of former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) as the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC). Reacting to reports that the NJC would probe Justice

Adesoji ADENIYI, Osogbo

Naron and other members of the tribunal accused of bias while handling the petition, the ACN in Osun State, through its chairman, Elder Adelowo Adebiyi, said it was germane for the NJC to bring to book bad eggs within the judiciary to help the growth of the country’s democracy. “Even the blind knew the manipulations that took place in the course of that trial before the tribunal gave its kangaroo verdict. But we are con-

soled by the fact that justice prevailed at the Appeal Court in Ibadan on November 26, 2010. And today, the people of Osun State can breathe an air of relief because they now have a government of their own. “But then, justice must be done and in this case, those who perverted the course of justice in the first place to lengthen the period of struggle and suffering of the people of Osun State must be brought to book. That is why we are congratulating the NJC for not sweeping this case under the carpet,” Adelowo stated. The ACN chairman further

advised the judiciary to comb the entire country with a view to identifying areas where justice had been perverted in order to restore the hope of Nigerians in the arm of government. “Judiciary is the last hope of the common man, but where justice is carried on for sale, social catastrophe is imminent. When people lose the trust in the judiciary, all manners of social upheavals should be expected and the only way to avert social disorder is the readiness of the judiciary itself to embark on self-cleansing,” Adelowo concluded.

CNPP sues Ajimobi over councils’ caretaker chairmen Oseheye OKWUOFU, Ibadan

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6 registered political parties in Oyo State, under the umbrella of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties(CNPP), have filed a motion before a state High Court to stop Governor Abiola Ajimobi of the state from appointing caretaker chairmen for the 33 local government areas of the state. Governor Ajimobi had on Wednesday sent a list of nominee caretaker chairmen to the state House of Assembly for screening for the local government areas of the state. The Oyo CNPP also filed another case before a Federal High Court, Ibadan Division, asking the court to grant its plea that the Federal Government, through the Federal Revenue Mobilization and Allocation Committee, should stop further disbursement of funds to the 33 council areas in the state pending the emergence of democratically elected chairmen in all the council areas. The conference, in a press statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Alhaji Yinka Olona; Secretary, F.A Mustapha; and State Adviser, Solomon S. Ololere, noted that section 7(1) of the amended 1999 constitution only provides for democratically elected local government chairmen. The Oyo CNPP, therefore, urged members of the state House of Assembly to return the list of the caretaker chairmen sent to the House to Governor Ajimobi, and not to be part of the alleged illegality being perpetrated by the governor. According to the aggrieved political parties, it is the responsibility of the State Independent Electoral Commission to conduct council elections in order to have democratically

Ogun picks 40 for Children’s Parliament

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GUN State has selected 40 children, two children from each of the 20 local government areas, to participate in this year’s Children’s Parliament. The children were picked based on appearance, speech articulation, composure and knowledge of current affairs. Two of the students will eventually be elected by the 40 representatives to represent the state at the national level. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mr. Muyiwa Adenopo, said “the establishment of the Nigeria Children’s Parliament is a veritable platform for children to express their views on issues that concern their well-being and child participation principles as enshrined in the Child Rights Acts”. Mr. Adenopo was represented at the screening of the third set of the Ogun State Children’s Parliament by the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Mrs. Salmot Ottun. He pointed out the need for the children to participate in the screening exercise to enable them participate in the national and state parliaments. The Child Acts Rights was passed into law in the state on March 3, 2004, making it one of the first states in the country to pass the bill.

•Senator Bala Mohammed, FCT Minister (left), during his courtesy visit to the Lagos State governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (middle). With them is the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon. Remi Ibirogba, at the Lagos State House, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES

Police absolves Ogun suspected kidnapper

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new dimension has crept into the shocking discovery last week of a flourishing kidnappers’ den in the village of Labiade Akaso in the Obafemi Owode Local Government area of Ogun State as the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Nicholas Daaru Nkemdeme, said the suspect arrested in connection with the den is a taxi driver who had no link with it. The arrest of the said suspect by the community’s vigilante group last Saturday led to the discovery of corpses, including

Ernest NWOKOLO, Abeokuta that of a baby, at various degrees of decomposition. The vigilante group had, on a tip-off, stormed the base of the suspected kidnappers near Onipepeye, off Siun – Owode Expressway, but the suspects, on sighting members of the group, opened fire on them in a bid to escape. During a gun battle lasting some minutes, one of the suspected kidnappers was arrested before he could escape in a car.

The suspect was later handed over to the police. Reacting to a question in respect of the den and the suspect, Nkemdeme, told journalists on Thursday that the linking of the taxi driver to the den and corpses found there was mere “coincidence,” adding that the suspect was a driver who decided to pass the night at Onipepeye when his cab broke down. The commissioner said the criminals responsible for the act only used Labiade - Akaso as a dumping site for the

MIG commends Tinubu, Fashola over Bello’s appointment

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HE Mainland Indepen dent Group(MIG) has commended Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu andLagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, for appointing their patron, Hon. Tunji Bello, as a commissioner in Lagos State. The group’s co-ordinator, Alhaji Ibrahim Alao Megida, who spoke on behalf of the political association, expressed their gratitude over the appointment. He said the appointment of Hon. Bello as the Commissioner for the Environment was a clear demonstration of the confidence the national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Governor Fashola had in their patron. Megida said the stakeholders in the Mainland were very

•Bello happy over the appointment of Hon. Bello. According to him, “Every stakeholder in the Mainland, including the Mainland Independent Group, will remain eternally grateful to the vision-

ary national leader of the ACN, Asiwaju Tinubu and the hardworking governor of Lagos State for identifying a competent personality, Hon. Bello to oversee the Environment Ministry.” Megida, who is also a major stakeholder in the Mainland, said Asiwaju Tinubu had on July 1 during the 50th birthday of Hon. Bello which held at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos, commended him for leading a formidable political group in the state. The MIG, he recalled, organised a sensitization programme on voters’ registration during the build-up to the general election in August last year which gave the ACN massive support in the Mainland.

corpses of victims once they were through with them. According to him, since the corpses found at the den were not fresh but decomposing, it would be illogical to link the driver with them, more so when the investigation carried out by the police at the Kuto motor park, Abeokuta where he picked his passengers on that day also did not link him to the crime. Meanwhile, the LabiadeAkaso head, Mr. Musiliu Osho, said the strange discovery was worrisome and horrifying, adding that it was affecting the psyche of the villagers, particularly children.

‘Lagos is marginalised’

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N appeal has gone to the federal government to allow its ministerial appointments conform with the provi sions of the constitution as anything contrary to this may generate disharmony and mistrust among the populace. Addressing journalists in Lagos, a legal practitioner and a Lagos prince, Gbogboade Akitoye, said Lagos was not represented in the recent federal appointments. According to Akitoye, two prominent sons of Lagos, namely, had alerted the federal government that the Lagos State had no representation in the federal cabinet, claiming that no step had been taken so far to reverse the trend. “It has been established that the appointment the federal government claimed was for Lagos was given to a nonindegene of the state. One can, therefore, summarise that Lagos has been denied a true representation taking into consideration the position of the state in the national scheme of things”, he said. Akitoye called on Lagos indigenes to have a common voice so as not to be denied of their rights,adding that while a state had two ministerial appointments, Lagos State had none. “I would strongly solicit a situation where equity and fair play reign supreme in President Jonathan’s administration which we all perceive as one to correct the ills of the past, “ he said.

Pollution: Lagos shuts nine companies

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FFICIALS of the Lagos State Environ mental Protection Agency, LASEPA, has shut about nine companies within Kirikiri area of Lagos for environmental pollution and violation of the state environmental laws. The affected companies included Techno Oil, Fatgbems Oil, Bovas Oil, Index Petroleum and Swift Oil. The other companies were Majen Rai Portland Cement, Jannock Nigeria Limited, Scolet Ventures Nigeria Limited and Cappa de Alberto. The team, led by the Head, E-waste Unit, LASEPA, Mr. Kayode Bello, said the move

Miriam NDIKANWU was necessary considering the devastating impact that environmental challenges witnessed recently in the state during the downpour that wreaked havoc on the environment. Bello explained that Majen Rai Portland Cement was shut for siting tank farms in an area less than 200 metres away from residential place. “Operating a tank farm without submission of Environmental Impact Assessment report to the agency and non-submission of appropriate contingency plans is not allowed,” he said.

He also noted that Jannock Nigeria Limited was shut for allegedly allowing choking odour to emanate from the company, non-submission of appropriate Environmental Impact Assessment report and poor aesthetics of the premises. Scolet Ventures Nigeria Limited was shut for allegedly using the carcinogenic chemical in a residential building, operating in a residential building and emitting of toxic and pungent odour to the environment. Cappa de Alberto was closed over air pollution and the violation of the Memorandum of Understanding reached with the government.


6 NEWS

THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

UNEP’s report on Ogoni short of expectation —MOSOP

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HE Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has stated that the report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has vindicated its position, but falls short of Ogoni people’s expectations. The Ogoni umbrella organisation said it welcomed Thursday’s presentation of the UNEP’s report to President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja after its long delay which it

Bisi OLANIYI, Port Harcourt said raised a lot of apprehension among Ogoni people and their supporters. MOSOP, through its President, Ledum Mitee, who is also the Chairman of the Niger Delta Technical Committee (NDTC), yesterday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, noted that it was excluded from the processes leading to the release of the report.

It said: “MOSOP consistently expressed concern that in spite of the fact that we championed the agitation for the environmental audit and clean-up of Ogoni and indeed was nominated to serve on the Presidential Implementation Committee of the project, we and the generality of the Ogoni people have been excluded from the processes leading to the released report, with the result that the process was being driven by the polluter, Shell,

including the weak government agencies: DPR and NOSDRA. “We note with some relief that the report has vindicated the position we have held, that our environment has been devastated by a succession of oil spills since the inception of oil exploitation on our land. “After four years and $10 million spent on this project, MOSOP finds it truly outrageous that in so far as the report, in essence, simply tells us what we already knew-that

•Onitsha residents struggling to get kerosene

oil exploitation has caused extensive environmental damage in our land. “MOSOP has consistently held the view that what is needed and the Ogoni expectation is the clean-up of our devastated environment. We, therefore, applaud and support the call for the immediate setting up of a $1 billion Ogoni Environmental Restoration Fund, the setting up of an Integrated Contaminated Soil Management Centre and a Centre of Excellence in Environmental Restoration in Ogoniland.” The umbrella organisation of Ogoni people further stated that considering the extent and recurring nature of the now scientifically-proven damage, one other positive use that the government should immediately make of the report, which confirms that Shell had consistently and wilfully violated extant Nigerian laws, was to apply the appropriate statutory sanctions. MOSOP added that under Paragraph 25(1) (a)(iii) of the Regulations, made pursuant to Section 2(3) of the Petroleum Act, is revocation of any oil prospecting licence or oil mining lease which is not conducted with good oil field practice. It then called on the Federal Government to revoke Shell’s licence, for persistent failure to abide by extant industry regulations.

Onitsha residents scramble for kerosene

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VER 5000 residents of the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State yesterday scrambled to get the benefit of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Capital Oil and Gas Ltd direct kerosene sales. Our correspondent who observed the sales, which was tagged NNPC/Capital Kero Direct, noted that people of all ages defied the rain to get the

Adimike GEORGE, Onitsha product at N50 official pump price. It was gathered that NNPC/ Capital supplied five trucks of the product while the pump attendant sold a maximum of 25 litres to each buyer. Gov. Peter Obi, who monitored the sales, noted that the state government was in partnership with the NNPC and

Capital Oil to ensure that residents of the city buy the product at N50, adding that other council areas of the state would benefit from the partnership. Obi, who also defied the rain to ensure that the sale went on smoothly, assured people that the state government was determined to stop kerosene scarcity in the state. According to him, “Our people, especially the indi-

Oshiomhole to striking Edo workers:

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EMPERS rose yesterday at a meeting between Governor Adams Oshiomhole and labour leaders in Edo State over the threeday-old solidarity strike embarked upon by workers in the state public service. The workers went on strike in solidarity with the teachers who had embarked on an indefinite strike action three weeks for excluding them from the new minimum wage package of N18,034. The labour leaders also raised other issues , namely, non-promotion since 2008, high taxes, casualization of labour in the state public service, over deductions from local governments, non-conduct of elections into local government councils, collection of VAT and COT and allegations that they (labour leaders) collected N50m to sign the minimum

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Osagie OTABOR, Benin wage package agreement. Labour leaders, comprising of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress and Joint Negotiating Council, came to the meeting threatening that victory must be theirs, but at the end of the meeting, they wore long faces as Governor Oshiomhole urged them to continue the strike even till July 14, 2012 when the governorship election will be held. Governor Oshiomhole, who cut short his oversea trip to deal with the strike action, lampooned the labour leaders for venturing into the political terrain by raising political issues as their reasons for going on strike. The governor said he was shocked that labour leaders called workers out for strike

gent among them, have suffered much due to the high cost of kerosene”. Prince Edwin Okosi, Chairman, Onitsha North Transition Committee, said direct sales would end the diversion and adulteration of the product. “With the kerosene coming constantly and sold at the approved price, our people here would heave a sigh of relief from the untold hardship the

You’re being used

when his administration had paid the minimum wage in arrears from the month of June. Oshiomhole said he was not begging the workers to call off the strike, adding that he would start taking actions, if the strike was not called off on Monday. He said the labour leaders had asked him to implement a minimum wage of N15,000, but he refused because “it is ridiculous and not sensible, and I will not want to do it because it will negate my conviction about the merit of the minimum wage act. “I was discussing with you as a comrade, but you used the word battle. Now I am ready to go into battle. You abused my friendship and compassion. Now, I need to show that the same teeth with which I used to smile, can be used to bite,

particularly when you have taken a sub-contract from a political class.” Oshiomhole noted that he refused to grant the three months tax exemption requested by the labour leaders because the funds with which to pay them the minimum wage would be got from taxes collected from market women and workers in private sectors. “For me, it is a serious business. I am no more the NLC president, but I appreciate my NLC background. This is why I sit with you in the manner that every governor would not do. If I didn’t want to pay, I would not pay. I cannot gang up against labour. “Not even your rascality will make me misbehave against labour. It is not about you, but what I believe in. I tried my best to do what we agreed to

Groups praise Gov Fayemi

RADE groups y e s t e r d a y commended the state government on the demolition of illegal structures in Ado-Ekiti, capital of Ekiti State. In separate addresses to journalists at the capital, the groups said meaningful progress could not be made with the current face of AdoEkiti which would serve as an attraction to intending

investors. The state government had claimed the exercise was meant to serve as a launch pad for the urban renewal project. The groups said: “With the current experiences of traffic gridlocks everywhere in the town and shops and kiosks positioned haphazardly at locations that render the vehicular and pedestrian

artificial scarcity of the product has caused,” Okosi said. Mrs. Mary Igwe, 82, who benefited from the sales, thanked the federal and state governments for their concern for “poor people like me”. Igwe said for over five months, kerosene was sold between N130 and N150 within her neigbourhood, including petrol stations.

movements impossible, such a move from the state government can win only commendation from the sincere public”. The Are Oloja of Ekiti State and Iyaloja of Ado-Ekiti, Chief (Mrs.) Waye Oso, said Lagos State would not have become a first-grade settlement today, if the government of Governor Fashola had not embarked on

the demolition of illegal structures, adding that if Ekiti State would develop, it would start from the capital She said Governor Fayemi had done what past governors of the state never had the courage to do, noting that all members of her union were strongly in support of a move that hopefully would reverse the face of Ekiti by attracting

do. The teachers rather than write to us to draw our attention like the others did, they met and decided to issue an ultimatum to the government. “You cannot threaten this government. Where did you get your training? Who are you ordering? I am not your subordinate. There are rules of proceedings. Unless the teachers write to draw our attention on how this implementation affects them and call for a meeting, they will remain on the strike forever. This government will not be blackmailed because I have tried to work in the tradition of labour. “Don’t abuse the fact of our comradeship. Don’t abuse the fact that we have a common background. You know there are rules of engagement and rules of procedure. If you allow yourselves to be pushed by political forces, you will be fighting more than you can chew because you know I will be ready to engage any forces. I have engaged them before. They should not hide under the minimum wage. “Teachers will be dismissed if they violate their contract of employment. I have the will. I am not one of those politicians who will do anything to remain in government. I came into the office with my head high and I am leaving with my head high.

Forum endorses Oshiomhole for second term Oziegbe OKOEKI

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DO Consultative Forum (ECF), a pressure group based in Lagos, has vowed to support the reelection bid of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole in 2012. The group's coordinator, Mr. Gilbert Oboh, stated this when he addressed the press on Wednesday. According to him, the group has watched with keen interest the astronomical development that has taken place across the length and breadth of Edo State since Comrade Oshiomhole took over the affairs of the state. "Gentlemen of the fourth estate of the realm, Edo State had not known development since the exit of Chief Samuel Ogbemudia and the late Professor Ambrose Alli from government as subsequent leaders, either because they could not grasp the technical know how to build on what those proud sons of Edo State have established, or were ignorant of the act of governance and so could not be able to move the state forward in terms of development, rather what has been our lot over the years is the rapid decay of the infrastructures and the neglect of the people who supposedly put them in office" Oboh said.

Kidnap victims allege bias by judge Ugochukwu EKE, Umuahia

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HE presiding judge of a High Court in Umuahia has been petitioned against for allegedly having an interest in a case that involves five suspected kidnappers who had earlier attempted to abduct two prominent sons of Umungwa Obowo in Imo State in 2008. Security men of two prominent sons of the land, who are cousins and living in PortHarcourt and simply identified as Ndubuisi and Eugene, were abducted by the suspected kidnappers. The five suspects, who are said to be members of a nineman gang, include Christian Egeonu alias Don; Ifeanyi Okoroji alias Iyierioba; Kingsley alias Jimbaz; Uche Monday and Elvis Ibe, while those on the run are Chukwudoziri Okorji, Chido, Uche and Chimechefula. The suspects, according to a security report, had admitted to the crime, but were later to recant which forced the judge to refuse them bail and asked that they be placed in prison custody till their case is disposed of and adjourned the case till August 29. However, the victims of the kidnap attempt wrote a petition to the governor of the state, Theodore Orji, through the attorney general, asking for the transfer of the case from the court of Justice Chinenye Doris Udeogu. The petition reads in part, "When this case came up, the counsel for the defendants was admonished by the judge not to even contemplate applying for bail, but events this year have convinced us that the presiding judge should withdraw from the case and the case be transferred to another court".


NEWS 7

THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

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N associate of ex-Governor Gbenga Daniel has been dragged to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for allegedly buying Ogun Government Lodge at a give away price of N35million. The said property was valued at about N1billion as at the time of the bazaar. But the associate, who is a former Chairman of the Governing Council of Olabisi Onabanjo University, said the controversial property was on lease to him for only 10 years. According to findings, the sale of Ogun State Lodge is part of the ongoing probe of alleged mismanagement of about N30billion by the administration of Daniel. It was learnt that the associate, who was a key player in Daniel’s government, had bought Ogun State Lodge (Oduduwa House) in Plot 1226, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos as part of the bazaar traced to the immediate administration in the state. It was also gathered that the Ogun State government challenged the ex-governor’s associate at the EFCC as there are no records that due process was followed. A reliable source said: “It is shocking to discover that an individual could buy Ogun Lodge on the island for N35million. This is just a tip of the iceberg of some of the mismanagement perpetrated by the immediate past administration. “Already the case is before the EFCC and those involved

Tribunal throws out PPA candidate’s petition Ugochukwu EKE, Umuahia

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HE Abia State National and State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia has struck out the petition brought before it by Chris Odinaka Igwe of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) against Nkeiru Onyejiocha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and member representing Isuikwuato/Umunneochi federal constituency for non compliance with paragraph 18 sub 1 of the 1st schedule of the electoral act as amended. In the same vein the tribunal has also ruled that the former governor of the state Orji Uzor Kalu of the PPA who contested the senatorial election against Uche Chukwumereije for Abia North senatorial seat has a case. In their ruling on Onyejiocha's case the three man tribunal led by its chairman Justice Adedayo Adebara said that they decided to strike out the case based on the fact that the petitioner filed his response out of time as allowed by the electoral act. Speaking to newsmen after the ruling, Onyejiocha commended the dexterity and attitude of the panel of judges in the tribunal and described them as men of integrity who are out to sustain the hard fought and earned democracy. Onyejiocha described the ruling as not only the good side of sustaining democracy, but also the beauty of democracy where those who feel aggrieved are allowed to go the courts to ventilate their anger instead of taking laws into their hands.

Ogun drags Daniel’s associate to EFCC over purchase of government lodge for N35m Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation are already being quizzed. If the buyer is God-fearing, his conscience will tell him that he cannot get a house for N35million in VI. “But there is suspicion that he purchased the house to front for another government offi-

cial. This is a pure case of corrupt practice which we have asked the EFCC to probe.” Besides facing the heat in EFCC, investigation confirmed that the associate has been sending emissaries to Governor Ibikunle Amosun to give him a soft-landing. As at press time, it was learnt that the associate has maintained that “the issue about the house was not an outright sale

but it was leased to me only for 10 years at N35million.” Daniel is being investigated over alleged N30billion fraud including diversion of about N12billion revenue in Ogun State Bureau of Lands and Survey. The EFCC had in the last one year quizzed 11 top government officials in the state over the alleged fraud. Those interrogated were Di-

rector-General of Ogun State Bureau of Lands and Survey, Mr. Gbenga Ogunnoiki; the Accountant-General of Ogun State , Mr. Sunday Adefaye; the then Chairman of Obafemi Owode Local Government Area, Mr. Akeem Adesina and the then Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Chief Adepegba Otemolu (who is also a former Chairman of Ikenne Local

Government Area) and the exSpeaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Tunji Egbetokun. Others were the SurveyorGeneral of the Bureau of Lands, Mrs. A.O. Adekunmu; Director of Lands Services, Mr. Kunle Lanre Osota; Director of Finance, Mr. Adewumi Solomon Alade; and Director of Administration, Mr. Rasheed Sefiu Aremu.

FG tasks defence ministry on military research, development Vincent IKUOMOLA, Abuja

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•From left: Senate President, David Mark; Sen. Ayoge Eze; wife of the Senate President, Mrs Helen Mark; Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa during a condolence visit to the wife of Senate President in Otukpo, Benue State... yesterday

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he Federal Government has assured Nigerians that delay in issuance of traveling visas would soon be a thing of the past. It has also directed all foreign missions in Nigeria to provide comfortable accommodations for visa applicants. The Chinese Embassy, South African and several others have no conducive places for applicants a situation that leave them exposed to harsh weather conditions. At the Israeli embassy, visitors are thoroughly searched in the open. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru while meeting with media executives in his office in Abuja yesterday said the government would no longer take such ill-treatment of Nigeri-

FG goes tough on foreign visas Yomi ODUNUGA, Abuja Bureau Chief and Dele ANOFI, Abuja ans. While outlining the new policy direction of the ministry which he said must be one that the average Nigerians would not only understand but appreciate, Ashiru said government is set to defend the integrity of all Nigerians, at home or abroad. “The Government will ensure the dignity of all Nigerians wherever they are and no stone will be left unturned to ensure that,” Ashiru emphasized. The minister questioned the essence of our bilateral

and multilateral relationships, “if visas for genuine travelers are delayed for 14 days”. He cited the difficulties and delays experienced by Nigerians in getting Shengen visa. He said directives have been given to Nigerian missions abroad to issue warning letters to countries, especially European countries that still have Nigeria on their watch list. “Even the United States and Britain have removed Nigeria from their watch lists, so there is no reason for these other countries to still have Nigeria on that list,” he said. On the issue of Nigerian visa applicants being left in

the open at the embassies, the minister said it would no longer happen. According to him, embassies have been informed of the new stand of government, adding, “We don’t treat their nationals like that in our missions abroad. “We expect them to treat Nigerians with dignity as well. When we get any complaints of maltreatment of any Nigerian, we will summon the Ambassador or High Commissioner to explain the reason’. He also disclosed Nigerian missions abroad have been mandated to attend to the welfare of all Nigerians in their host countries even when indicted for crime.

PENGASSAN threatens strike over kidnapping

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ETROLEUM and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has threatened to go on strike to extract 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 governments at the federal and state levels did not evolve the political will to end the resurgence of kidnapping and insecurity in the country. It stated that it has 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. Speaking against the back-

Dupe OLAOYE-OSINKOLU

drop of resurgence of insecurity in the Niger Delta and insecurity resulting from various attacks by the Boko Haram sect in the North as well as other various communal clashes, the PENGASSAN President, Comrade Babatunde Ogun, condemned the inability of the government to curtail attacks on innocent Nigerians by the kidnappers and hoodlums. He said, “It seems the collaborations between our association and the government has broken down. We have not seen any seriousness on the part of the government to end insecurity in the country. Our members are been attacked and kidnapped on daily basis. “We have made various

representations to the government on insecurity in the country and even our protest on the murder of two of our members at Mosogar in 2009 has not been attended to. This government has failed us in terms of security and we are ready to pull out our members from all the locations because our members’ well being is very important and can never be compromised.” He recalled that an ultimatum was given by PENGASSAN and its sister union in the oil and gas industry, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) in 2009 to shut down all oil and gas installations in the country. He said that the strike was suspended because of the intervention of the Federal Government, the former Na-

tional Security Adviser (NSA), former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon. Dimeji Bankole. “All the various committees set up by the government to look into our grievances have died a natural death without any valuable result or conclusion because of lack of commitment from the government. It shows the insincerity on the part of the government in attending to our issues, when the crude stops to flow, the leaders thinking faculty will function properly,” he said. Ogun also lamented government’s inability to manage industrial relations issues properly and hence making the unions in the oil and gas industry to suffer because of high cost of litigation.

HE Federal Government has challenged the Ministry of Defence to come up with a plan of action that will enhance the capability of the Nigeria Armed Forces in research and development as well as indigenous defence production. The vice president, Arc. Namadi Sambo spoke yesterday in Abuja at the graduation ceremony of the National Defence College , Course 19. Course 19 was inaugurated on September 13, 2010, with 129 participants, drawn from the Army, Navy, and the Air Force. Others are the Nigerian Police, Civilians and thirteen international participants including, Benin , Burkina Faso , Cameroon , Congo , Gabon , Ghana , Kenya , Lesotho , Mali , Namibia , Niger , Sierra Leone and Uganda ). Mrs BMU Adoki was the only female participant. Sambo who represented President Goodluck Jonathan said the administration is “prepared to commit necessary resources as much as possible to ensure that you are properly equipped and trained to relate favourably with your contemporaries around the world.” He also assured that the administration would leave a legacy of improved welfare and greater commitment to professionalism in the military; adding that “we are poised to reposition our armed forces and security management apparatus to meet our security obligations at home and abroad.” In his remarks, the Commandant of the College, Rear Admiral T. J. Lokoson used the opportunity to urge government to facilitate the movement of the College to its permanent site. He disclosed that the College was currently drafting a national security policy for government’s consideration. The ceremony witnessed the award of prizes to some deserving graduands. The President and Commander in Chief’s prize for the best overall graduand went to Colonel JB Olawumi, while that of the Vice President went to Colonel JE Milton of Sierra Leon . The Distinguished Star Alumnus was conferred on the National Security Adviser, General Andrew Azazi and the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin.


8 NEWS

THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

Air Force aircraft loses tyre on landing

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HE tyre of a Nigerian Air Force Hercules aircraft burst on Friday after landing at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport (MMIA) runway, following which other aircraft failed to land. Reports say that the aircraft,

which failed to land were Air Nigeria and Virgin Atlantic. A source at the air traffic control unit of the airport, who pleaded anonymity, said that the aircraft developed an engine problem midair and requested for an air return. When contacted, the General Manager, Public Af-

fairs of the Federal Airports Authority (FAAN), Mr Akin Olukunle, said the aircraft had been towed away to make the runway free. He, however, apologised for any inconvenience the incident might have caused other operators.

Suspected robbers kill, cut off hands of security guard security guard, Malam Isa Yahaya, attached to a private residence in Barkin Sale Ward in

A

Minna was on Friday found dead with his hands cut off. According to reports, the decomposing body of the guard was found three days after he was killed. A police source said the two hands of the guard were chopped off by his killers, who also cut inflicted cuts on his head and other parts of the body.

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The employer of the guard, an Abuja-based businessman, recently acquired the property but has been having a running battle with thieves, who carted away building materials he bought for the building project. Sources said the corpse of the guard was found by a man, who supplied cement to the site, and his staff. Sources said the cement seller found the compound locked and asked his workers to force the gate open, during which they found the body.

The Niger Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Oguche Richard, confirmed the story, saying investigation into the matter had begun. He also confirmed that the house had been under attack by robbers and added that the police had invited the owner of the house for questioning. Richard said the property owner visited the compound more than a month ago. Meanwhile, the corpse of the deceased has been released to the family for burial.

Federal service: Enugu complains imbalance

OVERNOR Sullivan Chime of Enugu State on Friday requested the Federal Character Commission to look into the imbalance in the recruitment of indigenes into federal establishments in the state. Chime also said there existed an imbalance in the employment of junior staff from the state into federal establishments in the state. Receiving the chairman and management staff of the commission in Enugu, the governor described the development as disturbing and needed to be addressed urgently. According to him, the state never enjoyed a fair representation in the employment of

junior officers in the federal establishments. Chime requested the commission to live up to its statutory obligations by finding ways of correcting the imbalance to give citizens of the state a sense of belonging. The governor said he had imbibed the federal character principle in practice by ensuring that all local government areas in the state were represented in the appointment of commissioners and other key officers. The Chairman of the commission, Alhaji Mohammadu Ari-Gwaska, informed the governor that the delegation was in Enugu for a training programme. Ari-Gwaska informed the

governor that the Federal Government was focusing attention on transition and transformation of the commission. He said that arrangements had been made to embark on second mandate of the commission which was to ensure equity and fair distribution of social amenities in the country. The chairman said the commission’s function also included monitoring what the state government was doing. He assured the governor that he would look into the alleged imbalance in the employment of junior officers in the federal establishments in the state.

128 participants graduate from Defence College

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HE National Defence College, Abuja, yesterday graduated 128 participants from its Course 19. According to reports, 13 of the participants came from 13 African countries for the course, which began on Sept. 17, 2010. The countries are Niger Republic, Gabon, Republic of Benin, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Cameroon, Congo, Republic of Lesotho, Burkina Faso, Namibia, Mali and Ghana. The participants were made up of 36 officers of the Nigerian Army, 36 from the Nigerian Navy, 36 Air force officers and two officers of the Nigeria Police Force. Others are five civilians from the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and 13 foreign participants. Some of the Participants said it had been one year of “serious study’’, and expressed joy that it had come to an end. The overall best graduating student of the course, Col. Johnson Olawumi of the Nigerian Army, said the course was aimed at preparing the officers for strategic leadership positions and future

challenges. Olawumi also said the course had adequately prepared the participants to meet the current security challenges in the country, and advised future participants to prepare themselves very well in order to make the required grades. On his part, Group Capt. Sambo Usman of the Nigeria Air Force said the course had been very inspiring and rich. “It exposed participants to the variables of national security. It is a course every military man should attend,” he said. Usman said Nigeria had great potential and that all that was needed was for every Nigerian to tap into it. “If we do this, we can achieve Vision 20:2020,” he said. Usman added: “What is expected of me now is to put all I have learnt into practice and ensure that the country progresses as it cannot afford to be left behind in a world that is now a global village’’. A participant from Sierra Leone, Col. John Milton said the course had been very educative and demanding. “As foreign participants we are going back to our various countries with memories of

the college and Nigeria; we will fly the flag of the college very high in our countries,’’ he said. The Distinguished Star Alumnus of the college was conferred on the National Security Adviser, Gen. Owoye Azazi and the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin. Similarly, the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Defence College was conferred on the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika and Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Mohammed Umar. Others are Lt.-Gen. E.D. Ndaitwah, Chief of Defence Forces of Nigerien; Maj.-Gen. J.M. Oweyisighire, Chief of Air Staff, Ugandan Air Forces; Maj.-Gen. R.Y. Koroma, Chief of Defence Staff, Sierra Leonean Armed Forces and Brig.-Gen. M.A. Diallo, Chief of Army Staff, Malian Army. Brig.-Gen. T.V. Muhapi of the Lesotho Armed Forces; Col. M. Baraze, Chief of Army Staff, Nigerien Army, and Col. F. Mobebou, Chief of Defence Staff, Armed Forces of the Central African Republic were also given awards.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

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ROM Abuja to Ankara in Turkey and Cairo in Egypt this past week, the

lessons to be learnt by politicians and economic planners alike, is that power is transient and is not cast in stone in terms of possession or loss of it by leaders, especially those who cannot think of life without power. In the world of finance and economic management too, the USA survived it’s self made embarrassment of living above its means as the world held its breath at the prospect of debt default by the nation that owns the almighty US dollar In Abuja two key ministers at their debut outing gave life and hope to a nation in perennial darkness because of lack of power – the one generated from electricity, not the political one that resides in Aso Rock. Even that faced a challenge from Boko Haram which it has accepted by first sending soldiers to snuff out the insurrection in Maiduguri before now deciding to form a committee to negotiate with the Islamic sect that aims to wipe out western education in Nigeria. In addition the debate on the proposed constitutional amendment to have a one term 6-year tenure for the president and governors instead of the present provision of two terms of four years seems to be heating up the political system unnecessarily. Before going on, let me state that to me the major news and spectacle of this past week was that of former President Housni Mubarak on his sick bed, and in a cage used to bring criminals to court in his Egypt which he ruled for 32 years, pleading not guilty to charges of corruption and ordering the shooting of demonstrators – charges punishable by death according to the laws of Egypt during his tenure. Mubarak has been charged along with his two sons and his Internal Affairs Minister and the trial shows the victory of good over evil in the Armageddon between the two, in the unfolding and unbelievable political drama in Cairo. This looks like a great film featuring the fall from grace to grass of Mubarak, a well decorated air force general who has crash landed into the merciless hands of the Tahrir Square Egyptian democracy mob that is thirsty for his blood. Aside from Saddam Hussein of Iraq who was hanged by the Americans , no other Middle East dictator has been so humiliated as the last modern Pharaoh that Mubarak typified in the manner of his long iron grip 32–year dictatorship over his people. Mubarak’s disgraceful fate makes it impossible for other beleaguered Middle East dictators like Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, Bashar Assad in Syria and and Ali Abdulla Saleh in Yemen to want to leave power peacefully. Dying in harness will henceforth be the preferred option or political hemlock for these desperate dictators rather than suffering the fate of a fallen Mubarak in an Egyptian Court that reminds one of the French Revolution and its infamous beheading machine the guillotine. Whether you like it or not the trial of Mubarak is going to show the ugly face of democracy in Egypt ; from its

“Yes, give us this day our DAILY BREAD...sorry, i mean our MINIMUM WAGE and FUEL SUBSIDY,too.”

Changing power equations and deals

city-state origin in Athens based on naked peoples power, fury and instant justice-to the dictatorship of the majority with no respect for the rights of the minority as is the case in Egypt right now. More so, as the army whose leadership owed their high ranks to Mubarak are ready to placate the Egyptian people by making a sacrifice of their former master. So much for espirit de corps in Egypt’s military where the motto has become everybody for himself and the devil take the hind most in the giddy environment of Egypt’s brand new and untested street revolution and democracy. Next beginning in Abuja Power Minister Barth Nnaji set the tone by firing four PHCN CEOs for poor performance and replacing them immediately with new ones he told them that they will be measured by their performance in keeping the nation out of darkness . Petroleum Minister Mrs Deziani Allison Madueke also told a conference of Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) that three new refineries will be made to perform so that we will have petrol and diesel refined locally and the high level of importation of refined petroleum products drastically reduced. The government in this regard has set a national refining capacity of one million barrels per day. This is aimed at stopping the present trend of importing gasoline with

The fact that a police officer accused of killing the leader of Boko Haram has reportedly confessed in court and refused bail , shows that the law can take its course and Boko Haram members can be placated and their anger assuaged by the application of the laws of the land by the appropriate legal, and security institutions

ships and carrying them with thousands trailers which have ruined our major port road in Lagos –the Apapa –Oshodi Express Way and clogged our ports such that other useful cargo and containers for rapid industrialization and development are left waiting and paying colossal demurrage on our international waters .

The change of power at PHCN and the mettle of the two ministers show the spirit expected of the new Jonathan Presidency . Surely you can not compare that with the 6year tenure proposal from the Presidency which has no relevance now in terms of importance or urgency and is at best an avoidable though expensive governance digression. It is a potential political time bomb if not handled with care and circumspection by the presidency, given the plethora of mischievous interpretations by all stakeholders on the matter in the country. Similarly, the decision to negotiate with Boko Haram raises unwittingly the status of that religious sect at par with the government of the federation and that can only enhance terrorism not quell it. The security and judicial institutions in our nation should be strengthened and supported to fight terrorism and terrorists and government should not give terrorists of any ilk, status recognition on a platter of gold. The fact that a police officer accused of killing the leader of Boko Haram has reportedly confessed in court and refused bail , shows that the law can take its course and Boko Haram members can be placated and their anger assuaged by the application of the laws of the land by the appropriate legal, and security institutions. Any other recourse is extra judicial and illegal and a poor deterrent against rebellion and insurrec-

tion in our midst. In Turkey a parliamentary democracy the power pendulum swung full circle and came to rest with the politicians after abandoning the military and its leaders to their fate. Turkey is a secular state with an Islamist party AK PARTY and the popular PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan in power; but according to the country’s constitution since it was founded by Kemal Ataturk who banned the fez cap and loved the western mode of dressing, the military have been the guarantor of Turkey’s secularity. In the last four decades Turkey has had four military coups in which the military booted out Prime Ministers for having Islamist tendencies . Indeed one PM was executed for this. But the Islamist party in power nowadays is a modern one and quite popular in Turkey. Indeed it has won three elections back to back in 2002, 2007 and 2011and by the end of its present tenure would have been in power for about 15 years. Last week the sevice chiefs and head of the army resigned on the grounds that the military were being hounded by a government probe that has accused and is trying many generals for planning a coup some years back. The military leaders said they were rehearsing security exercises and possible scenarios. But the elected government of the day moved against them and nothing has happened . The service chiefs have been replaced by new ones chosen by the government and its business as usual in Turkey. I somehow thought that the politicians were riding a tiger and would end up in the belly of the military but now it seems Turkey’s democracy has weathered its worst storm in recent years and I am happy with that country’s democracy and peaceful power shift. In the USA, President Barak Obama and the US Congress made a deal that allowed the

nation to raise its debt ceiling by $2 trillion through substantial cuts without raising taxes by the deadline of August 2 this week. President Obama is happy that Medicare and social benefits which are dear to his party have been spared and the intransigent Republicans especially in the House Of Representatives are pleased too that taxes have not been raised. But the whole exercise to me was an expensive waste of time which has cost the image of US leaders a lot in terms of their global financial and fiscal management skills. The Chinese government which is the US biggest creditor in terms of the US treasuries they hold have called on the Americans to put their house in order .Some experts have argued that the US was never in danger of default and that if it did it could have restructured its debts or sold assets to have cash. Others said that the Obama administration was misdirected by its financial gurus and advisers into going to Congress for approval as his predecessor George Bush raised the debt ceiling five times during his tenure without going to Congress cap in hand like Obama has done. Either way the Americans seem to forget that Obama used good money to chase bad in bailing out some major American banks and industries after the global economic crash of 2008 and the hole in US finances have not been plugged. In addition the US can not be run like some nations like Germany which by nature instinctively run a balanced budget. Budget deficit if spent on productive projects that make the economy grow is commendable. This really is what US leaders seem to have jettisoned in throwing the baby away with the water in their undignified and dirty fight to balance their budget before an un-amused but alarmed global audience watching the US presidency and Congress sweating to make the debt ceiling deadline this week.


10 •Ride on my man, this is a masterpiece. You are right in describing the governors’ excuses as hogwash. In fact, the excuses are devoid of logic and mature reasoning. Up and until now, nobody knows how much exactly the governors and senators are taking .They keep saying it falls in line with the recommendation of the RMAFC. How much? We need to know. Their excuses for not keeping promises are always annoying, as if talking to fools, playing on other people’s intelligence. Kai! I wish I am in a position of authority. It seems Oga Jonathan is too soft for Nigeria at this time. Desperate situation requires desperate measure. And so, for ‘dead’ ministers, there should be no overseas studies for their children, no generator and its allowances, no free fuel. My brother, do they reflect on these write ups? —Lioness Nyong Uyo, 08034902826 •One only hopes Jonathan and others will match their assertions with actions .For example, have they paraded those caught in October 1, 2010 bomb blast in the visual media for us to see? Has the Federal Government any data on revenue allocation to states to justify why they must pay the minimum wage? This would have made these dishonest governors to keep quiet not to talk of removal of fuel subsidy. How many bomb criminals have been executed rather than negotiating? That will be an example of matching words with actions. May God not be annoyed with Nigeria as our leaders, apart from very few, behave like spoilt children! —Wahab Lanre Oseni, 08055211947 •I want to advise President Jonathan not to toy with the sensibility of the Nigerian masses by removing the subsidy on petrol, as that will be the last straw that will break the camel’s back and make the Arab revolt a mere child’s play in Nigeria. - .Ifeabunike Nanka, 08035503438

THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

Reactions to Knucklehead Re: When is enough truly enough? Hillary Clinton spoke about our oil reserves as being the 7th largest in the world, yet we are where we are .Anarchy stares us in the face. Enough, they told us, is enough, yet Nigerians die in their numbers due to insecurity. —Remi Adesina(Ibadan).08059491364 •‘Enough is enough’ was often used by the military as diversionary method to calm people’s agitation. Enough will truly

be enough when Nigerians unequivocally rise above ethnic interest to shout enough is enough .When the petroleum dependent economy runs dry and there is no more booty to share, tolerance level becomes zero. True federalism will then be practicable and then enough will truly be enough. When governance matches the letters of constitution/terms of agreements with the spirit of implementation, then enough can truly be enough. —Momoh, 08070791114

Re: Of Nigeria, patriotism and the crying truth •Yomi, two issues, among others, need to be addressed before the country can start to work. They are corruption and the flushing out of incompetent leaders. I believe that when we begin to manage our resources, other things will follow. —Victor, 08033108963 •Jonathan •Yomi, our leaders are masters at mouthmaking .They make so much noise about issues and policies that one expects such to be met with actions .They told us perennial scarcity of petroleum products was over but, today, we buy a litre of kerosene for as high as N150. The enough is enough refrain which they sing so melodiously is no more than a slogan meant to assuage our feelings and placate our bruised sensibility each time we complain about their action or inaction. We are no more than subjects over whom they must as a matter of necessity preside. They care less about our welfare and that is why lecturers and workers must resort to strike actions so our leaders can honour simple rules of a reached agreement.

Yomi, the degradations are too numerous to begin to mention and comment upon. Regarding this country, you forgot to mention the super-gully erosion road within the major Onitsha main road. On my way to and from Enugu, I concluded that the project will be under taken by the World Bank, the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Anambra State government. At least, the state can boast of senators, House of Representatives members and other eminent Anambra citizens that should be able to influence something. The problems of this country can be solved in three ways. First, tackle corruption headlong without looking at faces. Second, privatise all government institutions except the Central Bank. And third, wipe out all ethnic-religious suspicions. Dr. Festus Adedayo, while in

Saturday Life, titled one of his pieces in Flickers “Is this a failed state? I submitted then, for patriotism sake, that this is a failing state. Today, I am beginning to want to lean towards Adedayo’s title. Yomi, this nation is getting to a point of Ebenezer Obey’s ‘Do your best and leave the rest!’ —Lanre Oseni, 08023023745 Yomi, when the six-year single term, as proposed by the President, is passed by the National Assembly and signed into law by Jonathan and the president decides to exercise his constitutional right to be the first beneficiary, he’ll perform wonders. Benin-ore road, Lagos-Ibadan road, health service, power sector, security, education, agriculture and youth unemployment will be taken care of in two months! —Baba Lawal, Felele, Ibadan Yomi, good article. Single term of six years will give room for embezzlement of public funds because the people involve sure know that they won’t be going for a second term. —Chika Nnorom, Abia, 07052327437


Juju

Social Scene 39

Sex and

r/19

I miss my my real breasts!

Thrille

Screen/ 23

KAREN IGHO

‘I've enjoyed better evenings since my wife started working with me’

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Saturday

THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

SPECIAL The travails of ‘Mary Slessor's Children’

Continued on Page 12


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 06, 2011

The travails of ‘Mary Slessor's Children’

•Okoro

‘ •The house where they reside

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TORIES about the Sottish lady missionary Mary Slessor have been much celebrated. To many it is a tales of female heroism in the not too distant past. Though it is currently about 96 years since she died and about …. when she set foot on the shores of the area now called Nigeria , in the lives of a twin sisters in their 70’s in of Amasu, Arochukwu town, Abia State , Mary Slessor is more than a story, it is the basis of their existence. The twins have the distinctive names of Mgbafor and Mgborie Okereke, their persona is however subsumed in the name and persona of the legendary Scottish female missionary hence they are called Mary Slessor’s Children. Because they were twins, They were disadvantaged by the circumstance of birth,

Okorie UGURU life’s vicissitude tend to dog pursue from birth; and like the say, blessing never come in pairs, misfortune never come alone’. Misfortune for these Mary Slessor’s Children in Amaso is like a second skin. It did just begin at birth, but it has lived and had continued to stay with them. At the threshold of departure from life, Mary Slessor’s Children, Mgbafor and Mgborie crave for a change of fortune; a single swing of life’s dice before they finally close their eyes return back to their Maker. Like the survivors that they have been they currently are the only surviving twins that were saved by the missionaries. But this was

done by those that came after Mary Slessor who died in 1915. At birth, they were doomed as unwanted. If they had come years earlier, they would have been killed. Their distraught mother, unwanted by husband and his kindred, decided to dump them at the foot of the mission church, after all, they were said to be the ones that still accept these infant that have been rejected by the gods of the land and as such despised by men also. The twins were taken over by the Presbyterian church at Amanagwu were they lived and grew to adulthood. More than 70 years later after thye survived through the efforts of their mother and church the Mary Slessor twins are still locked in the bond of blood that has joined them right from

They are not married and as such have continued to live together but the troubles of life seem to be overwhelming them. Mgborie has become bent physically by age and the difficulty. Her twin sister nurses big sores on her two legs. These have made moving about diffculty

the womb. They are not married and as such have continued to live together but the troubles of life seem to be overwhelming them. Mgborie has become bent physically by age and the difficulty. Her twin sister nurses big sores on her two legs. These have made moving


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 06, 2011 about diffculty, according her healthier sister, she had not walked up to 20 yards to the open space in the front of their abode in the last 17 years. The troubles seemed to have disorientated her psychologically. She found it difficult to communicate reasonably and seems to drift away in the course of decent conversation. \ The most pitiable of all these is the house they live in. it is not a place fit for animals. The roofs are leaking; it is damped filled with different kinds of unused things and other collections. On sighting this reporter, a pastor of the Presbyterian Church, Rev. Nnoke Ibe, and the guide that took us to her, Mgbafor came over with a warm smile greeted us. We urged her to sit down so that we could talk be she refused to sit down insisting that it ‘how we were trained’ by the missionaries. It became an awkward situation sitting down and talking while and aged woman was standing a kind of humility. After much talk and insistence, she went in and brought a plastic chair and sat down. She narrated their story: “My name is Mgbafor Okereke, I was brought up at Mary Slessor Home . I don’t know her in person, I only know the people who came across with her. Then we were born in Mary Slessor Home at Amanagwu Presbyterian Church. That is two of us, we are the only people that are alive in this Amasu. Mary Slessor first came in this Amaso from across the river. Although I don’t know, but I have been hearing about her. Then we were asked to go and live here. They were the people who trained me from ABC to Standard six. This is my twin sister she is not well, she has problem with hearing and also with her two legs.” She talked about the story of her life:”The Mary Slessor people brought me up right from my youth. The I went to the northern region and I was trained as a nurse. I worked there in Kano at the eye specialists hospital and then I stayed briefly and I was transferred to Sokoto, from their I went to Katsina, in 1956.I came back here I think in 1978. I left the north during the war. My mother was a Christian in the Presbyterian church, she died there, it is only my father that I don’t know him. I don’t know my father. On other twins that were saved my the Mary Slessor and those that took over from her, Mgbafor said: “Some have died and some have left. I can’t definitely say where they are now, because our villages are different.” She talked about the kind of trainings the twins were given: “We learnt how to sew, weave and so many things and also learn how to be obedient to our elders.” And you properly educated on how to speak English? She said life was tough for them as they had not got help from anywhere except the church: “Nobody to help in taking care of my sister and her sickness, we were only doing things by ourselves. We have used penicillin and so on and so forth and it has not gone. People who loves us, feed us, even the Presbyterian church and other living around d us are feeding us.The Presbyterian people are the people who are building the house.” Asked the kind of help they need to survive, she said: “Our most important need now is feeding. We find it difficult to feed, particularly this my sister, she is has not been out of this place for over 19 years, she has never seen that road there because of her legs and she can’t hear. I am the only one taking care of her.” She said she used to farm but that has become difficult because of age and even to farm one needs money. This reporter later meet with Elder Evangelists Chinyere Lancaster Okoro. She is one of leaders of the Presbyterian Women’s Guild, an arm of the church that are trying to alleviate the suffering of the Mary Slessor’s Children. She talked abpout the efforts of the women of Presbyterian Church. She said the women are trying their best but would need assistance from the government, private or corporate bodies. Her words: “ I will want help from either the government or individuals to come and make that house a home. Now that the woman have started

•Mary Slessor with children

to take care of the roof and to rebuilt their houses, let somebody come in and mould blocks put blocks and let live a normal live so that when you come there you see people come out of their homes. Right now, they are not leaving in a home. We met them that way, but we have started something. What we started we can’t finished without help and for us to finish the way we want it to, we need people and the government to come in so that we can buy cement mold blocks or buy molded blocks and put up a solid foundation, build a house so that they will pack in and make it a home. Right now, the women wants to get a doctor to look at them and see exactly what is the root cause of the ulcer on the two legs of that women, if any medical man can say it is this, do this, the women will start doing what they want us to do. We also need help because it is a long standing sour, a sour of 17 years. People have been doing what they can do without knowing what they are doing. That why we now want a specialist to come in and say oh, it is this, do this. Then we will see what we can do to make live better than she is living now because those sores are too much for that woman. We also thinking of how to take care of that because when our co-ordinator came, Rev (Mrs.) Akpama, she gave them a purse and because she knows that with the purse tasking away and not putting in it will soon finish, she is now telling us women. We have a conference by the end of August, that in the conference, she will play the clips of what she saw during her visit. Now that I am handling this project, I will bring new clips of what the committee has done so that others that threw general house will do something. We have a lot of plans, it is just the wherewithal that we need to talk about. “The work there is enormous . right now the women has put in about 300,000. about five million, minimum.” Adding a historical dimension to the

•’Children’ of Mary Slessor

exploitsa of the Mary Slessor, Rev.( Dr.) Maniel Moses Okoro a retired pastor of the Presbyterian Church, he explained that: ” Mary Slessor arrived Arochukwu through the Eyong River . In those days journeys to Calabar where done through the river. Once you boarded from Amaso, it was an easy ride to Calabar. She arrived around 1904. Prior to her arrival the British Frontier Force had invaided the Aro people the Amaso and had physical combat with the people of Aro. They put together five

Right now, the women want to get a doctor to look at them and see exactly what is the root cause of the ulcer on the two legs of that women, if any medical man can say it is this, do this, the women will start doing what they want us to do

divisions for the Aro invasion under \the command of Lt. Col , Montenerro they set out from different points, they discovered that entering through Itu in the present Akwa Ibom State was faster. Before then, the Anglicans were here. On there arrival, they did not conquer immediately and occupied. They thought the battle was over, but the battle went on right on to Abakiliki, right on to Awka and so on because they were touching Aros so other Aro settlements also joined. So, the battlecontinued for a long time until finally were started settlement.” He said Mary Slessor after her initial visit to Arochukwu after the war in 1904, she was coming and going between 1904 and 1906 until the first Presbyterian Church took root in Obinkita, Arochukwu. Her acolytes then continued the work of saving twins. He said despite the fact that Mary Slessor came to Arochukwu in around 1904, it did not lead to end of killing of twins the practice was still done may families and communities. Mgbafor and Mgborie survived death by being saved by the mary6 Slessor’s acolytes but even though the living symbol of what Mary Slessor did in Nigeria more than 100 years, they are at the point of extinction as a result of hardship.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

•A section of the community Inset: One of the buildings

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Itun-Agan: A Lagos community miles away from civilisation

ESIDES its serene nature, ItunAgan, an island community in Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State constitutes a great attraction for tourists. A trip to the community from Liverpool Port, Apapa, Lagos, where hundreds of canoes and boats compete for space, takes just about 20 minutes. But it is not a trip that holds a great attraction for anyone with a phobia for water. Indeed, a life jacket is compulsory for a passenger, and the boat operators would frown at any passenger who hesitates to wear it. As the journey progresses, the sea roars ceaselessly even as speedboats splash water from the lagoon to the faces of passengers while fishing trawlers of all shades navigate the water. Among the passengers on board are fish sellers who daily throng Itun=Agan to buy assorted fish to sell in the city. The community, according to history, was founded by Chief Emmanuel Ikuesan, an Ilaje man from Ondo State, in 1905. The late founder who was said to have discovered the island during his fishing voyages to Lagos soon decided to turn the forest where a deity known as Agan had its grove into a farm stead. In the words of the traditional ruler of the community, Chief Lot Ikuesan: “My grandfather founded this community when he was coming to Lagos on fishing expedition from his ancestral Ilaje home town. Thus in 1905, he sought the permission of the Oluwa Family who were the custodians of the Island which was then a thick forest to establish a town here and he was obliged.

•Boat terminal Inset: A hotel in the community

Kunle AKINRINADE

Inhabitants The residents are made up of four main stocks, including the Ilaje, Ijaw, Awori and Togolese, among other ethnic groups. The people are hardworking, industrious and warm to visitors. “Our girls are nice, and I expect you to show interest in one of them for company to mark your visit to our community today,” said Chief Balogun Asemudara, one of the community leaders.

The traditional occupations of the people include fishing, net making, boat building and poultry. Indeed, it is common to find flocks of fowls, sheep and goats roaming around many compounds in the community. Fire tripods are also a common sight as firewood is used to roast shrimps and fish at processing centres around the community. This, according to a resident, Akinwale Akingboye, could be a source of ill health to residents.” The smoke from the processing centres makes you dizzy. We have cried out to government to

come to our rescue but there has been no response. Even the councillor representing this area, who stays at Igbologun, has not been helpful at all. He has refused to identify with our plight despite our huge support during his election,” he said.

Buildings The community parades an admixture of modern and ancient structures made of wood and corrugated roofing sheets. While modern bungalows have sprung up

We are illiterate people, and that is costing us our hard earned money all the time. For example, policemen usually accost our fishermen who mostly take fuel meant to power their outboard engines in jerry cans while on the sea

,

with many of them nearing completion; there are no storey buildings in the community.

Education Ability to read easily distinguishes anyone from the majority of the inhabitants of the fishing port where education is appears a luxury. The community with over 15,000 inhabitants does not boast of any notable school, making the bulk of


NEWS 15

THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011 residents to be illiterate people. The situation, according to Balogun “is shameful”. He explained how the situation had cost fishermen their goods during their encounters with law enforcement agents who often exploit the people’s lack of understanding of English language to extort them. “We are illiterate people, and that is costing us our hard earned money all the time. For example, policemen usually accost our fishermen who mostly take fuel meant to power their outboard engines in jerry cans while on the sea. The policemen would start speaking in English, knowing full well that our people don’t understand English. They accuse them of engaging in illegal sale of petroleum products. “Also, the fishing trawlers owned by some fishery companies usually destroy our fishing nets on the high sea, and some of the captains of the vessels, when communicating with us in English, get tired because of our lack of understanding of the language, thereby denying us adequate compensation.”

•Makeshift classrooms in Itun-Agan Community Primary School Inset: An empty classroom in a secondary school under construction

Schools There are no public schools in the community other than some makeshift structures put in place by leaders to educate their children with the help of some teachers on the pay roll of the Itun-Agan Community Development Association. The school in question was a sorry sight when our correspondent visited. It is made of planks and handwoven mats. The teachers said that they had not been paid for nine months. Mr. Omojuwa Adebayo who teaches Primary 5 pupils said:” We are only encouraged to teach the pupils because we don’t know what they will become tomorrow. As I speak, we are yet to be paid for the past nine months. The community leaders are still making frantic efforts to raise money to pay us. Ordinarily, this should be the responsibility of the government, because the people pay their tax and perform other civic responsibilities, including voting during elections.” Mrs. Beatrice Onuorah, a Primary Six teacher at the school explained the hell teachers and pupils go through whenever it rained. “You need to come and see us whenever it rains. You will pity the pupils and teachers of this school. We would be shivering and clustering together in the open classrooms.” The Chairman of Itun-Agan Community Development Association, Rev. Mathias Esanmore said: “We resorted to self help when we realised the trauma that our children go through when going to school in the city. Many of them would have become so tired by the time they got off the boat while many others who are lazy would usually be seen roaming around the city without going to school. “But we have not been finding it easy coping with payment of salaries to our teachers and maintaining the school. For example, we owe the teachers several months’ salaries, and we don’t even know where we would get money from. But the teachers are working in spite of our imperfections. “The secondary arm of the school is in a shambles, while some buildings erected to serve as the secondary school complex have been blown off by rainstorm and we are yet to rebuild them.

Electricity/Healthcare The community is cut off from the rest of Lagos State as there is no visible sign of development apart from fishing ponds owned by the Lagos State Fadama 111 Coordination Office, whose officials were seen inspecting some projects. Homes are powered by generator while there are also no health care facilities. “The only public hospital we know is the Apapa Health Centre, and it is very far from our community. We patronise private hospitals in the city

“This market is known to be the hub of sea foods, but the cost of transporting sea foods to the market is becoming increasingly huge. This is as a result of the galloping cost of maintaining outboard engines and the sale of fuel to the fishermen in plastic kegs at exorbitant rate among others. And because we operate under a flyover, this has exposed the fish sellers to extortion from council officials who disturb us from carrying out our business.”

Security

•Rev. Esanmore •Adebayo

•Asemudara

for treatment of minor sicknesses a primary health centre could have handled. As for light, we don’t have it despite all our pleas to concerned authorities to assist us. “Because of this, we don’t have a cold room where our fish and shrimps can be stored. And this is the reason why we usually sell our fish and shrimps at give-away prices, because we cannot bring them home when customers do not agree to our price,” Esanmore added.

Market Madam Iromidayo Ilawole,55, lamented the absence of sea foods during some months in year. She explained that it was usually difficult to get fish and shrimps between December and March each year, while the activities of unscrupulous sanitary officers are frustrating

•Chief Ikuesan

market women. She said: “It is not every month that we get sea foods to sell, because business is usually dull between December and March. Our men don’t get anything from the sea during this period, so we are made to rely on our savings to weather the tough times that come with this period. Those who could risk their lives would then use the period to travel in their boats to the shores of neighbouring countries like Benin Republic and Togo to see if they could catch some sea foods. But that is also dangerous because the gendarmes can arrest them for unlawful fishing activities. “More importantly, getting firewood to roast fish and shrimps is becoming more and more Herculean. You can’t believe that we rely on suppliers from Ondo State for firewood, except some of us go there

•Ilawole to get firewood. “Apart from those who come to our Island to buy fish and shrimps, we also sell roast sea foods for sale at the nearby Sanni Market at Liverpool, Apapa, but the activities of council officials are not encouraging at all. They would just storm the market to harass market women in order to extort money from them. And they are very unfeeling. Whenever the women sight them, they jump into the sea, leaving their wares behind. But the officials would cart their wares away to sell. If government can help develop our market here, we will be free from the grips of heartless council officials.” Her views were corroborated by the Iyaloja (market leader), Chief Mrs. Aweni Abdullahi, who explained the agony of the market women and cost of getting sea foods to the market.

‘ where our fish and We don’t have a cold room shrimps can be stored. And this is the reason why we usually sell our fish and shrimps at give-away prices, because we cannot bring them home when customers do not agree to our price ,

Beyond its being underdeveloped, the community’s serenity offers a bit of consolation as people go about their businesses without fear. Fear of robbery attacks is the least among the worries of inhabitants A resident who simply identified himself as Jolomi said: “ Since I came to this Island some years ago, I have never heard of robbery attacks in this community, unlike what obtains in the city. But there are cases of petty theft of sundry items, which in any case is easily resolved by the community leaders.” There are recreational facilities in the community, with some youths seen playing the game of snooker near a hotel while others were seen playing football on a soccer pitch created by the community. At the Love Centre Hotel, our correspondent gathered from a female attendant that a room goes for N300 for short term lodging while you may need to add more for a bottle of beer than the prevailing price in the city. The ramshackle hotel is made of corrugated iron sheets and wood at a corner in the community. The community is indeed crying for government attention in terms of development, an issue Chief Ikuesan, wants the state government to give a priority. He said: ”I have made a lot of appeal to authorities to come to our aid but there has been no response. We have a population of 15,000 people without any tangible government presence and infrastructural development, and this is affecting our lives. Everything we have done has been through self help, yet we supply the food that people in the city eat. If our children have good schools with conducive learning environment, hospitals to take care of the sick and other social amenities, we would not feel not abandoned or neglected by the state government. “We also pay tax to government. At least, council officials come here to collect rates on a regular basis.”


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

How police sergeant was arrested for robbery •N10m found in his house •Suspected corporal accomplice on the run •Bank official named among suspects Ebele BONIFACE

In his confession, Eboma was said to have mentioned the other members of the gang led by him. They included a welder named Gabriel, from whose house they were said to have recovered a gas cylinder, a sledge hammer used in breaking concrete walls, a cutter used in cutting key and breaking burglary proof and a Nissan Xtera Jeep, among other items

H

•Sgt Eboma

•Gabriel

•Shola

•Ezekiel

E had completed his training programme for promotion to the rank of Inspector. Indeed, he had passed the exam and was waiting to be decorated. But the expectation of 38year-old police sergeant, Onyeka Eboma, ended in a tragic anti-climax. He and four other members of a robbery gang allegedly led by him were arrested. The other members of the gang include a police corporal attached to the Police Squadron 20, Ikeja 35-yearold Victor Folorunsho, who is said to be on the run. The remaining members of the gang are made up of three civilians, namely Gabriel Sunday (38), Ezekiel Omoloye (32) and Sola Atoki (29). The Nation investigation revealed that Sgt. Eboma was the first to be arrested in his private Hummer Jeep on his way to keeping an appointment with other members of the gang around 1.30 am on July 26, 2011. He was said to have been sighted by some policemen attached to the Ipaja Division of the Nigeria Police Force, who were on stop-and-search duty. The policemen were said to have found with him an AK 47 rifle and a big bag containing a face mask and other suspicious items. Unsatisfied with his responses when he was interrogated, par-

ticularly the fact that he was going about with a rifle at that odd hour, they decided to take him to their station for further interrogation. After another round of interrogation, the Divisional Police Officer, Mr. Chikezie Okezie, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), decided to transfer him to Area M Command, Idimu, also in Lagos. The Idimu Area Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Kaoje wasted no time in sending Sgt. Eboma to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) at the Police Headquarters, GRA, Ikeja. Kaoje was said to have earlier called the Commissioner of Police, Yakubu Alkali, asking him to save his command from invasion by journalists. Alkali then directed the officer in charge of SARS, Abba Kyari, a Superintendent of Police to handle the matter and report back to him as soon as possible. A search carried out at Eboma’s house was said to have led to the recovery of a pistol and a sum in excess of N10 million. In his confession, Eboma was said to have mentioned the other members of the gang led by him. They included a welder named Gabriel, from whose house they were said to have recovered a gas cylinder, a sledge hammer used in breaking concrete walls, a cutter used in cutting key and breaking burglary proof and a Nissan Xtera Jeep, among other items. The police were also said to have recovered from Ezekiel’s house a Danfo bus he was suspected to have bought with the proceeds of robbery. The policemen also proceeded to the house of another suspected member of the gang, Shola, a marketing officer with a first generation bank in Lagos whose Akowonjo, Lagos branch the gang had earlier robbed. In his confessional statement, Shola was said to have admitted giving insider information to the gang. He was said to have shown the gang where the bank’s CCTV camera was located, where to switch off the alarm system, where moneywas kept in the bank and how to beat the bank’s security guards. But another member of the gang, Corporal Folorunsho, was said to have fled when he got wind of Eboma’s arrest. He escaped with the rifle he was using for duty. Before their arrest, the gang was said to have planned to attack another bank around Cele Bus Stop on the Mile 2-Oshodi Expressway Lagos. They were said to have gone on surveillance of the bank and the area three times. The surveillance was said to have been carried out by Ezekiel and Gabriel as they awaited the return of Eboma from his inspector course. The suspects were also said to have confessed to killing a security man, Ogundipe Sunday, who they allegedly strangled to death when they attacked the new generation bank at Akowonjo, Lagos in April 2010. Alkali has since ordered the dismissal of Eboma and Folorunsho, who have also been charged to court alongside the three civilian members of the gang for conspiracy, armed robbery and murder. They were consequently remanded in the Kirikiri Maximum Prison in Lagos, while the search for Folorunsho continues. The Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State Police Command, Mr. Samuel Jinadu, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) said he has no comment.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

Murdered on a Sunday morning •Controversy trails the demise of a couple found dead in their Kaduna home U

NTIL Sunday, July 31, 2011, Col. Francis Ogbeyi (rtd) and his third wife, Stella were hale and hearty. They lived peacefully at their Kaduna residence opposite the College of Administrative and Social Sciences of the Kaduna Polytechnic along the Kaduna Western Byepass. When they woke up in the morning of that Sunday, there was nothing to indicate that death would come calling. But by the time his other wives returned from the church at about 10.30 am, Francis and his younger wife lay dead in the two-bedroom apartment where they lived. Initial reports indicated that their assailants locked them up in the apartment after killing them and made away with the keys. Thus, family members had to break into the house through the ceiling when they perceived the smell of burning food only to discover that both of them had been murdered. A Another version of the story claimed that those who killed the couple must have escaped through the back of the house, because the door was left open and his family members gained access into the apartment through it. 63-year-old Ogbeyi, who retired as an accountant with the Nigeria Defence Academy, was said to have taken to law practice after his retirement. A version of the stories concerning his death indicated that he was shot on the nose, while another version said he might have benn hit in the head with an object, because his head was broken. Stella, his late wife, was also said to have been hit in the head with what appeared to be a hammer. Another version claims she must have been inflicted with machete cuts and left to bleed to death. Bartholomew Ejeoga, a cousin to the deceased lawyer, told our correspondent that the family was still at a loss as to how the assailants knew he was in the apartment of his last wife and how they gained access into the compound, considering the security network in place. According to him, even when the other wives returned from the church, they did not immediately know that something tragic had taken place until the Idoma Catholic Women who normally hold their meeting there sought to know whether he was at home so that they could say hello to him before leaving. He said: “He usually went to the church with the first wife. But that morning, he was in the room of the last wife from where he called the first wife to tell her that he would not be able to go for the morning mass at 8 am. But he said he would go for the one that would be held at 10 am. “He attends Queen of Apostle Catholic Church, Kakuri. So, only the woman and the children went to church. They always hold the Idoma Women Catholic Fellowship in the compound here. When they returned from the church, they started holding the meeting.

•Stella

Tony AKOWE, Kaduna In the course of the meeting, the chairperson asked if Oga (Ogbeyi) was around, so that they could say hello to him. The wife went to the flat of the late lawyer and knocked on the door repeatedly, but there was no response. “She returned the group and told them that she would call him later. But when she called him later, the phone was not going through. One of her cousins called Joseph, who lives with them, then noticed that smoke was coming out of the room. He went round and was able to gain entry into the room through the window. He discovered that the late woman had left a pot of food on the fire. He moved into the room and saw her lying in a pool of blood. He went into the bedroom and saw Oga too in a pool of blood. That was what happened. “The assassins locked them inside the house. So, the people in the compound raised the alarm and invited the police and soldiers, who finally opened the door. And when they went in, they saw the bodies of th deceased couple on the floor.” But there are people who who feel that the retired colonel might have committed suicide since there was no evidence that the house was bro-

•Ogbeyi

ken into or that the assailants forcibly gained entry into the house. But unconfirmed reports have it that his phones, that of his wife and a laptop were taken away by his assailants. Family sources, however, dismissed the suicide angle, saying that there was nothing that could have made him commit suicide. They also dismissed the angle of quarrel with his late wife, since he was not known to be a violent person or a wife beater. This assertion was corroborated by his first wife, Agnes, and one his neigbours who identified himself simply as Mr. Paul. According to Agnes, the family lived in peace with one another. “We are good. There was no problem between us. I am the first wife. I am 48 years old with five children. My husband was 63 years old. The second wife has three children. The one that died with him had no child. There are other children from the first wife who died about four years ago. She was the first wife, and I am the one following her. But since she is no more, I became the first wife. So she had six children, but two died, and they remain four now. “He was a nice man. He was a man that could take care of us all. We never had any problem with him”.

Paul said: “We interacted very well with the late colonel. We didn’t have any problem with him. He has very good character. We the entire neighbours are so worried about his death because he was our good neighbour. I have lived on this street for the past 20 years, and we met him on this street.” The question then is, did the late colonel have any misunderstanding with anybody? The family could only identify his dispute with some of his community leaders as the only misunderstanding he had with people. Bartholomew Ejeoga told The Nation on Saturday: “As far as we know, the only problem we perceived he had was a pending court case involving some people from our place in Benue State. We have an Association called Eke National Development Association. He noticed that the last executive committe that ran the association and handed over to the new EXCO misappropriated some funds. From what they gathered, the association could not account for the fund and the people were angry. “Oga, who was a lawyer and an accountant, felt that amounted to cheating on the whole community. So, he took some members of the previous EXCO to court. Since last year, the case has been lingering at

We discovered that he was dead with all the doors and windows to the House locked from inside. Who locked the doors from inside? Those who locked the door from inside could not be found? There is no evidence yet to suggest that there was forced entrance before their death. That is why I say, you should wait until we finish our investigation

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the Kaduna High Court. In fact, the case was to be decided on September 29, 2011. That was the only glaring problem he had with people that we are aware of.” Like many others, Bartholomew is wondering how the assailants gained entry into the compound. “This is what is baffling all of us,” he said. “Just as you have seen, there is a big fence around the house. So, we are wondering how they were able to gain entry into the compound and how they were able to know that Oga was in the other flat with the wife. “And then it was well targeted that at that time, everybody had left the house. So, we wouldn’t really know how they were able to gain entry.” Reminded of the presence of security dogs in the compound, he said: “That is what we cannot really unravel. As you have seen, there are dogs around, and the compound is well secured. So, we wouldn’t really know what happened. “How were those people able to gain entry into the compound? How did they know that Oga was in the other room with the wife? It is just a mystery that we are unable to unravel.” Our correspondent gathered that last year, the late colonel brought some of his kinsmen in the village to Kaduna and detained them over a land tussle and mismanagement of community funds. The source said that since then, those he detained had been coming from the village in Okpokwu Local Government Area, Benue State to appear in court in Kaduna. He was said to have rebuffed all the efforts they made to make him see reason and withdraw the suit he filed against them. The source said further that hearing in the suit had been concluded, while judgment has been fixed for September 29, 2011. The police in Kaduna said they were still investigating the incident to ascertain the actual cause of the couple’s death. Police spokesman in the state, DSP Aminu Lawal, said that the police actually found the man and his wife dead. He added: “We discovered that he was dead with all the doors and windows to the House locked from inside. Who locked the doors from inside? Those who locked the door from inside could not be found? There is no evidence yet to suggest that there was forced entrance before their death. That is why I say, you should wait until we finish our investigation. “But, we have started investigation already. Their bodies have been deposited at St. Gerald Hospital, Kaduna.” Apart from being a chartered accountant, the late colonel was said to have run a successful legal practice in Kaduna and lived in the same compound with his three wives, with each of the wives maintaining a separate flat. A lot of questions are agitating the minds of residents of the area who claimed to have known him as an easy going man. However, they are hoping that his murder will not join the growing list of unresolved ones in the country.


INTERVIEW

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THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

The world will applaud Jonathan if all he achieves is regular electricity — Omehia

•Omehia

Sir Celestine Omehia functioned as the governor of Rivers State for six months before the Supreme Court reversed his election in 2007. In the general election held in April this year, he again contested for the governorship position on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) but lost to the incumbent Governor Rotimi Amaechi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He airs his views on the transformation agenda of president Goodluck Jonathan, Prof. Attahiru Jega’s leadership[ of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the activities of the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram. He spoke with AUGUSTINE AVWODE, Assistant Editor. As a governor, I made such nomination to the President. But I think it is not the best way out. But like I said earlier, I believe that he has made some good choice and that they would help him to realise his transformation agenda. It is widely believed that the cabinet is over bloated. Many Nigerians feel we should be cutting down on the cost of governance. What is your view? Don’t forget that were it to be possible, the President would take just two or three people from here and there and continue his work. But this is a constitutional matter which compels Mr. President to appoint at least a minister from each state. We have 36 states, which mean 36 ministers already. Then there are special areas he probably wants specialised people to man. So, he must go ahead and fill those positions. And I am one of those who believe that professionalism and specialization should play a role in our national life. If I were the governor of Rivers State today, I would appoint commissioner for primary education and commissioner for tertiary education. This way, you get the best out of the profession-

,

als at your disposal. The commissioner for primary education may not know much about what should be done at the tertiary level and vice-versa. It is not just about being the administrative head; it is about knowing what it takes to run the system. I believe that Mr. President knows where he is heading to. Which of these ministries do you think must hit the ground running? Which one do you think Nigerians want a lot more from? What every Nigerian wants now, and what every businessman wants most now is availability of power. I think extraordinary attention should be paid to the power sector as a starting point towards the vision 20-2020. For me, it is no power, no growth. If you look at the economy, it is dependent on power. Look at security and indeed everything else; power is at the centre of it all. Cost of goods and services today in Nigeria is tied to cost of production, and power is key. The small and medium scale enterprises as well as the big players that drive the economy look to cheap power, unfortunately, there is none. Therefore, the cost

What every Nigerian wants now, and what every businessman wants most now is availability of power. I think extraordinary attention should be paid to the power sector as a starting point towards the vision 20-2020. For me, it is no power, no growth. If you look at the economy, it is dependent on power. Look at security and indeed everything else; power is at the centre of it all

,

T

HE Federal Executive Council has finally been constituted by President Goodluck Jonathan. What is your impression of the cabinet? I respect the judgment of Mr President. He has set for this country a transformational agenda to be implemented by him. And to succeed, he needs competent and patriotic people to drive the process with him in the MDAs. He also needs the cooperation of every Nigerian. A lot is expected of ministers at this time. Success won’t depend on the head alone, that is, the President. It also depends on those he has appointed to work with him. Therefore, I believe that in his choice of those who should work with him, he must have considered all the variables before the final decision was made. In Nigeria, many factors are considered in the appointment of ministers. These include religion, ethnicity, party affiliations and federal character. Having said that, there is one thing I think we should start to reject. That is the issue of allowing state governors to nominate or recommend individuals to him, although he is not bound to choose such nominees. Every president has a vision. He knows what he wants and the drivers for each bus and destination. He knows the qualifications and character of every person he would want to work with. It is not the judgment of the governor that is important; it is the judgment of Mr. President. Therefore the cabinet should reflect the interest of the President and not the interest of the governor. When you were governor, did you also nominate ministerial candidates?

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of buying generators, fuel, environmental hazards all add up to make production cost too high. That cost is built back into the price the consumers pays. The result is that it is better to import many goods from overseas than to manufacture them at home. The banks are spending too much on power for their operations and all this is built back into the interest rate. Just take the local examples; the barbing salon and the photocopy machine operators will tell you that when there is power, you pay so and so amount. But if they are running on generator, you pay a higher price. All this goes on to affect the economy. And without argument, we all know that everything in our economy runs around power. Therefore, my advice would be that adequate attention must be paid to the power sector. In my candid view, for us to succeed, the monopoly of PHCN must be dismantled. Individuals, state governments, private organisations, etc should be encouraged to go into power generation, transmission and distribution at some levels of efficiency. For me, even if the President is able to deliver only affordable power throughout his tenure in office, the world will applaud him. Therefore, this is time for action. If there are sacrifices the public officers need to make in this direction, the President should demand it. If there are belts to be tightened by Nigerians, the President should tell us and he will get our ready support. Fortunately, the issue of unbundling is not new. Any added effort now must start with the privatization of the PHCN. Nigeria’s power •Continued on Page 22


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

Saturday

THRILLER

Of sex workers and their madams


20

THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

T

HE streets are no place for a pretty girl. Ask Agnes. Like a petal dying before its full blossom, she has emaciated beyond recognition. But you would have to see what she used to look like to know that; by a vivid portrait or photograph perhaps. The reporter did; on a Thursday morning while the teenager recounted her travails from Enugu to Lagos, the way the housefly seeking to know its own nature follows the faeces into the latrine. The 14-year-old’s odyssey began on a beautiful morning in April when she departed the relative comfort of her father’s compound in Nsukka, Enugu State for Lagos. Smitten and wholly intimidated by the vulgar display of wealth by her childhood friends, who had dropped out of school and travelled to Lagos in search of greener pasture just before they wrote their promotion exam to the Senior Secondary School 3 class; Agnes decided to take her destiny in her hands, at the behest of her late mother and aunt. According to her, “I wan come work for waf (wharf) for Lagos. Na there my two best friends for secondary school say them they work. I follow them come because every time them come home for Christmas, them no dey gree give me anything wey I ask them. If I ask Ogechi (her childhood friend) for N200, she go give me N100 even say she get money well, well. When I beg Patricia to borrow me N6, 000 make I take join my G.C.E money, Ogechi tell am make she no give me everything. She say make she give me just N1, 000 so me sef go know say e no easy to make money for Lagos.” Hurt by the scorn with which her friends treated her, Agnes made up to travel to Lagos. But there was the problem of how to get to Lagos and secure that plum job her friends enthused about at the city’s Apapa wharf. That was when her friends came to her rescue. They introduced her to Ogechi’s elder brother, Obinna, a self acclaimed travel agent who claimed to have contacts at the wharf. “Obinna tell me say na him friend be the manager of the wharf. When I tell am say I no get transport money, he say make I no worry. He promise me say he go pay my transport (travel fare) to Lagos. But he tell me say he go come see my mama to promise am say he go take care of me,” disclosed Agnes. And Obinna went to see her mother. True to his words, Obinna paid her thoroughfare to Lagos along with four other girls and excluding her childhood friends who promised to join her two days later in Lagos. But sooner than she alighted from the bus, the truth dawned on Agnes like some twilight of sordid reality. The reality of securing that lucrative job at the wharf gradually slipped out of her reach even as she reluctantly became Obinna’s bedmate. “Na so so promise he dey promise me when we reach Lagos. Na every time dat his manager-friend dey travel…One day he tell me say make I dey hustle until I start the job. I tell am say I no fit hustle. I warn am say make he no try am with me because he no say I no be dat kind girl,” she said. At that point, she said, Obinna lost his cool and told her that she would have to leave the one-room apartment they shared. He revealed to her that her two best friends were in fact, commercial sex workers and that his sister was almost through working off the debt owed her Madame. He told her that her friends exhibited even greater disgust than she did when he introduced them to the hustle but now, they are “very big girls” as she could see. Agnes yielded sooner than imagined. And promptly, Obinna took her to an associate, a Madame running a very busy brothel on Lagos Island. At first sight, the Madame acknowledged the teenager to be a “very fine girl” whom she could groom to become a “hot one.” At this point, things started to get better. Agnes claimed she started out living with a sister of the Madame two streets away from the brothel. According to her, she would have been subjected to the dastardly process called “blending (an equivalent of gang rape)” if Obinna hadn’t assured his associates that he had taken care of that. Agnes was put to the test and according to her, she passed with flying colours. “I be runs girl now. Even before I comot village, I don tear eye,” she bragged. Subsequently, the 14year-old was taken to a self-styled prophet from Togo whom she insisted, operated like a witchdoctor. She revealed that on getting to his place, he directed them to a room where her Madame asked her to strip before she proceeded to

•Many under-aged girls like this rampantly fall victim to local sex traffickers

Travails of under-aged of their Olatunji OLOLADE, Assistant Editor

cut hair from her vagina and armpits after dousing her in brown powder. Then she dragged her to the priest who she claimed, drew blood from her thumb and mixed it with some other concoction that she was forced to share with her Madame and Obinna in consecration of a blood oath. Agnes was told that she owed her Madame N150, 000 being money for her upkeep, transport fare to Lagos and widows’ mite Obinna allegedly gave to her mother in the village. When she protested, they asked her to call her mother who she said, to her astonishment, admitted so and advised her to quickly set to work that she might work off the debt and “make plenty money well, well.” The teenager is making “plenty” money now; she is just not keeping it. She is not spending it either as the bulk of the money she makes prostituting herself under the watchful eye of her Madame and her pimps, goes to the Madame. Eleven months after, she is still shuttling between brothels on a very busy round across her Madame’s sex shops and those of her associates. The 14-year-old is living in bondage. From the sleazy sex shops of IjoraBadia to her current abode, a dingy joint at the extreme right of Ijaiye road, off old Abeokuat motor road, Lagos, Agnes hawks sex like mangoes to labourers, transporters, street-urchins, park thugs, policemen to mention a few. In the morning, at lunch hour, midnight, to the break of dawn, she assumes different poses beneath and atop a variety of clients who couldn’t care less even when she complains of a bruised hymen. Unlike Agnes’ Colet’s case offers a different perspective to a malaise gradually eating into the country’s social fabric like a hideous canker. Like Agnes, when you look at Colet, you just might see that middling grief passively bound beneath the folds of her smile. At 19, the native of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State

exudes that disquieting resignation characteristic of the aged who had suddenly realized that beneath life’s promising bounties lurks a sad and sour anticlimax. Two years ago, she had left her hometown for Lagos in a desperate bid to travel to Europe in search of greener pasture. Colet is yet to achieve her dream and the reason is hardly far-fetched: her lover and Good Samaritan who promised to assist her with the travel fare had suddenly backed out claiming that she had a “very bad spirit.” “He claimed I was bad business and he did not wish to destroy his own work with his hands,” disclosed Colet. Afterwards, she said, “I was forced to work in several joints across Lagos and Ogun State. I needed to raise enough money to finance my trip. But first, I had to settle my bills.” And she is still settling her bills. Colet’s story yielded all sorts of detail about her predicament particularly her entanglement with voodoo and her very dubious boyfriend. According to her, she met Raphael, her boyfriend, on her birthday in October 2008. He allegedly sought to woo her thus winning her heart and that of her grandma, a fish seller and petty trader. Prior to their meeting, Colet revealed, her situation had been fairly destitute throughout. Although she was able to complete primary schooling she had to dropout after the first years of secondary schooling, as money for her school fees was simply lacking. It became very difficult to eat and survive for her and her persistently sick mother whose ailment allegedly defied every treatment. It was therefore a forgone deal that Raphael would win her heart when he started to court her. It was in the context of a platonic friendship that she developed soft spot for Raphael, who flattered her and her mother with small presents of provisions, food items and pocket money. One day, the lover boy who had always identified himself as a businessman proposed to fly her to Belgium to assist her with her schooling, she explained.

Colet agreed, so did her mother, only for the 19-year-old to discover that in the month before their departure that her knight in shiny armour would take her to a voodoo shrine to have her take an oath not to betray him. At the shrine the priest took hair from her armpits and pubic area and concocted them into a presumably powerful cocktail. Added to the cocktail in the days that she had to spend at the shrine were a few drops of her menstrual blood and some sperm from the intercourse she had with Raphael. In the presence of the gods, Raphael pledged to take her to Europe, while Colet in turn had to swear to repay him whatever she owed him for his services. Both ate from the same kola nut and pronounced these oaths before the deities of the shrine while some offerings were made (in money and a goat was slaughtered) to invoke the gods’ presence. The priest, she recounted, made it clear to both of them that breaking this arrangement would anger the gods and could jeopardise their lives, a statement which elicited fear in her heart, even as she explained. Colet received in addition a number of incisions (on her chest and her forehead) into which potent medicines were rubbed. The priest explained that these would enhance her beauty and afford travel protection. When they finally left the shrine, Raphael paid the priest and some days later managed to arrange a flight for Colet to Belgium. He accompanied her and, after some ill fated attempts to secure entry to Belgium, Raphael finally delivered her to a brothel in Abeokuta. At that point he received an undisclosed sum from the Madame and owner of the brothel and disappeared.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

•An array of sex workers in police custody

sex workers in the hands Madame For a while, she worked for her new boss who persistently claimed that she (that is Colet) owed her so much money and that when she had made her investment’s worth off her, she would release her from her service. Worried and totally dissatisfied with the situation, Colet fled her Madame’s brothel in Abeokuta for Ibadan, Oyo State with the assistance of one of her favourite customers, a commercial truck driver. In Ibadan, she lived with the driver for a while until she developed a rash and swellings all over her body. She fell terribly ill and the driver, claiming to act in accordance with a divination, kicked her out of his house. Friends to the driver took pity on her led her back to her Madame in Abeokuta. Much to her surprise, she found Raphael waiting there for her. He beat her to a pulp and warned her that her mysterious ailment was just a tip of the iceberg. He warned her never to flee again and administered what she called a swift-acting remedy to her ailment on her. In a week after her mysterious recovery, Colet resumed work, this time shuttling across brothels owned by her former boss. As their cases reveal, a worrisome dimension has been added to the inhuman trafficking in young adults and under-aged girls as they are being put to work on the nation’s streets after they are forced to declare vows in the presence of witchdoctors and their idols. Such measure guarantees close inspection of the girls’ fulfillment of commitments by the ‘invisible’ world. In a number of cases defaulting girls are reported to have mysteriously disappeared. Further findings revealed that such arrangements with sex traffickers oftentimes involved the victims’ families, relatives and possessions as a kind of guarantee of the

repayment of the debts that the girls were incurring. This again meant that sureties for the costs of the girls’ travel were given supernatural sanctification so that misfortune and so forth could be kept at bay. Visits to various shrines for this whole complex of arrangements and agreements also involved those shrines which are perceived to exist under the watchful eyes of very powerful witchdoctors which principally serve to instill extreme caution and fair in the girls’ perception of things. In addition to the body-related material, the made-up packets often appear to include many more signifiers embodying personal and spiritual power, beauty and sex appeal, protection and success. For instance, pieces of twisted metal refer to the power of Ogun, soap and powder enhance beauty and sexual ‘power’, the kola nut is an exchange of faithfulness between lovers, and so forth. In the case of victims who are trafficked overseas, a travel agent and sex merchant who simply identified himself as Gbaja K revealed that in addition, victims are also fortified with travel protection obtained at various shrines. Animals, usually white goats and fowls were slaughtered for the purpose and the girls were sprinkled with their blood. There are in short, a superabundance of meanings and signifiers both in the ritual practices that many of the girls undergo before leaving the shrines and in the contents of the amulets they or their operators carry with them. Further empowerment is acquired by the girls via prayer sessions at the rapidly emerging charismatic Pentecostal and white garment churches across the country. Whilst referring to the initial phases of intercontinental travel to Europe, which include the quest for spiritual empowerment for success and protection in their narratives,

the girls very often used the word juju. Some victims enthusiastically referred to it as “African insurance.” Although the experience of swearing oaths at the shrines and obtaining charms and amulets meant for various types of fortification including the enhancement of beauty and enthrallment of a witless client or what the girls persistently called “Mugun (fool)” seemed tasking and awe-inspiring three other girls and friends of Agnes and Colet respectively who pleaded anonymity revealed that they did not consider such rituals intimidating or coercive per se. They identified them as necessary steps to be taken in their quest for self-actualisation and the good life. Usually the girls only began experiencing much more coercive and intimidating forms of rituals as well as physical violence further down the line of their extended contact with their operators, pimps and madams. Particularly when things were beginning to go wrong, for instance if a girl decides to get out of the prostitution networks, she would meet with a violent mix of physical abuse and occult intimidation. In referring to such frightening events as rituals performed on them in apartments in the low-cost south-eastern Give no dog a bad name Margaret Onah, Project Coordinator of the Safe Haven International (SHI), a nongovernmental organization that seeks to lure girls and women out of prostitution and rehabilitate them, said many such victims are not ready to quit the profession even at the expense of their lives and the choice of better alternatives because of their dream to make a fortune from the profession. Onah suggested that rather than vilify them, the society should explore all humane and charitable means to liberate and rehabilitate them. Recent attempts at stemming the tide of prostitution in the country include the signing of the Edo State Anti-Prostitution Bill into law by the former governor of the state, Lucky Igbinedion. In Zamfara State, Sanni Yerima, the former

governor sponsored some prostitutes on the Islamic holy pilgrimage, Hajj, hoping they would undergo spiritual and psychological rehabilitation. Also, parents united to fight prostitution in Jigawa State under the aegis of Concerned Morals for Nigerian Youths (CMNY), an NGO. They are worried by the rate at which brothels are fast outnumbering hotels in the state. Recently, the Lagos State government ordered the closure of brothels in the state prescribing severe penalties for defaulters. Despite these efforts, prostitution still thrives as girls and women between the ages of 13 and 35 are migrating from their villages and townships into the cities of Owerri, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Edo, Makurdi, Ilorin, Abuja, Abeokuta and Lagos in droves to make a living through sex. Just recently, The Nation reported the proliferation of nests of teenage and underaged prostitutes on the Kuramo Beach, Lekki, Lagos. Sadly, they were barely mature for the trade as adolescents. Sharing their stories with our correspondent, they anchored their predicaments on socio-economic and psychological factors, including poverty, frustrated educational pursuits, family discord, rebellion, resentment for stepfather and stepmother, and the desire to be free from family constraints. Like Agnes, Colet and co, they did not regard themselves as prostitutes but “hustlers”. They lived in cabin partitioned into rooms, which cost between N400 and N500 per day, depending on available facilities like a fan and mattress. At each brothel, which is necessarily accompanied with a beer joint, the young girls hang around for men willing to have each of them upon the payment of N2, 500 or more. Not even the threat of contracting the dreaded HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) could deter them from their means of livelihood. Many of them disclosed that they are only in the business for a while. The same could hardly be said for Agnes, Colet and the hundreds of under-aged girls trooping to the cities in a daze, spurred by the steady stream of goodies ceaselessly promised by the next Good Samaritan at their doorstep.


22 •Continued from Page 18 need is so large and so big that every effort must be put in place to guarantee efficiency and minimise waste. There is no more time to waste on this matter as a nation. All competent private companies and oil majors like Shell, Agip and Total should be allowed to invest deeply in power generation, transmission and distribution and lift the nation out of this dead end. Don’t you foresee entrenched interests scuttling such an idea? I know it wouldn’t be easy. But a lot depends on the determination of the man who is at the helm of affairs. There will be obstacles here and there. Those who are benefiting from this power calamity, sellers of generators, those who are supplying materials for the repair of dead equipment, in fact the trade unionists, all these people will constitute obstacles in one way or another. But it will take the determination of Mr. President to make it work. It should be out of the hands of one body called Power Holding Company of Nigeria. You cannot sue PHCN now when they damage your equipment because they are protected. That is why they can do whatever they want to do and get away with it. They can keep you in darkness and keep your company dying and nothing can be done to them. That is why they are sleeping on duty. Besides power, which other sector would you want attention paid to? The education sector is another one. It is the base of every development. Are we talking about scientific or technological development? Whatever it is, they all depend on the educational level of a country. Therefore, the investment in education, after power, should be the highest. Investment in terms of finance, human resources and infrastructure must be taken seriously. It is so appalling the depth our standard of education in Nigeria has fallen into. I feel deeply disturbed and traumatised. Nearly all public schools at all levels, from the primary to the tertiary, are dead and decomposing. No nation can develop like this. Degrees from Nigerian universities are despised out there. Many who have Masters in various disciplines are treated outside the country as glorified WASC. When they are presented to other schools in say Britain, they are forced to look down upon our degrees. That is because of the ugly way education has been treated in the country. Therefore, the Federal Government should take a good look at education and reverse this sad trend because that is our future as a people. For us to make any meaningful progress as a nation scientifically, economically and otherwise, education must be given proper attention. If you were to appraise the Federal Government’s amnesty programme for ex-Niger Delta militants almost two years after it was started, what would you say? Simple and straightforward! The Federal Government has done very well in the Amnesty programme. I will vote for amnesty any day for the Niger Delta boys because it is the only way out of a bad situation. Anybody who doubts the efficacy of the amnesty programme of the FG should abandon it and see the devastating economic impact in days and weeks. These boys have lived with inequity and avoidable hardship for years. They have cried and begged for inclusion but nobody listened until they said enough was enough. They held the nation to her knees and Nigeria was

INTERVIEW

THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

’Amnesty can only postpone doomsday’ ‘ Unfortunately,

the issues that caused the crises have not been addressed while the effect (militancy) has taken centre stage. Unless and until those issues of poor development, environmental degradation, ill-equipped manpower, fair opportunities for Niger Delta people are revisited and fairly addressed, amnesty is just like postponing the evil day

,

•Omehia

forced to negotiate for economic freedom. That was what brought the amnesty issue to the limelight. I still remember vividly that when I was the governor of Rivers State, we floated the idea of amnesty under the theory we called ‘stick and carrot’ approach. Our stick and carrot system was such that we convinced ourselves that all the bad boys in the forest were our children who must be assisted to find a new page in life under the law. They are the people who possibly joined to destroy our system, not knowing what they were doing and that there was need to bring the willing out of the forest, integrate them into the society so that they can become useful citizens of Nigeria. So, we offered the carrot. Come out and we will give you amnesty and a means of livelihood. I still remember two people who abandoned militancy and decided to study piloting in South Africa, we gave them admission, gave them the wherewithal. Today, they are better members of our society. And for every one we rehabilitated, there was jubilation in the land. There were also those who wanted to own their own taxis. We brought them out, cleaned them and bought taxis for them. There were those who wanted to be barbers and so on. Then the federal government saw what we were doing and they started the Niger Delta Peace and Reconciliation Committee headed by Senator

David Brigidi. Mr. President, then as Vice President came and inaugurated the committee at Government House, Port Harcourt. So, they saw what we did and they expanded it for the whole Niger Delta region. Today, it has blossomed into what it is now. Basically, the questions are: what were these youths fighting for? Were they really fighting for the emancipation of the region that had suffered so much neglect and degradation as a result of oil exploration? What we found was that they needed some means of being economically empowered. And that is what the federal government is doing now. They are training some of these people outside the country for them to be skilled and be able to become self employed in some cases. That is an achievement for Nigeria and Nigerians, because when they come back from these trainings, they can be economically useful. They can be self employed and they can do many things for themselves and for the nation beyond what we think they wanted. Therefore, anybody who knows how hot the region was and how impossible it was to do business there and seeing the peace that pervades everywhere now in the Niger Delta, the fact that the oil is flowing regularly again, the fact that our oil infrastructure are not being tampered with again or blown up at will; all this means a lot to both the nation’s economic

stability and the economic well being of those in the region. So, with all this, one can say that the federal government has done very well in the implementation of the amnesty programme for the exmilitants in the Niger Delta region. It is a good step in the right direction in that it represents economic emancipation for the region and the country. And it is advised that the Federal Government should continue with it. How long should the programme last? Well, for as long as the oil flows and the problem of under-development of the region remains a mirage. Unfortunately, the issues that caused the crises have not been addressed while the effect (militancy) has taken centre stage. Unless and until those issues of poor development, environmental degradation, ill-equipped manpower, fair opportunities for Niger Delta people are revisited and fairly addressed, amnesty is just like postponing the evil day. So, it is better for all of us to revisit these issues that gave rise to militancy in the Niger Delta region for the long term benefit of the country. But what if the federal government moves into the region and in the next five years does something concrete by way of infrastructure and industrial development? By the time there are industries and infrastructural development, all these people who are doing nothing now will be gainfully employed. And that will be a good excuse for the government to say, ‘Look, we have giving you infrastructure, here you have industries that will serve as the economic base for the region, and with that if they stop the amnesty programme, nobody will complain, provided the federal government has done its own part for the region. The issue of Boko Haram is like

an albatross on the neck of the country today. Candidly, what do you think should be done by the Federal Government to tackle this menace and restore sanity to the northern part of the country and the country as a whole? With the benefit of hindsight, the Niger Delta crises taught me a lot of lessons in dealing with situations like this. Constructive engagement and dialogue solves every problem. As far as I am concerned, the Federal Government should look properly into the issue of Boko Haram. It is important to realise first that those people who are involved in Boko Haram are Nigerians. They are our children. The first thing to do is go back to find out what is the root cause of Boko Haram? What are they agitating for? What do they want and how can we integrate them back into our society to make them live normal lives? What we have done so far is simply to apply curative measure than preventive measure. This won’t help us. The security agencies should have been able to pick up sufficient signals and pass the same to the Federal Government so as to apply preventive measures than what we are doing now, which is like a fire brigade approach to the matter. When a child is crying and pointing to a particular direction, if the mother is not there, then the father will be there. It is a saying in my place. These people are agitating for something. We need to know what exactly they want. The federal government should find a way to come to a round table with them and know exactly what they want and discuss their request within the framework of the laws of the country. And I think the best time to engage them, or those who are close to them, who can identify them is this season of Ramadan. And I should also say that the Boko Haram should make it possible for dialogue to begin. It is not possible to dialogue with an impersonal entity. There has to be a face, a symbol and a representative of the group. And I know that the federal government can do it. If a former president of the federal republic can send a presidential jet to go to the Niger Delta to bring ex- militants into Aso Rock in the search for peace, that spirit is still in the government. And if as a vice president then, President Goodluck Jonathan, went into the den of the ex-militants to plead and make known to them the plans of government, such a gesture is still possible today. It is in this spirit that I think the needless killing of innocent Nigerians and destruction of property by the Boko Haram group is totally unacceptable. But first and foremost we must know who we are dealing with, what are their grievances and what exactly they want and how they want it. So it is important that there is a face and a point at which the government and Boko Haram can interface, and that will mark the beginning of peace. And there is no better time to do it than now that the Ramadan is here. It is important that we remove the root cause of this type of development so that subsequent eruption of this kind of violent rebellion will be a thing of the past in our country. Great people and prosperous nations are thinking of what to build and not what to destroy.


LOCATION

BACKSTAGE

SNAPSHOT

REEL NEWS

MUSIC

SCREEN

Edited by: VICTOR AKANDE

Tel: 08077408676

E-mail: victor_akande@yahoo.com

ntertainment

THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

23

KAREN IGHO

I miss my my real breasts!


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

STANDh BY! Wit

VICTOR AKANDE

Afro Hollywood Best Entertainment Writer 2009

E-mail: victor_akande@yahoo.com Tel: 08077408676 (SMS only)

I

spent one night in the Big Brother Africa House and sure know what it is like to be locked up without a feel of the rising and falling of the sun. One night was like eternity. The show, no doubt presents to you life in its naked form; bringing out the hidden character of man, if only within the flash of a moment. Indeed, for how long can a man pretend without betraying his true emotions? Definitely not for 91 days. That is the thrust of the reality show; to help you betray your pretenses and plunge you into deeper confusion for as long as you choose not to play your real self. Life itself is full of temptation and thus, behind closed doors, people find it easy throwing caution to the wind. This is where perhaps, sex is the viable yardstick of testing Housemates in the Big Brother House, followed by team spirit, intelligence, leadership acumen, sociability and other variables that tend to stretch man beyond his limit of endurance. It is not unlikely that a Housemate would want to trade the desire for a USD200, 000 for a moment of fun and ecstasy. Men have been known to make impossible promises just to have their ways with women. It is not unlikely that a feel of imprisonment would want you to put yourself up for eviction just to enjoy a breath of fresh air in the outside world; it is not unlikely also that boredom, monotony and uncertainty could cause depression that would sell a contestant out as a less sociable character. Unknown to the Housemates, Africa constantly desires to be entertained to earn their votes. Entertainment in this contest does not refer to acting up, because in no time, you may lose the grip; and this means that your life must be entertaining, dynamic and interesting enough to earn the audience's vote at all times. As if the temptation of private enclosure is not enough, organisers of the reality show, in their bid to treat you as matured adults have provided alcohol, cigarette and the enabling environment to socialise freely; the same way that you would enjoy in

As a result, those who had sex in the house, those who drank and smoked have only exhibited what they would do in real life even when they know that their parents are watching. But I find Wendell Person's character as an evidence of some one who would not be affected by peer influence.

THINK

SNAPSHOTS

nt part of An importa s of any the succes is its civilisation late the mu ability to e t led to the a th factors ther success of o Eric s.— civilisation rt e in e R

Did Rukky Sanda have a hangover?

R

The ‘eternity’ of one night in BBA House the outside world. You would agree with me that these are what the average socialite calls complete dose, especially for a Friday night. How is a Housemate able to hold back his innermost feeling with such great leveler like alcohol? This are the intrigues of the game; the game of self discovery. Therefore, in dealing with the subject of self discovery lies the great lessons and personal development that a contestant achieves during his or her stay in the House. Apart from learning to live with people of diverse background and orientation, tasks that bring out capabilities and games that create fun, couple with professional assignments in different areas of endeavours are the priceless value that a contestant leaves the House with, whether or not he/she wins the prize money. That said, I have asked myself and concluded that life is what you choose to make out of it; by this, Big Brother Africa may have provided a free platform for a Housemate to operate, it has only arranged a platform for the world to see the corrupt or saintly attitude of man rather than promoting it. As a result, those who had sex in the house, those who drank and smoked have only exhibited what they would do in the outside world even when they know that their parents are watching. But I find Wendall Parson's character as an evidence of some one who would not be affected by peer influence. Throughout the show, the Zimbabwean guy who claimed to be a virgin did not kiss or allowed to be kissed by anybody let alone go to bed with them. This means that a Christian or Muslim who is worth his onions could take a shot at the reality show. The mention of Wendall takes us to the possible strategy that won him and Karen Igho the prize of USD200, 000 each and the attendant protest over Luclay's loss. It is interesting to know that Karen's victory was accepted by all. Some have even adjudged it the most free and fair (in their judgmental minds) of the Nigeria's win. It would be recalled that Nigerian Housemates have for three consecutive years from 2009 to date, won the prize money. But Karen's vote was most predictable, as she became the main reason most people were glued to the screen. This position has once again confirmed that only Housemates who are not too conscious of the prize end up clinching it. Karen had fought with almost everybody in the House, but that did not rob her of the audiences' votes. This implies that

Life itself is full of temptation and thus behind closed doors, people find it easy throwing caution to the wind. This is where perhaps, sex is the greater yardstick of testing Housemates in the Big Brother House, followed by team spirit, intelligence, leadership acumen, sociability and other variables that tend to stretch man beyond his limit of endurance a lot has to do with honesty of purpose which the audience most of the time sees as the 'real person' as opposed to faking one's personality. Karen's life story, her low and high moments in the House, the way she quarreled and made peace, etcetera were what won her a total of six countries' votes. A new crisis erupted when Wendall was announced as the second winner. Most people had expected it would be Luclay, the South African Housemate. Unfortunately, Luclay did not get any other country's vote apart from his home; South Africa. It is therefore not unlikely that the countries which had lost out in the competition decided to pitch their tents with Wendall who was perceived the most inactive in the house. But that is the spirit of a game; surprises. And one question I ask the anti- Wendalls is that if the guy was such a terrible bore, how come he made it to the top seven. Sure, that guy had something going for him which a lot of people didn't see. And while his fans were busy voting, Luclays fans were probably passing accolades. Then again I thought to myself, M-net, the producers of Big Brother show is a South African company; and for the sixth time, South African contestants in the show have lost out; why would the company (as the protestants claim is partial) prefer an outsider to their country man, especially when Luclay was so popular on the show such that no one would have noticed if he was dashed the win. It is unthinkable that if BBA result could be doctored, it would be to upturn the victory of a South African who has been adjudged popular and worthy of the prize money. —Courtesy: South African Airline

WRITE TO US! Do you watch Nollywood movies? What do you think of the Nigerian motion picture industry? Send your review of any movie or short essay on any topic of your choice about the film industry in not more than 200 words. Send entries by e-mail to: victor_akande@yahoo.com or SMS your short comments to 08077408676

•Rukky Sanda

UKKY Sanda may not be popular as a Nollywood actress but her name sure rings a bell on the social scene. She doesn't miss the slight opportunity to strut the red carpet, usually, clad in a mini grown, stilts, and a smile to go. However this wasn't the case last weekend when the actress turned up looking rather harassed, gloomy and aloof for the premiere of Uche Jombo's Damage trilogy held at the Silverbird Galleria, Ahmadu Bello Way Victoria. Strutting the red carpet with her friend and colleague Tonto Dike, Rukky stood behind as paparazzi focused all attention on Tonto who came in company of her two sisters. Standing for a little while behind Tonto and practically been ignored by paparazzi, Rukky forced her way through the crowd to flee the scene. Dressed in a drab purple sequenced mini gown, her mien was particularly worrisome. “She drinks a lot someone whispered”, “maybe she has a hangover”, these were some of gossips that filter on the red carpet. In her seemingly dream states, one of the popular Nollywood producer, Donald Okolie tried to chat her up and funnily the actress couldn't recognize the man who claimed to have been to her house twice in Surulere. Rather she asked, “You write for which media?” mistaking the producer for a journalist, then she walks away. Rukky, whatever happened on this particular day, Snapshots, thinks you need to comport yourself better in public because image like they say is everything.

Tonto Dike’s ‘Bond girl’ look!

N

OLLYWOOD 'bad girl' Tonto Dike stormed the premiere of Damage last weekend looking like the new 'Bond girl'. Clad in black jacket, skinny black pant and a black shoe with blonde hair, the actress was the cynosure of all eyes. What does Tonto want to achieve with this look you might want to ask. But then, she said, “I just wanted to have a very different look, something thing that stands for Tonto”. As one of cast in the movie, Tonto was all accolades as she expressed admiration for her colleague Uche, producer of the movie. “As a producer I think she's a wonderful. She's an excellent one. But I think I know her beyond being a producer. She is good. She is a rare gem,” she said. Damage, the movie had to do with domestic violence. For an actress popularly known for playing

•Tonto

romantic roles, was Tonto challenged by her role? “It was just like doing my job again but it was more strenuous because I had to go without makeup. I had to do my emotional thing but in all it was good,” she said.

Double blessings for Fathia Balogun

F

AIR skinned actress, Fathia Balogun is in the news again but this time, it is for the right reasons. The mother of three was recently nominated for the best actress category at the forthcoming ZAFAA awards holding in the United Kingdom. On the nomination, Fathia disclosed that it has humbled her and whichever direction the awards swings, it won't really mean anything because being nominated among the lot of talented actresses in Nigeria itself is heartwarming. She also promised to attend the awards if her hectic schedule permits her.

Meanwhile, the actress has completed work on two of her movies entitled Opo and Sunmola Opomulero which she describes as projects she ventured into because of her passion to give back to society. “Sunmola Opomulero is a movie I put together to tell the Nigerian policeman that I see and feel their pains and if more attention is given to the Police force they can perform better that they are doing now. The movie Opo is an expose on the pains that widows in Nigeria go through because of outdated religion and laws in some parts of the country.” she said.


ALLOY AGU’S CAREER DIARY (2)

2012 LONDON OLYMPICS

I spilled my guts, Wrestling Medal blood against Ghana chances high —Igali

Pg. 36

Pg. 32,33

Nation Saturday, August 6, 2011

PAGE 29 •Nigeria's player Terna Suswan (l) vies for the ball with Ivan Lendric of Croacia during their FIFA World Cup U-20 Group D match

FIFA UNDER-20 WORLD CUP

Flying Eagles, Saudi Arabia fight for top spot Pg. 34


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GRASSROOTS FOOTBALL:

CopaColaiscreatinglocal champions —Ufomba •Ufomba

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OPA Coca-Cola Youth Football Championship has just concluded its 3rd season. Did it exceed expectations? I will not say we exceeded our expectations, I will say we met our expectations. Our expectations are very audacious. I mean it is not possible to meet those audacious expectations, after three years of a sponsorship of an event like Copa. We started Copa Cola in Latin America Market in 1998, and it means they have done it for twelve years in Latin America. In Africa, and in Nigeria, we started in 2009, meaning that we have done it for just three years. That tells you that if we want to be close to what the Latin Americans have done, in Copa Cola we still have many years of good work, to be able to get there. Again we met our expectation for three years, I would say. And did we exceed it? I will say we are on track because our goals are really audacious so I can't say we surpassed. And I will tell you why we can’t surpassed after three years of sponsorship. If you look at it, Copa Cola in Latin America has produced the likes of Messi, Ronaldinho and that is fantastic. It means they have done it so well and it has been so grounded and they have done it over the years, and they have actually pipeline great footballers and they have been able to give the young kids who have a football dream, a platform to be able to play good soccer and be seen by scouts and be seen by international football teams to further their career. We started just three years ago and I will say it has been growing in leaps and bounds. I will say the first year, was what you will normally call a pilot. But second year, was World Cup year so it was masked by the World Cup so we didn't do much in terms of awareness building for Copa. But this year we need to really step up our game and we did step up our game. We raised the bar in trying to run the Copa Cola. And how did we raise the bar? In the States, we staged tournaments in eighteen states. If you agree with me the logistics of going through the 36 states, is very daunting. We didn't want to take the nation in one bite. We said, let us take eighteen states, across different geo-political zone so we had eighteen states. For the future we will increase the number of states. So basically we had state play-off, and we work closely with the state FAs and we also work with YSFON because we don't have a structure because we are not experts in football. We basically used existing football structure which made sense. So that was an opportunity for those existing structures to be oiled, basically to keep them alive, When they see these type of tournaments, it keeps them alive and it help them to get better. They helped us at the state level, through their coaches and referees. We were able to produce the state finalist for these eighteen states. And then we had regional playoff. We had regional playoff in four regions. We had in Calabar,

Kaduna, Ibadan, and Enugu. Those were the four regional playoff, I will say, if you watched the matches at the region, they were very good, the quality of play and level of officiating was very good. The quality of attendance because basically we are targeting young students and teenagers, to come and watch their colleagues and friends play good soccer. I witnessed the Ibadan one and the quality of play was excellent. And I am aware that Enugu, Kaduna and Calabar went on very well with very good attendance. We also had state and local support from the state FAs. In most of the States we had Commissioners of sports attend. For Ibadan, I can say it clearly that the Bale of the location where we hosted the match was in attendance. So I can say that, it is really grassroots. We wanted it to be grassroots and I think they were very appreciative. So if you ask me did we meet our objective? Absolutely, Yes. We have not started exceeding them yet. Age falsification has been reoccurring problem in Nigerian football especially age-grade competitions, how did Copa Coca-Cola address this issue Were you able to screen out the unwanted players? You actually have the right to say players were screened out. In everything you do, at every stage there is a filtration process. Even at the State level, we did a lot of filtration. In Abuja, almost half of the players who came to the stadium were screened out. That is the process. Unfortunately our screening at the state level is not as tight as it should be so that is an area for improvement. So you see I will be the first person to tell that we didn't exceed expectation. I will exceed expectation when at the first level and which is at the state level you find people who are below 16 all coming out for the tournament. I will say clearly that Nigeria for being what it is, people are still trying to understand the structure of the tournament, like I say, it is just three years. As we go on, people will know that it wasn't for players who are U-16. It is possible that people who are still not aware that it is an U-16 tournament. Nigerians are very passionate about football, so people want to come out and I won't blame them. If I was eighteen and you were coming to my neighbourhood, for this kind of championship, I will try my luck to be honest. I think with more awareness and better structure to screen out those kind of players, I think we will be able to do it far better, in the playoff which is at the state level and not at the zonal. But if you look at the finals you will see that the boys who played in the finals, were really on point with their age. It gets better as we get to the finals of the competition, you need to see the age of the players, the quality of players and the quality of play, ultimately the way competition work, the best is saved for the last. You will see that the guys who won the

The Marketing Director of Coca Cola Nigeria Limited, Austin Ufomba spoke at length last Friday in Lagos on the just concluded 2011 Copa CocaCola Youth Football Championship. Ufomba spoke with NationSports, STELLA BAMAWO on the company's major aim of boosting the game of football at the grassroots in the country and many more. Excerpts:

•Action recorded during the Copa Cola tournament PHOTO: Ebotah tournament, the boys from Calabar, fantastic, right age, if you feel their palms, you will see that they are truly Under-16. I can say yes, overtime we were able to screen out. That is why you find out screening in all the championships. So it can be 100 per cent from day one. You screen for age, for competence which is also capability. You also screen for health reasons, so there are a lot of things to screen for. You also screen for having the right balance in your final team. But I think the ultimate is, as we got to the zone out, did we get the right quality of play? The age of players to an eighty per cent level and as we got to the finals it was close to 100 per cent in terms of quality of players, the age of players, other paremeter you checked in building a team. There is an area for future improvement. After three years, have you discovered some star players? Absolutely. If you look to your right up, you will see Mikel Agu, who kicked of his dream with us last year, and today, immediately he joined FC Porto, the Junior Academy are here to sign him into the senior team of FC Porto That is one success for us. I understand that many of our players are playing the local league. I understand, some are going for trials. But like I said, our

dream is that we will be able to on our fingers, count players that we have exported to the right professional league around the world. So in a Nnutshell you r vision has been achieved? Yes at least one or two steps in the right direction. You can see Miekl Agu and a couple of others. I will want to see in the next three years, to be able to count players from Copa tournament, who have made it to bigger leagues around the world. No doubt this is a great project, how much has Coca Cola invested on this project? I can paint a picture for you. Let me give you a five year figure for Copa Coca cola because that begins to give you the kind of investment we are making into the tournament. In five years from when we started and to the next two years, we are going to spend about N2billion on this project. That is the physical cash and not the supporting element, like the personnel who is working on Copa one way or the other. There are a lot of support staff who you don't count in that cost. That is the level of investment you can see in Copa Cola. That is the minimum amount we are going to invest in Copa cola. I don't know if that gives you the weight of Copa Cola.

What has been the immediate impact of the tournament aside those going for trails, what has been the impact of Copa Cola on these host communities? I am going to outline like five. One is what I call the entertainment value. What is the entertainment value? Imagine a world without football, imagine Nigeria without football at the local level. When we were growing up, we use to go to the local stadium to watch football and for me, that created excitement. That was an opportunity to socialise, build friendship with your neighbourhood and friends around. In different communities where Copa happened, it was a form of entertainment. Secondly, there are 150 million Nigerians or thereabout and for me ,out of this 150, there are a lot of kids, teenagers who want to kick off their football dream, looking for every platform, so Copa also gave, an opportunity to come and try themselves, because it is only when you play in quality tournaments, that you get picked up. We had scouts from Man City, Chelsea, football clubs during the Copa tournament. We also had independent scouts who also came around so for me, it was a platform that they can kick off their dream. I saw the scouts taking notes on different players who are they actually looking out for

to continue their discussion. The third one for me is what I call top leadership in grassroots football. Because we are doing it well, a lot of organisations, are going to get into it. We don't want to be there alone. We don't want to be exclusive because football is a universal thing. We don’t want to sponsor Copa Cola, alone. We want to encourage other organisations, if we all come together to do grassroots it will actually improve the quality of football in this country. We have taking leadership in grassroots football, I can say that for sure. The fourth one, we are encouraging and partnering with government, we are partnering with YSFON, State FAs, the little investment we made in Copa trickles down to these local FA, It keeps them alive, they can also in different ways be able to organise their own matches, we have sort of supported them since they have supported us, but we have create a sort of revenue stream for them and that is keeping them alive. Because if you don't get this kind of boost, you will see that football at the local level will really be so optimal. Fifth one, if you look at our technical crew, from Victor Ikpeba to Nduka Ugbade, even Samson Siasia last year was a coach, in the Copa Cola Championships. For me, we are also sort of bringing and creating this

community, of people who want to play within this space of either coaching or engaging in grassroots football, or even continuing their career in coaching. These guys have seen us as a platform. Recently, Nduka Ugbade was appointed on the technical bench of one of the NFA teams so for me this is an opportunity, to create room for exinternationals to be relevant, to come and add value to Nigerian football, so we partner with them. These are the five key reasons I will give you. •Let me add a sixth one, in the last three years, we will be taking about 70 U-16 players out of this country to go on and play on football field outside their nation. In fact last year, 90 percent of the boys, who went to South Africa to play had never come to Lagos. 100 per cent of them had never own a passport, so you can imagine how you have turned around the life, of those boys. Even though they did not win but it begins to teach them, a sense of belonging, a sense of fulfilment, a sense of leadership in their community. They have stories to tell, these little things you might not be able to decipher how big or how important they are until how they begin to see this little seed we are sowing, sprout. We are creating local champions in different communities through Copa Cola. Do you plan to extend the registration period for this tournament? Absolutely. We plan to triple those numbers next year. Last year's final was marred by heavy downpour; will it not be nice to shift the finals to the dry season? Let me state clearly that it did not mar the finals, what it did, was that we shifted date. The finals was to hold, at the National Stadium on the 10th of July, fine that is at the peak of raining season, and you are right to say that at a time before the heavy rainy season started, the stadium was already a flood full. But we were able to set a record of filling the stadium with finals of the Copa championship. The rains came and you know what we did? We turned it into a music festival, and entertainment ended for that day. Then we moved it to Wednesday which was the 13th of July. However because of venues, we had to move it to Campos Stadium. Campos Stadium sits about four thousand people. If you were at the Campos Stadium, every space on the floor except the football pitch, had somebody either sitting, standing or squatting. I reckoned that for Campos Stadium even on a Wednesday, we had over five thousand people in that Stadium and that was after, we had locked the date. So you can imagine the number of people in the we locked out and even with the viewing centre outside the stadium. It was a very successful finals. And back to your questions around, rescheduling. Copa would normally, end in May. The first stage of Copa normally end in May to give our teams the time to participate in the African Championships. You will also agree with me that the Elections took two months of our year. So April and May were election years, that was when we hosted Copa just because as cooperate citizens we did not want to disrupt our election table. So what we did was moved it by two months and we had the incident of rain

on the finals that was supposed to hold on the 10th. And like. Thanks to Governor Fashola the turf was a good place to play in . It was able to accommodate at least five thousand of our fans who wanted to watch. Unfortunately it couldn’t take more. Those who watch it enjoyed. It was well covered by SuperSports. It was an excellent finals Please can you shed more light on the theme of the tournament which is open up to the game? Open up the game is the theme of the tournament. And why we say open up the game was --- let me refer you back to what I said earlier, When we started the tournament, it was basically around, let's pipeline tournaments. I mean that was too narrow. We widened the objective of the tournament to all stakeholders, the press inclusive. Mum and dad inclusive, principals and teachers inclusive. secondary schools inclusive. The local Wembley Stadium that you find at Ojuelegba, and Oworoshoki. All of them are inclusive. The government inclusive. The young football talents who want to kick off their talents were inclusive. Everybody should be given a space either as player or as a viewers or as a spectator in the game of football. That is we say we are opening up the game of football to everybody. That is why came up with the theme of the game. Open up the game. We are opening it to everybody. Do you think you were able to open up the game? We did. Let me reinforce when you have championships that are attended by the Baales of the local community, when we you have championships that are attended by Press men, mums and dads, and representatives of the game, you have opened up the game. It is not complex it is as simple as that. If you have a championship that is going to trap up to twenty five thousand at the game, you have opened up the game. -- We are really opening up grassroot football for everybody. It was going to be so entertaining, it was so going to be engaging. It would have had massive support, massive engagement, massive connection with all stakeholders. it is not just for young boys who are looking for how to go play international soccer in Europe, it is for everybody to enjoy that game of soccer. What legacy are you trying to bequeth to the Copa Cocacola? I need to check my English because legacy can mean more than one thing. We want to live very good legacy, we want quality players that have the potential to play in the world. Secondly, we want to leave a legacy of having of each stakeholders believing without o soliciting that we have actually championed and have driven top leadership around grassroots soccer. So grassroots soccer today you will clearly see that we have a very strong voice amongst skakeholders. Those are the two key things I will want us to achieve. We cant run Copa without YSFON and FA. We are a total business company, not that we have to sell my coke fanta juice Eva water, that is what I am trained to do. I can’t be a referee, I can't be a linesman, or a coach. What do I know in football, I only came to the stadium as a spectator. Despite the fact that I am a sponsor. We couldn't have done it alone whatever I say we achieved, we achieved it with in last three is a joint effort. You stand to gain by being more inclusive. We are going to bring more people into the championship because the more the merrier in this kind of thing we are all in tune partnering with major stakeholders then we can have a very good game. As a Cocacola company and leading with our brand we are committed to supporting grassroot football in Nigeria. And we are actually commiteed to football as a game in Nigeria and we are committed to giving back to our consumers our communities so one way or the other, we are trying to give back to the society by sponsoring the grassroots football, we are very keen to get talents for tomorrow. Our commitment is not short term it is long term football in the country.

AKINLOYE AT LARGE 08050246155 atlarge84@yahoo.com

What a blissful weekend! IT was a blissful weekend for Nigeria football last weekend with Nigerian teams posting impressive results in international football. Debutant Sunshine Stars set the ball rolling with a 2-1 away win over JSK of Algeria. They went, saw and conquered and became the first Nigerian team to win in Algeria. One just hopes that the Akure outfit will not fall apart as the competition wears on. Two time winners of the African Champions League, Enyimba of Aba took the baton and whipped Cotton Sports of Cameroun 3-2 away in Garoua. The victory sparked celebration among Enyimba fans and well wishers. Kaduna United grabbed a draw also away from home against Club African, which could be described as a morale victory for the Nigerian team. The clubs have done well, but they need to be told not to rest on their oars. The teams they beat at home are coming here for the second leg and anything could happen. Therefore, all hands must be on deck so that they do not spoil the fun. In far away Colombia, Flying Eagles crush debutants, Guatemala 5-0 in their opening game in the U-20 World Cup. The victory was not expected considering their unimpressive performances during the training tour. Many Nigerian football followers had become despondent as a result. Now, their spirit should have been revived with the comprehensive victory over the Central Americans. They may have set a record with the number of goals they scored in the opening group game, but they should be told that it is not over until it is over. The opening game may have come easy; the remaining matches will be tougher and could only be approached with a clear head. It has been established over the years that Nigerian teams rise to the occasion whenever they are written off. There was another victory over the weekend but not on the field of play. The draws of the 2014 World Cup which pitched Nigeria against Djibouti, Malawi Seychelles, Kenya ands Namibia is a victory of a sort. The only obstacle that can deny Nigeria from the next round is complacency. Samson Siasia, Eagles coach, has said there are no easy games anywhere anymore. I beg to disagree with him. There are still easy matches. There are still minnows in football. Super Eagles’s opponents in Group F are minnows. There is no other way to describe them. The excuse that there are no minnows in international football will not be accepted anymore. Why is it that whenever these teams play against Ghana or Cameroun they are minnows and whenever they play against Nigeria that they are not minnows? Why is it that they make life difficult for the Super Eagles and allow other top teams to win easily? It would indicate that our football has fallen if Super Eagles should struggle in this tame group. Who is Djibouti, Malawi, and Seychelles even Kenya in football that we cannot sleep with our eyes closed? Who are they to stand near the Super Eagles? The only solution to the problem those teams seem to represent is for the Super Eagles to fire from all cylinders and play as if their lives depend on it. Siasia should do something about Super Eagles’s away record which is appalling. It could come in form of tactics. The Super Eagles need to adopt defensive tactic whenever they play away and counter attack. The tactic will keep the opponent back pedaling and open them up to sucker punches. The players seem to be lost on how to approach away games. They hardly apply themselves fully to the game. They have been programmed to respect the opponent beyond the limit and it is not good for confidence. It is meant to work the other way round, but it is not working in our favour. Our players do not have a sense of self belief whenever they play away from home. They need to believe that they can do it.•Igali They are in need of a psychologist to restore their self belief. The fear of losing their places in their clubs if they cop injury playing for the national team will always run against our desire to win away games. This is the reason why more home based players should be included in the national team. They do not have the fear of injury crippling their careers and do apply themselves fully whenever they play for the country. Kenya and Namibia are expected to emerge to join Nigeria and Malawi. They are not supposed to be a problem to a determined Super Eagles. Let the technical department of the Nigeria Football Federation begin to plot how these teams would fall. They should begin to source for information on them especially Namibia and Malawi. They should begin to source for the tapes of matches these countries have played recently so that the coaches could have an idea of how they play. Coaches who know their onions should be engaged to spy on these teams. As usual, the Super Eagles will come against the old enemy—high altitude. All the countries in our group are situated in high altitude areas. The technical department should determine how Eagles should tackle the problem since the players cannot be released by their clubs days before the matches. THE SAD STORY ABOUT WRESTLING IT is a sad story that Nigerian wrestlers would not be going to Maputo for the All Africa Games in September. Freestyle wrestling used to be our strong point. IN Cairo, Egypt in 1991, Nigerian wrestlers swept all the gold medals in contention but one. Nigerian national anthem was played nine times in the wrestling hall. For wrestlers to be missing is an indication that wrestling has fallen. It is a sad tale to tell. The Sports Minister should investigate why the sport which used to be one of our strongest points has become the weakest. The wrestling revolution was engineered by a foreign coach, a Bulgarian who spent quite a number of years here discovering talents and nurturing them. He has left and everything has fallen apart. There is no harm in asking the Bulgarians for another coach to rebuild freestyle wrestling in the country. This is why I support the move of the National Sports Commission (NSC) to hire Cuban coaches to train our athletes in track and field. The time they have to train our athletes may be short; it is better than never. They should be retained for the Olympic Games preparation. It is also good news that our competitors but track and field are staying in the country to prepare for the All Africa Games. With facilities in Port Harcourt, Kaduna and Lagos still in place, they should have little to complain about. It is also good that the athletes would be heading for Maputo days before the Games open. The high altitude monster would have been taken care of by the time the Games would begin. It was the high altitude that the Super Eagles complained about for their unimpressive performance during the 2010 World Cup qualifiers. I hope the high altitude would not affect the runners and jumpers who are camping outside the country. We have a couple of medals to win in athletics and everything should be done so that our athletes would not fall victims of the monster. Therefore, I suggest that the camping should be here in Africa, not far from Maputo, so that they can get acclimatized before the Games.


THE NATION SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

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NATION SPORT MAPUTO 2011 GAMES:

How to stop the Jamboree

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N exactly four weeks (28 days), the 10th All Africa Games will be flagged off in Maputo, Mozambique with 48 countries taking part in 23 events. Two of the events at the Maputo 2011 All Africa Games will also feature disabled events (athletics and swimming) and while most venues will be located in and around Maputo, the Canoeing and Rowing venue will be Chidenguella Lagoon, 275 km north of the city. Mozambique has come a long way in earning the hosting rights which was first awarded in April 2005 to Lusaka, Zambia by the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa (SCSA) at a meeting in Algeria. Prior to this time, Ghana had indicated an interest in hosting the Games, but was to back out of the bid. For the SCSA, the coming of Mozambique was therefore a rescue for the quadrennial Games. Previous hosts of the Africa’s version of the Olympics have been Brazzaville (1965), Lagos (1973), Nairobi (1987), Cairo (1991), Harare (1995), Johannesburg (1999), Abuja (2003) and Algiers (2007). For the teeming African youths marginalized out of sustainable sources of livelihood, sport has come to be a leveraging platform to escape poverty and its attendant deprivations. More importantly, it is like an observatory which provides a broad view to the global stage where their talents find greater expression and commensurate reward. Needless to recount thousands of Nigerian youths who alighted at the international stage from the continental train and it is as well a repetitive exercise to list the tens of thousands that have had to enjoy the rare privilege of basking in the sun of foreign lands through participation in the Games. The grinding poverty in the land makes the few who get selected for the Games look like one-eyed Kings in the proverbial land of the blind. It therefore, draws cups of tears when it is observed how sports officials in the states and the federation toy with the destiny of youths through practices that deny deserving youths the opportunity to make hay even in half moon. Nigeria has consistently remained the only nation with more officials than athletes in every delegation to continental and global sports competitions. This trend is rife especially in football tournaments and multi sports competitions such as the All Africa Games and the Olympic Games. It is a despicable practice that is rooted in deceit with a sole objective of feeding the greed of government officials. It is neither about the official federal government delegation nor of the official contingent comprising athletes, coaches and sports federation officials. It is about the state delegation and some

By Harry Iwuala

other persons that come as government delegation. They gallivant as tourists on holidays to the Games at the expense of the tax payers and to the detriment of our young sportsmen and women. Since President Goodluck Jonathan and the 36 State Governors have been flying the flag of reduced cost of governance, they may as well call their accountants in the various Ministries to present the books on the vouchers raised for the All Africa Games. They will find out that from the State Commissioner for Sports, State Legislators, the Director of Sports, Local Government Supervisory Councilors and sundry other influential officials in the Ministries and parastatals are all preparing to land in Maputo. At the Federal level, it is a lobbying tool for officials of the Sports Commission who include officers at the Presidency, Ministers, powerful Director Generals, Permanent Secretaries, Accountants, National Assembly members and even officials of the anticorruption agencies on the official lists. Ordinarily, there is absolutely nothing wrong in sports-inclined highly placed individuals picking their bills to go and watch high performance athletes at international meets facilitated by the National Sports Commission. But it is unconscionable for these officials to allow themselves to be used to deprive the marginalized youths the opportunity to earn an experience that can shape their future and empower them to reach their full potentials in sports. What we have failed to realize over the years is that while some athletes may not make the cut-off, it will be a huge motivation to improve their performances if they are availed the opportunity of being at the Games as guests. In a country like Nigeria where we depend on modern training facilities at overseas training camps to prime our athletes, such a guest status for athletes that failed the trials will serve as a conditioning and at the same time, a wake-up call to up their game and make the team next time. The huge amount spent on estacode for the tourist officials will go a long way in organising local competitions for which federations are crying to corporate organisations for support. Government will be given the drive for reduced cost of governance a big boost if the budget for the All Africa Games is made public with a breakdown of each cost centre. The states can also do the same and it will surprise us what is being poured into attending the Games compared to what has been channeled into preparing our team for the Games. At the last Nations Cup in

Angola, most of the hotels in Luanda were swarming with Nigerian government officials from the National Assembly, States and LGA’S. The worrisome part of their presence was that most of them neither had interest in watching the matches nor were they visiting the Nigerian team that was camped outside the capital. Whereas they came to Luanda with estacode budgeted to last the duration of the tournament, some barely spent 48 hours and sought the next flights to Europe for the real holiday. An administration that has promised to transform the country must not permit such little but fundamental waste of public funds to continue. It is very easy for government to address this problem since there is a central authority that issues the ‘note verbal’ for the processing of travel documents and estacode. The top civil servants in the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank and the States will be helpful to the Presidency in arresting this development. This step can only be effective if the Presidency itself is not part of the rot. For Baribote, a just reward for patience The ruling on Tuesday by Justice Gabriel Kolawole has exposed all the lies shrouded in emotions and peddled by those who sought to reduce Nigeria Premier League (NPL) to some neighborhood association. It is hard to resist a chuckle in the face of the hamlet celebrations that greeted a temporary judicial pronouncement by the Abuja High Court Judge a couple of weeks ago. The meat of the interim order was obfuscated

in deliberate falsehood that portrayed Davidson Owumi as the victim. But very few wanted to listen to the tortured cries of the Bayelsa United Chairman, Victor Rumson Baribote who has over the period maintained that Owumi contested on a contrived platform. The comment of Barrister Ray Nnaji in the wake of the judgment is equally instructive and revealing. He alleged that Owumi has been the hand behind all the judicial triggers that have been pulled on football in the country. This allegation coming from Nnaji, a man whose switching of positions on issues can only be measured by the swiftness of a chameleon’s colour mutation is worth more than a cursory appreciation. This is hoping that now that the gavel has sounded on the matter, all the combatants will spare a thought for the youths who eke out living from the game. They should consider the small traders who sell food at the venues and the organisations that support the game. They should by now realise that their pugnacity has hurt the league more than any other factor. Owumi has been egged into this protracted fight by some selfish individuals who were benefitting from all the bills he was running to pursue the case. It is not unlikely they will still encourage him to approach a higher court so they can sustain their hold on him. He once told me that the Chairmanship of NPL is not a do or die and it is the philosophy I want him to fully put into action. He has fought a good fight and the rest is for history to judge. Harry Iwuala is a renowned Journalist based in Lagos, Nigeria

•Okagbare Blessing

VOICE OF SPORTS

With Clement Nwankpa Jnr. sportswar@yahoo.com

BETTER EAGLES SERIES

Our own Essien FROM my days in The Guardian when I did the column ‘The Boys From Nigeria’ to my stint in Daily Champion in the column ‘Eyes on Eagles’ and the days I did ‘Celebrating Eagles’ in National Mirror, many have seen me as a talent hunter. I have the knack to dig deep and unearth hitherto unsung Nigerian players and bring them to the cognizance of national team selectors. And, oh, how much I enjoy doing that. I remember how elated I was standing in front of Abuja Sheraton Hotel that evening in July 2003 when Christian Obodo honoured his first ever invitation to the Super Eagles for the LG Cup. He was having a swell season with Perugia in Serie A and, back home, I was keeping a tab on every pass and tackle he made on the pitch. It got to a point that he was likened to the iconic Edgar Davids then dorning the colours of Juventus in the Serie A. So it was so easy to recognise him that night, though he had never met me. He seemed lost as the trolley wheeled in his luggage into the reception. I noticed there was no NFA official there to welcome him so I walked up to him and introduced myself. “So you are the Clement”, he exclaimed, “thanks for all you have done for me even without meeting me”. I called then Eagles Team Coordinator, Sumonu Bello-Osagie who took him up from there and, as they say, the rest is history. Yeah, I had to go through these pains to narrate this because some people who know me too well will think I was the one who discovered the guy I’m writing about hereFengor Ogude. I give it to Samson Siasia. Before Ogude was invited for the Argentina game, I had never heard about him. In fact, I had screamed Fengor who the moment I saw his name on the list. I curiously wanted to know why this guy will get such a recognition given the retinue of players yet to be called up. After watching him in training during that camping exercise, I was impressed by his ball handling and holding abilities. At least, he provided a defensive dimension to a more offensive midfield duo of Mikel Obi and Joel Obi. I also noted how he brought some defensive balance to the midfield when he came in for Joel against Argentina. But I needed to be assured of his relevance to the team when the likes of Dickson Etuhu, Sani Kaita and Obiora Nwankwo were in international wilderness. I needed to ensure the guy was in that team on merit and not some agent taking advantage of the green and white colours to line his pocket. As it is now, I don’t think Siasia himself has watched this guy as much as I have over the past two months. I have closely monitored Ogude’s exploits for Valeranga in the Norwegian League climaxing with his performance against Liverpool in a friendly last weekend and I think he doesn’t even get his due recognition in the national team. Believe me, on current form, Ogude deserves to be a starter in the Super Eagles. Two weeks ago, I had mentioned Kaita as the ideal water carrier for the Obis but given Kaita’s inactivity at club level in recent times and Ogude’s form at Valeranga, I am forced to have a rethink. Ogude should be the man till Kaita gets busy once more. Ogude is a different mould of midfielder. He is workaholic, strong and has got finesse. He is our answer to Ghana’s Michael Essien. Yes, just visualize Essien’s bursts and energetic play and you have a picture of the guy I’m talking about. I’m more enthralled by his versatility and ability to adapt to various positions. Most of the time, Valeranga’s number 13 files out in the holding midfield role but for three weeks, I watched him play from the right side of the midfield and against Liverpool, he featured at the central defence. I have seen Essien play in these three positions for club and country. When Ogude plays from the flanks, he employs guile and artistry to get away from his markers and create panic in the opponent’s box. Then sometimes he would get the ball from wide, cut into the middle to give the team some depth in that department. Two of his four goals this season have come from that position. In the holding role, he maintains a high level of discipline and tactical alertness to create room for the offensive midfielders to bomb forward. You would also occasionally see him burst forward and make goal attempts. But for Valeranga coach to give him a place in the heart of the defence on a day Liverpool paraded the likes of Andy Carol, Dirk Kuyt and Stewart Downing shows how much he trusts the Nigerian defensively. And on the day, Ogude was as solid as they come even winning aerial battles against the giant Caroll. Kudos to Siasia for bringing this lad to the fore but I don’t know how much of him Siasia knows at the moment. This guy’s multi-purpose disposition is a huge asset to the team but I think his best position is the holding role and that is where he should hold sway in the national team.


SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

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NATION SPORT

NATION SPORT

ALLOY AGU’S CAREER DIARY (2)

I spilled my guts, blood against Ghana Alloy Agu was Super Eagles’ first choice goalkeeper at two African Nations Cup competitions, Algiers ’90 and Senegal ’92. He was part of the all-conquering Eagles of 1994 that won the Nations Cup in Tunisia and qualified the country for her first ever World Cup appearance where the Westerhof led band went all the way to the second round of the USA ’94 fete before a painful 2-1 loss to eventual finalists, Italy. In this interview with OLUSOJI OLUKAYODE the former MVV Maastrich of Holland safe hands spoke about his national team days, his Holland stay and some of the Eagles stars as well as his two teeth lost in the line of duty in far away Kumasi, Ghana. Excerpts

• Agu

want you to recall that 1990 squad, what do you think made that team strong and stable. Irrespective of the first game loss (at Algiers ’90) the team still went on to scale hurdles, we saw a progression up till the (semi final) game against Zambia? What helped at that time? If you plan well it is half success and planning was one of it and organisation was also one of it. We started much early and we stayed together and there was unity, there was love. There was determination, there was dedication and discipline. We knew what we wanted, we’ve been together and we played a lot and lot of friendly games against PSV, against Ajax against a lot of clubs and we’ve been together and we’ve known what we were capable of doing. We never lost a game and all of a sudden we went into the game against Algeria and here we were one, two, three, four, five goals down. It had never happened before (then). We were

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confident that something went wrong and we realized what went wrong and we were able to fix it. Entourage was sent to us to ask what was going wrong. I could remember former Governor Aminu was one of them. They came and asked, because I was the captain ‘Alloy what went wrong?’ I said we were going to fix it because we were confident of what we were capable of doing. We were united and we talked about it and were able to fix it. We went all the way to the final only to be denied two penalties by Diramba and they (Algeria) scored and that was the end. I want to take you back to Senegal ’92 that team was very balanced. What do you think went wrong against Ghana in the semi-final? We played well against Ghana. Man proposes, God disposes, in football you know a lot of things happen and you don’t deny the fact that on that day they were just lucky against us, they had a 2-1 victory over us. There is nothing to it. It’s always, you want it

this way and it doesn’t happen that way. But are you able to get your acts together and continue and remain focused that is what matters, even the hosts went out. Everybody wants to win. Every Nations Cup is competitive. Zambia beat Cameroon, beat a lot of teams and we went in and defeated them. Every Nations Cup has its good side and stories, so that is one of the stories. We were not thinking in anyway that we were going to lose to Ghana but that is football. No one thought that Arsenal will beat Barcelona but it happened. That is football that is one thing that made the game so beautiful and we lost to Ghana and we have to regroup again and of course there was this continuity I kept talking about. Continuity, not only on the part of the players but on the part of the technical crew that we know has something to offer. Westerhof was not kicked out when we lost (the final) and brought the silver in 1990. In 1992 we brought back the bronze medal, he was still in. In 1994 eventually we won the gold medal so continuity has a lot of part to play. In Ghana today we have continuity. You look at the Spanish team, there’s a lot of work that have gone underground but today it’s not the same. You’ll kick this player away, you bring another, you kick that one away, and you’ll bring that player. You can’t buy experience with money. There are things the young players can add and there are flavours that the old players can bring into the team. If you look at all the big teams that are doing well all over the world you will find out you have a mixture. Look at Manchester United for instance, you must find the mix. So it’s one of the problems facing Nigerian football. The Cameroon game, the third place match. What happened with the goal you conceded? I can’t remember the Cameroon goal but all I want to remember is that we won that game and I stopped a penalty. I don’t look at what I’ve done wrong but I look at what I have done right. What I have done wrong I try not to do it again. But when I look at the goals that I conceded in the Nations Cup, I don’t like apportioning blames or challenging my players, my coaches, I’m not an advocate of that. I let it be and I let my performance speak for me. But we have a culture and we are always looking for somebody as a scapegoat. We should try and let it go when it comes to sports. Things happen and there is no man that is perfect, so if anything has happened I believe we should look at it that I am a human. I want to really see the goal again, I want to really look at it again and I think it was not

Cameroon goal that was controversial, I don’t think so. I think the controversial goal was the goal Abedi Pele scored, it was not Cameroon, I think it was in the semi final that we talked about that that Abedi Pele even spoke up. So I don’t think its Cameroon. (Against) Cameroon I was outstanding. I still have that tape of the Cameroon game. I think it was Abedi Pele’s second goal that he nodded to the second pole. I think that’s what you are saying, it’s not Cameroon goal (laughs). I think it was Abedi Pele’s goal. He came in with the corner kick, headed it to the second pole and that was it and Abedi Pele came out to say ‘it was a wonderful goal; Alloy should not be criticized for the goal,’ I think that’s it. In football, you win some, you lose some and you draw some. I want to look at a game, Nigeria versus Ghana in Kumasi. I want to look at that game for a reason that may be obvious to you. You lost your teeth in that game? Yes, two of them. We’ve made the final substitution and there was no way somebody else can come in and I had to continue. As the blood was gushing out I continued my game. I had to go through operation to remove the rest. It was a bad experience, but it’s for the country so whatever I’ve done I give glory to God that I’m living and that I’m able to do it for this great country. Could you give us more insight into what happened? Yeah, it was Appiah and I . There was a crossed ball and I was right up there focused on the ball. All of a sudden he left the ball and everything and was right on me, a serious collision and that was it, two of them (teeth). Life goes on, we thank God that we are alive. But you have replaced them? I replaced them (laughs), I replaced them. Were you disappointed about the draw in Lagos? I was not disappointed because in football you have three things, you draw, or you win or you lose. And at that point in time with that result we were able to get to the next level of the tournament so we qualified that’s the most important thing for us. Do you remember names of your teammates? Ahh, a lot of them, I think Amokachi was there, Keshi was also there, Etim, I think Yekini was there. Elaho was there and a lot of them were there. What was your impression of the Nigeria, Burkina Faso 1992 Nations Cup qualifying game at the National Stadium Surulere? It was always awesome to play in Lagos and whenever you play there

you feel you are at home and the support is always massive. From the training to the match day, it’s always massive. We know definitely there was no way Burkina Faso was going to prove any threat to us. We went in there we played a draw with them in Burkina Faso. The game started despite all that was in it and it was an atmosphere for one to really show what the Super Eagles are really made of and everybody came in and delivered. With stiff competition from the likes of Wilfred Agbonivbare and Peter Rufai, your dominance fizzled out in 1992? It ran through (to) 1993. It was healthy, nothing wrong about competition, it brings about the best in you and that is what it did to every goalkeeper that played in the national team during my own era. It brought out the best in each and every one of us. It was a healthy competition, nothing else because we really love each other, care about each other. Ngodiga was there, Wilfred was there, I was there, Rufai was there, and Christian Obi was also there so it was healthy. It brought out the best in us as goalkeepers. I really thank God that I came out during that era where there was a stiff competition and everybody gave a good account of themselves Was there any player you had known before you got into the senior national team who you had wished to play alongside but couldn’t because they left the stage before you came in? Well, I have favourite players, and one of my favourites is Adokiye Amiesiemaka and Henry (Nwosu). Fortunately I had the opportunity to play with Henry because he was also in ACB; also at the national level too we played together. You wish you had played with Adokiye? Oh God! He was awesome. Tell me about your Holland experience. Would you say you are grateful you had the opportunity to

have played abroad? I was really happy that I had an opportunity to, and Westerhof also contributed to that. What I mean by he contributed to that was that he received the call (from Holland) and said yes, ‘I know a goalkeeper who can help you,’ because MVV was last in the league. There was no way MVV was going to survive (escape) relegation. And Westerhof called on me and said ‘this team will like you to come in for a trial’ and I went in. The one training session that I had, the coach said they are going to sign me and all the players said they were going to sign me. I didn’t train twice. One training session that I had it was settled that I was going to play. And eventually when I started playing for MVV, by the grace of Almighty God we were able to avert relegation. We finished seventh in the league. So it was a great opportunity and it really worked well. The stadium that (would not have a crowd of more than) about 300 or 500 began to have 2000. The Stadium began to expand. They (fans) wanted to come and watch. What can you say is the difference between your set as a player and the players you had in the Eagles when you were coach both in terms of what comes to you as support, player relationship and players themselves? There is not much difference. There was a lot of understanding. When you are united you’ll always go places. As long as you have chosen this kind of sport which is team sport there has to be unity. Every one of us in that ’94 squad, you hardly can say who your best friend was. (When) we finished eating, we will talk and talk and laugh and laugh over issues. Everybody wants to come to camp, when we are decamping, everybody is sad, you know because of the love because of the relationship because of the interaction. But here now there is technology left and right, everybody wants to hit the internet and just communicate with family back home. We were not like that. We spent more of those times talking to ourselves,

“Yeah, it was Appiah and I . There was a crossed ball and I was right up there focused on the ball. All of a sudden he left the ball and everything and was right on me, a serious collision and that was it, two of them (teeth). Life goes on, we thank God that we are alive.”

talking about the game. Now there are lots of people talking on the internet for hours, a lot of things, I am not saying it’s not good to talk with your family but we used more of those times to really sit and talk and yet we rest when we ought to rest and work when (we ought). I know that when you are together like that when you relate together, when you have more time talking together, of course you’ll be able to carry that to the game. When you don’t have that time talking and the only time you have talking is when you are on the pitch that is not enough. Sir you know Rashidi Yekini, when last did you talk to him? I have been in touch with him. I called on him two and half years ago. I tried to get hold of him through Mutiu (Adepoju) You have been his teammate (Interrupts) We stayed and stayed in the room together. There have been news concerning his health but have you been able to speak to someone you can truly trust, a reliable source concerning his present condition? Yeah, we read papers and news and our duty is to continue to pray for Nigeria, pray for our friends, and pray for our colleagues. Also try as much as we can to reach out to them. I spoke to Mutiu; I said ‘have you talked to him, have you really checked?’ He said ‘yes’ that from a very, very (reliable) source he’s okay that there was nothing wrong. And just yesterday, I also talked to Mutiu about him and he told me ‘he’s okay.’ What was Yekini like to you during your playing days? You cannot take anything away from Yekini. Yekini is a household name not only in Africa but in the whole world. He’s an exception. When you talk about Jay Jay, Jay Jay is wonderful, he’s one in a million but you can’t take nothing away from him, Yekini is a striker that has made a great name for this great country and a wonderful young man. When he’s around you, you can laugh and laugh and laugh, where it all went wrong I don’t know, I don’t know. Yekini is the type that when he comes in here now you must laugh. He will say something that will put everybody on their feet and (make them) burst into laughter. So he’s a wonderful young man, a talented player and he’s a very good friend of mine. What kind of feeling does it send into the team whenever Yekini fails to turn up for a game to the national team back then? As far as I know, there was never a time that the national team has called on Yekini that Yekini said he’s not coming. Yekini was always there and whenever the invitation is issued he’s always the first to be there. But when he’s not coming, yes it’s a minus, it will always be a minus to the team if he’s not coming. Who would you say remains your best national teammate? My best player, Jay Jay Why? He’s an exception. He’s one, I say, one in million, I don’t know how many days, weeks, months, years, decades it’s going to take us to get another Jay Jay. He’s exceptional.

• Agu


THE NATION SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

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NATION SPORT

Inside The Glass House WITH AMINU MAIGARI

Grace, glamour and goals T HE above have been the defining characteristics of the on-going FIFA U20 World Cup finals in the South American nation of Colombia. Reaching Colombia was a different tale altogeher, because it is not exactly an easy ride, or easy rides. But we’re here now and the important thing is that our U-20 National Team, Flying Eagles, is lifting everyone’s hearts. There has been a lot of grace in the manner the organizing committee has conducted events at this championship, and we must recall that the Final Draw Ceremony in Cartagena in April benefitted from the same elegance and sense of history and the important.The lush turfs of Bogota, Cali, Manizales, Pereira, Armenia, Barranquilla, Cartagena and Medellin have been pleasing to the eye, and have somehow helped the glamorous football that have been on display in the past eight days. Although the presumed ‘Group of Death’, group F has produced a paltry four (4) goals in four matches, the Flying Eagles and their Saudi Arabian counterparts have matched the rainfall here with goals. Simple statistics show that as a team, the Flying Eagles have scored more goals in this competition that all eight teams in groups B and F put together! In group B, where another African representative, Cameroon, is housed, all the four teams have scored only FIVE goals in four matches played in Cali. And in group F, where we have Argentina, Mexico, North Korea and England, only FOUR goals have been scored in four matches – three of these by the Mexican team in a fit of fury against the Koreans on Monday. While the Cameroonians, reigning African vicechampions, have been quite a sight with their rugged hairstyles, they have failed to captivate with their football. Their tournament has been underscored by the unnecessary red card earned late in the game against Portugal. The Malians have lost their two games by two goals each, failing to score, but because this is a 24-team tournament and 16 are needed for the second round, they could still reach the knock-out run, depending on the outcome of their last group phase tie against former colonial master France last night. Same for Cameroon, who, however, had a job on their hands against Uruguay, also last night. The Egyptians have truly impressed and deserve their place in the Round of 16. To have done so well against Brazil (taking over the game after Brazil ‘harrassed’ them for the first quarter-hour) meant they have the stuff to go far in this competition.

One would have thought, and rightly so, that the political turmoil in Egypt would have hampered the team’s preparation or temperament going to Colombia. Neither has been affected, and in truth, the two teams that Africa can look forward to at this championship are Nigeria and Egypt. Incidentally, at the last FIFA U-20 World Cup finals to hold on South American soil, it was Egypt and another West African side, Ghana, that did African proud. While the Black Satellites got to the final, losing to a Javier Saviola-inspired host Argentina, Egypt finished third at that competition to record the best joint effort by the continent. The Black Satellites are not here, to defend the trophy they won in Egypt two years ago. But the Flying Eagles are here, and Ghanaian and West African interests are fully protected. Heading to the Estadio Centenaro in the team bus on Wednesday night, I said to Chairman of NFF Technical Committee, Barrister Chris Green that the Flying Eagles are here to defend the World Cup for Ghana! Surely, the temperament of the Flying Eagles and their general handling have helped to buoy confidence in the camp. When the Saudis scored six goals against Guatemala in the earlier game on Wednesday, I heard Coach Obuh telling his boys to go there and return to the top of the table by all means. This, they did elegantly, with grace and with all sense of fairplay. In the second half, the Croatians showed their frustration with some cynical tackles, and defender Ganiu Ogungbe is in a race to be fit for today’s run-out in Pereira. Pereira is another beautiful city in this South American nation and tonight’s classic between the two teams at the top of group D should make the trip worth the while. Both high-scoring teams met in a friendly match in Dubai in March – the game ended 22.Barrister Green told me on Wednesday evening, as we headed to the hotel from the stadium, that what he loved about these Flying Eagles is their ability to score goals. I agreed with him. In two matches, there have been 10 goals in all, with no player scoring more than two. Even defender Terna Suswam has been among the goals, as has been midfielder Abdul Ajagun. Olanrewaju Kayode has two under his shorts, as Ahmed Musa, Edafe Egbedi and Uche Nwofor. Nwofor’s height was a problem for the Croatians when he came in during the second half on Wednesday, and Coach Obuh must have realized that. When you play opposition with tall defenders, you have someone who can get the better of them.

Nwofor’s first two touches resulted in two goals. Brilliant! Another good thing is the fact that there are still persons like Sani Emmanuel, Bright Ejike and Sani Tahir, who can also spin things around the middle and the opposition’s goal area. The argument about some players opting to observe the Ramadan month should not extend because this is a personal thing. Ramadan does not mean that you should sit down or lie down somewhere for the entire day before you go without food and water. It is not a severe punishment. If you are used to it, as the players in question are, it does not even affect you adversely, as has been shown in the performances of Ahmed Musa, Ramon Azeez and the others concerned. With a Round of 16 ticket in our hands, we strive to retain leadership of group D today in order to return to Armenia for our next match on Wednesday. Armenia has become a home away from home for the Flying Eagles with the huge support that the team now has, the hotel that the players and technical crew are now very much used to and the friendly people attached to the team here. This has somewhat made up for the absence, so far, of members of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club. While trumpet-blowing is not the stock-in-trade of the present NFF administration, one must say that the goal-rious run in Colombia has not come out of the blue. The team was wellprepared for the tournament, and the only continent it did not train or play matches before this competition remains Oceania! The Flying Eagles started out in Abuja, with the fulcrum being the U-17 team that reached the final of the FIFA U17 World Cup on home soil two years ago. Two phases of camping, and then the team traveled to Libya for matches against then proposed host nation of the African Youth Championship. From there, it went to Turkey, and spent four (4) weeks. From Turkey, the team flew to Dubai (UAE) to play two matches against Saudi Arabia and Egypt. From there, the team returned home, to Port Harcourt when the African Youth Championship was postponed. After spending one month in Port Harcourt, the team went to win the African Youth Championship in South Africa. On return, the group went back to Port Harcourt, and from there to Faro, Portugal, before a FourNation tournament in Panama. While some other factors are capable of influencing the result of a football match or a tournament, adequate preparation can never be discounted. Our teams have continued to benefit from adequate preparation for important international matches and championships. While some persons were beating their own drums in

Lagos the other day, nobody took them serious because Nigerian ball fans are aware that the National Women’s Team, Super Falcons spent four (4) weeks in Austria to prepare for the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. The National Beach Soccer Team is undergoing intensive training programme in Badagry and will also spend two (2) weeks in Faro before flying to Italy for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in September. From available resources, we will always ensure our teams are very much prepared to take on the world at all times. Still Talking About Ghana... Barrister Green and myself have agreed that the Flying Eagles are here to ‘defend’ the FIFA U-20 World Cup in the absence of rivals and regional mates Black Satellites of Ghana, who lifted the trophy in Egypt two years ago. But we have also agreed that in London on Tuesday, there would not be too many ‘friendly’ touches on the turf in the international friendly between the Super Eagles and the Black Stars at Vicarage Road. It is four-and-half years since the Black Stars humiliated our Eagles at the Brentford ground, also in London, in another friendly match. This, we must avenge by all fair means on Tuesday. And victory becomes non-negotiable when you remember that the Super Eagles have not beaten their Ghanaian counterparts in the past five years. Coach Samson Siasia has departed Colombia to go and wait for his charges in London. There should be no half measures. Everything would be done to ensure that our country’s reputation is salvaged to an extent on Tuesday night in London. Tough Draws Don’t Kill... I was somewhere between Europe and America (on my way to Colombia) when the Preliminary Draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup was made in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday. There have been talks of tough luck for some top-ranked African teams, including Cote d’Ivoire (who must play Morocco), Ghana (who must survive Sudan and Zambia), Algeria (who have Mali to contend with), Egypt (who have to play Guinea – remember them?), Cameroon (who must contend with DR Congo) and Burkina Faso (who have Gabon and Niger on their hands). As for the Super Eagles, Malawi is known while Kenya must overcome Seychelles while Namibia must beat Djibouti to be sure of their places in group F. We must take no chances. It is not going to be easy because every match must be taken like the final qualifier itself. And in a way, it is. Only ONE team will emerge from each of the 10 GROUPS, meaning that there would be no opportunity to recover after a fumble/tumble. Then, in the final round, a home-and-away fixture against another group winner. In essence, it could be Nigeria against Ghana, or against Cote d’Ivoire, or against Egypt, for the final race to Brazil. We are back to the seventies and eighties when it was so difficult for teams to qualify for the World Cup after a slip. But I believe that just as the saying goes about tough times (tough times don’t last but tough people do), tough draws don’t kill, but weak teams kill themselves. We will be ready when the race starts.

FIFA U-20 WORLD CUP

F/Eagles, Saudi Arabia fight for top spot

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IGERIAN Flying Eagles will in the early hours of Sunday take on top Group D contender, Saudi Arabia at the ongoing FIFA U-20 World Cup ongoing in Colombia. 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. Nigeria had mauled ‘whipping team’ of the group Guatemala 5-0 in the opener, and went ahead to defeat, Croatia 5-2 to sit comfortably atop the log on goal difference. While the Saudis ran past Croatia 2-0 in the first match, they defeated Guatemala 6-0 in the second match. As the race for the group’s top spot hits up, the coach John Obuh tutored side would be relying on their blistering form to overcome the slickly Saudi team that have not done

By Innocent Amomoh badly either. With Obuh earlier declaring that Flying Eagles wish to finish top of Group D in the U20 World Cup after overpowering Croatia 5-2, the players should be aware of the stakes. The Flying Eagles have netted 10 goals as against eight by the Saudis. 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,” Obuh had said But pundits have said that for the team to soar in the competition, Obuh must rectify the flaws in his defense. He reacted thus: “I did not like the goals we conceded. Something will be done to rectify it.”

• Obuh

2012 LONDON OLYMPICS

Wrestling medal chances high —Igali

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999 world wrestling champion and the technical adviser of the Nigeria wrestling Federation, Daniel Igali has stated that the chances of wrestling winning medals at the London 2012 olympic is very high. Speaking with NationSport in his office in Bayelsa, the 2000 sydney olympics gold medalist noted that despite the poor preparatory culture of the nation towards major events, the olympics inclusive, that wrestling as a very fast growing game in the country has always lived upto expectations and would also be one of the sports that would guarantee the nation a medal at the upcoming olympics. Currently preparing a six man team for the world championships in istanbul in september, Igali whose five man team to Dakar in may this year returned with three gold medals, one silver and one bronze thereby producing three African champions at the Africa wrestling championship in Senegal is also very optimistic that Istanbul would have a real feelof his team next month. “We are preparing about six people for the world

championship coming up next month and we are looking at spending one month in camp before we travel which I believe we will acieve if we resume camp next week. Am looking at having all the athletes camped here in Bayelsa to enable for better prepaartion. “With what we achieved at the AFrican championhips in May, am confident of medals at the world championship. The top eight at the world level will automatically qualify for the olympics and hopefully we should be able to produce at least two amongst that eight”. Taking it further to the olympics, Igali said despite scanty preparations towards the events due to poor logistics, that wrestling is sure to be able to produce medals. “Right now the olympics is very close but we are also hopeful of medals though we cannot categorically state which of the medals now but wrestling chances at producing medals at the olympics is very high”, said Igali. The world wrestling championships kicks off September 9 in Istanbul.


Olubanwo Fagbemi

On Sport Sport On SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

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e-mail: deewalebf@yahoo.com

Nigeria: the test of character

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•Manchester City's Aleksandar Kolarov, right, vies for the ball with Everton's Victor Anichebe during their English Premier League soccer match at Goodison Park

Will Victor Anichebe finally deliver? I

T is of course customary at this point of the year for one Everton player to be singled out for an important season ahead. Twelve months ago it was Jack Rodwell in the spotlight, and we all know how that shaped up. Fast forward to the present day

“The other side of the coin though is that Anichebe doesn’t always help himself with his onfield demeanour. A factor clearly not lost on Evertonians”

and it is Victor Anichebe’s turn to be singled out. The problem is that Victor has had potential for the past five years and clearly needs to ‘kick on’, in football parlance, as a forward with a return of 12 goals in 118 appearances does not make pleasant reading. Admittedly some of those appearances have come on the wing and you do get the feeling that this is the position where Moyes will utilise Anichebe more often than not this forthcoming season. His strength and athleticism could, and should, be a great asset in Everton’s problem position on the right wing, his inability to beat a man doesn’t really work in his favour though. The biggest challenge facing Anichebe though is clearly winning over the fans. Everton fans are fiercely loyal and myopic in relation to their players,

yet Anichebe is the exception to the rule. It is fair to say he is rather unpopular amongst his own supporters these days. A lot of this stems from his infamous sulk when Moyes reportedly refused to sanction a January transfer window loan move to Hull City for the forward in 2009. His decision to turn down a new contract offer in December 2010 led to Anichebe being roundly booed when he appeared as a substitute in a match against Wigan. In fairness to Anichebe the booing stemmed from press reports that the deal he had been offered by the club was for £30,000 per week. Given the economic climate and Anichebe’s injury record the reaction was understandable to a degree, however, the sum involved was quickly denied by the player

himself, unfortunately the silence from the club was deafening, as it normally is in these situations. You can’t help but feel that he was left out to dry somewhat. The other side of the coin though is that Anichebe doesn’t always help himself with his onfield demeanour. A factor clearly not lost on Evertonians. If you give your all in a Royal Blue shirt then the fans will take to you, if you drift in and out of games and appear generally uninterested and dare I say it, lazy, then your card is marked I’m afraid. Consequently he has a lot of hard work ahead of him, and not just on the field. Moyes clearly has a lot of faith in the Nigerian international, it really is time for Victor Anichebe to start repaying that faith and finally make his mark before all that undoubted potential goes to waste.

UNSHINE STARS of Akure’s defeat of Algeria’s JS Kabylie in an away 2011 CAF Confederations Cup fixture and Enyimba of Aba’s CAF Champions League 3-2 overhaul of Coton Sport Garoua in their Cameroon fortress set the tone for a weekend of football delight, but the Flying Eagles’ 5-0 pulverisation of Guatemala in the opening Group D encounter of the ongoing World Youth Championship last Sunday in Colombia was icing on the cake. It capped the impressive series of results. Some, not unjustifiably, doubted if John Obuh’s squad would come anywhere near the enviable silver medal finish of the 1989 and 2005 sets based on discouraging results from the camping exercise in Faro, Portugal and subsequent invitational tournament in Panama. Despite lofty pedigree on the Nigerian side, Guatemala loomed monstrous on the path to Under-20 World Cup glory. Barring poor tactics and freak injury, I reasoned last week that Obuh had depth in the squad to rely on. And the boys obliged with a five-goal thriller at the Group D venue of Armenia. It was a pleasant turn, especially as I rooted for the Eagles to come good in South America. Obuh wisely resisted complacency en route to qualification for the knockout stages. Unlike the debuting Guatemalans who should have been punished for tactical errors with more goals, Croatia were bound to come with championship credentials, the coach admitted. Against the Europeans last Wednesday also in Armenia, the team seemed committed to rectification of defensive errors and flawed teamwork noticed in the opening encounter. While letting in two goals, the Nigerians proved superiority with five goals scored which took them to the top of the group on a sixpoint tie with impressive Saudi Arabia. Both teams qualified for the round of 16, but must determine leadership in today’s final preliminary encounter. Meanwhile, Super Eagles coach Samson Siasia who watched the junior team announce cup ambitions in Colombia shared Obuh’s modest outlook. After the Brazil 2014 World Cup draw pitched Nigeria in Group F of the African Zone of qualifiers with Malawi, Seychelles/Kenya and Djibouti/Namibia last weekend, he warned of spurning the chance of lone group passage to a ten-team final round of qualifiers for Africa’s five slots to Brazil. In appreciation of a tame draw, Siasia nonetheless talked tough. He said: “We could not have asked for a better draw than this, but we know there are no easy matches any more. All matches will be played like our lives depend on it.” Only dedicated players would feature, Siasia added. Given antecedents, that is a statement of intention very much open to debate. So far, the coach has failed to prove that he is not now and again disposed to rewarding faithful players from previous stints in the national youth teams with invites while Ghana tinkers with call-ups ahead of the August 9 friendly with Nigeria. Critics also slate Siasia’s rather naïve resort to attacking football which sacrifices grit in defensive midfield. Analysts are unanimous in pointing out that no team can thus survive the battery of the world’s quickest attack and meanest defence such as possessed by Spain, Holland and possibly Brazil at the moment. In full flight, Argentina are a handful too, and the most ardent supporter would be advised to downplay the 4-1 drubbing handed a hastily assembled Albiceleste in last June’s international friendly in Abuja. It may not really count in the September 6 face-off between the two adversaries in Bangladesh. Now, in league with football officials and Siasia himself, I would rather the Abuja triumph be savoured for some time, but it is more sensible to accept that the Eagles goaded the South American giants and must be ready to put bragging rights on the line, for if there is any such thing as cross-continental derby, the ArgentinaNigeria fixture is a growing contender. Given widespread aping of the tip-tap style of the famous Brazilians in domestic football, however, I wish the five-time FIFA World Cup winners were the more constant foe. By some long-running coincidence, the Argentines are the real deal instead. They are as formidable as they come – as the Eagles could well be on a good day. And the day has come for Siasia to fashion a squad reminiscent of the all-conquering national team of the 90s. He should too; after all, he was a member of the famous bunch groomed by Dutch tactician, Clemens Westerhof. The fifth-place rating of that team at the 1994 zenith of its prowess is one reason why today’s set is reckoned with on the continent and beyond. Yet the Eagles mysteriously languish in the 43rd position on FIFA’s current table of world ranking behind lessdistinguished Burkina Faso. The task before Siasia is, therefore, clear-cut: to determine a formidable central defence pairing with an alternative combination and decide which of the current crop of holding midfielders available for selection can offer the back four Sunday Oliseh-like protection, or how best to utilise the ball-shifting skills of the Obis – Mikel and Joel – without sacrificing tackling tenacity. It is in attack that Siasia appears most endowed, however. Any team parading Ikechukwu Uche, Osaze Odemwingie, Emmanuel Emenike, Victor Anichebe and Obinna Nsofor is bound to unsettle staunch opposition. The challenge though is deploying the forwards in the most potent formation. After the struggle to hold lowly Ethiopia to a 1-1 draw in the June 5 2012 Africa Nations Cup qualifier in Addis Ababa, supporters would love to witness improvement soon – against the old rival Ghana in next Tuesday’s international friendly in London perhaps.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

•Aden, three, and his father nearly starved to death. Like many others, Aden’s mother died during the family’s terrible journey on foot from drought-stricken southern Somalia.

Can drought catastrophe be averted in east Africa? XTREME drought behind famine creeping across Somalia, also hitting the capital, is likely to persist in the coming months, tipping all of the country’s south into a state of famine, experts warned Thursday. The whole of southern Somalia is already suffering severe food insecurity because of the drought in several Horn of Africa countries, causing what the United Nations says is the world’s most severe humanitarian crisis today. The continuing lack of rain meant the crisis would only deepen, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said after three new areas were declared Wednesday to be in famine, following two announced last month. ”The rest of southern Somalia is suffering severe food insecurity and is also likely to reach famine levels within the next six weeks, despite the mounting relief effort,” it said in a statement. At least 2.8 million people including

E

1.25 million children are in dire need of assistance in southern Somalia, it said. Nearly half of Somalia’s estimated 10 million people require humanitarian aid. The UN’s Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) on Wednesday declared famine in three new parts of southern Somalia, including the capital Mogadishu and the world’s largest camp for displaced people at Afgoye. Famine was declared last month in two districts, southern Bakool and Lower Shabelle. The UN unit described drought-hit Somalia as “the most severe humanitarian crisis in the world today and Africa’s worst food security crisis since Somalia’s 1991-92 famine.” The latest famine declaration “confirms our concerns over the increasing severity of the crisis facing Somalia, especially IDPs (internally displaced people),” UN humanitarian coordina-

•Drought ravaged Somali

tor for Somalia, Mark Bowden, said. Bowden urged “all parties to support an urgent scale up of assistance so that we can save the lives of those who most need our support at this critical moment.” The Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab militia has been blamed for worsening the effects of the drought by restricting aid delivery in regions of Somalia under their control. The famine-affected regions are mainly under the rule of the Shebab which from 2009 expelled several foreign aid groups. The drought has also affected parts of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, but Somalia is the worst hit because of the Islamist Shebab rebels’ relentless conflict and aid restriction. In Mogadishu daily survival is struggle for residents who are also observing the Ramadan dusk-to-dawn fast. ”Every year I used to be able to break my fast in a very good manner,” local Mohamed Idris told AFP. “But not now because the situation is too bad. We

don’t have food to break our fast with,” the 51-year-old added. Some $2.4 billion is required to assist 12 million people affected by the worst drought for decades in the Horn of Africa but only half of that amount has been received. The African Union, which has contributed $500,000, on Thursday postponed to August 25 a donors conference to raise funds for the crisis. The meeting was initially scheduled for next week. No explanation was given. The International Committee of the Red Cross said this week it had distributed food to 162,000 people in southern Somalia, including the capital Mogadishu. The agency is among a handful foreign relief groups allowed to operate by the Shebab in their regions. The United States on Wednesday called for global action to save lives. ”It is the most severe humanitarian crisis in a generation,” Democratic Senator Chris Coons told a Senate hearing on the famine. •Source: AFP


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

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read about the lady who took her life because a man she was betrothed to ended their relationship. I was upset. Upset with her (of blessed memory) for taking her life because of who? A man? I beg! Are there no other men? I am curious though as to why a Nigerian girl would take her own life for whatever reason. Believe me, it was not in our character in the days of our mothers; and it is not in our character now. Especially, if it has to do with a lame excuse that the late sister, had her womb removed. In this day and age? I know of countless women who had no womb, yet, had babies; countless. So a man can leave a lady for that kind of a thing in this day and age when motherless babies homes are everywhere, begging for adoption? This day and age when even pastors adopt babies; throw big parties, naming ceremonies to mark the event? No man is worth killing ourselves for; not even if he is legally married to you and abandons you for another. Na today? Sorry, let me rephrase; nobody is worth killing ourselves. When you take your own life, you miss. There is somebody for everybody. Women in their sixties still date. Do you know? I have a widowed aunty who is now

Hi Vera, I totally agree with you on your views about the female breasts and attitude of men. I know some rich men who would send their wives packing on account of sagging breasts only to marry younger ones with firmer breasts. Ardyss’ Angel Bra, is the solution. The bra is available for all categories of women. Danladi •You got it right, a lady’s breasts is her beauty. The ‘milk factory’ is important to men. Iyak Essien, Abuja •Thank you so much for taking time to educate our ladies on how to value what they have. Charleston •Unfortunately, you didn’t tell your fellow women that they cheapen themselves whenever they expose those valuables that are meant to be well covered. Careless Fashn •Your column very educative as usual, it is true that breast is the first thing guys notice. I think you should advice them not to use it as a weapon of mass destruction. Aliu •Indeed, I am supposed to be out of your topic above. I am however a reader of your page, hence, I digested it since you educated and alerted both the youth and elders in male and female genders. Appreciation indeed. Lanre Oseni, Lagos •Breast enhancer is it good before God? Some people said that we should leave it the way God made it. Onyinyechi, Enugu. •Breasts as they do say, is the universal peace maker. Abdulfatai Salau

Love is a game…Play to win Everything in life is a game when you truly look at it. There will be times when you do not know what will happen, there will be a surprise roll of the die; or turn of a card that ends your turn or allows you to win it all. However, when you love someone and they love you; it doesn’t matter who wins the game. There will always be a time when you have to place all your cards on the table and hope for the best; without big risks don’t come big rewards. Always remember the nature of the game though… Sometimes it’s your pocket change on the line…sometimes it’s your house…Sometimes it’s someone’s heart; may be even your own. When in a

in her early sixties but because of her comportment and panache, men still fall over themselves to get her attention; she, however, is too involved with religious activities to even bother about any man. Her concern is how to ensure that her two last babies come out of the university in flying colours. Years back, an actress who was married to a gigolo; sorry, she was married to an actor, also died out of heartbreak because her randy husband decided to end their sham marriage. Please, I tell you ladies and even some men, if your partner dumps you, please move on. If the proverbial door does not close; how will another open? It is the rebranding of yourself that should be your

concern. Move on and shake it off. Remember, nothing is easy. No, nothing good is easy. ‘Breaking off is never easy, I know’ (apologies to Abba Bob Grant), the author of ‘The Women Men Adore’, talks to many men and women who are going through a divorce or break- ups. He advises that the first few months after a divorce or break- up are NOT the time to try and figure out what went wrong. “The first and most critical step is to allow yourself time to heal. Don’t isolate yourself. If you do, it will be impossible for others to support you. The first six months to a year after a divorce are hard enough; so don’t make it worse. Force yourself to rise

•I completely agree with you, this can best be called ‘the sermon on breasts’ or ‘philosophy/jurisprudence of breasts’ I wish God will bless me with a virtuous wife who has all these internal and external qualities. I hail you Vera Chuks

Re: Our breasts, our assets

•I love your article on ‘our breasts, our assets. It has made me understand how to impress my man with my ‘asset’ Deniece Pearl •Thank you for the piece: Our breast, our assets. Indeed They are great assets to the female folk. I wonder why most tend to think less of it. Your writes- up are always inspiring. Keep it up. I love that Aker Taver, Gboko •You’re talented legacy affecting your entity… Concerning the tale of last week (breast and assets), what I basically belief, the breasts of women stand as zone attraction to men. Jide Obokun, Saki •Today’s piece is Feminique indeed, however, truly speaking the greatest treasure therein is mammalian gland naturally cherished by the occupier of it at any given chance. Segun Makinde, Ibadan •Thanks so much for the write up “our breast, our asset”. If there is anything I love so much in a woman, is the boobs! Particularly the busty one! Thank God my wife is blessed with one. Tunde, Akure •Thumbs up on the issue written on your column on Feminique, every woman must maintain a good breast firmness and profile, but you didn’t advice women on diseases of the breast, cheerio.

from your sorrow if you have to. Get out there and spend time around caring people – now more than ever. To fully rise from the pain of a break-up, the final stages of healing is so simple, yet, most people miss it. Forgive yourself, and forgive your ex. Forgive yourself for all the things you could have done. Forgive your spouse for everything you wish he/she had done. It is important for one to make the decision to move on and leave the past behind, no matter what it is. Love is an uncontrollable emotion. You can not force yourself to love someone; or force someone to love you. Ironically, you can not even choose who you love.

Text messages

•Great one, Vera you really make me proud as a woman on your write up, “our breast, our asset.” I can assure you that most women, especially the married ones forget the values of their breasts, immediately they are married with kids and feels there is no reasons for them to take proper good care of their breasts, some even breastfeed their babies in public places exposing it for everybody to see what is supposed to be in private. And also to our young ladies who use their breasts as a means of attraction and fashion to look civilized or whatever they think. This to me is stupidity; I will like all women out there to know that our breast is our pride and gift from God. I am sure with this wonderful article, myself and some women have gotten the knowledge to go for the right bras and mode of caring for our breasts. Omodunbi Adams

bra and you are good to go. Vera •Honestly, you are really wonderful, I enjoy reading your write-ups every week, your lecture on our breasts was quite very interesting. Please keep it up. Charlse •I came across your wonderful but comprehensive treatise in The Nation Saturday 30th on women breast and its maintenance, but do we have these variety of bra in the market? Please enlighten our women more on their assets because many are ignorant of the value attached to it, nice week days ahed. World Prince

•I read about your article (Our breast, our assets). Am a 50-year- old mother, a teacher and by God’s grace, beautiful, my breast is a little bit big (42 size). Bras that has foams, padded, I hate it, I feel it will add my breast?

relationship, just do your beat; for instance we must know that men have a deep need to be respected and admired. In fact, some experts think that respect comes before any other need that men have. Every woman must know this. Do not put down your guy. Do not put him down in front of other people. Do not criticize him behind his back to others, telling friends or strangers things he had a right to expect would stay private. Go to the bed the same time; if you are married. The tenderness factor must not be overlooked. As long as you are involved in this game called love; give it your best shot, play to win… but a partner that claims to love you; yet his or her love is not strong enough to stand when things are tough; should be shaking off. my tongue on them. Doubtful if anything else inspired me so much as women with greatest breasts. St. Matthew, Majiyagbe, Ibadan

Breast enhancer, is it good before God? Some people said that we should leave it the way God made it. Onyinyechi

•Some women don’t know the assets in men. Could you please write on that so that women who are not knowledgeable just like men who are not knowledgeable that breasts is an asset to women will now know that of man you are an asset to The Nation. Cyril

•Your piece “our breasts, our assets’ was a blockbuster. I read you every week but thought I should comment on this particular topic, breast are no doubt women greatest asset. My biggest confession is my wife’s greatest assets are her breasts, I pay homage to the breasts each time I place

•The rate of iron breasts in our society today is fast becoming alarming, ladies roams about with mountainous chest, but when you get in, it becomes an eye saw. You people should present it to us naturally not artificially, thanks. Ugwu Greg, Obudu

•Thanks for your Saturday tonic. Abeg, what do I do now? I just discovered after breast feeding exclusively that my breast is flat. I feel I’ve lost my pride because I feel ashamed while facing my husband. I didn’t know what you have taught me now while I was breast feeding. Chomy Dear Chomy, You might not be able to do much concerning the sagged breast; but there are very good bras that will do the magic of packaging it well. If your breast is on the heavy side; try ones with bigger straps that will hold it firmly in place. You have not lost your pride. Breast is designed majorly for breast feeding. So, use the right

•Hon. Ayo Omidiran, Osun State First lady, Mrs Sherifat Aregbesola, popular actress, Toyin Adegbola and Hon. Rotimi Makinde, representing Ife-East Federal Constituency during the ‘Thank you’ party held at Technical College, Ile-Ife


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011 OW come you chose drycleaning and laundering of all

businesses? I have a pedigree in laundering and drycleaning. My grandfather was a washerman for the European rail track workers. My father saw him doing the job and liked it. That became the pastime of two generations. My father went to school and finished as a chartered accountant. When he was about to retire, he thought of what business he could do so that he would not have to just shut down like that. He decided to start a laundry business. That what the period I gained admission into the university. I was able to understudy him so well that when I finished from the university, there was nothing I felt like doing apart from laundry business. Before I started Clean Ace, I worked with a couple of dry-cleaning outfits. A major one was Garment Care, which is owned by my cousin. It was a consolidation of my father’s own business. Dry-cleaning is a business I have a very strong entrepreneurial skill and passion for, and that which I have always looked forward to redefining and re-modelling. We want to be the re-engineering and re-defining factor in making quality fabric care affordable to all. That was the vision I had in my growing up days. And we have come through in so many years of training and acquired international and local exposure. We have also taken part in exhibitions and symposia. Why did you leave Garment Care? If you have a vision, you are the only one who will understand the vision. And there are needs in this industry that Garment Care cannot handle alone. They want to be number one, which is fine. Every business wants to have its own focus. But there are so many people in this trade who are not properly trained and don’t even understand what the business is all about. As much as we are many in this business, we don’t have one single association. I just returned from America about three weeks ago and I was able to sign a deal with the Dry-cleaning and Laundry Institute of America (DLI) to be able to bring that institute to inject quality control into the system. Every Dick and Harry calls himself a drycleaner but they don’t even have the basic knowledge for dry-cleaning. That is why people are complaining that their garments were being damaged. They say that all of us are the same, but we are not all the same. Somebody must look beyond just me. I am looking out for this industry to be as professional as any other. The difference should not be so wide. If you go to Garment Care or Clean Ace, the next drycleaner you see should not be in a hideout. Every company should be able to come up to a standard. It has to do with changing their mindset and training the people. What was your growing up like? My growing up was fun. I grew up in Surulere. My friend and I were designers’ freaks. We wanted the best of names. We didn’t even need to afford a lot. If I had one good original Armani jeans, that one is good enough 24 hours for one year. It brought in a culture of looking after

Former Head of Administration and Operation for Garment Care and now the Chief Executive Officer of Clean Ace, Eniibukun Adebayo, speaks about his childhood, career and family life in this interview with KEHINDE FALODE

‘I belong to the third generation of drycleaners in my family’

From the time we started working together, we have had better evenings, because when we were not working together, she could not understand the pressure and my challenges when I got home and started vibrating

•Adebayo

clothes and valuing clothes. When a customer complains about his or her cloth, because you have that pedigree, you can understand what that person is saying. We had good exposure. We partied well. We read a little in school; at least we did not fail. We had very good networking. My growing up had good impact on my business. We appreciate the value of dressing well, good quality and maintenance of cloth. Much as we partied hard, whenever exams were approaching, we read like no man business. Describe your wife in three words? She is gentle, very contented and caring. How did you meet her? We worked together. Before she came on board, she had always been on the funding side and on her praying knees. She was working with the Federal Civil Service. She resigned after 10 years to add some value to Clean Ace. We met in church while we were still in school and we got married while I was still at Garment Care. We had our first baby a year after I left Garment Care. Because the family was so small then, it was easier for me to flex my muscle and invest time, energy and resources into Clean Ace. She led me to Christ in 1989. We did some bad boy things again between 1991 and 1993 before I surrounded all to Jesus. You mean you backslid? I did not backslide-o (general laughter). There was still some experience I had not explored. I didn’t go back-o, God forbid. Don’t you know that you don’t resign from God’s army? It is like entering a house. There are some rooms you don’t enter and the fact that you are entering those rooms does not mean you have left the house. The fact that you are watching a movie in a house does not mean the whole house is defiled. It is just a part of it that can be defiled. The book of Conrinthians says if any man is in Christ, old things have passed away and all things have become new. What is it like working with your wife? It takes a lot of patience. From the time we started working together, we have had better evenings, because when we were not working together, she could not understand the pressure and my challenges when I got home and started vibrating. But now, that is very good for us. Now, she has a bigger and better picture of what my life is about. And I told my staff sometime ago that her joining Clean Ace was the best thing to have happen to all of them. She does a lot of balancing. She is in the Administration and then, gradually bringing her up to actually be the Managing Director so that I can chase other things. How much does one need to start a dry-cleaning business? Really, there is no hard and fast rule about how much you need to start a drycleaning business. It depends on one’s mission; the kind of market you want to serve and the locality. You cannot compare the rent in Lekki to that of Egbeda. You might not need to buy much diesel, because there are places supply of electricity is worse. With N4 million or N5 million, you can actually start the business in a decent, professional and proper way. But you must be disciplined focused on customer’s satisfaction. These are things a lot of people think they can buy with high investment. It is not about how big you started; it is about how well you take off and your ability to sustain it. You can start with one industrial machine, not necessarily 30 or more, because it is not the day you open the business that you will get full capacity for them all. Rome was not built in a day. How small did you start and how big are you now? (Laughs) It is not easy to calculate profit when you are starting business. But you can calculate by turnover. Even banks will measure you by your turnover not really by the amount of profit. We started with a profit of about N100,000. Since then, we have grown in leaps and bounds. Right now, we have eight branches in Lagos and Abuja. But we


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011 want to sell franchise in all other states. Do you encounter problems with banks in terms of overcharging interest when you borrow money? O yes! The bank will always manipulate. There were lots of hidden charges. How does that affect you? Of course, it will just keep drawing you back. If you think you would have finished paying a particular loan at so and so time, or you think you have a specific amount of money in your account, you would just find that they are charging you for one thing or the other, quarterly charge, monetary fees and other services. What challenges did you encounter at the early stages? It takes a lot of discipline and denying yourself of even things you think are necessary. Everybody must have his or her priority list. What is important and makes sense to me? What will make my world go round? How can I get fulfilled as a person? The bible says the life of a man consists not in the abundance of what he possesses. If you are focused on where you are going, you will not mind how many cars you have or what to wear. Thank God, He has been very faithful. Doors of opportunities come to all, but it also depends on your preparedness. Even for the sake of organisation, you must lay a good example for the use of all the resources you have in your hands. I was specially favoured to have that pedigree and to be very conscious of everything. It takes a high level of discipline to do business. If people think they can just poach one or two people from Garment Care today, it is more than that! It is about discipline. Nana is extremely disciplined. Then, she put herself on a salary and most of us were earning more than her. But she knew there would be a time when the business would have surplus of billions. What stands Clean Ace out from other laundry businesses? In the whole country, we do the regular dry-cleaning and laundry that everybody who calls himself a drycleaner does. We have now move up to manage people’s wardrobes for them, especially in the part of the world where we don’t enjoy the luxury of what they enjoy abroad, where you can find a particular shirt in seven different colours in seven different sizes and every size has all the colours. It is a lot of stocks. Now, if you go to a typical Nigerian shop and you find a shirt that you really like but unfortunately the shirt is too big for you, we have now opened a business that says even if it is bigger than you, buy it and bring, we will trim it professionally to suit you. We have some uneven sizes. Some women are bigger up and they are small down. The oyinbo will make the dress with the mind that if you are big up, you should be big down or if you are small up, you should be small down, except the woman will go there and say, ‘Okay, I am buying a size 12 blouse with a size 10 skirt.’ But if you are going to buy it here, it will be the same sizes. So, you need people like us to do quality alteration that can still keep those clothes as proper ready-made. Apart from this tailor repairs and

Every Dick and Harry calls himself a drycleaner but they don’t even have the basic knowledge for drycleaning. That is why people are complaining that their garments were being damaged. They say that all of us are the same, but we are not all the same

•Adebayo

alteration, we also look at it that the person that is buying clothes is going to wear shoes and carry bags. You want to change your heels, soles, covers, colours and clean them or the belts are too big, etc; we started cobbler services where such matters are handled. We have to open all this to give our customers real value, so that instead of going to look for a tailor or shoemaker somewhere, we do a

one-stop shop. Then you must be a jack of all trades… I am not a jack of all trades. But I am a master of all (laughs) Have you ever burnt a customer’s garment? Risk is a part of life. Even with the best chemicals, machines and the best hands, such things happen. But we have a damage reconciliation package to guarantee the customer that if shop comes

to shop, we will buy that garment back for you. What we are looking for is goodwill and the customer’s confidence. I buy high quality cloth too. If anybody has invested so much in anything, they should have good value for it. And that is one of the things that have helped us to project proper business image and ethics. Even when we look at the legal part of it, which says we should not pay you more than this or that, we know that, that compensation is totally inadequate. So, what is the future for Clean Ace? The future for clean ace is strengthening the consulting, the training and the franchising arms. We are starting off the association for dry-cleaners in Nigeria. We are spearheading all the cost and we are ready to throw all our goodwill and networks into building up drycleaners to be professionals in Nigeria. And they can have access to the best chemicals, staff and equipment. As someone who is stylish, how will you define style? There is something about each of us that makes us an individual. Those things that make us individuals become nature and our nature becomes our style. It could be in the way we talk, dress or carry ourselves. Your style is you and it is the thing that gives you individuality. Somebody wants to carry an Afro while everybody else says skin-cut is the rage. It is what we do in a way that when other people see it, they appreciate that there are some good thinking and real life value that has been put into it. That is what we call style. Your style is your nature, which has been discovered and positioned to make you stand out all the time. If you are not into cleaning business, what else would you be doing? I would have being into the business of selling clothes. I like style because you have only one opportunity to make a alsting impression. Nobody wants to care about what your back office is; all they care about is what your front or outside door looks like. It is important for the back to be as good as the front, but the front gives the first impression. If people are meeting you for the first time, your hair should be well groomed, your nails well cut, your clothes should be clean and well ironed. They don’t have to be designers’. All this I value. If I were not selling clothes, I would have been cleaning or maintaining clothes.. Do you do perfume? Right now I am wearing Polo range. I am wearing the Polo 1,2, 3. Do you mix? No. some are subtle some are strong. If I am going to a place where there are young people, I will want to wear the strong thing, very very masculine. I hate getting into a place and the place is stuff, if I am going into a place where there is a crowd, I would want to wear strong perfume and by standing there, the breath around alone, that I am in the control of my world. How do you relax? I like the gym, I like to walk. I could walk like three kilometres in the evening or early in the morning. I like unwinding with business games where we could share ideals; games like Monoploy where you could buy and sell. I like the game of business whereby you set goals and achieve it. I mean if I want to unwind, I will go to a place where I can meet people who can add value to me; not necessarily to places where they just drink, eat and waste time. I love unwinding with the children too, I look forward to going home in the evening to be with my kids. What is your philosophy in life? Add value to yourself, your fellow man and to your world. Your world must celebrate you. And for your world to celebrate you, you must be doing things the right way. And that means you are not corrupt and your integrity, honesty and drive are not condemnable. Where do you shop for clothes? America and Italy Why? America has lots of style and everybody wants to shop and sell their things there. In Italy, you get the most stylish and most creative. When it comes to style, they are not conservative at all.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

•Betty Irabor

•Uche Jumbo

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HE new trend to hit celebrity scene in terms of fashion is cocktail dresses and gowns. Our fashionistas ditched the traditional skirt and blouse (up & down), iro and buba within a jiffy and received this trend. Here below, we list you some of the Nollywood actresses and celebrities who rock this trend and rock it well with ease! Ini Edo: This babe rocks this trend the best and knows what suits her figure. She can look like a goddess in the gown and change into a wild party child in a dress. Uche Jumbo: Brings back the romance of one floral dress in this

•Ini Edo

Celebrities rocking dresses sexy print number. She teams it with sexy pink pump shoes. Tonto Dike: Looks like her movie fashion did have an impact on her

dressing sense and now she is the new emerging style icon! Betty Irabor: Restricts the usage of bling in her dresses and the end

•Genevieve Nnaji

result simplifies elegance! Betty looks picture perfect with understated glamour. Genevive Nnaji: None of the Nollywood actresses has a super sexy body to flaunt their dresses like Genevieve does. She rocks this trend like a pro and does full justice to the short length. Oluchi Orladis: An advantage of being a supermodel is that you can rock trends gracefully which others cannot. Oluchi totally rocks this dress which others might not be able to carry it off.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

Tips for good breath, inviting smile T

HERE is no denying it that we generally love a great smile with sparkling white or clean teeth, and brushing

your teeth regularly is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Some say that the smile is the first feature that they notice in others. However, oral health is important in more ways than simply making an impression. If teeth are cleaned properly, it prevents the formation of plague around the gums of teeth. Plague forms easily after food is eaten and bacteria thrive in it. Also, it is essential to cut down on sugary foods and drinks because they damage teeth. Teeth are an important part of our overall wellbeing. Therefore, it is important to learn how to brush them properly. Below are simple tips to make your smile inviting. •Replace toothbrush once a month.This is better than using one for three or four months. Worn toothbrush will not clean your teeth sufficiently and a brush's bristles can retain germs. •Replace your toothbrush after having a cold in order to prevent a relapse infection. •Always use toothpaste that has fluoride Fluoride, the most common active ingredient in toothpaste, prevents cavities. So you should always be sure your toothpaste contains fluoride. •Hold toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum-line •Brush using small circular motions •Always brush your tongue and the upper part of the mouth •Chew odour killing chewing-gum after every lunch, but if you are at home, simply brush with toothpaste. •Have regular dental check-ups •Have your teeth whitening once or twice a year •Floss at least once a day •In conclusion, dentists say that the most important part of tooth care happens at home. So, brushing and flossing properly, along with regular dental check-ups, can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

•Ifeoma Williams

•Adaeze Yobo

BAIP runner-up set for Miss World Supranational Pageant

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RGANISERS of the Beauty of Africa International Pageant (BAIP), formerly known as Face Of Daniels Beauty Pageant (FOD) have announced that Miss Belema Afesimama-Julius, the first runner-up at BAIP 2010, is set to represent Nigeria at the Miss Supranational 2011 Pageant to be held in Warsaw, Poland on August 27. She will compete with more than 90 beautiful ladies from different countries, all vying for the prestigious crown. The president, BAIP, Mr. Daniel Opuene, expressed joy that contestants at BAIP Pageant now have an opportunity to represent the country in an international contest with the recent acquisition of the franchise to the Miss Supranational Pageant in Nigeria by the indigenous pageant.

“BAIP is resolved to provide platforms for young ladies to explore. We are certain that Belema will make Nigeria proud at Poland and bring back the crown, thereby giving the country an opportunity to host the world come 2012,” he said. According to the national coordinator, BAIP, Mr. Iyoha Kenneth, the organisers of BAIP is committed to providing international platforms for young Nigerian ladies in order to promote the good image of this country.He called on corporate organisations to support BAIP. Miss Belema Afesimama-Julius, a graduate of the University of Port Harcourt, started her modelling career in 2008. Her career took a fast turn when she enrolled as a model under the management of Daniels Media and Entertainment, Port Harcourt.


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THE NATION, Saturday, august 06, 2011

A lilly-livered person would easily be intimidated by the big frame of Abayomi Folarin, the current president of the Rotary Club in Isolo, Lagos. But a brief interaction would reveal The 53-year-old graduate of Iowa Lake College, USA as a contrast to his frame. GBENGA ADERANTI met with this son of an ex-hotelier and exbasketball player and he speaks about his life in the US, his membership of Rotary Club and his family

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ou have an intimidating physique. Were you ever a bully? I was never a bullyt. In one way, I would even say I was gentle. But I don't like people cheating me. I could be gentle to a fault, but if I have to fight back, you might not like it. Well, my appellation then was Yomi ijongbon (troublesome Yomi). Although I try to mind my own business, if you find my trouble, I could do what I shouldn't do. Why would you go to the US to study Hotel Management instead of Medicine, law or engineering? I would have gone into entertainment, although they are still related. But I love music. I was once a DJ when I was in school. The woman I got married to had to wait for me to be the DJ during her 21st birthday party. Then, I was doing my youth service in Bida, Niger State. In those days, I used to travel abroad every year. Instead of spending my money on clothes, I would buy records. By the time I was coming back, I would have all the current records. I was a DJ for some time. It was like a hobby, but it got into my blood. I used to have excess luggage each time I was coming back. I think I should have gone into entertainment. Here (his office) was my complex. At times, I would not sleep at home on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On this spot, Daddy Showkey performed. Obesere had played. Shina Peters and Yomi Peters were here. I was fully into that. But when it gets to a stage, you tend to leave that stuff. Then, for three days, I would not sleep at home. But it gets to a stage when your body cannot take it anymore. Maybe I would have been an entertainment promoter. Tell me about the thing you will never forget about the United States. In the US, if you want to get lost, you will get lost. I was living alone in a twobedroom flat, and you get tempted by so many things. I had all the freedom in the world. I didn't have to report to anybody. I could do as I like. I was getting so much money from home that I could not spend. My lecturers would come to my house to drink. Before I went to the US, I knew that one had to take care of oneself. I did something that I still find funny up till today. I had this horsewhip laced with cowries. Each time I was going out, I would place it on my door. They believed this to be African juju. If anybody wanted to visit me, they would call and say, 'Hello, remove your juju, we're coming.' I used that to protect myself. What I don't like about the United States is that anybody can carry a gun. If I don't like your face, I can get rid of you as long as I have the licence. The security there is very okay. When I got to the US, for the first two weeks, I was a stranger where I lived. For the first three weeks, each time I went out, you know American police, they would just be following me as if I had committed an offence somewhere and ran to the present abode. One day, they offered me a ride. I knew they wanted information. They offered to take me where I was going. They started asking me questions like where are you coming from? Where are you going? What

are you doing here? I gave them information. They just keyed this into their car and there was nothing. They even waited for me to finish shopping and they took me back. I was doing a lot of sports. I played basketball, volleyball, football and table tennis. I did not spend my money to buy a car throughout my stay in the U.S., I got a car from school. There was one incident. We had a volley ball competition and they were supposed to come and pick me. I don't know how they forgot. Maybe somebody was jealous. They just left me. They had started playing and were losing. They wanted to make a change and remembered me. This made them to come and pick me at home. The next day, the school offered me a car with petrol voucher. I used the school car throughout. One thing I see about the

Why I shunned three job offers in the US and returned to Nigeria

US is that if you are honest, there are many helps people can render to you. I was not going out alone when I first got to the US. I was the only black man in my class. But later on, we got used to ourselves. I was good in volley ball and table tennis, so we were friends. Why did you decide to return to Nigeria? My parents were one of the key factors that made me return to Nigeria. I have an elder sister who incidentally is married to a Briton. Just like my dad did for me, my sister was sent abroad and she refused to come back. She was sent abroad to study Hotel Management. That used to worry my parents. They feared that I might get married to an American too. When I went, they thought I would get married to a foreigner too. But what actually brought me back was my parents and my wife, because before I left, I had already promised her that when I returned we would get married. She too was not sure that I was going to come back. I came back a day to one of her birthdays. I had three job offers in the US. but I told them that I was going back to Nigeria. They said they had never seen a Nigerian who had the opportunity to stay in the US and refused to stay. What I was looking at was that if I stayed there, I was not sure if my father would be able to withstand the shock. I don't think my father would have lasted. He died at 78. I don't think he would have lasted that age. Do you have any regret coming back to Nigeria? Up till now, I don't have any regret. But if you look at it now, you might have a rethink. People used to send money abroad. Then, my parents were sending money to me through the Central Bank. If

you look at the economy, maybe I would say I would have stood a better chance if I had stayed in the US. But it is not all about money. If you look at family value, if you look at your peace of mind, what you stand to gain in the long run, I don't have any regret. Why did your father send you and your sister to study hotel management? He had one guest house with 24 chalets in Isolo (Lagos). It was fully occupied by Siemens. I think he had a vision that when he grew old, there would be somebody to take over; not an outsider. You talk glowingly about your wife. What attracted you to her? Well, fortunately, my wife is into insurance. She works with IGI. Fortunately too, she is the current president of Insurance Women Association. I looked at her as somebody who had a future. My wife is almost my height. Before we got married, we courted for some time. They say the way to a man's heart is good food. She cooks well. Up till now, I don't regret that decision. She is a sociable woman. We have common goals. How do you cope with women? Let us not deceive ourselves, that happens sometimes. But If you look at it, my father was not a polygamist. He had enough money to be a polygamist, and I want to follow in his footsteps to the letter. When he died, people were even expecting other children to show up, thinking maybe he had children outside wedlock. This is the sixth year and I've not seen anybody show up. If you are God-fearing, you look at where you are coming from, you look at the wife that had suffered with you, definitely, you don't wake up one morning because you have money and say you are looking

for a second wife or you are looking for a girlfriend. As they say in the Rotary four-wheel test. is it fair? Will it bring goodwill and better friendship? Will it be beneficial to all that is concerned? If you look at those four-wheel tests, what else do you want? If you go for another woman, what do you want? I believe two women is tens of problems. Why do you want to have high blood pressure when you get home? Would you allow your children to go into the entertainment? Yes, I will. But fortunately, no one is toeing that line. I have two sons. One is in final year, the other is at 300 level. They are both studying Banking and Finance at the Redeemrs University. My last born is going to SS2. I don't see anybody toeing that line now, although my daughter likes fashion and music. I see a lot of future in entertainment. Although the Nigerian government is not encouraging it, if you can push it, if you can persevere, I think there is future in it. You mentioned big artistes who were playing here. Why is it that some of them are not doing well now? There is no support. Let us look at up and coming musicians. Before they release their album, the music is pirated. How do you want thm to make money? The copyright law is not protecting anybody. We make laws in his country and flout it ourselves. How does your wardrobe look like? I'm always in T-shirt. I don't like putting on tie except I have a special function to attend. Even the Europeans who are used to tie, when they come here, they ask why you are wearing tie when you are sweating. If the occasion demands that you do that, why not? I love native. But I don't wear ankara. People say you have to be rich to be a member of Rotary Club. How true is this? Rotary is not an elitist club. Rotary is for people with like minds, who are ready to do humanitarian jobs. Rotary is a service club. Before you become a full Rotarian, you must be willing to use your fours keys.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

•Tourists outside Westminister Abbey

Visit to Queen’s land F

OR a first-time visitor to London, the experience was unique. As I left Heathrow Airport in a cab for the heart of the city, I almost screamed at the driver as he was driving on the left-hand side of the road, but before I could raise the alarm, I observed that the car had a lefthand steering and my conclusion was that it is a left-hand drive here unlike my country, Nigeria. A question confirmed this from the driver who incidentally is a Nigerian, a Yoruba from Egba. The workshop I came for was to hold in Victoria, Central London, and I decided with my colleagues(members of the Lagos State House of Assembly) to look for hotel accommodation close to the venue. But all efforts to secure one in Central London proved abortive. They were either fully booked or where available were too expensive. And off we went to the Aso Rock. Yes, the Aso Rock in London; that is a place where a good number of Nigerians reside, but even as at 3pm on a Sunday, the joint our guide took us to secure accommodation was yet to be opened for business. At this time, everybody, including the driver, was tired and hungry. The driver,a

Okoeki OZEIGBE very good and patient fellow, took us to two other places, the first, Perkam, turned out to be very expensive , but we were lucky as we got to North London where we were able to secure a place at Redland Hotel on Seven Sisters Street at a reasonable price. Our next problem after settling in was how to locate the venue of the programme. Again the driver was helpful, though Seven Sisters Street in Finsbury Park area where our hotel is situated is far from Victoria. We took one underground train (tube) from Finsbury Park station to Victoria station and trekked

to Greycoat Place, the venue of the workshop. But first we had to buy and “top up” an Oyster card. By the way “top up” is the same as recharging or loading your phone with credit. An Oyster card is what you use to board both train and bus. Locating the venue the following day was no trouble because there was a map from Victoria station to the place attached to the workshop letter given to everybody. The transportation system in the country is almost perfect. You can actually plan your time and be sure to get to your destination at the exact time planned. The buses and trains

keep to time. But the tube is in a class of its own. At the tube station, the trains come at every three-minute interval, so you can be sure that you can’t spend more than three minutes at the station before you board the train. From Finsbury Park to Victoria, which is quite a long distance, takes just 15 minutes. Another very interesting observation was that every community has a relaxation park with green vegetation and almost all sporting facili-

In London, even bicycle riders, obey traffic light and they are more in number than motorcycle riders

•Parliament Building

ties in place. It is a place you can relax with your family, even if you don’t want to engage in any sporting activity. Almost all residential buildings in a particular community look alike, same structure and paint. The buildings are said to be council buildings. You can easily see that the people are in love with flowers because practically every resiContinued on Page 50


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

Continued from Page 49

dential building has flowers in front, either in flower pots or small flower garden. Though it rained almost every day during the sixday visit, one could not really attribute the cold to the rains; it was something much deeper than the rains. It was like the cold was the air or vice versa. Though the Nigerian time is the same with that of London, by 9.30pm, the day is still bright, while before 5am, it is already dawn and everywhere is bright. Part of the agenda for the workshop was a tour of the British parliament housing the House of Commons and Lords. The massive parliament building itself is a study in maintenance. The building is more than five centuries old, but it is still looking as new as ever. The historical Big Ben is in one of the towers in the parliament building. Security is something else, but we had no problem getting into the parliament on the three different occasions we went there because the coordinators of the workshop led by Ms. Roni Ajao, a Nigerian born and bred in the UK, of MRL Public Sector Consulting, one of the facilitators of the workshop, had made previous

Visit to Queen’s land appointments for our visit. On the first day of the visit, we had lunch at the parliament cafeteria.I just ate something I didn’t even know I was eating. And my food for the duration was mainly chicken and chips and bread and tea. I was, however, surprised at the crowd of white people both young and old around the parliament building taking snaps of the building and environment. And I wondered aloud: “These people live here and see this place every day so why this crowd and photographing.” I was made to understand that they may be whites, but are not Londoners and many are tourists from other European countries. In London, even bicycle riders, obey traffic light and they are more in number than motorcycle riders. Just in case you don’t want to spend your money buying newspapers, there are free copies available both in the mornings and in the evenings to pick up on the newsstands. Notable among them are AM News; Metro and London Evening Standard.

Lagos lawmakers and their staff

The journey back to Nigeria started 3am on Saturday. The Nigerian cab driver who took us round the town the first day said he would be at the hotel by that time to pick us because he still had to pick another Nigerian lady travelling back

home from the other end of London and Heathrow Airport was some distance from there. So if we must meet up with the 8.40am flight to Nigeria through Schipol Airport in Amsterdam, we had to leave that early. That morning drive was yet an-

other experience. That was when I got to know that London does not sleep as some shops open throughout the night and buses work throughout the night with people and cars moving all around. We got to the airport

Kehinde FALODE: 08023689894

Irish Potato Cake Foluke ADEMOLA

This is a very nutritional food which is good for the own body; Can be eaten for breakfast with a juice or other time (preferably) Ingredient •2/3 cup shortening •2 cups white sugar •2 eggs •3/4 cup milk •2 cups all-purpose flour •2 teaspoons baking powder •1/8 teaspoon salt •2 teaspoons ground cinnamon •2 teaspoons ground cloves •2 teaspoons ground nutmeg •2 cups mashed cooked potatoes •1 cup chopped walnuts •1 cup raisins Icing recipe •1 stick butter •3 tbsp. cocoa •6 tbsp. milk •1 box powdered sugar •1/2 c. chopped pecans •1 tsp. vanilla Preparation Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs

one at a time. Add the flour mixture alternately with the potatoes and milk. Stir in nuts and raisins. Pour into a 10 inch Bundt pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 90 to 120 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. For icing Mix butter, cocoa and milk together. Cook over low heat until it comes to a boil. Add sugar, pecans and vanilla. Spread on cake. Healthy and nutritional benefit of Irish Potato Irish potato is one of the most nutritious vegetables on earth. While the idea that a person

can live only on potatoes is not true, the potato can serve as an essential component of a weight loss diet or a healthy weight maintenance diet. A steady diet of fried potatoes as tater tots, French fries and potato chips will add pounds instead of subtracting them It also has other benefit below are few: •Potatoes supply a large portion of our daily requirements for vitamin C, vitamin B6, copper, potassium, manganese and dietary fiber, according to The World’s Healthiest Foods website. Potatoes and their skins carry chemicals similar to those found in broccoli that protect against certain cancers, cardiovascular disease and respiratory problems. •If you eat potatoes regularly, you ensure a good supply of water and irons in your body. This is because, potato is rich in potassium. The concentration being higher in the skin and just beneath it. So, eating the potato with its skin is always beneficial. Potato also contains calcium, iron, and phosphorus. •Natural potatoes are known for the large amounts of Vitamin C present in them. Typically, 100 gm of potato will contain about 17 mg of Vitamin C. In addition to this, natural potato also contains Vitamin A, B and P. •Potato looks very big in size, but water accounts for about 70-80 percent of the weight of a potato. So the belief that you become fat by eating potatoes is a misconception. Of course if your potato servings contain large quantities of butter, or if you can’t keep away from those high-in-fat-and-cholesterol French fries, you are bound to become overweight. •Potato contains about 17% starch and it is one of the best natural sources of starch. Potato sprouting leads to conversion of starch into sugar and hence you should avoid eating sprouted potatoes.

around 5am and by 8.40am we were air borne. I was still in my sweater which I wore throughout my stay in London. I only pulled it off when we got to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja because right from the airport you could feel the heat.

Orange juice recipe

Ingredient •1 cup orange juice •2 sliced bananas •1 cup vanilla frozen yogurt •2/3 cup sliced strawberries Method •Place all ingredients in blender container. •Blend until smooth, serve chill with ice cube


51

THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

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HE Nigerian Tourism Development Corpora tion has expressed concern over the discovery that some top Nigerian hotels are importing vegetables from Europe and therefore strongly warned them to stop the importation. The corporation said it had been inundated with enquiries and reports that some hoteliers import vegetables from Europe at the detriment of Nigerian farmers. Apart from raising concern over the health risk for consumers due to the emegence of E.coli bacterial, the corporation noted that most of the vegetables imported by these hotels are grown in Nigeria by local farmers. In a statment issued in

NTDC warns hotels against vegetable importation Abuja by the Director -General of the corporation, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, the corporation said all efforts should be geared towards the realisation of President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda with employment creation in the hospitality sector by patrionizing Nigerian farm produce like locally grown vegetables. He said Nigeria had suiatble soil and climatic condition to grow all varieties of vegetables even some that grow in temperate regions are successfully cultivated in

Plateau State and Mambilla region of Taraba State. Apart from serving as incentive to farmers and create employment, the corporation believes that the importation of vegetables is an avenue for siphoning foreign exchange out of the country. Meanwhile, the Association of Business Executives (ABE), a leading British institution has conferred the prestigious Association’s Fellowship (FABE) on Otunba Runsewe. According to the fellowship, the council of the asso-

ciation unanimously agreed to confer the award on him in recognition of the NTDC boss’ achievements at his current job and the work he had carried out to promote and thereby grow the ABE. With this fellowship, Otunba Runsewe would enjoy unhindered interaction with top business people and investors and will be able to brief them on opportunities in all areas of business, including tourism in Nigeria . Otunba Runsewe, who has since collected his certificate, is now entitled to add FABE to his name.

Nigeria : FTAN elects new executive

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HE Federation of Tour ism Associations of Nigeria [FTAN], the private sector umbrella body for tourism in Nigeria , has elected a new executive at a well-attended annual general meeting [AGM] on Thursday,July 28. The AGM, which was held at NANET Suites, Abuja, brought the federation into a new era, two months after the tenure of the former council led by Samuel Alabi ended on May 20. At the AGM attended by 10 registered tourism associations, members of the board of trustees and government officials – representative of the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, that of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation [NTDC] and that the Federal Capital Territory [FCT] Tourism Department- who all praised the FTAN’s resolve to chart a new course and called for the sustenance of the new momentum created by the successful AGM that would make the body a virile and developmental federation. In an election that saw many candidates returned unopposed, Chief Samuel Alabi was re-elected as National President alongside his former National Deputy President, Mr. Tomi Akingbogu, who was also the former president of the Hotels Owners Forum of

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•The DGM of Sheraton, Mr. Marc Wozniak with the Indian Chef, Pyar Singh HERATON Hotel, Lagos has opened an Indian restaurant. The restaurant, Pili Pili, has the best Indian cuisines in Lagos. The prices of the food are moderate compared to what obtain in other Indian restaurants. The restaurant is meant for both Indians and non-Indians who desire an Indian cuisine. According to the Deputy General Manager of Sheraton Hotel, Marc Wozniak, all the ingredients are straight from India. “ We try to keep our ingredients original . In Sheraton, we don’t joke with quality.This is the Indian food served the Indian way.” Wozniak stated that the Indian restaurant in Sheraton would be the only one in Lagos. Pelemo Ajibola, Service Manager of Sheraton Hotels, said before the restaurant started full operation, it had been hosting people for an Indian night every Monday. Ajibola said: The restaurant accommodates 50 people and will be serving lunch and dinner. It is not only for people who lodge in the hotel, but the general public who desires an Indian cuisine. The Indian chef, Pyar Singh, who has been practising for the past 14 years, has a vast experience in Indian cuisine. Singh said the food was made on a daily basis, adding that the freshness was always there . The attendants are always dressed in Indian attire, just to create an enabling environment for guests. Indian music will be played in the background along with an Indian scent to make the environment friendly.

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Igbo mark New Yam festival in Ibeju Lekki

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The new Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria [FTAN] executive 1

Abuja [HOFA]. Others are Engr. Onofiok Ekong, treasurer, who is the current president of Hotels Owners Forum of Abuja [HOFA]; Dr. Mrs. Marian Alabi, a senior lecturer appointed as Internal Auditor; Arch. P Binga, vice president North East; Mr. Yakpogoro Rex Eeba, vice president South South; Chief Charles Okoroafor, vice president South East; Mr. Ganiyu Adebiyi, vice president, South West; and Ini Akpabio, vice president, Federal Capital Territory [FCT], Abuja.

Also elected are Alh. Haruna Mohammed, vice president, North West ; Chief Edom Alexander, vice president, North Central; and Mr. Lucky Onoriode George, Public Affairs, completes the elective positions. Meanwhile, the new executive council would also include two representatives each from all member associations as stipulated by the federation’s constitution. Speaking earlier, the chairman of the FTAN 2011 Electoral Committee/AGM, Mr. Tar D. Orjime, formally pronounced dissolved the

former executive council and all elected officers of the federation as prescribed for by the federation constitution, including all zonal vice presidents ,among others. In his acceptance speech, the president sued for unity and collaboration for a new beginning and era of purposeful leadership for the FTAN, positing that the federation must play its role as the tourism private sector in Nigeria by seeking to protect its members’ investments as well as ensuring favourable policies by the government and its agencies.

Medical team important to pilgrimage —Opara HE Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Chris tian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), John Kennedy Opara, has described the medical committee and team as very vital in the execution of pilgrimage. NCPC boss disclosed this recently in Abuja during the written examination conducted by the Federal Medical Committee for the medical team that would take care of the medical needs of pilgrims in the Holy Land this year. The Executive Secretary, who was represented by the Hon. Federal Commissioner representing the South East on the NCPC Board, Rev. Dr. Zion Ibenye Solomon, said: “You are all here today to write examination for selec-

Sheraton Hotel opens Indian restaurant

tion as intending members of the medical team”. He said the medical committee and team were invaluable to the operation exercise “because we are moving human beings created in the image of God to God’s own Holy Land “ He further explained that the commission would be fair to all candidates as it is non-partisan and impartial. According to him, “We have no preferred candidates and that is why whoever applied is being given a levelplaying ground to write examination”. The Executive Secretary said those who sailed through the written examination and fulfilled other crite-

ria would be contacted to appear for oral interview. He stated that the commission designed it “because it is a religious obligation and all hands must be on deck to ensure transparency”. Mr. Opara affirmed that the commission witnessed zero-death last year and prayed that this year the same feat would be achieved. According to him, “This year, we want history repeated so that we will have no death and that is why the commission will go for the best among you by merit”. In her address of welcome, the Chairman of the Federal Medical Committee, Dr. Folake AdemolaMajekodunmi, thanked God

for the zero-mortality her committee was able to achieve for the 2010 pilgrimage exercise. She stressed that the best candidate would be selected at the end of the written examination from each state of the federation. She thanked the members of her committee and NCPC for their unalloyed support so far. She also said the 2011 pilgrimage exercise would not record any death. On the whole, about 600 medical personnel sat for the written examination and out of these number, about 200 would be selected. It would be recalled that just recently, the Executive Secretary inaugurated the 15-man medical committee for the 2011 pilgrimage exercise.

GBO in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos are set to mark the coming New Yam festival in a grand style. The three-day festival, which holds in the Eleko Beach axis, will involve a lot of activities apart from the core new yam feast on August 28. Confirming this, Chief Chinedu Idezuna, Managing Director, Castledown Arts Centre, organizers of the event said the aim was to open up the zone, attract mid-scale investors to the area and generate tourism activities. “The World Bank, China, Federal and Lagos State governments and big firms have invested so much money in this area that we need to position it for tourism activities to march the fast pace of development. With two airports, one for cargo, the other for passengers to service the Olokunla Gas project, a lot of attention will be attracted to this area,” he said. He listed the tourism content of the area to include Akodo Beach , La Campagne Tropicana Beach, Ikegun, International Golf Course, sites for airports, Lekki Free Trade Zone Phase 1 and mid-size hotels offering decent and budget accommodation and dining facilities. According to him, “There would be a night camp experience on Friday marked with roasting of yam, local games and revelry, as well as gyration by members of the Palmwine Drinkards Club. Saturday would feature another cultural night at ‘Eko Oni Baje’ kingdom, Eleko Junction where lots of fun, entertainment and music would take centre stage with Reggae King, Rymzo on the lead. On Sunday, there would be a sumptuous yam feast followed by a beach football match involving six teams to add colour to the festival themed ‘Exposing the Lekki Free Trade Zone to Lagosians and Tourists,’ planned for August 26-28, 2011.

Best Western Lagos Hotel’s new status

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EST Western Lagos Plus Ikeja Hotel, located on Allen Avenue, has become the very first Best Western PLUS category hotel facility in Africa. Having beaten the Best Western International benchmark score in the last Quality Assurance Assessment, the hotel was upgraded to a PLUS branded property and thus become the first Best Western Hotel property in Africa. The thorough and competitive assessment carried out in May 2011 by senior representatives of Best Western International coordinating office in Dublin, Ireland was led by Judith Billsborough. In the recognition letter to the hotel, the Executive Director, International Member Services, Mr. Neville Graham, stated that “the score in the assessment is a wonderful achievement that set Best Western Plus Lagos Ikeja Hotel as a role model for other members of the Best Western family to look up to”. The hotel Managing Director, Olatunde Oluloye, noted that this is “the first of many international awards the hotel will achieve” and urged the distinguished individuals and corporate establishments who love quality services to come and experience hospitality per excellence at the hotel.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

Training: A vital key for raising Godly children (V)

EAR Reader, You are welcome to another exciting and edifying moment. All along, I have been discussing the above topic. It has been established that children are the heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is His reward. That is the more reason training came on board to make them godly seeds unto the Lord. This week, as I round off this teaching, I’ll like to admonish you parents that houses, cars, money, etc are material things that are temporal; but the everlasting and eternal inheritance is

D

the godly virtues you leave with these children, which will make them glorify God for your life, anytime they remember you. It is a common saying here that a child not built (trained), will eventually sell off a house built. This is so more especially because the Bible says: Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). A child trained, is a child raised. A child left unto him/ herself is the one that brings shame. The first step in looking forward to a Godly generation is to begin in the family by raising

Godly children unto the Lord. God’s Word says: And I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups, and I said unto them, Drink ye wine. But they said, We will drink no wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever: (Jeremiah 35:5-6). We can see from this Scripture that the good works of the man called Jonadab, was speaking long after him. He commanded his children. He showed them the right way. He instructed them in the way of the Lord. He raised them to God’s glory and he left. Long after, the children needed to make a decision, they acted based on what they had learnt of their father. They were brought up with sundry virtues, which they walked in. No wonder, this man’s name found a place in the Book of books. Right now, I ask for grace for obedience to God’s laid down agenda in effectively train-

ing the children, for every reader in Jesus’ Name. You shall make a difference in your generation. Your children shall remember you and declare, ‘Blessed is the God of our mother, so and so. Praise God for the life of our father, so and so.’ They shall be proud of you as a Godly mother or father, who taught and showed them the right way to living, and your name shall appear in the Lamb’s Book of Life, having carried out God’s will on the earth. This shall be your portion in Jesus’ precious Name. Amen! I rejoice with you. I want you, as a parent, reading this column to pray that your decision to work with God, and raise Godly children to Him, shall not fail. The Lord shall strengthen and empower you. The wisdom to carry out your decision shall be imparted to you. You shall not fail. God is the foundation for raising Godly children, after which

the key of training comes in. In order for the destiny of those children not to be toyed with, you really need to accept Jesus. The right place to begin from is a personal relationship with God, through Jesus Christ. If you want to start this relationship right now, you can say this prayer: Dear Lord, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me my sins. Cleanse me with Your precious Blood. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Now I know I am born again! Congratulations! Call or write, and share your testimonies with me through: E-mail: faithdavid@yahoo.com Tel. No: 234-1-7747546-8; 07026385437. For more insight, these books authored by Pastor Faith Oyedepo are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all the Living Faith Churches and other leading Christian bookstores: Understanding Motherhood, Raising Godly Children, and Marriage Covenant.

How paracetamol can reduce stress and sharpen your memory R ESEARCHERS believe paracetamol acts on key brain cells that control recall Paracetamol, one of the world’s most widely taken painkillers, may boost memory. Researchers believe it acts on key brain cells that control recall, and have now begun a clinical trial. It follows a pilot study by the same team whose as yet unpublished results show people taking daily paracetamol performed better on memory tests. The average Briton takes 106 paracetamol tablets each year, usually to lower fever or relieve mild to moderate aches and pains. Scientists believe its pain-killing properties stem from the ability to reduce the number of chemicals in the body called prostaglandins. These are released in response to illness or injury, and are thought to sensitise nerve endings to feelings of pain and physical discomfort. Experts believe that paracetamol blocks the activity of an enzyme called cyclooxygenase-2, which stops production of these pain-causing prostaglandins. In addition to this, laboratory studies also show paracetamol triggers the release of the feel-good brain chemical serotonin, which as well as boosting its pain-relieving benefits, can have an indirect effect on memory, by reducing feelings of stress (which can affect memory). More directly, paracetamol is also thought to activate an area of the brain involved in learning, memory and problem-solving called the hippocampus. However, scientists are still unclear of the exact mechanism through which it works, and some early stage animal studies have shown that at low doses paracetamol may actually hamper memory. But when used at high doses the drug is thought to produce beneficial effects. A recent Swedish study showed that agitation levels in people with dementia reduced by 17 per cent over an eightweek period when treated with highdose paracetamol. In the new memory trial, which started last month, scientists at the University Hospital Clermont-Ferrand, France, will ask 44 healthy men and women to take a daily dose of 2g paracetamol, the equivalent of four tablets, for nine months (the maximum daily safe dose of paracetamol is 4g). The average Briton takes 106 paracetamol tablets each year Reaction times and decision-making skills will be analysed throughout this

time, and the volunteers will also be asked to sit memory tests. The scientists will monitor the subjects’ overall health to check for adverse effects. The trial follows a recently completed study by the same team, with 40 men and women, which the researchers say showed a memory improvement with daily paracetamol, but there was no placebo group. The new trial will have a placebo group, and neither the patients nor the investigators will know who has been given the real drug or a dummy pill until after the trial is completed. Commenting on the study, Dr Anne Corbett, research manager at charity The Alzheimer’s Society, said: ‘The problems caused by dementia can mean much more than simply misplacing keys or forgetting a phone number. It can mean not being able to recognise family or where you live. ‘It is therefore vitally important that we develop treatments that can counter these symptoms and improve the lives of the hundreds of thousands of people living with the condition.’ She added: ‘Research has shown paracetamol could reduce agitation in people with dementia. However, this latest trial is looking at the memory in healthy adults, and it is therefore too early to suggest this could be the breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.’ The French team stress that patients should never self-medicate with paracetamol, as the research is still in the early stages, and may have sideeffects. Meanwhile, taking paracetamol long-term may lower the risk of prostate cancer. New research by the Epidemiology Research Center at the American Cancer Society looked at the association between the painkiller and prostate cancer incidence among 80,000 men. They had been monitored by scientists every two years since 1992 in an ongoing study. Since this date, a total of 8,092 prostate cancer cases were diagnosed. Results show that for those using paracetamol — 30 or more pills a month — and who had done so for five or more years, the risk of prostate cancer was reduced by 48 per cent. The risk of an aggressive cancer was reduced by 51 per cent. The researchers are unsure how the painkiller delivers such a protective effect, but believe it may be linked to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Parents given clearer paracetamol guidelines to stop them overdosing their children Child doses of paracetamol are to be revised to stop parents from giving their children too much by accident. It comes a month after a study found 27 per cent of babies aged between one and three months had been given an overdose of paracetamol over a year long period. Paracetamol dose: At the moment, there is one age band for those aged six to 12, but this will now be split into three bands Dr James McLay, who led the study said parents and GPs were ‘over-confident’ in prescribing paracetamol. But he added in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology that it was very difficult to know exactly how much of the drug a child needed and it depended on their age and their weight. Now liquid medicines are being updated with

labels providing a more detailed breakdown of the dose by age group to avoid confusion. At the moment, there is one age band for those aged six to 12, but this will now be split into three bands. For example, the guidance currently says children aged six to 12 should have 5ml to 10ml of medicine, up to four times in 24 hours. By the end of this year, the pack will read 5ml for those aged six to eight, 7.5ml for those aged eight to 10 and 10ml for those aged 10 to 12. There will also be clearer guidance for paracetamol formulas for babies, according to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Paracetamol offers short-term pain relief and is used to treat fever in children.

Formulation Age

Dose

Infant paracetamol suspension(120mg/5ml) 3-6 months 2.5ml 6–24 months 5ml 2–4 years 7.5ml 4–6 years 10ml Paracetamol six plus suspension (240mg/5ml)

•Researchers believe paracetamol acts on key brain cells that control recall

6–8 years 5ml 8–10 years 7.5ml 10–12 years 10ml Dr June Raine, MHRA director of vigilance and risk management of medicines, said: ’The change is to ensure children get the most optimal dose of paracetamol suitable for their age. ‘This updated dosing advice will clarify the doses, making it easier for parents and carers to know exactly how much paracetamol they should give their children. ‘The change is not because of safety concerns and parents/carers should not be worried that they have done anything wrong.’ Paracetamol products for children currently on the market should have the updated dosage instructions by the end of 2011. In the meantime, parents can still follow the doses recommended on the pack. Steve Tomlin, from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said: ‘The changes announced today have narrowed the age bands and clearly defined a single dose for each band. ‘This means children will get a much closer match of paracetamol dose to their weight, leading to more effective treatment, something we very much welcome.’


53 Coping with diseases

THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

From your texts and emails I learned hypertension is caused by environment and stress but not genetically; is it true? Dear Reader, Well, if you look at the statistics, more adults than children are treated for hypertensive conditions therefore it seems that the causative factors are mainly stress and environment including diet (such as salty foods). Possibly, hypertension develops from a build-up of these factors over the years or a buildup of the results of these factors over the years. However, there are genetic factors that can be inherited that predispose one to hypertension early or later in life and there are racial differences. (There may be problems with diagnosis of hypertensive conditions in young people). There are also factors that intervene during pregnancy that produce hypertensive features in a baby. Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) is a condition that I was studying with a research group in a neonatology unit in California so I can tell you that some babies do have hypertensive conditions but they are rare (for PPHN, about 2 in 1000). My name is Segun, a part 4 biomedical science student in LAUTECH, Nigeria. I saw your writings in the Nation dailies. It was fabulous. I never knew biomedical scientists like you are outside there trail blazing. However Sir, I’d like you to please give me a little orientation about the biomedical science profession, ways to make a mark and make it in the profession. Even as a part 4 student, I still have this thought of going for MBBS after my degree but that usually fades away when I see bright future for this profession. I anticipate your kind response, Sir. Thank you, Sir. Dear Segun, I reserve this column for health education but

thank you for your comment and compliment. Actually these days there is much diversity in health professions from pharmacists and therapists to doctors and clinical workers. The members of the public do need to know this better to enhance their own health care delivery and solutions. On the academic side, basic medical scientists, especially teaching academics are either subject specific, such as a physiologist, pharmacologist, and microbiologist or, as is common in research intensive environments in the USA they may be multidisciplinary biomedical scientists devoted to full time research. There is a world of options out there for you depending on whether you want to do predominantly clinical work, teaching, or research. All three are altruistic in their own ways. You will always make a mark if you see where there is an area of need for the society that you can serve. Biomedical science research has been life-saving and life-enhancing in many respects. Biomedical science research is intriguing but is physically and intellectually tasking and rarely financially rewarding. If you want to devote your life to scientific research you can find ways of making money by the side and live a comfortable life. Have a good career and a good name. Hello Ma, I always find your articles interesting. Well I have a problem on which I need your help. For some time now I have been having these worm-like movements in my body. Please I need your expert opinion and advice because these movements are making life unbearable for me. Thank you. Dear Reader, You need to start at a clinic or hospital. See a medical doctor to give you a physical examination and guide

with Prof. Dayo Oyekole

Herbal immuno-modulators I

T you from there. When your problem has been successfully diagnosed then you can try to learn more about it. There are many ways to get health information. The easiest is the Internet. The Internet is accessible to everybody and is a very good self-empowering tool that you should be familiar with. Check American Government websites such as Medline Plus, or Internet encyclopedias such as Wikipedia or general medical sites such as MedicineNet.com and emedicine.medscape.com, or specialized sites of professional organizations dealing with that field of medicine or that disease or search the disease with Google. Get you diagnosis and you are on your way out of the problem. I hope you get back to enjoying life soon. Hi Doctor, I stumbled on your writeup and I was pleased and I was educated to some limits about an impending danger that was lurking around. It started with a chest pain around October last year, then it degenerated to breaking out of cold sweats, fluids in the lungs that caused distress in breathing, wheezing, coughing, swelling of the veins in the neck, a very fast heartbeat. The X-ray of my Mum shows she has C.C.F and I think the right side of the heart is now the problem because of the oedema in her feet, ankles and belly. What drugs would you advice? What food should she take and avoid? Would you advice for a surgery to be done? Do you believe in

Naturapathy as a remedy? Dear Reader, Congestive cardiac failure or chronic cardiac failure (heart failure) is serious. A cardiologist should treat the patient. Drugs can’t just be advised for such a problem. There is absolute need for expert prescription and keen monitoring under therapy. She needs to stay with a cardiology unit. The treatment of CCF may include lifestyle changes (e.g. limiting salt and fluid intake and doing aerobic exercises), overcoming the reversible aspects, giving medications, using a mechanical device, or heart transplant, depending on how advanced the disease is. The cardiologist can give you a prognosis: predict if she could recover, survive, live with a device, have a transplant, or should be assisted to die well (palliative care or hospice). Also consider the body, mind, and spirit aspects and seek wisdom for right decisions. The oldest drug used for this ailment was derived from the toxic plant foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), therefore I cannot rule out a role for naturopathy that uses herbs for relieving symptoms though it may not prolong life. The failed heart needs delicate control and plant materials contain unmeasured toxins. However, naturopathy practice relies more on the person’s physical ability to heal and perhaps mental capacity for healing both of which might be already overwhelmed at this stage. However, for your mother, with sentimental care, the wisdom is yours. Be peaceful and she too will be peaceful.

Staphylococcus and erectile dysfunction —Filani

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TAPHYLOCOCCAL in fections can lead to erec tile dysfunction in men. Erectile dysfunction is the inability of a man to produce a consistent or maintain an erection of the penis sufficient to have a sexual intercourse. Erectile dysfunction is also referred to as sexual impotence. Sexual impotence is a serious health problem that has broken many marriages today. Studies have revealed that apart from the need for couples to be rooted in God, sex is the next best tonic for a strong relationship! Studies have shown that over 20% of men in our society today are either partially or totally impotent. Impotency is usually caused by two major factors; (i)The presence of serious ailments like diabetes and (ii) STD (sexually transmitted diseases). In the days of our forefathers, excessive consumption of sugary foods and alcohol were not encouraged, that was why they were able to remain sexually potent till old age. Secondly, the presence of STD’s is another major causative factor. Most

men suffer from STD’s which have ended up destroying their libidos. A sexual disease like staph.aureus is a known destroyer of the sexual organ. Apart from those that are born with sexual impotence, these two factors are usually responsible for the impotence in men these days. Normally, a healthy man with full potency should be able to have erection at least three times daily. If a man sleeps, an erection should be the first thing to wake him from sleep if truly he’s sexually potent, it is a natural phenomenon. If a man does not experience an erection even when a naked body of a woman is paraded before him, then there is a serious problem. Naturally, although age has a role to play in erection sustainability that is it takes a little stimulation for a youth of between ages 20 – 30 to gain an erection, he may climax quickly but he gains back his erection in a few minutes. An adult male of 40 years will need a more direct stimulation to attain an erection, while a 60 year

old male may need an even more direct stimulation before an erection can be achieved. But these days it’s so amazing that even youths in their early twenties are having a problem of erectile dysfunction and almost all the cases involved are due to one infection or another most especially staph infection. This reminds me of a case of Mr. Ade (not real name), who came to our office to complain bitterly of a problem with his sexual incompetence. He is a 40 year old man married to a lady in her late twenties and he is finding it rather difficult to satisfy her in bed. The reason being that after just about 5 mins of intercourse he ejaculates and could not get back his erection till the following day. After listening to his complains, we carried out some tests on him and it was discovered that he has a heavy growth of staph. aureus. He was treated for the infection, then after the treatment he was giving some herbal drugs for his sexual performance. Now the table has turned around as it is the man that is complaining that his wife can-

not withstand his sexual prowess. There have been many cases like that, that we have treated and God has used us to save homes from breaking apart. If as a man you wake up in the morning without your manhood becoming turgid for more than 3 – 5 days then you should know that there is a cause for alarm. You really need to examine yourself before it becomes too late. My candid advice to all men is to avoid having any form of casual sex in order to prevent infection. They should also live a healthy life, eat good and well- balanced diet, exercise regularly and abstain from casual sex. Whenever they notice any form of problem concerning their sexual life they should not hesitate to go for medical check up before the situation gets worse. This article continues next week. Don’t you forget to get in touch through our lines. Dr. Banji Filani is the Chief Consultant of Sound Health Centre,Lagos. For further information or discussion,call him on 07034809006, 08023422010

HE body’s ability to protect itself from the onslaught of offending virus, bacteria, fungi, cancer, etc can be enhanced or weakened by a number of factors. We each have experienced that sudden attack of cold that sets in after an extraordinary stressful cycle, such as many days of celebration or of more serious event such as the death of a loved one, divorce, loss of a job etc. All such events can weaken our immune system and make us susceptible to various intractable diseases like Malaria, Cancer, Hepatitis, Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, etc. Poor diet, inadequate nutrition, continual stress, negative emotions, environmental poisons, abuse of drugs, alcoholism, excessive smoking, lack of exercise can all contribute to the inability of our immune system to properly defend and protect us. Herbal support of immune activity is an example of where traditional medicine is being confirmed by modern research, with many remedies showing complementary immunological effects in both laboratory and clinical trials. These herbs are described as ‘immuno-modulators’ because they support natural responses to be more flexible in the face of disease. They provide a potential alternative to conventional chemotherapy of infections, especially with people having an impaired immune response. As they support the body’s own immune mechanisms there is also the possibility of preventing opportunistic infections. The treatment of cancer may also benefit from their use as it is well known that tumor growth can be inhibited by stimulating components of the immune system, such as Tkiller cells. Similarly, in cases of Tuberculosis, Hepatitis and HIV/AIDS, it has been shown that the natural defence mechanisms of the individual sufferer can be augmented with herbal therapy, not only to destroy the causative agent, but also to prevent opportunistic infections.

Immunity Immunity may be defined as the ability or power of the body to resist infection by micro-organisms or the harmful effects of their toxins. The process by which immunity (natural or acquired, active or passive) is conferred on an individual, is called immunization. That system in our body, which is made up of an intricate network of organs, molecules and specialized cells that work in close co-operation to fight off infection and to develop immunity against future attack is called the immune system.

The Immune System The immune system has become a crucial issue in our society in recent years. We are faced with the limitations of modern medical science as it struggles to respond to the diseases of weakened immunity. A potential part of the solution is offered by the most ancient of medical approaches, namely, herbal medicine. To see the possibilities offered by herbal remedies, it is important to have a grasp of the biological basis of immunity, but at least as importantly is a comprehension of the role it plays in human life. We rely upon our immune system, which can be compared to an army of sentinels, helping to defend us from foreign invaders, such as bacteria, virus, fungi, cancer cells, etc. Our immune system comprises the tonsils, the adrenals, the thymus gland, the spleen, the lymph nodes scattered throughout the body, the lymphatic system, the bone marrow, white blood cells, Peyer’s patches in the intestinal tract, the appendix, etc. The essential task of this immensely intricate and sensitive system of internal army of immune cells which can be compared to a highly specialized frontline of defense and attack, can identify, remember and destroy disease-causing invaders and also abnormal or infected cells. When the internal army is functioning optimally, few viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc or even cancer cells are allowed to set up residence or even begin to wreak havoc. For further information and consultation on Holistic Lifecare research and services, especially on Blood Infections, Infertility, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Chronic Debilitating Conditions as well as mental and social problems, please call on: 0803-330-3897 or visit: Mosebolatan Holistic Lifecare Centres in Ibadan, Lagos or Abuja. Website: _ HYPERLINK “http:// w w w . h o l i s t i c l i f e c a r e . c o m ” _www.holisticlifecare.com_. Distance is no barrier, we can send remedies by courier if need be. We also have facilities for accommodation, admission and hospitalization in a serene and homely environment. To be continued next week


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

•Suswam •Katsina-Alu

•Jega

Disconcerting developments from Benue election tribunal W

HEN in March, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, administered an oath on the 220 judicial officers who would be part of at least three members in each of the 74 election petition tribunals throughout the federation, those currently working in Benue State probably never anticipated any hitch in the discharge of their duties. But so far, developments in the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in the state since it started sitting about three months ago have markedly set it aside from the rest of its kind in the country. First, the chairman of the tribunal resigned even before the pre-hearing notice began. And only about two weeks ago, it

Augustine AVWODE, Assistant Editor & Uja EMMANUEL became the only tribunal whose panelists literally “fled” the state for the sake of their lives. These developments have now fuelled the fear that there could be a grand design with the sole objective of ensuring that the tribunal fails to meet the stipulated time frame of six months or 180 days allowed by law.

In the beginning Signs that some desperate forces in the state were prepared to make the work of the tribunal difficult appeared early in the

horizon. The result was the sudden resignation of the first chairman of the tribunal, Justice Daisy Okocha, on grounds of insecurity and threat to her life. She had arrived Makurdi, the Benue State capital, prepared to dispense justice and do her bit to the best of her ability. And so, in strict compliance with the instructions that tribunal panelists should not accept accommodation from state governments, but to stay in hotels, took up lodging at Hope Haven Hotel, Makurdi. That rather innocuous act drew the ire of some politicians in the state who quickly read meanings to it that she had already made up her mind to be partial. Those behind the criticism of her choice to stay in a place she probably saw as a decent and con-

ducive environment which would ease her job alleged that for the mere fact that Hope Haven belongs to Regina Akume, the wife of Senator George Akume, an Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftain, meant that she might have taken a position on the matter. So severe and widespread were the allegations of compromise against her that Justice Okocha had to relocate to Royal Choice Hotel which is close to the Government House in the state capital. But if she thought she would, from then on, have the time to concentrate on her job, she got it wrong. Pressure was allegedly mounted on her to do the biddings of some powerful politicians in the state. But she refused to budge


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011 and did not allow herself to be compromised in the face of intimidation and harassment in the state. It was gathered that her unbending stance provoked an avalanche of harsh reactions from those behind the plot. She allegedly received a series of threatening text messages which she discountenanced and brushed aside. But the matter got to a head when one morning in mid-June, she woke up to find, according to reports, the four tyres of her official car parked on the hotel premises, deflated by unknown individuals. And a note left on the windscreen indicated that she had become a marked person. Not willing to carry her luck too far, and apparently sensing that her life was under serious threat, she decided to quit on Friday, June 17.

Starting afresh With her resignation and no objection from those who appointed her, another chairman in the person of Justice Munir Ladan was named as chairman for the tribunal. He moved quickly into action conscious of the challenge imposed by time factor. He started by presiding over the pre-hearing notice on the petition filed by the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) governorship candidate, Prof. Daniel Saror, against the election of Governor Gabriel Suswam of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Recall that Justice Daisy Okocha resigned before the beginning of the hearing of the two petitions against the election of Suswam. The second petition is that of the ACN candidate, Prof Steven Torkuma Ugbah. But then it soon became apparent that the ghosts of insecurity, threat, intimidation and harassment are still very much around hovering menacingly over the heads of those picked to dispense justice. Unable to stomach the threats and pressure still dogging the tribunal, Justice Ladan at one of the sessions, just about 35 days after Justice Okocha resigned, raised the alarm regarding insecurity. He announced the decision of the tribunal to relocate back to Abuja, possibly to gain some fresh air after a suffocating period in Benue. This made the Benue Governorship Election Petition Tribunal the only one this time to have openly decided to relocate back to Abuja for consultation. During a hearing in the case between Governor Suswam of the PDP and Professor Daniel Saror of the ANPP, who is challenging the former’s election on the grounds of certificate forgery, Ladan declared that: “We are facing security challenges, and have to go to Abuja to sort things out with the President of the Court of Appeal. We can only sit when the matter (security issue) is resolved. In that wise, we will put the counsel on notice when this issue is cleared”. He added: “All preliminary objections will be heard on the adjourned date of 3rd August, 2011”. Those who were at the tribunal on that day were not only shocked, but in a way amused because earlier, one of the members of the tribunal, Justice N. Gume, had, while delivering a consolidated ruling to grant the 1st and 2nd respondents extension of time to regularise their replies to Saror’s petition, prayed “against evil machination of men.” At the end of proceedings, members of the tribunal were escorted out of the court premises by a team of armed policemen from the Special Anti-Robbery Rapid Squad of the state police command.

The blame game Expectedly, the blame game

•Ugbah

•Saror

Some of the many posers begging for answers now include how the tribunal would be able to overcome the now publicly acknowledged “security challenges” it is facing and whether in the face of the current development it would be able to meet the stipulated 180 days it has to determine the petitions before it

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started almost immediately. The ruling party fired the first salvo through the state PDP Chairman, Dr. Emmanuel Agbo, who alleged that the unruly behaviour of members of the ACN at every sitting of the tribunal was responsible for what he called an unfortunate development. He accused the opposition of causing trouble by the sheer size of its supporters who always storm the tribunal venue and who make so much noise calling for change. “At every sitting of the court, we noticed hordes of ACN supporters who besieged the premises , creating unnecessary tension and distractions and thereby making the vicinity of the court unsafe for the panelists,” Agbo said. But the ACN quickly rebutted the allegations and accused the PDP government of failing to ensure security of lives and property in the state. The Chairman of the ACN, Comrade Abba Yaro, said: “If there are security challenges in a state, the government in power should be held responsible for that.” A day after the tribunal panel ‘fled’,the ACN issued a lengthy 10- point statement signed by Yaro in which it blamed the PDP and alleged that the PDP was adopting a time wasting method so as to make the stipulated 180 days impossible for the tribunal to conclude its job. The ACN restated its confidence in the judiciary and the capacity of the tribunal to restore its stolen

mandate. It urged the Federal Government to provide tight security for the tribunal to dispose of its cases within the 180 days stipulated in the Electoral Act. The statement read in part: “Following the announcement in open court yesterday by Justice Munir Ladan, Chairman of the Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, that members of the tribunal were under severe threats and intimidation and the subsequent adjournment of sittings for one week, the leadership of the ACN in Benue State wishes to dissociate itself and all its members from such acts of threats and intimidation” The ACN then called on all wellmeaning citizens to recall its earlier complaint about the state of insecurity in Benue State and how the ruling party accused it of crying wolf when there was none. It lamented how the chief media adviser to its gubernatorial candidate, the late Mr. Charles Ayede, was gunned down by assassins, yet nothing was done. But on the contrary, and curiously, it “led to the arrest, detention and arraignment of Ugbah on charges of inciting public disturbance, a case which is still ongoing at the Chief Magistrate Court 1 in Makurdi.” “Now that two election tribunals have been threatened by insecurity in Benue such that they cannot operate freely, the whole world will appreciate the circumstances and challenges under which the ACN has strived in Benue State. Our members have

been threatened, intimidated, harassed, beaten, molested, kidnapped and even killed. No amount of such antics can subvert the will and resolve of the people against the ineffective and corrupt PDP government of Rt. Hon. Gabriel Suswam”, the party insisted. A prominent indigene of the state and former Police Commissioner for Lagos State, Abubakar Tsav, rather challenged the members of the panel to be bold and name those behind the threat. He said that everything must be done to ensure that the polity was not heated up. But then, he was unsparing in condemning the development which he argued has projected the state in bad light and soiled its image. According to him: “The development does not give a good image of Benue State; the people of the state want the case to be heard and disposed of without further delay”.

Race against time There is a clear case of a race against time as far as election petitions in the country now go. Before the coming into force of the amended Electoral Act 2010, many petitions dragged on in the country to the chagrin of the petitioners. But the federal lawmakers, in the amended Electoral Act 2010, made sure that nobody who fraudulently found himself in any position without actually getting the mandate of the electorate en-

joys such dubious electoral victory for more than six months. And so a proviso was added to the effect that no petition shall exceeds 180 days. “All election petitions shall be disposed of in 180 days from the start of the petition otherwise the petition abates, and the implication is that the respondent will remain in office”. The concern of many people is essentially how the ups and downs of the happenings in the Benue Governorship Election Petition Tribunal will affect the search for equity and justice in the April gubernatorial election in the state. On Wednesday, August 3, the venue of the tribunal was as usual filled with supporters of both the petitioners and respondents in anticipation of the continuation of the petitions, having adjourned on July 25 to August 3 and 4. But to the chagrin of those who went there, including newsmen, they were told that the tribunal would not sit until Monday, August 8 and Tuesday, August 9. To many, the fate of their petition is in a way tied to the ever slippery element called time. The ACN in its reaction to the announcement in court by Justice Ladan highlighted the implication that such a decision would likely have on its petition before the tribunal. It stated that: “ We are aware and mindful of the mandatory constitutional provision of 180 days within which the tribunal must deliver judgment or the petition abates”. The party alleged that the ruling party is working towards such a possibility. It expressed not only concern at such a development, but also prayed that God would not allow it. “God forbids if such becomes the fate of our petition which is one of the options being targeted by Governor Suswam and the PDP. While the antics and tactics of Governor Gabriel Suswam aimed at distracting the tribunal is going on, the time within which the tribunal must determine our petition has not stood still,”the said. It, therefore, urged the tribunal to kindly take into consideration, the purpose and right of the petitioners to have its petition determined before time plays a fast one on it. “The tribunal must, therefore, take into consideration, the right of the petitioners to have their petition determined within the stipulated time prescribed by the constitution”,it said. And to achieve this, the party is of the view that the Federal Government must provide enough security for the tribunal to be able to do its job without let, fear or favour. “That the Federal Government should provide enough security for the tribunal to dispose of its cases as the Governor and the PDP are not above the law and the tribunal is part of a constitutional electoral process,”it further said. As both petitioners and respondents wait for next Monday to continue their quest for justice at the tribunal, some of the many posers begging for answers now include how the tribunal would be able to overcome the now publicly acknowledged “security challenges” it is facing and whether in the face of the current development, it would be able to meet the stipulated 180 days it has to determine the petitions before it. But above all, what are the security agencies doing in the face of the alleged “security challenges” by the tribunal to not only safeguard the lives of the members of the tribunal, but to ensure that notwithstanding these challenges in Benue State, justice is done and ensure that democracy is irreversibly entrenched.


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We need to regulate the way cars are imported from Benin to Nigeria — Muktari Daura, Katsina-born Honourary Consul of Benin Republic in Nigeria On Monday, August 1, the Benin Republic celebrated her 53 years of independence. Benin nationals in Nigeria gathered at the Honourary Consulate of the country on Katsina Road, near Federal Secretariat, Kano, to celebrate their independence in solidarity with their countrymen at home. Alhaji Muktari Ali Yardaje Daura, Katsina-born businessman and the Honorary Consul of Benin Republic in Nigeria spoke to KOLADE ADEYEMI about the need to revitalise Africa’s economy and his desire to ensure cordial socioeconomic relationship between Nigeria and Benin Republic. not only strange but very worrisome, because beyond human circumstances, there could be an accident and lives and property that could be lost would be unquantifiable. Imagine a case where so many cars are involved in head-on collision or fall prey to fire incident. It is the wish of the people that the number of cars allowed to cross the border at a time should be reduced and controlled so as to avoid unforeseen circumstances that could lead to loss of lives and property. Also, when the cars are reduced to a reasonable number, it will help security agencies to do their jobs effectively and efficiently. Let me also reiterate the need to solve the border problems. In fact, I recommend a special re-orientation programme for border communities so that they can come to terms with the need to cooperate and show hospitality to travellers and businessmen. You participated in the three-day Cotonou Symposium on Africa Development. What is the idea behind the gathering? In fact, the idea behind the symposium held in the capital of Benin Republic is simply what we have been talking about. During the conference, which lasted from May 26 to May 28, issues relating to the development of Africa were thoroughly discussed. We also analysed proposed interventions and economic reforms to be powered by the institution of the Briton Wood through what the conference described as Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAP). The symposium also accepted proposals for models of development in Africa which, barring certain circumstances, Nigeria ought to be the frontrunner. The Cotonou outing was also disturbed over Africa’s energy problem. Africa is extravagantly endowed with energy and other natural resources, but the problem is that over the years, Africa has not been able to harness its resources to measure with the world’s economic standard. In the words of Ataou Soufiano, the President of the Benin Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the symposium would enable Africa to obtain the means of increasing its share within the continental and international trade. That was not the first time such a meeting would be convened in the African states. What exactly has Africa gained from the Cotonou symposium? Let me start this way: you are aware that the economic recession which shook the whole world during the 1980s had a serious impact on the

•Daura

strengthen the mutually beneficial traditional links of friendship and economic cooperation existing among them. You see, the time has come for the African countries to realise that one of the most practical means of addressing Africa’s marginalization in the world’s economic landscape is to institute a sustained cooperation among the African countries. I believe that was what the 2007 COPAZ Summit tried to achieve. There is a nagging need for West African countries to put in place a suitable and equitable institutional framework and alliance which emphasise shared economic development and growth. And this can be achieved by making a policy that will ensure free movement of goods, persons, capital, services as well as harmonisation of monetary and investment policies and mechanisms. In Africa, we have all the potential to make a serious impact on world economy. You talked about free movement of persons and goods across West African countries. Are you not aware of security risks involved in such an arrangement? The issue of security can be perfectly put under control. There is no country which does not have police, immigration, Navy and the Customs. When this becomes a

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policy, there must be a committee that would bring together all the security agencies of member countries. And there should also be a sub-committee on peace and security to be headed by the security chiefs of member countries. The security agents would be adequately equipped to effectively execute the joint management of the border posts, structures and border patrol operations along both land and maritime boundaries. The union will be designed to redouble efforts to reduce all impediments to free movement of goods and services. Let me bring to bear one major security challenge at the borders. There is the issue of bringing in cars from Benin Republic into Nigeria. There is a public outcry over a queer arrangement of clustering over 4,000 cars in a convoy. People have expressed fear that this arrangement is

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H

OW has it been as the Honorary Consul of Benin to Nigeria? It has been very challenging. I have seen myself venturing into so many areas that I shouldn’t have had time to venture into. My assignment is a diplomatic one and you know what it means to manage people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. In fact, since I was appointed, my office has become a rallying point for the Beninoise living in Nigeria. You know that more than 90 per cent of Benin nationals in Nigeria live in the northern part of the country. For this reason, we have our headquarters here in Kano. We have been moving round the country to ensure that all Benin citizens in Nigeria are comfortable and are of good conduct. Apart from that, we have been partnering with Nigerian investors who wish to do business in Benin, because we are concerned about maintaining a cordial business relationship between Benin and Nigeria. Already, about three major Nigerian banks have indicated interest in establishing a branch in Benin Republic. Whenever I travel to Benin, I usually meet with Nigerians resident in the country. I must tell you that these two countries have a lot to gain from each other. My office is favourably disposed to ensuring that Nigeria and Benin continue to enjoy diplomatic relationship in terms of human development and socio-political integration of both countries. It has been argued that African Union has not done much in promoting economic development of member countries. What is your view on this? I may not totally toe the line of that argument. But my thinking is that the Union should do more to facilitate cross-border trade in goods and services manufactured by member countries. It should also identify new areas of investment cooperation and agree on funding and modalities for implementation of a joint purse where a common treasury would be stored for emergency purposes. Priority should also be given to a collective implementation of an investment to guarantee the survival of private investments among member countries; collective monitoring of borders and maritime issues to ensure sustainable peace and security; deepening integration in transportation and communication, agriculture and manufacturing; training in English and French languages (since member countries are a mixture of Anglophone and Francophone countries). The union should also focus on mines, energy and power development as well as the establishment of border markets where the naira and other currencies of member countries will be the currencies for exchange. You are aware of a Memorandum of Understanding on Benin-Nigeria-Togo co-prosperity Alliance Zone (COPAZ) signed in Abuja on February 8, 2007 by the presidents of the three countries. Do you think COPAZ holds any hope for the economic development of these three countries? COPAZ is a very brilliant idea. If the tempo is maintained, I see the West African countries becoming a strong economic union in the nearest future. The February 8, 2007 Abuja Summit of the three sister countries was fashioned to

There is a public outcry over a queer arrangement of clustering over 4,000 cars in a convoy. People have expressed fear that this arrangement is not only strange but very worrisome, because beyond human circumstances, there could be an accident and lives and property that could be lost would be unquantifiable.

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Third-World countries of which Africa constitutes a greater percentage. Then, by the middle of the 1980s, the Structural Adjustment Programme was implemented under the auspices of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. The two major objectives of SAP was to ensure the restoration of the budgetary balance preliminary to the management of debt, and to return external viability of the economy of the continent in order to revitalise the viability of the African states in terms of socio-economic development. Again, at a point in time, the negotiations for a New World Commercial Order engineered by the World Organisation of Trade (OMC) came up, but that initiative did not rescue Africa from economic quagmire. Now, don’t you think it is convenient and even necessary to find solutions to Africa’s economic problems? I believe the time is now, and we raised these issues at the Cotonou Symposium. Can we have an Africa of uniformed and vibrant economy? Why not? It is very realisable. We can get there. I am very optimistic we can, just the same way the European countries did it. Now, I bet you that in the contemporary world, any economic initiative which does not take into account the private sector is dedicated to failure. And in my candid opinion, Africa must wake up to the challenges of the times in the private sector in such a way that it would take its rightful place in terms of economic and human development. It is high time we waggled our continent out of poverty. Let us believe in self-reliance and indigenous industrialisation. We have the means and resources to lead the world’s economy, only if we believe. In spite of its human and natural resources, Africa is still riddled with health problems, food crisis, poverty, inadequate educational system and other crises that debase humanity. Why? Thank you for acknowledging the fact that Africa is blessed with both human and natural resources. We have all it takes to come out from this mess, but the major problem hindering Africa’s development is bad leadership. Our leaders are not being fair to the masses. We have the potential to grow in agriculture. We have the potential to reorganise our health sector. We have the potential to fight diseases. We have the potential and resources to challenge the acclaimed developed countries on science and technology. The only thing we have not had over the years is good leadership. What is your message to the people of Benin Republic at 53? Benin Republic is a wonderful country blessed with human and natural resources. I ask the citizens to be patriotic, obey constituted authorities and remain peaceful. It is also my pleasure to use this opportunity to show my earnest appreciation to the government and people of Benin Republic for reposing this confidence in me. I have made a pledge to Allah and humanity to put in my best in the mission to foster good relationship and restore confidence among Africans. I am a strong believer in the emergence of a new Africa readily structured to galvanise and harness the economic potential of sister countries with a view to building strong and viable economic states across the continent. And I hope that someday, with the effort and cooperation of all, the Benin Republic shall be seated on the front pew of the emerging economic super-powers from West Africa. May the Almighty Allah continue to be our strength? I also seize this opportunity to express my profound gratitude to His Excellency, Dr. Yayi Boni for having in me the trust to serve in this capacity as the Honourary Consul. Trust, they say, is a burden, and I assure the government and good people of Benin Republic that I shall never renege on my desire to be part of history as we work towards enhancing the socio-economic development of the Benin Republic, Nigeria and Africa.


COMMENTARY 57

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It’s same old story

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OMETIMES, you cannot help but wonder if this country will ever cease being a weird canvas of tragic moments. Daily, the Nigerian nation struggles with its many contradictions and self-inflicted agonies. Wanton destruction of lives through road carnages, infant mortality, and a host of other issues that singularly constitute a collective nightmare in serious nations continue here without even being acknowledged by our ‘leaders’. That partly explains why depression and mental maladies directly or indirectly facilitated by bad, insensitive leadership, economic mismanagement and the like, continues to develop. Who says that the development of underdevelopment here is not real? We are a country that seems to be forever occupied with engaging the throttle in reverse gear. We forage for fate in dark alleys and in a vast landscape of waste. We hardly confront the truth with a determination to right the wrongs and make the society better. 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. Simple put: we are our own enemies. We even shake our heads in disbelief to the rendition of own stories. The characters who persistently provide us with this uniquely rudderless leadership are not strange to us. They are in us and we are in them. We are tied together by the cord of deceit. We are in one accord. We merely shake our heads because the story, any story no matter its setting, is all too familiar. It has become a ritual. A tragi-comedy. Our collective bondage. What do we care anyway? Just the other day, the death of the former Chairman of the All Nigerian Peoples Party, Dr. Edwin Ume-Ezeoke, reawakened the usual worn out pattern of eulogies often reserved for the dead here. When death is involved, there is only one Golden Rule: no matter how bad a man was on earth before the final call, it is a taboo to speak ill of that person after transition. It does not matter whether the dead has singlehandedly impoverished a generation or ruined a community through self-aggrandizement. He must be ‘sent home’ with cliché expressions, our brand of kind words and flowery phrases. “A shocking death” - even if the deceased reached a hundred years in a nation where life expectancy is below fifty. Therefore, eulogies were not in short supply for a man whose minuses in politics stick out like milestones of another kind. Nevertheless, this is not the time to dig up old wounds. It is time for solemn dirges and flowery words. For this writer, it would have been surprising if President Goodluck Jonathan had not spoken of the “immense sadness and deep feeling of national loss” at the death of the man who showed “deep commitment to national peace, unity and political stability through his patriotic role as chairman of the ANPP.” With his death, it is quite soothing to hear the President of the Senate, David Bonaventure Mark, speak about UmeEzeoke’s hatred for oppression, outspokenness against injustice and staunch defence of the rights of the downtrodden. What more worthy applause can there be to celebrate the sacrifice of one’s credibility along with the soul of a strong political party just to prop up an entity that a Nobel laureate once described as “a nest of killers”! Why, for the life of me, won’t Senator Chris Ngige speak of the late politician’s courage, astuteness

Our Northern leaders should know that even if a six- year- single term is not legal, please, sentiment should be left out of national issues. Let’s give peace a chance and respect decision of our leaders for a better Nigeria. Secondly, our Northern representatives, both at the state and national level, we need to find solutions to our differences in the North. Educate the minds of our supporters over the danger of violent protest and also the challenge of the issues of Boko Haram . Com. Daniel Ahmadu Adze Sanga, LGA Kaduna State Nothing can be truer than your assertion that “The proposed single term of six years is a needless distraction at a time when so many challenges are exposing the fragility and vulnerability of the Nigerian state.” It is not surprising from a leader who never had thorough preparation for the challenges inherent in his office. Nsikak Ekanem In fact, I like this your powerful write-up. “Needless distraction”. Tell him to focus on government not tenure elongation. He should not use that as a diversionary tactics for his failure and non performance. Tayo Tola Agbaje, Abuja I see nothing wrong with the single sixyear- tenure; it’s just that people are afraid that Jonathan might benefit from it. I hate the efficacy of incumbent power in second term election. This single term will reduce rigging that is mostly perpetrated by incumbents when going for second term. Don Ezeala, Port Harcourt Your piece on the single term proposal is the most brilliant article ever written on the subject so far. Thank you and more power to your el-

and adoption of the legendary Zik’s style of politics? Even Ezeoke’s successor at the weakened ANPP headquarters in Abuja, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, found the voice to speak about “the pain of his death.” It is all well and good. Having gone through the usual ritual that accompanies a VIP’s transition to the plane where, we were told, he would give an account of stewardship to his Maker, can these folks spare a thought for fellow Nigerians who die daily due to the sheer indolence and incompetence in high places? Have they asked themselves this simple question: What was a 75-year-old elder statesman looking for in an Indian hospital when there are a thousand and one of such ‘facilities’ here? When they do, they will understand why the rest of us mourn this callous rape of our collective inheritance. It is, indeed, a big shame that a man Senator Ngige described as “not showing any sign of indisposition” during their animated discussion a month ago had to travel all the way to India to get his health problems fixed. His death on that journey is a sad reminder of how terrible things have become here. Is our health system that bad that it can no longer attend to the simple medical needs of both the young and old? On the other hand, do we take the deaths of our politicians, businessmen and money bags in hospitals scattered across the globe as something of a status symbol? These days, hardly can one read news reports of highly placed Nigerians dying at home. For some curious reasons, they have to visit some expensive medical facilities in some distant lands before being freighted back home for a flamboyant burial. Some do not even want their corpses to suffer the indignity of spending a night in our overcrowded morgues! It is that bad. By now, our elastic gift of shamelessness ought to have expired. It is true that death is a necessary end that comes unannounced. Yet, certain things ought to activate the thinking faculty of our leaders. In case they do not know, each ‘big man’ that dies abroad after a failed medical adventure exposes the rot in the health system back home. In those days, they say our hospitals had become mere consulting clinics. Today, the jury is still out on whether any consultation is being carried out in the real sense of the word. The millions who cannot afford the luxury of dying abroad have resigned themselves to fate while things go from bad to worse. What we now have, in most cases, are glorified dispensaries where medical personnel abandon patients in critical condition in deference to the Hippocratic Oath, in the pursuit of pay increase or something similar to that. In any case, the powers-that-be hardly care about how ordinary Nigerians die or what killed them. They are tragic victims of our endless tragic moments. So, why waste soothing words on them anyway? Why even acknowledge their routine passage to eternity through regular blood-curdling disasters that are mostly products of government insensitivity and callous indifference? As I write this, I am yet to read the government’s reaction to the callous end of the fourteen robbery victims who were crushed to death on the Lokoja-Abuja-Okene highway on Tuesday morning. Perhaps these nameless Nigerians were so treated because they really do not matter in the power equation. I am sure the story would have been different if the relative of a leading politician or minister had been among the victims of the dawn tragedy. What does it matter if some ‘unknown’ Nigerians get crushed by an unlucky driver who could not have seen the danger lurking on that bloodied road? After all, our

Knucklehead With

Yomi Odunuga E-mail:yomi.odunuga @thenationonlineng.net SMS only: 07028006913 elites fly high above our famished roads. Their children also traverse state capitals in commercial airplanes, hence, our elites’ complete ignorance and indifference about the agonies and deaths on our roads. It is a big shame that in 21st century modern Nigeria, with all the noise being made by the security agencies, armed robbers have taken firm control of the deathtraps called highways in Nigeria. Yet, we all know that the Kogi State incident where the heartless hoodlums waylaid travelers, forced them to lie flat on the road for thorough search and watched as they were crushed to death by another oncoming luxury bus could have been avoided if we had properly harnessed the country’s resources for the good of all. We will rather do the despicable by appropriating the funds into our fat personal accounts and damn the consequences. Sadly, armed robbery between Abuja-Lagos highway appears to be a consistently regular affair that has continued for years but nobody is doing anything. While traveling long distance on Nigerian roads is likened to embarking on a suicide mission, it is not such a hellish experience in advanced societies. With fast trains, good, well-lit road networks and effective security system, traveling has been made easier and relatively much safer. Road users in these societies worry less about the menace of armed robbers or deep gullies and craters that emerge overnight and cause countless accidents before simple maintenance reaches there. Here, fast trains or even slow ones are no go areas. The more we spend on this venture, the less we see in terms of concrete structures on the ground. We hardly fix the bad patches on the township roads not to talk of the deep holes on the highways. Thousands of lives are lost yearly to this neglect while we sit back and watch. The news of another round of deaths or killings, whether manmade or accidental, hardly jolts us. It is just an old story with a fresh twist! For how long are we going to continue treading this soulless path? How many more lives would be sacrificed on the roads before the authorities wake up to their responsibilities? How much more collateral damage would we suffer before we begin to put an end to the capital flight in the name of foreign medical care? When will we tell our leaders the grim truth about how they have collectively brought a nation down on its stinking knees due to their utter neglect and crying impotence in moving the nation forward as they keep promising? When do we start speaking the truth to power? How can we show them the folly in their rush to tar themselves in glowing colours when the reality on the ground suggests a putrid smell? When will we start telling a different story from these never-ending selfinflicted tragic impulses? When?

Reactions to Illuminations Re: Needless distraction bows. Donatus Makurdi I hail your analysis on ‘Needless distraction”. Indeed an era of unfocused, insensitive and an unserious government. In the face of violence, natural disaster and several other problems militating against stability of the nation’s economy, an extension of term is a bugbear. During his nation-wide campaign in April, President Jonathan claimed he had achieved so much within 9 months in office. If his claim is anything to reckon with, growth and development is our expectation, not frivolities. Mr. President, Get to work. Yinka So far, your piece of today is the best I’ve read on the 6-year tenure trash. He who wants more must perform superbly with little. Kudos! Lucius N. Kungmi, Jos A timely warning to an administration noted for policy somersault. I think, mischief is afoot. Jonathan should address issues that are tasking our continued existence as a nation. The contentious issue of tenure at this time is unnecessary. Patrick Damkor Uncle Segun, this is not only a needless distraction and unnecessary overheating of the polity but an indication that President Jonathan’s transformation agenda may only be in the Political “Power sector” (tenure elongation) after all. JEG and his cohorts cannot resist the booby trap of power seduction in a nation like ours! Rather they want to introduce complacency and lootocracy in governance. They should redress the chal-

Catastrophic distraction and suspicion especially when the president is even ill informed about the subject matter, his mouth trembles each time he comes on stage trying in vain to convince us. KKG, PH Thank you for piece in The Nation today. I earlier argued on my facebook that democracy has its own checks, part of which is the electorate’s powers to reject or reelect the elected officials, depending on their levels of observance or otherwise of the terms of “Social Con tract: with the people. We can thus not for fear of the challenges posed by democracy in its implementation throw its essential elements which will negate people’s power to speak from their vote and for performing elected officials to seek reelection. I like your style of argument. Abdullahi Sani, Wuse

lenges facing us as a nation. Charles, Ai Thank you for that beautiful write up ‘Needless distraction’. I don’t understand our political leaders. Sometimes they think Nigeria is a nation for democratic experiment. I think we should concentrate more on real governance than this type of distraction. Our focus should be on providing basic services for better quality of life. This new idea will destroy and demolish whatever gains we have made on our democratic adventure. It won’t work, let’s forget it. Sir, your appreciation of the germane issues in the gossiped executive tenure issue in today’s paper is quite apt and highly patriotic. Barr. PENDA

Mr. zoning singer. I’m also from north. Since I realized that North have ruled Nigeria for 35 years since we got our independence 50 years ago, I’m silent about zoning. May those who rule and ruined this country reap and reap the fruit of their wicked labour here and hereafter. The present leaders should act well as they will give account of the day of reckoning. Huge distraction like you said, Sege, is an old trick, perfected by his godfather. This guy is simply overwhelmed clueless on how to fix a nation on the verge of collapse; so he has to keep us busy. Why are they scared of fiscal federation that will return power to the states? That is the solution to Nigeria’s development problems! Now they want to abridge our rights to good government. It won’t work! Regards Olu.


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EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT05-08-11 2ND-TIER SECURITIES Company Name PRESCO PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 25 25

Quotation(N) 7.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 411,870 3,123,496.80 411,870 3,123,496.80

AIR SERVICES Company Name AIRLINE SERVICES AND LOGISTICS PLC NIGERIAN AVIATION HANDLING COMPANY PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 4 53 57

Quotation(N) 2.23 7.18

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 19,600 41,552.00 788,028 5,724,196.22 807,628 5,765,748.22

AUTOMOBILE & TYRE Company Name DN TYRE & RUBBER PLC R. T. BRISCOE (NIGERIA) PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 1 28 29

Quotation(N) 0.50 1.61

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 20,000 10,000.00 155,394 239,591.82 175,394 249,591.82

Quotation(N) 6.60 0.64 4.38 3.00 6.24 1.93 11.18 0.50 13.25 9.01 0.70 1.15 0.57 6.20 0.84 1.51 5.00 2.09 0.68 0.79 13.59

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 21,109,037 141,057,344.15 646,608 413,829.12 1,086,499 4,876,730.22 226,846 679,313.92 18,763,755 117,671,882.30 6,833,538 13,093,239.78 9,737,500 108,821,986.22 12,331,501 6,165,750.50 14,927,548 199,742,028.95 784,570 7,087,310.00 3,104,329 2,154,035.03 6,753,847 7,820,242.80 1,662,333 943,774.82 29,791,720 184,176,237.96 1,002,550 842,142.00 159,167 233,062.17 14,644,584 72,961,004.69 1,270,330 2,657,511.78 665,400 453,972.00 2,869,928 2,326,767.36 21,409,444 298,863,738.47 169,781,034 1,173,041,904.24

Quotation(N) 240.00 6.10 93.00

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 603,277 138,048,347.20 33,950 200,615.00 2,949,879 274,631,280.39 3,587,106 412,880,242.59

BANKING Company Name ACCESS BANK PLC AFRIBANK NIGERIA PLC DIAMOND BANK PLC ECOBANK NIGERIA PLC FIRST CITY MONUMENT BANK PLC FIDELITY BANK PLC FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC FINBANK PLC GTBANK PLC STANBIC IBTC BANK PLC INTERCONTINENTAL BANK PLC. OCEANIC BANK INTERNATIONAL PLC BANK PHB PLC SKYE BANK PLC. SPRING BANK PLC STERLING BANK PLC UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA PLC. UNION BANK OF NIGERIA PLC UNITYBANK PLC WEMA BANK PLC ZENITH BANK PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 196 20 33 23 38 86 507 53 464 30 47 149 31 152 8 11 241 56 14 37 245 2,441 BREWERIES

Company Name GUINNESS NIGERIA PLC INTERNATIONAL BREWERIES PLC NIGERIAN BREWERIES PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 72 8 143 223

UNTL seeks to delist from NSE

U

NITED Nigeria Tex tiles (UNTL) Plc has commenced preliminary process of delisting its shares from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), continuing the worrisome trend that has seen many companies in recent period opting to delist their shares. The board of UNTL, through the company’s stockbrokers-CSL Limited, yesterday notified authorities at the NSE that it has opted for delisting of its shares. The notification came a day after the NSE lifted full suspension, which it had earlier in the week placed on UNTL for non-submission of its audited report and accounts. UNTL subsequently released its audited report and accounts showing a turnover of N9.18 billion as against N9.22 billion. Loss after tax stood at N1.31 billion compared with N1.69 billion. In the notification of intention to delist, UNTL said the delisting was sequel to the receipt of a restructuring proposal from its majority shareholder Cha Chi Ming

BUILDING MATERIALS Company Name ASHAKA CEMENT PLC CEMENT CO. OF NORTHERN NIGERIA PLC DANGOTE CEMENT PLC LAFARGE WAPCO PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 95 7 15 24 141

Quotation(N) 21.62 8.00 120.00 44.20

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 2,246,228 48,989,809.48 44,163 338,310.11 118,483 14,221,179.80 114,469 5,063,479.38 2,523,343 68,612,778.77

CHEMICAL & PAINTS Company Name BERGER PAINTS NIGERIA PLC CHEMICAL AND ALLIED PRODUCTS PLC NIGERIAN-GERMAN CHEMICALS PLC PAINTS AND COATINGS MANUFACTURES PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 15 22 1 1 39

Quotation(N) 9.34 28.00 10.53 1.23

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 199,850 1,777,413.00 633,954 17,841,370.75 42 420.42 10,000 11,700.00 843,846 19,630,904.17

COMMERCIAL/SERVICES Company Name RED STAR EXPRESS PLC TRANS NATIONWIDE EXPRESS PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 11 1 12

Quotation(N) 3.18 3.63

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 112,900 343,235.00 4,106,961 14,908,268.43 4,219,861 15,251,503.43

COMPUTER & OFFICE EQUIPMENT Company Name TRIPPLE GEE AND COMPANY PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 3 3

Quotation(N) 3.25

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 134 414.06 134 414.06

CONGLOMERATES Company Name A. G. LEVENTIS (NIGERIA) PLC PZ CUSSONS NIGERIA PLC TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATION OF NIGERIA PLC UAC OF NIGERIA PLC UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 1 50 62 93 49 255

Quotation(N) 1.99 41.50 1.00 39.50 27.52

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 2,626 4,989.40 173,139 6,896,864.09 11,108,040 10,883,589.00 2,412,304 95,254,559.70 500,603 13,816,598.14 14,196,712 126,856,600.33

CONSTRUCTION Company Name COSTAIN (WA) PLC JULIUS BERGER NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 2 1 3

Quotation(N) 2.66 50.00

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 16,500 43,890.00 200 10,000.00 16,700 53,890.00

FOOD/BEVERAGES & TOBACCO Company Name 7-UP BOTTLING CO. PLC CADBURY NIGERIA PLC DANGOTE SUGAR REFINERY PLC FLOUR MILLS NIGERIA PLC HONEYWELL FLOUR MILL PLC NATIONAL SALT COMPANY NIGERIA PLC NIGERIAN BOTTLING COMPANY PLC NESTLE NIGERIA PLC NORTHERN NIGERIA FLOUR MILLS PLC TANTALIZERS PLC UTC NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 16 43 62 43 8 25 19 36 3 1 5 261

Quotation(N) 45.00 18.20 10.58 86.00 4.00 4.75 43.25 402.00 24.70 0.50 0.63

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 109,496 4,822,138.20 361,089 6,549,166.35 872,433 9,267,256.78 357,051 30,687,194.85 46,500 177,520.00 199,376 924,829.65 109,398 4,503,373.02 53,777 21,555,916.14 1,558 38,482.60 1,000 500.00 24,786 14,871.60 2,136,464 78,541,249.19

Quotation(N) 5.31 0.95 1.85 24.01 3.85 1.47

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 377 1,903.85 5,263 4,789.33 36,000 66,200.00 362,042 8,690,723.90 332,332 1,245,884.80 8,550 12,568.50 744,564 10,022,070.38

HEALTHCARE Company Name EKOCORP PLC EVANS MEDICALPLC. FIDSON HEALTHCARE PLC GLAXOSMITHKLINE CONSUMER NIG. PLC MAY & BAKER NIGERIA PLC. NEIMETH INTERNATIONAL PHARMACEUTICALS PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 1 1 6 18 21 2 49

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

Limited, a private company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. It noted that the delisting is part of corporate and financial restructurings aimed at returning the ailing textiles company to stable performance. Two other companies- Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) and Nampak Plc, have already secured the crucial shareholders’ approvals to delist their shares and are technically considered as having delisted their shares though their names are yet to be removed from the Daily Official List. Meanwhile, on the trading floor of the NSE, the key indicators on Friday recorded the largest drop in the just concluded week, closing lower at 1.5 per cent each. Market capitalisation reduced by N112 billion to close at N7.484 trillion while the All-Share-Index dropped 347.78 points to close at 23,397.44 points. Contributing to this performance is the volume of transaction recorded by in-

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 05-08-11 Company Name No of Deals AIICO INSURANCE PLC. 34 CONTINENTAL REINSURANCE PLC 4 CORNERSTONE INSURANCE CO. PLC. 6 CUSTODIAN AND ALLIED INSURANCE PLC 5 GOLDLINK INSURANCE PLC 6 GUARANTY TRUST ASSURANCE PLC 18 CONSOLIDATED HALLMARK INSURANCE PLC 1 INTERNATIONAL ENERGY INSURANCE COMPANY PLC2 LASACO ASSURANCE PLC. 3 LAW UNION AND ROCK INSURANCE PLC. 2 MUTUAL BENEFITS ASSURANCE PLC 3 N.E.M. INSURANCE CO. (NIG.) PLC. 21 NIGER INSURANCE CO. PLC. 11 PRESTIGE ASSURANCE PLC. 2 SOVEREIGN TRUST INSURANCE PLC 16 Sector Totals 134

No of Deals 2 1 3

Quotation(N) 6.51 4.31

No of Deals 14 14

Quotation(N) 6.00

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 149,137 887,540.70 149,137 887,540.70

INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY Company Name STARCOMMS PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 32 32 INSURANCE

Quotation(N) 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 812,385 548,698.22 441,065 441,065.00 669,200 334,600.00 37,200 104,590.00 1,076,450 538,225.00 1,036,500 1,370,134.60 80,690 40,345.00 9,200 4,600.00 23,100 11,550.00 55,000 27,650.00 63,000 31,500.00 8,690,183 4,463,698.09 466,450 236,218.50 300,000 507,000.00 311,500 155,750.00 14,071,923 8,815,624.41

No of Deals 45 45

Quotation(N) 0.99

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,448,637 1,442,575.88 1,448,637 1,442,575.88

Company Name AFROMEDIA PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 1 1

Quotation(N) 0.51

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 5,000 2,550.00 5,000 2,550.00

MEDIA

MORTGAGE COMPANIES Company Name UNION HOMES SAVINGS AND LOANS PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 4 4

Quotation(N) 0.52

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 114,200 59,384.00 114,200 59,384.00

OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS Company Name ROYAL EXCHANGE PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 1 1

Quotation(N) 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 123 61.50 123 61.50

Quotation(N) 2.33

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 3,937,180 9,029,143.83 3,937,180 9,029,143.83

PACKAGING Company Name NIGERIAN BAG MANUFACTURING COMPANY PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 101 101

PETROLEUM(MARKETING) Company Name BECO PETROLEUM PRODUCT PLC MRS OIL NIGERIA PLC CONOIL PLC ETERNA OIL & GAS PLC. FORTE OIL PLC MOBIL OIL NIGERIA PLC. OANDO PLC TOTAL NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 4 5 15 28 9 18 101 5 185

Quotation(N) 0.50 67.22 36.01 4.88 18.32 156.50 37.37 203.32

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 32,000 16,000.00 8,501 542,873.86 30,786 1,111,381.29 1,481,473 6,962,115.46 15,990 278,385.90 80,159 12,028,287.69 862,142 32,423,715.60 3,459 684,278.20 2,514,510 54,047,038.00

PRINTING & PUBLISHING Company Name LONGMAN NIGERIA PLC UNIVERSITY PRESS PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 2 9 11

Quotation(N) 5.35 4.39

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 3,500 19,345.00 80,330 337,226.00 83,830 356,571.00

Quotation(N) 19.00

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 14,705 267,638.95 14,705 267,638.95

REAL ESTATE Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 7,500 48,825.00 100 410.00 7,600 49,235.00

INDUSTRIAL/DOMESTIC PRODUCTS Company Name VITAFOAM NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

Quotation(N) 0.68 1.00 0.50 2.88 0.50 1.31 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.51 0.51 1.69 0.50

MARITIME Company Name JAPAUL OIL & MARITIME SERVICES PLC Sector Totals

HOTEL & TOURISM Company Name CAPITAL HOTEL PLC TOURIST COMPANY OF NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

vestors at the end of the day’s business leaving the total at 227.361 million shares worth N2.016 billion across 4,125 deals. The banks as the case has always been remained the main toast of investors with 169.781 million shares worth N1.173 billion in 2,441 deals. This was followed at a distance by the Conglomerates with 14.197 million shares worth N126.857 million in 255 deals. This was the position held by the sector on Thursday when it displaced the insurance from the second position. Also responsible for the volume traded was the share of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria which traded 11.108b million shares worth N10.88 billion in 62 deals. The insurance sector closely followed the conglomerate with 14.072 million shares worth N8.816 million in 134 deals. Others with relatively high volume were Commercial/ Service, Packaging and Breweries sectors with 4.220 million shares, 3.937 million shares and 3.587 million shares.

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 3,717,692 1,860,999.84 3,717,692 1,860,999.84

Company Name UACN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT CO. PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 8 8

ROAD TRANSPORTATION Company Name ASSOCIATED BUS COMPANY PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 7 7

Quotation(N) 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 48,300 24,150.00 48,300 24,150.00

THE FOREIGN LISTINGS Company Name ECOBANK TRANSNATIONAL INCORPORATED Sector Totals Overall Totals

No of Deals 41 41

Quotation(N) 13.96

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,803,765 25,389,106.35 1,803,765 25,389,106.35

4,125

227,361,258

2,016,262,013.46


THE NATION, SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

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THE NATION SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

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SPORT EXTRA UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Arsenal drawn against Udinese ARSENAL were handed a tough draw in the Champions League playoffs and will face Serie A side Udinese for a place in the group stage of the lucrative competition. The Gunners were forced to take part in the play-offs after finishing in fourth place in the Premier League last season and have been punished with a trip to Italy. Udinese finished fourth in Serie A last season and although they have sold star players in Alexis Sanchez, Gokhan Inler and Cristian Zapata this summer they remain a dangerous proposition. Arsenal could also have faced FC Zurich, FC Twente, Odense or Rubin Kazan, and will be pleased to have avoided a lengthy trip to Russia. The Gunners, who have gone through the play-offs successfully in the past four seasons, will play at home in the first leg, which is scheduled for August 16 or 17. The return leg takes place on August 23 or 24. Udinese general manager Franco Collavini did not appear to hold much hope of preventing Arsenal reaching the group stage for the 15th consecutive season and said

his team were concentrating on their Serie A debut on August 28. “It’s a very difficult match against one of the most important clubs in Europe,” said Collavini. “We are working to complete our squad for the end of August. It’s important to have the opportunity to play a club like Arsenal.” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will not be in the dugout for the first leg after his outburst in their last 16 defeat by Barcelona last season resulted in a onematch ban. The draw took place in

UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, and was divided between those clubs that won their domestic league last season and those that did not. CHAMPIONS ROUTE: Wisla Krakow v APOEL Maccabi Haifa v Genk Dinamo Zagreb v Malmo Copenhagen v Viktoria BATE v Sturm Graz LEAGUE ROUTE: Odense v Villarreal FC Twente v Benfica Arsenal v Udinese Bayern Munich v FC Zurich Lyon v Rubin Kazan

EUROPA LEAGUE

Spurs to take on Hearts

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O T T E N H A M Hotspur have been drawn to face Scottish side Hearts in the Europa League play-off round. Spurs reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League last season but failed to finish in the top four in the Premier League and will now take on Hearts, who on Thursday defeated Paksi to reach the play-off. The victory was the first

PUBLIC NOTICE JESUS CHRIST FOREVER MINISTRY This is to inform the general public that the above named organization has applied for registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission under Part C of Companies And Allied Matters Act, 1990 with the following as its first Board of Trustee: 1. Bendick P. C Chukwudike - Chairman 2. Ayo Joel - Member 3. Jumoke Joel - Member 4. Samson Okoronkwo - Member 5. Chinenye G . Chukwudike - Secretary AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 1. Evangelise and Spreading of the Good News 2. Education Evangelism 3. Ministry to the Body of Christ 4. Humanitarian Services Anyone objecting to the registration of this body should forward his/her objection to the Registrar, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420 Tigris Crescent,off Aguiyi Ironsi Street ,P.M.B 198, Maitama, Abuja to reach him within twenty-eight (28) days of this publication. Signed: Chief C.O Ejidike, Esq Solicitor.

match in charge for new manager Paul Sergio, who replaced Jim Jefferies following early upheaval at the start of the season at Tynecastle. Fulham, who defeated RNK Split on Thursday, were drawn against Ukrainian side Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. The match pits Martin Jol against the man who controversially replaced him at Tottenham, Juande Ramos. Carling Cup winners Birmingham play Nacional of Portugal and Stoke City face FC Thun of Switzerland. SPL champions Rangers face NK Maribor after dropping out of the Champions League at the qualifying stage, while rivals Celtic take on Switzerland’s FC Sion. Shamrock Rovers were handed a difficult task in facing Partizan Belgrade. The draw was conducted at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. Matches will take place on August 18 and 25.

PLAY-OFF DRAW M’Tel Aviv v Panathinaikos At’Madrid v V’ Guimaraes Sham’ Rovers v Partizan M’Kharkiv v Sochaux Besiktas v Alania v Vladikavkaz Rosenborg v AEK Larnaca V’Poltava v D’ Bucharest Bursaspor v Anderlecht Roma v S’Bratislava O’Volou v PSG L’Warsaw v Spartak FK Ekranas v H’Tel Aviv PAOK v Karpaty Lviv Trabzonspor v A’Bilbao Hearts v Tottenham NK Maribor v Rangers S’Bucharest v CSKA Sofia Nordsjaelland v Sporting Dnipro v Fulham Lokomotiv v S’Trnava FC Sion V Celtic S’Wroclaw v R’Bucharest L’Lovetch v Dynamo Kiev Lazio v Rabotnicki Nacional v Birmingham PSV Eindhoven v SV Ried FC Thun v Stoke City Aalesunds v AZ Alkmaar Vaslui v Sparta Prague AC Omonia v Red Bull Zestafoni v Club Brugge Hannover v Sevilla HJK Helsinki v Schalke Dinamo Tbilisi v AEK Athens Rennes v RS Belgrade GM Medias v Austria Vienna Braga v Young Boys S’Liege v Helsingborg


THE NATION SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

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SPORT EXTRA

Osaze out of Ghana/Nigeria tie T

HOSE hoping to see Super Eagles’ striker Osaze Odenwingie line up against the Black Stars of Ghana next week, may have to face the reality on

From Patrick Ngwaogu, Abuja ground, as the West Brom play maker has been ruled out of the encounter.

According to the our source at the team camp, the player is currently nursing an injury which would make him unavailable for the match against Ghana. This may have necessitated the reason why the former Bendel Insurance player did not travel with his club to their pre- season training tour. Confirming this to Sporting life in Abuja, the General Secretary of NFF Musa

Amadu said though the players is injured, but there is every possibility that he may be available for the match “actually he is injured, but he would still report to camp for our doctors to ascertain the level of the injury. But I want to tell you that even if he did not feature, that does not have anything to do with the misunderstanding he had with the Coach. That has been sorted out” he said.

NFF: Eagles must beat Black Stars

T

•Osaze

HE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has warned the chief coach of the Super Eagles Samson Siasia that the August 9th friendly match against the Black Stars is not a mere formality, as Nigerians have a lot of scores to settle with the Ghanaians. According to the General Secretary of the football body, every effort would be made to ensure that the Super Eagles come out victorious “the Ghanaians have disgraced us severally, and we think this should be an opportunity for us to pay them back in their own coin. You will recall that in one of

From Andrew Abah, Abuja the friendly matches played in London sometime ago, they defeated us by four goals to nil, they eliminated us for the Nations cup twice, both in Ghana and Angola. Their U23 eliminated us from the AAG, same for their women team. So we think the trend should stop. We should begin with this friendly match, and start rewriting the story”. He said that the head Coach is aware of this, and is putting every thing into the match. he revealed that Coach is expected in London this weekend from Colombia.

Wink in the dark •Continued from back page

subsist. Global practice for elections is by the dictates of the statutes. Besides, you need to be a member of a society for you to contest elections into such a body. Do we then need a committee to tell us that? You can see how government cash goes down the drain on frivolities. It must be noted that every time we are preparing for a major competition, NSC chiefs precipitate a crisis. They did it before the 2010 World Cup in South Africa; we know the result. They hounded Sani Lulu, Taiwo Ogunjobi, Amanze Uchegbulam and Bolaji Ojo-Oba into EFCC cells, making them look like the problem of the game here, yet the controversy remains. Shortly before the Super Falcons partook in the senior version of the female World Cup in Germany, the NSC men constituted several panels and held court with illegal bodies to distract the NFF. The Falcons wobbled where they ought to have excelled, had the NFF been allowed to concentrate on the team’s preparation, they would have done better. Who would have tipped Japan to beat the world? Nobody. We need to ask the minister why he chose this time when the Flying Eagles are doing well in the U-20 World Cup in Colombia to inaugurate a reforms committee for football administration, yet, one of the committee’s terms of reference is to get the corporate world to bankroll the game. The crisis of the game is caused by the NSC chiefs and the minister would leave a mark for the game’s growth, if he appeals to President Jonathan to remove the NFF from the NSC. The office of the Vice-President should supervise the NFF. Under this setting, it will be easier for the NFF to get the corporate world’s confidence to splash cash on the game, knowing that any misappropriation would incur government’s wrath. Will any NFF chief misappropriate funds, knowing that he is being watched? I doubt it!

Kalika tips U-20 skipper Azeez, Omeruo Matsuda’s death: Siasia condoles IGERIA Under-20 Colombia. for Eagles skipper Ramon Super Eagles assistant J-league, Japanese football

N

Azeez and Kenneth Omeruo have been tipped to step up to the Super Eagles according to assistant coach Simon Kalika. Olympic team defenders Emmanuel Anyanwu and Terna Suswan are the other players who have caught the eye by their performance at the U-20 World Cup in

coach Kalika has informed MTNFootball.com that the four Flying Eagles players have done well in the two matches they have played so far to lift the Nigeria youth team to the knockout stages of the competition. “I have seen like three or four players in this team who can make the Super Eagles but with

SUDOKU Welcome to SUDOKU, the captivating and engrossing numbers logic puzzle popularised by the Japanese. The idea of the puzzle is to fill the grid of 81 cells divided into nine 3 x 3 boxes, such that every box, every row, and every column contains the numbers 1-9, each number appearing only once in each box, row and column. 1ST STEP IN SOLVING PUZZLE 323: Look at the 3 middle vertical (def) 3x3 boxes. The top box has 3 in cell Ad, while the bottom box has its 3 in cell Ie. The middle box must, therefore, have its own 3 in column f, where there are 2 vacant spaces - cells Df and Ef. But since raw E already has a 3-in cell Eh, the only space available to accommodate 3 in the middle box is cell Df. Reasoning along these lines, try and fill in all the other vacant cells. SOLUTION TOMORROW. HAPPY PUZZLING!

hard work and consistency on their part. The central defender (Kenneth Omeruo) and the right full back (Emmanuel Anyanwu) with Ramon Azeez did well in the two matches they have played so far in the competition,” the Dutch tactician disclosed. He was also full of praise for VVV Venlo of Holland striker Ahmed Musa and defender Terna Suswan for also asserting themselves on the U20 team. “We all know Ahmed Musa already and he was glittering in the two matches against Guatemala and Croatia where he scored a goal each was not a surprise. The left back Suswan is good too and I really enjoyed the goal he scored against Croatia. Let’s give kudos to all the players for doing Nigeria proud so far,” Kalika told MTNFootball.com. He saluted the Flying Eagles for their attacking football and predicted they could go all the way in Colombia.

S

UPER EAGLES head coach Samson Siasia has joined the growing number of people sending their condolences to the players and officials of the Japanese League on the death of their player, Naoki Matsuda. Siasia said the death of Naoki Matsuda is a big shock and huge loss not only to the people of Japan, the Japanese Football Federation and J-League as their league is called but to the entire football world. He stressed that the J-league, Japanese Football Federation and the entire football world will miss the ex-Japanese international. Also the President of Rudder Football Managers Emmanuel Omijeh described the death of Matsuda as a rude shock and great loss to the entire football fratenity According to the FIFA licensed agent “Naoki Matsuda’s death was a big shock, he was a great player during his playing days. The J-League and the entire football family will miss him. We

Amuwo Odofin LG for grassroot tennis

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HE Executive Chairman of Amuwo Odofin Local Government Comrade Ayodele Adewale, has expressed his support for the quest for grassroots tennis development to discover young and potential talents through Clinic for children in the area during the summer holidays. The Chairman made this disclosure when the Executive members of FHA Lawn Tennis Club led by its President Chief Okey Pascal Agu, paid him a courtesy call in his office recently to thank him for great achievements since taking over the mantle of leadership of the

local government few years ago and to solicit his support towards the ‘Catch-ThemYoung’ summer children tennis programme of the club. According to a release signed by the Club’s Captain, Mr. Lucky Edovie, the tennis clinic is for children from 3-18 years and is geared towards exposing them to the game to re-direct their focus and energies into productive vocations early in their formative years. He stated that seasoned Nigeria Tennis Federation coaches will be on hand to facilitate the 5-week event which serves off on Saturday the 6th of August, 2011 at the premises of the club.

From Patrick Ngwaogu, Abuja at University Sports League condole with the Japanese Football Federation and J-League and the people of Japan. This is more devastating especially when Japan is just recovering from the Tsunami that wreaked havoc on the country.” The FIFA licensed agent,

however, suggested that checkups be conducted on players before participation in any league match. The 34-year-old, who represented Japan at the 2002 World Cup, died two days after he collapsed during a training session with his club, Matsumoto Yamaga with a suspected heart attack and never regained consciousness.

MAF Table Tennis Tourney debuts soon

A

S part of his contribution to the development of sports in Lagos, a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Moruf Akinderu-Fatai is planning to sponsor a grassroots table tennis championship inhis constituency. Hon. Akinderu-Fatai, who is repsenting Oshodi-Isolo Federal Constituency 1 said the competition, which will be tagged MAF Table Tennis Championship, will be organised as soon as the ongoing 4th MAF Unity Soccer Championship ended. According to the lawmaker, “I have been supporting football in the last four years and I believe giving other sports like table tennis a lift in my constituency will be a good service to develop the talents of our youths in this area. That is why I’m going to sponsor a table tennis championship after this year’s MAF Cup is concluded next month. The MAF Table Tennis Championship is a big project which is very dear to my heart and I will see to it that it came to reality.” Hon Akinderu-Fatai, however, called on the National

Sports Commission, (NSC), to give attention to other sports other than football which is enjoying tremendous support both financially and morally from the authorities. He noted the country stands to gain a lot if the government can given enough attention to other sports. “Though it is very easy to support football because it is a game that commands passion from many people in the country, but the authorities can do our sports good by focusing attention to ther sports as well,” he said. On the ongoing 4th MAF Unity Cup, which is currently going on at the Jalisco Stadium, Oshodi, Lagos, Nigeria, Hon. Akideru-Fatai said that his belief in empowering the youths motivated the sponsorship of the grassroots football tourney four years ago. “I see this as a privilege to give back to this society that made me and I’m happy for this.I believe the best service we can give our youths is empowerment, as this will take them away from social vices, while the multiplier effect of this is peace and tranquility in the society,” he said.


Tomorrow in THE NATION PUNCHLINE

SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM VOL.5, NO. 1843

Here we are, instead of the government coming up with policies and measures that will alleviate the suffering of Nigerians, it is busy talking about far less —Tunji Adegboyega

“I love my country I no go lie, Na inside am I go live and die, E push me so, I push am too, Na me and im go yap till I die”

I

F I recollect accurately, these are the open ing lines of Wole Soyinka’s long playing album titled ‘Unlimited Liability Company’ released to wide public acclaim shortly before the collapse of the Second Republic in 1983. While severely lampooning the widespread moral, physical, social and psychological degeneration of the period in the artistic work, the accomplished wordsmith still professed his undying love for his country. Surely, the avoidable shortcomings of Nigeria have, again and again, sorely tested the patience of the Nobel Laureate since then. At one time the inimitable ‘Kongi’ publicly cast away, in utter frustration, the National Award medal bestowed on him by the country. On another occasion, he bitterly deprecated the symbol of Nigerian nationhood as “that mangy, flea-infested flag that the sanctimonious nationalist drapes around his torso to cover a repulsive nudity”. He has been unsparing in castigating the recurrent “cycle of human stupidity” by successive leaderships of the fabled giant of Africa. Yet, Soyinka has refused to give up on Nigeria. He has continued to demonstrate unflagging faith in the immense possibilities of his fatherland. His vehement denunciation of her lapses is a continuous labour of love and, ultimately of hope; never the frustrated rantings of an incurable cynic. It is, indeed, so easy to give up on Nigeria. But that is a sentiment that can only be most foolishly and unwisely indulged. In reality, the component parts of Nigeria are bound by fate and history in a wedlock that cannot be peaceably and amicably dissolved without irreparable damage to all parties. There is really no alternative to making this marriage work. The stark choice we face is either to float and ultimately soar together against all odds or sink separately. Ever since the progressive resurgence in the South West in the last general elections, the spirit of regionalism has been astir in this resilient bastion of federalist democracy. Some of the brightest minds of the region have invested considerable time and energy advocating as well as drawing up a road map for regional integration and prosperity that includes cooperation in diverse spheres such as education, health, transportation, agriculture and security among others. That is all well and good. The socio-economic integration of geo-

Not the way to go

The dream of isolated regional economic prosperity within the context of a dysfuntional Nigeria is a dangerous illusion •Datti Ahmad

•Frederick Fasheun

graphically contiguous states with peculiar regional features across the country is desirable. Each region will maximise economies of scale. Their component states will complement each other’s strengths. Enhanced cooperation will boost greater efficiency in intraregional resource exploitation and utilization. But the pursuit and vision of regional economic prosperity cannot be an alternative to the challenge of making Nigeria work and transforming this inchoate, fragile, vulnerable polity from a ‘mere’ geographical expression to a maximally productive, genuinely federal and mutually beneficial sociocultural and economic manifestation. Regional strengths will thus be optimized for the collective good within an overarching, cohesive Pan-Nigerian framework. A united, stable and secure Nigeria that works offers a vast territorial jurisdiction within which legitimate state authority guarantees the unhindered mobility of factors of

production including goods, labour, capital and services across limiting regional boundaries. This macro-economic framework will itself have a veritable multiplier effect on regional economic potentials and performance. The dream of isolated regional economic prosperity within the context of a dysfuntional Nigeria is a dangerous illusion. In a recent Editorial on poverty in the north, the Vanguard newspaper captured this point brilliantly by noting that “When the North or any part of Nigeria is poor (even the ECOWAS region), it affects the capacity of other parts to live well”. No –one understood this pertinent point better than the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He could have stayed on as Premier of a booming and fastly growing South-West rather than seeking to replicate for Nigeria what he had achieved for his region in the First Republic. But with characteristic prescience, Awo realized that a prosperous South-West buffeted by other ill-governed and poor regional blocs would be a physically and psychologically endangered entity. She would be as vulnerable

as an emergent wealthy India currently is with a poverty-stricken, terror-prone yet nucleararmed Pakistan as neighbour. There can thus be no greater danger than allowing ourselves to react irrationally to the admittedly enervating irrationalities of Nigeria as currently structured. Rather, the grim national situation demands supreme presence of mind and rational calculation in the single minded pursuit of radical and progressive change in Nigeria. It is all too easy to allow the frustrations of a grossly misgoverned and underperforming Nigeria to kill the most ennobling sentiments that define our common humanity. The result will be a poisonous cynicism and regressive primordialism that can only be ultimately self-destructive. Two individuals who best typify this kind of undesirable moral and ideological degeneration also rank, ironically, among Nigeria’s finest and most distinguished sons. I refer to Dr. Datti Ahmad and Dr. Frederick Fasehun. Incidentally, the two gentlemen are medical practitioners. They belong to a profession that thrives on the positive affirmation of life. Yet, they symbolize today all that is most divisive, fractious and potentially ruinous about Nigeria. But they have not always been like this. These previously ardent patriots have reacted to the country’s contradictions in ways that can only play into the hands of enemies of Nigeria’s progress. Dr. Datti Ahmad was one of the 49 ‘wise’ men that drafted the 1979 constitution. He was one of the sharpest critics of the NPN’s misrule in the second republic and a key member of the Northern political class that supported Awo’s presidential bid in 1983. Today, he is a religious extremist mindlessly beating the drums of war and bloodshed as Sharia chief spokesman on Islamic banking. Dr. Fasehun was once a presidential aspirant first on the platform of the Labour Party then the defunct SDP. He once espoused a universalizing socialist ideology that sought the uplifting of all Nigerians irrespective of tribe or faith from the dehumanizing cess pit of poverty. Today, he is a reactionary ethnic champion who, for instance, sees the prosecution of ex-Speaker Dimeji Bankole’s alleged financial misdeameanors as a persecution of the Yoruba race! We cannot save and transform Nigeria by becoming individual mirror images of the country’s confounding absurdities. We cannot effectively contradict and transcend the country’s disabling contradictions by mimicking them. Surely, this is no path to the great Nigeria of our dreams.

•See reaction to Illumination on Page 57

Ade Ojeikere on Saturday

Wink in the dark

W

E are treading the path of FIFA’s ban and our celebrated football eggheads don’t care as long as they can complete the assignment. We have another reforms body of nine experts whose activities will be guided by four consultants. The interesting point about some of the reforms committee members is that they have been through this path before. Rather than ask Sports Minister Yusuf Sulieman what happened to their previous recommendations, they are rationalising that serving in this body gives them the opportunity to right the wrongs of the past. Really? Does the committee have the power to repeal Decree 101? What happened to the previous process that led to two readings on both floors of the National Assembly? Shouldn’t we continue the process of repealing the Decree, instead of this job-for-theboys committee? Did the Federal Executive Council not approve the repealing of the Decree? Who drafted the document before the National Assembly? If there were flaws (this is expected since no document is flawless), shouldn’t we withdraw what is there and resubmit? What happened to the four wise men and

one woman who ought to have visited FIFA in Zurich to find out how we could resolve the impasse? Did NFF issue the team a letter of recognition? Were they able to side-track NFF to see FIFA chiefs? I don’t think so. Didn’t we say here that it was an exercise in futility since FIFA officials witnessed the elections? Rather than waste taxpayers money on members for sitting allowances, the quickest route for National Sports Commission (NSC) to test FIFA’s might is to withdraw Nigeria from all football competitions and see if the men in Zurich would beg us to remain. Over 207 sovereign countries are in FIFA. Why can’t Nigeria conform? We keep blowing hot air because those who supervise our sports are the ones instigating the crises to ensure that they remain relevant in the administration of soccer. The minister needs to be told that FIFA is a society with its set rules. FIFA asked any nation seeking to join them to know that they have lost all rights to seek redress in the law court, but only through the channels within the system. You either conform or take a walk. I don’t need to be a seer to know that the reforms committee’s recommendations would be discarded by the NFF. How do we expect NFF to implement recommendations of a body comprising a man who dragged

the game to the law court? Is it not forbidden under FIFA rules to take football matters dwelling on its statutes to court? How do you constitute a panel with grieving persons and those whose positions against the present structure at NFF as members? Is that not the best way to legalise what they are doing? Is it right for a committee set up by a government person to review FIFA approved statutes? Is this not a clear case of government interference, especially where the Minister inaugurated the body? There was an election supervised by the NSC chiefs and FIFA men. If the National Sports Commission (NSC) eggheads do not like the NFF President, they have two legitimate options. One, they could muster the Congress to impeach him or wait for his tenure to lapse to get the candidate that they desire. Did the NSC not use Aminu Maigari and the last board members to illegally impeach the Sani Lulu-led NFF executive? Did they not tell us that Maigari was the anointed one during the elections? Where did it all go wrong between the NSC and Maigari that they feel strongly that his election was fraught with malaise? Government generated reforms are not binding on NFF or any of FIFA’s affiliates. The minister won’t be able to enforce what was recommended; otherwise, we would be

back to where we were immediately after the South Africa 2010 World Cup when President Goodluck Jonathan was ill-advised to pull out the country from international football competitions. We became the laughing stock when the Nigerian government did a recant of the suspension order from international soccer competitions by Nigerian teams. Need I mention the gains that we have recorded from participating in international competitions since July 2010? Soccer is the only sport that has brought Nigeria glory that we can see. Nigeria has qualified for all the big competitions, yet some people feel that there is a problem with the game, simply because they are not recognised. To achieve financial autonomy and selfreliance for NFF, the minister must direct his men to stay off the body’s activities. NSC men must learn how to support the NFF and not discredit them. No firm would deploy cash to NFF, if their supervisors always deem them incompetent and corrupt without bringing anyone to book. Any electoral procedure recommended by the reforms body that does not conform with FIFA’s statutes won’t stand. Anyone who wants to partake in NFF’s elections must head to his/her state following the existing guidelines. Those who are complaining have in the past benefited from government patronage and feel that the untoward method should •Continued on Page 63

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The Nation August 06, 2011