Page 1

SPORTS–PAGES 71

Stop show of shame

Mikel’s team in 2-1 victory as father’s whereabouts remain unknown

Vatsa’s nephew, others urge Obasanjo, Babangida –PAGES 4

•Arsenal lose 2-0 to Liverpool

Salami’s suit: Counsel demands assignment of case as CPC kicks –PAGES 5

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

SUNDAY

August 21, 2011

thenationonlineng.net

Nigeria’s truly national newspaper

Vol.06, No. 1858

N200.00

Privatisation: Senate stops

Obasanjo’s invitation T

HE Senate has decided to drop its plan to invite former President Olusegun Obasanjo to appear before it over the privatisation of some companies between 1999 and 2007. Some close aides of the former president, who met over the crisis of confidence between their boss and former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, have also decided to stay

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

away from the row. An Ad-Hoc Committee of the Senate headed by Senator Ahmed Lawan is currently probing the privatisation of some companies during the administration of Obasanjo. The terms of reference of the committee are as

follows: To establish the agreements and or conditions upon which the privatisation was consummated; Determine how much was realised from the sale of the companies and where the proceeds were paid into; Determine how many jobs were lost and gained after the privatisation of companies.

The short life of celebrity unions –PAGE 33

– Continued on Page 4

Amakiri, renowned journalist dies of kidney failure –PAGE 5

Hurdles before Okonjo-Iweala Chief Mrs. Abbah Folawiyo with Mrs Rebecca Aikhomu, widow of the late Vice Admiral Augustus Aikhomu during, a condolence visit to her residence in Apapa, Lagos, yesterday. Photo: BADE DARAMOLA

–PAGES 57-58


THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

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A

NAMBRA - born literary giant, Prof. Chinua Achebe, maybe had the current scenario at Nnewi, the state’s commercial city, in mind when he titled his award-winning novel, Things Fall Apart. Indeed, the centre can no longer hold in Nnewi. Dare- devil kidnappers and armed robbers are holding residents of the Japan of Africa at the jugular. Manufacturers, importers, medical doctors, lawyers and core traders are already on the run for fear of being kidnapped or robbed by the hoodlums who are having a field day in the community. Efforts by security forces to bring the situation to control have been futile. Some weeks ago, two soldiers drafted to beef up security in the area, were killed during a gun duel with kidnappers. This has created a sense of fear, leading to the relocation of importers, manufacturers and other professionals to the North and South West regions of the country. The city, which used to be a beehive of activities, is now deserted. Secretary General of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Nnewi branch, Joseph Okeke put the number of persons kidnapped on daily basis in the commercial city at 15. He said: “the once peaceful city called Nnewi is today stinking because of the presence of these kidnappers’’. This security threat led to the closure of the Nnewi main market last Wednesday. Lawyers, medical doctors, manufacturers and other professionals servicing the traders also closed shops. When our correspondent visited, the market was deserted. Motorists protested the level of insecurity in the area, calling on government to restore normalcy. Penultimate week, Emmanuel Uba, a highly respected importer in the city, was kidnapped inside his Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) in front of his house. He was released last Thursday. Police Public Relations

Traders, others flee Nnewi over kidnapping, armed robbery From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

Officer, Emeka Chukwuemeka, confirmed the development. Findings revealed the kidnappers demanded for a ransom of N50 million before his release. But sources said they were allegedly paid N10 million. Chairman of Nnewi Market Traders Association, Chief Gozie Akudolu, who addressed the traders and residents of Nnewi during the protest, said the people of the area are witnessing Boko Haram in disguise. He said they decided to close down their shops last week because the situation had become unbearable, adding that no resident of the town works and walks freely again. The chairman Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Nnewi branch, Dr. Achunam Nwabueze, said insecurity has become the albatross of Nnewi residents. He said if nothing was done urgently, medical doctors and other professionals will leave the city. Nwabueze lamented: “We are all living in fear, sorrow and agony. People are becoming sick on daily basis and there is no way we can operate in an environment such as this. We are still waiting for that fresh air from the President, Goodluck Jonathan which he promised us during his presidential campaigns.” Already, a petition has been written to President Goodluck Jonathan by Concerned Nnewi Stakeholders Forum (CNSF), dated 9th August, 2011. Dated 9th August, 2011, the petition available to our correspondent was signed by Chief Charles Onyeka, President General, Nnewi Town

•The deserted market

Union, Joseph Okeke; Chairman Nigerian Bar Association Nnewi branch, Dr Achunam Nwabueze; and President Nnewi Traders Association, Chief Gozie Akudolu. It reads: “Your Excellency, the tragedy of this menace on our people is embarrassing. As at the last count more than 15 persons have died while in the custody of the kidnappers. “Over 300 persons of diverse professional backgrounds have been kidnapped. At the moment, 10 persons are still being held at different unknown locations including an industrialist Emmanuel Ubah and two first class traditional rulers, Igwe Lawrence Aragwu of Adazi Nnukwu and Igwe Jerome Udechukwu Okoli of Ihembosi respectively. “Following this tragic scenario, hundreds of Nnewi residents are relocating to other cities. This is the tragedy of Nnewi residents today. “Your Excellency, there is

palpable fear, tension and anxiety. Armed hoodlums have over run the Japan of Africa. Expatriates from different countries of the world who partner our academics, professionals and businessmen in science, business and technology, are leaving in droves.” “It is a common knowledge that Nnewi is strategic to our National economy with hundreds of industrial and manufacturing companies of international standard. They include: Ibeto Industries – Manufacturers of Diverse Products including batrteries – with staff strength of above 4, 000 Kotoc Industries Ltd – makers of food beverages – with more than 2,000 employees.” “A-Z oil – reputed to be the fourth largest makers of Engine Oil in Nigeria with about 2,000 workers. Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing – reputed to be the first and largest indigenous vehicle manufacturing outfit in Nigeria with a workforce of over 2,000 employees. Dawaco Industries – mould manufactures with over 1,000 employees.” Carter Plastic Industries – Manufacturers of various plastic products – with about

2,000 of low and high skilled workers.” Uru Industries – manufacturers of motor and motorcycle cables – with staff strength of over 2,000. And many others. Nnewi equally plays host to more than 22 banks. It also inhabits the fast growing Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital and some other institutions of higher learning,” among others. But the Anambra Police Command debunked claims that 15 persons are kidnapped daily in Nnewi. The command also said 68 prominent persons are not missing. A statement titled: “Anambra State Police Command, Re-kidnapping in Nnewi” signed by the State Police Public Relations Officer, Emeka Chukwuemeka said the claims were malicious, baseless, unfounded and intended to rubbish the good work police had been doing in reducing the incidence of crime and other criminal activities in the state. It reads: “The police as a responsible and responsive organisation ordinarily do not join issues with any person or group of persons but concerns herself with protecting the lives and property of the people. “The people who were

championing this course forgot that the police keeps records of criminal activities in the state and have always made that available on request. People living in the state can attest to what is the true position of the situation on ground. “I wish to state clearly that the crime rate in the state has drastically gone down, particularly cases of kidnapping and armed robbery. I wish to further reiterate that there was no any day when 15 persons were reported kidnapped in Nnewi or any part of Anamabra State. “We call on well meaning citizens of the state to continue cooperating and partnering with the police in making Anambra State safe and conducive for socio-economic development as security is not the monopoly of police alone but a collective responsibility.” But police records made available to our correspondent showed that eight persons had been kidnapped in Nnewi community in 2011. The records also indicated that seven kidnapped persons had been released. The market has since being re-opened as at the time of filing this report.

Have Your Say How do you view the suspension of the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, which resulted from alleged conflict between him and the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu? — Send SMS with full name and location before Wednesday to 08074473182

Responses to previous week’s question are on pages 48 & 52


THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

Column

The Prologue as Epilogue

A

WEEK, they say, is a long time in politics. But even by Nigeria’s standards of turbulent and tumultuous politics, it has been quite an extraordinary week. Now, consider all these events just packed into one week. The Hamza Al-Mustapha soap finally ran its course, even as it opened a Pandora Box of state intrigues and executive cruelties. From the BPE probe came outlandish and heartrending tales of graft, corruption and state banditry without any parallel in the history of Nigeria. The open acrimony between the nation’s top judicial officers descended into judicial tragedy as judges commit the equivalent of collective class suicide. While Augustus Aikhomu, Babangida’s avuncular and tame deputy, was bidding

us a quiet and dignified goodbye, the Maradona of Minna turned seventy and promptly directed some furious verbal fusillade at his former boss, accomplice, collaborator and doppelganger. Not to be browbeaten by a mere boy, the joyously pugnacious Otta farmer replied in kind. Nobody is sure which big game in the political jungle Mustapha is stalking, but the former Chief Security Officer to the goggled one is too smart and intelligent not to appreciate the implications of his deliberate breaches of national security. Will these people who have held Nigeria by the jugular for the better part of three decades allow the nation to transform peacefully or is it going to be a

violent and involuntary transformation? In an extraordinary breach of military protocol, the normally polite and courteous Ibrahim Babangida took his former Commander and Chief to the cleaners. The ugly spat is a sad and telling reminder of the breakdown of the old military espirit de corps, the collapse of post-military consensus and the final unraveling of the old dominant faction of the Nigerian military. In other to understand the forces in combat, snooper this morning takes a retrospective look by publishing an address to a group of Nigerian professionals in Albany Georgia,USA, on the occasion of Nigeria’s independence anniversary in 2003. Eight years after, there is nothing to add. And nothing more to say.

S

nooping around With

Tatalo Alamu

Towards the transformation of Nigeria

N

INE decades into the amalgamation of its separate halves, Nigeria faces a critical crisis of transformation. That Nigeria is not in perfect working condition is not news. This is an empirically verifiable fact. But what makes the heart to flutter at missed opportunities is that when it works, when it connects with its aborted destiny as the ultimate haven for black souls, when it shows flashes of its immanent genius even as a conglomeration of the dysfunctionally talented, Nigeria is potent poetry in motion. However, the supreme moment of self-actualisation, of a nation in itself becoming the nation for itself, is so rare and far between that political astrologers and other cognoscenti of stellar appearance have given up. Of the root causes of this nation-disabling ailment there are as many experts as there are Nigerians. But there can be no disagreement about the crushing effects: deepening economic misery, political instability, insecurity of life and property, lack of the feel-good factor, and a conurbation of one hundred and fifty million hapless souls tottering on the edge of despair and desperation. Like a badly mauled elephant suffering from a thousand cuts, Nigeria lurches about in wild disorientation, stomping and stamping as life drains away and the earth quakes in terminal expectation. The political illusionists directing the tragic opera give out these titanic tremors and throes as a massive show of strength and power, as proof that Nigeria has finally turned the corner of self-destruction. But no one is deceived. Those who close shop at the approach of a distraught mammoth are merely avoiding the obligations a jumbo disposal. Yet Nigeria has also shown such a prodigious capacity to survive lifethreatening injuries, to surprise the doomsday bookmakers that it remains a mystery that till date none of its several wise men—and women—has come up with the magic elixir that would keep death permanently at bay. Perhaps this is because most of the wise men—and women—are also complicit in the historic morass. The problem with Nigeria has nothing to do with a particular leader, a people, a region , a religion or a profession. This is the feeble and futile luxury of scapegoatism. The problem with Nigeria is only marginally reducible to leadership, for leadership does not escape from heaven, and, in any case, people get the leadership they deserve and subliminally crave for. The problem with Nigeria is the failure of institutions and of people: institutional collapse and elite disorientation. Virtually everybody is implicated: soldiers, politicians, writers, journalists, lawyers, doctors, intellectuals, traditional rulers, clergymen, Islamic leaders, etc. Ask not what your country has done to you but what you have also done to your country. Misplaced victimhood is also misplaced aggression against one’s country. But let us not slander ourselves. The problem is not a lack of heroes, but of their progressive diminution and the dilution of the heroic ideal; of a steady slide into infamy within the context of

an unheroic or even counter-heroic society. Why do our political heroes end up in infamy and as dismal caricatures of their heroic youth? Why do our most patriotic soldiers end up as shabby villains? Why do our statesmen end up as shameless politicians? Why do some of our most distinguished and much admired writers end up as petty and pathetic spectacles, compromised con-men and firespitting fraudsters? Why do many honorable and upright intellectuals end up in the pit of dishonour and selfabasement? Why do the scions of our most illustrious political families end up abjuring and disgracing their distinguished lineage? The evolutionary logic is for grubs to morph into butterflies, but in our case even the logic of evolution is reversed: butterflies become grubs. In the absence of the institutional mechanism for molding people into honorable and heroic citizens, the abnormal becomes the norm, and in the ethical void anything goes. The criminal is the law-giver. In the land of the half-blind, the blind is the king. The problem with Nigeria , then, is disarmingly simple, yet very fundamental. It is the absence of a founding and constituting normative order for the nation; the lack of core values around which the political development of the country is structured, and the want of a system of deterrence which sustains and validates the core values with an almost abstract and impersonal rigour. Without the first, there is really no nation, only a conglomeration of contrary and mutually contradictory communities closeted in a colonial cage and clawing at each other to death. Without the second, a nation is stymied and critically disabled at source. Without the third, all social, political and economic exertions within the nation, all democratization procedures and development plans, are null and void because there is no code of conduct, no pan-national protocol to underwrite and sustain them. What remains is to concretely and empirically demonstrate how these have been the bane of the nation, and why this dire situation cannot subsist for much longer. In October 1978, the then Lieutenant General Olusegun Obasanjo initiated the final count down towards military disengagement and the return of civil rule by the 1st of October, 1979. It was an elaborately programmed regimen of demilitarization executed with military precision and the honour and integrity associated with a patriotic officer-corps. Arguably, this was the finest moment of the Nigerian military. Three years earlier, its dominant faction had struck a blow for democratic rule and the subordination of the military to civil authority. The political class also behaved with exemplary decorum, exhibiting a remarkable degree of elite cohesion and consensus on the way to moving Nigeria forward. Yet four years after, everything had gone up in smoke with

the military returning on the cusp of popular discontent and nation-wide disillusionment with politics and politicians. And by a grim irony, twenty five years after his famous broadcast, Obasanjo himself as a civilian leader presides over the institutional chaos of an increasingly criminalized state and an ethically challenged presidency. It is the jubilee of elite infamy. Despite fumbling with the political superstructure of the federation, the Murtala-Obasanjo dispensation never addressed the core contradictions. It was not the regional structure for which the presidential system was procured that bred ethnic politics and instability. On the contrary, it is the absence of a founding norm and core values for the nation. In its post-colonial incarnation, the state in Africa is often an orphan, and the public space an alien zone to be ravished and plundered at will. This is what has fuelled massive corruption, the arrant despoliation of state resources, official banditry and the retreat into the comfort zone of the ethnic igloo. Two and a half decades after his nationalist tenure Obasanjo’s own presidency is moored in the murky waters of ethnic vigilance and vigilanté, and the retired general a willing hostage. In a sense ,then, the revolutionary majors of January 1966 got the picture right when they inveighed against corruption, graft and the stunting of the national ideal. But despite their correct diagnosis, they allowed an ethnic, regional and religious distortion to creep into their response and by so doing they also became part of the problem. In the resurgence of ethnic and regional animosities, the counter-coupists of July 1966 took the law, the dagger and the bayonet into their own hand sending the nation into a paroxysm of genocidal rage and a civil war, thereby putting a less than altruistic hush on the need to properly found the nation . Because it was not fought over any noble principle or core values, beyond the puerile notion that the nation must never be dismembered, the civil war never settled anything except to provide another building block in a mounting pyramid of injustice and a winner takes all sweepstakes. If the leftwing dissident majors of January 1966 were correct in their diagnosis, but erred in their shoddy execution, the same can also be said of the ideological arrow-head of the Buhari coup. From a right-wing but fundamentally nationalist perspective, they read the national crisis correctly but allowed their ethnic, regional and religious bias to subvert the goals of a cleansing and redemptive process. What began as a radical settling of account quickly degenerated into an ethnic and regional witch-hunt. Such was the sloppily vindictive nature of the political trials that old ethnic and regional fault lines reappeared in bold and harsh relief. The amoral vultures were waiting in the wings. The ground has been prepared for an ethically neutered polity. Enter ,then, the smiling general. Within the context of the national anguish and anger that followed the col-

3

•Late Mutala Muhammed

lapse of the Second Republic and the return of the military, a smiling general would have been wildly inappropriate. But ever the cunning strategist in such matters, Ibrahim Babangida calmly elbowed in the austere, unsmiling, patriotic but politically challenged duo and began to capitalize on their forced and unforced errors from a position of superior military strength. Correctly sensing that the Nigerian political class was beyond soap and water, the great Maradona proceeded to hurl more muck at them. The prison gates were flung open, the politically combative and querulous South-west politicians were rehabilitated and the inevitable Babangida was lurking at the exit gates to redeem his IOUs. He offered them resettlement and “settlement” which was nothing but economic pacification now elevated to statecraft. If his superior political skills had been allied to a great transformative and redemptive vision, Babangida would have been the Nigerian leader to beat. Alas, he was more interested in perpetuating himself in office through the manipulation and perpetuation of the moribund status quo. His political transition programme was a cosmetic trash, an exercise in sustained chicanery powered by a politics of exhaustion which banned, unbanned and then rebanned. At the end of the day, and appropriately so, it was two honorary members of the professional political class that were left standing. And Babangida summarily annulled the results. Left to the political class, they would have cut their customary deal. But by then barbarians had arrived at the barricades. A decade later, many of these selfsame barbarians would have been rehabilitated as honorary citizens of Rome, while those of them who disobliged would be thrown at the arctic wolves of political Siberia. But it does not matter who is Romanised in a burning Rome because the embers of conflagration are a democratic leveller. The cumulative effects of the epic transgressions against the nation have now appeared in bold relief. Because rigging in the First Republic was never addressed, it became worse in 1983 and in 2003 we have had its egregious apotheosis. In 1993 a group of generals annulled a national election and seemingly got away with it. In 2003 a police officer with a platoon of policemen summarily dislodged a gubernatorial pretender from the Executive mansion. Compared to the current crop of politicians, the widely reviled politicos of the Second Republic are secular saints while the ten-percenters of the First Republic are puritanical ascetics. Drawing sustenance from unsolved state murders dating from the first military intervention, General Sani Abacha elevated state-sanctified killing to offi-

cial policy. Notorious for his disdain for sophistication and elaborate artifice, the Kano-born general simply took the tank to the treasury when the arithmetic of graft became too complicated and time consuming.. These are the untreated cancers that have returned to haunt and compromise President Obasanjo’s second coming, and in trying to negotiate them, he has also compounded the problem. One would have thought that the retired general knew what he was letting himself into. He has been asked to shoulder the burden and carry the sins of several generations of succeeding political and military rulers. Ideally, the situation calls for a revolutionary and outsider; but the general is neither; otherwise, he wouldn’t have been pressed into service in the first instance. Having ascended, there is no way out of the tangled foliage without sawing off the branch on which he himself perches precariously. Perhaps it was the infamous snub handed down to the Oputa panel by his three junior-predecessors and would be successors that brought the rude awakening. It was a lose-lose situation, he himself having been “instutionalised” two decades earlier by Nigeria’s foremost lawyer. Thereafter, the general began to fudge and fiddle and occasionally to forge, being in government at all costs assuming a psychic priority over being in governance and power. Yet four months into his renewed tenure, General Obasanjo is already saddled with the ultimate succession palaver, and his presidency widely perceived as a stop gap before the real thing. It is in this respect that the rumoured return of the smiling general makes eminent sense, even in its fundamental and abysmal senselessness. But as the God of Nigeria works in a very mysterious way, this may turn out to be the most expensive kite ever flown by the fabled falconer of Minna Hilltop. Being the owner of the current game, General Babangida offers the paradoxical hope of driving the paradigm to its logical conclusion and giving the nation a belated closure. In South Korea when errant generals repent they go before the people in a public ritual of selfhumbling and self-mortification. In Nigeria, rather than being penitent and remorseful, they plot to return to office. But this is hardly their fault. Who are they to apologise and prostrate for? A political class made in their own image and for which they have nothing but volcanic contempt, a society stripped of any notion of shame, or the people already prostrate with misery and poverty and programmed to auction their electoral patrimony? The return of the smiling general, then, is not the tragedy it seems because we have really never left the tragic zone. In a sense, it may be a divine gift as the nuclear consequences of his return may lead to the crystallization of the critical mass which will push Nigeria in the direction of rebirth and redemption. With the riverine wolf dangerously straining its leash, and with the Buhari typhoon assuming a radically disruptive life of its own fatally compromising the shabby chicanery of elite manipulation on which Nigeria has wobbled along, the accelerating revolutionary anarchy may consume the nation in its present incarnation. Either way, Nigeria has a date with voluntary or involuntary transformation. Georgia, 2003


4

THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

News

Privatisation: Senate stops Obasanjo’s invitation • Continued from page 1

But at its public hearing, a former Minister and Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mallam Nasir elRufai and a few others had faulted Obasanjo’s approach to the privatisation of some companies. Their submissions led to pressure on the Ad Hoc Committee to invite Obasanjo to know the true position of things. However, investigations by our correspondent confirmed that the Senate Ad hoc Committee on Privatisation had approached the Senate leadership with its plans to invite Obasanjo to appear before it over certain allegations made against him by some former and serving ministers. But the Senate leadership, it was gathered, weighed the security and diplomatic implications of such plans and advised the committee to shelve the move. A top source in the committee, who spoke in confidence, said: “We intimated the Senate leadership of our plans to summon Obasanjo but it weighed the security and diplomatic implications of such a step and advised the committee against it. “We have been directed not to summon Obasanjo unless the ex-President chooses to write the committee on his own or if he makes efforts to address the media or offer to have a private audience with the Senate panel.” The source explained that “With our low level of political education, once Obasanjo is asked to appear before the committee, he becomes an issue in the

From: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

court of public opinion which in Nigeria is always instant pronouncement of guilt. “His invitation may as well overshadow the objective of setting up the FactFinding Committee. Before we know it, the Ad hoc Committee may assume the status of a trial court. “Also as a former President of this country, the Senate leadership felt Obasanjo occupies an eminent position in our nation’s history than to be brought before a committee. “We are not saying that

Obasanjo is bigger than this country, but tackling issues involving him requires some finesse.” Asked how the committee will clarify issues having to do with Obasanjo on lapses in the privatisation of some firms, the source added: “We can demand relevant documents or directives from Obasanjo’s office from either the presidency or the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE). “There are records in The Presidency or BPE that we can work with which could assist us to reach our conclusions.” Meanwhile, some key aides of the former Presi-

dent, who were worried over the ObasanjoBabangida face-off, met on Friday night in Abuja and decided to steer clear of the row. One of the aides, who responded to questions after the meeting, said: “We were worried that the two leaders could tackle each other publicly and threw decorum to the wind. But we (Obasanjo’s boys) have decided not to defend our former principal; we felt he should be able to manage the situation himself. “Some of us who should naturally champion Obasanjo’s cause

have chosen to be quiet. A few of us also have issues with the ex-President and we have vowed not to raise

a voice in his defence. We are just watching how the crisis between the two former leaders will end.”

‘IBB should shut up’ PEOPLES: Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Senator Kola Ogunwale, has castigated former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida for his recent vituperations against former President Olusegun Obasanjo. He said Obasanjo did so much for the nation while in power while Babangida left Nigeria worse off.

A

L-R: Sponsor, Mr Greg Amajuoyi; son of the former PDP chairman, Uchenna Ezeogbulafor; his spouse, Anthonia Ibegbulem and the Vicar General, Abuja Archdiocese, REV Fr. Innocent Jooji at the wedding ceremony of Ogbulafor’s son in Abuja yesterday. Photo: NAN

Ogunwale, in a statement, said Babangida needs to ‘’do a rethink on his years in power and use the Ramadan period to ask Allah for forgiveness concerning the hardship he brought on the ways of Nigerians’’. The statement reads: ‘’the recent unjust vituperations by Babangida against the person of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is most uncalled for and certain facts should be pointed out for posterity to judge individuals. ‘’Chief Olusegun Obasanjo became the Head of State in 1976 and handed over rulership voluntarily in 1979, thereby, fulfilling the norms of democracy, while General Babangida conducted the fairest and freest election in 1993, yet he refused to handover. ‘‘General Babangida was the ruler of Nigeria for eight years, during which we witnessed unprecedented increase in our external debt and decrease in our external reserve. ‘’ In 1999 Nigeria external debt was #34billion, which Obasanjo cleared through hard negotiations with the Paris Club of creditors. He subsequently left an external reserve of #45billion when he left office in 2007. ‘’Obasanjo should have made it possible for Nigerians to have regular supply of power, but for some saboteurs, who disturbed the supply of gas to new power generating stations. This is an incontrovertible fact.”

Stop this show of shame, Vatsa’s nephew advises Obasanjo, Babangida

T

HE National Coordinator of the National Democratic Forum (NDF), Mr. Jonathan Vatsa, has called on former President Olusegun Obasanjo and former military President Ibrahim Babangida to stop the verbal war between them. However, the Northern socio-cultural organisation, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) yesterday lent its support to the exchange of words between the two former. Babangida had fired the first salvo in an interview with journalists during his 70th birthday celebration. He had said that Obasanjo’s eight year reign as President was a total waste, describing him as “a failure”, while Obasanjo fired back describing Babangida as “a fool at 70”. Vatsa described the exchange of diatribe between the two former leaders as a show of shame. Reacting to the media war of words following accusation and counter accusations, over mismanagement of the na-

• ACF calls for caution Jide Orintusin and Tony Akowe

tion’s resources while in office, Vatsa, who is a nephew of the late Major-General Mamman Vatsa, said that the exchange of words has further exposed the rottenness in government. The late Gen. Vatsa was Minister of the Federal Capital Territory under the Babangida administration and was the former military president’s close friend. In fact, he was Gen Babangida’s best man during his wedding. However, in 1986 he was executed along with some military officers after being found guilty of plotting to overthrow the government of Gen. Babangida. He urged the two military leaders to heed the advice of the late Gen. Vatsa who told the military tribunal that tried him for coup plotting in 1986 that the military must beware of insulting themselves.

According to NDF Coordinator, “General Vatsa during his trial once cautioned members of the military to be wary of insulting one another, if they don’t want members of the public to join to launch offensive attack on the institution. I want to equally advise these two leaders to be cautious, or else members of the public will further rubbish the little respect we have for them and the military institution.” Babangida had on Tuesday at a press conference to mark his 70th birthday in Minna berated the eight year rule of Obasanjo, condemning the latter’s administration for lack of foresight and imagination and for mismanaging $16 billion claimed to have been spent on the power sector between 1999 and 2007. Lamenting the poor state of infrastructures during Obasanjo’s administration, the former military President said that, during his administration, if he had the vol-

ume of money that accrued to the country during the Obasanjo’s tenure he would have turned Nigeria to an Eldorado, adding that “with $16 billion he would have provided the country with nuclear plant for power generation.” Babangida noted, “During my administration, I managed poverty to deliver affluence, while some managed affluence to give the country poverty.” Twenty four hours later Obasanjo in a swift reaction at a press conference in Abeokuta described the outburst of the former military leader as “foolish”. He explained that aside from all the power generating plants that he left behind in 1979 as a military head of state, no addition by successive administrations for 20 years, out of which Babangida had eight years. Vatsa, however, said that the two leaders should spare the citizens the agony of reminding them of the level of profligacy that characterised their different administrations, saying, “When you

talk about prudent spending and proper management of public funds, none of these two leaders is a champion.” The NDF leader said that though the utterances of the two leaders were shameful, “they have shown us that those leading us are not sincere to the masses. The two of them are accusing each other of mismanaging billions of dollars, when our hospitals, roads and schools are in shamble. These people should bury their heads in shame.” The public exchange of words by the two former leaders has been condemned across the country; but the ACF said rather than hurt feelings it will provide Nigerians the opportunity of knowing how the two leaders led the country. In a short text message sent to our correspondent yesterday, the National Publicity Secretary of the Forum, Anthony Sani said public exchange between the two former leaders or any other national leaders are welcome provided they are done with decorum.

While asking them to avoid the use of uncouth language in public discourse, Sani said that such exchanges have the benefit of enabling Nigerians to know the truth. The text message reads “I had said public exchanges between former Presidents or national leaders are welcome, provided they are done with decorum. Our leaders should avoid the use of uncouth languages in public discourse. “This is because such exchanges have the benefits of enabling Nigerians to know the truth as to how they were governed by the two leaders. What is more, the public discourse would help the current leadership to avoid past pitfalls and inspire improvement in the volume and quality of governance for common good. “From their revelations, President Jonathan can learn something from the positive sides and avoid negative ones. But the use of uncouth languages offends common decency besides heating up the polity”.


THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

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ORRIED by the delay in assigning the case of the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, his lead counsel, Chief Akin Olujinmi (SAN), has written to the Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court to bring the application to the attention of vacation judge. But it was learnt that there is a subtle ploy to delay the hearing of the application till the resumption of the court in September. The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), has however said that the suspension of Justice Salami by the National Judicial Council (NJC) is a move to scuttle its petition against the election of President Goodluck Jonathan before the Presidential Election Tribunal. Salami had on Monday sued the National Judicial Council, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, and nine others. The others are the Deputy Chairman of NJC, Justice Dahiru Musdapher; members of the NJC’s FactFinding Committee- Justice Umaru Abdullahi; Justice Emmanuel Ayoola; Justice Dominic Edozie; Justice Michael Akpiroroh; Mrs. Rakia Sarki Ibrahim;- and members of the NJC Review Committee Justice Ibrahim Ndahi Auta; Justice Kate Abiri; and Justice Peter Umeadi. Salami asked the Court for 15 reliefs, including a perpetual injunction restraining the NJC from acting on the reports of the Umaru Abdullahi’s FactFinding Committee and the Auta Review Panel. He also said that the two panels of the NJC have no right to determine whether he was guilty of perjury as they had imputed in their reports. He said the Abdullahi and Auta committees were administrative panels that could not assume the status of a court. Salami also alleged that the Auta Panel never gave him a right to fair hearing before making a pronouncement of guilt on him. He insisted that a panel of the NJC headed by Justice Bolarinwa Babalakin had cleared him of any misconduct on the same matter still investigated by Abdullahi and Auta’s committees. Investigations by our correspondent showed that since Salami filed his application, it has not been brought to the attention of any judge. It was gathered that since the Court is on vacation, a standby judge otherwise called vacation judge ought to hear the matter. The delay over the case made Salami’s lead Counsel, Olujinmi to write the Chief Registrar, through the Office of the Deputy Chief Registrar (Litigation) to remind him to bring the application to the attention of vacation judge.

From: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

A top source, who spoke in confidence, said: “Salami is seeking expeditious hearing of his application by the Federal High Court, Abuja . That was why his counsel wrote the letter. “But as I am talking to you, the matter is yet to be assigned to any judge. “Our suspicion is that the case is undergoing a bureaucratic delay because the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta is one of the defendants in the suit.” Responding to a question, the source said: “Since the case is sensitive and vital, it ought to be assigned to a vacation judge. We hope that action will be taken next week.” The CPC however claimed that the suspension of Salami is targeted at the party because it has remained adamant in pursuing its petition before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal. The party, in a statement in Abuja by its National Publicity Secretary, Rotimi Fashakin, said the suspension is targeted at delaying its petition before the tribunal. The tribunal has up till mid-November to determine whether the CPC has a case against President Goodluck Jonathan or not. The CPC said: “What is unquestionably discernible in this entire saga is that it was not Justice Salami that is the target but the CPC’s Presidential Petition which his court is adjudicating on! The hushhush manner in which this spectacle of the Infra dig is being executed gives the impression that a timeline is being strictly adhered to. “Why is NJC not allowing the normal constitutional provision of making recommendation to the President to prevail? Why did the NJC refuse to be served the summons in the suit filed against it by Justice Salami? Why did the NJC choose to still discuss

News

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Salami’s suit: Counsel demands assignment of case as CPC kicks a matter that is already pending in a High Court? “Why did NJC suspend Justice Salami, thereby effectively removing him from his office contrary to the provision of the constitution? The next hearing in the Motion for Judgment filed by CPC is August 29, 2011. Is NJC trying to work to ensure that a more malleable judicial officer is on the saddle before that date? This lends credence to the widely held notion that this decision was taken with a purpose to frustrate the CPC Presidential petition.” The party also faulted the alleged desperation and the speed with which NJC took its decisions on Salami. It added: “The Congress for Progressive

Change (CPC), is horrified by the meeting of the National Judicial Council (NJC) of August 18, wherein Justice Isa Ayo Salami, President, Court of Appeal (PCA) was suspended and ordered to hand over to the next in seniority. “In a manner reminiscent of a witless regurgitation of prepared script, the NJC carried out a hatchet job that careful watchers had anticipated for quite a while. “It is still mind-boggling that the same NJC that admitted the intervention of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, in the Sokoto governorship petition appeal suit, which was clearly outside his judicial powers; went ahead

to pronounce a ‘guilty as charged’ sentence on Justice Salami for daring to challenge the impunity of his boss. “In a 24-member body where the CJN accounts for the appointment of 20 members (including himself), it is hardly conceivable that the same body can ever apprehend the CJN for any malfeasance!” The CPC warned the NJC against foisting a state of anomie on the nation. It said: “Indeed the preponderant view within the polity is that this ignoble decision has opened a new vista in Nigeria ’s season of anomie. The 3rd Schedule I (21b) of the constitution states that the NJC shall: “Recommend to the President the removal from office of the Judicial Offic-

ers specified in Sub Paragraph (a) of this Paragraph and to exercise disciplinary control over such officers. “ “Without any scintilla of doubt, the greatest tragedy that can befall the Nigerian nation is when the Judiciary, as the bastion in the defence of the rights of the oppressed, becomes noxiously compromised and made prostrate. “Thereafter, Rule of Law gives way to the Ruse of Law; anarchy and unimaginable disequilibrium subsist. As a party, we still believe that the Nigerian nation can be saved from this web of orchestrated, selfish and needless crisis of confidence on the judicial arm of government. God bless Nigeria.”

L-R: Head of Delegation, Royal life saving society of Nigeria, Dr Victoria Bellu; Chairman, African Business Round Table, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur; members of the delegation, Mr Gbelele Benson and Mr Edward Alabi during a visit to Alhaji Tukur in Abuja yesterday . Photo: NAN

Amakiri, renowned journalist, dies of kidney failure

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JOURNALIST, Mr. Minere Amakiri, whose hair was shaved with broken bottles in Government House, Port Harcourt, during the administration of the then military governor of the old Rivers State, HRM Alfred Diete-Spiff, is dead. Amakiri, 62, Publisher/ Editor-in-Chief of Beacon, a provincial newspaper, died around 6:45 pm on Friday in Port Harcourt, on his way to the hospital. Amakiri started Beacon newspaper in 1999 and was based in Port Harcourt. In 2006, he had kidney failure and travelled to India for a transplant, which was successful. Amakiri was confirmed dead at the First Rivers Hospital, Aba Road, Port Harcourt, and his corpse was deposited at Kpaima

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

Mortuary, Mile One, Diobu in the Rivers State capital. Diete-Spiff is now the Amanyanabo (king) of Twon-Brass, headquarters of coastal Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, which hosts the Brass terminal of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and base of Brass Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Company. In 1973, the youthful Diete-Spiff, as military governor, was angered by the “effrontery” of Amakiri, who had reported that the governor was celebrating his birthday, while teachers, members of the Rivers State Civil Service Technical Union and other workers were on strike, over non-payment of their sala-

ries. Amakiri was then the Rivers Sate correspondent of Nigerian Observer newspaper. The governor considered the story “embarrassing.” Amakiri was arrested by Diete-Spiff’s men and moved to the Brick House

(Government House), Port Harcourt, where the hair on his head was shaved with broken bottles to humiliate him, and send a signal to other journalists that the military government would not tolerate “irritating” reports. Amakiri

challenged the barbaric act in court and won the case. The Rivers State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr. Opaka Dokubo, in a telephone interview yesterday, described Amakiri’s death as a great loss to journalism.

Sylva’s aide seeks investment

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JAW professionals have been challenged to fully explore business opportunities in Bayelsa State and other parts of the Niger Delta region. The Executive Assistant to the Bayelsa State governor, Mrs Julie Donli made the call while speaking at a lecture organised for Ijaw professionals and business owners in the Niger Delta

in Lagos. Donli said: “The challenges facing us may be immense but we should never give up in our struggle to explore our resources and the opportunities that are steering at us. We should fix our eyes in the future rather than point blames at each other. “We have to create a new era where we should see ourselves actively uti-

lising the rich natural resources that are deposited all over the land and people of the Ijaw Nation’’. She stated that Governor Timpre Sylva e has created the enabling environment for all to explore the business opportunities in the state and urged members of the Ijaw Professional Association and business owners to rise up to the occasion.


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THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

News

ACN rewards performing council chiefs with return tickets By Tajudeen Adebanjo

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HAIRMAN of ItireIkate Local Council Development Area, Hon. Hakeem Bamgbola has been endorsed by the leadership of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Lagos to re-contest for another term in office. Rising from a meeting held at Yaba last week, ACN leaders in the state’s Central Senatorial District passed a vote of confidence in Bamgbola’s ability to deliver more dividends of democracy. Others who got the party’s nod included Jide Jimoh, Yaba LCDA; Wasiu Eshinlokun, Lagos Island LGA; Wale Adeniji, Ikoyi-Obalende; while Rasak Folami of Surulere was dropped. The district led by Prince Tajudeen Olusi expressed satisfaction with the performance and integrity of the returned council chiefs. Bamgbola thanked the leadership of the party for the confidence reposed in him. He pledged to continue implementing the programmes of the party.

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ORE than 20,000 cadets of Osun Youths Empowerment Scheme (OYES) took to the streets yesterday, protesting against civil servants allegedly clamouring for scrapping of the programme in the state. The peaceful demonstration of the OYES workers cut across the 30 local governments of the state. In Osogbo, the state

Osun youths protest against striking workers

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

capital, the protesters marched from Oja-Oba to Orita-Olaiya via Gbaemu and Idi-Seke, to sensitise residents about their contributions to the state and plights occasioned by the alleged plot by the

striking civil servants to take “our jobs from us.” One of them simply identified as Adijatu, said, “We are doing our best to contribute to the state development without

complaining. Many among us are graduates and yet we work and carry out assignments which these civil servants, who are not better than some

Council boss boosts education From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo

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ILAPIDATED public primary schools in Atiba Local Government in Oyo state will soon get a facelift as plans are underway to rehabilitate most of them. The Transition Committee Chairman of the Local Government, Prince Hakeem Adeyemi, gave this hint yesterday while addressing journalists in Oyo town. Besides improving on the infrastructures, Adeyemi said his administration “would also ensure that commensurate incentives would be provided for teachers to boost their morale, especially those in the core rural areas. We will also ensure that children of school age are not allowed to either hawk or roam about the streets, but provide them the needed basic education, especially the indigent ones.’’

CAP Plc assures on quality of paints

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HE Chemical and Allied Products (CAP) Plc, markers of Dulux paints, has reiterated its commitment to providing all customers with high quality paints. Such, it said, would not only allow consumers to fully express themselves in colours and creativity, but also give premium satisfaction. The Manager, Dulux’s Colour Centre, Mr. Ogunfolaji Olugbenga said during the tour of the centre that the product has adapted to domestic expectations as the firm has formulated different colour types to meet diverse opportunities and styles.

•Some of the youths during the protest in Osogbo, yesterday.

PHOTO: ADESOJI ADENIYI

Drivers protest death of colleague in police cell

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OMMERCIAL bus drivers in Benin City yesterday barricaded the Okhoro Police station protesting the death of their colleague who died inside the police cell. Bonfires were set up along the Okhoro street and New Lagos Road where the police station is located thereby paralysing activities at the station. The protesting drivers said their dead colleague died inside the police cell after he was allegedly beaten to stupor by the police. Chairman of the drivers’ union, Ikponmwosa Aiyovbiekpen told journalists that the late driver identified as Elvis crashed his bus into another car at about 6pm yesterday. Mr. Aiyovbiekpen said the owner of the Audi car came out and slapped late Elvis which led Elvis to hit his head on a culvert along the road. He explained that the driver called policemen who arrived at the scene and started beating their colleague after which the late driver was taken to the police station where he was detained. He said all pleadings to the police for late Elvis to be taken to the hospital were ignored by the police. It was learnt that the family was told of Elvis death yesterday morning when they came to secure his bail.

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

They were told by the police that their son died at the hospital after his condition worsen while in detention. Another eyewitness who

identified himself as John Iyamu Aisosa said police told them that the late Elvis was pretending after he (Elvis) fainted. Some policemen at the station were seen changing to

mufti to avoid being attacked by the protesting drivers. District Police Officer in charge of the station, Ekuri Remuguis, had a hectic time trying to calm the protesting driver, even as he declined comments to the press.

Emulate Asiwaju, forum tells politicians

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HE Asiwaju Leadership Forum, a non-government, socio-political group based in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State capital with branches in other states and geopolitical zones of the country, has called on leaders at all levels of governance in the country to emulate the leadership qualities of Senator Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State and leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The Forum’s National Coordinator, Engineer Emeka Segun and the Ekiti State coordinator, Engineer Ayodeji Adewole, in a joint address to journalists in Ado-Ekiti said that the project of salvaging Nigeria should begin by urging politicians and leaders in the country to understudy and emulate the leadership qualities of Senator Tinubu, who they said had become a role model in leadership. Engineer Segun

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

disclosed that the Forum which would operate through symposia, public lectures, press releases and other mass mobilisation means would be officially launched in December, adding that the goal of the Forum was to popularise the ideals and ideas of Senator Asiwaju who many now see as the bastion of modern democracy in Nigeria. He observed that given the pitiful morass Nigeria has sunk lately despite all efforts of genuine leaders like Senator Bola Tinubu at redemption, one of the options left was to mount campaigns through a Forum like The Asiwaju Leadership Forum to sensitise more Nigerians on the need to get involved in the quest too address the crisis of leadership in the country. He said “The Forum is set to bring together Nigerian youth both in

Nigeria and Diaspora who are patriotically committed to salvaging Nigeria with a view to raising a new generation of young visionary and responsible leaders. “As a child of necessity, the Forum through seminars and programmes will continually advocate changes to how government is run and shall make the leadership style of Asiwaju a guiding principle in all cases and at all times as this, to us at the Forum represents the best for the country. “The result of thorough, exhaustive, and painstaking appraisal of our present generation of leaders and their supposed ideologies has put Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu far ahead of others in terms of sincere, consistent and relentless commitment to the cause of democracy and justice in a largely despoiled terrain such as we have in the country today.”

of us, will not do with our dignity intact. What are our sins that they want to take our jobs away from us ? Whoever that proposed this is wicked.” The protesting OYES workers said they received the information that the leadership of the civil servants in Osun State, who have been on strike for more than a week, allegedly proposed scrapping of the scheme to the state government. There was an unconfirmed report that one of the protesting OYES workers was beaten up and injured by the Labour members at Gbongan in Ayedade Local Government Area of Osun State. Reacting, the chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress in the state, Alhaji Saka Adesiyan, denied proposing scrapping of the OYES, saying the minutes of the labour’s last meeting with the government headed by the deputy governor, Chief Mrs. Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori, should be published to let people see if they made such a proposal. Adesiyan said: “The governor during one of our negotiations with him over the Minimum Wage told us he pays N200 million monthly on OYES but we told him that the creation of the scheme was his own discretion and that that is none of our business.” Two group leaders of the OYES in Osogbo and Olorunda Local Governments, Yussuf Abolubode Kamoru and Olanrewaju Moruf Rasaq, respectively, said the news of the alleged move by the state Labour leaders to scrap the scheme got to them at a forum on Friday, where they were being prepared for general cleaning of Osogbo town in the forthcoming Osun festival. The Commandant of OYES, Col. Eniibukun Oyewole (rtd.), however, denied that the cadets were protesting against the civil servants agitation for wage increase but said people misunderstoo d “our monthly march across the state.” The state Commissioner, Mr. Solomon Olusegun, who said the OYES did not take permit for demonstration from his command, disclosed that the reports he received from his Area Commanders and the secretariat of OYES showed that there was no protest by any group on Saturday.


THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

Politics

Political Politics

Salami’s suspension damage to judiciary, says Belgore T

HE suspension of the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami by the National Judicial Council (NJC) is a slur of Nigeria as a nation, the Kwara state Action Congress on Nigeria (ACN), Mohammed Dele Belgore has said. The NJC had reportedly suspended Salami for his refusal to apologise to the council and the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloysius

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

Katsina-Alu. The council after an emergency meeting had early this month given the Appeal Court President an ultimatum to apologise in writing to the council and Katsina-Alu within seven days. Rather Salami had dragged the body to court. Belgore who spoke with The Nation in Ilorin yesterday

shortly after attending a Ramadan lecture organised by Ma-assalaam Islamic Foundation, added that NJC had through that act flagrantly defied what it preaches. His words: “The legal implications of the NJC’s action are wide, because this is the highest ruling body in the judiciary and we expect it will be the one to do the right thing. The judiciary always admonishes people to have

respect for the judiciary, how come this sort of thing will now happen, why is this sort of thing happening in a situation where there is a pending court order.” Expatiating, Belgore said: “Indeed, the suspension of Justice Salami by the NJC is a damage to the judiciary, it is a slur on Nigeria as a nation, it is bad for the system and it does not speak well of us as a people.”

Ondo CPC chair, PDP members join ACN

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HE former Ondo State Congress of Progressive Change [CPC] Chairman, Mr. Banji Ajiloge and 12 Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] Chieftains in Ifedore Local Government Area of the state have defected to the Action Congress of Nigeria [ACN]. Ajiloye, who was a former Commissioner for

From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

Information during the late Adebayo Adefarati’s regime was received by the state chairman of ACN, Mrs. Jumoke Anifowose, with over 5,000 supporters of CPC and PDP in the community. Among the PDP chieftains were Hon. Fayose

Igbekele, Adub Ojo, Hon. Tope Komolafe and Barrister Hassan. They said of who said they were leaving PDP over alleged “military style leadership of the party” in the state. Ajiloye said he was joining ACN because he was not satisfied with the present crop of leadership in

the state. He noted that what the present government received as monthly federal allocation revenue was what the late Adekunle Ajasin used for four years to develop the state, stressing that it is what the state was still benefiting from.

Governor of Lagos State Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (7th left), with the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Remi Ibirogba (6 th right); Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Mr. Aderemi Desalu (5 th right); Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Security, Major Tunde Panox (2nd right); Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Dikko Umar (6th left) and his delegation during a courtesy call on the governor at the weekend.

Group carpets Benue tribunal over ruling

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GROUP, the Task Force on Mandate Recovery has upbraided the Governorship Election Tribunal sitting in Makurdi, Benue State over what it described as a ridiculous ruling delivered on a petition filed by Prof. Steve Torkuma Ugbah, the governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the last April polls. In a statement issued over the weekend the group said it was unthinkable for the tribunal to have “struck out Ground 3 of the petition that touches on the issue of qualification/presentation of forged certificate to INEC by Gabriel Torwua Suswam on the ground that qualification is a preelection matter. Similarly, the tribunal struck out

certain paragraphs of the said petition.” While acknowledging the impartiality of the judiciary, the group however reiterated its misgivings with the ruling delivered by the tribunal. It said: “We consider the ruling of this tribunal strange and in total variance with existing laws and jurisprudence and the plethora of authorities of the superior courts of record on the issue of qualification for an election. “The provision of section 138 (1) (a) of the Electoral Act provides to the effect that an election may be questioned on the ground that a person whose election is questioned (in this case, Gabriel Suswam) was at the time of the election not qualified to contest the election.” Expatiating, the group,

while citing Section 182 (1) which states that, no person shall be qualified for election to the Office of the Governor of a State if he has presented a forged certificate to INEC, expressed dismay that the tribunal disregarded the petition filed by Prof. Ugbah. According to the group, “Only a few days ago various Election Petition Tribunals assumed jurisdiction and considered petitions touching on grounds of qualification; for instance in Kebbi the CPC won the House of Assembly Seat on issue of certificate forgery. In Jigawa State the Principal of the School where the Governor graduated from was invited by the Tribunal to come and

tender his WAEC Certificate in Court; so was the case in Edo State where WAEC through a subpoena appeared and tendered a Certificate in favour of the Majority Leader of the Edo House of Assembly, Hon. Philip Shuaibu. “The decision of the Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal is therefore not only strange but a new jurisprudence on the issue of qualification. We also consider as strange the ruling of the tribunal striking out certain grounds of the petition on the ground that they allege crime against curtained named persons and bodies.” While reiterating its displeasure with the ruling, the group asked the legal team and teaming supporters of Prof. Ugbah to appeal the said ruling.

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turf

with Bolade Omonijo boladeomonijo@yahoo.com

Who are the fools?

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VERYBODY in Nigeria knows that there is a crisis of leadership. Over the years, the indices of development have been on the decline with successive military regimes and civilian administrations. Every succeeding government acknowledges that the preceding administration erred. None seriously paid attention to section 14 of the constitution that binds government to work for the security and welfare of all Nigerians. Those who access power see themselves as conquerors, and the way the society celebrates their ascension belies the heavy responsibility bestowed on them. Public life should be about service. Demands are made of leaders in other climes. Anyone who doubts this should take a look at a photograph of President Barack Obama when he assumed power in January 2009 and compare it to what he looks like now. Closer home, one of the exceptions to the rule of rampaging locusts set on the land is Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola. He has since gone grey. That is what public office does to the serious-minded. When I see my brother, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, holding series of meetings with functionaries of the federal government and the people of Ekiti State, in Lagos today, Abuja tomorrow and yet in his office the day after, I wonder whether he is not pushing himself too hard. I look forward to comparing a picture of Governor Fayemi with his new look just at the end of his tenure in 2014. Governor Peter Obi has not aged, but anyone who has been close to the Awka Government House to see him at work would appreciate that he could sometimes be so worn out that you would wonder if he does not sometimes ask why he chose to visit such punishment on himself. So, there are clear exceptions. Lateef Jakande worked very hard in the Second Republic. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu laid the foundation for the contemporary phenomenal growth of Lagos. He took the bashing when he was at work mopping up the revenue that has made it possible to introduce the BRT, construct first class roads, build the first independent power plant and radically improve the health facilities in the state. These are exceptions to the rule. The rule is that people pump money into sectors and there is nothing to show for it. Ever wonder what has happened to Obasanjo’s health centres of excellence? What became of the hundreds of millions released to rehabilitate federal roads during the presidency of Obasanjo and ministerial oversight of Chief Tony Anenih? Obasanjo was one of the virulent critics of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) visited on hapless citizens of Nigeria by the IBB administration. But, in what ways and manners did he bring the human face that he had recommended to the Babangida junta to bear on running the economy in his eight years in power as an elected President? It is no surprise that idle former leaders who participated in sapping the health of the Nigerian state found time to hurled insults at each other during the past week. It is shameful. In other climes, the two men would have buried their heads in shame for failing the people. Obasanjo is without doubt the luckiest Nigeria ever, indeed luckier than Goodluck. He was military Head of State for 44 months and handed over to the Shagari administration. For that, he was immediately embraced by the international community as a model for other military leaders in Africa. He joined the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group and once ran for the office of Secretary General of the United Nations. He had a voice on Nigerian and African affairs. He was a co-chairman of Transparency International. As such, when it was obvious that the military men who came after him, led by Babangida had fouled the air, it was to Obasanjo that the institution turned for redemption. The North trusted him. The military could live with him and the civil society felt that he had been purged of all anti-democratic tendencies by his tint in prison. Today, almost all those who took part in the decision to foist Obasanjo on the country regret their action. He sent almost all the original founders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) out of the party, ran Nigeria like a private estate and fought anyone who stood in his way. He actually crushed many. Today, he is at war with IBB. I have no sympathy for IBB. He was at the head of the movement that sought to destroy Nigeria, both while he was in power and outside it. I think what the Generals who have set an agenda for us to determine who are the fools, how they got to power and desecrated sacred places and failed to account for their actions in power have told us in their outburst is the need for soul searching as a nation. The people, too, have failed Nigeria by refusing to hold serving and former leaders to account. It is not too late to insist that never should fools reign in Nigeria again.


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THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011


THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

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THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

Essay

Understanding the coming storm (Act One) Few things are as dangerous yet pitiable as a rich man who has squandered his wealth.

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N global finance, there are no friends or loyalties to be had. There is only money to be made and money to be lost. Because of this mercenary reality, the global economy is in a more precarious state then during the 2008 recession. The reason for this lies in the clumsy financial stratagems played by American and European governments. In 2008, the private banking system crumpled to its knees under the weight of heavey indebtedness. Governments spent and borrowed money to revive the banks. In saving the financial sector, governments left themselves exposed by taking on high debt like a ship taking on water. Doing what comes naturally to them, private creditors have swooped down on governments demanding payment. Many governments are unable to meet their obligations. Who now steps in to save distressed governments? If this question is not answered correctly, the euro zone could collapse while the American economy simultaneously slips into recession. If so, every nation that does business with this North Atlantic economic constellation will suffer. The world will experience financial and economic contraction making the 2008 recession a period of golden bounty. The worst thing about man-made financial turbulence is the great, unnecessary destruction they wrought. The best thing about them is that, being caused by man, they can also be prevented by him. At the current moment, man appears to be his own worst enemy. In America, a nominally Democratic President has talked about energizing the economy just weeks after approving budget cuts crippling it. He mentions an ambitious jobs creation program yet wistfully speaks of reviving the “grand bargain’ with Congressional Republican leaders that would spell an even more savage reduction to the federal budget. While the President can talk of both job creation and additional budget cuts, he cannot perform both simultaneously; a room cannot be well lit yet dark at the same time. While the President positions himself in the shadows of ambiguity, Republican Party hopefuls are almost to a person afflicted with political apoplexy. Republican candidate Michelle Bachman promised to drop gasoline prices to two dollars per gallon if elected. Short of precipitating a massive economic depression, Bachman’s assertion is no more plausible than Reverend Al Sharpton claiming to be the long lost Anastasia, daughter of Tsar Nicolas II, in perfect disguise. President Obama angles toward recession at a slow, steady pace. Republican candidates rush toward it as if to embrace a long absent but cherished relative. Never has America developed a crop of leaders hell bent on destroying the nation’s prosperity in order to prove themselves ideologically chaste. Insightful pragmatism now occupies its stately sepulcher. In its place, stands a mind-numbing economic theology more attuned to the dismal spirit of Torquemada or Thomas Hobbes than the democratic one of Thomas Jefferson. As bad as America is, England is worse. While America approaches recession, England is basically there. It did not have to be. There was no economic logic behind PM Cameron’s decision for massive budget cuts at this time. Historic fact dictated against it. He chose to honor belief over fact. What he got in return were riots and recession. Instead of acknowledging the ugly correlation between budget cuts and social unrest, he blamed all on a breakdown of the morality and civility that are hallmarks of British society. These are the vapid statements a nation gets when they elect slick rather than profound figures into prime office. Why didn’t Cameron decry the moral turpitude of the financial community when it pillaged the economy, ruining the life savings of millions of average Britons? The pensions and home mortgages of many innocent people sunk underwater while financial executives reaped lavish payments for wrecking the economy. There was no outcry from Cameron to summarily punish these financial miscreants. For all the institutional fraud perpetuated in the financial arena, no one has been shipped to jail. Yet thousands of rioters

• Obama

By Brian Browne have been jailed with some already convicted and sentenced. Justice may be blind but she also has a mouth which seems to smile on instead of biting the hands of those that feed her. At bottom, the riotous financial misconduct that produced the 2008 recession and instigated the current one has caused over 50 times more damage than the riots. Yet these financial misdeeds remain veiled because masking injustice and the fleecing of the public vault is the convenient service the political class provides its financial superintendents. While politically expedient, this unrestrained pro-rentier bias is incapable of maintaining a national economy healthy in all parts. While loath to present anyone who dared link the riots to budget cuts, the BBC did not hesitate to broadcast a right-wing English historian proclaiming the riots signaled that alien cultures had taken root in England. He said that “Whites had learned to act like Blacks.” Black people are ready scapegoats for all things bad. If Black people did not exist, they would have to be invented so prejudiced hearts could blame them for even the bigots’ self-inflictions. Blacks know nothing and can be taught nothing, the myth goes. Yet, White misconduct in the riots was because they received some type of antisocial tutorial from Black professors and masters of street life. Forever half-man, half-simian, Blacks have caused England’s fair cities to degrade into concrete jungles according to this man’s thesis. While the world has not descended into a “Planet of the Apes,” London is in danger of becoming a “City of Baboons,” the bigot impersonating an historian must be thinking. Guess the historian would say Blacks hoisted themselves as slaves aboard the ships of noble Britons or forced England to colonize nearly half of the African continent. When the British unleashed hundreds of killer dogs into the Jamaican interior to subdue runaway slaves, these Maroons evidently requested the British maim them with the sinister canines. I am at a loss to ascribe a tutoring role to Black people when the English blithely exported livestock and other food items from the Emerald Isle while masses of Irish starved during mid19th century famines. One can only wonder what role the historian attributes to Black people in the legendary mistreatment of British factory workers and coal miners. In one sense, the ugly hand dealt the miners was justified. Emerging from the mines with faces smeared of coal dust, they must have appeared to be Black men. Consequently, whatever ill treatment they received was due them. British society is civil but not as much as they think. In a fundamental sense, this national fable of a refined society is built on lay-

ers of graduated cruelty. The rich and wealth were congenial enough to each other but have historically been coldly indifferent to their own poor. To their colonials, the ruling class was always brusque and often rapacious. With the fall of colonialism and advent of globalization, post-colonial ethnic enclaves formed at the core of the metropolis. Yet, this recent inclusion of emigrants within England’s national boundaries could not disperse the accumulation of centuries of socio-economic malice. Despite enjoying the requisite nationality, one is more apt to be treated as Black or Brown than as British. Old prejudices held by the ruling elite trump the new passports held by the newly arrived. Even if born there, one is still considered a stranger, an imposition. In this myth of civility, past injustice and bias were not seen as integral to the British nature because the prejudice was committed in the colonial periphery. Now the bias is being played out in London, Birmingham and Manchester. The respondent “native agitation” that used to take place in Kingston, Mumbai and Nairobi has likewise migrated to the English cities. Inequalities of the English economic structure now drag that very economy into the mud of recession. While doing so, they challenge the tensile strength of England’s multi-cultural unity. At this juncture, England is an exemplar of nothing worth modeling and in no position to abet in the rescue of the world economy. England itself is in dire need of salvage. As bad as England looks, continental Europe is worse. The focus of wise concern currently is the euro zone. If care is not had, the zone might rupture, sending the global financial system cascading once more toward the gates of chaos. Last week, German Chancellor Merkel and her French counterpart, President Sarkozy, held a summit. Words were exchanged and a meaningless communiqué drafted. Equity markets continued to melt notwithstanding this nonevent. Credit markets are becoming dangerously dry and void of liquidity because of fright regarding the debt obligations of several euro zone nations, including France. The logic of the summit is elusive. Merkel could have done just as well talking to a plastered wall or a tulip in a vase. Perhaps his presence was due to that peculiar trait in French leadership pining for inclusion in the high stakes drama, even as a bit player, in order to delude their citizens and a gullible world that the Tri-color still flies high and the nation remains a great power. Perhaps Merkel sought his presence to provide Gallic cover to her uncharacteristic Teutonic dawdling. Or perhaps the session was a product of the German’s political vanity. No matter how badly she performs, the taciturn German figured to come out first when compared to the irascible Frenchman. Perhaps not this time. Sarkozy has nothing to say or deliver regarding the euro zone crisis. European leaders let the crisis linger too long. The euro now faces existential threat. The cost for ending this threat is much steeper than that of a year or even three months ago. Temporizing is the favored tactic of bureaucrats hoping small problem will fade without exertion on the official’s part. This tact should never be mistaken for the sound policy because the tact depends far too much on narrow political calculation and fear to offer much utility in times of genuine difficult. In dreams, monsters disappear easily. In real life, they grow larger unless slain. At this moment, the center of the financial universe is not America, England or even China. It is Germany. Because European leaders have wasted so much time, collective action is no longer practical. Whereas months ago, several nations could have contributed their fair share to a solution, now only one has the resources necessary for this muster. The fate of the euro zone sits at the feet of Angela Merkel and her government. If she falters, the zone may fracture and this could send the world into a dip unparalleled in our generation. A caring heart would have some empathy for Merkel. This situation was not what

she bargained for as Chancellor. Her sights were on leading Germany into uninterrupted years of export expansion and controlled prosperity. The structure of the euro zone indeed has led to Germany’s mercantilist success. That same structure is also the cause of the present financial challenge. Crisis was foretold by the very design of the monetary union. The union was structured with Germany as its anchor and it allowed the nation to run protracted trade and capital surpluses. For Germany to enjoy surpluses, others had to run deficits. This is an inescapable fact of accounting. Consequently, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain have been borrowing increasing amounts of money. In effect, these nations borrowed to fund both their deficits and Germany’s prosperity. Without these nations going into deficit, Germany would not have its current prosperity. The poorer tier of the euro zone borrowed to increase its living standard and elevated Germany’s in the process. While these nations owe large debts to private banks, Germany owes a certain debt to these deficit nations. Because these nations are dependent on the euro and have not their own sovereign currencies, they could not continue to carry large deficits without the pricing of borrowing money becoming too high to bear. We have reached this breaking point. Interest rates on their debt edge toward the clouds. The debt burden is too great. Some like Greece and Ireland have fallen insolvent. Spain and Italy lack liquidity and need substantial help to stave insolvency. If big economies like Spain and Italy don’t get help, they will not be able to pay their private creditors. Without the payments due from these nations, major financial institutions may sink because they too will be unable to finance their underlying obligations. A chain reaction of exploding debt may ensue that could engulf the global financial system. All this places Germany in an awkward position. The Germans are a frugal people psychologically averse to giving money to other nations they denigrate as spendthrifts. The prospect of helping these nations avoid financial calamity also bring to mind the wrenching economic dislocations caused by German unification twenty years ago. While today’s situation is vastly different, many influential Germans see the current episode as offering the worse aspects of reunification without any of the benefits. Yet, Germany aspired to continental leadership and leadership entails doing what you must not what you want. Helping these nations is in Germany’s national interest although it contravenes the nation’s cultural norms. It is the task of Chancellor Merkel to educate her citizens why an act so alien to their national disposition is vital to their economic security. She could take the easy route and do nothing as the bulk of the public wants. The cheers would be brief, cut short by the reality of a grinding slowdown of an export economy lacking sufficiently vibrant partner nations with which to trade. In the end, there is no reasonable alternative but to salvage these nations and thus the euro zone. The repercussions of inaction are too steeply negative. Yet, the current posse of leaders of the North Atlantic nations are collectively the least capable these nations have suffered for over a century. Germany has implied it would not aid Italy. Merkel may possibly stick to this easy but wrong decision or will wait too late to make the difficult right one. If so, the whole world loses and we will be engulfed in the second financial meltdown and recession in three years. The last one was contained by government intervention. Governments will be unable to throttle the impending one because, this time, governmental, not private, debt would have been the proximate cause of the contraction. If financial calamity touches down in Europe, it will linger and be more protracted than its 2008 predecessor. It will spread quickly across the globe, including Africa. Africa would have sowed nothing yet still reaped the whirlwind. Again, Black people will suffer for something they did not do. It’s the same old story. 08101159783 (Sms only)


THE NATION

11

ON SUNDAY

COMMENT and ANALYSIS AUGUST 21, 2011

Babangida, Obasanjo and the fools’ pageant Festus Eriye

Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment - Job 32:9

efestus2003@yahoo.com 08052135878 (SMS only)

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F there is a living Nigerian who should be eternally grateful to his maker it is former President Ibrahim Babangida. He rose to be head of state using the treacherous and unconstitutional route of coup plotting, and survived in that exalted position for eight years. He lives in quiet and comfortable retirement in an era when many past leaders are being called to account for their actions whilst in office. Many of his contemporaries in the army – the likes of Generals Illya Bisalla and Mamman Vatsa to mention a couple - were consumed in their prime by the culture of coup détats that existed in the military between the 60s and 90s. Babangida could very well have been killed, if not in the course of the several coups in which he participated, in the midst of the Civil War. He has lived not just to tell of his regrets and boast about his supposed achievements; he has, by the mercies of God, lived to be 70 years old. You would think the man would be engaged in quiet thanksgiving instead of sitting in judgment over anyone but himself. Instead, when he should be at the receiving end of gracious felicitations, has managed to stir up a needless controversy that hardly helps the public perception of him. So why did he do it? Why was the occasion of a press interview to mark his 70th birthday the right time to denounce former President Olusegun Obasanjo as a failure? Why pick on him alone and not perform a similar critique on the reign of Generals Yakubu Gowon, Murtala Muhammed, Muhammadu Buhari, Sani Abacha, Abdulsalami Abubakar, President Shehu Shagari etc? Only Babangida can explain what he was playing at. But I suspect that his comments were the outpouring of bottled emotions over the things he suffered at Obasanjo’s hand after helping to enthrone him in 1999. First, OBJ quickly bit the hand that drafted him into the presidential race. Secondly, once safely ensconced in Aso Rock, he frustrated IBB’s bid to succeed him in 2007. Even out of office, he worked to ensure that the general’s further attempt to run in 2011 was crushed decisively. In taking his wild swing at a man given to posturing as the best thing to happen to Nigeria since crude oil, he may have exacted a measure of vengeance. But having associated long enough with Obasanjo, surely, IBB would know that the man would give as good as he got. Obasanjo’s counter-attack was typically full-blooded. He said: “If Babangida has decided on becoming a septuagenarian, that he will be a fool, I think one should probably do what the Bible says in Proverbs chapter 26, verse 4. It says don’t answer a fool because you may also become like him. When you go to

•Obasanjo

•Babangida

Proverbs chapter 26, verse 5, it says, answer a fool so that he will not think he’s a wise man. So, I am now torn between which of the two verses I should follow in this respect.” Determined to get the final word IBB retorted that OBJ was the “greater fool.” What is so amusing about this furious spat between two grumpy old men is that judging by their actions while in the office, both have earned their place in a Folly Hall of Fame – if one exists. So it is quite rich that one is pointing a gnarled finger at the other A few examples here would suffice. If you say the annulment of the June 12, 1993 election result was not criminal, at least admit that it was an act of extreme folly. This was a poll widely hailed as one of the freest and fairest in Nigeria’s history, and for no rational reason it was tossed into the can. The stupidity was compounded by the fact that billions of naira had been spent on the process that led to Chief M.K.O. Abiola’s election. Today, no one remembers anything of worth that Babangida did while he was Commander-in-Chief; but we all remember him still as the Annuller-inChief. Until he succumbed to the allurements of tenure elongation, Obasanjo was coasting towards a respectful exit from office. But once his grubby fingers were seen all over the infamous Third Term project, he became the target for savage attacks. Even his deputy, Atiku Abubakar, turned against him - publicly exposing an embarrassing crack at the highest level of the nation’s power pyramid. After the agenda crashed in flames at the National Assembly, his respectability as a statesman went out of the window. Today, not much is remembered about the good things he achieved over eight years. Forever, his reign would be associated with

the abortive tenure elongation bid because it was the highest profile thing he did at the tail end of his reign. Only a foolish man tears down the house he built just because of a flight of fancy. An interesting side to this spat is Obasanjo’s attempt to enlist the aid of Scripture in pursuit of mischief; it never works. The word of God is clear that what counts is not ability to spout Scripture, but humbling ourselves to do what it directs. Indeed, the Scriptures are mirror that can show who you truly are. Obasanjo says Babangida’s crowning achievement at 70 is foolishness; IBB replies that the Egba chief is ‘the greater fool.’ What does the Bible say? A fool talks too much – especially in a newspaper interview. (A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards. Proverbs 29:11. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness. Proverbs 15:2. Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding. Proverbs 17:28) A fool is quick to anger. It is not every attack you respond to; sometimes you just let things slide. Unfortunately, crusty old generals who are Civil War veterans don’t understand that. (Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools. Ecclesiastes 7:9. Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee. Ecclesiastes 7:21) One final word of advice for IBB. An ancient cliché talks about leaving sleeping dogs well alone. A pidgin wise crack says ‘trouble dey sleep yanga go wake am.’ In that birthday interview the general managed to upset not only Obasanjo but also the family of late General Mamman Vatsa who Babangida executed for coup plotting. Only a fool reopens old wounds for no just cause.

“What is so amusing about this furious spat between two grumpy old men is that judging by their actions while in the office, both have earned their place in a Folly Hall of Fame – if one exists. So it is quite rich that one is pointing a gnarled finger at the other.”

Lekan Otufodunrin lotufodunrin@yahoo.com 08050498530 (SMS only)

Journalism in her bones

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HE first time I met Toyosi Ogunseye of Sunday Punch Newspaper who recently won the health category of the prestigious CNN/Multichoice African Journalist of the Year Award for 2010 was about six years ago. Then a young reporter with The Sun Newspaper, she was one of the nominees for the first edition of the Nigeria Young Journalist Award which she did not win. I was very impressed by the quality of her stories despite being relatively new in the profession. I was therefore not surprised that she eventually emerged as the runner up in the 2007 Edition of the award. Since then she had won some other journalism awards and fellowships based on her various outstanding stories and had always known that she had a very bright future in the profession. When she was named as one of the finalist for the 2010 CNN/Multichoice award, I had no doubt that if she didn’t emerge as the overall winner, she would win one of the major categories. I am very happy for her as she joins the league of past Nigerian winners including Declan Okpalaeke, Ibiba Don Pedro, Shola Oshunkeye, Janet Mba, Ibim Seminetari who have done the country proud in the continental award. Yesterday, I and some members of Journalists for Christ in Lagos had the opportunity of listening to Toyosi who really proved that her winning the award was not a fluke. She spoke with so much passion about her job and by the time she was through with her talk titled: The Pursuit of Excellence in Journalism, I could not help but come up with the title of this piece. “You can’t be an excellent journalist unless you are an excellent person first” she said, noting that everyone has the ability to be excellent if one works hard at it. “You must first discover who you are and be determined, focused and add value to whatever you are assigned to do. “It will be a shame if you are a journalist and you don’t regularly have your stories published. Being able to write is not enough to be a journalist. You must have the passion to write good and balanced stories to justify the money readers pay to buy your papers” said Toyosi, a graduate of Bio Chemistry from the University of Lagos. The story that won Toyosi her award is the stuff good public service journalism is made of. It was a pathetic story of how some babies died at the Children Ward of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba (LUTH) due to lack of diligence on the part of medical workers. Her story forced the authorities of the hospital to sit up and stop the death of innocent children and other patients as it still happens in some health institutions. Toyosi like a few others I know stand out among their generation of young journalists. Well done Toyosi. I can feel the journalism in your bone. May your pen never run dry.


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Ogochukwu Ikeje ohgeeoh@gmail.com 08084235961 (SMS only)

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THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

Comment & Analysis

HE skills and experience of statesmen would have come in handy at this time. The Jonathan administration needs all the help it can get. The economy is not in any good shape. Lots of Nigerians, especially the youth, have no job, and the administration is hoping Finance Minister Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who was sworn in last week, is coming from America with a magic wand. The nation’s judiciary is on trial, as two Justices, Isa Salami, President of the Court of Appeal, and Aloysius Katsina-Ala, Chief Justice of Nigeria, are locked in integrity battle. Surely, a piece of advice from our statesmen could help, at least, to keep the country focused. But where are the statesmen? And where is that golden piece of advice? Two men who would have loved to be called statesmen have redefined the term, negatively. Last week, Generals Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida or IBB, as he is better known, laundered their dirty linen in public. They abused each other and cheapened the offices they held, their professions, even their very age, the nation and its people. As elders, their conduct was scandalous. Every word they uttered was not statesmanlike. IBB turned 70. It would have been an opportunity to thank God for His mercies. But for the gap-toothed birthday boy, it was a chance to take aim at Obasanjo and fire. The media reported that the former military president compared his eight-year tenure with that of the great Ota farmer, who also spent eight years in office as civilian president. IBB also reportedly thought himself less fortunate with resources than Obasanjo. The Minna

Statesmanship, according to the generals The IBB-Obasanjo fallout shows just how bad our leadership challenge is hilltop lord submitted that he did wonders with his “meager” resources, while Obasanjo failed in spite of the huge cash at his disposal. It bears quoting him. “If I had been lucky like those in the recent past, I would have done more than we did,” Babangida said. “In my eight years in office, I was able to manage poverty and achieve success while somebody for eight years managed affluence and achieved failure.” Those who know Obasanjo say he hardly lets an unkind word ride. He fired back, saying he was torn between not replying “a fool,” as Proverbs 26: 4 (which he quoted), said, and giving it back to the “fool”, as the next verse (which he also quoted) advised. Neither of the generals acted wisely. IBB could have blown out the candles on his birthday cake, sliced it through with a

golden knife and retired to his palatial living room to receive gifts and warm messages from his admirers. If he was inspired for speeches, a kind word to the nation would have been quite nice, indeed. But he was stirred for war, the immediate cause of which is unclear. It was clearly no way to celebrate 70 years on earth. As for Obasanjo whose age is difficult to determine, but who is clearly older than 70, he could have found some noble ways to deal with the insult. Elders are reputedly gifted in handling matters that roundly trounce youngsters. But in this matter, the two elders need counsel. There are several reasons why they should not fight. They are both in their twilight and should know better. They belong in the same professional constituency: the military. Where is esprit

There are several reasons why they should not fight. They are both in their twilight and should know better. They belong in the same professional constituency: the military. Where is esprit de corps? They both presided over the affairs of the nation, and for the same number of years, with pretty little to show for it. Rather than pummel each other, and distract the country, they should be sober for life

de corps? They both presided over the affairs of the nation, and for the same number of years, with pretty little to show for it. Rather than pummel each other, and distract the country, they should be sober for life. Obasanjo and IBB also belong in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Can’t they find a way to iron out their differences without further debasing the country they presided over? It is obvious they can’t, and it is a great problem not just to them but also to the rest of us. If their military background, presidential profile, and political alliance cannot suck off their individual bile, then we have a huge challenge on our hands. Failing to return to power, IBB seems to believe he can still find joy in playing a statesman. “I will sit in Minna here and people will come and seek my advice,” he told reporters. But it is clear that the statesmanship he dreams of is alien. Obasanjo also got it all mixed up if he thought he would burnish his leadership Curriculum Vitae by returning fire for fire in the manner he did. Statesmen are not superhuman but they know when to speak and how. When their country is burning, they help cool things down. They conduct themselves decently. They lead, whether in or out of power. IBB and Obasanjo who have just redefined the word ‘statesmanship’, and have also proved once again that Nigerians’ major problem lies with their leaders, not the led.


THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

Comment & Analysis

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Self- abuse at NJC The President should not join the fray so as not to embarrass his govt

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HE mockery epitomised by the National Judicial Council’s (NJC) purported suspension of Justice Ayo Salami, President of the Court of Appeal (PCA) by the council for not apologising to it (NJC) and the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, over alleged perjury, is reprehensible. It is even the more so considering the calibre of people involved in the travesty of justice that the action represents, given that there is a pending suit on the matter instituted by Justice Salami. The PCA had sued the CJN, his deputy, Justice Dahiru Musdapher and members of the NJC’s FactFinding Committee- Justice Umaru Abdullahi; Justice Emmanuel Ayoola; Justice Dominic Edozie; Justice Michael Akpiroroh and Mrs. Rakia Sarki Ibrahim. Also sued are members of the NJC Review Committee –Hon. Justice Ibrahim Ndahi Auta; Hon. Justice Kate Abiri and Hon. Justice Peter Umeadi. Justice Salami in the suit filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, by his counsel is pleading 15 reliefs, including a perpetual injunction restraining the NJC from acting on the reports of the Justice Umaru Abdullahi Fact-Finding Committee and the Justice Ibrahim Auta Review Panel that illegally found him guilty of perjury in their reports. The two bodies are administrative panels that legally should not assume the status of a court. For instance, in Garba v. University of Maiduguri, the Supreme Court held that-‘‘it is beyond the jurisdiction of any domestic panel to preside over a criminal matter.’’ The learned justices involved in this needless imbroglio should have known that perjury is a criminal offence, given their experience and supposed high judicial

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E are less than a year away from the governorship election in Bayelsa State, and it is no surprise that Mr. Timi Alaibe’s worn media razzmatazz and absurd paper guarantees of victory have resumed in earnest. It has always unfolded in this predictable manner since he began to nurse the ambition of governing Bayelsa State. Just

standing, if not for mischief. It is surprising that the leadership of the NJC and others involved in the panels’ decisions belong to the top echelon of the Bench and so ought to know the harsh consequences of their illegal onslaught on the integrity of the nation’s judiciary. They ought to realise the need to preserve and protect the sanctity of the institution of the court. But by their conduct which points in the direction of NJC’s eagerness to sit on a matter pending before the court, the learned justices are taking a kangaroo path to attain their pre-determined end in the festering feud between the CJN and the PCA. The NJC owes Nigerians the duty of protecting the sanctity of the judiciary even though the contrary is what its current actions are showing. The council must abide (if the credibility of the judiciary still means anything to it) by the well established principle of law espoused by the Supreme Court in Governor of Lagos State v. Chief Ojukwu {1986} 1 NWLR {Pt. 18} 621 that ‘parties should not embark upon self-help when a matter is before a court of law.’’ And that “whenever such a situation arises, the court must invoke its TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

•Editor Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Festus Eriye •Olayinka Oyegbile Deputy Editor •Associate Editor Taiwo Ogundipe

•Managing Director/ Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi

Ahead of the Bayelsa guber election before any election in which he has an interest, you start seeing a raft of distorted opinions and articles in the media, bordering on petty mudslinging, about his state governor, Chief Timipre Sylva. Afterwards, fifth columns going by the name of pollsters are let loose with illogical

fortune teller impressions about the poll. Then the face behind the masquerade, Alaibe, is unveiled in distant places to soapbox with nothing concrete to tell the people except the castigation of Sylva. Since he lost his constituency in the April

A case for left-handed people

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UGUST 13 is usually marked as the Left Handers Day. The day is for all lefthanded people to come together to celebrate their being southpaws. Though this day is not fully recognized in our part of the world; it is a special day in advanced nations of the world. On the day, lefties are given the freedom to do things their own way. For instance, a lefty could rearrange all the items in his office on the left side. However, this is not the case in a society like Nigeria where there are cultural beliefs that frown at a person being a lefty. Interestingly, lefthanded people who are said to be about 10% of the world’s population have the ability to adapt easily in a world where most people are right handed. They have been able to live successfully in a world where everything has been designed for right-handed

disciplinary jurisdiction to curb the excesses of a recalcitrant party.’’ Also Nikky Tobi J in EZEGBU v. FATB (1992) 1 NWLR (PT. 220) 699 @ Page 735 Para F states that parties who have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court ‘…..must whether they like it or not, wait for the court to take a decision one way or the other. The procedure at arriving at a decision may be slow. It may even be sluggish. But the parties cannot jump the gun and do their own thing in their own way. If they do, it will be tantamount to undermining the integrity of the court.’’ Surely, the principles enunciated in these authorities ought to be well known to the learned justices directing the affairs of the NJC. Why they are trying to destroy the honour of the judiciary through which they rose to prominence is baffling. We call on the NJC to show good examples that would imbue confidence in aggrieved Nigerians that may be faced with the need to bring petitions before it. The public should be made to confidently say that the NJC will at all times dispense justice in matters brought before it, even if heavens will fall. We therefore call on President Goodluck Jonathan not to retire Justice Salami as the NJC had recommended. To do so will drag him and his exalted office into the fray and this could lead to an avoidable embarrassment for the government. We are convinced the learned justices know the implications of their actions; but it would be better for them to toe the path of reason before it is too late. This infraction is not just in the law but also on society. The implications are grave.

people. Good enough, we have prominent personalities like Governor Babatunde Fashola, President Barrack Obama, and Oprah Winfrey, who despite their being lefties, are a c c o m p l i s h e d personalities. With these great achievers and others, it can be said that being successful is not determined by what hand a person uses but on an individual’s mindset. Parents/guardians, teachers are advised not to discipline children for using their left hand as it is not their fault but a function of their biological make-up. Biologically, a child is likely to be a lefty depending on which part of the brain is more active while growing up. The brain is divided into two hemispheres and it has the right hemisphere controlling all the activities on the left side of the body

while the left hemisphere controls the right. It could also be inherited if one or both parents are lefthanded. You’ve read the truth from the horse’s mouth and that tells you that I’m proudly a lefty. Ogunseitan Abimbola Covenant University, Otta, Ogun State

general elections, Alaibe had disappeared from the political radar. Expectedly, he has recently reappeared, not in Bayelsa State, where he says he hopes to govern, or in his hometown, Opukuma, where his people expect him to provide leadership, but on the pages of newspapers. A certain columnist tried recently to ‘resurrect’ Alaibe by claiming he was a victim of political violence, and whatnots. Another in a recent write-up had through some funny logic awarded the governorship election in Bayelsa State to Alaibe in its opinion poll before the court postponed the election. The said columnist claimed that Alaibe was strategising to take over the government of the state – which no one is really quarrelling with. People make all sorts of claims in a

democracy. But the said article, a supposed political analysis that ought to be based on pure reportage, instead of opinion, feasted on very absurd ideas of things to come, reaching conclusions which are strange to facts on the ground. Contrary to the impression created in the article, Alaibe and his Labour Party lost his constituency in all the elections conducted in April. The State House of Assembly election in his constituency was won by Mr. Fini Angaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who is currently Deputy Speaker of the Assembly; the House of Representatives contest was won by Mr. Warman Ogoriba of PDP; and the senatorial election was won by Senator Emmanuel Paulker also of PDP. With that understanding, it beats logic how the writer

arrived at his conclusion that the LP loner won his constituency during the general elections when he was comprehensively defeated. In fact, in the 24member state house of assembly, LP has only one seat while the PDP has a controlling majority with 22 seats. Maybe, Alaibe won his constituency on the pages of newspapers judging by the victories they have continued to award to him. Well, we are familiar with this brand of propaganda victory won on the pages of newspapers. They are just a grand design to hoodwink the people to give a semblance of someone who is on ground, while he is not. No one is fooled, though. Dr. Gesi Oyinkuro is Director of Research & Strategy, New Bayelsa Forum, Yenagoa

Privatisation: Let’s probe Obasanjo

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HE fear of coming to reckoning largely or entirely explains why former President Obasanjo is always desperate to install his stooges at all key levels of political leadership. In the latest Senate probe into the privatization exercise, he was frequently indicted by two former DGs of the BPE, Nasir el-Rufai and Mrs. Irene Chigbue, for bypassing due process. This arrogant disregard for due process by the former civilian dictator has cost

Nigeria the loss of billions of dollars. This was the same man that cost the country the loss of billions through the so-called independent power projects because of his cavalier disregard for rules, including granting reckless import waivers to his friends in the private sector. Surprisingly, despite the fact that Obasanjo’s actions are inimical to the larger public interest, the leadership of the National Assembly always connives to prevent Obasanjo from

being invited to defend himself. This was the case with the power probe committee in the House of Representatives, which was frustrated by the debate about the wisdom of inviting the former President. If the Senate has certain sacred cows in the latest investigation into privatization, then the whole exercise will be a waste of time. We are tired of probes that lead nowhere because the National Assembly leadership is obsessed with the desire to

protect one man at all times at the expense of the nation. Obasanjo introduced the anti-corruption crusade through legislation. Therefore, he must be subjected to his own moral standards of accountability. He must be ready to a have taste of his own medicine. Why should a man that accused his successors of being too timid to fight corruption seek immunity from accountability even after leaving office? Na-Allah Mohammed Zagga, Abuja.


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Ropo Sekoni ropo.sekoni @thenationonlineng.net

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HINGS (mostly the least expected) have started to move fast under the transformation agenda of President Jonathan. He started his administration with announcement of a bill to reduce the tenure of president and governors from two terms of eight years total to one term of seven years. The announcement was not received with expected applause. The President wisely kept sending the bill to the House in abeyance pending completion of efforts to sell the bill to stakeholders. While doing his preliminary consultations on a new tenure bill, the President shifted focus to a bill to decouple state-local government joint accounts. Even without seeing the bill, enthusiasts of partisan politics have started to criticise the President’s intention or motive. Some armchair critics have given illogical arguments while others have proffered logical ones. One illogical argument: It has been suggested that citizens should not pay the presidency any attention on the bill. That it is just a stratagem to keep members of the country’s critical community engaged in something that at the end is not meant to go anywhere. That the local government bill, like the one on tenure, will accompany other amendments that are likely to be rejected, like the legion amendments sent with Obasanjo’s tenure elongation bill. When this happens, no one would have the courage to say that President Jonathan from the Niger Delta has not made moves to build on his region’s

Femi Orebe femi.orebe @thenationonlineng.net 08056504626 (sms only)

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THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

Comment & Analysis

HAD thought I would not have to do this, i.e. rejoin a colleague on this stable on any matter it pleases any of us-columnists- to write about but having waited these three weeks without the slightest semblance of an attempt, from elsewhere, to point Segun in the way of the desideratum for regional integration, as a nationcohering paradigm at a time like this, I decided to bell the cat. I know as a matter of fact, since I had a copy, that his article had hardly hit the streets when he got a stinging reaction from a brilliant Abeokutabased lawyer, a PhD degree holder in Law, pointing out to Segun how crassly mistaken he was in his entire thesis. Space constraint will obviously not permit my quoting that beautiful and timely reaction here. On my part, however, I quickly reached out to Tony A. Sani, my good friend and Publicity Secretary of the Arewa Consultative Forum who must have found a kindred spirit in Segun in the way he completely misrepresented the raison d’être of resurgent regionalism/ regional integration. Tony and I had spent the better part of our friendship interrogating these issues and that formed the theme of my article: A DIALOGUE ON REGIONALISM, where I demonstrated that he, unfortunately, sees regionalism as irredentist and as a tool in the hands of fissiparous elements in society who would rather see Nigeria unravel. There is a need to quickly dispel a

Local Government Bill:

Federalism’s death knell?

Even without seeing the bill, enthusiasts of partisan politics have started to criticise the President’s intention or motive time-honoured demands for true federalism and self-determination rights. One Logical argument: The President wants to leave his own mark on a constitution that has been the bone of contention since Abdulsalaam Abubakar handed it over to Obasanjo in 1999. He wants to complete the job started by military dictators on moving the country from federalism to unitarism. By making it easy for local governments to get monthly or quarterly subventions directly from the federation account, he would have given constitutional backing to creating a new tier of government at the sub-state level that is independent of the state. In other words, President Jonathan would have succeeded in castrating the states, by ensuring that states have nothing to claim as constituencies. Another logical point: President Jonathan wants to use the passage of the bill to change revenue allocation in favour of chairmen of local governments and to the detriment of state governors. This way, state governors will have less power than they have now to challenge the federal government, even when they act or speak in the name of Governors Forum. In effect, there will be no need to create new states. The states that no longer have any major responsibility once Jonathan’s bill has robbed them of any oversight function over the local governments would only function as glorified local governments. Added to the 774 newly empowered local

governments, Nigeria will indirectly have 1,000 mini states under the firm control of the federal government. That this is why the President is keeping to his chest the bill on reviewing revenue allocation until after the passage of the bill giving local governments independence from states. What if the bill is not the President’s own alone? What if the bill to give independence from states to local governments that are the foundations of states has the hand of President Jonathan’s party in it? What if the ruling party is looking for another avenue to water down any effort at integrated development between local governments and states? What if the President’s party is behind using the gimmick of transformation to undermine states through federal government’s direct oversight over raising and spending proceeds of taxation in the local governments? What if the ruling party is using the bill to challenge states that are not under its control by using the principle of who pays the piper calls the tune to capture local governments? Given the amount of venom the Ekiti and Osun judgments in favour of opposition parties have produced for the ruling party, no risk appears too much for the PDP to take to further its ambition to rule Nigeria for 60 years, as the only political party. Citizens of Western Nigeria or the so-called South-West that have been talking seriously about integrated regional development and the states in the region that have even created

ministries of regional integration need to take note of the possibility that President Jonathan’s bill on local government is to make nonsense of states and the regions they represent. Self-determination groups in the region need not be blind to the fact that it is easier for the PDP to manipulate isolated local government chairmen or women than it is to intimidate state governors. Once the President is able to transform local governments into federating units, the resultant fragmentation and allocation of power to local government chairmen and women may put paid to demands for true federalism by the new prefects of the federal government in local governments. Removing local government from control of the states that nurture them may be a roundabout manner to complete the process of creating what Ben Asemota once called the Sultanate system of government in Nigeria. This is a system that concentrates power in the centre and allows other levels or tiers of government to be at the beck and call of the central government, thus giving absolute power to the modern Sultan in charge of carrot and stick owned by the federal government. The Sultanate system is the crudest form of unitary government in modern times. Calling for states without local governments is calling for political and cultural anomie. Under the Sultanate system that is to excise local governments from states and thus transform local governments into federating units, the federal

government will have the power to balkanize states and fragment cultural solidarity of each state? The disappearance of values that have been thrown up by the de-federalisation of Nigeria by the military since 1966 is obvious for perceptive observers to see. The rise of hedonism as culture in the last forty years will be worse once the states are no longer in a position to provide cultural guidance for the territories within them. Cultures and their values will fall apart once there is no centre to hold values together. If the President and his party are afraid of accepting the challenge of constitutional conferences to create a people’s constitution, they should not bastardise the existing one through a formal disempowerment of states. Running away from allowing Nigerians to have a direct say in how they are governed is easier than managing the fallouts from alienation of citizens. Nigerians must insist on their right to call for a referendum on whatever changes are made to the existing constitution. It will be the first test of the principle of sovereignty of the people. Citizens are the real stakeholders, not local government chairmen, governors, or serving legislators. This is the time to heed a Yoruba proverb: Igi gogoro ma gun mi l’oju, okeere ni a ti nsakiyesi re (avoiding danger requires proactive thinking or eternal vigilance is the weapon for securing liberty).

What irks Ayobolu? It is safe to argue in favour of a confinable regional development mechanism that is properly structured’ rumour that was rapidly building around Ayobolu’s article since it hit the public space. He should perfectly understand that it was possible to see that article as ‘his master’s’ voice which , in fact, became the case in some respected quarters who based their argument on the fact that in years past we had a distinguished advocate of a sovereign national conference jump boat later and would no longer touch that proposition until he passed on in unfortunate circumstances. But in blowing off that insinuation, we were able to easily posit the unflagging support and interest both Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and Dr Kayode Fayemi invest in resurgent regionalism. For example, at the lecture at the University of Ife where Dr Fayemi gave his seminal lecture on the subject of resurgent regionalism, and at which I was personally present, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesla, the Osun State governor, was the chairman. This is not to mention their yeoman’s efforts at ensuring the building blocks of a South-West Commission on the same subject. In literally every part of his article, Ayobolu either stood logic on the head or demonstrated a gross misunderstanding of the raison detre of regional integration. I have listened to talks on this subject and had been a participant at a 3-Day Retreat on it and at no point has it been presented as an alternative to a thriving Nigerian nation. And curiously enough, in every major segment of his thesis , seeds of the antithesis were

alive and thriving. Witness, for instance, his reference to Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and I quote:’Noone 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’ How very easily Ayobolu imputed motives to Chief Awolowo’s desire to serve his fatherland at the national level? And where did he get this opinion that both the Northern and Eastern regions were being illgoverned or endangered? Who told him Awo was that disrespectful of his colleagues? Indeed, the fact that Awo did not make it to the presidency of Nigeria to effect his Midas’ touch should tell Segun that investing our entire hope of development as a people in the federal cannot be a viable option. Suppose we do so and are let down a second time? It must be in recognition of the rightness of regional integration that the Niger Delta states where comes the country’s major means of survival, have come up with the BRACED Commission. You cannot get a better understanding of the importance these states attach to the commission than

by the fact that a Director-General of the calibre of Ambassador Joe Keshi was head-hunted to lead the charge after his highly productive years in the diplomatic service of this country. I wonder if Mr. Ayobolu has ever adverted his mind to where exactly the West would be today had Chief Awolowo remained in the Western Region. Given his single-minded and unparalled leadership style, we would probably have developed the A bomb, gone to the moon or at least, have an addition to our haul of Nobel Laureates. And when he posits that Professor Wole Soyinka has not given up on Nigeria what gives him the slightest impression that those who advocate resurgent regionalism are tired of Nigeria and would like to see her go the way of Somalia or Sudan? As I indicated in the article:REGIONAL INTEGRATION CAST IN STONE: THE FAYEMI PERSPECTIVE, I minced no words in saying that the Ekiti State governor remains for me, and till date, the greatest exponent of the raison detre of regional integration. I should therefore have recouse to his thoughts in blowing off the shibboleth Ayobolu sought to erect in: NOT THE WAY TO GO. I therefore conclude as follows in the words of Dr Fayemi as captured in my article under reference: Paraphrasing Dr Fayemi, mutatis mutandis, although the challenges we face maybe internal and ethnic in nature, oftentimes the interlocking

nature of these challenges underscore the artificiality of state boundaries and call for a broader response driven by social consensus. If it is the case, as we have here in Nigeria and as in the complete destruction of South-West infrastructure under the Obasanjo administration, then their resolution can, and do also involve a range of options including the regional. ‘Faced, therefore, with the artificiality of states and the refusal to fully embrace the recalcitrant nation, it would appear that at no time has the need to turn to consensual resolutions become more urgent. This increasing importance of regionalism in Nigeria must be located within the twin trajectories of the incipient localisation of conflicts and the nationalisation of political and economic realities. In arguing for a re-conceptualisation of the concept of regional development which de-emphasises state boundaries, the motive is not a form of territorial revisionism. Instead, our intention is the revision of the territorial state where artificial boundaries have formed the legitimating force for arrested development in several states, thereby turning them into empty constitutional entities which are totally meaningless to their internal publics. Translated into a sustainable democratic agenda, it is safe to argue in favour of a confinable regional development mechanism that is properly structured’ This, Segun should realise, does not mean that Nigeria, as we know it, would vaporise.


THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

Tunji

Adegboyega

Comment & Analysis

Amaechi’s testimony The import is that what will be will be

tunjade@yahoo.co.uk 08054503906 (sms only)

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EFORE God and man at the national convention of the Evangelical Fellowship of the Anglican Communion (EFAC) held at St Paul’s Cathedral, Diobu in Port Harcourt, the River State capital, Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State regaled the congregation with the miracles that his life has been, especially the hands of God which saw to his emergence as governor in 2007. This was despite the physically insurmountable obstacles of those who thought they could play God, and that only those who bow to them could get their hearts’ desires. For Governor Amaechi, it was testimony time on August 10. It was an opportunity for the governor to display some of his God-given talents: in a highly witty manner, the governor displayed the theologian, the priest, the orator, the philosopher, and all in him at the event. And virtually every statement he made in the about 30 minutes which he spoke extempore carried weight. Little wonder there was never a dull moment in the jam-packed church while Amaechi was on his feet, with the congregation laughing away their sorrows even as they capped the laughter with numerous thunderous clap offerings. A priest on the pulpit could hardly have done better. The governor began his sermon on a rather harmless note until he struck the cord of politics, laced however with scriptural anecdotes. He reminded those present that the authority of God takes precedence over that of self. From there, he proceeded to the fact that for everything God

Postscript, Unlimited!

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gives, He also gives condition and harped on the sin of disobedience as the greatest sin. Here, he says men of God must always live a Christ-like life, wondering what the children of God (congregation) would do if men of God keep swimming in sin. He also cracked some jokes on the proverbial church rat. That was when he cited the example of a man of God who donated money to his political campaign despite his meagre salary. He was particularly impressed because of the man’s faith in him which made him to part with his hard-earned income. But what Governor Amaechi forgot was that it was only the church rats of old that were very poor and lean. Church rats these days, especially those in the Pentecostal churches, have since parted with poverty; they are as robust and ever fresh as the men of God in the Pentecostal tabernacles themselves! The most profound of Amaechi’s ‘sermon’ was on the 2007 election as it concerned him. That singular experience somewhat increased his faith that Christians need not give reason to the Bible. We should recollect that in the run-up to the election, Amaechi was denied the governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). This was a man that had thought it would be a walk-over for him, given that the then Gover-

nor Peter Odili was his mentor and political godfather. But it was not to be, as everything seemed to be working against his governorship ambition, everything including then President Olusegun Obasanjo who felt he had the power of life and death in his pocket. Amaechi had clearly won the PDP governorship ticket to fly its flag for Rivers State, only to be denied the party’s flag. Chief Obasanjo, while speaking at the presentation of the party flags to its gubernatorial candidates had said that Amaechi’s candidacy had ‘kleg’. That was how his fate was sealed; or at least so the powers-that -be thought. He was thereafter arrested in the then fashion by the dreaded Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and thrown into the gulag for alleged corruption. He was effectively caged throughout the election. However, following advice from those who should know, Amaechi decided to go to court. As he confessed at the Wednesday event, he was encouraged the more by the assurances of the men of God (who prayed for him throughout his ordeal) that he was going to be governor, no matter the obstacles. He then took the matter to court after the election and months later, after failing at the two initial courts, the Supreme Court finally ruled that he was the

“Many of those that Obasanjo thought he had effectively shut out of power are sitting comfortably in their states’ government houses today. Meanwhile, his own stature is being diminished by the day. What a pity! What a lesson in the transient nature of power? “

PDP’s candidate for the election. He was subsequently sworn in as governor, to the chagrin of the party’s godfathers. There has not been such miracle in Nigeria. Amaechi happened to be the only Nigerian, living or dead, to have technically won an election without going to the polls. As Amaechi himself put it, ‘God hardened the hearts’ of all whose hearts needed to be hardened in order to use him, a sinner, to be governor’ so as to prove a point’; and that is that no one can share God’s glory with Him. Amaechi’s case was like that of Joseph. When the enemies thought he was finished, n God lifted His mighty hands to move Joseph from the prison to the seat of power. All my life, I have only seen one man who went by the nickname ‘acting God’. That was in the ‘80s. Today, he no longer wants to be called that nickname. He must have seen something to make him change his mind. When you see an elder with deep eyes, chances are he has seen a lot. No one can act God because God neither sleeps nor goes on leave. This was a thing many people in positions of authority do not realise. The cheering news about most of the edifices of fraud that Obasanjo built however is that they have collapsed right before his eyes, which is to show how transient power is. Yesterday, it was ‘Obasanjo’, ‘Obasanjo’, ‘Obasanjo’. Today, that name is being dragged in the mud, more by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members, perhaps more than outsiders. The ongoing diatribe between him and former President Ibrahim Babangida is a good example of what leaders suffer when they miss their chance. In Nigeria, as in

other countries, it is a rare privilege to be head of state among the millions. Both Obasanjo and Babangida would have been elderstatesmen if they spent their youthful life (translated their days in power) wisely. That they didn’t is the reason why at over 70 years, they have to strip one another bare in the marketplace. That is why they do not know among them who is the compound fool and they have to enter a contest in the public domain to let Nigerians decide who among them that cap fits. What an irony! But such is the experience of people who play God. Both Babangida and Obasanjo at different times in Nigeria’s history tried playing God but they never got it right, and they never can get it right because God has no duplicate or replica. He is the omniscient and the omnipotent; the only one who can open without anyone being able to shut; and the only one who can shut without anyone being able to open. Many of those that Obasanjo thought he had effectively shut out of power are sitting comfortably in their states’ government houses today. Meanwhile, his own stature is being diminished by the day. What a pity! What a lesson in the transient nature of power? The death of Vice Admiral Augustus Aikhomu, Chief of General Staff (CGS) and secondin-command to General Babangida, ironically on August 17, the very day Babangida turned 70 should have made both Babangida and Obasanjo sober because when one’s age-mates are dying, it is a reminder of how one too is inching nearer the grave. It is another lesson that not only power is transient, even life is. That is the essence of Amaechi’s testimony.

Is man disappearing behind technology?

By

Oyinkan Medubi 08187172799 (SMS only) puchuckles7@gmail.com

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ECENTLY, I read the story of a woman who took matters into her own hands in her family. She had not liked the way things were going around the house. Food times for the children were equally shared between stuffing things into the mouth and stuffing things into cell phones, such as text messages, chats, or even e-messages. As for her, meal times interrupted her emessaging: she could average over four hundred in a day. When she raised an alarm in the house, no one really heard her because everyone else, husband, children, dogs, were busy on one box or the other. Then, she really raised her voice: she withdrew every item of intrusion – cell phones, computers, etc., and they all promptly went into withdrawal, you know, the type enjoyed by addicts. For some of us, the fear of modern inventions is really the beginning of modern savvy. I tell you, no visitor has ever stolen in more stealthily and then taken over our lives so brazenly like those things. You would think they were here for your convenience. Don’t be fooled: they are here with more sinister motives. It’s called the take-over of man, with a

view to world domination. Listen. When the inventions began to steal up on us, each came as wonderful answers to prayers. Why, the radio was a wonder-tool that enabled us to hear all the bad news better; the TV contained all the witchcraft of the east, west, north and south of the globe – how else can you explain being able to see and hear the speaker even though he/she is often thousands of miles away? And the things have at the same time so stolen our hearts, mind and soul that we dare hardly breathe without them. Now, every politician worth his salt, dead or alive, has not begun his career without first making sure his face (often not the best looking), his voice (often jarring to the ear) and his paunch (huh!) have been captured by the cameras into which he grins aimlessly, all the time wondering if his stupid mother-in-law, who thought he would never amount to anything, is watching. I tell you, these techs portend little good. Granted. Some of them are useful. Take penicillin. See how many lives it has saved. Take brandy. See how much pain it saved amputees before anaesthesia. Take nitrous oxide. See how many surgery patients it has helped by preventing them from crying like babies. But can we count how many lives calculators have saved, or how much pain the computer has saved us, or the phone? Did you say that I’m currently writing this on a computer,

the hypocrite that I am, and I’m finding it a lot easier than using a typewriter? Did you also say phones have saved you many road trips? Just how many in the year? Tell me, how many? What we have growing instead is the variety of uses our clever heads are putting the little things into: doctor-patient phone consultations, Dear Abby advisor– broken heart consultations, studentlecturer consultations, pepper sellerbuyer haggles, etc., all of which are no more comfortable than a veteran seafarer learning to be a landlubber again. In truth, what the computer actually does is to make me make friends with my mistakes in a way I dared not try on the typewriter. Anytime one of the errors cropped up, we would smile at the quaintness of each other before one of us gently erased the unneeded article. A typewriter would instead make you go at yourself: ‘YOU IDIOT, SEE WHAT YOU’VE DONE. NOW, YOU HAVE TO START ALL OVER AGAIN!’ In a world peopled by calculators, why on earth should I have to take the trouble of adding one and one? Now, most brains (particularly of students) are nearly always at rest position (that means neutral) so that a little mental task (such as calculating the minute hand of an analogue clock) becomes so exhausting as to not be worth the trouble. For me, the sign of the end-time is this: that Man is gradually disappearing behind his

technology. In most homes now, even in Nigeria, the computer or its ghost is present, just ask the young ones. I tell you, they know more about phones, computer functions and errors, and how to stow calculators away into examination rooms. But don’t overlook the adults too. My tomato and onion seller has changed her phone more times than I wish to remember. I, on the other hand, am still trying to grapple with the functions on my phone. The other day, I wandered into its office layout and I was amazed at the various departments in there. All my knocks on those doors yielded nothing except bangs on my head. I had no inkling whatsoever of their uses. If only they had people manning those areas. That’s another thing. These things have somehow reduced the real time contact hours between human beings. Parent-child conversations are now done behind cell phones, while one is playing a game and the other is texting away. ‘HOW …PK. PK. PK.... ARE …PK. PK. PK…. YOU?’ ‘PK. PK. PK…. HUN? PK. PK. PK. FINE.’ That is the newest and most modern form of interaction. I know; it is a lot better than that of our ancestors. They used real clubs with spikes at the end to greet each other in the morning. ‘How are you? Wham!’ on the head. ‘Fine. Wham! Wham!’ and everyone went his way, sure of the other’s goodwill. Thank

God for small developments. Now, relatives are no longer known by their names but by their telephone number. ‘Call me, you know my number’ simply means you are no longer obliged to remember anyone’s names. Very often, you don’t. It is getting so bad that newborns are now being given numbers. If it is not social security number (e.g. Americans), then its telephone number (e.g. Asia). That’s what has made it so easy to steal someone’s identity. No one knows the faces those numbers belong to anyway. Me, I have stayed above the madness. I will not be so full in the stomach that I would venture beyond typing ABC on my computer. I leave the rest of it for the rats to gnaw at. My phone is almost always so far from me anyway that it is no threat to my peace. And Facebook? I keep wondering why on earth anyone wants to keep someone who is eons of miles away as a daily friend when the chances of meeting face to face are so remote and not likely to be productive. I bet you when they do meet, there will be very little to talk about. I recently read an interview granted by Daniel Graig, the latest indestructible James Bond, and he said he did not need to meet anyone on Facebook; he would just call the guy up and go for a drink at a bar. Now, to me that’s a sensible use of technology. It is minimal, and it eliminates all indulgencies.


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THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011


Focus

THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

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Islamic bank’s raging storm • Office of the Islamic Bank of Britain

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ICTOR HUGO, a French writer, once noted, “You cannot stop an idea whose time has come.” This is just about the same argument of the proponents of Islamic or interestfree banking in the country today. The weight of their argument notwithstanding, it is obvious that the promoters of this alternative model of banking will have to break a lot of sweat to be able to have their way, judging by the groundswell of opposition by those in the different geo-political-cumreligious divides, many of whose views, analysts have argued, border on the superficial to the complex. At issue is that Islamic banking, in the way and manner it is being projected by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, is an attempt to push the Northern agenda not only to the front burner, but according to insinuations in some quarters, it also seeks to Islamize the rest of the country, in clear disregard of the multiplicity of faiths. The issues of the perceived illegality and poor timing are yet other sore points, many of the diehard critics have cited as reasons for the strident calls against the idea.

Criticism against Islamic Banking To many of the critics of Islamic banking, it simply beggars belief that the apex bank is at the centre of the raging debate on whether or not to introduce this model of banking into the country given the volatility of religion. Monsignor Gabriel Osu, Director, Social Communications, Lagos Archdiocese, in a telephone interview with The Nation described as “unnecessary distraction” the idea of Islamic banking, saying Nigerians are being confronted with more pressing challenges which require urgent attention. “The thing is that nobody in his or her right senses will condemn banking. We welcome non-interest banking, which I think any bank can do”, he said, but was however quick to add that: “The moment you say Islamic,it negates Section 10 of the Nigerian Constitution,

In the last few months, the country has been debating the introduction of non-interest or Islamic banking. Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf in this report focuses on international best practices of the banking model

•Sanusi

which expressly states that no state religion is allowed because we live in a multi-religious country.” Short of describing Sanusi as an agent provocateur, Osu said, “The CBN boss has shown through his body language and everything else that he is out to serve a selfish agenda and nothing else. I just see this whole thing

as a distraction.” Echoing similar views, Rev. Joseph Hayab, the immediate past Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Kaduna State believes that in a volatile society like Nigeria, religion should not be attached to the idea of non interest banking. Hayab told The Nation

that the appellation of Islamic to the idea is creating tension in the country, adding that the issue of Islamic banking or non interest banking is not new in the country. According to him, “we have people who sought for such license in the past, but the question people are asking, why attach it to faith? Non interest banking is ok, but when you attach it to faith, it is just like the manner Sharia came up. Sharia was propagated and championed by someone in the seat of power, so people misunderstood sharia. If the cleric had said that we want sharia, anybody who comes to our mosque must abide by it. The controversy will be lesser. If some Muslims out of their desire to promote and champions cause decided to gather money and open a bank, will you stop them?You can’t stop them. “But if it is the sitting Governor of the Central Bank is the one saying it must be, it must be, then people will start asking questions. And the danger of the action and the manner he is taking the issue is that if the man eventually establishes the Islamic banking, the possibility in the North is that one day a politician out of mischief can go and gather thugs and ask them to go and be chanting and say, this governor of their state is not abiding by Islamic banking, he must carry all their money into that bank, and it will become another political crisis. That is what we are afraid of, that is why we want it to be left as non interest banking. So that nobody will insist that it is coming because of faith.” In the view of the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, there are many questions begging for answer as far as Islamic banking is concerned. “One would have thought shareholding and investing in a bank that does not charge interest, but share risks and profits presents a higher risk to share and its share capital should be higher,” Gbajabiamila mused. In a full page advertorial sponsored by Gbajabiamila, he observed that the first justification of the CBN governor for • Continued on page 18


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Focus

• Continued from page 17

Islamic banking “is that many countries including the US and UK practise the same.” But he raised further posers: “Can you please tell Nigerians whether or not the US and UK have the kind of religious divide and tension we have in Nigeria and whether or not they have the kind of constitutional provisions we have in our constitution against religious discrimination. I think this is important.”

The concept of Islamic Banking In the view of Mallam Jubril Salaudeen Abdullahi, Principal Consultant, SecureHuda Consulting, one of the firms pioneering effort in the area of Islamic banking and finance in the country, the concept of Islamic banking or the profit and loss-sharing banking as it is referred to in Nigeria, is not something that is entirely new. The principle, he admits, is what you find in the Jewish scripture, the Christian scripture as well as the Muslim scripture. Expatiating, he said: “If you do a clear analysis of the Christian scripture, you will find elements that Islamic banking supports. The principle basically is that Islamic banking is one form of banking that looks at three essential elements within the conventional banking system. One is interest, which is called Riba; the second is called Maysir, which is gambling and the third is called Gharar, which is uncertainty.” Abdullahi, who has a Masters degree in Marketing with a bias in Islamic Banking from the University of Bradford, in Yorkshire, United Kingdom, in advancing his points cites relevant sections in the two holy books: the Bible and the Qur’an, which, in his considered opinion, totally support noninterest banking. Scriptural backing According to him, “If you look at Ezekiel 18:5, you will find this principle prohibiting interest as well as Ezekiel 18:8, 18:13. You also find it in Sam 15:5 and Sam 112:5, Exodus 22:5, Deuteronomy 23:19-20, Luke 6:34-38, Leviticus 5:35-37, Matthew 5: 42, and also in Nehemiah 5:1-19. “In the Qur’an, you find it mentioned in Qur’an 30: 39; Qur’an 4: 161; Qur’an 3: 130; Qur’an 2: 78 and you equally find it mentioned three times in Qur’an 2: 275", adding: “Islam also frowns at the conventional insurance practice, where you find these three elements of interestseeking, gambling and uncertainty.” Origin of Islamic Banking From available information, Islamic banking easily finds its root in Sudan, dating back to mid 40s, when a group of farmers were said to have come together to form a cooperative; the purpose of which was to support one another financially, albeit, without charging any interest from any of the beneficiaries. In the view of Sidhiki and Al-Ijam Udhi, both renowned for their scholarly works in the field of Islamic Economics, immigrants from Sudan, mostly nomads, later sold the idea of Islamic banking to fellow Muslim faithful in Egypt, in about late to early fifties. In Egypt, these Muslims organised themselves together to provide funding for their own businesses, mostly agricrelated businesses. As the practice gathered momentum, the government eventually bought into the idea. It was in Egypt the people discovered the need to guide the operations of Islamic banking based on the Shari’ah. The practice was subsequently imbibed by the rest of the Arab world, particularly in the Middle East, driven more by the Arab wealth from oil between the fifties and sixties. Giving more insights, Abdullahi said: “The practice of Islamic banking around the world is not something that is new but it is not as old as capitalism, neither is it as old as what you call the

THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

Elements of Islamic banking

•Adegbite

conventional banking system.” He, however, noted that the practice of Islamic banking flourished in Malaysia, where, according to him, “community of farmers that had done very well with the palm oil saw it (Islamic banking) as a means of growing the palm estates. As such, they also went into it. And when you look at the Middle East today, Malaysia becomes the hub of Islamic finance in the world. Today, a lot of learning has even taken place in that area because we have people up to professorial level studying Islamic Banking and Finance, as well as Islamic Economics in countries like Malaysia. It has also taken root outside of the Islamic world. Today, you have Islamic Finance in the United States, in the UK.” Abdullahi added, “In the years past, Muslim scholars and theologians didn’t differentiate between public finance, banking and economics, they actually put it together under a title called Hiktisadun, which is Islamic economics,” he stressed. Islamic banking, he further emphasised, “falls within the area that we call Fiqhu Muhamalat, that is the Islamic jurisprudence on transactions. This takes a look at what you need to do as an individual that has to go into transaction and what are the regulatory frameworks.” Forms of Islamic Bank and modus operandi

•Abdullahi

In form and practice, Islamic banking is in one of four ways: There is the full-fledged Islamic bank, conventional bank with Islamic windows, Islamic microfinance bank, as well as non-banking Islamic financial institution. Islamic banking products are backed by asset. The principle under Islamic banking is that you cannot use money to create wealth that is not backed by an asset. Abdullahi, who has his first degree in Accountancy from the University of Jos, offers further insight. Citing a hypothetical situation, he said: “If for instance, I lend money from somebody I cannot borrow the same money to another person, neither can I make money from it except I use that money to purchase a merchandise or invest it into an asset and then resell or lend that asset out and from that I can make money back. That’s the principle.” Besides, there are ground rules all parties to the transaction must adhere to, Abdullahi noted. “One of such areas is where you use the money to buy weapons for killing people, it does not support that. Second, it does not allow for profiteering. Third, it does not allow for investment in pornography, investment in alcohol. It does not allow you to invest money on anything that is going to bring harm or injury to the

“There is nothing really religious about the issue of Islamic banking because most of those who are promoting it are business people who are out to make profit because they understand the fact that Islamic banking offers enhanced profit”

community. These are the areas that it prohibits,” he declared. Global acceptance Islamic Banking and Finance practice is no longer limited to the Arab and the Muslim world but has since spread to the Far East, Asia, Europe, America and Africa. It is estimated that there are more than 200 non-interest financial institutions operating in about 75 countries across the globe. Global financial institutions offering Islamic Banking services include HSBC, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Barclays Capital and ABN Amro. These institutions are leveraging on their skills, resources, expertise and access to capital to drive the Islamic finance industry to higher levels. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) of England in September 2004 approved the Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB). The Bank of London and the Middle East (BLME) and European Islamic Investment Bank (EIIB) also blossom with pride today in the UK. RomAsia Bank, Devon Bank, Lincoln State Bank, Cole Taylor Bank and Minnesota Housing Finance Agency are a few of the financial institutions offering non-interest financial services in the United States. There are also other local/ regional banks especially in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, a political and economic union of Arab states, which has started to expand its operations across their borders into other countries, specific examples of which comprise Islamic Bank, Kuwait Finance House and Al Baraka Group. In Africa, the countries that have embraced Islamic Banking include South Africa, Egypt, Senegal, The Gambia, Niger, Kenya, Tanzania, Algeria, Tunisia, and Benin Republic. The viability of Islamic banking has transcended religious sentiments and • Continued from page 56


THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

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Canal of hope for Lagos community

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Conversation with an octogenarian polygamist M

OHAMMED Abubakar Bello Masaba, who claims to be an Islamic cleric and founder of “Alhumot Nabiyyi Rosulullahi (SWA) Islamic sect, came to limelight a few years ago when he was sued by the Niger State government. The state sued him for having 86 wives in his harem. This, according to the state and some Islamic clerics from Bida Emirate, was contrary to Islamic laws and practice. Most of those opposed to his lifestyle are of the view that Masaba did not only exceed the divinely approved four wives slots they accused him of committing a sacrilege against the dictates and injunction of the Holy Quran and the ‘Hadiths’ of Prophet Mohammed. They were short of declaring a ‘fatwa’ on him. In fact, some of his kinsmen and Islamic leaders in Bida wanted him banished from his ancestral home. No law to prosecute But the 87 year old cleric was not moved. To him, he had not breached any known law of the land. This position was justified when the Governor of the state, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, said, “though we have

To many, the name Mohammed Abubakar Bello Masaba is synonymous with polygamy. He is arguably the country’s most controversial Islamic cleric. JIDE ORINTUNSIN, who met him in his Bida country home, writes Sharia in place in the state, but we have no law to pin him (Masaba) down.” Since then, the octogenarian has been in the news. The print, electronic and internet media are awash with the story of the octogenarian who has successfully kept 86 wives (now 90, with the recent addition on July 29, 2011) and over 100 children under a roof. The peaceful co-existence of all inhabitants of his ‘empire’ at Kotaworo quarters, Bida, could perhaps be a case study for psychologists. Masaba’s life style, though simple, remains a mystery to many. Some believe he is diabolical; some wonder the source of his strength and his ability. They query not only his ability to keep the women under one roof, but also his capability to meet the desires of the women and the needs of the entire household.

In a chat with the Islamic cleric during one of his “Ramadan Tafsir” in his house in Bida, Baba, as he is fondly called by his followers and admirers, said despite the series of hostilities against him by those he called “uninformed individuals”, he has forgiven them because they all have grossly misunderstood him. He said, “I am not an ordinary person. I am here for a mission. I have a mandate to ensure unity among mankind. I am assigned to ensure peaceful co-existence among all tribes, race and people, but they are misunderstanding my mission.” A house of many colours Though he started in Lagos, his fame over the years has spread throughout the country. Members of his sect cut across tribal lines, while his house is filled with women from across the various ethnic groups in the

country. Masaba’s house can simply go for a mini- Nigeria, where all the tribes co-habit peacefully. According to him, his mission on earth was not to amass wealth, but to use the blessings of Allah for the benefit of the less privileged. He dismissed the allegation that he makes money diabolically; rather he attributed his source of wealth to blessings of Allah through man. “I am not here to amass wealth or property. The money I have is given to me by people. I don’t make money and as the money is given to me, I give it out to people who are in need. If you give me N20 million now, before day break, I would have used the money to meet the needs of the people around me. “It is Allah that empowers these people to give me money and when they give, I use it to •Continued on page 20


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THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

Life

Okada... transportation messiah or death trap! With incidences of road accidents on the rise, mixed reactions trail the use of motorcycles, popularly known as okada, as a means of transportation.

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HE sound of screeching tyres and blaring horns is deafening. Carbon fumes from exhaust pipes pollute the air. It is a busy Lagos road with heavy traffic. In the midst of the action is the ubiquitous commercial motorcycle, popularly called “okada.” For many, it is a fast means of transport. One of them, photographer and pharmaceutical sales representative, Julius Egwumba, said: ‘I have been taking okada to work for as long as I can remember. It is not as if I can’t take a bus from Iyana Ipaja to Ikeja but the roads are too blocked because of traffic; so to beat time, I will have to use okada.’ Chioma Agbarakwe, a business woman, gave the same reason for using okada. According to her, ‘Taking okada is a normal thing for me because my business makes me move around a lot and since I do not have a car yet, I have to use okada. ‘I prefer using it (okada) to buses because of the kind of traffic we experience in Lagos. Many times, if you make the mistake of taking a bus on a long distance journey in Lagos and you do not leave your house at least four hours before schedule just get ready to sleep on the road’ . She added jokingly, ‘Not only will you get there late, you will just be frustrated throughout the journey because the buses are usually in such a terrible state, whereas on okada sweet breeze will be blowing you.’ In spite of the positive points stated by these okada users’, many of the road accidents recorded in the

•A large gathering of okada riders

country annually involve okada drivers and their passengers. According to the coordinator of Arrive Alive Road Safety Initiative, Mr. Ike Okonkwo, over 12,000 lives are lost yearly on the nation’s roads to commercial motor cycle accidents with about 30,000 seriously injured. Uchenna Ohaedoghasi, an NYSC member serving in Nasarawa State identified some of the factors which cause these accidents: ‘Most of these okada people do not even bother to learn the basic traffic rules, so you have a situation where you are driving on the road and they just

overtake you on the wrong side without even trafficating. They also drive at ridiculous speeds that sometimes you begin to wonder where they are flying to. ‘Their level of impatience is alarming and when they eventually get involved in accidents, they find it hard to accept that they are the ones who caused it. Rather all the okada people around will gang up against you and insist that you pay their hospital bills.’ However, Kabir Adeoye, a computer software analyst, argued that passengers sometimes contribute

to the cause of accidents: “We agree that these okada riders are very reckless but the truth of the matter is that more often than not, it is the passengers that push these drivers to exceed their speed limit. In many cases, the passengers shout on the drivers to hurry and take unnecessary shortcuts. At other times, you see people sitting on motorbikes on expressways with their helmets sitting on their laps but when the accident finally happens, everybody will start screaming the driver’s name which is unfair.” Bad roads are also to blame for

okada accidents, said Grace Onuoha, a physiotherapist. She said, ‘As much as we know that using okada for transportation is risky, it is also important for us to consider the state of our roads. Many of the roads we take on a daily basis are in terrible shape and the government is not ready to do anything about it. Imagine a case where someone lives in a swampy area where the road is only wide enough for a bicycle, that kind of person has no choice but to use an okada.’ •Continued from page 55

Conversation with an octogenarian polygamist

•Continued from page 19

meet the need of the needy. This is still a mystery to my detractors. This is how we operate and it has been working for us. We are not here to accumulate wealth but to use what we have to bless and unite the people,” Masaba stated. He runs his harem like a commune and gives out what he has to help others. In the course of this interview, a delegation from Jos was brought in seeking his support for a mosque project. He promptly directed his men to attend to them. “I have asked them to submit the estimate of the project, so that we can know where we can come in,” he told Baba Abu, his personal assistant that brought the delegation, adding, “Please go and take care of them, after this interview I will see them.” As a clergy, who has devoted decades to the propagation of Islamic faith and practice, he also demonstrates a high level of political awareness about national issues, especially the threat being posed to national stability by the various crises ravaging the country; the multiplicity and duplication of policies by various tiers of government; economic and political inequality among the federating units and religious intolerance. Masaba who claimed to have been an active participant in the political process in the past, proudly shared his past with the country’s first executive President, Alhaji

Shehu Shagari. “We have been involved in governance since the days of Sardauna. When my friend, Shehu Shagari, was to contest in 1979, I was deeply involved. We have been around, we only chose to keep quiet for now, but our keeping off does not mean we are ignorant of what is going on.” Of much concern to ‘Baba’ is the negative image the north is gradually attaining with the insurgence of the deadly “Boko Haram” sect. For Masaba the rebellion act of the dreaded sect and the various bomb attacks in major cities and towns in the northern part of the country should not be blamed on religion, but on the wide gap between the led and the leaders. To him leaders at various levels of national life have failed to consider the plight of the poor. While few Nigerians, who are in position of authority are flourishing, Masaba lamented that the masses are not only languishing in abject poverty; they (masses) are at the mercy of the few. “Our leaders should be held responsible for the various crises ravaging the country. Our leaders have failed to consider the poor and their followers. Our problem is not religious, but poverty and socio-economic inequality caused by our leaders’ insensitivity to the plight of the poor.” Senseless killings in the north To the octogenarian, “the most worrisome development is the bomb attacks and killings

in some northern cities. The region that was known for peace among the people, irrespective of where you come from, has now become bloody. The sad aspect of the development is that some people are attributing the attacks on one religious group or the other; but the major cause of these crises is the brazen neglect of the region by our leaders over the time. Inequality in the north is more pronounced than any other region in the country. When did you hear of attack in the South-West or South –East? Why the bombing and killing in Abuja, Suleja, Kaduna, Bauchi, Maiduguri? All these cities are in the north,” Masaba bemoaned. Sending a note of warning to those he called ‘greedy leaders’ to put an end to their greed, Masaba asked, “How can you explain, what is meant for 10 million people being cornered by two people? How do you want peace in the region when our leaders are greedy and self centred? Let every corrupt and heartless leader know that the day of reckoning is at hand. Let the killings and bombing of innocent citizens be stopped or the promoters and agents of this dastardly act be prepared for Allah’s anger.” Calling on all to chart the course of righteousness, Masaba believed that, “If we all take to the path of righteousness, nobody will throw or detonate bomb to kill his or her fellow human beings. It is sad that the

cankerworm of religious differences has eaten deep into the national fabric. Allah bounded us together and we are equal before Him, irrespective of our faith, tribe or sex. Let us be united and work in unity. Let us show love and fear God in our national life.” Masaba also called on the three tiers of government to frontally address the growing army of the unemployed youth in the country. According to him, “how can we explain the growing numbers of unemployed youths? Many of our university graduates, some diploma and NCE certificate holders are not gainfully employed. Our productive group are just wasting away. Government must address this ugly trend, if we must develop as a nation.” Speaking on Ramdan, the reason for the season, the Islamic preacher, who was surrounded by his teeming followers, majority of whom came from all walks of life for the annual ‘Ramadan Tasfir’, said that the holy month was divinely approved for Muslim faithful to seek for Allah’s (SWT) forgiveness of their sins. He enjoined adherents of Islamic faith to use the period to retrace their steps back to the path of righteousness. “We must use this pious month to re-connect with our creator, follow the path of righteousness and ensure that we do what can unite us as a people and nation.”


Life

THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

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Canal of hope for Lagos community Residents of Arigbanla community in Lagos last week welcomed the demolition of structures and flagging-off of construction of a canal to fight flooding, reports Sunday Oguntola

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HERE was a rousing applause as the bulldozer moved into position. Kids joined by their parents clapped endlessly. There were smiles on faces. Then the bulldozer rolled back to life. In a twinkling, structures along the 1.5 kilometre canal came crashing. The more they went down, the harder watching residents applauded. For residents of Arigbanla community in Agege, Lagos, the demolition exercise was a most welcome development. Led by the chairman of the Community Development Association (CDA), Elder Emmanuel Alegbe, they trooped out in droves last Thursday to fully endorse the demolition order by Governor Raji Fashola. They said they have had enough of impediments along Arigbanla canal. Because of their full endorsement of the exercise, there was no single security officer or member of the Lagos State Task force on sight. They waved and nodded in approval as the bulldozer belonging to Sparta Contractors, the firm awarded the construction of Arigbanla canal, commenced works. For them, the project is long-awaited. For many years, they lived in the community dreadful of downpours. Any rainfall leaves the area flooded and impassable. Destruction of lives and properties had been recorded, though at a minimal level. But the 16-hour downpour of July 10 brought about the biggest devastation to the community. Five people were reported dead from the flood that ravaged the area on that day. Several houses were submerged and properties lost. Residents said the absence of a canal exacerbated the flood situation. Recounting their woes, Tajudeen Odunfa said: “We thought the entire area would be submerged due to the enormous flood. You could hear wailings from every corner as houses became submerged and people lost control of channelling the flood from their buildings. Many properties were destroyed and lives lost.” The devastation, they said, was worsened by the fact that the natural flood-channel was completely blocked by illegal buildings and structures. Resident houses stood menacingly at the edge of the water channel. Fences of some companies in the area were constructed across the water channel itself. The set-back of the canal had been converted to use by auto technicians, religious groups, market women and others. So the more the downpours, the deeper Arigbanla’s flooding situation. Nurudeen Ayinla lives in one of the demolished buildings. He said the exercise was a step in the right direction considering the ordeals of residents on July 10. His words: “It was an experience I pray never to witness again in my life. The force with which the flood moved reminded me of Tsunami in Indonesia and right within me I knew there were going to be some casualties, and truly people died.” Alegbe pointed out that over 5,000 smaller drainages are diverted into Arigbanla’s canal. “Therefore the torrent of water is

usually enormous at any slightest rain fall,” he asserted. “If that Sunday flood had happened on a working day maybe we would be talking of many more deaths like in a tsunami.”But he is happy the construction of the canal will bring the much-needed relief to the area. Alegbe also expressed confidence in the ability of Sparta Contractors to do a good job. He said investigations into the firm’s previous works show it is more than able. His words: “I feel it should be able to handle it as to the best of our knowledge. Sparta Contractors has just imported canal construction equipment worth several million dollars.” Another resident, Kehinde Ashalu, echoed the same optimism. He said he used to live in Gbagada where the firm “did a great job with Atunrase-Gbagada Canal.” Ashalu, who moved to Agege only five months ago, said the last two years were his best throughout his 15-year stay in Gbagada. He said: ‘’Before the canal was constructed, we would be apprehensive as the rainy season approached. We were always worried at what may likely happen as a result of flood. But ever since the same contractor finished his job, the flood menace has become a thing of the past, even on Gbagada Expressway.” The firm’s Managing Director, Mr Femi Oshoniyi, said his company has commenced the dredging and clearing of the canal, which started from Oke-Afa Agege to terminate into another along Abeokuta Expressway, a distance of 1.5 kilometres. He said that the company is looking critically at the design of the canal in such a way that it will save many structures that would have been demolished. ”Part of what we are putting into consideration is to save some buildings, though some would have to go,’ Oshoniyi added. He said the firm will adopt a communal approach to getting the project completed and protected. “We are not just carrying out government order but at the same time collaborating with the people whom we intend to get their support to execute the job. That was the method we adopted in Gbagada during the construction of Atunrase-Gbagada Canal.” He said push-carts, auto technicians and CDA members have been mobilised to monitor the canal so that ‘’people will no longer dump refuse as we clear.’’ Oshoniyi added: ‘’we are also going to enter into agreement with them for specific period to monitor the canal after the construction. It was part of the contract to put bar-wire besides the canal and also walk-ways.” Such measure, he said, will make the project durable and enjoyable for the community. Oshoniyi also pointed out that the Ladipo canal on the popular vehicle spare parts market is also due for barbed-wire. This, he said, will discourage indiscriminate dumping of refuse, including discarded parts inside the channel.

•Oshoniyi during the exercise

•Residents observing the demolition exercise along the canal bank

•Arigbanla canal


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Life

THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

WEIRD INFO

Man sues doctor for cutting his ‘manhood’ www.twitter.com/ritaohai Keeping tabs on people and events in cyber space

VOX POP

Battle of the Generals they undermine Nigerian youths.

• IBB

• OBJ

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ran aground instead of competing on which one looted our tresury more than the other. Can you believe the audicity of OBJ and IBB who both should bave been caged in a national iron cage specially built for them like the Mukarak-cage and all their cronies along whom they collective ruined Nigeria and looted its resources affronting us. If these two old clowns continue to take Nigeria for granted, the power of social media that brought down Mubarak, Ben Ali, threatening Kadhafi, and Bashia will sweep them along as

WIDE range of commentators have been reacting to the verbal exchanges between General Olusegun Obasanjo (rtd) and Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (rtd). Some of these comments recorded by Sahara Reporters are below:

Comments CY-NYC These two clowns should be grateful to God and Nigerian, that Nigeria is not like other countries like Eygpt and Tunisia because both would be facing the wrath of the country they

Alex Eyiboh First and foremost, Kassim Afegbua should not be involved in calling his elder a fool publicly, what are these old men teaching our young ones -Morals? OBJ answered IBB directly so IBB should also answer directly and stop corrupting our young men and I think its hig time some of these young men leave these old fools because they cant learn anything good from them. I pray God give them the power to expose themselves more, the thieving leaders of this country will never have rest till they are all wiped out. May the Spirit of all the innocents they have shed haunt them forevermore. BRANO KINGSLEY These two generals are fools in need of wisdom. IBB is suffering from the crises of expectation. He forgot his uniform in Aso rock when he step aside and he decided to bring Obasanjo from prison to be President with the hope that Obasanjo shall hand over to him, but he missed the point. However, I appreciate their foolish talk to bomb blast and boko haram and senseless killing in the country. They are advised to keep mute and enjoy their lot and wait for God’s judgment….

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dates to apply in their own handwriting within 2 weeks from the date of this advert with relevant CV / Credentials to: The Executive Director, Seven-Up Bottling Company PLC, 247, Moshood Abiola Way, Ikeja, P.O. Box 134, Apapa, Lagos A job opportunity for a Treasury Manager exists at Arik Air. Treasury Manager will oversee and supervise the company’s Treasury department. The candidate required for this position should possess the following: A University degree in Accounting and a Masters in the Finance related field, at least five (5) years post professional Accounting (ACA / ACCA) qualification, personable , matured and organized with supervisory skills, technically sound with financial management; and high level of computer literacy, an energetic and intelligent individual who can cope under immense work pressure. Visit www.arikairjobportal.com/ vacancies

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HE dispute between a Kentucky man and a surgeon over the necessity of amputating the patient’s penis during surgery in 2008 is set to go to trial this week. The doctor maintains he found cancer in the man’s penis during surgery and that it had to be removed, according to the physician’s attorney. The patient claims the surgery was supposed to be a circumcision and he never authorized the amputation, nor was he given a chance to seek a second opinion. Jury selection begins Thursday in the lawsuit brought by Phillip Seaton of Waddy and his wife, Deborah, against Dr. John Patterson of Louisville. Attorneys hope to start opening statements that afternoon. The Seatons sued Patterson in Shelby County Circuit Court in 2008 after an operation that resulted in the amputation. Seaton, now in his 60s, was having the procedure on Oct. 19, 2007, to better treat inflammation. Neither Kevin George, the attorney for the Seatons, nor Clay Robinson, the attorney for Patterson, would comment on the case. George said Shelby Circuit Judge Charles Hickman asked the lawyers to refrain from making public

statements. Robinson did not respond to phone and email messages left at his office in recent weeks. The lawsuit alleges Patterson removed Seaton’s penis without consulting either Phillip or Deborah Seaton. George said during a pre-trial hearing on Aug. 2 that the case comes down to whether jurors believe the amputation “was a necessary part of the surgery.’ “This is really a factdriven case,” Shelby Circuit Judge Charles Hickman said during the pre-trial conference. George has said that the doctor’s post-surgical notes show Patterson thought he detected cancer and removed the penis. But, George added, the situation was not an emergency. “It didn’t have to happen that way,” George said in 2008, shortly after the lawsuit was filed. Robinson has previously said that Patterson, a Kentucky-based urologist, had permission to perform any medical procedure deemed necessary and that the doctor found cancer in the organ during the surgery. Robinson has said that Patterson “had no reasonable option” but to remove the cancer. “Mr. Seaton’s problem was not the surgery, it was

the cancer,” Robinson said in 2008. The trial had initially been set for January, but Hickman delayed the proceedings because of pre-trial publicity. “I’m optimistic we can seat this jury,” Robinson said during the pre-trial hearing. The Seatons are seeking unspecified damages from Patterson for “loss of service, love and affection.” The Seatons also sued Jewish Hospital, where the surgery took place. The hospital settled with the Seatons for an undisclosed amount. The Seatons’ suit is similar to one in which an Indianapolis man was awarded more than $2.3 million in damages after he claimed his penis and left testicle were removed without his consent during surgery for an infection in 1997. S o u r c e : www.msnbc.msn.com

DID YOU KNOW... ...that a group of ravens is called a murder. …that a person at rest generates as much heat as a 100watt lightbulb …that a snail has about 25,000 teeth …that about a third of all humans flush the toilet while they’re still sitting on it

PICTURE OF THE DAY

Source: www.weirdvideos.net


23 SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

•Artworks of SNA members at a private exhibition in Ikoyi, Lagos.

•Usen

To make Nigeria beautiful U

WA Usen is a sculptor who has chosen to use his profession to touch the lives of not only his professional colleagues but those he has encountered in the course of his profession. Today as the national president of the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA), Usen goes about preaching the gospel of unity, love and equally using the art to better the lots of the Nigerian society. Usen who is now getting set for the second edition of the Convention on Art and Development which will hold in Calabar, Cross River State, next month explained why the art sector in Nigeria has to be made more popular and viable. In his words, “SNA has grown in leaps and bounds ever since I took over as the president. But the essence of the Art Development initiative is to attract more attention to the Fine Arts profession. Today SNA has become more mature. We work together as a team; as a body. Indeed one of the highpoints of this is that we have a strong team where people forget their tribe, or language and come together for the progress of the society. That is to say, that Federal character is wellrepresented.” Taking a critical look at the gains of the Convention of Art Development which he said became necessary in order to make members more committed, Usen said, “when we had the maiden edition of the programme in Lagos last year, the crowd that attended it was mammoth. We used that opportunity to deliver papers on all aspects of the art and ensured that people saw the beauty of the profession.” Apart from the academic aspect of the convention, there was an exhibition of art works. The idea was to draw attention of the world to Nigerian art

Uwa James Usen is a sculptor and the national president of the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA). Edozie Udeze met him in Abuja, where he explained why his society is in the vanguard of creating consciousness in the visual art sector. which still remains one of the most vibrant in the world. “Since you know Nigerian art works attract very unique aura in local and international arenas, that outing proved very pivotal to us. This was why we have decided to make it an annual programme and this year’s will happen in Calabar, Cross River State.” He explained that Calabar was chosen for many reasons. “It is a safe place, in fact, the safest city in Nigeria today. Besides that, Calabar is a tourist haven where visitors feel at home. So, starting from the 18th of next month, we will converge there for the convention where we will also ensure that the art scene is made vibrant, lively and popular in the cozy city of Calabar. After the papers, we will run an exhibition of the works of our members. In addition, we hope to work in collaboration with the Cross River State government and the National Gallery of Art (NGA).” Usen who was once the Akwa Ibom State chairman of SNA threw more light on how Uyo and some major cities in the state began to wear new looks soon after the state was created. “Yes, when the state was created, Ben Ekanem and I decided to go home to help in the beautification of the State. We did the first huge sculpture that welcomed people into the State. Although it has been relocated now, that is a story for another day. And you know Ekanem is a big artist. He was the one that did the famous statue of Queen Amina.” “When we got to Akwa Ibom,” he

went on, “it was a virgin state. Everywhere was barren, more or less. We needed a lot of development and we had to work round the clock to bring it to an appreciable level. After, we equally moved to Eket and some other places where we built art works for beautification.” Before Usen moved full blast into SNA politics, he was appointed a lecturer in Sculpture at the then Cross River State University. Today, the university is known as the University of Uyo. Usen rose to become the head of the Department of Sculpture, a position that afforded him the opportunity to do more for the state. He was able to erect most of the works in the university garden which stand as a testimony to his dexterity as a renowned artist till date, “Yes, I took up those challenges because sculpture is all about challenges. I stayed in the school for a long time where I was able to impart and develop a lot of talents. In fact, I was instrumental to the accreditation which we had recently. I have always assisted by putting in my own money, my own time and energy to ensure things move. This is why my students gave me the nickname chairman, even when other people pay money to have their own nickname,” he said. Educated at the famous Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, Kaduna State, where he got his two degrees, Usen confessed that the school opened,” his eyes to the inner workings of the art. “It was there at ABU that I

decided to specialize in sculpture with the help of Ekanem who was one of my teachers. There too, I gained a lot of classroom and field experiences which later in life helped me to have a focus in what I read as a professional artist.” A well travelled artist, Usen was exposed to the outside world early due to the fact that his late father was a police officer. “Of course in 1975, my father, a police officer, was posted to Trinidad, Caribbean Island, to start a police force for them. That was where I continued my education in 1975 and it helped me more to see the world and to appreciate the essence of beauty,” he said. At St. Gregory College, Lagos, where he finished his secondary school education, the artist in him began to blossom the more when he encountered Bruce Onobrakpeya who taught him Fine Arts. “He is a great teacher and mentor who always initiated awards to encourage his students. Most times, that approach spurred us on and I must tell you I won a lot of those awards. Actually, Bruce made me the artist I am today with that solid foundation at St. Gregory College.” Today, even as he teaches Arts in the University, Usen said he is not relenting in his efforts to make visual art an enviable profession. That was why he and his colleagues were fully involved in the big art expo that powered Nigeria at 50 last year. “Yes, we will continue to do our best to make v i s u a l a r t a h o u s e h o l d a f f a i r ,” h e enthused.


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Arts

THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

‘Nollywood doesn’t capture the totality of the Nigerian cinema’ P

EOPLE have different reasons for making their career choices. Why did you choose the academic profession? From my youth I have always shown interest in the arts, especially that which has to do with story-telling, with performing, with entertainment. When I was in primary school, I was a member of the Dramatic Student Society and I played roles there. In my secondary school I was a member of the Literary and Debating Society along with Dramatic Society. Of course as a young person you toy with so many ideas as you are growing up. At a point I could see myself as a kind of electrical engineer putting wire together and repairing things. At another time I fell in love with Obafemi Awolowo and so I saw myself as a lawyer, a justice, or a politician one day. When I read his biography in secondary school I learnt that he was a journalist. I also thought I could be a journalist. Ultimately, I find myself much interested in the arts. I wanted to study Literature but I was advised that I could choose Drama and probably combine with Literature. So I came in for Dramatic Arts (single honours) in Ife. I toyed with an idea of combined honours, but I later discovered that I could actually specialise in Drama, which is one aspect of Literature and which also has to do with performance. After four years I went for my youth service. And while I was in service, I was a member of the NYSC Theatre Troupe. We were performing from place to place. That was in Imo State between 1989-90. I also retained my interest in journalism because I was a member of the editorial board of The Integrator, which was the magazine of the NYSC. So, I didn’t have much problem after the service because I told myself that I won’t look for any job until I finish my Master’s degree. Immediately, I came back to OAU and enrolled for a Master’s of Arts degree in Literature-in-English in the then Literature-in-English Department. After I submitted my thesis, I went to Lagos to seek a career in journalism. I started out with African Guardian, which was a magazine then alongside African Concord, Tell, The News, and Newswatch. Later, I found myself in The News magazine. It was at The News that I developed my skill further in writing and research because I was employed as a reporter/ researcher. And you know before you write any report you must have done a lot of research. That was where I further strengthened interest in academics as a reporter/researcher so that by 1994 when employment opportunity was opened in the English department I didn’t hesitate at all before coming back to the academics. All of these must have helped to prepare you for the roles you combine as a lecturer, Editorial Chairman of the OAU Bulletin, Editor of the departmental journal, Director of the Institute of Cultural Studies, and President of the OAU Staff Club? Actually, that is why sometimes I ask myself how I become involved in all of these. If you look at all these offices there is none of them that I go all my way to ask for. Perhaps it is out of the fact any responsibility that I find coming my way I always put in my best to make a success of it. It may not be an excellent performance, but it would be something worthwhile in terms of achievement. Probably people see that and then say, “if it is this assignment, let’s give it to GRA”. And some of the people who come

At Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State where he teaches Literature-in-English and among academics, the Nigerian film industry, and in the world of creative writing, Associate Professor Gbemisola Remi Adeoti is respected for his diligence, versatility, and commitment GRA, as he is more popularly known, holds several positions alongside his teaching position. For him, these different positions have a common thread. He says his mission is to reclaim the vanishing glories of the organisations he leads. Ademola Adesola interviewed him in his office at the Institute of Cultural Studies, Ile-Ife

•Adeoti

up with the suggestion or the idea are people that I have much respect for, or that also believe in my ability. Once I get that I see it as a challenge. That is how I find myself taking up those roles. Apart from all these responsibilities, I am also the Editor of the Ife Studies in African Literature and the Arts, the journal of our department. Recently I have been asked by the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) to be the Managing Editor for the annual magazine. There are other books that people ask me to help them edit. So, the thing is that, if you look at all the assignments (I see them as such), they are all related. That is what makes the whole thing interesting. Part of the success in all the assignments is that you have people who readily lend support, and that is why I am able to cope. You have appeared in a number of Yoruba stage performances and films alongside notable figures like Akinwunmi Isola, what determines your decision to participate in a film? I was motivated by the fact that as a researcher who is interested in popular culture and performance, I see many things that are right in what people do on the screen. I also see a lot of things that I consider can be better done. My position in that regard is that you will have a better film industry if you have a synergy between those who are there on the field, who just have the raw talent, experience without the necessary scholarly background, and then people who

PHOTO: ADEMOLA ADESOLA

are there in the classrooms blowing theories about all these films. That is what motivated me. There is Mrs Biodun Ibitola, the proprietress of REMDEL, who finished from Dramatic Arts, OAU. We have known each other since our undergraduate days. When she wanted to produce Afonja, she made people from Ife the backbone of the cast and crew. Readily I lent my support. And if you look at films by REMDEL – Owo Eje, Ofinga and even Afonja – you will see that these are films in their own separate class. You cannot place them alongside many of the titles that you watch on your African Magic or other stations. So, the motivation has been that, having studied Drama, let me seize the opportunity to also practise some of the things that I have learnt and taught, and to also make contribution to that field. Again, meeting with those distinguished actors and actresses who are older affords me the opportunity to learn some lessons relating to the profession and life in general. Sitting with Baba Wande, apart from the fact he makes you laugh, he will also remind you of what happened in the 60s. The same thing with Lere Paimo, or Baba Adebayo Faleti. You learn so many things about the development of theatre from the raw town/school hall productions to the transition into the celluloid films and now into the home videos. I learnt a lot from that experience. As a specialist in Dramatic Literature, how would you assess the

theory and the practice of this genre in contemporary Nigeria? Well, I would say that in terms of the practice now there are enormous challenges facing that area. And we can take them one by one. We have newer writers like Ahmed Yerima, Demi Idegu, Stella Oyedepo, Felix Okolo and even our own Ben Tomoloju who have come up after the generation of writers like Wole Soyinka, James Henshaw, Ola Rotimi and others who bequeathed to us the tradition of the written drama. But if you then look at the market possibility for them, there is a problem. The attention is shifting away from the written culture. Even if you want to translate their works to the stage there is also a dwindling interest in the stage presentation. People would rather go for what is immediate, which I think is a carryover of the military mentality – with immediate effect! People want to be star within a short time. Somebody just picks up a pen and paper, writes something and then says “yes, this is a film script”, get somebody who is rich and the thing becomes translated into a film with two parts, three parts, even if what you find there is not worthwhile. So, that problem is there affecting the stage. How do you see Nollywood? I wrote a paper in a book entitled Africa Through the Video, edited by Prof. Ogunleye. My position is that the term Nollywood is apish. It is an attempt to slavishly imitate what is Western or what is from out there. Even the way it is configured does not actually capture the totality of the Nigerian cinema. For me it is just a segment of the Nigerian film industry. In my writings I would rather adopt “Nigerian video films” if I am talking of something that will capture the Nigerian film industry rather than to say Nollywood. The industry is so diverse to the extent that films in English by some group of people cannot represent that diversity. But because of the prestige of the English language, they seem to have more attention than films in the indigenous languages. That does not remove the fact that Nollywood as a title and the way it is being practised does not fully represent all there is in the

Nigerian film industry. Still on the film industry. How do you view the films produced in English and Yoruba languages in the country? I would not limit it to films in Yoruba; I would rather say films in indigenous languages. Apart from Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo, you also have films in minority languages. I have seen films in Tiv, Itshekiri, Ibibio and Urhobo languages. For me, the films in indigenous languages represent our being in many instances than what you find in the English films. Yes, the English films can reach people beyond the borders of the ethnic groups. You can say they have the market. But if you are talking about representing the people the way they are, you need to go to those indigenous films. Unfortunately, the market is driving a good number of our people into producing films in English. But I know that those films in Yoruba and Hausa languages are doing fantastically well and they will continue for a very long time. No matter what the film in English does, it can’t drive the indigenous films out of the market. You had a stint at The News at some point and you monitor happenings in the print media. What is your view on the industry vis-à-vis what obtained while you were practically involved? Well, it goes back to the society itself because no matter what we do each society, each era, each generation will always produce people that will man all those parts of our lives. Not everybody will be a farmer, or lawyer. The challenges of journalists in the days of Awo were quite enormous. It was not a well-paying job. But the kind of education that they were receiving then was of great quality. Even with secondary school education people would come up with good flowing prose. That was without any requisite training in journalism. The time when I was in journalism was under the military and there was so much repression. We were not operating under what you could call normal condition. It was a situation where you had the administrative segment in one part of Lagos, the editorial meeting holding in another part, and the real production taking place in a different part. It tasked you more. After I left journalism and visited the newsroom of Thisday, I think in 1997, to see some of my friends like Waziri Adio, Olayiwola Adeniji, I saw computers. Those were luxuries that we could not afford in those days. Today people just have to type their stories. Things are getting better with technology. The conditions are better. But in terms of people practising it, I think there is a need for more training, more emphasis on educational process.

Book presentation

A

FTER a few years of training of professionals and leaders in the corporate world, Voice Clinic, a speech presentation and sartorial grooming school, is set to present to the public a book entitled Presentation Skills Simplified. It details the essential steps involved in improving one’s speaking skills. The presentation of the book authored by Olawunmi SolaOtegbade will take place on Thursday at the Afe Babalola

Auditorium, beside the Mass Communication Department of the University of Lagos, Akoka. The time is 10:00am. Ambassador Segun Olusola is expected to chair the event, while Prof. Pat Utomi will deliver the keynote address. The Mother of the Day is Lagos First Lady, Mrs Abimbola Fashola. The Chief Presenter of the book to be reviewed by Mr Adesola Kukoyi is the MD/CEO of Etranzact Nigeria, Mr Val Obi.


THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

Books

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A writer’s beginnings in Kenya H

ARRIED reader, I’ll save you precious time: skip this review and head directly to the bookstore for Binyavanga Wainaina’s stand-upand-cheer coming-of-age memoir, “One Day I Will Write About This Place.” Although written by an East African and set in East and Southern Africa, Wainaina’s book is not just for Afrophiles or lovers of post-colonial literature. This is a book for anyone who still finds the nourishment of a well--written tale preferable to the empty--calorie jolt of a celebrity confessional or Swedish mystery. Not that Wainaina is likely to judge anyone’s taste in books. In fact, at its heart, this is a story about how Wainaina was almost eaten alive by his addiction to reading anything available. “I am starting to read storybooks,” he says of his 11-year-old self, growing up in Nakuru, Kenya. “If words, in English, arranged on the page have the power to control my body in this world, this sound and language can close its folds, like a fan, and I will slide into its world, where things are arranged differently.”As he leaves childhood behind — “My nose sweats a lot these days, and my armpits smell, and I wake up a lot at night all wriggly and hot, like Congo rumba music” — Wainaina retreats further from the confusing realities of politics and adolescence and his big multinational family (his father a Kenyan businessman and farm owner, his mother a Ugandan salon owner) and deeper into a world of words. At school he is told, and believes, that he is supposed to become a doctor or a lawyer, an engineer or a scientist. But Wainaina seems constitutionally incapable of absorbing anything that would further a career in these fields. “I spend all useful time in my advanced-level years making plays and novels,” he writes. “I do not study much. Our most successful play is a courtroom drama called ‘The Verdict.’ I play a prostitute with a heart of gold called Desirée who falls in love with a repressed boy who murders his

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HE most fascinating thing about the person of Funsho Peters is that he is both a Medical doctor and a Lawyer. These are some of the most amazing qualities of this man who loves humanity so much that he often forfeits his own personal comfort to ensure that the people

mother. The stage is beautiful. We have raided the chapel for fine Anglican velvets and old wood tables with gravitas.” At home during breaks from boarding school, Wainaina lives a dream-life of stories even while making a cheerful effort to act the expected part of a good man-child. “I know nothing about old Peugeots,” he writes of an outing with his father to fix some of the family’s farm equipment. “There are things men are supposed to know, and I do not want to know those things, but I want to belong and the members need to know about crankshafts and points and frogs and holy manly grails and puppy dog tails. Secular things to hang onto.” By the time Wainaina leaves Kenya to attend university in South Africa, a country smoldering with the last poisonous fumes of apartheid, his addiction to books is complete. He drops out of school to pursue more completely a life of reading. “Over the past year,” he writes, “as I fell away from everything and everybody, I moved out of the campus dorms and into a one-room outhouse. . . . My mattress has sunk in the middle. Books, cigarettes, dirty cups, empty chocolate wrappers and magazines are piled around my horizontal torso, on the floor, all within arm’s reach. If I put my mattress back on the bunk I am too close to the light that streams in from the window, so I use the chipboard bunk as a sort of scribble pad of options: butter, a knife, peanut butter and chutney, empty tins of pilchards, bread, a small television set, many books, matches and a sprawl of candles, all in various stages of undress and disintegration.” Wainaina’s almost terrifying inability to do anything but read, even as the world around him falls apart (“I returned to my home, Kenya, to find people so far beyond cynicism that they looked back on their cynical days with fondness”), is a thread to follow through the book. The plot spoiler is in our hands — Wainaina obviously figaround him are made better. In writing this biography, Mrs Sola Peters, Funsho’s wife, tried to let the public into the reason why he has been a focused individual all his life. Although many may see Funsho as a man born with silver spoon, this biography gives a clearer picture of a man who suffered deprivations and discomforts to be who he is today. It took him a while to rise to the position he is now as the director of Unity Hospital, Lagos. But many close family friends and admirers may not get to know the strenuous stages he underwent to be who he is today, until they read this biography. In order to let readers into those turbulent years, the biographer began from the beginning by tracing the birth of Funsho, his early years in primary and secondary schools. One thing is clear, however; Funsho Peters right from the word go had always wanted to be a Medial doctor.

ured out that he must write to survive — yet the story of how he achieves this dream is gripping less for its preordained conclusion than for the way it unfolds in Wainaina’s jazzy style: riffing, inside--jokey, un-self--conscious. “I am starting to scribble my thoughts, to write these moments,” he says of his fledgling attempts to make stories from the raw material of his rich world. “It is when this is all done that I do what I do best. I look up, confused and fearful, all accordion with kimay; then soak in the safe patterns of other people, and live my life borrowing from them; then retreat — for reasons I don’t know — to look down, inside the safety of novels; and then I lift my eyes again to people, and make them my own sort of confused pattern. I am no sharp arrow cutting through the career ladder. It’s time to try to make some sort of sense of things on the written page. At least there, they can be shaped. I doubt myself the moment I think this.” By 2001, Wainaina is 30 years old and tired of his itinerant life in South Africa. “I want to be home,” he writes. “Just to be home.” He returns to Kenya and finds housing near one of Nairobi’s largest slums. “Hostels like these are popular with college students and the newly employed. They are cheap and secure. Water is rationed. That first night I left the dry taps open, and I woke up to see my laptop floating in four inches of water. The screen died. I bought a cheap secondhand P.C. screen in the city, and now it is working.” By day Wainaina writes. By night he makes his way “through the zigzag paths” of the city’s streets “to catch the flickering streams of people. Wainaina was catapulted into the literary spotlight when his autobiographical novella “Discovering Home” was awarded the 2002 Caine Prize, sometimes called “the African Booker.” The work arose from a long, late-night e-mail to a friend, and it retains an unedited familiarity. “There is a problem,” it begins. “Somebody has locked themselves in the toilet. The upstairs

•Wainaina

bathroom is locked and Frank has disappeared with the keys. There is a small riot at the door, as drunk women with smudged lipstick and crooked wigs bang on the door.” Wainaina followed up that success with “How to Write About Africa,” a provocative essay that appeared in Granta in 2005. “In your text,” he wrote, “treat Africa as if it were one country. It is hot and dusty with rolling grasslands and huge herds of animals and tall, thin people who are starving. Or it is hot and steamy with very short people who eat primates. Don’t get bogged down with precise descriptions. Africa is big: 54 countries, 900 million people who are too busy starving and dying and warring and emigrating to read your book.”

“One Day I Will Write About This Place” grew in part from the seeds of those shorter works. But while their superbly vivid moments never quite cohered, this latest work is brimming with insouciant virtuosity, and it is utterly resolved. Wainaina’s Africa is not all glamorous poverty and backlit giraffes. It’s an Africa in which the lost are perpetually leading the blind, and yet somehow still find their way home. Title: One Day I Will Write About This Place Author: Binyavanga Wainaina Publishers: Graywolf Press Year of Publication: 2011 Page No: 256 Reviewer: Alexandra Fuller

A man of wig and stethoscope Nonetheless, when he eventually became a lawyer in 2003, no one, not even his wife, understood what ambition the man wanted to fulfill. But today, Funsho Peters is a man of the stethoscope and the wig. He was born Michael Obafunsho Peters on 5th July 1941 to Josephus Olonode Peters and Beatrice Oyenihun (Nee Babajide) in Kaduna. However, his native home is Ake quarters in Abeokuta, Ogun State. Having spent sometime in the North, Funsho moved south to attend St. Gregory College, Lagos. From there he moved to the University of Ibadan where he read Medicine. As a teacher after secondary education, Funsho had scholarship offers to study other courses in the sciences but he insisted he would rather study medicine or nothing. While at the famous U.I. medical school, he got drowned while swimming in the schools’ pool. He was in coma for days before he recovered miraculously. No one expected him to live, but Funsho, being a resilient person, a man of destiny, was able to pull through. In everything he did, he wanted to excel; for he believes so much in

himself. Even during his brief stay with the Nigerian Airforce, Funsho proved to be his own man. When his commission finished sometime ago and he wanted to leave, the Airforce insisted on court marshalling him. Somehow he was left off the hook through the combined efforts of David Jemibewon and other lawyers who were able to prove him innocent. As a lawyer and a medical doctor, Funsho amazes all his friends; for one moment he is in his wig, the next he has his stethoscope on his neck ready for ward rounds. At 70 years of age, he is still his old self, attending to patients with the same old zeal, patience and understanding. One of his friends, Julius Ayodele Omolayole described Funsho at 70 “as my learned friend who also carries the stethoscope”, while Prince C.O Otunbusin said that “he has served his country (humanity) and his family with a mission to establish something worthy of emulation”. As a golfer, airforce man, medical doctor, lawyer, politician, Rotarian, Christian, and so on, Funsho has, over the years, remained focused on his vision, his dream and mission.

This is why the biography is entitled, “Funsho – A man of Focus”, to demonstrate to the world that once you have your vision and dream, do not let distractions sway you. “Yes, my greatest motivation for writing this biography of Funsho is that his life provides a classic example of the power of focus”, so said the biographer. Although the book is full of grammatical and spelling errors, what is clear is that here is a man who followed his mind to be who he is presently. With many striking family pictures to depict many events in the man’s life, the book may be taken as an album of some sort. It has quite a mouthful on those important things Funsho did both as a younger doctor and as an older lawyer. In all, it is a deserving tribute to a man by his wife, someone so close to be able to tell a lot about her heartthrob. Sola Peters succeeded in some respect to show the public the real Funsho Peters. Title: Funsho – A man of Focus Author: Sola Peters Publishers: Legacy Biographers, Lagos Year of Publication: 2011 No of Pages: 166 Reviewer: Edozie Udeze


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THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

Arts

1st Chapter Excerpt from One Day I Will Write About This Place ‘Binyavanga Wainaina is a singer and painter in words. He makes you smell, hear, touch, see, above all, feel the drama and vibrations of life below the brilliantly and concretely captured surface of things in Kenya and Africa. The memoir bursts with life and laughter and pathos in every line and paragraph.’ Ngugi wa Thiong’o

I

T is afternoon. We are playing soccer near the clothesline behind the main house. Jimmy, my brother, is eleven, and my sister, Ciru, is five and a half. I am the goalie. I am seven years old, and I still do not know why everybody seems to know what they are doing and why they are doing it. “You are not fat.” That’s what Mum says to me all the time. “You are plump.” Ciru has the ball. She is

small and thin and golden. She has sharp elbows, and a smile as clean as a pencil drawing. It cuts evenly into her cheeks. She runs toward Jimmy, who is tall and fit and dark. She is the star of her class. It is 1978, and we are all in Lena Moi Primary School. Last term, Ciru was moved a year forward. Now she is in standard two, like me, in the class next door. Her first term in standard two, she beat

everybody and topped the class. She is the youngest in her class. Everybody else is seven. I stand still between the metal poles we use as a makeshift goalmouth watching Ciru and Jim play. Warm breath pushes down my nostrils past my mouth and divides my chin. I can see the pink shining flesh of my eyelids. Random sounds fall into my ears: cars, birds, black mamba bicycle bells, distant children, dogs, crows, and afternoon national radio music. Congo rumba. People outside our compound are talking, in languages I know the sounds of, but do not understand or speak, Luhya, Gikuyu. My laugh is far away inside, like the morning car not starting when the key turns. In school, it is always Ciru number one, blue and red and yellow stars on every page. It is always Ciru in a white

dress giving flowers to the guest of honor—Mr. Ben Methu—on Parents’ Day. If I am washing with her, we are splashing and laughing and fighting and soon we are in a fever of tears or giggles. She twists past Jimmy, the ball ahead of her feet, heading for me. I am ready. I am sharp, and springy. I am waiting for the ball. Jimmy runs to intercept her; they tangle and pant. A few moments ago the sun was one single white beam. Now it has fallen into the trees. All over the garden there are a thousand tiny suns, poking through gaps, all of them spherical, all of them shooting thousands of beams. The beams fall onto branches and leaves and splinter into thousands of smaller perfect suns. I laugh when Ciru

laughs and I find myself inside her laugh, and we fall down holding each other. I can feel her laughter swelling, even before it comes out, and it swells in me too. I know how to move with her patterns, and to move with Jimmy’s patterns. My patterns are always tripping on each other in public. They are only safe when I am alone, or when I am daydreaming. Ciru laughs loud, her mouth wide and red. The sound jumps toward me, flapping sheets of sound, but I am lost. Arms and legs and ball are forgotten. The thousand suns are breathing. They inhale, dim and cool into the leaves, and I let myself breathe with them; then they puff light forward and exhale, warming my body. I am about to let myself soak inside this completely when I am captured by an idea. The sun does not break up into pieces. It does not break up into disembodied parts when it

falls into trees and things. Each piece of the sun is always a complete little sun. I am coming back into my arms and legs and the goal mouth, ready to explain the thousand suns to Jimmy and Ciru. I am excited. They will believe me this time. It won’t seem stupid when I speak it, like it often does, and then they look at me, rolling their eyes and telling me that my marbles are lost. That I cansaythatagain. They are coming close. Jimmy is shouting. Before I fully return to myself, a hole in my ear rips open. The football hits the center of my face. I fall. Goaaaaal. A thousand suns erupt with wet laughter; even the radio is laughing. I look up and see them both leaning over me, dripping sweat, arms akimbo. Jimmy rolls his eyes and says, “You’ve lost your marbles.” “I’m thirsty,” says Ciru.

Nobel Greats

Wislawa Szymborska

Winner of Nobel Prize in Literature 1996

"For poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality"

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Born: 2 July 1923, Bnin (now Kórnik), Poland Residence at the time of the award: Poland Language: Polish

I S L A W A Szymborska was born in Kórnik* in Western Poland on 2 July 1923. Since 1931 she has been living in Krakow, where during 19451948 she studied Polish Literature and Sociology at the Jagiellonian University. Szymborska made her début in March 1945 with a poem "Szukam slowa" (I am Looking for a Word) in the daily "Dziennik Polski". During 1953-1981 she worked as poetry editor and columnist in the Kraków literary weekly "Zycie Literackie" where the series of her essays "Lektury nadobowiazkowe" appeared (the series has been renewed lately in the addition to "Gazeta Wyborcza"-"Gazeta o Ksiazkach"). The collection "Lektury nadobowiazkowe" was published in the form of a book four times. Szymborska has published 16 collections of poetry: Dlatego zyjemy (1952), Pytania zadawane sobie (1954), Wolanie do Yeti (1957), Sól (1962), Wiersze wybrane (1964), Poezje wybrane (1967), Sto pociech (1967), Poezje (1970), Wszelki wypadek (1972), Wybór wierszy (1973), Tarsjusz

i inne wiersze (1976), Wielka liczba (1976), Poezje wybrane II (1983), Ludzie na moscie (1986). Koniec i poczatek (1993, 1996), Widok z ziarnkiem piasku. 102 wiersze (1996). Wislawa Szymborska has also translated French poetry. Her poems have been translated (and published in book form) in English, German, Swedish, Italian, Danish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Czech, Slovakian, SerboCroatian, Romanian, Bulgarian and other languages. They have also been published in many foreign anthologies of Polish poetry. Wislawa Szymborska is the Goethe Prize winner (1991) and Herder Prize winner (1995). She has a degree of Honorary Doctor of Letters of Poznan University (1995). In 1996 she received the Polish PEN Club prize. They say the first sentence in any speech is always the hardest. Well, that one's behind me, anyway. But I have a feeling that the sentences to come - the third, the sixth, the tenth, and so on, up to the final line - will be just

as hard, since I'm supposed to talk about poetry. I've said very little on the subject, next to nothing, in fact. And whenever I have said anything, I've always had the sneaking suspicion that I'm not very good at it. This is why my lecture will be rather short. All imperfection is easier to tolerate if served up in small doses. Contemporary poets are skeptical and suspicious even, or perhaps especially, about themselves. They publicly confess to being poets only reluctantly, as if they were a little ashamed of it. But in our clamorous times it's much easier to acknowledge your faults, at least if they're attractively packaged, than to recognize your own merits, since these are hidden deeper and you never quite believe in them yourself ... When filling in questionnaires or chatting with strangers, that is, when they can't avoid revealing their profession, poets prefer to use the general term "writer" or replace "poet" with the name of whatever job they do in addition to writing. Bureaucrats and bus passengers respond with a touch of incredulity and alarm when they find out that they're dealing with a poet. I suppose philosophers may meet with a similar reaction. Still, they're in a better position, since as often as not they can embellish their

calling with some kind of scholarly title. Professor of philosophy - now that sounds much more respectable. But there are no professors of poetry. This would mean, after all, that poetry is an occupation requiring specialized study, regular examinations, theoretical articles with bibliographies and footnotes attached, and finally, ceremoniously conferred diplomas. And this would mean, in turn, that it's not enough to cover pages with even the most exquisite poems in order to become a poet. The crucial element is some slip of paper bearing an official stamp. Let us recall that the pride of Russian poetry, the future Nobel Laureate Joseph Brodsky was once sentenced to internal exile precisely on such grounds. They called him "a parasite," because he lacked official certification granting him the right to be a poet ... Several years ago, I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Brodsky in person. And I noticed that, of all the poets I've known, he was the only one who enjoyed calling himself a poet. He pronounced the word without inhibitions.


John Utaka F/Eagles can’t graduate fights at training now —Nieketien Pg. 28

Pg. 28 Pg. 28,45

Nation Sunday, August 21, 2011

PAGE 27

•Yobo

‘Yobo’s transfer will finance more buys for Everton’ Pg. 28


28

• Mikel • Messi

'I’ll be killed if Messi plays here' • Argentina coach worried T • South Americans inspect Kolkata ground venue and asked the authority concerned to arrange alternative of an ice bathtub. Such comment from Camino added worries to the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) officials, who believe the inspection team would reject the practice venue of the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium (BSMKS). “The ground of Mohan Bagan is a better pitch as far as I know and if they expressed their dissatisfaction about Mohan Bagan ground, than they will reject our practice venue,” said Fazlur Rahman Babul, chairman of BFF ground committee. Meanwhile, the playground at BSMKS has ankle-deep clay in some places and the initiative has been taken to make it fit for practice while the renovation of dressing rooms at the Bangabandhu National Stadium is still on-going. “If they don't choose the practice venue, then we will arrange their practice in the main venue of BNS but there is no possibility to cancel the match,” said Anwarul Haq Helal, chairman of the organising committee. BFF vice

president Badal Roy also expressed his frustration over the dilemma of preparing both BSMKS and BNS. “Actually none of us could realise the importance of the Argentina-Nigeria match,” said Roy, who is also chairman of security committee of Argentina-Nigeria match. However, it has been learnt that the BFF is trying to hold emergency meetings with the Bangladesh Cricket Board, who has already denied allotting the Fatullah Stadium for the practice session for one day, to gain permission to hold the practice session in a bid to save the image of the country. If the BCB permits to hold the practice session at the Fatullah Stadium, the BFF will take the inspection team to the Fatullah Stadium and try to make the Argentinean inspection team to practise there as all facilities are there except the cricket pitch in the middle of the ground. The arrival of the six-member inspection team has been deferred by one day and they will now arrive at the capital from Kolkata on August 21 instead of 20.

2012 WOMEN’S OLYMPIC QUALIFIERS

FIFA changes Nigeria/Cameroon tie

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OLLOWING correspondence from both the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Cameroon Football Federation, FIFA has agreed to the rearrangement of matches in the qualifying competition for the Women's Olympic Football Tournament. Nigeria will now host Cameroon at the National Stadium in Abuja on Saturday 27 August. Kick-off will be at 16.00. The return leg will take place in Yaounde on Saturday 22 October. Meanwhile, the national senior women’s team Super Falcons did not train Friday morning. This was to enable the girls rest from the two games they played on Wednesday and Thursdayagainst the national under 15 boys team. ”This matches are good for the girls because as you can see we are already seeing where we have loopholes and hope to work on that immediately,” coach Uche said. Media officer of the team, Gracious

‘Yobo’s transfer will finance more buys for Everton’ T

BAD BANGLADESH TRAINING PITCH HE Argentinean inspection team arrived in Kolkata, Bangladesh on Thursday and inspected the practice venue, hotel and security measures taken by India but they were seemingly unhappy to see Mohan Bagan's uneven pitch with long grass. They subsequently took notes, clicked photos and were seen having a brief discussion among themselves and later with the club officials and the organisers, according to reports published by different Kolkatabased newspapers. The team was scheduled to go for an official assessment of the Salt Lake Stadium on Wednesday as the inspection team comprised Argentina assistant coach Camino, Alberto Oscar Pernas, a technical committee member of Argentina Football Association (AFA) and Rodrigo Martin Bauso. Newspapers said that the inspection team would take all notes and send it to the AFA for the final decision. “If Messi sustains injury having practiced in such ground [Mohan Bagan], I will be slaughtered,” Anandabarzar quoted Camino as saying. Camino was surprised not to see an ice bathtub at the practice

• Match to be played August 22 • Falcons to skip training Akujobi can confirm that the girls are responding to training,. These training matches are tune up games which will help put the

NationSport

THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

NationSport

HE Daily Mirror reports that Everton could yet still sell Joseph Yobo to Turkish

champions Fenerbahce. The report suggests Fenerbahce have been back in contact and talks have resumed. Yobo had an excellent season for Fenerbahce last year, winning the fans’ acclaim and scoring the league-winning goal in a 4-3 victory over Sivasspor. A deal had been expected to go through much earlier in the summer but hit a snag when Fenerbahce were embroiled in a match-fixing scandal. During the fall-out of that scandal, the Turkish Football Federation banning the side from bringing in any new signings. Though this ban has not been lifted, rumour has it it will be with

Unlike returning striker Yakubu who has featured in most of Everton’s pre-season games, Yobo is not in David Moyes’ plans. If Everton can complete this deal, it would give David Moyes the perfect unexpected bonus with

time left in the transfer window to reinvest the probable £2m transfer fee. Though Everton would prefer closer to £4m, they will take what they can get for the player. Though £2m is hardly likely

bring in the sort of quality player Moyes would naturally seek, it can be used to meet the wage demands of any potential loan signing such as Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge who has been linked with Everton in recent weeks.

London Olympics will unite the world—Samar Nassar ONDON will unite the world next year in truly exceptional and inspiring Games Samar Nassar, Jordan Chef de Mission has said. I was in London this week along with representatives from around 200 National Olympic Committees for the ‘Chefs de Mission’ seminar to get an update from the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) on progress leading up to the Games. Samar Nassar 440x220 As a Chef de Mission, I am responsible for all the athletes of the Jordanian team. From what I’ve seen here in London and having been to the Olympic Park, Athletes’ Village and venue sites, I am certain they’ll have a great experience next year and a chance to compete with the best athletes from around the world. Over the last few days we have seen superb state-of-the-art facilities, the meticulous and professional organisation of the LOCOG team, rich English heritage

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and most importantly a very warm welcome. London is without a doubt going to unite the world next year in truly exceptional and inspiring Games that will leave a legacy for years to come. I competed as a swimmer at both the Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Olympic Games, and just as I was privileged to take part in these Games, so I am honoured to represent my country Jordan as a Chef de Mission. For Jordan, the competition is very important, but equally important is that our athletes will get the opportunity to make new friends from different cultures and experience the spirit and true values of the Games. It is also wonderful to see so many athletes working with LOCOG, headed by two-time Olympic medallist Lord Sebastian Coe. Athletes serving athletes, I believe that this is exemplary and goes to show that athletes are the driving force of the Olympic Games.

John Utaka fights at training

J

OHN Utaka and his Montpellier teammate, El Abelhamid Kaoutar were

involved in a violent altercation at training on Friday morning at Domaine de Grammont, reports Le Midi Libre. The Morocco international defender whispered some words to Utaka who replied, and they started to exchange several punches! According to the French newspaper, their teammates had to rush to separate them. René Girard, coach of Montpellier, did not witness the fracas. He later discussed with the two protagonists in private. Utaka and El Abelhamid Kaoutar might be sanctioned for their unprofessional behavior. Montpellier’s training on Friday was devoted to games of tennis ball.

•Ohuruogu

NNPC/Chevron Summer Tennis Clinic starts in Lagos

• Edafe Egbedi (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring against England during their FIFA World Cup U20 football match held at Centenario stadium

A

F/Eagles can’t graduate now—Nieketien

girls in good shape for the important first leg Olympic games qualifier against Lionesses of Cameroon come 28th of August.

E • Utaka

• Super Falcons players during the Germany 2011 Women’s World Cup

no ban yet in place to prevent the side competing in the Champions League. Yobo this week returned to Everton’s Finch Farm training ground, but only to gather his things before leaving for Nigeria.

45

x-international, Peter Nieketien has said that the national U-20 team players that just arrived the country from the FIFA World Cup are not ripe enough to graduate to the next stage of their career. He said the team does not deserve all the accolades being showered on them, as teams that have done better in the past have been ignored. He said: ‘We changed the name Green Eagles to Super Eagles in 1988 in Morocco but got nothing in return. So honour should be given to whom it is due.” Speaking with NationSport recently, the member of the Chile ’87 Flying Eagles said though the players did their best to represent

• Says team don’t deserve accolades By Innocent Amomoh

the country well at the youth championship, they threw away opportunities that would have advanced their course. Nieketien said for the players to deserve a lift to the higher cadre of the national teams, their performance should be monitored and the players must work hard. “I listened to the coaches statement on brila fm. They need to work hard to advance to the next group. “The team was strong in terms of individual qualities especially in

the forward line, but the defense was suspect. We lacked good defensive formation, which I noticed since the African Youth Championship (AYC) in South Africa.The concentration level was very low, and the defensive network wasn’t compact. I think the threats were not observed on time,” Nieketien pointed out. He said most of these players don’ play for quality clubs and are being tipped for the next stage, adding that some the yard-sticks to measuring the performances of players is the club the individual plies his trade and the league.

“If all these are considered, why not, such players should be given a chance. The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) should start building for the next edition. Their concentration should be in the grass root,” he said. He cautioned that Nigeria must imbibe developmental programme to meet up with the challenges of the feature. “We have the U-17 team that should be drafted to the next level too. we must learn to keep our teams in progress. It helps for consistency and understanding among the players” he explained.

S part of its commitment to promoting youth and sports development in Nigeria, the NNPC/ Chevron Joint Venture will on Monday, August 22, 2011 commence a three week summer tennis clinic for children aged 5 – 18 years. This CNL-sponsored event is part of two tennis events sponsored by the company, the first being the Junior Masters Tournament held early in the year. According to the General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Engr Femi Odumabo, the objective of the clinic is to engage the youths particularly during the holiday period; develop their tennis skills and afford them an opportunity to participate in Lawn tennis events and tournaments. “The long term benefit of this initiative is the development of skillful tennis players that would be able to earn sustainable living in Tennis. The programme targets mostly the less privileged in the society but is open to all shades of interest groups. “The clinic will culminate in the selection of 15 worthy

By Akeem Lawal participants to form the Chevron Youth Tennis Team that would be trained and sponsored for competitions within and outside the country. In the last two years the number of participants from Lagos State increased from 60 boys and girls to 100 for the annual Holiday Tennis Clinic. The programme has produced a sizeable number of National Lawn Tennis players at all age groups”, Odumabo said. It would be observed that the annual Summer Tennis Clinic is one of Corporate Responsibility programmes executed by the NNPC/Chevron JV to add value to the lives of the youths in Nigeria. In furtherance of the company’s support for tennis, in 2009 and 2010 the JV sponsored seven members of the NNPC/CNL Tennis Team that participated in Lagos State Governors Cup while modern ball machines were purchased in 2010 for the year round training to expose the participants to modern tennis training aids.


THE NATION ON SUNDAY, AUGUST 21, 2011

Style Watch 29 In-Vogue Social Circuit Oops & Kudos Parade Well-being Entertainment plus

The number of lives a man touches determines his success in life –Omolayole Bashorun Gbenga Omolayole is a successful medical doctor an entrepreneur and a grassroots politician. In a chat with Kayode Alfred, the former Chairman of Ogun State Health Management Board and Chairman, Kombined Technologies Limited, speaks on his life and struggles Continued on Page 32


THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

Glamour

32

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OU marked your birthday about 24 hours ago, how did you feel turning another year?

Well for me, I think it is a good time for one to reflect over the past years… what you need to change and what you need to adjust and add. You know, the primary purpose why we are in this world, is to serve God, and the best way to serve God is being there for your fellow man. Yesterday was my birthday, so as usual, I had a long devotion at my house in the morning, I went to church service at 12 o'clock and then came home thinking I would go back to work, but eventually my political associates came all the way from Ogun State, Ijebu-Igbo local government to be precise, my siblings were here… so it almost turned into a party, which naturally I do not do. So, it was a fantastic day for me, a day of making decisions in all my areas of endeavour, decisions to be taken as a medical practitioner, decisions to be taken as an entrepreneur and decisions to be taken as a politician, last but not the least. What does the new age mean to you? Every new age is important because one thing you must realize is that you are getting closer to the time you return to your maker, that's the most important thing. That is the first and foremost thing you must realize, that you are on a pilgrimage, and gradually the pilgrimage is going to an end, and you don't know when and where it will end. So whatever you need to do right, it's always the best time to get it right. What do you know now that you didn't know before in terms of life, and what is the lesson life has taught you? First and foremost, when you get to landmark ages… for me, the birthday I celebrated yesterday is not a landmark. There are some ages that are landmark, like 50 for instance is the age of wisdom. When you cross 50, it means you have started using wisdom in attending to issues. About what life has taught me, I was fortunate to grow up with parents that were my mentors. These days, parents are hardly mentors, so I was brought up in a Christian family and imbibed the Christian faith totally. My father taught us to be very humble; he taught us that the road to success is very hard, and that there is no easy way to success, and that success itself cannot be measured by wealth or popularity. The number of lives you have touched is what would determine how successful you are. Life has taught me that individually, you are not the focus of the entire world; it is what you give out that matters. Also, if you have a clear vision, one must not put a time limit on it. What are the things you enjoy doing that you can no longer do because of your age and experience? Don't forget that I crossed 50 about three to four years ago, and along the line, I try to reduce vices and increase virtues. There are certain virtues in life you call character ethics, like humility, honesty, transparency and accountability. In the cause of my life, I've been dropping vices and picking virtues. Like I said, each birthday brings you to your creator, and every second gets you closer to it, and the day you celebrate, the realization comes in that you are here to serve God. It makes you readjust, and you pray that the readjustment would be completed before the time comes. It is like being at the airport waiting for your flight, at the departure lounge. Your flight may be called at any time, so the world is like that. Since you left office as the Chairman of Ogun State Hospital Management Board, you have been living a low profile lifestyle, what you been up to? Let me quickly say this, and this is something a lot of people do not know except those close to me. My involvement in politics is over 30 years, running to like 33 to 34 years, so whenever there's a downtime in the oil business, I mean when they close refineries for repair, it has never been a downtime for me. The difference between all these is that whenever you hold a political position, is when people assume you are in politics. I cut my political tooth as a member of the youth wing of UPN and for me, it was very special, because then I had the opportunity of sitting down one on one with the sage himself, Baba Obafemi Awolowo. I was just 19 and a medical student. And since then, there has not been any gap. I was in SDP and I was also part of Abiola's Hope 93 group. From SDP, I was in AD, and eventually, along with some friends, we felt ready to show what good governance could be about in our own state, and that was when we crossed over to PDP. Talking about visibility, yes, I've not been too visible politically for several reasons, some of them political. The mere fact is that I contributed my own quota in four years, long enough for me to achieve a lot. When people talk of tenure elongation today, I just smile, because I still

‘Dressing well is my family virtue’ think people can do a lot in four years. As a matter of fact, if we look at the first years of Otunba Gbenga Daniel in office, you'll know that a lot of things were done the right way. I don't want to talk about the second term, but I have taken the whole thing philosophically. You run Kombined Technology and Innovatative firm, and then the clinic. How do you handle all of this? As I said earlier, this is something I've been doing for years, and I'm getting better at it. I told you I'm a medical practitioner, an entrepreneur and a politician. What would probably shock you is that I have been practicing politics more than the other two. I started practicing politics as a medical student. Kombined Technology is about 23 years old, and one of the major reasons we've succeeded that long is because it is a family enterprise. I am there with my brother, and we are shareholders i n t h e company. We've been together for about 23 years. I'll tell you where I got the inspiration from. At a point in time, I was close to Italians, and I found out that a large percentage of Italian enterprises are owned by families, probably running into the third or fourth generation, and they have this close similarity with Nigeria where the family structure is compact, and people stay together and help each other within the extended family. There was a day I had the opportunity to discuss with a very close Italian, much older than me. I asked him how they were able to get the family business right, especially since it doesn't work in Nigeria, and he gave me some tips, part of which is that there is nothing like anyone having controlling shares in a family enterprise. Everything is equal. And I decided to try it. We've been together for about 23 years now, and we've not had problems. Talking about medicine, I love the job, and the reason why I can't stop practicing till I die is that it is an opportunity to serve God. What is your next point of call in Ogun State? My birthday resolution is to see myself in four years time positioned to address the welfare of the people. I don't want you to guess, I want to position myself to touch the welfare of as many people as possible. I also want to be in a position that would make it glaring to the entire nation that welfarism can succeed in Nigeria. That is the resolution I took yesterday. Your daughter recently graduated, how do you feel? That's one of the high points of my life and I'm very proud of my daughter. Five years ago, I took her abroad when she was barely fourteen or fifteen. When I got back to Nigeria, I was wondering if I had not made a wrong decision. But today, I feel fulfilled. People used to call me the special one, and two weeks ago, I relinquished that title to my daughter. I had borne the name since I was six, but now I've relinquished it to my daughter. She got to England at a very tender age, where she was exposed to varied influence and the vices of the developed world, and my daughter saw it all and refused to be part of the vices, and God gave her a reward for that making firstclass is not easy for a young girl in a field that is for research. She read Biomedicine, and when I went for the graduation, I felt so proud when professors, some of whom are inventors, were telling me that my daughter is probably the first African to get first-class in Biomedicine, because it is a very tough course, and I thanked them for telling me, because it made me feel on top of the world.

One of the high points of my life was being at my daughter's graduation. As a matter of fact, I had to struggle to ensure that tears of joy were not too visible in my eyes. One of my major preoccupations, probably for another decade, would be managing my daughter. I want to be a good father and mentor, so that she can maximize her potentials. Many people applaud your dress sense, have you always dressed well, and at what age did it occur to you to consider what you wear? I don't know how many Omolayoles you have met, and I'll tell you that there might be something genetic about our dress sense. I grew up to see my grandfather always on point in terms of dressing; I saw my father too as one of the best dressed civil servants of his time, and it rubbed off on me even as a child. When we were very young, dressing well was a major issue especially as teenagers and later adults ready to relate to the opposite sex, then you move to the stage of wearing the latest thing in town, then you get to the stage of having your own style, and your dress sense is your own style. It is no longer a matter of trend, but about you, the weather, the occasion… and gradually it becomes part of you.


33

THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

–an eye on celebrities and society people

08023201831(sms only)

The short life of celebrity unions By Patience Saduwa

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Monalisa Chinda

Stephanie Okereke

Abolore Akande a.k.a 9ice

T was meant to be a marriage made in music heaven. But sadly, the much celebrated union of two of Hollywood's top music and movie acts, Jennifer Lopez (or J.Lo to her fans) and Marc Anthony recently crashed. While some were shocked at the news, others (mostly keen observers of celebrity marriages) merely expressed surprise at how long it lasted: about seven years. You might call such sceptics enemies of progress, bad belle people home-wreckers or whatever, but they have a point. And it is based on past precedents in celebrity unions. Many have high fatality rates, not lasting longer than the honeymoon, which usually takes place in an exclusive resort or private island in the carribbean. In fact, there was a special case of a celebrity couple (can't remember the names now), who headed for the divorce court straight from the wedding reception! And before the wedding guests who had witnessed the lavish ceremony had reached home and changed out of their wedding outfits, the marriage was over. Sounds far-fetched? Maybe. But it actually happened in Hollywood, the make-believe capital of the world. Such a case shows how short-lived some of these celeb relati onships can be. Marriage is an honourable institution ordained by God and it's supposed to be for better for worse. For many celebrities t h o u g h , that only happens in fairytales. They call it quits at the slightest hint of trouble. So, why is it so; why do these famous people's relationships have such short life-spans, you might wonder.? Many reasons-some serious, others frivolous- are responsible. Clash of egos and personalities, infidelity, lack of care and attention, being too career-minded, jealousy, among others are often cited as reasons for breaking up. There are also some very weird reasons too, at least from an African person's perspective. A famous Hollywood actress, for instance was said to have divorced her spouse because the guy committed the heinous crime of lookery. He was said to have been eyeing another lady in her presence and even worse took her number. If all the women in this country ditched their husbands based on looking at or for having affairs with other women, then many married men here will end up as divorcees (please before all you men declare fatwa on us for insinuating that many Nigerian men are unfaithful to their wives, we are only speaking in a hypothetical manner. Thank you). A litany of failed marriages Locally, there have been a series of failed celebrity marriages of some movie and music personalities. There was the celebrated case of Gongo aso crooner, Abolore Akande, popularly known as 9ice, and his estranged wife, Toni Payne, whose much celebrated marriage ended messily with all kinds of accusations flying here and there. The collapse of actress Monalisa Chinda and her now ex-hubby Richard Adejo's marriage also came with a lot of drama. There were allegations of wife and child battery, assault, threat to life, domestic violence and other claims. The break-up of Branama exponent, Kefee and Alec Godwin's union was even messier and doesn't bear repeating here. There were other high-profile splits such as those of Eddy Brown and Kenny St. Brown, Femi Kuti and Funke, Fred Amata and estranged wife Agatha, Kingsley Ogoro and Esse Agesse, Saheed Balogun and Fathia. The list goes on. Perhaps it was this litany of failed relationships in celebrity land that made talented and award-winning musician 2Face Idibia declare some time ago that he will never marry (an announcement, by the way that led to a lot of glum faces among many aspiring to become Mrs Idibia). Well, with the lovely children his numerous baby mamas have produced for him, marriage might no longer be such an attractive venture for now. And besides, the process of picking a wife out of these women might cause a lot of baby mama drama, something he doesn't need now in his highly successful music career.


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THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

Glamour

Social Izagbo, brand expert speaks on re-branding Nigeria at CEPAN award

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HE stage is finally set for the 3rd edition of the annual CEPAN Africa Costume Party and African Icon Recognition Awards” billed for today, Sunday, August 21th 2011, at the Victoria Crown Plaza Hotels, located on Plot 292B, Ajose Adeogun Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. The highlight of this years event will be the special section segment talk on RE BRANDING NIGERIA by a foremost brand ambassador and brand expert, Dr Austin Izagbo Izagbo whose book 'RE-BRANDING NIGERIA' is billed to be released this year, will be telling the world what and how Nigeria can truly be branded for good The proudly Nigerian and African Event tagged “Afro-Naija Costume Party & African Icon Awards” is being organized to celebrate the African Heritage, Culture and People. In the words of the organisers “This year's Event promises to be bigger and better as we have in tow about twenty five (25) Awards Categories selected to recognize and celebrate deserving Achievers in our society, who have Contributed their quota to the promotion of the African Heritage and Culture as well as their Participation in Nation Building and Sustainable Development in Africa. We shall be having a celebration with the Awards presentation such as African Exhibitions, Cocktail and Red Carpet to herald the Awards Presentation mixed with a blend of African Music as well as Dinner served in African and Continental Buffet. We anticipate nothing but a very successful outing at this year's event as we believe that the “Afro-Naija Costume Party and African Icon Recognition Awards” is not just one of the run of the mills event that have taken over Nigeria but remains an event that is a trail blazer in the style palace' the facilitator, Abiola Stephanie stated.

US-based MD of Mega Shoes, Bayo Adedeji storms FCT

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NITED States of America-based Managing Director of Mega Shoes, Bayo Adedeji, was in the Federal Capital Territory recently in an efforts to promote his business. The promotion which included the sales of different types of shoes saw the Nicon Luxury venue of the event filled up with people who wanted to purchase one shoe or the order. As usual, the female folks were at hand to express their desire to own as many pairs as was possible. One of the things that friends of the business man say makes him happy is the choice of his country Director, Kemi Ajayi, whom they explained has been of great benefit to the enterprise. Social Circuits learnt that the promotion of the business is to take place in various major cities around the country.

Golda Obi in a thanksgiving mood

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HERE was joy and singing in the household of Golda Chioma Obi a week back when she held a thanksgiving Mass to appreciate what the good Lord did in her life What else can one do than to give thanks to the Lord for his mercies and grace in his/her life on a daily basis? That was exactly what Golda Obi did after she returned from a very long stay in the United Kingdom. The muchloved business woman had a thanksgiving Mass at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Maitama, in Abuja recently. Reception was held for the teeming guest at her Music School, also in Maitama.

Otunba Fashawe's daughter, Lara Rudolph celebrates

A Mrs Florence Ajimobi(r),MD/CEO, Royal Spices, Dr Mrs Funmi Adegbile and her husband, Dr Demola Adegbile at the commissioning of the new headquarters of Royal Spices at Mokola, Ibadan . Photo: FEMI ILESANMI

LL roads led to Chopsticks at Maitama recently as Lara Rudolph the amiable daughter of Otunba Oyewole Fasahawe turned 40. Lara who is the Managing Director of Berry & Musk Concept, a PR and corporate gifts company is happy that she is a year older. Many friends and well-wishers particularly those who are based in the United States where Lara spent a considerable amount of her life were on hand to give her a rollicking time. According to a source, many of her friends rallied round her because “she is a positive minder person who always see the good side of her friends and is willing to lend a hand in times of need.”


THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

Glamour

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Gbemi Saraki's new lease of life

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ENATOR Gbemi Saraki, the delectably beautiful daughter of the godfather of Kwara politics, Senator Olusola Saraki’ is presently enjoying life to the fullest. Though she suffered defeat in the recently concluded general elections, the ever-smiling senator has revealed an innate resilience and passion that has kept her going against all odds. Though the battle for the gubernatorial seat of Kwara took a lot out of her, the affable young woman is content that she gave a good account of herself. While the campaign lasted, Gbemi made not a few enemies along the way, who at some point callously wanted her permanently silenced. Right now, she has recoiled into her shell, which explains why she has not been sighted in recent times. While an informed source said she has relocated abroad, others insisted that she is still very much around.

Olamipo Akala calms down

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LAMIPO Akala, the fun-loving son of former Governor Adebayo Alao Akala, is having the best time of his life as a bachelor. The handsome dude, who seems not to have any worries in his life except how to contend with the tempting challenge of the many beautiful ladies that swarm around him wherever he goes, seems to be slowing down. And the reason for this may not be unconnected to his father's defeat at the last governorship elections. Now things may have taken a dramatic turn for the Akalas, as many of them who used to dictate the social pulse of the Ibadan and Lagos social space have withdrawn to their anonymous cocoon. However, Olamipo, who appears to be the most popular among ex-Governor Akala's children, has simply gone AWOL from the social scene.

Saraki

Grace Egbagbe's new look

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The return of Nana Otedola

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ANA, the very stylish and quick-witted wife of businessman, Femi Otedola is back on the social radar. Previously making herself deliberately scarce on the social scene, many felt she retreated into her cocoon because of the many inauspicious events that led to Otedola her leave of absence from the country. Though not as outgoing like her husband, the delectable Garment Care boss with an IQ to die for and looks that always sends the cameras clicking, may just have decided to hug the limelight once again. Recently, she was sighted at Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija's birthday bash, looking as beautiful and as graceful as ever.

RACE Egbagbe, the ebullient society woman is back and better on the social scene. After her well celebrated romance with her younger lover, Lanre Nzeribe, the proprietor, Lantana Transport, the defunct Abuja-based taxi shuttle services firm, crashed like a badly arranged cards, the former NTA big madam took a break while moaning her fate silently. It would be recalled that Grace was so much in love with Lanre that she did not really bother about his lifestyle. However, things went awry when she could no longer condone his alleged philandering. Many would recall that the problem started when Lanre was allegedly fingered in a romance with Folake Odutola, the leggy beautiful owner of the now shutdown Aqua 24/7, a bar cum restaurant on Victoria Island, Lagos. Like a house built of spittle, Lanre and Folake's short-lived affair has also become history. But the graceful Grace, as she is fondly called by friends, has dumped everything that happened to her in the past into the dustbin of history. She has now been sighted lately at many high-octane shindigs. One of the recent parties where she dressed to the nines was the 50th birthday party of actor and Delta commissioner, Richard Mofe-Damijo at the Household of God, Lagos. Looking very classy and well groomed, she exuded confidence, which reflected that she has something of value to offer and is also used to being valued.

Hauwa Danbaba-Suntai combines beauty with brains

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R. Hauwa Danbaba, wife of Taraba State Governor, is an epitome of beauty and brain. Humble and fashionable, the light-skinned lady who believes in women and girls’ education is determined that Taraba girls must be well educated. At a recent media parley, she opined that though education is not the major problem of women in Taraba State, nonetheless, education as a vital key to life."The issue of girl child education is paramount to my heart. Creating awareness on education is a major thing all over the world and Taraba will not be an exception. Encouraging girls and women to go to school will be done here in Taraba. Who knows if the first female President will come from our state," she said.

Suntai

Ike Okolo bounces back

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ORMER GTBank big boy, Ike Okolo, is back in his element. A while back, the Managing Director of Acquitaine Oil & Gas struck troubled waters, and it seemed he would drown in the different travails that besieged him.Trouble started for Okolo when the Lamido Tsunami hit town. He shouldn't have been in trouble, but sources revealed he had accumulated loans from a bank, which was not paid when due. He made the news at the time, when his name surfaced among those whose non-performing loans brought Nigerian banks to their knees. That was not all. Okolo even had issues with his residential abode which he used as collateral for a loan facility he took from the bank. However, like the phoenix, he rose again from the ashes, and is back and stronger. If anything, he seems to have learnt a lot from that phase of his life, and is now looking forward with zeal, hope and expectations. Recently, the former banker held the first year remembrance ceremony of his mother, whom he referred to as a wonderful pillar.

KAYODE ALFRED

(E-mail: kayflex2@yahoo.com, Tel: 08035733605, 08099400057)


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THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

Glamour

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L-R: Ambassador Gbenga Ashiru and wife Kehinde

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T was a night of fashion, music, and glamour last weekend, when the Managing Director of CMC Connect, a top Public Relations Consultancy outfit, Mr. Yomi Badejo-Okusanya and his wife, Oyinkansola, a lawyer, hosted the recently appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs,

Yomi Badejo-Okusanya and wife, Oyinkansola

By Rita Ohai

Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, and the Ogun State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Abimbola Ashiru, to a classy reception party at his company's sprawling office at Oduduwa Crescent, G.R.A, Ikeja. The event, which was held in the ambience of bright moon-light was well attended by society bigwigs such as the Ogun State Attorney General, Mr. Oluwemimo Ogunde, Mrs. Opral Benson, Mrs. Lola Edewor and Professor Alaba Akinsete, to mention but a few. The guests had their fill of food and good music by female saxophonist, Florence, as they were dressed in pretty casual attires, ready to dance the evening away. The older Ashiru was formerly the Nigerian Ambassador to South Africa, while Mr. Abimbola Ashiru previously held the position of the Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Stanbic IBTC PLC.

Mr. Bimbo Ashiru and Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice of Ogun State Oluwenimon Ogunde

L-R: Dr Funmi Soleye and Mrs Folake Lapite

L-R: Professor Alaba Akinsete and Yeye Oge of Lagos, Chief (Mrs) Opral Benson

L-R: Former Lagos Commissioner, Jide Sanwoolu and MD of STB Mcann, Rufai Ladipo

L-R Lola Abiola-Edewor and Mrs Elsie Payne- Hamman

L-R: Bukky Adeyinka and Simi Adeyinka

L-R: Mrs Bunmi Egbeyemi and Oyinlade Ademakinwa

L-R: Tope Ajila, Tokunbo Jakande and Funmi AjilaLadipo

L-R: Neda Imasuen and Victor Edegbe


THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

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Questions and Responses Hi, I just read your article in the nation. What do you say about a mature lady who is holding on to an age long friend who never proposed but becomes evasive to me after my proposal? If he refused to propose to you after a long friendship and becomes evasive after your proposal, you need to give your friendship a break. Sometimes, a man may enjoy the company of a lady but keep thinking that he deserves someone better or that he can find someone better. As long as the lady keeps holding on to the guy, he will never realize what he will be missing if the lady stops being his friend. While it may seem hard or painful to walk away from this relationship, it is in your best interest. Some other men may be interested in you, but they probably assume that you are in a relationship with this man and they therefore steer clear of you. It is possible that when such people notice that you are unattached they may decide to initiate a closer friendship with you. Even if there is no other man in sight right now, it is possible to make new friends that will lead to a more serious relationship. While I generally would not advice a lady to propose to a man, a lady may need to ask a man to declare his intentions. Other people who are close to the lady may also ask the man what his intentions are, especially if the friendship seems to have gone on for years. There was a young man who was visiting a house where there were three sisters with two of them of marriageable age. When he had been coming to

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THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

Relationship

OW to dress for a first date is one of the questions you will ask yourself especially if you are woman. For men, this usually is not a problem because they have standard dressing codes. Men are more conservative and don’t change their dressing style for many years. This article will provide you some main tips on what you can wear for a first date. Often we keep the same style for years, unwilling or seemingly unable to do anything different. If your hairstyle consists of pulling your mane back into a ponytail and calling it a day, it’s time for a change. It’s a common misconception that “doing” one’s hair takes hours. With the right cut and products, maintaining a stylish cut shouldn’t take any longer than picking out the right outfit. What to dress for romantic dinner Go Classic: A black cocktail dress should be a staple item in your closet. A classic cut can be your go-to piece for years. One dress can be “worn” in so many ways, projecting a different attitude each time by simply changing your hair, shoes, jewelry, or handbag. Just think of the black dress as your groundwork. Make it your own with the items you choose to accessorize with. Add a cropped jacket to change the tone—putting a jackets on can be shy and mysterious and taking the jacket off can be revealing and sensual. If you’d prefer pants, try a pair of black satiny trousers paired with a Vic-

Relationship Deola Ojo

tle or no friends. Because they do not have friends, it becomes even more difficult to meet an eligible bachelor. It is always good to believe the best of other people.

08027454533 (text) pastordeegfc@yahoo.com

I like your advice, keep it up. I am in a relationship with a lady I want to marry but she is ten years older than me. What will I do? please advise me. The two of you will need to discuss how you will manage this age difference. The importance of age difference varies from culture to culture. While some cultures completely forbid a man marrying a lady who is one day older than him, other cultures do not think it matters as long as the two of them are in love with each other. Every relationship has its own challenges. When a man marries a lady who is older than

Re ‘Mature singles’ their home for over a year without declaring his interest in any of them, they decided to ask him what his intentions were and he told them he had fallen in love with the youngest sister. At that time the lady was in her first year of university and he had to wait for six years before they could get married, but his love for her never wavered. Their question helped him to gather courage to express his love for the young lady. A shy man may need to be asked to declare his intentions preferably by people other than the lady. A man who refuses to declare his intention after such prodding may just be interested in friendship. The problem with this is that one person usually gets hurt.

ladies grew up in homes with parents and relatives who were over protective. Some were never allowed to mix freely or make friends. Even classmates were not allowed to visit them. This made such ladies very shy and with lit-

him, he may have challenges with his wife submitting to him. I have found out that submission is a factor of many issues. For instance, the personality of the woman, her upbringing, culture, and maturity are issues that determine whether a woman will respect her husband or not. Some women are fifteen years younger than their husbands and yet they do not respect him. You will also need to discuss if you will keep this age difference a secret or if you will allow family and friends to know about it. How would you manage people who seem intrusive and try to pressure you not to marry her because of the age difference? It is also important that you have proper pre-marital counseling before you get married.

• Mr & Mrs Rotimi Olatunji after their wedding at IyereOwo, Ondo State recently

The reason why mature ladies are always found single is because of pride. Either due to the mentality of coming from a rich family background. It is easy to assume that any matured lady who is still single must have done something wrong, but this is simply not the case. It really hurts ladies when people assume that they must have refused all the guys who could have married them. Some

How to dress for a first date torian-styled ruffled blouse. Quick Tip: In addition to adding a layer of depth to your outfit, a cover-up can also act as a shield against a cool summer night or an over-air-conditioned restaurant. What to dress for date in a city

Often you don’t have a time to go home and prepare for a date. And you are forced to dress for work & date at the same time. Go Classic: The key to winning this look is to accessorize and layer. Each piece accommodates the other in creating the perfect packaged deal.

The concept is clean and tailored—layer a white tie blazer over a camisole and match with a pair of trousers or a pencil skirt. The blazer is universally functional in that it works to complement any outfit—it’s corporate enough for the workday and sassy enough for a rendezvous

in town. Instead of a camisole, try a fitted button-down with puffed sleeves or a patterned silk blouse with a delicate tie-neck. Count on the pair of pants or the skirt that flatters your body type the best. It’s more important to fit your body than it is to fit the trend. Knowing your best features are accentuated can make you feel both confident and attractive. Quick Tip: Go bolder on the shoes when trying to spice up a conservative outfit. Experiment with red or a zebra print. What to dress for active date When a woman goes to a first date she usually doesn’t know where the meeting will take place. But if you know that you will go to park or museum you might think about feeling comfortable. So if you want a look that’s laidback but still playfully romantic and feminine, make your first date comfortable for you. Go Classic: To embody this look, choose light fabrics such as linen and cotton jersey. Combine a patterned full skirt with solid colored tee or sleeveless top. Another option is to slip on a pair of cuffed shorts or capris. Pair with a knit tunic and belt, if desired. Quick Tip: When putting together separates, if wearing a patterned bottom, balance with a plain top or vice-versa. Two loud pieces will make for a screaming outfit. Source: www.welcometodating.com


THEATRE

With VICTOR AKANDE

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e-mail: victor_akande@yahoo.com

Nneka Egbuna made global headlines in 2009 when she won the Best African Act category of the Music Of Black Origin (MOBO) Awards. The NigerianGerman hip hop/soul singer, instrumentalist and songwriter spoke with OVWE MEDEME on her style of music, her upcoming album, the brush she had with the men of the law and a host of other issues

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I wouldn’t change my style of music for anything —Nneka

HAT have you been up to since winning MOBO?

I have been involved with a lot of things. Basically I have been going on tours; I have been recording my next album and having a couple of shows, doing a lot of promotions What is your next album all about? The album is titled ‘Soul is Heavy’ and it has 15 tracks with various themes. It addresses themes such as corruption as well as happy topics. I decided to call the album ‘Soul is Heavy’ because I have put three years in-between the last album and this new one. Between that time, I experienced a lot of things. The world evolves and I guess all these changes have influenced my point of view on this record. Many things have inspired me, especially the traveling. As an entertainer, is there a point where you draw the line between thematic songs and plain entertainment? For me, I would say that they are both fused into one. I cannot see myself doing music without having a reason or without having topics that I talk about. It wouldn't fulfill me if I do not give back to the community. It makes no sense to me if I entertain the whole world and lead it nowhere. Instead of leading people nowhere without inspiring them, why not give them something that will help them in their lives? From experience, would you say the Nigerian audience embrace your style of music? It is difficult to say. Sometimes, people do not want to hear reality, they do not want to face reality. They want to be entertained, dance, party and sleep. It differs for people. Some people are listeners while others are more uninterested. On the other hand, there will always be two different classes of listeners and to me, it is ok. I speak for the majority. I use music to approach politicians, people who I think wield a lot of power in the society so that they can change things. Have you ever been accosted because of the kind of music you do? Of course I have faced a lot of opposition. I have had people come to tell me that I am not Nigerian so I shouldn't sing about issues like Biafra, the Niger Delta and about our past. I always have to explain that I am from Warri. I have had problems in Port Harcourt where some men of the SSS came on stage to tell me that I am not allowed to go into political interactions with the audience even though I was there for a Niger Delta peace concert. All these issues have to be stressed and if I am singing about them, I have to explain myself to the audience. They almost arrested me. I have experienced such issues several times. on the other hand, that is what drives me. How would you describe your genre of music? I would say it is mixed. It is eclectic music. My music is a mixture of African music and western instruments. Did winning MOBO do anything for your career? Awards do not have to make me know if I have reached somewhere. It is nice for

people to acknowledge my work by giving me an award, especially if it is one that is very important outside Africa, on the other hand, it is nothing that gets to my head. It was an award for Best African Act category. I was nominated in the same category with people like Salif Kaita and El Dee so when I won, to be honest, I was a bit shocked. I guess I won because of the message behind my music and the flag that I carry around the world which is the African flag. I think people outside Africa can identify with my music, especially black people who have never been back home. Knowing the condition of living in Nigeria and the lack infrastructures here, what motivated you to come back home? I never really went away emotionally. I left under certain circumstances beyond my control. My heart had never left Nigeria. The fact that my father was a Nigerian connected me so much but I had to push the country away for three years. During that period, I didn't want to know anything about Africa or Nigeria. What pushed me back was that I simply accepted the fact that I am mixed, I am half white and half black. There is a reason for my heritage so I can never deny it. For me to be able to change the future through my experience of the past, I had to come back home and help the people here instead of wasting time talking. How would you compare Nigerian music to that in Germany where it started for you? The music in Germany is not too known to the world outside. Germans like a lot of fast, club techno music. •Nneka

In France or America, they listen more to my kind of music. There, they try to understand the lyrics. Nigerians on the other hand are becoming more outgoing towards my type of music. About four years ago, people hardly listened to me. At the time when people were not listening to you, did you have the urge to change your style of music? Definitely not. I wouldn't have changed my style of music for anybody or anything. Tell us about your background My father is from Anambra State, my biological mother is German while my step-mother who raised me is from Ekpoma in Edo State. I was born and raised in Warri, in Delta State. I attended primary and secondary schools there. After school, I worked till the age of twenty when I left Nigeria for the first time ever for Europe. Eventually, I started doing music there. While there, I studied Archeology and Anthropology and then I came back to Nigeria. Is there a way you can relate growing up in Warri to being a musician? Warri as we know is the city of a lot of skirmishes because we have all sorts of tribes in one spot. At the end, we are happy people. I wouldn't say I grew up in a rich family. I grew up in a normal scale family. My father put me in a public school. I used

•Jimmy Jatt with Shina Peters

Shina Peters, Obesere, Jimmy Jatt in One Night Stand

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LL is set to give lovers of Fuji, Juju and dancing a treat, as leading Fuji singer Obesere and Ace Juju musician Sir Shina Peters, come on stage on August 31. Backing the duo is no other than DJ Jimmy Jatt on the wheel of steel at the event tagged KOGA One Night Stand. Commenting on KOGA One Night Stand, Elsie Oluku, KOGA's head of operations, said, “We felt the need to create an avenue for people to sit back and relax after all the stress at their various places of work. After all, like the popular saying goes, all work and no play makes Jack a dull person. Again, we chose these set of people to entertain the crowd because we want people to have a good time and these artistes are surely up to the task.” Billed to take place at the Koga Event Centre, tickets for the event are already on sale at Shakara on Aromire in Ikeja, De Place at Opebi and Mobil Filling station on Oregun.

—Continued on page 42 •Basketmouth

Laffs n Jamz back and better—Basketmouth

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AFFS n Jamz, the rested monthly show of Okpocha Bright, popular known as Basketmouth, created for upcoming comedians and musicians to expose their talents and brands is back and is billed to hold its 3rd edition on August 27 at Ember creek, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. According to the comedian, “Laffs n Jamz was never supposed to come to a stop; it was created to be a monthly comedy club. It only came to a stall because of finance and sponsorship. Not that we have any of both now, but the wait has been too long.” Gandoki, Maleke, Youngest Landlord, MC Shakara, I go Save, amongst others will be on stand to thrill the guests with comedy, while music will be supplied by Wizkid, Skuki, Lynxx and G-Mak. The event is to be hosted by Bovi.


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Entertainment

THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

HO LLYWOOD

‘I wouldn’t change my style of music for anything’

Compiled by MERCY MICHAEL

—Continued from page 41 to work at my step-mother's restaurant. she had a small place where she sold food. To be honest with you, it is the type if place where you call buka. I basically lived a tough life. I grew up in a polygamous family. On the other hand, I would say that growing up in Warri has made me who I am today. I am strong, I am moulded and I am happy I went through a lot of pain. As a kid, where you ever picked on by your peers because of your mixed race? They didn't really do that to me but there was one exception. I had a schoolmate who bullied me back in school but I wasn't an exemption because she bullied everybody that seemed fragile. She was very big, her name was Ese and she was like a boy. She liked stepping on me just to see me blush. On the other hand, I was the favourite of most of the teachers because I was always honest, I always did my homework, and I tried not to come late to school. I never saw myself as white or as different from any of the other kids. Would you like to share some of the reasons for leaving the country? Due to the circumstances on which I lived in Nigeria, I just wanted to put a lot of things behind me. Before then, I had never been to Germany, I had never known anything about being white. That was the first time I encountered the other side of me. It was very challenging for me to deal with the new world that I was put in by God. I can't go into the details of the experiences back home which made me leave. It was a bit tough. I had to grow stronger and stand above the past. Sometimes, to face life, you have to let go of things no matter what people have done to you. While in Germany, did you get to identify with your mother? Of course I got to know my mother. Once in a while, when I was still in Nigeria, she used to send me messages and gifts but I had never met her. Eventually, I met her in Germany and it was a new experience. It was tough. How did you manage the transformation from being an archeologist to a musician? Like I said, I always did write. For me to be able to finance my studies, I had to work two jobs. I worked selling clothes and as a cleaner. While working, I also did music on the side. Then, music for me was more like a hobby. I started earning money by performing. The money helped me finance my studies. Without music, I wouldn't have been able to study at all or even live in Germany. All the fields are tied into each other. Do you see yourself going on an archeological dig one day? I had done it before in Germany but I am thinking of doing something in Nigeria. Unfortunately, we don't have many experts here that are willing. What is your take on the concept of artistry? I would say that there is no laid down prerequisite for being an artist. All people have to do is function with their hearts. At the end of the day, it all depends on what kind of artistry they are focused on. If the focus is on the money then obviously, they don't need much. All they need is to look fine and they are good to go. For real artists, it is important to empower themselves with one instrument or the other. Personally, I am passionate about what I am doing and the first thing is that I have a heart and I am connected to my music. Do you play any instrument? I play the guitar. What is your attraction to the guitar? I love the way it sounds. it pushes me. it makes me write, it makes me sing, it makes me create melodies. •Nneka

Gerard Depardieu accused of peeing on plane carpet

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RENCH actor, Gerard Depardieu has been accused of urinating on the floor of a packed plane after cabin crew told him the toilets were off limits. According to People, the 62-year-old actor was caught short on a delayed Air France flight as it prepared to take off from Paris to Dublin on Tuesday evening. A passenger named "Daniele" told French radio station Europe 1 that Depardieu repeatedly asked cabin crew if he could use the toilet while the plane was taxiing toward the runway for takeoff. "Je veux pisser, je veux pisser," ("I have to pee") Depardieu implored to the crew, according to the eyewitness.

But cabin crew told the Green Card star that he had to wait until after takeoff. When a 20-minute delay was announced, Depardieu reportedly took matters into his own hands - he allegedly stood up, unzipped his pants and answered the call of nature. "Mr Depardieu, who was clearly drunk, called out to cabin crew repeatedly that he 'needed to piss' as the plane was heading to the runway," disgusted passenger, Danielle, told the French radio station. "An air hostess told him he'd had to wait 15 minutes until we were in the air and he could leave his seat. "She told him there was nothing she could do until then and that he would have to hold it in. "But he replied that he couldn't wait, then he just stood up and urinated on the floor." The flight - operated by Ireland's CityJet - was then forced to return to the HE Black Eyed Peas have which are designed to help rescheduled their free benefit disadvantaged and foster children. There gate and the flight delayed for nearly concert at Central Park's Great is no word yet whether or not any of the two hours while crew cleaned up the spillage. Lawn to September 30th after a severe planned guests for the June show will A spokesperson for Air France lightning storm forced the pop group to make it on the new date. confirmed the incident took place, cancel the show on its original date in saying, "I will only confirm that he, in June. effect, urinated in the plane." The 54,000 ticket holders for the One of Depardieu's pals has disputed original event will now be able to claim the eyewitness account; claiming that the new tickets. The show, which was actor was "not drunk", and "had been originally set to include appearances by trying to urinate discreetly into a bottle" Taylor Swift, LL Cool J, MC Hammer, and was "mortified" that his aim was Carole King and Whoopi Goldberg, will askew. “When some urine spilled on to benefit Robin Hood, a charity the floor, Depardieu was mortified and organization focused on fighting poverty offered to clean it up himself, but the in New York City. crew decided to turn round and taxi The event is also a fund raiser for the back to the terminal," AFP report. Peas' Peapod Music and Arts Academies, •Black Eyed Peas

Black Eyed Peas reschedules free show

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Bollywood actor Shammi Kapoor dies at 79

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ERSATILE Indian actor, Shammi Kapoor, has died after a long career in Bollywood. He was 79. His doctor Bhupendra Gandhi said Kapoor was admitted into Mumbai's Breach Candy Hospital two days ago in critical condition. He was on dialysis and died

Sunday of kidney failure. Kapoor was hailed for his lighthearted roles in movies. He belonged to Bollywood's well-known Kapoor family. His brothers Raj Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor were successful actors also, and his father, Prithviraj Kapoor, was a well-

known theater personality of the 1950s. Shammi Kapoor made his debut in Bollywood in 1953 and acted in successful movies including "Junglee" and "Professor." He also appeared in "Brahmchari" and "Janwar." He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.

Crane over Ghollywood

Apaatse, Trigmatic, D-Black for Roll Koll 2011

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PAATSE, Trigmatic, D-Black, Guru, Atumpan and others are already warming up for this year's Roll Koll. The show put together by Planet 1, Yfm and British Council is the first of its kind in Ghana, as it serves as little roll koll for all senior high school leavers, both current and old or still in school to come have fun, reminisce about old days and most importantly defend their schools. With over seventy schools being represented at the show this Saturday, organizers say that they will be having from 'Jama Competition, to dance Battle, rap freestyle, eating competition, dressing

competition or what they call 'Most Fashionable', among others. The top rave activity for the night will be the performance from the artistes, who will be defending their schools, like; Guru will be defending Apalm Senior high, Trigmatic, Apaatse, Atumpan, among others. Also on the bill is the Y-fm hot squad counting from Nocus, Dj Vision, Flexy, Phaya, Champagne, Sammy Forson, Kumi Owusu, Caroline, Jeremie, Jay folley, Dj Killa fingers, Black Boy, the 2131 squad, Gangar, Black Santino, Ms Naa, Dj Kess, among others. It's the annual roll koll for the year ending, come and respond to your name or count

•D-Black


Entertainment

THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

CINEMA guide

BIG

43

PICTURE

Horrible Bosses Showing in Lagos • Featured Actors: Jennifer Aniston,Jason Bateman,Charlie Day,Jason Sudeikis,Colin Farrell,Jamie Foxx,Kevin Spacey,Donald Sutherland • Genre: Comedy • Running Time: 98 • or Nick, Kurt and Dale, the only thing that would make the daily grind more tolerable would be to grind their intolerable bosses into dust. Quitting is not an option, so, with the benefit of a few-too-many drinks and some dubious advice from a hustling ex-con, the three friends devise a convoluted and seemingly foolproof plan to rid themselves of their respective employers...permanently. There's only one problem: even the best laid plans are only as foolproof as the brains behind them.

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Supported by: SILVERBIRD CINEMAS

Aarakshan: it takes just one firm man to change the world

Sensational triangle for

Kunle Afolayan

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socio-political drama produced and directed by Prakash Jha, Aarakshan which stars Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Manoj Bajpayee and Prateik Babbar is a story which centers on recent controversial issue with Supreme Court order on caste-based reservations in schools. The story turns into conflict which tests the love between boyfriend and girlfriend on one hand, and the loyalty of a people to a selfless but highly principled school principal, played by Amitabh Bachchan This film leaves an indelible impression on the minds of the viewer for several reasons, one of which is the fact that it not only talks about reservation, but also about the commercialization of educational institutions. Aarakshan is an exposition of the fact that although the government often preaches equal rights for all citizens, the society continues to be a caste-based one. No doubt, the filmmaker wants the spectator to comprehend matters around one of the most controversial policies of caste-based reservations in government jobs and educational institutions. For a story that has the tendency to become preachy, the filmmaker's technique of motion picture is allowed to take prominence. And thus with well

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thought-out screenplay, the storyteller ensures that the film does not drift into the sermonizing mode. The moments were super dramatic, same for the building tension which makes the viewer to appreciate the character of Prabhakar Anand and the acting prowess of its player, the veteran thespian Amitabh Bachchan who acted the idealistic principal of a college by singlehandedly turning it into the state's best. It is the story of his loyal disciple, Deepak Kumar (Saif Ali Khan), who will do anything for his Sir; of Deepak's love for Prabhakar's daughter, Poorbi (Deepika Padukone), and of his friendship with Sushant (Prateik). The climax is a rollercoaster ride of high drama, conflict and rebellion, which tests their love and friendship for one another and their loyalty to Prabhakar Anand. However, the conflict between Amitabh and Manoj Bajpayee in particular is most memorable and so is the full-blown confrontation between the government officials and commoners. On the whole, Aarakshan communicates an engaging, inspiring and thoughtprovoking story to watch.

Bad Teacher Showing in Lagos • Featured Actors: Cameron Diaz, Lucy Punch, Jason Segel, Justin Timberlake, John Michael Higgins • Genre: Comedy and Sequel • Running Time: 92 • ome teachers just don't give an F. For example, there's Elizabeth. She's foulmouthed, ruthless, and inappropriate. She drinks, she gets high, and she can't wait to marry her meal ticket and get out of her bogus day job. When she's dumped by her fiance, she sets her plan in motion to win over a rich, handsome substitute competing for his affections with an overly energetic colleague, Amy. When Elizabeth also finds herself fighting off the advances of a sarcastic, irreverent gym teacher.... Boy, seemingly only visible to him. After a bruising spiritual rite of passage, The Mirror Boy takes Tijan on a mystical journey, but not all is what it seems.

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Captain America: The first avenger

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ASED on the Marvel Comics character from World War II, a brave, yet mild-mannered young soldier named Steve Rogers, volunteers to undergo a series of experiments for a US army Super Soldier program. The military succeeds in transforming him into a human weapon, but quickly decide that their Super Soldier is far too expensive a creation to risk in combat. So, they decide to put him to use as an army celebrity and parade him across Europe to boost morale by performing in USO shows for American troops. He is even given a costume that bears the colors of Old Glory for the stage. Then, when a Nazi plot reveals itself Rogers must rise up and become the First Avenger, in order to save his country. Steve Rogers becomes Captain America

and he earns his way into the hearts and souls of every American, bringing hope and justice to a warweary nation. Later, during a mission to Germany to stop his archenemy - The Red Skull, from launching rockets at the allies, Captain America sacrifices himself and winds up frozen in ice for almost six decades! Revived, Steve Rogers now must join forces with new heroes and become an Avenger of the modern age. In this flick, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) takes part in an experimental military program that infuses him with super-human powers, and uses his newfound strength to battle the villainous Red Skull (Hugo Weaving) in this comic-book adventure from director Joe Johnston (The Wolfman, The Rocketeer).

OMENTS after emerging as a new Brand Ambassador for Globacom, multiple award winning actor, director and producer, Kunle Afolayan, announced the formal opening of his new office and the launch of a new state-of-the-art production equipment on Friday 19 August, 2011. Kunle also announced the commencement of the shooting of his new movie, Phone Swap. The movie is a joint production by Golden Effects Services Limited and 1960 Media. Only few weeks ago in Lagos, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched another of his works, Breeze, which he was commissioned to produce and direct as part of efforts by the Commission to encourage families and in particular women to save and invest. Speaking about his latest huge investment, Afolayan said he was motivated by the need to strengthen the capacity of film makers in Nigeria as well as create the kind of leverage that will make the Nigeria movie industry to continue to compete favourably with similar sector globally. While revealing that one of the newly acquired equipment is the latest version of Red One Mysterium X Camera, he said both the new office and studio will serve as the production and post-production hub for most movie makers and producers, thus saving the country huge capital that usually goes to foreign countries. “Our latest investment in the new office and equipment underlines our commitment to the growth of the movie industry not only in Nigeria, but globally. Red One Mysterium X Camera is one of the newly released HD cameras that will boost the production of motion pictures in Nigeria. As a full component studio, we also have the full rig which comes with both zoom and super fast lenses as well as other equipment aimed at making our industry one of the best,'' Afolayan said.


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Entertainment

THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

Derenle, Dare Art-Alade, Tosin Martins, others for Glo Naija Sings 3

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ITH the third edition of the Glo Naija Sings in the offing, the organizers have promised that it will be an exciting season as Olisa Adibua, series host, returns in a whole new role as resident judge to put his formidable music knowledge and wide ranging expertise to use, evaluating contestants, giving them honest, straightforward feedback as they attempt to become the next Nigerian superstar. Performing a crucial role in the production as series presenter is music sensation and entertainment star, Dare ArtAlade. Meanwhile, returning to lend his knowledge and skills to the aspiring contestants is music icon Tosin Martins as vocal and performance coach, while the ever dynamic Dokta Frabz is back as music director. Both of these personalities also took on the roles of preliminary judges during the audition phase. Energetic Denrele Edun with his unique style and humour will be giving the audience a sneak peek at some of the behind-thescene actions on the show; talking to contestants before and after

each performance and also bring to the viewers, emotional and humorous moments that happen backstage . With great personalities at the heart of a great reality talent hunt show, M-Net Managing Director, Biola Alabi, said, “We've been very lucky in the past two seasons to have some of the most talented individuals in Nigeria on the show, so this year we were very aware that we needed to maintain that standard with engaging personalities.” With auditions now complete in Ibadan, Benin City, Enugu, PortHarcourt, Kaduna, Abuja and Lagos, audiences can tune in and see how contestants fared in the first rounds of the show when it premieres on M-Net on Sunday August 21 at 7:00 PM. As always, audiences can look out for the talented, who'll keep you entertained, the hopefuls who'll have

Hennessy Artistry enters fifth season

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ITH a successful outing last year, Hennessy Artistry, the global music campaign is gearing up for its fifth consecutive Nigerian edition. A musical platform which explores vibrant music genres fusing styles and pushing the envelope as far as experimental collaboration is concerned; Hennessy Artistry was launched by the French cognac house, Hennessy, globally in 2006 as a means of celebrating the vibrant multicultural nature of music genres. It however made its way into the country the following year. The first Nigerian edition was a cocktailmixing contest among bartenders. In 2008 the format of Hennessy Artistry changed as it became a competition among up and coming Nigerian DJs. In 2009 the 'Battle of the DJs' was replaced with a live band competition among Nigeria's fastest rising urban-music talents. Contestants included Ice Prince, Mo' Cheddah, Blaise, Jimmy Flames and Bez. After a series of live performances in select spots across Lagos, Chocolate City

recording artiste Ice Prince won the competition and had the pleasure of going home with a grand prize. Last year, the programme took on a more grandiose tone with Nneka, M.I, Sir Shina Peters, Bez, and Ice Prince pooling their talents together to come up with 'Like a Bottle.' Produced by Kas, the song was accompanied by a music video. The edition climaxed at an exclusive Grand Finale Halo concert at the GET Arena in Lagos, Nigeria. Hennessy Artistry 2011 is set to officially begin in August with a press conference where the artistes and producers involved in this year's edition will be revealed to the public. Hennessy Artistry, Peterside stressed, is an innovative musical platform, launched worldwide by Hennessy in 2006 to celebrate the vibrant multiculturalism of different music genres. “It combines contemporary, hip and inspirational music from around the world, and has worked in collaboration with talented artistes like Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Ne-Yo, Leona Lewis, LL Cool J and Fabulous.”

•Olokpa flanked by other Joker Competition winners •Derenle

Olokpa emerges August winner of The Joker Competition

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you cheering them on and of course, the talentless, who'll keep you giggling as they all try their luck on stage! A grand prize of USD 100 000, awaits the winner of Glo/Naija Sings!

ITH 14 contestants on the tow, it was obvious that for them, the August edition of the Joker Comedy Competition was no walk in the park. The sixth edition of the show, held at City mall on Saturday August 6, kicked off with opening jibe by 1st time winner of the show, Memory Card. Coming closely on his heels was the performance by MC Shakara who took cracks at the society in general. With Yaw of Wazobia FM as compere, the opening round of the talent hunt which is fast developing into a comedy club also featured musical interlude by upcoming act, Unknown. Backed by Igos also of Wazobia FM, after the first round of battle Of 14

Amata joins DGN race

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S the journey to the elections into various offices of the Directors’ Guild of Nigeria (DGN) heats up, actor Fred Amata has joined the list of those vying for the highest office. On that note, the movie community, with the support of some of their entertainment counterparts, gathered to cheer on the actor, producer and director, Compered by his colleague and friend Zack Orji, the ceremony kicked off with a minute silence for the departed members of the movie community such as Sam Loco Efe, Chrisy Essien-Igbokwe and Ashley Nwosu. Pitched against the likes of Teco Benson and Andy Ameanechi in the race, Amata says that his aim is to create a DGN revolving loan where funds would be sourced through branding and endorsement models from individuals and corporate entities for DGN members. Though he hails from a family of filmmakers, Amata is not known to have produced or directed any flick in recent times. How then would his intention to run for the highest office of the guild not be mistaken for a struggle to remain

•Fred Amata

relevant in an industry that is known to leave the sluggish behind? The Actor/Director says that as a movie director, the last film he did is still in the can. “Make no mistake, the position of presidency of any group is one of great responsibility and every leader should have the ability of exposing their members to new levels of interaction. Gunning for the position of President of the Guild, for me, is not for the test of occupying the office but with the hope of giving quality to our members,” Amata concluded.

contestants 4 were pruned out. As promised by the organizers of the show, the August edition of the Joker Competition was filled with excitement and bout. The sixth in its series, the competition saw 14 youngsters vie for the trophy as they tried to outdo each other. The upcoming acts were taken through the rigours of the competition which included the random jokes dip, the English session as well as the freestyle aspect of the competition. The show was spiced up with performances by Ajebo, Elenu and a host of other established acts. Reduced to 10 in number after round one, the 2nd round, as is the tradition, was a test of ability as the contestants were made to pick random topics from a dip. With musical interludes from Latmo and Theo D, the audience were in for a treat as there was a lucky dip where they had chance to win gift packs from Intercontinental Distilleries Limited. The show which set its City mall venue alive proved itself interesting as, at the end of the day, the audience had difficulty picking a winner. It was a tough call for the audience but at the end of the day, it was Olokpa, who prided himself as being the only policeman that does not receive bribe, that went home with the cash prize of fifty thousand naira.

Aiyefele, Joke Silva, others troupe out for Bite Magazine launch

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T was a grand event recently at Best Western Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos when Bite International Magazine was officially launched. The event which was supported by Meelk Property Services LTD had in attendance Nollywood stars like Saidi Balogun, Joke Silva, Femi Brainerd, Doris Simeon, Ronke Odusanya, Bimbo Akinsaya, Iyabo Ojo, among others. Also at the event that was compered by the duo of Omo Baba and Abbey, was tungba gospel singer, Yinka Aiyefele. Ghana star actress Yvomne Nelson was also in attendance to add glamour to the event. Speaking after the event, publisher of the magazine, Mr. Wale Olaniyi, said the magazine has been his dream for many years. “Bite Magazine was

actually conceptualized some few years back when I felt at the time that the Nigerian entertainment industry, particularly Nollywood, didn't seem to be getting enough media coverage regarding the stars, celebrity events and happenings in the celebrity circles. With this in mind, my team and I then started to work assiduously and discretely towards ensuring that this vacuum is filled,” he stated. Also speaking was Yoruba star actor, Saidi Balogun, who said, "It is a good omen for the industry. It is a good concept; I pray it will add value to the entertainment industry.” For Yinka Aiyefele, it is a big dawn for entertainment magazine in the country. "It is beautiful! Infact, I wish the party could go on and on. It was fun and the magazine is beautiful.”


FROM THE CAMPUS PAGE 46

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IGERIA’S category one players who have been dreaming of the dream world of Tiger Woods and Ernie Els can now reach out, jump high and punch many holes in the sky in sheer ecstasy. Why? Their dreams have come true… courtesy the life President of the Golf Union of Nigeria [GUN], Chief Uche Luke Okpuno. Okpuno, for years have come to terms with what Nigerian golf represents. He knows it by heart that there are sad guys out there. Guys who are just hanging by the sidewalk, watching you wet your dry lips, watching that hectic flush on your cheeks and see your hands tremble. Yes, the goons who hang out until they see you mess up your part of a good deal… the deal of contributing to the development of golf in Nigeria. Okpuno, while coming out to serve as the boss of the GUN had one thing in mind. A clean, clear situation where golfers across the country could flourish under one umbrella just for the good health of the game. We are now talking of a man who is so active, so perpetually on the move. So, it was so natural for golfers all in Nigeria to expect the best from this man. But the shock. Nothing was forth coming. Reason? The Nigeria

THE NATION SUNDAY, AUGUST 21, 2011

GOLFLINE

NTDC brings for

WITH

Tony Akhigbe golflineintl@yahoo.com 08094863638

Now, where is GUN Golf Federation [NGF], at the time under the leadership of General DV Lot felt the leadership of GUN was naturally endowed to that point where NGF could be meaningless. A cold war ensued. No one benefited from it. It was golf that suffered. "I came out to serve GUN because I wanted the best for golf in Nigeria", Okpuno disclosed. "But all of a sudden, I was hearing different tunes. What I was hearing would not make anyone to be happy. I wasn’t happy and it showed in our activities. Rather than support golf as a whole, I preferred supporting individuals. It was at that

Emenite provides fun for Enugu ladies

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HIS could read like a joke. But it is true. The Enugu Golf Club is as old as the famous Enugu Rangers football club. But this could amaze you, and yes, its true, the Enugu Golf has never hosted a Ladies Open in all its years of existence. Shame? Well, it could be shameful. But don't cry tears just yet. Courtesy the Enugu roofing giant, Emenite, the woes of the Ladies section of the club could be over. Come September 16 through 18, Emenite will be presenting the first Enugu Ladies Open and the whole thing is wrapped in millions. Some 250 golfers from across the nation will participate. Exquisite trophies and siverware are already on ground. And to ensure the house is filled to the brim, Emenite has even put in place free accommodation for all ladies who will play in the event. "I don't know how to thank Emenite", Enugu Ladies Captain, Barrister Ethel Anyaji gushed. "We tried to hold this event last year but sponsors who gave promises failed us. But Emenite has taken the challenge and it is for the best. I mean this is our first Ladies Open and it could as well be the best the nation has seen in years. We are overdue for this and we shall make the best out of it. I

With Prof. Emmanuel Ojeme

•Governor Chime

promise, we shall open more eyes and let people know what a real golf tournament should look like". The spirits behind Emenite are already rolling in glory. It is indeed timely they moved in at a time Enugu Ladies golf was being dumped into the thrash bin. "We always back sports in Enugu", Emenite GM [Marketing], Eng. Nonye Osakwe said. "When the Enugu Ladies came, we were prepared to support. We are not only supporting but we want to watch how this will unfold. The success of this one will determinbe our future participation in the event. But we are very confident this will turn out well so future ones could even be bigger. The joy of Emenite is to see that sports grow in Enugu State especially Ladies golf that , for years now, has been non existent".

point I picked on one individual, Ochei, and sent him on a year trip to South Africa. That one deal cost me N8 million. But it’s okay. I mean the guy is a pro now and he is one of the best in the country. Look, I always look ahead. I want the best for this country. I want the best for golf in Nigeria". Well, just to prove Uche Okpuno feels pride over his accomplishments and that he craves for golf glory in Nigeria, something new has just been presented… a golf thing that has never happened before. An Amateur Golf Champion in Nigeria must emerge. Just like it was in those days when Tiger Woods emerged as the Amateur Champion of the USA and Ernie Els emerging as the champion of amateurs in South Africa. So. Who will be Nigeria’s own champion of the amateurs? Anyway, a stage was set. A big stage at that. It happened on the 23rd of October, when all category one players in the country filed out for a mega tourney that would take them through October 23rd so a Nigerian amateur golf champion could emerge. All in the name of GUN. Hear Okpuno: "All over the world, one person must come out with an amateur golf champion for a particular year. This is part of developmental programme. In Nigeria, we have not been doing it. We in GUN feel this is not proper. We want to start it. And we want to do it in a big way. We have put in so much resources… to the tune of over N10 million. The trophies, kits, souvenirs, are the best in Europe. We just want to make a statement. That is an amateur golf champion in Nigeria deserves everything. But we are moving a step further. Whoever emerges champion in this event will have a threemonth golf lesson in South Africa, and that same person will be part of the World amateur championship. GUN will bear all the cost. It’s my wish that golf must grow in Nigeria. Let me tell you now, I’m set to make this happen". So, what is going to happen? We shall tell you. Come the

20th of October, all category one players in Nigeria will converge in Abuja to do battle at the prestigious IBB International Golf and Country Club. The event will hold for the whole of four days. Over 250 players are expected to tee the event off. But after two days of golf battle, the list would be pruned to a decent 60. Still, there is a clause. There are guys who play single handicap but are not really category one players. For this set of players, there is no sweat whatsoever. All they have to do is come down to a category one handicap and be part of the historic event. "But there is a warning here", Okpuno said. "In as much as we will allow, say, an eight handicapper to cut himself to 5 so he could play, we must warn that after the event, such player must maintain the new handicap he cuts himself to. This is golf and we must maintain all rule". The rules Okpuno is talking about even go beyond this. There is a little breath of fresh air. This has to do with professional golfers in the country. They, too, are also coming into reckoning. Hear out their own very vitals of life… Come next March, the pros shall be playing in that forgotten Nigeria Open. Again, courtesy Uche Okpuno. "For years now, the Nigeria Open cannot hold", Uche said. "This is unfortunate and I want to change the trend. Please, tell Nigerians, that come March next year, the Nigeria Open will hold. I don’t care how much it will cost, but the Nigeria Open must hold next March. I will be doing this on behalf of GUN". Those were the sweet years of GUN and golf in Nigeria. All of a sudden GUN has gone comatose. Nobody talks about that body any longer. And so sad GUN has been a rallying point if the issue is the game of golf. Through GUN, golf clubs across the nation share and rationalize ideas so the game game could grow beyond all leaps. Now that GUN asleep, Captains of Club act as territorial terrors who lack ideas but one idea, that of shortchanging the game at the beck of their wallets. This must stop and this is why GUN must get back to action. The Life President of GUN, Ogbueshi Uche Okpuno of the ULO Consultants is indeed passionate about the game of golf. He was taken aback by shylock Captains of some clubs. But now that the dew is settling and golf is about to be given a rebirth, Okpuno might be tempted to roll out the guns of GUN so golf could flow freely in the country once again. Okpuno must revive GUN today. Its a legacy he cannot afford to throw into the mud, no matter the anger.

CHIEF (DR.) PATRICK EKEJI

Profile of a Professional Leader in Sports Administration (1)

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HIEF (Dr) Patrick, Chima, Ekeji is a man worth talking about due to his sterling qualities. He possesses illuminous profile and is a model of the physical education and sports profession. Being a calm gentleman, who focuses greatly on his job of providing leadership for Nigeria ’s Sports development, he hardly makes noise about his works and achievements. I have taken the liberty to provide a synopsis of this great man’s profile as a way of modestly appreciating him for his works as he is worthy of emulation by the younger generation. By the early 1970s, the name, Patrick Ekeji, who hails from Aboh, Mbaise, in Imo State , has become domesticated in the National scene due to his deft and superlative performances in football at club and national levels. Born in 1951, he had his early life in Lagos , where he attended primary and secondary education. His secondary education which started in the great St. Gregory’s College Obalende between 1963 and 1967, was slightly interrupted by the eruption of the civil war in 1967. He had to relocate to the Eastern Region, inevitably, with his parents. Patrick Ekeji, a very tall, athletic and ebony black person, subsequently completed his secondary education at Mbaise secondary school and quickly ran through his HSC course at the famous Holy Ghost College, Owerri. His sublime athletic talent manifested while in primary school and St. Gregory’s Lagos as he penetrated the school team in form three in 1965 and equally represented the school in the Grier Cup competition of 1966 in the hurdles event. He made an instant hit at Holy Ghost College , Owerri as he led the school team to win the East Central State Academicals Cup. He won the award of Most Valuable Player (MVP) in this competition in 1971. This made Patrick Ekeji to be a utility player and leader, stabilizer and the team’s guide to victory or success. At the time of completing his HSC in 1972, the vision of his future was very clear. Patrick Ekeji had developed a consolidated view of his life and its attainment strategies. Apart from enrolling with the Vasco Dagama Football Club as a player, he enrolled in UNN to study physical education as a degree course at the University of Nigeria , Nsukka. Studying physical education at this level and pursuing his football Career puts Patrick Ekeji in the class of other Nigerian Legends such as late Isaac Akioye and Dr. Awoture Eleyae who combined strong athleticism with the pursuit of higher education in physical education. He is therefore, a different specie of a sports man who worked hard to be full blown professional of the generic category. Patrick Ekeji has played football at all levels, national and international. He has played football for Nigeria at the West African, African, Olympic and Commonwealth levels yet he is a very professionally educated person. But do you hear him mouthing the ex-international trumpet or ex-Olympian saxophone as is always the case? He superlatively prepared himself for sports leadership athletically and professionally. For me and many others, he is an epitomic sports professional and a beacon of excellence in Nigerian and international sports landscape. The space allotted to me in this column is too small to tell the story of Patrick Ekeji, but I will not hang my pen until I squeeze in the following, in this first installment Patrick Ekeji has acquired higher degrees in physical education at the masters level at the University of Frankfurt . He subsequently was awarded a Ph.D degree in Sports Administration by the famous St. Clements University in London in 2007. He is a knight of the Catholic Church and is married with six children (to be continued next week)

• Ekeji


THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

47

The unfolding drama at the BPE’S Probe: matters arising T

HE drama that played itself out at the just concluded Senate public hearing of our dear country’s privatization programme was just an eyeopener into the high level of corruption that is being perpetrated by those that are entrusted with the running of the affairs of this country. The probe has confirmed our fears that the nation’s commonwealth has been fleeced. Our hard earned commonwealth has been given or rather dashed out for a pittance to some cronies and hangers-on of those in government. President Olusegun Obasanjo in his characteristic holier than thou attitude must have ruffled the hornets’ nest when he reportedly doubted this present administration’s ability to tackle corruption. And with the startling revelation that came out at the probe that damned whatever good intention. Obasanjo’s Administration had about the privatization scheme or policy, the forum must have given President Goodluck Jonathan the opportunity to tell the former president that a pot should not be calling a kettle black. Our national heritage like the defunct Nigeria Airways, Daily Times of Nigeria, Aluminum Smelting Company of Nigeria, Delta Steel, Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Company, NICON and several other multibillion naira public corporations were virtually sold out as scraps to the consternation of the Nigerian populace. It was a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul, so to say. Succinctly put, apart from throwing many people into the labour-market, the scheme was robbing the nation’s commonwealth to enrich few political elites and their cronies in our society. The Senate should not stop at probing the activities of Bureau of public Enterprises, and the privatization exercise; it should also beam

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IKE many other inquests before now the Senate ad-hoc committee on BPE wound up its sitting last Friday and we have been treated with another gory spectacle of how the political class has again ripped the nation dry and usurped our common patrimony. The unfolding drama leads nowhere as they are only meant for our ears only. Halliburton probe had come and gone and the culprits are individuals in the country’s leadership, remote past, immediate past and present. Names of past head of state, past President and past vice president and serving members of the present executive featured prominently for our ears only. These individuals are themselves institutions mightier than the laws of the land. Senate probe committee on ower was another melodrama involving about same individuals and meant only for our ears too. The probe took us to nowhere in areas of power generation, transmission and distribution. All we heard was how our common billions of dollars were shared by same gluttonous few that will not stop at nothing to see common man feed from garbage in a well endowed nation like ours. From this drama came a reform that leads also to nowhere, they called unbundling of PHCN into eighteen companies. I have always described PHCN unbundling as granting autonomy to eighteen general managers to defraud or embezzle at will without recourse to any ultra managing directors; Or an eighteen-prong expansion of sources of minister’s largesse. The questions remain how much have we generated, transmitted and distributed with the unbundling? How has it improved income generation to PHCN? Alas! The decay in power sector remains the same or continues to get worse. The scams in the 6th House of Representative had just been relayed and we have seen and heard how as Speaker of the House in a “Banana” republic you can turn multi-billionaire in less than four years, rich enough to negotiate the sale of your official residence to and buy multi-billion naira government-own property like NECOM

seasoned medical professor, “the matters of the heart is in the heart of the matter”. In other words, the heart-beat of the matter under our national search/beam light will reveal our national heroes or villains of our democracy. Those who are our messiahs who truly love the country and those who forced themselves on us just to rip-off the country and amass ill-gotten wealth for themselves will also be made manifest. The outcome of the probes will enable the Nigerian populace to distinguish those who are good Shepherds and those who are hirelings among our political leaders. Candidly speaking, President Goodluck Jonathan and the leadership of the Senate should be commended for kick-starting this probe and people of goodwill in our society should encourage this Administration to run this probe and subsequent ones to their full courses without witch-hunting anybody. Even if they may be unable to sanction some sacred cows, posterity will still judge them right. However, this present Administration should also ensure that they too do not live in glass houses. For those who live in glass houses should not make the mistake of throwing stones at others.

•Obasanjo

•El-Rufai

its searchlight on the monetization policy too. That was another policy by President Olusegun Obasanjo Administration originally designed to curb wastes in government’s re-current expenditures but which has sadly turned out to be another rip-off on our Nation’s treasury. We do not intend to pre-empt the outcome of such a probe, but it suffice to say

that more sordid revelations will be unfolded and laid bare before the public domain. Even if this present Administration does not have the political will to sanction those who may be indicted by the outcome of the probes, the facts of the matter would have been made known to Nigerians (at home and in the Diaspora) and our friends in the international community. After all, according to Prof. Tunde Cole-Onitiri -a

For our ears only house. We heard of how Nigerian banks negotiate with individuals in government to grant poorly substantiated loans without recourse to due process. For our ears too, we learnt how lawmakers can break the law and award themselves salaries that are way out of economic realities of the nation. We made history of having the world’s highest paid legislators and poorest paid civil servants. We learnt that due process means buying an item at twice its price in the open market. We now know that a proud way to be a sitting speaker is to be mentioned as one of the star actors in grafts and scam of the preceding house. Nigerian citizens had again been presented with another Senate-produced melodrama of how about same individuals usurped our common patrimony. Their analogy has always been “Government has no business in business” While our African neighbour nations in partnership with the public, local and international investors engage in business to advance their economy we had engaged in unbridled destruction of our past economic gains. The Nigerian Airways that started so well is now history while the likes of Kenya, Egypt, Ethiopia, South Africa and Ghana Airways are flying their nations’ flags across the globe and leaping in quantum, and their major passengers out of Africa to Asia and Middle East are Nigerians . Saudi Arabia, unarguably a rich nation, engages practically in business of services that affect her citizens. The Saudi Airline is almost the sole carrier for its citizens’ local and international flights. There is Saudi Public Transport Company [SAPTCO] that transports citizens across the country in sleeper luxurious buses, wagons and cars. My ten-year old son could not but marvel at the beauty of the Bus port in Riyadh as he exclaimed, “Daddy, Mummy is this bus port or Airport?” Would you blame the poor boy if he was least impressed with what we call MMA, having visited Dubai International and London Heathrow Airports, became depressed when

he had to board Saudi Airline at Kano International Airport? Currently the country is investing massively in rail transport that will soon come upstream. In partnership with investors UAE not too long launched its metro line service to allow for decongestion of the city in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. While Nigeria is selling off its steel companies built with our petrol dollars over ninety percent of constructions in Saudi rely heavily on Saudi steel company. Here in the Kingdom I am yet to see any telecom carrier that can beat the services provided by Saudi Telecommunication Company (STC). Your telephone is supplied with dial-up or broad band internet modem just as you have in any civilized country. Saudi, United Arab Emirates and other OPEC countries do not only refine for local consumption only but as well as for export. Nigeria in her over fifty years of petroleum exploration cannot sustain and maintain four refineries. Her stock in trade is heavily subsidized massive importation of petroleum products. If the aforementioned countries are classified as exceptionally rich how about Venezuela which does not only refine for local consumption but for export and accruing economic gains? Asian countries of Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and others are at par with Nigeria in term of nationhood but are now far ahead of us. They engage massively in businesses that directly affect the lives of their citizens. Our leaders remain unperturbed and have refused to give a thought that “a King may arise in Egypt and give no recourse to the house of Pharaoh” Then there shall be questions as to what happened to ECN or NEPA, who and what killed our flag carriers and ocean liners, why is one of the greatest employers of labour in the country, Nigerian Railways, coma and cannot be resuscitated. Why is it that our steel mills cannot function despite our large deposits of iron ores? Who killed our once vibrant and envy of African telecommunication industry (NET/ NITEL/NECOM) in its twilight? These questions

POSER. What are the infrastructures on ground to show for the N249.5b and $1.6billion that the nation realized from the privatization programme from 1999 till date? May God help us as a nation that is destined to be great even through we are far from over our destiny and destination. For: National Prayer Movement Oluwagbemiga Olakunle, Jp General Secretary Gbemigaolakunle@Yahoo.co.uk are many and I think my fellow Nigerians will know more than I do. If the wisdom of our leaders is to disengage our government from business and auction the patrimonies to their cronies and friends, is it the same wisdom they are applying in areas of infrastructure, health and education? That is, government should have no business in funding education since their cronies have built multimillion naira fee paying schools and universities; Government should not fund health since their cronies and friends already have multi-million naira fee demanding state-of-the-art hospitals, or they can fuel our jets to attend to tummy-tuck procedure in any European or American clinics. We once had a Vice President that was proud to fly out and mend a sprained knee when his country can boast of many world class professors of Orthopaedics and trauma. Some executive members travel at government expense to refract for sight and reading lenses. The boisterous immediate past head of the house had no confidence in all the world class professors of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Nigeria and had his wife delivered in neighboring Ghana maternity. If all the alleged billions in his scam had been expended on health he would have left the health better than he met it. The same wisdom made them disengage from road construction because they fly in private jets and choppers across the country and the globe. They care less about deaths, ruins and maiming that are lots of the citizens on their dilapidated roads. These revelations are for our ears only because the accusers or the investigators are as guilty (or intend to be) as the accused. If not each of these revelations should have been met with appropriate sanctions, with the culprits facing serious trials. If the accusers are not as guilty (will be as guilty) or culpable as the accused what do you say of the Elumelus and the Bankoles that chaired the power probe? What justification does the OBJ regime have in probing the likes of IGP Balogun or DSP Alams? But because they know us for what we are, naive, docile and complacent, the revelations shall continue to be for our ears only. Dr Peter O. Adefuye Sakaka, Al-Jouf Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

48

DIS GENERATION

Have Your Say N

IGERIA is a strange country and all things show it, respondents deadpan. The sordid revelation coming from the Senate hearing on privatisation is not in any respect revealing, for according to respondents, it only confirms what many Nigerians know. The interesting thing, they add, will be for the Senate Committee to invite people like ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo whose names came up during the hearing. But there comes the expression of the sharp spirit of pessimism: many are not convinced that the outcome will not be different from what happened to the Elumelu investigation into the electricity matter of the Obasanjo years. Those whose confidence in the Committee has not ebbed want the issue seen to a logical end. The guilty must receive the condign punishment for the debasing atrocities committed. Nobody should be considered a sacred cow. Revelations at the Senate hearing on privatization is a confirmation of the fact of what we know too well and the truth which the Obasanjo Administration suppressed. But our hardest challenge is our inaction to atrocities committed by our past leaders. Egbuniwe Uzoalu, Lagos State. Why do we treat Nigeria as a commodity to be liquidated? The revelations going on and those to come reflect the country’s state of decay. Way back in 1954, the late Sir Abubarkar Tafawa Balewa told the world how some irresponsible, greedy and misguided Nigerian business men and politicians connived with foreigners to destroy the nation’s economy. This manifested in the failed indigenization programme of 1972 of Gen. Jack Yakubu Gowon and 1976 of Gen. Obasanjo. The situation has not shifted for the better. The late Gen. Murtala Mohammed said so frankly that the country was groping in the dark and if nothing was done to save the situation it would lead to bloodshed and anarchy. We are on the precipice, an ominous and dangerous one. Engr. A.C, Jos, Plateau State. It is all a game of the kettle calling the pot black, or the lizard calling the crocodile an ugly creature. Was el-Rufai not with Obasanjo for the eight years of his administration? Why did he not resign to avoid being used for a dirty job? These people should stop insulting our intelligence. Remi Adegbola, Ibadan, Oyo State. Yes, el-Rufai was saying the truth. People like us have been vindicated because we have been saying that Obasanjo’s eight-year rule was a disaster. He was the worst civilian president this country ever produced. Jonathan too has started on a wrong note now. His government lacks direction. Tayo Tola Agbaje, Garki, Abuja. It is only a revelation to the general public, not to the members of the Senate because they were already aware of the rottenness in our system. Most of them have companies or are connected with the directors of companies which partici-

What is your view on the revelations at the Senate hearing on privatisation? pated in bidding for these companies. At the end of the investigation I can assure Nigerians that nothing good to the general public will come out of the probe but something good must have passed to those who are making noise to keep quiet. It is wasting of time and resources. Barr Oladimeji O., Osogbo, Osun State. The Senate public hearing on BPE and the revelations are instructive. Our short-sighted leaders have destroyed this country. Catastrophe is imminent and a revolution can’t be averted. The committee must invite the more evil genius Obasanjo to come and defend these weighty allegations. Nigeria is terribly sick! She needs a day for national prayer and fasting, urgently too. Mohammed Kuranga, Ilorin, Kwara State.

country collapse. Alh. Amama, Agenebode, Edo State. My take on the revelations is simple. Like in all things, Obasanjo has always served the interest of a strange god his fathers knew nothing of. The god craves intrigue, vile, greed, avarice, wickedness, buffoonery and decay as garlands. And he is a faithful disciple who does not fail to make provision. Ahmed Onyekachi Ugwu, Enugu, State.

•Obasanjo

On the revelation at the Senate hearing on privatization, I want to say that the privatization of those companies were not properly done and there is no transparency and the people involved have no integrity and lack accountability. John Ndubuisi Okafor, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

proved right. Let the Senate distinguish themselves and stop privatisation and let government acquire back all our privatised public enterprise. The likes of OBJ, Atiku and their cohorts should be made to make restitution. Gimbason, J.H., Kaduna State.

The new Senate is stepping into a blind-ended tunnel. Well, may be to make their cut. If you ask me, it’s a worthless venture. Get busy with better and result- oriented issue. Sola Fatokun, Warri, Delta State.

It is not the Senate hearing on privatization that is the issue; it’s the implementation of what they found. What about that of the power sector? David Obida, Kubwa, Abuja.

I’m still surprised that the greatest enemy of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has not been arrested. Imagine the committee saying they have no mandate to invite him. Imagine the ways he sold the refineries to Dangote, the way he gave Ajaokuta to his son Gbenga, and the way he handed Nigeria over to his co-travellers. God will definitely not spare him. One day we shall remove the veil of cowardice from our faces and use the Egyptian style. Ali Mohammed, Idah, Kogi State.

Mark my words; it’s all hot air. Why? None of those jumping around will have the gut to bring to question the sole recurrent factor in the rot in the privatisation process. I mean can they bring Baba to testify? Imadum Oko, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The sole purpose of privatization is to derive value, generate wealth and employment, and be able to take the country forward. But the revelations so far from the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) clearly show that our leaders, past and present, have jettisoned the privatization process by corruptly enriching themselves and their cronies to the detriment of the generality of Nigerians. My verdict, however, is that the purpose has been defeated and bastardised. Samuel Ishaya Shammang, Mangun Town, Plateau State. It is very unfortunate that people entrusted with managing our properties sold us out. It clearly shows that entrusting our future to the older generation is a failed venture. Umedum Chijioke, Awka, Anambra State. When in 1985 IBB and Uncle Falaye introduced SAP, we said no to it because we knew it would only SAP our economy and favour the capitalist few. Now we have been

Obasanjo has treated all Nigerians and all our resources as if we are chickens and furniture in Ota. The Senate should invite him for questioning. And if guilty, he should be jailed for life. What we need now is Ghana-style cleansing. I suspect Obasanjo is teleguiding Jonathan. In Warri, we say Friday wey go good, you know by Wednesday. Catch him now. Kaego Enyi, Warri, Delta State. The former BPE DG and past leaders have shown Nigerians how unfaithfully and dishonestly they misused their offices and funds – they almost ruined Nigeria. The Senate should handle the case constitutionally regardless of who is involved. Adebowale Samuel, Ilorin, Kwara State. Sir, few people have taken this country for too much ride. They breached the constitution not minding public outcry. The Hon. Elumelu Committee on power under Obasanjo did not see the light of the day. If the Senate committee on privatization can be bold enough to publish their finding, it is then they are true representatives of the people and not the Dishonoured who never mind that the

The issue shouldn’t be the can of worms in BPE (circa l999 - 2007). There had been similar scandalous revelations: PTDF, PHCN, etc., without punishment for offenders. Would the current probe not be another futility, a grotesque pantomime that ends in convoluted denouement? Corruption. Greed. Megalomania, in high places! Ayo Aregbesola, ljesa-lsu, Ekiti State. There is nothing new about the revelations because the so-called leaders are the looters who have succeeded in draining the national treasury. And because they are all involved directly or indirectly the noise will soon fade away like any other time, more so when to them it’s a PDP family affair. Onike Pascal, Agbor, Delta State. We can now see that our leaders’ kind of privatization is “fooling the masses and taking every national asset they think they have a right over to become their private property. They should stop converting our firms into their private belongings. Samson, Jos, Plateau State. We can now see how our rogue leaders privatised and appropriated our commonwealth to themselves and their unborn generation. After these hearings a competent government assets recovering panel should be set up to try those implicated and those found guilty given Chinese type of public execution. It is only then that Nigerians will know that a transformation is in progress in Nigeria. Elimi Hele Friday, Dutse, Jigawa State. The probe has to be thorough and tough. Something meaningful will surely come out at the end of it. I commend the courage of Mallam el-Rufai. Let us all keep watching. Ken Nwachukwu, Owerri, Imo State. The revelation at the Senate hearing on privatisation as relates to Benue Cement Company was shamefully scanty. But I tell you, there is more to that shady deal that occurred during the process of privatising the company. The people of Benue are waiting and one day questions will be asked. And I hope on that day such questions will find answers. Henkyaa Joseph Terseer, Makurdi, Benue State. Continue on page 52

By Jennifer Ehidiamen 08054503875 (Sms only)

My Nigeria! It is up to me! It’s Y(our) Nigeria too

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FRIEND recently told me about a new not-for-profit project tagged “My Nigeria,” focused on mobilizing youths online to take ownership of Nigeria and implement change projects in their local communities (offline). It sounds different from the armchair criticism and analysis that are is going on online (the internet) these days right? Read more about the idea below: My Nigeria is a youth movement that challenges every young Nigerian to become a part of the solution to the challenges faced by Nigeria through their engagement in their communities. Whilst we know how overwhelming the challenges of nation building in Nigeria are and are aware of how some of our leaders at all levels have failed to meet our expectations in the past, our focus is to look inwards to develop quality leaders amongst young Nigerians. We hope to achieve this by challenging the youths to do what they can today to make a difference in the lives of the people around them. By flexing their leadership muscles, we believe that we will be able to nurture a generation that will not continue in the mistakes of the past but will take ownership of the success of the future through active participation in making Nigeria work, one community at a time. Through a vibrant online forum that will actively engage young Nigerians in sharing the stories of their change projects to inspire one another, essay competition that will boost the critical mindedness of young people, and interactive sessions with selected role models in our society, young Nigerians will be able to grasp the vision on how to make Nigeria their Nigeria. My Nigeria is designed and driven by Nigerian youths with a decade long experience of making change in their community and has a vision of mobilizing 100,000 youth by 2020 who would have implemented change projects in their communities and become advocates for participatory change in Nigeria. The platform challenges the myth that Nigerians are too discouraged by the failure of our leaders to get engaged in Nation building. It seeks to look beyond what we lack and develop our potential for greatness - The Nigerian youth. We dare to refocus the minds of Nigerian youth from thinking about what my country can or cannot do or provide for me to what I can do to improve the quality of life of people within my reach. The philosophy is that true leaders are made in the fields of volunteerism and selfless community service. JOIN THE First ONLINE FORUM on 22nd August 2011. 10 SIMPLE STEPS TO TAKE PART IN THE MY NIGERIA ONLINE FORUM • Visit www.my-nigeria.net/forum


THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

Arts Extra

As Abuja Carnival approaches W

ITH the comments by the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Chief Edem Duke, during his last official visit to Lagos recently, that the yearly Abuja Carnival has been receiving a lot of bashing from both critics and admirers of the event, time has indeed come to have a second look at the carnival. Apart from the fact that the minister admitted that the carnival has to be reorganized to make it more modern and appealing to the general public, it is equally imperative to ask ourselves if that event in itself still remains relevant given the paucity of funds in the ministry? More than that, however, is the issue of the duplication of responsibilities. While the minister acknowledged the fact that Abuja Carnival could be good, he equally noted that the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST), a yearly cultural extravaganza by the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), almost does what the Abuja Carnival showcases to the nation in Abuja every year. In other wards one may give way to the other. If these facts are clear about this event which many Abuja residents have described as an exercise in futility, how come government still approves money to organize it? It is not that the concept of the carnival is entirely wrong or irrelevant, but the truth is that it has lost its original taste, goals, aims and objectives. In the past two years or so the carnival has lost its original touch

By Edozie Udeze

and glamour and flavor. There is no dynamism anymore. All participants did during the past two editions were to converge, patrol or match through the designated routes and then back to basics. The yearly innovative ideas for which the carnival was initially muted are lacking, with a leadership that is so harsh and insensitive to new ideas to move the event to the level of glamour and beauty and appeal. More often than not, journalists who cover the events would not be informed until a day or two before the event kicks off. The fact remains that most of the workings of the carnival are kept in secrecy until the last moment and this becomes difficult for Art reporters to respond fully to the call to duty. And when questions are asked, no one is prepared to offer some reasonable explanation. This has been so for years now. As it is presently, no one is really sure whether the carnival will carry all the stakeholders along this year. Even then the success or otherwise of last year’s has not been made clear to the media who are supposed to follow closely what happens in the carnival. While November, the month of the event approaches, it will be necessary to know if the Abuja carnival has been reorganized to meet the needs of the public. Or is it still one of those big talks about the culture sector that ends in the cooler? We deserve an answer.

•Scenes from Abuja Carnival

Candid

•ALL CORRECT SIR !

PHOTO: OLUSEGUN RAPHEAL

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THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

Arts & Life

50

SUNNY SIDE

Cartoons

By Olubanwo Fagbemi deewalebf@yahoo.com 08060343214 (SMS only)

POLITICKLE

Approaching witticism •The cynic’s guide to life

Adapted from the internet, the following materials precede an occasional series designed to stimulate the scepticism required for comprehension of finer aspects of life.

Metal will

OH, LIFE!

THE GReggs

Farmer Bundu lived on a quiet rural road. But traffic slowly built up at an alarming rate over time. It was so fast and heavy that his chickens were being run over at a rate of three to six a day. One day, the farmer called at the local police post. “You’ve got to do something about all of these people driving so fast and killing all of my chickens,” he reported to the officer in charge. “What do you want me to do?” asked the officer. “I don’t care; just do something about those crazy drivers!” wailed Farmer Bundu. So the next day the officer had workers go out and erect a sign that said: SLOW DOWN … SCHOOL CROSSING Three days later the farmer called at the police station and said, “You’ve got to do something about these drivers. The ‘school crossing’ sign seems to make them go even faster.” Again, the officer sent out the workers and they put up a new sign: SLOW: CHILDREN AT PLAY It didn’t work, so the farmer called every day for three weeks. Finally, he requested of the officer, “Your signs are doing no good. Can I put up my own sign?” “Okay, put up your own sign,” replied the officer. He was going to let the farmer do just about anything to end the complaint. Soon, there was no more word from the farmer. Two weeks later, the officer ran into him in town. “How’s the problem with those drivers. Did you put up your sign?” he asked. “Oh, I sure did. And not one chicken has been killed since then. I’ve got to go. I’m very busy,” said the farmer. The officer was really curious and he thought he could learn a thing or two so he drove down to the farm with Bundu, but his jaw dropped as they neared the house and he saw the spray-painted sign on a sheet of wood: GOLD COUNTRY: GO SLOW AND WATCH OUT FOR TRACES OF GOLD IN ROCKS

A handful of riddles

CHEEK BY JOWL

Now test yourself with these posers: 1. A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms. The first is full of raging fire, the second full of assassins with loaded guns, and the third full of lions that have not eaten in three years. Which room is safest for him? 2. A woman shoots a man. Then she holds him under water for over five minutes. Finally, she hangs him. But five minutes later they both go out together and enjoy a wonderful dinner together. How can this be? 3. What is black when you buy it, red when you use it, and gray when you throw it away? 4. Can you name three consecutive days without using the words Wednesday, Friday, or Sunday? 5. This is an unusual paragraph. Just how quickly can you find out what is so unusual about it? It looks so ordinary and plain that you would think nothing is wrong with it. In fact, nothing is wrong with it! It is highly unusual though. Study it and think about it, but you still may not find anything odd. If you work at it a bit, you just might do without any coaching! Answers: 1. The third room. Lions that haven’t eaten in three years are dead. 2. The woman was a photographer. She shot a picture of the man, developed it (held under water), and hung it up to dry. 3. Charcoal, as it is used in roasting food outdoors. 4. Three consecutive days are yesterday, today, and tomorrow. 5. The letter e, which is the most common letter used in the English Language, does not appear at all in the paragraph

Jokes Wild City James was travelling in a luxury bus when another man took the seat beside him. James noticed that the man was moaning and shaking. "What's wrong?" asked James. "I've been transferred to the city," the guy answered. "There are crazy people in the city. They have shootings, rapes, robberies, gangs, race riots, drugs … the highest crime rate." "Hold on," James interrupted. "I've lived there all my life. It's not as bad as the media says. Find a nice home, go to work, mind your own business, enroll your kids in a good school and it's as safe as anywhere in the world." The other passenger relaxed and stopped shaking for a moment, and said, "Oh, thank you. I've been worried to death, but if you live there and say it's O.K., I'll take your word for it. What do you do for a living?" "Me?" said James. "I'm a police escort on a soft drinks distributing truck."

Most Wanted An elementary school class goes on a field trip to the police station. The officer points to the 10 MOST WANTED list and tells the pupils that one of the criminals is the most wanted fugitive in the world. One little boy says, “He is the MOST WANTED man in the world?!” The officer says, “Yes.” Surprised, the little boy asks, “Why didn’t you keep him when you took his picture?”

Senility Defined An elderly man went to his doctor and said, “Doc, I think I’m getting senile. Several times lately, I have forgotten to zip up.” “That’s not senility,” replied the doctor. “Senility is when you forget to zip down.”

QUOTE There are some defeats more triumphant than victories.

—Michel de Montaigne •Culled from the Internet

SUDOKU 1ST STEP IN SOLVING PUZZLE: (327) Look at the 3 middle horizontal (DEF) 3x3 boxes. The right box has 9 in cell Dg, while the left box has its 9 in cell Fc. The middle box must, therefore, have its own 9 in row E, where there are 2 vacant spaces

PUZZLE 326

A B C D E F G H I

5 3 4 1 4 6 8 9 7 2 5 2 1 9 7 1 6 4 1 2 9 8 6 5 1 b

c

d

e

f

cells Ed and Ee. But, since column d has 9, in cell Hd, the only space available to accommodate 9 in the middle box is cell Ee. Reasoning along these lines, try and fill in all the other vacant cells. Solution on SATURDAY. Happy Puzzling!

SOLUTION TO PUZZLE 327

7 8

a

21/8/2011

g

h

i

9 6 2 4 3 7 1 5 8

5 7 3 8 2 1 4 6 9

1 8 4 5 9 6 2 7 3

8 9 6 1 7 4 5 3 2

3 4 7 6 5 2 9 8 1

2 1 5 3 8 9 6 4 7

6 5 9 7 1 8 3 2 4

4 2 8 9 6 3 7 1 5

7 3 1 2 4 5 8 9 6


THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

51

Young Nation

08056745268

Hello children, Hope you are enjoying your summer lesson while you focus on the next session. Have fun.

WORD WHEEL This is an open ended puzzle. How many words of three or more letters, each including the letter at centre of the wheel, can you make from this diagram? We've found 56, including one nine-letter word. Can you do better?

Riddles with Bisoye Ajayi •Children of Winners Baptist Church, Gbagada, Lagos during the children’s thanksgiving last Sunday.

BIRTHDAY

1. I am beautiful and admired but no man can marry me? 2. I am something, when you cut me into two I deliver all my children? Miss Ajayi is a Basic 5 pupil of Fasta International School, Omole Estate Phase 1, Ikeja, Lagos.

WORD SEARCH

Atmosphere

•Miss Victoria Gbenga-Mustapha marked her one-year birthday last week.

PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS

GRADUATION

An atmosphere is a layer of gases that may surround a material body of sufficient mass and that is held in place by the gravity of the body. Some planets consist mainly of various gases, but only their outer layer is their atmosphere. The Earth’s atmosphere, which contains oxygen used by most organisms for respiration and carbon dioxide used by plants, algae and cyan bacteria for photosynthesis, also protects living organisms from genetic damage by solar ultraviolet radiation. Its current composition is the product of billions of years of biochemical modification of the pale atmosphere by living organisms. The Earth’s atmosphere consists, from the ground up, of the troposphere (which includes the planetary boundary layer or peplosphere as lowest layer), stratosphere (which includes the ozone layer), mesosphere, thermosphere (which contains the ionosphere), exosphere and also the magnetosphere. Each of the layers has a different lapse rate, defining the rate of change in temperature with height. Here are some of the things found in the atmosphere.

•Cross section of Nursery and Primary graduands of Stephen Centre International, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

WORD WHEEL Nine-letter word: empowered Other words: deem, deep, deeper, deer, dew, doe, doer, dome, dope, drew, empower, erode, ewe, mere, mew, mode, mope, moped, more, mowed, mower, ode, ore, owe, owed, peer, peered, per, perm, permed, pew, poem, pore, pored, power, powder, powered, red, redeem, redo, reed, rode, roe, romped, rope, roped, rowed, wed, wee, weed, weep, were, woe, wore, wormed.

AIR CARBON CLOUD CYCLONE DUST FOG

HURRICANE MOISTURE NITROGEN OXYGEN OZONE RADIATION

RAINBOW STORM TORNADO WATER WIND

Word search created by Ifeoluwa Onifade Answer to Riddle 1. Peacock 2. Pawpaw

Send in your stories, poems, articles, games, puzzles, riddles and jokes to sundaynation@yahoo.com


Life

THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

I

F anybody in Okpanta Village had supported Okenna’s education in spirit, it was Ngene. ‘Nwaoyibo’, Ngene would call immediately Okenna walked into their compound. Nwaoyibo is a common way of referring to one as an academic in Okpanta village. Okenna had travelled to the village before his final year exam. A time he most needed Ngene’s prayer and as usual, decided to pay him a visit. Whistles of beetle were on the increase in the bushes around his house as darkness was descending at the time of Okenna’s arrival. The small lantern with a cracked glove that had not been washed for some days illuminated the isolated compound. ‘Onyee, who?’ Ngene asked offensively as he heard the knock on his door. ‘Oga Ngene, it is me,’ Okenna replied as he approached he and his wife, each seated apart on a stool. His pregnant wife, Chidinma, was able to recognise Okenna’s voice and called his name. Okenna knew something was wrong by the sour look on Ngene’s face. The elderly man drew another stool by his side and offered him to sit down. ‘How’s school?’ He asked. ‘We thank God.’ ‘Welcome. What do I owe this august visit to?’ ‘I have stayed two days in this village and was bothered not to have seen you.’ ‘My brother, I did not know that Chidinma was an ashawo, a prostitute.’ ‘It is not true, you are the one that contacted HIV and gave to me,’ Chidinma screamed. Okenna was dumbfounded as

Continue from page 48

The Senate should go ahead and do a perfect job without fear or favour and come out with recommendations that will save our economy and provide adequate punishments for the culprits to serve as deterrent to those in authority who may have such selfish and evil mind to ruin our economy. Bright Ehis Aboiralor, Kaduna State. This game is not different from that of the power sector. Please, someone should tell us what happened to that report. I think the Senate only wants to get public attention. Ikyaagba Emmanuel, Makurdi, Benue State. Privatisation and Commercialisation of government owned companies was a welcome development, but that it was handled by BPE officials leave much to be desired. All the people involved should be invited and heard and erring officers punished no matter how highly placed they are. The Senate committee in charge should take note of what happened to Senator Ndudi Elumelu and his committee during the last National Assembly session and be above board. It’s shameful that people we thought were responsible in this country are not. Look at the way they’re shifting blames. Onyekachi P. Uzoka, Egbema, Imo State. It’s not surprising that this revelation is coming up now. Nigerians rose against privatisation idea when it was hatched by OBJ’s government. The policy is IMF’s and

Shor Shortt Stor Storyy Rita Ohai Rita Ohai

07089069956 (sms only) e-mail: pearlohai@yahoo.com

Relief

WRITTEN BY CELESTINE NNAEMEKA ACHEBE

they dealt with each other in battle of words. It was when Ngene rose from his stool to beat his wife that Okenna intervened. He was furious but Okenna managed to calm him down.

cannot work in developing economy like ours. Few key government officers and cronies will always buy up public property for themselves at minimal cost and abuse the process as had happened. The actors should pay for their actions. Dom Ogbeche, Calabar, Cross River State. To be candid, some of Nigeria’s companies need to be privatized so that there will be improvement in the discharge of service to the public. If competent private investors take over some important company like PHCN, I think it will be a good development. Sunday, Ibadan, Oyo State. It is not surprising to me because corruption has become the order of things in Nigeria. The senate should go to the root of the matter by inviting those who are connected to come and defend themselves. Furthermore, all government properties fraudulently sold should be revoked so that next time due process will be followed. Isiaka Ibrahim, Iree, Osun State. What we heard at the Senate hearing on privatization is not new. They are just a tip of the ice berg of the numerous and mind-boggling corruption that subsisted during Obasanjo’s tenure. Ojo H.O., Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State. I have always told Nigerians that what the Obasanjo Administration was doing in the name of

‘Oga Ngene, what is the matter?’ Okenna asked as if he had just appeared. ‘My wife, my wife,’ he started and cleared his throat, then continued; ‘my wife went to antenatal two days ago, came back with a result from HIV test she had. My wife is having HIV, AIDS. Ah!

I am finished. Chine-eke!’ ‘If I have AIDS you gave it to me,’ Chidinma defended. ‘If I hear peem! If I hear any word from you again!’ Ngene barked. ‘Can I see the result?’ Okenna asked. ‘Let me bring it.’ Ngene took the lantern to their one room apartment and shortly, he came out and gave a piece of paper to Okenna. He opened the paper and brought the lantern close to him. He saw the result and heaved. It was a heave of relief; it was a triumph over illiteracy. The result was negative. ‘Oga Ngene, your wife is not having HIV.’ Confusion and shock danced across Ngene’s features. Chidinma began dancing excitedly around the compound and thanking Okenna for saving him from the wrath of her husband, Ngene kept quiet for a while and suddenly busted into laughter. Okenna laughed with him, Chidinma joined them. ‘Nwaoyibo!’ Ngene’s voice boomed in acclamation with its usual ecstasy as

52

Okene left for home. Walking back home along the village path, the drama at Ngene’s house reminded Okenna of the first time he went for HIV test. He had postponed it for three consecutive days. The reflections of what life would be if he tested positive, how he had counted how many ladies he had dated, and recounted the protected and unprotected affairs he had but couldn’t get them right, the pluses and minuses that if he may get it, those he could have pointed fingers and isolation of others not likely to be infected. All came to his mind. Okenna also recalled how the lab scientist at the general hospital added to his trauma by giving him counselling and the drama that ensued when he finally conducted the test and wanted to take details from him before announcing the result. ‘Are you married?’ The lab scientist asked. ‘No,’ Okenna answered. ‘How many soups have you tasted since you became an adult?’ ‘Many.’ ‘Which one is your favourite?’ ‘Egusi.’ ‘Can you eat egusi alone and stop other soups?’ ‘How can I?’ ‘That‘s where you get it wrong. Abstinence is the best; otherwise stick to a partner. Okenna then knew it was a joke and smiled in understanding when he was told his result was negative.

Many thanks to our amazing readers who send in their comments. If you are passionate about writing exciting short stories, you can send two copies of your writing samples to pearlohai@yahoo.com. Winning entries will be published once every month. N.B: Each entry must have a minimum of 800 words and a maximum of 1000 words. Credit will be given to each writer for every story published.

Have Your Say What is your view on the revelations at the Senate hearing on privatisation? privatisation was actually glorified personalisation, satanic plundering and opportunistic governmental thievery of our commonwealth. Honestly, if Obasanjo, especially, and others mentioned are not called upon to render account on this shameful revelation, the entire exercise will amount to common grandstanding, parochial witch-hunt of some persons and national disgrace. Hon. Ebenezer Oyetakin. In my opinion it is nothing new. A lot has been written in the press about the theft of Nigeria’s assets by Obasanjo and his people. I have heard somewhere else that the Policy of Privatization and Commercialisation in its entirety is not consistent with 21st century national development. The world has far moved away from this. A situation where we sold all National assets to less than 50 people at ridiculously low prices and these people have turned round to sell these assets, or rent them out at even higher amounts is not only callous by those who presided over this but also a slap on the faces of Nigerians. Which country in the world has sold all its assets to a

few rich people? Did this policy bring about employment and economic development to Nigeria? Barr Reuben Acka, Matama, Abuja. I agree with Femi Falana that all persons whose names featured, including OBJ should be invited to testify before the Senate Committee. There should be no sacred cow. After that the matter should be turned over to the ICPC or the EFCC for investigation and prosecution. OBJ is telling the whole world that Nigeria is corrupt forgetting that he is a symbol of corruption. He ran the country as a personal concern and defrauded the nation under the guise of privatization. Alh. AB Tsav, Badawa New Layout, Kano State. It’s time to invite OBJ to answer questions on what his regime did with our common wealth. Dauda Jimoh, Kaduna State. In as much as I have absolute confidence in the current administration to deliver on its electoral promises, I am absolutely sure that

the current revelations at the senate hearing on privatization will go the way the House hearing on Power went. It’s the same characters that are being mentioned and there is absolutely nothing anybody can do about it. The Senate should please spear the country’s time and resources in pursuing shadows. Tonye Mark, Calabar, Cross River State. The revelations at the Senate hearing on privatisation did not come as surprise. It will not be surprise to see the entity called Nigeria sold to a preferred bidder. The hearing itself is an exercise in futility as nothing will come out of it. The socalled senators are part of the mess being revealed. Can we recall the outcome of such exercise in the past? Anyanwu Ikechukwu, Lagos State. It’s another TV razzmatazz that will come to nothing like all others before it. Can all members of the committee put their job on the line? No, the elite has always protected its own. AJH Menegbo, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.


THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

53


THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

54

O EBERE WABARA

O8055001948

ewabara@yahoo.com

Standard English versus commercialese HE Asset Management Corporation (Company) of Nigeria (AMCON) said on Tuesday that the fate of Intercontinental, Oceanic, Finbank, Equitorial Trust and Union are now in the hands of their shareholders.” (DAILY I N D E P E N D E N T Business, August 17) No commercialese: the fate of banks is (not are). “The testimony of Major Hamza AlMustapha, former CSO to late General Sani Abacha….” (TELL Cover Story, August 22) A fox and his bagful of yarns: former CSO to the late General Sani Abacha. “The corporation said it is (was) determined to protect depositors by all means.” (THISDAY Front Page Window Story, August 15) “Food crop production has declined rapidly and this is largely attributable to soil despoilation….” Frequent oil spills in the Niger Delta axis: despoliation. “Money speaks, we will interprete” (National Mirror Headline, August 15) Spell-check: interpret. “Anxiety over Ojukwu’s health hightens” (DAILY I N D E P E N D E N T Headline, August 15) This way: heightens. “He said the taking over of these banks by AMCON will (would) not….” (Source: as above) Yet another Business English (commercialese)! Still on the preceding edition: “It is very unfortunate that in a country with a shattered and troubled education sector like ours….” Counting the cost of dormant funds: educational sector. “The boys who were to kill us started fighting themselves” (Nigerian Compass Life Headline, August 14) This way: The boys fought one another (not themselves). Except, of course, they were on a suicide mission! “English Premiership kicks-off in grand style” (THE GUARDIAN Back Page Headline, August 13) This is incongruent with flagship journalism: inclusion of hyphens in phrasal verbs! “ B a n k s nationalization: Accusing fingers point at regulators” (SATURDAY TRIBUNE Feature Banner, August 13) A rewrite: Banks’ (take note of the apostrophe) nationalization: The finger points at regulators “Adanma who is based in the United States

“T

and works as a medical personnel….” (Source: as above) ‘Personnel’ is a collective noun and cannot function as used. Get it right: a medical official, employee, worker, service provider, assistant, hand… “President Goodluck Jonathan has warned that forceful takeover of power through coup d’etats will no longer be tolerated….” (THE GUARDIAN Back Page, August 12) Conscience, nurtured by truth: coups d’ etat. “Imoke mourns late Hausa leader” (DAILY INDEPENDENT, August 12) The governor couldn’t have mourned someone who was alive! So, he mourns Hausa leader. “Veteran golfers converge at Ikeja club” (Source: as above) Let’s go golfing as we converge on Ikeja Club. “…maintained that Ojukwu was hale and healthy in a far away London hospital.” (THE GUARDIAN, August 11) For the recuperation of Ikemba Nnewi: hale and hearty. Nigerian TRIBUNE EDITORIAL of August 11 circulated two embarrassing errors: “…even foreigners who should ordinarily be living in utmost circumspection have the effrontory and confidence to dupe Nigerians and even kill them.” No lexical quackery: effrontery. “We shudder to imagine how many of these foreigners are involved in various forms of criminality which the lax security system of the state have (has) permitted.” “He will do it well, but if you give it to a mediocre….” (DAILY CHAMPION, August 11) People and Power: a mediocrity or mediocrist. ‘Mediocre’ is an adjective. “FRSC records 180 causalities in Kogi” (National Mirror Headline, August 10) Spell-check: casualties. “Customs seize N25bn goods” (THE PUNCH Headline, August 10) Customs seizes. “She argued that a pact such as is being advocated for by the lawmakers amounted to Nigeria’s re-orientation.” Remove ‘for’. “I searched in vain for the Ministry of Defence and, unless the text I had was defective, it was conspicuously absent.” ‘Absence’ does not require any qualification. Simply, it was absent. “ H i s Excellency…Ambassador

E x t r a o r d i n a r y (Extraordinaire) and Plenipotentiary….” “In fact, the situation has degenerated from that of epileptic power supply down to that of complete blackout which in most cases lasts from weeks to months.” ‘Blackout’ does not need any modifier—it means total extinction or concealment of lights. “The reasons range from power generation limitation to the use of overaged (overage), antiquated and arsenic hydro-terminal plants and so many others too numerous to mention.” Agreed that ‘overage’ means ‘too old’ (used mostly for human beings), but for contextualization and language grasp, ‘obsolete’ (for inanimate things) should have been it. “Many people have lost their household properties as a result of uncontrolled power voltage.” Time to remove the immunity of PHCN: property (not properties) in this context. “The consensus of opinion in the country today.…” Despite the pockets of debate on what some learner’s dictionaries say, I insist on consensus (without opinion, which is optional anyway). “It is also an open secret that a cabal of highly placed sacred cows holds the fuel distribution process in the country to ransome.” Spell-check: ransom. “Council chairmen and legislators at the council, state and federal levels would also later be swornin (sworn in) for the take off (take-off) of the Fourth Republic.” Again, phrasal verbs do not admit hyphenation. “The Yorubas, Igbos and even Northern minorities have grudges….” English is no politics: the Yoruba, the Igbo and the Northern minorities. “Except round pegs are put in round holes, the nation will be the looser (loser) for it.” “It is arguable if the current spate of a d v a n c e m e n t (advancements) recorded in the area of….” “Thank God he is concerned at (about/for/ over/in—depending on context—never at) the security situation.” “There were other ministers in the last dispensation who performed creditably well, but who were not reappointed.” Get it right: ministers who performed creditably or well. ‘Creditably well’ is an overkill. Both cannot cofunction.

LAYINKA Memorial Private School, Meran, Lagos, has donated the sum of #50,000 to Little Saint’s Orphanage in commemoration of 2011 ‘Mummy Yinka’s Day’ celebration. Late Yinka Akintunde after whom the school is named was born on the 22nd of August. In addition, Miss Happiness George, one of the children in the orphanage was selected by Titilope Odunayo of Olayinka Memorial Private School as ‘Mummy Yinka’s baby of the year 2011’-an award with a price money of #10,000. While addressing the children, Pastor David Deola Odunayo, the proprietor of the school, told them a brief history of mummy Yinka and encouraged them to overcome the peculiar challenges of their lives and go ahead to make a big success of their lives the way late Yinka did. Responding on behalf of the orphanage, Loveth Ufeme thanked Olayinka Memorial School for the donation and encouraged other well-meaning people and organizations to follow their example. August 22nd every year has been declared as ‘Mummy Yinka’s Day’ in honour of Mrs. Yinka Akintunde who died in a fatal accident on the 7th of No-

School donates to Little Saints’ Orphanage

•Mrs. Olayinka

vember 2009 while on a visit to Nigeria from her London base

where she lived the last 22years of her life.

Safety and Security Alert! Dynamics of Intelligence Gathering and Counter-Insurgency (2)

L

AST week we discussed concepts of ‘traditional’ intelligence gathering, its intrinsic dynamics and modus operandi of domestic insurgents. But this week we shall elucidate challenges of and best practices to counter- insurgency and measure intelligence to generate meaningful decisions. Challenges of Counter-Insurgency · High level of scientific approach to intelligence gathering, dissemination and management systems could not protect from threats. · It could not eliminate threats from unreasonable security strategies for economic interests. · Certain contradictions must be fused to achieve success. · A ‘thin’ line separating resistant groups from domestic terrorists. · Constant politicking of insurgents complicates activities. · Activities are mused within areas where maintains, hills, valleys, creeks, streams, and swamps provide safe havens. · Fighting insurgency require strategic puzzle. · Contest of determinations, uneven resources, preferred initiatives, concealed political and para- operations and public measures. · Poor intelligence gathering management and compromise by intelligence community. · Traces of external terrorist influences Way Forward · Use intelligence gathering as distinct perception with specific tools for analysis and application of results. · Device counter- insurgency missions with ready elements. · Engage spies with specialization and protection. · Deviate from “traditional intelligence methods”. · Develop and apply efficiency with agencies and residents. · Adopt flexible technical means such as live-feed television, sophisticated photographic elec-

tronic devices, phone taps, hidden cameras, listening devices, infrared detection systems, motion detectors and technologies to intercept communication traffic. Tools for Analysing Intelligence: · To test precision and entropy, the amount of information available in probability density is measured in terms of information entropy · To test accuracy of information, concepts of precision and bias involved in critical elements close to ‘Ground Truth’. · Accuracy consists of both bias and precision; therefore need for ‘Mean Square Error’ (MSE) metric to combine both. · Use ‘Bayesian’ updating to refine location estimate based on in-coming reports. · Introduce systematic error to adjust ‘Euclidean-distance’, the difference between ‘Bayesian’ and ‘Ground Truth’ value. · Replace distribution variance with MSE · Maximum mean square error is combination of maximum bias and maximum precision represents maximum accuracy. · Finally, to achieve precision and accuracy, collaborate complete critical information elements within network. Preventive measures for Counter-Insurgency There should be: · Rapid socio-economic developments. · Sustained legal agitation for fair nation’s resources · Provision of free and compulsory mass education. Strategies for combating Counter-Insurgency · Establish local, state and federal intelligence gathering centers with a central processing laboratory with the presidency. · Hold regular intelligence meetings to evaluate security audits, situations and report by respective agencies. · Implement the proposed neighbourhood watch or other agency with legal frame work to guard against domestic ter-

ror groups. · Train the neighbourhood watch or other agency in Community Policing philosophies and strategies to standards which is the proven mechanism for preventing domestic insurgency. · Constitute a unit of intelligence analysts’ from federal and state security councils comprising security consultants and professionals of repute and unalloyed loyalty. · Establish intelligence laboratory, equipped with ‘state- ofthe- art’ technologies and gadgets. · Regular training and re-training of personnel to meet required standards. · Inaugurate intelligence processing divisions across levels of military and government paramilitary formations. · Ensure fluid relationship and collaboration of intelligence dissemination among agencies, security councils and intelligence laboratory. · Appoint a responsible officer at various levels to coordinate, manage and interpret intelligence results Conclusion The poor intelligence gathering and management systems exhibited by ‘traditional’ security personnel in the face of pockets of regional insurgencies rocking the nation, fuelled by political crisis has undermined the national security strategies. Consequently, l hereby suggest urgent measures to improve the efficiency of intelligence gathering and counter-insurgency. It is also expedient of the government to effectively combat the raging insurgency factions harassing the national peace through result- oriented intelligence management systems. Please send feedbacks, responses, and challenges by sms or e-mail to the undersigned. By: Mr. Timilehin Ajayi (Safety and Security Consultant) E-mail: timilehinajayi@yahoo.com 08095683454, 08075518732


55

Life Extra •Continued on page 20

The increase in the use of okada has created a booming business with large numbers of motorbikes bought and leased by the owners to unemployed drivers on a daily basis for profit. According to Tunji aka Freestyle who works as a part-time bus conductor and okada driver, “Okada business is good business because no matter what happens, you must find something to chop for that day. That is why our big Chairman will buy plenty okada that he will share to all the riders very early in the morning around 6a.m. From there we will run around and carry passengers but in the night we will take the okada back to our oga, from there we will give him his own Rajaa (daily monetary cut).” He further said that many okada accidents are caused by Abokis (local term for Hausa men) who pay little attention to traffic rules. “If you check around, you will see that it is all this aboki people that like to have accident. Even when we go to council for meeting, they no dey hear word. If you tell aboki, ‘no follow this side’ that is the time they will want to follow that place, so they are the cause of accidents.” Disagreeing with this claim, Princewill Ekezie, argued, “Accidents can happen to anybody. It just depends on how you manage yourself when your are on the road. If a person is rough on the road, no matter where they are from, that person can have an accident.” The notion that okada riding is an occupation reserved for the brash and uneducated just might not ring true in modern-day Nigeria. Ekezie is a History graduate who drives okada in the Oshodi axis of Lagos. He explained: “I finished from Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUTH) in 1998 but when I came out I searched for a job for more than three years. Time was passing-by and I had to survive so I tried some other businesses then in 2004 I settled for okada and I have been driving it since.” On the level of skill required to drive an okada for commercial purposes, he said: “To ride okada is not hard. If you know how to ride bicycle then in one week the person can ride it (okada). It is just experience that matters.” Usumanu Mele who hails from Maiduguri, Borno State, but makes a living as an okada driver in Egbeda, Lagos, considers himself a professional, although he has had barely two months experience with driving motorbikes: ‘I came to Lagos from Maiduguri so that I can provide food for my family in Borno. My brothers were already doing this business here so three months ago I decided to join.’ A doctor who works in a governmentowned orthopaedic hospital in Lagos State painted a picture of the risk involved in the mode of transportation: ‘The advent of okada as a means of transportation is in my opinion a major disaster. People out there who patronize okadas for any reason need to come to the A and E (the Accidents and Emergency ward) to see the kind of suffering that victims of accidents are dealing with. Most of the severe surgical

THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2010

The Okada phenomenon

•A scene of okada accident

emergency injuries I attend to in the hospital are as a result of okada accidents. The injuries range from open bone fractures to head wounds which result in unconsciousness and even death.’ He added, “Also the cost for treatment is overwhelming. Many times when these patients come in, they get to spend between N25, 000 for a simple injury which requires a Plaster of Paris or above N150, 000 for surgery which will require implants for broken bones.’ He gave first-aid tips in case of an okada accident, saying, ‘Passers-by can help control the amount of blood lost by covering the wound with a clean cloth and applying a little pressure. It is important that they do not tie the wound because that can cut-off blood flow to that part of the body. In the case of a bone fracture to the arms or legs, they can make a splint with cartons and pieces of wire or cloths and tie around the affected limb.’ Emphasizing the need for helmets while riding on motorbikes, he said: ‘If you must use an okada, then it is important for you to use a

helmet. All over the world, the use of helmets have been known to reduce the mortality and morbidity of okada accidents. This does not mean that the accidents will not happen and that people will not be injured, rather, what it means is that the size of the injury will be reduced.’ In a bid to allay the fear of the spread of lice by people who refuse to use the helmets, the doctor said: ‘A person will have to wear an infected helmet for a very long journey before the lice can be transmitted. A short ride cannot give you lice besides this is like choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea, you need to decide which is more important, the possibility of getting lice or being involved in a life threatening accident.’ Recently in Bayelsa State, Arrive Alive Road Safety Initiative, in collaboration with Chevron and the Federal Road Safety Comission (FRSC) distributed over 20,000 helmets to truck and okada drivers. The Bayelsa State FRSC Sector Commander, Mr. Baba Aliyu, in an interview vowed that the sector will ensure full

compliance with the use of helmets. FRSC officials in other parts of the country had also promised to deal with okada riders who flaunt the helmet-wearing rule. In some parts of the country, with crimes such as armed robbery and kidnapping on the rise, curfews have been put in place affecting okada drivers. In Lagos, for instance, commercial motorbikes are not allowed beyond 10pm. Jonas Agwu, the Lagos State FRSC Sector Commander spoke on this development, saying, “In Lagos State we have launched a renewed commitment to applying judicial processes in the prosecution of traffic law offenders and okada riders are no exception. In the last three weeks we have arrested and prosecuted 29 okada riders in the court of law and this will be a continuous process. The curfew has been in place for a long time and this is being enforced because of the risk associated with night-time, that is why FRSC officials usually hand over their posts on the roads to the Police who are armed enough to handle this risks.”

Women in work places

A

CROSS the globe, women do two thirds of the work, receive 10% of the World’s income and own 1% of the means of production; a fact that has nonetheless affected the almost 50:50 ratio of the male : female population in the Nigerian business world. The debate which was sponsored by Nestle Nigeria plc, had a crop of seasoned professionals in their individual fields as panel of discussants. This provided a platform on which perception of gender diversity by corporate organizations; proactive actions to achieve gender balance in workplaces as well as the level of intensity in the hurdles women face at the work-front were objectively looked into. While noting that for all of these areas to be dealt with progressively the need for gender recruitment tracking is imperative. The Gender Recruitment Tracking (GRT) would enable the monitoring of the gender ration of the Nigerian workforce, thereby encouraging the womenfolk as they climb the corporate ladder in a traditional society where they are expected to focus more on family than the men. Organized by Idea Builders Initiative, a not-for-profit organization committed to helping women transform their in Nigeria, the debate had on its panel of discussants, Dr. Esohe Molokwu, Mrs. Ndidi Nwuneli,

That there may be gender balance in the corporate world at every rung of the ladder was a major issue at the debate held at the Entrepreneurial Development Centre of the Pan African University recently, Timilehin Osunde writes Dr. Keziah Awosika, Dr. Sade Taiwo, Mr.Femi Ogundare and Mr. Kunle Ajibade; all with ample experience in their various areas of expertise. Another area of focus was that of gender-biased decisions in corporate organizations owned or managed by foreigner, as this aspect has practically never been looked into in the past. Also brought to the front burner was the gap that exists in the communication flow between corporate organizations and non-governmental organizations and how it can be bridged. Diversity inn ethnicity also a factor in gender-biased policies in some working environment was discussed as a panacea of sorts through which some of these issues can be dealt with if x-rayed objectively. Speaking during the event, Dr. Keziah Awosika, who is a Nigerian Research Economist specializing in the area of money and banking, explained that the need to sensitize and educate others especially the men is key. A solution which is relative to the Nigerian society with its cultural and traditional barriers.

The imperative need to network constantly amongst organizations in both the corporate and development world was listed as another route to help source out ways through which gender balance can be achieved in the business world. Every year, both genders enter the workforce with comparative education, ambition and commitment, but as the climb up the ladder progresses, it turns into a diminishing numbers game with a minimal percentage of the female force staying long enough to reach the senior management level. They both face the same challenges, changes and tasks but in a setting where more is expected physically, emotionally and psychologically from the women than the men, then the guilt of not being able to fill these spaces adequately as well as the real or perceived workforce productivity loss is huge. Hence, it has been deduced that women in policy making positions need to explore the area of Gender Recruitment Tracking (GRT) and endeavour to work towards making it a strong requirement if corporate gender initiatives are to be sustainable while noting

the difference between tracking numbers and putting down numbers. A situation that would help understand if enough women are coming into the workforce, whether more women are leaving with respect to men and reason behind it, so measures can be taken to tackle these real issues. With all these and a lot more to be done to ensure that the meter is ticking, women have been upon to ensure that they improve on their skills and develop their abilities so when opportunities arise for them to move up the business/corporate ladder, they would have the necessary requirements thereby creating room for and strengthening sustainability and accountability in the whole process. At the end of the debate, both genders have been enjoined to work in their individual jurisdiction to ensure that there is gender balance in policies made and decisions taken in working environment as this would at the long run lead to balance in a whole lot of other areas in the society including the family front.


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THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

Focus

debates. The global chairman, financial services KPMG, Brendan Nelson, in what could easily pass for an endorsement of the system declared as a matter of fact: “At KPMG, we are very conscious of the growing importance of the Islamic finance industry and are pleased to be contributing to its continued advancement.” Today, KPMG is one of the first accountancy organisations in the world to offer Global Islamic Financial Services (GIFS). The concept of Islamic Finance has recently been co-opted into the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants’ (ACCA) syllabus. Regulation of Islamic Bank In the opinion of Dr. Abdul Lateef Adegbite, Secretary General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), although there are still challenges regarding uniform regulation of Islamic Banking and Finance, a lot has been achieved by countries that have been in the forefront. Countries such as Bahrain, Malaysia, UK, as well as other organisations have been purposely established to help regulate and standardize Islamic Finance practice. Malaysia, according to Adegbite, has been developing the necessary infrastructure to support the legal and regulatory framework for Islamic Finance industry since the 80’s. “The Islamic Banking Act was enacted in 1983 and Takaful Act in 1984. The UK (FSA) has also reviewed some of its statutes to accommodate Islamic Finance since 2003,” he stated. The industry, he further stressed, has also developed self-regulatory bodies such as the Accounting & Auditing Organisation for Islamic Finance Institutions (AAOIFI), the Islamic Financial Service Board (IFSB), International Islamic Financial Markets (IIFM) and International Islamic Rating Agency (IIRA) among other standards governing accounting, auditing, corporate governance and capital adequacy for the industry. “Similarly the IFSB is an international body headquartered in Malaysia with more than 150 members including the IMF, IDB, World Bank for International Settlements, Central Banks, market players and professional firms, guidelines on risk management, capital adequacy, corporate governance, etc.” Coming nearer home, the Baba Adinni of Egbaland, said: “As part of the ongoing reforms of the banking industry, the Central Bank (CBN) has abolished the Universal Banking Model (of the one-size-fits-all minimum capital of N25billion introduced in 2005) and released new guidelines for different categories of conventional banks as well as that of the Non-interest Banking (NIB) or Islamic Banking.” Market size Although it constitutes less than 5% of the global financial market, the Islamic Banking and Finance market was growing between 15 and 20% before the world economic recession of 2008 and thereafter at an average of 15% per annum. In the last four decades, the system has evolved from a small niche visible only in Islamic countries to a profitable, dynamic and resilient competitor at an international level. The size of Islamic banks around the world was estimated to be close to US $850 billion at the end of 2008. While Islamic banking remains the main component of the Islamic financial system, the other elements, such as Takaful (Islamic Insurance), Mutual Funds and Sukuk (Islamic bonds and financial certificates), have witnessed strong global growth, too. According to a reliable estimate, the Islamic financial industry now amounts to over US $1 trillion and projected to hit $1.6 trillion by 2012. Given its fast-growing nature the industry is estimated to double in size in less than a decade. The controversy

•Ahmad

•Osu

‘Islamic banking is unsuitable for Nigeria’ Investigations by The Nation revealed that Islamic banking practice, just as it has aroused dust in the country passed through the same route when it first became popular in the West. In one area where it generated a lot of rumpus, according to available information, was the issue of double taxation, especially in the UK, USA, Germany and other parts of Europe. Incomes made from Islamic banks were subjected to double taxation by the state, so much so that this became a sort of disincentive for prospective customers. Expectedly, the promoters of this model of banking were not comfortable with this. A lot of motions were put forward aimed at addressing the issue of double taxation, so that monies being invested and profits made from Islamic banking are not subjected to double taxation. This concession, according to Abdullahi, who also went through an internship at HSBC in the UK, where he handled Islamic banking-related transactions, was given by the respective authorities concerned because: “Islamic bank does not charge interest. What Islamic bank does is that they go into partnership. So, at all times, you have two sets of people: you have the Rabuul Mal’, who is the owner of the fund or the bank and its investor and you have the Mudarib, which is the entrepreneur.” He added, “Take a hypothetical situation: you are an entrepreneur in a bank and you are selling cell phones and in the course of selling your wares you have been subjected to tax. Now, you return the profit back to the Islamic bank for sharing that is further subjected to another tax. But now they have been able to resolve that and that was commendable by the British government. And you find that in some other countries of the world, where such exists whether in the US, Europe or in Germany for instance, that has also been resolved. And in Pakistan, that was taken care of right from the inception. In Malaysia, they have outgrown that as well. In Dubai they took care of it. In Benin Republic they started from inception too,

learning from other countries of the world, they have also outgrown it. In South Africa they also took a lot of learning from inception and they have also outgrown that as well and they’ve been able to move forward,” he stressed. Islamic Banks and regulatory authorities The argument being canvassed by those drumming up support for the introduction of Islamic bank in the country is that it is strictly in line with the tenets of Shari’ah. Ironically, this same argument is being repudiated by many who hold the view, and very strongly too, that the whole idea is to indoctrinate the rest of the country. But Sheik Abdul-Rahman Ahmad, National Missioner, Ansarul Deen Society of Nigeria, however, has a different view. According to him, “In all the places it is being operated across the world, the practice is tied to Islamic doctrines, which is the Shari’ah. In England for instance, it is called Islamic Bank of Britain. It is only the politicisation of religion that is affecting the issue of Islamic banking in the country. In my own opinion, there is nothing really religious about the issue of Islamic banking because most of those who are promoting it are business people who are out to make profit because they understand the fact that Islamic banking offers enhanced profit.” Corroborating Ahmad, Abdullahi observed that: “Every Islamic bank in any country where it operates is strictly under the supervision of the Central Bank of that country. As such, it still adheres to the tax laws of that country. But where it requires amendment, representation is made to the tax authorities,” adding: “The standard practice for Islamic bank anywhere in the world is that it must have a Shari’ah Advisory Council and this is for specific reason.” Justifying the role of the Shari’ah Advisory, Abdullahi said the council set stores for the ideal and idea of Islamic banking. “It is the responsibility of the Shari’ah Council to look into the practice of Islamic banks.”

The co-mingling of fund, Abdullahi noted: “Is not allowed under the Shari’ah. If you have a conventional bank, having an Islamic window, Islamic bank does not allow co-mingling of funds and investment into non-permissible items is not allowed, and it is the responsibility of the Shari’ah Advisory Council to say this is not allowed. It is the responsibility of the Shari’ah Advisory Council to guide the bank in the development of Islamic banking products such that profiteering is not brought into it. “By law, the Shari’ah does not allow you to buy an item for N1 and resell for N1.50 kobo. You cannot make 50 per cent of the cost price as your profit. So, profiteering is not allowed and where it filters into the money, it is the responsibility again of the Shari’ah Advisory Council to take it out and make sure that it is donated back into charity like orphanages and hospitals. So these are the basic reasons where you have the Shari’ah Advisory Council that guides the operation under the Fiqhu Muhamalat.” The challenges Although there is so much excitement over the introduction of Islamic banking into the country, there are still lots of hurdles to be crossed. Chief among which is the lack of professionals with the requisite skill set on the operations of the bank. The absence of Shari’ah scholars competent in Islamic jurisprudence is yet another challenge confronting the industry. It is however instructive to note that some of these challenges are being addressed through conscious efforts at both the corporate and institutional levels. CBN which is now the main driver of this initiative has embarked on extensive capacity building in readiness for proper supervision of the new system. Secure Huda Consulting is also poised to address the issue of lack of expertise by building the skill sets of prospective staff of Islamic banks in the country. The firm in partnership with a university in Pakistan is set to start a diploma course in Islamic banking and Finance in September with prospective students spread across the six geo-political zones of the country.


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THE NATION ON SUNDAY, AUGUST 21, 2011

Hurdles before Okonjo-Iweala The country’s poor economic indicators notwithstanding, analysts view the appointment of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Managing Director of the World Bank, as the Minister of Finance and Coordinator of the Economic Team under President Goodluck Jonathan as a positive signal, reports Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf

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RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan may now enjoy a moment of respite, even if only momentarily, from some of his hard critics who have continued to agonise over what they describe as the absence of technocrats in his cabinet following the appointment of the former Managing Director of the World Bank, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who was sworn in last Wednesday as the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance as well as Head of the Economic Team of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration. Expectedly, Okonjo-Iweala is joining the President Jonathan-PDP led government amidst high expectations that she would use her clout in the international community to turn the economic fortunes of the country around using time-tested indices. For someone who held the finance portfolio before between 2003 and 2006, she has a lot going for her, chief among which is her success in helping to secure Nigeria’s debt relief. Playing the modesty card, OkonjoIweala has declared as a matter of fact that she doesn’t have all the answers to the socio-economic woes bedeviling the nation. To be able to perform, she has earnestly craved the support and cooperation of all and sundry in her arduous task of fixing the nation’s parlous economy.

•Okonjo-Iweala

Debt burden Just like when she had the first shot as Minister of Finance in 2003, the former boss of the Brentwood institution is coming at a time when things have gone suddenly awry with the economy. There are a lot of hurdles before Okonjo-Iweala. The country’s local and external debts is at a record high, a development which the Debt Management Office, said could further spell doom for the country if not checkmated on time. It may be recalled that Nigeria paid a whopping $12billion to exit the Paris Club debt under former President Olusegun Obasanjo. But when many thought never again would the country be caught in the mire of a debilitating debt burden, the outlook paints a gloomy picture ahead, as the country’s total indebtedness as at June 30, 2011, was estimated at $37billion, which is 19 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Statistics from the DMO indicate that between January 2008 and May 29, 2011, state governments accumulated external debts worth over $102billion, with nine states where government changed the baton owing debts put in excess of $20.85billion in the last three and half years. These states are Zamfara, Kano, Kwara, Ogun, Imo, Gombe, Nassarawa and Borno. The external loans incurred within this period increased the indebtedness of the states from

N232.7billion in December 2007 to N335.27billion as at June 30, 2011, an increase of 44 per cent. Stakeholders want to see how well she helps the country pull through this debt burden quagmire. Rising cost of governance and spiraling inflation In the last couple of years more funds have been devoted to running government’s ministries, parastals rather than providing capital development. In 2010, the government devoted a whooping N2.077trillion on recurrent expenditure. The capital budget was N1.85trillion. This was a ratio of 53 per cent to 47 per cent. This year alone N2.48trillion has been voted for overheads as against N1.05trillion for capital projects. These huge overheads will service 42 ministers and dozens of agencies and quasi-governmental parastatals. This one road the new minister must navigate in order to affect the necessary socio-economic changes. She gave hint of what changes to expect during her appearance before the Senate for confirmation, when she said: “I am really worried about the issue of making sure our budget is not eaten up by recurrent expenditure. How can we invest in capital if we’re spending all our money on recurrent expenditures? Can we run a budget that is not negative? Absolutely. We can do it, we have done it. We have been able in the past.” Dwindling reserves The dwindling foreign reserves is yet another issue that may assail the former World Bank boss, who may have to think up ingenious ways of helping to shore up the nation’s reserves and ultimately ensure fiscal discipline at all levels of government. Developing streams of income Nigeria’s daily crude oil production capacity now stands at 2.6 million barrels per day. This figure according to Goni Sheikh, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, represents a great leap from the 1.3 million barrels recorded in 2008, a development, he attributed to the Federal Government Amnesty Programme in the Niger Delta area. But Okonjo-Iweala would rather the country diversify its revenue sources from oil. As she mounts the turf, her greatest challenge would be how to make fundamental changes aimed at diversifying the nation’s economy, to reduce her over-reliance on crude oil exports. Banking reforms and privatisation of commanding sectors The minister is also duty-bound to pay more than a passing glance at the ongoing reforms in the banking sub-sector because of the domino effect of the sector in the •Continued on page 58


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Business

•Continued from page 57

economy. Working in tandem with the CBN, the Minister Revenue allocation Revenue allocation is yet another knotty issue Okonjo-Iweala may have to confront. Analysts however believe she will be walking a familiar road. Recalled she caused the monthly allocation to state governments to be made public as part of ensuring good governance and fiscal accountability on the part of government. Vote of confidence on OkonjoIweala At separate interviews with Nigerians across the economic spectrum, they lauded her choice as the new Minister of Finance and Head of the nation’s economic team, saying she has what it takes to turn the economic tide. Speaking with The Nation, Managing Director, Financial Derivatives, Mr. Bismark Rewane, said the minister needs to grow the economy, reduce fiscal dominance and build institutional capacities. “She needs to reduce government activity by limiting its fiscal dominance, eliminating all obstacles to growth and making the country more competitive by building institutional capacities because institutions of the government are weak. “Although all these may be embedded in her agenda, they should be made more explicit”, Rewane said. Mr. Joshua Oderinde, former Chairman of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Ikeja District said: “I think her appointment is a right one and very timely too. She has a lot of experience and contacts that would benefit the nation.” While acknowledging the challenges and hurdles before her, the former ICAN

News

THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

Tasks before Okonjo-Iweala boss however said judging by her antecedence, there is no doubt that she would bring her experience to bear on her new assignment. “She has performed in the past and she has performed where she is coming from so she would surely perform. Let’s give her the support and encouragement; we shouldn’t start on a negative note. But she would require our cooperation to succeed. This is our nation so everybody must contribute his or her own quota for the development of the nation, it is not a one-man show”, Oderinde said, adding: “We should all rally round Mr. President to ensure the speedy socio-economic transformation of the country.” Echoing the same view, Dr. Jonathan Aremu, an economist who holds consulting briefs for different multilateral organisations like the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), UNIDO, among others, lauded the choice of Okonjo-Iweala as the Minister of Finance. The former Assistant Director, Research and Planning at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) who spoke with The Nation from his base in Ghana, said: “Bringing in somebody of that status who understands the economic imperative of both the national and global economy is a big boost. The capital market all over the world is fumbling; the economy in the country is not any better either. So we need somebody of that status to come in and do whatever is to be done to rescue us from this mess. “If you look at the capital market, with regards to the global economy, it is very tough. In the country now, most of the money we are making, substantial part of it is being committed to running the government. The cost for the running of government is so much. So, we need

somebody of her standing.” On the spiraling inflation in the country, Aremu, who is the Chief Executive of Market Link Consult, describe it “as very unfortunate.” Expatiating, he said: “What I’m aware of is that the value of the naira is going down. Before I left the country, the naira was changing N164 to the dollar and it has even gone up now. We need a very good manager who has both national and global expertise like Okonjo-Iweala, who has done it before. And the economy. “You discover that by the time she is coming back now, things are not in their right places again. So, she will need the cooperation of everybody because she is not an angel, she is only a human being like the rest of us.” The former acting Vice Chancellor of Covenant University however stressed the need for all and sundry to lend the necessary support in order to achieve the utmost for the economy. Said he: “My expectations from her is quite high, not because I’m an economist, but because we all saw what she managed to achieve for the country, to be able to clear our debt profile from the Paris Club of lenders and all that. “As much as possible, she needs cooperation of everybody. This is not a time to put a lot of pressure by the socalled politicians out to achieve their own selfish ends. If she recommends that we have to pull down the cost of governance, we have to do just that.” For Professor Itse Sagay (SAN), the appointment of the former World Bank boss signposts a good omen for the country as far as fiscal discipline is concerned. Apparently passing a vote of confidence on Okonjo-Iweala, the law

professor said: “The appointment is a right step in the right direction because she is well positioned to ensure economic revival of the country given her sterling record of performance in the past”, adding: “I think she will have greater courage to confront the public servants, by that I mean not only civil servants, but the National Assembly and government agencies that are consuming all the national patrimony on a recurrent basis leaving little or nothing for capital development. She would be able to confront the whole of them, including civil servants, who have continued to waste our resources irresponsibly on themselves at the expense of our development.” The former Chairman of the Editorial Board of The Guardian newspapers, who fell short of accusing the executive and legislative arms of ineptitude, said one of the major challenges confronting the country is human in nature. “The greatest challenges we have are people who have been in charge of the governance of Nigeria, because they are the ones wasting our national wealth on a conscienceless and reckless manner and I think she will be in a position to confront them head-on. “The money for capital development should be at least 70 per cent. Right now, it is about 26 per cent, and that is why we have not been able to move forward. So, I expect her to move money from the recurrent expenditure devoted to salaries and allowances of a select few to boost our capital projects. If this is done, I’m sure in the next four years, the country would become developed to an extent.” Based on the trust reposed on OkonjoIweala, can this translate to better performance as far as her new assignment is concern? Time will tell.

• L-R: Company Secretary, First Aluminium Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Sarah Osedo, Chairman, Alhaji Sulaimon Iseffa and Managing Director, Mr. Ben Elfrink, at the company’s Annual General Meeting in Lagos recently PHOTO: BADE DARAMOLA

L-R: Deputy National President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Pharm. Olumide Akintayo, Chairman, Lagos PSN, Pharm. Akintunde Obembe and President, Pharm. Azubike Okwo, at the 2011 Pharmacy Week organised by the Society PHOTO: BADE DARAMOLA

•Chief Executive Officer, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Mr. Fola Daniel and Obi of Onitsha, H.RM. Nnaemeka Achebe at the 2011 Anti-Money laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Awareness Workshop recently PHOTO: BADE DARAMOLA

•L-R: General Manager, PentHouse Hotel, Ikoyi, Mr. Jannie Lombard, Accountant, Mr. Amen Erhabor and Managing Director/CEO, Thornberry Africa, Mr. David Church during media interactive/tour of facility at the hotel on Thursday


THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

Business

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‘$200m entertainment fund not enough for the industry’ Mr. Greg Odutayo, is the Managing Director, Royal Roots Communications as well as National President, National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP). In this interview with Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf, speaks on the challenges and prospects of the nation’s entertainment industry

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O you think Nigeria’s entertainment industry can guarantee return on investment? No, it can’t because the infrastructures are not just there. Until infrastructures are there, no serious investor will come. Let me give an example: if you do a play production in Lagos now, how many venues can you perform? You are talking of the National Arts Theatre, but a lot of people don’t want to go there because they are scared that when they go in and come out, their cars may not be there. Muson Centre, is probably only just one venue; Freedom Hall, another venue, Terra Kulture, is just one venue. If you spend millions without getting corporate sponsors to put a play together, is it those three venues that will guarantee your investment coming back? The answer is no! Your investment can only come back when you are guaranteed that if you can take your play to like at least 15 states of Nigeria and in Lagos alone, you can perform this play in at least 1015 venues. And by the time you do that for over one month, then you can say yes, returns on investment is guaranteed. For instance, there are films in Broadway that have been running for years, and you can be sure that such films are goodpaying films, as such investors can have confidence in them. Why is this so? The way the theatre is now, unless there is corporate sponsorship, it is not an investor’s delight. A lot of those who are making films are doing it as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility. The cost of operation is astronomically expensive, so breaking even is going to be much of a challenge for any prospective film producer or playwright as the case may be. There are lots of small theatre companies or individuals who want to run theatre as a going concern, but when you do the arithmetic, it doesn’t add up at all. As a businessman, I find it hard to say let me push in X amount into a movie project, because if I put in such an amount now, I’ll be doing it strictly as CSR because the infrastructure is not there. However, some of the problems affecting the industry as a whole, you cannot isolate them from the problems of Nigeria because the problems of Nigeria is security, power. You have to factor in power generation into your business and you have to also factor in security. The sector

has not really have the benefit of an institutional support, and that is key to the development and growth of the industry. President Goodluck Jonathan announced the donation of $200million to the entertainment industry recently. Don’t you think the government by that gesture is out to support the sector? The $200million, I call it an intervention fund. I can akin it to the intervention funds that were given by governments all over the world during the economic recession. But even at that, it is not enough to drive the entire creative industry. And I always like to say it is not for the entertainment industry alone, the money is meant for the entire creative industry and when you look at the entire creative industry in Nigeria, $200million is a drop in the ocean, although it is still a starting point because we have never had sometime like that. It is not eureka for me because what we need essentially at this stage is not an intervention fund, but a more long lasting sustaining fund, which we can only get through an endowment fund for the arts, which is something we have always been crying about; it’s something we have been making discussions on for the sector and we believe that we need an endowment fund because an endowment fund is long-lasting and more sustaining for the industry. The intervention fund is just a stop-gap, it will not achieve complete development of the industry, it will only offer temporary palliative. Be that as it may, the intervention fund is a right step in the right direction. But there are insinuations in some quarters that the $200million is meant to support activities of stakeholders in the sector ultimately? It’s also important that we do not lose sight of what this funding is expected to achieve. This funding for me, is expected to be for infrastructure, for structures to be put in place and it is only when those structures are put in place, that the rest of us as artistes, as professionals in the industry, as stakeholders can have something to look forward to. Before now, even when I listened to some of my colleagues talk about the Entertainment Fund, the $200million, I have a feeling in the pit of my stomach that we are all getting it wrong. Unfortunately, even those who are managing the funds do not exactly know what they are doing about the funds. I

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THE EXECUTIVE

•Odutayo

“What we need essentially at this stage is not an intervention fund, but a more long lasting sustaining fund, which we can only get through an endowment fund for the arts, which is something we have always been crying about; it’s something we have been making discussions on for the sector and we believe that we need an endowment fund” expected that government would have done its homework, in terms of how that fund will work, and what structures would drive it before the funds are even placed in a bank, but we have put the funds in NEXIM, and we are now asking ‘what do we do with it? How do we do it? You’re now trying to do mapping and trying to find out what are the needs of the industry? We’re putting the cart before the horse. Those are things that should have been done and agreed before we put a fund in place, and now say

this is how to drive that fund. Why do you think the issue of infrastructural deficit is at the centre of the crisis in the entertainment industry? Why I say infrastructure is because, look, let’s face it, if you give N10million to a filmmaker to make film, he or she is going to make the film quite alright, but what are the chances of that film making money? This is because we have not tackled piracy, we have not tackled infrastructure. There are not enough cinemas in Nigeria, for instance, that you can take your

films to be able to break even. And to be able to break even with cinema, you’re talking of between 500-800 cinemas. The best we can have right now are the little ones that Silverbird is doing or the other cinema houses, and it is not enough, it’s a drop in the ocean. When you look at South Africa, UK, America, you’ll find out that those films that are making big money are viewed at a minimum of 400, 500, 800 cinemas. By the time you do that round of cinemas, you’re sure that your films will break even. You can then start to look at the figures and then say how do I reinvest this money? What I’m saying is that if you give N10million to a filmmaker; there is no way he is going to make that money back, that N10million goes down the drain. But if we use that money to build infrastructures, we have always canvassed it in National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP). To us for instance, as theatre artistes, what we demand of government, is for them to be able to establish for us theatres in at least every viable local government in Nigeria. If we have it in every local government, you’re talking of over 700 cinemas, and those are theatres that are not going to serve just as theatres, they would serve as community halls, they would serve as places where films can be shown. So, if I produce my film, and I know that I can take it round all the local government councils in Nigeria and there is a community hall, or theatres there waiting for me for that project, I know that we would have taken the film to the people, they can easily come and watch. Rather than wait on government, don’t you think the private sector can drive this initiative? The private sector can do it, but government can do it as well. At least, the government did it for the National Republican Convention and the Social Democratic Party when they built party offices for these two parties. If they could do that why can’t they do that for the entertainment industry? And there is a lot of benefits to be derived from that. Security will have to be provided and this will create employment. You have to print posters, jackets, and the rest of them, thereby providing employment for a lot of people in the process.


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THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

Business

Keystone Bank solicits govt patronage T

HE Management of Keystone Bank is soliciting for government funds to remain in contention in the banking system. The managing Director of Keystone Bank, Mr. Oti Ikomi, told the Account General of the Federation

From Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor), Abuja (AGF) that the Bank had met all regulatory requirements expected of all operational banks in the country. He along with the management team of

Keystone Bank Limited paid the AGF a courtesy visit at the Treasury House in Abuja. There, he pointed out that the Bank had paid all its loans and has healthy balance sheets. Mr. Ikomi told the AGF that Keystone Bank has more than N38 billion

shareholders equity and as such hopes the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation will partner with the Bank in its effort to develop the public sectors and Nigeria at large. The Managing Director of the Bank pleaded with

the AGF to consider the Bank in terms of various services stressing that the Bank is capable of handling all banking services having met all the regulatory requirements of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). On his part, the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) Mr. Jonah Otunla said his office intends to send letters of patronage to all Banks Managing Directors

assuring them of his commitment to the survival of all the Banks. He also advised public sector managements to make public interest a priority rather than their management’s personal interest. The AGF assured the management of Keystone Bank Limited and indeed all private sectors interests in the country of the AGF’s cooperation especially at this trying time.

Oceanic Bank introduces Business, Lifestyle accounts

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L-R: Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Past President, Ikeja Rotary Club, Akin Lewis; President, Ikeja Rotary Club, Ade Oyenekan and Guest Speaker, Professor Wole Soyinka, during the 45th Ikeja Rotary Club investiture ceremony at Sheraton Hotel in Lagos recently

Experts hinge vision 20:2020 on technology

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IGERIA’s quest to be among the top twenty economies in the world by 2020, can only become a reality if s o c i o - e c o n o m i c development plans are technology-driven, experts have said. A software development expert, Mr. Tolu Olusakin, who gave this charge during a media interactive session, argued that with adequate deployment of advanced e-business technology, driven primarily by business intelligence applications, financial institutions in Nigeria can then deliver tailor made world class financial services. Olusakin, Head, Programming and Software Development of RightClick Nigeria Limited -an e-business solutions firm, in his submission, aligned with the Minister for Science and Technology, Prof. Ita Ewa’s call for support from the Information and C o m m u n i c a t i o n Technology sector to achieve Vision 20:2020. Recently, at a workshop on the Nigeria ICT4D Plan in Lagos, Prof. Ewa stated that “without the positive contributions of various stakeholders, especially from the Information and C o m m u n i c a t i o n Technology sector, achieving the goals of Vision 20:2020 may remain a tall order”. He believes

“the inputs of stakeholders remain the platform that will further drive the implementation of various programmes and documentation processes for the Federal Government”. According to Olusakin, “the Minister was right in his assertions. The ICT sector has a major role to play in terms of providing world class technological platforms to our financial institutions to enable them thrive as these financial institutions are the hub of

any economy. More so, the licenses given to mobile money operators by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are signs that we are on the right path to achieving a technology driven economy”. In view of challenges that may come with the high drive towards e-business, Olusakin, advocated for business intelligence solutions to bridge the “Bank – Customer” divide.”Business Intelligence (BI) application is one of the key applications a Bank

should adopt that would enable them use customerlevel data on product holdings, channel activity and profitability to improve the targeting of online campaigns and also make account applications and funding processes more seamless and effective. It provides the timely reports, analyses and forecasts necessary for business management and is supplied to the appropriate users by means of a centralised system” Olusakin said.

Firm raises awareness on computer-based testing

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N order to make examination easy and results ready on time, the electronic test company (eTC) has introduced computer-based testing (CBT), for all schools and those who conduct examinations. CBT basically aims at converting pen and paper examination into electronic context. In a recent chat with The Nation, the Managing Director of eTC, Tunde Oladipo, said the CBT is to ensure that the major problems attached to examination is eradicated. “Some of the problems we have in the education sector are examination

By Risikat Ramoni leakage, impersonation and delay in assessing students through marking and releasing of results. The use of biometric technology which involves facial image and thumbprint are used to screen students before the examinations”, he said. Oladipo who disclosed that most higher institutions, professional bodies and recruitment agencies have since embraced the use of computer to conduct examinations. He said the cycle of examination from preparation to result

compilation is completely done by the computer. He observed that there are higher institutions in Nigeria today where 300 level students are yet to see all their 100 and 200 level results. “No one is to blame; it is just the system and procedure. How can a lecturer who lectures more than 500 students, mark all their examination within two weeks without error. He can only mark a few and do the rest later. There are 23 million people taking examinations in Nigeria annually. The time spent on marking examinations is unimaginable”, the eTC boss noted.

CEANIC Bank has introduced four variants of current accounts designed to meet the needs of its customers. The accounts are QPASS (salary account), Silver, Gold and Platinum. Operators of these accounts, the bank said in a statement, would have “access to loans and overdrafts when in need of funds, bounced cheque protection, pre-approved COT concessions, issuance of third party cheques, unlimited access to the funds across various channels, personalised local and international debit cards, internet banking and other value adding services.” It explained that apart from the convenience, most of the benefits from the above high-end products also cascades to the bank’s savings accounts, with unique offerings that take into consideration the savings lifestyle of every individual irrespective of the their socio-economic status. These products, the bank indicated, are designed to assist and complement an individual all through the stages of life from childhood to postretirement. “MyFirst Account which can be opened with just N2,000 for children under the age of

18, is the only product of its kind in the industry that comes with a stylishly designed debit card for children above 10 years of age. As the child grows into a young adult, the account is upgraded to an Easy Savings Account which is the most generic account of the savings bouquet with features that reflect the needs of young savers,” the bank stated. The bank said, customers desirous of more sophisticated savings products and banking services can readily do so by migrating to any of the high-end savings products, such as Silver, Gold and Platinum Accounts, adding that customers would have the advantage of reaping attractive interest rates, obtain customised and secure withdrawal booklet, enjoy SMS and e-mail transaction alert, plus free and secure internet banking services that provides access to funds. The statement explained: ‘’Our aim is to be your one-stop financial service provider with our accounts as the entry point to a world of variety, service and ease,’’ adding that Oceanic Bank is among the only five banks in the country that have excess of N100 billion in savings balances.

Alpari trains forex traders on investment

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S part of efforts to enhance online currency trading in Nigeria, Alpari Trading Limited, recently organised an interactive forum for forex traders in the country. The forum which held at the Royal Tropicana Hotels in Kano focused on issues affecting investments and returns in business. It was attended by forex traders, investors, business executives from various walks of life as well as representatives of Alpari, which is reputed to be the leading forex trading company in Nigeria. Addressing the participants at the forum, Mr. Mihail Krush, Head of Sales

By Vincent Nzemeke in Alpari, Moscow office, noted that the ability to manage wealth is a critical component of any long-term financial investment. He advised potential investors to seek expert opinions before investing in any business. Krush also noted that in order to guide forex investors, Alpari recently launched a management investment service called Percentage Allocation Management Module (PAMM) Account, where experienced currency traders can trade currency and other financial instruments on behalf of its clients.


Business Diary

THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

VOL 1 NO. 024

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C&A Digest crew team consultants hope it will not amount to over simplicity to the extent of offending some of our readers if we state as a matter of fact, that it is important to establish the marked difference between brands management and advertising. But we know that even among some practitioners today, it is common-place to find a mix-up of these two. It is all so important we establish this difference because it forms the basis of our today's topic. So, here we go! Advertising is only an integral part of INTEGRATED BRANDS MANAGEMENT. Functionally, therefore, a given brands support strategy may totally exclude advertising. I guess that explains the new brand identity of some industry practitioners, deliberately disconnecting with the traditional common reference of ADVERTISING AGENCY. Gone are those days of advertising agency, it is time for holistic involvement (the banks will say “wholesale banking�). For the purpose of our non-professional readers, advertising is all about marketing communication; it is the process of creating and disseminating advert messages for the purposes of enabling brand's marketing opportunities. To the extent where advertising is only an integral part of integrated brands management though, it has remained the most crucial single unit impute in advertising over the years. It has been the centre point for success measure, analysis and appreciation for both the client and agency over the years. Agency earning comes from media buying, the client or brand's marketing communication success also depends on media. Over the years, therefore, practitioners have had to pay critical attention to the business of media engagement. The power of media in advertising is based on the impact of its contribution to the advertising process. To the extent where actual communication of brand's offer is concerned, the media vehicles are the executioners. No matter how beautiful and convincing any campaign materials are, there will be useless without the engagement of media vehicles. Traditionally, media is expressed in the use of radio, newspaper/magazine and outdoor. In those days creativity in media planning and buying started and ended with how well these traditional media vehicles are used/deployed. Plenty of arithmetic and financial accounting created rational for the choice practitioners made of the choice of vehicle among these three, with the objectives of reach and effectiveness. In those days we commonly heard words like 'cost per thousand', too often to not have it guide our every day thinking when considering media planning. The client must be made to appreciate our professional competence by the way we conjure figures to justify media spend to support effectiveness, reach and penetration. Add to that, just push some volume discount at the client and the story is told in totality. Today, so much innovation has been brought to bear in the practice of media planning and buying. With the turn of the new millennium, the market of media vehicle(s) appreciation and application witnessed tremendous innovative thinking. There was so much of experimentation with new learning; the local environment was literarily struggling to keep pace. The change drivers then could only manage to drag managers of international brands and local brands with international affiliation into the new understanding on the basis of aspiration. Even at that, majority of media buyers at the start of the new media era were only taking chance with their advertising budget. Because the appreciation was very low, not much was considered in terms of relevance, effectiveness and Return-On-Investment (ROI). The 'big brands' managed to add to their brand equity in terms of image perception, because those daring moves they made with blind experimentation portrayed them as sophisticated, trendy. Not much was gained in Naira (and such other currency their international offices calculated their financial support). The new trend ushered in the digital media age. All kinds of production technique found their way into the Nigerian advertising practice. South Africa became Mecca to innovative media experts. To the local industry leaders, the mere knowledge of the appropriate production house in SA to produce the new TV Commercial was enough to demonstrate 'expert' professional knowledge to win a good account. In fact, Advertising Agencies started parading all sorts of Oyibo practitio-

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Advertising and Social Media ners as in-house consultants. Most of them came in through technical assistance from affiliate agencies abroad. Agency affiliation became a new craze, because it was either the serious agency puts forward an expatriate at pitches, it is likely to lose. We appreciate all of these changes, because they introduce colour/glamour into the traditional way we did our thing. But over time we started noticing the power of raw knowledge. Those who were opportune to be properly trained in areas such as marketing, sales and creative art represented themselves adequately. There was nothing any Oyibo from any agency abroad will tell a Unilever-trained marketing person in the area of brands management to cause panic.

Yeah, it was all about difference in system. It only took time for this emptiness to reflect in other areas of advertising. Today, the story is changing. Most of those local agencies that went for foreign practitioners under all sorts of guise started sacking them, as fast as they came. Conflict in internal workings and between the so-called expatriates and the local practitioners started impacting negatively on the over-all effectiveness. It is this same system pollution that attended our local media with the introduction of 'expatriate' ideas without proper consideration. No matter the extent and nature of innovation or change, the basic function and objective remain effective reach and impact. I always asked the question why media independents? Every of the so-called independent media shops are only as independent to the extent that they now exist independent of the traditional advertising agency structure. They do the same thing (even with lesser diligence) compared to the traditional media departments of a standard advertising agency. That is my opinion, and I am open to superior argument. This will form a topical issue for discussion for the future. However, the kernel of this whole position is that such were the questionable changes that filtered into our local advertising industry at the turn of the century. Nobody asked questions. Now we are into another change era, the era of social media in advertising. So-

cial media is peculiar in the area of technological innovativeness. Yes, it is a flexible platform for person-to-person inter-relativity that gives the individual the power to decide when, where and how he or she can be sent information for mass communication. It clearly individualises the target audience. No more can any media planner/buyer can just reel out spurious rationale for media engagement proposal without very careful consideration. More and more, the buyer or advertiser can take part in the consideration of media platform and vehicle effectiveness. It is now truly such a global village, space constraint make no sense. It is the effectiveness of social media that supported the evolution of Target Marketing in media engagement. With the social media, it is easier to appropriately define the target audience for a given advertising message, with a proper understanding of prevalent social trend and habit, among age brackets and social cultural environments. Therefore, it was easy for the Senior Brands Manager for Magnum Ice-cream in the US, Mike Hanley, to report 89 million impressions, 83 clicks on posted links and more than 270 replies mention all on April 29, 2011, as a result of the promoted trend he/his brand bought into. In same vein, ZujiAustralia, an Australian travels and leisure company, invested in the promotion of online travel reservation, using long-term approach to building awareness, engaged Tweets (specifically, promoted tweets), in May 2011. The results are said to be still coming in, but the company has already more than doubled its follower base in the two months since it started using tweets. These two reports represent many other relatively successful uses of social media as a consumer or target audience engaging media platform, for purposes of advertising. However, the danger inherent in the application of the new media is in the area of efficiency in the face of compatibility and appropriateness. The same brands that posted relative success in the use of social media quickly reported doubt in the impact of recorded success in value terms. In other words, the social media is only effective in awareness and not actual sales. Now, the concern concerning social media ineffectiveness on sales actualisation is a joke compared to the many failures social media will face in our environment characterised by high illiteracy rate, negative rating on technology appreciation necessary for e-media, lack of infrastructures for internet social interaction, etc. So, our contribution at MC&A Digest is, unlike we have had to accept changes in the past, practitioners and clients must take time to study the use and implication of social media for advertising to guide against wastage of media spend and blindly shooting in the dark. Whether we talk of old or new media platforms, the above-mentioned remain the over-riding consideration for effective and profitable media engagement, across market segment. We shall continue from here next week.


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THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

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’Playing God’ C

JN, Aloysius Katsina-Alu is right now having a ball. In the twilight of his career as a legal luminary, KatsinaAlu is racing to the finishing line of judicial ignominy. Or how else can one best describe the flurry of activities, probe panels, and reports that were set up under his watch in the past five months all aimed at one individual. And of course the curious, often contradictory submissions made have created the perception that someone was doctoring the script and baying for blood. Between the inauguration of the Justice Umaru Abdullahi Fact Finding Panel by the NJC on March 9, 2011 and the Ibrahim Auta Panel, the Nigerian judiciary has been dragged out of its sacred chambers into the public space with its robes in tatters and all muddied. The judiciary is no longer able to live up to its code of decency and discipline. Close watchers warned that a script of vendetta writ large with the imprint of the CJN, Katsina-Alu will disparage the judiciary and rupture its reputation. But was anyone listening? No, at least not the CJN and his rabid supporters, who urged the CJN on to exercise the powers of life and death. The climax of five months of legal pyrotechnics and media war between the CJN and Ayo Salami, the President of the Court of Appeal came on Thursday, August 18, 2011 after several failed attempts to neutralize Salami. The NJC in a curious session in Abuja suspended Justice Salami from office and directed him to hand over to the next most senior justice of the court. With this singular decision described by many legal minds as ultra vires and abuse of office and process considering that not only was the deputy national chairman of NJC, Justice Dahiru Musdapher absent, there is a pending suit before the Federal High Court in Abuja brought by Justice Salami- the leadership of the Nigeria judiciary might as well be on its way to the undertakers. The NJC consists of 23 members. Only 8 sat over the Salami matter while just 5 of them took the decision to suspend Justice Salami. This clearly is an abuse of process and a kangaroo sitting and a decision made to show political weight against Salami. For many close observers who have

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T was a scheduled item for presentation but by the time it was tabled, it elicited a near gloomy embrace. Not one of the five ACN governors and one deputy governor present showed beyond a passing interest in the high speed rail project, designed to revolutionalise transportation link between the Western and Midwestern states of Nigeria. The occasion was the retreat organised for Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governors in Benin City recently. Present were the host, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Governors Babatunde Fashola of Lagos, Senator Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo, Dr. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun and Mrs. Grace Laoye-Tomori, deputy governor of Osun State. Chaired by former Governor of Ekiti State, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, the retreat also had in attendance National Chairman of ACN, Chief Bisi Akande, Vice Chairman, South South, Pastor Ize Iyamu, National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and other chieftains of the party. However, the noticeable lack of the anticipated enthusiastic response may have been due in part to the unimpressive manner the presentation was conducted. Done by representatives of proposers of the project, Hammcobtb Engineering, trading in Nigeria as Hammco Engineering Works Limited, it was largely marred by projector failure and microphone malfunction. Some of those who responded to the idea even mistook it for the planned Coastal Highway from Lagos to Calabar, which is also expected to have a railway line. But “THE GREAT WESTERN” high speed rail project is one project that demands deep reflection not only by the governors of the old Western Nigeria but by the federal government. The Western and Southern parts of Nigeria constitute a major movement area in Nigeria as a hub of sea, air and land transportation. Major agricultural and commercial activities originate and flow through this region and as the economic nerve centre of the nation, efficient and free flow of people and produce is a prerequisite for both economic and political development. Interestingly, past governments, both in the

By Sunday Akinlabi Dare

followed the arguments, the counter, the drama and all the subtle moves targeted at Justice Salami, the fundamental question has been why the CJN, who clearly is mired in several controversies is allowed free reign. The silence from the NJC and similar bodies, who find nothing wrong in a CJN “arresting judgments” or one unable to defend himself against very weighty allegations worries many Nigerians. The perception is strong and rightly so, that because Katsina-Alu was doing the bidding of those in power and by spreading the favors and grease around, no loud complaints were heard. In the process, Nigeria became saddled with a CJN who willingly impugned the law and desecrated the very chambers he was supposed to preserve. In the rabid hurry to bring a closure to a few questionable judicial decisions and actions in which he failed to be an impartial arbiter, the CJN is presiding over the desecration of Nigeria’s temple of Justice. Barely a week to the end of tenure, the CJN, Katsina- Alu surreptitiously got what he always wanted, that is, to kick Justice Salami out of his position as President, Court of Appeal. For, Katsina-Alu, it was the only sacrifice that can appease him especially after Salami’s letter of rejection in the matter of his promotion to the Supreme Court in February. Justice Salami’s suspension and the manner it was carried out reeks of vendetta and weakens our trust in the judiciary. Discerning minds will want to raise fundamental questions about the conduct of the CJN and the decisions he has made to the last minute. In a two-star contest, Katsina Alu is in a face- off with another legal luminary, Justice Isa Salami who has accused the former of been economical with the truth with regard to certain election cases and judicial pronouncements. Rather than come clean and give us justice, the CJN has been preoccupied with a personal battle at the expense of the nation. The nation continues to bleed judicially because of the activities of a CJN enmeshed in politics and

•Justice Salami one who has raised more questions about our jurisprudence than provide answers. To arrogate to himself the powers to decide the outcome of all matters in which he or his sponsors have interest is the highest level of abuse. But will the judicial lynching and apparent rascality that led to the recent suspension be allowed to stand? Will the injustice being inflicted on one man, who is one of the highest and most respected legal minds in Nigeria, be allowed to stand? I bet not. If such an injustice could be inflicted on the personality of Justice Salami, then wither the hope of the common man? And of course, the more important fear here is that our nascent democracy might buckle under such judicial highhandedness. In the Katsina-Alu/ Salami face off, one is forced to probe further. Who is afraid of letting Justice Salami have his day in court to defend

The ACN speed rail project one of the most significant presentations at the last Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Governors Retreat held in Benin City is the proposal for the building of a bullet train to link the South West with Edo State. This according to the prime movers, will reduce the journey between Lagos to Benin City to 48 minutes, writes, Jacobson Nasamu Western part and the nation generally have paid lip-service to transforming the various sectors of the economy. Empty promises from the governments; negligence and neglect of infrastructure; corruption and decadence have characterised our national life. The result has been loss of hope, backwardness of the region and hunger and poverty in the midst of plenty. This is compounded by the fact that existing transport system within this region has been inadequate. The poor infrastructure has also proven to be unable to support rapid socio-economic expansion, thus limiting the movement of people and farm produce to market locations within the region. With an under-achieving transportation network, characterised by bad stretches, insufficient road networks, a poorly developed water ways, an inefficient air transport system coupled with moribund rail lines, there is the utmost need for a modern and efficient high speed rail transportation system to enhance long-term growth of other developmental processes like power generation and distribution. Designed as a loop within the western part of the country, the high speed rail project will cover a distance of 800 kilometres through major industrial and commercial centres. It would also accommodate growth potentials with expansion into new arteries as well as extension into other regions of the country. Expectedly, it will facilitate major industrialisation of the area. It will also improve transportation of agricultural produce and create immediate political awareness for further emancipation of the people.

So why really did the governors not show much interest in the presentation? Could it be that they were scared by the cost? According to Hammcobtb Engineering, it had put together a team of consultants to oversee the design, construction specification and implement the fast rail route. An initial evaluation, they said, had been made, potential technical partners identified and necessary contacts made on the project. The average cost of the high speed rail system covering a distance of 800 kilometres in a loop within the terrain of the South West is put at about $57 billion with a completion time of 156 weeks. This cost, as high as it may appear, is not expected to be borne by the respective governments alone or even at all. The encouragement of publicprivate partnership in various forms and scales seem to be a key policy in financing all types of transport infrastructure. This will ease the burden of maintaining and expanding transportation facilities which has simply grown too great to be borne solely by tax-payers and government. The rail project, therefore, will be funded through a public-private initiative, which presupposes that the project when completed will be run on a commercially viable basis through private sector investors. This should guarantee timely completion, efficient management of the rail system, and uninterrupted pay-back of project cost. The involvement of the various governments may be limited to expressing interest in writing which should enable Hammcobtb Engineering bring in foreign investors; assistance in obtaining necessary permits from the federal government; release of right of way and the execution of a Board

himself? Why must he be forced to apologize to the CJN for a crime he has said he is not guilty of? Why will one man, as CJN wield so much power at the detriment of the system? Can the CJN, who has been a party to the crisis and who ought to have since stepped down be trusted to have been fair in these matters? What we are sadly confronted with now is the possibility that the truncating of our democracy will likely come not from the politicians, but from the judiciary. Having being pushed to the wall, Salami must have now learnt a lesson that playing to the gallery will not cut it. The people he is locked in battle with want blood-his blood. The latest action of suspending the President of the Appeal Court is in bad taste coming especially after the drama a few days earlier when the NJC Executive Secretary, Halilu Danladi evaded service by Justice Salami’s lawyers. What this latest action has done is push the highest level of the Nigerian judiciary to the tip of s stupendous crisis. We hear the noise of the rumble, and though the final crumble might delay, it will certainly come. Though, Aloysius Katsina–Alu who exits in about a week’s time thinks he has scored a big one against Salami, he leaves with the burden of having scored an own goal against his profession. Why? Because, first, the suspension will be challenged in the court of law and with it will come more revelations about what really happened. Secondly, the judiciary after him will have to deal with several issues surrounding the battle he fought in which he substituted personality for legality. And many of them will be called to answer. Having played god, while he presided, Katsina-Alu, must exit to await the verdict of history which cometh soon. My greatest concern in all of these goes beyond Katsina-Alu and Justice Salami. It strikes at the issue of Nigerian justice; who can get it, who has the power to dispense it, at what cost and in whose interest? Sunday Akinlabi Dare writes from Lagos

of Trustees (BOT) agreement for the project. In view of the great prospect of the project, the governments of the South West should give the proposal its due consideration and lend their weight as a measure of commitment via a letter of expression of interest which should facilitate Hammcobtb‘s further negotiations with “international parties already identified for the project”. According to the engineering company, it has “relationship with fund providers from South Africa and Canada who have indicated firm interest in funding this project”. Hammcobtb‘s proposal should be revisited by a technical committee set up by the governors concerned to study and properly advise them on the viability and its overall benefit not only to the states of the West but to the nation as a whole. The high speed rail service with a speed of about 250 kilometres an hour is expected to open up the rural areas for easy access for development as well as aid and sustain all other developmental reforms in the region by the present visionary leaders of the western part of the country. The creation of a safe, efficient and affordable transport system will increase the quality of life of the people. Such a project is bound to decongest the cities as most of those who work in Lagos, Ibadan and other cities and towns within the region would prefer to live in their villages or other towns far away and commute to the cities to work. Our highways would, therefore, be decongested of the heavy vehicular movement presently being experienced particularly in Lagos. These are generally the needs of the people and any government which can identify and meet the most pressing needs of its populace is guaranteed continuous support. Meeting the needs of the people is an insurance policy for any government to stay in power. There is no doubt, the governors of the South West are visionary and have a burning passion to take their states to a higher level and make the region a pacesetter once again. This is one project which should help them achieve a higher quality of life for the people and return the region to the glorious days of yore


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PUBLIC NOTICE

BY MR. OLUKAYODE ONAKOMAIYA FIRM REBUTTAL! (1) RE: FALSITY OF PUBLIC STATEMENT/ALLEGATIONS MADE BY ONE ABIMBOLA MERCY ODUWAIYE (FORMERLY MRS. ABIMBOLA ONAKOMAIYA) (2) EXPOSE OF THE MANIFOLDATROCITIES & MONSTROUS CRIMES OF THE SAIDABIMBOLA ODUWAIYE

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have received several calls and enquiries from concerned family and business friends, and well-wishers which drew my attention to some malicious and scandalous publications in some National Dailies including the Sunday Tribune of 27/2/2011 and a Tabloid Newspaper – City People. The publications centered on spurious and illfounded statements and allegations in press interviews granted by one ABIMBOLA MERCY ODUWAIYE (Formerly Mrs. Abimbola Mercy ONAKOMAIYA), to malign, traduce and discredit my person with the sole aim of besmirching and debasing my God-given irreproachable name/character and unblemished reputation. These illusory Press interviews by the said woman (ABIMBOLA ODUWAIYE), were a desperate but witless smear campaign rippled with blatant illogic, deceptive posturing and crass mischief. The publications contain in the main, patent falsehoods, unfounded, and libelous allegations, criminal insinuations and clear distortion of facts. The satanic and offensive publication indirectly authored by Abimbola Oduwaiye (Formerly Mrs. Abimbola Onakomaiya) is an attempt to cause me feelings of hatred, contempt, ridicule, fear, disdain and be deesteemed among the well-meaning people of Nigeria. Accordingly, this ADVERTORIAL cum DISCLAIMER containing the unassailable Truth, the irrefutable facts of the matter and the actuality (with indisputable and incontrovertible evidence), are here placed by me – MR. OLUKAYODE ONAKOMAIYA, Executive Chairman of Fountain Springs Group of Companies, Fountain House, 8, Alakija Street beside Tribune House, Imalefalafia road, Ibadan. This placement is done not only to expose, uncover, and roundly debunk the blatant untruths and unconscionable lies in the said interviews, but also to unmask the character, the petulance and ill-will of ABIMBOLA ODUWAIYE (the source and giver of these falsehoods and cruel propaganda) toward me. It is therefore my conviction to demand for the immediate retraction of the offensive statements in the publication of The Nigerian Tribune and City People within 7 days, including the day of the publication of this advertorial. Her failure to comply with this minimum demand shall leave me without any other option than to marshal all known legal options against her and the consequences shall be entirely hers (Abimbola Oduwaiye). This ADVERTORIAL is also imperative to protect the unsuspecting public from any adverse and unfavorable actions which the said ABIMBOLA ODUWAIYE (formerly Mrs. Abimbola Onakomaiya) might have taken under any guise concerning my interests. The good mind of the undiscerning public – (men and women of goodwill), will also by this, be disabused and undeceived. The Bible Truth that says, “No one can do anything against the Truth but only for the Truth” – (1 Corinthians 13:8) is sacrosanct and unchangeable, yet, one must not discount the saying that, ‘lies and fiction tend to be believed and often take the front seat when such lies or untruth are not confronted with wholesome Truth and Facts.’ As a matter of fact, charlans and wicked people thrive and reign in our world today because the preponderant majority of good people keep quiet and do nothing. PUBLIC NOTICE Firstly, the General Public is hereby informed that ABIMBOLA MERCY ODUWAIYE formerly known as Mrs. Abimbola Mercy ONAKOMAIYA (whose picture is here displayed) has long ceased to be my wife consequent upon valid Court Judgment which granted absolute dissolution of the ill-fated marriage on the uncontested ground of the scandalous, immoral, criminal and myriad anti-social deeds of the said ABIMBOLA ODUWAIYE. She (Abimbola Oduwaiye) is therefore absolutely forbidden by a competent Court of Law from parading herself as my wife, or from using my name under any pretext or guise, or purportedly as my agent, business partner, a self-appointed manager, of any of my outfits or as one representing my interest in any transactions with unsuspecting third parties. The General Public is therefore informed and duly warned that anyone that deals with ABIMBOLA ODUWAIYE as a wife or representative of I, OLUKAYODE ONAKOMAIYA, does so at his or her own risk. The public is further strongly warned to be wary of, and to steer clear of any quick sales, brisk business or hasty transactions with the said woman in respect of properties or assets, movable or immovable that has to do with me, or any of my companies. Spartan caution is here recommended to avoid any embarrassment and losses which may likely arise from any such dealings with the said ABIMBOLA ODUWAIYE – (formerly Abimbola ONAKOMAIYA) as clearly distilled and prima facie cases, ranging from fraudulent sales, forgery, criminal conversions, to culpable homicide are in the pipeline. It is apposite and of utmost importance to inform the General

Public that the said woman has refused to stop parading herself as Mrs. ABIMBOLA ONAKOMAIYA (despite two (2) unappealed Court judgments – one granting the dissolution of marriage and custody of the only child of the marriage (Olukoyinsola Onakomaiya) to me, and the later upholding the earlier Judgment)) because of her sinister plans and morbid dreams to eliminate me by all means and confiscate my assets and properties THROUGH FORGERY AND CRIMINAL CONVERSION which she has already started doing covertly. ADVERTORIAL Truth and Facts are sacred but a million lies bandied online to cover or pre-empt truth and manipulate public opinion will only serve to strengthen the fiber of truth. It will open a can of worms and cause the liar’s dirty linen and stinking skeletons to be washed and displayed in the market place. As a matter of sacred duty, the following veracious, sacrosanct and impeccable facts are placed here as ADVERTORIAL for the information of the general public. It is on record that on the 5th April, 2010, a strong, urgent and painstaking REPORT was made by me to THE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE, OYO STATE – MR. ADISA BOLANTA – vide my Letter KO/PC dated 5/4/2010 for urgent Police action. I stated the myriad atrocities and criminal deeds of ABIMBOLA MERCY ODUWAIYE (Formerly Abimbola ONAKOMAIYA) in the Report. It is however a sad commentary that after statements had been taken from us and Police investigations were said to be ongoing, the said woman – Abimbola ODUWAIYE went around pontificating and boasting that she had the Police Boss under her thumb. At a stage, it became obvious that justice could not be obtained or seen to be done in the circumstance. Worse still, Abimbola ODUWAIYE openly and unabatedly continued to breach the peace by taking the law into her hands. She unrepentantly assaulted and embarrassed my family and friends incessantly. She was emboldened in these acts because of the covert support she seems to be getting from certain quarters. The situation was further compounded by her histrionic bluster and pontifications that she has the Police boss at her beck and call, and her boast that nothing tangible could come out of all the petitions filed against her with the police (Petitions which include her biological daughter Tefannumi Oparison’s weighty and grave allegations against her). In the circumstance, I was impelled to make the Temple of Justice – the COURTS, my last resort. A preliminary Suit NO. MISC/18/11 of 14/2/2011 between Mr. Olukayode Onakomaiya and Miss Tefannumi Oparison V. Ms Abimbola Oduwaiye for an order binding the woman over, to keep the peace for a considerable period was filed (in the first instance) against her at the Chief Magistrate Court, Iyaganku, Ibadan, Oyo State. As a civilized and law abiding citizen, I do not want to say anything further on this case as doing so will be sub judice. Again, her criminal, murderous and most detestable acts earlier reported to the Police were listed in another case at the High Court Oyo State in SUIT NO. M/9/2011 BETWEEN MR. OLUKAYODE ONAKOMAIYA V. PRESIDENT AND MEMBERS OF IDI-OPE GRADE C CUSTOMARY COURT AND MRS. ABIMBOLA ODUWAIYE which case has been resolved in my favour. Accompanying documents (Now Public Documents) of the said Suit at the High court Oyo State, are two (2) assassination attempts on my life on 1/7/2008 and 29/10/2008 when she brought hired assassins to my house, (she offered to pay the hired assassins $25,000 which was kept in her car at the scene of the crime), a subsequent brazen attempt to eliminate me by food poisoning on 18/3/2009, and her involvement in the death of my son (Michael) on 16/11/2009. Also catalogued in the suit were other putrefactive deeds such as her intimidations and threat to kill her elder biological daughter for resisting her and refusing her dehumanizing overtures to molest and abuse her sexually besides using her to blackmail me and destroy my family. The Court was duly informed about Abimbola Oduwaiye’s horrible lifestyle as an undisguised LESBIAN – (All these were attested to on oath by other witnesses including her 24- year-old biological daughter, Tefanumi Oparison. The strong evidence of the very first biological daughter (by her first marriage) of the said ABIMBOLA ODUWAIYE – 24year-old University Graduate, Miss TEFANUMI OPARISON), deposed to on oath (in the aforementioned case regarding abuse of Court process/‘arrangee’ judgment against ABIMBOLA ODUWAIYE) in the said suit NO. M/9/2011 BETWEEN MR. OLUKAYODE ONAKOMAIYA V. PRESIDENT AND MEMBERS OF IDI-OPE GRADE C CUSTOMARY COURT AND MRS. ABIMBOLA ODUWAIYE at the High Court of Justice Oyo State, in March, 2011, corroborates/reinforces the charge of suspected CULPABLE HOMICIDE and also shows the true character of her mother – Abimbola Oduwaiye. Also in an open Interview TEFANUMI had with the Sunday Tribune on 3//4/2011, she gave a sordid expose of her mother testifying profusely with indisputable evidence to her wickedness and sluttish lifestyle. She (Tefanumi) gave the sordid revelation of how her mother – (Abimbola Oduwaiye) had used to molest and abuse her (Tefanumi) sexually for many years including her teenage years: Tefanumi also gave ample testimony and irrefutable evidence to substantiate her mother’s loose moral life, larceny, criminal tendencies, and also her obsessive drive for consulting spiritualists and marabouts and other anti-social behaviours. All these came out from the very first female daughter of this woman who had lived with her for over 20 years. It is mind-boggling and extremely disheartening that this woman (Abimbola Oduwaiye) did not limit her alleged bestial lifestyle to

herself but went further (according to the testimony of her daughter) to trample on the basic right of her innocent daughter to a decent and sound moral life, as if the universal Human Rights Charter gave her license to abuse and destroy the lives of innocent children. I must state here that it was only by Divine intervention, even the canny hand of GOD ALMIGHTY, that I was saved to this day, from the blood-stained hands of this wicked woman – ABIMBOLA ODUWAIYE and her collaborators. When this woman saw that she had been caught in her craftiness and a web of shame and disappointment, she boasted and swore that she would use all means under the sun to destroy me. She re-strategized by resorting with unimaginable aura of desperation and perfidious eagerness (albeit to no avail), to all sorts of crooked devices like raising false alarm, cooking up reprehensible, damnable, but laughable accusations and blackmail – to save face, arouse people’s emotions, elicit undeserved public sympathy and incite public reprobation against me. She also swore to kill or destroy the future of her biological daughter (her name and reputation), for the simple reason that she exposed her sluttish and wicked character and for separating herself permanently from her. True to her character, Abimbola Oduwaiye disingenuously concocted outlandish and putrefactive stories as a diversionary tactic or decoy to obscure the truth. First, she ran to the police crying wolf that her said biological elder daughter – TEFANUMI had been missing suggesting that I kidnapped her for rape and or money ritual. She generated a spurious petition to the Commissioner of Police of Oyo State on 07/09/2010 alleging mysterious disappearance of Tefanumi. The diabolical plan was contrived to implicate me using her so-called Police connection to decimate me. When this “Missing child/kidnap for ritual/rape” contrivance” failed. Abimbola Oduwaiye and her cohorts tried another trickery “Incestuous affair/marriage with her Daughter.” She and her contrivers fouled the air everywhere they went, with the false rumour that I was having amorous affairs with Tefanumi, her 24-year-old daughter. Flabbergasted by her mother’s falsehood, pettiness, and wickedness, Tefanumi Oparison wrote a strong and comprehensive 5-page Petition to the Commissioner of Police Oyo State on the 4th of January 2011; she also visited the Police Boss, Mr. Adisa Bolanta, personally in his office and deposed at the Police Station to the effect that her mother concocted all the false rumours and stories she told the Police and was only trying to mislead and use the Police to settle scores. She gave the Police Boss, Mr. Adisa Bolanta, solid revelations about her mother’s atrocities and criminal deeds and how she was desperately seeking to destroy her (Tefanumi) and her new born son. The unassuming lady stoutly debunked Abimbola Oduwaiye (her mother’s) lies that she (Tefanumi) was ‘kidnapped,’ had been raped or had affairs with me (her stepfather). She openly confronted and disowned her mother (who was also present at the Police Commissioner’s office) warning her in very strong terms, to stop intimidating and devising means to destroy her or wreck her future by wicked means. The Police Commissioner’s response to Tefanumi’s strong petition and plea for Police help left the young lady deeply disappointed, exasperated and helpless. It is pertinent to mention that this woman – Abimbola Oduwaiye brought Tefanumi and her brother Daniel to my house when she was only 10 years old following the collapse of her first marriage with the father of the two children. It is worthy of note that her first marriage crashed in circumstances that were not dissimilar to the present game plan of ‘kill and inherit’ which I earlier deposed to in my petition to the police and in the Law Suit. It is on record ON OATH that this woman similarly blackmailed/accused her first husband of having affairs with her cousin and sought the man’s life in a most bizarre manner. Her first husband had to run for his dear life. She then callously abducted the man’s kids and made away with her loot (These facts are evidenced by the said deposition on oath of her eldest daughter – Tefanumi Oparison). I had the singular privilege of helping this woman to nurture, inspire the development of the boundless potentials, and inculcate sublime ideals in the children she brought to my house from their formative years to their present state of viability. The Holy Writ – Proverbs 17:13 says, “Whoso rewarded evil for good, evil shall not depart from his/her house.” Also apposite is Solomon’s wisdom in Ecclesiastes 7:26 concerning the likes of this odious woman, “I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleases God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.” ABIMBOLA ODUWAIYE’S LAWLESSNESS AND ACTIONABLE CRIMES If the scandalous and iniquitous deeds of ABIMBOLA ODUWAIYE catalogued above seems rather shocking and hard to believe, the following additional disclosure will leave the worst skeptic in no iota of doubt as to the veracity of these submissions and the true character of the woman. ABIMBOLA ODUWAIYE has no regard for any man, institution, constitution, the Law or even God. She asininely seeks deification of herself and conceitedly evinces the title role of a praetorian goddess. No. 1 UNBRIDLED LAWLESSNESS: Whereas this woman (Abimbola Oduwaiye) was duly served with Court process and the subsequent Judgment of a competent court dated


THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011 19/5/2010 in Suit No. 169/2010 BETWEEN MR. OLUKAYODE ONAKOMAIYA V MS. ABIMBOLA ODUWAIYE at Ile-Tutun Grade C Customary Court Mapo Ibadan – (the court in this case granted me absolute dissolution of Marriage, unrestrained custody of my daughter Olukoyinsola – the only child of the ill-fated marriage and a restraining order of her from disturbing my peace), she (Abimbola Oduwaiye) impudently went to my daughter’s school on 19/10/2010 with police escort and abducted her, in reckless and spiteful disregard and contemptuous violation of the law. Her trumpery excuse and premise for abducting my daughter was a fraudulent, and laughable “arrangee” customary court Judgment, obtained at a Grade C Customary Court, Eleyele Ibadan on 19/10/2010 (5 months after the Judgment given to me which she impudently discountenanced). The ‘inquisitorial duncery’ was shamelessly hatched up in the ‘arrangee’ suit which she purportedly filed on 19/10/2010; judgment in the arranged Suit was said to be delivered on the same day – 19/10/2010 and the reprehensible contraption was cap stoned with the prompt abduction of my daughter with Police escort on the same day. The lawless woman had the temerity to take my daughter immediately after abducting her to marabouts in Gambia and then took a flight with her abroad to Atlanta USA knowing fully well that my daughter’s current passports (Nigerian and U.S. Passports) were presently in my custody. To avoid a breach of the peace, as a decent law-abiding person who has faith in the Rule of Law, I challenged this abuse and mockery of Court process which is obviously a travesty of justice in a Suit filed at the High Court of Justice, Ibadan, Oyo State. In SUIT NO. M/9/2011 BETWEEN MR. OLUKAYODE ONAKOMAIYA V PRESIDENT AND MEMBERS OF IDI-OPE GRADE C CUSTOMARY COURT AND MRS. ABIMBOLA ODUWAIYE, I sought for Judicial Review by way of an order of Certiorari quashing the illegal ‘arrangee’ judgment’ of 19/10/2010 fraudulently obtained by Abimbola Oduwaiye and her trilateral contrivers. I also asked for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the disgruntled woman and her cohorts from disturbing the custody of my daughter and from enjoying the Judgment I had earlier obtained. While the case was still pending in court, - Abimbola Oduwaiye went berserk – she hired interlopers of her own ilk, to feign protests and disturb Court proceedings: she circulated and published tissues of lies about me and my family in the dailies and crustily stretched her venal tentacles to high places hoping that she could pervert the course of justice or induce miscarriage of same. She went hell-bound blustering and boasting that nothing worthwhile would come out of the case. In a most well considered judgment of the court on the 7/4/2011, the Court in an extensive review of the case predicated its decision on unassailable grounds and held that the said ‘arranged’ Judgment of 19/10/2010 was ‘formulated’ and arranged by Miss Abimbola Oduwaiye, and was consequently a patent abuse of the process of the court aimed at prejudicially affecting the right of custody of my daughter Olukoyinsola earlier granted to me. ‘The Honourable court Quashed the ‘arrangee’ and fraudulent judgment as prayed for by me. The Court also issued a firm order in the claim of injunction against Abimbola Oduwaiye and her cohorts restraining them forthwith from disturbing the custody of my daughter. My Lawyers promptly wrote to the Police for the execution of the judgment but no concrete action has come of it to date. On the contrary, it took this woman less than a few hours to abduct my daughter, based on an ignoble contraption and has since been enjoying full Police escort. Trust this woman, (Abimbola Oduwaiye), she defiantly snubbed the Court as is wont of her, withdrew my daughter from her school immediately the Judgment was delivered, and disappeared with her abroad, in open contempt and flagrant disobedience of court order. ABIMBOLA ODUWAIYE even had the audacity to issue a stern warning to me through her lawyers not to risk an attempt to execute the said High Court Judgment – ‘A euphemism for saying she could use the Police to harass me if I took custody of my daughter.’ It is preposterous how a conceited and proud person would seek to rubbish the high orders from the Temple of Justice, in a democratic society like ours and with the connivance and support of those who should defend the constitution and the Rule of Law. Be that as it may, she will surely bear the full weight of the Law sooner than later. She and her co-travellers will soon realize the pointlessness in spitefully violating the Law out of empty pride. NO. 2 A MASTER FORGER/FALSIFIER AND RARE BREED IN EVIL ARTIFICING/AND SCHEMING The God-given power of intellect and endowments of some men are frittered away and bastardized on the altar of evil and mischief. ABIMBOLA ODUWAIYE is unfortunately in this phylum. Immediately after she (Abimbola Oduwaiye) abducted my daughter (Koyinsola) with Police escort, on the basis of the aforementioned ‘arranged suit/judgement’ of 19/10/2010, she travelled with the abducted child to Gambia – the tiny ECOWAS country (famous home of gurus and marabouts) and also Atlanta USA using fraudulently obtained passports for the little child even though the authentic passports of my daughter – Olukonyinsola (Her current Nigerian Passport and American Passport) are presently in my custody and

67 have always been in my custody. Needless to say that – ABIMBOLA ODUWAIYE successfully pulled another illegal and criminal stunt by abducting my daughter and taking her abroad even when all my daughter’s valid, current and unexpired Passports were and are still with me. The mystery or conundrum of how my daughter was taken abroad by this artificer and schemer of a woman, not using my daughter’s current (unexpired) valid passports is a testament to the utter disregard for law and order by Abimbola Oduwaiye. Meanwhile, the matter has been reported to the American Embassy and the Nigerian Immigration Service for investigations and necessary sanctions. This development will however not come as a surprise to those who are familiar with Abimbola Oduwaiye’s predisposition for such actions. The eldest daughter of Abimbola Oduwaiye, 24-year- old Miss Tefanumi Oparison, did depose on oath few months ago to the fact that her mother (Abimbola Oduwaiye), once forged her (Tefanumi’s) signature flawlessly and withdrew money from her (Tefanumi’s) Bank account without her consent. 3. CULPABLE HOMICIDE! UNSPEAKABLE FRAUD! FORGERY OF THE SIGNATURE OF THE DEAD, AND CRIMINAL CONVERSION OF THE SHARES OF THE DECEASED CARRIED OUT BY ABIMBOLA ODUWAIYE AS an entrepreneur nurturing and growing a diversified inter-disciplinary and multi-dimensional business base, I conceptualized the idea of setting up an investment outfit, covering Insurance Brokerage and a Bureau De-Change, in conjunction with my core Engineering business, as far back as twenty five (25) years ago. About a decade ago, I formed the Insurance Brokerage Company namely PEAKTHRUST INSURANCE BROKERS LTD and invited my long-time friend and Pastor – Rev. Robinson ONABAJO to join me in the lucrative and profitable business. He agreed to invest in the business and eventually gave me 20% (Twenty per cent) of the initial capital of the company as a shareholder of the company. At this point in time, the woman in question – ABIMBOLA ODUWAIYE (then – Abimbola Onakomaiya) had stayed jobless in my house for over one year as a house wife having lost her previous employments in rather untoward circumstances. She (Abimbola Oduwaiye) had worked first with NICON Insurance Plc as an Insurance Manager but she herself told me she was forced to resign for undisclosed allegations of wrongdoing. She was subsequently engaged by ANDERSON CONSULTING INC. from where she was recruited to work at UNIC INSURANCE PLC as an Insurance manager on a salary of about N60,000. She complained bitterly to me about this salary as grossly insufficient and I had to augment her salary heavily every month. Again, she fell into trouble and was to be sacked at UNIC Insurance Plc. for allegedly participating in a fraud. After a lot of pleading and pressure, she had to resign as a face-saving measure and to preserve her professional certificate. Nevertheless, I was obliged to help salvage what is left of her reputation. These antecedents provided the backdrop to my inviting (ABIMBOLA ODUWAIYE) to come and participate in my Insurance Brokerage Investment. I was then inclined to do this. First, because I figured that she has some professional Insurance experience. Secondly, to save her from frustration and despondency, so that her idle mind would not degenerate to becoming the devil’s workshop. Thirdly, to enable her have a source of good personal disposable income and investment opportunity, and Fourthly, to afford her the opportunity to rebuild herself and begin to inculcate the sublime ideals of transparency, honesty, accountability, a renewed mind and comportment that is free from blemish. Accordingly, I gave (40%) forty per cent of my paid up shareholding to her (Abimbola Oduwaiye) and approved a handsome salary for her as the Managing Director of the company. I was magnanimous and contented to own only 40% of the shares of the company. My late Brother and Pastor - Rev. Robinson Onabajo owned 20% and she (Abimbola Oduwaiye) owns 40% of the company by my concession. But alas, little did I know that Abimbola ODUWAIYE ab-initio had a blueprint to eliminate the prime movers of the company – (Myself and Robinson Onabajo) and fraudulently convert our shares. Her first salvo was fired 10 months after commencement of the company. Our brother and Pastor Rev. Robinson Onabajo (a prominent shareholder in the company) had grave marital problems at the time occasioning his separation with his wife and relocation to a new flat at 4, Rotimi Williams Avenue, Bodija – Ibadan. ABIMBOLA ODUWAIYE saw a golden opportunity (to carry out her sinister Agenda) cashing in upon the late Rev. Robinson’s marital problems. In collaboration with other accomplices, She stealthily made a deft move by innocuously planting her personal house girl and cook (by name Miss Peace) in Rev. Robinson’s house to be cooking for the unsuspecting peace-loving and easy-going man. Within days, Rev. Robinson Onabajo emaciated terribly because he had been fatally poisoned and he started bleeding profusely from his stomach to his mouth. The man of God died of poisoning (gastro intestinal bleeding) on 19th October 2003. The evidence of the cause of his death was too overwhelming and glaring to everybody. Many cried foul suspecting not only the wife of the Late Brother but also Abimbola Oduwaiye being the point person that was responsible for his meals within

that short period of time when he suddenly emaciated, started bleeding from the stomach to the mouth and died. She (Abimbola) denied involvement and shed crocodile tears from her lachrymal gland. The matter was laid to rest in loud, eloquent silence. As enumerated above, so much water (events) had passed under the bridge since then, but the Divine Clock of retributive justice continued to tick and the hen has finally come home to roost. FRAUD, FORGERY & CRIMINAL CONVERSION – THE CAPSTONE OF CRIMINALITY The Supreme and flawless Hand of the JUDGE of the whole Universe eventually caught up with ABIMBOLA ODUWAIYE (formerly Abimbola Mercy Onakomaiya) certainly because the blood of the innocent souls cried from the ground unto God. On the 20th of October 2010 (Exactly 7 years after she WAS THE CHIEF SUSPECT in the Culpable Homicide in the death of Rev. Robinson Onabajo), she carried out the criminal conversion of the shares of the man she was suspected to have killed seven years earlier, by forging the signature of the late man of God, 7 years after his death (to enable her confiscate his shares) purporting that he (Late Robinson Onabajo) actually signed all the Forged documents in the year of our Lord 20/ 10/2010. My lawyers have written to the CORPORATE AFFAIRS COMMISSION and have obtained certified copies of all relevant documents, including all the documents faked and forged by the said Abimbola Oduwaiye and used by her to perpetrate her monumental fraud and criminal acts. She originated several fake documents, forged the deceased’s (Late Rev. Robinson Onabajo’s) signature in several documents filed at the Corporate Affairs Commission Abuja. In fact, all these forged signatures were personally endorsed by Abimbola Oduwaiye herself (her signature was duly appended indicating that she witnessed the actions of the ‘Reincarnated or Resurrected man’). She then proceeded to fraudulently allocate the Late Robinson Onabajo’s Shares and my own shares too, (having forged my signature as well) to herself (Abimbola Oduwaiye) her biological son by her first marriage (Daniel Urungbod Oparison – Director), one Adaramoye Olufemi of 18 Aiyetoro Oluseyi Street, Eleyele, Ibadan – Director, and one Nuru Adams of 33 Lugard Avenue, Ikoyi – Lagos – Director (N.B. she also forged my signature in all these documents filed at the Corporate Affairs Commission to support this dastardly criminal acts). All the so-called New Directors who will have to answer for this criminal act sooner than later are complete strangers to me with the exception of her son. Several Documents filed at the Corporate Affairs Commission for the Fraud include (Form CAC 7 dated 20/10/2010, Form CAC dated 1/11/2010, Letter from the so-called New Directors and shares Allottees consenting to be directors, dated 25/8/2010, and other fake Returns were all signed by the fraudulently appointed New Directors and Shares Allottees while all the documents were eminently endorsed by ABIMBOLA ODUWAIYE herself. Also among the documents fraudulently raised are (1) a Fake letter of Resignation of appointment as Director dated 20/10/ 2010 purportedly signed by the late Rev. Robinson Onabajo on 20/10/2010 (2) Another Fake letter dated 8/11/2010 purportedly signed by the late Robinson Onabajo on 8/11/ 2010 voluntarily relinquishing his shares in the company to the 419er herself (Abimbola Oduwaiye). (3) Forged letter of Resignation of Appointment on 20/10/2010 purportedly signed by me was also filed by this woman. (N/B: I was in far away USA as at 20/10/2010 and I had already fully severed all forms of relationship with the said Abimbola Oduwaiye at this time) (4) Another fake letter dated 8/11/2010 purportedly signed by me (Kayode Onakomaiya) voluntarily relinquishing my shares in the company to the 419er and her cohorts (All with forged signatures). (5) Several other CAC Returns forms in which my signature and that of the late Rev. Robinson Onabajo were forged by Abimbola Oduwaiye using her married name Abimbola Onakomaiya with her cohorts. We have written a strong petition to the Inspector General of Police and have also submitted strong Reports to other top relevant Agencies of Government. Our lawyers have concluded arrangements to commence action on this ineluctable and epochal case and bring this criminal and her collaborators to book. Meanwhile, the said woman (Abimbola Oduwaiye) being a crude person with a pathological disposition and a record of always striving to use every means to obstruct investigations and impede the course of Justice, has started running helter skelter and from pillar to post to find a way of killing the case. She and her collaborators have also been making desperate moves and issuing threats to eliminate/assassinate myself, Mr. Vincent Onabajo (The only surviving biological brother of the late Rev. Robinson Onabajo) and other key persons, including her biological daughter (Tefannumi Oparison) connected with this case with a view to halting and putting the case to rest. From the foregoing, it is obvious that God Almighty has chosen this time to fully expose and to bring this woman and her collaborators to justice. This case in point is a sad commentary on the abysmal level to which our society has sunken. Men and women of her ilk continue to inflict fresh and painful sore on our collective dignity and conscience and I believe it is my sacred duty as well as that of all men and women of courage and good conscience to rise up against these horrendous evils and their perpetrators in our society. I believe that our traditional value system which emphasizes good name and hard work must not be thrown to the winds. We must in our own little way stand up with manly guts against the present system that gives the impression that crime in whatever guise pays. May God give us men with iron resolve who will sacrifice all that they can to restore our collective dignity as a people.


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THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

Worship

BOOK REVIEW

Living Succeeding God’s way Faith A By David Oyedepo

Receiving the miracle of instant healing! (3)

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ASTweek,Ishowedyousomethingsthatqualifyyouforasicknessfree life. This week, I will show you a key to instant miracle healing —faith. Recognize that everyone’s healing is according to his faith. Healing is delivered according to the faith of the recipients. For instance, in the encounter between two blind men and Jesus, the Bible says: Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened… (Matthew 9:29-30). So, healing is accessible only by faith. Healing is delivered according to the faith of the aspiring beneficiary. It’s not by struggles; it’s by faith. So, faith is the gateway to your healing. Faith is our covenant access to our possession of total health. Faith guarantees your access to healing and wholeness; but violent faith is what guarantees your access to instant healing. How To Generate Violent Faith: 1. ByTheAnointingOfTheHolyGhost: It’sproofedfromscriptures that the Holy Ghost is the custodian of spiritual violence against all satanic assaults. In Acts 4:13, the Bible says: Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John...they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. After the Holy Ghost came, they had no more limitations; they were free! They had been empowered to operate on this strange frequency. They were in hiding before the fire came. When the fire came, they became irresistibly violent. The Holy Ghost is the trigger for spiritual violence (Acts 4:29-31). Every time you are operating on this violence frequency, God’s integrity is committed to deliver result. 2. Your Victory Is In Your Mouth: Death and life are in the power of the tongue… (Proverbs 18:21). Your victory is not in the hospital, your surgeon or consultant; it is in your mouth. You shall have whatsoever you say (Mark 11:23). Your victory, your healing, your restoration and your total health are in your mouth. You can never be healthier than the utterances that proceed from you. You cannot be healthier than the thoughts that go on in your heart. 3. Through Spiritual illumination: Spiritual illumination is vital in generating violent faith, resulting in intoxication. Intoxication of revelation equals violent faith. Two instances of violent faith resulting in instant healing: 1. The Story Of The Paralytic Man: He was paralyzed and he could not walk. On hearing that Jesus was around, his friends carried him to the place. As they could not gain entry into where Jesus was, they tore the roof open and dropped the sick man from there. Jesus was moved by their faith, and so, He healed the man immediately (Mark 2:1-12). That is violent faith provoking instant healing! 2.TheStoryOfBlindBartimaeus:WesawthecaseofblindBartimaeus. His was a never-give-up faith! When Jesus saw his violent faith as he cried out for his healing, Jesus told him his faith had made him whole. Immediately, he regained his sight (Mark 10:46-52). The Great Prescriptions Of The Great Physician: His prescription guarantees instant manifestations and restoration. He took time out and gave us the content of this great prescription in John 6:48-57. For my flesh is bread indeed, It’s meat indeed and It’s drink in deed (John 6:55). There is no drug in the world that compares with it in potency and effectiveness. How Does He do that? 1.TheRod:Aaron’srodswallowedupthemagicians’rods.Jesussaid, “This is my flesh.” That means, “This is that Rod…” When you take in that Rod,ithaspowertoswallowupalltherodsofthemagicians(Exodus7:12). So, when you take the flesh, you are taking in a spiritual Rod, which has capacity to swallow up all the rods of the oppressors in your body. 2. Again, we saw the Rod in action in Luke 24:30-31. Jesus blessed the bread and gave it to them, and the Bible says, their eyes were opened and they knew Him. So, as you take the Rod, every mental blockage is swallowed up in victory, in the name of Jesus. What is in the Blood: 1. The life of the flesh is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11). He said, “This is my Blood which was shed for you.” That blood was sickness-free. When you take the Blood, your corrupt blood is flushed out and replaced with His sickness-free Blood. 2. The blood covenant delivers instantly from satanic strongholds (Zechariah 9:11-12). 3. The communion leaves you with something to show. Anytime you approach the Communion Table with violent faith, it delivers results instantly. Friend, the grace for violent faith is available, if you are saved. You get saved by confessing your sins and accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. If you want this new birth experience, please say this prayer: Lord Jesus, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me my sins. From today, I accept YouasmyLordandSaviour.ThankYouforsavingme!Iwillconcludethisseries next week. I invite you to come and fellowship with us at the Faith Tabernacle, CanaanLand,Ota,thecovenanthomeofWinners.Ourmidweekservices hold on Wednesdays between 6 and 8 p.m. We have four services on Sundays.Thefirstoneholdsbetween6.30and8.15a.m.,thesecondbetween 8.25a.m.and10.10a.m.,thethirdbetween10.20a.m.and12.05p.m.andthe fourth between 12.15 and 2.00 p.m. Every exploit in life is a product of knowledge. For further reading, pleasegetmybooks—KeysToDivineHealth,SatanGetLostandTheHealing Balm. Iknowthisteachinghasblessedyou.Writeandshareyourtestimony withmethrough:BISHOPDAVIDOYEDEPO,FaithTabernacle,Canaan Land,Ota,P.M.B.21688,Ikeja,Lagos,Nigeria;orcall7747546-8;orE-mail: bishop@davidoyedepoministries.org

RE you tired of where you are? Do you need a change or have achieved a little success and yearn to expand? Then ‘’Success Compass’’ is a book for you. Pastor Uchendu Kingsley, the author, says success is available to as many that are willing to pay the price. Success, he writes, is leaving something good behind that others can build on. The 120-page book addresses issues such as purpose, focus, positive attitude and other factors aiding success. Focus, according to him, is the ability to ‘’avoid distraction to achieve a specific goal in life’’. He argues those who know where they are going will never be afraid to move forward in life.

The book also discusses the importance of selfdiscovery and personal development. Every person, it says, is a bundle of gifts and talents. According to the author, talents are profitable to the extent that they are developed. He says”how much time you invest to develop your potential is the difference between your success and failure in life”. The author urges people to resist procrastination and distraction to really succeed. This book is a welcome addition to Christian literature. It is written in simple and easy-to-read language. In it, readers will find gems that will take them to the next level. It is highly recommended to those who want to make it big in life the God’s way.

WHAT AND WHERE?

‘Don’t negotiate with Boko Haram’ By Taiwo Abiodun

GROUP, Centre for Righteous Living (CRIL) has cautioned the federal government against negotiating with the Boko Haram sect. Its President, Rev. Solomon Adegbolagun, said the sect’s agitation is unknown and much unlike that of the Niger Delta militants that was borne out of injustice. He said the group is faceless and only bent on shedding innocent blood. He spoke at a news parley last week in Lagos. Adegbolagun said only responsible groups with reasonable agitations should be considered for negotiation by government. He said: ‘’However if any group claims responsibility

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Bethel 2011 holds

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4-DAY conference with the theme ‘’dwelling in His presence’’ holds from 31st August-3rd September. Tagged Bethel conference, the event holds at the Assemblies of God Youth Camp, KM 48 Lagos-Ibadan Express Way. Guest speakers expected include Rev Dr. Chidi Okoroafor, Assistant General Superintendent, AG Nigeria; Rev Isaac Mpamugo, Rtd District Superintendent, AG Lagos District; Rev Theodore Effiong; Evang Uche Ume and Rev Joseph N.G. Okafor, the Lagos District Superintendent, who is the chief host. Okafor said the conference will attempt to re-direct people’s attention to God. He added: ‘’Nigeria needs to come to Bethel, a place of divine revelation and direction. The leadership of this nation needs to find their way back to God to help them find lasting solutions to the problems Nigeria.’’

for its activities and is prepared to defend itself with acceptable reasons then the Federal government should now take a look at the agitation. ’’ On Islamic Banking, he urged Nigerians to have an open mind towards the proposal. The group, he said, would soon organise a public debate where some grey areas can be sorted out by Islamic Bank experts.

Title: Success Compass Author: Pastor Uchendu Kingsley Year of publication: 2011 Reviewer: Ngozi Uma


THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011

Worship

‘How to tackle religious crises’

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CLERIC, Evangelist Isang Udo-Akagha (aka Friend of Muslims), has canvassed for genuine Christian/Muslim dialogue to stem the tide of religious crises in the country. Such talk shops, he said, will foster mutual understanding and strengthen similarities between adherents of both religions while reducing differences. He spoke last week at an interfaith lecture on ‘The Role of Christian/Muslim Dialogue in Sustaining Nigeria’s Democracy’. Akagba said: ‘’Silent tension develops when we remain quiet over our differences and pretend that they do not exist. ‘’So rather than say about it and allow our inter-faith misconceptions to continue growing, it is very important for Christian and Muslim organisations to organise educative fora for interactions in such a way as to ventilate the

Stories by Sunday Oguntola

tension caused by this phenomenon called interfaith parallax.” The Chartered Surveyorturned evangelist lamented the wanton destruction of lives and properties recorded whenever religious riots break, saying such incidents were counter-productive and needless. He noted fundamental differences in both religions but said peaceful coexistence is possible through genuine dialogue and understanding. Udo-Akagha said: “Dialogue is the wisest way to handle our doctrinal difference, the most foolish way is to stay silent and pretend that these differences do not exist. ‘’ Genuine dialogue implies recognition of differences, at the same time, it seeks to discover and appreciate common values

of Christianity and Islam. A fruitful mutual understanding cannot be enhanced unless both parties’ differences are held in a creative relationship.” He said the controversy over the proposed Islamic Banking would have been avoided had the Central Bank of Nigeria embarked on public enlightenment. Speaking in the same vein, a Muslim cleric Alhaji Ustaz Adegunwa said Christians and Muslims must learn to sit in a round table to sort out mutual suspicions. He frowned against killing and maiming in the name of religion. His words: “Killing one another in the name of religion should be discouraged as there is no evidence of such, either in the Bible or the Qur’an. ‘’What should rather be encouraged is the use of dialogue to handle religious difference.” Adegunwa (aka Labaika De Christ) noted that lack of

proper enlightenment was also responsible for religious intolerance, especially in the North. He said: ‘’Look at the East, South and Western part of Nigeria, hardly do we experience any form of religious crisis there. This is because we tolerate one another, particularly in the West”. He urged religious leaders in the North to give peace a chance and seek for proper understanding of the tenets and practices of other people’s faith. “What do we gain by killing one another over religious differences? In spite of our differences, we can still be friendly and leave in peace with one another. ‘’The only way to achieve this is through Christian/Muslim dialogue. It is the only reasonable way to settle differences.’’

Odeleke seeks bill on power supply ENERAL overseer of the Power Pentecostal Church, Lagos Bishop Bola Odeleke has called on the National Assembly to enact a law that will make provision of regular power supply compulsory across the country. The bill, she said, will compel the federal government to tackle erratic power supply, which she noted has impoverished Nigerians and destroyed businesses. Odeleke said it was lamentable power remains unavailable in the 21st century when other African countries are consolidating on economic gains. She spoke last Wednesday to newsmen ahead of the church’s 18 th international power convention with the theme ‘’I decide to conquer’’. It begins today and ends next Sunday. She said: ‘’It is a shame really that power remains what it is in this country. We have destroyed businesses and left Nigerians poorer with the power situation. ‘’This is why we need a bill that will mandate government to give us light.’’ She said with regular power supply, Nigerians will do better in businesses and lift the economy. ‘’We have not asked for anything extraordinary or

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strange. Others are doing it with ease. How come ours is different? Let there be light and we will sort ourselves out,’’ she stressed. Odeleke pointed out that the opposition against the proposed Non-Interest Banking is based on the word Islamic.

She said: ‘’ There is no big deal about non-interest banking. It is already being practised in this country. We have Esusu and other schemes in that direction. ‘’If anybody wants to do business, he should do come and do it. No need to add religious tag to it. Those who want will patronise and there

will be no needless debates like these.’’ The convention, she said, will afford people the opportunity to become conquerors. Prominent preachers expected include Apostle Anslem Madubuko and Prophet Samson Ayorinde.

•Apostolic Faith Church choir and orchestra performing at the 2011 camp concert at the Faith City, Igbesa, Ogun State, recently.

Anglican Church dedicates cathedral

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HE Anglican Diocese of Lagos Mainland, All Souls’ Church last Thursday dedicated a new cathedral christened ‘’House of miracles’’ to commemorate its 5 th anniversary. Members, officiating priests and well-wishers turned out in gorgeous spirit and attires to celebrate the milestone. The Diocese’s Bishop, Right Rev. Adebayo Akinde, said the project was accomplished through divine providence.

By Joke Kujenya

He said: “After dedication, God is taking possession of everything in this house. No sense of immorality, deceit, hatred and unholy acts has any place both in the things of God’s spirit and in the house of God. God is holy hence all of us must be holy in all we do.” He called on President Goodluck Jonathan not to allow negotiation with the Boko Haram sect.

The security threat, Akinde argued, requires courage to be tackled. He stated: ‘’we are therefore calling on the President to rise up and work towards restoration of peace and order in the country.” On the proposed Islamic Banking, he said Nigeria does not need any idea or innovation that will threaten its peace. He stressed: ‘’Now, the Church of God cannot be quiet anymore. The integrity of this nation has

been compromised for too long, it is time we all come together as Nigerians for the overall protection of the country we call our own.” He called on Nigerians to draw closer, stating that the nation’s greatness lies in righteousness and not natural resources or manpower. “That is the only way our prayers will be answered for Nigeria, leadership, youths and every person in this nation,” Akinde added.

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Making Sense of Life with adeWale Adefuye

‘Rumble in the Republic of Trees’

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HE ninth chapter, the longest in the Book of Judges, contains the first parable recorded in Scriptures and ends with an eerie fulfilment of Jotham’s curse. But first the parable: The Republic of Trees is about to elect a king. Olive Tree is offered the office, but it refuses. ‘Should I quit producing the olive oil that blesses God and man, just to wave to and fro over the other trees?’ it asked. Next they approach Fig Tree, ‘You, be our king!’ Fig Tree equally declines. ‘Should I quit producing sweetness and fruit just to lift my head above all the other trees?’ it asks. Then they turn to Grapevine, ‘You reign over us!’ But Grapevine retorts, ‘Should I quit producing the wine that cheers both God and man, just to be mightier than all the other trees?’ These noble, fruit-bearing trees having declined the offer, and apparently all the others also, then the trees turn at last to Thornbush – which yields no fruit, can give no shadow, and only wounds those who take hold of it; in fact, it is fit only for burning. Scarcely believing its luck that such a proposal could come its way, Thornbush replies, ’If you really want me, come and humble yourselves beneath my shade! If you refuse, let fire flame forth from me and burn down the great cedars of Lebanon!’ That’s the parable hauled by Jotham at Abimelech and his maternal relatives. Abimelech, born by “a maid-servant,” who was a native of Shechem, was one of Gideon’s seventy plus sons. He had the courage, vigour and energy of his father, coupled, sadly, with a restless ambition, reckless unscrupulousness, and daring impiety. At his instigation his mother’s relatives entered into negotiations with the citizens of Shechem. The main considerations brought to bear upon them seemed to have been: hatred of the house of Gideon, and the fact that Abimelech was a fellow-townsman. The agreement was worthily approved and supported with Baal’s money, out of whose treasury they gave Abimelech seventy shekels. This miserable sum was enough to hire a band of reckless rabble for the premeditated murder of seventy of his half siblings. Such was the value which Israel put upon them! Apparently unresisting, they were all slaughtered upon one stone, like a sacrifice—that is, all but one: Jotham (“Jehovah is perfect”), who succeeded in hiding himself, and thus escaped. This parable was Jotham’s ‘speech’ at Abimelech’s inauguration as king. His conclusion: “My father Gideon risked his life for you when he fought to rescue you from the Midianites. Did you reward Gideon by being kind to his family? No, you did not! You attacked his family and killed all seventy of his sons on that rock. And was it right to make Abimelech your king? He’s merely the son of my father’s slave girl. But just because he’s your relative! So, you leaders of Shechem, if you treated Gideon and his family the way you should have, then I hope you and Abimelech will make each other very happy. But if it was wrong to treat Gideon and his family the way you did, then I pray that Abimelech will destroy you with fire, and I pray that you will do the same to him.” Jotham had not spoken as a prophet, but his language was prophetic. After three years of relative success, Abimelech found himself in trouble. The Shechemites, who had helped crown him king, began to give him trouble. They started to work against the king. They began to rob the caravans that passed by the city on the nearby trade routes. The activities of these bandits were robbing him of both money and reputation. The merchants would hear about the danger, take a different trade route, and not have to pay Abimelech whatever tariffs were usually levied. But even worse, word would get out that the new king couldn’t control his people and protect business interests in his domain. Events happened so quickly, that the king and the ‘kingmakers’ were at each other’s throat; a few other towns joined in the rebellion. Using the military, the king’s troops levelled Shechem and proceeded to surround Thebez. He was about to capture it when he committed a military blunder and was killed. “Abimelech went to the tower [in Thebez] and attacked it. But as he approached the entrance to the tower to set it on fire, a woman dropped an upper millstone on his head and cracked his skull.” He that had slaughtered his brothers upon a stone was killed by a stone – to the head. And the last verse concludes sombrely, ‘God brought all their wickedness home to the Shechemites, for the curse of Jotham, son of Gideon overtook them.’ May we, as individuals, families and a nation, not attract or activate any negative spiritual catalyst by our conduct and disposition in Jesus’ name. Any resounding Amen?

adeWale Adefuye, dean of LifeClass, can be reached at dean@lifeclassonline.org; 070 3002 3002 (SMS only)


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THE NATION ON SUNDAY AUGUST 21, 2011


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THE NATION ON SUNDAY, AUGUST 21, 2011

NATION SPORT

Mikel humbles Osaze amid truama •As Chelsea beat West Brom 2-1

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UPER Eagles’ midfielder, Mikel Obi was on top of his game on Saturday as Chelsea claimed their first Premier League win under new manager Andre Villas-Boas after they came from behind to beat Peter Odemwingie’s West Bromwich Albion 2-1 at Stamford Bridge. Despite the psychological trauma which has hit the Obi’s family following the disappearance of elder Mike Obi, Mikel still feature for the entire duration of the match for the Blues, while Odemwingie was a 75 minute substitute for the Baggies. Though investigation is still on his missing father, Mikel replicated the splendid performance he had last weekend against Stoke City as he took control of the chelsea midfield against a more determined

West Brom side. The Blues were up against it from the start, as Shane Long stole the ball from Alex on the halfway line and ran through to beat stand-in goalkeeper Hilario in the fourth minute. Chelsea offered little in attack and Salomon Kalou bore the brunt of manager Andre

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• Nicolas Anelka (centre) celebrates with Mikel Obi (R) after scoring Chelsea's equaliser

INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY

Bangladesh national team to receive Argentina, Nigeria

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ANGLADESH national team will be receiving Argentina and Nigeria teams on their arrival in Dhaka for the international friendly to be played on September 6, said the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) on Saturday. The BFF has drawn up the detailed plan for welcoming the highprofile international teams that boast some of the best known footballers including two-time world player-of-the-year Lionel Messi and the Bangladesh footballers will receive them as a part of this plan. Chairman of the match organising committee Anwarul Huq helal said, “We were thinking of ways to involve our national players in such a big event and this is how we got the solution.” Helal also spoke about some of the schedule

Falcons’ striker arrives for Indomitable Lionesses

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UPER Falcons’ Emueje Oghiabeva has arrived in the country for the 2012 London Olympic Games qualifier against the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon on August 28 in Abuja. Oghiabeva beats the August 23 date given to the six invited foreign based players for the crucial game by the head coach Eucharia Uche. The FC Energy of Moscow forward is the first Europe based player to arrive for the tie

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HOLA AMEOBI found it hard to contain his delight after Newcastle United’s 1-0 win at the Stadium of Light. The big striker led the line on his own for much of the narrow victory over the Wearsiders but emerged as an ecstatic figure in the aftermath of the superb victory against Sunderland. Ryan Taylor was the man who netted the all important winner but Ameobi told Chroniclelive: “You never get tired of getting one over your derby rivals. “It was a fantastic game for us. “A lot was said about last season’s games but we had to put it behind us and I thought we did that as a team fantastically. “Defensively we were - as we were last week - very sound.

• Ameobi

“That gave us confidence to push on in the second half and we scored fantastic goal. “Ryan won’t hit many better than that. “It is just great that we have got one over our rivals.”

Ebele Obi makes WAFU trip

NPL’s Electoral Committee pleads for more time From Tunde Liadi, Owerri HE Nigeria Premier League Electoral Committee which met Thursday this week to iron out modalities which would lead to the election of a substantive head have asked to be given more time to peruse the documents submitted to it by all the parties involved in the disputed election before taking a decision. NationSport reliably gathered that the Committee has fixed Wednesday next week for another meeting after the Committee members would have had ample time to study the documents presented by the combatants whom took part in the previous election which was voided by the Prof. Ibidapo Obe led Committee. “ The NPL Electoral Committee met on Thursday but it was not conclusive because the Committee asked for more time to be given to study the documents submitted by the parties concerned, including the court proceedings, before coming out with a verdict. The Committee does not want to rush into taking a decision that will generate controversies again.” The source said.

Villas-Boas’ anger as he was hauled off in the 34th minute. After the break though, the Blues were a different team and did not have to wait long as Nicolas Anelka took advantage of some sloppy defending to hammer a deflected shot past Ben Foster. With

around ten minutes to do, substitute Florent Malouda then stole in at the back post to net the winner after a good cross from Jose Bosingwa. Odemwingie’s arrival sparked the Baggies back into action and the Nigerian was guilty of a terrible miss as a long cross found him six yards out, but his volley found Hilario’s hands and the Blues hung on for the win.

Ameobi relishes win over Sunderland

thereby underscoring the importance the players attach to the duel. Others expected to arrive on or before the August 23 deadline include veteran forward and reigning African Footballer of the Year, Perpetua Nkwocha, Faith Ikidi, Rita Chikwelu, Onome Ebi and Helen Ukaonu. Oghiabeva took part in Friday’s evening training session with the domestic players.

of the Argentine team during their four-day stay in Dhaka. The Argentine team will be flying straight from Kolkata on September 3 where they are scheduled to play another friendly the previous day against Venezuela national team. The Argentina team, led by superstar Messi, will be holding an open practice session either at the Army Stadium or BSMKS in Kamalpur on the 4th. A public dinner will be arranged in the night at the team’s Sonargaon hotel which will be organised by event management firm Matra. 250 guests will be allowed on tickets and there will be an auction of jerseys and other kits among them. A few lucky ones may also have the chance to take photos with or grab an autograph of their favourite stars. The Argentina team will be holding a closed door practice session the next day before taking on Nigeria on September 6. However, all this still hinges on the report of the inspection team which will be arriving here this morning from Kolkata. The three-member team, headed by Argentina’s assistant coach Julian Camino, will visit the match venue, Bangabandhu National Stadium, and the proposed practice venues

at Kamalapur and Banani. They will also scrutinise the accommodation and security aspects of the team. Vashwar Goswami, the managing director of event management company Celebrity Management Group who brokered the friendly, will accompany the inspection team.

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BELE Obi, elder brother of Chelsea midfielder, John Mikel Obi, has

traveled with his club, Enugu Rangers, for Sunday’s WAFU Cup first leg semifinal clash with Niger Republic’s Akokana FC d’Arlit. The goalkeeper shrugged off entreaties to return to Jos and stay with his family following the sudden disappearance of his father, Michael Obi Snr on August 12. SuperSport.com was informed by head coach, Alphonsus Dike that the goaltender has opted to make the long trip to Niamey in Niger Republic for the WAFU Cup game.

ARSENAL 0-2 LIVERPOOL

Wenger: I won’t walk away from Arsenal

RESULTS England - Premier League Sunderland0 - 1 Newcastle Arsenal 0 - 2Liverpool Aston Villa 3 - 1Blackburn Everton 0 - 1Queens Park Swansea C. 0 - 0Wigan Chelsea 2-1 West Brom Italy - Coppa Italia Genoa 4 - 3Nocerina Empoli 2 - 1Sampdoria Sassuolo 3 - 3Verona Germany - Bundesliga I. Augsburg 0 - 2 Hoffenheim B/ Munich 5 - 0Hamburger Dortmund 2 - 0 Nurnberg Stuttgart 0 - 1 Leverkusen Bremen 5 - 3Freiburg FC Cologne1 - 1 K’lautern France - Ligue 1 Bordeaux 1 - 1Auxerre Brest 1 - 1Lyon Caen 1 - 2Lille Dijon 2 - 0Lorient Nice 1 - 1Toulouse Holland - Eredivisie V/Arnhem2 - 1 FC Utrecht Scotland - Premier League Aberdeen 2 - 1Inverness Dundee Utd0 - 1Dunfermline Hibernian 1 - 2St. Mirren Sweden - Superettan Degerfors 1 - 3Angelholm Ukraine - Premier Liga Odessa 0 - 0 Volyn Lutsk

“Well he told us that he is willing to travel with the team in spite of what has happened to his family in the past days following the disappearance of his father. We know that it is a difficult time for him and that’s why I personally thought he should be left alone. “But he said he will follow us to Niger because he wants to have the experience of taking part in the game and also seeing what that country looks like,” Dike told SuperSport.com on Friday. Ebele Obi is one of 18 players that made the trip to Niger Republic for the clash with Akokana FC d’Arlit.

• Wenger

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RSENE Wenger has insisted that there is “no chance” he will walk away from the Arsenal manager’s job. A chorus of jeers rang out at Emirates Stadium at the end of their 2-0 defeat to Liverpool, with a small section of supporters calling for Wenger to spend some money before being drowned out by those supporting the Frenchman. Speaking to reporters ahead of a week in which Arsenal travel to Udinese for a crucial Champions League qualifier and a trip to Manchester United in the Premier League, Wenger said: “I always feel under pressure, not more than usual. There is no chance I will walk away. I

answered that question yesterday. I will continue to try to give my best for the club. “Every defeat is a devastation or an earthquake in this job. We are very disappointed that we lost today. I feel the result is very harsh on us. The decider was the sending-off and the offside goal. “For us, it is important now to lift the players. Wednesday night’s game [against Udinese] is massive and of big importance to us. After that we play Man United. We play all the big opponents away in the first half of the season, apart from Liverpool.” Wenger was tight-lipped on reports in France that Samir Nasri, who played the whole 90 minutes against Liverpool, could stay at Arsenal after his contract negotiations with Manchester City broke down. “Nobody told me that,” said the manager. “I don’t know about his future. I always say that I try to keep Samir Nasri. I never changed my mind on that. He loves the club, wants to play for us and if we decided to keep him, I would be happy. At the moment, I’m happy he is here.”


http://www.thenationonlineng.net

SUNDAY, AUGUST 21, 2011 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM VOL. 5, NO. 1858

QUOTABLE

I think there are more important issues in the country than OBJ and IBB. We should commit ourselves to better issues than their problems. Both OBJ and IBB should address their minds to services issue. —National Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Alhaji Lai Mohammed commenting on the OBJ-IBB face off.

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USTICE Ayo Salami, President of the Appeal Court (PCA), twice last week hurried to court after the National Judicial Council (NJC) first ignored the earlier case he filed to restrain the Council from taking action against him over his dispute with the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, and then secondly suspended him and recommended his retirement. He was accused of lying on oath against the CJN and refusing orders to apologise. No Nigerian institution, let alone one built for and dedicated to the sacred cause of justice, has in recent years displayed such relentless and remorseless arbitrariness. Nigerians have painfully reconciled themselves to the chicaneries of the executive and legislative branches of their government, and are still in mourning that both institutions have become incorrigible. Now, the judiciary, which had seemed to be a little insulated from the national morass, has worked its way into a moral and bureaucratic bind comparable to the sort of decay historians encounter in collapsing empires. Even though neither the CJN nor the next most senior justice in the Supreme Court, Justice Dahiru Musdapher, presided over the final decisions on Salami, the NJC had been sufficiently and deliberately primed to suspend the PCA, as the public had feared. Organised like a democratic institution after the best judicial traditions anywhere in the world, but now run like a camorra, it became impossible for the NJC to back down from its clear intent to punish Salami for breaking ranks with the powerful clique within the Council and possibly the ruling party still smarting from judicial defeats. It was reported that out of the 23 or 24 justices that constitute the NJC, only eight were present when the decision on Salami was taken. Where did the rest go, and why were they absent? In a re-echo of the anomalies that undermined democracy in many states including Ogun, Plateau and Bayelsa, did eight out of 24 strike the eminent men of the law as a quorum? Who will step in to stop the justices from making a greater mess of the bench? In spite of the partisan manoeuvrings of a few newspapers, and the absurd neutrality of a number of other media establishments, every sensible observer of the disagreement between the justices could see from the three reports on the CJN ver-

Finally, NJC does the unthinkable

•Katsina-Alu

•Salami

sus Salami case that there is absolutely nothing complicated about the fight. What was in issue was not point of law, (though taking action against Salami when the case was in court was quizzical and indefensible), or who was right and who was wrong. It is unlikely that after three panels the justices could still not determine whom the law or their consciences would lead them to exculpate. The chief problem, I think, is a little more abstract: it is one of principles and character. And the secondary problem, upon which the first abstract problem does not necessarily depend, is that of tactlessness of the PCA. But first the second problem. Salami, I believe, left the impatient and powerful clique within the NJC no choice but to hang him. According to the constitution, the NJC acting alone does not have the power to remove the PCA, but about five justices in the Council apparently hoped they could incapacitate him with suspension and get the president to go along with them. When Salami accused the CJN of behaving dishonourably, it

became obvious there would be no midway or meeting point between him and Katsina-Alu. It had to be a fight to the death. Reading through the three reports on the case, from the Justice Umar Abdullahi fact-finding report to that of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and then the review panel headed by Justice Ibrahim Auta, one would need to be considerably dimwitted and senselessly partisan to blame Salami for anything but tactlessness. In Salami’s shoes, I would be wary of accusing the CJN of subverting justice in the Sokoto Governorship appeal case. I do not think Salami made it up; the balance of probability is on his side that he gave the right account of his interaction with the CJN. But the allegation is so heavy and damaging that, if I were Salami, I would have kept the information for a more auspicious time. Now to the first. Read through the Abdullahi fact-finding report again, and see how the justices on the panel squirmed endlessly to avoid laying blame, though the blameworthy party

Fool’s Opera makes grand entry

F

IRST was John Gay with The Beggar’s Opera; then came along Bertolt Brecht’s Threepenny Opera; then also Hamza al-Mustapha’s Liar’s Opera. Now, it’s the jointly authored Fool’s Opera by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, both former heads of state of Nigeria. The latest opera is fascinating to everyone because the two leaders agreed to the title: Obasanjo describes Babangida as a fool at 70, and the latter describes the former as a greater fool of undetermined age. The leitmotif, at any rate, is fool; whether simply fool or greater fool. It has taken 35 years since their unveiling on the national scene for us to know that, by their mutual confessions, the affairs of our country were entrusted to fools. The latest opera has just commenced, and it will play concurrently with that of al-Mustapha. It will have its perihelion on days of sunny excitement and unadulterated mirth, as two former leaders rake muck and descend to the cesspit; and it will have its low points of depressing boredom. They may never know in what abysmal contempt they are held by the people, considering the exaggerated opinions they have of themselves, but it is at least reassuring that, wallowing in their

mire, they have helped to sustain our low opinion of them. It was Babangida that drew first blood when he poetically dismissed Obasanjo as managing wealth to achieve failure, a poignant reference to the huge revenue that accrued to the country between 1999 and 2007. Proud and opinionated, and never one to let his enemy have the last word on any issue, no matter how harmless, Obasanjo made a merciless and furious riposte by describing Babangida as a fool at 70, a lampoon that even haters of the Otta general must admit unnerved and irritated the Minna general. This was followed by torrential revelations of shenanigans in high places, particularly under Obasanjo. There is of course no settling the precedence between Obasanjo and Babangida. Neither is ethically, politically or socially better than the other. But it has always seemed Obasanjo has so much more to hide. First was the piquant piece of reference to Obasanjo’s nearly dysfunctional family, particularly his alleged moral turpitude. Then came the more appropriate, and for many of us, most juicy information guaranteed to silence the Otta general or choke his throat for a long time: his third term scheme. Babangida, in a rejoinder to Obasanjo

that was probably excessive and intemperate, claimed that the Otta general lobbied many leading Nigerians to get the third term agenda passed. This probably ranks as the most authoritative confirmation of Obasanjo’s dishonest attempt to undermine the constitution and democracy in the closing months of his second term in office. It also showed him as considerably naïve. Thrice in 2003, 2007 and 2011 Obasanjo helped scuttle Babangida’s ambition to return to power; how could the Otta general expect his old enemy to sanction his private treason? I do not know whether Babangida tells unconscionable lies like Obasanjo, or whether his word is as nugatory as that of the Otta general. However, we can now finally establish for all time that when Obasanjo vehemently denied a third term agenda and said God would have given him extra time in power if he had asked, the Otta general lied against man and against God. Babangida’s self-righteousness will not allow him to apologise for June 12; and Obasanjo’s pride will bar him from apologising to God for his indecent lies. It is good that the two of them are demystifying each other. God obviously spared us more agony by matching the two in unhealthy friendship.

could be gleaned from the report. On point of law, it was clear that the CJN had no right whatever to meddle in the case, and he also undid his position and the cause of justice both by asking for a reconstitution of the tribunal and by lying that there was a petition alleging leakage of the Appeal Court judgement in the case. However, for an undocumented interaction between three justices, to wit, CJN, PCA and Musdapher, it must amaze all of us that Salami expected the CJN to own up to his word, or for Musdapher to corroborate Salami’s account. It would take extreme fidelity to principles to corroborate the PCA’s position. There are a few people on earth who would probably do that. I am not sure, however, that the public’s confidence in the present crop of justices in Nigeria is so strong as to expect that many of the justices in the NJC would rank among that extraordinarily principled number. I knew the NJC would go for broke, for the dominant clique within it is not made of fine mettle. And I suspect that at the moment, its conniving members will be asking themselves whether they are living up to the character and reputation of the NJC handed over to them by their more circumspect predecessors. The CJN was about to retire; he would not be averse to extreme options. Musdapher was expected to take over the mantle of CJN. If he did, he could yet be a fine and exemplary CJN; but he would be chary of staking the plum position on Salami. The NJC itself as a body would be mindful of damning the CJN, and indirectly damning the entire body. So it was easier to sacrifice the annoyingly forthright and even impressionable Salami. What remains to be seen is not whether injustice was done against Salami for keeping a clean nose and being overzealous for old-school type of justice. This has been established, notwithstanding the rage of reactionary politicians and their bought media. What is left is to ask whether given the constellation of the justices in the NJC, High Court, the Appeal Court and, in the final analysis, the Supreme Court, and the power equation holding the judiciary in thrall, we could find one or two judges with the independence of mind, principles, character, and a sense of history to give justice to Salami as he fights his way forlornly from the High Court upwards. It is, however, not only the country that is put in a quandary by the recklessness of the CJN and his few supporters in the NJC. Of all the problems President Goodluck Jonathan would wish to confront early in his presidency, it is doubtful whether the mess in the upper echelons of the judiciary is one of them. The NJC has unwisely and childishly pushed the nuisance into the court of Jonathan. Can the president be trusted to do the right thing? He will, if he has good advisers, though he has spent more effort in gathering advisers essentially for political reasons than for their ethical depth and principled character. Second, the president will do right by country if he himself has the character that comes only out of deep knowledge and reflection, one grounded in a great vision of country, one that understands the eternal place of justice in a society. If the justices in the NJC could surrender so spinelessly to politics than to justice, all the while ignoring the unsavoury effects of their actions on the presidential election petition case before the PCA, why should we expect the highly political Jonathan to be different? Whichever way the CJN/Salami imbroglio is resolved, it is certain the judiciary will never be the same again. Let us hope it does not also leave a lasting scar on the presidency.

Published by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025, Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor - 08050498530, Marketing: 4520939, Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Telephone: 07028105302 E-mail: sunday@thenationonlineng.net Editor: LEKAN OTUFODUNRIN

The Nation August 21, 2011  

The Nation August 21, 2011

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